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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:57 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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"I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

- Percy Shelley, "Ozymandias"

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

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


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:57 pm 
Mr. Party-Killbot
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Acting Commander's Log, Stardate 75588.0

Yesterday evening, the Argonaut entered the Nivoch system, and halted there in high orbit over Nivoch IV, the only inhabited planet, to try and take on fresh supplies.

Archivist's Note: USS Argonaut (NCC-22716) was an Ambassador-class Federation Heavy Cruiser, constructed in 2336. At the time of this log, the ship was over 70 years old. Unremarkable for its class, the events which it bore witness to, and the famous ships it was in company with, have assured it a prominent place in the history of the Quadratic War.

The colonists told us that the USS Endeavor, the USS Malawi, and a small group of civilian ships left a week ago, heading for Bajor I assume, or maybe just trying to make a run for it. If it's Bajor they were headed for, they should have reached there by now, assuming they weren't intercepted. Nivoch is just four days at high warp from the Bajor system. If we leave today, we should get there before Hydra does.

Archivist's Note: The various Borg fleets of the Quadratic War were named by the races they fought, generally with names relating to mythological monsters from their ancient pasts. The "Hydra" was the human name for the Borg 4th Fleet, named for a multi-headed reptillian monster whose heads grew back once severed, and which was capable (depending on the tradition in question) of breathing poison upon its opponents. Conjecture and debate still rages as to the reason behind each name, particularly given the similarity of the mythological beasts selected by each of the major races. The Romulan, Klingon, Bajoran, and Cardassian names for the 4th fleet all described multi-headed, regenerating beasts, while the Ferengi and Tholian designations was that of a scaled, poisonous beast that lurked in swamps.

From what we can tell, the Borg have been probing at Bajor for two days, but so far their scout forces have been held back by its defense network and the ships that Command has managed to collect there. Everyone, knows that the Battle for Bajor will decide the fate of what's left of the Alpha Quadrant, and that if we lose, there will soon simply be nowhere left to retreat to, not that that's stopped quite a few people from trying.

Nivoch IV is a small farming colony, human mostly. Traded to Cardassia after the first war, went Maquis, and then got re-annexed to the Federation after the Dominion mess. They've no planetary defense to speak of, no means of repelling the Borg if they should come. They've already suffered attacks by bandits and pirates, and are desperate to convince us to stay. None of them understand yet what is happening, the comms have been quiet ever since the Borg began to approach, but they've all seen the refugees from deeper within the Federation, and they are frightened.

I wasn't terribly sympathetic, but Jor'val and Ereshal both insisted that we had to stop for at least 48 hours or half the crew might lose their minds. Didn't even bother to invent "fluctuations in the warp core" or anything. We've been undercrewed for almost four years, ever since the Captain and most of the officers bought it at Andoria, and the long shifts and combat alerts are starting to take their toll I guess.

Archivist's Note: As mentioned above, the Argonaut participated in the Battle of Andoria in 2394, during the third year of the Quadratic War, and sustained severe damage and casualties in the course of it. According to the official ship's log, the ship was towed out of the battle by the USS Vigilant, under the command of the Ship's Doctor, the senior surviving officer. The circumstances of 'Commander' Kalpov's ascension to command of the Argonaut are detailed in Warriors of the Stars: The Soldiers of the Quadratic War (pp. 86-102)

I still wasn't eager to just sit here, but Ereshal just asked me to trust her and beamed down to the planet. An hour later she came back with a requisition agreement for enough fresh foodstuffs to fill every cargobay on the ship, as well as fresh tanks of repli-matter for when those run out, all in exchange for our "graciously" agreeing to remain here for a little while.

That pretty much decided it. I'm half-certain that even if I'd ordered us to leave immediately, the crew would have mutinied. Even if not, I just want to stop for a while, fight boredom instead of the Borg, get a chance to sleep for more than five hours at a time. Didn't risk calling DS9 to let them know we'd be late. They've got better things to worry about, and I didn't want to draw attention. My only real worry is that some other refugee or pirate ship might pick this system as a place to lie low. If that happens, given our orders on the subject, things are liable to get... interesting.

But then I suppose that's been the theme around here...

_________________
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 Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:16 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:55 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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--realtime ship log, 75588.4, log1(ready_room)

Captain Solheim sat in the chair in the quarters he shared with Commander Inzeti, which now served as the ship's ready room. He leaned back in his chair, blowing on his cup of coffee to cool it before speaking to his senior staff. "Alright, it looks like the Federation might be mustering up more fight. How's the ship status?"

"Well," began Chief Medical Officer Melisande with a smirk, "I think two of our senior staff are running low on birth-control materials," she said, earning her a glare from the Commander. "However, we're overall good for medical supplies for at least another year."

"I just finished a deep-level scan of all ship's systems two days ago," Chief Engineer Dawson shrugged. "Everything's in as good a shape as I can get it."

"As we can get it, you mean," smirked Chief Science Officer Vela. "Everything's working like a dream - even the cloaking device is working like it was installed during blueprint phase. However, our replicator supplies for food are running a bit low. We could certainly use more."

"I note no problems with the ship's armaments, Captain," continued Chief Tactical Officer Adranis. "I've completed a full test of all the systems, and found them to be working in optimal conditions."

After listening to all of this, Captain Solheim nodded. "Swift, what's the closest place we can safely get more food supplies?"

There was a momentary pause as the shorter Romulan pilot looked through a datapad with a frown. "The Nivoch system is only seven hours away at maximum safe warp. That's still only four days away from Bajor, Captain."

"This will be an interesting campaign regardless, Captain," added Commander Inzeti with a smile, as she bound up her long black hair into a ponytail. "I would prefer not to face it on those horrid things you call 'rations', if its all the same to you."

At this, Lieutenant Vela shuddered. "There are only so many things I can do on rations with the replicators, Captain."

Captain Solheim chuckled. "Alright. Swift, set our course to the Novach system. We'll see what we can do to get more supplies. Anything else?" he asked, looking around.

After seeing his staff shaking their heads, Captain Solheim nodded. "Alright, all of you have your tasks. Dismissed."

--realtime ship log, 75588.7, log2(bridge)

The Gilgamesh dropped subtly out of warp while cloaked, cruising smoothly toward Nivoch IV. As the ship cruised at half-impulse toward the planet and entered orbit, the ship dropped smoothly out of cloak.

"Send a hail to that Federation ship, and to the colony," said Captain Solheim as he observed the proceedings on the viewscreen. "See if the Argonaut needs any help, and same for the colony."

"Aye, sir," replied Commander Inzeti, already beginning the arrangements.

"Swift, keep up scans of the system - I prefer to have as few surprises as possible," Captain Solheim continued.

"Aye, sir," replied Lt. Commander Nevola, otherwise known as "Swift."

With speed and grace, the Gilgamesh approached Nivoch IV, beginning standard high orbit.

_________________
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- William Gibson


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Last edited by rhoenix on Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:11 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:27 am 
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Captain's Log: We are finally nearing Bajor and Deep Space Nine. Our best intelligence indicates that Nivoch IV has not fallen to the Borg and there we should be able to engage in limited resupply and shore leave before we begin the last part of our voyage to Bajor. If our intelligence is correct, of course.

The voyage has been hard on the crew and we have had to frequently detour around damage caused by the Federation's subspace weapons and concentrations of Borg. Morale is low and has gotten worse since I restricted the use of non essential systems and instituted rationing to conserve power. The near constant use of the cloaking device is, as my Executive has repeatedly warned me, psychologically stressful as well as being a heavy power drain, but we have had no choice. If the crew were no Klingon, if the klin did not burn in them still despite the death of the Komerex, things would undoubtedly be worse. They endure and maintain military discipline, although fights have become more common. Shore leave and resupply should help alleviate those problems, leaving me only with persistent problems of defeating the Borg and preserving our race, culture, and glory in the face of total annihilation.


