STO Phoenix Compendium

Surprisingly serious fare - I am a big fan of the ultra-short format. Thanks!! rbs
Yeah, this was written when the Centaur-class was pretty weak in-game. Iviok's struggle with that is funny to me. :lol: Also, yep, shorter formats are definitely less time consuming!
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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. The virus referenced here is from LC 68: STO Halloween, Parts I, II & III, which itself comes from the 2011 IDW comic series Infestation.​

Captain's Log, Part IV
Seifer, USS Phoenix-X; Prometheus-class

Captain's log, Stardate 87421.5. I've relieved my entire crew of duty and am the lone officer aboard the Bridge of the Phoenix-X, as it seems some kind of sickness has taken all of us. I believe it to be related to the undead-like virus we encountered from Calibus VII. Doctor Lox is fighting it too and has been working diligently for hours, though he might just be trying to eat off his own arm, as last I saw him. I've discovered an unidentified ship on long-range sensors and have been trying to get through their communications firewalls for help, but it seems the firewalls only respond to jokes about humanoid excrement. All levels of intelligence have started to diminish within me and now I'm dumber than ever. But poop, though. Am I right? Feces! Ha! I just can't get enough! Whatever I've become, it's only a matter of time before the Caitians seek me out as food. Wait. I do recognize this firewall configuration. It's Pakled in origin. They're behind all this guano? They're the demons of dung and night soil? It can't be?? My basic level of intelligence has all been a lie? Further study is needed.
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Well... That was crap. Literally... It's hard to beat poo jokes in the face of desperation.

And supersmart Pakleds? I love it!

Thanks!! rbs
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Well... That was crap. Literally... It's hard to beat poo jokes in the face of desperation.
lol True! I don't typically write that kind of humour but I figured Seifer's mental state was deteriorating, so it might be fun this once. But never again. :lol:
Author's notes: This was written in October 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #16.

Unofficial Literary Challenge #16: Prompt #2: The weight of command carries a heavy burden on the soul-- men and women have died under your command, and every order you make affects the lives and safety of all who serve under you. Given the numerous threats to known space, almost every officer serving in the Federation/KDF/Republic has been exposed to the horrors of war in one way or another. Your captain has been scheduled for a session with your ship's counselor. What do your captain and counselor talk about?

Unofficial Literary Challenge #16
In Session

The Defiant-class U.S.S. Dropzone sat out in deep space, doing its thing... Ship... thing... and stuff. Anyway.

Captain Samya and her chief science officer walked down their tight, limited, red striped corridors in a hard-pressed attempt at old-fashioned follow-along.

"A counseling session? You know I did all my post-Iconian-war trivialities on Earth, just a few days ago. There was a sibling-rivalry fight turned literal and everything," Samya interjected.

Mika maintained a furrowed brow of disapproval. "Except your sister turned out to be a Changeling. Not only do you have that to deal with, but all the holes your violent tendencies manufacture regularly, like your niece and those animal things, are interfering with Starfleet behavioural ethics."

"Ugh," Samya grunted as they passed the same corner for the fifth time. "Can we just enter, finally?" As the doors opened to the multi-purpose office Toji was occupying, Samya grabbed Mika's arm. "I'm going to prove to you how pointless this all is, and that acknowledging myself in Kyoto was all the ethic it or I ever needed. I'm referencing, of course, that time it produced all those Japanese Khan variants."

Toji, the Starfleet counselor already sitting, raised a finger in opposition. "Ma'am, Mika's presence is against regulations."

"A Captain's point supersedes the rules, Toji. You know that. I made you write a dissertation about it."

The Bajoran man cleared his throat. "Well, let's start with the Iconian War, and how you dealt with coming to terms with all the deaths, Delta recruiting and plot holes."


Toji checked his padd. "What about those animal things Qu brought back? Before their eternal existence, you hypothetically-murdered without hesitation."


He scrolled down. "You left your 10 year old niece with an alien you know nothing about, and Starfleet now reports they're both missing."

"It's like you're not even trying! She and that liquid mush are off having space adventures. She messaged me yesterday from the Orion slave trade."

Losing patience, Toji put down his padd. "Uggh. Fine. Then explain to me these: How is Shakespeare a viable life force? Or, why was Qu speaking French? And why do you never have a phaser?"

"It's out at the shop? I don't have all the answers, nor do I care that my methods excrete those questions. We're alive, and damn the consequences— Shout out to Janeway. Aw yeah."

With no other ideas, Toji stood up, his voice changing with slight alien-resonance. "Then you, Captain Samya, side with a genocidal maniac! Your science officer was right in that you couldn't follow the rules even if you tried!"

"I may have said that to him," Mika confirmed. "I definitely said that to him. Also, my tricorder is reading a Bluegill inside of Toji, which explains why there was a pink tail sticking out of his mouth this whole time."

Samya took to her feet as well. "Oh, real original Toji's handler. You know the Changelings and Undine have the market on that, right? And I can follow Starfleet diplomatic regulations just as well as any other drone, drooling officer."

"Of course you would be an expert at falsification. We know all about your true plans, which the other Bluegills and I have drawn air-tight conclusions through from slimy, bug-like assumptions." Toji accompanied that remark with a leaping kick at her, to which Samya pushed his leg to the side to redirect. "Not to mention we're sick of your persistent bug hunts! We're not contained of mostly slime to be popped for your amusement!"

He then flung out fist after kick after fist, each one being deflected by her, courting no other response.

"Tell me, you Toji-worm," Samya talked. "What is it you think I'm doing? Let's chat. We'll hash this out, like a session."

Mika took a position behind her. "Captain, shouldn't we tap our commbadges in a classic Starfleet whine for security's light-weight aggression?"

"No. Clearly diplomacy is the answer to everything," Samya retorted just as the room filled with more Starfleet officers controlled by Bluegill. "It's your point. This is your doing."

An Ensign pointed at her. "Foolish rank-accelerated hack! We work for the Iconian T'Ket by extension over the Vaadwuar and will stop your attempts at accessing them, to what we can only phlegmingly conclude is to Sela-them-up!"

"Is that true? You really are Janeway-ing??" Mika's jaw dropped as she was over-taken by Ensigns.

Several more Ensigns began throwing punches and Samya dodged her head back, slightly, at each attempt, refusing to give in. "What?" she said, confused. "Yes, I may have set up a meeting with a Yridian information dealer, but only because he could help me find my sister who was abducted by Solanae."

