Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Hawku, Oct 5, 2020.
Oh, I was disqualified a looong time before this. lol
Author's notes: These are compiled posts for the Earth Spacedock RP on the Star Trek Online forums. This continues from the last ESD entry. Written in February 2017.
Earth Spacedock, Pages 96-99
Temporal Fracture, Facility Corridors
Sarah could feel the shaking from elsewhere. "What's that?"
"I don't know," Krystal, still limping, growled at Anna. "Some idiot decided to shoot my leg!"
Elric exited to the corridors and turned several corners until he unintentionally bumped into Krystal Jade who was with the others.
"Whoa! Sorry about that." Elric said stepping away. "My armband unsynced me from the flow of time, but Zeta fixed it— We found some lifesigns gathered in a room on this base from our access of their database. It's this way."
He indicated a direction and began walking. Sarah shrugged and followed, as Shivak, Agent 47, and Anna all followed.
Krystal had a skeptical look on her face. "I'd like to believe you, but how do we know for sure?" she asked Elric. It was clear it was more of a defensive response due to her recent past experiences with getting backstabbed.
"I think we're playing with a lot of unknowns here. We don't know who we're dealing with, as well as I don't know who from the future has a vested interest in me enough to open a temporal rift for us to get here. We have to accept that there are too many holes to function on rationality alone, so our next best option is to take a leap because sometimes that's all we can do."
He thought about it.
"I also don't know who we'll find, but if it's our people and these aliens, we'll need a plan to get everyone and escape somewhere. These aliens should answer for their crimes. As for escape, anyone have any ideas?"
"I... got nothing," Krystal sighed.
Anna Walker shrugged. "My ship should be nearby."
"The Mephiles should be somewhere around," Sarah countered, evidently not too fond of escaping to Anna's ship in particular. "Besides, if those lifesigns are our people, the Admiral and our guys will be there, so they'll have a way to contact them."
Krystal drew her phaser and motioned for everyone to continue.
Elric led the group to a large door. He approached it and pressed his hand against it, but nothing happened. There were no control panels or anything nearby. "Huh. This is the place, but I'm not sure how to get through."
Shivak reached to his pack and pulled out several explosives. "We could blast through, Captain."
Krystal pulled out her tricorder and scanned the door to see if there was a hidden panel or some kind of external interface that could be spoofed via tricorder.
Sarah sighed. "Maybe it's actually just a wall. We could try going around."
"It's definitely a door and there are no other ways around from the schematics Zeta and I observed," Elric said. "Explosives could work, but we're not sure if it would harm anyone on the inside. Also, if Krystal finds something we may not need them. If there's no access, though, we may have to go with Shivak's suggestion."
Krystal looked at the screen again before smiling. "Hellooooo..." she said before holding up her Tricorder. "I got something. Looks like a device is used, but... they never anticipated Federation Tricorder spoofing. Give me a few minutes and I'll be able to open any door here. Just need to analyze the mechanism and have the tricorder run some tests to lock down the signal. Would be faster with access to a ship's computer, but if we network our tricorders, we should be able to manage it faster on our own. Who says tactical officers only blow things up?"
After a few moments, Anna asked, "Got it yet?"
"Just... about..." Krystal trailed off before the door opened. "Now."
Elric raised his eye brows, impressed. He then trained his phaser rifle forward and stepped into the room where the other group was. The mission was to capture the aliens and transport everyone away.
Waiting Room, Phased
Krystal put her tricorder away, drew her phaser and followed Elric. The various people inside turned to the door, wondering why it opened. They obviously couldn't see the new arrivals.
"Well... how's that? We are out of phase with them, but we can interact with their tech," Krystal said, holstering her phaser.
Waiting Room, Normal
"Hmm... well... that's... unexpected." Volaas muttered. "There are others here. Not from your ships. Their curiosity, combined with yours... It's enough to restore a bit of my power. The fact that they are here... I can only conclude that this must be the work of my people. But these new arrivals... They're trapped in an illusion."
"Illusion? I thought you said this Irora dealt with pain? How can he make illusions?" O'Donnell frowned.
"He can't. There are only three of us who can: Kemarahan, Dara, and Akaku - rage, fear, and ecstasy. Whoever it is, is going to use that illusion to feed on them, right?"
"It's possible, of course," Volaas acknowledged. "But those three have more efficient ways of luring their prey. No. I think it's more likely that the illusion serves a different kind of..." He trailed off, eyes widening. "The illusion just now... It grew exponentially. We're in it," the Xzarefiin breathed. "For the illusion to be this powerful... this perfect... I could barely detect it, and I..." He trailed off for a few moments, his hands balling into fists. "That's why! It all makes sense now! For the illusion to be this complex, it requires an immense amount of power. More than any of those three have, even more than Irora has. They must have combined their power to make this illusion, to conceal their presence from Irora. And your people, as far as I can tell, are extremely close to where they are."
"So what are we waiting for?" Hizrah barked, "Let's ditch this place and head over there!"
"Uh, Hizrah," Lissan quipped dryly. "There's no exit to this room, remember?"
Just as she had finished speaking, the room began to quake, knocking everyone who was standing off of their feet. How long the shaking went on, Lyras didn't know, but gradually, it subsided, then stopped completely.
"Is everyone okay?" she asked, brushing herself off. Looking around, she was startled to find a giant fissure had formed in the wall opposite them.
"You think— you think we should go through it? See where it leads?" Edwards asked, picking himself up off the ground.
"Well, it's better than staying here." Joseph Williams grinned. "Who knows, maybe its a sign?"
Elric lowered his rifle, having trained it just in case. When the normal-phased group began to leave, Elric held his hand up. "Wait. We can certainly interact with some of the station environment despite being phased. Maybe parts of the station vary in phase. What if we somehow could lead this group to the temporal fracture we came here on? It could send them back to Earth Spacedock?"
"We'd need some way to let them know we're friendly and what our intentions are," Krystal replied.
"Do any of you recognize these aliens?" Elric asked, looking at them. "And why does everyone seemed concerned, like they just realized something?"
"Hmm?" Sarah asked, evidently distracted. "Oh, right, these guys. Maybe."
"You know, it just occurred to me, if one of us took our armband off, we could sync with their phase and reappear to them. Then let them know where to go for the temporal fissure, or contact a ship for beam out. The only reason we're phased-differently is for the tactical advantage for whatever is the threat in this place."
"Bad idea," Anna replied. "Reappear even for a second, and they'll know we're here. Then they'd be looking for us."
Elric nodded. "Good point." He then took out his tricorder and scanned the room. "Getting very strange readings here. The data is inconclusive, but it's definitely not normal."
"How so?" Sarah asked, now concerned.
The man shrugged. "It's almost like the matter is able to be reconfigured, if you can call it matter. This place is creeping me out."
"You think it could be an illusion?" Anna asked, curious.
Agent 47 turned to Anna. "If it is, then anything we do would affect the real world... rather than what we're seeing now, which means that... I got it." Taking a leap of faith, Agent 47 shoved Anna towards the wall. Elric looked up from his tricorder and watched in surprise as Anna went for the wall.
They had been walking for some time in the narrow passageway when Volaas stopped abruptly. "We haven't the time for your games!" The Xzarefiin roared. "Let us by! NOW!"
"Ooo, did I get under your skin, Volaas?" A mocking voice intoned, seeming to come from everywhere and nowhere at once.
"Kemarahan," Volaas growled menacingly.
"All right, all right, fine." The voice seemed to converge on a spot in front of them. A youthful looking male with bulging muscles and tanned skin appeared in front of them, his orange eyes eerily reminiscent of fire.
Suddenly they found themselves in a room milling with people. All told, there must have been around 40 to 50, but Lyras found it difficult to keep track of them all long enough to count them.
"Volaas! My man!" A female with pigtails that matched her caramel-colored eyes worked her way towards them, a strange, half-dazed expression on her face. Lyras could feel Volaas stiffen slightly. "Akaku..." he nodded formally.
"Dara's over there in that corner, by the way." Kemarahan grinned like a Cheshire cat. "That little wimp. She really pisses me off."
"Everything makes you mad, Kemarahan." Akaku rolled her eyes. "But listen, man. The three of us have been working to keep up the illusion, but it's only a matter of time before something goes wrong. 'Specially 'cause we left the way here open so your friends could join us. They were in a different phase, but Kemarahan fixed that by shorting out their armbands. They should be here soon, if they have any sense that is."
"Sahasa— that's courage for all you uninitiated folks— and some of the others are working on a plan to throttle Mister Meanie Face a new one, so you all should go see him next. He's over in that corner." She pointed to a thicket of people in a nearby corner.
"Mister... Meanie Face?" Lyras muttered to Volaas, raising an eyebrow.
"It's her nickname for Irora." He sighed, "Don't ask."
Elric's armband began to static, diverting his attention. He looked at it, confused as sparks began popping off, prompting Elric to instinctively slap the device a few times. "What the hell, Zeta? I thought you fixed this thing?"
Zeta popped up from his other shoulder, offended. *Click!? Chirp!*
"Oh, yeah, I guess the temporal sync isn't being effected," Elric said, twisting himself to examine it. "But something else is being—" Suddenly, he was phased back into the facility's quantum variance.
Sarah and Agent 47 blinked, looking to Elric. "Huh?" asked Sarah, who then turned back to Anna, who was now gone.
Shivak deadpanned Agent 47.
Krystal just rested a hand on her phaser as she wondered what the hell was going on.
Anna slowly got up and looked around at... wherever she was.
Elric stepped through the wall and found another room, empty, but with an exit into another corridor. "Are you okay?" he asked Anna.
Anna sighed. "Surprised, but fine."
"Wait a minute. Why am I being nice to you? You tricked us on the Chronostorm, shot me and kicked Zeta."
Anna winked. "Cuz if you aren't, I'll be comin' for you later."
Elric squinted at her. "You're...... kind of messed up. Anyway, I'm going to try to get the others over here." The Captain turned and stepped through the wall again, to get Krystal. He soon returned with her, Sarah and her counterparts who looked around, wondering if these other walls were real either. Elric scanned. "Hmm. I'm not getting the off-the-scale readings I was in here. They may be real. Maybe we should follow the corridors and see where they lead."
Sarah shrugged and lead the way.
As Elric followed, he asked, "So, before I came here, Scott said this place was a temporal fracture and that the fate of the universe was at stake. Any idea what that might mean?"
"Time is hopelessly broken and the universes all converge on this point," Anna replied. "If the fracture grows, time will be ruined and all our universes combined into one. So, unless you want to return home to an entire sky full of Earth Spacedocks..."
Agent 47 shrugged. "Could use the reinforcements, I'll admit."
"Except there are theoretically infinite universes, where every possible arrangement of space-time has occured..." Sarah replied. "Everything would exist everywhere. Existence would end as we know it."
"Could we find a way to stabilize the fracture?" Shivak asked to the group.
"I seem to recall what looked like several chronometric generators on the station layout when I was investigating what I could of its systems. I wonder if they would be playing some role and if they could be manipulated."
"Would they have enough range to effect the entire fracture?" Sarah asked. "In space or time, for that matter."
"I haven't examined the fracture's size closely, but from what I've seen, individually, probably not, but together I think so."
"Good," Sarah replied. "Are you sure they're not part of the illusion? Where are they?"
Elric thought for a moment. "There are four access points two decks below us." He looked as Zeta crawled up along the wall and began etching a Deck layout into it using one of his eight spider legs. Square symbols indicated the access points. "There they are. As for getting through the doors, I have no idea what to expect."
The Captain stared at the crude design for a moment. "And in respect to the illusion aspect, I'm not sure, but we can configure our tricroders to scan for it."
"Can you be sure these generators even exist?" asked Agent 47.
"Only way to find out is to scan them when we reach them," suggested Elric. "We could separate to save time. Another question is, what do we do if they are real and if we reach them? Anyone here know anything about manipulating them, or do we just destroy them?"
"Actually, I thought the beings controlled time themselves," Sarah replied. "At least, that's what I was told. Also, no, I know nothing about temporal manipulation and I doubt myself or I know anything about it either."
Krystal thought for a moment. "What about a modulated charged particle burst from the tricorders or something?" she suggested. "Basically find some way to visually identify illusions. If we had some kind of headset like the old TEDs Voyager developed for their Hazard Team, we could just cycle through scan modes. Without that, we'd have to glue our eyes to the tricorders themselves, which could make us less aware of our surroundings."
"Sounds good," Sarah replied.
"If heading back is what you're thinking, that's fine," Elric said. "As for me, someone from the future put us here because they knew about the fracture, so there must be some reason why I'm here. I can't leave until I figure out why."
Elric began making the changes to his tricorder suggested by Krystal and then started walking down the corridors. Sarah, Anna, Agent 47, and Shivak all did the same. Sarah motioned for Shivak to follow Elric, for Anna and Agent 47 to go out as a pair, and then followed Krystal herself. "Better to stay in pairs in case something really bad happens, you know?" she stated. Anna just wandered off, followed by Agent 47.
Elric walked on with Shivak. "So, where you from?"
"Captain?" asked Shivak, slightly confused as to why Elric would be asking.
Elric shrugged. "Just making conversation." They turned a corner and approached an opening in the floor and ceiling with a ladder leading up and down to the other decks. He started climbing down.
"Typical," Shivak replied, following. "My mother is Vulcan, although my father is Cardassian. I lived most of my childhood on Vulcan living the Vulcan way, but my father had additionally insisted that I be additionally trained in various Cardassian military strategies and the like. Ever since I finished, I have been serving with Starfleet."
"Cardassian military strategies, huh? I've always wondered what those were like, but with such a dark past, I've never even tried to read about them," he said as they reached their destination deck and jumped off the alien ladder. "As for me, I was born on Benecia Colony and moved to Earth when I was 15. All I have is Starfleet training, but I specialized in close combat with Master Chivaul at the Academ—"
He stopped speaking as soon as he saw large man standing over another, unconscious man in the distance, down the alien corridor. The man then turned when he realized he wasn't alone. One of the man's eyes was an artificial circle with a red light.
"Who are you?" Elric said, scanning him with his tricorder. The display showed no signs of an illusion. "What are you?"
The man smirked. "It's Grevkas, obviously," he replied as if he should have already known. "And what year are you from, Elric?"
"What?" Elric replied, shocked.
Grevkas dismissed him. "It doesn't matter. I'll end you all the same." He then ran for Elric, his foots steps weighing heavier than any Elric had ever heard. Elric then blocked an arching forearm and fist with his own robotic arm and kicked into Grevkas, barely budging him.
"Hahaha! You're even weaker than your other incarnations! I'm finally going to fracture your existence," he said as he launched a kick for Elric.
Elric dodged it and punched Grevkas extra hard with his left arm, sending the tall man several meters backward; though his feet remained on the floor, dragging until he stopped. "Care to explain how you know me?" Elric said, pulling out his rifle and aiming it him.
"You think that's going to stop me?"
The Captain fired a beam, but it had no effect on Grevkas. The beast of a man then ran for Elric again, firing jab after jab. Elric used his rifle like a fighting staff and blocked each incoming fist after fist.
Author's notes: This was written in February 2017, as part of the Star Trek Online forums Unofficial Literary Challenge Annual #2.
Unofficial Literary Challenge Annual #2: During a quick detour from your duties to watch a rare spacial anomaly of a brand new nebula, your ship is caught within the anomaly! Systems shut down for a few minutes and a strange pink aura fills the ship. Though it seems no permanent damage has been done to the ship and all your crew members seem to be alright, you cannot help but notice everyone is acting rather strangely. Klingon crew members are singing happy songs, Andorians touching feelers, Ferengi giving one another Oo-mox. For some strange reason, everyone aboard the ship is giving into amorous feelings. Write a log about how you plan to cure this plague of love before it threatens to render your crew useless or worse: before you fall prey to your feelings as well....if you haven't already.
Unofficial Literary Challenge Annual #2
L'amour est Parmi les Étoiles
Captain Oroku Seifer sat in command of the Pathfinder-class with Discovery-class pylons U.S.S. Ragnarok as it approached a giant, anomalous nebula in space.
"Ah, interstellar matter, the wrath of Kahn of the universe in gaseous, fragmented, non-racially confused form," Seifer said in pleasing and comforting way.
Aramaki turned in his chair to observe the view screen. "Except we never planned to check this thing out; just ran into it. And it's not a harmless anomaly, but a Zanthi-class nebula. The kind that infects people and Betazoids and transmits feelings of love and affection to everyone on the crew or space station— whichever the plot device conveniently provides."
"Ugh, Lieutenant, that is such a set-uppy thing to say," criticized the Captain. "You're on break early, but stay out of the coffee room. Someone's been stealing the filters and I have a hidden camera set up that I don't want you to accidentally block because you don't know where it is."
