Sutherland/Lexington: Blood Cries

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DavidFalkayn, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    This is a long...long....novel length story. I'm no where near complete yet, but I've got over 200 pages done, so I figure I'll start posting what is solid material now and more as the story progresses. This story brings about so many changes in all of my series to date: Lexington, Sutherland, Perseus, forthcoming stories dealing with the crews and adventures of the Bellerophon and Deep Space 11. Many of my characters will go through some very profound changes in this story as we discover more about Liz Shelby, Robert Wesley, Aliz Bathory, Sito Jaxa, Cilla Oudekirk and many others. I hope you enjoy this story. It's has been and still is a difficult story to write. It's probably the most convoluted and complicated story I've ever written and has gone through multiple revisions. I hope you enjoy it.
     
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  2. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Prologue

    Cachtice Castle, Trencin, Hungary, 1579 C.E.


    “Hurry up, Katya! We’re going to be late” Young Elizaveta Bathory, only three years married to Count Ferenc Nadasdy, called out from behind her shoulder as she sat sidesaddle on her favorite white mare, Priscina, brushing aside a lock of auburn hair as she laughed merrily.

    “I’m coming, My Lady!” A laughing blonde-haired Ekaterina Csizmadia called back to the Countess who had befriended her years ago. Ekaterina, the daughter of a minor knight currently with Elizaveta’s husband on campaign against the Ottoman Turks, first met the mistress of Cachtice Castle when she arrived as at age eleven, newly betrothed to Ferenc Nadasdy as part of a marriage alliance between the two politically powerful Bathory and Nadasdy families. Spurring her horse to a gentle canter, the good-natured blonde quickly rode up to where her friend sat impatiently waiting. “I’m sorry...” Katya apologized, but I got lost in the view...” she said as she waved her arm at the lush panoramic vista with its unspoiled blue sky dotted by gently drifting cumulus clouds.

    “I understand completely, Katya!” Elizaveta sighed as her eyes took in the view before her. “I just wish Ferenc were here to see it with us.”

    “I know.” The blonde lady-in-waiting replied sympathetically. I miss my Karl too. But...” she added as she crossed herself, “...they’re doing God’s work—retaking our homeland and fighting the infidel.”

    “True.” Elizaveta affirmed, “But still...I wish he were at home. I miss his...” a loud crack coming from the sky drowned out the Hungarian noblewoman’s next words as the two women, their attention drawn towards the sky, saw a bright flash as a brilliant fireball crossed the heavens. Moments later, they heard another crack as several trees in a nearby wood suddenly fell. Her horse panicking, Elizaveta held on for dear life as the disoriented animal ran directly towards the woodland.

    “Elizaveta!” Katya, her horse having thrown her, called out from the ground as she fearfully crossed herself. “Elizaveta!”

    **********************************************************************

    Pulling hard at the reins, the young countess, managing at last to regain control, brought her horse to a stop just at the edge of the wood. As her eyes took in the devastated scene of felled and smoking trees, Elizaveta slowly dismounted. Her mouth open in rapt fascination, the youthful noblewoman dropped her mount’s reins as she walked slowly towards into the forest, ignoring the fearful cries of her friend running towards her.

    “Don’t go!” Katya called out in warning, “It’s a warning from the Devil!”

    “Don’t worry!” Elizaveta shouted back, “I’m not going to go too far!” Pausing next to the smoking stump of a tree, the young Hungarian’s courage began to waver as an acrid smell crossed her nostrils. Her heart racing, Elizaveta began to turn away only to stop as she began to feel a tugging in her mind urging on into the forest. Pressing on, the countess walked towards the center, picking her way through the fallen limbs and brambles until she reached a small crater. Looking into the crater, the young woman saw what appeared to be a rock made of a shiny black substance. Gasping in astonishment, Elizaveta bent down next to the rock to get a closer look. As she reached out her hand to touch it, what appeared to be a stream of red smoke pour out of the rock’s crevices. Pulling her hand back, Elizaveta found herself frozen in place as the smoke entered her nostrils.

    ***********************************************************************

    Time has no meaning for a Pah-wraith. Days...weeks...months...years...centuries...millennia...even eons are naught but moments to a god. After this one, like her fellows, had been expelled from the Celestial Temple following their war with the Prophets, she had wandered through the quiet of space until the vessel in which she had been imprisoned had become captured by an otherwise ordinary yellow star. She had then spent uncounted eons in the outer belt until her prison was finally launched on a trajectory towards the interior of the system where, after its orbit had been further deflected by a large gas giant, it fell under the gravitational influence of a small blue orb. Entering the atmosphere, the Pah-wraith, safely cocooned within its shell, easily survived its meteoric descent; its collision with the surface finally freeing it from its prison just as a host appeared. Entering the host body, the Pah-wraith easily took control of its primitive mind. Wrapping its tendrils around the alien’s thoughts, the Pah-wraith, for the first time in untold years, was finally free. Free to wreck havoc...free to seek revenge.

    ***********************************************************************

    “Elizaveta?” Rushing to her friend’s side, Katya gasped as she saw the devastated landscape. “It’s like the Apocalypse...” she said in a hushed tone, not noticing the thin, evil grin on her companion’s face, nor the brief flash of red in her eyes. “We should go now.” The young blonde woman urged, “Please.”

