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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:09 pm 
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Alpha Quadrant,
Prophet's Landing, Borhyas Monastery


Riov Galen Cretak's attention was drawn to the familiar disruption that accompanied a transporter beam. His head turned, his arms at his sides as Commander Kalpov materialized into the idyllic setting that he had chosen for their meeting. He wore the traditional garb of the Romulan Star Navy. There was a side arm on his side of course, the last generation of Romulan disruptor with all of the embellishments expected for an officer of the Romulan Star Empire. He did not expect to have a need to use it, for he expected that it would not do much good if a situation arised that required its used.

He is a changeling.

The thought made its way to the surface of his mind before it was dispelled. His eyes focused on Kalpov as the glow from the transporter faded away. A small smile danced on his lips before the changeling gathered himself. When Kalpov stepped forward and spoke he nodded his head in acknowledgement. His lips parting as he spoke in turn.

"Commander." He said smoothly, listening closely as Kalpov continued. "I am pleased to be having this conversation witth you Commander. Besides, it brought me to this place." His left hand moved, motioning to the monastery. It was a far cry from some of the beauty of Romulus but he could appreciate the history and care of the monastery around them. It was a pity that the Borg cared little for the history and beauty. He could only imagine what Romulus itself looked like now. He pushed that thought away and focused on the Commander.

"Pleaase, walk with me." He said to Kalpov and took a step away from the place where he had awaited. There was a particular garden that had caught his attention. If they were to talk about the future, the least that they could do was to have scenery to match their aspirations. He had taken no more than half a dozen steps before he answered Kalpov's question.

"The S'harien is operational. There was some damage here and there but we have managed to get on top of it. Assuming that we do not run into another scenario quite like that last one in the badlands, I expect that we will reach Bajor ready for anything." He said. The perils that awaited for them in Bajor were more than just the threat of the Borg. Bajor was going to be a political nightmare as their taks force sought to reintegrate itself into what survied of their own independent nation's navies. They had been in Prophet's Landing for only nine hours, but he had already received a full debrief of known Romulan forces in Bajor.

The path of power is one of turns within turns.

They arrived on a terraced garden in short order. To their credit, the Bajoran monks gave them a wide berth. Their curiousity outweighed by their sense of caution. Galen made it hal way into the garden before his right hand disappeared into a pocket and retrieved a small circular device. He activated it and placed it down atop what appeared to be an ancient table. A field of energy rippled outwards almost imperceptibly as he turned his head and glanced towards Kalpov.

"As long as we remain within twenty feet of this device, no one should be able to use technology to listen to what we say." Cretak said simply. His body shifted, his hands moving behind his back as he glanced at the changeling before him.

"What can I do for you Commander?" He said simply. He expected that this conversation was driven by his true nature and what would transpire upon arriving in Bajor. Kalpov would need allies once his secret was revealed and he was willing to be such an ally. The past meant little for him now. He was far more interested in the future.

_________________
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:24 am 
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Prophet's Landing, High Orbit

"Done with engines."

For a Starfleet vessel, that's not usually something that even needs to be articulated. For that matter, station-keeping thrusters being what they are, it's not something that would even make much sense, outside of spacedock. For a ship in Scylla's condition, however, it makes all too much sense.

"Orbit stability confirmed," Scylla's synthetic helm officer continued. The synthetic, female voice carried with it a noticeably-Andorian accent, a deliberate choice to stand out from the more tonally-neutral voice standard to Starfleet shipboard computers.

"Warp drive standby power disengaged. Warp drives fully offline," she continued. A certain uneasy tension rustled around the bridge at that; any ship with totally cold warp drives would have quite a lot of difficulty running in time if Borg were sighted on approach.

"Impulse engines offline. EPS links disengaged. Maneuvering thrusters disabled. Station-keeping thrusters disabled. Thruster fuel lines sealed. All motive systems disengaged. Captain, we are ballistic."A melancholic tone crept into the reporting as each additional report put another degree of separation between 'starship' and 'particularly enthusiastic satellite.'

"Thank you, Scylla. We'll get you back up and running as soon as we can," Leyton replied, unconsciously giving a comforting rub to the arm of his display-festooned chair as he turned to the Andorian seated to his right. A smile twisted his lips for a moment in tandem with a shrug.

