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Kendra Eberhart

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Everything posted by Kendra Eberhart

  1. This is a bit of a sticky situation and not just because there is a life at stake. The question I am asking myself though is, who are these parents to request an intervention in the first place. On top of that, since we are not talking about a federation world then elements of the prime directive are still in effect. Specifically the species right to self governance. Simply put I can't see why I would go to this planet to even investigate, however since I am on this planet in the scenario then I guess it would be worth talking to the would be groom. But unless the groom made a compelling plea for help I wouldn't interfere further, its not my place, I have no reason to. I might not agree with all religions or cultural traditions but was raised to respect them all the same. This also being a guiding principle of starfleet: accepting cultural differences.
  2. I agree that I too would move in to assist, it is the right thing to do on the off chance that the distress call is genuine and also because I am sure a starfleet regulation requires all able ships to respond to distress calls. HOWEVER, since we know of these pirates and their tendency to ambush ships, even without the knowledge of they holographic technology, I would go in with weapons and shields up. And run full sensor sweeps just to make sure the supposed ship in distress is really in distress. Or it will be about to be in distress....
  3. Perhaps the best analogy i could make, and this is strictly in my opinion, shuttles are almost like cars. Cars ferry people from point A to point B and that is exactly what shuttles do when a starship in unavailable or impractical. The Delta Flyer and even runabouts could be described as camper vans. Yes they can ferry people around but they also have that handy bed and kitchen sink. As such they are used for more then simple ferrying of people. And let us not forget that Voyager had a limited number of auxiliary craft so it makes sense that the Delta Flyer would be used predominantly (seeing as it was better equipped and armed for missions in unexplored/hostile territory). Anyway that is the logic behind my assertions.
  4. You know, I kind of disagree with this. Bonding with family and the like is important but what you really have to think of is that this technology is really impractical. I mean in the sense that transmitting a hologram across space is incredibly complex particularly at longer distances. The more efficient solution is transmitting videos to and from. And what you would gain by having that hologram is of marginal benefit really.
  5. There have been many wonderful uses of this technology though I voted for holographic doctors. Not necessarily because we specifically need so many doctors but rather because the technology could create so many other in demand positions. If you can't have robots, the least you can have is holograms, right?
  6. Because the Flyer pretty much replaces the entirety of the Voyager in many missions. Its a fully sledge starship in its own right.
  7. Yep which is why I choose not to vote for the runabouts from DS9, also the Delta Flyer really really isn't a shuttle (I mean just consider how its used! And I think this is the limiting factor). So I know I am shooting myself in the foot but I am going to vote for the Enterprise E's captain Yacht. Just because the type 9 wasn't on the list.
  8. Ok I just have to say it: Under no circumstances should grappling a ship ever be a good idea!!! Seriously. I went with the solar flare attack, because despite being planned beforehand its such a great spur of the moment life saving idea. On the whole though, most examples that could be found are way too situational or zany to ever really work twice, so I don't know how good a tactic they could possible be then. I suppose the lesson to the story is that sometimes it pays to think a fraction longer for that outside the box solution instead of simply shooting til the last ship floating.
  9. I suppose the one thing I like about the soloton wave or even graviton catapult methods is that it probably is in line with something that present day earth is likely to invent to make space travel just that much easier, before practical ftl is developed. Though I don't think they have as much potential as weapons as you think because they would probably cause to much damage to ships crossing space lanes at the wrong times. What's good of a weapon that you can't control, an all that.
  10. Yeah sure and while your at it, you might just accidentally fry the machines keeping the people alive, killing them to, not freeing them. Seriously though, this question is wholly dependant on the context it arises. If the terms pre-warp and or prime directive are used then that's it, sadly. In any other situation, I believe that the is a clause in the star fleet regulations saying that officers must prevent slavery, which this would classify as, though I might be mistaken. If I'm right though, starfleet gets to go war with the machines. Yay.