    “Very well.” Elizaveta responded in a silky voice as her hand reached for the dagger hidden in the sleeve of her dress. “We’ll go.” As her friend, sighing with relief, turned away to begin the trek back to the glade where they had left their horses, Elizaveta’s eyes flashed red as she drew her stiletto and then, without uttering a single word, jabbed it through the heart of her childhood friend. Watching wordlessly as Katya slumped to the ground, Elizaveta knelt down next to where the blonde lay, her blood seeping into the ground. Ignoring the look of shock and disbelief on the young woman’s face, Elizaveta placed a finger in the pool of blood and, as Katya’s life ebbed away, licked it, reveling in its taste.

    The legend of The Blood Countess was born.

    ***********************************************************************

    USS Lexington. Federation Space near Risa, 2267 C.E.

    Watching as Lieutenant Aliz Bathory, clad in her pink gym leotard, completed her floor exercises, Commodore Robert Wesley smiled warmly. “Nice form, Aliz.”

    “Thank you, Sir.” Lieutenant Bathory replied as she scooped up a towel from the deck. Wiping away the sweat, the young Hungarian helmsman shook her head, “I’m not sure about that last tumble though—my form was off.”

    “Not from where I was looking.” Robert remarked as his eyes took in the lithe petite form standing before him. Beating down the feelings stirring inside him, the rugged commodore declared, “It looked to me like you nailed it.”

    Laughing merrily as she wrapped the towel around her shoulders, Aliz rejoined, “Madame Czerny would have read me the riot act. I was sloppy.” Shaking her head, the gymnast stated, “I need to practice more.”

    “Well...” the commodore grinned as the pair walked together towards the gymnasium exit, ignoring the other crew members working out, “...we’ll have plenty of time for that where we’re going.”

    “Where are we going, Sir?” Aliz asked.

    “It’s near an unexplored sector right on the borders of Federation space—out where the Betreka Nebula is. Starbase 2 has been picking up some interesting readings coming from that area recently. Apparently, there’s quite a bit going on out there.” Wesley said enthusiastically before continuing in a much more cautious voice, “Unfortunately...the Klingons are also there—and in force—so we won’t be going too deep into it. Since relations with the Empire have been worsening, Command decided that it would be too risky sending starships in right now. Our mission is to do some preliminary charting—get the lay of the land for future missions should relations ever improve.”

    “Oh.”

    Seeing the look of disappointment on the young lieutenant’s face, Robert grinned as he slapped her gently on her shoulder blades, “Don’t worry, Aliz, I’m sure we’ll run into something new out there. Besides...” he grinned, “...it’ll give you and your friend time to get to know our new navigator. Speaking of which...how is our Lieutenant Bateson doing?”

    Chuckling merrily, the youthful Hungarian replied, “Terrence is going to be steamed when he gets back from his leave on Risa. Morgan’s been spending a lot of time with Jennifer—to the point where they’re an item now, and he’s even got Cilla to smile at him a time or two—and—well—let’s just say that it’s dangerous putting him and Commander Zha’Thara in a room together the way those two cut up.”

    Laughing, Wesley answered back, “I knew he had potential the moment I saw him in action six years ago. Remind me sometime, Aliz...” the worldly commodore joked, “I’ll tell you about the time he was juggling Dee Dee and Sammie back when I was skipper of the Ajax and he was on the ol’ Merlin under Speed-bag Parker.”

    “I will, Sir.” Aliz grinned. As the pair exited the gym, the young Hungarian turned towards the older man. Her heart skipping a beat as she looked up at his ruggedly handsome features, she quickly averted her eyes, “I better go grab a shower now—I must stink.”

    “Right.” Wesley, feeling an unspoken connection as well with the younger woman, quickly responded, “I have to go too—I’m due on the bridge. I’ll see you later.”

    Orbiting an undiscovered rogue planet in the Bajor Sector--2267

    “Well executed.” A voice coming from the shadows praised. “Activate the holographic emitter. Should a vessel from this period scan us, we should appear as nothing more than a rocky asteroid.”

    “Emitter activated.” A human manning the control console announced. “Awaiting your orders.”

    “Very good.” The voice responded. “I want you to bring this Ferengi to Malon IV for a meeting.” A holoimage of an average size and weight male Ferengi appeared on a raised dais. “Advise him that it would be very foolish for him to not be at the meeting. Contact me when you have made the arrangements.”


    USS Lexington--2267

    For many years she had slumbered peacefully—waiting for the right time to awaken. Now, as she felt the pull of the Celestial Temple growing stronger, the Pah-wraith stirred once again. Soon...once she was free of the prison encaging her, she would lead the others in retaking their home and punishing—once and for all—the Prophets who had driven them out.

    Entering the quarters that she shared with her friend, Lieutenant Jennifer Watley, Aliz cracked a sly grin as she noticed that her roommate was missing. Must be with Morgan. The young Hungarian concluded as she stripped off her gym togs. Fingering the medallion hanging around her neck, Aliz began to remove it, only to hear her grandmother’s warning in her mind, “Never take this off, my child. For if you do...the Dark One will come for you.” Hesitating for just a moment, Aliz chuckled before finally taking the medallion off as she had done countless times before.

    Sensing that the time was finally right, the Pah-wraith acted. Extending its tendrils into the psyche of its victim, the daemon smiled. So like her ancestor...so innocent...so vulnerable...so corruptible.


    Runabout Seine, Federation space near Risa, 2377 C.E.

