Sutherland/Lexington: Blood Cries

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

  1. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    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.
    DarKush and SolarisOne like this.
  2. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    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 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.”


    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, “’ll give you and your friend time to get to know our new navigator. Speaking of 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 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
    CeJay likes this.
  3. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    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.
    DavidFalkayn likes this.
  4. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    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, “ 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 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.


    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 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’ 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 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    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.
    DavidFalkayn likes this.
  6. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    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—’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 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,’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 rich...I hunger so...her essence will taste so divine...”



    “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 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 he observed the broken champagne bottle, glasses, and crystal cooler, “ 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, “ 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, “’s not one of ours...”

    “Or...” Talana even further hypothesized, “’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 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    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.
    DavidFalkayn likes this.
  8. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Part 4

    “I see...” Commodore Wesley replied, his brow furrowed as he grimly digested the news his science officer and navigator had communicated to him about the Seine and its mystery occupant. “You made the right call, Talana. You and Lieutenant Bateson beam back to the Lexington immediately. We’ll tractor the Seine into the hangar bay and I’ll take it from there.”

    “Aye, sir.” Lieutenant Commander Zha’Thara acknowledged. Turning to the young lieutenant still sitting at the pilot’s console, the Andorian woman nodded her head, “You heard the man, Morgan. Time to go. Our work here is done—for now at least.”

    Striding on to the bridge, Commodore Wesley’s attention was at once focused on the spacecraft from the future now hovering in the viewscreen front and center as he sat down in the high-backed center seat his first officer had just vacated. Addressing the helmsman on duty, a stern-faced, glowering Arbizan male, Wesley ordered, “Ensign Resto...lock a tractor beam on that craft and bring it into the shuttle bay.” Not even pausing long enough for the ensign’s acknowledgement, Wesley tapped the intercom button on his chair arm, “Lieutenant Mtolo? I want a security detail posted around the Seine the moment it sets down in the shuttle bay. No one is to enter that craft without my express authorization—and that includes you and your security team—understood?”

    “Understood, sir.” The Zulu security chief affirmed, his eyebrows slightly raised at the emphatic tone in the commodore’s voice.

    Watching as the ship that his science officer had earlier informed him was classed as a ‘runabout’ was being gently pulled towards his starship, the commodore took a data slate containing the last shift’s status report from a pretty and petite dark-skinned yeoman. Initialing the report, Wesley handed the slate back to the yeoman before speaking to his executive officer, “Alexei? That yeoman was on duty last shift, wasn’t she? Where’s her relief?”

    “Yeoman Knowles has not reported in as yet, Sir.” The Bear grumbled, his expression a mixture of embarrassment and irritation.

    “Hmmm...” the commodore responded, his vocalization indicating more than words his displeasure, “Wasn’t she one of the new replacements who just reported aboard?”

    “Da.” Alexei replied, his voice tone making clear his displeasure at the yeoman’s tardiness.

    “Not the way to make a first impression.” The commodore noted as he regarded his executive officer.

    “Nyet, sir. It is not.” An embarrassed Bear agreed, promising, “I will take of it. It won’t happen again.”


    As soon as he and his patient had rematerialized in the Lexington’s sickbay, Dr. Vincent began working. With one eye constantly watching the display of the woman’s vitals on the biobed’s instrument panel, the New England born doctor carefully examined his patient.

    “Her condition seems to be stable doctor and she appears to be getting stronger.” The Caitan nurse observed, her voice coming out almost as a purr.

    “Good.” He murmured, nodding his head in satisfaction as the readings settled into a constant steady rhythm. “Let’s do a quick check to see what sort of immunizations or such she might have, shall we?” Passing his diagnostic scanner over the blonde woman, the doctor’s forehead raised slightly. “That’s interesting. Besides what looks like a standard Starfleet contraceptive injection, it appears that she’s received a very wide spectrum of immunizations—everything we have in our medical cabinet, plus what appears to be some new ones that I don’t know.”

    “Doctor?” The nurse called out, “Have a look over here.” She indicated, lifting a small portion of the patient’s negligee to reveal her side.

    “She was definitely injured there—I’d say something along the lines of a phaser or disruptor only worse.” Dr. Vincent observed, “And someone had to perform fairly extensive surgery and dermal regeneration.” A low whistle escaping the physician’s lips, he remarked, “Whoever that doctor was, does good work. I missed it completely and the only reason why I think you spotted it was because of your keener vision, Lieutenant M’rrel.” Pausing for a moment, the doctor then stated, “I want to take some skin, hair, and blood samples for a DNA and genetic analysis, Nurse. Let’s see if we can get a better idea of who our mystery patient is.”


    USS Sutherland: 2377

    Sutherland is hailing us, sir.” Commander Ronata Vribb, the Scamp’s new executive officer, a Bolian, said as Captain Boris Rodenko and his guest, Rear Admiral Morgan Bateson, walked out of the turbolift and on to the bridge of the Albacore-class border cutter.

    “Thank you, Commander.” The Commissar replied in a low rumble as he sat down in the center chair. “Put them through on the main viewer.” Almost immediately, the image of the large Nebula-class starship was quickly replaced by that of its bridge, centering on a slender dark-haired attractive man with a roguish grin sitting in the captain’s chair.

    “Captain Rodenko! Admiral Bateson” The executive officer and acting captain of the Sutherland, Commander Sam Lavelle smiled, “I must admit, this is something of a surprise. What can we do for you?”

    “Heard from Captain Shelby lately, Sam?” Admiral Bateson asked, the weight in his words conflicting with the genial smile on his face as he made his inquiry.

    “No, sir.” The Canadian XO replied, “Not since yesterday. But then we weren’t really expecting to.” A sly grin crossing his face, Sam explained, “She was planning on meeting up with Jason and Sandy on Risa and well...”

    “Yes...” Bateson quickly interjected as a grin crossed Boris’s face as well. “I think I get the picture.” His smile vanishing, the admiral then declared, “I know you guys are supposed to be on your way to Risa to meet up with Captain Shelby to enjoy some R and R of your own, but I’m afraid we’re going to have to rain on your parade.”

    His expression all business now as well, Lavelle quickly responded, “What’s up, sir?”

    “Boris and I’ll explain it to you when we beam on board, Sam.” The admiral replied. “We’ll also need your tactical officer at the meeting as well.”

    “Anyone else, sir?”

    “No...” Bateson answered back with a shake of his head, “Not yet. Right now, the fewer who know, the better.”

    “Aye, sir.” A confused Sam Lavelle, “When can we expect you aboard.”

    Noticing at once the mixture of concern and puzzlement on the younger officer’s face, Morgan flashed him a reassuring grin, “I’ll explain everything when we come on board, Sam. See you in ten minutes.” Bateson responded as he terminated the transmission. Looking down at the Commissar, the admiral grinned, “Well, ready.”

    “Da.” Captain Rodenko replied, muttering under his breath as the two officers departed the bridge, “Now maybe I will finally find out what’s going on here as well.”


    USS Lexington: 2267

    With a practiced eye, Commodore Robert Wesley walked around the craft from the future sitting in the middle of his hangar deck, nodding his head approvingly at its smooth lines and features.

    “She sure is pretty, isn’t she, sir?”

    Smiling and nodding his head in agreement, the commodore, pausing his inspection tour, turned towards his security chief. “That she is, Lieutenant.” Jerking his head towards the craft, the commodore further inquired, “Anything unusual?”

    “No, sir.” The Zulu officer replied with a shake of his head. “Had to chase off a couple of lookee-loos amongst the deck hands, but otherwise, nothing out of the ordinary.”

    Chuckling, Wesley rejoined, “Can’t really blame ‘em I guess.”

    “No, sir.” Lieutenant Mtolo smiled back, “Got to admit—I’m kind of curious to see what’s inside there, myself.”

    Flashing a rueful grin, the commodore answered back, “I understand, Nealo...I’m sorry I can’t let you come in with me, but...”

    “But it might not be a good idea....” The security chief completed, nodding his head, “I understand, sir. Still...” Nealo said, his brilliant white teeth flashing as he smiled, “I’d appreciate it if you should find out who’s going to win this year’s Pareses Squares tournament you let me know...I’ll cut you in on a piece of the action.”

    “I’ll think about it.” Wesley laughed as he approached what appeared to be an entrance door. “Hope they haven’t changed things too much.” The commodore grinned as he pressed a button to the side. “Well it’s good to know that some things never change,” he grinned as the door slid open and he stepped through, “I’ll see you later, Nealo.”


    “Hello Cilla.” Jennifer said with a polite smile as she greeted the willowy blonde Dutch communications officer in the corridor. “Going to or from work?”

    “From.” The communications officer replied in an equally polite voice. “My shift ended ten minutes ago.”

    Eaten up with curiosity, the dark-haired science officer forced herself to smile at the woman who had grown to become her rival for the affections of the ship’s absent regular navigator, Lieutenant, junior grade Terrence Lawford. “So... dish! What’s going on? Why were Morgan and Talana called for landing party duty? What did they find?”

    Cilla answered back tersely with just a hint of irritation in her voice at having to answer the same question numerous times, “Sorry, I can’t talk about it. Commodore’s orders.”