"The Solanae also worked for the Iconians, in partnership with the Elachi!" Mika explained with a gaping Bluegill squirming all around her face. "Captain, forget what I said about behavioural ethics. The high-road is just a Starfleet drug we all take to inflate our egos."

Samya then kneed one of her Ensigns in the stomach and multi-punched all the other Ensigns surrounding her. "Dammit, who the hell wasn't working for the Iconians?? Clearly, I need to temper my tactics."

"Ugh! Gah!" Each Ensign cringed and yelped in pain as Samya went around the room force-kneeing and force-palming broken limbs and shattered rib cages into each worm-controlled flesh-chunk until they hit the floor.

Seconds later, they all got up better than ever. "Oh yeah. They have super-strength," Samya remembered.

"Ladies." Commander Jarell entered the room with a silver platter. "Your phasers are back from the shop."

Both taking their weapons and setting them to kill, Samya and Mika took out each Ensign after Ensign until they all hit the floor, permanently. With Toji, the spawn mother, remaining, the two women laid constant phaser beams while dodging each of his lurching punches after punches.

"I'm sorry I just abandoned my ideals like some kind of Eddington wannabe, but I suppose your recklessness is more fitting than naught?" Mika said as Jarell watched Toji hit the floor in a hard thud. "And whatever's going on with our phasers is just going to have to wait to be explained in our next adventure."

Samya kicked Toji to make sure he wasn't moving. "Agreed. And, yeah, I need to be more careful about the holes I manufacture. Now, are you going to help me infiltrate the Solanae or are you going to sit around all day talking about your feelings?"

"No, ma'am. I'm ready for excessive, over-the-top violence that perpetuates morbid tendencies," Mika stood at attention.

The Captain sighed in relief. "Thank you. You were just misled by Picard-ism. It affects one in every six Starfleet officers. You're fixed now. You're mostly fixed." She then turned to her first officer. "Commander Jarell, please see to it that Mika and I get medals. Good ones. None of that Palm Leaf of Axanar crap."

"Yes, Captain." He bowed slightly before leaving.

Samya looked at all the bodies. "Let's drag these into the warp core reaction chamber so the other Bluegills don't find out about them. They sent out that message in 2364 and nothing came of it, but we can't take any chances."

Mika nodded and several non-taken-over Ensigns in the hallway stopped in shock and awe as the two ladies, hauling the Human meat bags, left sickening amounts of gunk and bug ooze in the carpets all the way to the engine room.
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Author's notes: This was written in November 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #17.​

Unofficial Literary Challenge #17: Prompt #1: Thanksgiving is a North American holiday that originated as a combination of harvest celebration and religious festival. Earthlings still celebrate it in the 25th century, but what did the nonhuman citizens of the Federation or neighboring states make of it? And most of all, what are they thankful for?

Unofficial Literary Challenge #17

What Are You Thankful For?

The Steamrunner-class U.S.S. Tsunami tractor-beamed a distressed starship out of a decayed-orbit above the undefined world of Raatooras.

"Will you be alright?" Captain McCary, upon the Bridge of his ship, hailed and asked.

A pale, forehead-ridged Arin'Sen refugee named Tobias replied, "We will now, thanks to you. That's the last time we attempt a one-ship Kolvoord Starburst when leaving orbit."

"Seems like you could have just left normally," McCary suggested.

Tobias nodded. "Alas, we are victims of pomp and circumstance," he replied seconds before a Klingon Bird of Prey decloaked off his port bow and shot his ship down.

The Tsunami crew watched in horror and shock as the Arin'Sen ship went careening back into the planet's atmosphere.

"Talk about going on and on like some Betazoid sacred chalice owner. Well, they're crashed now," said the Klingon commander of the Rotog, after his image blinked on screen. "By the way, I am Captain Sigon."

Wide-eyed and in shock, Captain McCary blurted, "What the hell, man?? We were just saving them??"

"What? Why? This world is currently being conquered by the Klingon Empire."

McCary crossed his arms in distracted realization. "Well, that explains why it wasn't appearing on the shared galactic map."

"That map is too confusing! Earth is in the Beta Quadrant? I just don't get it. Also, what is the deal with your forehead? Your ridges look Klingon?" Sigon noticed.

The Captain nodded. "I'm one-fourth, but, like most part-Klingons, we don't like to acknowledge it, except when forced into the Day of Honor by a Talaxian or need to explain why we get angry. I mean, it's an exclusive trait, am I right?"

"I can't tell if your tone is sarcastic or naiveté. But, in the spirit of surviving the Iconian War, and for allowing our forces to be ordered about by the Kagran officer of unbelievable rank, I would like for you to join us at the tlho' poH Feast!"

McCary hesitated. "Well, I am keen to learn more about my mysterious culture, which everyone keeps saying is the least mysterious of them all by now. So, yes. I will join you."


Down on the planet, in an open square within a city center that was outfitted with dinner tables, food, and eating-Klingons, Arin'Sen slaves were being recruited and forced to truck barrels of meat and wine to jovial, indulgent-stuck war-mad invaders.

"Welcome to the Feast!" Sigon opened, just after Captain McCary and two of his crew beamed in. "So, targ's out of the bag, we've annexed this planet before. You see, tlho' poH Feast commiserates a time of thanks and non-secular worship, to express what we Klingons are most thankful of."

Lieutenant Commander Deborah asked, "And what's that?"

"Our tradition of cultural imperialism! You see, every year we return to this planet as a family, conquer it, and have a feast!"

McCary tossed his arms up in disappointment. "How could you ever think we'd be okay with that?"

"Because we're allies? Don't look at me. It was the Iconians that brought us together." Sigon slapped him on his back. "Now, come have some traditional blood stuffing and blood pie!"

Commander Morris turned to them. "He's got us there, Captain. Besides, I wouldn't mind trying the blood taters, to be honest."

"Fine," McCary said, noticing a lone Arin'Sen kid scanning everyone from the sidelines. "Just don't let things escalate into genocide, no matter how natural that may come to us."


Following the kid through an Arin'Sen communal area, into a poorly managed living district with tents and huts, McCary entered an unlit home where the kid delivered his scanner to his father and sister.

"Hah! Found the rebellion, and all it took was luck-based detective work," McCary opened. "Sorry about barging into your home, by the way."