    “A bottle of champagne...Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque...2358...properly chilled in a Lalique Ganymede champagne cooler with three diamond edition Orrefors Amor Vincit Omnia champagne flutes.” Captain Elizabeth Shelby ordered from the runabout’s replicator as she slipped on an ermine trimmed diaphanous to the point of near transparency Andorian spider-silk chemise. Smiling as she saw the voluptuous blonde woman in her computer monitor, Liz purred, “As you can see...I’ve got everything ready for tonight. I’m glad you and Jason could make it to Risa, Sandy...I know Jas and the Maia Threes are on tour and you’re working on your next show...”

    “How could we resist, Betts...” Sandy smiled back, licking her lips lasciviously as she took in her casual lover’s lovely form beneath her barely there negligee. “An entire week on Risa. But how were you able to get away...with all that’s going on...”

    “It’s the calm before the storm...” Liz conceded, her smile disappearing as the conversation grew more serious. “Admiral Glover’s death...the Klingons on Fu’Puk...” the mood lightened momentarily as both women giggled like schoolgirls at the Klingon name for the Hacharan system. But the laughter soon vanished as the blonde starship captain continued her train of thought, “And then there’s Derek losing his first officer...Pava with his problems...Chris...Terrence...Sintina...Amaya...Kojo...they’ve all been put through the wringer this year...” sighing, Liz nervously played with a lock of hair, “I can’t help but feel that my turn’s coming up next.”

    “Don’t worry about tomorrow, Betts...” Sandy consoled, “I’m not...I know you...” the voluptuous blonde artist cheerfully declared, “You’re too smart...too tough...and too delicious...” she smirked, “You can take on anyone and anything that stands in your way.” Her leer now replaced by a much warmer smile, Sandy finished, “I guess that’s why I like being with you...and Jason too...” she quickly amended, not wanting to leave her other lover out.

    “Thanks, Sandy...I guess I needed to hear that.” Liz replied as her smile returned. Sighing, the blonde captain gently touched the cheek of the woman on her viewscreen. “I’ve got to go now, babe—have to contact Risan control about clearances and all that crap. Once I get everything straightened out, I’ll beam straight down to our suite and we’ll get the party started.”

    “Sound good to me, lover.” Sandy smiled back. “We’ll see you in a few.”

    After bidding goodbye to her lover, Captain Shelby spoke, “Risan Control...this is the Federation runabout Seine. Request orbital clearance...

    “Warning!” The runabout’s computer blared, “Chroniton particle wave detected.”

    “From what source?” Captain Shelby demanded as all her senses at once sprang to full alert. Her fingers dancing on the keypad, Liz raised the shields on the tiny runabout to maximum while at the same time laying in an evasive course.

    “Unknown source.” The computer clinically answered back and then reported, “Wave impact in Three...Two...”

    “Computer...implement laid in course...evasive...NOW!”

    “...One. Impact.”

    Grabbing the arms of her chair, Liz held on tightly as the Seine shook and shuddered under the chroniton wave bombardment.

    “Inertial compensators failing...” The computer reported as Captain Shelby, her vision blurring under the gravitic stresses, glanced down at the chronometer. “Hell!”
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  3. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Really liking this opening to this new, epic tale. The historic connection to a real, murderous figure from the past is fascinating. And who is to say that the real Elizabeth Báthory was not possessed by some sort of alien spirit which made her murder young women? For this story, it's now established fact and its going to play havoc for her distant relative and no doubt many others unlucky enough to cross her path.

    A bit of mystery thrown in here as well with a cryptic communique and we're off to what promises to be one wild ride across time and space.

    Looking forward to find out where this epic tale will take us.
     
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  4. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Part 2

    Malon IV


    As he was ushered into the dark warehouse, Berok glanced nervously first in one direction and then the other as his guide kept constant pressure on his arm, guiding him forward to a small chair. “Sit.” The guide, an alien with neckbones and ridges and slicked back black hair ordered, practically forcing him into the seat.

    “Thank you for coming.” A deep voice called out from the shadows.

    “Not like I had much choice.” Berok grumbled.

    “I assure you. This will be worth your while. If you complete your end of the contract…” The voice promised, “You will be wealthy beyond your dreams. Wealthy enough to buy most of this port.”

    “That’s all well and good.” Berok challenged, “But I don’t see any proof.”

    “Show him, Jacek.”

    The alien then took out a pouch and dumped its contents on Berok’s lap—a large pile of gold pressed latinum. “That’s pretty good proof.” The Ferengi gasped as he picked up a slip of the gpl and examined it. “It’s pure.”

    “And there’s more where that came from—provided you complete your tasks.”

    “What do you want me to do?” Berok inquired.

    “I want you to acquire for me a box.” The voice declared, “Jacek will supply you with a description. The box is located in Romulan space. How you attain it is up to you. Complete this task—bring the box here—and you will be rewarded with your weight in latinum. Fail me and…well…better you not fail me. Our business is now concluded. Jacek will show you out. Do not contact me again until you have the box.”


    USS Lexington—2267

    I thirst. The Pah-wraith who had possessed Aliz Bathory’s mind and body complained as she willed her host down the crowded starship corridor. It had been so long since she had tasted the fear emanating from all those young girls. Too long since she had sated her hunger with their life essences. Too long since she had experienced the sheer rapture of corrupting a host’s soul.

    Go away.

