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» Second Chance Saloon
Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:20 pm by Pyriel32

» Stories From the STO:Verse
Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:09 pm by Pyriel32

» Featured TFO: The Battle at the Binary Stars
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:38 pm by Pyriel32

» It's only been 6 years!
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» Jem’Hadar Vanguard and Cardassian Intelligence Starship Stats & Abilities
Sun May 27, 2018 1:21 pm by Pyriel32


    Stories From the STO:Verse

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    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

    Fleet Rank : Fleet Admiral
    Special Operations Rank : SPO Fleet Admiral
    Intel Department Rank : INT Fleet Admiral
    Number of posts : 4719
    Location : Serenity Station
    Ship Name : U.S.S. ACHERON
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-97397-D
    Ship Class : Eclipse Class Intel Cruiser (Special Operations Refit)
    Fleet Division : Intel/Special Ops

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Pyriel Danto

    Stories From the STO:Verse

    Post by Pyriel32 on Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:21 pm




    “So, Elyos, are you going to finish your champagne, or…”

    The young Deltan ensign let out a startled yelp and looked away from a large astrographic plot to see his colleague, Lt. Whetu, standing behind him. In her hands was his neglected champagne flute, precariously balanced over his shoulder - and his immaculate white dress uniform.

    He cleared his throat and glanced ruefully at her, then at the glass. She apologize and stepped back, helping herself to a sip of the sparkling wine. She smiled. This was the real stuff, not the syntheholic approximation standard issue to serving Starfleet officers. No, for special occasions like today, tradition held that real champagne be served.

    “Sorry, but finder’s keepers,” she said, and winked as she took another sip.

    “Exactly,” he replied with an uncharacteristically mischievous grin, and turned back to the plot. “Take a look at this.”

    She set the glass down and leaned forward again, examining the amorphous shapes and clouds of numbers dancing in the air.

    “I don’t get it. This is a radiological plot of the Tellar Sector. Why would you abandon the Narendra’s commissioning party for a… weather report?”

    “Yes, yes, not very polite I know. But here, look closer.” He tapped a few keys on his PADD and the display zoomed in on a star labeled TL-9139.

    A pulsing green cloud surrounded the star, and as Elyos tapped keys, more information appeared next to it: “TRAVEL ADVISORY: EXTREME HAZARD. ALL SHIPS OBEY 0.5 LY MANDATORY NAVIGATION CLEARANCE”

    “TL-9139,” Whetu said softly, “Where have I heard that before… Her eyes glazed over as she tried to remember, and then refocused to a starship model on Elyos’ desk. After a moment she exclaimed, “Yard 39!”

    Elyos nodded. “Correct. Almost a hundred starship hulls, abandoned in 2259 when a freak eruption from the local star flooded the area with Baryon radiation. The whole system had to be evacuated in under a week, and has sat undisturbed since.”

    Whetu stood up straight and grabbed her pilfered champagne glass, taking another sip. “Yeah, because that eruption never stopped. Over a century later and the baryon radiation will cook anyone crazy enough to go there, no matter what kind of shielding their ship has.”

    Elyos stood from his desk and grabbed the glass from Whetu, who stepped back, a little startled at the Deltan’s uncharacteristic vigor. He took a sip of his own and smiled. “This why it’s important to read the weather, Lieutenant!”

    With his other hand he brought up a time-lapse plot of the radiation levels and Whetu noticed that they appeared to be dropping sharply. Elyos continued, “these numbers are only a few days old, and they’re still falling. It looks like the eruption is finally abating, and it should be safe to travel to TL-9139 in a few weeks.”

    “Well, that’s great and all,” Whetu replied, “but even if you go back there, it’s a bunch of derelict hulls from 150 years ago. Not something to spill champagne over…” She swiped at the glass in his hand, but he reared it away from her and scolded her with his other hand.

    “Not something to… I’m surprised at you Lieutenant!” his eyes glowed in a way that Whetu had rarely seen in the younger Deltan, and her own expresion betrayed amusement as he continued passionately, “Yard 39 was a major repair yard during the heady days of the 23rd century! This was the age of Montgomery Scott! Starfleet was growing rapidly amidst a mysterious galaxy that had barely been explored! My people joined the Federation around this time, and my great great great grandmother was one of the first Deltans in Starfleet…”

    Whetu nodded and motioned for him to get on with it. “All of that’s true, but there’s not going to be anything there we haven’t had to take apart and reassemble fifty times since our engineering quals.”

    He took a final swig from the champagne and shook his head. “No, no, no! You don’t remember what was there, do you?” He set down the empty glass and typed a few keys. A new window appeared, showing a table of starships present at Yard 39 along with their class and other statistics. “Yes, this is all 23rd century tech, but look at this manifest. Look at the class names!”

    She sighed and leaned closer, reading them aloud. “Shepard, Nimitz, Engle, Malachowski…”

    “Yes! These classes all use Eaves/Beyer Warp drives! Quadrilinear Infuser Coils! N-Dimensional Phase Repeaters! Bi-resonance Dilithium chambers!” Elyos closed the manifest and brought up another window, a general schematic of the Nimitz’ class warp propulsion and main power systems.

    “Elyos, don’t tell me this is all about square nacelles,” Whetu shook her head incredulously. “Sure, these designs were pioneering for their time, but all of that tech is obsolete or has already seen heavy iteration.”

