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Randal Shayne

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Posts posted by Randal Shayne

  1. ((Corridors Outside Sickbay, USS Columbia))


    ::It had been a very long time since she had last stood in this place, and it looked entirely new. Nothing was left of the battles fought, save for the memories (or lack thereof) and the log entries and damage reports from years prior. It hadn’t taken Kali long to uncover her link to the ship before it had been refit, and in a way she hoped that her history with her would open the doors to some memories somewhere.::


    ::But here as she stood, just outside the doors where the dragon had apparently crashed through the bulkhead, she still remembered nothing.::


    ::With a frown, she looked down at the padd in her hand at the damage reports and the images they included. Deep claw marks marred the metallic walls and the doors themselves had been thrown haphazardly to the side in the process. Dark stains on the deck left little to the imagination when it came to the price paid by those who defended sickbay that day, and the lighting itself seemed dim in the aftermath of it all.::


    ::And yet Kali could not remember any of it.::


    ::The logs from the event that would eventually take her and her crew through the waycorridors to Odyssey station, in another galaxy, outlined the trials the crew faced from the newly named Draco Stellarium, barely making it out of the Azure nebula alive. The destruction to the ship was awful and complete, leaving entire sections uninhabitable until their return to the Starbase.::


    ::As Kali looked up at the door she saw, nor remembered, any of it. The pristine surfaces only rang of a newness that didn’t come with history. The carpet on the deck was clean and fresh. There was no trace of claw marks or death, aside from the idea that this was sickbay. And in her mind, there was no trace of any of the memories that should have been there.::


    ::With a sigh, she stopped thinking about it. The pictures on the padd looked so unfamiliar, not just in the context of her past, but in the context of the present as well. The ship had truly been refit, completely and totally. It shone like it had just come off the assembly line, still in need of her first shakedown cruise. Perhaps that was what threw her…::


    ::Apparently it threw her so hard she didn’t even notice that she was blocking the door until she was nearly face to face with an officer she didn’t know.::


    Duyzer: ?


    ::Kali blinked, focusing her crystalline blues on the person who had seemingly materialized in front of her.::


    Nicholotti: Oh, I’m sorry. ::Smiling.:: Guess I kind of got lost with my thoughts there.


    Duyzer: ?


    ::The ambassador stepped back to give him room to enter the corridor. She nodded in greeting.::


    Nicholotti: Indeed. I don’t recognize you. Are you newly assigned here?


    ::Of course he was. Kali let her own mischievous grin dance across her face at her own question. They were all newly assigned, so this officer she didn’t know was also.::


    Duyzer: ?


    ::With a slight bit more flourish that was probably necessary, Kali bowed slightly, letting her long raven hair fall over her shoulder.::


    Nicholotti: Ambassador Kalianna Nicholotti, at your service.


    Duyzer: ?




    Fleet Captain Kalianna Nicholotti

    Federation Ambassador at Large


    As simmed by:


    Lieutenant Commander Ash MacKenna

    Chief Science Officer

    USS Columbia



    • Like 1
  2. There’s no shortage of starship classes within the fleet. It seems that almost every mission has the perfect vehicle to achieve it. Operations that necessitate tactical ability can look to the nimble firepower of the Defiant class. Long forays into the depths of uncharted space are ideal for the massive explorers of the Federation- the Galaxy and Odyssey classes. And, of course, once those tactical aims have been achieved, or those planets have been explored, science/medical ships are needed, and that niche is filled by the Olympic class medical cruiser, or the Nova class science surveyor.
        Of course, these are just the barest descriptions of the hundreds of mandates nd tens of thousands of operations that the Federation contends with on a daily basis, but it seems like every niche is filled with an appropriate type of ship, with the ASDB working hard to fill in whatever gaps may exist. With that said, every style of command is different, and befits a different mission.
        This poll of the week asks you to consider your character’s particular style, their strengths and their weaknesses to answer this question: “Given the opportunity to choose, which type of starship would your character choose to command?” Are they more of a fighter, befitting a posting to a combat vessel like the Defiant class? Would they thrive as the CO of a deep space explorer, like the Galaxy class? Or would they fit more into a support role- say, a medical frigate or even a starbase? Perhaps they don’t fit into any of the above? Whatever you decide, give us your vote, and let us know your reasoning in the comments section below!


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  3. Faith has always been a delicate question, one that Star Trek often enjoys examining. It’s no secret that Gene Roddenberry, creator of the idea for Star Trek, found religions to be undesirable, and this fact reflected quite clearly in many of the episodes produced under his tenure. That said, there have been a variety of installments that discuss the topic of faith in a balanced matter. Deep Space 9’s Kira Nerys proudly proclaims a spiritual relationship, and there have been other characters, both in Starfleet and elsewhere, that live similarly.
    On a starship or starbase, teeming with hundreds or thousands of people, cultural differences are unavoidably abundant, and part of what makes Starfleet such an incredible organization. That said, from a writer’s perspective, the storytelling and character development possibilities that stem from imbuing one’s character with religious leanings are boundless. On the other hand, a lack of religion can be just as influential for a character, helping to shape their worldview and their priorities.
    This week’s poll is simple. Essentially, does your character follow a set religion or faith? Are they believers of the Bajoran Prophets, or the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition? Perhaps they were raised in such a fashion, but let that fall away as they grew older. Maybe they have an undefined faith, or an agnostic approach to the universe, or they find religion undesirable for any number of reasons. Give us your vote, and if you’re feeling generous, offer a bit of explanation in the comments section!