From a dimly lit table where the two adults were, the daughter, Celecc, replied, "Well, of course there's a rebellion! The Klingons force us to rebuild our economy year after year, despite every now and then a small portion of us are able to escape via spaceship."

"Uh, yeah," McCary added, nervously, while trying to avoid eye contact.

The older man, Hemly, grumbled. "The time for Arin'Sen rebellion is over; vengeance must be taken, then repurposed, refitted and taken again."

"Father, that's not who we are! Our people rebel in our own, passive way and we should be proud of that," urged Celecc. "Just yesterday, I sneered at a Klingon, albeit so subtle they thought they imagined it, but my point was made."

McCary watched as Hemly got up, whipped his chair to the floor and left the tent. "So, you were just collecting data for passive-aggressive terror attacks?" McCary asked.

"Never mind our brilliant strategies! The old man acts weird every year at this time; always going off to the caves, alone, hypothesizing our rippled forehead physiology allows us to commune with spirits or something," Celecc explained, trying to cover her forehead.

The kid spoke up. "Papa made it work. Papa is the Sage."

"Whoa, an arbitrary statement with no context," McCary realized. "That's precisely the motivation we need to 'explore' more into this, if you catch my word usage."

Deborah nodded, confirming that she did.


"Do you think that kid's one-off claims about his old man are true?" Deborah asked as she and McCary stepped into the dark caves, beaming flashlights all around.

McCary shrugged. "They're a people who exist so another species can be thankful, therefore a higher power may not be so out-of-the-question, necessity-wise."

"--INTERRUPTION BY LOUD SHOUTING!?" shouted Sigon as both McCary and Deborah became surrounded by his Klingon crew. "You've allied with the enemy in an instinctive repulsion against Klingon kind!"

McCary replied, "More to the point that I realized what I was thankful for thanks to you-- which, in itself is a separate thanking, thank you very much."

"Don't thank me: Thank your pitiful appreciation for Federation values, which you clearly desire to express through action, like some kind of action-value paradox," Sigon cursed just before spitting in disgust. "What you fail to realize is that every year we must fight the Sage which spawns in this cave, and threatens to destroy this planet and its people."

They both turned as a hovering, glowing version of Hemly floated over and opened non-corporeal eyes at them. "This land has been disturbed by intruders. The Takarian people bare no witness!"

"Wait, those are the people DiaMon Cide enslaved that one time? Their Sages went missing from the Delta Quadrant eons ago?" McCary hesitated before turning to Sigon. "Captain, this creature is antagonized by historical misconception!"

Sigon replied, "Well, duh'gh! That's our version of 'duh' by the way."

"Cleansing by means of extermination!" the modified voice of Hemly declared abstractly as he began flowing bands of matter destructive energy.

McCary stole a bat'leth off a distracted Klingon and began hacking into the fused, part-corporeal entity. "Hey, my mother gave me that!" Klingon Engineer Poroka complained.

The other Klingons joined in and, minutes later, the Sage left Hemly's body. Hemly fell to the ground, bleeding and in pain. "Well, it's about time," McCary said to the Klingon Captain, by way of some sort of resolution. "I was wondering when we'd discover a real reason behind all this. It's not justified, but at least there's some level of honor in all these horrors of late."

"The what in the what-now?" Sigon replied, having been busy biting the head off an Arin'Sen sewer rat.

Then, Hemly groaned as Poroka helped him to his feet. "Uggh. Same time next year?" Hemly managed to croak.

"We wouldn't have it any other way. Qa'pla!" Sigon saluted.

At those comments, McCary's jaw dropped. It was apparent the warrior class was working with the Arin'Sen to use the Sage for their own devices. McCary interrupted as Hemly began limping his way out of the cave. "Uh, what? Are you saying this whole yearly invasion thing is just some kind of interdependent role play??"

Sigon hooked his bat'leth to his back somehow. "This is more than your simplification hullabaloo. We Klingons covet our reminiscings of real battles, and the Takarian Sage maintains that through authenticity. Like the Sage himself, memory is what motivates us."

"Except in completely different ways! The only justifiable resemblance here is theme?"

The warrior grasped McCary's shoulder in camaraderie. "And that has always been good enough for a Klingon. Come! We will feast on blood bread sticks!"


Later, McCary, Deborah and Morris sat at a table in the town square with the Klingons, as large volumes of blood-based food were placed down right in front of them by lower-class Arin'Sen servers.

"This feels wrong?" McCary hesitated in cognitive dissonance, seconds before taking a bite out of his Klingon bread stick. "Pass the blood butter?"
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And much honor was... won? Great farce as always. I was going to compliment you on your use of thlingn Hol... except:

tlho' poH = "appreciation of time" (reasonably close)

duh'gh = "duty".... Okay - close enough also...

tlho'!! rbs
And much honor was... won? Great farce as always. I was going to compliment you on your use of thlingn Hol... except:

tlho' poH = "appreciation of time" (reasonably close)

duh'gh = "duty".... Okay - close enough also...

tlho'!! rbs

lol Ya kind of close. I think I was going for a generic "Appreciation Time". But, wow, I completely forgot I used the translator and actually made up something. Qatlho'!
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Author's notes: This was written in December 2015, and was a take on the Star Trek Online episodic mission "Sunrise", utilizing direct dialogue from the game. Some edits were made October 2021.

STO Future Proof: Sunrise: Go to Deep Space Nine to pick up a solar specialist. Then, go to the unexplored star system at the edge of the Ferenginar sector in the Alpha Quadrant and investigate the sudden instability in the star there.
Season #10: Future Proof

The Odyssey-class U.S.S. Valhalla sat out in deep space, extracting Iconian probes from its dented aft hull. Rear Admiral Cid took a seat in his command chair on the Bridge just as they were suddenly hailed.

"Greetings, Admiral. We've recently noticed that a star in an unexplored system near Ferenginar has become unstable. Find out why this star is suddenly dying, and make sure that it isn't going to be a threat to any nearby worlds or systems," came Fleet Admiral Jorel Quinn's sudden hail over the view screen.

Cid was taken aback the sudden appearance. "Yes, sir, but I'm not paying Ferengi parking fees again."

An agreeable screen clicked off and Lieutenant Tetsu turned from helm. "Confirmed. Rather than stopping it entirely, we are to ensure any death and destruction is limited to the star system said horrors are to unavoidably happen in."