"I just became a passenger. Lesschey, you know what needs to be done. Meanwhile..." the smile vanished, stormclouds gathering across his brow, "I need to go have a talk with someone. Mind the fort for me?"

At her curt nod, the grey-haired figure stood and crossed the short distance towards turbolift with rapid, purposeful strides. Behind him, orders began to spread, rousing the ship's mammoth engineering department and putting them to work. By the time the lift disgorged the captain once more, work teams were already forming and drawing equipment. By the time the reinforced hatch to the brig whirr-thunked shut behind him, they were already fanning out across the ship to start mapping exactly what the actual fuck that absurd subspace prolapse actually did to the Scylla, and what needed to be done to correct it.

Leyton paused for a moment, looking over the security officer standing watch over the brig. For a moment, he mulled over dismissing him for the sake of privacy -- but then he just nodded and continued on past.

Dad always did thrive in the shadows. No. A witness is exactly[/i] what he needs[/i].

"So. You wanted to talk. I was busy at the time, but I'm sure you'll excuse the wait."

The quiet hum of a brig force field underlaid his words as he clasped hands behind his back, squaring off against the cell and its sole, very, very familiar occupant.

"Make it good, 'Dad.'"

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:23 am 
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On the surface, it would seem that Klingons and Bajorans would have a lot in common. Both have experienced brutal alien occupations that they've violently resisted and both try to hold onto their traditional beliefs into the modern era. Unfortunately, this does not hold true. The Klingons have little use for the Bajorans' faith and worse yet, the Bajorans gave up the stars. The Bajorans see another arrogant group of swaggering conquerors. That there is good feeling between Bajorans and Klingons is mostly the result of the shedding of Cardassian blood.

-Michelle Ford, The Fire Among the Stars: Towards an Understanding of the Klingon People

Kadon leaned back in the throne-like chair behind his desk. "I'll be beaming to the surface shortly," he said. "I'll be taking Doctor Kadra, Lieutenant Urvok from Security, two guards, and-" she shifted his gaze to Morizan, "your protege Lieutenant Talera."

"They'll notice Talera, Thought Captain," said Morizan.

"She's an Orion female," said Kadon. "They get noticed. That's the point. That's why you started using her."

Morizan shrugged. "She has talent."

"In my absence," Kadon continued, "keep an eye on things up here. Be friendly and helpful. And don't pry at the third moon."

"Captain," Arikel replied, "you must know this talk of sacred places is a lie. Bajorans-"

"Allow aliens in their temples and Starfleet to examine their sacred orbs," finished Kadon. "I know this. Starfleet knows this. The Romulans know this. Let Starfleet train their excellent sensor arrays and well trained analysts at the problem and the Romulans all their stealth and cunning. One or both will come up with the answer. What I want to know is if and whenthey share that with me."

His eyes flickered over to Morizan. "I suppose I could try to give your orders."

"I am faithful to this ship and it's captain," said the II officer.

"Yes, and you're still II. Try not to stir things up."

"I'm not the one about to take a meeting with Bajoran religious leaders."

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:42 pm 
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When Cretak produced the device, Kalpov hesitated visibly, though not for any fault of Cretak's. A memory of another device that the Romulan Empire had purported to have invented, a dampening field that locked Changelings into their solid form, ran through his mind. Of course if such a device even existed, the odds that it was randomly located aboard Cretak's Valdore were scarcely credible, but that didn't stop him from worrying.

But of course, the device turned out to be nothing of the sort, and as the energy field washed over them both, Kalpov nodded politely, and removed his combadge, the only "real" piece of technology he had brought with him, switching it off, for what was about to be discussed did not require witnesses of any sort.

"I'm glad to hear the S'harien continues to live up to her name," he said, and this time he was not making small talk. The S'harien was the peak of the Romulan art of warfare, an art that only a staggering imbecile (or a very boastful Klingon) would have discounted. "She took the brunt of whatever that dampening weapon the Pirates employed was. I have to assume that's not standard issue on a Romulan Fleet Tender."

To be perfectly honest, Kalpov felt that he had taken the brunt of that particular attack. Getting vented into an active plasma storm did bad things to his temper, as it turned out. But this was not the time or place, and Cretak was not the responsible party for that little incident.