Kadon eyed the last line in the log and considered deleting it. It was somewhat frivolous. No, he decided, he would leave it. Whoever read it, if anyone read it, would get a sense of who the Riskadh's captain had been and was that not the purpose of the log and the rewards of victory? Immortality of a sort. Even if it was by a federazhon or Cardassian archivist who relied on machine translation to understand Klingonaase.

He signed off on the log just as a signal tone beeped. He hit the com. "Situation?"

"We've established long range scans of Nivoch IV," said Arikel. The Executive's voice was silk smooth and strong. Sensors indicate there are two Starfleet vessels in orbit."

"On my way to the bridge. Maintain cloak until we can confirm the ship's identities." Assimilated vessels were easily identified as such with close range sensors, but they weren't that close. Yet.

Kadon stood and left his desk. By Starfleet standards his office was tiny, little more than a desk with a computer unit and shelf space on the walls. It sufficed to get work done and that was enough. Behind Kadon's chair were Cardassian, Jem'Hadar, and Breen weapons taken as prizes when he had been a junior officer rising through the ranks during the Dominion War. On the shelves to the side were game boards. Human chess, 3-D Chess, the rom zha latrunculo, and, of course, multiple triangular klin zha boards. The bottom shelf held three go boards, each one dominated by sea of black contesting against a few white pieces. Next to the go boards was a small, tough case.

Kadon walked the short distance from his office to the bridge. Dull red light illuminated the cramped space. The bridge was large, but duty stations took up most of the available space. The Marines on guard snapped to attention, heavy disruptor rifles held in their arms. Arikel had the con. She rose smoothly as Kadon entered. She was tall for a woman of the Imperial Race, almost Kadon's height. "We've continued to close under cloak. We'll be in range to know if they're Borg in less than a minute."

"Very good," said Kadon. "Stations." The captain took his chair. Arikel took the science station behind him, next to the weapon stations. "Tactical display."

The main view screen shifted into a triangle pattern, showing Nivoch IV and ships in orbit. A three armed cross representing the Riskadh was shown at the periphery of the display. The cross crawled closer to the world. "We're intercepting com traffic, Fed normal frequencies," said Aaveroke. The young Klingon had been the greenest of junior officers when he joined the Riskadh's crew and was unimposing for a member of the Imperial Race. He was, however, quick witted and very good at just about any technical task. The long war had given him many opportunities to prove his worth.

"What kind of traffic zan Aaveroke?" Kadon asked. Borg used Fed standard com channels as well, although the contents of their communications to other vessels had a dreary monotony. The young officer turned towards his captain with a smile on his face. "They're talking resupply and shore leave."

Tension drained from the bridge. "Not what one usually gets from the Borg, eh Executive?" Kadon said with half a smile on his face.

"Most unusual," said Arikel. "Perhaps we should consult with Imperial Intelligence?"

"Perhaps," said Kadon, pushing the joke as hard as it could go. "Or perhaps not. Can you identify the ships?"

"Acting," said Arikel. "Defiant and Ambassador class vessels, Gilgamesh and the Argonaut. We have no data on their war performance, although the Argonaut has a long history of honourable service."

"Drop the cloak and send friendly greetings to Nivoch IV and our federazhon allies. Helm, put us in high orbit. Shore leave will be granted for the duration of our stay. Thirty at a time, the top fifteen evaluation records and the fifteen others, randomly selected from the rest of the crew." Except for those on punishment detail, but that need not be said and so it was not.

"Acting," said Aaveroke. He touched his controls. "This is the IKV Riskadh, under the command of Kadon zantai Khemera."

_________________
"Justice belongs to the strong. If there are gods, they do not help. But what is done under the Naked Stars is remembered."


Last edited by Cynical Cat on Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Beta Quadrant, Rutharian sector
IRW Terix, Wardroom


Galan watched his mentor and friend Riov Taev Eviess maneuvered his Centurion into position atop the familiar tan colored rectangular board of Latrunculo. Taev was the only Romulan that was willing to play him in the game as of late. The fact that his former commanding officer usually won certainly helped in his willingness to do so. Galan's eyes left the board for a moment, his current field of battle and allowed his eyes to glance at the Wardroom of the Terix. Very little had changed since the days when he had served aboard the mighty D`Deridex. Taev had always taken great pride on the appearance of his vessel but he like any other Romulan Riov understood that it was a facade.

"The walls are not going to grant you insight into my strategy I am afraid." Teav said gently. "Although I admit, that you are improving"

Galan blinked, a frown blossoming on his features as his attention slid once more to his mentor. "I will take that as a complement." His eyes settled on the board, his right hand reaching out and touching his Centurion. A second later, it was maneuvered into position squeezing one of Taev's pieces between his own.

"Ah." Taev said, the piece removed from the board before another moved into position. "They tell me that you have news regarding the Vampaja?"

Galan's eyes narrowed slightly at the casualness of Taev's response to his attack. His words about the Vampaja met with a nod. "Yes. The Vampaja is no more. It was not destroyed outright but it was crippled and battered. It was ultimately abandoned by its crew, what few survivors there were." A moment after having finished speaking, his right hand plucked a piece and moved it into position alongside his Centurion.

"I take it they are aboard the S`harien?" Taev asked politely as his right hand picked up another piece and moved it alongside its brothers.

"No. The survivors of the Vampaja were picked up by a Federation ship. The USS Gilgamesh. The crew has...integrated well." Galan responded, his right hand picking up his Centurion and moving it into position in order to once again squeeze one of Taev's pieces into the awaiting arms of one of his own.

"I take it that you do not approve?" Taev responded as he deftly maneuvered his own Centurion into position to squeeze one of Galan's own pieces against the waiting arms of another of his own.

Galan blinked suddenly aware that beneath the calm demeanor of Taev a strategy had been taking shape. By allowing him to exploit his front lines and allowing Galan's own centurion to kill, he had begun to pull at the edges of his own formation. Taev's lines seemed to be unified and whole while his own had been maneuvered into a somewhat elongated position. How long had Taev had been maneuvering him into this? How many minutes had he waited for him to maneuver himself into his current position? "I had reservations but I was assured by Riov Inzeti that they were unfounded. The Vampaja's cloak was transferred to the Gilgamesh. In better days, I would have been appalled. But now?" He went silent for a moment, the dawning realization of his position on the board causing irritation to blossom through his stomach. He took great pains to avoid giving indication of his discomfort. "I suppose better for a Federation warship to have it than let it go to waste." His hand moved, his Centurion moved back behind his front lines in a meaningless gesture.

Taev arched a brow, a small smile appearing on his lips. "Ah, so you did notice. I am afraid that this game is over my friend." Taev's arm moved, a piece plucked and maneuvered against one of Galan's own. The targeted piece died.

Galan groaned. The piece removed from position and with its loss, the situation that had at one point being dire but potentially salvageable became impossible to win. "Has anyone ever bested you Taev?" He asked incredulously.

Taev laughed softly. "Not in the last fifteen years." He went silent for a moment. "This is the last joy I have left." He admitted. "Who survived the loss of the Vampaja? You mentioned Riov Inzeti."

Galan sighed and bowed his head. "A game well played Taev, let us hope there is another." He went silent as he recalled from memory the names of those that had escaped the Vampaja's fate. "Among the officers, Riov Inzeti as well as Arrains Nevola and Vela. There was a handful of other personnel but the other command staff perished ."