    “All right.” Jennifer replied with an exasperated sigh as she stifled a yawn. “I’m off to bed. I’ll see you later.”


    The first thing that struck Commodore Wesley as he entered the forward section of the Seine was its mixture of elegant simplicity, comfort, and function. Nodding his head in approval, the commodore approached what his science chief had informed him was a computer console. “Computer.” Robert commanded, “Play all unsecure communications recorded for the days beginning with the first transmission and proceeding to the last.”

    The computer screen which had shown what the commodore had assumed to have been the 24th century version of the Starfleet emblem, a somewhat sleeker and more stylish image of the Enterprise’s insignia, Wesley noted, disappeared at once to be replaced by the image of a man in his early thirties wearing a black uniform with grey trim and what looked like a red shirt underneath with three gold pips on the collar.

    “Take care of my ship, Sammy, and I’ll see you next week at Risa.” Wesley listened quietly as he heard a female voice, at once both impish and commanding speak.

    “Will do, Betts.” The man answered back with a grin. “Say hi to Jason and Sandy when you see them and tell Jason that I just got the latest holovid of him and the Maia 3s from their Andoria concert.”

    Smiling as he remembered similar conversations with his old XO on the Ajax, Lieutenant Commander Stavros Papadopoulos, a Greek with unruly dark hair who always found a way to enjoy life to its fullest, Wesley listened quietly as his female counterpart and her first officer discussed various aspects of ship’s business until, as the conversation began to drift towards ‘Sammy’s’ current involvement with one of the ship’s officers, the commodore ordered, “ message.”

    Robert listened quietly to the next pair of messages—routine status reports and another check-in with the Sutherland, until the penultimate message was reached. Taking a deep breath as the image of a lovely and curvaceous blonde woman wearing next to nothing appeared on the viewscreen, the worldly commodore coughed as the gist of the two women’s conversation became almost immediately apparent. “ final message.” Wesley quickly ordered, exhaling audibly as the blonde woman was replaced by a male wearing what appeared to be a tunic.

    “Risan Control to Seine. We have you on our scanners. You are cleared to assume parking orbit in sector three zero six. Enjoy your stay on Risa, Captain Shelby.

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

    “From what source?”

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

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

    “...One. Impact.”


    Yawning, Watley pressed the button next to the door of the quarters that she shared with Aliz. Aliz must be asleep. Jennifer thought as she entered the unlit room. Her eyes adjusting, the lovely brunette glanced down at her roommate’s bed only to find it unoccupied and still in pristine condition, with the medallion that she always wore hanging from a bedpost. Seeing a dim light coming from the bathroom and then hearing first a dripping sound followed shortly afterwards by the sound of splashing, Jennifer smiled as she called out, “Aliz? You in there?” Hearing no response, the olive-skinned beauty shouted out again to her friend as she began to make her way towards the bathroom, “Aliz? Hope you don’t mind, but I’m coming in. I gotta pee or I’m gonna burst!”

    Jennifer froze as her eyes fell upon the sight that greeted her once the bathroom door slid open. The yeoman that Aliz had apparently been eyeing earlier hung naked upside down over the bathtub, her lifeless body twisting gently around, the young woman’s eyes open, her mouth frozen wide open in horror, her blonde hair hanging down. Almost as if they had a will of their own, Jennifer’s vision slowly panned down until she gazed upon her roommate, lying in the tub, just as if she were enjoying a bubble-bath, the young woman’s blood coating her skin in a fine red film.

    Her dinner beginning to come back up from her stomach as her nostrils picked up a sickly-sweet smell, Jennifer croaked, her voice barely above a whisper as she forced the word out, “A...A...Aliz?”

    As her roommate’s head turned slowly to face her, the first thing Jennifer noticed were her eyes. They glowed bright red. The second thing she saw was her grin. An evil, cold, predatory smile that froze the young science officer in place as Jennifer did the only thing she could. She screamed. Loud. And then nothing.
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  9. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    Boy oh boy, Trek meets the Exocist. And then some.

    Chilling visual!
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  10. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Part 5

    “Doctor! The patient! She’s regaining consciousness!” Nurse M’rrel called out as the life sign readings above Captain Shelby’s biobed began to pick up.

    His concentration focused on the results of the genetic analysis of his new patient, Dr. Vincent almost didn’t hear his nurse’s call until she repeated it.

    “Doctor! She’s waking up!”

    Jerking his head up at the news, Charles, his work temporarily forgotten, practically leaped out of his seat as he rushed over to where his blonde patient lay. Nodding in satisfaction as he saw her eyes fluttering, the doctor smiled down on the petite woman. “Hello. I’m Doctor Charles Vincent and you’re on board the USS Lexington.”

    Lexington?” Liz repeated in a soft voice as she tried to focus, without success, on the face of the man who was speaking to her.

    “Don’t worry...” the balding doctor said in a soothing voice, “Your vision’s a little blurry and you’re a little disoriented right now due to some of the medication we had to give you, but you’ll be back to normal soon. Can you tell me who you are?”

    “Yeah.” Liz replied, managing a shaky grin, “I’m Captain Elizabeth Shelby, commanding the Sutherland. “Where’s Captain Sovak?”

    “Who? Charles asked.

    “Captain Sovak.” The blonde captain said again, “Last I heard, he’s still the Lexie’s captain.”

    “There’s no Captain Sovak here.” Charles replied, “Commodore Robert Wesley is the Lexington’s commanding officer.”

    Liz let out a breath of air on hearing that name. “No...” she shook her head protesting weakly, “...that’s not can’t be...” Her eyes rolling, the blonde starship captain moaned, “My nagyapa died before I was even born!”

    His eyes widening on hearing his patient’s words, Dr. Vincent turned quickly to the nurse standing next to him, “Lieutenant? Prep a vitamin shot for Captain Shelby.” Turning his attention back to the woman lying on the bed, Charles managed a shaky grin, “Nurse M’rrel will take good care of you, Ma’am.” Returning to his desk, the New England doctor quickly called up Commodore Wesley’s files. “Computer?” Charles commanded, “Rename patient Jane Doe to Elizabeth Shelby, presumptive rank, Captain, Starfleet. Compare Captain Shelby’s DNA and genetic records with those for Commodore Robert Wesley. Query: Are Captain Shelby and Commodore Wesley related?”

    Dr. Vincent watched in silence as colored lights flashed and blinked on his computer console until finally the computer’s tinny female voice responded, “A comparison of the DNA and genetic scans of Elizabeth Shelby and Commodore Robert Wesley indicate a 99.99% chance that they are related.”

    “State the nature of their relationship.” Vincent then ordered.

    “99.99% probability Elizabeth Shelby is the grandchild of Commodore Robert Wesley.”

    “Damn.” Charles swore as he glanced back at his patient resting quietly in her bed, “God damn.”


    “Don’t do this! Please!” A heartsick Aliz cried out from inside her mental cocoon as her naked blood-soaked physical form stood over the unconscious body of her roommate. You don’t need to—you’ve had your fill. The psychically imprisoned Hungarian woman pleaded, the tiniest part of her recalling fondly the orgasmic sensations that she had felt from the pah-wraith’s draining of the poor unfortunate woman’s life force washing over her, wanting to experience it again, even as the rest of her recoiled in revulsion.

    Picking up at once on her host’s stray emotions, the pah-wraith gloated, “Ah! Just as your ancestor! That part of you that dwells within craves the power I bring.” Forcing her host to pick up the bloody knife lying on the floor, the pah-wraith urged, “Strike! Willingly! And that joy you felt will be ten—no—a thousand-fold." Her hand tightening around the hilt of the blade, Aliz waged a two-front psychic war with both the pah-wraith, and, even more dangerous, with the darker part of her own soul. The young Hungarian looked down on her roommate and best friend, her throat laid bare, just waiting for the slash of her blade. Then, just as Aliz was about to draw the blade down on her prey, she froze.

    “So...” The pah-wraith sneered, “a part of you still resists. But it is weaker. Soon enough, that part of you that craves what I can bring will overwhelm that other part of you. No matter how much you fight it, you will eventually submit.” But, just before Aliz’s unwilling hand could deliver the killing blow, the pah-wraith paused. “Wait! There is another! Yes!” The entity declared as she forced her host to walk away from the woman lying helpless on the floor. “Once I absorb her soul and his, I will be unstoppable. Nothing will be able to prevent me from attaining the Orb and reentering the Celestial Temple!”


    Still naked and coated with blood, Aliz stepped out into the crowded starship corridor, the bloody knife still in her hand. Ignoring the gasps and screams from the panicked crew scurrying to get out of her way, the possessed Hungarian woman deliberately made her way towards her ultimate destination—Sickbay. A security officer, seeing the naked, bloody woman and recognizing her, called out, “Aliz! What the hell? Hold up!” Ignoring the man, Aliz continued on her way, only to be stopped by a hard, calloused hand on her shoulder. “Aliz...” the man declared in a firm voice, “I told you to stop. What is...”

    Before he could finish his next words, the security guard found himself gasping for air as an invisible force seemed to be choking the life out of him. As he struggled for each breath of air, his blood froze as he gazed into Aliz’s fiery, almost incandescent, red eyes. As he slipped into unconsciousness, the entity possessing Aliz released her victim, allowing him to live thanks in no small part to the persistent resistance offered by her host. You are strong. The pah-wraith acknowledged, but in the end…like your ancestor…you will submit.

