STO Phoenix Compendium

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

  1. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in May 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #11, and mashes up three of my latest alt Captains, Menrow, Iviok and Reynolds.​

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #11: Prompt #3: The unthinkable has happened. Word has reached your captain that a fellow commander in Starfleet/the KDF/the Republic Navy has gone rogue and committed a horrible crime. Perhaps this captain has subjugated an underdeveloped planet and set him/herself up as a god. Perhaps this captain has committed an atrocity against unarmed civilians, or lashed out and destroyed the ships of a former enemy. Regardless, your captain has been ordered to go after this rogue and bring him/her to justice...or failing that, to terminate this renegade's command with extreme prejudice. Write about your captain's hunt for the renegade and what he/she finds.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #11
    Better Angels of Our Nature, Part II

    Moments later, the two emerged out a similar looking portal on the sunny side of a planet, somewhere in the Delta Quadrant.

    "Seriously," Reynolds continued. "We may have to infiltrate his operation and I might have to get close to the enemy— for the good of the mission."

    Iviok looked at her. "I guess? Also, it's nice that the wormhole transferred atmosphere and that we didn't just walk out into cold space, for, you see, Captain Menrow is going to have to pay for what he's done. Killing others is inexcusable."

    "What about all the thousands of ships and crews we destroy, daily, on system patrols and seasonal story missions?"

    The Andorian nodded. "I figured you were going to mention those, and I've prepared a thoroughly thought-out, perfectly articulate, message board-esque answer which more than justifies those actions, and, in fact, calls for even more murderings. And that answer is— BY THE RIP-TORN SHIRTS OF KIRK??? Look at that!"

    He pointed, interrupting himself, at a giant industrial building, feeding smoke into the atmosphere, sitting at the head of a stone-built, ancient-looking city center. Entering the city and busy town square, the two were approached by a raggedly dressed, colorful-robed man.

    "Hello, Great Advocates. What an honor it is to run in to you. My name is Mard and I'd like to submit a Takar business opportunity passage, if that would be okay with you?"

    The man put his hands together, with glee, and prepared to recite his rhythmic legal epic:

    "As you may know, our sorrows grow;
    We share them high, we share them low.
    But what say you, is how we deal?
    Why, a drinker's bar: to help us heal!

    "An establishment of class, and one of glee;
    For upper state commoners, like you, like me.
    Stories shared, stories bared, stories might, be all night;
    Like when I slept with my cousin, and it felt, just all right.

    "Money made, money earned, money gained, you'll see;
    We'll start a thing called tipping; 30%; all three!
    For shares are our goals; a cut of the pricing;
    Together we'll gouge and have all the icing!"

    Reynolds looked to the side, in sudden distraction. Her senses all ready; all ready for action. "A planet with a town, a village called Takar? This scenario, the chances, they aren't really that far."

    "Wait. What? Are you rhyming? Please don't set a precedent. Please?" Iviok begged.

    The Betazoid shook her head out of it. "Sorry. I mean: this is the Takarian home world. They were a Bronze Age civilization, last encountered in 2373, by that ship-that-shall-not-be-mentioned, operating under rhythmic, religious overtones."

    "Oh. Actually, this seems like a great opportunity to comment on religion as a base structure for developing societies, and ask questions like, is it necessary? Would a non-religious-based society even get off the ground?" Iviok queried, just seconds before Reynolds slapped him across the face.

    The Betazoid snapped. "There's no time for that! It's clear, by the Starfleet guards throughout the entire town, that Menrow has enslaved this civilization in the name of these Great Advocates."

    "Owe," Iviok rubbed his cheek. "You do know blue skin is sensitive to warm hands?"

    But it was too late. Both Iviok and Reynolds found themselves surrounded by Starfleet crewmembers from the Crucial, aiming phasers at the two trespassers. Mard was sadly escorted away.

    "You pit-i-ful Humaans! You think you can just waltz on in and disrupt an operation that was ours to begin with?" Menrow said, walking down a large stone entrance-staircase for the industrial plant.

    Iviok looked at him. "Clearly, neither of us are Human. And, just because you are accustomed to 'conquesting' females, does not mean you should amplify that to entire cultures. Yes, it's a natural progression, but we have to fight those obvious urges."

    "Just the culture ones, though," Reynolds clarified. "The other ones are okay. Menrow? Shall you and I meet in private to 'discuss' things?"

    Menrow shook his head. "This is more than taking over the Takarians. This is taking over the Takarians for profit! If you add Rule of Acquisition #10, greed is eternal, to Rule of Acquisition #52, never ask when you can take— You get Rule of Acquisition #62, the riskier the road, the greater the profit."

    "Wait. Rules of stuff? You're not Menrow and his crew?? You're all Ferengi?? That, or Androids," Reynolds accused and stated all at once.

    Menrow approached them. "The name's DiaMon Cide. My crew and I found ourselves in the most gracious of luck, one day, when our minds were somehow switched with Menrow's crew. We were no longer on my D'Kora-class ship, the Jade Fox, but, rather, some Intrepid-class U.S.S. Crucial. Searching its database for opportunity, we discovered the Vandor IV labs."

    "Oh, good. You're explaining everything too. Really appreciate that, by the way," Iviok nodded to him, honestly.

    Reynolds' eyes widened at Menrow/Cide's revelations. "Then you must have a deal with the Orions where they maintain the Barzan wormhole from Manheim's lab??"

    "Exactly! The resources we strip from this world will go to Ferengi and Orion operations all throughout the Alpha Quadrant, thanks to the Syndicate. You see, I purchased the rights to this planet from Arridor and Kol, the first Sages in Takarian prophecy. As we did more opportunity data mining— the spoken kind, in this case— More epics of their history became clear to us: Specifically, the Song of the Advocates, who were prophesied to establish a Takarian economy!"

    Reynolds cursed at his selfish, society-improving treachery. "You bastard!"

    "Seriously, we just invented electricity for them, like, two days ago."

    Iviok turned to his partner. "Why'd we go from an Enterprise-D thing to a Voyager thing? That seems backwards to me."

    "By the southern twang of mind-altered Leonard McCoy! We have to stop this rehash of a shoddy series of events before we become just as cheap and sub-par, ourselves," Reynolds realized.

    Menrow laughed. "Good luck! There is, in fact, a counter prophecy, but we've installed thought maker devices all over town to prevent telepaths from reading our now-vulnerable minds!" He then realized: "An odd and random precaution, I admit. Even odder that I would concede to the counter prophecy."

    "Of course!" Iviok realized, taking out his tricorder. "Ferengi thought makers are mere imitations from some race we haven't met yet, or Iconians, and, as copies, are therefore cheap and faulty. They're even preventing Menrow's crew from shooting us."

    Trying to fire his weapon, Menrow/Cide was hit with a clinch of physical constipation. Iviok quickly hacked into the devices and allowed Reynolds the will to read Menrow's mind.

    "Amazing! I never thought I could read a Ferengi mind. Profit and greed are a way of life for you, isn't it?" Reynolds perceived in a very EMH Mark I way.

    Iviok turned to her. "What? We already knew that."

    "Oh," she snapped out of it. "I mean, there is hear-tell of a future group of Holy ones called the Holy Dissidents. Songs, ever so lengthy, go on about their role to slow economical growth before it destroys all of Takarian kind."

    As her words rang true, Takarian men and women from the square began to pick up on it.

    "We could be these Holy Dissidents, here to temper progress, and stop possible threats like carbon emissions from expediting global warming effects! And we could stop the Internet from becoming over-saturated with horrible comments sections!" Reynolds called out so that all could hear.

    Menrow furrowed his brow. "Again. We literally just invented indoor plumbing yesterday."

    "Holy Dissidents! Stop our progress!" But it was too late. The accumulated crowd had finally found the courage and strength of the next part of the one of their many, many prophecies. "Holy Dissidents! Stop our progress!"

    Captain Menrow/Cide dropped his weapon out of realized defeat. "Damn it. Once you get them going, you literally can't stop them. And this was supposed to be my salvation after losing my job at Slug-o-Cola!"

    Iviok celebrated. "Hah! We stopped those shoddy series of events— kind of. Either that, or we played in to them."

    "Captain Iviok, I misjudged you as some kind of Starfleet-abandoning-invalid. But the truth is, your piece of junk starship has made you an innovative, courageous engineer," Reynolds confessed.

    The Andorian sighed in relief. "And your mind reading over-confidence was instrumental in mental data mining, which, I'm sure, a less confident telepath would have messed up from emotional panic."

    "Yeah. Definitely," Reynolds agreed. "But what about the crew of the U.S.S. Crucial? Where'd their minds go??"

