"Semper Letalis" (Always Lethal) - Reprised

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TheLoneRedshirt, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    [Author’s Note: This is a short story I submitted a while back for a previous challenge. I am not entering it in this month’s challenge, but I decided to update it a bit and repost it for fun in light of the alternative universe theme.]


    This tale is a re-imagining of the first three chapters of Tales of the USS Bluefin - "Semper Paratus," the opening story in the Bluefin saga. This story takes place in a 24th century mirror universe where the Terran Empire still reigns supreme, though fighting a very difficult war against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. The ship is the Akula-class Border Gunboat ISS Bladefin - part of the Border Security division of Imperial Starfleet. As to the crew, well, you’ll meet a very different Commander Inga Strauss and Captain Joseph Akinola . . .

    “Semper Letalis – Always Deadly” (Reprised)

    Stardate 53498.7 (1 July 2376)
    Starfortress 42
    Office of Rear-Admiral (Upper Half) Thran Pham,

    Sector Commander, Imperial Starfleet

    Commander Inga Strauss sat in the anteroom of Admiral Thran Pham's office on the fourth level of Starfortress 42. Inwardly, she seethed at having been abruptly summoned to appear before the admiral, but her iron discipline kept her from betraying her anger outwardly. Her face remained unreadable and her seated posture relaxed as she focused on the various items in the waiting room. Besides a somber Vulcan Yeoman, who was perusing a stack of data PADDs, there was the standard sword and globe emblem of the Terran Empire, along with a portrait of the ISS Broadsword , the admiral's former command, as well as a few paintings of past emperors. A portrait of the current emperor smiled thinly down at her with an expression of ill-concealed contempt. The walls of the anteroom were grey, the carpet a deep burgundy, and the waiting room chairs not quite comfortable. She glanced down at the PADD in her lap, the obvious reason for her being here and the source of all that was wrong in her universe.

    Strauss decided that standing might hasten the time of her appointment. She walked over to a large viewport from which she saw several Imperial Starfleet battleships and a crater-pocked moon around which the Starfortress orbited. She regarded her reflection in the viewport. A beautiful, petite human woman, barely 30 years of age stared back with hard blue eyes, her blonde hair closely cropped, with a brand new third gold pip on her uniform collar. For the hundredth time today, she wished she were back on the ISS Thunderbolt .

    Her reverie was interrupted by the Vulcan Yeoman. "Commander? You are required to surrender your weapons before entering the admiral’s chamber."

    With a stoic expression, she walked to the Yeoman's desk where she removed her sidearm, a glossy black phaser pistol and her officer's dagger. The green-blood ran his tri-corder over her, then raised an eyebrow. He held out his hand, patiently. With a coy smile, Strauss reached to her collar and pulled out a small, flexible blade and handed it to the Vulcan.

    "You may retrieve your weapons when you leave," said the Vulcan.

    Inga inclined her head as she moved toward the admiral's lair, smug in the knowledge that she still had two more weapons secreted on her person.

    Strauss entered the admiral's chambers and stood rigidly at attention. "Commander Inga Strauss reporting," she said in brisk, clipped tones. The admiral, a large, bald Asian man in his late 50's, sat behind a massive desk and regarded Inga with a leering smile. He wore a Fu-Manchu beard that Strauss found ridiculous. "So formal, little one! The last time I saw you, you still called me 'Uncle Thran.' Come, join me by the viewport and you can regale me with your exploits."

    Inga favored the admiral with an insincere smile. Admiral Pham had served with her late father, Captain Dieter Strauss, years earlier until Pham had assassinated the elder Strauss to gain promotion and command of the Broadsword. Ironically, Pham had sponsored Inga's entrance into the Imperial Fleet Academy after Dieter's death, most likely to keep close tabs on her.

    "Thank you sir, but I don't think regulations allow me to refer to a flag officer as 'uncle'."

    Admiral Phan took a seat by a small table adorned with the stuffed and mounted head of a dead Klingon general. He indicated for Inga to take the opposite chair. Pham poured an amber liquid from a small bottle and handed a crystal tumbler to Inga, still wearing his leering smile. She noticed that his gaze was on her chest rather than her face.

    "Inga, in my chambers I make my own regulations. Now, tell me of how Thunderbolt and the task force destroyed Terek Noir." Inga gave a detailed but sterile account of their successful battle against the Cardassian station, never breaking eye-contact with the older man. She noticed that he seemed to quickly lose interest in her report. He finally waved her to silence.