    Like hell! Aliz countered as the entity controlling her body turned her back on the security officer without uttering a single word or altering her expression in the slightest, and again began to trek towards the turbolift as crewmembers moved with even greater speed to get out of the Hungarian woman’s way, those too slow being casually flung to the side with but a thought until finally, reaching the turbolift, she tossed the two women exiting it out of her way as she forced her way in.


    “Commodore? We have a problem!” Hearing Lieutenant Mtolo’s voice calling out to him, Commodore Wesley rushed to the runabout’s open entrance.

    “What is it Nealo?” Wesley inquired.

    “Security alert, Sir.” The Zulu security chief quickly responded. “It’s Lieutenant Bathory. She’s apparently gone insane.”

    “What?” A disbelieving Robert responded, his mouth agape.

    “Yes, sir.” The security officer somberly affirmed. “She was last seen naked and covered with blood, carrying a knife, entering the turbolift on Deck Eight. She’s wounded several crew.” Pausing for a moment, Nealo continued, “Sir...witnesses say that when she knocked out Ensign Tyree, she didn’t even touch him. She just looked at him and the next thing they knew he was acting like he was being choked and then he was flying down the corridor.”

    “Order a general security alert.” Wesley reluctantly ordered, “Tell your people to lock their phasers on heavy stun but to take no chances. If they see her, they are to immediately stun her.”

    “Aye, Sir.” Nealo acknowledged as he rushed to carry out the commodore’s orders. Just then, Wesley’s communicator beeped.

    Flipping the communicator open, the commodore answered in a grim voice, “This is Wesley, go.”

    “Sir.” The deep voice of the Lexington’s executive officer replied, “Lieutenant Bathory has just been seen outside the turbolift on Deck Six. It appears that she’s headed for sickbay.”

    “Right.” Robert affirmed, his mouth a grim line, “I’m on my way. Meet me there.”

    “I’m almost there.” The Bear responded. “Let us hope we can stop her without killing her.”

    “Amen to that, Alexei.” Robert replied in a soft voice as he came to quick decision. “Transporter room. This is Commodore Wesley. I want you to initiate a ship-to-ship beaming...”

    “Sir?” The astonished transporter chief croaked, “You know that’s very risky.”

    “I don’t care!” Robert fired back, causing the hapless chief to recoil from the speaker at his station on hearing his normally even-tempered CO’s harsh response. Breathing deeply, Wesley continued in an evener tone. “I know it’s risky chief. But lives might be on the line here and every second counts. I need you to beam me from where I am now to sickbay and I need you to do it as quickly as possible.”

    “Aye, sir.” The chief reluctantly responded. “It’ll take me a couple of seconds though—for this to work, I have to get the coordinates exactly right.”

    “Then get started on it and stop wasting time telling me about it.” The commodore ordered, his eyes revealing the deep feelings rushing through his mind as he continually asked himself one question, “Why?”


    Hearing a crash outside the sickbay doors, Dr. Vincent called out testily to the nurse currently tending to his unusual patient, Nurse M’rrel? What the hell is going on...”

    Before he could finish his sentence, the door slid open to reveal a naked blood-spattered Aliz Bathory wielding a large knife caked with blood and gore. “Wha...” Charles stammered only to find himself thrown against an instrument cart. Nurse M’rrel, unfortunately, faired much worse. With a feline growl, the Caitan nurse, her claws bared, pounced on the petite Hungarian woman, only to be thrown aside with just a glance. Charles watched helplessly as Aliz raised her free hand, causing the nurse to rise up into the air. Walking slowly towards her frozen prey, Aliz, brandishing her knife, slashed once...then twice...severing first the Caitan’s uniform and then her bare chest. The young woman, tracing a finger on the bloody chest, then smirked as she sampled the poor nurse’s blood before flinging her against a bulkhead, knocking her unconscious. Laughing as the nurse slumped to the deck, Aliz turned her attention next to the orderlies cowering behind a biobed, casually tossing them outside the door with a mere wave of her hand as she looked down on the hapless doctor. Dismissing him with a derisive snort, the possessed woman turned her attention on the physician’s still disoriented patient. Smiling, the pah-wraith spoke through her host, “Now I shall be complete.”


    “She’s inside...” Nurse Gomez sobbed as Alexei and Nealo rushed towards the open sickbay door. “Something’s happened to her...she’s a God...”

    “Take care of them.” Nealo ordered the two security troopers accompanying him and the first officer. Readying his phaser, the Zulu officer asked, “Ready, Sir.”

    “Da.” Alexei replied in a grim voice, “Now!”

    Bursting into sickbay, phasers at the ready, the two officers froze as Aliz turned to face them. To his shock and horror, Nealo found that he could not press the firing button of the phaser two in his hand. Then, the Zulu warrior was airborne, flying through the sickbay door to land with a thud against the corridor wall. Turning her attention to the burly Russian XO, Aliz smirked as she flung the phaser he was carrying out of his hand with but a thought. Crooking her finger, the possessed woman ordered, “Come here.” His body no longer his own, the Bear found himself walking towards the blood-soaked lieutenant until he came to a halt in front of her. “Like what you see?” She teased as she thrust her bloody bare chest out. “If you’re nice...” she purred as she easily pulled the much stronger Russian’s head down and then kissed him hungrily on the lips while smearing the blood of Lieutenant M’rrel on his face, “I might keep you around and play with you for a while. For now, though...why don’t you just stay there and enjoy the show.”

    Forcing down the fear rising within him, Dr. Vincent looked about the scattered vials on the floor around him until, finding what he needed, a slight smile appeared on his lips. Taking advantage of the Hungarian woman’s preoccupation with Commander Kuznetsov, Charles loaded the contents of the vial into a hypospray. He now had a plan. All he needed was the opportunity to put it into action.

    “Now, my dear. Where were we? Oh, yes...” Her eyes glowing bright red, the possessed Hungarian brandished her bloody knife as she leaned over the blonde lying on the bed. “This won’t hurt...” she whispered as she kissed Liz on the cheek, “...much.”

    Turning rapidly as she heard the hum of a transporter, Aliz smiled as Commodore Wesley materialized, phaser in his hand. “Well...well...a family reunion.”

    “What are you talking about?” Robert demanded as he tried in vain to fire his weapon. “Aliz...what’s going on?” The commodore asked, softening his tone as he tried to step forward only to find himself frozen in place. Seeing Alexei in a similar situation, the grey-haired commodore inquired, “What did you do to Commander Kuznetsov?”

    “Don’t worry about him.” The possessed Aliz smirked, “I’m going to take very good care of him. He might even live long enough to reach where I’m going. But you...” the petite Hungarian laughed, “...I have plans for you!” With that, Aliz’s eyes flashed as her gaze locked on the commodore’s.

    Feeling his life force beginning to pull away from him, Robert fought with all his might, calling forth his memories of Virginia to strengthen him, but to no avail. Laughing, Aliz gloated, “This is delicious! So ironic! You seek to find strength in that which is no longer there.”

    Weakening, Robert pleaded, “Aliz...please...I don’t know what’s happened to you...what’s possessed you...but we can help you beat it.” Feeling the pull of his life force ebbing away decreasing just the slightest, Wesley pressed his plea, “Remember what I told you a long time ago? Never underestimate the power of hope. It can keep you going when you’ve got nothing else. I’ll never give up hope in you, Aliz. This I promise. Together we can get through this.”

    The pah-wraith, feeling her host fighting back even harder, redoubled her efforts. Wracked with pain, Robert, sunk to his knees, calling out in his agony, “Aliz!”

    Her ears hearing Wesley’s scream of anguish, Liz Shelby shaking off the last bit of haze in her eyes, saw first to her shock, someone looking very much like her grandfather on his knees crying out in pain before a blood-soaked naked woman. “Poppy?” She called out weakly, “Is that you? It can’t be.” Then, vaguely remembering the conversation she had had just recently with Dr. Vincent, the starship captain reemerged, “What the hell’s going on here?”

    Distracted by the voice coming from behind her, Aliz turned her head just as Wesley slipped off into unconsciousness. “’re awake now. Don’t worry, my dear. I’ll get back to you as soon as I finish with your grandfather.”

    Seeing now the face of her grandmother, Liz gasped, “Nagyanya? Is that really you, grandmother?”

    Shocked at hearing those words, yet at the same time feeling an invisible connection towards the woman lying on the bed, Aliz mustered all of her psychic energy and strength for a final last-ditch effort to regain her soul. Pushing with all her might, she felt the pah-wraith begin to yield. Summoning up the last remnants of her will, Aliz finally broke through.

    Unaware of the war being waged inside of the young Hungarian woman, Charles watched in rapt fascination as Aliz’s eyes transformed back to their lovely sea-green from the fiery red that they had been. Dropping the knife in her hands, the Hungarian woman begged, “Stop me! Kill me, please! It’s too strong!”