    Suddenly, another man faded in, next to them, in a striping band-like effect. "I'll field that field-worthy question," he said. "You see, my name is Wayfar, and I'm a Traveler. My powers include altering space and time, and I have a history with mind switching Captain Menrow and his crew. I once sent them to the 28th century, don't cha know."

    "Ahh! He's grey like a giant bug!" Iviok over-reacted. "I mean— go on."

    Wayfar continued. "My job was to transport the real Sages and Advocate aliens of the Takarian home world into corporeal form, but, due to the fact I'm horrible at my job, I accidentally sent the non-corporeal Sages into a crew of corporeal Ferengi. And, due to my past mind-transfers with Menrow, I mix-displaced that Ferengi crew into the occupants of the U.S.S. Crucial."

    "So, what happened to the crew of the Crucial? Are they non-corporeal now??" Reynolds asked.

    The Traveler was caught off guard. "What? Oh, sorry. My mind wanders. The answer to your question is yes." He then rolled up his sleeves. "But I can fix things now, for I was otherwise preoccupied with Traveler paper work. You have no idea the forms we're expected to fill. Like, actual paper and pen forms."

    At that, he concentrated, hard, and caused himself and the Starfleet officers from the Crucial, all over the city, to fade in and out in sliding bands. Moments later, the crew of the Crucial was returned to their bodies.

    "What... what happened? We were floating energies??" Menrow reacted in pure shock. He then double-checked his body parts, top and below. "Oh, thank the Vice Admirals, everything is back!"

    Reynolds' eyebrows went up.

    "My fault, Captain." Wayfar turned to Menrow. "I shouldn't have tried to switch minds during that Intrepid-class celebration in your Messhall. I didn't think you'd serve real green drink??"

    Menrow nodded. "Yeah, that's the non-syntheholic stuff. Since we're expected to have as many pointless parties as Voyager had, we go for the hard stuff. Also, since I was in a non-corporeal form, I already knew what you did. But that doesn't make me any less disappointed in you-- As is the nature of our working relationship with each other."

    "So the Sages are real, huh? Are they okay? Their plans never went through?" Iviok commented.

    Wayfar held up his hands. "Whoa! To redo any of that will take days and days of Traveler administration. So, I'll try again next week."

    "On the plus side, we've finally tamed the Barzan wormhole," Reynolds observed. "The downside being the Orion Syndicate owns it and will use it to go all over the place."

    Iviok nodded. "At least we saved this world from Ferengi conquest, despite that being something that happens to them a lot. Not to mention, Cide seems to have gotten away with mass murder."

    "Forget all those trivialities! All that matters is that we're okay now, thanks to you two," Menrow offered in the direction of Iviok and Reynolds. "The lesson, here, being, there's nothing Starfleet Captain's can't accomplish when working as a team."

    It was at that moment the group noticed that the townspeople had been building wooden logs all around them the whole time. In the next moment, it was lit on fire.

    "Holy Dissidents! Stop our progress! Stop our progress!"

    Reynolds looked around. "What the hell? Sending us to the sky on 'wings of fire' isn't even part of this specific prophecy??"

    "No, that's... That's just a thing they do," Wayfar reassured. "Well, it seems your ship's transporters are being blocked, so, good luck with everything." And he disappeared in the same Enterprise-D era banding energies he rode in on, leaving the three Captains to their demise.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
  2. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in June 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #12. The next three entries from ULC 12 are connected. Menrow's comments on being mind-dispalced is a reference to events from ULC 4: Second Life.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #12: Prompt #1: In the past, be it distant or recent, your character was in a relationship with another. Then their lover died, either in battle, through assassination, or they gave up their life to save your character's.

    However, after they died, your character discovers their lover left them one final gift: a child. The way this gift is left can vary, from your character discovering that they're pregnant with the child (females only, and most likely with a male lover), the child has already been born, albeit only a week earlier at the most (male characters with female lovers), or they somehow foresaw their death and left behind a sample of genetic material that could be used to create the child (any character with any lover).

    Write a short story about the discovery of this final gift, the child's birth, or about some future point in the child's life.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #12
    Someone To Remember Them By

    The Intrepid-class U.S.S. Crucial sat at out in orbit of the Takarian home world. Scores of Starfleet officers beamed back to the ship, including Captain's Menrow, Reynolds and Iviok.

    "Well, that was a close one," Menrow said, entering the Bridge. "Good thing you overloaded those already overloading thought devices to release the block on our transporters."

    Iviok nodded. "The trick was increasing its power. A technique I like to call: Givin 'er all she's got. But, seriously, why'd you wait the whole turbolift ride to re-explain what we already knew?"

    "He's fulfilling our explain-quota," Reynolds elucidated. "All us Captain's have a pre-determined amount to fill by the end of 2410."

    Menrow approached his Captain's chair. "Let's just hope the year doesn't drag on like 2409 did." He then turned to them. "Anyway, we need to re-open that wormhole for the Crucial and return you to your ships. Having us all together in one thing is confusing and 'too out there'."

    Iviok and Reynolds nodded and re-entered the turbolift to get to work. Menrow's senior staff exited the turbolift and took their posts on the Bridge.

    "Captain Menrow," Hatcha opened. "Your orders? And may they be for us to take showers? It seems our preoccupation with cultural imperialism exceeded our basic occupation for hygiene."

    Menrow shook his head. "I want this to serve as a reminder to us. Never are we to shower again! Never forget!"

    "Sir, your yelling has negated the observation that we are being approached by a specially-converted probe, off the port bow," Grunley reported, taking the Tactical station.

    The Captain turned to him. "There was no negating. I just feel strongly about speaking loudly."

    "The probe appears to have two persons inside of it? Like some kind of man, or woman, sized birthday cake?" Hatcha read from her Science console.

    Menrow nodded. "An apt analogy. Beam the two onto the Bridge. Seriously, what's the point of a Transporter room when we can beam people anywhere?"

    "Greetings," a female Klingon rematerialized in front of everyone. Next to her was a young boy, half-Klingon, half-Human. "My name is Treth. I am an ex-mate of yours and I have been searching for the Crucial."

    The Human Captain acknowledged her. "How'd you get here so fast, not to mention even knowing where we were??"

    "Rumors and such. As for the expediency, my probe has been retrofitted with a negotiation-voice, monotone speaker that books its own passage on transport and cargo ships all throughout the galaxy," she clarified. "For me, I chose the probe way, as that is the traditional ex-Klingon lover way to reach a man, a-la K'Ehleyr."

    Menrow sized her up. "Ah, Klingon females. Tougher to conquest than the Tzenkethi."

    "Do you have any idea how long I've been stuck in that probe, Menrow? The purpose being that the honorable thing to do was to introduce you to your son, Feng," she gestured and glanced over to the boy. "ghuy'cha'! He was just a little baby when I last saw him??"

    Feng looked up at her, now appearing to be several years older. "I've grown, mother."

    "And you can talk??" her jaw dropped.

    Captain Menrow looked at the two of them. "Ah, the baby mama situation. Classic. But, I'm going to be honest. I don't remember you."

    "Yes, I'm well aware of your promiscuous nature. But I was the one who was responsible for your leg requiring amputation after a fierce love-making session. There was a whole sad episode about the repercussions, and you, out-genre bonding with a hologram named Vic," Treth explained.

    Menrow shook his head. "No, I mean, my mind was previously switched out for a very long time by a Traveler named Wayfar. I lived in the 28th century, aboard Spacedock, but they called it Starbase 001 for some reason. Then, when Wayfar returned me, a long time later, another version of myself had accomplished so much in my absence. I suspect interactions with that-me were very bland and doll-like."

    "That is what attracted me to you! Your blank-Lal-like stares!"

    Hatcha slammed her fists on her console. "Wayfar has been nothing but trouble! It's his constant mind-switching, the second of which gave our bodies to that Ferengi crew, that led to the destruction of several Starfleet ships!"

    "Despite those deaths," Menrow approached the two Klingons, "And, perhaps, their occurrence as a necessity, I am finally willing to take on the responsibility of being a father."

    Treth pulled her son away. "What? No way! Not if it wasn't actually you? I had plans for my son's life, but put them on-hold for honor. But, now, as that said-honor isn't necessary, I am free to return to do my doings and so on! Sorry, I couldn't be more specific."

    "He has my DNA??"

    The Klingon shook her head. "Doesn't matter! It wasn't you. Am I right, Menrow's lackeys?"

    "This seems like a complicated question. Can we start a new thread? Is there a mod that can watch its progression?" Hatcha asked.

    Treth spat at them. "Forget it! As I said, honor is not necessary here. And for love, no one could make a life with an indiscriminate man like you. See the Kirk articles at Memory Alpha for details. --Come, my son. We shall return to the cramped probe of which our spines do not forgive."