"I wished to discuss two matters," he said. "And I'm sure you already know what at least one of them is." He did not glance around to see if there was anyone close enough to listen, but instead grew photosensitive cells on the back of his head for a moment, ascertaining that they were sufficiently alone for his purposes before dissolving them back into hair and skin and skull.

He stepped over to the edge of the garden terrace, looking out over the picturesque scene before them. He let his lungs fill with the fresh air of the planet, letting it out slowly. To waste the Romulan's time was not what he'd come here to do, and yet what he was about to say was something he had not admitted aloud more than twice in the last decade.

"I'm a changeling," he said at last, letting the words sit on the terrace with them for a moment. "And that has certain implications for my ship and crew that I'm sure you appreciate. This was not information that was supposed to get out, but it has, to you, and some of your crew, and to anyone you've seen fit or will see fit to tell."

He left that part in there deliberately, as a signal that he was not even going to try and stop Cretak from telling whoever he wanted. Even if he'd wanted to, Cretak would not be a proper Romulan if he didn't have precautions against such a thing. And even if somehow he did not, the man had taken an enormous leap of faith, two leaps of faith, by meeting him alone, knowing that he was not what he appeared to be. His crew had shed blood to help save the Argonaut. To help save him. To repay that with blood and violence to force the secret down was not only stupid, it was beyond the pale.

Maybe that made him a bad changeling, but it had been the only easy decision in this whole mess.

"If you wanted to tell Anderson or the rest of the Captains," he said, turning around to face Cretak, "I have to assume you'd have already done it. And if you had done it, I expect I'd already know. Anderson could do anything, to say nothing of Starfleet Command. And as to my crew..." he hesitated, but pushed on, "... well they don't know as a whole, and if they were to find out, I don't know what would happen. Maybe a mutiny."

It was strange, putting cards on the table like this. He didn't much like it, but there wasn't any choice.

"So... I wanted to ask, face to face, as it were, what your intentions are when we get to Bajor? Because I can't swallow any more risk than I already have where they are concerned. And I'd rather know what I'm facing in that regard."

*-------------------------------------------*

Admiral Leyton looked none the worse for wear, given the circumstances. Such circumstances were not exactly standard, but then what was, in these times? He wore civilian clothes, much faded and worn, but there was no mistaking the aura of one accustomed to doing as he would without reference to subordinates or explanations of his intentions. Slowly, he lifted his eyes, tracing the contours of the forcefield between him and his son, his face unreadable.

"It's good to see you as well, son," he said, his voice betraying nothing of whether or not that was actually the case. "I know that you weren't expecting to see me, not here. But I'm afraid that we don't have time to cover everything that's happened. I need your help."

He asked for assistance as though everything were normal. As though this conversation were happening over coffee in an office at Starfleet headquarters.

"I know how to stop the Borg at Bajor," said admiral Leyton. " The only way that will work. And I need you to help me convince everyone at Bajor that I'm right."

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:18 am 
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USS Scylla, Brig

In the seconds following his father's choice of bombshell, the younger Leyton formed and discarded a whole spread of response, all the while wearing a flickering, variable expression.

Are you fucking kidding me!? set into an incredulous twist that stopped just shy of a derisive snort.

Let me guess, travel back in time to make sure your coup succeeds so Starfleet is militarized sufficiently to stand up to the Borg retroactively accompanied by a tightening of lips in a near-smirk.

Clearly I didn't stun you heavily enough the first time alongside narrowed eyes.

Just leave him here... coupled with a faint scuff as weight shifted forwards on one foot in preparation for a turn.

Finally, though, after allowing the silence to stretch out to a breaking point, a spoken question, his own voice habitually rougher in comparison to his father's smooth, nearly-hypnotic tones.

"Why me? Of all the captains in this ad-hoc squadron, why me? To the rest of the Starfleet ones, you're just a sad old traitor, they don't have a reason to hold a personal grudge. To the ones outside the Federation, you're at work someone else's baggage. To the Romulans, at the risk of belaboring a stereotype, that level of intrigue isn't even terribly unusual..."

His eyes narrowed sharply, suddenly, "That laser caught the S'harien too. You were hoping Cretak would pull into that bay, weren't you? For that matter, did you even know I was on Scylla?"