Suddenly, the Zanthi nebula moved toward the Ragnarok, enveloping it completely and infecting the entire senior staff and crew.
"Aaauhhh! It's on me. It's all over me!" Moggs reacted in panic as he tried to brush the pink dust off his Caitian fur. "Everything sticks. You don't know what it's like to be a giant cat. None of you get me!"
Edward watched him from her helm position. "Awww. He's so cute when he's angry. I just want to squish him."
"Oh, no. Seifer to Engineering, what's the status of the engines??" the Captain said, suddenly sitting up in his chair in fear.
Winry's reply came over the air. "Just what you expected, sir. The warp core attracted the nebula to the ship and now it's neutralized our engines completely beyond operational recognition."
"How do you know what's going on from down there? There aren't any windows? Also, I removed several key ceiling pot lights that I thought could save us power in the long run."
The Chief Engineer replied, "We have a Traveler down here who is constantly expanding his mind to the Bridge and describing everything that's going on. He knows that all you sickos taste-tested heart of targ yesterday. You know who you are."
"What's going on?" asked Captain Aeris as she entered the Bridge. "I was just checking out the forbidden back-room lavatory when I was suddenly assaulted by an unusual mixed aura of Deanna Troi brand lust and self-arousal."
Seifer slouched, defeated. "Gah. We ran into a Zanthi nebula and now everyone on the crew is going to suffer the Love at First Sight trope like nobody's business."
"You know, you could have waited to do this when we weren't going to go to the Starfleet Headquarters Captain's Bowl of Worms Dinner together. That's the last time I abandon my ship for a shortcut with you," she disputed.
But, while she was talking, Seifer couldn't help but draw a sudden, unwarranted affection and appreciation for her as she stood before him explaining her backstory and what she was doing there.
"Are you listening to me or Kirk-staring at me?" Aeris interrupted herself, impatiently. "You know he gained, like, 30 pounds by the end of his five-year mission."
It was then she and Seifer noticed the other Bridge officers drooling over each other in reaction to the Zanthi infection, with Edward trying to leap onto Moggs without hesitation. "Aauuggh!" Moggs yelped, struggling to get away. "She's found a way to purr as a Human, which should be physically impossible?!"
"Damn, it's already started," Seifer said, getting to his feet. "If I don't get us out of this convenience-machination, we'll all be descending into NX-01 Decon Chamber debauchery. What's more is the possibility of reaching Vulcan neuro-pressure levels."
He fought his unrelenting urge to confess his lust for Aeris, covered his vision, and entered the turbolift as fast as he could.
Entering Engineering, Seifer was quick to lock the doors behind him, securing the area from any extraneous intruders. Winry was busy staring at a PADD before she noticed him.
"Oh, don't mind me. I was just admiring how attractive Aramaki was in his profile picture," Winry said. "His image popped up when I Voyager's-Doctor-view-screened the Bridge, looking for you. Being confined to one spot on the ship has its quirks, video-calling-people-wise, at least."
Seifer furrowed his brow at her. "You're not a hologram; you're Human and you're free to go anywhere you want on the ship?"
"Yeah, but my dedication to the job force-marries me to one spot, which is the least I can say about my desire to force-marry Aramaki. But he'd better provide for me, because I have my out-dated, ostracized fetishes that don't fit in with today's updated world views."
The Captain gritted his teeth. "Too much info, Winry. And it's that damn nebula that's causing us all to fall into licentious sexism disguised as delightful quirks that are borderline-safe for the whole family. We have to get the engines online and us out here as soon as we can."
"Oh, Captain, if only you knew how I felt and how much my libido is controlling me like Data being possessed so many times on the Enterprise," she said, taking his hands into hers.
Seifer's eyes widened. "You have feelings for your old Captain, too, huh? It's nothing to be ashamed of, considering Tasha Yar once came on to Picard when Q put her in that non-visible, non-existent penalty box farce."
"What? I don't mean you. I'm talking about Lieutenant Aramaki! I just have a thing for Asian-descent men."
The other man threw up his hands, channeling annoyance and sarcasm. "Well, thanks for the rest of us! Never mind. We have to find a way to forget our love obsessions and focus on the weird, convenient-sciencey problem at hand."
"But is love even real to begin with, or are we falling for a chemical reaction that merely compels our animal-kind to breed?"
Seifer deadpanned her. "Of course it's real. It's magical and mystical and unexplained in all facets of spiritual mindfulness."
"That's not scientific at all, Captain. In fact, I think you're just mashing words together to make it sound more brazen than it really is."
Pointing accusingly, Seifer replied, "Only non-enchanted, non-miraculous, magic-lacking Odo-talkers speak like that! Where is your sense of wonder and that rose-colored VISOR I got you for your birthday?"
"I keep telling you that's not a Chief Engineer thing and that Geordi was blind! Just because there was never an explanation or plot point about his changing to eye implants out of nowhere doesn't mean he was doing it for fashion."
Seifer reassured her, "Still, though, everyone's doing the tech-on-face thing now. Seven of Nine gets it. Gaius Selan totally gets it."
Later, the two found themselves in the Holodeck within Vic's lounge in 1961 Las Vegas, with holographic representations of Aramaki and Aeris.
"Now, when Vic was trying to shake Odo's frigidness, he used a Kira-lookalike hologram to melt his cold, non-physically-existent heart with an amorous rendition of Little Willie John's Fever," Seifer explained as he sat next to Winry at the piano. "If a duet by these two heart-throbs doesn't scream 'spellbinding' then you've got nothing in you and you're the Devil!"
Suddenly, the holographic representations of both officers began singing, with Aeris first: "Never know how much I love you; Never know how much I care."
"When you put your arms around me; I catch a fever that's so hard to bear!" Aramaki continued, lying across the top of the piano as sultry as a man could trying to imitate Lola Chrystal.
Winry halted the music and stood up. "Not that this isn't convincing enough to make me want to jump this brilliant man's bones, but all that you're demonstrating here is lust, which only serves to reinforce my point about people just being breeding machines."
Seifer, suddenly unable to pull his frozen gaze from the holographic Aeris, murmured, off-track, "The who in the what now?"
Later, Seifer trapped Winry with the real Aramaki and Aeris in the Delta-class shuttle Mako.
"When Tom Paris and B'Elenna Torres were racing the Trans-Stellar Rally, Tom stopped the Delta Flyer II to confront her skewed feelings, confess his love and eventually ask B'Elenna to marry him," Seifer explained. "If you refuse similar compulsions, you're a pariah!"
Winry was cramped up against the other three as the shuttle was full of excess cargo: Packaged worms for the Starfleet dinner, later.
"What's going on again?" Aeris asked, confused, also cramped and struggling. "And why do you keep your original pylon parts in your cargo bay, forcing your normal cargo into shuttles??"
Aramaki attempted to nudge a cargo container jutting into his back. "Oh, targ manure," he said in shock. "I just opened one of the compartments!"
"Ugh! Worms??" panicked Winry as a large chunk of wiggly creatures poured onto her shoulders.
Seifer backed away but hit another container, opening it, and pouring even more worms out onto his own shoulders. "This was a bad idea! I see that now."
Later, Seifer, Winry, Aeris and Aramaki found themselves in the Arboretum, where it was brimming with plant life; so much so that its growth continued out into the rest of the corridors, turning the entire deck into a jungle.
"When Worf and Jadzia had to rendezvous with a spy on Soukara, Jadzia became injured in the jungle and Worf was forced to choose between his duty or his beloved," Seifer explained just before he took out a phaser and fired a beam into both Aeris and Aramaki's legs. "If you choose duty, you're a ne'er-do-well!"
The victims both then screamed in pain. ""AUGHH!!""
"And now, our mission: I order us to reach Section 28 and leave our love interests behind, for duty, except if, perchance, our hearts take over and force us to go back to save their lives," the Captain continued just before he and Winry ran off into the jungle that was Deck 14.
As the pair were running and panting in a breathless panic through the foliage, Winry stopped them both just a few meters before their appointed goal. "Hold on a second. This is crazy? We should go back for them because this is just a fake order and the Dominion War is not at stake!"
"Or, are you so lost in fear for Aramaki's life that you would abandon any order to save him for his well-being and the power of love?" Seifer criticized.
Winry deadpanned him. "You know he's the only one on this ship who can fire the torpedoes, right?"
"My precious Attack Pattern Delta!" Seifer panicked, abandoning all arguments of any kind. He then ran back for the injured parties, followed by Winry.
By the time they reached them, Aeris was already wrapping a bandage around her leg wound. Winry glared at Seifer, critisizingly. "You left her a first aid kit, cheating your own test??"
"Yeah," Seifer shrugged, guiltily. "I couldn't allow her to suffer or lose her life. That in itself proves my point from the very beginning."
Aeris glanced at him and smirked, finally catching on. "So, you do have a thing for me, huh? I thought as much."
"Fine. I'd like to specify that my claim of a chemical-reaction extends to delusions of love and that, thanks to my observations of your actions and my internal reactions, perhaps it's all the same in the end," Winry finalized. "It all does or doesn't matter."
The Captain nodded. "I can live with that middle-ground."
"Auugggghh! Is anyone going to help me??" Aramaki complained, seething in physical discomfort. "I'm literally bleeding out all over these asclepias curassavicas."
Aeris turned to the group. "Speaking of 'out', what about leaving this Zanthi nebula? Weren't you guys working on that problem before you shot us in a very sociopath-driven way?"
"Oh, that? A frequency modification of -04.7 to our warp core reaction should cause a rejection of the matter surrounding the ship," explained Winry. "Like Geordi, I was so distracted by this love obsession, I lagged in the actual situation at hand."
Seifer's eyes widened in shock. "In effect, we poison the milk! No one's ever thought of that!"
"So, Captain, they say these forced-attraction love spells stem from latent pre-existing feelings," Aeris began. "Are you sure that's how you want to start things, by proving that you're so layered and deep that I should, by default, be interested in you?"
Seifer recoiled. "Ugh. That's inherently predictable and over-done. How about I drop a stack of PADDs and when we both reach for them our hands accidentally touch?"
"That's just as over-done, but not as layered and, thus, less looming," she said as they both began walking out of the Arboretum. "Count me in."
A plague that affected each series in the franchise...
Author's notes: These are compiled posts by another player and myself for the New Romulus RP on the Star Trek Online forums. It follows the structural governmental bodies surrounding the Romulans from the game. I started with my own STO character named Tressa. Written in Jan/Feb 2017.
New Romulus, Pages 1-2
New Romulus, Command
A Reman captain, Nat'tak, stood in New Romulus Command, on the balcony, looking out the window at the lake outside. Not that anyone could see his eyes, as he was wearing Reman goggles, probably to darken everything so it wasn't too bright for him. He briefly tugged at his scarf, wondering what chaos might occur today.
A Romulan, hiding in the shadows in some high-ranking looking Tal Shair-esque uniform, watched him closely, almost suspiciously, for one reason or another. He pulled out an unusually Klingon communications device, holding it closely. "I've found him," he whispered into the device, putting it away.
Commander Tressa, a Romulan officer in the Republic, stepped out onto the balcony, busy on her PADD trying to work out getting her crew roster in order. Frustrated she put the device to her side and looked out into the view, while taking in her surroundings. She didn't notice until then, she was standing next to Nat'tak.
"Uh," she said. "Sorry to interrupt, but I think you're being watched?"
"I'm what?" Nat'tak replied, looking around. The Romulan that was watching was gone, nowhere to be found. "By who, or what?"
"Oh, there was a man in the shadows there just a few seconds ago, staring at you intently for some reason. He must've saw that I took notice of him. None of my business, though."
Nat'tak sighed. "He might be from the Tal Shiar. I'll have to go outside and try to lure him out. Care to come with me?"
Tressa nodded. "Tal Shiar, huh? I've a personal dislike for them for what they did to us. Not to mention my own mother was once one of them."
"Or what they did to my parents," Nat'tak replied, turning to the door that would eventually lead outside. "And my home."
"Ugh. They are the worst," she clenched her fist. "Well, if I don't mantra my hate for them at least once a day, I fall into complacency, so thanks for that. Now, let's find this bruchon." And then, "That means 'traitor'," she said while following Nat'tek outside.
Nat'tak headed for the Epohh fields, actually kinda hoping the mysterious fellow was following so he could lure him out.
Tressa walked with. If a Tal Shiar agent could be lured out, she may actually find some peace of mind for at least a week; and, even if it was short, that would be a worthy goal. She took out her PADD and linked it with the Romulan tricorder attached to her belt, and then used it to inconspicuously scan the surrounding lifeforms.
"So, are you with the Republic?" she asked Nat'tak.
"Moreso with the Reman resistance, actually, but if Obisek believes working with you is worthwhile," Nat'tak replied, shrugging, "I don't see why not." He looked around at the Epohhs around them, turning to Tressa. "Do you want an Epohh friend?"
"Nah. I've already got five," she replied just before her communicator chirped.
It was her Chief engineer. "Centurion Reivf to Commander Tressa. I'm sad to report that we've received no applicants for our crew thus far. It's just me. I'm your crew."
"Dammit, Reivf! Did you post the ad with the music?"
The other woman replied, "Yes, ma'am. I even published it on Republic social networks."
"Well that's awkward. Keep trying. As soon as our new ship is ready, I want to fill it with appropriate crew. It's just too bad the last one quit on me."
Then, "Well, maybe if you weren't so reckless in your ship combat—"
"Hey, do you want to be relieved of duty when we start new? Cause I'll do it," Tressa threatened.
Reivf answered, "Depends on if the new ship has a bar. Anyway, I'll try some of the rebels I fought the Tal Shiar with. Reivf out."
"Curious," Nat'tak said, looking around. "I could swear I just saw him sneaking around, but now he's gone again."
A large Gorn walked up to them, looking down at Nat'tak. "Problem, Commander?"
Nat'tak looked up at him, raising an eyebrow. "Hunting for a Tal Shiar agent. Who are you?"
"Captain Nat'as," the Gorn replied. "You?"
"Huh?" Nat'tak replied. "My name is Nat'tak. Funny, huh?"
"Appears that the universe enjoys naming conventions," Tressa observed, amused.
"Well, I will join you," Nat'as replied, not amused.
Nat'tak and Nat'as continued down a path that would eventually take them to the Atlai river. A Ferasan leapt down out of nowhere, making angry cat noises and pouncing on Tressa, as the Gorn proceeded to grab Nat'tak.
On her back, Tressa palm-striked the Ferasan across the snout and kneed him in his stomach. She then rolled the other man, switching positions until she was on top. She then began firing jab after jab into his face until the bewildered feline kicked the Romulan woman off her. Tressa flew back and to the ground. She then took out her plasma stun pistol and fired it at the Ferasan as he was getting up.
"Nat'tak? How are you doing?" she asked. Tressa then almost immediately found a Romulan disruptor pistol aimed at her head from behind.
"Don't move," a voice said. Nat'tak turned, shocked. It was the apparent Tal Shiar agent from before.
The Gorn, Nat'as, walked over and woke up the Ferasan, then walked over to Tressa, pulling out his own Klingon disruptor and aiming it at the Romulan as well, prompting the apparent Tal Shiar agent to turn his attention to Nat'tak, who was being restrained by the Ferasan.
"Commander Nat'tak, you are under arrest for conspiring with the enemy during a time of war and engaging in numerous sabotage operations against the Romulan people. Resist and both you and your friend will die." The agent pulled out his Klingon-style communicator, pressing a button on it. "I.R.W. Natius, 5 to beam up."
The agent, Nat'as, the Ferasan, Nat'tak, and Tressa all dematerialized into a Romulan transporter beam.
I.R.W. Natius, Transporter room
Nat'tak and Tressa were immediately put in cuffs by various officers in Romulan Republic uniforms, with some obvious red markings to denote their department, evidently security.
Eventually, they were taken down to some kind of lab, placed on tables and restrained. Nat'tak tried to resist, failing horribly.
"I can't believe you're still operating," Nat'tak said, still trying to free himself. "What are you going to do with us? Feed us to the Elachi? Condition us into joining the Tal Shiar?"
"Nothing like that," the mysterious Romulan agent replied, motioning over another Romulan in a Republic medical uniform. "Don't worry, you won't feel a thing."
Everything went black for Nat'tak, as well as Tressa. Briefly, Nat'tak awoke, seeing the Romulan doctor working over him. Then everything went black again. Then a chamber of some kind. Then darkness. Then looking to the side, noticing Tressa, evidently sedated. Then blackness again.