    Acting quickly, Dr. Vincent, leaping to his feet, jammed the hypospray against the tormented woman’s neck, injecting its contents into her bloodstream. Catching her as she slumped to the deck, Charles gingerly carried her to a biobed. Laying her down gently, the doctor tied his tormented patient down with the strongest restraints he could find. Then, once he’d seen to Aliz, the balding physician turned his attention to the injured. Shaking his head sadly, Charles said a silent prayer, realizing that he would never be able to heal all the wounds that had been caused today, quietly went to work. He had lives to save and injuries to mend and never enough time.
    mthompson1701 and CeJay like this.
  11. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    Well, that certainly had a very TOS like feel to it. At least the part of a being with godlike powers tossing around the crew. All the blood and death, that's more like an strong R-rated version of Trek.

    Still, compelling stuff.
    DavidFalkayn likes this.
  12. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Chapter 6

    “Morgan! Hold up!” Talana called out as she rushed down the corridor towards the chestnut-haired navigator.

    “What’s going on, Talana?” Lieutenant Bateson grinned, “I was just about to head down to the galley for a cup of coffee—want to join me?”

    “You didn’t hear?” An astonished Talana gasped, “Aliz has gone insane. She was walking naked down the corridor covered in blood and carrying a knife...”

    “No way!” Morgan retorted, shaking his head in disbelief. “This has to be some sort of sick joke.”

    “I’m serious, Morgan.” Talana replied without a trace of her usual irreverent humor, her antennae twitching nervously.

    “Jennifer!” Morgan cried out as he sprinted down the corridor towards the lieutenants’ quarters.

    “Wait for me, Morgan!” Talana shouted as she took off after him.

    Reaching Aliz and Jennifer’s quarters, Lieutenant Bateson’s heart began to race as he saw that the door was still open. Cautiously entering, Morgan called out, “Jennifer? Aliz?” only to hear the sound of whimpering coming from the bathroom. Signaling for Talana to notify security on the intercom, Morgan slowly made his way towards the bathroom only to freeze in shock at the sight that awaited him.

    “Morgan?” Talana shouted after she had made her call. “What happened? I’m coming in.”

    “Don’t!” Bateson called back as he knelt next to the whimpering and crying Jennifer Watley lying on the floor curled up in a fetal position. “You don’t want to see this, ‘Lana. No one should see this.”

    “What? What the hell happened in there, Morgan?”

    “A nightmare, Talana.” Bateson replied as he clutched the sobbing Jennifer tightly to him, “A nightmare.”


    USS Sutherland: 2377

    Even though far removed now in time, rank, and experience from the events of that horrible day, Admiral Bateson shuddered visibly as he recounted what he had seen and witnessed to the small group of officers gathered together around a briefing table in one of the Sutherland’s conference rooms. “When security arrived...” the admiral recounted as Boris Rodenko placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, “...we couldn’t take Jennifer to sickbay—it was still a mess. From what I was told, blood was everywhere—besides, Aliz was still tied up in restraints there. And there was no way we were going to let her stay in her quarters. So... Talana took her to her quarters.” Flashing a warm smile, Morgan began to ramble, “God bless Talana...and Cilla too. When Cilla heard about what happened—she didn’t waste any time—she got there right away and stuck by Jennifer.”

    “Damn.” Commander Sam Lavelle, the Sutherland’s executive officer, cursed in a low voice as he listened quietly to Admiral Bateson’s recollections of that fateful day. “So... you’re telling us that Captain Shelby is stuck on the Lexington in the 23rd century with whatever that thing is...”


    USS Lexington 2267

    “Easy Commodore...” Dr. Vincent advised as he helped Commodore Wesley to his feet. “Over here.” The physician instructed as he guided the weakened Lexington skipper to a chair next to the biobed occupied by the blonde starship captain from the future who was at that moment rising to a sitting position.

    “And you...” The doctor admonished, turning on his other patient, “...what do you think you’re doing.”

    “What does it look like, Doctor?” Liz retorted, the note of command in her voice immediately getting a reaction out of the commodore who turned his head towards her. “I’m getting out of this damned bed and getting to work. You’ve got wounded here...” she declared, her heart skipping as she laid eyes on her grandfather, “...and you’re shorthanded right now. So... until some more of your people can get in here...where do you want me?”

    “She’s got you there, Doc.” Robert said, wincing as he tried to laugh.

    “Captains! You always think you can do anything.” Charles groused, “I guess some things never change.” Bowing down to the inevitable, Dr. Vincent conceded, “I assume you’ve had at least basic Starfleet medical training? All right. See to Commander Kuznetsov. And whatever you do...” the doctor warned, “Stay away from Lieutenant Bathory.”

    Watching as her sedated grandmother thrashed angrily at her restraints, Liz repressed a sob as she turned her attention to the Lexington’s Russian first officer, “Right, Doctor.” She acknowledged as she grabbed a first aid kit and began ministering to her patient. “I’m on it.”


    USS Sutherland: 2377

    “Were there any ideas as to what caused Lieutenant Bathory to do what she did?” Lieutenant Commander Maximillian Freedman, the Sutherland’s counselor who had been requested to attend the briefing asked as he stroked his chin.

    “At the time...” Admiral Bateson answered, “ one was sure.”

    “The blood-wraith.” Lieutenant Sito Jaxa, the Suthy’s chief tactical officer gasped in astonishment as she tried in vain to repress the shudders running through her body.

    “The what?” Captain Rodenko exclaimed.

    “The blood-wraith.” Jaxa repeated after taking a moment to regain her center. “Nowadays, it’s a tale to frighten children or something like one of your ghost stories that you humans like to tell. Only...” The Bajoran lieutenant averred, “...the blood-wraith really existed.”

    “So... what’s the story behind this blood-wraith?”

    “It appeared about a hundred years ago and was responsible for a great deal of destruction.” Pausing for a moment to collect her thoughts and take a deep breath, Lieutenant Sito continued her tale. “It preyed...and then was never heard from again. The vedeks at the time explained that it was a pah-wraith and that the Prophets and their agents had expelled it—but no one really believed them. For a long time afterwards, whenever a young woman disappeared, rumors would spread that the blood-wraith had taken her.” Managing a nervous laugh, the blonde Bajoran added, “As the years passed, the blood-wraith became something of a boogeyman. Mothers would tell their children to behave or go to bed or the blood-wraith would get them.”

    “So... Lieutenant Bathory was not in control of her mind or her body?” Doctor Denise Murakawa, the chief medical officer of the Sutherland who was also invited to the conference at the last minute, inquired as she gave her long-time friend and lover a questioning look.

    “Right. Aliz was as much a victim of that thing as Jennifer, Bob, Alexei, that yeoman and all the others.” Morgan sighed as he regarded the Japanese-Centauran woman sitting across from him, favoring her with a sad smile. “I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you about this earlier, Denise, but...”

    “Temporal Prime Directive.” Boris interjected, regarding the Sutherland’s CMO with a fond smile of his own. “Please don’t be angry at the admiral, Denise.” The Commissar pleaded, “I didn’t know either until just now and I am willing to bet that not even Joseph, Gabe or Margaret know what happened.”

    “They don’t, and they probably never will.” Morgan replied, referring to the three other cutter captains in his squadron who, along with Captain Shelby, Denise, and one or two others consisted of the closest friends the admiral had at this particular time in his life.

    “I don’t think anyone knows for sure all the details of what happened except maybe for one or two people in Temporal Investigations. All I do know...” he further explained, “ that TI is giving me...a very…very…wide latitude in handling this—and that’s unusual in and of itself.”

    “Well...” Boris inferred, “Those kulaks either know more than they are telling or they’re giving you enough rope to hang yourself with.”

    “Or they’re doing both.” Denise added glumly. Then, turning her attention on the admiral, she smiled, “And I’m not angry at you, Morgan...I was just worried and concerned. To have to have held all this in for so had to have been hell for you.”

    “Thank you, Denise.” Morgan smiled back. Turning back to the matter at hand, the admiral took on a much more businesslike demeanor, “In any event, we have a lot of work to do.”

    “What are your orders, sir?” Sam requested, his anxiousness to recover the Sutherland’s captain obvious in his posture.

    “Our first stop is Bajor.” The admiral announced. “We’ve already been granted permission by the Kai and the Vedek Council to take temporary possession of the Orb of Time.”

    “And then we go get Captain Shelby.” Lieutenant Sito concluded.

    “Right.” The admiral affirmed. “Now...let’s get to work.”


    USS Lexington 2267

    Shaking his head somberly as he watched the semi-conscious Aliz thrashing against her restraints on her biobed, Robert spoke in a quiet voice to Dr. Vincent, who, at that moment, was hovering over the commodore, scanning him with his medical tricorder. “Do you have any ideas what might have happened to her, Doctor?”

    “I’m sorry, Robert.” Charles replied with a sad shake of his head as he completed his diagnostics. “ a guess...I’d say that something has infected her.” Pointing to the wildly varying and almost off the scale readings above Aliz’s bed, the New England doctor let out a breath born of frustration. “Just look at those. It’s like there’s a war going on inside some ways, it’s like she’s been invaded by a parasite.”

    “You may be right.” Wesley affirmed, watching helplessly as the young lieutenant that he rapidly grown fond of lay writhing in a mixture of rage and pain. “Something has gotten inside her. The Aliz I... we...know is not capable of doing whatever that thing inside her did. But what? We need to find out what it is so that we can get it out of her.”