    The Pah-wraith laughed, attracting looks from the others in the corridor. Silencing the looks with a glare, the entity chuckled again as she heard the tiny voice of protest coming from the host’s imprisoned soul.

    Go away...please.

    So like your ancestor. The Pah-wraith thought back. She fought me at first too. But she soon came to love me as much as you will.

    *********************************************************************

    “Looks like the next few weeks are going to be boring!” Lieutenant Jennifer Watley moaned as she took a sip of iced tea. “Nothing but star charting!”

    “I don’t know about that. A little down time would give us a chance to get better acquainted.” Lieutenant Morgan Bateson, newly assigned to the Lexington, grinned roguishly as he eyed the raven-haired Jennifer, giving her a flirtatious wink, “Maybe we can even talk the Old Man into loaning us a shuttle?”

    “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Jennifer smiled coyly as she gave the handsome Lieutenant Bateson a playful slap on the back of his hands. “Getting me alone in a nice cozy shuttlecraft.” Returning Bateson’s wink, the dark-haired xenobiologist flirted, “I’m not sure you could handle me...”

    Laughing merrily, the other member of the tiny group, Lieutenant Commander Talana Zha’Thara, the Andorian chief science officer of the Lexington, quipped, “She’s got you there, Morgan!”

    “Sure you don’t want to join us, Talana?” Morgan riposted with a gentle laugh and wink. “You know what they say...three’s company...”

    “Ha!” Talana laughed as Jennifer playfully punched the teasing lieutenant on his arm, causing him to wince momentarily. “In your dreams, maybe!” Looking about the room, the white haired Andorian mused, “Where’s Aliz? I thought she was supposed to join us?”

    Almost as if on cue, the Hungarian lieutenant strode into the galley. At once recognizing her roommate, Jennifer called out, “Aliz! Over here! It’s about time you showed up. What kept you?”

    Upon hearing her host’s name shouted out, the Pah-wraith who had possessed the youthful helmsman paused for a moment as she accessed her unwilling host’s mind. Surprised to find her host still resisting, the daemon pressed harder, taking pleasure as she forced her victim to once again bend to her will.

    You see now. The Pah-wraith gloated. How useless your resistance is. Why not save yourself a great deal of pain? Embrace me and you will experience joys and sensations beyond your wildest dreams. Anything and everything you want will be yours. Power...lovers...revenge against your enemies...wealth beyond measure. And all you have to do is...

    Sell my soul? The part that was still Aliz Bathory sneered back at her oppressor.

    My dear, what do I need with your soul? Besides... the Pah-wraith gloated, I already have that.

    “Aliz? Earth to Aliz?” Her gentle teasing now replaced by a look of concern, Jennifer inquired, “Are you all right, Aliz?”

    “Oh...” The Pah-Wraith possessed Aliz grinned, “I’m fine.”

    “Good.” Jennifer replied, “You looked a little lost there for a moment—you sure everything’s ok?”

    “Yeah.” Aliz answered back as she joined her roommate and the others around the table. “My mind was just on...other things.” She grinned as her eyes momentarily fell on a beautiful young blonde yeoman, apparently just out of her teens, sitting by herself sipping a cup of coffee.

    As she sipped her iced tea, Jennifer observed the petite helmsman sitting opposite her. Something about her roommate seemed...not quite right...but the dark-haired science officer couldn’t quite put her finger on it. Then, as she once again spotted the Hungarian woman eying the young yeoman sitting by herself, Jennifer’s eyes widened.

    “Something wrong, roommate?”

    Aliz’s voice snapping her out of her reverie, Jennifer shook her head as she decided, for the moment, to put her doubts to the side. “No.” Lieutenant Watley smiled back as she turned her attention to the handsome navigator seated next to her and, changing the subject, asked, “So... Morgan...what’s tonight’s movie?”

    “I think it’s supposed to be a comedy.” Lieutenant Bateson replied grinning as he rolled his eyes, “‘Mirini’s Holiday’ or something like that. Apparently, the plot revolves around this woman on break from college who decides to go to Risa for semester break...”

    “In other words...” Talana quipped, “Another Federation Interstellar Pictures ‘B’ movie!”

    “That about sums it up.” Morgan riposted, “Still...it sounds like it’ll be good for a bag or two of popcorn. And afterwards...” he winked flirtatiously, “...we can swing by the Observation Deck...maybe take in the view of the Betreka Nebula...”

    “Let’s just see how the evening goes, first...” Jennifer replied coyly as she gently patted Bateson’s hand. “I’m still pissed at you for that ‘three’s company’ comment. I figure that’s going to cost you dinner at least.” Glancing down at her chronometer, the young xenobiologist sighed ruefully, “I better get going now. I’m due on the bridge in thirty minutes.”

    “I’ll go with you.” Talana interjected as she rose from her chair. “I want to get started on the astrometric scans as soon as possible.” Looking down at the roguish lieutenant, Talana further teased, “And you owe me too, Mr. Bateson.” Her lips turning up into a playful smirk, she then laid out her terms of surrender, “You’re a pretty good dancer...so I think I’ll let you off with just a dance.”

    “You’re both on.” Lieutenant Bateson, a man who well understood when to surrender gracefully, replied to both ladies as they turned to leave. Then, noticing out of the corner of his eye the repeated glances his fellow helmsman kept giving the blonde yeoman sitting a few tables down, he cocked his head a little to the left in a gesture of mild surprise. Although new to the Lexington and her crew, Morgan never remembered Jennifer telling him that Aliz was attracted to women, nor had she shown to him any inclination in that direction. If anything—from what little he had seen and heard from her vivacious—and gossipy—roommate and others, the perceptive navigator had thought that the young Hungarian had something of a crush on the commodore.