    The Deltan manipulated the schematic to focus on the Nimitz’ nacelles. “Not just square nacelles, no. But remember your history. The Eaves/Beyer drive configuration fell out of favor for more conservative Cochrane/Archer type coils through new construction in the 2260s. Part of this was due to how many of these ships were lost in the Klingon War and the subsequent evacuation of Yard 39.”

    Whetu nodded. “Which is why so few of them made it into the fleet-wide modernization programs of the 2280s, and none made it to see service in the 24th century. If these ships are still there, and somehow they were spaceworthy, it would certainly be an impressive historical find… but we’re engineers, not historians. Soooo, why do you care?”

    Elyos smiled. “Like you said, ‘finders keepers.’ If we can be in the first engineering crew to survey what’s there, we can have our pick of examples to evaluate and re-examine. There will be papers, and conferences, and journals, I’m sure Jayce’s will do an article…”

    The human rolled her eyes. “Be still my beating heart. Nothing I wanted to do more with my engineering degrees than write more papers.”

    Elyos turned around to the schematic. “Well, *I* can write the papers. But look at this. If you’re interested in being an engineer, this is still a good opportunity. Look closer at how the Nimitz’ GNDN relays are spliced into both the EPS gird and the shield emitters.”

    She leaned closer and furrowed her brow. “That’s crazy. There’s no way that… but with the bi-resonance dilithium chamber they could set some sort of networked hazardous energy dissipation system between allied starships…”

    The Deltan’s smile widened as his colleague grabbed a chair next to him and pulled up her own console. “You know,” he said, “you were right, a lot of these technologies are obsolete, but many of them are still around. Now that Narendra is on her way, we’ve got the Next Big Thing to worry about, and think there’s something to learn from these old ships…”

    Whetu nodded. “Yeah… As an old net withers, another is remade.”

    “Huh?” Elyos muttered, turning towards her as she kept typing furiously.

    “Oh, it’s just a saying where I’m from. It just means that the old should always make way for the new.”

    “Indeed… and even inspire it,” he replied, turning back to his console. “Now, look at the EPS distribution net. I think they needed the four-nacelle layout to regulate the warp field in tandem with the output required to…”

    The two kept working late into the night, long after the party down the hall had ended and all the champagne had been drunk.



    Thomas Marrone

    Lead Ship and UI Artist

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    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

    Fleet Rank : Fleet Admiral
    Special Operations Rank : SPO Fleet Admiral
    Intel Department Rank : INT Fleet Admiral
    Number of posts : 4719
    Location : Serenity Station
    Ship Name : U.S.S. ACHERON
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-97397-D
    Ship Class : Eclipse Class Intel Cruiser (Special Operations Refit)
    Fleet Division : Intel/Special Ops

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Pyriel Danto

    Re: Stories From the STO:Verse

    Post by Pyriel32 on Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:42 pm


    J’Ula beheld the odd, vicious human blade in her hands for a moment before setting it upon the desk in her quarters. It was a prize, presented to her by the leader of her personal guard, taken from the hand of a dead Starfleet security officer. Kukri, the humans called the blade. It was truly a warrior’s weapon. The officer who once wielded it killed eight Klingons in close combat before finally succumbing to his wounds. But he was a fool, this human. He fought alone against overwhelming odds, trapped in the belly of his ship after all of his comrades had died or surrendered.

    He fought in a burning house, she mused. He suffered the fate of all fools.

    Her vessel streaked through space at high warp. Valuable information was gleaned from Starfleet prisoners, and from captured data files taken from the “burning house” so bravely defended by the human with the vicious blade. She’d learned of a Federation supply line and, in studying it, learned where it was most vulnerable… especially to a ship with the vaunted cloaking technology. Its treasures would soon be hers.

    Such treasures would keep her crew’s spirits high. It would keep this mighty vessel strong. Lukara. She had named her ship after the wife of Kahless, a true champion of the Empire… and forever in his shadow. Always it had been so. Men honored Kahless, yet without Lukara, he would have been a stain under the boots of Molor’s warriors in the Great Hall of Qam-Chee. A warrior, lost and unsung. But no. Kahless was a legend. Her brother T’Kuvma worshipped him, walked in his footsteps, and sought his light.

    Her brother, the fool.

    Like Kahless, T’Kuvma found eternal glory in death, but J’Ula was determined not to be a woman in a great man’s shadow. She honored Lukara, but she would not follow her path as her brother followed Kahless. Her path led to a vastly greater glory.

    Before the war, when T’Kuvma came to Qo’noS with his mob and his fables, brashly confronting the High Council and warning them of impending Federation attack… she believed him. She told him so, when others scoffed. Pledged to champion his cause before the Great Houses, to make them see the truth in his words.

    And he rejected her, denied the bond of the blood they shared, and turned his back on her. “I no longer have a sister,” were the last words he said to J’Ula. Rage still burned within him, rage at her perceived betrayal for marrying into House Mo’kai, for dissolving their own familial house. He found a way to unite the Houses against the Federation where she had not, but he would never see the glory such unity would bring.

    But House Mo’kai, and its matriarch, would bear witness to that glory.