    “And we need to do it soon.” Charles declared, pointing again to the life readings. “Take a look. Right now, they’re fluctuating wildly and believe it or not—that’s a good thing. But sooner or later...I’m afraid that they’re going to start synching. And when they do...”

    “That that thing will have taken Aliz over completely.” Robert finished in a somber voice.

    “I’m afraid so.” Dr. Vincent confirmed. “Sedating her helps some...but I can’t keep her sedated forever.”

    “What about putting her in stasis?” The commodore suggested. “Maybe that’ll buy us the time we need.”

    “It might.” Charles replied nodding his head thoughtfully. “Or it could cause the parasite to move to another host. Hmmm...we’d have to time it just right—not give it enough time to react.”

    “All right, Doctor. You and Talana get to work on that. Get a solution as soon as possible.” Wesley ordered and then inquired, “What about Alexei and the others?”

    “Our guest is helping out here...” Charles answered back as he struggled to keep his expression carefully neutral. “Ensign Tyree has a fractured skull and Nurse M’rrel severe lacerations, but they’ll both recover. It would have been worse except for the fact that Aliz was fighting whatever’s inside her tooth and nail.”

    The commodore nodded his head as he digested his doctor’s report. “Aliz won’t give up without a fight.” He remarked as his lips turned up into a slight smile as he witnessed the blonde captain, now wearing a medical jumpsuit over her negligee, assisting his first officer.

    “Here, Commander.” Liz said as she first helped Alexei to a chair and then injected him with a stimulant from the hypospray in her hand. “I’m not a nurse, but right now I’m the best there is until one comes along.” She quipped as, taking a damp cloth, she wiped the blood off the burly Russian’s face.

    Spaceba. Thank you.” The Bear murmured as the blonde woman ministered to him. “Who are you?”

    “Captain Elizabeth Shelby.” The woman smiled back, “Commanding USS Sutherland.”

    “I don’t know of a starship named Sutherland. Or a female captain named Shelby.” The burly Russian replied, a suspicious note in his voice.

    “It’s all right, Commander.” Doctor Vincent interrupted. “The captain is who she says she is. Just let her do what she’s doing ‘til a medtech shows up.”

    The Bear, still not convinced, then glanced at a recovering Commodore Wesley who confirmed the doctor’s words with a shaky grin, “Doc’s right, Alexei. She’s a full captain and does command a starship, and I expect you and the rest of the crew to treat her as such.” Turning his attention to Captain Shelby, the commodore requested as a pair of medtechs finally entered sickbay, “Captain? Once we get things settled here and we get you properly outfitted, I’d like to see you in my quarters, if you don’t mind? I have some questions I need to ask you.”

    “Yes, sir.” The blonde captain acknowledged with just the slightest tremor in her voice. “I’ll try to answer what questions I can.”

    “Good.” Wesley responded as he rose gingerly to his feet. “Alexei? I’m going to...”


    Turning upon hearing his rank, Wesley was confronted by a young security crewman. “I think you ought to come with me, sir. We’ve found something in Lieutenants Bathory and Watley’s quarters.

    “Jennifer...” Wesley whispered inaudibly, shaking his head in disbelief. “Aliz couldn’t have...she wouldn’t have...” Quickly recovering his equilibrium, the commodore spoke, “All right, give me a moment.” Turning to his first officer, Robert requested, “Alexei? When you’re up and about, can you take Captain Shelby to the quartermaster so that she can get outfitted with a uniform and then assign her appropriate quarters.”

    “Da, Commodore.” The big Russian responded immediately.

    “And Captain Shelby?” The troubled commodore added, “I’ll see you later.” Turning his attention back to the security crewman, Wesley directed, “All right, young man, let’s go.”


    His stomach turning as he witnessed the scene in the lieutenants’ bathroom, Commodore Wesley turned quickly away. “Cut that poor woman down and get this goddamned mess cleaned up, now!” The commodore nearly shouted as the security officers scrambled to carry out his orders. Turning to Lieutenant Bateson, the still trembling Wesley inquired in a much lower tone, “Where’s Lieutenant Watley?”

    “She’s with Talana.” The young navigator replied, shaking his head sadly, “She’s not doing well.”

    Placing his hand on the youthful lieutenant’s shoulder, Robert consoled, “Don’t worry, Lieutenant. We’ll take good care of her. Now, can you take me to her?” Taking the navigator’s single nod of the head as an affirmative, Wesley squeezed the young man’s shoulder just a touch before releasing it, “Let’s go.”


    “Da.” Alexei said, his voice filled with great sadness as he heard the news of Yeoman Knowles’ fate from Commodore Wesley through the intercom in Doctor Vincent’s office. “I feel...”

    “Don’t blame yourself, Alexei.” Wesley interrupted, “None of us knew. How are things going in sickbay with Aliz and Captain Shelby?”

    “There’s no change with Lieutenant Bathory.” The Bear sighed, “As for Captain Shelby—we’re about to go to the quartermasters’ now.”

    “I see.” Both Alexei and Liz could hear the pained anguish in the commodore’s word even through the intercom. Her heart going out to both of her suffering grandparents, the blonde captain quietly listened to her grandfather’s voice, “Lieutenant Watley will be staying with Talana until further notice, but eventually, we will have to assign her new quarters—there’s no way she can return to her old room...” after several moments pause, Wesley spoke again, only in a much more subdued voice, “...not after what happened.”

    “Understood, sir.” The burly Russian acknowledged, “Anything else?”

    “Yes.” Wesley replied, “Bring Captain Shelby to my quarters after she’s through getting settled in. I should be done by then.”

    “Aye, sir.” Commander Kuznetsov affirmed. Turning his head towards the petite woman standing next to him, the Bear asked, “Are you ready, Captain?”

    “Lead on, Commander.”


    “It’s all right now, Jennifer...” Talana cooed gently as Cilla hugged her nominal rival, “’re safe here.” Hearing her door chime, the lovely Andorian science officer called out, a soft-spoken, “Yes.”

    The door sliding open, Commodore Wesley waited at the threshold alongside an obviously worried Lieutenant Bateson. “Can we come in, Talana.”

    “Please.” Talana invited, managing a sad smile as she regarded the two men. Her antennae twitching, she reported, “I’m afraid she hasn’t said a word since we found her and brought her here. She’s going to need a lot of help, sir.”

    “I know.” Robert sighed. “A lot of us are. This has been...” he paused, shaking his head, “ ordeal...”

    “Sir...” The lovely Andorian interrupted, “’s not your fault. You can’t blame yourself. This happened suddenly—without warning. It took all of us by surprise.”

    “Thank you, Talana. I appreciate that.” The commodore replied. Pausing for several seconds as if unsure as to whether to continue or not, Robert cleared his throat, “I hate to ask this of you now, Lieutenant Commander, but I need you to help Dr. Vincent. He’s trying to find some way of safely putting Aliz into stasis without giving that thing that took her over the opportunity to move to another host.”

    “It’s all right, sir.” The blue-skinned science officer responded, managing a shaky grin, “If it can help Aliz get rid of that thing—I’ll be glad to help out. Cilla?” She asked, turning towards the willowy blonde communications officer still gently embracing Ensign Watley, “ you mind?”

    “No.” Lieutenant Oudekirk answered back, “I’ll stay here as long as you need me.”

    “Thank you.” Talana replied as she rose to her feet, “I’ll get over to sickbay now, sir.”

    “Sir?” Lieutenant Bateson interjected, his eyes fixed on his sobbing friend, “Would it be all right if I stayed here until my shift begins?”

    “If Talana and Lieutenant Oudekirk don’t mind...” Robert replied. Seeing the two women both nod their heads in agreement, the commodore nodded his as well, “Ok, Lieutenant, you can stay. I’ll send Lieutenant Masterson down as soon as possible to help out. If you need me for anything...just call.”

    Nodding his head at the two “Aye, sirs” from his junior officers, Commodore Wesley turned and walked slowly away, lost in his own thoughts as he contemplated his Lexington family falling apart all about him. And then there was the starship captain from the future. A nagging thought pushed itself into the rugged commodore’s face as he recalled the words that the possessed Aliz taunted him with as he writhed in pain, “Well...well...a family reunion...” and then what she said when his thoughts turned to Virginia, “This is delicious! So ironic! You seek to find strength in that which is no longer there...” and at the last, just before he passed out, he could have sworn that he thought he had heard Captain Shelby call him, “Poppy!” Shaking his head, the tormented commodore slowly made his way down the corridor. He had to have a meeting with the mysterious woman soon—hopefully—Robert thought, she might have a few answers.


    USS Sutherland: Orbiting Bajor 2377

    “Assuming standard orbit.” Lieutenant Maria Django, now acting as operations officer after her boyfriend’s promotion to Commander and First Officer, declared with a slightly teasing grin as she turned her head back to speak to the man sitting in the center seat.

    “Thank you, Lieutenant.” Commander Sam Lavelle answered back, giving his lover a quick smile in return. Touching the intercom button on his chair arm, the acting captain announced to his guests, “Admiral...Captain...we’ve arrived. Lieutenant Sito and I will meet you in the transporter room in five minutes. Rising out of his seat, Sam favored his lover with another roguish grin, “You have the conn, Mr. Django. Mr. ready?”

