Dauntless 1x05 - Fragments of Control

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by BrotherBenny, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    Star Trek

    Book 5
    Fragments of Control

    Historian’s Note: This story takes place from early to mid-June 2380; beginning five days after the events of To Serve The Unwise.​

    The only thing worse than a man you can't control is a man you can.
    Margo Kaufman​


    Vorta Imperial Flagship
    Unclaimed space
    June 9th 2380 (Stardate 57438.1)

    Two Jem’Hadar blocked the doors to the Vorta’s private chamber and Tal’Aura sighed in annoyance. She hated the uniformly pale colour scheme inherent in all Vorta Imperial vessels, which were not all that different to the colour of the Jem’Hadar. She was the only Romulan on board and would stay that way until the huge fleet reached Romulan territory and joined the Empire to crush the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. First the Terran Empire had usurped their territory and then the Alliance; it was time for the Romulans to exercise their right of superiority and teach the lesser races a lesson. That mission would go nowhere if she couldn’t get the damn Vorta to open up to her. He had to see that her methods were the only ones which would help his people to succeed.

    ‘Let me through,’ she implored the Jem’Hadar on the left, a nameless mass of barely-sentient muscle.

    ‘The Vorta does not wish to be disturbed,’ he replied.

    ‘He will see me,’ she stated as if it was a foregone conclusion.

    ‘The Vorta does not wish to be disturbed,’ the creature on the right added his opinion, if you could call it that.

    Since asking nicely didn’t work, Tal’Aura slumped, closed her eyes and when she opened them a moment later, they were no longer the intelligent brown that her people recognised, but the red of pure evil. ‘The Vorta will see me, now!’

    Both Jem’Hadar dropped to their knees and said in deep throaty tones, ‘The Pah-Wraiths are wise in all things.’

    Announce my presence,’ she ordered.

    The creatures rose and opened the door.

    ‘I thought I wasn’t to be disturbed?’ Weyoun asked from his chair behind the desk before he noticed Tal’Aura’s eyes and pushed the chair back, dropping to his knees.

    Stand,’ she ordered and the Vorta obeyed.

    The Jem’Hadar stepped quickly from the room.

    ‘How may I serve you?’

    There have been rumours of a Prophet in the vicinity of the wormhole. It cannot be allowed to enter the celestial temple.’

    Weyoun frowned. ‘We are tracking six Founders to the Romulan homeworld. Surely they are of greater concern.’

    The Founders can be dealt with in time, but the Prophet must not be allowed to reach the temple gates. Adjust course immediately.’

    ‘Tal’Aura, this is my ship, do not presume to order me about on it. We cannot divert even a single ship to track down some nebulous spirit.’

    He suddenly dropped to his knees and went into mild convulsions.

    Do not forget who gave you the means to overthrow your former Gods. You will obey.’

    ‘My life is yours,’ he replied by rote and the convulsions stopped. Weyoun touched a control on his desk. ‘Return to the anomaly, maximum speed. Open a channel to the lead warship.’

    I will obey,’ the Jem’Hadar First answered.

    Is there a problem?’ Eris asked as her image appeared on screen.

    ‘No, follow my previous instructions. Make orbit around Remus and wait for our return.’

    I will obey,’ Eris replied and the screen blanked.

    You will inform me when we reach the celestial temple,’ the Pah-wraith replied and exited the chamber.

    As she walked down the corridor, her eyes faded to the normal brown and she leaned against a bulkhead for support. Tal’Aura shook her head and wondered what the hell was happening to her. She was beginning to feel less and less like herself every day, and seemed to be blacking out more than she ever used to. As a child she would black out whenever she got angry and even the most expensive doctors had been able to find nothing wrong with her. She had been given something to help with the headache afterward, but over the last few months she found herself blacking out for longer periods and finding herself in unfamiliar places.

    None of the Jem’Hadar said anything to her as she passed, they barely even acknowledged her presence and when they did it was to sneer and ask her to meet the Vorta leader, Weyoun. He was asking to see her less and less at the moment which meant that it was difficult for her to act as the Romulan representative to the Vorta Imperium. Tal’Aura reached her assigned quarters and realised that she couldn’t remember if she’d spoken to the Vorta leader about her misgivings. She shook her head and realised that she must have done since she was leaving his chamber when she woke up.

