Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by CeJay, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006

    The Star Eagle Adventures Presents

    Author’s Note:

    Welcome to Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle, my first novel length story since 2008’s All The Sinners, Saints (yes, it’s been that long). The God Particle is also my first attempt to branch out, following an entirely different ship and crew. And while Agamemnon has made appearances in previous stories, if you are not familiar with The Star Eagle Adventures you should still be able to comfortably follow this story. If you are interested to learn how Captain Donners got her command you may want to check out And A Star To Steer Her By right here on the TrekBBS or download the ebook Vignette Series Two: Crossing Over at

    My thanks to DavidFalkayn and DarKush in particular for their assistance with their characters featured in this story as well as to my other fellow United Trek writers who worked together a couple of years ago to come up with the story on which The God Particle is based on before I brusquely lifted some of its elements for my own selfish purposes.

    Comments are always appreciated even if you wish to let me know of things that didn’t work for you. I see honest feedback as the only way to continuously grow and try to improve as a writer.

    I hope you enjoy.

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
    George Santayana​

    The Delta Quadrant
    2264 Old Earth Calendar

    Up until recently the Xenarth had seen themselves as the most technologically advanced, industrious and culturally sophisticated race in the known galaxy. Their scientific excellence unquestionable, their mighty warriors without equal, the efficiency of their immense workforce unparalleled while their artisans’ imagination was as boundless as their clerics’ dedication to the All-Mother’s will was illimitable.

    In short, nothing and no one could ever threaten the Xenarth’s gods-given cultural superiority.

    Until the day they met the Borg.

    Within a week, their once seemingly immeasurable fleet of swarm ships had been reduced to a mere hundreds of vessels, desperate to protect their last remaining world, home of the Colony, Xenarth Prime.

    The Borg invasion of their territory had been swift and merciless. And contrary to the cyborg’s ubiquitous battle cry, they had never bothered to assimilate the Xenarth, apparently not even deeming the insectoids to be a worthwhile addition to their collective.

    Instead the Borg were after something infinitely more valuable to them.

    * * *​

    Queen Quelphi looked upon the sky-high monstrosity in front of her with unmasked disgust, evidenced by her extended mandibles and crooked antenna. Like all members of the Xenarth Colony, Quelphi had evolved from the lowly insect life on her planet over millennia. She now stood nearly two meters tall, on long slender legs and a trim torso. To a foreign anthropologist, Quelphi would have been a prime example of a perfect symbiosis of a humanoid and an insectoid. While she walked upright and on two legs, her insect heritage was all too obvious thanks to her set of lower arms right underneath her longer upper limbs which brought the total number of her extremities to six. Her skull was oblong in shape with two jutting compound eyes which gave her a nearly three-hundred-sixty degree viewing angle. She relied on a set of v-shaped antennae on her head for olfactory senses and two mandibles protruding close to her mouth were sharp enough to be used as weapons.

    As the reigning Warrior Queen of the Aggregate, the ruling council of the Xenarth, she despised the towering display of technological arrogance in front of her with a passion. The device stood nearly a hundred floors high, reaching far into the darkened sky and measured dozens of paces in diameter. At the very top it bulged outward like a blooming flower with sharp curves which the scholars and clerics had found pleasing.

    Quelphi found nothing pleasing about the Star Portal. In fact she was convinced that all their bad fortune of late could be placed solely at the feet of this infernal device and the power source which fed its incalculable appetite.

    And now it had supposedly become their only salvation.

    “Another eighty swarm ships have been destroyed. At this rate, we expect that their main force will land on Prime before dawn.”

    Quelphi was barley listening to Queen Arga’s report of their impending doom as she was too busy wordlessly cursing what she saw as the bringer of their undoing.

    “By all accounts we have lost some sixty million colonists within the last sixty eight lirkiks. Supreme Semunstra is confident however that with the help of the Portal, we will be able to save ten to twenty million of what remains of the Colony,” continued the Worker Queen. “Ergia is convinced that it is more than enough to rebuild once we arrive. She says that the God-Queen will provide whatever we require in Xendaru.”

    The Warrior Queen uttered a sharp whistling sound, a sarcastic laugh. “The God-Queen will provide. How about the millions we have lost already? Will the All-Mother provide for them as well?”

    “The expired will be as reborn in Xendaru,” said Arga.

    Quelphi whipped around to face the Worker Queen for the first time. “Well quoted. But do you believe it, Arga? I mean, truly believe like the clerics and their Queen? Are you as convinced that our fallen sisters and brothers will be waiting to greet us once we trigger this infernal device?”

    The Worker Queen hesitated for a moment, her feelers twitched slightly, giving away her insecurity. “To say otherwise … to believe otherwise, it would be heresy.”

    Quelphi uttered a subdued whistle and then stepped closer to her fellow Queen. She placed her upper arms on the smaller insectoid’s shoulders. “It’s just you and me now, Arga. The Cleric Queen is nowhere near, and neither are her one-minded disciples. You may speak your mind freely, my friend. Do you truly believe Xendaru awaits beyond the Portal?”

    “I have seen the power of the Xendaru Particle up close. My workers have labored on the Star Portal for half a generation and we have suffered and sacrificed thousands in this pursuit.”

    The Warrior Queen pushed her away with an angry whistle. “You have sacrificed thousands? The invaders have killed millions of my warriors.”

    The Worker Queen immediately lowered her head and her antennae along with them in a deferential gesture. They may have been equals in the Aggregate chambers, but angering the Warrior Queen was not a healthy proposition. “Apologies, I meant no insult. There is no comparison to the sacrifice of your soldiers. I merely meant to say that the Xendaru Particle’s power nearly destroyed us all on many an occasion. Something so powerful, it has to have the ability to create miracles.”

    “And a miracle we shall require if we are to ever lay eyes on a mystical realm known to us solely from stories and fables.”

    “But if they remain true,” said Argia carefully, “we shall be at everlasting peace with the All-Mother and escape this wretched plane for good as well as these invaders. Is this not something to aspire to?”

    “Younglings and fools aspire,” the Warrior Queen shot back harshly. “Deeds are what matter and the decisions we have made speak poorly of the state of the Colony. We have invited our own doom by expanding too quickly and embracing forces we barely comprehend.”

    “We no longer have a choice. The Kothlis’Ka, the Bunati and many others have already taken to the stars to find homes elsewhere and escape this unstoppable plague that is sweeping the galaxy. Nothing has been able to stop them.”

    “Yes,” said Quelphi and looked upon the massive Portal again. “And I think I know why. They have long since learned of the power of this so-called Xendaru Particle. What Semunstra has foolishly pursued for decades as the savior of the Colony is directly to blame for our own undoing.” She turned to the Worker Queen once more. “Listen to me well. Nothing good has ever come out of the leadership of a Scholar Queen. The Supreme is singlehandedly overseeing the downfall of our people.”

    “The Colony loves her. They believe in her.”

    “They believe the lies they have been fed by Semunstra and the Cleric Queen. No, to save the colony, new leadership is required.”