  4. The United Federation of Planets, most people will agree, is a vision of utopia unparalleled in its progressive stances on the different denominations that compose it, and in its wealth of resources, knowledge and altruistic endeavors. In the two and half centuries since its founding, the Federation has included 150 member worlds and thousands of outlying colonies within its ranks. Likewise, it has also encountered a multitude of other species- specifically, other governments and cultures. The Klingon Empire, the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassian Union, the Ferengi Alliance, the Breen Confederacy, and the Tholian Assembly compose the rest of the Alpha Quadrant principle powers.
    As we’ve seen, each one has a distinctive outlook on the universe, and a unique culture to match. The Klingons (especially the more militaristic branch) can be exceptionally brutal, violent and beholden to a strictly maintained code of honor. The Romulans have a similarly militaristic view, this one tinged with the more disreputable side of combat (assassinations, political machinations, etc.) but they also seem to have a deep appreciation for both art and scientific endeavors, setting them apart from their longtime enemy, the Klingons. The Ferengi are well known as the entrepreneurs and merchants of the quadrant, living in a society where money is more than a means to a goal- it is the goal. The Breen are a deeply secretive race, with conflicting reports about everything from their home planet to the reason for their all-encompassing uniforms. They became a household name during the Dominion War, when they sided with the Founders against the Federation/Klingon/Romulan alliance, and nearly shattered the Alpha Quadrant once and for all. The Tholians are even more reclusive, and they take it to a xenophobic degree. These crystalline arthropods exist in temperatures that rival Y-Class Demon Worlds in there extremity. Lastly, and perhaps the most intricate blend of the aforementioned, the Cardassian Union has struggled to find a balance between enlightened artistic and spiritual quests and militaristic domination, creating a world of intriguing but often damaging contradictions, where the citizens are both the enemy and the strength of the civilization.

    This poll asks you to consider the possibilities if you were not born into a Federation world. If you had a choice, which would you be a full citizen of? Would the rigid discipline and warrior lifestyle of the Klingons suit you, or would you be more at home among the financially-motivated Ferengi? Perhaps citizenship as a Cardassian appeals to you. Or maybe you fancy satiating your curiosity, and would enjoy learning more about the Breen. Give us your vote, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

  5. Kirk. Picard. Sisko. Janeway. Archer. These names are familiar to even the most casual observer, and synonymous with Starfleet as a whole. Whether they were there to witness (or have a hand in!) the birth of the Federation itself, or contributed to its success hundreds of years later, each officer has left an indelible and valuable mark on the captains of tomorrow.

    While the historical archives might praise these pioneers justly, it becomes apparent just how many differences existed in their personal styles of command. James Kirk, arguably the most famous captain in Federation history, was well known for his bold yet studious personality. Under his skilled leadership, the original Constitution class Enterprise completed its five year mission of exploration- an achievement not many of his fellow starship captains had lived to boast about. However, he also bore a reputation for stretching, bending, and even flat out breaking regulations and rules when it suited him. This rebellious nature, though beneficial in a variety of instances, chafed on many, and could lead to injuries.

    Likewise, Benjamin Sisko, widely regarded as one of the most important captains during the Dominion War, bears great praise from historians for his actions. A patriot and a defender of what he cherished most, Sisko did not allow any to interfere with his station or his Federation unopposed. This could, on occasion, lead him into what might be considered excessive, or even ruthless behavior. One need only examine his actions when it came to eliminating the Maquis threat in the Cardassian Neutral Zone for proof of this particular personality trait.

    There are pros and cons to every style of leadership, and the 5 Captains lend credence to this conclusion. That said, this week’s poll asks you to consider which of the five television captain’s you’d be least happy serving with.  Would you find Picard’s insular, isolated obsession with Shakespeare a poor match to your own tastes? Or would you prefer to avoid Archer’s (at times) entitled and naive attitude regarding the galaxy around him? Perhaps Janeway’s unpredictable, and occasionally reckless actions would inspire you to maintain your distance? Give us your vote, and let us know in the comments section below!

  6.    The term “flag officer” stems from more primitive years of Earth’s warfighting period, when ships bearing a fleet’s highest ranking officer (ostensibly a commodore or higher) would indicate this fact by flying a certain pennant or ensign. Despite such methods being outdated by 400+ years, the term persists at least into the end of the 24th century, and instead has come to denote someone of great experience and wisdom within the higher echelons of Starfleet.
       That said, there’s a common theme running through much of canon Star Trek; despite their lofty positions and sizable achievements, many of the flag officers portrayed aren’t all that great. In some cases, they’re simply breathtakingly incompetent. This is exemplified best by Commodore George Stalker, who decided not only to declare himself in command of the Enterprise, but then proceeded to violate the Romulan Neutral Zone. This is especially egregious, considering he had not one iota of starship command experience under his belt, having served as an administrator all of his career.
       In other, more malicious cases, flag officers have chosen to betray Federation principles and the safety of Starfleet personnel in the pursuit of, among other things, the greater good. An example of the above might be found in DS9’s “Homefront”, in which Admiral Leyton recruits the members of Starfleet Academy Red Squad to sabotage the planetary defense network of Earth during the Dominion War. Another is Admiral Mark Jameson, who violated the Prime Directive by providing weapons to a hostage-taker in return for securing their release, an decision that led to forty years of brutal civil war on the planet Mordan IV.
       While there are plenty of examples of flag officers standing tall, and representing the finest Starfleet has to offer ( Admiral Alana Nechayev, Commodore Stone, etc.), this poll asks you to weigh the actions of these infamous individuals, and decide- who is the worst flag officer in Starfleet history? Was it the duplicitous Erik Pressman, who oversaw the development of a phase cloaking device in direct violation of the Treaty of Algeron, and in doing so, nearly incited war with the Romulans? Or perhaps you’re dead set against Admiral Cartwright, who conspired to assassinate the Federation President, and thereby sabotage the Khitomer Accords. Maybe you’re thinking of someone completely different- there are so many examples that it’s almost impossible to factor them all. Give us your vote, and let us know your reasoning in the comments section below!  