    She felt a subtle change in the orientation of the ship and realised they were turning, heading back the way they came, back toward the wormhole and the rebel station. Maybe the Vorta was going to destroy it, was that what she suggested? She couldn’t remember. Definitely time to take another dose. As she reached the head, and plugged an ampoule into the dispenser, she noticed that the lines on her face were deeper than they had been. The stress of her new position was clearly getting to her. Her throat felt raw and she took a glass of water from the replicator to cool it down, but it didn’t help.

    She took another look at herself in the mirror. ‘What is happening to me? Why am I feeling so awful?’

    She saw her eyes flash red and knew immediately what had happened. Her trip through the wormhole had not been entirely without incident. It had awakened something inside her, something that was even now subsuming her personality.

    Well done, Romulan,’ the Pah-wraith said through her mouth. ‘When I’m finished with the Alliance, your people will be next. The galaxy will be ours and all its petty races will worship us as their gods.’

    ‘Never!’ she shot back but felt her resolve weaken. ‘I will fight you until my dying breath.’

    You will not succeed, I have had millennia to prepare for this invasion. You can do nothing to stop me.’

    ‘I will fight!’

    You will lose,’ the Pah-wraith said and forced Tal’Aura’s consciousness deep inside. ‘Finally, I can fulfil my destiny.’
  2. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    And we pick back up in the mirror universe. Nice start to what promises to be an exciting tale!

    Now, why did the Pah-wraith sound like Darth Vader in that last line? :evil::lol:
  3. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    The great thing about the mirror universe is that you can put everything on it's head and you're clearly having fun with that.

    So do I. Good stuff.
  4. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    The mirror universe does give you a chance to mix things up nicely. Pah-wraiths as the successors of the Founders--the Vorta have merely shifted one set of 'gods' for another...I do love irony...
  5. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Apparently the Vorta do not read Santayana. Loving this-can't wait to see how "different" things are here. Good opening!
  6. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    Chapter One

    USS Dauntless
    Docked at Terok Nor
    June 9th 2380 (Stardate 57438.4)

    Captain Astar, Aaron Wright and Sheena Gonzales had entered the rebel stronghold they knew as Deep Space Nine in their universe and with Smiley’s permission went straight for Ops, where the current rebel leadership resided. Over the last five days, Smiley had given Astar a brief history of the last four years, and it wasn’t pleasant. The Alliance had conquered a number of unaligned worlds and destroyed any planet which showed rebellion, leading the rebellion to go underground, except for the shining beacon of Terok Nor and what remained of the Bajoran people. Astar wasn’t sure what to make of the stories but if the Vorta of this universe were being controlled by the Pah-wraiths, then they were far more dangerous than the Dominion ever were, for the wormhole aliens were the closest things to gods that currently existed. She had ordered Xeris to seal the airlock and make sure that no one entered or left the ship while she was on the station. This meeting with Smiley was a kind of strategy session, to decide what to do about getting their Wright back and maybe dealing the Imperium a crippling blow.

    ‘How did you defeat them?’ Smiley asked.

    ‘Wright first,’ Astar repeated for the fourth time. ‘Once we know how we’re going to get my man back, I will help you stop the Imperium.’

    ‘Captain, may I remind you that Starfleet General Order 283 specifically prohibits any officer from assisting any political agency in the Mirror Universe, regardless of the situation.’

    ‘Noted, Commander,’ Astar replied. ‘But the Imperium aren’t a political agency, they are an invading force and there is an opportunity to force a detente between the rebellion and the Alliance, enabling them to pool their resources.’

    ‘I must officially object, Captain.’

    ‘Your objection is noted, Commander, and shall be entered into my log.’

    ‘Aye sir.’

    ‘About Aaron Wright, where is he likely to be?’

    Smiley swallowed. ‘The Alliance has become more savage in recent years and any human, or alien for that matter, who displeases Regent Martok is immediately sent to Rura Penthe.’

    Astar sighed. ‘The more things change...How heavily guarded is it?’

    ‘The mines themselves are guarded, but the planet itself is not. After all, no one who escaped would have a ship to get off world.’

    ‘So if we managed to get to Rura Penthe, we’d be able to rescue him. Commander, liaise with Lieutenant Parker and see what you can do about getting us into the mines. I’ll worry about getting us there.’

    ‘Aye sir,’ the half-Betazoid replied but made no move to leave.

    ‘Now, please.’

    ‘Yes sir.’