    At that Argia gasped. “Are you suggesting to … remove Semunstra?”

    Quelphi’s antennae quivered slightly. “If Semunstra is gone, Ergia the Cleric Queen would be next in line to become Supreme and her rule would potentially be even more calamitous. The Aggregate requires firmer leadership. Somebody who will once again focus the tremendous power of the Colony inwards, instead of desperately trying to reach the stars and place all their trust into cursed technology and flawed science.”

    “Like a Warrior Queen?”

    “Why not? Let me ask you this. If a bold move would have to be made for the good of the Colony, could I count on your support?”

    The Worker Queen hesitated once more. “A change in leadership now would not be wise. The hour of the Star Portal is nearly upon us.”

    Quelphi jerked her head, acceding that point. Even if there was a manner in which to rid the Colony of both the Supreme and her heir apparent, the Colony would never accept a new Supreme who’d abandon the Star Portal within hours of its first activation. “Then after.”

    “If the Portal is successful in trans-phasing the Colony to Xendaru –“

    The Warrior Queen interrupted her. “If it is not?”

    “Then the Supreme would have failed the Colony on a scale unprecedented in our history. New leadership would be called for.”

    Quelphi’s mandibles curved into something resembling a smile. A change of leadership before the ruling Supreme had passed was unheard of in the Colony ever since the beginning of the Aggregate hundreds of years ago. But then again the Colony had never been faced with extinction before.

    * * *​

    The Borg quickly decimated the remaining swarm ships protecting Xenarth Prime and the massive cubes surrounded the planet in order to prepare for the final strike against its people. But the few million Xenarth who remained on the surface were no longer afraid of impending death. Instead they huddled together at every corner of their world, preparing themselves for their final journey towards ultimate salvation. Most were convinced that just in a matter of minutes, each and everyone of them would come face-to-face with their god.

    Teetering at the cusp of total annihilation, Xenarth Prime had been gripped by blissful euphoria.

    At the base of the Star Portal only the five members of the Aggregate remained, while the workers and scholars responsible for initiating its awesome power were watching from a control room afar.

    Semunstra, the Scholar Queen and current Supreme, and the person most responsible for pushing the Colony towards the research of the Xendaru Particle which in turn had made the Star Portal possible, turned to her fellow queens. “The moment is upon us,” she said reverently. “Shortly we will be leaving this plane behind and step into the future of our Colony.”

    Quelphi was anything but reverent. “I will say it one more time. This is a waste of our time and resources. We should attempt to unleash the power of the Xendaru Particle against the invaders who as we speak are preparing to lay waste to all we have sweat and died for to build.”

    “Your objections have become repetitive and tiresome,” said Cleric Queen Eriga sharply. “You would do well to remember the Supremes’ decree and behave accordingly.”

    “And what if I do not?” she challenged.

    The Cleric Queen’s mandibles twitched angrily. She knew that there was little she could do about Quelphi’s defiance. Members of the Aggregate were above reproach in most cases and even the Supreme could not relieve a fellow Queen of her title unless in extenuating circumstances. Those were the ways of the Aggregate and had been for centuries.

    “The hour for talk and deliberation has passed. We must now embrace the will of the All-Mother.”

    “Do as you must,” said the Warrior Queen with dramatic flair. “I want my opposition to this noted. Once again.”

    “And once again, it has been noted,” said Selphi, the Artisan Queen, who had always taken great care to try and reconcile the differences between the Warrior Queen and the Cleric and Scholar Queens. Mostly in vain. “Right or wrong, we must all agree that it is no longer feasible to explore any alternative to attempt to save the Colony.”

    “Oh my dear Selphi, you have such a gift for understating the obvious, it borders on cowardice. And you conveniently leave out how you and all of us had many such opportunities but we chose instead to ignore them all and put our entire faith into a power we barely even understand. Mark my words, all of you, this will not lead us to salvation and when the inevitable comes to pass, I hope you will recall my warnings.”

    “You have spoken your piece, Warrior Queen. Now temper yourself so that we may commence the ceremony,” said the Supreme and promptly deferred to the Cleric Queen. “Ergia, it has been your tireless effort that has brought us to this moment of reunification with the God-Queen. Will you not do us the honor of taking the first step?”

    Ergia nodded eagerly. “It would be honored,” she said and then stepped closer to the towering Star Portal. She turned to look at the rest of the Aggregate and then rose all four of her arms high into the air, the signal to begin.

    The Portal behind her rumbled as it began to power up, collecting energy directly from the subterranean generators which had been designed to synthesize and harvest the tremendous power of the Xendaru Particle.

    The Portal erupted with light, turning night into day and blinding everyone within a thousand miles. Moments later the amassed energy exploded outwards to create an energy field that within seconds enveloped the entire surface of Xenarth Prime.

    The Cleric Queen felt her entire body vibrate as the field washed over her and she cried out in blissful joy:

    “The All-Mother awaits.”

    Darkness more complete than a starless night followed.

    * * *​
  2. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    The Beta Quadrant
    Three Years Later

    It had been just a little over a year since he had taken the reigns of the USS Lexington and yet both the ship and crew under his command had already become as familiar as his favorite leather jacket. Not just familiar, they felt right. And more importantly, he felt right. About the ship, about the people who crewed it, about their abilities and their potential. It was as if it was all meant to be.

    Robert Wesley had never believed in something as intangible as fate or destiny and yet for some time now he had not been able to shake the feeling that he belonged in that chair on that ship with those exact people around him.

    And with that sense it mattered little to him if he was out there exploring a never before seen star system, defending the Federation from belligerent Klingons or carrying out a milk run between far flung outposts and starbases. As long as he was on his ship surrounded by his crew, the universe could throw at him whatever it felt like.

    And yet Doctor Bendes Archibald Ketteract had somehow managed to seriously test the limits of this theory, not to mention his patience.

    “I’m telling you we have to get closer. A lot closer. We’re not going to find anything but space dust out here,” Ketteract said, repeating a conversation which had played out multiple times over the last three days on the Lexington.

    “If we get any closer to where you have us go we’ll be right in the Romulans’ backyard. We might as well wave a flag and say here we are, come and take a shot at us,” responded Terrence Lawford in a crisp English accent.

    The middle-aged molecular scientist glared at the navigator. “If that’s where my readings take us than that’s where we have to go,” he shot back. “Romulans or no Romulans.”

    “Doctor, we all appreciate the importance of your work –“

    “I am seriously beginning to question that you do.”

    Cutting off the burly Russian first officer had not been a wise decision. “Doctor, I would prefer if you do not interrupt me when I’m speaking,” he shot back.

    The scientist visibly flinched at the tone in the Russian’s voice.

    The bridge itself fell dead silent except for the soft, almost melodic beeps and blips of the instruments surrounding the crew.

    After a moment the chastised Ketteract turned to look towards Wesley, wordlessly imploring him to do or say something after the all so obvious mistreatment he had received at the hands of the people under his command.