    “Aye, sir.” The Bajoran tactical officer replied as she joined her old Academy classmate at the turbolift.

    “Then, let’s get a move on.”


    USS Lexington: 2267

    “Branch and rank, Miss?” The quartermaster third class standing behind the counter asked as Captain Shelby filled out the uniform requisition.

    “Command.” Shelby quickly replied as she handed the data slate back to the quartermaster, “Rank...Captain.”

    Pausing for a moment the petty officer barely repressed a snort until brought short by Commander Kuznetsov’s gruff voice, “Do you need to go to sickbay to have your hearing checked, Quartermaster?”

    “, sir!” The hapless petty officer stammered as he wilted under the first officer’s glare.

    “I’m glad to hear that, Petty Officer.” Liz, seeing at once that she needed to emphasize her rank not only to the quartermaster, but also indirectly to the Lexington’s executive officer, smoothly took charge of the situation, interjecting, “ uniform, if you please?”

    “Yes, Ma’am.” The quartermaster replied, moving rapidly to comply.

    “Thank you, Petty Officer.” Shelby responded, taking both the gold and alternate green minidresses, along with the black boots, underwear, and the rest of a female officer’s uniform kit. “I’ll just step into that changing room over there. I’ll be back in a moment. Oh...” she added as she turned to walk away, “ more thing. I prefer to be addressed as ‘Captain,’ but I will accept ‘Sir.’ I do not like to be addressed as ‘Ma’am’. Is that understood?”

    “Da, Captain.” Alexei promptly replied as he at once picked up on Shelby’s subtle intent. Several minute later, the big Russian found himself nearly frozen in place as the attractive blonde emerged from the changing room dressed in the alternative captain’s sea-green with gold trim miniskirt, its low-cut neckline and short length accentuating her figure along with the standard black boots, her hair done up in accordance with current regulations.

    Smiling inwardly at the first officer’s reaction, Liz resisted the urge to model her new outfit as she remarked with a smile, “I’m surprised at how comfortable this is...a lot better than the first Starfleet uniform I wore...” she said as she remembered the irritating one-piece uniform that was regulation issue in her early years. “That uniform had a tendency to bunch up on you in the most inconvenient of places—especially if you’re a woman. Not to mention having to keep a constant eye on your diet. I prefer skirts and dresses anyway.” Maintaining her grin, Captain Shelby requested, “If we’re done here, Commander, you can show me to my quarters and then, I believe, I have an appointment with the commodore.”

    “Da.” Alexei replied as he let out a deep breath of air. “If you would follow me please, Captain?”
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  13. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    I foresee a lot of counseling for the Lexington's crew in the not so distant future.
  14. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Chapter 7

    As he looked down on his thrashing patient, first, the possessed woman’s taunts echoed in his mind, “Well...well...a family reunion...”, soon followed by the plaintive words of the blonde starship captain from the future, “Poppy? “Is that you? It can’t be...” confirming what the DNA and genetic scans had told him earlier. But as he recalled her next words... “Nagyanya? Is that really you, grandmother?” ...Charles felt a cold shiver run down his spine. After ensuring that his patient’s restraints were still holding, the doctor quickly made his way to the computer in his office. “Computer...provide the Federation Standard translation for nagyanya.

    Nagyanya...Magyar derivation.” the computer responded in its normal tinny female voice, “Translation: grandmother.”

    Taking a deep breath of air and then exhaling, the balding physician then ordered, “ the DNA and genetic scans for Lieutenant Aliz Bathory and Captain Elizabeth Shelby...”

    After a few minutes, the computer responded, “Comparison completed.”

    “All right...” Charles instructed as he took another deep breath, “Do the two scans show a possible kin relationship between Captain Shelby and Lieutenant Bathory? And if so...what sort of relationship?”

    Seconds later, the computer reported its findings, “Affirmative. There is a 99.99% probability that Lieutenant Aliz Bathory is the maternal grandmother of Captain Elizabeth Shelby.”

    “And the other maternal grandparent would be?” Charles asked already knowing the ancestor.

    “The other maternal grandparent would be Commodore Robert Wesley.”

    Glancing back at his still sedated patient, Charles sunk to his seat as the full implications of the powder keg he had just discovered began to set in. “Holy shi...”

    “Doctor? Charles?”

    Looking up, the New Englander forced a smile to his face as he recognized Talana standing near his office door. “I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time...” The Andorian science officer remarked solicitously as she glanced back nervously at the still thrashing Lieutenant Bathory, “But the commodore thought that you could use some help in devising a means to safely put Aliz in stasis.”

    “Oh...” Charles murmured as he fought to regain his equilibrium, “Oh yes...of course, ‘Lana. Yeah...I’ve got some ideas...but I’m not sure how safe they are...”

    “Well...” Talana encouraged, “Why don’t I have a look and we’ll compare notes.” Taking the slight nod of his head as agreement, Talana looked up at her old confidante, “You sure you’re all right, Charles? After all—a lot has happened sure you’re up to this now?”

    “Yeah...” Dr. Vincent replied, forcing a smile to his face, “I’ll be ok. Let’s get to work.”


    “Yes.” Commodore Wesley called out as his door enunciator chimed. The door swishing open, the commodore bid his guests welcome. “Come in, Captain Shelby. Thank you, Alexei...I think I can take care of it from here.”

    “Da, Commodore.” The big Russian responded as he left the two starship commanders alone.

    “Sir?” Liz began as her eyes fell on those of her grandfather’s. Holding back her initial impulse to embrace cling tightly to him...the blonde woman settled for simply asking, “ is...”my grandmother “ is the woman who...”

    “Lieutenant Bathory is being looked after by the best.” Robert replied, surprised, and oddly touched, at the look of worry and concern on his guest’s face. “Don’t worry. We’ll find a way to help her.” His lips turning up into a warm smile, the commodore added, “I also owe you my thanks.”

    “For what?” Liz asked.

    “For distracting her long enough so that Dr. Vincent could knock her out.” Tilting his head slightly to the left, the commodore remarked, “I don’t remember much—I was just barely holding seemed to me that when you talked to was like you knew her. But you can’t know Aliz...can you?”

    Taking a deep breath, Shelby forced herself to lie to her grandfather, “That would be impossible, sir. I’m from at least a hundred years in the future...”

    “Of course.” Robert replied, deciding to, for now at least, to file his doubts in the back of his mind. Flashing a genial smile, the commodore urged as he poured a blue liquor from a crystal decanter into two glasses, “Have a seat, Captain. I hope you don’t mind Andorian ale?”

    “Thank you, sir.” Liz replied with a smile as she took the proffered seat across from where her grandfather sat. “I hope you understand, Commodore...” she began as she took a sip of the blue nectar. “Not bad...T’elevansharal’s Val’ymarman if I’m not mistaken?”

    “I see you know your Andorian ales.” Robert grinned and then prompted, “But you were saying?”

    “Oh!” Shelby blushed, “I’m sorry, sir. I meant to say that I’ll answer what questions I can, but I can’t reveal anything that might compromise future events.”

    “Of course.” Commodore Wesley nodded his head. “I wouldn’t expect you to do that. But I’m thinking that if we can find out how you got here...”

    “Maybe we can find a way to get me back where I belong.” Liz completed, nodding her head in agreement. “That makes sense. So...” she asked, “...did you get anything from my logs or the runabout’s sensor readings.”

    “No.” Robert responded, shaking his head. “When we found came from, I ordered your ship placed under guard and off limits to all personnel. However,” he admitted, “I did go over your open communications logs, but I didn’t access your personal logs.”

    “I see...” Liz replied, blushing a deep crimson as she imagined her grandfather overhearing her last conversation with Sandy. “I hope...”

    “Don’t worry about it.” Robert interrupted, giving the younger woman a paternal smile. “Once I realized where that particular conversation was going, I skipped over it.” Taking the conversation back to a more professional tact, the commodore prompted, “So... you were on your way to Risa.”

    “Right.” Liz affirmed, “The Sutherland had just completed repairs after our last tour.” Pausing to take another drink, the blonde captain tried to keep the sorrow and anger from her face as she recalled the death and destruction caused by the Talarian incursion that her ship along with a handful of other Starfleet and Border Service vessels had turned back. “I had a considerable amount of leave stored up and Admiral...I’m sorry, sir...” the starship captain from the future apologized, her grin returning as she shifted in her seat, “...that’s probably one of the things I can’t tell you. Let’s just say that the Admiral told me to get the hell off my ship and go on leave. Well...” she sighed, “ just so happened that of my...friends...had just finished a concert tour with his band and Sandy was in between decided to get together on Risa and my executive officer...”

    “Commander Lavelle?” Robert interjected, encouraging his guest to continue.

    “That’s right.” Liz frowned, “You would have gotten his name from the comm logs.” Sighing, the blonde captain took another sip of her drink and then continued, “I told him to put the Suthy through its paces. Also, I wanted to give him some solo time in the center chair without me looking over his shoulder.” Nodding his head in approval, Commodore Wesley, refilling the captain’s drink, motioned for her to continue, “He was supposed to pick me up at the end of the week.”

    “And then this...chroniton wave?... hit you...”