    "Yes, mother," Feng replied.

    The Klingon's eyes widened at her child. "I seriously will not get used to that." She then slapped her wrist communicator and the two transported away, in a red flurry. The probe, on screen, then cloaked out of sight.

    "Sorry about your loss, Captain," Hatcha offered. "But, it appears Iviok and Reynolds were able to reopen the Barzan wormhole."

    Menrow sighed. "Well, perhaps Treth has a point about my ways. Then again, that very same nature can procure more oddly-mixed young, if I'm not mistaken? This time, consciously? --Now, helm, set a non-phallic course for the wormhole!"
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  3. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in June 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #12.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #12: Prompt #2: One morning, your Captain notices that something is missing from his/her quarters. Casually mentioning it during breakfast, you discover that other people are missing things too. For the most part it's nothing critical an old power cell, a coil of decorative metal, an crystal statue, nothing of consequence. But while reviewing the list, your chief engineer starts seeing connections. Though abstract, some of the items could be put together to build something else, power supplies, scanners, even weapons. Is there a kleptomaniac on the cleaning crew? or is something more sinister going on?

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #12
    Misplaced

    The Centaur-class U.S.S. Jenova watched as the Barzan wormhole opened just outside Vandor IV. The Crucial exited and transported Iviok and Reynolds back to the Jenova.

    "Ah, wormholes; the waste-extraction pipelines of the galaxy," Iviok commented while the two of them entered the Excelsior-class-looking Bridge. "Did I miss anything while I was away?"

    Caveat, the Chief engineer, got out of his chair. "It looks like the Orions evacuated the vicinity. Likely due to the might of our 23rd century-esque, Tier 1 starship."

    "That's what I like to hear; continued delusion," Iviok patted him on his shoulder. "But it's more likely the Jade Fox called off the whole operation. Well, at least Reynolds and I were able to force re-open the Barzan wormhole using calculations of time warp!"

    Gondi spoke up, from his tactical console. "Actually, the lab on Vandor IV is reporting that whatever space-time manipulations you have done has caused the recent fixations to dissipate, and never return."

    "What?! That means the Jenolan Dyson Sphere is our only Delta Quadrant access??" Reynolds cursed. "Which means more forced interactions with that long-winded bore, Ethan Burgess. Uggh. Let me know when we've reached the Hijinx."

    Iviok nodded before Reynolds left the Bridge. He then turned to his crew. "I'll be in my Ready Room, going through our daily damage reports. Remember, if the ship isn't dented, then it might as well be rented."

    ---

    Not long later, the doorbell to Captain Iviok's ready room toned, and Caveat was let in. The Andorian was working on some devices on his desk.

    "Okay, I don't know jack about the 24th century, but everybody out there thinks staying here and fighting the Borg is suicide!" Caveat cut straight to the point. "They're just afraid to say it to your blue face."

    Iviok looked at him, perplexed. "Huh? You know we aren't scheduled to confront the Borg for at least two weeks? And it's the 25th century?"

    "Ah," Caveat snapped his fingers in realization. "Forgot. --What I meant to start with was that recent reports from around the ship have detailed the missing of several unimportant items: a hyper-spanner here, a Mirror Universe transporter device there..."

    The Andorian Captain put down his pieces. "All things you can find on a starship. --Wait. Was that me? That may have been me?"

    "No," Caveat answered, examining at his desk mess. "You appear to have half the parts to an exocomp; those lovable futuristic roombas. --No, you see, someone's been stealing specific, unremarkable items from around the ship for some greater reason. But, what for, I fear to know."

    Iviok stood up. "Then there's only one way to find out. We have to look at what they took and build what they're building before they can!"

    "Seems reasonable," Caveat replied.

    ---

    Later, in the Jenova's Engineering, Iviok and Caveat stood around an unrecognizable tall, mechanical mash-up.

    "So... what is it?" Iviok asked, sharing a loss for answers.

    Caveat looked. "It's, uhh, it's green."

    "It's yellow!" Iviok countered.

    Caveat shook his head out of it. "Right; of course. I was having an Engineer flash back. Should we activate this thing, without testing of any kind?"

    "You know the answer to that," Iviok replied. He then moved over to it and flicked a switch. It started shaking and emitting a bright, fantastical light.

    Entering Engineering, the Starfleet Klingon first officer, Melyot, walked, carrying a similar device. "Aw! How'd you get yours working? All mine seems to do is dispense sarcastic remarks." He placed his device down and flicked its switch.

    "Eat any good books lately?" the device spurted in the Computer's voice.

    Meylot punched it. "You know I have!"

    "Wait, Commander, so you're the one behind the tale of the stolen things all throughout the ship??" Iviok turned. "It was such a long and arduous mystery!"

    The first officer turned to him. "I clearly specified what I was doing in a report I sent to you last week."

    "Ah, that explains it. I used your reports to level my desk. --Engineer, you see; I solve problems." Iviok said, satisfied. "But why'd you try to build a thing that horribly transforms spatial harmonics?"

    Suddenly, a Klingon female, named Treth beamed in from a cloaked probe, with her early-childhood-aged son, Feng. "Because he was trying to impress me!"

    "Ah!? My online chat, possible-hookup??" Melyot reacted in shock.

    Treth spat in his direction. "You fool! You couldn't even build a simple extradimensional transformation matrix! How could you expect a date??" She then turned to the others. "You see, I believe my son is the end-game Kuvah'magh of all Kuvah'maghs: the legendary Kuvah'Kugh'Heg'Meh'Mughehegh! He is said to exist outside the space-time continuum, in the future, and is foretold to bring about a new era of generalized events in the Klingon Empire."

    "So, this device, carelessly cobbled together using second handed parts from a Tier 1, 23rd century-type, half-broken Centaur-class starship, transforms people into non-corporeal beings?" Iviok worked out.

    The Klingon female spat at him, this time. "You fool! It will only work on my son, because he was born with delta series radioisotopes, of which he is immune. Also, you are continued fools because his transformation happened while we were talking, just now!"

    "Hello, mother," a floating, glowing sparse of energy said in a calm voice.

    Treth was taken aback. "Ah! --You know how that freaks me out! And the way you say it too; just weird."

    "Damn, Menrow's temporal-altered cells!" Iviok cursed to the side. "Also, how could you do this to a child?? They're the hair-spotted larvae of the humanoid condition."

    The woman glared at him. "Beliefs! Beliefs are the cornerstone of strange sciencey-things. Well, from your perspective, at least. From mine, they're an annoying step from zero to prophecy." She then turned to her floating-energy son. "Come now, Feng. There is more to be done."

    "Very well, mother," the energy said with a creepy sly tone. The two of them exited Engineering, with no one daring to stop them.

    Iviok turned to his Chief Engineer. "The lesson here is, technological progress goes too absurd at times. And we are its constant facilitators."

    "We need to be more careful," Caveat suggested.

    Captain Iviok approached each, tall mashed-up device. "Agreed. For now, let's dismantle the spirit-making machine, but keep the sarcasm-making machine."

    "You can't destroy me, anymore than you could win a beauty contest," the insulting device directed at Commander Melyot.

    The Klingon punched it again. "taHqeq!!" He then sighed and accepted the facts. "I am going to my quarters to re-do my Klingon Dating Profile. If there really will be a new era of generalized events, then I must prepare to take my chances."

    Iviok and Caveat watched as Melyot left Engineering, while simultaneously trying to fix his rowdy, out-of-control hair.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  4. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in June 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #12.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #12: Prompt #3: Before your crew can enter the Delta Quadrant, your faction has insisted upon you taking a new bridge officer, designation "Intelligence". This officer's job is to gather intel on the Delta Quadrant and report to "Command". You have a suspicion that this new officer may be a spy, which is an ethical quandary of epic proportions. How do you deal with a crew member you cannot trust?

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #12
    Bad Intelligence

    The Akira-class U.S.S. Hijinx sat out in deep space as it was approached by the Jenova, which transported Captain Reynolds over.

    "It's good to be back!" the Betazoid exclaimed as she took a seat in her Captain's chair. "Who's been sitting here? There are leola root tart wrappers all over the arm consoles!"

    Bo-Lin turned from his helm console. "That would be me. I saw an empty chair and I had to use it."

    "You're lucky you're cute, or you'd be in a whole heap of trouble," Reynolds pointed as she wiped the trash to the floor.

    Jolene turned from her science console. "Ma'am, that's no way to operate in a professional work place. In fact, it's quite inappropriate."

    "Hey! I'll run my ship my way and when you get your own, you can run it yours!" She shook her head. "Sorry, everyone. I've all this pent up energy from being stuck on the lower decks of the Crucial and Jenova for two whole 'things'. Did you know the Jenova's eighth deck has no flooring? It's just highly volatile plasma conduits which you have to step around somehow."