    Wesley rubbed his temple then looked towards the view screen as if considering where they were and where he had asked them to go. Then he swiveled in his chair to come face to face with the scientist. “I full well know of the importance of your work, Doctor, but I cannot order this ship within close proximity of the Neutral Zone and risk a war with the Romulans in order to satisfy your scientific curiosity.”

    Not what he had wanted to hear. He stepped closer. “But Commodore, all the readings we’ve recorded over the last week, all the work we have poured into this project since we’ve been out here have pointed us firmly into one direction. The answers we are looking for are out there,” he said with rising passion quite evident in the tone of his voice as he pointed towards the star field on the viewer.

    When it became obvious that he was going to be unable to sway Wesley he turned away in frustration and stepped back up to the elevated platform surrounding the sunken command well. He paced there fore a moment before addressing the commodore again. “Consider for a moment what we have been doing out here all this time. Trying to localize strange and unfamiliar energy readings which have seemingly appeared out of nowhere. An energy signature so significant that Starfleet has deemed it necessary to use the full resources of one of its flagships to investigate them. Are you really willing to go back to Starfleet and tell them that you were unable to find the source of these readings because you were too sacred of where it would lead you?” he said and focused intently on Wesley.

    “If it averts intergalactic war,” responded Kuznetsov instead. “You bet.”

    Ketteract glared at the Russian but didn’t get a chance to respond as just then the alert beacon in between the navigation and helm station began flashing in an urgent red.

    “Report,” barked Kuznetsov.

    “Sensors have detected a massive shockwave at two-four-one mark six-eight. It’s coming right towards us,” said Lawford as he manipulated the buttons and dials on his console.

    Wesley swivel his chair towards one of the aft stations to find his science officer. “Talana.”

    The graceful Andorian woman, dressed in an azure miniskirt uniform which tended to clash with her already naturally blue skin, had already turned towards her sensor hood to get a better reading on what Lawford had discovered. “Not sure what it is yet but it’s coming at us fast. It’ll hit it in less than fifteen seconds.”

    “Where the hell did it come from?” the first officer wanted to know.

    Wesley punched the ship-wide on his armrest which immediately triggered a whistle to catch the crew’s attention. “All hands prepare for imminent impact with a shockwave.”

    On the bridge the order was followed instantly and everyone firmly planted their feet and found something to hold on to in order to avoid being flung across the room.

    Ketteract remained rooted in place as if uncertain what exactly he should be doing.

    Kuznetsov rolled his eyes and then prompted him to cling tightly to the railing around the command well before doing the same.

    “Deflector shields to full. Aliz, try to steer the bow into the wave.”

    Ensign Bathory, the young helmswoman, nodded sharply and then attempted to change Lexington’s orientation before the unknown energy wave would hit the ship.

    On the screen the stars disappeared only to be replaced by a wall of angry blue energy which had come out of nowhere and looked as if it would have little trouble to sweep the comparatively tiny ship out of its path.

    Then the shockwave hit and as much as they tried, nobody managed to hold on. For just a moment gravity appeared to have reversed itself and every single officer on the bridge was ripped away from their position and flung towards the back of the bridge.

    At the same time consoles left and right shorted out or exploded in a shower of hot sparks which rained down onto the unprotected bridge crew, singeing skin and clothes in the process.

    Wesley had the wherewithal to catch Aliz Bathory before she went flying past him. She gave him a thankful look as they hung suspended in the air for a moment and he responded with a kind smile.

    Then the ship began to right itself again but not nearly fast enough for Wesley’s tastes. He pulled the helmswoman back towards her station until she was able to grab hold of her chair and attend to the flight controls.

    She immediately fired the dorsal thrusters allowing the Lexington to normalize on her flight axis again and within moments the stabilizers and inertia dampeners had compensated as well. Of course by then the shockwave had long passed.

    “I think I just threw up in my mouth,” said Ketteract, holding a hand in front of his mouth and the other against his forehead were he had bruised himself.

    “Don’t worry, Doctor, you’ll get your space legs yet,” said Kuznetsov before he helped communications officer Cillia Oudekirk back into her chair. “Get medical and damage control teams up here. Then warn any other ships within range.”

    The Dutch woman nodded before she tugged down to straighten her uniform dress and then reinserted her earpiece to make the required calls.

    In the meantime Wesley was rounding the bridge and helping fallen crewmembers back to their station until he reached Zha’Thara who was already checking her sensors. “What was that thing, Commander?”

    “I’m not entirely sure, I’ve never seen anything quite like it but preliminary readings suggest that it carried a similar energy reading as the residual traces we’ve been chasing for the last few days.”

    This immediately caught Ketteract’s full attention. His bruises and queasiness forgotten, he practically pushed the Andorian away from her own station. “My God, she’s right. This is it. This is it,” he said with rising euphoria, his eyes completely focused on the sensor readings.

    Zha’Thara and Wesley exchanged a telling look before the commodore focused on the scientist again. “Would you mind being more specific, Doctor. This is what, exactly?”

    It took him a moment to find the right words to answer him. “It’s what we’ve been looking for. I can’t tell you exactly what we’re dealing with yet. Not with complete certainty. But whatever it is, it is much more powerful than we’ve ever imagined.”

    “It’s powerful alright,” said Kuznetsov. “It knocked out our warp engines and G’arv is screaming and yelling up and down engineering. From the sounds of it, it’ll be a couple of hours until we’re back on the move.”

    Wesley nodded. “But on the move to where?” he asked and then headed back towards his chair. “Terrence, can you pinpoint where that shockwave originated from?”

    Lawford peeked through the sensor hood at his station. He did a double take before turning back to his captain. “You’re not going to like this, sir.”

    “Out with it, man,” the first officer said.

    “As far as I can tell the shockwave originated 2.3 light years from our present position and inside the Iota Crucis system close to the Romulan Neutral Zone.”

    The bridge fell silent again.

    A moment later a handful of medics, nurses and damage control officers entered the bridge and began to tend to he injured crew members and damaged systems.

    Ketteract clearly couldn’t take it any longer and turned to Wesley. “Commodore, we have to –“

    But the veteran Starfleet officer shut the man up with nothing more than a raised hand.

    He looked at his first officer and from the Russian’s facial expression he seemed to already suspect what was coming. “Commander, get down to engineering and light whatever fires you have to in order to get our engines up and running again. It looks like we’re heading towards the Romulan border and I’d rather have the ship up to the task for it.”

    * * *​
  3. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 18, 2005
    Good start CeJay,

    I like how you are going back into Trek history and UT history as well to build on what I feel is going to be an epic story. I also look forward to seeing how you handle the Agamemnon crew after writing the Eagle crew for so long. I know how it can be to get attached to a certain set of characters and the challenges that you might face in trying to make a new, or relatively new, crew distinct from your regulars. Granted you have already laid the groundwork, especially for Donners, but I this is still their first time really in the spot light.

    Doing a spin off is something I've considered but have yet to find the right mix like I think you have.
  4. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    This really is an epic tale in its breadth and scope, CeJay. You’re giving us the backstory on a source of phenomenal power, and as DarKush pointed out you’re delving into Trek and UT history to do so.