  11. I feel that most alternate fall somewhat into one of two categories. Either the warp variant is a technology that is faster then warp but comes complete with "handy" draw backs. On the other side you have methods that wouldn't look out of place on that other long running SciFi show, you know the one with the round wormhole creating device. Just to put it out there, I would never consider a stargate-by any other name cool in the context of trek, to me its just not what trek is about. The enterprise wasn't cool because of the planets it visited but rather it was an amazing location in itself. You can't say the same about a Stargate or trajector pads or ancient gateway thingy. Similarly I feel that most non warp alternatives don't do enough to set themselves apart. They are either weirdly impractical to be cool or simply warp travel dressed up as something different. Take the hirogen subspace corridor's, yes the technology could be quite interesting but when the corridor network goes everywhere, what's the point. That's why I think that qsd is the coolest. Its a speed increase with unique limitations, but in the end it allows for much the same as warp does. Given time it would also allow us to create brand new ships that focus on the qsd rather than warp/qsd hybridization.
  12. In a way, legal drama themed trek episodes are among the most core examples of what trek is all about. Going where no man has gone before doesn't just mean discovering new planets but also new ways of thinking about society and this is what these episodes do so well. On the whole they are incredibly well written, engaging and thought provoking. My personal preferences though are to the examples such a "A measure of a man". "Author Author" is also in much the same vein but who could seriously pick that over some of those lines made by Picard in "A measure of a man". To me, these episodes show as I mentioned above, that people aren't just sitting by 21st century law analogs, but continuing to explore and create legal systems for a brighter tomorrow.
  13. I think that we ought to be careful how we define a racial stereotype in this context. Maybe I am picking at straws here, but what we are really talking about is concepts deeply ingrained in a particular race and or society. So yes, we expect to see these traits in all examples of said species and when they aren't they the results are either truly amazing or spectacularly awful. Personally though I think "stereotypes" are only a bad thing if they are just put there as some shallow expected trope. Racial stereotypes give a lot of room for character development in the sense of why the character agrees with or bucks the trend of a particular stereotype which makes for a much more 3 dimensional character. So in short I always try to build the character I want by keeping said stereotypes in mind. On the flip side, this issue also extends to things like how we write the adversarial forces within our stories. I think we all, at one time or another, decided to write the Klingon or Romulan or Cardassian "bad guys" in such a way keeping with certain racial stereotypical traits as a way of making a particular plot point work.
  14. I thinking I am going to be a bit of the black sheep here by saying, I am glad that Voyager didn't land all that often. I mean they said time and time again that getting home was all that mattered so having random episodes of them landing doesn't particularly serve that goal from a OOC perspective. I also tend to think that this technology is in the same vien of saucer separation. Sure its cool and occasionally useful but not prominent. And nor should it be, I mean like because I can't think of a long term mission where a starship is better off on the ground rather then in space with the aid of transporters and shuttles. Yes these instances could happen which allows for some potentially great storytelling for us, but these are really the fringe cases. It is also worth pointing out that it seems the trend is for bigger and bigger ships, so this technology probably has been or about to be discontinued in terms of starship design.
  15. Interesting topic indeed and answers depend deeply on specifics as previously mentioned. Personally I really love the idea of organic ships but it takes a certain type of people/setting to make them work. The idea of sentience is always a problem be it with holograms or bio-ships. Perhaps it could be said that if the ship is fully sentient some sort of service contract could be barted into just like contracts star fleet personnel agree to when they sign onto star fleet therefore negating any potential ethical concerns.
  16. A supernatural being that can make every man on a starship vanish at a snap of his fingers (or bring them back as it happened), yeah I think the Q species is on the banned list for a good reason. With the very odd exception I have to say I love Q, in large part because of John DeLancie. I mean the DS9 Q episode is the worst Q episode of all time (I am not a fan of the series final of TNG either, "All good things" I think it is), and Q could be childish but I kinda like that about him. Q with all his lovable/hate-able quirkiness makes up for all those stereotypical god like alien entities that have as much personality as they have impact on Trek as a whole. Trek wouldn't be Trek (for better or worse) without those entities that are so far beyond us, ancient and god-like that they turn a brilliant science fiction setting into something border a work of fantasy. Q is great because his antics gives us something we remember. So I definitely love him and not ashamed to say it.