Taev nodded. "I see. The Vampaja will be missed. There are not many ships like her left. When our fleet can no longer protect our people..." The thought was left unsaid. "I take it that she and the survivors are on the S`harien?"

Galan shook his head. "It was the decision of Riov Inzeti to fully integrate with the forces of the Gilgamesh Taev." He went silent as if it was a decision that he himself would not have made. "The Gilgamesh was apparently under staffed and someone would have to stay behind to properly monitor the cloak. Riov Inzeti stated that they would rather continue the fight and a Federation ship with a cloak could do more than without one." He paused. "Of course, the fact that Riov Inzeti seemed to be rather interested in the human captain at the time so that helped matters."

Taev blinked for a moment, the first time that Galan had seen a look of bewilderment on the face of his former commander that he could recall. A second or two later, Taev laughed the sound seeming to echo from the walls. "Samara interested in a human?!" Taev shook his head for a moment before sighing. "It may very well be the shape of things to come." He said finally.

"Let us hope it does not come to that." Galan said flatly. "Captain Solheim and I worked together in order to rid the galaxy of some troublesome pests. I now consider him an honorable man and he can handle his ship in battle. Still, I would prefer to keep the bloodlines pure."

Taev nodded. "Nonetheless, half Romulan is better than not at all."

Aware that the conversation was heading in a direction that he did not wish to presently indulge, Galan interjected a moment after Taev spoke. "You told me that you have not been bested in latranculo in fifteen years or so. Who bested you?"

Taev hesitated for only a moment before he spoke. "Morizan sutai Suhlash"

Galan blinked momentarily stunned. "A Klingon?"

Taev nodded. "Yes. One of the best players of the game I have ever witnessed. They are not all wastes of skin you know."

"I know the worth of a Klingon in battle Taev." He nodded. The courage of a Klingon warrior or his ability had never been questioned by the Empire. Their ability to see beyond their Bat`leths and disruptor cannons was another matter entirely. "Still, I never expected that a Klingon that could best you in a game of strategy could exist."

Taev smiled. "There aren't many Galan. We can be thankful for that." His left hand reached out and grasped an ornate glass half filled with a familiar blue liquid. The ale was brought to his lips and sampled before the glass was set aside.

"Indeed we can." Galan agreed. "So tell me Taev, how did you manage to become attached to this little fleet of yours?"

Taev grunted. "It can barely be called a fleet. It's a squadron at best and only the Terix is around to protect it. I had hoped that the Vampaja would have joined me but that is no longer possible. I have kept an eye on this concentration of Romulan ships out of duty to the Empire. If the Borg continue to leave this area of space relatively alone we will stay. If they start sending more of those frigates however, we will have to seek refuge in Bajor. The Terix alone can only do so much and everyone that owed me favors is either in this room or dead."

"I see. I have been considering going to Bajor." He watched as Taev arched a brow. "The S`harien is a warship Taev." He watched as Taev's eyes narrowed and he found himself quickly interjecting. "I know the Terix is a warship Taev. You are not as expendable as I am and you already managed to get yourself a large amount of responsability."

"Hrmph." Taev sighed. "There are days when I wish I could shed myself of my responsibilities and go to war once more." He shook his head. "But I expect I know how that would end." He went silent then before he glanced at his protege. "Would you consider going to Nivoch IV?"

"Why would you want me to go there?" He paused for a moment, the information he sought in his mind recalled a moment later. "It is a federation agricultural colony is it not?"

"Even though I am here keeping an eye on our people, I have not simply sat on my hands. The Terix still keeps in contact with a significant amount of what is left of the Star Navy. I may not have the pull anymore to demand ships to come to me, but I still wield enough influence for them to keep me informed. Nivoch IV has a small population of Romulans. If you are going to Bajor some of them may wish to tag along. Besides, when did a little fresh food hurt? Your people likely could use a little rest and relaxation."

Galan paused considering the words and nodded. "Agreed. I will go to Nivoch IV and see what I can do for our people there."

Taev smiled. "Good."

Alpha Quadrant
Warp Space, IRW S`harien
52 hours after rendezvous with IRW Terix

The S'harien sped through high warp on its way to the Nivoch system underneath the protection of its cloak. The cloak represented the very height of Romulan technology, the essence of the Empire. It had been an Aegis that had baffled and confounded the enemies of the Empire, allowing its ships to move through the stars virtually unopposed. At least, that had been the case until the Federation had focused its devilish scientist on finding ways to counteract the overwhelming advantage. It had become a game between scientists then, Romulan's seeking better ways to cloak their ships while the Federation sought more efficient ways to counteract them. In the end, a technological compromise had been reached as technology was exploited by both sides to its cutting edge.

Under normal circumstances, high warp was impossible under a Romulan cloak. Speed higher than warp 6 caused a spatial distortion, a leak that sophisticated enough sensors could detect. The Federation had possessed very sophisticated sensors. The Borg also possessed them. There had been no way around that particular limitation and Romulan warships had adjusted by traveling at or below warp 6. No Romulan ship had dared to travel faster for in doing so, its aegis of invulnerability was pierced. The S`harien's solution to the problem had been completely accidental.

When the S`harien had found the IRW Dominus it had evaluated what if any of its systems of the drifting vessel could be appropriated for the war effort. The three type 20 disruptor banks and its surviving store of plasma torpedoes had not been the sole items taken from the Dominus. Aside from spare parts and other materials, the nullifier cores of the Dominus were taken from the vessel and incorporated into the S`harien. The nullifier cores were a central component to all Romulan cloaks, and by doubling the number of cores the warp "echo" that all Romulan cloaks generated at speeds faster than warp 6 had been silenced. The nullifier cores did not improve the cloak in any other way as the cloak was still vulnerable to concentrated scans at close ranges as well as the thrice damned Federation tachyon detection grids. Nonetheless, the capability of breaching the Warp 6 barrier under cloak had been a welcome victory in a string of defeats.

"Riov, we are entering the edge of the Nivoch system. Long range scans indicate the presence of two Federation ships and one Klingon ship." The voice of his second in command pierced through the near absolute silence of his ready room. His left arm moved, fingers brushing on a keypad.

"Ship types?" He asked.

"It's hard to say with absolute certainty at this range. One is particularly small, probably a defiant. The Klingon ship is probably a Vor`cha given our readings and the fact that no Negh`vars are believed to have survived." The voice replied.

"I am on my way. Keep an eye on the signatures and continue to close." He stood from behind his desk in one singular motion and stepped out of his ready room. Within moments he was sitting on his command chair, the very heart of the S`harien.

"Ships confirmed. One defiant class, the USS Gilgamesh. One Ambassador class, the USS Argonaut. The Klingon Vor`cha is identifying itself as the Riskadh."

"Slow to impulse, drop the cloak a respectable distance from Nivoch IV and bring us into orbit with the world. Keep an eye on the ships and their transmissions. I don't believe that these ships have been appropriated by the Borg but if something seems wrong, I want to know about it." The presence of the Gilgamesh was reassuring Solheim was remarkably competent for a human. Nonetheless, it was the presence of the Vor`cha that caught his interest. He had not seen a Vor`cha in years.

The S'harien dropped out of cloak well outside of Nivoch IV and continued its typical acceleration. As it did so, it lowered the power output of its reactor from its usual 14% to 10%. In doing so, it would emit energy readings only slightly different from others of her class at full power. As the ship shed its cloak, a message was immediately sent towards the Federation and Klingon warship. There was no need for rudeness. The galaxy could not tolerate any misunderstandings.

"This is the IRW S`harien commanded by Riov Galan Cretak on approach to Nivoch IV."