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:24 am 
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Cynical Cat wrote:
"I'll arrange transport at you convenience Captain Anderson," Kadon replied.


"Thank you Captain.


Marcao wrote:
“Commander Cretak, please follow me. Captain Anderson is expecting you.” The human officer said politely.


Captain Anderson arrived soon after.

"Commander Cretak. I hope you've been comfortable?"

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Alpha Quadrant,
Prophet's Landing, Borhyas Monastery

Cretak watched Commander Kalpov closely as he spoke. The Federation officer deserved his attention specially given that his true nature was well known to him. When Kalpov nodded and removed his combadge he nodded his head. It was unlikely that anyone aboard his own ship would listen in on the Commander but it was not an impossibility. His words about the S’harien were considered and he answered after only a moment.

“No, that dampening weapon was certainly not standard issue. Its effect would have been far more pronounced had the nature of the S’harien been less than what she is.” The Borg technology at the heart of the Warbird had prevented the majority of the damage. The projections of what that weapon would have done to a standard Warbird had been studied by his engineers since their exposure to the weapon. The likelihood that the S’harien would have been crippled was high, the possibility of a catastrophic breach of containment from their forced singularity was small but possible. Any further thoughts on the matter were dispelled when Kalpov transitioned into the matters that he wished to discuss. Cretak shifted on his feet slightly and watched the changeling intently.

“I have my suspicions.” Cretak said simply acknowledging that one point of conversation was obvious. As Kalpov moved over the edge of the garden terrace his gaze followed the changeling. It did not linger on him however, for the raw and natural beauty of the world around him was impossible to be overlooked. For a moment, his eyes closed as he pictured Romulus awash in the drab grey colors that the Borg had ever seemed so fond of. His blood ran cold for a moment before his eyes opened and sought out the changeling once more. He allowed himself a moment to drink in the sights, smell, and sounds of the monastery and the world around them.

This is a memory that the Borg would destroy once they reach this place.

Kalpov’s acknowledgment of his nature was met with silence. It was something that he knew and as such did not warrant a response. When Kalpov continued he listened in silence speaking only when he felt it was appropriate for him to do so. “I am aware of the complications that your nature will cause when its laid bare. Many of us still remember the Dominion War.” Prior to the arrival of the Borg en masse, the war against the Dominion had been the most destructive war in the history of the Alpha Quadrant. He had little doubt that even with the Borg poised to wipe all life on the Quadrant there would be men and women that would be hard pressed to forget what had occurred in that conflict.

Cretak took a step and then another, reaching the edge of the terrace almost within arm’s reach of the changeling. He allowed himself a mount to look at the world past the walls of the monastery before he continued. “I expect that some of your crew will have mixed feelings once they know.” He paused for a moment, his eyes looking at the changeling for a moment before he continued. “Still, I can’t believe that this is a burden that you have not shared with someone aboard your ship.” He doubted that the security measures that had been common place during the Dominion war still held aboard Federation ships. However, the Federation’s protocols that he had studied were significant. It was highly unlikely that no one had figured out his true nature, not with the changeling’s tendency to lead from the front.

Someone had to know. If not, they are not as competent as I thought.

He allowed Kalpov to consider his words before he continued. “As for me and mine, a handful of people do know your secret. It would not have been prudent for me to keep such a thing to myself. They are however, a small number of people that I trust.” He said. It was his inner circle of command of course. It was only three people, his second in command, his tal shiar laison, and his security officer. He had considered the idea of sharing the information with Kadon. The Klingon was going to figure out on his own sooner or later, by sharing the information with him he would cement that relationship but something had held him back. He may still yet share the information with the Klingon.

Let us see what comes of this.

Kalpov continued speaking and a part of him was taken aback by his honesty. He had always heard that the Changeling’s were masterful players of the game. Their actions during the Dominion War had more than proved it. With their physical gifts and guile they had infiltrated a number of governments before the proper counter-measures had been devised. They ruthlessly exploited the divisions within the nations of the Alpha Quadrant and had manipulated the two greatest intelligence gathering agencies in the quadrant. The Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order had almost not recovered from the battle of the Omarion Nebula. While the number of ships had been relatively small, the personnel and influence lost by the Tal Shiar alone had taken well past the end of the Dominion War for it to begin to recover.