Nat'tak and Tressa both awoke, restrained to probable interrogation chairs in a brig cell. The mystery Romulan stood there nearby, holding up a microchip of some kind with a pair of tweezers. "You see this? They had you bugged all along. You didn't even know you were a traitor, did you?" he asked Nat'tak, who didn't seem very impressed.
Tressa struggled, but got nowhere. "Nat'tak? Is it true about you conspiring with the enemy?" She then glared at the Tal Shiar agent. "Or are we being set up?"
"No, I would not betray my people," Nat'tak replied, turning to the agent. "What is this?"
The agent set the microchip on a table, setting the tweezers down beside it. "That's what I thought," he said, turning back to them. "Oh, you probably have no clue who I am. Call me... General Nat'al."
Nat'tak deadpanned. "You're the second Nat I've heard of since this morning. That can't be true."
"I noticed," he replied, coldly. "Don't try to distract the conversation. You evidently don't know it, but you've been working with the Tal Shiar for the last while."
Nat'tak's eyes widened. "Impossible. Besides, who are you working for then?"
"Romulan kind," he replied. "Not for the Republic, and definitely not the Tal Shiar. At least since they started experimenting on our own people."
"So what do you want with me then?" Nat'tak asked. "I never knew anything about this until now. Since the device has been removed, am I free to go?"
"No." Nat'al replied. "I can't risk the device being placed as a decoy of your being an actual agent. Besides, I could use your assistance in tracking down the Tal Shiar and whoever they may be working for now. After all, they must have a new leader."
"How do we know we can trust you? For all we know, you are the Tal Shiar," Tressa queried. "For that matter, how does anyone trust anyone in our culture? I'm surprised anything gets done."
Nat'al slowly walked over to Tressa. "You really can't. For all you know, you're already being mentally conditioned to serve me. Either way, I win, so you might as well do as you're told so I don't have to go to plan B."
"They don't," Nat'tak replied to Tressa. "They get scared into doing what they're told. Usually, anyway."
"Either way, we're heading for Romulan Star Empire space, where the signals from your bug originated." Nat'al walked around a bit, pressing a button on some console that spawned a holographic display of said space. "Located deep in their defenses, naturally. Also near Borg space, for probably obvious reasons."
The hologram zoomed in to a certain system with two stars and three planets, the inner and outer ones gas giants, the middle one a smaller Class D planet, which was lit in particular, as Nat'al motioned to it. "We believe they have a secret base here where they are operating from. Our long range scans have already detected a Mandukar-class Tal Shiar Destroyer in orbit, as well as signs of a few T'Varo-class warbirds operating in groups patrolling the area."
"So what do you expect us to do?" Nat'tak replied. "Sit around in your brig while you break in and destroy their base?"
"No, of course not," Nat'al replied. "You'll be helping us to destroy the ship, as well as the base and capture whoever is in charge so we can find out everything they know and finish off the Tal Shiar once and for all."
"Let's get one thing straight," Tressa started. "I don't care about you or your threats and your baseless claims and faceless representation lends you no credibility. But we obviously want the same thing, so I'll make it easy for you since it's clear you're having some difficulty: I'll help you fight the Tal Shiar. Not because you think you can force me to, but because they're an oppressive regime who operate by fear and thinks they can speak for all of us. Not only do they need to be set straight, but they have to be dismantled."
Nat'al slowly eyed down Tressa. "That's exactly what I expected," he replied. "Good. I presume I can trust you to not try to escape if I give you some freedom around the ship so you don't go insane?"
Nat'tak just stared at Nat'al, who shrugged. "Well, it's not like you could get anywhere, the ship is far from your space and every possible means of escape or communications are locked down like you wouldn't believe."
"Have you spoken to your Doctor about these obsessions with control over others? Either way, it's something to look into," suggested Tressa. "Anyway, escaping would certainly be counter-productive, but at least let me have some of my crew? They can be trusted. They've helped me fight the Tal Shiar before."
Nat'tak slowly turned to Tressa, slightly confused. Nat'al just narrowed his eyes at Tressa. "You, I, and Nat'tak all know that you only have a crew of one. Do you seriously expect me to go back for one person?"
"What about mine?" Nat'tak interrupted. "At least let me bring one officer."
Nat'al sighed. "What's their name?"
"Tovan Khev. He's one of my more--" Nat'tak stated, being interrupted by Nat'al.
"NO!" Nat'al practically shouted. "That thing isn't coming anywhere near my ship! Do you realize how hard it was to get him off my ship once? The damn guy is indestructible, and he's causing all sorts of havoc with our intelligence records... did you know that he's serving on over a million different ships right now!?"
Nat'tak's eyes widened. "Forget it."
"I trust Reivf more than anyone else. She will be looking for me," Tressa said.
"She won't find us," Nat'al replied. "We're cloaked and our cloak is one of the most advanced cloaking devices known."
He sighed and pulled up a communicator, this one being of Romulan design. "Helm, set course for New Romulus. We're picking someone else up." He turned to Tressa. "What's the name and class of your ship?"
"Huh. I actually didn't think you'd accommodate," Tressa blinked, surprised. "About the ship. We're currently in the market for one. She'll likely be on surface."
"Doesn't matter," Nat'al sighed, pressing some buttons on his console. It displayed all sorts of data, records, all kinds of stuff... he pressed another button, and Reivf materialized right there in the brig, beside Tressa.
"Helm, set course for that base again," Nat'al ordered, putting away the communicator.
"Trust is earned, General," Tressa said. "This is a good first step. Now how about releasing me from this thing?"
Nat'al motioned, and a couple of officers in Tal Shiar Uhlan uniforms released their restraints and stood guard around them.
"Now, let's get back to work..." Nat'al said. "Oh, and don't mind those guys earlier in those Republic uniforms, they were just to... make you more comfortable, I suppose. Either way, don't shoot anyone with a Tal Shiar uniform automatically, as we still use them."
Nat'tak just sighed and got up slowly, taking a few steps forward. "So what's your plan? What sort of resources do we have?"
Nat'al stayed silent, motioning for them to follow him as he walked outside. Nat'tak stood there for a moment, and one of the guards gently nudged him from behind with their disruptor whilst telling him to move, prompting him to start walking after Nat'al.
Tressa followed, prompting Reivf to follow suit. "Uh, what?" Reivf said, eternally confused.
"We've been 'persuaded' into a secret mission comprising of tracking and finding who the Tal Shiar are working for now," Tressa explained. "I asked for you."
Reivf was taken aback. "Commander! You know how busy I am prepping our new ship and new crew!"
"Oh, you work too hard, Reivf. Besides, we've been stagnant on such aspirations for what seems like ever now," Tressa said.
Her Chief Engineer and First in Command was quick to set her straight. "Nope. I found one; a ship."
"You did!?" Tressa burst into a momentary excitement before fixing back into her Romulan demeanour. "I mean. You did, huh? What's the class? Where'd you get it?"
Reivf continued, "From the Republic and the class I shall save as a surprise."
"You can't do that," argued the Commander. "I have to work out in my head what to expect on my ship going forward."
The other woman smirked. "Now who's working too hard? Trust me. When we get back, you'll have another burst of Romulan emotion. As for crew, I was able to secure several people, and we're now integrated with the Romulan Republic crew transfer programs. Basically, I did all the work and I should be Commander."
"A good commanding officer delegates," countered Tressa.
Always love those taps against the 4th wall... Equally the question about how anyone gets anything done and the answer that they don't.
Good start to an adventure - Thanks!! rbs
Thanks! Yeah, not sure how Romulans co-exist with so much distrust. lol
Author's notes: These are compiled posts by multiple players for the Earth Spacedock RP on the Star Trek Online forums. My character was Elric (w Zeta). This continues from the last ESD entry. Written in February 2017.
Earth Spacedock, Pages 99-101
Shivak stepped backward from the ongoing fight, looking through his equipment for something that might prove useful. Evidently, nothing would've been useful at the time, so he carefully walked back around Grevkas, out of his sight, and then quickly walked up from behind him and went in for a Vulcan nerve pinch.
A spark of static burst from his neck where Shivak pinched, disabling his left arm. "What the hell?" He then used his right arm power-punch into Shivak, sending the half Vulcan/Cardassian back and away.
Elric used the distraction to knock his rifle back end into Grevkas' head, its front into his chest and punched his metal fist into Grevkas' stomach. He then noticed the man's physical condition was already burned and partially tattered. It appeared he may have already been weakened in a battle.
"Zeta, shock mode," Elric said.
The over-sized android spider leapt off his shoulder and landed upon an attacking Grevkas. An energized shock was charged on contact, tensing the large man in pain. "AAugghh!" He then threw the spider off him and fired kick after punch after kick toward Elric until the rifle was shattered.
"You're wasting your time, Elric," Grevkas said, with a strange fluctuation in his voice. "I'm far more superior than you in every way."
Suddenly, a heavy beam tore through his waist, fired by the other weakened man on the ground, holding a disruptor of some sort. Grevkas sparked, showing circuits and parts inside him before falling to his knees and toppling over onto his face. Elric nodded to Shivak before approaching the other man.
"It's... me?" Elric said as he knelt down to what appeared to be a future version of himself. "What is this?"
The other Elric groaned in pain. "An android from the 30th century. He's got a temporal memory transmitter that sends his mind off upon physical death, so it won't be the last you've seen of him. Anyway, it's my fault he came here. I wasn't careful, and I'm sure I would've been killed if you hadn't showed up."
"You're here to fix the fracture," surmised present day Elric as Zeta re-climbed back onto his arm. "What year are you from? It can't be that far in the future, because you look as young as me?"
The other Elric pulled himself to a sitting position and then gestured his head. "There's no time for talk. I have an exit portal for myself, back to my time, just around the corner, but we have to realign the chronometric generator just behind this door before I can leave."
"It's locked," Elric said, getting up and checking the alien console next to it. "Shivak?"
Shivak got up and walked over. "Let me take a look at it."
Grevkas booted his backup systems and got to his feet, calling upon both Elric's attentions. The future Elric pulled out his pistol and fired a beam at the android. The beam was easily ducked and Grevkas' transformed his right hand into a tetryon pulse cannon.
"Damn! He's a persistent big fellow," future Elric observed before handing present day Elric a PADD. "Here, use these equations to stabilize the chronometric generators. The aliens control time with their minds and we were able to temper existing information from them using telepaths. Hopefully this works. Anyway, thanks for saving you."
What was left of Grevkas and future Elric traded fire until a tetryon blast blew a hole in the door.
"Go!" Future Elric ordered before he led Grevkas away, around the corner of the corridor, toward the open temporal portal. Grevkas fired, missing future Elric and hitting the portal, destabilizing it. He then ran and tackled future Elric until they both disappeared through the temporal rift. Seconds later, it disintegrated.
Meanwhile, present day Elric stepped through the opening and began accessing the generators. The equations modified the chronometric output prompting the Captain to tap his commbadge. "Elric to the team," he said whilst working the futuristic PADD. "I'm sending you the equations to use on the generators if you get to them. I'll reach the fourth one."
Elric exited through the blown door. "Let's go."
Shivak followed, keeping an eye out.
When Elric reached the fourth generator, he found the door was already open. Checking the PADD with the data on the console, it looked like the changes were already made. "Future Elric probably already did this one. Let's try to find the others," he said to Shivak.
As he continued throughout the deck, it seemed to ramp on an incline, almost as if he was ascending the upper decks. When they reached an end, they appeared to have entered a big room full of Xzarefiin aliens and some Starfleet officers.
Anna and Agent 47 continued down a corridor, locating the second generator and making the appropriate changes.
Admiral Nat turned to notice Elric and Shivak entering the room, sighing.
Elric approached the Admiral. "Sir, is everything ok? What's going on?"
"A lot of stuff," the admiral replied quietly. "They feed off emotions, apparently, and they vary between each one of them. They also created the illusion and are evidently the ones who made the temporal fracture."
"Well, that's interesting," Elric said, absorbing the information. "Someone from the future gave me access to this place, I think to save a future version of me from peril. Krystal, Sarah and several others are here too, and we're in the process of adjusting this station's chronometric generators to stop this fracture from destroying the universe. Whether it will work or not, I suppose we'll see."
The admiral raised an eyebrow. "Who else?"
"An alternate universe Sarah, going by Agent 47, Mirror Sarah, who's going by Anna, and Mirror Nat is somewhere, but I haven't seen him," he replied.
Nat just sighed. "Of course that mirror me is running around. Why wouldn't he be?"
"Do you have an exit strategy, sir? Will we be arresting these people for abduction? There is the temporal portal I entered on that we can use to exit, but I also hear there may be ships in this fracture as well?"
"Oh dear..." Sahasa shook his head exasperatedly. "Kemarahan..."
"What? What'd he do?" Captain Williams asked.
"For some reason, he seems to have convinced some of them that the temporal fracture we're in is generated via technology. And that it's a threat of some kind."
"Well isn't it? A threat, I mean." O'Donnell questioned.
"Not at all. We created this temporal fracture, not with technology, but using our own natural abilities. We can undo it at any time, should we so choose."
"Kemarahan!" Volaas called irately, "Knock it off! Quit playing with the mortals!"
"But it's fun!" The man grinned cheekily. "Besides, you said I couldn't hurt them, and they make me want to punch something. Especially the Vulcan... so stoic and logical..."
"I am right here you know..." Lyras raised an eyebrow. "Volaas, you called us 'mortals' before. Does this mean you're immortal?"
"Not truly immortals, no. While we we can't die of things like old age or disease, we can kill one another."
"What about not getting enough... uh, sustenance," Edwards queried. "...Or whatever it is you get from other peoples' emotions."
"Lack of sustenance won't kill us in and of itself," Volaas replied, "but it will reduce us to mere wisps, shells of ourselves. It is... not a pleasant experience."
The Firestorm, Firestorm, and Firestorm all emerged from a temporal rift and hailed the Mephiles, seemingly not detecting the other vessel alongside.
On the bridge of the Mephiles, Pevro was greeted by the face of Captain Nat, who was evidently on the bridge of the Firestorm-F. "We've all come here to stabilize the temporal fracture. You've probably already noticed that the Mephiles now... conveniently has a timeline stabilizer just like the ones we are using. Prepare for instructions to help us complete this fairly obvious mission. Oh, and maybe send somebody down to retrieve the admiral and his away team?"
"Yes, sir," the large potato replied, turning to one of the officers. "Send a pair of officers to retrieve the admiral and his team."
Eventually, the four vessels took off in different directions, manipulating time to begin repairing the fracture before it got any worse.
"So, your orders, Admiral?" Elric asked.
"Wait," Nat replied. "We need to learn more about these aliens before we can decide what to do next."
The approaching group arrived, and 1 of 6 spoke up. "Pevro told us to come back for you, as we've got three Firestorms and the Mephiles repairing the temporal fracture outside."
Nat sighed. "This might end badly."
"We're going to destroy the universe," Elric realized. He then thought back to his encounter with his future self. "Was that even real?"
U.S.S. Firestorm-K, Bridge
The massive alternate mirror universe's Universe-class I.S.S. Enterprise-J appeared out of some futuristic cloak, approaching the Firestorm-K and hailing them. Scott looked up at the viewscreen, surprised to see another mirror Nat, evidently from the same universe as his vessel.
"Deactivate your timeline stabilizers immediately," the alternate mirror Nat stated. "Or everyone dies, and I mean literally everyone."
Scott just deadpanned him. "You can't be serious. You think our trying to fix the temporal fracture will cause the universe to be destroyed?"
The alternate Nat narrowed his eyes. "Exactly."
Something was bothering Krystal about how easy this has been so far. Why weren't these devices being guarded. She and Sarah were actually pretty close to one... yet... nothing. No guards, no security systems...
"Its too easy..." she said, mostly to herself before tapping her commbadge. "Jade here. Anyone find any security around the devices?"
Elric tapped his commbadge in reply to Krystal. "Captain, it's possible we've been deceived, and that our actions may in fact be what destroys everything. We're in a communal area now with the aliens."
"Enough of this. We must focus on Irora." Sahasa rumbled. Turning to Volaas, he nodded. "Volaas, I shall spread word of the plan among the Xzarefiin. I leave it to you to inform the rest."
"All right, listen up, all of you! I don't feel like repeating myself." Volaas announced. "So we've got a plan, but we need your help to make it happen. Now, there are several parts to this, so listen carefully. Irora, as you know, feeds off of others' pain. His powers and any influence he has over people, also stems from this. Essentially, if we remove the body's ability to feel pain, he won't be able to influence us, or use his powers against us."
"So couldn't we just inject everyone with an analgesic then?" Edwards asked.
"No, he would be able to override it." Volaas replied.
"But then... the only other option would be... you're not seriously suggesting...?" The CMO's voice rose in shock and outrage.