_________________
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


Last edited by Marcao on Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:15 am, edited 9 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:54 pm 
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"There's a ship decloaking aft," said Arikel. "Not on a tracking vector. Valdore class Warbird. Displaying on tactical."

The Romulan Eagle insignia appeared on the tactical display. Vector projections showed it on an orbital intersection path. "Zan Aaveroke?" Kadon asked mildly.

"The Romulans are hailing us."

"Put it on audio."

"Acting." The communication's officer hands danced over the controls.

The strong and smooth Romulan voice came over the speakers. "This is the IRW S`harien commanded by Riov Galan Cretak on approach to Nivoch IV."

"The S'harien?" said Kadon. The Riskadh had been out of contact with the rest of the galaxy for some time now, but even before that the navies of the great powers had been repeatedly decimated. Of the survivors, a few had earned a great deal of notice and each battle reduced even their small numbers. "So she still fights."

"I would expect no less of Commander Galen Cretak," said a voice from the shadows. Operations Leader Morizan left his place by the security station and approached the captain's chair.

"You know him?"

"Captain," said Morizan with a smile, "I know many people in many different ways. Suffice to say Galen Cretak is one of the more capable Romulans I've met and Romulans try so very hard at everything they do." He eyed the Riskadh's command chair. "Although given the name of his ship, perhaps he should be the one with a sword attached to his command chair."

"Given the reports of Worf's dispatching multiple Borg drones in close combat, every captain should consider having a sheath attached to his chair," replied Kadon mildly. The captain had teeth, but like his friend, rarely showed them unless he felt it necessary.

"Captain," said Arikel, "I'm getting some unusual readings from the S'harien."

"Is the ship going to blow?"

"I don't think so."

"See what you can make of the data then. Send our sincere greetings to our Romulan allies and include an offer of engineering assistance if they're suffering from battle damage."

_________________
"Justice belongs to the strong. If there are gods, they do not help. But what is done under the Naked Stars is remembered."


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:26 pm 
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The silence within the bridge of the Gilgamesh at the sight of the mighty Vor'cha-class Klingon warship decloaking was enough to catch the attention of everyone.

"I suppose this is going to lead to a new saying," Commander Inzeti said, raising her eyes from her datapad to the viewscreen as she read the results of the passive sensor sweep. She turned from it to look with a smile at the Captain. "'Respect the Klingon warriors who survived for years after the Borg came.' I know that ship, and if even half of the same crew still serve there, there is a reason that ship survived until now."

"Indeed," replied the Captain, before turning to the viewscreen, waiting for the nod from Swift before he began, speaking in Klingon. "IKV Riskadh, may your bat'leths be bloody. I am Captain Matthias Solheim of the USS Gilgamesh, and I suspect you are here for the same reason as we, in order to prepare for the same thing as we. If so," he smiled slightly, "we would welcome you to fight beside."

The Tactical Officer, Lieutenant Adranis, who had not given up the Romulan haircut though was wearing a Starfleet uniform, spoke up in a low voice. "Another ship de-cloaking," he said in a cautious voice. Suddenly, he continued, though sounding calmer. "Romulan, Valdore-class, with a few odd readings. It's the S'harien," he said with a smile as he looked up.

"May I take this one?" asked Commander Inzeti to the Captain.

The Captain continued to look at the viewscreen through to the Klingon ship, though smiled a bit more. "Certainly, Commander."

With that, Commander Inzeti used the smaller datapad to contact the S'harien, revealing her healthy face, though with long hair and a Starfleet uniform now, though the former was braided into a bun and the latter was made for her. She spoke in Federation Standard, though there was a twinkle in her eye. "IRW S'harien, this is Commander Inzeti of the USS Gilgamesh. We would be glad of your company both now, and at Bajor."

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Gamma Quadrant
Unknown System


Captain DuBois looked down the table at his assembled command staff, gauging each of them in turn. Stone, his executive officer, looked dour, his brow furrowing as he looked at the data. Barclay, the ship’s chief engineer, looked confident, doing his best to hide a smile behind a professional facade. Lieutenant Maren, a Bajoran tactical officer, was clearly conflicted, the look in her eyes showed longing, but her look hardened as she glanced up. Doctor Vares was busy working on calculations and keeping himself otherwise occupied, trying not to focus on the task at hand. Science Officer Dunok, in his usual Vulcan manner, kept a neutral look upon his face as he patiently waited for the meeting to start in earnest. Security Chief Fenas, of course, kept her gaze on the rest of the assemblage and away from DuBois, as was standard for her in these sorts of situations. Counselor Dirrina Kam’s gaze met his for a brief moment, both sets of eyes watching in a similar fashion. As they met, they shared a moment of mutual understanding. The weight of the last several years had weighed heavily on the crew, and this newest development would not be easy for the crew to deal with.

“Mister Dunok, please begin with your findings,â€

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Nivoch System, IRW S`harien


The S'harien continued on its trajectory towards Nivoch IV at its cruising speed until its arrival. As the Warbird did so its passive sensors sought to learn as much as possible not only from the warships that were present in the system but the world below. The Warbird slowed as it approached the orbit of Nivoch IV and gracefully seemed to glide in a position that placed it between the USS Gilgamesh and the IKV Riskadh. Unlike the D`Deridex class a massive and ponderous vessel, the S'harien was nearly half the length but possessed more than double the grace of the notoriously hard to maneuver D`Deridex. The 604 meter long S'harien dwarfed the Defiant class Federation ship although the Vor`cha gave a better accounting of itself in terms of size.

Galan glanced at his own sensor screen as his sensors focused on the Riskadh. The Vor`cha cruiser stood as if transfixed in space time. The Klingon vessel brought back memories of better days, when the Klingons had been rivals and the galaxy had not been in the brink of oblivion. His reverie was broken when his communication officer spoke.

"Riov, the IKV Riskadh sends its greetings and offers engineering assistance." The communication officer said.

Galan blinked. "Engineering assistance?"

"Yes. Do you want me to ask for clarification?"

"Riov, they could have detected the power signature of the S'harien oscillate as we dropped our cloak. To someone unfamiliar with our circumstances, the power loss could be perceived as being caused by battle damage." Centurion Velal interjected a moment later.

Galan nodded as the central computer of the S'harien presented to him all the known data on its databanks regarding the performance and history of the IKV Riskadh. The information available was fewer than he had hoped, but it painted a suitable picture for a ship full of warriors. These Klingons had been fighting the Borg since the beginning, where thousands of their kin had fallen in battle they endured. His left hand moved, a series of keys pressed on a datapad before he found himself opening a channel directly to the Klingon warship.

"IKV Riskadh, this is Riov Galan Cretak. It lightens my heart to know that warriors of your stature are present in this system. It is my hope that we will be able to shed blood together in the days that are to come. Your offer for engineering assistance is gracious but unnecessary at this time. Our cloaking device has been experiencing intermittent problems. We are actively attempting to rectify the situation." The practiced half-truth rolled off his lips without hesitation. It was a plausible explanation for the power fluctuation. He loathed starting a relationship on such terms but he was unwilling to share all the secrets of his ship just yet.

His head turned as the message to the Riskadh ended and he glanced at his communications officer. "Get in contact with whoever is in charge down in the planet and let them know what we need. Make sure they know we are willing to barter for the supplies in question."

"Of course." The communication said before he focused on the task at hand.

He had barely entered the system and already the Klingons were teasing out his secrets. Galan shook his head in wonder, a small smile appearing on his lips as he remembered what Teav had said.

They are not all wastes of skin you know...