Riov Cretak watched the changeling beside him closely. He had prepared himself for guile and the changeling offered him what appeared to him to be sincerity. For a moment, the Romulan was confused as to the true nature of the exchange between them. Surely, the Changeling had not asked to meet with him to simply bear his soul out to him and ask for guidance? He considered the thought for a moment before he answered.

“I do not have any interest in revealing your secret Kalpov, especially not to Captain Anderson.” He said simply. Regardless of how much the man was liked and feared, at the end of the day he was a Federation officer. He had been taught and trained with a specific set of moral guidelines that had been reinforced for most of his life as a Federation officer. Cretak was aware of the nature of the Federation. He had dealt directly and indirectly with Section 31. He knew that the heart of the Federation was not that which it claimed but Anderson’s reputation preceded him. He was uncertain how the Federation officer and his Immortal would react to the information. As such, revealing information that once revealed could not be taken back was foolish.

“Starfleet Command is a different matter entirely. Once they find out, they will have to act.” He paused for a moment, his attention moved away from Kalpov for a moment and focused elsewhere for a moment. Kalpov’s final words about his intentions drew a ghost of smile to his lips before he found himself speaking.

“You want to know my intentions?” He said. “I am going to Bajor to fight Comander as we all are. It is a fight that will end with my death I have little doubt about that but the circumstances of my death and what I can achieve before then that is the promise that guides me forward. My people are scattered, afraid, and in need of leadership. I can provide some of that leadership. I can make sure that if the end comes, my people will face it with swords drawn and teeth bared.” He said a hint of anger seeping into his words before he pushed it back beneath the surface of his mind. He took a deep breath and held it before slowly releasing it.

“As far you Commander, I know all that I need to. You are a warrior. Since we joined this task force you have fought with everything that you have even when it would have been to your advantage to hold back. That has to mean something and it does, to me.” He said. “Once we arrive on Bajor I cannot predict how the Federation will reach to everything that has transpired. If you manage to win over your crew before then, you will have more options at your disposal. In time, speak with the others, try and gauge where they stand. I trust Captain Kadon more than any other in this fleet.” Solheim was close but Kadon had not taken something from him like Solheim had. Kadon was a Klingon and like all others had a long memory when it came to Dominion War but he also valued courage, strength, and competence. Three things that Kalpov possessed. It was a risk of course, but if Kadon was willing to speak on Kalpov’s behalf…

_________________
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"Not OP, therefore weakest." - Cynical Cat (May 2016)
"A dog doesn’t need to show his teeth as long as his growl’s deep enough, his food bowl is full and he knows where all the bones are buried." - Frank Underwood


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:35 pm 
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USS Scylla

"That's just it son," said the Admiral, crossing his arms as though they were discussing nothing more pressing than a change of the replicator menu. "To the rest of the captains, I'm no one at all. Those who remember what I did won't speak with me, and those who don't will have bigger problems. I needed someone I was guaranteed a hearing from, someone who would listen to what I had to say. Someone who could be counted on to do what's in the best interests of Starfleet, and of what's left of the Federation. I wasn't hoping for the Romulans, but prepared to deal with them as well should the occasion arise. The Romulans are arch-pragmatists. They understand what I did and what might need to be done. The preference was for you."

He paused, as though to gauge if what he was saying was having any effect. "I wanted to see you, son," he said. "To see that you'd managed to get along in the disaster that the galaxy has become. I wanted to know that you were all right."

*-------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

Prophet's Landing

The Dominion War, the damned Dominion War. Kalpov closed his eyes at the mention of the war, largely out of a habit he'd drilled into himself over the course of decades. It wasn't that things would have been simple without the Dominion War, but they would have been less fraught. Before the Dominion War, changelings, such as they were known to exist, were a curiosity, not an existential threat to the powers of the Alpha Quadrant, to the point where there were allegations still being floated that the Borg were somehow under their shadowy control.

He nodded as Cretak suggested the obvious. "Only two," he said. "My first officer of course, you met her on the bridge. She's known since the beginning. And there's our doctor. I'm good, but I'm not good enough to have fooled a Starfleet medical exam for this long."