    "Commander Strauss, I know full well that you do not like your new orders. That is why I have summoned you."

    Inga steeled herself, and then spoke. "Admiral Pham, I admit I am puzzled by these orders. I had thought that I would be allowed to remain on the Thunderbolt as first officer or perhaps be assigned to a conquest vessel. Now I learn that I'm being transferred to a border gunboat!"

    Pham regarded her from behind hooded eyes for a moment, his expression unreadable. "Do you find your orders untenable?" he asked in an ominously quiet tone.

    She straightened in her seat. "No sir! I live to serve the Empire! But I know I was doing a good job on the Thunderbolt after I replaced Commander Wilson as first officer. I could understand having a more senior commander replace me and I return to being second officer. But to be assigned to a mere gunboat? . . ."

    "The preferred designation is interdictor frigate,” he corrected brusquely. “Commander, you should know that I am the one who recommended your transfer." Phan noted the flash of anger in Strauss' eyes and smiled. "You know very well that your position as first officer on the Thunderbolt was provisional. Because of the war with the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, we've promoted a lot of people much earlier than we ever would in normal times. It were not for our heavy losses, you would still be a lieutenant, perhaps a lieutenant commander. Now we are placing our more senior officers that are coming off damaged or destroyed ships onto front-line vessels. To be honest, you nearly lost your provisional rank of commander - not because of your performance but because of your youth. I have interceded on your behalf and prevented that. This assignment as executive officer of the ISS Bladefin will allow you to keep your rank as commander and give you some much needed experience as an executive officer."

    Inga knew that Pham was not doing this out of the goodness of his heart. He certainly had ulterior motives. "Admiral, forgive me, but I know you are a cunning man - you must have more reasons than helping my career along."

    Admiral Pham nodded. "Very astute of you, Commander. You are correct, there is more, that's why I pushed for this. Captain Akinola, the C.O. of the Bladefin, is one of the most experienced and ruthless commanding officers in all of Starfleet, much less in Border Security. He has managed to become something of a thorn in my side. You would provide me a valuable service by providing me occasional reports on his . . . unauthorized activities."

    "What activities are those?" she asked.

    "You will know when they occur," he said, simply.

    "Do you want me to kill him?" Strauss asked, bluntly.

    Pham's body shook – resonating with his low, rumbling laugh. "Young one, if Akinola knew you had designs on his life, you would die very quickly. Akinola is a dangerous man. He is way out of your league. Now, do not take offense, I am merely stating the facts."

    He coughed harshly as his laughter subsided, then continued, "I know it may not seem a desirable billet for you, but the Border Security provides an invaluable service through search and destroy missions, maintaining our subspace spy stations, and enforcing the laws of our great Empire. I understand the Bladefin is quite a capable little ship with a proud history. And I am confident that you will add to their distinguished exploits."

    Strauss nodded curtly. "I won't let you down, admiral."

    His mouth curled into a smile that didn't reach his eyes. "See that you don't, Commander. That would be most . . . unfortunate."

    * * *
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  2. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Chapter 2

    Stardate 53499.2 (2 July 2376)
    ISS Bladefin
    Interdiction Patrol – Sector 0324

    Captain Joseph Akinola carefully studied his adversary while slipping into a defensive stance, strong hands tightening into fists. His dark-red skinned opponent snarled, a feral grin on his scarred face, and then suddenly attacked with a vicious snap-kick aimed at Akinola's knee. The captain swept his left arm down, deflecting the kick while stepping in to his opponent and launching a counter punch which impacted the Orion’s face. The sound of crunching cartilage echoed in the combat training chamber as blood poured from the injured man's nose. The captain followed with a secondary punch to the Orion's midsection and ended with a blade-hand strike to his neck. The burly Orion went down with a grunt. Akinola sneered slightly at his opponent, and turned to a line of a dozen men and women dressed in black Karate Ghis.

    "Crewman Sanders, what did Slavemaster Brin do wrong?" asked the captain.

    Sanders, a freckle-faced Corpman swallowed nervously. "He took on a fourth degree black belt?"

    Akinola smiled and stepped forward. "Sanders, you're a funny man. Don't the rest of you think so?" There were nervous nods of assent from the other gathered crewmen. "I'm sure they will be amused to see how you react to this agonizer."

    Sanders eyes went wide with terror. "Sir! Please, I didn't mean . . ." His protests were replaced by shrieks of pain as Akinola applied the pain-amplifier to Sanders shoulder for a full thirty seconds. When released, Sanders dropped to the deck, gasping and convulsing, a tendril of blood oozing from his nose.