    “House Mo’kai is rich in one of the most precious commodities of war, dear brother,” she said to herself as she watched the blur of stars move past proud Lukara. “Knowledge. It is our bat’leth, and a blade that strikes deep and true.” Her spies were everywhere – within the Empire and without. They spoke the language of the enemy, read their greatest works, and studied their greatest minds. On the battlefield of the mind, House Mo’kai stood unchallenged and undefeated.

    Let the men of the Great Houses sing their songs and addle their minds with bloodwine. Let them sneer at House Mo’kai, who do the dirty work beneath “honorable” warriors. While the Great Houses clashed with the enemy under the watch of the stars, the forces of Mo’kai sifted through the ruins of enemy vessels, settlements, and minds, gleaning every precious secret held within.

    Secrets. Once the cloaking device was a secret. Once revealed, it gave the Empire the key to many victories. But the Federation was filled with clever minds, and it was only a matter of time before they found the secret that would foil the cloak and deprive the Great Houses of their battlefield wonder. They would have to face their enemies directly once again, instead of striking from the dark.

    This is why they come to Mo’kai. They needed more secrets. They needed the knowledge to win. And it would be provided, of course. Glory to the Empire. But J’Ula kept a very precise ledger, and the debts of the Great Houses were growing larger with each passing day of the war. Debts she fully intended to collect.

    The men of the Great Houses were content to play political games with her husband D’Lor, the “leader” of House Mo’kai. Another fool, in another burning house. The day would come soon when all debts would be collected, and her ascendancy would be all but inevitable. What is an empire without an emperor on the throne… or an empress?

    Hoch ‘ebmey tIjon, the wise often say to fools. Capture all opportunities. There were many opportunities to seize, and J’Ula intended to capture them all.



    Paul Reed

    Content Writer

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    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

    Fleet Rank : Fleet Admiral
    Special Operations Rank : SPO Fleet Admiral
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    Number of posts : 4719
    Location : Serenity Station
    Ship Name : U.S.S. ACHERON
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-97397-D
    Ship Class : Eclipse Class Intel Cruiser (Special Operations Refit)
    Fleet Division : Intel/Special Ops

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Pyriel Danto

    Re: Stories From the STO:Verse

    Post by Pyriel32 on Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:45 pm



    “Captain’s Log, supplemental.”

    Captain Thy’kir Shran lifted his finger from a button on the terminal in his ready room. He had come in here to record his thoughts as the U.S.S. Sebrova cruised at high warp toward their latest objective. These were momentous times, dangerous times, and he felt that they deserved to be chronicled.

    But he wasn’t sure where to begin.

    The peaceful exploratory mission Starfleet had offered him when he donned the uniform was no longer a priority. Across Starfleet, science vessels and starships built for exploration were being retrofitted for combat—the Sebrova included. All because of the Klingons’ attacks at the Battle of the Binary Stars. While he and the Sebrova weren’t present at the battle, he found it surreal to hear the news of the tragedy for two reasons: One, because of the Klingons’ sudden and unexpected savagery and two, because among the Federation’s losses was a ship named after his own great-grandfather, the legendary Andorian war hero Thy’lek Shran. He remembered touring the vessel not long after being named Captain of the Sebrova. He found it strangely gratifying touring the U.S.S. Shran, being treated with respect and honor based on his blood relation to a revered warrior he’d never met.

    This was not the galaxy Thy’lek Shran left behind, Thy’kir mused. He placed his finger back on the terminal and took a breath, his antennae twitching atop his head, seemingly searching the room for inspiration.

    “The Sebrova is making good time toward her objective. We’ve been asked to determine the status of U.S.S. Ticonderoga, last known to be operating in this sector of space. It’s not like Captain Durant to miss routine check-in reports to Starfleet Command. If the Ticonderoga has fallen to Klingon attack, we need to know, immediately.”

    Shifting gears, he continued. “The crew is becoming war-weary, but they are fighting with vigor and honor, and this ship continues to shine in battle, with minimal scars to show for it.”

    Thy’kir paused. A status update? Is that what this update’s about? He’d listened to a collection of Thy’lek Shran’s logs and speeches to the exalted crew of the Kumari. Thy’kir’s ancestor was not an orator, or really a man inclined to give orders, but he fought like a wild sehlat, and when thrust into leadership, he conquered that role like he conquered every other obstacle he faced. He survived war with Vulcan and Romulus, and he defeated his own prejudices to play a central role in the foundation of the Federation.

    Generations later, Thy’kir Shran was a captain in service to the Federation his ancestor helped create. And yet, for all the advancement his family had seen, the galaxy was as dangerous as ever.

    He pressed the button again, and he leaned in toward his terminal. His antennae curled forward, as if trying to listen.

    “I find myself thinking of my great-grandfather, who fought both against and alongside the legendary Captain Jonathan Archer in the days before the Federation was born. For a young Andorian, my ancestor’s writings and recordings are required media. Tales of massive battles and last-minute innovations, of sacrifices and friendships in the blackness of space, all show us that the Andorian officers of his time were hard men and women, prepared for battle, and ready to fight, and claw, and tear for every inch they could get against the enemy. As a people, we weren’t known for retrospection; my ancestor is revered as a man of action, capable of choosing the right side and laying his life on the line to see that side win.”