    You’re off to a fantastic start, and I especially liked Wesley’s reflections on the ‘rightness’ of his ship and crew… and how he has the presence of mind to savor the present.

    I've been waiting for this story for months, and it doesn't disappoint. Nicely done! :techman:
  5. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2008
    I've commented fuller over on Ad Astra CeJay but suffice to say, this is a great start. It promises a lot to come. It seems there are a few origins to be explored here and the interesting time jumps and players involved in it to date adds a lot of mystery. Borg interests are always bad but in a TOS setting could be lethal. The fact that Lexington crew now face going near the Romulan border just adds a further complication to the proceedings and I can't wait to see how this works/ed out. Might I also add that is cool to have a Lexington tale to boot too.

    And then there is the fact that as yet we have not met the Agamemnon crew and are left wondering how it will fit into this story and why the time frames. All very interesting. I'm also looking forward to reading your new crew and seeing how they work out. Great start.
  6. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    A very interesting start. The introduction is fascinating, the Xenarth portrayed as a genuinely alien race, but with characters and motivations we can understand. Then we get to the Lexington, encountering one of those 'space phenomenon that knocks the ship about a bit and kick starts the plot' events that are used so often on Trek. But they're used for a reason. They work. And now the ship has to investigate, even though there are---very believable---reasons for the crews reluctance.

    I'd also like to praise the depiction of Kettaract. Another Star Trek trope, the guy who's assigned to the ship for an important project and manages to annoy everyone, it would be easy to present him as a cardboard cliche. Yet, even in this short appearance, there's a touch of depth to his characterization.

    One slight quibble. In the following exchange:

    “If we get any closer to where you have us go we’ll be right in the Romulans’ backyard. We might as well wave a flag and say here we are, come and take a shot at us,” responded Terrence Lawford in a crisp English accent.

    The middle-aged molecular scientist glared at the navigator. “If that’s where my readings take us than that’s where we have to go,” he shot back. “Romulans or no Romulans.”

    “Doctor, we all appreciate the importance of your work –“

    “I am seriously beginning to question that you do.”

    The way it is written, it looks like the line “'Doctor, we all appreciate the importance of your work –“' is spoken by Lawford. So the reference to a 'burly Russian first officer' in the next paragraph is rather confusing, especially as he isn't named until several paragraphs later. I was able to work it out, but it did rather interrupt the narrative flow for me.

    That aside, a very good start. I'm looking forward to more.
  7. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 12, 2006
    In the illusion, but not of it.
    This is why I love fan fiction. There are so many lines in canon that demand a full story in their own right. This is one of them and I'm delighted you've picked it up. I can't wait to see what you do with it.
  8. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    I've had a lot of fun coming up with entirely new characters for this and you're right, I've grown very attached to my Star Eagle characters and I do miss them. I'm planning to revisit them soon.

    I probably shouldn't admit this but when I came up with the original Star Eagle characters I don't think I was as original with them as I could have been. With these guys I had a chance to think outside of the box more.

    I'm glad you were looking forward to this. I too have been very eager to get this story out there after spending so much time with it. Now let's just hope it can live up the the hype.

    There should be complications a plenty in this story.

    I'm glad you like the Lexington appearance here. I had fun writing for Lexington in Crossing Over, harking back to the good ol' TOS days. And this time it's for real. In a manner of speaking.

    Agamemnon's crew will make its official debut shortly and you should get some answers to your questions as this story unfolds.

    Hey, thanks very much for checking out this story.

    I do like to use certain cliches from time to time and I'm of the firm opinion that you cannot write a TOS-era story without having the crew thrown around bit. That's just part of the experience. And who doesn't like a mad scientist?

    I'm glad the Xenarth work out for you. I can't take all the credit for coming up with the race. I believe D'noth actually came up with the name.

    I hear ya about your quibble and I will make that less confusing in the final version.

    My thoughts exactly. Even though I've never been great in incorporating canon material in my work, I love it when it works. Let's hope it does here.

    Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. More on the way.
  9. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 18, 2005
    Actually I came up with the name Xenarth, but you've done everything else with them. I've been trying to come up with a good insectoid species for a long time and you make it look easy.
  10. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    My humble apologies, sir.
  11. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    The Beta Quadrant
    One Hundred and Five Years Later

    There weren’t any tropical forests on her world and for good reason.

    Hers was a cold world of unforgiving temperatures and rough terrain. A world befitting a warrior people where only the strong survived and the weak perished.

    Granted, it was an old fashioned view of Andorian society but it suited her, especially now as she stalked through this dense jungle, trying her best to ignore the myriad of bugs and insects, yearning after her blood, the irritatingly bright green colors all around her and the damned heat and humidity which kept her skin covered in a perpetual film of sweat and her clothes uncomfortably damp.

    She halted once more as she did every few steps, crouching low on the mushy forest floor and listening intently. She thought she heard a bird cry somewhere nearby. She wasn’t sure if it was a mating call or if it was on the hunt and she cared little at this point.

    The antennae on her head stood at full attention as they assisted her already keen senses in trying to track her enemy she knew to be in the vicinity. If she just stayed perfectly still and with her normally light blue skin and combat fatigues camouflaged to her jungle surroundings, she was nearly impossible to spot with the naked eye.

    Movement, just a few meters up ahead.

    Instead of heading straight towards it, she set out very slowly on a parallel trajectory, trying to flank whoever she thought she had spotted up ahead. She took extra pains to ensure to avoid stepping into rustling leaves or cracking twigs, adopting a well practiced stealth approach.

    She never lost sight of her target and by the time she had maneuvered herself into the perfect ambush position, she already knew what to expect.

    She brought up her black phaser rifle and closed in for deadly accuracy. There were three of them and under different circumstances she would have been delighted to find that they made an easy target, carelessly keeping their guard down.

    She had managed to get within just a few meters of the unaware group, close enough to smell their sweat and then took aim. “Marines.”

    All three of them whipped around, their rifles at the ready.

    The one closest to her recognized her almost instantly. “Oorah,” he said quietly.

    “Oorah,” she responded and then stood. “And by the way, you’re all dead.”

    “Lieutenant,” said Corporal Sonier, the most senior Marine in the group, quickly and most likely in order to hide his embarrassment of being ambushed by his company commander. “We thought you were a goner for sure.”

    First Lieutenant Beatiar Sh’Fane lowered her rifle and shook her head. “Not quite. I managed my way out of the valley just in time before the explosives went off. Who else got out?”

    Sonier hesitated.

    “Who’s left in Alfa Squad?” she said when she didn’t get a response.

    “We’re all that’s left, Ma’am,” said Private Yiren, a short unjoined Trill who had been a rifleman with Alfa Squads’ Fireteam Two.

    “How about Bravo?”

    Sonier shook his head. “Sergeant Marcus was covering our flank but had to engage the enemy directly when they doubled back. I think they completely took out the enemy.”