  7. I've been meaning to add this here for days. Awesome stuff, Anders!


    ((B-Deck - USS Fortwith))

     ((OOC: Splitting this into two because it ended up a lot longer than I anticipated.)) 

    Krenn: Look out!


    ::Before Hal could respond, something shoved him forward and he stumbled and fell. Something crashed behind him and he twisted around and saw Krenn on the ground, a metal beam smashed into his leg. Hal felt an immense surge of gratitude as he realized that Krenn had pushed him out of the way. Hal stood up and made his way over to Krenn. ::


    Mika: Thank you, Lieutenant.


    Krenn: ?


    :: Hal almost asked if Krenn was okay before remembering from his studies that Klingons generally did not appreciate people showing concern for them. Instead, he squatted down and attempted to lift the beam. It was heavy, but with assistance from Krenn, they were able to slide it off his leg. Hal stood and wiped the sweat from his brow, before hearing a new voice. He turned to see Doctor G’Renn. Once again, a small smile lit his face. ::


    G’Renn: What’s our status?


    Mika: There are 14 people on this deck in need of help, but we’ve only encountered one of them at this point.


    Pran: Lieutenant Krenn has been injured by a fallen structural beam.


    G’Renn: Can you stand, Lieutenant?


    Krenn: ?


    :: Hal watched as Krenn got to his feet. It looked painful, but the Klingon made no noise as he did so. Hal hoped he would consent to medical help; Krenn was beginning to grow on him. Beyond that, Hal had no illusions as to how much less capable he himself would be at getting them through obstacles and debris that would likely be in their way later. ::


    G’Renn: Oh before I forget, ::Anath turned to look at Lieutenant Pran:: I may have to stop by their sickbay and liberate some extra medical supplies. I left my extra medkit on the shuttle, and this kit only has so much in it.


    Pran: Then once we are done here, head there and get what you need.


    Mika: When you do run out, we may be able to bring enough casualties directly to you that you can just stay in sick bay.


    Pran: That isn’t a bad idea. We can have a primary triage centre there and a secondary one for those with lesser injuries in the shuttlebay. Do you think that would be feasible Doctor?


    G’Renn: ?


    Krenn: ?


    Pran: Okay. ::she looked down the corridor, squinting through the haze of the smoke that lingered in air.:: We need to keep moving. ::she looked to Krenn.:: Are you going to be alright, Lieutenant?


    Krenn: ?


    :: Hal nodded and moved toward the nearest life sign. He found the man buried under a pile of debris. The man appeared to be unconscious and had a nasty looking head wound. Hal began pulling sheets and beams off of him as he called back to G’Renn. ::




    Mika: Over here, Doctor! This one looks like he’s in rough shape.


    Pran: ::she looked to G’Renn.:: Is it safe to do that? ::she had read stories of people who had been trapped under rubble only to bleed to death as the rubble had been keeping the blood loss to a minimum with pressure.::


    G’Renn: ?


    Krenn: ?


    :: With help, the man was uncovered in short order. His uniform was torn in several places and he hung limply, held in place by a beam that jutted out under his left arm . As Hal looked at him, a shiver ran down his spine. The man looked... broken. ::


    Mika: Is… is he going to make it?


    G’Renn: ?


    Krenn: ?


    Pran: Everything okay, Ensign?


    :: Hal nodded and his eyes darted around. He didn’t much care for this. How G’Renn could face these kinds of  injuries on a regular basis, he didn’t know. As much as he wanted to help people, he hated seeing suffering like this. He swallowed hard doing his best to clear his mind and stay focused. He consulted his tricorder once again. ::


    Mika: I’ll head to the next lifesign.


    Pran: Who counsels the counselor?


    G’Renn: It’s unfortunately a part of wanting to help people as a profession. Whether doctor, counselor, or another profession you have you see people at their worst in order to make them better. ::She lowered her voice slightly, hoping that Ensign Mika wouldn’t hear:: Let him come to you or someone else for help, not the other way around.


    Krenn: ?


    ((Time Jump))

    ((B Deck))

    ((Two Minutes Later))


    :: Hal was sore and tired. The adrenaline that had allowed to climb five decks and dig through had drained from him after seeing the crushed crewman. Now he plodded forward, acutely aware of his companions behind him. He hadn’t heard all of what they’d said, but he’d heard enough. He was fine; there was no need for concern. Hal looked at his tricorder and stopped. The life signs were coming from beyond a door just ahead. It was open just a crack. ::


    Pran: I’m reading a dozen life signs. Fading, but at least they are alive. ::she reached out and put all of her weight against the door and pushed it backwards. It was stubborn at first, but eventually she had moved it enough to allow the team to enter one at a time.:: Come on.