    Akinola turned his impassive gaze toward the others. "What about you Ensign Fralk? What did you observe?"

    The Denobulan officer answered. "Slavemaster Brin failed to hide his weight transfer before kicking. If he had feinted with a punch, he would not have been so predictable."

    Akinola stared coldly at the ensign for several seconds, then smiled thinly. "Correct. Let that be a lesson to you all. Good form and precise movements are important for training purposes, but for actual hand-to-hand combat, you must mix things up. Predictability can get you killed, right Slavemaster?"

    Slavemaster Solly Brin gave the captain a murderous look. "As you say, Captain." He wiped the blood from his face and slung it on the deck. “Perhaps you will allow me an opportunity to correct my mistake.”

    The captain looked at the Orion. "Slavemaster, have a care with your tone. Don’t overestimate your usefulness. You might find yourself cleaning the outer hull. . . without an EV suit."

    The Red-Orion grabbed a towel from a stack to staunch the blood flow from his bleeding nose. "If you’re through with me, I have work to do in the brig."

    The Captain held the Orion’s gaze for a moment before nodding fractionally. Akinola turned and addressed his students. "Break into sparring groups,” he ordered, “Full-speed! I don't want any half-measures or I’ll have your hides. Remember, short linear movements. When you're fighting in close quarters, you don't have room or time for sweeping kicks or circular movement - economy of motion! You must strike quickly and effectively to disable or kill your opponent. Begin!"

    As the assembled crew began going through their paces, the ship's P.A. system sounded. "Captain Akinola - incoming message from the Kilimanjaro."

    Akinola moved to a communication panel on the wall of the ship's combat training center. "Akinola, acknowledged. Pipe it down to my quarters, I'll take it there." He turned to the group of crewmen and officers. "Ensign Fralk, run them through the sparring exercise and focus on rising blocks and forearm blocks. Then run through some katas before dismissing. If you see any half-hearted effort by anyone, report them."

    "Aye, sir." said Fralk. The ensign pulled a fist over his chest, then extended his arm in salute. Akinola returned the salute.

    "Remember, strike fast! Strike hard!" Akinola warned as he headed into the corridor. He trotted to a ladder, bypassing the turbo-lift and went up two decks, then took a few short steps to his quarters. Inside, he picked up a towel and rubbed the sweat from his face before sitting at his desk and keying the screen. Instantly, the somber blue face Captain Vress appeared. An Andorian, Vress was commander of the support vessel, ISS Kilimanjaro , an Everest-class asteroid breaker/tug. He was one of the few non-human ship commanders in the fleet. Vress nodded and his antennae turned toward his screen. "Captain Akinola, I have the supplies you require"

    Akinola regarded the Andorian. He didn’t particularly trust Vress, but he was reliable, at least as Andorians went. "Good. You have the special items as well?”

    Vress looked at a PADD. "Let's see . . . Photon grenades, repair parts for your transporter, phaser carbines, hmmmm, Yes, here's what you were wanting - 25 litres of cherry vanilla ice cream. It has been sealed to prevent it from melting."

    Akinola nodded. Of course, the “ice cream” was in no danger of melting. It was secure, however, which is what mattered. "Very well Vress. And I have something for you in return for the “ice cream.”

    A small smile played on the Andorian’s features. "A pleasure doing business with you, Captain.”

    "Just make sure this transaction remains confidential, Vress. I’d hate for something to happen to you.”

    Vress regarded Akinola coldly. “Do you threaten me, human?”

    Akinola stared back. “If I were threatening you, Vress, you would not be asking.”

    Vress maintained his gaze through the viewscreen. "If there is nothing else, Captain, I will take my leave. We're due to clear some asteroids in sector 323. The governor of one of the system colonies has been complaining about navigational hazards."

    "Then don’t let me keep you," said Akinola. "And Captain Vress? Do take care."

    "Kilimanjaro out," the Andorian said, curtly.

    Akinola stripped out of his Karate ghi, carefully folded his black belt, and stepped into the head and into the sonic shower. After cleaning his body and soothing his muscles through the gentle sonic vibration, he put on his duty uniform and stepped to the mirror. The reflection showed a dark-skinned human who did not look his 59 years of age, despite the generous amount of grey sprinkled in his dark hair. He was not a handsome man - his face was marred by an old dueling scar. His brown eyes were cold and hard. Somewhat taller than average, he maintained good physical condition through Karate training and a disciplined diet. The lines around his eyes betrayed the deep and sometimes haunting experiences of his life.