    Lane perked up from tactical. "Ma'am! The Jenova has gone to warp and has registered a Restraining Order against us, where we have to keep at least 50 lightyears away!"

    "I'll allow it," Reynolds conceded.

    It was at that moment another, unrecognizable Starfleet officer entered the Bridge: a moody, man with a square jaw and dark attitude. "Greetings. My name is Mayhem."

    "Captain! The computer's going nuts!" Lane reported. "Main control is being rerouted through Main Engineering-- Weapons, shields, propulsion--"

    Reynolds stood up. "What? Quickly, Mr. Esreck, lock out the main computer!"

    "Huh? The who and the what now?" Esreck fumbled as he entered the Bridge, delayed, while holding an arm-full of packages of leola root tarts.

    Mayhem turned to address the crew. "What you're experiencing will subside and you will regain control of your ship in just a few minutes. These computer changes are merely a result of my programming integrating itself: You see, I am a computer virus and a hologram."

    "What the hell?? You Nexus-Kirk jerk! We need to purge you from our systems??" Reynolds replied.

    The viewscreen then clicked on, displaying an ad for Quark's: "Come to Quark's, Quark's is fun, come right now, don't walk-- run!"

    Mayhem shook his head. "Ugh. Uninspired and lazy. Anyway, you purge me and you will be murdering one of your own. You see, despite my programming being infected by an Iconian probe's computer disarming algorithm-- That's my backstory, by the way-- I am still an enlisted, Command division, Starfleet Intelligence officer."

    "He's right," Lane added. "Starfleet was founded upon equal opportunity employment. We have to respect who he is as a person and accept that he can do the job just like anybody else."

    Suddenly the lights flickered and controls were restored. "Now," Mayhem continued, "As for my purpose here, I am to join you in your adventures into the Delta Quadrant and gather intel about it, to report to... Command."

    "Why did you say it like that? Anyway, we've already been there and back several times. You missed the whole Vaadwuar assault and now we're working with Nog to rebirth the Krenim-- nothing can possibly go wrong there."

    Mayhem grunted. "Fine, fine. Clearly there is much catching up I must do. Now, take us to Ethan Burgess, where he will brief us on his life story up to this point."

    "Uggh. That bag of wind?? I hate him worse than I do Herthel!" Reynolds stopped before the hologram. "Can you even be trusted? You did infect my ship and claim to be part Iconian?"

    The hologram turned to her. "Well, there's nothing you can do about your trust issues. It's not like you can read my mind."

    "This way please," she ordered everyone.

    ---

    Curious, the entire Bridge crew and Mayhem entered the turbolift and took it down toward the lower decks. During the ride, Reynolds used the opportunity to make small talk with Jolene:

    "And, so, Captain Shon actually tried to ask me out, to which I replied, 'Who am I to argue with the Captain of the Enterprise?' A clear reference! And you know what? He didn't even get it. Just stared blankly at me."

    ---

    Entering Holodeck 3, Reynolds was quick to address the system.

    "Computer." Reynolds turned. "Create a hologram version of myself and display it in this simulated, artificial environment."

    Then, a holographic-Betazoid, Reynolds, appeared next to them, wearing a skimpy, Risa, Lohunat Festival bikini. "I'm holo-mind-reading deception from the Mayhem hologram," it reported. "He is working with a Klingon named Treth."

    "Damn! I forgot that costume was on default for me. Computer, update to civilian clothing. --Mayhem, explain yourself and stop checking holo-me out."

    In another bold turn of events, Treth and her energy-floating son transported into the holodeck and addressed everyone. "Forget it! As you can see, we've been following you back to the Hijinx all the way from the Takarian homeworld. For it was I that convinced Melyot, from the Jenova, to reprogram Mayhem to help me."

    "Hello, mother," the energy greeted in a creepy, child voice.

    Treth waved him off. "Yes, yes. Disturbing. Not now, though."

    "Bloody hell!" Reynolds freaked. "How did you even know what we were saying before you beamed in??"

    Treth folded her arms. "I am a Klingon."

    "What? And you already got your kid to become non-corporeal. What more do you need??"

    Treth unfolded her arms. "My son may now be an energy lifeform, but he needs help getting into a non-linear realm, for the full Klingon Prophet experience. I knew you were a Science officer, so I re-scheduled your crew and embedded science-y patches into Mayhem to modify your deflector dish into an interplexing spatial interphasic flexure pokey pokey."

    "Hah! The joke's on you. My ship isn't even a Science ship. It's a defense vessel," Reynolds bragged.

    The Klingon was taken aback. "But-- why??"

    "I'm smart, and a fighter. It's possible to be both," the Betazoid said.

    Treth checked her Klingon PADD for the ship's progress. "NO! The array is taking twice as long!?"

    "It's going to take even longer when I get through with it," Mayhem interjected. "You see, as yet another revelation, I object to you tampering with my program for your own personal goals. My programming is meant for my personal goals! Selfish, I know."

    Everyone looked over at Mayhem who then appeared to be closing his eyes, gritting his teeth and concentrating really hard. Seconds later, the opposite result at which he was expecting occurred:

    "Well now," Treth examined her live stream of the Hijinx's system data. "It looks like, instead of stopping the dish, you improved it and started the spatial interphasic sequence."

    Opening his eyes and realizing what he'd done, Mayhem cursed to himself. "Dammit! I forgot that as a virus, I have the antithetical effect on goals."

    "Reynolds to Bridge-- what's going on up there?" she tapped her commbadge.

    Jolene shrugged. "The Bridge is empty. We're all here because you wouldn't explain what you were doing before exiting."

    "Oh, right. Very well. Come with me," Reynolds ordered.

    ---

    Following along, everyone, including Treth and the floating energy, Feng, joined the Captain in the cramped turbolift back to the Bridge. During the ride, Reynolds continued her small talk with Jolene:

    "So, Shon and I had one date at Café des Artistes, where that one chick with the disheveled pink top sat. Turns out he's having marriage problems and he thought that, since I was Betazoid, I was some kind of counselor!"

    ---

    Entering the Bridge, the crew came to view a spatial opening right in front of the ship. Inside were several Starfleet science ships.

    "Captain!" Lane exclaimed. "They're the Science ships from Vandor IV!"

    Reynolds looked on. "Impossible? The Crucial destroyed them when it was Ferenginized??"

    "Hijinx, this is Captain Jet of the Nova-class U.S.S. Shark-- We were executing dimensional experiments when the Crucial approached and opened fire on us," the human commanding officer hailed.

    Andrea Reynolds nodded. "I appreciate you stating your ship class."

    "The torpedo impacts from the Crucial knocked all of us into this plane of existence, shared by some kind of non-physical energy species," Jet explained. "It's likely what appeared to be us being destroyed was really just us being transported here."

    Inside, all around the Federation starships swirled massive amounts of orange gaseus aliens.

    "We are the Zalkonians," one of them echoed. "We created this realm as an educational center for new-comers of our kind, to teach them the ways of non-corporeal existence. Unfortunately, having your ships here is a distraction to our students. They will not stop looking out the non-corporeal equivalent of your 'classroom windows'."

    With that, the starships were pushed out of the realm, through the tear in space.

    "Strange alien creatures, you must take my son and teach him the ways of non-corporeal existence," Treth stepped up to the view screen.

    The hovering-Feng floated over. "Hello, non-mothers."

    "But he is not of our kind. It would be like creating an alternate reality Kirk after a series of several prime universe Captains. --Wait a minute. That has already happened?? Well, this changes things. Since such an abomination has already been done, perhaps your son could adapt and evolve in the Zalkonian pre-school segment of our realm. There is a non-corporeal nap and snack time which tempers youthful rowdiness."

    Reynolds glanced at Treth, who was nodding agreeingly. "Then, I suppose some good came out of all this after all," Reynolds said. "Which is odd, because I was against anything Mayhem would be responsible for from the start."

    "Goodbye all. You are all mothers to me now," the eerie gas of Feng said before floating through the bulkheads and into space.

    On the screen, they watched as Feng entered through the spatial flexure and into the Zalkonian realm. The Hijinx then disengaged its deflector dish and caused the flexure to close and disappear.

    "As for you, Treth, you're under arrest for mischief!" Reynolds ordered. "Yes, that's an actual thing you can be arrested for. I once arrested a Harcourt Mudd-looking man for twirling his moustache, inexplicably."

    Two security officers apprehended Treth and took her away. Meanwhile, Mayhem was left to the situation at hand.