    Captain Shran reached up to scratch at the base of an antenna, a nervous habit he’d gained in his first days at Starfleet Academy, when he was one of the very few there with skin the color of Earth’s sky, and when everything he did was shrouded in his great-grandfather’s shadow. Unlike the Shran of legend, Thy’kir sought to excel through study, planning, and preparation, and he worried that his ancestor’s pugnacious past might stunt his advancement. To an extent, he was right, but he found that by settling in, spotting an objective, and stubbornly setting course for every opportunity, he could see a path to the hallowed Captain’s chair. He was disappointed, at first, to realize that the stubborn refusal to fail that propelled him forward in Starfleet was the same that led his ancestor to victory in battle.

    His antennae curled backward as he reflected on this. His ancestor faced horrific odds against vicious foes… but he wondered how his great-grandfather would approach the current threat facing Starfleet now: the constant terror of Klingon fleets suddenly materializing out of nowhere, destroying Federation ships before they could even enter Red Alert.

    “My ancestor fought battles with honor, and his opponents responded in kind,” he said, leaning back in toward his terminal. “My crew and I grew up with tales of stacked odds, fleets facing off against each other, the whine of a focused phaser and the ominous glow of a loosed torpedo. Those of us who knew of the Klingons from our training understood them to be honorable warriors, holding a tradition of bravery and—I daresay—sportsmanlike combat. Many of us were excited at the chance to meet the Klingons, not necessarily in battle, but to learn more about them in person.” Thy’kir’s antennae turned inward and then leaned forward once more. “But those are not the Klingons we face today.”

    He sighed, glancing out the window at the streaks of stellar light illuminating the ship at warp. “These cowardly slugs hide in the darkness, waiting to leap out at their unwary prey. The game of the hunt is nonexistent. There’s only peace, then death, and then a darker peace left behind.”

    The Sebrova’s mission was to investigate the fate of the Ticonderoga, but the recent days have proven that the Klingons were hunting civilian vessels in this sector as well as those of Starfleet. Traders and travelers peacefully moving through space, struck down by cowardly scavengers likely terrified of a stand-up fight. Captain Shran’s ancestor would have spit and cursed them, if he could meet them face-to-face, but these enemies kill without the courtesy of introductions. You’re safe, you’re whole, and boom, you’re dead.

    “Our mission is one of mercy, to provide a deterrent against these brazen raids on civilian traders and to protect and rescue any ship that comes under Klingon attack. But…” He took a moment, then shook his head. “This mission is a farce. We can no more protect these vessels than we can protect ourselves—and you can ask about the fate of the starship named after my family to see how that can go.” He felt his face wrinkle, his antennae stand straight and outward, alert. “We cannot fight an enemy we cannot see. And all the legendary ancestors and retrofitted exploration ships in the fleet cannot make the invisible visible!”

    As he said this, his gaze fell upon a model on the shelf next to his ready room door: A gold-plated replica of the Kumari, the ship in which Commander Thy’lek Shran overcame the Vulcans, the Xindi, and his own prejudices to become a hero revered by three starfaring civilizations. He always felt emotional when he looked at this ship, and this time, the emotion was shame.

    His antennae leaned downward as he returned his attention to the terminal. “The Sebrova and her crew will do all we can to combat the Klingon menace. We will see this mission through, no matter the difficulty. We are a fleet of scientists and explorers wearing the armor of warriors. If there is a way to defeat the Klingons’ cloaks, we will find it.”

    At that moment, his ready room door slid open, and his First Officer stepped in. “Sir, we’re nearing the objective… and we’re picking up a Starfleet distress call not far from the target sector.”

    “Which vessel,” he replied. “Is it Ticonderoga?”

    “No, sir,” his officer said. “It’s from a vessel assigned to Starfleet Academy. She’s on a cadet training cruise, Captain.”

    Captain Shran looked up from his terminal and nodded. Cadets. They’re attacking cadets now. The Klingon dishonor knows no bounds. “Plot a course to the signal’s source, Commander. Maximum warp.”

    The First Officer nodded, “Aye, sir,” and turned to give the order. Captain Shran pressed the terminal’s button one more time, and leaned forward.

    “This is not the galaxy my ancestor left behind,” he said, his antennae twisting as if searching for the right thought. “This is the galaxy we have, now. And now we sail forth, to pierce the darkness, to banish the ghosts, to slay the beast. We have chosen the right side of history,” he said, “And we will do what we must to see that side win.”

    He rose and stepped away from his desk, the terminal’s log window closing as he stood. As he approached the door to the bridge, his glance caught the shine from the model Kumari once more.

    He paused in reflection for just one more moment, before he heard the klaxons from the bridge, announcing a yellow alert.

    “We’ll save this one, too, Commander Shran,” he said, and he charged onto the bridge to make his ancestor proud.



    Jay Turner

    Staff Writer

    Cryptic Studios
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    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

    Fleet Rank : Fleet Admiral
    Special Operations Rank : SPO Fleet Admiral
    Intel Department Rank : INT Fleet Admiral
    Number of posts : 4719
    Location : Serenity Station
    Ship Name : U.S.S. ACHERON
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-97397-D
    Ship Class : Eclipse Class Intel Cruiser (Special Operations Refit)
    Fleet Division : Intel/Special Ops

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Pyriel Danto

    Re: Stories From the STO:Verse

    Post by Pyriel32 on Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:08 pm



    The stars in the sky were simply boiling, exploding balls of gas, spread out over billions of miles. Ensign Keero had never understood his human companions’ desires to ascribe patterns to them. And yet, standing in the dark, looking out of the viewport of Deep Space Two, Deck 47, East Wing, Keero noticed these patterns. Most of all, he noticed they were different from what he remembered. This was not unexpected. From the time Keero had awoken two days ago, he had traveled exactly 153 years, three months, two days, twelve minutes, and 36.5 seconds into the future. During all of that time, the stars would shift, ever so slightly, the patterns would change. This was a natural and expected course of events.