"Makes sense," Cid postulated, brushing his graying thin beard. "Keeping our focus highly localized ensures reduced brain aches. Now, set a course for Deep Space 9!"

Commander Raje paused. "Why?"

"The mission details require a solar expert," Cid replied, holding up a PADD with the auto-downloaded task queue. "Not to knock any of you, of course."


After picking up Cardassian Solar Scientist Tanora Zuval at Deep Space 9, the Valhalla set course for the unexplored system Admiral Quinn mentioned.

"We've arrived in-system," came Arkane's report as the ship dropped warp. "Still no indication of what's causing stellar decay."

Cid raised an eye brow. "Well this system isn't winning any Okuda awards."

The Valhalla flew forward several hundred kilometers and began scanning. Tanora reported, "Initial results don't make any sense. It's as if it suddenly decided that it was no longer going to do hydrogen fusion, just heavier fusion processes."

"It's temperamental," Raje observed. "Pluto was the same way after Earth demoted it."

The Valhalla then flew for the next closest body in-system. Next to it, they discovered a micronebula. Arkane began reading an energy surge which suddenly turned into three Mesh Weaver ships!

"Tholians??" Arkane blurted. "What are they doing this far from the Assembly? Not to mention, they're somehow operating their ships with just two fingers on each hand??"

Cid stepped up. "Now's not the time for appendage-based speculation. Return the shooting of the things! Weapons, I mean."

Opening fire, the Mesh Weavers began circling and inflicting serious damage against the Odyssey-class vessel. Flashbacks to incessant Iconian battles rang through Cid's head. "Maintain shields! Return fire! And where is that raktajino I ordered?!?"

The Valhalla swung around and fired a multitude of phaser beams and quantum torpedoes into the Tholian ships. One ship exploded, then a simul-spread of eight Starfleet-issue torpedoes, shot out in close-range, blew the other two Mesh Weavers to pieces.

"Data's coming in now," Tanora returned to her console as the action died down. "Looks like there's some heavy ionization on the far side of the nebula. It's as if it's receiving some kind of reflected radiation from one of the gas giants."

Raje pointed. "Helm! Slightly nudge us in that direction."

"Activating nudge subroutines," Tetsu declared.

Cid nodded. Approaching the spectacular blue-hazed, asteroid-orbited, gas giant, Nova began reporting more of her incoming data. "We're reading a few metallic asteroids and some low-level radiation."

"Naturally occurring metal? Impossible!" Cid declared. "Oh, no, wait. I'm thinking of mettle. Now that takes Kirk-level resourcefulness starship Captains have been copycatting for centuries."

Tetsu brought the ship closer to one of the moons orbiting the gas giant. Upon scanning, Nova made a discovery. "Admiral, I'm picking up comm traffic. One of these moons is inhabited! I'm picking up a few low-power warp trails! A few!"

"If this is a warp-capable society, when we make First Contact, I may unintentionally do a Picard impression," Cid started. "If so, you are to act like that's normal."

Suddenly the screen clicked on, and an unknown alien woman, pink, bald, with slender, forehead ridges, addressed them. "This is Administrator Kuumaarke. Please provide identification."

"This is Admiral Cid of the U.S.S. Valhalla. I represent the United Federation of Planets in much the same way a Ferengi represents kyphosis sufferers."

Kuumaarke replied from her ship, "Welcome to Lukari. We have a solar probe ready that contains the booster module that needs to be fired into the star. Could your ship get a trajectory plot so that we can set a preprogrammed course?"

"Hell, yes, we could. You can count on us," Cid replied.

At that, Cid and Nova began plotting the trajectories, after which they transmitted the information to Kuumaarke. Seconds later, the mission was underway.

"It's gone to warp!" Kuumaarke reported. "The probe is arriving at the solar corona. Deploying chromodynamic booster..."

But there was no response, only confirmation of a hard and difficult truth.

"No effect," Kuumaarke's voice dropped. "It didn't work. Repeat. It didn't work."

Cid was hit with flashes of Iconian War failure: The assault on their people, Sela's fury, and wave after wave of Herald and solar probe attack. He then saw Kuumaarke take notice. "Oh, uh, next time, then."

"Thank you for trying to help," a weary Kuumaarke replied in defeat before cutting out.

Arkane's console alerted. "Sir, an unknown vessel is entering the system. Small, but can't get a reading through its hull."

Seconds later, a grey-skinned man appeared on screen. "My name is Kal Dano. Looks like I've arrived at the perfect...... time?"

"Whoa!?" Cid jumped back at the remark. "A time traveler??"

Kal Dano continued. "How'd you know? Anyway, I'm here to help with the problem with this star. I'm a scientist as well."

"Okay, but we need to digest this first— For instance, what's your favourite Edge of Ettiquette song right now?" Cid asked.

Shaking his head, Kal explained, "If my plans were sinister, I'd just leave and let the star run its course."

"Fine. But later, I want a copy of that tiny ship for the Federation," Cid suggested. But then he realized. "Wait. What use would we have with that weensy thing? Propping up bigger ships, I guess?"

Suddenly, the screen split to a double view, with Kuumaarke now on one side. "If you have some way to reverse this process, my people should be involved. But it will take me a little while to get a shuttle out there."

"Oh, don't you worry, we won't need a shuttle," Cid reassured.


In a few minutes, Cid, Raje, Arkane, Nova, Chief Engineer Fuu and Kuumaarke all beamed into Kal's ship interior, a giant metallic-plated, circular room.

"You moved me here without crossing the intervening space!" Kuumaarke recognized, in shock. "You have quantum teleportation technology!"

Kal chuckled. "Yes. We call it a 'transporter'. It has a limited range, but it's useful for going from surface to ship. Quicker on plot too."

"Impossible. This ship's interior is massive, even though it's no bigger than a shuttle," Kuumaarke peered around in even more shock.

Cid interrupted. "We're short on time, so no need to expl—"

"—My ship uses compacted subspace folds," Kal elaborated. "It's bigger on the inside."

The Admiral raised his brows. "Ah, so we're doing that, then."

"This vessel is from the 31st century and I have some technology that can help. I need you to align this matrix to match the star's original spectrum."

He clasped his hands. "Finally, the Admiral gets to do the grunt work. I shall do the things!"