"What? What is it?" Hizrah said, "Spit it out, Edwards!"
"Induction of mutations within the voltage gated sodium channel SCN9A resulting in a truncated non-functional protein--" Lyras began.
"English please, Captain!" Hizrah cut her off.
"Basically, we expose you to a pathogen that turns off the pain receptors in your cells." Volaas explained.
"But isn't that... you know, dangerous?" O'Donnell frowned. "I mean, we could bleed to death and not even know it."
"It is exceedingly dangerous," The Xzarefiin conceded. "In order to minimize the risk, we've created another pathogen, which we will infect you with after Irora's defeat that will restore your cells to normal."
"There may be a problem, though..." Volaas looked thoughtful for a moment before fixing his gaze on the group. "Anyone who has any artificial parts would be... well, adversely affected."
Elric flexed his left android arm and then hand which had been installed by Doctor Melzine against his wishes. "This thing is connected to my spinal column, feeding my cerebellum in a delicate balance. I will likely not live through this."
Admiral Nat sighed and held up a hand to get people's attention. "There must be some kind of alternative. One, I take it one of those Firestorms has Captain Nat aboard?"
"Yes." 1 of 6 tapped his combadge. "1 of 6 to the Mephiles. Stop whatever you're doing to the temporal fracture and get Captain Nat down here."
"Understood," replied Pevro over the comms.
It a matter of moments, Captain Nat appeared in a mere flash of light, shrugging. "So, what's up?"
"Can you make it so we don't feel pain whatsoever?" the admiral asked his counterpart.
"Well, maybe. I'm still getting used to these, you know..." Captain Nat answered. "Besides, I thought we were going to not use my powers to save the day all the time?"
"Ok, ok, so we'll have to make an exception..." Admiral Nat said, continuing. "Just make it happen."
Captain Nat just snapped his fingers, evidently causing... something. Then he reached out and pinched the admiral on the cheek, evidently causing absolutely nothing, as the admiral didn't react. At all.
Eventually, Sarah, Mirror Nat, and Krystal made their way to the group by some chance or whatnot.
"Well, that was... unexpected." Volaas commented, "But also fortuitous. I hadn't realized how many here have inorganic parts."
"Fortuitous, but highly unethical," added Elric, recalling the conversations he had with the alternate universe Captain Nat in the past. "Its use here wasn't necessarily indicative to the survival of the universe, not that I have an aversion to being alive or anything."
Then he started distractedly moving his jaw around like he couldn't feel it.
"Ok... so... now what?" Krystal finally asked.
"Don't worry Elric, it's only temporary," Captain Nat assured him. "I don't like this anymore than you do."
"So what's the plan?" Admiral Nat asked the aliens.
Krystal leaned against a nearby wall and waited for a response. Elric checked a loose metal piece on his arm and flicked it a few times before it fell off, then looked around to see if anyone noticed.
Nat just deadpanned Elric. "You sure that wasn't important?"
"All riight, man!" Akaku exclaimed, appearing from behind Volaas, making him jump slightly, "Now that that's dealt with, there's one more thing you need to know, before we can go stick it to Mr. Meanie Face. So we're gonna collapse the temporal fracture a 'lil bit, to give 'im less room to run. When we do, though, you'll lose contact with your ships completely, 'cause they'll be outside the fracture. So if you got any transportin' to do, do it now, ya dig?"
Outside, the Enterprise-J opened fire on the Mephiles, targeting the communications arrays themselves and rendering them inoperable, and quickly changing targets and firing on Firestorm-F with a flurry of antiproton arrays followed by several chroniton torpedoes. Soon enough, the Firestorm-F returned fire with conventional phasers, with no effect. The Firestorm came in from behind and attacked the Enterprise's rear section with retrofitted phaser bank bursts, whilst dodging incoming fire. The Firestorm-K and the Mephiles joined in with a mixed of phaser and antiproton fire combined with a mix of chroniton and omega plasma torpedoes, and were replied to in kind.
The Hestia-class U.S.S. Amaterasu flew in, passed the warring ships, toward the Xzarefiin station within the fracture, and transported Captain Elric and Zeta off it. The two rematerialized aboard the near-empty Bridge of the Amaterasu to find Claire at helm and the holographic maintenance program Jessie at tactical.
"What is this? You stole my ship??" Elric realized, shocked.
Claire shrugged. "I needed to get you. That thing we were researching? I have a lead, and I couldn't wait any longer aboard Spacedock. Luckily, with a little reconnaissance, I was able to find out you were here, as well as the homing beacon I placed on Zeta."
Suddenly the Amaterasu shook just after shields went back up. "Well, we're not getting out here if we're under attack," Elric observed. "What's going on out there, anyway?"
"A Mirror Universe ship," replied Jessie. "It's trying to destroy our allies and the station. Though, their configurations aren't recognizable, as if they're from some other Mirror Universe. Not that I'd jump to such conclusions."
Elric took his chair. "Multi-vector assault mode. Open fire." The Amaterasu separated into three and opened fire at the alternate I.S.S. Enterprise.
Author's notes: This was written in February 2017 as part of the Star Trek Online forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #32.
Unofficial Literary Challenge #32: Prompt #1: Federation presidential elections take place every six years (barring delays due to national crises), meaning President Aennik Okeg's third term is coming to an end. Is he running for a fourth term or stepping down? Who else is running, and what issues are important in the campaign: entanglements in the Delta Quadrant, the refugee crisis at home, economic chaos from the Iconian War? And does your captain prefer any particular candidate?
Unofficial Literary Challenge #32
Captain Deloss sat at the Bridge of the Bortasqu'-class I.K.S. Masamune as it trekked through space, carelessly and haphazardly on nothing but whims and fancy and lollipops and dreams.
"Are we actually going in any specific direction, or are our movements based on the positioning of gagh all over the helm?" the Gorn and Commanding officer Deloss asked.
Grough scavenged his own scaly Gorn hands over the mess, trying to grab one of the squiggly worms as best as he could. "Hey, I just got into these things! It's forced, but we all find our ways to assimilate into obnoxious Klingon culture."
"It is the repulsiveness of moving food we admire. We actually wouldn't even touch gagh if not for that," added Ronin, an old Klingon and the tactical officer.
Deloss grasped his head. "Why can't we be more concerned about things that matter? I feel as if we are wasting precious ship resources on cultivating targ manure! I don't even know what it's used for?? We spent an entire month stock piling it in our cargo bay???"
BLAM! Suddenly the Masamune slammed its nose into a rogue asteroid. The object appeared to be unaffected by the impact.
"Ugh. Did anyone get the number of that asteroid?" Deloss quipped, hilariously. "Hahaha. Seriously, though, anyone who didn't laugh is being transferred."
Then Ronin looked up from his console. "Sir, I'm detecting a Federation escape pod latched onto the side! There are survivors on it!!"
"Calm down Ronin. It's always drama with you. The Federation, huh? They're perpetually concerned about bigger issues. Beam them directly to the Bridge," Deloss ordered before a group of injured people appeared before him. "Ew! Beam them back. No, wait. Beam them to Sickbay to be medically adjusted and such. Seems like that's a thing. Is that a thing? It probably is."
A human and Captain stood up. "Wait. You must set course for my ship the Crucial and destroy it. My name is Menrow."
"You dare give me orders, human!" Deloss argued. "Anyway, now that the hostile tone is out of the way, what happened to you?"
Menrow gestured to his people. "We were escorting the President, here, home from Casperia Prime when our ship came under attack by an alien life-draining entity. Systems went down and my crew was forced to evacuate, but we fear it may strike again."
"That sounds like a big issue," Deloss surmised. "Perhaps it warrants a continued perusal."
The other Captain shrugged. "I'd like to think so."
"Quiet, human! You forfeit your right to any form of dignity and more of my compensation-by-loud-shouting! Also, did you know Kirk? He's just soooo huggable."
Later, the Masamune dropped warp before the near-completely ruined, but still in-tact, Intrepid-class U.S.S. Crucial. Deloss, Menrow, Okeg, Ronin and Thunk beamed onboard aiming rifles.
"Seriously, Deloss? We were supposed to destroy this thing!" argued Menrow. "I've had so many alien relations here that it's just ugh now. Even this hallway. Just last week."
Deloss rolled his Gorn eyes as limited as he could. "Come on, man. That's just wasteful. In the Klingon Defense Force, we learn to salvage what we have. We're not all as rich and entitled as you Federation yuppies with your yacht ships and your space martinis."
"And what about the President?? I specifically told you not to put him in a militaristic situation," Menrow continued. "The government just likes to talk about those things, not actually have anything to do with them."
The Gorn scoffed. "Honestly, I stopped listening to you after you started dictating how my crew should tug at their uniforms more. Your President is a grown man who can do whatever he wants and listen to as much rock and roll music as is required."
"Ugh. I need this distraction so badly," Okeg said. "It's election year again and I have to decide whether I want to run or drop out of the whole politics thing for another person— probably a man— to take over and rule with an iron fist. It's usually the other party that takes the next Presidency, and they're puppy-killing jerks. Like, real life puppies in front of your face when they do it sort of thing."
Deloss widened his eyes. "You have a chance at making a difference and you're on the fence??"
"Oh yeah. You just don't know the pressures of being a political figure," Okeg said. "You think it's all bowling in the basement, uniting minority groups and hilarious sketches with a holographic Keegan Michael-Key. Instead, you're constantly defending provable climate science and martial arts fighting birther movementers. It's madness!"
Ronin added, "Not to mention that you've been President for 18 years. Some countries on early 21st century Earth could have sorely benefited from those kinds of margins." He noticed everyone suddenly looking at him with detached expressions. "I once did a study when I was looking to compare J'mpok with other worst political leaders in Milky Way history."
"Anyway, I think you're disregarding an important juxtaposition for continued change and activism for things that really matter," Deloss said. "Like how we ignored the approach of these giant floating fragments."
Before the group, in the corridors, were several broken and ready-to-attack hovering shards appearing to be from a crystalline entity.
"So, you were taken down by a Large Crystalline Fragment, crippling your ship," surmised Thunk. "Then these baby fragments were spawned to hunt your crew down one by one."
Menrow continued, "Which is why we should destroy this filthy, ineffective Delta Quadrant-loving ship. These things will suck the life out of us and are probably into the gel packs! Still don't know how they work, but they're there."
"Fool; the Defense Force has a hunt-first protocol. Besides, you can make change without completely wiping the slate and starting over," explained Deloss as he aimed his disruptor rifle and fired. "If there were a health care system in place but some fool wanted to erase it with whatever he fancied, for example. Now, let us murder by way of educational correlation!"
The others, including Okeg, followed suit and opened fire upon the shards, following a trail throughout the ship. Separating, the group finally reconvened in Main Engineering.
In Engineering, the group found the main Crystalline Shard, merged-in with the warp core, feeding off its energy.
"Fine," conceded Menrow. "Perhaps a salvageable methodology is a more rational approach. But it's more work, for what, continuity? Some people reboot entire realities for less."
SKKKK!!! The entity surrounding the warp core screeched. It was angry and intending to consume any and everything it could get its reach on for the destruction of its shards. The group opened fire upon it, shattering its pieces all over the place.
"Oh, Klingon-bollocks," Deloss said, observing the fractured warp core. "This ship will never reach near-perfect operational status again. Perhaps I was wrong about everything. How can we protect ourselves without radical ship-exploding change? I'd even ban an entire group based on their religion if it meant I was right."
The Human clutched his face in regret of his now ruined ship. "Dammit!"
"No, this is a good thing," Okeg countered the two Captains. "Change, albeit in the form of full or partial effect is worth it if it means saving lives and maintaining values. I believe I've made my decision on whether I will run again or not."
Ronin turned to him. "You mean this crystal hunt helped you instead of your mind-off vacation at Casperia Prime? Perhaps there is some Klingon in your Federation after all."
"Don't forget Gorn. He's got Gorn in him too, somehow. Don't ask what, specifically. It's just there," Deloss added, quickly and awkwardly. "So, yeah."
He then turned to Menrow.
"Now, Captain," Deloss continued. "Since the Iconians made us allies for some reason, I shall leave you and your President to your ship, so you may find your other escape pods and return him home. We shall be transporting a considerable bulk of our much-sought-after targ manure as a gesture of honorable kinship and reflection of the themes we explored here today."
The other Captain retracted in disgust. "What? Don't do tha—"
"Deloss to Masamune! Transport: Gift Protocol Delta-Janeway-Serve-Up!" the Gorn announced after slapping his communicator. Seconds later, the Crucial was graced with their generosity. He turned back to the human. "You're welcome."
Okay... after the Gorn save the day, the Federation president is rescued and left literally knee-deep in shit...
lolol Targs are the most valuable thing in the Empire. Every part of them is gold.
Author's notes: These are compiled posts by another player and myself for the New Romulus RP on the Star Trek Online forums. This continues on from the last NR entry and my STO characters were Tressa and Kitsu. Written in Feb-Mar 2017.
New Romulus, Pages 2-3
Nat'al eventually walked into a turbolift, as Nat'tak followed him inside. Tressa and Reivf entered as well. The ride was quiet for a while.
Soon, it stopped and opened up to a corridor. Nat'al walked out and took a left, going around a corner and arriving in a conference room with a number of officers already sitting in various seats, including Tovan Khev. Nat'al just glared at Tovan Khev. "I thought we tossed you out an airlock into a singularity," Nat'al stated, angry.
One of the other officers quickly noted the issue and pressed a button on the conference table, quickly beaming Tovan out into space, visible out the window, as he floated away, seemingly peacefully. Nat'al just sat down and motioned for the others to do the same. "Anyway, back to the task at hand..."
"Excuse me," Tressa interrupted. "But what was that about?"
"The guy always manages to find a way aboard my ship," Nat'al replied. "We've killed him a ridiculous amount of times, but he keeps coming back. Even worse, we believe he may actually be serving on a large number of vessels at once, so they're probably clones."
"So we just keep killing him whenever we see him," one of the officers said, as Nat'al nodded to them in agreement.
Tressa blinked, shocked. "Oh." Then, choosing to accept things as they were, said, "Sorry, continue."
Nat'al sighed and pushed a button his the table, bringing up a hologram of a planet, with an apparent Tal Shiar Adapted Destroyer in orbit. "This is the planet that we are going to reach and infiltrate. Their base is somewhere here, which we have have to beam down to, undetected, and find evidence of whomever the Tal Shiar are now working for."
"It's not actually that simple, is it?" Nat'tak asked, surprised.
"It's all I've got," Nat'al replied. "Getting past or through the patrols won't be any difficult, but we know nothing of the base below, so we will have to run scans when we arrive and figure it out from there."
Tressa nodded. "Count me in."
Nat'tak nodded as well, and Nat'al got up. "Well, I guess that's it. Back to your stations, people."
The other officers got up and left and Nat'al turned to the remainders. "Follow me," he said, walking out. Nat'tak followed, and they took a turn into another room, evidently the Bridge. Nat'al spotted Tovan Khev sitting in one of the officer's chairs, shot him, almost routinely, and pushed him aside onto the floor, prompting one of the guards to drag his body away elsewhere. Nat'al sat down in his command chair and turned to Nat'tak and the others. "It shouldn't be long now before we arrive. Sit down, if you want. Or don't, it doesn't really matter," Nat'al said, motioning to a couple of chairs behind his command chair, as well as the recently Khev-vacated seat to his right.
Nat'tak sat down at the empty presumed first officer's seat, somehow prompting the accompanying console to go blank.
Tressa sat down as well. "Well, this is luxury. What ship is this?"
Nat'al sighed. "It's a T'Varo-class warbird named the I.R.W. Natius, and she's far from luxury."
"You've got to appreciate what you've got," suggested Tressa. "When you're out here, all you have is your ship and your crew."
"...and a lot of information at my fingertips," Nat'al replied, evidently implying the vast intelligence agency he was supposedly working for... or possibly in charge of.
"So if you don't work for the Tal Shiar, nor the Republic..." Nat'tak stated, curious. "Who do you work for? Do you have some kind of organization?"
"Klingon-Romulan Intelligence," Nat'al replied. "You'll never find it in any records or intelligence databases, because it doesn't really exist. Only we and our allies among a certain Klingon Great House have even heard rumors, and even fewer know of it's name."
"So like the Federation's Section 31," Nat'tak replied, "except hardly anyone knows about it."
"Any relation to Republic Intelligence? Commander Mena is constantly giving out missions," Tressa said, by way of ire. "Tal'Mera, on the other hand, always kept it light. I appreciate her."
"No," Nat'al replied. "We don't have any official connection to the Republic at all, and intend to keep it that way."
