STO Phoenix Compendium

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Hawku, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Total understated British humor...

    And that one has me rolling :guffaw::guffaw::guffaw: Take your pick of the franchise series currently in production and any one of them would be 100% better if that paragraph were their starting premise. Thanks!! rbs
    Hawku and Will The Serious like this.
  2. Bynar0110

    Bynar0110 Captain Captain

    Sep 25, 2022
    Ohio Valley, USA
    Holy Cow
    Hawku likes this.
  3. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Snakeskin shuttles. That's brilliant!
    Too bad we're Canadian. lol :lol:
    Holy snake! :D
  4. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    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 September 2018.​

    Earth Spacedock, Page 163-166
    Earth Spacedock, Astrometrics

    Nick facepalmed. "Oi. Stop eating! We can't fit ya in a fookin' shuttle now!" He yelled at the orb, his Irish accent flaring up more then he usually lets it.

    Krystal rushed in and skidded to a halt. "Oh, you gotta be KIDDING ME!"

    "We're getting stronger energy readings," said Qala over comms. "What's going on?"

    "The orb is treating Astrometrics like an all-you-can-eat, Las Vegas buffet!" Nick exclaimed after tapping his commbadge.

    "Then get it into a shuttlecraft before it destroys spacedock," said Qala. "Elric said he could control it. Is moving to the shuttlebay and not consuming Astrometrics along the way really that difficult?"

    "Get it in a shuttle? This damn thing is half the size of a shuttle!" Nick exclaimed once more, gesturing at the orb.

    "Can it fit in a runabout?"

    "It fookin' better fit," Nick said, staring down the orb. "We're gonna try to get this show moving again. O'Connor out." Nick said as he tapped his commbadge, cutting the comm.

    Krystal tried getting near the front of the orb and waving her hands. "Elric! Stop! You're gonna punch a hole in the station if you continue!"

    "Guys, I just want to reassure you that I'm totally rational and completely in control of my actions here," the orb said. "I want the exact same things you want. Well, besides, seatbelts on command chairs. They can do that in alternate realities, but they can't in the Prime Universe? Doesn't make sense to me. Besides, I have Claire and Zeta here to keep the situation in line."

    Inside the pocket realm of what seemed like being in a humanoid-sized egg, Elric looked back at the android woman and android crystal spinner to find that internal energy tentrils had knocked them unconscious.

    "Oh, they're just taking a nap. It's cute when androids sleep. I wish you two could see this. Oh, I know! Maybe the Operations deck has a holocamera. I'll check. Sit tight! Don't worry, I can still fit in a runabout. I think."

    The orb moved upwards, breaking through the ceiling and absorbing the shattered debris and it began ascending decks.

    "Elric! God dang it!" Krystal exclaimed.

    Nick tapped his commbadge. "The ceiling. The feckin' orb just burst through the damn ceiling! The feck are we supposed to do now?!"

    Krystal just looks up through the hole. "I don't even know if he's aware of the damage he's causing..."

    "We have to stop him somehow," Nick said as he turned and looked to Krystal.

    Krystal just looked at Nick. "How?"

    "Very carefully, I would say," Nick retorted.


    Operations Command

    The orb burst into Operations Command, surprising people. "Okay, has anyone seen Captain Sulu? Never mind, I think I know where the holocam is."

    The orb went over to a locker and absorbed the door and then the contents inside.

    "Oh, yeah, the whole eating thing."

    The orb began lancing out energy tendrils in all directions, grabbing whatever it could find, absorbing it and getting bigger. Someone fired a phaser at it, pushing the orb slightly in an opposite direction like a giant beach ball.


    U.S.S. Sally, Battle Bridge

    "Admiral, we're receiving reports about a giant, glowing entity in Earth Spacedock's operations command," reported a comms officer. "Also, hearing comms chatter about an anomaly, Captain Elric. Sounds like General Malin is working with some people to contain it, although it seems like they're failing."

    Admiral Nat just facepalmed. "We never get a dull moment these days..."

    "You know, Admiral," said Jim, hailing the Sally from the Mephiles. "I doubt the N.V. Vengeance is going anywhere, I'm sure we can manage things here if you want to run off chasing anomalies."

    The admiral sighed. "Fine, I'd imagine most of our ships aren't in much condition to do any more fighting now, anyway. I'll leave you to it, report in if anything happens."


    Earth Spacedock

    In Spacedock Operations Command, a team of M.A.C.O.s entered, aiming their weapons at the Elric orb. "Stop right there!"

    Krystal rushes in and and blinks, unsure how to deal with Elric right now.

    Nick follows Krystal, stopping dead in his tracks at her side. "This is a disaster."

    "I can't... stop..." Elric said, gritting his teeth and pushing out two more energy tendrils to absorb more consoles. "Have you ever ate because you just needed to? Like it gave you a momentary sense of relief after all that stress? Well, this is that, only the compulsion is way beyond a matter of self-control."

    The orb grew a bit bigger, pushing its edge into the floor, while the interior pocket realm remained the same size.

    "If only I could've predicted Claire would betray me. If only I could understand Doctor Melzine's real motives. If only my future made sense. Uggh. I think you're gonna have to open those big windows."

    "I'm receiving visual data from the nearby M.A.C.O.s now," said Qala over the comms. "I think I might have an idea of what's going on, now."

    "Oh?" inquired Malin, also over the comms.

    "Of course. Future Zeta sealed the anomaly with chronitons, right? Their hitting it with anti-chronitons sent them back in time... but also cancelled out the original chronitons in the process," answered Qala. "This is exactly the Spacedock destroying anomaly future Zeta was trying to prevent, and we're all idiots for not realizing it sooner."

    One of the M.A.C.O.s facepalmed.

    "Well, that's just great," replied Malin. "How do we free them from the anomaly and, you know, remove said anomaly?"

    "I suggest allowing it to leave the station by whatever means necessary," said Qala. "We'll tow it with a tractor beam to somewhere empty so it can't keep expanding, then figure it out from there."

    Krystal grit her teeth. "Elric! Get outside the station! Now! Before you eat the station out from under us!" she yelled.

    "We need to get out of here. if he decides to just float into space, he might poke a hole in the hull and pull us into the void of space!" Nick exclaimed as he put a hand on Krystal's shoulder, trying to get her to leave with him.

    Elric heard Krystal through the chaos. She was right. He couldn't let Earth Spacedock be destroyed. But the larger the anomaly got, the slower he was able to move it under his own power.

    Never-the-less, the big orb inched its way toward the closed windows, absorbing things as he went along. One long tendril reached into Admiral Quinn's office and deconstructed his desk.

    "We Need to move, now!" Nick yelled as he pulled Krystal somewhere else. "Unless you want to start inhaling a vacuum, please trust me."

    "Alright, I have a plan," said Qala. "Evacuate that section, now!"

    The M.A.C.O.s started hurrying people out of the room, and as they left, forcefields sealed it off from the rest of the station.

    The Nova-class starship became visible outside the window, maneuvering its rear in their direction and engaging a tractor beam. The windows visibly started cracking from the tractor pulling them away, and eventually broke, spewing pieces of transparent aluminum everywhere as they, and the orb, were pulled away from the station by the tractor beam into the coldness of space.

    The big orb crowned a hundred tiny tendrils, absorbing each piece as it was blown out into space. An unintentional nearby automated workbee flying passed was suddenly pulled in, causing the orb to increase into the size of a shuttle. Elric's moment of rationality was lost as he became focused purely on the hunger. He set his sights on the starship and flung an energy tendril onto its forward saucer section.

    The U.S.S. Molly's shields kept the tendril out for mere moments, as the vessel charged her phasers and fired on the tendril.

    "I think we have it," reported Qala. "New Xindus II and U.S.S. Victory, we're ready for our escort. Captain Jade and Captain O'Connor, we can beam you both aboard when you're ready."

    "New Xindus II... ready, I think," replied Malin. "Be careful not to fire on the anomaly too much, we wouldn't want to accidentally kill anyone inside it."

    "Understood," responded Qala.

    Inside the still-cramped pocket realm, Elric felt the pang of the ship's weapons. He looked around and caught his sights on a nearby shuttle, flinging energy arms onto it. Inside were several officers.

    The Molly fired phaser bursts at the new energy arms, intending to free the shuttle.

    "Elric, stop doing that! That shuttle has innocent people inside!" exclaimed Qala, having the ship send out the transmission on various frequencies in the hopes that Elric might receive one of them.

    The ship rapidly accelerated elsewhere, dragging the orb away. The New Xindus II followed closely.

    Krystal looked a little freaked out by the near brush with death in space. "We... we gotta find a way to solve this before he moves from desks to people."

    "You'd have better luck helping them if you let that ship beam you aboard," suggested one of the M.A.C.O.s. "Before the ship gets out of range. They look like they're moving pretty quickly..."

    Nick, still holding onto Krystal's shoulder without really noticing, tapped his commbadge. "O'Connor here. Beam the two of us up, please."

    The two captains dematerialized, and found themselves in the transporter room of the small Nova-class starship.

    Inside the pocket realm, Elric could have sworn he heard the subspace transmission. But the intensity of his hunger for anything-- matter-- everything-- was hitting him hard. Trying to snap out of it, he shook his head. He saw that he was still in the cramped egg shell, with a wiped-away view of the outside. He saw he was now out in cold space, with a tractor beam fanned right all around him. He was being taken somewhere, but his hold on the shuttle with people inside remained.

    "Hey guys," he said, groggily, hoping whatever he was in, was somehow, beyond reason, transmitting on a subspace frequency. "What happened? Is everyone alright?"

    "Everyone's fine so far, but it appears that you've grabbed a shuttlecraft," replied Qala. "Release it before you accidentally adsorb it and end up killing the officers inside. We're taking you elsewhere so we can contain the anomaly without any unnecessary damages."

