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  1. Greetings, everyone! Please enjoy this full compilation of the January & February Writing Challenge, available for the first time with all the entrants' stories and judges' comments. This is a PDF document with interior hyperlinks to each story for your ease of navigation, so do please read at your leisure. Let me know if you enjoyed this easy way to read! Get yours here!
  2. Thank you to everyone who entered this special image-inspired Writing Challenge! I want to especially thank our first- and second-time entrants; it's always fantastic to have new writers in the Challenge, and in this case, it really paid off! I'm pleased and honored to announce that the winner of our first image-inspired Writing Challenge is Sal Taybrim, with his story "Conspiracy Theories"! We have a tie for runner-up: Ceilidh Riverview, with "New Beginnings," and Kieran Waddell, with "Back-up Plan." My congratulations to all three of you, and please join me in congratulating these talented w
  3. Conspiracy Theories ~*~*~ “I cannot call to mind a single instance where I have ever been irreverent, except toward the things which were sacred to other people.” ~Mark Twain~ ~*~*~ James T. Lyle quivered with anticipation. From the moment he heard that the San Dimas earthquake had unearthed a sub level in the Chapel Library building he knew he wanted in on the dig. When he found out that Dr. Martin Hanniver was leading it, he was sure he needed to be there. Hanniver was one of the most important Earth artifact archeologists in the Federation – the very mention of his name set entire cr
  4. ((USS Excalibur – Personal Quarters of En. Riveriew)) ::Sipping her white peppermint hotchocolate, Ceilidh took PADD in hand and moved over to her couch to do some light reading. It was an old personal log that she had come across while trying to find out some more information about a fellow crew mate on board. Sitting down, she grabbed the blanket and draped it over her legs and balanced her drink on her knees as she began to read.:: ((Personal Log, 222102.20 - Utopia Plentia)) ::Looking out first to her left, and then to her right, Felicity felt the tears begin to flow freely from her eyes
  5. It was dark, it was cold, and he could not move. No, that wasn't exactly right. He could feel a tight and constricting presence, some sort of binding. However, there was a slight give to it, he could indeed move about, just not very far. His panic subsided as this fact sunk in. It had all but abated when his memories of what had happened to him began to come back. Slowly, piece by garbled piece, the events leading up to his being stuck in the ice became clear. His name was Richard, he was a science officer, part of Starfleet, and he was- Wait, was that really ice covering him on all sides? No,
  6. (Cargo Bay - USS Marauder) ::Captain Jackson stood and watched as the last “tray” of pods was moved into place. His ship now boasted fifteen of these “trays” in the modified cargo bays and holds. Each tray held three rows of seven pods. Each pod held one “member” of his crew. Over three hundred people. :: oO Why did I sign up for such a mission? It’s a near suicide run. But its still a rescue mission, so if we pull it off, we will be heroes. Oo ::The heavily modified starship had started life as an Achilles class heavy cruiser, which was designed for long-range endurance missions. For this mis
  7. OOC: My first entry - be gentle! Leanna hadn’t been certain of this mission from the get go. She had been reactivated rather suddenly, but then she supposed that was how the Intelligence service worked. They had required someone with her ‘particular skill set’ for a matter of ‘Federation security’, like she had never heard that brand of codswallop before. It had been over a decade since they had used it on her though, and she had been quite enjoying her career back in the mainstream. It had somewhat surprised Captain Hollis when his Chief Medical Officer had requested an urgent leave of absen
  8. Welcome back, everyone, and I hope you're excited for the first Writing Challenge of 2014! We're going to be doing something quite new for this Challenge: Instead of presenting you with a theme or an idea, we'll be giving you a piece of Trek conceptual art -- in this case, this piece of art chosen by our November & December 2013 winner, Sarah: http://www.coronacomingattractions.com/sites/default/files/news/trek_into_darkness_pods_0.jpg Writes Sarah: "The image holds an incredible sense of anxious foreboding for me." What about for you? Regardless of whether you know what this image may rep
  9. With the Writing Improvement Month's special Writing Challenge right in its middle, this was the longest Challenge we've ever run -- so, without further ado, let me bring you its results: The winner of the Challenge for January-March is the writer behind Saveron, with her story "My Brother's Keeper"! Our runner-up is the writer behind Ryoma Hoshino, with his story "Calling Home"! Congratulations to both of you! Thank you to everyone who participated and who continues to participate! We had a record number of judges assisting for this round and, as related by their scores, it was extremely diff
  10. D. K.