To be honest, he wasn't sure if he was that good or not, but he had not put it to the test. Doctor Tawfik had made that un-necessary after Ereshal had talked him into telling her, under the theory that Doctor-Patient confidentiality would hold true, even for something like this. Kalpov still wasn't sure about that, but it had held. Somehow.

He said nothing as Cretak confirmed that he had not shared the information beyond a handful of his own command staff. It made sense. He would know it if Anderson knew, and there was no reason, pragmatically speaking, to air it to any of the other Captains, or so it sounded. But as Cretak's talk turned morbid, speaking of his own death in battle at Bajor, something else occurred to him. He listened carefully, not interrupting, letting the other Captain speak his piece. But when he did finally answer, it wasn't with a word.

Slowly, Kalpov lifted his hand from the railing, and morphed it into a sword.

Not a sword that any warrior or historian would have been able to identify, for it was no such thing. Indeed it wasn't a sword at all, but a naked blade, merged with Kalpov's forearm by imperceptible degrees, such that it was impossible to tell where one ended and the other began. It gleamed in the setting light with a metallic hue, shining like Excalibur itself, for Kalpov controlled its every molecule. The blade was honed perfectly, sharp enough to punch through the durasteel plate of a Borg Heavy Assault drone, a fact he knew from experience, for he had done just that with it more than once. He regarded the blade for a moment, feeling its weight and shifting it internally with micro-adjustments of mercury and liquid tritanium pockets deep inside, and then the entire construct shifted back to golden amber, and a moment later Kalpov's hand was back, empty of all weapons, and he lowered it back to the railing as though nothing had happened.

"I'm not a warrior, Ri'ov," he said. "I'm just a survivor, like all of the rest of us, with a privileged set of talents. I hit the Borg before they can adapt to something like me, and so far I've gotten away with it. So have you, if my sensor readings of the S'harien are even close to accurate."

He paused, seemed to consider continuing, then thought better of it. But something stood out that Cretak had said. Something minor, but revealing. He had said that he had not considered revealing Kalpov's state... "especially" to Anderson. That 'especially' was an important component of what had to come next.

"There was something else I wanted to discuss," he said. "Something no less sensitive, but..." He let that sentence trail off. "It's Anderson. I wanted to get your impression of him, as a man with a certain..." a small smirk, barely noticeable "judging eye for the character of his fellows."

*--------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

The communication chime was not standard. Indeed it was a long, resonant tone, heavy stone bells chiming in the distance mixed with the sound of strange winded flutes and etherial traingles and windchimes, a custom tone for a custom position, the Supreme Vedek of Prophet's Landing.

"Blessings of the Prophets to you," came the voice of Vedek Ikesh, projected in narrow-band communications aimed at the Immortal and the Riskadh. "The Supreme Vedek of Prophet's Landing offers greetings, and extends an invitation to the Captains of the Starfleet and Klingon flotillas above our planet to attend her in the colonial capital in an hour's time."

_________________
Gaze upon my works, ye mighty, and despair...

Havoc: "So basically if you side against him, he summons Cthulu."
Hotfoot: "Yes, which is reasonable."


Last edited by General Havoc on Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:32 pm 
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One of the seeming contradictions exhibited by the Klingons is the supposed dissonance between their warrior code and the cloaking device. In many ways it speaks to how far the Federation has come we do not see how those can be compatible. Our ancestors would find it less difficult. The Imperial Japanese Navy, an military organization that considered honour to be a matter of life and death, had no problem with conducting surprise attacks. The famed armed forces of the United States of America spent decades and tremendous amounts of money perfecting stealth technology in weapon systems ranging from submarines to missiles to special forces teams and spy planes. They too saw no contradiction in their code of honourable conduct and the employment of stealth technology and tactics. In a war, the duty of a warrior is to win. Advantages over the enemy are seized and employed and weaknesses is exploited. It is a warrior's duty to be vigilant against the enemy's attempts to do the same. This applies if the enemy in question is a sabre bear or a Romulan Warbird.