    His communicator beeped and he tapped the badge on his chest. "Akinola, go ahead."

    "T'Ser, here, Captain. Just wanted you to know that the runabout, Cortez has requested permission to enter our landing bay. They have our new executive officer, Commander Strauss, on board."

    "Very well. T'Ser. Inform tactical to maintain weapons lock on the runabout and lower shields. I want you to go down and meet our new XO, show her to her quarters, then bring her to my ready room. I'm on my way to the bridge."

    "Acknowledged. T'Ser, out."

    Akinola strapped on his side-arm and exited his quarters.

    * * *

    Commander Strauss was more than weary of travel on the space-worn runabout. It had creaked and rattled much of the 12 hour flight from Star Station Echo, where she had boarded following a week-long voyage from Starfortress 42 on the ISS Ares . Now, she craned her neck through the viewport to catch the first glimpse of the ISS Bladefin . She was immediately intrigued with what she saw. The Bladefin displayed many of the classic features of Imperial starship design - a circular primary hull with secondary engineering hull and two warp nacelles attached with pylons. She noted that the primary saucer was somewhat small in relationship to the rather long engineering hull. She was surprised to see that the impulse engines seemed overly large for the size of the ship and that the support pylons for the warp nacelles were shorter and thicker than normative. Strauss also noticed several prominent tractor beam nodes on the engineering hull that seemed oversized for the ship. She was gratified, however, to see seven Type XII dual phaser turrets, a midline heavy phaser cannon, plus multiple torpedo launcher tubes. The ship was painted in the dark gray and yellow that was more common to Imperial Starfleet vessels built in the early part of the century. Prominently painted on the hull, below the red Sword and Globe, was the registry number, NCC-4458, and the name, ISS Bladefin.

    Strauss had spent much of her transit time perusing computer files about the ship. She learned that she was an Akula - class Border Gunboat (contrary to what the admiral said) that had been developed about the same time as the Excelsior and Conqueror - class ships at the end of the 23rd century. The gunboats were designed to for rugged durability with very powerful impulse engines, overwhelming firepower, redundant shields and multiple tractor beams. This class ship was designed to not only survive but navigate through ion storms while capturing enemy vessels with her heavy graviton beams. The Akulas went through a refit program in the mid-24th century, adding extended landing bays to handle more and larger shuttle craft and runabouts. Top speed was warp 9.2 and normal sustained maximum was warp 8.5. Not fast by Imperial standards, but much faster than commercial and most hostile vessels they would likely face. Originally, there were 18 Akula- class ships. Now, 8 were left in active service, the others retired, lost or destroyed.

    As the runabout entered the hangar bay, Strauss smiled tightly as she anticipated how this assignment might give her a boost up toward command. Captain Akinola might be dangerous, but so was she!

    * * *
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  3. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Chapter 3

    Stardate 53499.3 (2 July 2376)
    ISS Bladefin
    Interdiction Patrol – Sector 0324

    As Commander Strauss disembarked from the runabout, her eyes were drawn to a large, cartoon-like painting on the wall of the hangar that portrayed a toothy shark with a prominent dorsal fin holding a phaser rifle and wearing a very menacing toothy grin. Circling the painting was the ship's registry and name followed by "Semper Letalis." She turned to the gathered crew and officers, "Permission to come aboard?"

    An attractive Vulcan female wearing the rank insignia of a lieutenant commander replied, "Granted." Strauss was somewhat surprised when the Vulcan came forward and actually extended her hand in greeting. "Welcome aboard the Bladefin Commander Strauss. I'm Lt. Commander T'Ser, Operations officer."

    Strauss looked at the proffered hand then into the eyes of the Vulcan. She did not take the hand. “Is Border Security in such dire straits that they allow green-bloods to serve as senior officers?” she asked blandly.

    T'ser tensed but did not reply directly to the insult. "Captain Akinola asked that I take you by your quarters first, then to meet him in his ready room. Do you require assistance with any personal belongings?"

    “My personal belongings are in two cases on the runabout. Have them taken to my quarters. Oh, and I can tell if anyone has opened or scanned them,” warned Strauss.

    “Very well,” said T’Ser, “This way, please.”