    The Andorian aimed a pointed look at Sonier. “Then where are they now?”

    “They didn’t make it, Ma’am.”

    Sh’Fane tried to reign in her impatience. “Corporal, you just told me they took out the enemy.”

    “There is somebody left,” said the third man, another private. His voice was unsteady, betraying not just his youth and inexperience but also unmistakable anxiety.

    “How many?”

    Again they hesitated. Clearly none of them wanted to answer.

    “How many?” she asked again, her voice taking on a sharp edge even while she kept her volume low enough to avoid giving away their position to whoever was still out there.

    “Just one, Ma’am,” Sonier finally admitted.

    “One?” she asked with disbelieve.

    “He’s good,” the private quickly tried to explain. “Really good. And fast. He’s taken out Second Platoon almost single handedly. We just can’t get a bead on him, it’s almost as if he’s not really there. It’s like he’s everywhere and nowhere.”

    “Jeez, calm down, Pedro. He ain’t a ghost,” said Sonier.

    “Might as well be,” mumbled the private.

    Sh’Fane looked at Sonier. “Do you have a location?”

    “Would be easier if we had access to tricorders.”

    “Well, we don’t, so no point in moaning about it,” she said sharply. “We do this the old fashioned way.”

    Sonier nodded. “From what we can tell, last time anyone saw him, he was somewhere near the clearing to the west.”

    “Nobody saw him,” Pedro mumbled.

    The lieutenant ignored the private. “I don’t care how good or how fast he is, Charlie Company will not be taken down by a single individual. Do I make myself clear?”

    There were nods, some more hesitant than others.

    “I take point. Spread out and stay frosty,” she said as he brought her rifle back up and began to head towards the clearing, the three Marines following her.

    She could hear that bird cry again and this time it seemed to be much closer. Then she heard the leaves above them rustling slightly and she took one knee and stopped, indicating her people to do the same by holding up her right fist.

    She couldn’t feel the slightest breeze on her face.

    “He’s here,” whispered Pedro. “He’s here.”

    Sh’Fane had to agree that something indeed was here. She scanned the thick, green canopy above but could spot nothing out of the ordinary.

    Then she heard the scream.

    She whipped around just in the time to see something grab Pedro and drag him off his feet and into the dense underbrush of the jungle.

    Whatever it was, it had moved so fast, she hadn’t been able to make it out.

    Sonier and Yrien immediately opened fire but it was already too late for the private.

    “Cease fire, cease fire,” she called out, concerned that they’d inadvertently take out their own man.

    The shooting stopped.

    “Did you get a look at that? What the hell was it?” Sonier asked.

    But neither Yiren nor sh’Fane could answer.

    And then the rustling sound overhead again. This time the lieutenant took it as a sign of another impending attack and whipped around again only to see a large mass swoop down from above and go after the Trill. He was carried away before she could get a clear shot on the attacker.

    “Damn it,” Sonier cried. “It must be more than one. Two, maybe three of them?”

    Sh’Fane shook her head, keeping her eyes on their surroundings and trying to anticipate the direction of the next attack. “No. It’s just the one.”

    Her antennae picked up the movement first and she knew instantly that their attacker was going after Sonier next. “Get down,” she yelled and got up to get to him.


    It was already too late.

    She managed to get off one shot at the approaching ‘thing’ but missed before it grabbed the Marine by the shoulders and pulled him into the foliage above as he screamed.

    His phaser rifle fell at sh’Fane’s feet.

    She brought her own weapon up and spying through its viewfinder she aimed it at the canopy were Sonier had disappeared into. There was urgent rustling for a moment before everything was perfectly still again. She had no target.

    “Ok,” she said, now left all by herself. “So you are fast.”

    She heard the bird cry once more. This time louder and more aggressive, originating from somewhere right above her.

    “Definitely out for the hunt,” she said and took off running at full speed, dashing past tree branches and leaping over obstacles effortlessly. Sometimes the best strategy was a tactical retreat.

    Within moments she had her attacker exactly where she had wanted him. She could feel him swoop in on her from behind and immediately dropped down and rolled on the forest floor, feeling something trying to grab her but coming away with nothing more than scraps of her fatigues.

    She came up firing. Two burst in quick succession but she knew at once that she had hit nothing of consequence.

    Whatever it was she was fighting, not only was it fast, it seemed to defy gravity.

    “Alright,” she said, “Let’s change the playing field, shall we?” sh’Fane dropped the rifle and sprinted towards a nearby tree. She leaped right at the massive trunk, giving herself enough of a boost to reach the lowest bough which must have hung about three meters off the ground.

    She easily pulled herself up and then jumped up onto the next branch, all of which sturdy enough to support her weight, as she climbing upwards by leaps and bounds.

    She estimated that she was a good twenty meters above ground when she stopped and took a knee near the trunk and hidden amongst the thick green foliage.

    Once again she relied on her finely honed senses to tell her that her enemy was nearby. This time she had no interest in waiting to let him come to her. She wanted to turn the tables.

    Sh’Fane pulled free the knife she carried strapped to her leg and then took off and down the length of the bough.

    She took a calculated jump and impacted with something large and soft in midair which screeched loudly upon making contact.

    She held on tight as they went tumbling downwards end over end, hitting numerous branches on their way which helped slow their fall. The sound of urgent flapping and a strong sudden draft came just before they hit the ground with a loud thud. Her attacker absorbed the brunt of the impact but it hardly slowed him down as he immediately began to fight her for dominance.

    They rolled for a few meters, each of them trying to end up on top until sh’Fane managed to get her knife at his throat.

    The avian’s blue eyes looked up at her right past his prominent beak. He wore a modified Starfleet uniform with a golden undershirt which allowed his large wings to protrude from his back. At the moment they laid spread out and flat against the ground.

    “You lose, Lieutenant,” she said with the knife at his amber-feathered neck which was so fine it looked like fur.

    That’s when she felt something press against her chest and saw his eyes lightening up.

    “Drop the knife,” he said in a distinctly high-pitched, almost screechy voice.

    She looked down to see that he had managed to bring an arm up against her and now the razor-sharp talons on his fingers were digging into her fatigues. And just to prove how dangerous they were, he effortlessly shredded the collar of her top.

    Sh’Fane couldn’t have cared less about the state of her fatigues and instead applied more pressure on his neck. “Disengage or I will cut your throat.”

    “Remove the knife or I’ll gut you wide open.”

    “I’ll admit that your tactics were efficient. You and your people managed to hold out much longer than I had expected but it’s over now,” she said. “I’ve won.”

    “You are mistaken. You have won nothing. Admittedly you’ve overwhelmed my men but I took out at least half your people by myself. Overall I’m rather disappointed.”

    She shook her head. “Doesn’t matter. I’m still standing and you’re at my mercy.”

    The sound coming out of his beak was fairly close to a sarcastic laugh. “Another misconception, I’m afraid. Computer, end program.”