Tressa shrugged. "The more we divide ourselves, the easier we will fall."
"There are advantages of not being part of the Republic, you know," Nat'al replied. "No rules to slow us down."
Tressa shrugged. "I suppose that's true. But how many rules are there with the Republic to begin with? We're barely just getting onto our feet."
BEEP, BEEP! Suddenly, Reivf's tricorder received a long range single over subspace. She gritted her teeth, realizing she forgot to silence it. Taking it out and reading it, she said to Tressa while holding in her true reaction, "Huh. Well, then."
"Reivf," the Commander said in a warning tone. "What did you get?"
Trying to suppress her own tone, she replied, "Uh, well, you know that ship I was preparing? Well, it seems it's just been launched. Which is strange, because it was coded to be commanded by only you."
"Well, great," Tressa sighed. "And I'm stuck on this mission. We'll have to investigate when we get back."
Nat'al turned quickly to Reivf, expecting some kind of explanation.
Tressa watched Reivf shrug. "Hey, you guys transported me here without warning. The job I was working on, which I have suddenly disappeared from, was prepping Commander Tressa's new ship and crew. It seems they've completed and launched without us."
"You said you didn't have a crew..." Nat'al replied. "There's no sensible reason for a non-existent crew to prep and launch a ship without her captain or first officer. Clearly, she's been stolen, or they're coming after us."
"Oh, I found a crew," Reifv smirked, proud of herself. "As soon as you were off the radar, applicants just poured on in."
Tressa nodded, before realizing her implications. "Wait. That means people were avoiding me? Damn. I didn't think reputations could precede people. This'll take some serious introspection."
Nat'al rolled his eyes and turned back to the viewscreen, while the guards around carefully eyed Nat'tak, Tressa, and Reifv. The viewscreen showed a planet they were approaching from afar, and the helmsman turned to Nat'al.
"I see it," Nat'al stated before the helmsman could speak up. "We're here."
Tressa sat up, ignoring the guards and watching as the ship neared the planet. With her last mission driving her old crew away from her, she knew she'd have to be careful with how she conducted herself here. At least, at this point, she wasn't in command of anyone. But then again, with the unintended launch of her new ship, somehow, and likely crew of Reifv's rebels, perhaps she was.
A trio of presumed Tal Shiar T'Varo-class warbirds appeared on the viewscreen, approaching the Natius, as Nat'al's vessel, still cloaked, generated a gravity well in the middle of the group, eventually crushing their vessels without leaving any trace of their presence, nor that of the infiltrating vessel.
Nat'tak watched closely as they neared the planet and the ominous Mandukar class destroyer in orbit. The science officer worked at his station, and turned to Nat'al. "We cannot run detailed scans without being detected, but I am almost certain that we should be able to--"
"Almost certain?" Nat'al asked sternly.
The science officer worked a little longer. "Certain, general. I have a location we can beam down to without being detected."
Tressa stood up, ready. "Shall we?"
"Yes we shall," replied Nat'al, getting up and walking out followed by a guard, then Nat'tak, then another guard. Two more guards motioned for Tressa and Reifv to follow, evidently intending to escort them.
Tressa and Reifv followed suit. "Hey, do I get a weapon?" Tressa asked.
They reached what appeared to be an armory, and Nat'al turned to Tressa. "All in good time," he replied, entering followed by the others. He passed Tressa, Reifv, and Nat'tak each a Romulan disruptor pistol and a personal shield unit, then armed himself with a similar weapon and shield unit, turning back to the guards. "Let's keep moving." They left, and headed for the nearby transporter room.
Tressa affixed her personal shield unit and checked the power cells on her disruptor rifle. Everything checked out. She then entered the transporter room with the group. They stepped onto the transporter pad and beamed down.
Tressa watched as her surroundings appeared to dematerialize, when in fact it was her being pulled apart and reassembled upon the planet below. They materialized inside a Romulan facility, inside a cargo bay with a few idle cargo containers, but no one else to be seen. Nat'al started looking around.
"The back way, huh," Tressa observed of her surroundings. "Seems the way to go." She looked to Reifv, who took out her tricorder and began scanning.
There was nothing blocking the scans, which surprised Nat'al. One of the doors opened up, and a single Elachi Assault Drone hovered in, firing at Nat'tak, who ducked and started returning fire with his disruptor.
Tressa clicked on to momentary combat mode and pulled her disruptor rifle up, firing a bolt burst expertly into the assault drone. Years of target practice had given her notable proficiency. The drone exploded violently.
"Let's keep moving," Tressa said as her subordinate came around with the tricorder. "Anything specific we should keep an eye out for?"
"Communications consoles," Nat'al replied, looking around. "We have to find out who they're working for."
Tressa nodded and they entered into the corridors. She trained her rifle just in case.
Nat'tak followed, using his telepathic senses to keep a mind out for anything conscious. He could sense numerous Tal Shiar, and a few Elachi. Nat'al followed from behind, noticing a console down the hall. He headed that way.
Tressa went with, pointing her rifle out, covering Nat'al.
"You're just excited you have a gun, aren't you?" deadpanned Reifv.
The Commander shrugged. "Hey, I've been on computers and communications screens for the last two weeks. It's a much needed change in pace."
Nat'al started working on the console, then stopped, looking up at to Nat'tak. "Wait. Why would they even bother having you sabotage things on New Romulus anyway? The Tal Shiar haven't attacked any of those areas... nor have the Elachi. Even then, why the Elachi? Don't they work for the Iconians?"
Nat'tak didn't seem too impressed, almost worried. "Anything from the console?"
"Oh, right," Nat'al replied, working on the console. "Oh dear," he said, turning back to the group. "There's a specifically classified area beside the command area. Anyone interested in checking that out?"
"Perhaps there is a correlation with the Tal Shiar and the Iconians here?" Tressa surmised. "In any case, I am very interested in checking out this classified area. We must get to the bottom of this." She nodded to them as she continued on. Her subordinate followed, scanning the area for any more drones or personnel.
"Perhaps," Nat'al replied. "Except that the Iconians already have a truce with us. Perhaps T'Ket is preparing to attack New Romulus?"
"Perhaps," Tressa repeated. She turned a corner and came to a turbolift which opened upon her presence. She wondered what the Tal Shiar were planning here. Nat'al, Nat'tak, and the two guards followed, curious to know what was going on.
They took the turbolift to the upper level and snuck around the base, swiftly avoiding Romulans and Elachi. When they reached the corridor behind the command area, they were presented with a locked door.
Nat'al sighed at the locked door. "Of course it's a locked door, what did you expect?" Nat'tak shrugged. "Well, I'll try to override the lock and make the door open," Nat'al said, taking to the door operation console and starting work there. Nat'tak, and the 2 guards, covered him in case anyone arrived to cause trouble.
"How many people can we estimate are on this facility?" Tressa asked.
"Hundreds," Nat'al said. "Probably more. Also, got it." The door opened, and Nat'al took the lead, trailed by a guard, then Nat'tak. The room was quite curiously empty, except for a couple of Uhlans working at some consoles, evidently very occupied with their work.
"Should we... should we say 'hello'?" Tressa asked, cautiously, as they entered the room.
"Ssssh," Nat'al replied, following them inside. He looked over their shoulders, one by one, reading what they were working on, then came back to the others, whispering to them, "they're analyzing New Romulus defenses and how they were altered by Nat'tak's sabotage."
"Invasion plans?" Nat'tal asked quietly. One of the Uhlans stopped and turned to walk out, spotting the group. "Intruder alert!"
The Uhlans all rapidly drew disruptors as Nat'al's guards opened fire at them. One of Romulans activated an alarm system, and another door opened.
"Well, if you guys won't say it, I will," Tressa continued while aiming her disruptor. "Hello," she said as she shot down an Uhlan. "Hi," she said again, training her aim to another Uhlan and shooting him down. "And, hey there," she repeated, shooting down a far Uhlan.
"Hello," said a robotic, almost ominous voice from an Iconian Herald construct as it shot Tressa with an antiproton beam, doing obvious injury as the guards shot the construct down.
Nat'al sighed. "Of course the Iconians are involved. I thought we had some kind of treaty with them."
"Could they be from T'Ket's forces?" Nat'tak asked.
"Obviously. Let's head for that mystery room..." Nat'al replied, heading for the door, followed closely by his guards.
Tressa, on the floor, gripped the wound in her waist, unable to get up from the pain. "Fvadt!" she cursed in Romulan.
Nat'al motioned to Reifv to care for Tressa, and for Nat'tak to guard them. Nat'al and his guards walked in, greeted by an Iconian gateway. A Tal Shiar captain and the Iconian T'Ket were there to meet them, as T'Ket turned to Nat'al and waved her remaining hand, swiftly disintegrating Nat'al's guards as Nat'al himself backed up.
"You cannot stop what is already in motion, Romulan," T'Ket said ominously, approaching Nat'al. "Die."
Nat'al jumped through the door, evidently avoiding any immediate attempts at death. He started using his communicator at once, looking up at Nat'tak. "Beam us up, now!"
At the other door, where they entered, disruptor and alien fire was heard until another Romulan, holding a Herald staff, backed her way in, in a fire-fight with several Tal Shiar Agents. She worked her staff and knocked down the remaining Agents before noticing the infiltration group.
"Damn arrogant suit-stitchers," she said as she came to see Reifv attending to Commander Tressa, the Reman Nat'tak and the Romulan Nat'al. "Whoa! It's a party?"
Through the other door she could see an Iconian about to disintegrate them. She quickly raised her Herald Antiproton staff and shot a high density antiproton beam into T'Ket, knocking the Iconian off aim.
"The name's Kitsu," she introduced. "You guys have a way out of this hell hole?"
A traditional romulan greeting... Thanks!! rbs
Author's notes: These are compiled posts by multiple players for the Earth Spacedock RP on the Star Trek Online forums. My character was Elric (w Zeta). This continues from the last ESD entry. Written in February/March 2017.
Earth Spacedock, Pages 101-103
The I.S.S. Enterprise's shields are barely even dented, as the obvious 26th century alternate mirror vessel returned fire on all three vectors of the Amaterasu with a spread of antiproton beams.
All three vectors were hit and their shields weakened. Elric re-integrated the Amaterasu and took position, joining the other ships. "Well, it was worth a try. How are you guys doing?" he hailed.
"Not great, actually," 11 of 14 replied from the Ranger class Firestorm. "Neither the Firestorm-K nor the Mephiles are responding to my hails. I think their communications are failing, and the Firestorm-K has lost a nacelle and is spinning out of control."
Sure enough, the Enterprise was now targeting the communications systems of the Firestorm-F as well, as 11 took her older counterpart into evasive maneuvers in hopes of keeping their own communications out of the line of fire.
Krystal pinched the bridge of her nose. "We're gonna have to hurry," she said. "I'd contact Lexington if she still wasn't undergoing repairs, or even send a message out to the Armada, but I doubt they'd arrive fast enough to do anything about that ship."
"Speaking of which," the admiral spoke up, turning to Krystal. "You never did get that report in, did you? How did you negotiate the Dominion freedom from the armada again?"
"A show of trust, a withdrawl of forces from Dominion territory while maintaining outposts in neutral space, and... a leap of faith," Krystal replied. "I took a chance to show I was different from D'ren."
"What about the Infamous nanites that kept them in line?" the admiral asked. Agent 47's eyes widened.
"I have no control over them, and have ways to shut them down," Krystal replied. "When I got this job in the first place, I didn't get a 'how to' manual. Hell... I didn't even get the codes to say 'I'm the new boss' until AFTER I negotiated with the Dominion."
U.S.S. Amaterasu, Bridge
"Not good," Elric replied. "We also still have people on the station who need to be transported off. As for the Firestorm-K, maybe we can stabilize them with a tractor beam?"
The Amaterasu then flew for the Firestorm-K and fanned a tractor beam in an attempt to slow their momentum.
The Firestorm-K slowed down a bit, and managed to use their impulse engines to regain control of their flight, hailing the Amaterasu.
No response, of course, as the communications aboard the temporal battlecruiser were destroyed, so they weren't even capable of hailing Elric's vessel anyway. They began charging up, but not yet creating a temporal rift, and started flying towards the I.S.S. Enterprise-J. Evidently, Scott, who was aboard the badly damaged battlecruiser, had an idea.
"What the hell is happening up there?!" Lyras asked as the communication was abruptly cut off. "...On second thought, I really don't think I want to know, considering what happened last time these people were involved... The things they get involved with..." The Captain trailed off, sighing. "Look, let's just go and engage Irora, all right?"
Volaas looked at her, his face unreadable for a moment before he raised his voice, "All right everyone, they're going to dissipate the illusion now. Once they do Irora will be on us in a matter of seconds."
Elric tried hailing the Firestorm-K with no luck. "Looks like he's up to something. Let's stay close and see if we can assist in any way," he suggested. The Amaterasu altered course on impulse and followed along.
The I.S.S. Enterprise-J opened fire on the Firestorm-K, evidently targeting their temporal drive. In response, the Paladin-class vessel took cover behind the Amaterasu, and actually maneuvering closer to the Hestia-class vessel and extending their shields around them, while moving closely as though indicating for them to do the same.
The Amaterasu matched the Firestorm-K's movements as they circled around. "Let's try and reinforce their shields to protect them and us. Hmm. I wonder what they're up to."
The two vessels continued flying towards the Enterprise-J, taking hit after hit of antiproton fire while using their superior speed to come up from behind the larger vessel. Overtime, personnel from the Firestorm-K started beaming over to the Amaterasu, a couple of them materializing on the Bridge.
One of them, a Bajoran Tactical Lieutenant Commander, nodded to Elric and started operating the engineering console, remotely accessing the systems of the Firestorm-K, so that they may control the Paladin-class vessel from Elric's bridge. Soon enough, the last one, Scott, beamed over to the bridge as well, and headed to another console, looking up at Elric and his people for a moment. "Release the extended shields and use a tractor repulsor on the Enterprise on my mark..."
Elric nodded to Scott and then Claire and Jessie. "On your mark, then."
"Mark." The Firestorm-K flew off abruptly, opening a temporal portal ahead and ramming into the engines of the I.S.S. Enterprise-J, briefly disabling her long enough to be pushed into the temporal portal by the Amaterasu. After the massive vessel and the essentially fused temporal battlecruiser disappeared, another temporal rift started to open elsewhere.
"So it begins," Scott said, motioning for them to set a course there so he could close the rift before whatever ship could pass through.
"Claire, set a course for that rift," Elric ordered, before he turned to the tactical station placed against the wall. "Jessie, prepare interphase repair particles and fire it when we're in range."
As the Amaterasu rotated in rifted space and sped toward the distortion, its deflector began to push out the repairing beam. Captain Elric turned to Scott.
"Rifts inside a giant rift. This can't be good," he said. "And, so much for the K. Think they'll make another one?"
"Those aren't natural. The Enterprise must have used a temporal drive of some kind to get here," Scott replied, focused on his station. "In the future, after they've repaired the ship, they come back to try again. We can't let them do that."
Scott turned to Elric again, sighing. "Well, she's probably from that alternate future that one of the Nat's future descendant came from, but in any case, yes, they'll build another one. Many, many more. Have you ever wondered why they built a Chronostorm? They ran outta' letters for their Firestorms," he finished, chuckling to himself.
"Huh," Elric murmured, appreciating the circumstances. "Jessie, status of the temporal rift?"
Jessie tapped at her console. "Since it's temporal in nature, it's fluctuating from closing to opening again, but seems to be trending toward a close."
"Just in case, got any more ships to throw at them?" Elric turned to Scott.
"No," Scott replied, continuing, while working at the science station. "Picking up additional rifts opening elsewhere. Every ship we have are all working to close as many rifts as possible, but there are still more opening."
The Bajoran Tactical Officer stood at one of the other stations, noticing an alert as she turned to Elric. "Intruder alert! Numerous Gorn lifesigns situated near Main Engineering."
"Harrison, get a security team to main engineering..." Scott ordered to the male human officer, who was evidently Harrison, while turning to Elric. "I'm assuming you don't want a bunch of Gorn taking over your ship's main engineering?"
"Yeah, that probably won't be hard since there's literally no one in Engineering. In fact, other than your crew, Jessie, Claire, Zeta and I are the only occupants on this ship. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated," Elric replied. Then he turned to Zeta on his shoulder. "Zeta, see if there's anything you can do to help."
*Click!* Zeta replied before popping up on his eight legs and then jumping off, exiting the Bridge.
"Don't worry, we had a reasonably large crew," Scott said. "For the moment, we essentially are your crew." Harrison exited the bridge, gathered several security officers, and headed for Main Engineering.
Elric watched as the rift closed. He nodded to Claire to take the Amaterasu to the next one.