    This should satisfy him. But Keero looked out at these new stars and felt…uneasy. Like he was barely holding on to the floor, and could go spinning off into space at any time. The feeling was not pleasurable, and he wished to make it stop. But yet, he could not stop staring out into the deep blacks and brilliant lights of the cosmos, wondering. Disorientation was expected in a situation like this – Agent Daniels had explained as much – but he felt more than disoriented. Keero felt like he was drifting.

    On his home planet, Keero had often felt small. His people were all giants by human standards, and Keero was no exception, but being seven foot tall matters little when your three sisters stand at eight, eight and a half, and almost nine feet respectively. His people were not by any means unintelligent, but Keero’s brain was like a supercomputer. He had always felt a gulf between himself and those his own age. When he arrived at Starfleet academy, all of that had changed. The other students, to use a human turn of phrase, spoke his language. At last, he had felt he had a place in the universe.

    Now, once again, he wasn’t sure.

    There was a soft hiss behind him. The doors to the observation deck slid open, filling the room with the artificial light of the hallway. Keero winced, and turned around. Standing in the doorway was a being, about six foot in height, his head buried in a PADD. He was wearing a uniform that Keero knew was the standard for Starfleet officers of this era. The blue stripe across the torso designated the newcomer as being part of the science branch. This science officer – a Lieutenant, by the number of pips on his collar – was not human, as many Starfleet officers were in his time.  He was…

    No, that wasn’t right. Those forehead ridges…

    Keero froze.

    The Lieutenant looked up from his PADD, noticing that he was not alone for the first time. He smiled. “Greetings, Ensign,” he said, “I am Lieutenant Thox. I apologize, I hadn’t realized this room was taken. I’ve booked it for an observation of the remnants of the Hobus supernova. You are free to join me if you wish.”

    His human friends had often described their mind as “racing” to Keero. That made no sense. The mind was a stationary object. When he searched for a solution, he often felt more like it was a computer, searching memory banks and making quick calculations. Racing implied a loss of control, which Keero had never felt.

    Until now. The creature before him was a Klingon. One of the beings that had assaulted his ship, killed his Captain. His mind, the rational part, was frantically screaming calculations at him. There was only a .003% chance that this Klingon was even related to someone who took part in that attack.  Yes, there was a war in this century between the Federation and the Klingons as well, but he knew of at least 4.5 Klingon members of Starfleet from throughout its modern and recent history. The chances of this Klingon – Thox – being an infiltrator and here to kill him was 122,695 to 1.

    All of these thoughts were there, in his mind. But his body was not listening. He reached for where a phaser would be, were he on combat duty. He felt dismay when he found nothing there.

    Even buried in his work, Thox had noticed the change in the air. He gave a quizzical look. “Are you all right, Ensign?”

    Responses spun in Keero’s find. The calculations had broken down. His supercomputer was spitting error messages into his mind, and he could not move.

    After a moment, the look on Lieutenant Thox’s face changed to one of resignation and disappointment. He nodded, almost to himself. “Ah,” he said, “I see. Please, Ensign, use the room as long as you need.”

    The doors opened and shut again, and Keero was left alone with a beating heart and a burning face. He gasped for breath, whatever errors had filled his mind before being replaced by a slowly growing sense of shame.

    ***

    It was three days later when Ensign Keero once again saw the Klingon science officer. Lieutenant Thox was sitting by himself in the mess hall, poking at replicated gagh with a fork. Keero looked around the room, at all of the other open tables where he, too, could sit alone. Then he remembered the friends he had left behind. The ones who had been dead for decades. What would Sylvia have done?

    Thox’s eyes darted up – and up - as Keero stood across from him. Silence passed between them for a moment.

    “I am unfamiliar with Klingon culture,” Keero finally began, “And therefore unsure whether I should ask if this seat is taken.”

    “It is not taken, Ensign. Please, join me.” Thox gestured to the seat, and Keero worked on placing his massive form in it. Most sentients found the sight of him attempting to sit in a seat for humans, especially one with arms, comical. If he agreed with that assessment, Thox did not show it.

    “I wish to offer an apology for my behavior the last time we met,” Keero began, “My adjustment to this,” The ensign caught himself. The circumstances of his crew being stranded in this time period were highly confidential. He could not bring them up in casual conversation. “…to this new situation with the Klingon Empire has been less than ideal. But exposing you to my lack of, I believe the humans would call it, “manners,” is entirely unacceptable.”

    Thox chuckled. “I myself have had many run-ins with the human concept of manners. They hide what they truly mean in order to make us feel better – I have never had the stomach for it. It’s what draws me to science. Answers are not hidden here.”

    “I must admit,” Keero said, “I have never met a Klingon who had an interest in the sciences, of any kind.”

    “Have you met many of my kind before?” Thox tilted his head, quizzically.

    The smell of ozone and burning flesh. Red lights flashing, alarms blaring. A terrifying woman standing over them, a mek’leth in each hand, dripping blood. Captain Schaefer’s lifeless eyes.