    The jungle was instantly replaced by the gridded holodeck and sh’Fane suddenly found herself without a knife while the Aurelian Starfleet officer still had his talons against her chest. He made use of her momentary distraction of seeing her weapon disintegrate in her hand and applied just enough pressure to the palm of his hand to push her off of him.

    He gracefully stood to his impressive height, allowing his large wings to stretch out to their full imposing span.

    The Andorian picked herself off the floor, refusing to be intimated by his posturing display and barely able to keep her rising anger in check. “You are cheating.”

    He considered her for a moment. “I have talons, Lieutenant. They are part of me. All you had was a knife. A knife can easily be removed.”

    “So can your claws,” she shot back. “And that would be a hell of a lot more painful to you.”

    “You’re welcome to try. Point is, you were unable to score a decisive victory,” he said and turned towards the exit. “Perhaps you and your people should train a little harder before we try this again.”

    “My people need to train harder?” she shot back with disbelieve. “Last time I checked, we moped up your security squad like they were first year recruits. Perhaps it is your people who need more practice. If you ask me nicely enough, I might consider providing a lesson or two.”

    Lieutenant Lure Mer’iab stopped and turned. “I recommend you watch your place, Lieutenant. I am chief of security of this vessel and you and your Marines are merely guests here. I’ve given you a chance to prove to me that you have what it takes to take on more responsibilities and so far you have failed to impress me.”

    The Andorian took a confrontational step forward. “You are worried about your job, aren’t you? You know that my Marines can do much better at providing security than your people ever could and you can bet your ass that that’s exactly what I will be putting in my reports to the captain and Marines Command.”

    “Put into your report what you wish, Lieutenant. While you are on Agamemnon you are on my turf and you will follow my rules,” he said and continued towards the exit.

    “We are not done discussing this,” she protested.

    “We most certainly are,” Mer’iab said just as he stepped through the parted doors.

    * * *​
  12. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    A fantastic introduction to the power-play going on between Agamemnon's security division and their Marine counterparts. :klingon: That was one hell of a fight!
  13. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    That was a great fight. I'd like to see Lt. Mer'iab go up against Pava and see how long that lasts.

    Nice intro to the Agamemnon too.
  14. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    Agamemnon, 2372

    Robert DeSoto, Junior was having the time of his life and why not? He had only recently graduated from Starfleet Academy and had already secured a dream job as the helmsman of the brand new Akira-class USS Agamemnon. And while his academic grades had been decent, he was well aware that some questioned his appointment to such a coveted position. He was fairly cognizant that a number of his fellow graduates hedged suspicions that his influential father had pulled the necessary steps to see his son start off his Starfleet career in a place that mattered.

    The truth was that Bobbie didn’t mind getting a head start in life and it wouldn’t have been the first time that the old man had helped him out along the way. While he hadn’t exactly inherited the legendary captains ambitions and command presence or even his academic acumen, he made up for it with good-looks, enthusiasm and joie de vivre.

    The same could apparently not be said for his lunch companion Wayne Daystrom with whom he shared a table with in the mess hall along with the ship’s Selay doctor Ssesar-Rass.

    “You need to lighten up, dude,” he said to the dark-skinned science officer with the serious expression on his face. It occurred to Bobbie that he couldn’t remember having seen the science officer smile once since they had first met just a few weeks earlier on their journey to their current assignment. The young, broad-shouldered man was far too serious for his liking and yet the two of them had bonded early on. “You’ve been made chief science officer on Starfleet’s newest ship and one look at you and people would think that your parents just died.”

    The doctor’s eyes blinked rapidly and then she aimed a seemingly befuddled look at Daystrom. “Your life-bringers have passed away? I offer my sincere condolences.”

    Bobbie smirked. “An expression, Sess, that’s all.”

    The reptilian looked lost.

    “My parents are fine.”

    She turned her cobra-like head back and forth between the two officers for a moment. “My apologies. I am still familiarizing myself with human expressions.”

    “No worries,” said DeSoto. “For the first of your kind to ever join Starfleet you’re doing a pretty decent job.”

    She gave him a barely perceivable nod in response.

    “Unless of course you consider my dad,” continued Daystrom with out making eye contact with anyone at the table. “Last week he got lost in the town he has lived in over the last twenty years. Nobody is saying it but it could very well be the early signs of dementia.”

    Bobbie considered his new friend for a moment. “Your dad is a busy researcher, right? Doing a lot of important work –“

    “Unlike me,” mumbled the science officer.

    “He’s got a lot on his plate, I’m sure. Sometimes people like that just forget about the routine stuff. Back me up here, Sses.”

    The reptilian woman nodded. “Mister DeSoto is correct.”

    “Sess, we talked about this. Mister DeSoto is my old man. I’m Bobby.”

    “Bobby is correct,” she said, starting over. “Temporary short-term memory loss is not uncommon in many humanoid races, especially amongst individuals who neglect balanced nutrition or sleep cycles which may lead to a heightened state of psychological stress. Of course the term stress itself is a highly subjective –“

    Bobbie held up his hand. “I think you made your point there. Tell me did they feed you dictionaries as children or does all that come naturally?”

    Ssesar was about to respond but the young helmsman beat her to it. “Never mind, don’t answer that,” he said and then looked back at Wayne. “Point being that just because your old man forgets something from time to time as his brain is so focused on his work, doesn’t mean he’s going to end up like your great-grandfather did.”

    “I do not understand,” the ship’s CMO said. “Doctor Richard Daystrom was a highly regarded and influential scientist.”

    “Yeah, well, people like to focus on his genius and gloss over the fact that he was a total mental case,” the younger Daystrom said.

    “Wayne here is obsessed that eventually the Daystrom curse will come after him,” Bobbie said with a playful grin.

    Ssesar nodded. “I understand. Certain psychological diseases can be hereditary.”

    At that Wayne looked up with a startled expression on his face.

    “Not helping,” Bobbie hissed.

    “However … however not all disorders linked to the human brain are due to genetic factors and oftentimes do not reappear in subsequent generations,” she said quickly, apparently having realized the error of her correct yet inappropriate observation.

    “You need to stop focusing on the past and start looking ahead,” he said but then got sidetracked by a pretty, blond-haired lieutenant in a red-trimmed Starfleet uniform walking by their table and towards the replicators.

    “Or in your case, at the ladies,” said Daystrom without much humor.

    “Huh?” he said looking back at he science officer. “What, Allenby? It’s not like that at all,” he said quickly. “She’s way to prim and proper for me. Besides, her sense of humor makes our doctor look like a stand-up comedian,” he added and picked up a padd from the table, tapping away on it. “Allow me to demonstrate. I guarantee this will lighten your mood.”

    The two officers observed the ensign working on his padd and then looking over his shoulder to observe Tess Allenby who had just stepped up to the replicator to fetch her lunch.

    Her meal materialized and she picked it up without giving it as much as a glance. This turned out to be a big mistake because that plate did not contain the chicken salad she had ordered but something very much alive and wriggling.