Meanwhile, in Main Engineering, Zeta crawled out of a ventilation shaft and leapt for an unsuspecting Gorn. Landing on the Gorn's face, Zeta ejected his metallic cable and shocked the Gorn with a powered charge. After a struggle, the Gorn was knocked out. Zeta leapt off and hid himself.
Harrison and his security team arrived in Main Engineering and started fighting the Gorn. As few as they were, the Gorn were unusually strong; possibly augmented.
"So this was your plan." Irora said as he sauntered into the chamber as though he owned the place, and leaned back against the wall, watching them. "Interesting."
Sahasa rumbled, "This must end, Irora. You must pay for what you have done - to the timeline, and to these people."
Irora's eyes narrowed, as though he were considering something. Lyras briefly wondered if it may be the chances of his survival if he were battle the rest of his people, but... he looked too... concerned for that.
"Fine." The word was forced out with obvious reluctance on Irora's part. He grinned slightly, "I've collected enough power here for the moment. Besides," Irora shrugged, "you have bigger problems to deal with than me, right now."
"Irora! Wait!" Lyras shouted, and started dashing towards him. Oh, but she was going to make him pay!
"Oh, are you going to miss our time together, Lyras? Don't worry, we'll see each other again soon enough." With that said, he vanished, nearly sending Lyras careening into the wall.
"Let him go, Lyras." Volaas had detached himself from the throng and made his way toward her. "Irora was right, we do have bigger problems to deal with right now. Someone made a number of temporal rifts inside the temporal fracture, which is why we couldn't collapse it completely. Right now we're pouring all of our power into keeping the temporal rifts from colliding with the temporal fracture."
Lyras just stared at him blankly, "...and that would be bad because?"
Volaas sighed, "The temporal fracture and the temporal rift would collide from being in the same space in different continuums. They would produce an eruption of anti-time so large and destructive it would encompass the entire galaxy, and disrupt its very formation."
"Captain!" Admiral Nat exclaimed. "Think about it. We thought the fracture was going to destroy the universe, but they evidently have no intention on doing so. It was those rifts all along!"
The Amaterasu began closing another rift. Elric watched the view screen intently and then turned away. "Damn. I wish I could go down to Engineering and take on those Gorn, but a Captain shouldn't leave the Bridge during a crisis. What's the security team's status?"
"We're having trouble down here," stated the voice of Harrison over the comms. "We think they've been enhanced with some form of augmentation. We need reinforcements of some kind!"
Scott motioned to an officer to do so, and turned to Elric. "Why would they board us anyway?"
"There was a Gorn on the station who shorted out my armband, and several people from another universe trying to help put a stop to whatever's happening here. They may be related or not. Anything's possible," Elric shrugged. "Who knows? There could be a universe where the Borg took over everything."
Then he witnessed the next rift close, and Claire moved the ship to another one.
"Wonderful," Scott replied, "just wonderful."
The battle continued raging on in Main Engineering, but it appeared that Harrison and his team were eventually going to win.
Outside, a Gorn dreadnought decloaked and targeted the Amaterasu with it's weapons.
"Hey, man," said Claire, on the Bridge. "It's a Gorn ship off the port bow! They're locked on us."
Elric furrowed his brow. "It's Captain. You're supposed to call me Captain."
"Oh, right. Also, I'm not a Starfleet officer," she realized.
Jessie brought the shields up and targeted weapons before hailing the enemy. "This is Captain Elric of the U.S.S. Amaterasu," Elric declared. "We are in a volatile, unnatural part of space. We must cease this fighting before we cause the universe to be destroyed."
"This is General Rosk of the Gorn Imperium," replied a stern, Gorn voice over the comm channel. "You have ended Zar's life and, for that, you will die."
They cut the channel and began firing a series of disruptor bursts at the Amaterasu, evidently uninterested in the universe's potential destruction.
Captain Nat sent everyone else to the Mephiles, aside from Agent 47, Lyras, her crew, and all the aliens; he figured they can beam up to their vessel on their own and he, himself, wanted to have a few words with a couple of them.
Admiral Nat, his officers, Sarah, and Krystal all appeared on the bridge of the admiral's ship. The admiral sat down in his chair. "Report," the admiral ordered.
"Both remaining Firestorms report that the commodore and Jim made it to the respective ships," Burt stated.
"We believe the I.S.S. Enterprise is attempting to open temporal rifts in the area so they can return," Pevro replied. "Additionally, a Gorn dreadnought has appeared and is attacking the Amaterasu."
Nat looked to the viewscreen, which now displayed the ongoing battle. "Take us in," the admiral said.
U.S.S. Amaterasu, Bridge
"You killed a Gorn? Unbecoming of a Starfleet officer," Claire said. "Probably."
Elric shook his head. "I fought him, but it was an alternate universe Sarah that killed him. But misplaced blame is good too. Good for the heart. They'll feel better. Oh, and initiate multi-vector assault mode, attack pattern Delta-Gamma-Psi. Target their weapons."
Suddenly Elric was transported away.
U.S.S. Amaterasu Beta, Engineering
Elric found himself in the Amaterasu's Beta section, in Engineering. The ship was now separated into three. In Engineering, a Gorn had Zeta pinned next to a console, and which Zeta's cables had been connected to. It was clear that Zeta had beamed him there.
"Bad timing, buddy," Elric said. "But then again, you're not doing so great yourself."
He ran over and punched for the Gorn's head, but his fist was blocked when the Gorn released the robot spider. Elric used his other arm to tap his commbadge. "Elric to Amaterasu Alpha, I'm on Beta. Continue the attack."
*Click!* Zeta pulled his cable in and then flung it around a second Gorn's waist as the second Gorn attempted to reach Elric. The cable went tighter and tighter.
Elric ducked a swing from the first Gorn and returned with a kick. The Gorn punched again and Elric knocked the fist away and punched his android arm into his face. The Gorn's teeth broke out and Elric palm-striked him one last time, knocking him out. The Captain looked around to find the security team had finished with the others.
"Anyone want to join me in command, feel free," he said.
U.S.S. Amaterasu Beta, Battle Bridge
Zeta hopped back onto Elric's shoulder as he left Engineering and took a turbolift to the Battle Bridge of the Amaterasu's Beta section. He took command and activated the view screen whih showed the Gorn ship and the Mephiles joining. "Beta section to Alpha, I've taken command here. I'm targeting their primary weapons," he said before launching two quantum torpedoes.
Harrison and his security team followed Elric, and took some of the other stations to help fly the ship.
"Acknowledged," replied Scott. "I already sent Cujo, 2 of 7, and some other officers to command the Gamma section, by the way. We're all targeting the enemy weapons systems."
On the viewscreen, the Mephiles could be seen pounding into the Gorn vessel's shields with a flurry of antiproton beams, and taking the blunt of the Gorn vessel's own weapons fire. The Firestorm and Firestorm-F continued closing rifts, as did the I.S.S. Sally, but it was becoming clear that they were too slow; several alternate Terran Paladin class Temporal Battlecruisers had already broken through and started engaging the local Firestorms.
"Elric to Amaterasu Alpha: It looks like we're struggling with rifts. Since Gamma has the deflector, I'll send them to assist. Keep up your attack."
Amaterasu Gamma veered off toward a rift and began closing it. Meanwhile, the Amaterasu Alpha and Beta hit the Gorn dreadnought's forward weapons hard, disabling them.
On Gamma, Cujo brought up the comms, hailing the other vectors. "We've take command of the Gamma bridge," Cujo stated, working away, "we're closing this rift now."
One of the alternate Terran Paladins outside took notice and headed for the Amaterasu's Gamma Section, targeting the deflector. The newly instated acting helmsman, a Vulcan male named Sirok, initiated evasive maneuvers.
Elric watched as Amaterasu Gamma was hit, just missing its deflector, and likely disrupting those inside for a moment. "Agh, poor guys," he said, sympathetically. "Elric to Mephiles, have anyone to spare to take a temporary command of Amaterasu Gamma? I'm heading over to cover them."
He then nodded to Harrison to send a message to Amaterasu Alpha.
"Harrison, have Scott follow our lead," Elric suggested.
U.S.S. Mephiles, Bridge
Admiral Nat just deadpanned, turning to Sarah, shrugging, then turning to Krystal. "Get down to the transporter room and beam over."
Krystal literally jumped up and ran for the Transporter Room, clearly excited to be doing something.
U.S.S. Amaterasu Gamma, Battle Bridge
As soon as she was able to beam over, she ran for the Bridge. 2 of 7 turned to Krystal as she ran in abruptly. "Captain," 2 of 7 said. "We're currently evading fire from an alternate Terran battlecruiser, evidently a future vessel. Your orders?"
Krystal thought for a moment. "Quick rundown on what we got available, and see if we can find a blind spot on that battlecruiser," she said. "This thing's a lot smaller than the Lexington so its gonna be a bit of a switch in tactics."
U.S.S. Amaterasu Beta, Battle Bridge
The Beta vector flew passed and fired phasers and torpedoes into the Paladin-class ship that was firing at Krystal's Gamma vector. "Elric to Amaterasu Gamma. Captain Krystal Jade? Is that you? Huh. I couldn't imagine a better person in command."
Then he continued.
"I'm on the Beta vector and Commander Scott's on the Alpha vector, but you're on the only vector capable of closing those Mirror Universe rifts. Scott and I can cover you, if you're up for it."
"Just clear us a path Elric," Krystal said. "Plow the road. We'll do what we can."
U.S.S. Mephiles, Bridge
Admiral Nat watched the battle from the viewscreen, noticing that the Mephiles had now been left to fight the Gorn dreadnought alone, as the dreadnought in question continued targeting the Amaterasu's Beta section and headed directly for them, targeting their shields. The Mephiles, naturally, followed, but their numerous attacks evidently didn't attract their attention away.
U.S.S. Amaterasu Alpha, Bridge
Scott watched the ongoing battle, somewhat weary of the Paladin-class battlecruiser, who's defenses were evidently unyielding to a mere Hestia-class Advanced Escort. The Terran battlecruiser continued firing at the Amaterasu Gamma, using temporal weapons to begin degenerating the vessel's systems and prepared to trap it in a timeline collapse.
"Amaterasu Gamma, get out of there, now!" Scott said urgently. "You don't stand a chance!"
U.S.S. Amaterasu Beta, Battle Bridge
The Beta vector was hit by the Gorn dreadnaught, weakening its shields. "Didn't we just disable their weapons?" Elric asked. "They must've brought them back online already? Return fire."
The Beta vector fed phasers and torpedoes back into the Gorn dreadnaught's weapons. A console on the battle bridge rang off a minor alert, distracting the Captain for a moment.
"What the?" Elric turned to check. "It looks like Claire configured the ship to scan for something specific. What was she doing?"
But then the Gorn ship took his attention back as Amaterasu Beta veered around again for a final onslaught. He ordered another attack and a salvo of photon torpedoes splayed across the enemy ship. Meanwhile, the Mirror Universe rifts continued on in the background, and Elric wondered how close they were to the edge of the temporal fracture.
A Terran Sagittarius-class cruiser emerged from another rift and locked weapons on Amaterasu Beta.
"Another one," Elric realized. "Open hailing frequencies." Amaterasu Beta began transmitting. "Mirror Universe vessels, we are currently locked in a temporal fracture, existing outside our universe. Your interphasic rifts threaten the spatial composure of this place, being held open by a group of Xzarefiins. We must cease this conflict and close those rifts if any of our universes are to survive."
Author's notes: These are compiled posts by multiple players for the Earth Spacedock RP on the Star Trek Online forums. My character was Elric (w Zeta). This continues from the last ESD entry. Written in March 2017.
Earth Spacedock, Pages 103-105
The vessel ignored hails, as another Nat materialized via some futuristic, multicolored yet olden style transporter beam on the bridge of the Amaterasu Beta abruptly. No visible rank; obviously, as Emperor, he didn't need one.
Just as one of the security ensigns moved to intercept him, he held up a hand, summoning three, dark, ominous clouds of mystical cloudy energy; he flicked his hand back, and the first cloud exploded, sending a couple of redshirts lurching backward. The second; knocking Harrison and Zeta away, knocking them both unconscious. The third blasted Elric backward into the wall. Emperor Nat held up his other hand, and a solar gateway opened up, in clear line of sight of everyone in the room, ready for fire solar flares at moments notice. Elric himself, like the others, was now held up to the wall by a gravimetric trap, as the alternate Terran Emperor looked him in the eye.
"Call them all off, now," he said, quite sternly. "Trust me, there won't be any need for any rifts, nor any universal destruction, if you surrender and give me Captain Nat and Admiral Sarah Walker, preferably before they get away and cause the very destruction I'm here to prevent. If you don't believe me, just hail your Admiral Nat; he knows exactly what I'm talking about."
Elric struggled within the gravametric trap. "What are you talking about? The disruption of this fracture is what causes the end. Computer, hail the Mephiles."
The Beta vector opened a channel again.
"Elric to Admiral Nat, another version of you is on my ship and is demanding Captain Nat and Admiral Sarah Walker."
"What!?" Admiral Nat replied frantically. "How many versions of me are there? What does he want them for?"
"The same Emperor Nat from the I.S.S. Enterprise-J," the alternate mirror Nat replied. "This temporal fracture isn't the only thing that can destroy our universes, you know. You're too focused on it to even bother noticing the next threat you're about to let get away to cause the next, and you'd never even know!"
Meanwhile, the Paladin continued firing on the Amaterasu Gamma, making several high speed tactical maneuvers to dodge their fire while sending back several salvos of chroniton torpedoes. Another Sagittarius, flanked by two Theseus-class temporal escorts, emerged from more rifts and locked weapons on the Mephiles, who initiated evasives and opened fire on the new arrivals.
Another temporal rift opened elsewhere and a single Mobius Temporal Destroyer, the I.S.S. Chronostorm, emerged, locking weapons on the Paladin attacking the Amaterasu Gamma, the Chronostorm wearing down the Paladin's shields with rapid bursts of antichroniton-infused subatomic spiral-wave disruptor quad cannons and then plowing into the battlecruiser's hull with a salvo of Chronophasic torpedoes, followed by a Temporal Disruption Device, tearing the vessel to pieces as the Chronostorm passed by, coming about and evidently attracting the attention of the other Terran ships, who changed targets and opened fire on the newly arrived Mobius.
"NO!" Emperor Nat shouted, having turned to see the carnage on the viewscreen formerly behind him. "You know what? That's it. I'm done. Forget diplomacy. Forget negotiations. I'm taking them, one way or another!"
He dematerialized in a glowing transporter beam alike the one he arrived in, as the I.S.S. Enterprise-J emerged from another, larger rift, whilst locking onto the location of the temporal facility with an anti-time weapon.
Elric and the others were released from the gravimetric hold, and Zeta popped up back into android consciousness. The Captain, on his hands and knees for a moment tried to catch his breath. "That was diplomacy?"
He then got up as the others took their stations.
"Target the Mirror Enterprise-J and fire phasers," he said. The Beta vector pursued course and fired.
The Chronostorm generated several temporal rifts behind the Enterprise, wrecking havoc with her engines, misaligning her anti-time weapon from it's intended target, and pulling the massive vessel backward. As the vessel moved closer and closer to the rifts, the rifts merged together into a single, larger rift, pulling the Universe-class starship inside and sending her away to parts unknown.
Elric watched as the Mirror Enterprise-J was defeated and sent away. He was appreciative and shocked at the turn of events. "I helped. I weakened her a little," he attempted to claim.
The Chronostorm came about and fired several chronophasic torpedoes into the two Theseus-class temporal escorts, crippling them and then finishing them off with temporal disruption devices. It fired on the Sagittarius with subatomic spiral-wave disruptors as the Mephiles, both Firestorms, and the I.S.S. Sally fired on the vessel with their own weapons.
Elric nodded to his skeleton crew. "Let's check up on Captain Jade. Set course for that Paladin-class ship and open fire!" Elric ordered.
Then Zeta replied, *Click! Clickkk!*
"What do you mean we're almost out of torpedoes? Damn!" Elric cursed. The Amaterasu Beta flew near the Gamma and fired phasers and a photon torpedo on the Mirror ship.
The Paladin was hit by several chronophasic torpedoes and it's shields failed as the Chronostorm flew by.
The Chronostorm hailed the other ships, and mirror Nat started speaking. "Well, I don't think he'd be stupid enough to come back without a lot of reinforcements, so if he's here for Captain Nat and Admiral Sarah, I suggest we get them out of here sooner rather than later."
Obviously, Emperor Nat wasn't that stupid. A large temporal rift opened before anyone could react, and the Enterprise, fully repaired, came back with a fleet of Terran warships; many of 26th century designs, directly flanking the I.S.S. Enterprise herself.