    Once she’d gone, Astar turned to Wright. ‘You’re going to help us.’

    ‘Not a chance in hell. I’m not going anywhere near Alliance space, I’ve still got a brain in my head.’

    Smiley tapped him on the shoulder and as Wright turned round, the general punched him in the nose, breaking it, again. ‘You’ll go with us, or you’ll find yourself facing your ex-wife.’

    Wright glared at Smiley. ‘She’s still alive then?’

    ‘No thanks to you, you left her in the tender care of the Alliance when you stole that ship.’

    ‘She was slowing me down.’

    Smiley turned to Astar. ‘He represents the ideals of the Terran Empire that we left behind more than a century ago.’

    ‘We’ll keep him on a tight leash, I promise. But once we’re ready to go, he’s all yours,’ the Trill captain replied, scowling at the traitor.

    Wright sighed and tried to head for the turbolift, but he was stopped by a tall man with a Bajoran rifle.

    ‘Don’t move,’ he said.

    Wright walked around him and felt himself hauled back into his previous position.

    ‘Aaron, meet Kol, he doesn’t like you.’

    ‘The feeling is mutual.’

    ‘About the Imperium?’ Smiley asked, ‘since you know what you’re doing about your man and getting him out of the hands of the Alliance.’

    ‘We didn’t defeat them as such,’ Astar told him. ‘Odo cured the Founders of a disease and agreed to join the Great Link, and in return the Dominion returned to Gamma Quadrant.’

    ‘So you can’t help me?’

    ‘I didn’t say that; Starfleet developed several weapons against the Dominion and several defences against their weapons. I will freely give you that information, if you tell me the truth about the Imperium.’

    Smiley nodded, grim-faced. ‘It was Intendant Ro. She knew about the wormhole aliens from your universe’s Major Kira and three years ago she entered the wormhole to negotiate with them. Instead, she found the Pah-wraiths and they inhabited her body. Under their influence she found the Imperium and infected them with the Pah-wraiths, then returned to our side and was killed immediately by a Romulan.’

    ‘This Romulan, wouldn’t be Tal’Aura would it?’

    ‘I don’t know who she was, all I know is that she negotiated with a Vorta warship and our troubles began. The Romulans believe in their own superiority and while the Alliance has been focused on eradicating the galaxy of the Terrans, the Romulans have been slowly annexing Klingon systems. The Vorta tried to get us to join them against the Alliance but I recognise trouble when I see it.’

    Astar nodded and then saw a lithe young Trill arrive in Ops. ‘Smiley, we’ve got trouble.’

    ‘What is it, Ezri?’

    ‘The Imperial flagship is headed our way, at maximum warp.’

    ‘Damn, we have to leave,’ the general said, a number of emotions warring within him. ‘Ezri, sound the evacuation alarm. We have to be gone before the ship arrives.’

    ‘We can’t evacuate everyone, the Defiant isn’t big enough.’

    ‘The Dauntless can help,’ Astar said. ‘But you need to go to a safe haven.’

    ‘We have one, we’ve been prepared for this for three years,’ he replied as the station went to white alert

    ‘Astar to Dauntless.’

    Go ahead, Captain,’ Gonzales said.

    ‘Open the airlock and stand by for refugees, we’re evacuating the station.’

    Acknowledged, Gonzales out.’

    ‘Where are we going?’

    ‘The Badlands, I hope your ship can navigate the plasma storms.’

    ‘The Intrepid-class starships are designed for high-manoeuvrability.’

    ‘Good, you’ll need it.’
  7. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    The plot's thickening here. And Wright has an ex-wife who isn't fond of him--why does that not shock me? ;) So...is she going to settle for just hanging his testicles up on the wall or is she going to get really mad at him?

    Getting into Rura Penthe isn't that hard--getting out though--that could be another matter!

    Bring on the next part!
  8. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    OK, so I've never heard of Starfleet General Order 283 but if Gonzales got it right than Astar is clearly playing with semantics and violating Starfleet protocols as a consequence.

    I guess Dauntless has plenty of practice navigating in badlands but the last time an Intrepid went into those particular badlands, things didn't turn out too well.