    Peace Of Soul

    (A few days earlier) USS Thunder “Why didn’t Commander Johnson want you on the bridge?” “He was with me when I tested the Phoenix system. He has hated me ever since.” “But the system has saved thousands of lives in the past six years alone!” The older Mc Ghee looked briefly at the floor as he recalled the events. “I endangered six crewmates while testing the device. I betrayed my Captain and colleagues. In effect I sold a part of my soul for a single innovation.” “Is that why you don’t want to stop Icarus?” “Icarus is too dangerous, Joel. I can live with people not speaking to me because
  11. AlexV

    Recognition

    A vague grunt was about all the response there was from the lump on the bed, whilst the computer's chirpy voice carrying on announcing the fact that it was another glorious day in San Francisco. When Delvia finally poked her dark-haired head out from under the covers, it was to glare at the panel on the wall that the digitised voice was coming from. "Computer," she croaked after a few moments, "why in the name of all that is holy are you waking me up in the middle of the night?" "As requested, your wake-up call was scheduled for 0800. The time is now 0806." "Like I said, the middle of the [..
  12. == Stardate 239004.01 == "Yeah, Mum, I've got it. Don't worry!" Why was it that every time they finally got around to a subspace call, Ryoma was always left with the feeling of being nagged at? His mother's lips seemed to work themselves into a blur and her words phased out into a dull ringing noise deep with Ryoma's ears. He imagined switching off the display and cutting the conversation short, but he knew that option was restricted to the confines of his mind's eye. "Do you want to speak to your father?" That was all it took to bring him crashing back into reality. "Dad... ?" Ryoma aske
  13. ((Capitol - New Romulus, 2400)) ::So much had changed in the galaxy since the Romulan homeworld had been destroyed. Captain Kaedyn Zehn marvelled at this as he stepped into the visitor's gallery above the newly built Romulan Senate chamber. He had personally seen the effects while serving onboard Starbase 118 on the edge of Romulan space. Where once the Empire was known for its insularity and paranoid control, he had seen it in tatters. He had also seen it rebuild itself at an impressive speed..:: ::Almost immediately after this thought had passed it was replaced by confusion that Starfle
  14. Remember that February is the time to enter our special Writing Improvement Month Challenge! Rules and guidelines are posted below, but be sure to follow the link in order to enter! The general 118 Challenge has had its deadline pushed back to March in order to make room for this special Challenge. -- Welcome to UFOP: StarBase 118′s first open Writing Challenge! We encourage you to enter this month-long contest with your story, and join a competition that has existed within our group for almost ten years. The topic for this challenge is “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Details & Rules The cha
  15. The stars sparkled brilliantly overhead, their cold light crystal clear in the thin atmosphere of the world on which they stood. A sharp, cold wind blew, ruffling hair and heavy fabric meant to ward off the chill. Two figures stood upon a hill overlooking a plain, sillouhetted against the glowing horizon that heralded the coming of the sun. "I admit it, I never thought I’d see it happen.” One of the figures said. Her dark hair flowed down to the sharply squared shoulders of a heavy jacket that narrowed to a trim waist, padded trousers and high boots with gleaming buckles. "May I enquire as to
  16. Chen

    JAN/FEB The Cost of Failure

    “The Cost of Failure” A vivid flower of flame-tinged gold blossomed from the bed of dull metal that was suspended in the view screen. It was an oddly compelling sight; the sudden contrast of light bursting from relative darkness bound their gazes and rendered them silent. Only when further eruptions twisted through the dull metal construct did time resume as the first of the cheers broke through the silence, the bridge mirroring in sound the deed of the satellite that they watched in jubilation. They were the crew of the USS Vigilant and they had successfully completed their mission. Stardate
  17. Note that this contest's deadline has been extended through March 22nd to incorporate the Writing Improvement Month's special challenge! Welcome, my friends, to the inaugural Writing Challenge of 2013! To start off, we're returning with a two-month contest with a theme chosen by the December Challenge's winner. As our characters move into 2390 -- their last decade before 2400 -- Jalana Laxyn would like you to consider what the next ten years hold. In her words, "'Where do you see the universe in 10 years,' be it in society, technologically, medically, personally.." What do you think might happ
  18. Kali Nicholotti