    G’Renn: ::quietly:: Most of them look like they can’t walk. Hopefully we can enlist those who can to help us move them down to the triage area.


    Krenn: ?


    :: Hal followed the others through and looked around the room. From what he saw, Hal imagined it was the mess hall. He agreed with G’Renn. Then again, what kind of doctor would she be if she couldn’t figure that much out from just seeing this scene? Several crewmen lay unconscious, and of those who were conscious only a few looked fit.  But none of these crewmen seemed to be in as dire straights as the last one... ::


    :: Before he could pursue that train of thought any further, a woman among the Fortwith crew stepped forward and spoke.::


    Crewman: Who are you?


    Pran: We’re friends. We’re stranded here as well.


    G’Renn: I’m Anath. I’m a doctor, and I’m here to help.


    Crewman: Alright, we’ve got a lot of injured around here.


    G’Renn: We want to start moving people down to a centralized area. It will make treatment easier. ::Anath turned to the others:: Once we stabilize who we can, we’ll want to start moving them down to E Deck.



    G’Renn: We want to start moving people down to a centralized area. It will make treatment easier. ::Anath turned to the others:: Once we stabilize who we can, we’ll want to start moving them down to E Deck.



    Pran/Krenn: ?


    :: Hal took a look around at the crew of the Fortwith, trying harder this time to see as a counselor should. Those who were conscious were visibly nervous; a stone face with wide eyes there, a bouncing knee there, furtive glances at the ridges on Krenn and G’Renn’s heads.  It would be difficult enough to have strangers on their ship in its current condition without two of them being Klingons. He tried to think of something to say to ease the concerns written on their faces but he drew a blank. His mind wandered back to the man in the corrid-::


    Mika: oO No, dammit! Focus! Oo


    :: The sound of Doctor G’Renn’s report gave him precisely what he needed: something to focus on. ::


    G’Renn: We’ve got three unconscious crewmen, and two who can barely walk. With the help of the remaining crew and all of us I think we can move them and the man in the hallway down to E Deck.


    Pran: ?


    Krenn: ?


    :: Hal nodded and moved to assist a crewman in carrying one of his unconscious crewmates. Hal squatted behind the injured man while the other crewman stepped between his legs. ::


    Mika: On three. One, two, three!


    :: Breathing out, Hal lifted the man, supporting him against his chest, at the same time his partner lifted the man’s legs When they had him as comfortable as they could, they began walking toward the exit. ::


    G’Renn: I think I noticed a kind of jefferies tube ladder on the wall back in the hallway. Might be a slightly easier climb than the turbolift tube. In any case it’s closer.


    :: Hal nodded. The sooner they went down the better. It would be much preferable to carry someone down a ladder with more energy, not less. ::


    Pran/Krenn: ?


    :: Hal and his crewman continued to the exit. It was a tight squeeze, but Pran had managed to force the doors just wide enough that carrying the injured man through required no special maneuvers. As they made their way to the jefferies tube ladder, however, Hal realized they had a problem; going down the ladder. How was he supposed to carry this man down a ladder? It was obvious only one person could be involved carrying the man down. Ladders weren’t designed for side-by-side traffic. His mind ran through a number of different positions that he could attempt. When they reached the ladder, Hal made his decision. He called to the crewman who was helping him. ::


    Mika: Alright, set him down. ::Once the man was resting on the ground, Hal explained his idea. :: I’m going to step on to the ladder. Once I’m on it, I need you to hand him to me shoulders first, facing me. I’m going to keep him pinned against the ladder as I make my way down. oO I hope this works. Oo


    Crewman #2: I understand.


    Pran/Krenn/G’Renn: ?


    Mika: ::under his breath his breath :: Here goes nothing.


    :: He stepped onto the ladder. The crewman pushed the man towards Hal and he grappled him with one arm. Slowly and carefully, he pulled the man in until he rested half on Hal and half on the ladder. He was heavy; Hal didn’t believe he would make it all three decks without some sort of rest. Taking a deep breath, he steeled himself. Letting it out he began his descent. ::


    :: It was slow moving. As he passed C Deck, Hal could feel his muscles burning, but he continued down, totally focused on the repetition. First, his left foot would search for the next rung, then his left hand slid down the side of the ladder. Then Hal repeated the process with the right side, again and again, all the while putting pressure on crewman to keep him secured against the ladder. As he passed D Deck, every muscle in Hal’s body screamed for relief, but he realized that if he stopped now, he would never get going again and would likely lose his grip and fall to his death. He continued on, teeth gritted. ::


    :: Finally, Hal reached E Deck. Only then did he realize that he had no one to help him unload his unconscious companion. Holding tightly to the man across his waist with one arm, Hal reached out with a foot for the landing. Once that foot was secure, Hal pushed off as hard he could with the other and tumbled onto the landing. He lay there next to the unconscious crewmember for several moments, exhausted. Finally he reached up to his chest and tapped his combadge.


    Mika: =/\= Mika to Pran. =/\=


    Pran: =/\= ? =/\=


    Mika: =/\= I’ve made it safely to E Deck. Recommend an alternate route for those carrying injured, if possible. =/\=


    Pran: =/\= ? =/\=


    Mika: =/\= Understood. I will take my patient to sickbay and return here to provide assistance in offloading. Mika out. =/\=


    :: Still breathing hard, Hal stood and grabbed his charge from behind by the shoulders and began dragging him in the direction of sickbay. Once there, he deposited him just inside. The doctor looked up from the patient Hal and the rest of the team had brought earlier. The doctor opened his mouth to protest, but Hal gave him a withering look. ::


    Mika: More on their way. Just do your job, would you?