"Sir," interrupted Fuu as Cid went to work on his task. "While scanning, I got some data on Kal Dano. He's a hybrid of human and Vulcan, with a small amount of DNA from the people of this world."

Cid finished up. "He's like some kind of humanoid ceviche. Thanks, Fuu."

Suddenly the ship came under attack, and several Tholians beamed in. Cid and his team quickly pulled out weapons and went to work at taking them down.

"Damn! My therapist said I wasn't supposed to get into fire-fights anymore!" Arkane complained as he counter-attacked. "Also, I have to start paying her?"

As Kal Dano prepared his device, Cid's crew took out the Tholians.

"Thanks. In just a few minutes, it'll propagate a quantum waveshift that should correct the star's stalled fusion process."

Cid slung his rifle over his shoulder. "Perfect. But let this be a lesson to you: Never trust crystalline people and/or entities."


Returning to the Valhalla, the crew was suddenly ambushed by more Tholian ships. Cid took his seat at the Bridge.

"Give us the Tox Uthat," came a Tholian transmission.

Kal Dano provided commentary to the Valhalla. "Wonderful. Now the Tholians want my quantum phase inhibitor!"

"That's what that thing was this whole time? There was a whole Picard side trip, with the Ferengi and the love interest and— Ah, never mind. I see what you're doing here."

Retuning fire, the Valhalla and Kal Dano's timeship battled the Tholian vessels. A direct spread of quantum torpeodes to the lead enemy vessel, blew it to pieces. Kal Dano drilled a beam into the last Tholian Weaver until it blew as well.

He then turned his timeship at the star and blasted a quantum waveshift at the Lukari star. In a bright flash of light, the star re-ignited.

"It's working!" Came the excitement of the Cardassian scientist, Tanora Zuval. "The spectral readings are off the charts!"

Raje was taken aback. "Whoa! Forgot you were still here."

"They're attacking our homeworld! Please, help us!" Came the hail and plea from Administrator Kuumaarke.

Cid stood up. "On our way. But you should really get your own warships. Well, look at me, lecturing you. Like Starfleet's without its flaws?"

Entering into battle, the Valhalla phasered and torpedoed Tholian Mesh Weaver after Mesh Weaver. Giant walls of energy webs nearly boxed the Odyssey-class ship into place, causing Cid to have even more flash backs to his time in the Iconian War.

"Ugggghh. So much purple!" Cid grasped his head until he was grabbed by Raje.

SLAP! The Saurian hit his own superior officer across the face, in hopes of snapping him out of his self-indulgence. "Admiral, the Iconian War was necessary for peace and something to shoot at. Just like this situation."

"You're right," Cid shook his head and regained his focus. "Thanks, Commander."

The Valhalla turned and fired direct phaser beams at Tholian web joints, nullifying their threat. Ship after ship were then destroyed by continuing torpedo fire, including the cause of which by the help of Kal Dano's timeship.

"Thanks for the help," came Kal Dano's hail as the debris settled into a space-spread motion. "But the Tholians managed to steal the Tox Uthat, a name that I'm going with all of a sudden. I suspect the Tholians destabilized the star so I would bring it here."

Cid slumped into his chair. "Dammit, Kal. We'll have to get it back from them somehow."

"This is all to do with the Temporal Cold War. I'll be in touch."

After the screen cut out, Cid dropped his jaw. "Who just blurts that out? Never mind."

"Thank you for your help," Kuumaarke hailed, as it was finally her turn in the queue. "I wish I could ask you about your science, your trade, your society— but I am sooo late for my report back home. I suppose we should alert Lukari that the world isn't ending now. Do you have any idea of the constant looting? It's crazy!"

The Admiral smiled. "First Contact with another species is one of our most import—"

"Didn't you hear what I said? I have to go! Kuumaarke out!"

When she returned to her planet, the Valhalla departed the star system. They were suddenly hailed by Admiral Quinn over long range communications.

"A First Contact is a significant event that I thought we'd never do again. Thanks for balancing us out after that massive Iconian War."

Cid sighed, rubbing the red cheek his first officer gave him. "Well, someone had to deal with it, I suppose. Just don't tag me as a classic case of post-traumatic stress disorder. That would just cause me even more stress!"

"Sounds like a causality loop," observed Quinn. "Here, have a Quantum Phase Torpedo Mark XII."

After the screen cut out, for the third time, a chirp erupted from Arkane's console. "It says we have mail and there's an attachment?"

"More firearms, it seems. The fight isn't over. In fact, it's our lifestyle, and I suppose we'll have to accept that. Take us to our next mission, Tetsu. Something light-hearted, but serious about satisfying my expectations in impossible ways."

The human tapped at his controls. "Well, there's this whole thing with the Na'khul. I'm sure that'll be a simple one-off with no continuing annoyance over and over again?"

"Sounds good. Engage!"

The Valhalla jumped to warp, to what may be an unwitting partaking of the Universe's ultimate play of temporal shenanigans.
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"It's temperamental," Raje observed. "Pluto was the same way after Earth demoted it."

Memo to self: Reach out to NDgT to read this story...

You managed to stuff so many knee-slappers in here that if I were to quote them all I'd be reposting the story. Love it!

Thanks!! rbs
Memo to self: Reach out to NDgT to read this story...

You managed to stuff so many knee-slappers in here that if I were to quote them all I'd be reposting the story. Love it!
lol Thanks! I had him in mind when I wrote that. This story was restricting, but an interesting exercise.
Author's notes: This was part of a small series of short posts, written in December 2015, as part of a Star Trek Online Forums thread that invited players to post their Captain's logs. This specific log is a reference to a bug in-game where KDF players were temporarily able to beam into Earth Spacedock.​

Captain's Log, Part V
Menchez, IKS B'Cnah; Vor'cha-class

B'Cnah Combat log, 185th day in the year of Kahless 1036. We laid accidental seige to the Spacedock, more commonly known as the Super Star Mushroom Base. How it refuses to orbit the Earth, I will never understand. Upon arrival, we saw a land flourishing of Starfleet kind. They were... happy, as if frolicking in some sick Federation-glee. I do not get it. Are they just euphoric for merely existing? The sight did make my mighty Klingon stomach turn. In fact, I regurgitated my targ breakfast in several of their Federation fountains before I could join the other Klingon Captains in their attempt to de-Quinn-enize the Human grief that is their essence. All in all, it was an interesting visit. I would never want to live there. To go through a day without a ten minute live gagh bath is to accept a fate worse than Gre'thor.
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Author's notes: This was written in December 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #18, which was a holiday repost of Literary Challenge #69, both based on the in-game event of the same name. This revisits the concept of the Winter Wonderland last visited by Captains Seifer, Menchez and Aeris in ULC 69, and carries on from events in LC 68: STO Halloween, Parts I, II & III and Seifer's most recent Captain's log.