  17. I know whenever I was judging I would usually do a word count if an entry looked too big never really saw one that was too small. But it goes to show that size doesn't guarantee success. If possible I think it would be great if the archives weren't taken down at all and instead could be kept somewhere like the sim archives. Perhaps on the wiki or maybe stay on the forums. It would be a shame to loose all that history that has developed over the years.
  18. I have been participating in the writing challenges for most of my time with the SB118 Community in one fashion or another. I remember entering one of the challenges ages ago which had a topic of belief or religion. I can't remember the exact theme. What I enjoyed about that theme was that it allowed me to write a story about my PC's past that I wouldn't have been able to do or would have thought to do in my normal simming. Another great theme that stands out was the short story entry (Theme: In a moment. which had a smaller word cap) as it helped me explore a character that I would go on to use an a PC. Though my entry was only a few words off the word limit. I guess that is what I really like about the challenges: they invite us to tell stories that we wouldn't normally think to write. The themes help a lot in that respect. And whether we are using character's we have already established (or even others that we create for that entry) the challenges help us discover more about the characters we write and who we are as writers. Not to mention it has been another way to help improve our writing. Although it goes without saying like many others, I am truly sad to see the writing challenges go and look forward to the one off events that pop up from time to time.
  19. Shouldn't be too long now, I would image. But I too am eager to see the results and feedback from the Nov/Dec round. Just bad timing with the holidays and the new year I think.
  20. After rereading my entry I noticed that one of the words toward the end of the entry has been censored out. Who would have thought that the proper word that is used to in place of a starship's bridge for shuttles or runabouts would be censored. I certainly wasn't, rudely or otherwise, referring to human anatomy or the like.
  21. Blunt Forces 2: Debrief Cadet Ellen Cain found herself sitting in the crew lounge of the Tarisa's Jewel, her CO’s Argonaut Class Runabout. Perhaps it was a well known exaggeration to call it a crew lounge considering the size of the compartment but it provided enough space for Ellen to sit and think. In this case she was thinking about the contents of the padd she held in her hands. She needn't look at the contents of the padd again as she wrote and submitted the report it held mere hours beforehand. And yet it still weighed heavily on her mind. Hearing footsteps Ellen didn't leap to her feet as she normally would because she was off-duty. What Ellen did do on the other hand was look up toward to source of the noise. Whether conscious of the decision or not, Ellen's left hand had also dropped toward her belt to her holstered type II phaser. She didn't have time to draw the weapon, if that was her intention, as a young looking female human in a teal Star Fleet uniform stepped into the lounge compartment. Ellen didn't recognise the counselor but she saw that the counselor’s hands were raised above her head, clearly having seen what Ellen had been readying herself to do. "Sorry," Ellen said. "I've been jumping at shadows ever since I got back from a training mission." "It was a lot more then that if you’re CO's report is any indication." The woman replied as she gestured to a seat across from Ellen. Ellen nodded as if to give permission for the woman to be there though Ellen had a feeling that it would make little difference. Anyway it would be good for her to talk to someone about what happened or perhaps how Ellen felt about it now. "Did Commander Herodion send you here, Commander?" Ellen asked seeing Lieutenant Commander pips on the woman's collar. "She mentioned that you might need to talk about what happened but I have been meaning to catch up with you for a while. And please, call me Maggie." Maggie told Ellen. "For what reason, I wasn't aware of any scheduled counselling sessions?" Ellen asked as she got up and approached the food replicator. Once a soothing herbal tea was produced Ellen removed the beverage from the replicator's alcove and silently gestured to replicator as if to ask Maggie if she wanted anything. Maggie in response shook her head so Ellen returned to her seat with the cup in hand. "That isn't really important right now." The older woman replied. "Perhaps you would like to tell me what happened to rattle you so much." "It's all in my report." Ellen said plainly, not trying to be evasive. Once seated and having taken a sip of the tea she handed over the padd that she had