    "Understood," replied Elric feeling strongly that he needed to make up for his transgressions and make things right somehow. "And... I'm sorry."

    He turned his focus to his large energy tendril, still grasping the Starfleet shuttle while everyone was in motion away from Spacedock. The matter, so close to him, as tasty as the workbee was, couldn't have been more irresistible. It was right there.

    "Guys," Elric said, sweat starting to bead his forehead. "I can't. I can't do it." It was so close. The shuttle would provide him with everything he needed, right here, right now. "You got to do something."


    U.S.S. Molly, Bridge

    The Molly fired another phaser blast, hitting the tendril again. The shuttle powered up its engines to maximum, trying to pull away.

    Krystal stepped onto the Bridge, clearly resisting the urge to ask for a report. "How we doing?"

    Nick walked out of the turbolift at Krystal's side, looking at the viewscreen. "What is that orb made of?"

    "We really have no idea," replied Qala. "Whatever it is, it isn't damaged very much by our phasers, making it difficult to break away from the shuttlecraft, which we're concerned may end up being consumed by the anomaly, crew members and all."

    "I'm assuming you can't get a lock on the crew," Nick stated as he stared at the viewscreen. "If that orb is temporal in nature... Have you tried a Tachyon burst or beam?"

    Krystal grit her teeth before falling back on her tactical training. "Try rotating frequencies," she suggested. "And get a full sensor scan. We need some way to identify individual lifesigns and find a way to pull them out. In the meantime, we should probably try and keep Elric talking in case this thing is somehow consuming him. Keep his mind in the present so that he fights it." She thought for a moment. "Didn't Elric say something about chronitons when they first encountered it?"

    "We've come to the realization that the orb likely isn't temporal," replied Qala. "It was merely trapped in a temporal anomaly, which they cancelled out when they accidentally brought it back in time with anti-chronitons." Qala shrugged. "At least that's our best theory." She turned to the ship's tactical officer. "Rotate weapons frequencies."
    Qala then turned to the operations officer. "Maintain transporter locks as long as it's possible."

    Both officers nodded in response.

    "We've been talking to him," said Qala, turning to Krystal. "Although, I wouldn't be surprised if you had better luck, since he already knows you better. Would also let us focus on solving the anomaly itself."

    "With how it eats things, I think any torpedoes would be eaten right away," Nick said, analyzing the situation. "From what I can see.... it looks like it's after energy and power. Can we open an artificial Tyken's Rift?" Nick asked. "We can try to get some energy out of it and decrease the size."

    "That could work," replied Qala. "If we weren't already flying away from the anomaly. Our deflector's in the wrong direction, and we can't stop now, else it may encounter another ship."

    "Don't forget, we have two other ships here," said Malin. "I'll see what our acting science officer can do."

    "Right," answered Qala. "Generate the rift when you're ready."

    The New Xindus II started generating a Tyken's rift by the orb.

    Krystal again tilted her head in thought. "It didn't just drain those consoles though," she said. "It completely absorbed them. Matter and all."

    "Perhaps it converted the matter to energy," Nick stated, thinking to himself. "Worth a shot."


    Orb Realm

    Elric's grip on the shuttle tensed, as he felt the unwavering sensation of the anomaly's needs. Zeta rebooted, and quickly came to life, sitting on his shoulder.

    *Click! Click! Chhrippp!*

    Snapping out of it, Elric looked to the spider. "So what if your future self said this thing drifted out of a subspace interphase pocket? That's doesn't help me curve these sensations at all. Oh man, that shuttle looks good. And that ship? I love me some Nova-class vessels."

    Unable to hold back, the tendril finally regaining strength, absorbed the port nacelle of the shuttle.


    U.S.S. Molly

    "So, how do we talk to Elric?" Krystal asked, not having heard that subspace was an option.

    The Molly quickly started beaming the shuttle's occupants aboard, while firing a sustained phaser burst on the tendril.

    "We've been able to hail him... surprisingly conventionally," replied Qala. "I don't think any of us knows how or why it's working, but it is."

    "Elric... you need to focus," Krystal said over the open channel. "Remember your training." She thinks for a moment. She needed to try and do anything to distract him from consuming everything in sight. "Tell me about your first command."

    Elric's hunger was momentarily diffused, both by the weapons hit and the voice, bringing him back to his senses. "Krystal? Oh, it's good to hear your voice again. This... addiction. I don't know how to curb it. My first command? That was the Amaterasu, actually. What a ride that was, especially butting heads with my first in command. We disagreed on a lot, but she was a tactical genius. Saved us from the Tholians when they boxed us in over a mediation attempt between them and a Na'kuhl colony ship."

    He paused at his own mention of the Na'khul. The memory of it was still strong.

    "Then we had that attack. That Na'kuhl commander that took my entire crew from me and deserted them on some planet in another time-frame. Ugh!"

    His tendril strengthened ten-fold and he absorbed the whole shuttle. The giant orb doubled in size, becoming two times bigger than a shuttle.

    "Any idea where the planet or time frame are located?" asked Qala.

    Inside the pocket realm, Elric's eyes were glowing and his voice deepened as he was charged with anomalous energy bands. "It was an L-class planet--"

    Then he coughed and shook away all the energy bands, and his voice returned to normal.

    "Sorry, I was in monster mode there for a second. All I remember is that it was an L-class planet. Captain Phasma ripped me out of the being's mindscape to take me there."

    Then remembering his previous state, he charged up again and his voice deepened.

    "Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Must eaaatttt!"

    Uh," said Qala. "That doesn't sound good."
  5. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    One of the most inventive story lines I've come across - I love hungry Elric - dramatic and riotously funny at the same time.

    Thanks!! rbs
    Hawku likes this.
  6. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    How many times have I channelled Hungry, Hungry Elric in the kitchen? lol
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  7. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    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 September 2018.​

    Earth Spacedock, Page 166-168
    Earth Spacedock

    "Elric... focus man. We're trying to help you here but we need your help too," Krystal said, bracing against a nearby console. "We're not that different. I got my first command when Vega was attacked by the Borg. Rookie enisgn. Everyone above me killed. Was very rough. But I survived and pushed through. Stay with me Elric. Why did you join Starfleet? What keeps you fighting?"

    Elric's hair begun to rise and his eyes began to glow, as he felt his appetites were now being betrayed. "What is this?? You're distracting me from consuming the matter in this universe! My universe will consume yours!"

    The large orb powered up and fired tendril after tendril into the shields of the ship, this time adapting to the energy and absorbing them. It then began tearing and consuming the hull of the ship, getting bigger.

    But alas, the orb became lopsided as the artificial tyken's rift weakened one end of it.

    "Nooo!" Elric yelled.

    Krystal braced as the ship started getting eaten. "Elric. You are a Starfleet Officer! Sworn to protect!" she yelled, a slight blue glow coming from her eyes almost in response to the threat. "Remember who you are!"

    Nick watched the viewscreen, bracing on a console next to krystal. "We need more rifts" He said out loud thinking to himself. "Does ESD have any confiscated Nausicaan Siphon Drones on board?" he asked.

    "How would we know?" asked Qala, turning to the operations officer. "Signal the Victory to generate another Tyken's rift!"

    The ship rocked from taking so much damage so quickly. A support beam fell down in the bridge, one of the rear consoles exploded, and an engineering officer went running to another one. "We're losing structural integrity!" he shouted. "We can't take another hit to antimatter containment, or we'll lose the ship!"

    Qala quickly turned to Krystal. "Can you convince him to stop or not?"

    "What do you think I'm TRYING to do?!" Krystal snapped.

    The Victory began generating a Tyken's Rift.

    "It's probably only a matter of minutes, if that, before our ship explodes," barked Qala. "If we lose the ship, our escape pods would surely be consumed. We don't exactly have time to--"

    "Losing antimatter containment!" shouted the engineer.

    "Eject the antimatter, then," replied Qala with a look of fear, then turning to Krystal. "That thing better not have a taste for antimatter..."

    "Consuming matter..." Krystal trailed off before snapping her fingers. "It shouldn't! I hate to suggest this, especially with Elric in there, but... dump the antimatter in its face. Right on top of it! If it feeds off matter... then antimatter should give it one hell of a case of indigestion!"


    Orb Realm

    Elric gritted his teeth as he began to look around the confined egg shell he, Zeta and an unconscious Claire were in.

    "Maybe I have enough food to start this. This proto-universe is almost ready for its big bang. I can feel it. I can feel this whole thing."

    He started punching and kicking the egg shell repeatedly and obsessively, causing a small crack to begin on its wall in front of him.

    "Once I birth this universe over the current one, I'll be the dominating consciousness. I'll be a god!"


    U.S.S. Molly

    "It might be crazy enough to work, but we seem to be making progress with syphoning its energy," Nick said. "If I had my device I would use that to syphon power as I did to.... that being... but my device was left on the Guardian of Forever's surface," he explained, pondering the situation before looking over to Krystal.

    "We just ejected all our antimatter..." replied Qala.

    "We're picking up changes in the anomaly," said Malin over the comms. "Have you found a better solution? The Tyken's rifts don't appear to be enough."

    "Elric, if you seriously overwrite the universe with a new one and try to play god, I'll kick your rear so hard you'll find yourself right back here, but with half as many pips on your collar," said Captain Nat, as the U.S.S. Sally flew towards the anomaly. "Oh, and the admiral told me to order you to not kill anyone, for hopefully obvious reasons. You're a Starfleet captain, not a god, and you know it."

    Suddenly, a Sovereign-class starship dropped out of warp and threw a large, industrial-sized container of antimatter she had been towing, at the anomaly. As soon as Krystal saw the registry number on the hull she couldn't help herself.