-Michelle Ford, The Fire Among the Stars: Towards an Understanding of the Klingon People

Kadon lead his landing party onto the transporter stage. He wore the sleeveless robe and metallic baldric that he had donned to host Charvanek, albeit without the medals and awards. Instead of the cut down disruptor carbine that he had carried from the early days of the war he carried a standard issue pistol. His d'k tahg rode at the other hip. The Bajorans might not approve of the Klingon custom of going anywhere armed, but they knew enough about them to expect the d'k tahgs. He had several other weapons, bladed and otherwise, secreted on his person including a Federation type I phaser and small disruptor pistol with a bladed hand guard. The garrote was really there because he had never removed it although Bajorans were much easier to garrote than Cardassians or Breen.

The rest of the landing party assembled around him. "Remember," he said. "Eat any provocations. We are tame, friendly Klingons. If out honour demands blood, revenge is still a dish best served cold." He turned to the transporteer. "Action."

The Klingons dissolved into a swirl of red lights.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:14 am 
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Alpha Quadrant,
Prophet’s Landing


“Doctors.” Cretak muttered as Kalpov spoke. He had expected that the doctor would know, they almost always did. That Kalpov’s first officer knew as well did not surprise him. The position of first officer was almost always a position of trust especially within the Federation. He did wonder however, if the first officer had figured it out on her own due to her previous history with the officer that the changeling was impersonating or if Kalpov himself had felt the need to tell her on his own. He considered the thought briefly but did not ask the question.

When Kalpov manipulated his body and created what could only be called a sword it took effort for him to fight the reflex to step back. He had come to this meeting alone against the advise of some of his advisers. He had seen what the aftermath of what the changeling was capable of against the Borg. He had put himself in a disadvantageous position because he had felt that this moment had required it. Nonetheless, his eyes followed the changeling’s arm closely. He had never before been this close to a changeling and he was aware that if Kalpov truly put his mind to it, his story could very well end here.

“You may not have been born a warrior, and perhaps you did not train to be one but there can be little argument that for you to have survived this long fighting you qualify for the title of warrior.” Riov Cretak said waiting for only a moment before continuing. “We are all survivors; It is the choices that we have made to this point that make us warriors each in our own way.” Every member of the task force had placed their ship in harm’s way and would continue to do so in the future. Kalpov himself had pushed aside his fear and fought the Borg in close quarter combat. At least in his eyes, the changeling was a warrior.

His eyes left those of Kalpov’s arm as it rippled, shifted, and what had been a finely honed instrument of death was replaced by a familiar arm. His eyes sought those of Kalpov as he spoke his question about the human Captain of the Immortal. The small smirk that danced on his lips noticed for a moment before he took a breath and truly considered the question. What did he want him to tell him? Before the Borg, the Romulan empire had created meticulous dossiers for a number of their rivals and adversaries. The Federation had been their primary adversary and he recalled having read thousands of dossiers about the personalities, favored tactics, and potential weaknesses of many Federation, Klingon, and even Cardassian captains.

The Empire had been nothing if not thorough before the fall.

“I can tell you what you already suspect.” He said, his eyes leaving the changeling and taking a moment to look past the railing to the world of Prophet’s Landing. After a few moments, no more than a dozen heart beats or so his attention shifted back to the changeling. “Anderson is competent, driven, and dangerous. Speaking about historical Federation captains, I perceive him as being far closer to Captain Sisko than Picard.” To many citizens of the Federation and a generation of Starfleet recruits, Picard had been the ideal captain; the template that all sought to mirror. Picard had been at his heart a diplomat and leader of men. A reflection of what Starfleet and the Federation had aspired to be at that time. He had clung to the values and virtues of the Federation even when they were a detriment to his goals. Sisko had not been cut from the same cloth. Sisko had been more practical, pragmatic, and if anything far more dangerous. There were things that Sisko would do that Picard would not have considered.

“If Anderson gives you his word, I expect that he will keep it.” He hesitated for a moment. “I expect that he does not enjoy politics.” The information that he had directly about the Immortal was based predominantly on second hand sources. He had spent remarkably little time with Anderson. The first time that the had been with him had been a little over eight hours ago when they had discussed his sister-in-laws request about the prisoners under his control. The exchange had been courteous and brief. Certainly not enough time to allow him to work up a psychological profile for the human captain.

“Why do you ask?” He said.

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The Peddler of Half Truths.
"Not OP, therefore weakest." - Cynical Cat (May 2016)
"A dog doesn’t need to show his teeth as long as his growl’s deep enough, his food bowl is full and he knows where all the bones are buried." - Frank Underwood


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