Unofficial Literary Challenge #18: Prompt #1: The ancient tradition of Terran Winter Celebrations is such a festive and playful time in STO! Q is back and he brings us more Winter fun this year, with new snowmen, new weapons, new ships and more. This month's challenge is to write your own crews story centered around the event and festivities of the Terran winter season. But don't stop at Earth! You can tell us stories about any cultural celebrations from across the Star Trek universe. Perhaps the Andorians have tales of mysterious Vulcans who sneak into their homes at night and replace their toys with logic puzzles. Perhaps the Bajorans have a winter tradition that they hold dear involving incense and an Orb of Jolly. Maybe the Borg Queen is all alone on New Years and just longs for the day some dashing Android will meet her under the mistletoe and help her kill all humans. Or maybe your crew discovers a planet of elves who are ruled by a fanatical toy maker with a thirst for egg nog. Let your imaginations fly this month, and add your own twists of Trek Holiday Lore to the universe!

Unofficial Literary Challenge #18
Winter Wonderland Celebrations (II)

The Steamrunner-class U.S.S. Tsunami bobbed and weaved its way through a smorgasbord of festive-colored ships parked near Earth Spacedock. McCary beamed onto the transporter pad aboard Deck 47.

"Joy of the season, Captain!" an Adult Jackal Mastiff approached him and said. "Oh, I'm Captain Terry of the U.S.S. Kitana. You see, I challenged Q-Junior's claim on his power— a claim that's obviously disputable considering he was once trapped on the U.S.S. Voyager— and then he transformed me into this beautifully grotesque thing. Isn't it wonderful??"

McCary squinted, unconvinced. "What? Aren't you on duty?"

"Hehehe!" Terry ran off, excitedly.

The main concourse was full of creatures, strange and mystical. Stepping passed two Large Talarian Hook Spiders, a War Targ and an Enslaved Hordling, McCary was stopped before a green Gingerbread Andorian eating into a struggling Gingerbread Klingon's side.

"Ugh! Andorians aren't cannibals??" McCary recoiled.

When the misty-eyed Gingerbread Andorian took notice of McCary's witness, he ran off in an animalistic gruff. The Gingerbread Klingon huffed and heaved for a few seconds before passing out all together.

"He must've been a left-over Winter Wonderland pet from when that bunch of Klingons were able to beam onto Spacedock," Captain Samya observed, approaching from the left.

McCary took notice of her. "Oh, Captain Samya? I didn't think you'd still have your Starfleet commission after that space-transport incident."

"Those children deserved to burn to death in plasma!" And then, realizing, "Did I mention they were Undine? Perhaps I should mention that more often."

McCary took out his tricoder. "I was okay with the first part. Anyway, why would an Andorian-version cookie, normally peaceful, turn on its own baked-kind?"

"If my Science officer, Mika, were here, she'd say they were delicious and unavoidable by every holiday measure. Thankfully, Bridge officers aren't allowed on Spacedock."

The quarter-Klingon Captain read off his device. "I'm still reading the Gingerbread Andorian. He's emitting some kind of energy wave distortion."

"Can you be more specific?"

McCary showed her the tricorder. "No, it actually says 'some kind of' on this thing."

"WRAGH!" In the next second, in the distance, Captain Terry, now morphed into a maddening and drooling Warrigul, pounced and hungrily decimated the off-base walking cookie before realizing what he did. "Oh no! I can't be full for my Fastest Game on Ice grind??"

Samya turned to McCary as the Starfleet Warrigul ran off in fear. "Those pets originate from that incessant Wonderland. Perhaps we'll find more information there?"

"Very well." McCary nodded while pulling out his phaser. "If you see any epohh 'friends', shoot them on site. Don't even hesitate."


Flashing into the joyous Q's Winter Wonderland, onto the blue, semi-transparent gazebo, McCary and Samya were suddenly hit with the pungent aroma of candy canes and lollipops.

"Ugh! This place is utterly repulsive," McCary partially blocked his eyes as they adjusted to the light.

Samya nodded, in-process assimilating herself. "I wish I was dead."

"You've been here five seconds and you're already bringing down the place," came Captain Terry's comment of disapproval as he approached in Devidian Visitor form.

McCary jumped back in mild shock. "Whoa! Maybe warn us before you do that?"

"I'm embracing the season, which would do you two obvious-trauma-hordes good if you even tried," he replied, floating passed them toward the Breen Race Coordinator.

Samya turned to McCary. "Should we?"

"Hell no," he replied, studying his tricorder. "Hold on. I'm getting some kind of echo-based residual wave reading."

She crossed her arms, annoyed. "Would you please stop with the 'some kind ofs'? I once executed my Operations officer for that." And then, "Oh, he turned out to be a Changeling."


Making their way into a forgotten forested area, next to a stone mountain, McCary was suddenly attacked by two wild-eyed generic Gingerbread men.

"YYaarrggh!" Like rabid animals, they leapt onto his shoulder and arm and attempted biting into him, hungrily.

McCary threw one off him and Samya crushed the head off the other. "Sickening," McCary commented as the cookie head debris of the remaining breadman crumbled off his arm. "What happened to their holiday cheer?"

"Spent on that." Samya pointed to a field of half-eaten, partially aware, moaning Gingerbread men and women.

They were all groggily reaching out for each other in cannibalistic hunger. "Candddyyyy brainnnsss..."

"Chocolate innardddds..." another moaned, hungrily.

Captain McCary put his tricorder away. "By the ripped-out shirts of high-strung-Kirk! It's like they tore through their nasally-pitched, annoying ice-coated necks out of pure greed?"

"You could say it was bound to happen, considering the commercially avaricious nature of the holiday season, proliferating indulgent tendencies, funded by the Ferengi Commerce Authority."

McCary shook his head. "No one will ever admit to that. It must be something else." He pointed at a glowing point-of-light-portal, perched at the end of the partially alive cookie massacred field.