"Surrender immediately, or you will all be destroyed," said the voice of Emperor Nat over transmission.
On the opposing side of the battlefield, several temporal rifts opened up behind the Chronostorm, spawning numerous Alliance aligned Krenn and Talvath Temporal Destroyers, and a few assorted 25th century Alliance vessels, flanking the Chronostorm.
"Come at me," said Regent Nat, over a similar transmission.
The two fleets quickly moved forward and engaged each other in ruthless battle, without any hint of mercy on either side. The Mephiles and others kept back.
Another console beeping brought Elric out of his focus. He checked it, quickly, and found that a program was running on all three vectors, modifying sensor frequencies on a rotating basis.
"Zeta, did Claire do this too? How'd she know about how this pocket universe works? And how'd she get the Amaterasu over here? Did she really hack our intel and implement temporal technology to get into here?"
*Click!* was all Zeta could reply with.
"He's got a limited vocabulary," Elric explained to Harrison, just in case he was confused. Then he looked back to the screen. It appeared the shields were broken-through on the Mirror Paladin-class vessel. "Quickly, Mr. Harrison, fire our last quantum torpedoes!"
The Amaterasu Beta flew overhead and shot, point-blank, onto the enemy ship, exploding its forward hull within temporal fracture space. Then it fell back and joined the other ships. Elric watched the carnage on screen.
"How long can the Xzarefiins hold this space together?" he wondered.
"I doubt it'll last long," Captain Nat said. "We have to break this up or send them elsewhere. Why are they all fighting, anyway?"
"Apparently you and Admiral Sarah are going to cause the destruction of our universes," Admiral Nat replied. "Don't ask how, Emperor Nat didn't explain."
"Is it something Nat and Sarah will do?" Elric asked over comms from his ship. "Nat, I can see a potential in such an outcome since he has those powers. But on the other hand, perhaps Nat's the only one who can remove this mess?"
"This is getting way out of hand!" Krystal called out, her hair having come loose from its usual ponytail in the fighting. "What the hell are we supposed to do now? They keep this up there won't be anything left to fight over!"
"Ready to surrender yourselves to me?" asked the emperor.
"Forget it," Captain Nat answered. "You want us? Come and get us back in our universe."
Captain Nat and Admiral Sarah vanished from the Mephiles in a flash and Emperor Nat stood up in horror. "NO!"
The I.S.S. Enterprise quickly disappeared into a temporal rift, followed by the fleet that she brought with her. The Chronostorm and it's own fleet remained, evidently not bothering to waste their time with this fight, at least not yet.
"Chronostorm to allies," said mirror Nat, continuing. "We're not going after them. Yet. Trust me, we will, but not yet, I figure we should see this temporal fracture through."
The Gorn dreadnought, evidently scared, ran off into a temporal rift.
"If there are any interphasic rifts left, we should close them," suggested Elric over comms. "Then we should leave."
Krystal nodded in response. "This is all above my pay grade anyways," she said. "Lets close up shop and go home."
"They're already closing on their own," Scott said in reply. "It looks like nobody is trying to come in here and attack us, at least for now."
"So that's it?" asked Jim from the Firestorm-F. "Well, thank goodness. Let's get out of here."
The last few rifts closed. "Elric, I think we're about done here," Krystal observed.
"We're missing something," replied Admiral Nat. "Lyras and her crew. Hell, even her ship. Where did they go anyway?"
"Good questions," Elric said over comms. "And agreed, Captain Jade. I think I should reintegrate the Amaterasu now. Sorry to have your fun short-lived."
Scott then had the Amaterasu Alpha move to Beta for reintegration.
"She's your ship," Krystal replied. "You take point. I've never been aboard a ship like this before so... I don't know how to put her together again."
"It should be automatic..." Cujo replied.
"Again... I have no experience with this class of ship," Krystal pointed out. "I'm used to cruisers like the Lexington."
"We're in position now, Captain Elric," said Sirok, having moved the Amaterasu Gamma into position for reintegration.
Elric smirked. "Yeah, she is a pretty good ship, and thanks for taking care of Gamma vector. I've never been able to perform the Picard Maneuver properly myself, so that was impressive."
Then he turned away.
"Computer, reintegrate sequence; initiate. —Captain Jade, feel free to join Scott and I on the Bridge."
The Amaterasu's vectors then flew together and the ship became whole again. While that was going on, Elric went back to Engineering to investigate the Warp core. Stepping over the bodies of Augmented Gorn, Elric came to realize a large unrecognizable device attached to the engines. Looking at it, he knew exactly who was behind this.
"Claire..." he said to himself. "She's somehow modified the engines to make temporal jumps. That's how the ship got here."
Elric then left for the Bridge. As soon as the vectors were reintegrated, Krystal made her way up to the Bridge too. Cujo, 2 of 7, Harrison, etc. all made their way to the bridge as well.
Elric entered the Bridge of the U.S.S. Amaterasu. There, he was met with the crew, Scott and Krystal. He nodded to them and then looked to the view screen which showed the other resting ships and the Mephiles. Elric then looked to Claire, who was still at the helm. Her return gaze showed she knew he knew about the warp core modification.
"So, you have access to temporal technology?" Elric asked her.
Claire shook her head. "I was able to get intel about this place from your own Starfleet interactions with Daniels, but actually getting here wasn't possible for me. Stealing the ship was easy, but it was your own Professor that gave me the schematics for a device that would link to a starship's engines. Unfortunately, the way they're configured allows for only two jumps: the one to get here, and the one to get back."
"What are you saying; someone from the future, the same person I thought was communicating with me, gave him temporal blue prints? I thought that was all an illusion by the Xzarefiin?" Elric said.
The other woman shrugged. "Maybe some parts of your experience were, and some were real. You did cross a temporal tear in space-time to get here, after all."
"This is crazy. The only reason I can imagine for my needing to be here is if encountering my future self and saving me was the goal to begin with anyway."
Claire smirked. "And I need you for my own mission, so shall we get back to our universe? With the device in engineering, we've got a one-time shot."
"There's a lot more explaining you're going to have to do," Elric replied before turning to the view screen. "Jessie, hail the Mephiles. —Admiral Nat, do we have everyone we need? Is Lyras back?"
"Not yet," the admiral replied. "However, I do not recommend all of us staying here for one ship. I suggest you and the Firestorms go back to spacedock, and we will return when Lyras is ready."
"Acknowledged," Elric replied. "We'll see you back at Spacedock." The channel closed and he turned to Jessie at tactical. "Prepare the temporal jump," he ordered. "Engage when ready."
The holographic officer nodded and began the sequence. The ship jumped into a flash and disappeared from the temporal fracture. It re-appeared back outside of Earth Spacedock, nearly a month later from the time he and everyone left for the fracture. The Amaterasu made contact with Operations and returned to the station, where everyone was free to depart the ship at their leisure.
Earth Spacedock, Food Court
Later, Elric approached a table on its own, near Krystal's table and Nat and Sarah's large table. He was joined by the holographic engineer, Jessie, who handed him a PADD.
"Bad news," she said. "Your friend has disappeared again."
Elric suppressed his shock as he took the report detailing Claire's information. "Of course she has. She's now wanted for stealing the Amaterasu, which seems to be a thing that happens to that ship a lot."
"Even if she went to trial with me, wouldn't we both get off since we helped save the universe?" Jessie asked.
The Captain nodded. "Probably. But she doesn't have time for that. She's a treasure hunter, and Federation bureaucracy is something that would just slow her down."
"One more thing," Jessie said as reached over and switched the PADD's display to something else. "Professor Raven was finally discharged in the time we were displaced. He received a coded message from the future, along with the temporary time device schematics that Claire and I got. It's coded only to you to view."
Elric activated the PADD's encoded message, using his credentials. A playback image of himself appeared on the screen. "Hello, Elric. I don't have much time, so listen to me. A long time ago, I nearly died in a temporal incident with the time traveler Grevkas. I've spent every day since then trying to avoid his murderous outrage, but if you're watching this right now, that means you helped me avoid another one. I owe you one."
"Wait a second," the Captain shook his head. "If I sent a message from the future and changed the past, then that future should have never existed, right? So, how could I have sent the message in the first place? Am I making any sense?"
Jessie shook her head. "My advice in making sense of temporal paradoxes is simple. Don't even try."
Author's notes: These are compiled posts by multiple players for the Earth Spacedock RP on the Star Trek Online forums. My character was Elric (w Zeta). This continues from the last ESD entry. Written in March/April/May 2017.
Earth Spacedock, Pages 105-113
Earth Spacedock, Astrolounge
Sarah got up, hands still on the table. "Well, I'm done here, then. See you all later." She started walking away, but slowed down for a moment. "What... the Breen are taking over the wha..." she mumbled, falling unconscious and after a moment, onto the floor.
Nat and the others just sat there for a moment, looking in her direction, surprised. Realizing the severity of the situation, they scrambled up and ran over. Nat called out for a medic and Scott started running some scans with his tricorder.
Krystal looked up from her PADD, wondering what was going on now and hoping it wasn't yet another crisis.
"Oh no..." said Scott, reaching a hand out to the others. "Chronitons. Probably from the temporal fracture. They're concentrated in her brain..." Scott turned and scanned Nat. Evidently, he was somewhat relieved. "Nat's fine. There are still chronitons in his system, obviously... but nothing to worry about."
A medical officer arrived and finally started taking care of Sarah, while Scott quickly scanned himself, then moved on to others. Many were fine. He moved over to Krystal. "Okay. You seem to be carrying a few more chronitons than the rest of us, but it's nothing to worry about..." Scott said, continuing scanning. "But I'd seriously recommend you stay somewhere where we can easily reach you."
"Why?" asked Nat, turning to Elric. Scott walked over and scanned him. "Same as the rest of us. Lots of chronitons, but luckily safe."
Krystal put her PADD down, revealing it was a report on some deflector upgrades to the Lexington. "Never a dull moment with you guys, is there?" she asked.
"Nope," the admiral replied, evidently not surprised anymore either. Salora arrived with another nurse and soon took Sarah down to the Infirmary to be cared for.
"Well, I guess you'd better get decontaminated," suggested Jessie to Elric. "Since I'm a hologram, I'm immune. Though, I should probably have my program checked, just in case."
Elric nodded. "I'll catch up with you later." He then made his way to the Infirmary with the others. Nat shrugged and got up to follow Elric, trailed by his officers and such. Krsytal groaned, grabbed her PADD and soda, and followed Nat.
"What's going on?" Lyras wondered aloud, entering the Infirmary to find Captain Elric, Admiral Nat and others. Could it be? "Are you hearing voices, too?" She asked, referencing her reason for visiting. She cringed internally, Why did I just say that? Now they will all think I'm going crazy!
"You already are crazy," the voice in her head chuckled.
"Shut up, dammit! I didn't ask for your opinion!" Lyras snapped, and then blanked when she realized she had said that out loud. She groaned, massaging her forehead with her fingers.
"Voices?" Nat asked, confused. "No, we're just here because we've loaded with chronitons from all that temporal stuff. I suggest you stick around for the same."
"Hm. Lyras, perhaps you should go first and get a full scan, just in case?" Elric suggested. "Something seems off."
"I mean... It's probably just stress," she shrugged. The doors to the Infirmary then opened to reveal Jonathan Edwards and Volaas chatting about something she couldn't quite make out. Well, that's convenient.
"Captain?" the Eterna's CMO sounded puzzled before explaining, "I was conducting Volaas's physical, but there's some aspects of his physiology that, in order to be monitored, need equipment more complex than what we have on the Eterna at the moment."
"How may I be of service?" Volaas inquired to Lyras, smiling a little.
"Honestly? I'm not really sure. Something involving chronitons. They'd be able to explain better than I can." Lyras indicated Admiral Nat and Captain Elric.
"We're full of them," Nat replied.
Elric then noticed Sarah who seemed to be out-of-sorts all of a sudden. "Hey, you alright? You look like you were a trillion kilometres away."
"She's unconscious, Elric," Nat said, deadpanning him.
"Ah, that explains it," Elric replied as the nurses came and took care of her. Another nurse came and started dealing with the extra patients. Elric was taken away to another section where he was inoculated with a decontaminating antichroniton hypospray. Over time, the others were also decontaminated as well.
Elric sat on a biobed, noticing the others wrapping up and leaving. When the nurse was done with him, she began cleaning up her station.
"Thanks," the Captain said. "Did you guys work on Professor Raven when he was here?"
Ensign Phen nodded while she put her things away. "We all did. Reducing the amount of Borg implants in him was a full team effort. In fact, we'd never seen the kinds of Borg modifications done to him on anyone before. He underwent countless surgeries."
"If one thing's for certain, he doesn't give up," Elric said. "Hopefully he can enjoy the rest of his retirement now. Wait. Isn't that his personal PADD?"
Phen then noticed a scratched-up, dark-green PADD on the table next to the bed. "Oh, that's right. I'd better have it sent to him on Earth."
"I'll do it," Elric offered. "It's the least I could do for everything he's been through. If I hadn't have lost him to the Borg, none of this would have happened."
The nurse handed him the PADD. "Sure. He must've forgot it talking to that red headed woman again."
"Red head?" Elric perked.
As she began walking away, she replied, "Yeah, Claire or something. They met several times before she stole that ship." When the nurse was gone, Elric expressed a concerned look at the PADD in his hand.
Elric sat in the Conference room next to Operations, looking through the PADD in his hands. Moments later, Jessie entered and joined him.
"Everything checks out with my program health," she said, settling in. "You?"
Elric nodded. "I'm good, thanks. But while I was in the Infirmary, I found the Professor's personal PADD. It looks like he and Claire were consulting."
"Well, of course," she replied. "We were trying to track you down and the Professor provided information from the future, which he received through his Borg implants. The same info that sent you away."
The Captain nodded. "Yeah, but there's more than temporary temporal device schematics to their consultations. Claire and I were researching an Ancient El-Aurian stone tablet we recovered from a deviant-Caitian secret organization. It leads to additional artifacts related to a medallion, possibly one of many, and an ancient amplifier box that I recovered earlier. I think Raven helped her decipher this and now she's gone off on her own to find them."
"I suspected her motivations were something more," Jessie replied. "I suppose she realized you were more a burden than a help after she was forced to help you in that alternate Mirror Universe battle."
The Human put the PADD down. "Agreed. At least, because of that, I've got a little more leeway in my duties. I've been allowed to pursue this as a mission and investigate further. That means going where Claire's disappeared to, and this data tells me exactly where that is."
"When do we leave?"
He got up. "Right now. Once again, I don't have much of a crew, so we're just taking the top vector of the Amaterasu. Any crew I can muster would help, but they still won't assign people to me."
"I'll prepare Amaterasu Alpha for interstellar travel anyway," the hologram added, getting up as well.
Elric eyed her. "You always deliver, Jessie. Dismissed."
U.S.S. Mephiles, Admiral's Office
Nat heard his door chirp with a visitor. Jim and Harrison both entered. "You asked for me, Admiral?" asked Harrison.
"Yes," said Nat. "For a special mission, naturally. Ever want to see what happens when you liberate an entire Borg Unimatrix at once?" He handed Harrison a PADD. "You'll be with a team of MACOs infiltrating an extremely well fortified Borg Unimatrix Complex and uploading some new virus to the central hub. The Borg Coorperative will already have ships on standby to clean up the resulting mess of newly freed Borg, assuming it works."
"Seems simple enough," said Harrison, narrowing his eyes. "Where's the catch?"
"The hub itself is protected by a room full of airborne nanites of every variety. Anything, alive or otherwise, that enters would be assimilated instantly. We'll have assigning a hologram to your team that'll be projected by a somewhat large mobile emitter that you'll have to set up outside the hub... well, it's a long story. You'll be briefed later, if you're crazy enough to join in."
"Ok," replied Harrison. "Where do I start?"
"Just stay here," replied the admiral. "Jim will be leading the mission aboard the Firestorm-F, but we'll need somebody with Borg experience on the ground. I actually do have someone in mind, but I don't know if he'd..." Nat pressed a button on his desk console, in an attempt to contact the Amaterasu. "This is Admiral Nat. Is Elric there by any chance?"
U.S.S. Amaterasu Alpha, Bridge
The top-third of the U.S.S. Amaterasu sat out in orbit of Forlat III. On the Bridge, Jessie worked tirelessly on the holographic emitter systems until finally succeeding in her goal.
"Yes. I did it!" the holographic engineer exclaimed when suddenly the entire ship filled out with holographic crew in Starfleet uniforms. "Jessie to Captain Elric," she tapped her commbadge. "I've got ourselves a crew, finally. Only, they're randomly based on the Federation database of officers who have served in Starfleet, so their uniforms may vary by era."