    The two women entered a corridor off of the hangar deck and came to a turbo lift, which they entered. "Deck 3," said T'Ser. She turned to Strauss. "Your quarters are located on deck 3, on the port side. My quarters are also on deck 3 on the starboard side. The captain's quarters are on deck 4, forward. His ready room is off of the bridge which is, of course, deck one."

    Strauss committed to memory the locations as T'Ser listed them. They quickly came to deck 3 and headed around a curved corridor to the port side. The layout seemed conventional enough to Strauss but the corridors were much narrower than she had experienced while serving on Battleaxe and Storm- class ships during the war with the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. She decided to ask a question of the green-blood.

    "Vulcan, what was the fate of my predecessor.”

    The Vulcan officer seemed to stiffen at the sudden question. Strauss could have sworn she saw a flash of . . . emotion? in the green-blood’s eyes. That was preposterous, of course. Everyone knew that Vulcans were without feeling, not much more than highly intelligent animals. Useful, to be sure, but not to be trusted.

    “Our former executive officer, Commander Dale McBride, was killed in a boarding operation on an Orion Raider two months ago.”

    “Hmmm. Is that so? How did he die?” Strauss watched the Vulcan carefully. This time she noticed the green-blood’s jaw muscles twitch. You’ll bear watching, Lt. Commander T’Ser. You’re more than you appear, aren’t you?

    “An Orion child cut his throat while the commander was distracted,” T’Ser said, tightly.

    Strauss snorted derisively. “Damned stupid. Never turn your back on anyone in a combat situation, even a child. Well, he got what he deserved for his mistake.”

    T’Ser had no response to this, but simply led Strauss to a door marked “Executive Officer.” The Vulcan turned to face Strauss, her face impassive, but her eyes smoldered with barely masked hatred.

    “These are your quarters. If you’ll excuse me, I must be about my duties. The captain is expecting you in his ready room on the bridge, deck one.” said T’Ser, flatly.

    “You may go, Vulcan,” said Strauss with a condescending smile.

    To Commander Strauss, her new quarters reminded her of the junior officer quarters she inhabited aboard the ISS Enmity . The space was not generous - a single bed was along one wall with storage cabinets above and below. A desk with computer terminal was on the opposite wall. Against the far bulkhead was a small couch beneath a circular viewport. Beyond the desk was a doorway leading to a cramped head. Near to the hall door was a storage closet and a food replicator. No doubt, there were hidden sensors whereby the Captain and Security Chief could keep tabs on her. Still, the cabin suited Strauss' Spartan sensibilities. The space was efficient. She always thought the large quarters on the Thunderbolt were better suited to a luxury starliner than an Imperial Starfleet vessel. She would use her personal scanner to look for eavesdropping devices later. Now she would report to Captain Akinola.

    * * *

    The bridge of the Bladefin was of traditional design - circular with control stations, a central viewscreen, and the command chair in the middle of it all. It was more compact than other bridges in Strauss' experience, but seemed efficient enough. A dark-haired lieutenant manned the center chair when Strauss came onto the bridge from the turbo-lift. She quickly noted the locations of the various stations – tactical, surveillance, engineering and environmental, operations and, of course, the central navigation and helm stations.

    On the aft port-side of the bridge was the door to the captain’s ready room. She strode quickly to the door and pressed the enunciator.

    "Come!" came the deep voice of the captain. Strauss stepped forward and the door slid open.

    The captain's ready room was (as was becoming the norm) smaller than she had seen on her previous ships. The décor was definitely intimidating. Numerous wood carvings portraying people caught in the throes of death lined shelves and display cases. The figures, while disturbing, caught her eye because of the intricate detail. They were of various races – Klingon, Cardassian, Bolian, Romulan and even Human. On a small table, in a place of prominence, was a highly detailed death mask carved from a tightly grained wood, very dark with color that glowed in a glossy sheen. And, brooding behind his desk, was Captain Joseph B. Akinola.

    "Commander Strauss, so good of you to come. I’ve been anticipating our meeting." The lighting in the room kept the captain somewhat in shadow, probably by design.

    "Thank you, sir. It's good to finally be here. It was a long journey from Starfortress 42."

    "Indeed. Well, you can rest later. First, I want to go over a few things together before you meet the other senior officers.”

    "Yes, sir."

    " Please be seated." Akinola indicated a straight-backed metal chair. He leaned back and steepled his fingers. For a few moments, he simply regarded Strauss without saying anything. Strauss did not like being under the microscope, but tolerated it. Finally, Akinola spoke.

    "I understand you are not exactly thrilled to be on the Bladefin, commander."