It was with that thought in his mind that communication was established between the USS Gilgamesh and his ship. Since they had worked together in the past, the Gilgamesh was given immediate visual access to the bridge as its message came through. His eyes glanced upwards, leaving the data screen of his command chair and focused on a familiar face. The long hair should not have surprised him, but it did. The Starfleet uniform would take some getting used to but Riov Samara Inzeti looked as healthy as he recalled. Her choice of language was met with a brief frown. He did not rise to the challenge, replying in the tongue of their people. If nothing else, it seemed that she could use the practice.

"Samara, I know who you are. It is my pleasure to see that you and your ship are intact. Captain Solheim has not been too reckless with your lives I take it." He let those words sink in before he continued. "So you are committed to Bajor? We will likely follow you. Someone has to keep an eye on that Captain of yours." His brief smile took some of the edge of his words. He had enjoyed fighting alongside the Gilgamesh.

"Riov, we are detecting an anomaly in the system." His sensor office cut in.

His head turned leaving the comforting face of Samara and focusing on his sensor officer. "Anomaly?"

"A subspace distortion of significant size. It looks like...it's a wormhole."

"What is coming through?" Galan responded. His eyes glancing towards the view screen that still linked him to the Gilgamesh.

"A federation ship just exited the wormhole. It is identifying itself as the USS Empyrean."

"USS Empyrean?" His fingers darted over a key pad, his sensor officer was far faster.

"Luna class. No known history. It was not present in the battle of earth. We have nothing on it Riov. Wait, Tal Shiar records indicate the ship was scheduled to explore the Gamma quadrant."

Galan frowned. The Federation had a penchant for having dozens of meaningless distinctions between classes. The information that he possessed on the Luna-class came up on his personal screen and he frowned.

Not much of a warship.

"The wormhole has collapsed Riov."

Before Galan could interject his console emitted a series of sounds. The USS Empyrean had activated its sensor systems and they had kissed the hull of the S'harien. The series of sounds indicated that the scans were not associated with standard Federation targeting frequencies. It was a prudent action and as such did not warrant an overt response. When the federation ship opened a channel, the Riov listened.

"This is the IRW S'harien under the command of Riov Galan Cretak." He hesitated for only a moment before he continued. "I assure you Empyrean that your presence in this system is a welcome one detour or not, you have chosen an auspicious time to arrive." The channel was closed a moment later.

Three federation ships, one Klingon. Had Taev known about this?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:04 am 
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Commander Inzeti's smile became a bit warmer as she replied in Romulan. "It is something I am growing used to these days, Galen. As for our lives, we have pledged them to him for safe-keeping, I more so than the rest - and I do not feel as if any of us mis-judged our gifts."

She chuckled quietly at this. "I am aware of the irony, Galen. I have finally found that which I sought for so long - another who thinks as I do when it comes to philosophy of command - and he's Starfleet," she shook her head with a smile.

"Regardless," she continued, switching to Federation Standard, where her accent was more notable. "We are indeed committed to Bajor. A fire may burn an entire forest to ash, but that ash can serve as fertile soil for a new forest to grow. I know not what the future holds, or what it might even look like - but I do know that I must take part in shaping it," she said solemnly.

Elsewhere on the bridge, at the Captain's command, Swift sent a polite greeting to the ship whose arrival by means of wormhole was a bit dramatic, asking if her crew needed anything. At the same time, Lieutenant Adranis ensured that the Gilgamesh's passive sensors were greedily devouring all detail possible about this rather odd newcomer.

Then again, thought Swift as she sent off the message to the other ship, Starfleet had gotten ships back under more unusual circumstances. It certainly could be considered fortuitous timing.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:31 am 
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Kadon replied politely to the Gilgamesh's hail. One could say many things about the federazhon, but they put neither cowards nor fools in commands of Defiants. "Thank you for your welcome captain. We've been out of contact with most of the quadrant for some time. We pleased to see allies again."

"The Romulans have politely refused our offer of assistance," said Aaveroke. "They say its a minor problem with their cloaking device."

Pride, thought Kadon. There were no such things as minor cloaking problems now that the Borg had overrun almost everything. A Klingon understood pride and Romulans were not kuve. This one was a survivor, just as the Riskadh was.

The Valdore was a magnificent vessel. It exceeded the length of the Riskadh by nearly a hundred meters and was even wider abeam. A hundred years ago the back bone of the Romulan fleet had been birds of prey, a handful of larger ships, and refit Klingon designs. Now both Empires were dead, but the Romulans had been building singularity powered D'Deridex's and Valdores while too many Klingons had been aping pre space warrior bands with ostentatious backward customs, too eager to raw a bat'leth instead of a disruptor and drink bloodwine because it seemed martial.

The long peace made us soft, thought Kadon. Too much concern with ancient customs and rites, too much feuding and too little focus on science and expansion. We, with our federazhon alliance should have been building great singularity powered battlecruisers and pushing back the frontiers of space, developing and expanding. If we had, we might have won.

"Captain!" Arikel almost shouted. "We're getting heavy space-time flux. Grav readings suggest an opening wormhole."

"Raise shields and heat the mains. Helm, line us up on the wormhole. Load a tricobalt torpedo in the number one launcher, full spread of high yield torpedoes in all the others."

"Acting," said Khedira at the helm.

"Guns are hot, torpedoes loaded," came Kallor's steady voice.

"Vessel is emerging," said Arikel. "It appears to be Federation. Luna class explorer, science cruiser with moderate arnament."

"We're being hailed," said Aarevoke. "They are the Empyrean."

"What do we have on them?"

"Starfleet records indicate they were sent to explore the Gamma Quadrant," said Arikel. "All contact with them was lost."

"Return their hail. And let them know the Borg are present in the quadrant in force."

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"Commander to the bridge."

Ereshal's voice, clipped and terse, stirring him out of unconsciousness. He hesitated only for a few moments, but nothing more was forthcoming. He checked the time, glanced around the room almost reflexively, and then rose.

Only a minute or so later, Acting Commander Ivan Kalpov entered the bridge.

"Commander," said Ereshal without looking up, her fingers bent to the tactile display pannel installed next to her chair, "we've got four ships closing on the planet. One approached at Warp, two decloaked, and one just seems to have... materialized."

A glance told him that Argonaut's shields were raised, and the weapons going through their laborious charge process, made no easier by the burned out power conduits riven through the ship's saucer section, legacy of too many years of rugged pounding.

"Cubes?" he asked, automatically. Though they'd never yet seen a cube that could cloak, at this point nothing would surprise him.

Fortunately, Ereshal shook her head. "No. A modified Defiant, looks like a Valiant refit. A... Luna class I think, and two non-federation ships. A Romulan Valdore, and a Klingon Vor'cha.

"Valiants and Valdores and Vor'chas... oh my," said Lt. Luther from behind his tactical station. Several people laughed.

"Are they - "

"No," said Ereshal, as though reading his mind. "Or at least they're doing an excellent job hiding it. "Some kind of weird Power signal off the Valdore, but the rest seem to be as expected."

"Romulan ships always give off weird power signals. Have they charged weapons?"

"The Klingons have," said Ereshal, which didn't raise an eyebrow. Given Klingons, the reverse would have been more alarming. "I can't get a good read on the Luna. It... literally just appeared, Commander. Massive subspace distortions, like a wormhole opening, and then there it was."

Kalpov sat down, turning the notion over in his head. "Well what are they doing?"

"Hailing one another, it looks like. I've got their transmissions if you want to - "

"On speaker."

This is the IKV Riskadh, under the command of Kadon zantai Khemera.

"Run that reference," said Kalpov, un-necessarily, for it was already being done.

"Riskadh... comes up with a Vor'cha attack cruiser. Nothing else in the database, but at least no confirmation of destruction. Do you know the name, Commander?"

"Klingon names all sound the same to me," he said dryly, "and half their fleet was never 'confirmed'. "Play the others."