    Good stuff though, looking forward to more.
  9. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Oh yeah, the Badlands - now there's a plan! :lol: 'Course, sometimes desperation is a good thing.
  10. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    Badlands. Okay, sure. What could go wrong?
  11. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    Chapter Two

    USS Dauntless
    Docked at Terok Nor
    June 9th 2380 (Stardate 57438.5)

    Lieutenant K’Tyra Parker, the Klingon-human security chief aboard the Dauntless, had shelved her plans to rescue the real Aaron Wright and instead was herding frightened refugees aboard the starship in groups of ten to twenty, handing them off to her security or engineering personnel to put in quarters, cargo bays and shuttlebays. According to the scans that Gonzales had taken, the Imperial flagship would be in range in less than half an hour, and there were hundreds of people on the station as well as all their supplies. Parker had tasked every available transporter operator to grab supplies and store them wherever there was room. General O’Brien’s Defiant was doing the same, to a smaller degree, and two Bajoran vessels which had survived the last attack by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance.

    ‘How are we doing?’ Astar asked as she stopped by.

    ‘We’ve about reached our limit of five hundred evacuees and we’re bringing the last of the supplies aboard now.’

    ‘Alright, get back up to the bridge and prepare the ship for launch. Have Larson plot the most direct course for the Badlands.’

    ‘Let’s hope these Badlands treat us better than the last.’

    Astar smiled. ‘Compared to the Kursican Badlands, the Cardassian Badlands are a piece of cake. Larson shouldn’t have any trouble handling the plasma storms.’

    ‘Captain, what are you going to do about a first officer?’

    ‘What do you mean?’

    ‘Aaron Wright won’t have the experience to act as your exec, and unless you shuffle the senior staff, you’ll be a man short.’

    ‘That’s not your concern, Lieutenant. You’re needed on the bridge.’

    ‘Aye sir.’

    Astar stood in the gangway until Parker walked away then sealed the ship and headed for engineering. Parker took the turbolift to the bridge, hoping that while they were busy helping the mirror universe, the Cha’lav didn’t attack Starbase 535 and destroy everything they had worked to protect. This was the mission she had been sent back to deal with.

    She walked down to Larson and explained what Astar wanted to do.

    ‘I’ve piloted through the Badlands before, Lieutenant. My father took me out there just after Starfleet took over Deep Space Nine, before the Maquis stuff started.’

    ‘Right then, so plot us a direct course, making sure it’s different to the Bajoran vessels and the Defiant.’

    ‘The Bajoran ships have already left the station, Lieutenant. The Defiant is getting ready to leave as well.’

    Astar arrived on the bridge and took her chair. ‘Status?’

    ‘Helm is ready.’

    ‘Tactical ready, all shields and weapons are hot.’

    ‘All stations report ready,’ Parker said finally, taking the science officer’s seat. Lieutenant Malling was in the main science lab looking over Commander Wright’s handiwork.

    ‘Detach mooring clamps and back us away, thrusters only.’

    ‘Aye sir,’ Larson replied. ‘Mooring clamps released, thrusters at one third.’

    The Dauntless moved steadily sideward until they were several ship widths from the station, then increased to half impulse.

    ‘Captain, we’re being hailed by the Defiant.’

    ‘On screen.’

    Captain, please lead the convoy into the Badlands, we’ll follow momentarily.’

    ‘General, you cannot hope to destroy the flagship,’ Astar said, immediately guessing his intentions.’

    I haven’t got everyone off yet,’ the Irishman said a little more sharply than he intended. ‘The Pah-wraith controlling that vessel need to sense us leave, otherwise we’ll have destroyed the station for nothing.’

    ‘I’m assuming that Terok Nor is almost defenceless?’

    Against this enemy, yes. Please, Captain, go now.’

    Astar glared at the man and then sighed in resignation. ‘Ensign, plot a course for the Badlands, best possible speed.’

    ‘Aye sir, increasing speed to full impulse until we clear the Bajoran system.’

    ‘What is he hiding?’ Parker muttered to herself as she watched the Imperial flagship bear down on the small warship on a tactical plot. She began entering commands into the console and then paused momentarily before making active scans. ‘Captain, I know what he’s doing.’


    ‘I scanned for the same energy signature that the wormhole aliens give off when they are “communing” with us lesser beings. There is something on the station that could be a Prophet, and is probably the reason why the flagship is heading this way.’

    ‘He’s protecting a Prophet so it can enter the wormhole and kick out the Pah-wraiths? Ensign, reverse course.’

    ‘Sir?’ Larson and Gonzales said in unison.