    "WAY TO GO LEXINGTON!" she exclaimed.

    "Sorry we're late," Tala spoke up over the open channel. "We were monitoring the situation and decided to pick up a big party favor. Starbase 39 is gonna have to wait for another shipment though. But I'm sure Admiral T'Nae would understand given the circumstances."

    Nick grinned and put a hand on Krystal's shoulder. "Beautiful ship you got there, Captain Jade."

    With the tyken rifts weakening and antimatter cancelling out the anomaly's matter, the giant orb disintegrated into a partially transparent, inert protouniverse.

    The egg suddenly appeared hovering on the Bridge with the others until it cracked open and dropped Elric, Zeta and Claire onto the floor.

    "Uggh. What the hell?" Elric gripped his head in pain. The eggshell dropped to the floor in pieces. "The physics in that universe were so different. I don't know why I was so obsessed?"

    Qala looked to Elric, then shrugged. "Guess that's settled."

    "The anomaly's gone?" asked Malin.

    "Elric and his companions are on our bridge now, for some reason..." replied Qala. "It appears they're free now."

    "Good riddance," said Malin. "Guess we'll return to spacedock. Keep us advised of any unexpected changes."

    "Will do," responded Qala.

    "That protouniverse is still out there, though," Elric said looking to the viewscreen. "Just sitting there with a different set of rules than our universe. But at least I'm not in it anymore."

    "Things can't ever be simple" Nick said. "Are we at least going to get a break or will this require immediate attention?" he asked, glancing at Krystal for a few moments.

    "We can probably take it from here," replied Qala, eyeing the protouniverse. "Is it safe to just... leave it there? Or should we destroy it, just to be certain?"

    Krystal's combadge chirped. "Report to Admiral Nat's temporary office aboard the U.S.S. Sally immediately."

    "Never a dull moment..." Krystal sighed before looking at the protouniverse. "Well... could be worth studying. But at the same time it's a pretty big risk. If you ask me... let someone more qualified to make the decision. In the meantime secure and quarantine it."

    She headed for the turbolift. After she stepped in, she shook her head and the faint blue glow in her eyes faded.


    Earth Spacedock

    Elric returned to Earth Spacedock, where Doctor Melzine, a cyberneticist, brought Claire back online in the Infirmary.

    "So, what happened back there?" she asked.

    Elric shrugged. "It's like I was a different person in that universe-- not Starfleet-- something without rules, and the more matter I acquired the more control I had and the more crazy I got. It's how I was able to communicate through subspace and eventually get us out."
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2023
  8. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    This has to go down as the most abstract, bizarre ST FF I've read.

    Eat your heart out, Q!

    Bravo! rbs
    Hawku likes this.
  9. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    lol Thanks! Yeah, had to inject something really weird into it. :lol:
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  10. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    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 September and October 2018.​

    Earth Spacedock, Page 168-174
    Earth Spacedock, Astrolounge

    Elric entered the Astrolounge connected to Club 47 and sat near the large window. With everything he'd been through, he wondered if he was even fit for duty.

    Admiral Nat wandered by the astrolounge, noting Elric. The admiral headed in his general direction.

    Elric noticed Admiral Nat on approach and tried to shake his distant thoughts. "Well, the view up here is nice."

    "Evidently so," replied the Admiral, sitting down nearby. "Thankfully, we'll actually have a moment to enjoy it. I've ordered time off for all of us." He looked out the window silently for a few moments. "By the way, have anything to report? I hear you've had a habit of disappearing at random and then coming back later."

    "Well, you can thank the El Aurian pyramid artifact for that. It has the ability to transport a person or ship to any location or time. Unfortunately, it's not in our possession anymore. Claire's father has it, and I finally met him; the guy who employs Seline's brainwashed Caitians. He's some kind of advanced computer program who was only interested in collecting the full set of artifacts."

    Elric looked out the window.

    "But after he got it, he changed. He sent us to the future, for, what I assumed was to stop Toros, but I think he wanted us to find that protouniverse and put an end to it. Well, thanks to everyone here, and not-me, it was neutralized."

    "Oh, what do you mean, not you?" asked the admiral, "I'm sure you helped neutralize it somehow? As for the other things, I'll be sure to make note of them."

    Changeling Sarah emerged from an Iconian Gateway, nearby, carrying a spherical Iconian device. She looked around, then headed in the Admiral's direction.

    "I'm leaving," said the Changeling, handing the device to the Admiral, "for the Andromeda galaxy. If you hear anything of my universe, be sure to let me know."

    The admiral took the device. "We will." He sighed, setting the device aside for the moment. "Try to stay out of trouble. I know we haven't exactly been all that friendly in the past, but I'd like to think there's hope for some sort of friendship between our respective peoples."

    "Fine. Perhaps, someday," she went on, turning to Elric, saying nothing, then turning back to the admiral. "Don't disturb us needlessly until then."

    Elric raised an eyebrow at the intrusion. "Well, that's interesting."

    The changeling briefly glanced at Elric, then turned around and walked off into an Iconian Gateway.

    The admiral turned to Elric, picking up the device again. "Was there anything else I needed to be interrupted by?"

    "Lots of things, probably. Mirror universe, advanced Borg, future timelines, alternate realities. The list is endless," Elric said.

    "Yeah, sounds about right," replied the Admiral. "Let's hope the next crisis is... smaller. I'm tired of all existence as we know it always being the one we're worrying about, you know?"

    "Well, there's something to be said about saving all of existence on multiple occasions. Makes you wonder if it's a norm that other intergalactic groups have to deal with and if their measure of success is comparable to our own."

    Admiral Nat deadpanned Elric. "If they weren't succeeding, would we still be sitting here, seemingly safe and sound?" He took a look at his PADD. "Remind me to assign you guys to a diplomatic first contact mission sometime. It'd be a nice change of pace, you know?"

    Elric shrugged. "Sure."

    "That's what I thought," replied the Admiral, getting up. "Come see me in a week or so, and I'll see if anything's open. I'll... be busy with paperwork in the meanwhile." Nat started to walk elsewhere. "See you around, Captain."

    Elric nodded to the Admiral as he left. Then, turning back to the view at the window, the Captain saw what he was sure he wasn't seeing: The Noble-class U.S.S. Marrakesh. Except the ship was barely recognizable, as it was damaged seemingly beyond repair.

    "Elric to Marrakesh. What... the hell... happened??" Elric said tapping his commbadge.

    Jessie, the holographic Chief Engineer responded over-air. "That android you mentioned in a report once, Grevkas, from the 30th century came looking for you. He was not happy when you weren't on the ship."

    "Damn. Take her in, and I'll see if Spacedock will run repairs."

    Elric used a PADD to register a repair slot, and then unwinded back on the Astrolounge couch. Elric fell asleep on the couch, seconds before he fell off it and woke up again.

    "Looks like somebody needs a nap," remarked Sarah, having just walked into the Astrolounge. "Maybe try to not injure yourself in the process? That can't possibly be comfortable."

    Elric quickly got back on the couch, pretending like everything was normal. "Oh, hey Sarah. How's it going?"

    "Tired," replied Sarah, getting a pizza from the replicator and then sitting down nearby. "At least we finally got a break for once. You?"

    "Surprisingly hungry, despite having consumed an entire shuttle just recently," he said eyeing the pizza.

    "I'd imagine that... wait, what?" asked Sarah, taking a slice of the pizza and then sliding the rest in Elric's direction. "You consumed a shuttle?"

    Elric detached a piece of his own, graciously, and started eating and talking at the same time. "Ye-h, I was- ins-de an an-molous proto-univ-rse for a wh-le. I wa-s inter-cting w-th our univ-rse thr-gh it by cons-ming matt-r." He paused after swallowing. "I didn't recognize myself, and I almost overwrote everything."

    "Just another day in Starfleet, then?" replied Sarah, laughing. "Good to know you didn't overwrite us all. Would've made everything we've done so far pretty pointless real quick..."

    Elric sighed. "It just makes me wonder what's the point of it all? If a universe can come and go so easily, then why do squabbling Federations and Dominions even matter in the grand scheme of things?"

    "It doesn't, really," answered Sarah. "But, for now, it does matter to us, here and now. Isn't that enough?"

    "I suppose," Elric replied, taking another slice. "Perhaps it's a Captain's curse to be obsessed with the bigger picture. Or, perhaps I need to take a break from the Captain's seat."

    Sarah deadpanned Elric. "Starfleet doesn't even have enough captains as it is, and you're thinking of quitting?"

    "I'm starting to think I may be a liability at this point. I was careless with handling that protouniverse and Iet myself be taken by it. I should've been more careful."

    "Could've been worse," replied Sarah. "You evidently resisted it long enough for it to, you know, not destroy us."

    "I think I just got lucky a bunch of Captains were able to take quick action," Elric said. "Anyway, it's something I may think about. How about you? How was your last mission?"

    "Oh, the whole thing with the Na'kuhl? It worked out well enough," said Sarah. "They haven't finished securing Toros' flagship yet, but Jim has it covered. Toros is captured, the being was contained... the Terrans betrayed us, of course, but we managed."

    "That's good to hear. Hopefully Toros will go to trial."

    "Agreed," replied Sarah, getting another slice of her pizza. "Hopefully my next mission won't be as dangerous."

    Elric downed another slice of pizza. "Oh man, that's good. Like, better-than-sandwiches-good. Anyway, since we've carb-loaded, any interest in hitting the holodeck for some close combat training with those strange and angry skull-headed creatures?"

    "Strange and angry skull-headed creatures?" asked Sarah, "I don't think I've heard of them." Sarah shrugged, getting the last slice of pizza and starting to consume it. "Guess it never hurts to be prepared for random close combat with random angry skull-headed... creatures... considering how crazy things have been these days. Sure."