    Deciding to test his instincts and to play good Samaritan, Bateson prompted, jerking his head slightly in the direction of the yeoman. “Why don’t you go and introduce yourself? If she’s anything like me, she’s probably new here and would like to meet a friendly face.”

    Aliz’s lips turned up into a grin as she stood up. “That’s not a bad idea. I think I will do just that.”

    Watching as the auburn-haired woman walked away from him, Morgan Bateson shook his head as he noticed that she now appeared to be making a conscious effort to sway her hips, something else that she had previously never done. “Damn.” The young lieutenant sighed as he finished his drink.

    ***********************************************************************

    Star Station Echo: Stardate 54789.31, March 2377

    Glancing down at the antique chronometer sitting on his desk, a treasured memento given to him by an old friend a long time—a lifetime—ago, Rear Admiral Morgan Bateson sighed. It’s time. The still roguish Bateson once again became lost in memories as his eyes turned to a two-dimensional photograph of the Lexington mounted on the paneled wood wall behind his desk next to similar photographs of his first ship, the Kestrel-class border cutter, Merlin, and his last command as a captain, the Soyuz-class, Bozeman. Getting up out of his chair, the admiral made his way to the bar that he kept in the corner of his office. Pouring himself a Saurian brandy, Morgan held the glass out to another of the photos on the wall, this one that of Commodore Paski, the first commanding officer of Star Station Echo.

    “As I recall, you always liked this particular label, Bridgette.” The time-displaced admiral reminisced. “Here’s to the past...” Morgan toasted as he drank the warm liquor.

    Admiral.”

    Setting the glass back down on the bar as his receptionist’s voice snapped him out of his reverie, Bateson tapped his comm badge, “Yes, Ellen?”

    “Captain Rodenko’s here to see you, Sir.”

    “Ok.” The admiral replied as he took a second glass and a bottle of peppered vodka from behind the bar. Pouring the vodka into the two glasses, Morgan instructed the yeoman, “Tell Boris to come on in.”

    *********************************************************************

    USS Lexington: 2267

    “Hello.” Aliz smiled as she eyed the attractive blonde yeoman sitting down at the table drinking her coffee. “My name’s Aliz...mind if I join you?”

    “Please.” The young woman replied with a friendly grin of her own, “I’m Theresa...Theresa Knowles...I just transferred aboard from Starbase 31 and I’m at a total loss here!”

    “Well...” The possessed Aliz offered as she took the chair across from the newcomer, “Welcome aboard and if you want, I’ll be happy to be your guide. Why don’t we start with a tour of the ship after you’ve finished your drink?”

    “Sounds like a good idea to me!” The youthful Theresa responded, her grin growing wider. “So... what’s it like here?”

    Laughing, the Pah-wraith dominated Aliz, hungrily sized up her intended prey as she spoke until, seeing that Theresa had finished her drink, Aliz invited, “I’ll fill you in while we tour the ship. Why don’t we begin now?”

    *********************************************************************

    “Didn’t Aliz seem a little off to you?” Jennifer asked Lieutenant Commander Zha’Thara as the turbolift carried the two women to the bridge.

    “Hmmm...not that I could tell. But then...sometimes it can be hard to read you pinkskins.” Talana replied, her teasing grin taking the sting out of her last remark. “Why?”

    “The way she was constantly glancing at that yeoman...it was like she was checking her out.” The olive-skinned Lieutenant Watley responded, “That’s totally unlike Aliz.”

    Shrugging her shoulders, the Andorian science officer responded, “Maybe she finds her interesting?”

    “I don’t know...” Jennifer demurred, shaking her head. “She’s never shown any interest in a woman before...”

    “Well...” Talana responded with a grin as the turbolift doors slid open to reveal the bridge, “There’s a first time for everything.”

    “Ladies.” Commodore Wesley greeted from the center chair, with just the slightest note of reproach in his voice. “Glad you could join us. Now...if you would please take your stations.”

    “Yes, Sir.” Lieutenant Watley quickly responded as she took her position at one of the science stations while her department head took the other.

    “We’re on station, Sir.” Ensign V’tal, the Vulcan navigator currently on duty, called out from his station.

    “Very good.” The commodore replied as he stared at the viewscreen, his alert eyes at once spotting the distant Betreka Nebula in the background. “Ms. Zha’Thara...you and Ms. Watley can begin your scans now.”

    **********************************************************************

    Star Station Echo: Stardate 54789.31

    “Come in, Boris! Come in!” Admiral Morgan urged as he handed a glass of vodka to the burly Russian captain of the USS Scamp. “I see you’re still waging the battle of the bulge.” The admiral jibed affably as he quaffed down his drink.

    “Da.” Boris grumbled as he brushed back his curly dark hair. “Dr. Vordus’ orders.”

    “Doctors sure know how to ruin a man’s fun, don’t they?” The admiral quipped as he gestured for Rodenko to have a seat. “I need to ask a favor of you, Boris...and it’s a big one.”

    “Of course, Admiral.” The cutter skipper responded, “What do you need?”