    :: Hal turned and hurried back to the jefferies tube. ::


    Mika: =/\= Mika to Pran; I’m back at the ladder. Is anyone coming down? =/\=


    Pran: =/\= ? =/\=



    Ensign Hal Mika
    USS Blackwell
    NCC 58999
    Andaris Task Force


    • Like 2
  8. The nominations have been examined, the recipients have been decided upon, and the ceremony has ended! The 2018 SB118 Awards Show has been a beautiful success! Writers from all across the fleet have been recognized for their fantastic contributions to our magnificent group. There’s a glow of contentment as people offer hearty congratulations and update their wiki pages accordingly.

    And then, if you’re anything like me, it feels as if Christmas has past, and there can be a lull during this time. So! Because I’m not quite ready to let go of awards season, I thought I’d add a last, more unofficial part to the festivities. In my own nominating experience, while there are a great many suitable and intriguing awards to put people in for, there are many things members of this fleet do that might not necessarily have an appropriate recognition. With that in mind, this poll asks you to consider what, if any, new awards you’d like to see in next year’s ceremony. Perhaps you’ve been extremely impressed with someone’s writing prowess in a way that doesn’t have an award tied to it, or maybe they’ve already earned the one that exists for it. Maybe you’d like to honor the more OOC aspect of things- there’s a plentiful list of tasks that get little to no attention in the grand scheme. Have something completely different in mind? Think there are plenty of awards already? Let us know in the comments section below!


  9. The Prime Directive, whatever your opinion on it, is a fascinating rule to consider, and has undoubtedly caused more disagreement and discussion than most anything else in the Trek Universe. There seem to be episodes that would support both sides of the argument. One that is often referred to is Enterprise's "Dear Doctor". In it, the crew stumbles on a world with two species, who seem to live with one another in some sort of harmony. The Valakians, the dominant species, is facing extinction due to a rapidly spreading mutation, whereas the Menk, the second species, remain unaffected. As time goes on, the crew finds that the Valakians marginalize the Menk, and that despite the peace they share, the Valakians clearly see the Menk is inferior. Phlox eventually finds a cure to the Valakian's illness, but feels it is unethical to administer it. Phlox believes that the Menk are on the verge of an awakening, and a huge surge in development. If the Valakians were allowed to become extinct naturally, that surge would be an important step in their history- a step that would not be taken with the Valakians still alive and able to maintain their dominance. 

    In the end, Archer orders Phlox to provide the Valakians with enough medication to ease the symptoms for approximately a decade, instead of the cure. In this way, a solution might yet be found, but it would not be as a direct result of Enterprise's visit. At the end, Archer considers a "primary directive" that might deal with this problem for future starship captains. 

    NOW! With that lovely bit of exposition out of the way, this week's poll is simply as follows: What would you have done in that situation? Would you have provided the Valakians with the cure itself? Perhaps you would have abstained, much in the way Archer managed to do? Or would you feel more compelled to assist the Menk, either by refusing to hand over the cure, or other means? Maybe there's something that hasn't been considered- if so, please let us know in the comment's section below! 

  10. No one can deny that the Klingons have come a long way from their original form. Back in the 1960s, the Klingons were used as an allegory for Communist Russia. The foes that Kirk, Spock, and the crew of the Enterprise faced were treacherous, violent dictators, unafraid of taking advantage of any opportunity, and content to live in a society nearly as oppressed as the ones they so ruthlessly conquered. Women were not considered equals- indeed, they were forbidden from a seat on the High Council, leading a Great House, or ascending to the Chancellorship, save for certain extenuating circumstances. Honor was a small consideration, and trust in short supply throughout.


    In the years- indeed, the centuries- between the 2260s and the 2390s, Klingon society has changed drastically. Women in particular are now considered as adept as men, and permitted to hold any station, office, or position available to a male. Honor has now become a societal imperative, reversing centuries of previous conduct. The totalitarian, “Big Brother”- esque nature of the Empire has give way to a freer, though somewhat more chaotic, oligarchy.  


    Along with this change, the relationship between the Empire and the Federation has moved from a constant state of hostility to a rapidly and wildly fluctuating political climate. Alliances have been broken and forged in mere moments, spurned by events that neither side could contain or survive alone. From the Organian Peace Treaty to both Khitomer Accords, the Federation has, in the last century, struggled with, and benefitted from,a complicated and tenuous peace, only notably broken for a brief spat during the earlier half of the Dominion War.

    While most in the Federation would rather embrace the Empire as an ally than an enemy, still plainly aware of the Klingon’s military might, some might question the Federation’s policy in this regard. Despite its many social advances throughout the decades, the Klingon Empire still exercises a variety of behaviors antithetical to Federation values, most notable of which is the continued annexation and subsequent oppression of worlds which the Empire feels would be beneficial to its continued existence. Entire planets are stripped bare, and are deemed “protectorates”. Members of these unfortunate worlds are turned into second class citizens of the Empire. Even so, the Federation seeks every opportunity to associate and diplomatically interact with this expanding threat to civilization.