    "Yeah, the Klingons fight them all the time, specially Worf," Elric said as he headed for the turbolifts to take them to Deck 83.

    "...Strange," said Sarah, following Elric.


    Deck 83

    "It's my favourite holodeck program," Elric continued as they stepped off the lift into a bland, cold corridor of similar-looking doors. They approached one and he activated the training simulation.

    Sarah followed. "Well, we'll see how this goes..."

    Elric entered the holodeck, into a jungle and ancient ruins type environment. "Computer, Level 1."

    Two skull-headed humanoids in armour appeared before them, carrying no weapons.

    "This is usually like a warm-up round," he said as one enemy engaged each. "The goal is, obviously, to take them out." Elric caught the wrist of the incoming fist of his opponent with one hand and then palm-striked the character in its skull face. The creature was knocked back disoriented and Elric ran and leapt a forced-knee into its chest. The creature fell back, into some ruins and then disappeared after impact.

    "Seems simple enough," replied Sarah, dodging an incoming punch from the other creature, quickly kneeing it in the gut and then elbowing the side of its head, sending it falling over sideways towards Elric.

    Elric sidestepped the incoming enemy and knocked it in another direction, causing it to disappear. "Computer, Level 2."

    Another two skull-headed men appeared, not seeming to be any different than before.

    "These guys are somewhat faster and stronger than the last two," Elric said just before one of them ran for him. Elric blocked an incoming set of punches and kicks, before returning his own.

    Sarah dodged an incoming punch and then blocked another, both from the other creature. It charged forward further, knocking Sarah backwards into a pillar. It approached closer as she quickly kicked it backwards. "You're not kidding, these ones are faster and stronger."

    Elric deflected several jabs from the creature before landing a forced-punch directly into its head and causing it to disappear. "Yeah, they're a bit more work."

    Sarah attacked with a flurry of weaker punches, knocking the other creature into a wall. She quickly grabbed a rock and threw it at the creature's head.

    Elric watched as the creature poofed from existence. He then turned to Sarah. "What do you think? Level 5 goes into melee weaponry."

    "Having a weapon of some kind would be helpful, yes," replied Sarah. "I don't exactly use my fists all that often."

    "Computer, one mek'leth," Elric ordered. A second later the curved-bladed weapon appeared in mid-air, and he plucked it. "I've just started learning this one. You?"

    "Computer, one nanopulse edged sword," commanded Sarah, turning to Elric, shrugging. "I've been experimenting with this one."

    "Nice. Computer, Level 5," Elric said.

    Four bat'leth-wielding skull-headed creatures appeared, and one larger feathered avian alien carrying two lirpas in each hand appeared behind them. As the skull-headed creatures charged forward, the avian waited.

    Sarah activated her nanopulse edge sword, and it started emitting a blue, glowing blade, humming in anticipation of the holographic foes to come in contact with it. Sarah took a defensive posture, waiting to see which creature would attack her first.

    The four skull heads split into groups of two, engaging Elric and Sarah each. Elric mek'leth-blocked an up-down cut from the first guy, countering with a forced kick into the skull head's stomach, while dodging a swing from the second.

    Sarah moved to block a bat'leth strike from one of the skull-headed creatures, but her nanopulse blade simply cut the bat'leth in half and landed somewhere in the creature's chest. Sarah seemed slightly surprised, then quickly kicked the creature in the knee, knocking it down, then turned to the other attacker. "Guess they didn't see that coming."

    Distracted for a second in amusement of Sarah's remark, Elric was sliced across his android arm by his first attacker. He then quickly spun around with his mek'leth and slashed the skull guy across his face. With the second skull guy launching a bat'leth at the Captain, Elric moved to the side and allowed the enemy blade to cut into the first guy, causing the first guy to disappear.

    "Sorry you had to split," he smirked.

    The other creature rushed at Sarah, swinging its bat'leth. Sarah crouched under the swing, moving forward and swinging with her nanopulse sword, slicing the creature's lower torso in half. Taking advantage of her existing momentum, she charged, nanopulse-edged blade first, at Elric's remaining attacker from behind.

    Elric's second attacker was impaled before disappearing from the program altogether.

    "Nice one," he said to Sarah without even realizing the larger avian creature with two lirpas was right behind him. The creature swung and whacked Elric off his feet and into some crumbling stairs.

    Sarah rushed over to Elric and helped him back up, taking note of a larger pillar nearby. "Looks like bird brains here finally decided to join in."

    "Ugh," Elric said, grasping his head. "I forgot how laxed on impact safeties these Klingon programs were. Oh, and there's something I haven't told you. I've never gotten passed this level on the dual player setting before."

    "So, the bird is that much of a challenge?" remarked Sarah, taking a defensive posture and moving around quickly, trying to catch the creature's attention.

    The avian creature came running toward Elric and Sarah. Elric smirked. "I think we got this," the Captain said.

    Elric got up next to Sarah and stopped the hologram's momentum-powered attack by blocking its right lirpa with his mek'leth. Then, again and again, Elric blocked and countered, while the large creature charged its left-handed lirpa in multiple attacks toward Sarah.

    Sarah carefully dodged the first few swings, then moved her nanopulse-edged sword swiftly to slice the left-handed lirpa in half.

    The creature shoved Elric back with its remaining lirpa and activated its previously unestablished nanopulse edge in order to match Sarah's weaponry. It then began attacking her with it, while the hologram began to inexplicably fling out bands of holographic energy off its back.

    Sarah's eyes widened as she blocked the creature's incoming strike, noting it's lirpa's new nanopulse edge. "That was unexpected," she remarked, swinging her sword to block it's continuing attacks. She started trying to lock blades to hold its weapon down long enough for Elric to launch an incapacitation strike.

    Elric took the open and punched his android fist across the avian's face. The avian was knocked out and vanished from the impact.

    "Yes! That was great," Elric said, getting his bearings. "Though, I've never seen that thing energize its back like that before."

    Then the computer rang out, "Level 15, initiating."

    Sarah turned to Elric wide-eyed. "Uh, Level 15? I don't like the sound of this. What program skips ten levels like that, anyway?"

    "That's weird. Computer, drop current mission and return to standby mode," Elric ordered.

    But instead, six insectoid holographic creatures appeared before the two of them in a u-shape formation, each carrying a nanopulse-edged weapon.

    Sarah showed a look of alarm, passing her nanopulse edge sword to Elric and pulling out her phaser pistol, setting it to the maximum multi-targeting setting and aiming it in the creatures' direction. "Computer, end program!"

    With no response from the holodeck, Captain Elric tapped his commbadge. "Elric to Operations. Shut down the holodeck."

    But the commbadge returned a no-connection beep. The creatures then ran for the two officers, and Elric began blocking and slicing one holographic insectoid after the other.

    Sarah immediately opened fire on all six creatures simultaneously.

    As Elric fought down a few insectoids, he could have sworn he saw a tall man in a suit looking to be from the 1930s, exiting an arbitrary doorway nearby. Several more doors appeared around, linking to other holodecks in the vicinity. Elric kicked one of the holographic insectoids, accidentally, through one of the doors.


    U.S.S. Lexington, Holodeck

    A door opened up in front of Nick and Krystal and the insectoid stumbled out, momentarily confused.

    Krystal pulled away in surprise and looked at the insectoid. "What the hell?" she asked.

    "What in the god damn?" Nick said out loud, staring down the insectoid.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
  11. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021

    And now we have a holodeck situation... Thanks!! rbs
    Hawku likes this.
  12. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Also how I feel in real life. :lol:
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2023
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  13. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    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) and I also created and wrote Corvis and Grevkas. This continues from the last ESD entry and is the final page for Earth Spacedock RP as the entire RP fizzled out. I ended on a cliffhanger with Elric, thinking I would pick it up again if it ever continued. But it didn't, so I plan to eventually write what happened to him in some form. Until then, this is how it ended. Written in October 2018.​

    Earth Spacedock, Page 174-178
    Earth Spacedock & U.S.S. Lexington - Holodecks

    Krystal brought a hand up, and accessed a holographic menu. One of the modifications she made to the Lexington's holodecks was the ability to easily access a menu. If Nick was to look, it would appear to be like an inventory screen, and her hand was hovering over what looked like a sword. She was getting ready in case this intruder turned hostile.

    "Of all the times." Nick said, still staring the insectoid down "Not. F*****g. Now. Go back through the door you came."

    "What in the world?" questioned Sarah. "Has it linked our holodeck to a bunch of others? Also, is my phaser not working?" Sarah looked around, noting Nick and Krystal. "Watch out, they've got nanopulse-edged weapons!"

    "Armed and hostile?" Nick asked as he crouched down and pulled a combat knife from one of his boots. "That's all I needed to hear," he said, standing up and taking a combat stance and inching closer to the insectoid. He rolled the wrist of his free hand, drawing another hidden knife from his jacket sleeve. This knife, smaller and thinner. He threw the knife toward the insectoid, aiming between its eyes.

    Krystal tapped on the sword, and it materialized in her hand. It looked like a european double edged longsword, except there was no fuller in the blade, and the hilt was blue. She adpted a ready stance but hung back just in case.

    On the Lexingtion's holodeck, the comm, program control and phaser suppressant algorithms spread while the insectoid was punctured right between its eyes by Nick's knife. It exploded in holographic splatter.

    On Spacedock's holodeck, Elric took out a few more insectoids but watched as more were brought into holodeck existence. The new insectoids began roaming through each of the many doors. Another one confronted Nick and Krystal, ready for combat.

    "I think I saw a guy," Elric said to Sarah.

    "We were having a private moment here if you don't mind," Nick said as he walked over and tried to shut the door before any more insectoids could enter Lexington's holodeck failing with the new one entering. He then stabbed the new insectoid in the back of the head with his knife and then successfully closed the door. "I don't have time for this."