been holding a moment before to Maggie. Maggie switched the padd on and quickly scrolled through the contents. "Ah yes, I just finished reading this a little while ago. Very thorough," Maggie said thoughtfully before continuing. "Although, it’s also very clinical. I would have expected this sort of outlook from a senior officer that is perhaps more jaded to these sorts of experiences, such as Commander Herodion but not you." "Your implying that it lacked spirit, creativity or excitement and in truth, your right it did however that is how I have been taught to right reports." Ellen rebutted. "Anyway I don't feel or didn't feel in high spirits when I wrote that report compared to when I set out on the mission to begin with." That most certainly was true Ellen Commented to herself. During the mission she had found herself feeling lost, confused and even out of her depth. Even though the mission was over, and had been for quite some time, she still found herself feeling as if she was still struggling to stay afloat emotionally speaking. "There is no doubt that a lot happened and there is no shortages of instances in the reports I read that would cause most people to develop long term trauma or phobias." Maggie said with a genuinely sincere tone. It was a tone that Ellen associated more with that of a caring mother rather than a Star Fleet Counselor. "So I guess what I'm asking is, is there anything in particular your struggling with?" "The initial attack and infiltrating the monastery were terrifying enough. I have even had a few nightmares since then about those drones." Ellen said truthfully. "In spite of being inches away from death more times than I could count not to mention coming face to face with monsters just as horrific as Borg drones, I understood the rules of that game. Proverbially speaking of course." "Most wouldn't see it that way. I for instance can't even comprehend what those monsters you mentioned are, let alone think of facing them so calmly." Maggie commented. "The monsters, for lack of a better name, are non-sentient cybernetically enhanced genetically engineered humanoid super soldiers. Since the individual drone wasn't sentient, the closest comparison is to an automated weapon system." Ellen explained. "And I was afraid. I ran out of words to describe just how afraid I was but compared to the mastermind of it all. I mean that once the shock factor wears off and adrenaline starts pumping, it becomes rather simple. The drones mindlessly try to kill us, and we fight to survive. In my case I didn't do all that well at that last part." "According to the reports, you preformed better than a cadet with your level of combat training would be expected to." Maggie offered. "You can understand that, that is of little comfort." Ellen told the counselor before taking another sip of the drink in order to avoid saying something worse. Once Ellen had calmed down she put the half empty cup on the table in front of her. It was only as Ellen sat back in the seat that she spoke again in a softer tone then before. "If it wasn't for Commander Herodion I know I wouldn't be here now." Ellen confessed. "Team mates look after each other." Maggie said simply as if that explained it all. "Maybe, it’s just that I'm not use to being so tragically out of my depth." Ellen said quietly giving a voice to something that had been gnawing at her for so long. The older woman gave a kind smile as she soaked in Ellen's words however when she spoke next it wasn't what Ellen expected her to say. "Tell me about this mastermind. When did you meet him and what happened between you?" Maggie asked curiously continuing the conversation. Ellen didn't sit in silence long before answering but of what little time she took; she tried to think of a less clinical way to describe the events than that used in her report. "I suppose it started the moment we beamed down to the research colony. I just didn't know it at the time." Ellen told her. "We went to the colony to deliver vital research material so on arrival Commander Herodion and I met with the chief of science who was a middle aged human male. I didn't give it much thought that the colony's administrator wasn't there." Ellen paused remembering how Commander Herodion had Ellen take the lead throughout the entire mission, from gathering and loading the supplies, to dealing with the research colony personnel on approach to the planet and during the hand off. Ellen had been so proud of herself for performing so well though she made efforts not to seem to overconfident. The fact was that she loved every second of the job and it wasn't just because of the authority she had been given to do it, but then she had been thrown a curve ball. "Just as I was wrapping up the hand off, the chief scientist asked if the Commander and I could help out with another situation they were having at one of their outposts." Ellen