"I'm reading another pocket universe," Samya reported as she scanned it with her tricoder while the two of them carefully stepped around each halved, grasping Gingerbread man. "It's similar to this one."

McCary kicked a reaching Gingerbread man to pieces as both he and Samya approached a small, hovering, blue spark. "There was a report from the U.S.S. Phoenix-X about an imitation Winter Wonderland from a similar Q-like being. There were Borg-puns, Neelix-jabs and everything."

"Yes, that one was made by Qu. He spells his name differently, but it sounds the same. I met him when he turned my crew into singing references. I ended it with Blue Skies," Samya added. "There weren't that many other songs to choose from."

Captain McCary furrowed his brow. "We should put an end to this manufactured fakery right away. The some-kind-of energy wave distorted, echo-residual base readings are more condensed here."

"Alright, you're on a time-out for explaining things."

After McCary reprogrammed his tricorder into sending a feedback pulse at the point of light, the portal opened up and engulfed the two Starfleet officers.


Appearing on the other side, McCary and Samya found themselves surrounded by jungle vines, in a hot and muggy palm tree-filled environment: Qu's Winter Wonderland.

In a dark recess of foliage, before them, was a vine-bound figure, draped in shadow, on his knees, decaying nearly beyond recognition. His uniform was torn.

"Starfleet??" McCary began scanning, in shock. "A Trill?"

Samya pushed a giant, nearby leaf aside, lessening the shadow over the man's face. "Captain Seifer??"

"Uuhh," the decrepit supposedly-young officer groaned in pain. "The light hurts my eyes."

McCary kneeled to his level. "But it's dark? And where have you been this whole time? A bunch of us Captains have been picking up your slack."

"Sorry, I'm having Slamek flashbacks," Seifer admitted. "Indeed," he continued, struggling to speak, "It would seem the Calibus VII virus that got my crew, previously, has been reactivated. I've been living off Gingerbread men for weeks."

Samya checked his flakey forehead temperature. "It's not as bad as you described in past reports?"

"Someone, I don't know who, must've partially reactivated the virus in us, so it's not as effective. My crew and I are in perfect health some days, where we can complete missions, but back to decaying on others." He tried to get up, unsuccessfully. "I booked passage here through a Traveler named Wayfar because I meant to ask Qu for help— Instead, I get maddening games and living jungles."

McCary tilted his head. "Living?" And then, suddenly the foliage all around them began moving, growing and tightening around Captain Seifer.

"Forget about me! I can get out of this. But any help you can provide on who's working that virus would be great—"

The two of them stepped away as the jungle engulfed him and a thick, curling vine accidentally knocked McCary and Samya back toward a point of light.


Both Captain's then found themselves back in the normal Q's Winter Wonderland. The portal that was there previously was now gone.

"Looks like I pushed the energy distortions on this end to the other end," McCary reported from his tricorder. "So, it's a one-way wormhole now."

Samya picked herself up. "You see what uncontrolled effects we get when we work off generalizations? Also, it seems the problem is worse than expected."

"GGrrgghh," came the drooling sounds of infected Gingerbread men, stumbling out of Qu's pocket dimension. More and more Gingerbread zombies began flooding out of thin air, piling on top of each other in partial crumble from jungle moisture.

McCary and Samya ran to a safe distance. "We should probably change Wonderland instances," McCary said. "This one's experiencing some kind of a cohesion loss."

"Well," Samya shrugged. "At least the air isn't full of cotton candy anymore. Missions aside, perhaps we can appreciate this waste of a universe after all, considering what we just experienced."

McCary put his phaser away. "Fast and the Flurrious then? With the prize tags, we may be able to gain access to the epohhs."

"Agreed." Samya nodded as they both left the piling Gingerbread mess. "Perhaps we may pay a visit to that overbearing Talaxian as well. I must learn more about his weaponized leola root stuffing."
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Qu. He spells his name differently, but it sounds the same. I met him when he turned my crew into singing references.

I totally love Qu. Can't pronounce his name, though - sounds too much like Q. Big fan of the cannibalistic gingerbread klingandorians, too..

Thanks!! rbs
Author's notes: This was written in January 2016, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #19, and connects to events from LC 64: The New Frontier.​

Unofficial Literary Challenge #19: Prompt #1: In which one of your bridge officers is selected to serve a tour on a ship from the opposing faction.
Unofficial Literary Challenge #19
"The Officer Exchange"

The Steamrunner-class U.S.S. Tsunami dropped out of warp in the H'atoria sector like some kind of space-traversing mechanical conglomeration.

Approaching the Klingon Bird of Prey I.K.S. Rotog, Captain McCary and Commander Morris beamed over to its dank, sterile Bridge of dread.

"Thanks for answering my distress call, Captain," Starfleet officer, Deborah, said, turning from her seat at tactical. The entire area was full of unconscious Klingons, blood drenching the floors like a badly handled meat processor. "Apologies for the mess."

McCary crossed his arms. "Have the targs finally rebelled?"

"No, sir. The targ supply has run out due to it being Beast Appreciation Month," she replied. "This, I have no idea what's going on here. Sorry, sir, but it appears my progress in the exchange program has been a failure."

In a bustle, Captain Sigon exited his ready room and joined them. "Utter baktag! Your Lieutenant has been more than exemplary!" he defied. "I just ordered her to the Messhall this morning for early drinking, as we all know, from Riker to Jadzia episodes, that that is the only circumstance one can truly bond with a Klingon."

"I am quite drunk, sir," Deborah admitted in her usual deadpan tone, betraying no intoxication whatsoever.

McCary looked at her, bewildered, then away. "Never mind. What can you tell me, Captain? And please, let this not be an obvious Arin'Sen revenge story. Despite the justice they'd be serving tenfold by your repetitive enslavements."

"I know! I even offered them the idea of that, but, alas, their bones are as brittle as Ferengi knee caps." Sigon sighed. "No, it all started this morning: We had just completed our usual hit-and-run on your Starbase 234 when suddenly systems throughout the Rotog went haywire. Next thing I know, my night-shift Bridge crew is taken out— My existing BOFFs are fine, though, for continuity's sakes."

The Captain turned to him in complete shock. "Whoa! Are you serious right now? You know we're not supposed to break the fourth wall!"

"Puncture wounds." Morris interjected, examining one of the unconscious Klingons. "Looks like some-thing was responsible for this."