    Krystal maintained her defensive stance before getting an idea. "Computer... change program," she said. "Ocarina of Time. Location: Hyrule Field, midday."

    On Spacedock's holodeck, Elric pointed. "There he is!" The man in the 1930's suit, glasses and hat became curious and re-entered through his door. Several more insectoids followed him. Elric looked to Sarah, indicating a course of action, and Elric followed through the man's door.

    Another door opened on the Lexingtion's holodeck, and Elric found himself on Hyrule Field. The insectiods were anxious to attack anyone.

    Krystal, now dressed as a female Link, was cleaning house with the Master Sword and Hylian Shield.

    "Don't bring your fight here, damn it!" Nick screamed as he brandished his knife, rushing forward and cutting down an insectoid or two.

    Elric watched, impressed with Krystal and Nick's slaying work. Insectoids burst and exploded in holographic splatter all around them. One came up to Elric and tackled the Captain to the ground. Elric spun both he and the humanoid bug thing over and elbowed it in the face.

    "Errrr, sorry, were you two in the middle of something?" Elric said to Nick and Krystal in mid-fight.

    "Yea, we kinda were," Krystal replied before stopping long enough to make a sword for Nick and tossing it to him.

    "Yes! We were!" Nick yelled as he continued to fight the insectoids. He caught the sword Krystal had thrown to him. "Was just about to ask for one of these. Thanks!" he said to her as he wielded his new sword with ease, cutting down insectoids much faster now.

    Sarah followed Elric, also finding herself on the field. "Oh, bother."

    A larger door opened in the sidelines, and Big Arm, piloted by Admiral Nat, came crashing in, swatting away several insectoids and then blasting away several others with the built-in Eggmobile's laser.

    The admiral, vehicle and all, turned to the others, and he looked surprised. "I take it I'm interrupting something?"

    Sarah sighed, facepalming.

    "Yeah, something important to me got interrupted... What sorta wacky stuff is going on here?...." Nick asked. "Why does it feel I'm reliving the 1990's?.... Got Zelda stuff... Got Sonic Stuff apparently.... What's next, Castlevania?"

    "So I take it the holodecks are going haywire?" asked the admiral. "I figured as much. Couldn't let a good holodeck trip go unchallenged, especially not the moment we finally got a vacation..."

    Big Arm crushed another insectoid, then blasted away a few more. It almost looked as though they might be free of insectoids for at least several seconds.

    "Any idea what's causing this?" inquired Nat. "Some kind of anomaly?"

    With Elric's mek'leth knocked away, and the insectoid regaining his focus, Elric sat up and accessed the Lexington's holographic menu. He scrolled through and found the Buster Sword from Final Fantasy 7. The menu disappeared and the large sword replicated before him. He tried lifting it, but it was too heavy for his human arm.

    "What's an anomaly?" said the man in the suit as he walked over. "Oh, my name is Corvis, and I'm what you might call photonic life from a trans-dimensional realm. I figured out how to manipulate my reality."

    Krystal stopped and turned to Corvis. "Well, I think you stumbled into a First Contact situation with non-Photonic lifeforms like us. And if there's anything you can do to help us out, I'd appreciate it." She then looked over at Elric. "Since when did I have any Final Fantasy stuff?" she asked before materializing the Biggeron Sword and passing it to him. "Stick to something you can actually hold."

    Sarah accessed the holographic menu and summoned an army of heavily armed Egg Fighters (complete with electrified shields), which began fighting off the insectoids and established a defensive perimeter. "You realize there's no need to fight them off yourselves when we can just summon endless reinforcements, right?"

    "I should've thought of that, all things considered," remarked the Admiral, turning to Corvis. "I'd love to be part of the first contact between our people and... well, you, but our holodecks have gotten completely out of control. We should probably do something about it before stopping for any lengthy conversations."

    With a perimeter now set up, Nick stuck his sword in the ground and joined the others, looking Corvis over closely.

    "These worlds you're all a part of are purely fascinating," said Corvis. "Connecting them has opened my eyes to the variety of existence itself. I do not know why you call your worlds holodecks, but it seems you live recreational lifestyles. You should love this."

    "Um... We're all part of the same world... Sorry to tell you but, you didn't connect different worlds.. just different programs... Different simulations...." Nick explained. "These are holodecks. they are platforms for entertainment. They are an advanced technology that can simulate an interactive environment... "

    "We normally exist outside these holodecks in what we consider our real world," said the admiral, "we enter these holodecks periodically for entertainment, as he said."

    "Outside? I'm not sure I completely get it, but surely it is obvious you prefer this," Corvis gestured. "Your love for fighting, or hovering craft, or engaging in romantic pursuits; all here, in these alternative dimensional worlds."

    "You haven't even seen what's outside this place. You don't have a comparison to say we prefer this to being out there," Nick said.

    Corvis shrugged. "It's merely what I read on your facial expressions. Where I come from, we read each other primarily through our expressions. When I figured out how to break the barriers of realms, I expressed great delight. I now see my purpose here is to combine all your realms so you can enjoy the same delight I have. We shall be great friends!"

    Krystal held up a hand. "I think you're misunderstanding us," she said. "This... is not real for us. This is nothing more than a simulation. A fantasy. Something we can do to get away from the stress we can get in our daily lives. Yea we enjoy the various scenarios we can experience here... but it's not real. This sword isn't made out of metal. Its photons and forcefields generating a computer-created object based on specific parameters."

    She then took her Link Hat off and took a deep breath.

    "You may see this as a living world... but to us... its a tool, a piece of technology, we use for both education and recreation. We can recreate historic events to learn from the past. We can create fictional worlds to play around in. We can create fictional scenarios to help train others in how to deal with various situations.

    "If I could, I'd show you where we really come from, but based on the fact you said you were photonic... you're probably limited in where you can go. Lexington isn't equipped with holoemitters everywhere. We haven't been able to get that particular refit to allow an EMH full access yet."

    "We could try transferring him to a mobile emitter," said Sarah. "Then he could explore the real world without being limited to any ship or station at all."

    Nick sighed and opened one of the pouches on his belt. "Okay, I know this seems awfully convenient, but I keep one on me. I use it for a decoy me for some missions I go on." He pulled an emitter from the pouch. "But the decoy program of me was lost with my gauntlet on the Guardian's surface, so this is pretty much useless at the moment." He held out the emitter. "The walking armoury known as myself is slowly being depleted," he joked.

    "Guess that's settled. By the way," Sarah went on, turning to Corvis. "Do you have a name?"

    "Corvis," he replied. "I am somewhat of an Elite Businessman of my people. I resourced the breakthroughs and contracted the services of others of my kind to break the dimensional barriers. I suppose an external dimension, containing all of our own is something to fathom. I will attempt to understand and experience such a thing."

    Elric finally finished off his attacking insectiod and walked over to watch Corvis take the emitter from Nick and apply it to his forehead. The auto-connect boot-up function of the device attempted to host the inter-dimensional alien code, causing the mobile-emitter to spark and throw out a few discharges. Corvis fell to his knees in mental anguish. His gaze flickered and glitched both straight ahead and to the side.

    "Corvis-- my name-- Elite-- Barriers-- Fathom. Experien--"

    Krystal swore. "Take it off!" she exclaimed. "It's not like a frakkin' EV Suit you know!"

    Nick rushed forward and attempted to free the emitter from Corvis.

    Corvis began producing giant insectoid legs out his back, dodging the reach of Nick and elevating himself above everyone. He began growing swords with nanopulse edges out of the ends of his joints and his face molded into a skull-like creature. "You-- will have-- recreation--" The rest of the holodeck environment began to flicker on and off.

    "I just wanted to have a nice gods damned date with NO interruptions!" Nick screamed as he started to feel around his jacket, looking for something.

    The exit doors opened as Corvis stumbled back with his eight legs, unsure how to walk properly. He flummoxed out into the ship's corridors, confused, and scattered through them.

    Nick pulled a PADD from his jacket after Corvis made his escape. "Someone give me the word and I can stop all this" He said. "Most of my expendable gear is outfitted with micro explosives. It will destroy the emitter."

    "No," replied the admiral. "I have no intention of harming an innocent new lifeform. Let's get back outside."

    He exited Big Arm and ran for the exit doors, followed by Sarah. Once they exited, he tapped his commbadge. "Admiral Nat to Captain Nat, get over here!"

    "Hmm?" replied Captain Nat, relatively calm. "Don't tell me the vacation's over already? I was just about to visit the holodeck."

    "Bad idea. Those all went haywire. We're tracking some kind of inter-dimensional photonic lifeform," said the admiral. "He doesn't seem to get along very well with the mobile emitter we gave him to explore the real world with us."

    Captain Nat audibly sighed in response. "Why am I not surprised..."

    He Q-appeared in a flash alongside the admiral, looking around briefly. "Is this... the Lexington?"

    "Apparently," answered the admiral, motioning down whatever corridor Corvis wandered down. "That way. I think."

    "We couldn't have our first date in peace, could we?" Nick said to Krystal as he walked over and stood next to her. "Ready to go try to contain this?" he asked her.

    Krystal looked at Nick. "Like we have much of a choice considering I'd rather not have him wreck my ship in confusion," she replied.

    The conglomerate that was the holographic trans-dimensional Corvis-spider-thing reached the turbolift doors on the deck. It waited for the doors to open, and inside was a bored officer. Corvis splurged through to inside the lift and attempted to "act normal" by standing next to the officer. "C--c--on--contr--control? Must-- op--oper--perate."

    "Acknowledged. Bridge," the computer interpreted.

    Corvis stood and waited, next to the officer, as the tubolift continued on.