    ‘We have to protect the refugees,’ Parker added. ‘We are their only hope for survival.’

    Astar grimaced. Her crew had become far more mutinous in the last couple of weeks. ‘Remain on course, time to the Badlands?’

    ‘Three days at warp two, Captain, the Bajoran ships can’t travel any faster than that.’

    ‘I don’t remember the Badlands being that far from Deep Space Nine,’ Astar said as she consulted the readouts on the console by her chair.

    ‘The route isn’t as well travelled in this universe, Captain, so there isn’t a space lane to make the journey faster,’ Larson replied.

    ‘I suppose your father taught you all about the subspace topography of the galaxy?’

    ‘Yes sir.’

    ‘The Imperial flagship has dropped out of warp,’ Gonzales informed them.

    ‘On screen.’

    The flagship looked similar to its other universe counterpart, but the weaponry was far more extensive. Neither the Defiant nor the station would be able to stand up to it. Gonzales confirmed that a moment later.

    ‘They don’t stand a chance. That ship has six phased polaron cannons and eleven plasma torpedo launchers. Terok Nor doesn’t have the Starfleet upgrades that Deep Space Nine has and will be unable to withstand the attack.’

    ‘How many people are still on the station?’ Astar asked.

    ‘We’re too far away now for an accurate reading.’

    ‘Use the astrometrics sensors.’

    ‘Aye sir,’ Gonzales said and entered a string of commands. ‘I’m reading two distinct lifesigns, one human and one Prophet, and they’re close together.’
    ‘How long until the flagship is in range?’

    ‘Thirty seconds.’

    ‘Is there nothing we can do?’ Larson asked.

    In answer to his question, polaron beams streaked out from the flagship and hit the station’s shield generators which were vaporised instantly, along with sections of the central core. The Defiant suddenly shot off into warp.

    ‘Ensign, follow them, maximum warp.’
  12. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    Interesting, Astar seems to be willing to put the refugees in danger to protect the prophet. Considering what it might be capable of this might be a gamble worth taking.
  13. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Astar has several very serious situations to deal with: a Prophet, the refugees, navigating the Badlands, getting back home again, and perhaps the most serious situation in the long run--a crisis of confidence amongst her senior officers. Her erratic actions while under the influence of Wright's poison and Wright's actions after usurping Astar's position have led to a general loss of respect for the captain's authority on the part of the senior officers at least and possibly amongst the entire crew. This is a cancer that will continue to eat away at her position until it eventually makes her incapable of performing her job and might possibly lead to another mutiny unless she acts to reverse this--now.

    Astar definitely has some tough hurdles to jump over.

    Good stuff!
  14. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    ^ Not much I can add to what has been stated. You've certainly created a sense of foreboding here - there are so many things that can go wrong.
  15. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
  16. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    Chapter Three

    USS Dauntless
    Bajoran system
    June 9th 2380 (Stardate 57438.8)

    Captain Leza Astar watched in near-horror as Terok Nor exploded, sections blasting apart all at once. It made her thankful that Starfleet had made the necessary upgrades to Deep Space Nine otherwise the same might be said of their own station. On her tactical screen, she saw the flagship begin to move again, adjusting its course for a direct line toward the Badlands. She sighed and waited for her tactical officer to inform her of the fact.

    ‘Captain, the flagship is headed our way at warp nine-point-four, and I’ve just run a simulation on our weapons’ effectiveness.’

    Astar moved up to her position and spoke sotto voce. ‘Commander, I don’t know what Wright let you get away with while he was in command and to be honest I’m not sure I want to know, but I am in command now and you will follow orders. I expect to be notified the moment something happens, not seconds later once you have run simulations. Is that understood?’

    Chastened, Gonzales nodded. ‘Yes sir.’

    ‘Alright, what have you got?’

    ‘The flagship’s weapons are superior to those of the Dominion, and our weapons are no match for that ship’s offensive capability. We would lose.’

    Astar appeared to consider her options. ‘Speak with Xeris and see if you do anything to channel more power into the phasers. I would also suggest that you work on a way to make the shields somewhat stronger. I didn’t like the way that polaron beam sliced through the station’s shields.’

    ‘Aye sir, I’ll get on it right away.’

    Astar strolled across the bridge the Andorian operations officer, who seemed a little ill at ease. ‘Is there a problem, Lieutenant?’

    ‘No sir, I’m glad to see you back on your feet.’