    “Yes, sir.” Shelby confirmed with a nod of her head. “It came out of nowhere—no warning or anything. I tried to evade and outrun it but...I must have gotten knocked unconscious and when I came to, I was in your sickbay.”

    “So...” Wesley drawled, “ have no idea what caused the wave?” Taking the blonde captain’s single shake of her head as a negative, the commodore continued, “Do you think maybe your ship’s sensor logs might have a clue?”

    “It’s possible.” Liz allowed, “They would have been triggered automatically once the disturbance manifested itself and they would have continued recording throughout. There might be something there for us to work with.”

    “Good.” The commodore replied, nodding his head, “But you’ll understand that will have to wait...”

    “Of course, sir.” Liz affirmed, automatically agreeing with her grandfather, “Lieutenant Bathory and your ship and crew have to come first.”

    “Thank you.” Robert said with a warm smile, “I had a feeling you’d understand. So...” he offered as he rose from his chair, “Would you be interested in a tour of the ship.”

    Her heart beating rapidly as her lips turned up into a wide grin, Liz responded enthusiastically, “I’d love to, sir.”

    Sloopy’s—Star Station Echo—2267

    “All we have to do is break into this rich guy’s villa, make off with this box, and then meet up with an Orion spinner who’ll pick it up and pay us the rest of our fee.” The chestnut-haired human snorted derisively, “What’s the catch?”

    “The catch, hew-mon…” The cloaked figure replied, “Is that you can’t open or mess with that box in any way. If you do…” He shook his head, “You don’t want to know what will happen.”

    “Half now…the rest when we make the transfer.” The human demanded, “Or no deal.”

    “Fine.” The hooded figure replied as he slid a pouch across the table. “One half the fee. The rest on delivery.”

    “Pleasure doing business with you.” The man grunted as he stood up. “Just be sure our payoff’s there.”

    “Don’t worry…hew-mon…” The hooded alien retorted, “A contract is a contract…” Except if one of the parties is not Ferengi. Berok didn’t say.

    Bajor: 2377

    As the quartet rematerialized in a blue light in the courtyard of the Vedek Assembly, they were greeted by three Bajorans garbed in priestly raiment. The elderly man in the middle and in front of the other two, wearing the robes of a vedek. Stepping forward the man introduced himself. “Greetings. I am Vedek Parmeil. Please...come this way.” He invited as he gestured towards an open doorway.

    “Well...” Admiral Bateson grinned as he addressed the other three in his group, “You heard the man.”

    After being led down a succession of corridors and passageways, the group came to a sealed doorway. Approaching the door, the vedek placed his hand on a stone and pressed lightly. As the stone gave way, the door slowly slid open to reveal a small chamber containing in the middle...

    “An orb!” Lieutenant Sito uttered in a hushed tone.

    “The Orb of Time.” The vedek affirmed as he gestured with his finger for the young Bajoran woman to approach. As Jaxa drew near, he reached out to touch her ear, only to have her jerk her head back suddenly. “I did not realize...” he apologized in a compassionate voice, “ have suffered so much...yes...” he nodded his head, “...the Prophets chose wisely. Only one who has suffered so can reach out...”

    “What do you mean?” The Bajoran tactical officer asked with more than a slight note of suspicion in her voice.

    “My child...” The elderly priest responded, “You have experienced much pain in such a short life. Perhaps this is the Prophets’ way of allowing the healing process to truly begin?” A sad chuckle escaping his lips as his watery eyes took in the skeptical look on the young woman’s face, Vedek Parmeil continued, “The way will not be easy for you or the others taking the journey with you—you will all change. How? I’m sorry, but the Prophets have kept that knowledge from me. All I can say is that they want you to be the custodian of the orbs until you, Sito Jaxa, return them to their rightful place.”

    “Orbs?” Captain Rodenko interrupted, “I only see one orb.”

    Nodding his head, Vedek Parmeil responded, “Yes...but to succeed in your quest...and to end for once and all the horror of the blood-wraith and the suffering of its must seek the past...and through the past, recover the present and perhaps preserve the future. To do that, you must recover the Orb of Renascence.”

    “Ok...” Sam drawled, “What the hell is the Orb of Renascence?”

    Bowing his head in reverence, the old man explained, “The Orb of Renascence is shrouded in mystery. Prior to its disappearance long ago, it had never been revealed. The their infinite wisdom...decreed that when the time was right, all would be made manifest...maybe now the time is right?” He speculated as his two acolytes reverently took the box containing the Orb of Time in their arms. “They will carry the Orb to your ship where it will then be your responsibility, young Jaxa.” Addressing the entire landing party, the priest delivered a parting blessing, “Your Pahs are strong. May the Prophets watch over you and guide your steps as you go on your journey.”

    “Well...” Admiral Bateson declared as he addressed the rest of the landing party, “Looks like we got our marching orders. Let’s go—we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
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  15. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    I wonder what's in that mysterious box that's about to be stolen. Nothing that's going to make the lives of our heroes easier, I wager.
  16. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Blood Cries: Part 8

    USS Sutherland: 2377

    Her eyes focused on the chest containing the Orb of Time that had been left in her custody, Lieutenant Sito Jaxa asked, directing her question to no one in particular, “Why me? I haven’t believed in the Prophets since...since...”

    “The Enterprise?” Sam interrupted as he carefully placed a comforting hand on the Bajoran woman’s shoulder.

    Her body stiffening slightly at her friend’s touch, Jaxa, recognizing the voice of her long-time companion and rescuer, finally relaxed, allowing the man’s hand to remain on her shoulder as she nodded her head once, slowly. “When they captured me...when the Cardassians and Rejak did what they did to me...that’s when I stopped truly believing in the Prophets. No...” she declared, shaking her head violently, “ far as I’m concerned, they’re nothing more than wormhole aliens.”

    “Yeah...” Lavelle replied, cracking a slight smile in an effort to relieve the tension, “But they’re very powerful wormhole aliens...” His smile disappearing the dark haired first officer ventured, “Try to look at it this way, Jaxa...maybe the goal here isn’t to get you back to being a true-blue believer in the Prophets...maybe it’s just to get you to believe in life and hope again?”

    Her reply a single snort, Jaxa shook her head, “That’s not so easy, Sam... not when the best part of both were taken away from you.” Taking a deep breath and exhaling, the Bajoran lieutenant looked up at her old friend, giving him a sad smile before turning to walk away, “But thank you for trying, Sam.”

    Shaking his head sadly as he watched the tormented young woman walk away, Sam Lavelle pondered once again the cruelties of fate—how—had the situation been only slightly different, Sito Jaxa could very well have been in his shoes now and he or Alyssa or Taurik in hers. Finally, forcing the gloom from his mind, the roguish first officer also exited the cargo space, leaving behind the two men who had been silently observing the entire tableau.

    “They are both so young to have gone through so much...” Captain Boris Rodenko sighed, commenting on the two younger officers to his friend and superior officer, Rear Admiral Morgan Bateson.

    “They’ve had to grow up question about that.” The admiral somberly replied as he stroked his beard. “But I think they turned out pretty well...all things considered.”

    “Da...” The burly Russian nicknamed the Commissar by his crew agreed. “Sam is a fine first officer and he will make an excellent captain one day. To be honest...” Boris confessed, cracking a toothy grin, “I had my doubts at first, when Elizaveta told me that she was making Lavelle her number one. He’s always been a top-notch pilot...” the cutter skipper quickly added, “And he’s gutsy and question about that...I’d take him on the Scamp anytime. But...” the veteran captain qualified, “...when she told me her decision...I didn’t think it was a good one at the time. I thought he was too young...a bit too hot-headed. looks like this time I was mistaken.”

    Chuckling, Bateson teased good-naturedly, “Boris...I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever heard you admit you were wrong about anything! I wonder what Joseph would say about that?” Still laughing, the genial admiral further quipped, “By the way...I think Ol’ Joe’s still trying to get over walking in on you and Liz that time.”

    Laughing, the dark-haired Russian laughed, “Da! And we weren’t even doing anything! We were just joking around over drinks. Ok!” Boris confessed, “Maybe we had a few drinks too many and Elizaveta was modeling her new negligee and she let one of the straps slip and I got to see a bit more than I’d bargained for—not that I’m complaining—but that was it! Joseph couldn’t look me straight in the eye for a month afterwards.”

    “So, what happened after he bolted out?” Morgan laughed.

    “What do you think?” Boris chuckled, “We both laughed our asses off and got even drunker. When I woke up the next morning.” He reminisced as his laughter faded away to be replaced by the tender voice of a father, “Our little Elizaveta was lying with her head on my lap, sleeping peacefully. I didn’t have the heart to wake her up.” Shaking his head, Rodenko opined, “I just wish that the two of them weren’t such bakapor around each other.”

    “Those two certainly do seem to bring out the worst in each other, don’t they?” Morgan agreed with a long-suffering sigh, “I don’t know...maybe we need to rent a steel cage and let the two of them fight it out once and for all.”

    His laughter returning, Boris joked as he slapped the admiral on the back as the pair walked out of the cargo bay, “That’s not such a bad idea. We should do it! We could have Chief Brin act as the referee. We’d make our latinum back and then some selling the tickets! Not to mention all the side bets!”