    Captain Nat appeared on the Bridge of the Lexington, then turned to walk over to the turbolift that Corvis would arrive on.

    The turbolift opened to the Bridge and Corvis waited patiently as the officer exited to go about their business. The giant spider-thing splurged out, unsure-still about what it was existing as in this unfathomable realm. Some of his extra legs twitched in place.

    Tala looked over and blinked in confusion. "Um... you... alright?" she asked Corvis, wondering what was going on.

    "Reccc-- relax and rec-creation," Corvis said while parts of his body flickered on and off. Two of his lanky spider-legs coming out of his back twitched over until they connected with nearby consoles. Corvis began connecting his trans-dimensional algorithms into the Lexington's computer systems, bypassing firewalls and decoding encryption codes until reaching systems controls.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2023
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  14. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada

    "I'm sure the Captain can handle him," replied the Admiral. "He's only one anomalous lifeform. Not like the fate of existence is hanging in the balance again." Admiral Nat turned to Elric. "Guess you got your first contact mission sooner than expected, eh?"

    Elric tapped his chin in thought. "I think Voyager encountered these guys before in a Captain Proton program. I wonder if we could recalibrate that mobile emitter? It may realign with the alien programming. Or destroy him."

    Nick stood by Krystal's side. "Worth a shot."

    "Sorry your date got interrupted," Elric said, turning to them.



    Captain Nat approached Corvis. "Your form seems... problematic. Want any help changing it back to something more like what you're apparently used to?"

    "What's going on?" Tala asked.

    "Hello?" inquired Captain Nat, still awaiting Corvis' answer to his previous question. "Could at least not mess around with the ship? You're more likely to end up killing us all than actually giving us any quality recreation."

    Tala began working on countermeasures to lock out any further access to the ship's computer while still trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

    Captain Nat quickly turned to Tala. "It's a long story that I haven't even been told yet, but apparently he's an inter-dimensional hologram of some kind that the mobile emitter they gave him doesn't appear to agree with."

    Corvis tried responding to Nat, but all he could muster were glitches and broken sentences. "Coc-- orvis-- name--- Pleas-- pleasure-- to meet--"

    Meanwhile, his phased algorithms gained access to the Lexington's deflector dish, as he began implementing complex trans-dimensional calculations which he acquired through his successful business practices. The deflector dish charged up and began manipulating space.

    Which was soon being countered from Engineering. Sometimes having a crew used to weird had its perks. "Engineering to Bridge. What the HELL is going on up there? You guys TRYING to blow out the main deflector and every EPS relay on the ship?"

    "That's not us, Deunan," Tala replied. "We have a... guest who is not quite himself at the moment and I have no idea what's going on."

    "Yea... well... we're struggling to keep up down here. We're implementing anti-Borg algorithms now and trying to isolate critical systems. This hacker's good, but not good enough to keep us out of our own systems."

    Elric entered the Bridge to find the weird conglomerate of holographic character design, shifting and moving uncomfortably. "It's like a newbie 3D designer just put everything they could think of into one model, out of pure, unrelenting excitement." He took out his mek'leth and hooked one of Corvis' sword-eblows and held the hologram into place so the emitter was accessible. "Anyone know how to recalibrate this thing?"

    Captain Nat reached over to the mobile emitter in hopes of using his powers to make it work properly.

    "Thanks!" Elric said.

    Captain Nat tapped on the mobile emitter, causing a flash of light. It moved from Corvis' forehead to his one arm, glowing with unpredictable Q power. Whether or not the attempt would work was anyone's guess. "Cross your fingers," remarked Captain Nat, watching the results unfold.

    With the massively unlimited and immeasurable power of the Q over space and time and matter, the little mobile emitter initiated its re-calibration command from off to on, causing Corvis to reset to his normal image. Unfortunately, his modifications to the deflector being halted by the crew of the Lexington were too late, and several inter-dimensional black discs appeared all throughout the ships around Spacedock and Spacedock itself.

    "Oh, my! I'm so sorry for what's to come," Corvis explained.

    From out of the flat black discs came soft, relaxing music, photonically generated potted plants and calming mini-potted waterfalls. Then friendly heart shaped graphics, rainbows, soothing My Little Ponies, tribble and holographic men and woman offering people massages and appetizers.

    "My original desire was that you all had a relaxing time off, as I had originally witnessed. I must have acted upon impulse after the emitter threw me off."

    Tala blinked. "Well... that's new..." she trailed off.



    Krystal came face to face with one of the disks and blinked. "What in the hell?" she asked in confusion.

    Admiral Nat turned around, noting the disk between him and Krystal. "What."

    Nick stood next to Krystal. "This is strange."

    "No kidding..." Krystal trailed off.



    Captain Nat sighed. "Could you undo that for now?"

    Corvis glanced at Elric who appeared to be in a euphoric state from getting a shoulder massage from a holographic woman. Then Corvis glanced back to Nat.

    "These manifestations should dissipate after an hour," he said. "Where I come from, the ability to create has only been hypothesized. I don't know how, but I must've found a way to do it through my portal-making ability with the help of your outer-all-encompassing-dimension. Can I see more of this world? Perhaps that giant mushroom city outside."

    Tala shrugged. "I'm sure Admiral Quinn will want to meet you too," she said.

    "Alternatively, you could shoot these things," Elric realized after firing a phaser at a cute little pony with large adorable and innocent eyes before the pony disintegrated into oblivion.

    "Oh, that's Earth Spacedock," said Captain Nat. "It's the center of our space operations pretty much everywhere. Plenty of interesting people from all over the galaxy visiting at any given time, I'm sure you'd learn quite a bit about our world from the people there. I don't see any reason why we can't go."

    He glanced at Elric, sighing. "You wanna come?"

    Elric was caught in mid-consumption of several shrimp appetizers offered to him by a hologram on a platter. He spoke with his mouth full, "You guys go ahead. I'm going to wait for the Admiral and see if he needs any help with anything."

    "Well, if you say so," replied Captain Nat, turning to Corvis. "Well, let me know when you're ready."

    Corvis nodded, "I am ready, magical man."


    Earth Spacedock

    Captain Nat snapped his fingers and, after a brief flash, both he and Corvis appeared on Earth Spacedock near the main transporter. "There we go," said Captain Nat. "This is Earth Spacedock."


    U.S.S. Lexington

    Krystal arrived on the Bridge with the Admiral and Nick and looked around. "Don't ask Krys..." Tala said. "I think this is a new one even for us."

    Nick sighed and looked to Krystal. "So uhh... Would you like to salvage this date and have dinner?" He asked. "Far away from a holodeck."

    "Oh man, dinner. I could go for something good right about now," Elric said, absentmindedly.

    Sarah rolled her eyes. "Not a bad idea, after all that excitement," she said, turning to the admiral, "you?"

    "Is it even the right time of day for dinner right now?" questioned the admiral, sighing, "ok, fine. I'm in."

    Sarah and the admiral both turned to Elric, awaiting his thoughts.

    "Let's hit that food court on Spacedock," Elric suggested as he made his way to the transporter room and beamed off the ship.


    Earth Spacedock

    Meanwhile, Corvis was wandering around the station and poking things.

    "Well, which direction would you rather go first?" asked Captain Nat. "Suppose we should have you meet Admiral Quinn, all things considered. I'm sure he'd love to meet you."

    Corvis replied, "Yes, I'd be happy to meet your CEO Admiral Quinn."

    "He's not our CEO, he's the admiral in charge," said Captain Nat. "We're not a company, we're... well, a fleet."

    "But, surely, you must have stock options, or some fleet version of such?" questioned Corvis as they walked.

    "Not here, no," replied Captain Nat, "nor do we have money in our world, at least not in Starfleet. The only people with stock options I know of are probably all Ferengi."

    "How do you get along with so many different species? There must be greater conflict in each other's ideologies."

    "There often is," replied Captain Nat. "It has made things difficult at times, and caused several wars too many, unfortunately."

    Corvis nodded in understanding. "Where I come from, there are many of us in companies in competition with each other. We believe the drive to one-up each other is contributing to a greater cause, the advancement of our civilization, but the fighting between us often slows that down, and in many cases is quite destructive."


    Food Court

    Admiral Nat and Sarah both arrived, and Sarah found somewhere to sit while the admiral went and got a pizza, bringing it over to the table.

    "Practically just had pizza..." remarked Sarah, grabbing a slice.

    "Oh well," replied the admiral, biting into another slice. "I'm sure Elric might enjoy some," he said, motioning elsewhere, but not seeing Elric anywhere. "Odd, where'd he go?"

    Sarah shrugged.



    "Admiral Nat to spacedock operations. Locate Captain Elric immediately."

    In Operations, Commander Allura tapped her commbadge. "Acknowledged, Admiral," she said before turning to her tactile holo-console. The blind Aenar Operations officer began activating internal sensor scans and sending out departmental alerts.

    Lieutenant Grevkas stepped out of a departmental meeting in the Briefing room in Operations. It was apparent that Commander Allura was hard at work on something, and he saw that Admiral Quinn was speaking to a man in a suit in his office. After a moment, the man was led out, escorted by a Diplomatic officer to somewhere else on the station.

    Grevkas continued on to a console, logged on and accessed some of his work.


    Unknown location

    Elric awoke and found himself tied to a chair; his hands bound behind his back. The room was dark, and he couldn't see much as he was lit by a single source.

    "Hello?" the Captain said, looking around. "Is anyone there??"
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2023
  15. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Lots of serious themes addressed in your usual light-hearted, sardonic and slightly meta banter. Particularly the role of the holodeck (always a stalking horse for the role of the Internet in our lives) and the dangers of slapping technologies together without first reading the manual.