    “No,” Keero said, “I have not.”

    “Well, if you ever get the chance to travel to Qo’noS’, or another Klingon world, you’ll find many scientists. They do not receive the glory of warriors, but they exist.” Thox said.

    “Then why are you not with them?” Keero asked.

    “My…temperament never held up to Klingon scrutiny.” Thox said, lifting, examining, and finally dropping a piece of his unmoving gagh. “And then the war broke out, and I was here. I was already invested in becoming a full Starfleet officer, and leaving did not seem…prudent, even if it meant going to war with my own people.” He gave one last, pointless poke at his “gagh”, and then pushed it aside, “But you didn’t sit here to hear my history. How can I ease your mind, Ensign?”

    That was a novel question. Keero found himself unsure of how exactly to respond. He calculated thousands of avenues of approach, but none seemed to match the question on his mind. Thox waited, patiently. There was no way to do this delicately, Keero realized. He took a deep breath, and spoke.

    “Many of my friends and classmates have died at the hands of your people. My training at the academy was for exploration, and in my case, for healing. It was not for war. And I find myself unsure of how to proceed with the ideals of the Federation while parts of my mind I do not understand are screaming at me to take actions…actions I do not wish to take.”

    Thox nodded, and looked away for a moment. Other Starfleet officers in the mess hall were chatting merrily away, the tension of the war far away for them. Their bright voices and quick laughs seemed out of place with the conversation at hand.

    “To the Klingon people,” Thox began, “Desires for battle, and for revenge, are sacred things to be cultivated. My people believe you must always act upon your heart and go where it leads you, even and especially into death. The Federation, on the other hand, was founded on the ideals of logic, and empathy, of looking before you leap. As I have spent considerable time now in both worlds, I have some experience with the duality of which you speak. What I have learned is this: there is no ‘right way’ to approach the cosmos, and our journey through it. There is simply the way that feels most honorable to you. Which path do you wish to follow, Ensign? Rage and revenge, or empathy and understanding?”

    Keero knew what the Starfleet answer would be. It was their highest ideal to reach out to other civilizations with an open hand. But a new part of his mind, one he did not yet understand, pushed against that conclusion.

    “I must be truthful, I do not know.” He finally said.

    Thox nodded. “Truth is the first step on the journey, Ensign. Follow it and see where it takes you.”
    avatar
    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

    Fleet Rank : Fleet Admiral
    Special Operations Rank : SPO Fleet Admiral
    Intel Department Rank : INT Fleet Admiral
    Number of posts : 4719
    Location : Serenity Station
    Ship Name : U.S.S. ACHERON
    Ship Registry Number : NCC-97397-D
    Ship Class : Eclipse Class Intel Cruiser (Special Operations Refit)
    Fleet Division : Intel/Special Ops

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Pyriel Danto

    Re: Stories From the STO:Verse

    Post by Pyriel32 on Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:09 pm

    Daniels tugged at the high collar of his wool coat as his temporal trainees followed behind. All three of the trainees were likewise garbed in heavy, long coats and gloves, with their specialized temporal equipment carefully stowed away in hidden pockets and beneath holographic camouflage. On mid-22nd century Andoria, non-Andorians were still rare, and the temporal agents definitely didn’t want to draw attention to themselves, so they stayed together, kept their heads down, and focused on the job.

    “Like the cold, pinkskin?” shouted an Andorian from somewhere in the crowded marketplace. Daniels simply turned and kept his gloved hands on his collar, partly obscuring his face, as he ducked past an open cooking station—some kind of deep freshwater shellfish, probably pulled out from beneath a glacial lake—and gently brushed past an old Andorian woman. Several small tables choked the space on the other side, where many Andorians ate and argued. Eyes followed the team, but most of the people in this squalid marketplace were too busy dealing with their own personal business to pry too much into the strangers in their midst.

    Daniels moved to hug the cold wall of the massive cave complex. He surreptitiously checked his palm-sized tricorder, then nodded to his recruits.

    “In about twenty minutes, there’ll be an impromptu speech by Banis Ch’thiriv, a labor organizer in this area. He generates some support for the nascent Coalition of Planets that lays the groundwork for the later Federation. While his reception here is lukewarm, he’s assassinated about five minutes later by a member of the Terra Prime faction. The assassin is killed by security forces but it takes Banis five days to die from his injuries. During that time he records a set of moving dialogs asking people to become better, to root out these conflicts and do so by finding common ground with Humans—and others—who share a desire for a peaceful future, rather than letting this event turn into a flashpoint for extremists,” Daniels explained.

    Keero piped up hesitantly, asking, “Are we here to save him?”

    “No,” said Daniels flatly. “Banis’ death galvanizes otherwise uncommitted parties to stand against the Terra Prime faction and other xenophobic ultranationalist groups. The Andorian people drive those groups into obscurity and some members even defect in disgust; the same happens on Earth, even as the Vulcans go through their Reformation. The seeds of old, fascistic impulses are pulled out by the root and destroyed, and new governments form with goals of mutual cooperation.”

    “Then we will be forced to observe his slow death?” said Keero with an anguished expression.

    Daniels remained neutral and unreadable. “Yes. I’m not saying because it’s right, but because of the alternative. But let’s talk about this in broader terms.” He knocked his boots against the wall to force some of the slush out of the treads. “On Earth in the 20th century, these boot soles would be made of rubber. And that raises a great question for temporal agents: Why don’t we go back in time and assassinate Leopold II?”