    USS Lexington: 2267

    As the doors slid open on to the Lexington’s bridge, Captain Shelby and Commodore Wesley stepped out. Rising from the center seat, Commander Kuznetsov greeted, “Sirs.”

    “Alexei.” Wesley smiled back. Then noticing that both Cilla Oudekirk and Lieutenant Bateson were at their stations, the commodore walked up to the helm where the chestnut-haired Morgan Bateson sat at navigation and asked quietly, “How’s Jennifer doing?”

    “A little better, sir.” The young lieutenant responded, giving his new commanding officer a slight smile. “Lieutenant Masterson’s with her now and when I go off duty, I’ll take over. Between me, the lieutenant, Cilla, and Talana, we’ll have someone with her all the time.”

    “Good.” Robert replied, clasping the younger man’s shoulder and squeezing gently. “If there’s anything I can do...”

    “Thank you, sir.” Bateson acknowledged, nodding his head once in gratitude. “We’ll be sure to let you know.”

    Turning his attention back to his guest, Commodore Wesley smiled, “Captain...would you like to take temporary command?”

    Deeply moved and honored by her grandfather’s gracious invitation, Liz demurred, “Are you sure, sir?”

    “I’m sure.” The commodore smiled back. “From what I gather, your ship’s a lot bigger than this one. Anyway, I want to see what they’re teaching future starship captains. “Go on ahead...I insist.”

    “Thank you, sir. I’d love to.” Taking the center seat, the blonde captain couldn’t help but notice the willowy blonde communications officer staring at her with almost rapt fascination. Liz returned the Dutch communications officer’s smile with one of her own, accompanied by a friendly thumb up that drew an even wider smile from the normally taciturn Cilla. Clearing her voice, the petite captain inquired, “Helm...what is our station?”

    “Holding station at 339 mark 4.” Lieutenant Bateson promptly responded, earning in return a quick intake of breath on the part of the captain that did not go unnoticed by her grandfather. Filing her reaction in the back of his mind along with the other bits and pieces of information, Wesley quietly watched as Shelby took command.

    “Communications...what are our current orders?”

    “Long range star charting and communications monitoring, Ma’am.” Lieutenant Oudekirk promptly responded, only to be politely corrected by Captain Shelby who repeated the earlier request that she had made to the Lexington’s first officer to address her as either Captain or sir. “Aye, sir.” Cilla responded, the smile still on her face as she reported, “I’m picking up something now.”

    “Main speakers, please, Mr. Oudekirk.”

    As the sounds of an unknown language—unknown, that is, to the crew of the Lexington—came through the speakers, the communications officer reported, “Universal translator’s working...shouldn’t be much longer.”

    “Cardassian.” Liz whispered under her breath, immediately recognizing the consonant and vowel sequences as the commodore again noticed her reaction.

    “Do you know these people, Captain?” The commodore asked, his brow furrowed as he saw what he thought he recognized as a flash of anger in the woman’s eyes that vanished almost as quickly as it appeared.

    Looking up at her grandfather, Liz carefully replied, “I’m sorry, sir, but...Temporal Prime Directive.”

    “There is no such thing as a Temporal Prime Directive.” The Bear responded in a low rumble.

    “Not now, there isn’t.” Liz quickly fired back, matching the big Russian gaze for gaze until the commander finally looked away. “But there is where...when...I’m from...and I intend to obey it.”

    “Can you at least tell us whether they could pose a threat?” Robert inquired, his concern for his ship reflected in his voice tone.

    Deciding that she could answer that much at least, Liz nodded her head, “We’ll be all right as long as we don’t make contact, sir.”

    “Good thing we’re not here to do that, then.” Robert responded, pleased with the captain’s answer.

    “Sounds like routine patrol reports, Captain.” Cilla remarked as the universal translator finally rendered the alien language into Federation Standard.

    “Good. Record them and be sure to monitor our own emissions—we don’t want them picking up on us and getting curious themselves and deciding to investigate.” Liz relaxed a little as she began to feel more comfortable in the high-backed center chair. Turning to the science station, she asked the Vulcan science officer on duty, “What are your scans picking up?”

    “Nothing unusual at this time, sir. Logging and recording data.” Taking the data slate from the yeoman on duty, Captain Shelby glanced at it before handing it to her grandfather. “Sir...I have a feeling you better be the one to sign this.”

    “Of course.” Robert grinned as he affixed his electronic signature to the document. Looking down at the attractive captain, Wesley nodded his head approvingly, “How do you like the center seat of a Connie?”

    “It’s a dream come true, sir.” Liz replied her eyes watering with genuine emotion as she spoke, “I’ve commanded Connies in... simulators” she said, “...but it’s not the same as...”

    “The real thing.” Wesley smiled back, completing the blonde captain’s sentence as he nodded his head knowingly. “I know. I felt the same way when I first sat down in this seat. But...” he chuckled, “...I’m sure the ships you’ve got in your time leave The Lady in the dust.”

    “They might be faster and bigger and have more toys on them...” Liz conceded, “But Commodore...” her voice dripping with sincerity as she spoke her next words, “It’s not how fast a ship can go or how big it is or how many weapons or science stations or systems it might have that makes a ship a good ship. It’s the crew. I’d take this ship with its crew anywhere...any time...against any challenge...and I’d feel damned good about it.”

    “Thank you.” Robert said, his respect for Shelby growing even more as he immediately picked up on the sincerity in her words. “Who knows...maybe one day I’ll get to see your ship and crew.”

    “You never know, sir.” Liz replied with a grin of her own, “Stranger things have happened.”


    USS Sutherland: 2377

    Entering his quarters, Commander Sam Lavelle wasn’t at all surprised to find his dusky skinned operations chief already making herself at home on his couch. “Scootch.” The dark-haired first officer ordered as he sat down next to his lover, “I want to catch the Bajoran news.”

    “Fine...” Maria pouted, “Wasn’t like I wasn’t watching anything important like the Rigellian cliff diving competition or anything.”

    Giving his tempestuous girlfriend a quick peck on the cheek, Sam vowed, “I promise I’ll turn it back after the news.” The rakish grin disappearing from his face, the Sutherland’s acting captain explained, “I want to hear about what happened in Jalanda City today. I heard that a bomb went off in the central marketplace...”.

    “The latest casualties from the tragic bombing of Resistance Plaza in Jalanda City today stands at one hundred dead and over three hundred injured. The thalmerite device was timed to go off during the height of the noon-hour respite. A militant terrorist cell has taken responsibility for the attack, stating that, ‘Those Bajorans who died or were injured were not innocent. That by not being in temple, they had committed blasphemy against the Prophets and so received due punishment. And that those who were not Bajoran were infidels who had no place on Bajoran soul.’ Their communiqué called for the immediate resignation of the Bajoran government and the deposition of the current Kai and Vedek Council as well as the reinstitution of the Djara castes and the expulsion of all non-Bajorans from Bajoran territory and Deep Space Nine. Deputy Minister of Internal Security Talas Boran responded in this statement delivered moments ago, ‘The Bajoran government hereby declares the following. The unconscionable murder and maiming of hundreds of innocent lives in a wanton act of terrorism will not be tolerated and the perpetrators of this atrocity will be brought to justice. It will not tolerate acts of terrorism now or in the future.’ Spokesmen for the Bajor First Party condemn this act of terrorism as well, but also insist on the removal of all Federation personnel and influences from Bajor and Terek Nor, stating that true peace cannot be attained until Bajor is again secure in its independence.” This is Kala Danar of Bajoran World News.

    “I don’t think I feel like watching cliff-diving anymore.” Maria frowned as she turned off the monitor. “Just hold me, Sam... please.”


    Watching the same broadcast in her own quarters, Lieutenant Sito Jaxa frowned as she remembered her last conversation with one of the acolytes who had earlier delivered the Orb of Time to her care.

    “This is a dangerous time, Sister.” The fledgling priest declared, shaking his head sadly, “When the Bajora-tava first arrived, we welcomed them as our long-lost brothers and sisters...but...since their arrival...”

    The violence has been escalating.” Jaxa interrupted, completing the acolyte’s thoughts.

    “Correct.” After first assuring himself that no one else was listening, the young priest added, “There is another reason why you have been asked to take custody of the that Vedek Parmeil did not want to tell you. The Vedek...” the young man explained with a sad smile, “ something of an ascetic...he does not like to talk of worldly affairs. The truth is that the Vedek Council and Ministry of Security had learned that there might be a plot by some elements of the Bajora-tava to steal the Orb of Time. They feel that if they could use the orb to travel back far enough into the past...”

    “They could prevent the Cardassian takeover and ensure that they hold power.” Lieutenant Sito concluded. “Then they would launch a holy war first against the Cardassians and then...”

    “Against anyone else who does not accept the word of the Prophets.” The acolyte confirmed, nodding his head. “Vedek Parmeil feels that the Orb of Renascence could play a major part in healing our wounds. I’m not so sure about that...” the young priest demurred, “Perhaps I’m not strong enough in my faith, but I don’t think we are going to find our answer in just one orb...I think it will take far more than that. But for the sake of your captain and your friends...and perhaps for the sake of all of must succeed.”
    CeJay and mthompson1701 like this.
  17. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    It's not easy being a Bajoran these days. Especially not if your name is Sito Jaxa.
    DavidFalkayn likes this.