    Really nicely done - Thanks!! rbs
    Hawku likes this.
  16. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks! Yeah, I think I was going for something about the value of fiction and reality. Also, I tried to get the others to shoot cute little ponies, but I guess no one was into that. :lol:
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  17. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This is the final part of my Ragnarok series posted on the Star Trek Online forums, focusing on Captain Seifer and his new ship. The Deferi are a species created by STO. This story carries on from "Finders, Not Keepers" where Seifer became transporter-fused with a bunch of rocks. Written in December 2018.
    Anthology of Ragnarok #5
    "The Deferi Powered-Man"

    The Pathfinder-class, with Discovery-class nacelles, U.S.S. Ragnarok drifted aimlessly in space, rotating endlessly for what seemed like all foreseeable time.

    Captain Seifer, laced with fused rocks throughout his body, entered the Messhall and approached the replicator.

    "One redbat stew, please," he requested before the bowl materialized and he took it to a table. His left hand was just a rock, causing him to accidentally smash the bowl when reaching for the spoon. "Ah, it's just as well. I heard this stuff was cancerous to non-Andorians."

    Aramaki, Winry, and Moggs walked over and sat with the Captain. "Sir, some of the crew and I are worried about you," Aramaki said. "You refuse to reverse a transporter accident, you left the lights on in the Cargo Bay, and our entire payload of replicated chocolate has been depleted."

    "What do I eat!? WHAT DO I EAT!??" screamed the Betazoid officer Cetra as she ran by.

    Seifer looked impressed. "I'm glad when examples present themselves immediately following the set-up."

    "On the other hand, we've been examining our scans of the Deferi Druid wall depictions," Moggs said, while taking out a PADD with their work. "They're just like two other Deferi planetoids, found in the last three centuries with similar depictions."

    Seifer grabbed the PADD with his one good hand and examined the data. "This says these are Deferi breakfast menus. It's a recipe for a grey paste with no flavour whatsoever!"

    "They're neutral in their foods. Is that surprising?" Winry asked. "Except the portions in these instructions are massive. More than one army of complacent doltish simpletons could ever eat."

    The Captain put the PADD down. "The Deferi Powered-Man. All these ancient colonies were somehow working together to supplicate this thing. Because they worshiped it?"

    "Yep! Yep! Thoughts and prayers and paste! Yep!" came the excitement of Lieutenant Edwards as she sat down with a bowl of her own redbat stew and began sipping it.

    Seifer panicked. "Edwards, no!"

    "It's okay," interjected Doctor Cetra as she sat down with an open bag of coffee beans. "I regularly modify her DNA with Andorian so she can eat that."

    The Captain sighed. "Ever since I messed things up by duplicating all those unnecessary Tomsins, I've been stressing about my missions going bad. Losing Marcel just solidified those fears and keeping my transporter accident was going to be my reminder. But seeing you guys come together now gives me hope." He stood up. "Let's find this thing."

    "Hey guys, did we miss an impromptu meeting?" asked one of two Tomsins, approaching the table.

    Seifer snapped at them. "Yes, you did. You're relieved of duty!"

    "Dammit, I told you we should've got our haircuts from that Bolian, second," one of the Tomsins said to the other.

    The other felt his copy's head. "He's dead now."


    Later, the Ragnarok approached a derelict, rogue planet, orbited by the Breen vessel Nokoda and the Deferi ship Sannaska.

    "Both vessels are completely empty, sir," reported Aramaki from tactical.

    Moggs checked his PADD. "It would seem the Breen and the Deferi came to the same conclusion we did. The locations of each wall inscription were pointing to a world in this vicinity."

    "Everything is constantly moving in this galaxy," countered Cetra. "How did you extrapolate celestial history without knowing exact dates?"

    The Science officer Moggs just shrugged. "Eh, I just pointed randomly at the map. Starfleet! Am I right?"

    No one answered him.

    "I'm right."


    A now whole-Seifer, Aramaki, Moggs and Winry beamed down to a large, underground cavern with enormous sections of lower-level areas: One side filled with Breen soldiers and the other Deferi.

    "Here are all the lifeforms we detected," said Aramaki as he scanned with his tricorder. "I just love scanning for lifeforms."

    The Captain shook his head in disapproval when Aramaki looked at him for permission to sing. Meanwhile, a Breen away team and a Deferi away team, on the same upper level as them, hurried over.

    "Hold it right there," said the Deferi leader Cassen as he aimed a phaser at them. "Yes, that's right. We have taken a not-neutral stance, and we are not fainting as one would think."

    Winry crossed her arms. "You're using Osmotic eels, aren't you? They cure anything."

    "Pretty much all of us are," Cassen replied. "As you can see, we have the situation under control."

    But the Breen commander, Kovan, felt otherwise. "SKKZZTTkktt!"

    "Well, except for them," the Deferi seceded. "You see, you were supposed to take out the Breen and get them out of the way for us."

    Seifer tilted his head. "You lied to us Cassen. You used us!"

    "I'm pretty sure I just admitted to that," he said. "That you're here now suggests a meddling of unexpected proportions."

    The Captain shrugged. "That's pretty much our unspoken philosophy. As for you, it's apparent now that all you wanted to do is bring back your Deferi Powered-Man. But it didn't work out the way you'd have hoped, did it?"

    "Some mechanism in this cave transported all of our crews off our ships and into these chambers after we triggered one of the traps here," Cassen admitted. "A force field of some kind prevents us from freeing them."

    Suddenly, the entirety of Seifer's crew were transported into an open lower-area section, much to his surprise. "What!? But we didn't trigger any traps?"

    "Oh, that's just going to keep happening with any ship that approaches," the Deferi replied. "There are sections for crews for the whole planet. Who knows why?"

    Aramaki turned to him. "What's the point of all this? Why bring back some ancient behemoth?"

    "Because I'm tired of being the neutral species with no power what-so-ever. It's opened us up for bullying by the Breen and any species that comes by! Seriously, even the Pakleds. They made us dress them??"

    Kovan added, "KKrrTTjjjvvvvVVt!"

    "He says he just wants power," Cassen translated. "Man, that's one dimensional. Get with the character development, Kovan."

    Seifer walked over to a giant stone circle embedded into the side of the cave, appearing to be ancient with engravings and movable sections. "This is how you get him, isn't it? The Deferi Powered-Man?"

    "Precisely. But any wrong move, and we could lose everyone," Cassen said. "Not that I care about what happens to the Breen. Hah! This taking-sides thing is giving me an adrenaline rush!"

    The Captain pointed to some engraved pictographs. "According to these depictions, rotating these stone parts a certain way will open the forcefields."

    "Sir, are you sure about this?" questioned Moggs. "You could literally lose your whole crew! Or duplicate them. I'm sure either scenario is as plausible."

    Seifer shook his head. "No, but I can't let that possibility hold me back anymore. I'll make quadruple Tomsins if it means we progress in some way."

    "I recognize these engravings. They're the recipes found on the other worlds," Aramaki said in surprise. "We can align them to match the layouts of the other cave inscriptions."

    Nodding, Seifer replied, "Make it so."

    As the group of three away teams got to work, rotating the interior circles to line up properly, Seifer, Cassen and Kovan took a step back to get a wider view of their progress.

    "This is it! We will finally have some gravitas!" belted Cassen. "This is what I was thinking: The Breen gets him Mondays and Tuesdays, the Federation gets him Wednesdays and Thursdays, and we Deferi get him the rest of the week. What do you think?"

    Kovan agreed. "FFVVVKKRRTT!"

    "Hold on a second," interrupted Seifer. "Those rectangle engravings we just rotated represent the areas our crews are in. They appear below the main creature figure."

    Cassen tugged his elongated alien ear. "Huh. It looks like... it's eating them?"

    VVVRRRRTTTT!!! came the loud noise of the cave as the stone circle was complete. The entire area shook while the circle moved to the side to reveal a giant 20-foot creature within. It began to move, restlessly.

    "Our crews are its meal!" Cassen realized.

    Seifer took out his phaser and aimed it at the giant being. "Those areas are probably where your people put your boring grey paste. Only, the one ingredient it was missing was people."

    "Haaa! People are food. I like it," said Aramaki. "Oh, but not right now."

    The enormous creature stepped out and prompted the away teams to scatter. "RRRRRAAAAAAOOOORRRRR!!!!" came its piercing scream while it flung its fists into the ground, smashing into the floor.

    "Open fire. We have to destroy that living piece of history!" Captain Seifer commanded. "Oh man. The Federation Historical Society is going to kill me."

    The Breen complied, but the Deferi held back.

    "Don't!" Cassen ordered his people. "We must remain neutral until it is in our power once again. Sure, our crews will die, but they have been trained to have no reactions either way when being eaten."

    The Deferi Powered-Man moved to the force fielded sections with the crews inside and began smashing his large fists, draining the power of the fields with each attack.

    "I have an idea," Seifer said, snapping his fingers. "Can we replicate an equivalent portion of Ancient Deferi grey paste and beam it down here?"

    Moggs began running the calculations on his PADD. "That would require all the Ragnarok's replicators running at once until all decks were flooded with that gobbledy-gook!"

    "Did I say 'make it so' yet? I think I did. But it's such a good one. I'll have to write Picard a 'thank you' note, wherever he is, whatever he's doing. They should make a series about that. I'd call it Make it So."


    Suddenly, aboard the U.S.S. Ragnarok, all the replicators were activated remotely and began spewing out grey food-paste, non-stop. The paste poured out of everyone's quarters and onto the decks.


    Meanwhile, sections of the grey paste began beaming down into the cavern, catching the Deferi Powered-Man's attention and causing him to stop smashing the forcefields.


    It turned and ran off toward a lower-level section where the paste was filling up from transports, and fell in face-first.