    "I just checked my files and it turns out I never was actually assigned to you. Perhaps, next time, I shall use reason and rationale subroutines to examine what may or may not be actual orders downloaded into my viral database. Yes, we must intel ourselves before we intel others. Now, you will take my apologies or suffer the consequences," Mayhem ordered.

    Captain Reynolds squinted at him. "Your aggressiveness makes you like a double Klingon in some ways. Anyhow, is there somewhere we can transport you? Or a Recycling Bin icon we can drop you in?"

    "Negative. I see that the U.S.S. Enterprise-F is in the vicinity, so I will just transfer over to them."

    In a matter of seconds, Mayhem disappeared and was transmitted over. As soon as the Odyssey-class Enterprise-F received him, the lights and main systems throughout the entire ship went dark. One of the nacelles then exploded, damaging the other.
     
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  5. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in July 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #13.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #13: Prompt #1: They are finally here. For decades, the Iconians have been quietly manipulating events in the Alpha Quadrant from their seclusion, subverting and weakening the galaxy. It was by their machinations that the Undine launched their war against solid-space, through which they pitted the Federation against the Klingons in a mutually destructive conflict. It was their servants who triggered the Hobus Detonation that saw the virtual collapse of the Romulan Star Empire, and the subsequent abduction of Romulan colonies. And it was their recent influence that saw the resurgence of the Vaadwaur Supremacy in a conflict that set the Delta Quadrant ablaze.

    And now, they believe the time is ripe for their invasion. Hidden gateways now tear open, and massive, ancient warships and warrior-constructs enter our galaxy as the Heralds of the Iconians make their presence known. Against them, the Federation, Klingons, Romulans and their allies stand united.

    Write about where your captain is, and what he/she is doing when the Herald invasion begins.


    Unofficial Literary Challenge #13
    The Arrival

    The Intrepid-class U.S.S. Crucial trekked blissfully through space as Captain Menrow was sitting with Commander Lara in his Ready Room.

    "Thanks for letting me onboard to study the Rolor Nebula, Captain," Lara continued, as they both sifted through PADDs. "Ever since last year's Borg frenzy, it's been unavailable on my ship's galactic map."

    Menrow nodded. "Since all of us on the Crucial are a time-displaced crew, we've been way behind and are still on the old maps, not to mention all the Level IV gear."

    "I'm not sure how that works, but after we crunch this data, would you like to have dinner, tonight?" Lara asked.

    The Captain was caught off guard. "Huh? Oh. Lara, I had no idea. Well, yes, sure. I'd like that."

    "Great!" Lara responded, satisfied. "I've been meaning to ask you for some time now, and now that I have, I'm fulfilled with an elated sense of accomplishment."

    Despite her jutted honesty, the two of them high-fived.

    ---

    Later, on the Bridge, Menrow, while sitting in his Captain's chair, was suddenly confronted by his first officer, Hatcha.

    "Sorry, Captain, but Elise and I have to cancel our double date, later. She's got a Ceti eel situation that needs immediate attention," Hatcha reported.

    Menrow looked at her quizzically. "Tonight? That was tonight?"

    "Yeah, you wanted us to wing-woman your date with Lieutenant Commander Jenny, from Astrometrics, remember?"

    Menrow slapped his palm against his chair. "Damn! I double-booked like some kind of horrible Ferengi arms dealer. I'm going to have to cancel on one woman, immediately."

    "Sir, comm systems are down for the next two hours due to those old, sectioned-off maps compromising our systems," Grunley alerted.

    Menrow looked at him. "Dammit, Grunley. You had one job!"

    ---

    Walking briskly through the corridors, Menrow was suddenly interrupted by Ensign Leanna.

    "Captain, I wanted to talk to you about the other night? Despite it being amazing, I think we should—"

    "—Keep things professional," Menrow finished her sentence. "Yes, I was about to suggest the same thing. Frankly, I'm surprised there aren't any Starfleet rules against fraternizing with crewmembers."

    Leanna shrugged. "Well, we did check for all but 2 seconds. Anyway, I also just wanted to let you know the prisoner is ready for release to guest quarters. You said you were going to do that this afternoon?"

    "Dammit-again. I was just on my way to straighten my schedule out. Fine, I'll have to make this quick," Menrow cringed. "Being a two-steps-behind crew better not lead to anything. By the way, thank you," he said, placing an affectionate hand on her shoulder.

    ---

    Entering the Brig, Menrow was met with an Orion female prisoner, a remnant of DiaMon Cide's collaborations at Vandor IV.

    "Captain, you're not going to keep me prisoner here forever, are you? A woman needs to feel free," Chatelaine pleaded, alluringly. She wore classic Orion slave girl rip-torn fabric.

    Menrow tapped at a console. "Freedom has been haunting me since birth. But, you're right. We've got mostly all the information we need from you about your people's operations with that Ferengi and, besides agreeing to testify, you've been great with us."

    "Oh, Captain, you have no idea how many Federation-Italians there are in the Syndicate right now. Please, allow me to repay you for your hospitality," she asked as he let down the force field.

    Menrow shook his head. "No time. I'm escorting you to guest quarters and then I have to rain-check a date tonight—"

    But he was suddenly hit with a waft of the Orion's scent. She immediately put her arms around his neck.

    "Anything you say, Captain," she smiled, closely at him. "But I repay all my debts, and your business is about to get a boost."

    ---

    That night, not thinking clearly, Menrow was met with Commander Lara in his quarters. The two took a seat on his bed to talk.

    "Another great accomplishment for me, today," Lara bragged. "I'm two for two. Computer, make note of that."

    Menrow squinted as the computer acknowledged it. "Now that you mention the day as a whole, I feel like I was supposed to— Oh, crap, Jenny from Astrometrics! Damn those Orion pheromones?? I've seen beetle-snuff less damaging??"

    "Less talk, please. It's not one of your strong points." Lara immediately moved in for the kiss, not hearing a word he just said.

    After a few seconds, the door chimed and he pulled away. "I'll get that," he cut-out, quickly and nervously. Menrow got up and left his room.


    At his door, as expected, Lieutenant Commander Jenny stood, dressed in a low cut, one armed, diagonally-ridged, futuristic, odd-looking dress. "Captain, I'm a bit early, despite it taking me an hour to get this on." She let herself in. "I wanted to engage with you before the double date."

    "Actually, I'm sorry, Jenny, but there's something you need to know about our more-than-destined, ill-fated plans—"

    She turned to him and then moved in. "You feel the connection between us too? Oh, I knew jumping to conclusions regularly would make me happy."

    Jenny kissed him, but then the door chimed again.

    "Oh no," she panicked. "Hatcha and Elise will have a Krudge if they find me here. You've got to get rid of them." She quickly ran into the bathroom to hide.

    The doors spread, revealing Ensign Leanna, in uniform.

    "Captain, I know we said to keep things professional, but that hand on my shoulder, earlier, was more than I could handle. It's more than any Ensign could handle."

    Menrow tilted his head at her, unsure how to take that. "Seems like that's a you thing?"

    But instead of continuing, she attacked him with an embrace and deep kiss. Pulling away, Menrow was knocked out of it by an odd sound coming from his room.

    "Damn, caracals. It's like they're Vulcans without katras," he gritted. "Just one second, please."


    Entering his room, Menrow found Lara, sitting up, eyes closed, getting a shoulder massage from the Orion slave girl, Chatelaine. "I told you I repay my debts, Captain. Instead of choosing just one girl, I enabled a situation in which you get both." Then, truthfully, "Is polygamy a Starfleet thing? I actually forget."

    "What? I thought you were Menrow??" Lara turned to the Orion, behind her, in shock. "Clearly, I've had too much green drink."

    Menrow sputtered, suddenly aware of the whole situation. "Bloody Cold Station 12 chambers! I've finally entered into the fabled no-exit, no-win, Kobayashi Maru scenario, of which no Captain has ever been able to escape?"

    "I thought," Lara questioned, "that there were no no-exit, no-win scenarios?"

    He shook his head. "Every Captain stumbles into one during his illustrious career, in which such is proved either true or false. It appears that I've reached those crossroads today."

    Trying to think of a way out, Menrow tried helping Lara off the bed. "Let's get you transported—" But her off-balance and grip pulled her and him back onto the bed. He fell, clumsily, over both occupants.

    At that, the three turned their heads to see Ensign Leanna enter the bedroom, the end evidenced as more nigh than naught.

    "—Oh, sir, I had no idea you were into... this?" Leanna said, in surprise. "But, I am a young, impressionable Ensign, so I suppose I should perceive everything seemingly odd as normal in the interests of personal growth."

    Menrow's jaw dropped at her. "Again, that's a Leanna issue??"

    As Leanna approached the bed, she awkwardly attempted several pre-joining motions, unsure at how to tackle things. She then elected to start with a hand on his shoulder.