    Strauss hid her surprise. "Sir, why do you say that?"

    "I have my sources, Strauss. I know Admiral Pham wants you on this ship. I think I know why.”

    Strauss could feel her face flush, and she attempted to bridle her anger and a small knot of fear. "Sir, with all due respect, I am here under orders as an Imperial Starfleet officer. My feelings in the matter are neither germane or any of your business. Sir.”

    Akinola regarded her with a predatory gaze. "Oh, but you’re wrong there, Commander. Your feelings are germane, as are your . . . ambitions."

    Strauss swallowed, her throat suddenly dry, but she composed herself quickly and spoke in measured tones.

    "Captain Akinola, I assure you, I have no ambitions that would threaten you. I’m thirty years old and a brand-new executive officer. I’m here to serve and to learn. You have nothing to fear from me.

    Akinola smiled coldly. “That’s a nice speech, Commander, but I don’t believe a word of it. You’ve served with distinction on two ships of the line and managed to assassinate the XO of the Thunderbolt while making it look like an accident. Now you’re assigned to a gunboat in the Borderlands. Seems like a slap in the face for such a promising and calculating young officer like yourself.”

    Strauss decided to drop the charade. "Very well, Captain. I admit that I killed Commander Wilson. So what? It’s a time-honored tradition in the fleet. I only regret that I didn’t cover my tracks as well as I thought. What did I do wrong?”

    Akinola shook his head. “I’m not in the habit of sharing my secrets, Strauss. But I will admit that you did a hell of a job in making it look like an accident. That’s how it reads, officially anyway. But my sources tell me otherwise.” He leaned forward in his chair, his eyes reflecting the faint light in the room. “Hear this, Commander, and hear me well. I am not an easy man to kill. Many have tried. None have come close to succeeding. If you are loyal to me and serve well, you can learn things that will take you far. If you get impatient, you might get your throat cut like the late, lamented Commander McBride. Are we clear?”

    Strauss, to her credit, did not waver under his gaze. “Perfectly, Captain.”

    “Good. Oh - and one other thing, Commander?”

    “Yes?” Suddenly, Strauss felt a steel-hard arm clamp around her neck and Akinola was standing over her with a phaser pistol shoved in her face. The man she could not see groped her roughly, tearing at her uniform, searching for and finding her hidden weapons. She struggled futilely, unable to breathe, seeking a way to break free of the vice-like choke hold. Her hidden assailant tossed the stiletto and micro-phaser on Akinola’s desk, and then stood by as silently as he had entered the ready room. Strauss, gasping for air with dark spots clouding her vision, struggled to regain her composure and attempted to adjust her torn uniform. Akinola shook his head with disappointment.

    “Dismissed, Mr. Bane. Please take the Commander’s toys and dispose of them.” As the security officer left, Akinola returned his gaze to Strauss.

    “If you ever come into my presence with hidden hardware again, I will shoot you like a diseased Targ and have your lifeless corpse tossed out an air-lock.” He holstered the phaser and returned to his seat.

    “By the way, welcome aboard the Bladefin, Commander. You’re dismissed.”


    * * *
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
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  4. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Chilling, considering how memorable your REAL first story is.

    BTW, is "Akula" a reference to the Soviet submarine class? Quite appropriate for the Terran Empire if so, in my opinion...
  5. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    May 22, 2007
    Here and now.
    Yes - nice catch! ;)
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Hey, I DEVOURED Tom Clancy's novels in high school. I couldn't help but see it! ;)
  7. kes7

    kes7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sector 001
    Man, the MU is depressing. This was very well-written, though. Makes me miss your regular universe characters all the more!
  8. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    What a wickedly evil story. I really felt for T'Ser here. If this had gone on, I'm sure T'Ser would have been the one to eventually replace Strauss. By causing an unfortunate 'accident'.
  9. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 5, 2007
    Between the candle and the flame
    I don't remember this story-so I enjoyed it doubly for being MU and "new"! This Akinola's motivations for having T'Ser on board left me with questions. If Vulcans are pariahs, why her?

    Good tale, well thought out and crafted-as usual.
  10. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 18, 2005
    Well done TLR,

    While currently writing my own MU tale I remembered that you had also ventured into that alternate universe. I didn't read the story at the time, but thankfully it was still on the board. As I already said, this was a well-done story that captured the ruthlessness of the MU. I also liked how you renamed or introduced new starships, starship-classes, and starbases (starfortress, neat).