    "Oh no," worried Winry as she tapped frantically at her own PADD. "The ship is producing more grey, boring content than we asked it to. One of the algorithms must be clogged in a redundant unofficial literary code net!"

    Seifer turned to her. "Are you making this an analogy thing? What the hell? Don't do that!"

    "It's too late," said Aramaki as he pointed to the giant pool of grey paste the large creature was previously revelling in. "The Powered-Man is drowning!"

    Cassen stepped forward. "No! My return-to-inaction has wrought terrible consequences!"

    "VVVffffKkrrRttkk," agreed Kovan.

    Everyone watched as the giant creature choked and died on its own gluttony.

    The Breen away team opened fire upon the forcefields covering each of the crews until the energy barriers were depleted. All the Breen then transported back up to their ship to go home.

    "I guess the Breen stopped being interested after the opportunity for power was gone," Seifer postulated. "A hard-learned lesson for all of us about motivation."

    Cassen looked at him. "What are you talking about? We already could predict their actions! That's how one-dimensional they were!"

    "Well, then the Breen lesson is that losing someone like Marcel leads to terrible replacements," concluded the Captain.

    The non-neutral Deferi leader grumbled as he walked away to tend to his people. Meanwhile, the now-free crew of the Ragnarok began beaming back to the paste-filled ship to open all the bay doors.

    "And what's our lesson, Captain?" Moggs said turning to him.

    Seifer thought for a moment. "That death accompanies all things from the ancient past, because that's how we got things done back then."

    "Yeah, we're much more civilized now," agreed Winry. "Tea earl grey hot is the Federation's intergalactic drink now."

    Aramaki put his PADD away. "And what of the 'mission,' sir?"

    "The mission to seek out old life and murder it? Yes, that will continue, especially since I have one of the most effective Bridge crews in the fleet," confirmed Captain Seifer. "You should've saw my last crew. They were obsessed with fizzbin for some reason."

    Winry put her hands on her hips. "You mean that group of officers you put in our Brig? They were still on the ship when we filled it with paste."

    "Hm. Hopefully they're still alive. Either way, everything else relevant is resolved here. Let's leave and not acknowledge that we'll be establishing a Federation presence in this cavern, because the details after the situation never really matter."

    The group nods.

    "Seifer to Ragnarok. Let's get out there and seek out old life and old civilizations. Let's boldly go where many ancient peoples have abandoned before."

    The comm reply from Cetra rang through the air. "Captain, we're all drowning in grey boring paste up here! Don't come up! Don't!"

    "Too late. I activated the transport remotely, thus eliminating someone's job," he countered, tapping his commbadge.

    Seconds later, the Away Team beamed up and into a mucky, unresolved situation. The U.S.S. Ragnarok drifted aimlessly in space, rotating endlessly for what would likely be all foreseeable time.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2023
    Robert Bruce Scott likes this.
  18. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 18, 2021
    Star Trek Kafka.

    By ignoring dates altogether. God is that a nerd rabbit hole to get trapped in...

    Thanks!! rbs
    Hawku and Will The Serious like this.
  19. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, dates schmates!
    Will The Serious likes this.
  20. Hawku

    Hawku Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 7, 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in February 2019 as part of the Star Trek Online forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #49. It uses my Romulan faction character from STO, Tressa, last seen in New Romulus RP, Page 4, warping away in her new ship.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #49: Prompt #1: A strange wormhole has been discovered opening into the Alpha Quadrant. Scans show it is artificial in nature and leads past the Delta Quadrant into the mythical "Epsilon Fringe", a small strip of space between the end of the Delta Quadrant and the vast emptiness of Dark Space. A probe sent into the wormhole reveals that there are M class planets on the other side as well as a few warp capable species. Your faction has ordered you to brave this trek to reach the Epsilon Fringe and make first contact with a species. What kind of species does your Captain meet? Are they friend or foe? Is there a large governing body like Starfleet or the Dominion or is it lawless, with every species for themselves? Write a log detailing this event and the journey itself.
    Unofficial Literary Challenge #49
    "Welcome to the Epsilon Fringe"

    The Ar'Kif-class R.R.W. Tetreya was flung, recklessly out of a wormhole and back into normal space upon the far reaches passed the Delta Quadrant. Commander Tressa got back onto her command chair.

    "Status report!" the female Romulan called out.

    Centurion Lesket, a Romulan male, tapped frantically at his tactical control panel. "Weapons, shields, life support! They're all good!"

    "Well, then why are we freaking out like a bunch of n00bs?" Tressa asked. "Anyway, as you all know, the Republic wants to try out this Federation-exploration trend in hopes of becoming more like a people who don't ignore an impending energy-multiplying supernova."

    Chupa, a Bolian and the Chef, stepped off the turbolift, carrying a large bowl of ganglia. "Anyone try the Kelpien yet? It's not that bad, actually."

    "Ugh! That's not even a thing they did from our universe," argued Centurion Reivf, a Romulan and a female. "But I'll take ten bowls."

    Suddenly, Tressa and her Bridge crew found themselves transported onto the surface of an unknown planet.


    The group was quickly approached by an enthusiastic, tall Kelpien-like alien.

    "Greetings. I am Cuva, and we are the Kolpionn. We have just become aware of space-faring species, so as soon as we detected you, we brought you here to meet you," the alien explained.

    Sarmin, the ship's Science officer and a Reman, took out his tricorder and scanned the alien. "You are similar to the Kelpiens! Like some sort of offshoot! Also, the name."

    "Our ancient myths describe being planted here via distance-traversing vortices, eons ago," Cuva said. "We enter this country every year to engage in The Great Cannibalism: An event in which our underground society, the Kulpiun, goes mad and we eat them before they kill us."

    Tressa shook her head. "That sounds terrible. Not to judge your culture or anything, but you're all doing everything wrong, all the time."

    "Oh, pish-posh! You'll simply love it! To become one with our brethren is the only way to really live," he explained reassuringly as the distant echo of madly-driven Kulpiun began running straight for the group.

    The crew then watched as Cuva ran off and tackled one of the incoming mad-Kulpiuns, feasting right into the creature before both of them disappeared in a shimmering light.

    "Commander, there's a force-field preventing our escape, and no indications of any exits anywhere," Lesket said, scanning.

    Chupa widened his eyes as he peeked at Lesket's tricorder. "Is eating one of these Kulpiuns the only way out of here??"

    "I mean, surely we could map a way off world, or modify the energy-signature of the shielding, or—" Reivf started before the group was surrounded.

    Tressa shook her head. "That's what Starfleet would do. I posit we do things the Romulan way! We follow through with our own new version of First Contact procedures, which is to consume these things, like the Kolpionn do."

    "But isn't that messed up, yo?" asked Reivf. "Respectfully, of course."

    The Commander shook her head. "The Klingons eat people every day. But they won't tell anyone nor celebrate it. We Romulans are different. Sure, we are prim and proper, and will deny all forms of bodily fluids, but we are also game players."

    "You don't have to ask me twice," Chupa said as the group watched him tackle one of the surrounding Kulpiuns and sink his teeth into it. Moments later, Chupa and the creature were transported away.

    Lesket tapped his chin in thought. "It's not like it's cannibalism if it's another species, right? Humans eat dolphins all the time, I assume, despite the latter having scientifically proven superior intellect." The Romulan tactical officer then ran right into a Kulpiun and ate his way to transported-freedom.

    "My Reman brethren ate each other every day," Sarmin said. "It's how we survived the underground mines and kept our population down. Saturdays was Human-clone night."

    Tressa and Reivf watched as Sarmin followed suit, tackled a creature, and disappeared.

    "I'm having second thoughts about this," Tressa said. "Am I just making speeches to measure up to the Federation and Klingon Captains?"

    Reivf turned to her. "You were trying to set us apart from those buffoons, and I applaud you for that. In fact, others in the Republic will applaud you and build statues in your honor. Statues are our thing. It's a huge thing we Romulans do."

    "They won't throw up in their mouths a little bit?" Tressa asked.

    The other Romulan nodded. "Oh, no, they definitely will. It's going to be at least a week of mental processing for everyone. Prepare to be shamed relentlessly." And then Reivf ran off and tackled a Kulpiun to the ground.

    "Alright, let's do this. I did skip breakfast," Tressa said to herself as the last remaining officer. She was then tackled to the ground by a drooling, madly-insane creature. Taking a deep breath, she bit right into its neck, squirting a good ounce of blood before she and it disappeared.


    Commander Tressa found herself transported into a fancy ball room overlooking the countryside where hordes of Kulpiun and Kolpionn were recklessly engaged with each other.

    "The metaphasic properties of the planets in Epsilon Fringe has given our species morphogenic genes," said Cuva as he handed Tressa a glass of champagne.

    Lesket picked off a waiter's palette of ganglia appetizers. "It turns out when they bite into each other, the two species merge, or Tuvix if you will, into one being."

    "And now it's become a ritual for them," reaffirmed Chupa who scooped a handful of the rest of the ganglia.

    Tressa raised an eyebrow. "So, our DNA is now altered?"

    "It will last about two days for you," Cuva said. "Your alien genes will likely dominate and push out the Kulpiun. After expulsion, you can then return your Kulpiun counterpart back to us."

    The Commander took a sip of her drink. "I am not looking forward to that. But, I must know, have we now succeeded in First Contact procedures?"

    "Would I be inviting you back next month for The Great Love Fest if you hadn't?" Cuva raised a glass and winked.

    Tressa nodded in understanding. "Now I know why Starfleet is so messed up: All these strange and horrifying cultures easily dilute one's own grasp of reality. Thank you, Cuva, for making me never want to meet new civilizations again."

    "As long as I did some good," he replied. "You know, a lot of people actually call this the Epsilon Cringe," he added as the two tapped champagne glasses.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2023