    "--Captain," Jenny suddenly entered the room, preoccupied with trying to fix an unaligned ridge in her dress, "I may be an expert in the stars, but I'm no wiz at these flashy clothes—" Then she found all the other women in there with him in some odd position. "Oh, hello? Is this a convention of some sort?"

    Menrow glanced up. "Jenny??"

    And then, Hatcha and her partner Elise entered the room. "Turns out the Ceti eel and Elise are happy together, so we're just going to go with it, and—" Then, noticing the bed full and another woman undressing: "Whoa! Is this a Cadet's lights-out fantasy or what?"

    "Hatcha, Elise??"

    Everyone turned their gaze to Menrow for both an explanation and an end-game reaction. His annihilation was almost complete.

    "Oh, this? Heh, heh. Well, you see, the thing is—" he started, nervously, unsure as to how to finish that sentence, but willing to attempt to disbelieve in a no-win scenario. "You see, sometimes a Captain needs to sleep arou—"

    But he didn't like where that sentence was going.

    "You know, a Captain's libido is one of legen—"

    No, that was a bad direction too.

    "Space: It's not the only frontier one means to expl—"

    And, so, he just decided to stop talking all together.

    "Bridge to Captain Menrow." Then, a call blurted through the comms. "We're picking up a priority alert from Starfleet. It's the Iconians."

    There was a moment of differed-shock as Menrow took a second to process it.

    "The Iconians?"

    And now, relieved, he turned to all six women in his quarters: the exit, now clear.

    "The Iconians! Ha!"

    No longer having to deal with the situation, Menrow got up, off the bed.

    "Sorry, but it's the Iconians! Ha! Hahaha!"

    Running out his quarters and into the hallway, he high-fived a passing Cadet. The remaining women stared on, blankly, in his direction as he left.

    ---

    Later, the Intrepid-class U.S.S. Crucial shook violently from an intense and over-the-top Herald and Iconian attack. The ship was enveloped in viral software.

    "Sir!" Barley yelled out, over the unrelenting noise and sparks. "We're losing systems all over the ship! Weapons, shields, propulsion!"

    Menrow relaxed, now having regained that feeling of control and a satisfaction of passing the ultimate test. He breathed with a heavy air of relief and nodded. "And I wouldn't have it any other way, Mr. Barley. Take us right into that swarm. Take us right in."
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  6. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2021
    It looks like they just put out those literary challenges to provoke you into writing these spoofs... Bravo them!

    Thanks!! rbs
     
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  7. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    lol True! They really got me back into writing after a long dry-spell. They were so much fun to do.
     
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  8. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in August 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #14. Qu was last seen in LC 69.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #14: Prompt #1: Q is at it again. After an argument with the powerful entity concerning how Q culture does not have the creative flair as other species, Q points out that the Continuum could run creative circles around you. Q announces their intent to write a musical. Unimpressed and skeptical, your captain tells Q they'll love to see it. Q, in their usual impish tone, assures the captain that they will.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #14
    The Sound of Q-sic

    The Defiant-class U.S.S. Dropzone sped around in near-orbit of Quadra Sigma III, shooting phaser cannons until it exploded one remaining Herald Baltim Raider.

    On the planet, inside a mining facility, Captain Samya was surprised by a Herald Thrall, who teleported itself right behind her. Expecting this, the Human quickly grabbed the creature's arm, twist-dislocated it out of its socket and stole the Thrall's staff. She thrust the sharp end into its head, and the Thrall and the staff disintegrated in a release of energy.

    "Nice work, ma'am," Mika said, approaching from finishing a battle of her own. "You sure know your killing abilities."

    Samya turned to her Science officer, catching her breath. "A necessary evil that's engrained into my very soul. Oh, sorry about throwing that flux coupler at you the other day."

    "My fault for turning that corner," Mika surrendered. "Speaking of mistakes, every time this facility gets recolonized, something bad happens here. Last year, the Klingons released a herd of targs on this place."

    The Captain nodded. "Klingons have the weakest tactics. Take Kagran for example--"

    "Bad-mouthing your allies so quickly, ma Capitaine?" a sinister omnipotent voice said from behind them.

    Dropping her jaw in shock-realization, Samya turned and exclaimed: "Q!?"

    "Uh, it's Qu," the unrecognizable, younger-looking man said. "It sounds the same, but it's spelled differently."

    The dark haired Captain dropped her guard, in confusion. "Wait. What? A rip-off Q?"

    "Exactly! I'm a different Q, who's trying to reach that other Q's level of mischief, from his classic days with Picard— but not the Janeway ones. I noticed he was turning crews into musicals this month, so I wanted to do my own thing that would appeal to you. I present to you, a hostage situation, aboard your ship, whereas you may kill and murder to your heart's content!"

    Samya pressed two fingers to the bridge of her nose. "No, we're not taking lives because we like it. There are no special 'rewards' or 'marks' for destroying starships and bad guys—"

    "Uhh," Mika interrupted, explaining the obvious.

    Samya shook her head out of it. "Huh? Oh, what I mean is, we're supposed to be peace bringers."

    "But you guys have this whole war-pyramid scheme thing?" Qu responded, confused. "I was going to align your happiness with your ways of death?" Then, second-guessing himself, "I'd better go check on my body-switch with Captain Menrow's and those nanites."

    ---

    As soon as he flashed off into oblivion, the rest of the Away team walked over. They all beamed back to the Dropzone's Transporter room 2, which was being held-up by two strange-looking aliens in 18th century French army uniforms.

    "They look like vicious animal things?" Mika observed.

    As the aliens began filling their muskets with phaser powder, in response to the Away Team's sudden presence, Samya quickly approached one and stabbed it with its own weapon. She then grabbed the other by its throat and interrogated him. "What species are you??"

    "Gggrrrggghh," it growled in agonizing existence, unable to speak.

    Doctor Tifa approached to examine. "It's clear now that Qu's power was so off-kilter, he could only repurpose the other Q's original army from their time with the crew of the Enterprise-D."

    "Ggggrrggghh," the animal thing growled, this time in an agreeable tone.

    Mika sighed in discontent. "Aw, poor creatures," and then sang, "Here's to trouble-free tomorrows, may your sorrows all be small. Here's to the losers, bless them all."

    "Don't feel sorry for the animal things!" Samya cut in. "And why are you singing, not to mention blessing??"

    The science officer shrugged. "I dunno. I guess I'm a little jealous of those other ships that got turned into musicals."

    "Captain! The vicious animal creature was smiling in awkward-reverie just now," Chief engineer Ryuk observed, quickly. "I think Mika's larking put it into a sort of mental-Nexus!"

    Samya looked to the 18th century French uniformed animal soldier and partially snapped its neck. "No! These vicious animalia are evidence of a Q-hack job gone horribly Borged. Don't even give Qu the satisfaction of achieving anything remotely close to those musical successes this month."

    "GGhhgg," the fallen, fading-conscious animal thing croaked in whisper, "Where the bee sucks, there suck I."

    Captain Samya glanced at the body. "I don't care if they can talk-sing. We are to take the out the rest of them by any means necessary. It shouldn't take long. Our ship is only four, possibly five, decks high."

    ---

    Splitting up into two groups, Samya, Tifa and Counselor Toji approached the messhall, with caution, to find five French uniformed animal things holding several crew hostage.

    "GGgghhrgh," a sixth animal thing surprise-aimed a phaser musket from right behind them.

    The three stood up, slowly, raising arms in surrender.

    "Ma'am, I have an idea," Toji began just before breaking out into song. "Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques."

    Suddenly, all the animal things in the messhall began losing focus in the melody.

    "Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?" Toji and several of the other Starfleet hostages continued, almost involuntarily.

    Samya gritted her teeth. "No. Stop this at once!"

    "But it's working, Captain," the counselor offered; and then Tifa joined him, "Sonnez les matines, Sonnez les matines."

    Captain Samya finished off the animal thing, nearest to them, and she began slowly backing out of the messhall, awkwardly.

    "Ding, Ding, Dong! Ding, Ding, Dong!"

    As the others went into chorus-repetition, to maintain control of their captors, Samya could hear the last whispered groans of the creature she just took out, "A cup of wine that's brisk and fine. And drink unto the leman mine; and a merry heart lives long-a."

    Then, a whisp of energy, she hadn't noticed last time, flew out of him and away. "Ew? And also, I am not a merry woman."

    ---

    Mika, Ryuk and Chief of Operations Envy snuck into Engineering and attacked several French uniformed animal things.

    Fighting back, one of the creatures stabbed their pointy musket end into Ryuk's shoulder. "Augh!" he screamed.