    Allenby uttered a surprised shriek and flung the plate back into the replicator alcove, quickly garnering her surprised looks from the entire mess hall followed by a number of amused chuckles.

    Bobbie DeSoto himself had to struggle to keep from bursting out with laughter, not having expected such a terrific reaction from his little prank and even Daystrom had a tiny smirk on his face for once.

    “Was that hilarious or what?” Bobbie said after he had turned back to his companions.

    “Is Lieutenant Allenby’s misfortune with the replicator a source of amusement?” asked the doctor with an unsure facial expression etched on her reptilian features, her head slightly skewed to the side.

    “It’s called humor, Sses. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it eventually,” Bobbie responded.

    “Let’s see how funny she thinks that was,” said Daystrom quickly redirecting his glance towards DeSoto after having looked past his shoulder.

    “Don’t tell me.”

    He gave him a quick nod. “Six o’clock and coming in furious.”

    “Act natural,” he whispered.

    Furious had not been an exaggeration. She slapped the plate with seemingly live Klingon gagh onto the table and right in front of Bobbie. “Don’t even try to deny it, Ensign. I know it was you.”

    He looked up at her with the best innocent expression he could muster. “Me?” he said and put a hand on his chest for dramatic effect.

    “I’ve had it with this crap of yours. Hear me on this: You’ve finally gone too far. This time I make sure I have you written up and officially reprimanded. Enjoy the rest of your meal, Ensign, it’ll be your last on this ship,” she said and stormed off.

    Bobby rolled his eyes dramatically and then stood. “Tess, come on,” he called after her.

    She raised a hand into the air, indicating that she was not interested in whatever else he had to say, certainly didn’t stop or turn around for him as she continued towards the exit.

    “It was just a harmless little joke, Lieutenant,” he added and then quickly followed her out of the mess hall in a seemingly futile attempt to calm her fury.

    Sessar-Rass looked after them both until they had disappeared. “Is this an example of a human mating ritual?”

    At that Wayne Daystrom actually laughed out loud. “You know what? You may be on to something there.”

    The doctor nodded and then found the plate Allenby had dumped onto the table. She pulled it in front of her and then picked up the wriggling worms in between two claw-like fingers.

    Daystrom looked on with barely hidden revulsion as she dropped the gagh into her mouth, chewed and swallowed.

    “I am not certain why Lieutenant Allenby was so upset,” she said and dug into the plate once more. “This has a very agreeable taste.”

    * * *​
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  15. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    An excellent character piece there, and introduction to three of Agamemnon's junior officers.

    A fantastic prank, but it seems like it may be one too many for young Mister DeSoto.
  16. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    Agamemnon, 2372

    She had been deluding herself for far too long.

    She had stubbornly maintained that she had been perfectly happy in her old job and that the last thing she’d ever want to do was command a starship. And for seemingly good reason. As the first officer of Deep Space Five one of her tasks had been to face starship captains on an almost daily basis and most of the time they were either unrealistically demanding or insufferably arrogant. Sometimes both at the same time.

    Why then would she ever want to join those ranks and see herself transformed into one of those persons who seemed to believe the galaxy revolved around them?

    Because, put simply, it was the greatest feeling in the world.

    She had been unexpectedly given command of the Agamemnon less than a week ago and she was still riding a high of excitement and anxiety. She truly felt as if the galaxy revolved around her now but at the same time she was determined to not let it change her. She’d be damned if she turned into an insufferable, arrogant starship commander who would give a mere starbase administrator sleepless nights.

    This was her dream come true and she would not let it turn into anybody’s nightmare, not if she could help it.

    She smiled at the various crewmembers she passed by as she walked down the corridors of this newly commissioned starship.

    All of them wearing the predominately black jumpsuits with a gray turtleneck and colored shoulder sections to denote their department. As an officer previously based on a starbase she had worn this uniform variation for years but they had only been recently introduced to starship crews as well. From what she had heard they were not very popular and Maya wouldn’t have been surprised if Starfleet were to introduce a new uniform style soon.

    She tried to put a name to every face she saw but soon realized that with a crew of 555 individuals that would be a challenging task, no matter how much time she had spent going over the ship’s personnel record. She had done her best to memorize the names of the 65 officers on the ship and most of the NCOs. That left her with scores of enlisted crewmembers and civilians. She wouldn’t give up on trying to know each face even if routine crew rotations made it unlikely she’d ever be able to know them all.

    It hadn’t helped that she’d had extremely limited input into selecting her crew. The Agamemnon had rolled off the Atlas V Fleet Yard less than three months ago and a short time later, Captain Robert Jamison had been installed as her commander who had made most of the personnel choices. Ultimately the eighty-year old veteran captain had made the decision to retire from active duty when he had suffered an aneurism just weeks before the official change of command ceremony, leaving Agamemnon fully staffed but without a captain.

    Donners wasn’t entirely sure how her name came up for the position but she had a suspicion that Admiral Jonathan Owens and Samson Glover had somehow been involved. She had been Glover’s adjutant for the last four years and the way he had talked to her – after playing a cruel yet good-natured little prank on her which had culminated in her promotion – had made it clear that he was at least partially responsible for getting her this command.

    Owens’ involvement had been less obvious. The father of her good friend since their Academy days and now fellow starship captain, Michael Owens, had dropped subtle hints to his intentions just a week before she had been offered Agamemnon. Of course at the time she had not expected anything amiss. In fact she had been rather annoyed that everybody seemed to have an opinion about her career.

    Admiral Owens had been the first person outside DS5 to contact her to congratulate her on her new position and then promptly asked for her assistance in a delicate matter with which he was involved with and which he claimed to be of uttermost importance. He had not divulged any details but by the way he had presented it, she had little doubt that it was an official Starfleet order, handed out outside the usual chain of command. Agamemnon was to report to Owens as soon as their current shakedown cruise was complete.

    Amaya didn’t see anything suspicious about this turn of events. She trusted Owens even though his secretive aura made that difficult at times. And if he really had had a hand in her getting this command, she had nothing but gratitude for the man.

    She banned those thoughts to the back of her mind as she continued her tour of the ship, something she had done every day since they had left DS5. By the end of their weeklong shakedown she was determined to know every nook and cranny of her new ship.

    Her first stop: Deck 14, main engineering.

    She found two of her most unique crewmembers there. Her Xindi-Insectoid chief engineer Lieutenant Commander Chen and her Selay chief medical officer, Doctor Ssestar-Rass.

    Amaya wasn’t surprised to find them together. They weren’t the only non-humanoids in her crew but they were perhaps the ones least acclimated to working with other species. This was especially true for their CMO. She couldn’t quite deny her own reservations about having a reptilian doctor overseeing the health and well being of a mostly humanoid crew, especially considering her obvious lack of experience in the matter. It turned out that Jamison had been Ssestar-Rass’ sponsor to the Academy and had thought very highly of the first ever Selay to join Starfleet. The doctor possessed an innate curiosity for all things unfamiliar, which served her well in her new position, she was eager to learn and had been a skillful physician on her own world. She had also impressed her Starfleet tutors with her almost encyclopedic knowledge of human and other Federation species’ anatomies and physiologies.