This is the IRW S'harien under the command of Riov Galan Cretak.

Kalpov allowed his eyes to widen. "Galen Cretak?" he asked nobody in particular. "And you said he was in a Valdore?"

"Yes sir, confirmed one Valdore-class Battlecruiser."

"Didn't command say that there was one back at Bajor?" asked Ereshal.

"Yeah, with a Reman commanding it, and being an obstinate bastard. They thought there weren't any others..."

"Sir, I've scanned that Defiant," said Luthor. "It's registered as the Gilgamesh."

"The what?" asked Kalpov. "I've never heard of - "

"Last ship off the yards at Utopia Planetia, or so the computer claims. I've got their transmission now:

"IRW S'harien, this is Commander Inzeti of the USS Gilgamesh. We would be glad of your company both now, and at Bajor."

Kalpov winced. "A Romulan with a Defiant. Command'll love that."

"Anything's possible," suggested Luthor. "Last one coming through now..."

"This is the Federation Vessel USS Empyrean to all assembled vessels. We apologize for the sudden arrival, but we had to take a bit of a detour..."

Every man on the bridge went quiet at once.

"I don't believe it..." whispered Ereshal. Nobody disagreed.

"Scan that ship," said Kalpov, "and bring it on screen."

The image of a battered Luna-class cruiser appeared on magnified sensors even as the scan results came in.

"Showing... maybe twenty lifesigns. Power system leaking like all hell, but... it's definitely Empyrean, sir."

Several more seconds went by before anyone said anything. Predictably, it was the First Officer who broke the silence.

"Commander?" she asked. It was all she had to say by now.

"Open a hail to all ships," said Commander Kalpov. "This is Commander Ivan Kalpov, of the USS Argonaut, calling all approaching vessels." He paused for a second, trying to think of what best to say. A quartet of ships, of captains, of crews, some alien, some depleted, all scarred.

He finally went with the simplest thing he could think of.

"Riskadh, S'harien, on behalf of the United Federation of Planets, welcome to Nivoch." It was a cruel joke, perhaps, but his was the first ship on-site, and this was still technically a Federation world.

"Gilgamesh, it's good to see you. Approach on any vector you like." They'd never met before this moment, but it was good to see any Federation ship nowadays, at least ones that weren't presently sporting Borg alterations.

"And... Empyrean..." he couldn't believe he was saying this, but then Voyager had returned, hadn't it? "Things have changed a bit since you've been gone. For what it's worth though... welcome home."

He cut the comm link before his voice could start shaking.

Over in the tactical post, Lt. Luther smirked and shook his head.

"Nivoch traffic control's gonna throw a fit..."

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:42 pm 
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Alpha Quadrant
Nivoch System, Oort Cloud


“Sir, the Klingons are powering weapons and raising shields!â€

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Edge of Former Ferengi Space, abandoned Ferengi commercial station

52 Hours Ago

"I can't believe this! I'm helping a bunch of Hewmons gut a noble commercial outpost, a monument of my people! A stately relic of my culture!" Rog moaned as he observed the salvage teams at work.

"You're just upset that the Captain refused to pay you for a station you didn't own." Cheif Engineer Higgins said as she came around the corner pushing a cart with various electronics in it. It would take weeks to mesh them with Federation gear but she could do it and it would keeping the replicators online for another 6 months.

"OF COURSE I AM!" Rog cried waving his arms above his head dramatically.

"Who ever heard of a Ferengi selling out his own people's goods... FOR FREE!" Rog moaned.

"Relax, if anyone asked, you were paid. The Captain promised not to toss you the airlock and let Tsssszzz's boys use you as target practice." Higgons replied tossing her long blond hair with a sniff. Rog muttered in response, not even bothering to proposition the human female. Higgins has made it clear she chose her own mates and when had tried to press the point he had been thrown a good 10 feet. Leave it to Hewmons to teach beautiful women how to fight, as bad as Klingons!

The crews under the guidance of Rog's assistants stripped the station quickly. No one wanted to stay in one spot to long. That attracted them.

--------------------

"Commander Higgins, this is the Captain. Status report, please." Came a transmission from Higgins' chest communicator. Even now, the Captain was polite and kept to regulation address most of the time. Mary Higgins approved of this, it gave her a sense of security.

"This is Commander Higgins, Captain. We're about done, Replicator stock and water as all been loaded as well as the sensor gear. We're mostly stripping conduits and circuits for spare parts, won't take more then 70 minutes." She reported, she barely avoided sighing if the transporters had been working... As it was everything had to be transferred using either shuttle transporters or actually flying onto the shuttles. Which made the water transfer a feat and a half. Sadly the Station's transporter system was a complete ruin. No chance of fixing the ship's from parts from here. Darn it.

"Well done Commander. Alert the bridge the minute the last work crews are back on board. Expedite if possible Commander... We have orders." Higgins heart leapt into her throat. They hadn't had orders or contact from any authority for almost 20 months now. The Captain had stayed low, attacking stray Borg ships and then running for it as well as trying to gather observable data. When they weren't just trying to stay alive anyway.

--------------------

Captain Anderson leaned back in his chair. His left ribs ached. He knew it was psychosomatic, but they ached. It was a low grade discomforted to everything else but it reminded of him of his situation. He left like he was in some C grade holo-sim sometimes, but that was denial. Denial would kill him and more importantly the ship. There were 781 other individuals who could not afford for him to sink into denial or otherwise lose his edge. He wondered vaguely who was in charge in Bajor. The orders, broadcasted widely was simply signed Starfleet Command. Dare he hope for a miracle? Captain Sisko's return?

He almost laughed at himself. Might as well pray to God for Kirk himself to return at the head of a fleet of superdreanoughts armed with self replicating Genesis Torpedo launchers and spitting out the very fire of creation. It would be more... Poetic that way.

"Captain?" Cerezi asked coming close. Her red hair was tied back in a loose braid and her green eyes showed concern. He didn't blame her, they had all seen people crack under less strain. The Ship Counsellor had blown his brains out right after the fall of Earth. What had been his name again? Jason? Jeran? He would have to check the logs again. A Captain shouldn't forget his crew. He smiled at Cerezi.

"Just a bad joke that occured to me Zi, while considering our orders." He used to hate having Starfleet Command jogging his elbow when he was out leading his ship. Used to.

"Pretty vague orders if you ask me Captain. All ships come to this system!" She said with a slight eye roll. There was a reason Cerezi never got past Commander and it wasn't her ability. Ah Well, if he survived this war he could fix that. Should be plenty of ships to go around if they beat the Borg. Problem would be patching the holes and getting them to work.

"Stand easy Commander. Ours is not to question you know." He said with a half smile. Given the silvery implants that covered a good chunk of his face, half smile was the best he could do. At least he could smile though.

"Captain, this is Commander Higgins. We are on shuttles and in the shuttle bay." Came a report from the comm. He keyed it to answer, looking at the clock. 48 minutes... She was gonna set new speed records at this rate.

"Well done Commander. Once the shuttles are off loaded stand down for 2 or 3 shifts as well has your work parties." He ordered, he heard an acknowledged as he stood up. He flexed his left arm, silvery grey and felt the whirr and buzz of the machinery. When the war was won, he hoped to be able to cover up his implants. When the war was won.

"Patch me through Shipwide please com." He waited serenely until the comm reported him patched in.

"Ladies and gentlebeings, this is your Captain speaking. I am pleased to report that we have contact from Starfleet command in Bajor." Was it his imagination or did he hear a faint roar of cheering?