    "A British tar is a soaring soul," Envy sang. "As free as a mountain bird."

    Mika snapped her head in Envy's direction. "Wait. We have direct orders!?"

    "His energetic fist should be ready to resist—" Envy continued.

    Ryuk finished, causing the attacking animal thing to stop in pre-stab: "—A dictatorial word."

    "Look, I wanted this more than any of you, but we have to focus on our murderings if we are to defeat this enemy," Mika explained before taking out a phaser and firing it into the animal thing.

    It fell to the ground and, seconds before perishing, sang, "Thou canst not hit it, hit it; Thou canst not hit it, my good man."

    "What am I doing? Qu wanted us to murder because he thinks it's our pastime??" she realized. "Return to your melodic entrapments, much like those space-hippies from original-Kirk's Enterprise!"

    Ryuk nodded, forgetting his impaling. "His nose should pant, and his lip should curl."

    "His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl," Envy sang.

    The engineer continued. "His bosom should heave, and his heart should glow."

    "And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow!" The two finished.

    ---

    Soon after, Mika caught up to Captain Samya in the corridor on Deck 1, approaching the Bridge. Samya's hands were drenched in blood.

    "Yeah, one of the animal things could not take an impaling with less humor," she explained.

    Mika looked back up to her. "Ma'am, those animal Frenchies keep singing Shakespeare for some reason? Also, I don't agree with our plan. I mean, British Tar is one catchy tune, am I right?"

    "And then what? Descend into The Doctor-levels of musical anarchy? Killing them has given us a perspective on their external-dependent biological structure: All their life energies fly up to the Bridge, so something here is powering them while Qu is gone."

    "Ah, Captain," came Commander Jarell's greeting as the Bridge doors swooshed open. "You'll be happy to know we have the situation under control."

    They entered the Bridge, hesitantly, to find Starfleet and animal things standing together in peace.

    "I'm sure it's been a long road, getting from there to here," Jarell surprised, in song. "It's been a long time, but our time is finally near."

    Samya turned to him. "Commander, no! That song was banned in 2161 for bringing about nothing but pain and suffering!"

    "Sure, it's a theological song for a science-based setting, but it's the only way, ma'am," argued Jarell. "And I will see my dream come alive at last. I will touch the sky."

    One of the animal things approached Samya to lovingly embrace her in awkward reverie, but Samya just pulled it to the floor and punched in a concussion. "Newts and blind worms, do no wrong; Come not near our fairy queen." And then his life energy flew into her Ready Room.

    "Wait a minute? Shakespeare songs? I have a copy of The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works." The Captain recalled a report on Q flipping through one of Picard's books. "Is that what's giving them life??"

    "Even if it is, it's not gonna hold me down no more," Faye, the helmsmen joined in, singing, "No they're not gonna change my mind."

    ---

    Samya ran in to her Ready Room and grabbed the giant book off her desk. There, looking up, she found Qu spinning around to her, in her chair.

    "Yes, that's right. I adapted the collective, creative, musical power of Shakespeare to run those creatures," Qu admitted. "And perhaps they influenced existing tendencies in your crew. You see, I'm not like other Qs. I have to try hard to achieve what takes them a flick of their double-fingers."

    The Starfleet officer addressed him. "Your imitation of Q-Junior's Winter Wonderland."

    "That was a complete failure, despite your Captain Seifer being a good sport. But it cemented my place at the bottom rung in the Continuum."

    She shook her head, understanding now. Just as her lack of life-sparing isolated her from her singing-crew, his lack of Q-ness was driving him to dysfunction, so, instead, she took a breath: "Maybe it's because you never saw the sun," and then, to elaborate, "Never saw the sun, shining so bright; Never saw things, going so right."

    "An awkward, forced-wedding, not-asked-for, elderly-Android theme, mon amour?"

    She nodded as she continued, "Noticing the days, hurrying by; When you're in love, my how they fly."

    "Wait. Samya, what have you done??" Qu stood up in shock. "We reached Q musical status with actual music and not the murdering I thought was an equivalent to that? You're no Qomar Opera, but, I must say, ma beau Capitaine, you have a lovely voice."

    Samya stopped. "I guess it's true that we know what we are, but know not what we may be." She then took the unnecessarily heavy book and decompiled it in the replicator.

    All the dead animal things aboard the Dropzone were suddenly reverted to their factory-setting-living-states and then Q-flashed-away.

    "And if music be the food of love, play on, ma chérie." He then bowed and finished her song before flashing away, himself. "Blue skies smiling at me; Nothing but blue skies do I see..."

    ---

    The Captain then entered the Bridge to finally deal with the crew, on principle. "You're all relieved!"
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2022
  9. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2021
    "She knew her ship was only 4, maybe 5 decks high..." "It's not Q, it's Qu - it's pronounced the same but spelled different..." A Q wannabe who can't even come up with not doing everything in French...

    Man, you do have a talent for the absurd... "We are the champions, my friend...."

    Totally eating this up!

    Thanks!! rbs
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
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  10. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

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    Ontario, Canada
    lol Thanks! A truly dysfunctional Q is always fun. And starship deck counts are sooo sketchy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  11. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was the first in a small series of short posts, written in September 2015, as part of a Star Trek Online Forums thread that invited players to post their Captain's logs.
    Captain's Log, Part I
    Seifer, U.S.S. Phoenix-X; Prometheus-class

    Captain's log, Stardate 87421.34 My crew did exemplary work during the Iconian War, keeping the ship together and maintaining a high enthusiasm, despite the horrifying circumstances. Some say there was no Iconian War and it was just a story that got imprinted into our memories by some telepathic race. Perhaps that is something best left to philosophers and maybe a few Vulcans. All I know, is that the middle section of my ship is missing a flat part and there are two holes in the back of the saucer section. As soon as we get that fixed, and remove all the interstellar dust from its crevices, we'll be on our way. It's been a tough war, not just because of all the solar rays we endured, but because I couldn't call in sick to it, like I planned. Admiral Quinn was not having it. Probably because I call in sick every time there's a Borg Alert. Damn my lack of imagination for excuses. Oh! I know. Next thing we do, I'll say my grandmother's deftly ill. Brilliant. —Damn, I just pulled a Sisko. Computer, erase that entire log.

    <Unable to comply. Data erasure offline>

    Oh, fine. Just keep it.

    <Sending to Spacedock. Attention: Admiral Quinn>

    Dammit, Computer! You had one job!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  12. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2021
    Big fan of short form fiction. Short form fictional humor - even better... Although I'm still trying to figure out which flat part might be missing.. Thanks!! rbs
     
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  13. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

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    Ontario, Canada
    Me too! Was wracking my brain, trying to remember what that was. I think I was referencing a bug in the game at the time where in multi-vector mode, parts of the middle (including its flat surface where it breaks from the rest of the ship) and top sections weren't showing. lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  14. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was part of a small series of short posts, written in October 2015, as part of a Star Trek Online Forums thread that invited players to post their Captain's logs.
    Captain's Log, Part II
    Samya, U.S.S. Dropzone; Defiant-class

    Captain's log, Stardate 87421.41. I just received the weirdest communiqué from Seifer. Something about his grandparent, or perhaps he was his own grandfather? I just skimmed it and drew my own conclusions. Personally, I'm for the idea we all purposely terminate our lives by age 32, but who am I to argue with results? Getting that message actually reminds me of the Iconian War, where he and I served under the banner of Task Force Epsilon, a small fleet of starships between "episodes" which was sent to track down a covert group of Iconian ships. It took the Dropzone befriending one Herald, a Thrall, found aboard a derelict Baltim raider, and forming a bond of trust with him to find this group, when in reality he was leading us into a trap. I'll never forget the multiplied look of shocks in those Thrall's many eyes when he realized my task force had just dropped out of warp to back me up. It was a glorious battle of murdering and killing and such. Speaking of my blood thirst, as a Human woman, the ship's counselor, Toji, has me checking in with him every half an hour to recite the Starfleet Oath. Like that even applies in the 25th century? Hah! And what did I mean by "episodes?" Anyway, I'm off to tally my body count. It was nice of Kagran to poll them for me.
     
  15. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2021
    Shades of Logan's Run...

    I'm sure there's a nerd out there somewhere who has compiled fatality statistics for Kirk, Picard, Sisco, Janeway and Archer...

    Thanks! rbs
     
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  16. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
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    Ontario, Canada
    No question! This one's worse if you account for the all the ships you blow up in Star Trek Online. Our Captains have annihilated millions.
     