    Lieutenant Sokhanya, a dark-haired Cambodian human woman from the 24th century, replied, “Don’t you mean Hitler? That’s the famous formulation—time travelers assassinating Hitler.”

    “Nope,” said Daniels, setting his feet back down and leaning against the wall casually. “Leopold II. King of Belgium. Oversaw Belgian interests in the Congo, part of the African continent of Earth. As part of his mission to extract precious resources in the Congo, Leopold authorized widespread exploitation and abuse of the local population. Estimates place the death toll at ten million people. Hitler became famously ensconced in history books because of a foible of late twentieth-century Earth culture: the mass murders in the Congo didn’t happen in Europe or North America, so people of the era didn’t bother learning about them. This skewed the writing of history and journalism from the era, and as a result Leopold II, despite overseeing a regime of monumental cruelty and violence, gets nary a mention in Earth history of the time. Not that this absolves the Reich, of course; but history has no shortage of bad actors.”

    Keero glanced at his own tricorder to check for temporal incursions, but there were no signals—just the steady pulse of the quantum waveform from the underlying atomic motion of the universe. Daniels leaned over and pointed at Keero’s tricorder. “All quiet, right? Sooo…” He gestured in a circling motion for Keero to finish his sentence, a teacher guiding a student.

    Keero slowly replied, “Either the incursion hasn’t happened yet, or it has already happened far enough back that we are not seeing any residual energy.”

    Daniels nodded. “Right. And if a temporal incursion were going to happen within the next few minutes, we’d already see tachyons flooding backward. Which means…” He turned to look at Lieutenant Sokhanya.

    The lieutenant glanced up from her tricorder and said, “It must’ve already happened, but possibly days or weeks ago.”

    Daniels nodded again. “Also right. So where’s our temporal intruder? Look around. Who do you see?”

    The third student, an Orion woman, finally piped up. “Just Andorians as far as the eye can see. This is a marketplace in a poor, crowded part of town. It actually reminds me of the Orion quarter on Qo’noS.”

    Daniels gave a brief half-smile. “You’ll have to do better than that, Drij. Where’s our temporal intruder? Who’s been here for days?”

    Drij scanned the marketplace again, once with her tricorder, once with her eyes. “I don’t know, this place is just packed with people… people. The intruder’s been here for days, on 22nd-century Andoria—he looks like an Andorian!”

    “Right the third time,” said Daniels, his grin tightening as he took on an impassive expression. “And all we know is that the intruder is going to interfere with this point in time. We have to stop that interference, no matter what form it takes.” He put his tiny tricorder back in his pocket and ran his fingers over his sleeve, ostensibly brushing off snow, but in truth checking the small holdout phaser concealed in the lining.

    “If we are able to save Baris, will that not still protect the timeline?” asked Keero.

    Daniels pointed to a ledge on the opposite wall and to a tent holding swaths of colorful fabric and clothing. “No. Events have to unfold as they originally did. Every alteration to history creates new quantum splits—new timelines and new universes. But the energy for those to exist still has to be accounted for. Too many splits and the cosmos itself risks collapse. Our job isn’t to ‘fix’ history. It’s to stop other people from breaking the past and potentially ending the universe.”

    With a nod, Daniels issued orders. “Drij, you and Keero head to the clothier’s shop. That’s the spot where the historical shooter is concealed. Make sure he doesn’t get intercepted or killed. Sokhanya, you’re with me. We’re going to check that ledge, which is where I’m guessing our uninvited guest will make an appearance.”

    The group split up, Drij and Keero moving into the walls of textiles as Daniels ducked his head and, with Sokhanya directly behind him, pushed through the crowd to the far side of the cavern and made his way up a rickety metal walkway to the ledge above.

    Keero wasn’t sure what to look for, so he simply started examining the textiles. He picked up a swatch of long golden fabric, turning it over in his hands, while trying to keep an eye out for anyone looking angry or guarded… or armed. The shopkeeper, an Andorian woman with milky eyes and an elaborately-decorated tunic, approached him with the hope of a sale. “You like it?” she said eagerly, her antenna leaning forward. “We can make a trade, offworlder.”

    Drij smoothly interjected herself, giving Keero a knowing nod as he limply let go of the fabric. “I’m quite interested,” she said. “Do you have anything in a nice silver or dark blue that would complement my skin tone?” she asked, smoothly covering so that Keero could continue his search.

    Keero stepped aside as the shopkeeper turned her attention to Drij. The sociable Orion easily took up the shopkeeper’s attention, freeing up Keero to continue looking for the would-be assassin. Realizing that the assassin would be less likely to take up a spot inside of the shop if it was already crowded, he drifted next door into a different kiosk selling a variety of knick-knacks, icons, trinkets, and jewelry. He glanced back at Drij, then looked up toward the ledge on the far side of the cavern.

    In the distance, Daniels appeared to be engaged in a struggle with an Andorian. On the icy ledge, the two fought for control of an ushaan-tor - the ice-cutting tool famous for use in Andorian duels of honor. Sokhanya struck the Andorian from the side, knocking the weapon from his hand, and Daniels took him to the ground. The two rolled back into the cleft and Sokhanya scooped up the fallen weapon, then also ducked back into the shadows. Only a few seconds later, Sokhanya staggered out, hands covered in blue blood, before Daniels pulled her back into obscurity. Below, the Andorian crowd paid little attention; the ledge was high enough up the wall to be out of the line of sight of most of the people, and besides, who cared if a visitor was stabbed by one of the locals?