McCary sighed. "Damn the Federation's on-again off-again relationship with the Klingon Empire. We send acronym text-based transmissions with pictorial faces and smiling feces and you never respond. Fine. For the sakes of my Lieutenant, we'll check things out— But no Warrior's Anthem! The group synchronicity elicits forced camaraderie."


Walking down the eerily dark corridors with flickering lights, McCary, Morris and Deborah pulled hard on keeping their wits about them. Following closely behind, Sigon held his disruptor at the ready.

"Whatever has got this ship is emitting high-energy interference," Morris reported. "Internal scanning and your mercury vapor, phosphor coated tube lights have been severely affected."

Sigon replied, "When it comes to deck lighting technology, we Klingons are centuries behind."

Then, grunting sounds and wheezing breaths snapped its way to their senses but it was too black to see what was making it. For Sigon, the scent was clear.

"He is Klingon!" Sigon identified. "Bekk Tars, if I'm not mistaken."

McCary shone his palm beacon into the corridor. "Don't move! We're investigating first-hand rather than by proxy-hologram which would make much more sense."

"Heegghhhh," Tars uttered through his own bodily pains as he was lit up. Patches of brightly colored fur had grown, unnaturally out from his-self all over his body. "UGGH!"

A surge of agony shot him to his all-fours. The group ran over to check on him. "It's.... fur?" Morris examined. "It looks like Tribble fur?"

"Feels like it too," Deborah added, petting a furry patch coming out of Tars' shoulder armor. "Err, that's the blood wine talking," she explained quite soberly as McCary and Morris looked at her quizzically.

McCary perked up. "You know something, Lieutenant. Tell us the truth about what's going on here."

"Sir, this exchange program has confused my loyalties," Deborah admitted. "The truth is, Sigon ordered me to secrecy over his murderous hunting objectives. We'd been chasing a prey for days, and instead of sleeping were sent to the Messhall to drink."

Sigon stepped around. "It was important to me that we differ ourselves from the Hirogen somehow, those warrior rip-offs! As a one-fourth Klingon yourself, Captain, I'm sure you understand."

"You see, earlier this year, the U.S.S. Phoenix-X visited a parallel universe completely occupied by Tribbles in space," Deborah explained. "When they returned, unbeknownst to them, a single, solitary Tribble was brought back and escaped."

In the dark, McCary could have sworn he heard purring. The thought of it sent chills down his spine.

Sigon continued: "From that one spaceborne Tribble, a whole colony was bred! Klingons everywhere cried out in pain! With your officer's help, we've been tracking them throughout the sector."

"Then it's clear," McCary finished. "My Tactical officer appears to have switched allegiances. Oh, and these spaceborne Tribble are fighting back."

Flashing his palm beacon around, he unintentionally revealed the group to be completely surrounded by angry, self-aware, parallel universe Tribble.


The fuzzballs then began buzzing in unison. Their adorable vibrations converted through the universal translator. "Your non-space, combat-buff Tribble are a failed evolutionary variation descended by the ancient one, Trebbly, one of our own."

"He/she was sent to your universe eons ago to facilitate Tribble Space. We must ensure this original goal continues!" another proclaimed. "All of your space are belong to us!"

Sigon pulled out his disrupter. "The Empire will not bow to these puffy-veQ! We stand for roughness, hard looks and the generational-tangents that made us that way! Destroy their cute little faces!"

But the Tribble were faster and leapt onto each of the humanoids, biting into McCary's skin. Morris tried to pull out his phaser but was taken down by a flurry of fuzz. Deborah's neck was pierced and bloody, while Sigon fired his disruptor until his hand was covered in furry fury!

"The Tribble have got us! If Bekk Tars is any indication, their venom re-sequences our DNA. We'll soon become one of them!" Morris cried in agony.

Debroah struggled with her miniature attackers, pulling one off her face. "Captain! When we confronted these spaceborne mothballs, it was the Tribble themselves that explained to us how they got to our universe... one, giant Tribble."

"The Mother Tribble!" McCary realized through his fight. He struggled to glimpse what looked like an overly humanoid-sized ball of fur, emerging at the other end of the corridor.

Deborah added, "It's the one that traveled here with the Phoenix-X."

Under continual attack and the pains of transformation, McCary rolled his fur-building physique over to his fallen phaser, and crawled his way toward the Mother Tribble.

"Enormous hair monstrosity, I wish to discuss your terms of surrender," McCary offered, aiming his phaser.

To that, all the small Tribble scurried away to the sides in fear. The Mother Tribble vibrated in response. "I am known as Tribblone and our purpose is reproduction. Not to destroy others. These transformations are a biological confusion."

"Your self-impregnating Tribble-venom is selfing us into Tribble! As such, I propose a non-aggression pact," McCary suggested. "We leave you alone, and you stop converting us into one of you."

The dimly lit, giant fuzz-machine cooed in agreeance. "It is done. But we will occupy all of known space eventually. We have already permeated your universe with utmost adorability!"

"SQUEEEEE!" Through the dark, the little creatures all leapt back into the fur of the Mother Tribble while she, herself, re-merged into the darkness.

The lights in the corridor then flickered on. Deborah, now part-fur, took out her tricorder and read it. "It's leaving the ship through one of the ports... Like the Rotog just coughed up a hairball."

"Well, it's clear now your treasonous ways were a product of pure investigative drive in service of the unnatural— a reflection of the Tsunami's own efforts," McCary breathed, appeased, while checking out his own partial trans-fur-mation. "Is anyone as ichy as I am?"

Sigon got up and tore the growing fuzz from his neck. "It is not the last we've seen of those fluff-multipliers. And your insidious diplomacy has triumphed over my destructive war-mongering. But this remains a win for the unchecked Klingon genome none-the-less! Thanks."

"So, is the only reason your species goes on because of us?" Morris asked.

Captain Sigon shrugged. "Probably." As the group made their way back to the Bridge, he continued, "To that, I foresee this as the start of a wondrous relationship!"


Entering the Bridge, McCary, Sigon, Deborah and Morris discovered all the unconscious Klingons replaced with large, lumpy-ovals of fully-converted, fur-drenched Tribbles. The nightshift having completed transformation did not bode well for the four.

"Well, it was fun while it lasted!" Sigon corrected. "Warrior's Anthem anyone?"
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