    This week’s poll question is, undoubtedly, somewhat contentious, and meant to be so; essentially, should the Federation continue to associate with the Empire? Is it still a good idea? Or is it folly and inappropriate, given the Empire’s long history of abuses against sentient life? Perhaps you’re of a different mind? Give us your vote, and let us know in the comments section below!


    • Like 1
  11. Fighting is, unfortunately, something of a constant in the Star Trek universe, as as such, different cultures and races approach the matter with unique viewpoints. Many, such as the Romulans, use classic techniques of subterfuge, confusion and shadowplay. Others, like the Klingons, prefer more upfront combat. In each instance, the weapon generally matches the strategy. And in many cases, a phaser or disruptor just won’t do.

    Either for personal honor and glory, or for purely tactical reasons (energy dampening fields), many fighting forces across the galaxy utilize melee weapons to defend themselves, and, often, to attack others. These weapons are as varied and unique as the aliens that wield them. This Poll of the Week seeks to know what your favorite melee weapon is. Does the classic double handed Klingon bat’leth earn your vote, or are more a fan of the Jem’hadar’s kar’takin polearm? Perhaps you prefer something not mentioned here? Give us your vote, and let us know in the comments section below!


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  12. It is this poll-posers opinion that one of the best episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation was Season 3’s “Deja Q”. I’m confident that I’m not entirely alone in this statement, as it has frequently been lauded for its humour, intriguing storyline, and light atmosphere (for the most part).

    A quick refresher of the episode’s plot is in order. Essentially, Q, everyone’s favorite trickster/ superior being/ troublesome irritant, flashes onto the bridge of the Enterprise- D amid a planetary crisis. Q explains that he has been banished to this most unholy of places, and has lost his powers- something the crew simply refuses to believe, and rightly so. Throughout the episode, the audience is left to wonder if Q is simply playing another sick game, as has been his pattern up to this point. It’s eventually revealed that he’s been entirely truthful about his condition, and it is only at the end of the episode that his powers are restored and the crisis averted.

    However, for this poll’s purpose, I’m more interested in Q’s behavior during the meat of the events shown on screen. As time passes, even the weary crew begin to wonder if he’s being sincere, and Q’s (admittedly arrogant and unhelpful) attempts to aid in the Enterprise’s struggle nevertheless have an air of sincerity about them. His half-hearted desire to join the crew, as he is now mortal, raises an intriguing question.

    Starfleet is all about diversity, but what if an alien entity as utterly different and powerful like a member of the Q Continuum wanted to join the crew of your ship? He or she has convinced you of their sincerity in the matter- they truly want to be a member of your vessel. How do you you respond? Do you send them packing? Adopt them into the fold? Something in between? Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section below! 

  13. Star Trek paints a vivid, expansive picture of a better future. It’s expansive nature and astonishing history are part of what makes it so much fun to write within. Our characters all enjoy the rich tapestry that hundreds, if not thousands of writers, have woven painstakingly over every episode. There’s also the appeal of making one’s own contribution to the lore, in a small but important way.


    But what if, instead of simply a hobby or a fun diversion, the world of Star Trek could become a little more concrete? What if one day, out of the blue, you were offered an opportunity to attend Starfleet Academy, and graduate as an ensign aboard a starship?


    We all know the dangers our characters are exposed to on a daily basis- no one could fault you from turning it down. That said, to enter a world like Star Trek is the dream of many. Would you jump at the chance, accepting the risk that comes with such a decision? Or would you turn it down, preferring to remain as you are on Earth? Give us your vote, and let us know in the comments section below!


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  14. No one can deny that Starfleet’s mission is incredibly dangerous. While it might be fulfilling, exploring uncharted systems and defending the Federation against her countless enemies is a risky business any way you cut it. As a result, Starfleet personnel are trained in rigorous fashion, spending years mastering the skills necessary to hack it in the brutal expanse of deep space.

    The stress of this burden is considerable. On top of this, many career officers have families, and it was eventually accepted that prolonged separation from loved ones had a generally negative effect on moral and performance, especially among humans. In order to combat this mental hardship, counselors have been assigned to most starships. However, this alone has not been deemed sufficient. Onboard most ships, officers’ families- generally civilian- are permitted to live permanently, after the officer has served for six months or more on that vessel.

    While living with one’s family has undeniably positive benefits, the dangers to their welfare are terrifying to consider. At any moment, the ship could fall under attack, or be exposed to a deadly plague, or find itself in the wake of a supernova, or fall prey to any one of a billion disastrous outcomes possible. This becomes especially troubling when one remembers that children are among those in harm’s way.

    How do you stand on Starfleet’s familial policies? Do you feel allowing civilians aboard ships does more good than harm? Or are you against such precidence? Perhaps you’re more moderate on this issue? Give us your vote, and let us know in the comments section below!

  15. The pips our characters display on their collars represent more than simply a rank and a position. They’re the embodiment of the blood, sweat and tears spent in the pursuit of such a distinction. It’s no secret that Starfleet’s vigorous four year curriculum is a challenge only the most devoted rise to and pass beyond. Indeed, even gaining admission into Starfleet Academy is considered an honor unto itself.

    But while each cadet faces similar challenges from an academic, physical, and emotional standpoint, and despite the regimented rigidity found and expected on campus, each newly commissioned ensign leaves with a different opinion of their journey, and individual memories about their experience. Some had the times of their lives, while others consider it a miserable period through and through.