"We have been ordered to report in for link up with the fleet. We are departing immediately and will be stopping in Nivoch for several hours for last stop inspections. If there's any gear that isn't working now is the time to report it. It's been a hard time people, but you have all done well and I have no doubt you will continue to give me the best service a Captain has had in the history of Starfleet. This is the Captain, Out." He turned to the Helm station.

"Lay course for Nivoch." He ordered, knowing full well that navigation and the Helm had laid the course over an hour ago when they had first been briefed. The Formalities however.

"Course Laid Aye Sir." Replied the Lt. The Captain wouldn't call him young even if he wasn't even, 23 yet. No one was young anymore.

"Engage." He ordered crisply.

"Engage, Aye Sir. Ship at Warp." The Lt replied. Captain Anderson nodded.

"Commander Cerezi, you have the bridge. I'll be in my ready room if there is anything to report." He replied as he turned. He would have one hell of a long report to turn in.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:10 pm 
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En Route to Bajor


Gul's log. I don't know why I still make these. Seven years of war against the Borg. Countless lives and planets lost. No real way of stopping them. Seems hopeless at times. Maybe that's why I keep making them. They allow me to hope against hope that maybe we'll survive, maybe my notes from my years of service, for Cardassia and now for all sentients, will provide a legacy to tell my children of what their father did. We're on our way to Bajor, making a few detours around spatial anomalies. Occasionaly, the Katara and other ships in our squadron will make runs on borg scouts, destroying a sphere or two, but we haven't stayed for a knock down fight yet. Bajor though. We'll make a stand there and hopefully, someday, my childern will read my records and know their father fought in protection of their futures.


The bridge was lit by blue lighting, the crew's eyes on their panels. The helm officer was discussing something with the sensor officer. The Katara was running fast, zipping around anomalies, avoiding the main travel lanes. The sensor officer laughed at something Helm had said, making the others look over at htem.

But Tarka ignored it, reading his datapad. The latest gossip. Where the borg were, where everyone else was, what was left, who was lost. The word that Bajor was to be the next great stand.

Tarka couldn't help but laugh, attracting the attention of his officers before they went back to work. How deliciously ironic. Bajor. The planet that had been a nothing but a pain for Cardassia, the planet that lost them more than he could count, was to be the last guardian before the Horde entered Cardassian Space.

"Captain, long range sensors are detecting a gather of ships. No borg signatures."

"Any idea who?" He asked.

"Nivoch IV." Sensor's said. That perked up the second shift weapon's officer. He had been raised there for a time before the Maquis had made it too dangerous. "We've got feddie power traces and looks like klingon, but can't be sure." He stated.

Tarka nodded. "Change course, we'll stop by and see just who's there." He said. Safer to travel in packs.

******

The heavily modified Keldon dropped out of warp, cruising in on impulse.

Tarka looked at the display as the Keldon began cruising in at high impulse from the edge of the system, her shields up, weapons offline, passive scanners only. “Quite the gathering.â€

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:55 am 
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Nivoch System, IRW S`harien


With the situation regarding the timely arrival of the USS Empyrean under control his attention flickered back towards the channel that still linked the S'harien with the Gilgamesh. His eyes focused on the image of Riov Inzeti, her Romulan was still quite excellent. It pleased him that she had not allowed herself to fall out of practice. "That is good to hear Samara."

There aren't many of us left.

His thoughts went unsaid, Samara's eyes told him that she too was keenly aware of the current circumstances surrounding their people. Her initial fascination with the captain seemed to have grown into something more. For a moment, he was envious. He had never married, there had never been enough time and his career in the Navy had been all consuming. He had never felt rushed. Besides, the Empire had endured for thousands of years; surely there would be enough time in the future. She had been at the very top of a very small list of potential candidates before the fall of the Empire.

She is lost to me now.

He pushed the thought aside keenly aware that dwelling on what could have been would bring him no satisfaction. His eyes once more found those of his counterpart and he nodded. "I feel the same way. The S'harien has taken parts in many battles and we plan on participating in more to come." If the battle of Bajor would herald the end of the quadrant, the S'harien would be there claws and teeth bared. He went silent for a moment, the sober thought sending a chill through his veins before he offered a small smile. "I hope I will be able to see you and your captain soon." With those words said, the channel was closed and the link between ships ceased.

"Riov, the Riskadh raised shields and seems to be powering weapons." His sensor officer stated.

"A proper Klingon reaction." Galan responded dryly.

It did not take long for the misunderstanding between allies to be sorted out. His eyes glanced at a nearby tactical screen for a moment before the USS Arganaut, a silent member of the gathering opened a channel. Its message was simple and curt, far more formal than he expected but it was polite.

"USS Argonaut, thank you for your hospitality." He responded, the channel closed a moment later.

"Riov, we are getting interesting readings from the Empyrean. It seems that only twenty members of its crew survive." His sensor officer said.

Galan winced. "The ship has traveled a hard road."

"It seems that it has Riov." The sensor officer responded before he went silent, his eyes focusing on his screen. "We are picking up a tight-beam communication signal from the Empyrean." The Romulan smiled. "They are being clever about it masking the signal under a long-range scan of the system. I am patching it to communications."

Galan's head turned and glanced towards his communication officer. The Romulan female hesitated for only a moment. "The message is inquiring about possible Borg technological signatures on our engineering deck. They want to know if this is an emergency."

Galan frowned for a moment. The ship had twenty living crew, had been lost in the gamma quadrant apparently since the start of the war against the Borg and it had still managed to possess sensors sensitive enough to pierce one of the veils of secrecy within his ship. He took a deep breath and held it considering his options before he responded. "I will answer the message personally. Can we be clever like they are?"

His sensor officer nodded and pressed a series of keys, the Riov's message transmitted back to the USS Empyrean in a similar manner to the way the Empyrean's own message had arrived. The message was a simple one. "USS Empyrean I appreciate your discretion in this matter. What you detect has not been an emergency in over a year. The S'harien was boarded and our ownership was contested. What you detect is an echo of that incident, but I assure you that the infection has not spread. We are in command here and the S'harien still fights."

"Keldon class vessel dropping out of warp Riov!" His sensor officer called out.

Galan groaned. "Keldon class? Are you certain?" Cardassians? He had not seen a Cardassian ships outside of their space in over a decade.

"Yes sir. The Tal Shiar helped design them and Riov Sindari has given us detailed data. This is Keldon 14c, constructed in the Orias system. It was not finished in time to participate in the disastrous attack on the Omarion nebula according to Tal Shiar records." His sensor officer replied.

"Wonderful." Galan sighed. "What can you tell me about this ship?"

"It is identifying itself as the Katara." The Romulan said before going silent.

"The Katara." He went silent for a moment, his eyes narrowing. "The so called Cardassian Scourge?"

"Yes Riov. We have no record of it participating in any major engagement against the Borg."

"You won't find any records. The Katara won't fight an enemy capable of offering anything more than token resistance. " Galan said flatly. "Track the ship but say nothing. I want to see how the others respond to its untimely arrival." His eyes settled on the tactical display as the Katara continued its approach deeper into the system.

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Commander Inzeti smiled gently at her old friend before the channel was closed, replying quietly in Romulan. "If favor smiles on us, and we see days past Bajor - my children will call you Uncle, Galen."

At the same time, Captain Solheim greeted the USS Argonaut directly. "Argonaut, this is Captain Matthias Solheim of the Gilgamesh. If you require any assistance, please let us know."

The bridge chatter went quiet as the sensors showed the incoming ship. "Cardassian, Keldon-class," Lieutenant Adranis said coldly.

Captain Solheim rapped out orders, the crew already going to work. "Yellow Alert. Tactical, paint that ship with all sensors. I want to know it down to where the paint is scratched."