    “Normally I’d ask Gabe, but he’s off on patrol right now...besides, once you hear who’s involved, I have a feeling I wouldn’t be able to keep you away from this.” Bateson declared, “I need you to take me to where the Sutherland is currently stationed.”

    His interest immediately piqued, Boris cracked a wide grin, “Are you planning a party or something, Admiral? Not that I’m objecting, of course.”

    “Of course.” A brief smile flashed across Bateson’s face before it was replaced by a concerned frown. “I’m afraid this isn’t a pleasure trip, Boris....”

    “Is everything all right, Sir?” The Russian captain inquired, “Did something happen to the Sutherland or to Denise or Liz?”

    “The Sutherland’s fine, Boris.” The admiral replied, “And so is Denise...”

    “That leaves Elizaveta then.” Rodenko stated, his face now etched by worry. “What sort of trouble did our wayward angel get into this time?”

    “Big trouble.” Bateson replied, “But don’t worry...” the admiral confidently declared, “... she’ll get out of it—with our help.”

    “You sound awfully sure of yourself, Morgan.” The burly cutter skipper said, using the admiral’s first name. “Do you want to tell me what’s going on here?”

    “I can’t.” The admiral answered back, “At least not yet.”

    “Why not?” Rodenko pressed.

    “Temporal Prime Directive.” Admiral Bateson flatly responded.

    Gulping down his vodka, Boris Rodenko sighed, “Bozhe Moi!”
     
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  5. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Things are about to get messy here, methinks. And I'm not just talking about a blood lusting path wraith. Every time somebody invokes the TPD, you know that crazy hijinks are about to ensue.

    Buckle up, folks. This is gonna be a turbulent ride.
     
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  6. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Part 3

    USS Lexington: 2267

    “And that concludes our tour!” Aliz grinned as she and Theresa approached the turbolift.

    “Thank you!’ The young yeoman smiled back, “I think I’m going to enjoy serving here. Everyone seems to be so nice—and you’ve been so kind and helpful.”

    “Don’t mention it.” The possessed Hungarian responded as she guided her charge towards the turbolift. Her eyes momentarily, the pah-wraith baited its trap. “Why don’t come on over to my quarters? I can brew us up some coffee and we can talk...”

    “I don’t know...” the yeoman demurred. “I’m supposed to be on shift in a few hours and I don’t want to make a bad impression with the XO.”

    “Alexei?” Aliz chuckled, “Don’t worry about the Bear. His growl is worse than his bite!” Smiling, the possessed woman further tempted, “I promise you won’t have to worry about missing your shift.”

    “Well...all right.” Theresa conceded, “I guess I could go for a cup or two...”

    “Great.” Aliz replied, her guest misinterpreting the predatory smile she flashed as a friendly grin, “Let’s go.”

    ************************************************************************

    Talana Zha’Thara was bored. As she bent down over her scanner, the lovely Andorian science officer silently bemoaned her fate. Her fellow science officer, Ensign Jennifer Watley, had long ago left and was even now probably on her date with the roguishly handsome young Lieutenant Bateson, while Talana remained stuck on the bridge, scanning barren star fields. As she softly hummed an incredibly bawdy Andorian folk song in a futile effort to dispel her boredom, the sharp-eyed Andorian picked up the faintest of blips. Her senses instantly springing to alertness, Talana, saying a silent prayer of thanks to the gods she didn’t believe in that her request for the improved scanners did come through, refined her probes until her quarry finally revealed itself.

    “Commodore?” Talana called out from her science station, “I’m picking up something on my scanners—49 degrees mark 4—metallic...it’s a space craft. About the size of a standard scout ship...maybe a little smaller.”

    “What sort of power readings are you picking up, Ms. Zha’Thara?” Commodore Wesley inquired as he cupped his chin.

    “Minimal, Sir.” The Andorian science officer replied as she brushed back a lock of white hair. “But steady.”

    “All right.” The commodore decided, “Take us towards it, Mr. Phipps. Warp One.”

    Everyone’s eyes soon became riveted on the Lexington’s main viewscreen as the mysterious craft grew from a mere point of light in the distance, gradually taking shape as the Constitution-class starship drew ever closer until it finally revealed its true appearance.

    “It almost resembles one of our standard shuttles.” Commander Alexei Kuznetsov, the burly Russian first office of the Lexington observed.

    “But much larger...” Commodore Wesley declared, “And take a look at its warp nacelles. We don’t have anything resembling those in service.” Addressing the on-duty helm officer, the commodore ordered, “Magnify.”

    “Aye, sir.” As the youthful ensign moved quickly to comply, the image on the viewscreen shimmered momentarily and then resolved itself in even greater detail.

    “Those are definitely Starfleet markings.” Alexei announced as he pointed at the side trim and decals of the strange craft.

    Seine...” Wesley muttered in a low voice, “I don’t recall any ship officially named Seine.”

    “Could it be a secret project, sir?” Lieutenant Commander Zha’Thara inquired.

    “Possibly...” Wesley allowed, “Or it could be something else...” taking a deep breath as he contemplated the possibility that had sprung into his mind, the amateur pugilist continued, “...and if it is what I think it is, then we’re going to have to be very careful about this.”

    “Sir!” Talana interjected from her position at the sciences station. Ignoring the stern look given her by the executive officer, the blue-skinned Andorian continued, “I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’m picking up a life sign—human. It’s weak...but stable.”