    She was however, Maya had found, a little clueless when it came to social interactions with the crew. All in all, she found her rather endearing and Donners had every intention to give the Selay a chance to prove herself in this position.

    Chen, whose full name was a lot longer and a lot less easy to pronounce was quite a different story. Even more so than the green-scaled reptilian, it took a little getting used to seeing an over six foot tall ant-like creature in a Starfleet uniform. Amaya knew that the Xinid had a long and rich history. Marred in tragedy, the one time Starfleet enemy had been responsible for one of the worst attacks on Earth all the way back in the 22nd century. And while that period of history wasn’t exactly her strong suit, she understood that the Xinid had been a somewhat nomadic people after those events and rarely made contact with the outside world.

    Chen was different. Like Rass he was very much an explorer. At only 13 years, he was already a Starfleet veteran, having spent almost 10 years on various assignments before landing on the Agamemnon. As such he had an easier time getting along with his more humanoid colleagues and had taken the Selay doctor under his wing, trying to impart her with the same lessons he had learned about interspecies relations over time.

    “Good Morning, Commander. Doctor. How is my ship and crew today?” she asked as she approached the two officers.

    They turned to face her. “Captain,” said Chen in greeting. “You will be happy to learn that the engines continue to perform at 98% efficiency after seventy-nine hours at warp eight point five. Antimatter containment remains stable and main EPS flow is well within standard parameters.”

    “Excellent,” she said and stepped closer to the centrally located matter/anti-matter reaction chamber and the large magnetic constriction segments with their swirling blue pulses which to her looked almost mesmerizing. She placed her hands on the bright red railing surrounding the warp core pit and let her gaze wander upwards and along the pulsating blue column. “I’ve been reading great things about this class-nine warp drive,” she said. “I understand it has a tricyclic input manifold and produces a maximum output of four thousand teradynes per second,” the captain added and then glanced at the chief engineer. “Should give us what? Warp 9.972 in a crunch?”

    Chen seemed surprised or perhaps impressed by the way his feelers and mandibles twitched slightly. “Actually, the drive is rated for 9.975. It is not a speed I would recommend however.”

    She nodded. “Trust me, I’m not planning to take her that fast unless I absolutely have to,” she said and looked over a console attached to the railing. “The warp coils now use specially refined verterium cortenide made up of monocrystal cortenum. I hear the folks at the starship design bureau are hoping that this will lessen the negative impact high warp speeds will have on subspace.”

    “That … is correct,” said Chen.

    She aimed a big smile at him. “Used to be an engineer myself,” she said. “And you know what they say: Once an engineer, always an engineer.”

    “I was not aware people said this.”

    Maya glanced back towards the warp core assembly. “Of course this makes that old class-seven drive I had on the Columbia look like an antique in comparison. When do you think we can conclude the engine stress test?”

    “I recommend that we maintain current cochrane levels for another six hours.”

    “Good,” she said. “Going this fast for this long is starting to make me a little dizzy.”

    The doctor focused on the captain with apparent concern. “You may be experiencing symptoms of motion sickness which has been observed in many space-faring species after prolonged exposure to high warp. There are a number of remedies I can recommend which –“

    “Doctor,” she interrupted the Selay in a hushed tone. “I assure you I am not suffering from space sickness and I would prefer if you kept your voice down. The last thing I need is a rumor to spread among the crew that their captain gets queasy whenever we go to warp.”

    Ssestar blinked rapidly. “Humblest of apologies, Captain,” she responded in an equally low tone of voice. “I did not wish to imply that you are unfit for duty in any capacity.”

    Maya smirked. It wasn’t difficult to read Rass’ embarrassment and if Chen’s antennae behaved similarly to those of Andorians, she guessed that he was concerned about the good doctor as he focused in on her, no doubt thinking that his lessons in the finer nuances of human humor had not yet paid off.

    “Relax, Doctor, I was merely joking. What’s the status of the crew?”

    It took Rass a moment to understand that the captain had not been serious and that the conversation had now been steered into a different direction. “I have completed mandatory medical examinations for the majority of the crew and have found it overall in good health. I have observed some hesitation by a small number of individuals to voluntarily undergo their physicals.”

    The captain nodded. “You will find that some people are not particularly comfortable around doctors. They may need a little bit extra prodding to get them on a bio-bed. I trust it’s nothing you cannot handle.”

    “I suspect that some persons have been reluctant to be examined by a non-humanoid physician. My support staff has been very helpful in addressing these issues,” she said.

    “Good,” Donners said. “Give the crew some time to get used to having you as their doctor. But if you encounter any more problems bring them to my attention. I expect crewmembers to fully cooperate with you just like they would with any other CMO.”

    Rass inclined her head slightly in an approximation of a nod. “I will, Captain. Thank you.”

    She gave them both a parting smile. “Carry on,” she said before she turned and left engineering.

    “Now, remember what I said about human tendencies to make facetious remarks in unexpected situations?” said Chen after the captain had left.

    “I recall. This is not the first time I have made this mistake today. I find it challenging to distinguish a serious comment from a jovial one. How can you ever be certain?”

    Chen’s antennae twitched slightly and his large black compound eyes took a moment to focus on the doctor. “In my experience I have found that sometimes all you can do is to make a guess of it.”

    * * *​
  17. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    A fantastic character piece here as Maya not only interacts with two of her senior staff, but gives us a look at her engineering chops as well.

    I appreciate the diversity in Agamemnon’s crew, and the fact that Captain Donners is willing to go with the flow of her predecessor’s crew selection.

    Chen and Rass are quite the pair, and given their reptilian natures, it makes sense that they’d become friends among all the warm-blooded humanoids.

    Terrific stuff! :bolian:
  18. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    I enjoyed that section for all of the above reasons bar one, I thought the engineering scene felt like an unnecessary infodump, but I liked it nonetheless.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where the Agamemnon goes from here.
  19. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006

    Thanks Gibraltar. Admittedly I cheated a little bit here. I didn't want to go through the motions of assembling the crew and instead wanted to jump right into the action hence the reason Donners was assigned to an already fully crewed vessel. But it fits her character, certainly at this point, that she wouldn't try to shake things up by brining in new people.

    Yeah. Infodumps can be annoying, I agree. It's difficult to avoid them completely when introducing new characters though. Also I really wanted to make sure Donners comes across as a competent engineer by trade. She clearly knows her technobabble.

    Thanks for reading.
  20. Galen4

    Galen4 Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 27, 2007
    Sol III, within the universe of United Trek
    Wow, I too love the diverse crew here. And I think including a Xindi, especially and insectoid, is a great choice. I don't think we hear enough about the Xindi given that they nearly destroyed earth at one point.
    I always enjoy seeing a new captain take the reigns, and Donners is no exception. It's probably more challenging to command a "Pre assembled" command staff than one you pick out yourself.

    Also, I thing the concept that drives this story is rich with possibilities.

    Hungry for more!