The holographic display showed the ships' movements within the system, painting the Gilgamesh, S'harien, Empyrean, Argonaut, and Riskadh in blue, and now the unknown Cardassian ship in yellow.

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"Captain," said Arikel, "sensor readings indicate there are only twenty life forms on the Empyrean."

"Twenty? On a ship that size?"

"Correct. There are some unusual power readings. It's possible the life form readings aren't accurate. I'm . . . vessel incoming high warp. Power signature consistent with Cardassian technology."

"Tactical display." A three armed cross appeared on the screen.

"Cardassian ship identified. It's the Katara."

"So the mighty killer of freighters deigns to make an appearance," said Kallor. "This one is not surprised they have not fought to the death against the Borg."

"Zan Khedira, interpose our ship between the Cardassian raider and the Empyrean," said Kadon. "Zan Kallor, if the Cardassian scavenger makes a move against our allies burn them from the skies. "Aaveroke, patch me through to the Empyrean," Empyrean , this is Captain Kadon. Do you require assistance?"

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:59 am 
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Alpha Quadrant
Nivoch System


"Captain, approaching Nivoch system. Dropping out of Warp in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1. Captain the ship has exited Warp, we are in Nivoch's Oort cloud." The Lt on the helm reported.

"Thank you Lt. Sensors, report please." The Captain said calmly.

"Sir, no traces of weapons discharge. Reading 3 Federation ships, 1 Klingon ship, 1 Romulan. Sir, I'm reading odd readings on several of the ships. " Reported the Bajoran ensign on sensors.

"Understood. Com, give an broadcast announcing who we are. Helm take into the system at 1/2 full." The Captain ordered.


USS Immortal wrote:
This is the Federation Starship, USS Immortal, Captain Anderson commanding. We are entering the system.


yay theme!

The Immortal cruised into the system, half of it's running lights were non-operational. Burn marks and impacts marks stretched across the hull like the paint strokes of a mad artist. Despite this the ship moved purposefully and strongly, this was not a limping wreck but a still fit predator. This was a veteran surviving battlecruiser of the United Federation of Planets, a Sovereign class starship that cut through the void, it's very existence a statement of stubborn refusal to accept anything less then life and victory.

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"Ship dropping out of warp, at the edge of the system," Lieutenant Adranis reported. "Federation ship, Sovereign-class," he paused as he reviewed the passive sensor readings, speaking up next with a small smile. "The ship's taken a few hits, but it appears to be living up to its name - Immortal."

"Well, now," Captain Solheim said with a slowly-growing smile, as he got out of his chair while looking at the viewscreen. "I haven't seen one of those for a while. Hail them Lieutenant - offer our greetings and assistance if necessary."

While still keeping one eye on the holographic in-system force display, Captain Solheim watched the approach of the large Federation ship, a battlecruiser in all but name.

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"Another signal, Commander. Ship approaching at high warp. Large energy signature, Federation transponder. It's..."

The tactical officer trailed off into silence, long enough for Commander Kalpov to notice.

"Well?"

"It's a Sovereign, sir..."

"Oh for the love of... Signal the Warspite and tell them that the colony has requested that - "

"No sir, not Warspite. It's the Immortal."

"Immortal," whispered Ereshal. "I thought they were gone."

"I get the feeling Command thought that too," said Kalpov.

"Your orders sir?" asked the Tactical Officer.

"This is getting complicated," said the Commander. "Open a hail to all ships. Let's hope none of them have stupid ideas."

"Frequency open, sir."

"This is the USS Argonaut," said Kalpov, trying to sound less tired than he actually was, making it sound like it was an everyday affair to have half a dozen heavily armed warships from four different races materialize in front of him. "We've been assigned guardship for the Nivoch colony for the time being, please approach at impulse power and state your intentions and destination." He considered asking the Klingons to power their weapons down, but thought better of it. For all he knew, they might take it as a mortal insult, and he didn't feel up to facing a Vor'cha down today. Not with command practically begging every captain in Starfleet to recruit any alien vessel larger than a shuttle for the imminent engagement at Bajor.

"Transmission away," said the Comms officer.

"Ivan, we're not the guardship here," said Ereshal. "In fact, I don't think there is a guardship."

"Yeah," said Kalpov, "but they don't know that, and if they do, they'll know they shouldn't ask. We got here first."

"Sir?" asked the Comms officer. "I've got the colony on a voice-only channel. They say they're reading multiple ships in the system, and want to know who's in charge."

Kalpov smirked, despite everything. "Tell them we'll get back to them once we figure that part out ourselves..."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:03 am 
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Alpha Quadrant
Nivoch System, on approach to Nivoch IV


The transmission from the Romulan ship came directly to DuBois’ personal display, and he shook his head, muttering under his breath, “Well at least we know it’s not an emergency,â€

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"Acknowledged Empyrean," replied Kadon. I doubt the Katara will try anything with this many allied vessels in system," said the Klingon captain with a feral grin.

Arikel silenced the com from her board. "Another vessel incoming. They've left warp at the edge of the system and are preceding on impulse."

"Another vessel?" Kadon asked. "Have we crashed a g'dayt party? Identity?"

"They're transmitting," said Aaveroke. "The Immortal, Captain Anderson commanding."

"The Immortal?" said Morizan. "Kahless kaase."

"One could live for Keth's years and not see such a gathering of vessels in one outback star system."

"If you live for Keth's years captain, you might even see a new komerex before you die," said Arikel.

"Only if we win," said Kadon.

"Mere life," began Kallor, "is not victory," the rest of the bridge crew replied, joining him in speaking the oath of the Imperial Navy. "Mere death is not defeat."

"Zan Aaveroke," ordered Kadon, "greet the Immortal in a manner fitting to a record of such stature." He adressed the bridge crew with a smile. The Komerex Klingon had burned. The Federation was a figment of its former self. Almost all their comrades, all their families were dead. Victory after victory, kill after kill had not prevented it. It took a toll, even on Klingons.

"This one believes," he said pointing at the tactical display, "that we still have some luck left."

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"Justice belongs to the strong. If there are gods, they do not help. But what is done under the Naked Stars is remembered."


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:34 pm 
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Katara

Gul Tarka watched the display, seeing the ships reacting to his presence, the Klingons moving between him and a Federation ship.

"Helm bring us to a stop."

"Yes, Gul." Came the response and the ship stodo still in the darkness.

"Gul, we're being scanned by multiple ships." The Glin manning the sensor station called out.

"Let them scan, after all, we're all on the same side now." Tarka said, waiting for one of the other ships to make the first move.

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"Huh," Lt. Commander Nevola, otherwise known as 'Swift,' remarked as she read over the data available on her console. "They're letting us look."

"A wise decision, I'd say," remarked Lieutenant Adranis, rapidly going over the tactical readouts from the sensor sweep of the Cardassian Keldon-class ship. "Captain, the sensor scan is complete. This ship has had enhancements, but none of them are Borg."

"Well, they've seen all of us, and yet they came to a full stop to let us scan them. The Gul of that ship might be the practical sort," Commander Inzeti said thoughtfully.

Captain Solheim was silent for a few moment, thinking while looking over the available data from the Keldon-class ship before them, the Katara. Eventually, he reached a decision. "Swift, open a channel to the Katara. Ask them if they require assistance," he said, looking at the viewscreen.

Once Swift nodded to him once, he listened as she relayed the message. He was silently grateful again that the young Romulan pilot had made the decision to stay with her Riov after the Vampaja met its end, despite her tendency to sometimes act like she was piloting a fightercraft instead of a proper tactical escort craft. "Katara, this is the USS Gilgamesh. Do you require assistance?"

_________________
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

- William Gibson


Josh wrote:
What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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