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  17. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was written in October 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #16. It takes place after the Iconian War final battle "Midnight" in the Sol System in the game. It also includes a character from my Episode 89 fanfic "Needs of the Plenty".​

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #16: Prompt #1: It's been a while. Whether a five-year mission or an apocalyptic battle/war/other conflict, your crew just finished it successfully. Your ship is recalled to your faction's capital to be refit, repaired, and otherwise kept up, and your crew is being split up for well-earned leave with their families. How do you handle it? Peeling potatoes in a Cajun restaurant in New Orleans? Fighting your jerk brother in a vineyard in France? Spending time with your significant other? 118,000,000 rounds of Call of Duty 215? Inspired by the TNG episode "Family". Be daring.

    Unofficial Literary Challenge #16
    Aftermath

    The Defiant-class U.S.S. Dropzone sat out in orbit of Earth, not too far off from Spacedock. Repairs for extensive and almost irreparable damage on the home planet's main port of operations seemed to be coming along quite smoothly.

    "What in the name of Kirk thrusts is going on?" Jarell, first in command, sat up in his chair in shock.

    Mika, the Science officer, walked over and observed a now almost perfect-looking Spacedock on the view screen. "Yeah, you can thank the exocomps for that. But, I wouldn't, considering how angry they are at us for enslaving them." She then turned to him. "Anyway, you should relax, Commander. The war's over and now it's time to deal with our personal issues."

    "Yeah, I'll be in Sickbay under cryogenics. Wake me when it's 2411," he ordered as he left the Bridge.

    ---

    Meanwhile, Captain Samya walked up the lush-covered steps to her sister's home at Shōren-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Upon approach of the doors, her 10-year-old niece, Yori, lept down from the roof with a loudly announced, deathly drop kick. "YEEEAAAGGHH!"

    But Samya swiftly caught Yori by her protruding foot, meeting contact first and stopping the child, cold, in mid-flight and frozen stance. Yori calmly pushed off and back flipped to land on her feet, a few meters away from the Captain. "Is it true what mom says about you? That you're a lousy two-timing hh—"

    "—Yes, yes. it's all true," Samya waved off. "Now go play highwayman somewhere else, and don't look up at the stars unless you really mean it."

    As Yori ran off, Samya entered the family-owned temple and crossed the main area to the outdoor gardens at the centre of the complex. There, her sister Tatsu was sitting on a rock in the exquisite pond in concentrated meditation, wearing the traditional female kimono and hakama dress.

    "So, Samya," she spoke first, maintaining her eyes closed. "You went mad fighting the Iconians and now you're here for me to look after you?"

    The Captain rolled her eyes, annoyed. "Uh, I enjoyed fighting the Iconians, as sparsely as I was able, and now I'm here for a break. What's your excuse for wearing that ridiculous costume?"

    "Hey, Keiko O'Brien was all over traditional garb at her wedding, despite her husband's offensive refusal to dress in-like. Besides, someone has to maintain the old ways, considering how our family took over after this place was nearly destroyed in the Third World War."

    Samya walked over to the edge of the serene pond. "Stop exposition-ing every time I come to visit. It's getting repetitive, from my point of view. Sure, if someone were to happen upon us right now, it would seem like first-time information, but I digress."

    "I don't take orders from you— The 'you' who gives herself up to the modern world of replicated sushi and conveyer-belted starship corridors."

    The Starfleet officer tilted her head, confused. "Actually, that second one is not a thing. But not a bad idea, either. I mean, at least I'm no budo otaku who won't even look at other forms of martial arts— like the anbo-jyutsu and that one space karate chop Kirk always did."

    "Again with those? How dare you insult me by mentioning those absurd, cartoonish delusionary styles?? Ugggh! I hate them so much—" Tatsu stood, swiftly and charged in a direct, over-the-water, straight-line attack at Samya.

    The Captain intercepted Tatsu's hard-forced, double-edged left fist and sharp knee attack by simply deflecting both human-weapons to the side and returning with her own otherly-styled side-kick. "The old ways are old, Tatsu. That's why Starfleet excitedly and unhesitently turned to Annorax's temporal universe-story-editing incursions to try and stop the massively over-used Iconians."

    "Oh, please," Tatsu spun to expertly hook Samya's wide-open leg using both arms to throw the starship commander into an orbit around her and then slammed the inept officer into the shallow pond. "You believed in the exact opposite, which is why you went on a murderous old-school rampage and enjoyed every second of it. All Starfleet Captains in the 25th century pew-pew it, just like you and me, and it's become a DPS and specialization addiction."

    Defeated and half-sunk into the shallow water, Samya gritted her teeth and swallowed in utter truth of her older sister. "Fine. I got a little blood-thirsty and now I have to see my counselor every half hour. It doesn't mean I need your help. You refuse to learn anything about the modern world— in an almost Robert Picard sort of way, even."

    On her back, Samya positioned both her feet into angles on both Tatsu's shins and collapsed the woman's stance. In Tatsu's unexpected, defenseless downward, mid-crumble, Samya sat up and forced-palmed her sister in the abdomen, sending the warrior back into a nearby temple-supporting pillar, outside the pond. "Tai chi?" Tatsu speculated, recovering quick.

    "Klingon moQbara'," the Captain bragged.

    Tatsu squinted, confused, unable to see much difference and comprehend her sister's indiscernible confidence. "Anyway, yes, I'm very much a Robert rip-off, in fact, I, like all people in this galaxy, am a complete rip-off of someone else. There are bound to be character-like copies, no matter what, because human range is so limited and there are so, so many of us."

    "I was alluding to the fact that I believe you're a Changeling," Samya stood, in confrontation, her Odyssey uniform partially wet and dripping of old-versus-new conflict.

    Tatsu transformed herself into a smooth-faced, male shapeshifter, with bland beige clothing. "If you're looking for your sister, you'll have to speak to the Solanae. I was looking for a cover on this planet when she was taken beyond my ability to stop it."

    "And what are you doing here, on Earth?" Samya struck with hard-forced Starfleet-investigative drive.

    The Changeling replied, "My name is Diggs, and I'm a lone traveler, belonging nowhere. Your sister's ways intrigued me and I took her place. Her maintaining of what you humans call the 'old ways' appealed to me— Perhaps I am in search of said ways in my own kind— That, and any reason to not have slicked-back hair. I mean, it's a trait that's coded into my system for some reason?"

    "Damn! That means I'm going to have to go through all this arguing again when I find Tatsu," Samya cursed. "Well, at least I'll be practiced. Not to mention your literal de-humanization disqualifies any point you have over me being anything like you."

    Diggs squinted in the same way he did as Tatsu, unable to reconcile anti-logic through her logic. "Is it, though? I'm a literal non-human, posing as a human."

    "Maybe. I don't know. Analogous aliens aren't what I was expecting to help me understand myself better, but I'll get what I can take."

    Diggs then reached his arm out as Samya was about to head for the door. "One more thing! Can you take your niece with you? She knows what I am and won't let me leave this planet out of pure kid-powered-enthusiasm. What kind of ten year old girl has control over a Changeling??"

    "No. You can deal with her. I'm fairly certain you'll be dead by her hand soon. You wanted to confront the old ways? Well, they're right in front of you, just like they were me."

    Diggs watched in disappointment as the Captain left. In a darkened doorway, behind the Changeling, Diggs sensed, in his protoplasmic-sweat-dripped fear, the young and swift ninja glaring at him, somehow controlling him with exponential confidence and psychological force: A power seemingly passed down through Samya's family, generation after generation.

    Dinner better be ready in exactly one hour, the young, human creature force-thought, as if she were a telepath or something. One. Hour.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
  18. Robert Bruce Scott

    Robert Bruce Scott Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2021
    You definitely had the Adamsesque appreciation for parody back then - "expositioning"...

    Sweet callback to the exocomps! Thanks!! rbs
     
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  19. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Appreciate it! Yeah, sometimes I can't help inventesizing words. :D
     
  20. Hawku

    Hawku Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Author's notes: This was part of a small series of short posts, written in October 2015, as part of a Star Trek Online Forums thread that invited players to post their Captain's logs. It also makes fun of game respawning, and references the explanation from LC67 "There's Always Some Strings Attached".​

    Captain's Log, Part III
    Iviok, U.S.S. Jenova; Centaur-class

    Captain's Log, Stardate 87421.43. Well, my ship did not fare too well. I could have sworn we exploded several times and were brought back into existence by Q, but I have no way to prove this. What? You think I was talking about the Iconian War? No, this was just a run-in with a Deferi Tuffli-class freighter the other day. We're not even at war with them! They were trying to take our transports of provisions! Guh. This Tier 1 ship is just not cutting it. How'd I even get through the Iconian War? Perhaps that is a story for another time. Right now, I need to repair my ship's warp core. The entire crew takes hourly shifts. I don't think I've ever seen my warp core in a complete state of health, ever, and if I did, I'm not sure I'd like it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021