    “All right.” Commodore Wesley replied, reacting decisively, “Ms. Zha’Thara...I want you, Dr. Vincent...and...” cupping his chin, the commodore ran off a quick mental checklist before nodding his head in quiet satisfaction, “...Lieutenant Bateson...to board that ship. See about the condition of that pilot and what you can find out.” Pausing for a moment, the commodore added, sounding a cautionary note, “...and one other thing...I want all communications between your landing party and the ship to use Code Three—understood?”

    “Aye, sir.” The Andorian woman instantly responded, her roguish delight in disrupting young lieutenant Bateson’s evening out instantly dispelled as she saw the stern, no-nonsense look on her commanding officer’s face, “Code Three.”

    **********************************************************************

    “That’s a good one, Morgan.” Lieutenant Jennifer Watley remarked as she chuckled at the slightly off-color joke told to her by her date for the evening. “Although I’m not sure that’s anatomically possible...”

    “You’re forgetting...” Bateson jibed back, “...he was part Alleran—and you know Allerans are contortionists!”

    “All right! All right! You got me!” Jennifer conceded as she took a sip of red wine. Smiling, she traced the rim of her glass with her finger as she regarded the man sitting opposite her, “You know, Morgan...it’s been a long time since I’ve had so much fun...”

    “The night’s still young, you know...” Bateson grinned, propositioning, “We could go to the observation deck or take a walk in the arboretum...”

    “Hmmm...sounds good...” Jennifer replied with a smile, “I remember you mentioning something about watching the Nebula...”

    Unfortunately, just then the intercom chimed, its message putting an abrupt end to the young couple’s evening. “Lieutenant Bateson...” Commander Kuznetsov’s deep baritone voice intoned, “You are to report to Transporter Room One as soon as possible. Acknowledge.”

    “Better do as he says.” Jennifer warned with a rueful grin. “When the Bear says, ‘As soon as possible’, he means ten minutes ago.”

    “Oh well...” Morgan sighed as he tapped the wall mounted intercom to acknowledge the executive officer’s orders. “Can I walk you to your quarters?”

    “No.” Jennifer smiled back, “I’ll be fine. You better get a move on though, if you know what’s good for you.”

    ************************************************************************

    “Come in!” Aliz urged, guiding her guest into the quarters she shared with Ensign Watley. “My roommate’s out for the evening—she won’t be back until late. Sit down.” The possessed Hungarian urged, steering Theresa towards a chair facing opposite the tiny kitchenette. “I’ll put the coffee on.”

    “No!” Aliz screamed from her mental prison, “I won’t do it! I won’t let you do it!”

    “You act as if you have a choice.” The pah-wraith laughed back. “She looks so delicious...so rich...I hunger so...her essence will taste so divine...”

    “NO!”

    “YES!”

    “Thank you.” The youthful blonde replied as she gratefully sat down. Spotting the medallion hanging on Aliz’s bedpost, she exclaimed, “That’s beautiful! What is it?”“It’s a family heirloom.” Aliz called back as the pah-wraith forced the young woman it had taken over to take the sharp kitchen knife on the counter in her hands. “It’s supposed to be cursed.” She laughed as she returned several moments later with a steaming mug of coffee in her right hand and the knife hidden behind her back in the other. “Here.” Aliz said as she offered the mug to her intended victim.

    “What about you? Aren’t you going to join me.” Theresa asked.

    “Of course, I am.” Aliz grinned back, her grin taking on an almost feral quality. “You have no idea how thirsty I am... I just wanted you to have yours first, I’ll have mine in just a moment.”

    “Oh...ok. Thanks.” The young yeoman smiled as she took a sip of the fresh brewed coffee, not paying Aliz any mind as she positioned herself behind her. “You were telling me about your heirloom...that it was cursed?” Theresa asked, her curiosity growing.

    “Please!” Aliz pleaded from her prison, her eyes momentarily flashing their natural color as she mounted one last push to regain her mind. “Don’t make me do this!”

    “So easy...” The pah-wraith exulted as it easily beat back the young Hungarian’s last valiant effort. As Aliz’s eyes flashed a brilliant red, she raised her knife over her hapless victim and struck, jabbing the blade into the woman’s back. Laughing at the shocked look on the face of the still alive young woman’s face, the pah-wraith sneered at her host, “You thought to spare her life by deflecting my strike, but your actions will only increase her torment. Forcing Aliz to drag Theresa to the bathroom, the pah-wraith first stripped the yeoman. Then, she trussed her and hanged her upside down over the bathtub. Slashing Theresa’s wrists, the pah-wraith watched in satisfaction as the youth’s blood slowly dripped into the tub. Stripping off her own clothing, Aliz slipped into the tub and laid down in the growing pool of blood. Her red eyes glowing brightly, the pah-wraith ever so slowly and delicately began to partake of Yeoman Theresa Knowles’ soul as her host bathed in her blood.

    *********************************************************************

    Materializing on the tiny runabout transporter pad, the three Lexington officers, their eyes adjusting to the low light, quickly stepped off the pad. Bateson stepped off first, with his phaser one at the ready with both Talana and Dr. Charles Vincent, the Lexington’s chief surgeon, flanking him, their tricorders already running.

    “I’m picking up some unusual particle readings.” Talana announced as she glanced down at her tricorder. “I don’t think I’ve seen or heard of anything like them.”