    JAN/FEB The Masks of Duty

    Katrina glanced over her appearance in the strangely plain mirror and adjusted the clip in her hair so that two long tendrils fell to either side of her face without obscuring it. Dressed in her best, the reporter was preparing for what might just be one of the most exciting days of her life. As part of a special program, she had been chosen along with nine other up-and-coming journalists, to participate in an in-depth look at just how things were done on a ship in today's Starfleet. The project was half a recruitment ploy and half an effort to bring those out on exploration missions closer to
  19. Ba'Eli

    JAN/FEB Klingon Mask

    Ba’Eli entered her room and tossed her jacket on the bed. She was exhausted and knew she had to do her duty. Rubbing her neck as she walked to the replicator, she tried to think of what to say to each of them. “Chai latte, hot.” She barked at the replicator. As it materialized she smiled softly at the smell of her favorite drink. She took the first sip of the warm liquid and her smile widened. Ba’Eli walked over to her console and sat down. She set her chai off to the side so he wouldn’t see it. She cleared her throat and called out. “Computer connect me to Sa’ K’tre on the planet.” The few se
  20. Saveron

    JAN/FEB Behind the Mask

    It is often said that Vulcans have no emotions; it is a common misconception. The emotionless state is the ideal, but with the exception of those talented and dedicated individuals who achieve Kohlinar, it could not be further from the truth. Vulcans have extremely powerful emotions, with which they do battle on a daily basis, lest they be consumed by them. Perhaps Vulcans themselves are wont to lay claim to this emotionless state as the ultimate in wishful thinking; if it is said sufficiently often, perhaps it will come to pass. Just as it is said that Vulcans do not lie, this is exactly the
  21. Velana

    JAN/FEB *WINNER* Affectations

    “He who wears a mask cannot see within himself.” - Unknown 2384 “This is what we get for putting off our elective courses until the last semester.” Cade Whitman gestured to the floor of the auditorium where Commander Talen was holding up a 500 year old piece of Bajoran pottery. “Archeology for Dummies.” Velana looked down at her lap to hide her smile. Not that Talen could have possibly seen the expression on her face considering that she and Cade were sitting only two rows from the back, but when in the presence of other Vulcans, especially ones who had power over her grade point average, she
  22. Hello! Welcome to the January/February round of the Writing Challenge! Please read this post carefully for new guidelines on entering your submissions! Following in challenge traditions, the January/February round uses a free choice of theme as inspiration for entries. Joining us on the judging panel for this round is the January/February winner, Lieutenant (jg) Cameron Bunag, who has decided on the following topic for this round: "Masks" Will you interpret the theme in a literal sense? Or maybe use the existing mask-based Star Trek episodes as a source of inspiration? Is there a way for you t
  23. Quinn Reynolds

    JAN/FEB The Silver Swan

    The Silver Swan 'Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.' - Victor Hugo I IN THE DARK caves of the Yarralin Mountains, there was only silence. The water that had once carved its way through the shimmering rock had long since subsided, leaving a craggy labyrinth in its wake. The air was still and cold, the rock sharp and even colder. The only living things were the mosses and fungi that somehow managed to cling to life in the barren tunnels. It was here that the children of Indulkana came to prove their worth. A rite of passage, as ancient as
  24. realmsgamer

    JAN/FEB Song and Silence

    The glare from the sun was almost unbearable as it shone through the window in room 219 of Arroyo Grande High School. Especially at 14:33 hours when it beat down onto the desk of Traven Stark. His eyes watered because he caught a glimpse right into it, like so many times before this Senior year. He rubbed his fingers over them and wiped the tears on his pant leg. He turned slightly at his work cubical which always made the bright glare a little better. It also provided the opportunity for the young man to have a look at Rebecca Bratain. Lovely golden hair spilled down her shoulder which was ju
  25. Tal Tel-ar

    JAN/FEB The music in silence

    The Music in Silence Tony had to grin when the hatch failed to respond when he tapped the release button. Just another thing that his buddy Tigik would have to try and fix he thought as he reached for the manual release. It took a little more effort than he had expected but he finally managed to get the wheel to spin. He was soaked with sweat and short of breath but once it was fully spun he pushed the hatch out and then looked out himself. It was a sunny day. There were trees all around the clearing and mountains in the distance. Near by was a shallow river but it was the air that was such a
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