    ‘Talen, I know there is something wrong, tell me.’

    Ch’Maras winced as he heard his short name being used but covered it well. ‘Something doesn’t feel right, almost like we’re being manipulated somehow.’

    ‘By the Prophets?’

    Ch’Maras shrugged. ‘Possibly, I’m not up on my Bajoran spirituality. But the ship doesn’t feel right either. I’ve got a little itch right at the base of my antennae.’

    Astar sighed. ‘You’re reading an energy signature that you can’t identify, right?’

    Ch’Maras’ eyes widened. ‘I do actually read reports and histories, Lieutenant. When that itch becomes unbearable, I want to it that second.’

    The Andorian just nodded.

    Astar smiled and then returned to her chair. ‘Open a channel to the Defiant.’

    ‘Channel open,’ a junior security officer replied.

    ‘General O’Brien, I know what you have on board, and I need to speak with you urgently regarding this matter.’

    O’Brien’s face appeared on the viewer a second later. ‘This isn’t secure.’

    ‘It will do,’ Astar informed him. ‘You need to be completely upfront with me on this issue. I am willing to help you only as long as you are honest with me. I don’t care about your petty bickering with anyone else at this moment in time, I want to get these people to a safe haven, get my man from the Alliance and get out of here.’

    What about the Imperium?’

    ‘Watch your aft scanners, they’re following us into the Badlands. You and I both know that ship doesn’t have the manoeuvring capabilities to do anything, but we need a contingency plan.’

    I have one, Captain,’ O’Brien shot back, his tired face now contorted into a near grimace. ‘I will not reveal it to you over a secure channel, but you will know it when the time is right.’

    ‘General, can you at least provide me with coordinates as to where we’re going?’

    O’Brien smiled. ‘You should have the coordinates in your system already, Captain. After all, our universes are not that dissimilar.’

    Astar nodded. ‘And yet in other ways it is completely different. We’ll rendezvous in three days, General. Astar out.’

    As the screen blanked, Astar turned to face each of her bridge officers, then decided to speak to each one of them in turn about the events leading up to her reawakening. But that would have to wait for a more appropriate time. Right now, however, she needed to get them all ready for a fight they might not be able to win.

    ‘Mister Larson, I want to be ready for a warp jump if we’re surprised by the Vorta in the Badlands.’

    Larson turned around. ‘Captain, we can’t go to warp inside the Badlands, the best I can give you is a hyper-impulse burst.’

    ‘Ensign?’ Astar asked.

    ‘It was something I was working on before my father’s death. It involves channelling the impulse energies through the deflector dish to push the ship to eighty percent of light speed.’

    ‘An interesting notion, does it work in simulations?’

    Larson hesitated for just a moment. ‘It works in about half the simulations with the same parameters.’

    ‘I see, have you run simulations using the Dauntless’ engines yet?’

    ‘Yes sir, and the chances of it succeeding are better than with even a Defiant-class ship, that tore itself apart.’

    ‘I see, well when your shift is over, I would like you to make preparations with the chief engineer. The more tricks we have up our sleeves the better.’

    ‘Aye sir,’ Larson replied, eager to assist and prove one of his pet theories.

    ‘Lieutenant ch’Maras, I want all intruder-alert systems at maximum efficiency. I don’t want a dust mite where it doesn’t belong.’

    ‘I’m already on it, Captain. All internal sensors will be operating at maximum, and all forcefields will be fully operational when needed. I will liaise with Commander Xeris regarding the structural integrity field.’

    Astar nodded. ‘Right then,’ she said, seeing that even though her crew had put up with a homicidal maniac for a commander for a couple of weeks, they were still at the top of their game. ‘Time for a little action, I think.’

    She activated a program from her console and then entered a sequence of commands, inputting requests, then toggled the intraship communication system. ‘All hands to battle stations. Repeat, all hands to battle stations.’
  17. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Astar's reasserting herself--and in a good way. She's not coming across as overbearing, but she is firmly reestablishing her position--exactly what she had to do.

    Now...she's got a big problem bearing down on her. She better think fast...act faster...
  18. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    ah, Smiley's line should be "unsecure channel" not secure. A good bit with Astar putting her foot down.
  19. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 3, 2005
    Mistral, he says "This isn't secure"
  20. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    he says, "I will not reveal it to you over a secure channel..."

    I just thought "unsecured " was what you were aiming for.:borg: