ST: The Endurance of Jesse Yeager

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TheLoneRedshirt, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Introduction
    I've always enjoyed Tom Selleck's work - from "Magnum, P.I.," to his western films and, more recently, his recurring role as "Jesse Stone." This last character struck a chord with me. Selleck (as Stone) plays a police chief in a small town who struggles with alcoholism and the pain of his divorce. His battle with the bottle cost him his job with a big city police department. Now, battling depression and addiction, he's trying to move forward with life with mixed results. Underneath, though, he's still a formidable cop.

    I thought, What if this character were a starship captain? Jesse Yeager began to form in my head.

    This will be different than my Border Service stories. Yeager will command the Sovereign-class USS Endurance. Can he get past his personal demons and lead his ship and crew on a critical mission of exploration and discovery?

    We'll see. Let me know what you think.

    TLR

    ST: The Endurance of Jesse Yeager

    Prologue:

    19 June 2374
    Operation Return – The Battle to Retake DS-9
    USS Axanar

    Flames and smoke filled the bridge of the USS Axanar, creating dancing shadows of light along the scorched bulkheads and shattered control stations. Captain Jesse Yeager coughed and spat blood on the carpeted deck, trying to clear his lungs and his mind. He was dizzy and disoriented. Blood trickled into his eyes from a scalp wound. Yeager looked down at his left leg and a wave of nausea threatened to overwhelm him. The leg was caught under a fallen support beam and bent at an impossible angle. For some reason, he felt no pain – yet.

    He suddenly remembered the two Galor-class battleships that had converged on his Excelsior-class ship in the midst of the melee’. The Axanar had held its own, for a time, but the heavy fire from the Cardassian ships had eventually worn-down the old starship’s shields. Yeager had directed fire against the lead Galor, crippling it, when the Axanar’s bridge had exploded from a direct hit, killing most of the bridge crew and seriously injuring Yeager.

    Yeager looked up and was surprised to see open space. Emergency shields were all that separated him from the vacuum of open space. He looked forward, squinting at the flickering viewscreen. One of the Galors was broken in two and venting plasma. The second was foundering but intact and dangerous, attempting to come around for the final kill. He looked over at the tactical station. Lt. Darden was sprawled half-out of her chair, her dead eyes staring back flatly at Yeager. The captain quickly looked around, but no one else on the bridge was conscious. His commbadge was gone – ripped away and lost in the debris of the wrecked bridge.

    He tried to pull his leg free from the beam with no success. He looked up again at the Cardassian ship – moving slowly but moving nonetheless against a backdrop of utter chaos as hundreds of ships engaged in lethal exchanges. He knew he had to get to the tactical station and man the weapons.

    Yeager felt the phaser at his hip. He pulled it free, and adjusted the setting to tight beam. He fired at the girder, trying to cut through, but quickly realized it would take too long. He glanced once more at the screen before aiming the phaser at a point just below his left knee . . .

    Chapter One

    Owyhee Mountains, Idaho - Earth
    7 February 2377

    Jesse Yeager’s heavy flannel shirt was soaked with perspiration and his shoulder muscles burned, but he stubbornly chopped away at the dwindling pile of wood, reducing it to usable firewood for the stove of his cabin. The dry, sub-freezing air bit into his lungs and his nose was running, but he maintained the rhythm of the ax, relishing the pain in his body and the cold that stung his flesh. Already, he had cut nearly a half cord of firewood since breakfast. His bio-synthetic left leg tingled and throbbed from the exertion but held firm.

    A familiar noise tickled Yeager’s ears – a soft, high-pitched sound that grew in intensity, then faded. Yeager took a deep breath, partially a sigh; partially his body’s craving for more oxygen in the thin, mountain air. He did not turn to greet his unwelcome visitor, but attacked the timber with even greater intensity, sending woodchips flying.

    “Captain Yeager?”

    Yeager stopped chopping, chest still heaving from exertion. He swung the ax down once more, embedding the blade in a stump and grabbed a towel hanging from a tree limb. Wiping the icy sweat from his face, he turned to face the intruder.

    “What can I do for you, Admiral?” asked Yeager as he turned to face Vice Admiral John Hendricks of Starfleet Command, one of Yeager’s old instructors from the Academy.

    Hendricks jerked his head in the direction of the cabin. “For starters, you could invite me into your cabin. It’s as cold as an Andorian’s ass out here!”

    Yeager picked up his discarded parka and brushed off the snow. He faced Hendricks without speaking for a few moments, shrugged, and trudged toward the cabin. The admiral followed.

    The rustic cabin was small but clean and neat. It was built from thick logs and a sheet metal roof covered the structure. A wood burning stove glowed red with welcoming heat. The living area featured a well-worn leather sofa, two wooden rocking chairs, and a small table with two chairs. A small but efficient kitchen took up one wall. Two doors graced the opposite wall, leading to a bedroom and a bathroom. The head of an elk regarded the two men silently from high over the stove. Two windows flanking the stove provided a majestic view of the Owyhee Mountains. A yellow Labrador retriever lifted his head from a corner rug when the men entered, then dropped it back down with a chuff. His eyes closed and he quickly resumed his soft snoring.

    Jesse hung his parka on a wooden peg and walked to the stove where a battered, blue enamel coffee pot stood. He pulled two mugs off of a wall rack, poured the steaming brew, and handed a mug to Hendricks, who accepted it gratefully. Yeager folded his tall, well-muscled frame into one of the rocking chairs. He indicated for Hendricks to take the other rocker.

    “How did you come by this place?” asked Hendrix, seating himself.

    “I built it,” said Yeager. Hendricks looked surprised. “The land it’s on and about another 3200 acres has been in my family for generations. Dad has his own cabin about a mile from here.”

    Hendricks looked appreciatively around the cabin. It looked all the world like something from the nineteenth century, save for the electric lights and small replicator in the kitchen. His gaze fell on a small object that hung from a rafter – round with leather strings and feathers.

    “It’s a dreamcatcher,” said Yeager. “My mother was Shoshone. It belonged to her.”

    “And the moose up there? How did you come by it?” asked Hendricks, pointing to the mounted head.

    “It’s an elk.” Yeager propped a foot on the coffee table and leaned back in the rocker. “Admiral – what do you want?”

    Hendricks took a sip of the coffee, grimacing as the hot beverage burned his tongue. “I have a new assignment for you, Jesse.”

    Yeager took a sip from his own mug. “The stop-loss order has been rescinded, Admiral. I don’t plan on coming back.”

    “It’s a brand new ship – the USS Endurance. Sovereign-class Mark-3, state of the art. Maybe one of the last new ones for a while since our new President wants to cut back starship production.”

    Jesse looked out the window and rubbed the stubble on his chin. “I think I’ve already paid my dues to Starfleet, Admiral.”

    “Jesse . . .”

    “I lost my wife because of that fool, Leyton. I lost my ship, most of my crew, even my leg.” Yeager turned his heavy gaze to the Admiral. “I really don’t have anything left worth giving, Admiral.”

    Hendricks proceeded as if he hadn’t heard Yeager. “It’s going to be an exploration mission. You won’t have to deal with refugees, insurgents, or any of that.” Hendricks leaned forward, his face animated with excitement. “It’s a five year exploratory mission, Jesse! The likes of which we haven’t attempted in decades!”

    A humorless smile formed on Yeager’s face. “Picard would probably take issue with that.”

    Hendricks snorted. “Picard! Look . . . Jesse. Jean-Luc is a great captain and explorer – that’s true enough. But ever since his encounter with the Borg, well . . .” The Admiral spread his hands. “Let’s just say that command has kept a tight reign on Picard and Enterprise.

    “A little too tight,” said Yeager. “We could have used Picard and the Enterprise during the war.”

    Hendricks ignored the criticism. “I’m here to talk about you – not Picard. Along with Kathryn Janeway, you were the one I knew would be the next great explorer – in the tradition of Kirk, Wesley, Sulu . . . and yes, Picard!”

    “Things didn’t turn out so well for Janeway, did they?”

    A smile played over Hendricks face. “You might be interested to know – we’ve been in contact with Voyager.

    This news caught Yeager by surprise. He looked sharply at Hendricks. “They’re alive?”

    “Alive and well. Mostly . . . They were thrown far into Delta quadrant and are slowly making their way home. We’ve just managed to establish contact with them.”

    “How long until they get back?”

    Hendricks face fell. “We . . . don’t know yet. It could still be many years. But we know they’re alive – and they’ve already begun to send us massive amounts of data about new planets and species we’d never dreamed of!”

    “Good for Kathryn,” said Yeager, softly and sincerely, as he looked out the window once more. He and Kathryn Janeway had been classmates and friends at the Academy. “Well, Admiral, nice of you to stop by, but I’ve still got wood to lay in before the next bout of heavy weather hits.”

    Hendricks stood and tossed a padd on the small table. “Jesse, for the last two and a half years you’ve been through Hell – the hospital and rehab, the review board, Yvonne . . .” He stopped, not wanting to inflict more pain than necessary. “But dammit, you’re a fine Starfleet officer – one of the best Captains we have! I’m giving you an opportunity most starship commanders can only dream of! You’ve been cleared by Starfleet Medical and a host of counselors who say you’re ready for ship duty again. So, the question is this, Captain . . . are you going to spend the rest of your days as a hermit in a hut? Or do you want to chase the dream and go where no one’s gone before?” He gestured to the padd. “Before you decide, read that. I think you’ll find the central aspect of the mission very interesting.” Hendricks paused, an enigmatic smile creeping up on his face, “Unless the idea of contact with beings from another galaxy doesn’t interest you.”

    With that, the Admiral tapped his commbadge. “Hendricks to transporter control. One to beam up.” He looked again at Yeager. “Thanks for the coffee.” The transporter effect took him and he was gone.

    Yeager continued to look out the window at the cold, snow-covered landscape for a long time, occasionally taking a sip of coffee and absently rubbing his new leg. Finally, he glanced down at the padd.

    “What the hell,” he muttered as he activated the screen with his thumbprint, and began to read.

    * * *
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2008
  2. dillon3001

    dillon3001 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Good work on what you got done so far, I'd definitely like to read more. The only part i didn't much care for was the notion that the Federation President wanted to cut back on building more ships. Thats purely a "hey i would do it differently" sort of thing.

    Keep more coming!
     
  3. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you! I'm glad you like it thus far.

    In the United Trek universe, the newly elected Federation president indeed orders the scale-back of ship production. Be assured, the decision is not popular with many of the UT characters! :)
     
  4. dillon3001

    dillon3001 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Always have to have a measure of conflict in storytelling :) . At the risk of sounding ignorant, im assuming most of the United Trek stuff is at http://www.unitedtrek.org

    Looks like i might have alot of reading to do if thats the case :bolian:
     
  5. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Nice start! I wanna know more about this mission.
     
  6. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    You assume correctly! My Tales of the USS Bluefin series is on that site as well as excellent stories from eight other writers. Enjoy!
     
  7. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A fantastic start to what promises to be another top notch series. Yeager’s got issues, that much is clear, though he came by them honestly. And now the hinted-at promise of a long-range exploration mission, and beings from another galaxy... very heady stuff.

    You’ve got me hooked! :bolian:
     
  8. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right on! I like Yeager(any relation to Chuck?), I like the Shoshone aspect(love ethnicity in ST) and I like him having family roots in Idaho. Reminds me of a certain Alaskan First Officer. Or maybe "I'm FROM Iowa-I only work in space."
     
  9. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, yes! Jesse is a descendant of the famous test pilot - a fact that will come forth at some point in the story.
     
  10. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Chapter Two

    San Francisco
    10 February 2377, 0945 local time

    Stepping off the shuttle, Captain Yeager paused a moment to relish the wind that blew in off of the bay. While chilly, it was much warmer than his frigid home in Idaho.

    Yeager wore faded blue jeans, well-worn cowboy boots and a chambray shirt under a corduroy jacket. Eschewing Hendrick's offer to beam him to Starfleet Command, Yeager had flown in on a civilian atmospheric shuttle. Although the padd Admiral Hendricks left had intrigued him, he did not want to make a snap decision. If he were to return to Starfleet, he had more questions and some pre-conditions. Thus, he had no plans to wear the uniform, at least not yet.

    Retrieving his duffel bag, he shouldered it and walked toward a cab stand. He hailed an auto-skimmer and told the computer to take him to Fisherman's Wharf.

    Minutes later, he stood at the old tourist attraction, trying to recall and relive happier days. It had been six years since he had last been to San Francisco. He had come for a briefing just prior to taking command of the Axanar. Yvonne had accepted a teaching position at the Academy, so they had rented an apartment not far from the wharf. This was one of their favorite places in the city.

    He stood now, on Pier 39, looking out toward Alcatraz Island. He and Yvonne had stood on this very spot on several occasions. Fog still shrouded the old island prison, though it was late morning. In the distance, he could hear the clanging bell of one of the old cable cars. Yvonne had enjoyed riding the venerable street cars.

    But try as he might, those happy memories eluded him. They were no more than mental pictures in a faded album. Just gray photos of a time now gone and forever lost to him. He turned and began to walk up Beach Street.

    * * *

    Starfleet Command, San Francisco
    10 February 2377, 1328 local time
    Office of Vice-Admiral John Hendricks

    The face of Hendricks’ Andorian aide appeared on his desk terminal.

    “Admiral? Captain Yeager is here.”

    “Excellent! Send the Captain in, J'ress.” A smug smile played across Hendricks’ features which broadened as Captain Yeager entered the room. The Admiral rose and came around his desk, hand extended in greeting. His smile faded a bit as he saw Yeager's clothes.

    “Jesse! I’m very glad to see you! But I was hoping that you would come in uniform.”

    Jesse cocked his head and regarded the shorter man. "I haven't agreed to come back yet, sir. There are some thing's I'd like to discuss with you."

    Admiral Hendricks nodded slowly. "Alright. Let's talk, then. Coffee?"

    Yeager nodded. “Sounds good.”

    Hendricks went to the replicator and returned with two steaming cups adorned with the Starfleet emblem. He handed one to Yeager and indicated two chairs and a low table by the viewport.

    Yeager looked out at the beautiful vista of San Francisco bay and the Golden Gate monument. “I read the padd you left me, Admiral, and have to admit - it made me curious.”

    “I thought it might,” replied Hendricks as he settled in the opposite chair.

    But before I come back, there’s some things I need to know and some pre-conditions.”

    Hendricks raised an eyebrow in a bemused expression. “Oh? In my day, when an admiral gave an assignment to a captain, the captain said, Aye, aye, sir. There was no talk about preconditions.”

    Yeager offered a faint smile. He looked down into his coffee cup. “There was a time . . . when that was true of me as well, Admiral. But the ‘hermit life,’ as you put it, remains a viable option. An attractive option, at that.”

    “Alright then,” said Hendricks, evenly, “Start with your ‘pre-conditions.’ "


    “I want Osamu Tamura as my first officer and Grelden Pralax as chief of security.”

    Hendricks pursed his lips. “Pralax shouldn’t be a problem – he’s an adjunct instructor at the Academy teaching cadets how to run around in the woods and eat snakes. I imagine he’s about ready to get back to space. Commander Tamura – well, that might be problematic.”

    “How so?” asked Yeager over his coffee cup.

    “I understand he resigned his commission last week.”

    “I’ll take care of Osamu,” said Yeager. He stroked his full mustache. “Two more things – I want to bring my solar sailboat, it’s a 5 meter sun-skipper. And my dog.”

    Hendricks chuckled. “I imagine there’s room on the Endurance for both.” Hendricks smile faded. “Captain, I’m willing to meet you half-way. You can have Pralax and Tamura, your sailing craft and your dog. But I’m afraid I can’t tell you any more about the mission parameters until you agree to take it. It’s highly classified.”

    Yeager raised his eyebrows and pursed his lips. He appeared to be in thought for several moments, Finally, he bobbed his head in a fatalistic manner.

    “Okay, Admiral. I’m in.”

    Hendricks face broke into a broad smile. “Outstanding! You won’t regret it, Jesse.” He tapped his comm. badge. “J’ress, please send in Protector K’Lnthra.”

    Jesse stood as the door to Hendricks' office slid open. A tall, slender humanoid walked (glided?) through the door and stopped short of the two men. Yeager was mesmerized. The being's features seemed to glow and shimmer. Golden hair seemed to flow and flicker from her head. Large, wide-set gentle eyes shone like burnished brass. Her other features appeared more or less human, though her nose was rather small and her upswept ears were Vulcanoid. She (for she certainly appeared to be female) was wearing a robe that reminded Yeager of a kimono. She inclined her head in greeting. When she spoke, Yeager heard her both in his ears and in his mind. The sound was melodic and soothing.


    "Greetings, Jesse Yeager of Earth. I am K'Lnthra - a H'lranthian of the galaxy you call Andromeda. I have come to seek the assistance of your Federation."

    * * *
     
  11. Cobalt Frost

    Cobalt Frost Captain Captain

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    I can totally see Tom Selleck in a Starfleet uniform!! I am enjoying the story so far.. great characterization, a nice build-up to, well, I guess we'll have to keep reading! Looking forward to more!
     
  12. dillon3001

    dillon3001 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This next chapter is good as well. Good intoduction to the H'lranthians, i liked the surprise of it all. Looking forward to chapter 3.
     
  13. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Want more mysterious girl! Hubba hubba hubba!
     
  14. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

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    Personally, I really enjoy series centered around one character. They're more difficult to write, sure, but I think it is well worth it. Obviously a series such as this depends entirely on your protagonist.

    I like Yeager already and I think he brings a refreshing new side to our usual married-to-their-jobs officers.

    And then of course we've got a gliding alien from another galaxy who requires Starfleet's help. The potential for problems appears endless already.

    Off to a great start here!
     
  15. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

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    Nice. I like Yeager--a man whose seen too much and experienced too much pain saddling up for one more go at it. I'm curious as to what befell his wife during the coup--yet another victim of that insane power outage? And a mystery involving the Andromeda galaxy--wonder if the Kelvans are involved?

    Definitely looking forward to more here!
     
  16. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Great stuff, good intro and good characters. I'm looking forward to reading more and I hope Jesse doesn't come to regret his decision. As for why he wants those officers, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    More please
     
  17. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not much I can add,...but to say, I want more!:)
     
  18. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Starfleet Command, San Francisco
    10 February 2377, 1328 local time
    Office of Vice-Admiral John Hendricks


    Chapter Three

    Yeager blinked, still slightly off-balance from meeting this ethereal alien woman from the Andromeda galaxy.

    “Um, nice to meet you . . . K’Lnthra? Did I pronounce that right?”

    The H’lranthian’s mouth turned up slightly in a very Human looking smile. “Yes.”

    Admiral Hendricks took his seat and grinned at Yeager’s discomfiture. “K’Lnthra arrived nearly a year ago. Her story is certainly intriguing, so I’ll allow her to share it.”

    K’Lnthra gracefully seated herself in the chair Yeager had vacated. Yeager pulled up another chair, straddling it backwards and propping his chin on his arms resting on the chair back. “I’m all ears, ma’am.”

    The alien woman made a sound that might have been laughter. It had a light, pleasant note. “I am still learning your idioms, Captain Yeager, but I believe you need to hear the ‘thumbnail version’ as the whole story is quite long.” Her shining face became more somber. She fixed him with her wide eyes.

    “My people, the H’lranthians, populate a great portion of our galaxy. We are an old race and have long ago renounced war and violence to resolve conflict. At least, until recently.” She paused, her face fell in a look of distress. After a moment, she resumed. “Beginning approximately 1000 of your years ago, we suffered three different incursions from hostile beings from outside our galaxy. Two, the Cha’lev and the N’sklaad’g, you have not faced, at least not yet. The third group of invaders you know all too well. They called themselves, the Borg.”

    Yeager felt a chill go up his spine. He frowned. “Yeah, we know the Borg alright. These other two races – you said we have not met them yet?

    She nodded. “I cannot say more. We have a code similar to your Prime Directive and cannot divulge future events.”

    Future events? Can you travel through time?”

    K’Lanthra regarded him quietly for a moment, considering. “Captain, I am of a race of multi-dimensional beings. Right now, you see the manifestation of my person that exists within the three-dimensional plane. I have the ability to traverse time and space in a way which I cannot explain to you.”

    “Try me,” said Yeager.

    She smiled. “How would you describe color to someone who has no eyes? Or music to someone with no ears?”

    His eyebrows shot up and his mouth twisted in a thoughtful grimace. “Huh! I’ve never thought about that.” He returned his gaze to her. “K’Lnthra, I have to wonder why a race such as yours would seek us out? You seem to come from an old and advanced civilization. You have abilities beyond ours. Why seek our help? What kind of assistance could we possibly offer.”

    She stared at him with her glowing eyes. “I will answer your questions, Jesse Yeager. Let me tell you a bit more, first. As I said, we faced three hostile invading forces. Though we H’Lranthians could easily avoid their attacks, there were thousands of races in our galaxy that were helpless before them. We decided we could not stand by and allow the slaughter or enslavement of our neighbors. So, we intervened.” Again, her countenance fell and the glow around her seemed to dim somewhat. After a moment, she returned her gaze to Yeager. “We destroyed millions of invading vessels and took the lives of billions of sentient beings. It was necessary to protect the innocent, but . . .” She paused again. Obviously, it was difficult for her to recount these events. “After a time, some of my people began to change. Their essence began to grow dark. This happened particularly after we encountered the Borg.”

    “Were . . . any of your people assimilated?” Yeager asked, gently.

    K’Lnthra smiled, but her expression conveyed sadness, nonetheless. “No, Captain. Though the Borg did try. Their attempts to assimilate us overwhelmed them. The invading collective went . . . mad.”

    Yeager remained quiet. What kind of a race could avoid assimilation? Even overwhelm the collective?

    K’Lnthra continued. “We turned back the invaders, though it took decades. The Borg were the most relentless, but they, too, finally were vanquished. But as I said, our victory came at a cost. The same madness that overwhelmed the Borg seemed to infect many of our own people. Understand, Captain, we have been at peace for millennia. Suddenly, we were thrown into the midst of unfathomable violence. Many H’lranthians who resisted the invaders valiantly became casualties in their own right.”

    “How many of you died?” asked Yeager, quietly.

    “You do not understand, Captain Yeager. None of my people died.”

    Yeager blinked, incredulous. “None? Are you immortal?”

    “No. Though we are long-lived, we are mortal. And we are vulnerable in ways you are not.” She paused again. “Our casualties were not physical, Captain. They were spiritual.”

    Jesse frowned and shook his head. “I’m not sure I follow you . . .”

    “One third of our people lost hope. In their great despair, they now believe that all life is evil. Their inner light is . . . gone . . . They have embraced the dark. And they want to extinguish life.”

    “Whose life?”

    “All life, Captain. All life – everywhere.”

    * * *
     
  19. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I really like where you're taking this. There are things worse than death.
     
  20. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's Cha'lav with an A :brickwall:

    I'm looking forward to more...perhaps you could make your sections a little longer??