    This poll asks you about your character’s impression of their time at Starfleet Academy. Did they enjoy it, relishing every minute of instruction, study and campus life? Or were they far less enthused, chafing under the discipline and lofty expectations? Perhaps they were more in the middle- finding both positive and negative aspects in abundance. Give us your vote, and explain in the comment's section below! 

  16. Star Trek has a long history of trial episodes. From the memorable “Court Martial”, in which Kirk is accused of criminal negligence regarding the death of a member of his crew, to “Rules of Engagement”, in which Worf must defend his actions during a heated battle aboard the Defiant, every Star Trek series has had its own quality moments of courtroom television.

    While we have seen many different types of law, from the Federations’ process of jurisprudence (what we are most familiar with today) to the brutal, predetermined show trials of Cardassia, each of these cases utilize a lawyer, or the equivalent of one. Approximately one year ago, a Poll of the Week was run, asking your opinions about the best trial episodes. This Poll of the Week asks for your favorite lawyer, or favorite individual forced to play the part of one. Is it Samuel T. Cogley, the obsessive crackpot that defended Kirk, or Areel Shaw, the prosecution in that case? Perhaps your pick came from a non-Federation world, like Chang, who prosecuted Kirk and McCoy in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, or Kovat, who’s actor elevated the character’s thankless role into an amazing reflection on the dangers of assuming guilt, in the Deep Space 9 episode “Tribunal”. Or perhaps it’s someone not mentioned at all. Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!

  17. Books. You can’t escape them, and in this poll-poser’s opinion, that’s a fantastic state of affairs! That said, it can be surprising to realize just how prevalent books seem to be in the universe of Star Trek. Picard obviously took great pride and joy in his substantial collection of literature, and we have witnessed a variety of other characters reading classic novels, Shakespearean works, and other leisure texts.


    Fiction, in some form or fashion, is an indelible part of our lives, and the same goes for the characters we write for. This week’s poll asks you to share your character’s favorite genre of story or book. Is your character more drawn to action and adventure, or maybe they’re more fond of romantic or dramatic works? Perhaps they share an appreciation for tales or legends from their own cultural heritage. Or do they not enjoy any sort of fiction whatsoever? Give us your vote, and if you’re feeling brave, let us know the specific story or book, and explain what significance it has for your character in the comments section below!

  18. (( Arndall ))

    (( Kematta Foothills - 17 kilometers from the First City. ))

    (( Time Index: 13 Hours before Blackwell arrives ))


    ::First Lieutenant Janra Vross peered in the stygian gloom and made no attempt to hide her discomfort. Ever since her mother had punished her as a small girl for misbehaviour by locking her in a tiny cupboard in her bedroom, she had never enjoyed dark and enclosed spaces. Now memories of those traumatic times came flooding back to her as she looked down the scope of her disruptor rifle. She took several deep breaths and tried to focus on the matter at hand.::


    Vross: oOBreathe in… breathe out… remember the mission.Oo


    ::Two hours ago, Vross and her team had been sent from their small outpost deep in the Kematta Foothills to investigate a communications burst on a low frequency wavelength usually reserved for Valcarian military distress calls. There had been no information aside from a set of coordinates and a rush of static- but the message was obvious: some of her compatriots needed assistance. Without another thought, she and her team had boarded their all-terrain vehicle with the intention of rendering whatever help they could. Vross had been expecting to find a squad of troops under fire from Caraadian military units and her fellow team members had been relishing the chance to start their kill count. They had not expected to find the distress call emanating from a cave at the base of a steep cliff face.::


    Vross: oOBreathe in… breathe out… the darkness cannot hurt you.Oo


    ::Swallowing away her anxiety and ignoring the rapid beating of her hearts, she took a step into the cave using one hand to activate the halogen light attached to the front of the rifle just above its firing chamber. In the distance behind her, a bird-of-prey soaring the early morning light let out a piercing shriek having found it's prey. The cavern in front of her was narrow- no more than two meters across and about the same in height- and comprised of fistrium and kelbonite, both mineral that refracted even the most focused of sensor scans but allowed for communications.::


    Vross: oOA sensor dead-zone in a dark, cramped cave.Oo ::the realisation almost threatened to overwhelm her and she breathed in more sharply than she intended.:: oOBreathe in… breathe out...Oo Trying her hardest to suppress the wave of fear once again, she took one hand off the rifle and came to a stop. She reached into the flap of her field jacket and retrieved the pocket communicator that was linked to the comm system aboard the all terrain vehicle. Holding down the button on the finger length device, she spoke into the small microphone.:: =/\=Everything clear so far. Cave is about two meters across. Clear to proceed. =/\=


    ::For a moment, the communications frequency crackled with static before it faded and was replaced with the gruff voice of her superior, Major Ghamra.::


    Ghamra: =/\= Affirmative. Proceed with caution.=/\=


    ::For a moment she wondered why Ghamra sounded so annoyed and then she remembered that he always sounded annoyed. But what he lacked in social graces he made up for in engendering loyalty. He might have be rude at the best of times but he was a fierce soldier who had led troops in battle on dozens of worlds across the Imperial Republic. Quite why he chosen to accept an assignment on Arndall she would never understand, not when he could have his pick of any posting within the army.::