    “Wonder if we can get the lights going.” Lieutenant Bateson jokingly uttered as the lights came on in answer to his request. “Well...that was convenient.” The young officer jibed as the trio made their way towards the front of the runabout. Putting his phaser away, Bateson remarked, “It’s got Starfleet lines...no question about that.”

    “Yeah.” Talana agreed, “But...look at how smooth and sleek everything looks.”

    “Tell me about it.” Dr. Vincent replied. Then, seeing a blonde woman wearing little more than a negligee slumped over what appeared to be the pilot’s chair, he quickly rushed over, his medical tricorder at the ready. “Definitely human.” The doctor announced as he passed his diagnostic scanner over the woman’s body. “Her readings are weak, but stable. At once spotting a large bruise on the woman’s forehead, he surmised, “I’d say she was probably thrown towards the control panel and that’s what knocked her out.” Taking out his communicator, the balding doctor flipped it open, “Two to beam up straight to sickbay—one injured human, unconscious, stable condition.”

    “Confirmed, Dr. Vincent.” Lieutenant Cilla Oudekirk responded.

    Watching as Dr. Vincent dematerialized along with his patient, Talana turned towards the navigation officer standing beside her. “Why don’t you see if you can figure out this control panel while I see what I can dig up on what sort of ship this is and maybe figure out who that woman is.”

    “Whoever she is...” Morgan grinned, remembering the woman’s state of dress...or lack thereof...as he observed the broken champagne bottle, glasses, and crystal cooler, “...it looked like she was planning on having a good time.”

    “I’d say so...” Talana smirked back, “So... what do you make of the controls.”

    “They seem pretty intuitive.” The young navigator responded as he made himself home in the chair that the woman occupying the craft had sat on. “Looks like a touch control interface. And again...” he noted with a raised eyebrow, “...it has a Starfleet pattern—only more polished.”

    “If this is a Starfleet vessel...” Talana declared as she sat down in a vacant chair in front of what she hoped was a computer monitor, “...then it’s one of the best kept secrets in the Fleet...”

    “Or...” Morgan ventured, “...it’s not one of ours...”

    “Or...” Talana even further hypothesized, “...it’s something else entirely. Now...” she grinned as she turned her attention towards the monitor screen, “...let’s hope this computer is voice activated. Computer? What is your functionality?”

    “I am fully functional.” The female voice responded.

    “Well...that’s good.” A slightly surprised Talana responded. “What is the name of this vessel and who is in command?”

    “This is the Federation runabout Seine, currently assigned to USS Sutherland, registry NCC-72015, under the command of Captain Elizabeth Shelby.” Both Talana and Morgan’s heads jerked up on hearing the registry number and the name of the captain.

    “I’ve never heard of a Captain Elizabeth Shelby. Have you?” Talana remarked, her antennae twitching slightly in a manner that indicated a mixture of confusion and doubt.

    “No. And her name should stand out.” Lieutenant Bateson shook his head, “After all, there aren’t a whole lot of female captains in the Fleet right now.”

    “Yeah...” Talana replied with a derisive snort, her antennae leaning forward in an obvious gesture of scorn. “I wonder why that is?”

    “Uh...yeah...” Morgan stammered as he quickly changed the subject. “When did she take command of this Sutherland? The last ship I remember named Sutherland was one of the later NXs...”

    “Computer?” Talana queried, “When did Captain Shelby take command of the Sutherland and provide details on the Sutherland.”

    USS Sutherland, NCC-72015 is a Nebula-class cruiser built at the San Francisco Fleet Yards. Construction on the Sutherland was completed on stardate 37868.92. Captain Shelby took command of USS Sutherland on Stardate 49573.6 under the orders of Admiral Richard Leyton, Head of Starfleet Command.”

    “If that computer is telling the truth...” Lieutenant Bateson stated in a hushed tone, “That would mean that the Sutherland was...will be...constructed in 2360 and this Captain Shelby took...will take...command in 2371.”

    “Oh Hells!” Lieutenant Commander Zha’Thara gasped, “That’ll be all, computer.” Talana quickly ordered as she took out her communicator and flipped it open while Lieutenant Bateson sat in stunned silence. “Zha’Thara to Commodore Wesley.”

    “Wesley here. What is it, Talana?”

    “Sir?” The Andorian science officer sighed, “We have a problem—a big problem.”

    “What sort of problem, Commander?”

    “I think, sir.” Talana replied in a soft voice, “That you might want to hear this in private.”

    “Very well, Ms. Zha’Thara.” Wesley responded as he pivoted in his chair to face his communications officer, “Ms. Oudekirk? Route Ms. Zha’Thara’s transmission to Conference Room One.” Turning his attention back to his science officer, the commodore declared as he sprung out of his chair, “Ms. Zha’Thara? Give me three minutes.”

    After the commodore had ended the transmission, Lieutenant Bateson cleared his throat, “What do we do, Talana?”

    “We do nothing.” The Andorian science officer replied in an assertive tone. “We don’t touch anything...we don’t read anything. We wait until the commodore contacts us again.”
     
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  7. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Yikes! Things got gruesome quickly here. That's just some powerful imagery you evoke, right out of the horror-movie staple.

    As for Shelby, next time she may wish to consider to change into 'sexy-time' attire after arriving at her destination. After all, you never know when you're going to get caught, quite literally, with your drawers down. Awkward.

    Not as bad of course as the Temporal PD nightmare she and Wesley have just stumbled on.
     
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