    “Daniels to team,” came his call very quietly over the comm. “We’ve neutralized the temporal intruder. Get out of the situation, let history play out. We’ll meet up back at the fishmonger’s shop that we passed on the way in.”

    Drij quickly told the cloth-seller that she’d return with some trade goods of her own and extricated herself. Keero watched her go, then counted out another eight seconds so that his departure didn’t match her timing. He turned and immediately bumped into a smooth, expressionless, bland-looking Andorian man. “Sorry,” he mumbled as he sidestepped out into the street. The Andorian’s expression changed to burning, hate-filled eyes, his lips curving down into a frown, his antennae shrinking back into a defensive posture, and he stepped into the clothier’s shop, still watching Keero the whole time. Keero didn’t see a weapon, but his body language was clear: He was ready to fight.

    Ducking his head, Keero shuffled quickly down the thoroughfare, sliding through the crowds and trying to catch up with Drij.

    “Good,” came Daniels’ calm voice over the comm. “Meet up here and prepare for extraction. Don’t get distracted.”

    Despite Daniels’ admonition, Keero couldn’t help but look over his shoulder. Atop a metal stage, an old Andorian man had started shouting at the crowd—Banis, by all appearances. The angry man leaned against a beam supporting the clothier’s shop, listening and clearly upset by the unfolding speech. A few members of the crowd had turned to watch the spontaneous harangue. Keero could feel a sense of dread, of oncoming distress, as he knew how this would unfold.

    A hand grabbed his arm, hard, and yanked. He attempted to break free, twisting against the grab as he’d learned in hand-to-hand defense training, before he noticed that it was Daniels, face close, pulling him along.

    “We have to go, Keero,” said the temporal agent. “Let it play out. We can’t change it without risking big changes, and if that happens, we put the entire universe at risk.”

    “But…” Keero’s mental computer whirred, spitting out hundreds of calculations and possibilities that were singularly unhelpful. His thoughts were only half-formed as he spoke, “… that is… just physics. I do not want the universe to end. But this is not about universal laws. It is about hatred, and bigotry, and murdering people just because they are not like you.”

    “And stopping that is a war worth fighting,” answered Daniels as he released his grip on Keero’s arm. He walked briskly toward the fishmonger stall where Drij and Sokhanya waited, and gestured for Keero to come with him. “We fight it with our ideals, and we fight it with fists when we have to. But blowing up the universe to spite these people is a losing proposition. We have to make sure that we have a world to live in, and that means keeping the seams together while we stop the people who want to make it worse.”

    Keero finally nodded. “We have all of these predictive models; can we not figure out what changes are safe to make? Where we could stop terror, change history to make it better?”

    “We’re not the only ones with that technology,” said Daniels tersely. “That’s why there are these incursions. Other species develop their own time-travel technology independently, and they all have their own agendas.” As Keero’s frown deepened, Daniels elaborated. “Groups like the Temporal Liberation Front believe that they can irresponsibly alter the timeline without consequences. The Terrans from the Mirror Universe have their own time agents, working to change our history as well as their own, all to spread their agenda of cruelty. Posthuman and metaphysical entities like the Q and the Guardian of Forever can change time, apparently without the limitations that we have, and they’re well beyond our means to control - or even monitor. Faced with such opposition, you can see why our mission is so important. It’s on us to maintain the timeline, keep everyone alive, and make sure the universe doesn’t fall apart from too much meddling.”

    “That’s why you can’t go back and change things. You can’t stop the past. You can’t go home again and you can’t return to your own time, because you’d change things and the universe would tear. You’d feel the need to make things different and instead you’d become one of the temporal incursions that risks unraveling the underlying quantum energy of reality,” said Daniels as the two reunited with Sokhanya and Drij.

    Sokhanya was busy wiping blue blood from her hands with a cloth while Drij languidly draped herself on a nearby table to draw attention away from the mess. “I caught the last part of that,” said Sokhanya as she dumped the cloth into a recycler. “What about all the time changes that we just… let go by? The Enterprise’s trips to the past? The Iconian War?”

    Daniels sighed heavily and said, “You’ll learn more about that in Advanced Paradox Theory. Certain pre-temporal agency events are considered part of the ordered sequence now and we can’t revisit them; it’s like reopening an old wound. We’re minimizing collateral damage.”

    Back at the other end of the marketplace a disruptor whined and the speaker staggered back. Another shot and he fell. People scattered, shouting and pushing.

    Daniels watched impassively as history unfolded. “We don’t have to like it. But until we have a better alternative, we have to live with it. We’re watching history… but we have to hope that while we’re fighting this fight, there are people who are willing to make that history happen, good people willing to fight for a better tomorrow, one that gives us the chance to step up and make sure that we still have a world to live in.” As the crowd swirled and attention was diverted, he keyed his transponder and the temporal agents were lifted out of the chaos to the safely removed distance of their own time.

    Jesse Heinig

    Senior Game Designer

    Star Trek Online


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    Re: Stories From the STO:Verse

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:47 am