    ::It had been Ghamra who had charged Vross with reconnoitring the cave before the rest of the team joined her. She was small- just a hair’s breadth above five feet, light of step and with the agile reflexes of a Tarmarian Lynx. They were attributes that earned her many platitudes during the three years she had been stationed with the small contingent of Valcarian Imperial Troopers assigned to this backwater world, hundreds of light years from the protective cradle of Valcaria. She had successfully infiltrated half a dozen Caraadian military installations without detection and stolen their secrets. There had even been interest from Imperial Intelligence in acquiring her skills, although nothing had come of those enquiries- yet.::


    ::She pressed on for several minutes, the silence only broken by her own soft foot falls. She repeatedly flicked her gaze from the scope of the rifle to the small sensor readout below. It was habit more than anything, given that the sensors were not functional surrounded by so many refractory minerals. She became aware about ten minutes into her reconnaissance that the cave was widening at the same time that it was descending. She was going deeper into the planet. She came to a stop when the rifle’s light fell on what was- unmistakably- rubble. Adjusting the light beam to a wider setting, she moved in an arc, taking in as much information as she could. What struck her was the fact that the rubble was splayed outwards from what was left of what had been rockface. When the realisation hit, she felt her anxiety ratchet up several more notches. Taking more deep breaths and trying with all of her might not to let her hands shake, she lifted the communicator to her face and activated the microphone.::


    Vross: =/\=I’m seeing signs of blasted rock face. It’s odd… it seems to have been blasted through from inside the rockface.=/\=


    Ghamra: =/\=Inside?=/\=


    ::There was no mistaking the concern in his voice; concern that Vross now shared which was also mingling with a foreboding sensation that told her that nothing good could come from such a discovery. She bit down on the thought of asking to return to the all-terrain vehicle and requesting reinforcements. She did not want to betray her feelings to her superiors::


    Vross: =/\=Shall I proceed?=/\= oOPlease say no...Oo ::she pleaded to nobody but herself.


    ::There was an unbearably long pause that seemed to stretch in to an eternity all of its own.::


    Ghamra: =/\=Affirmative. But be very careful, Lieutenant.=/\=


    Vross: =/\=Aye sir.=/\=


    ::With a shaking hand, she put the communicator pocket into her jacket pocket and brought her rifle to bear once more, moving through the opened hole into the rockface, noting that something had blasted through at least two dozen meters of rock. With each step, a pall of dread fell upon her and intensified. It became harder and harder to maintain her composure; Her chest felt heavy, her hearts raced with adrenaline and her keen senses picked up on every little sound and every echo of her footsteps.::


    ::The passage widened once again to at least twenty feet across and dust clung in the air, as did a fading staleness. Knowing the composition of Arndall’s atmosphere she surmised that the passageway had been blasted through about four or five days previously- certainly no sooner than that. But nothing suggested who was responsible as she descended deeper into planet’s crust.::


    ::Minutes bled into each other until Vross realised that she had been exploring this tunnel for almost half of an Arndall hour. By now she was keenly aware that the tunnel was not a natural occuring formation as it had been at the entrance. The rock was too smooth for that. This was man-made. Fighting against the mounting dread, she tried to rationalise that the Caraadians had established a mine here at some point in the past, or perhaps her ancestors had done when they had dominated the planet two centuries before. But no matter how much she told herself that she could not bring herself to believe it.::


    Vross: oOYou are being paranoid.Oo ::she chastised herself, but found herself unable to stop herself from adding- oOProbably for a good reason.Oo


    ::She came to a stop again when realised that she had heard something else besides her steps and the racing of her blood that thundered in her ears. It had been faint, indistinct- but enough to attract her attention. She strained to hear in the darkness.::


    ::Then she heard it again- a shrill chattering of sorts. Not words, but of noise. It stirred up odd memories of her childhood. Of folk tales told to children on Valcaria that she had not thought about she since began maturity. Of intelligent creatures- something akin to insects- that came in the night and stole the souls of naughty children. She shuddered, remembering how terrified of those stories she had been. Yes, what she had heard reminded her of stories of the ‘soul stealers’ from Valcaria’s ancient past. It was distant, but something told her that it would not stay that way::


    Vross: Hello? ::she said softly, not expecting a response. Her words echoed quietly off of the rock before vanishing into nothing.:: Is anyone there?


    ::She started forward slowly, keeping her rifle pointed ahead in the hope that the beam of light caught something. She reached into her pocket once again to retrieve her communicator but her nerves caused her to fumble and it dropped to the floor. Letting loose with a quiet string of vulgarities she stooped down to retrieve the device. Scooping it up into her hand, she pointed the rifle ahead- where she saw something standing in front of her.::


    ::Vaguely insectile, the creature looked down at her, standing over her by at least two meters with four emerald green eyes and two further eyes above them. Clad in what looked ancient and dull gray armour, she saw something carved into the creature’s helmet- which rose into prongs above it’s head- rows of triangles interlaced on each side of three evenly space ovals. Above the bottom and top ovals were three more triangles that bled into one another. It was elaborately detailed, ceremonial even.::


    ::Vross looked down. In one hand or claw- she was not sure what it was- it held the severed head of a Valcarian, the lifeless, glassy eyes staring out into nothing.::


    ::Vross screamed at the sight before oblivion called to her as the creature destroyed her form in a flurry of vicious strikes.::



    1st Lieutenant Janra Vross

    Valcarian Military


    as simmed by:


    Commander Theo Whittaker

    Commanding Officer

    USS Blackwell


    Andaris Task Force


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