Forlat III, Underground Catacombs
A stolen Starfleet Runabout and a Stalker Stealth Fighter sat at the centre of an abandoned cluster of ancient ruins. Elric, with Zeta on his shoulder, were beneath them, traversing rocky tunnels and dodging inbound, attacking, giant blocks.
"Ugh! Great, but now's not the time, Lieutenant," Elric managed leaping over another sprung trap of spikes, ejecting from below his feet. He grabbed onto the side of the wall and pushed him passed all the chaos, further into the tunnel.
*Click!* Zeta said in shock.
Jessie replied over comms, "Right, sorry. So, how's it going? Did you find another piece of that El Aurian artifact?"
"I found the craft Claire stole and a Caitian Stealth Fighter. Both were empty," the Captain replied just as he came to a door covered in ancient text and Mugato head spikes of varying sizes. "Whoa, I've reached an entrance. It's the same one the tablet described. Only, this is saying 'the death from above, harkens close to the season'."
Over comms, Jessie hesitated. "So, not only did another offshoot El Aurian culture inhabit this planet, with their Mugato-offshoots, but they somehow knew its future?"
"Yeah, well, it's not surprising since some of their culture have been known to exhibit extra-dimensional sensory," Elric said. "Hold on, Forlat was taken by a Crystalline entity, and one of these head spikes indicates that with an etching on its side."
The Captain slowly reached over and pulled the severed horn, causing the cave to shake and the door to slowly open. Inside, was a giant chamber, covered in jewelry and latinum. At its centre was a pedestal and an artifact on it, while a Caitian woman stood over an injured and floored Claire.
"Who the hell are you?" Elric asked in shock.
The other woman eyed him. "The name's Seline," she replied. "And you're the officer who captured all my men."
"They weren't you're men," countered Elric. "You brainwashed them into doing your bidding."
Seline smirked as she then ran toward him. "The Caitians under me came to me free of their own will, Captain, and it wasn't brainwashing!"
"What are you talking about?" Elric said as he quickly blocked her incoming punch with his forearm.
The Caitian kicked her foot into him, which he caught, expertly. "It was an intensive mind manipulation that allowed them to be better skilled fighters and soldiers. Believe it or not, there's a select group of my species who want to be more like the Ferasans."
"So, you used them to break into Starfleet bases and starships?" the Captain asked just before Seline pulled him toward her with her grabbed foot and palm-striked the man in the head. "UGH!"
Seline used her other palm to strike him in the chest and sent him to the ground. "I freed them from their pitful confines as a fluff-race," she said as she stood above him. "Sometimes a Caitian is born different than other Caitians, fuelled by the anarchist mind of our ancestors. I was that Caitian and I promised to share my mind with those who needed it. What have you done with my Caitians, Captain?"
"They're being rehabilitated and were charged," Elric said, uprighting himself partially onto his elbow. "As you will be for orchestrating illegal activities in order to facilitate this treasure hunt."
It was then Zeta leapt off and clamped onto Seline's face. "UGGGH!! You idiots!!"
Seline was knocked to the ground as well when Elric kicked his feet into her shins. When she landed, Claire, also on the ground, began moving arbitrarily. "I'm not the one you need to be worried about!" Seline bellowed pulling the android spider off her face and throwing it to the side.
"What?" Elric got up and noticed a defragging device stuck on Claire's leg, sending shock waves throughout her body.
Claire then got up, with her eyes glowing red, carrying an odd, half-balanced demeanour and twitchy head movements. She snarled at the Captain. "I'll destroy you all!"
Claire bolted toward Elric, who raised his robotic arm to block her sudden, incoming kick. The impact was stronger than he anticipated and he was dragged back along the dirt a few feet. Looking up at her in shock, he blocked another incoming punch from Claire and then another and another.
"What the hell?? Where'd you get all this strength?" the Captain gaped.
Instead of any response, Claire leapt into the air and twisted her body around into another, more powered-kick. Elric dodged it and launched a punch with his robotic fist into her face. Claire was sent back into the center pedestal, nearly knocking the artifact off it. Pieces of her face broke off, revealing a metallic interior.
"She's not what you think, Captain," added Seline, who was preparing a phaser. "She's an android."
Elric turned back to the wild-eyed Claire in shock. "Impossible!"
"It's quite simple really," Seline continued as she aimed her phaser at Claire. "She was designed to fool your Spacedock sensors into thinking she was human. She probably didn't want to tell you either."
Seline fired a phaser beam, but Claire was faster and dodged it while sprinting toward the Caitian female. Claire knocked the leader in the face, sending the feline into the far wall. Elric and Zeta flew in, firing kicks and punches and metallic spider cables, all of which Claire ducked and dodged before knocking both attackers back and away.
"Ugh! Then what happened to her??" Elric argued as he was sent skidding across the floor with his spider companion retracting in its cables.
The Caitian got up and pulled out another phaser. "I was trying to switch her over with one of my mind-devices that I use on Caitians. Looks like she isn't compatible."
Seline fired into her previous-fallen phaser as Claire neared it, exploding it underneath the android and sending it up into the air and then into the hard ground. All of a sudden, several Borg drones transported in. They began walking toward each of them.
U.S.S. Firestorm-F, Borg Space
The Firestorm-F, escorted by a squadron of Arbiter class battlecruisers, headed to a certain Borg Unimatrix in Borg space, ready to begin their mission. They dropped out of warp and engaged the Borg forces, pushing towards the Unimatrix Complex so they could start beaming down teams of MACOs.
Forlat III, Underground Catacombs
Elric force-palmed an incoming drone back into another one, while Seline ripped an arm off her attacker and used it to knock both of Elric's drone fodder to the ground.
"Amaterasu Alpha to Captain Elric," came the hail from Jessie. "A Borg sphere has locked tractor beams on us and is dragging our vessel into its insides."
Several more drones beamed in and unexpectedly grabbed the Captain, with enough of them to hold him back. "Ugh! Did you at least try to get away?" Elric asked with a loss of hope.
"Sorry, sir. I did offer them an analgesic cream. Looks like they weren't into it. Well, I suppose this was all for nothing," she replied, also losing confidence.
Even more drones beamed in and pinned Seline to the ground. She growled in anger until a tubule injected her with a muscle suppressant. "Perhaps it isn't such the end after all," the Caitain woman commented, nodding toward the pile of android on the dirt floor that was the unconscious Claire.
"They're not assimilating us," Elric noticed as he looked from the drones to Claire. Several more drones surrounded the android woman and began scanning her. In the next second, Claire and her investigating drones were transported away and onto the Borg sphere.
Seline turned her attention to Elric, who was still being held. "Not yet, anyway," she added as she, Elric, Zeta and all the rest of the drones dematerialized.
Forlat III, Orbit
Out in orbit, when the top one-third of the Hestia-class U.S.S. Amaterasu was engulfed by the sphere, the Borg machine rotated and leapt into transwarp, out of there.
Sweet STFC ref... Thanks!! rbs
Yeah, maybe the Borg this whole time were just looking for a proper skin care product.
Author's notes: This was written in March 2017 as part of the Star Trek Online forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #33. It takes place in the in-game map Drozona which always has flickering lights. And there was this annoying in-game bug at the time with party poppers. I also wanted to mash-up two of my KDF Captains, Sigon (last seen in ULC 28 where his alcoholism led him to save Menchez) and the Gorn named Deloss (last seen in ULC 31 where his Sherlock Holmes obsession led to releasing a more savvy Moriarty).
Unofficial Literary Challenge #33: Prompt #1: You're docked in port between missions and give the all clear for the off-duty crew to go ashore for some well-deserved R&R. Do you head to the officer's club for a quiet drink, or is some hiking and fishing more your speed? And what wacky hijinks do the crew get up to when boilermakers are two-for-one at the local bars? Do they arrow for the tourist traps, or do they seek out more intellectual pursuits at libraries and museums? And how well does the Shore Patrol do at keeping a lid on the festivities and making sure everyone's back aboard when it's time to leave?
Unofficial Literary Challenge #33
The Bortasqu'-class I.K.S. Masamune docked at Drozana Station, the filthiest, scummiest, low-down spacedock this side of the Donatu Sector. Deloss, the Gorn and Klingon Defense Force officer and his senior staff transported aboard before walking off the transporter pad.
"What about the rest of the crew? It is preposterous we only ever focus on the Bridge officers like we're the only people here!" Grough, the Gorn and helmsmen soap-boxed.
The Captain waved it off. "They snooze, they lose. As for the rest of you, since you're all coincidentally off-duty, you may take your leisure time upon you to enjoy to the fullest one may in the limited time we have to live in this universe."
The group then nodded to each other in agreement of that existentialism and dispersed among the filth.
Deloss made his way to the bar and found the Klingon and fellow Captain, Sigon, sitting at a table, looking uneasy.
"You're here?? This means a crossover!?" Deloss said, shocked and appalled. "It is clear now that everything going forward is to be contrived."
Sigon looked up in search of the voice and found its owner. "Oh, it's you, Captain Deloss. Yes, I'm here with the crew of the I.K.S. Baetal for Klingon Fleet Week: A time where mighty warriors of the Empire are allowed leisure activities and a sense of temporary freedom and false security."
"Same here," Deloss replied, sitting across from him. "It is odd the Week applies to the whole of the Klingon Defense Force, thus leaving Klingon space theoretically vulnerable and without defense."
The Klingon sat up. "That is not the problem. The issue is that with all this frolicking and frivolity, there is a 60% chance of shenanigans and wacky hijinks unbefitting that of a warrior of any race and/or creed."
"You're sounding like me," Deloss observed. "Aren't you the party Klingon who invades Raatooras every year and makes its inhabitants serve him an over-abundance of food and alcohol and other activities of a personal nature?"
Sigon waved him off. "Their population is receding because of it."
"Besides, what are the chances of any of our crews causing a ruckus?" Deloss asked. "I know with mine, I have whipped them, including an alternate universe version of them, into warrior-shape. What do you think this is, an ongoing series of stories containing indomitable antics and inane irreverence??"
The other officer stood up. "Yes, I do think that! Let's just check in on the predictable buffoonery, shall we?"
They both walked over to a group of officers from the Masamune and the Baetal. There, Ronin, Grough, Poroka and Gozer were standing around the Dabo table.
"This gambling receptacle is literally the only thing to do on this station, so pretty much everyone will end up here," Sigon stated as they approached.
Deloss snarled. "Well, I was going to peacefully reorganize my music playlist, but exacerbating our conflict and trying to prove each other wrong is a worthy task as well."
"—Spin the wheel, and win!" announced the holographic Leeta to the group standing around. Everyone appeared inactive and bored. "Yay! I'm suppressing this terrible experience!"
Gozer slowly scanned his Energy Credit card and waited patiently for the spin. "Ohhhhh... boy..." he said in a paced and droning fashion, reflecting an uncharacteristic inanity. Drool hung from his gape. "Are the pizza pockettttssss ready yet? Heh, heh, heh. Duuuuddde."
Deloss turned to his companion, annoyed. "Is this the inexcusable lunacy you so eluded to, Captain Sigon?"
"What the Gre'thor? This appears to be the polar opposite of maddening rowdiness! We must scan this filth mongering space cage," Sigon said, taking out his Klingon tricorder. "It really is disgusting. Even from a Klingon point of view."
Captain Deloss followed the other man and they began walking. "They do appear to be more comatose than usual. But that doesn't excuse what happened to you? You're not the same Sigon who drank an entire barrel of bloodwine on the Chancellor's throne, gone through two heart surgeries that same night and lived to boast about it?"
"Not long ago, I was boarded by Captain Menchez, who commandeered my ship to enact vengeance against the Kazon-Rokka for the loss of his crew. When he was about to give his life in honor, I, misguidedly and drunk, saved him from certain death. I've been living in dishonor ever since," Sigon explained.
The Gorn nodded in understanding. "So, you blame the alcohol and the lifestyle you were living. Perhaps disregarding who you are is the real dishonor?"
"Impossible! A Klingon never looks at things from other perspectives," snapped the now-hardened man. "Sometimes we don't even open our eyes. It's how I ended up in a targ pen last week."
As they reached the end of a corridor, Sigon's tricorder indicated a signature out-of-the-ordinary. Deloss snatched the device out of his hands, impatiently.
"It's some kind of triolic tear in the space-time continuum? There are several of them aboard the station!" the Gorn reacted in complete shock.
Sigon peered at him, judgmentally. "Through the tears, the tricorder is detecting several Devidians sucking the neural life out of the station's inhabitants. That's the job of the 'Spin the Wheel' episode!"
"Perhaps we weren't affected because we didn't get drawn and stuck at that one Dabo table," realized Deloss. "The Devidians clearly enacted this phasing technique. But I have a plan. I believe the only way to defeat them is to increase the neural energy to their gaping holes and overload those slack-jawed gawk-heads."
The other man recoiled in disgust. "Ugh! Oh man, you Gorn are sick. I see why we conquered you now."
The two ran out to the open area to find the dreary, dead-zoned, uninspired atmosphere of a forced fan fiction— err, bar room place.
"We have to liven-up this gunk-joint with one of your signature Sigon-parties or everyone dies!" Deloss warned.
Sigon recoiled. "What? That's ridiculous. The answer is clearly something sciencey where we flood the station with particles that would combat triolic radiation. I don't know, chronitons or tachyons or something. You basically just pick one at random and it works."
"Don't you see? The fact they're trying this new tactic means they've grown smarter and likely have already thought of that!" Deloss argued. "It's the chicken-and-the-egg, but our version of it. The Klingon Empire chicken-and-the-egg!"
The Klingon shook his head. "All I see are conclusions and a Gorn's love-affair with jumping to them. Do you ever think in a normal way, or are you forever misaligned with the rest of us?"
"Of course a Klingon would dismiss me, as if Gorn have nothing to contribute to the Empire," Deloss countered. "It's our rock-clutching obsession that cleaned up your precious Praxis aftermath. Don't you remember?"
Sigon snapped his fingers, distractedly. "Obsession? Of course! I could launch an explosive party popper— or disco ball, as many call it— forcing everyone into an annoying Q-obsessed dance off? The only problem is, if I die, it goes on forever."
"Disco balls on Drozana? Wasn't that done before by Starfleet Den—"
The other man quickly cut him off. "There's no time to finish that!" He then slapped his wrist communicator. "Sigon to Baetal. Transport my party popper devices and all the forgotten barrels of bloodwine from our cargo hold to Drozana, immediately."
"Yes, sir," came the voice of Liss over the air. "It's odd we store them in barrels to begin with. I mean, by the 25th century, we don't have healthier containment receptacles?"
In an instant, the barrels were transported in and Sigon received his devices that he discharged within Drozana's open area. Giant floating disco balls and confetti were expelled everywhere while people slowly began scooping bloodwine for their alcoholic tastes.
"It's time to PARTY, YOU INFERIOR FOOLS!" Sigon announced over all the sudden ruckus and over-the-top exceptionalism. "The 'inferior fools' thing is just to Klingon-it-up a little."
Deloss looked at him. "Where'd you get those anyway?"
"An omnipotent being called Qu sells them on the blackmarket, which I used to purchase for my Friday Night Fek'Ihri Dance-Offs," Sigon explained. "Ohhh, the limbo showdowns they initiate. We often use the Hordlings as height poles."
The Gorn nodded. "Anyway, I am certain we have both learned lessons here, though I do not know what."
"Well, mine is that I can adapt to the cognitive dissonance of my lifestyle being the cause of dishonor while continuing said lifestyle," the Klingon added. "It's a lemniscate Klingon Empire chicken-and-the-egg."
Deloss tapped his jaw. "Hm. Then, I guess mine should be that relevance is relative. Whatever that means."
Suddenly, with everyone on Drozana now excited and celebrating, explosions of overloaded Devidians popped out of mid-air and onto the floors all over the place.
"Currrssssse, you Sigon and Deloss," a new Shrouded Phantasm named Stuart argued as he tried, unsuccessfully, to get up off the floor. "We will return to have our revvvvengggge!"
The two watched as the Phantasm used his staff to get up and disappear he and his other Devidians away, back to their realm. The Phantasm then quickly popped its head back through a mid-air hole and he sucked a few more sips of Gozer's neural activity.
"Ohhh yeahhhh, that's the stuff," Stuart said before noticing everyone observing his addiction problem. He addressed them before pulling himself back into his realm. "We'll be back! And don't bother fixing your lights!"
Always a fan of the way you critique the various writing follies of the franchise in these challenge entries. And totally loving the black market disco balls!
Separate names with a comma.