said retelling the story. "Apparently that region is known for having problems with large jungle predators. So after checking with the Commander we set off for the outpost to do some hunting. I didn't realise it at the time, of course, but that was the mastermind of the whole plot and I unwittingly allowed Commander Herodion and I to be used as pawns so that the scientist could play the heroic leader or whatever else to his employers." Ellen sat in silence for a moment, retaking her tea which had cooled considerably by that point. Thankfully it was Maggie that broke the silence. "So, soon after you arrived at the outpost the initial attack occurred leading you to realise that you were trapped there and the infiltration of the monastery was the best possible course of action. What happened next?" Maggie asked curiously even though she clearly knew the story already. "Once the shield was down, we beamed up to the Tarisa's Jewel which was in orbit which made it the only real safe haven that we could think of. After beaming the surviving outpost personnel up as well, I tended to any injuries including my own while Commander Herodion tried to make contact with the main colony on the comms. Commander Herodion however couldn't raise the colony and noted that the area surrounding the colony was being jammed to prevent sensor scans. It was reasonable to assume that the colony was under attack so we proceeded on that premise." Ellen told Maggie. Maggie simply nodded for Ellen to continue. "So Commander Herodion and I modified some extra weapons and gathered replacement energy cells for the weapons we already had in order to prepare us for any opposition. Once we were ready to fight a small army we beamed down to the colony." Ellen explained. Ellen looked down at the tea cup before deciding against taking another sip and put it back on the table for the time being. "The situation was urgent and I didn't need to be told the stakes so perhaps that was motivation to make sure I didn't slip up again." Ellen said critically of herself. "Hell, I still wasn't as good as the Commander or a security cadet but that time I knew what to expect and did my best to not let any of those things get the upper hand. After a fire fight Commander Herodion and I located the chief scientist, the colony staff or at least those that were alive at that point and six drones in what looked like a hostage situation." "What gave it away that the chief scientist was responsible?" Maggie asked. "Well the fact that he wasn't face down on the ground like any of the other hostages was a big hint as was him monitoring the computer terminal being used to control the drones." Ellen told Maggie with an edge of bitterness in her voice. "Because we didn't know how many drones remained in addition to the ones we saw Commander Herodion acted as a decoy while I circled around in order to stun the chief scientist and then deactivate the drones." "A task that you had less trouble with, that time around." Maggie commented. "Thankfully yes," Ellen agreed. "And with the scientist captured and the drones deactivated everything that followed was rather routine. Provide medical treatment as needed, help repair communications and finally take the scientist to the nearest starbase for further questioning and detainment." While Ellen didn't say it she didn't go to any lengths to hide the fact that she would have preferred to see that man spaced than face a life in a federation prison colony. As hard as that life would be, it would never be hard enough. Just as Ellen would never truly forget the aftermath of the slaughter of the scientist’s co workers. The drones themselves might have been truly horrifying yet to see the carnage they perpetrated was bone chilling. "I can tell that you feel that you’re to blame for what happened." Maggie said sounding much more like a counselor. "Not to mention that you feel betrayed." "You're right on both counts just as I know that I am the last person in the galaxy that has the right to feel betrayed at the end of all this." Ellen said with a sigh. As much as the rational part of Ellen's mind tried to reinforce the messages that Maggie was preaching the before mentioned doubt and uncertainty still lingered. "Statistically speaking, in situations like the one you faced, star fleet or any other good Samaritan will always get played for the fool. You were trusting and helpful as any good member of star fleet would be when asked to render assistance. Those qualities are just too easy to take advantage of." Maggie told Ellen with a straight face. "It's also a dangerous and rarely successful gambit for the criminal in question, as you helped prove." "I can't speak for Commander Herodion but I'd say I got lucky with the outcome as it was let alone to prove anything." Ellen rebutted. "Perhaps but what is of more interest, to me, is that you survived an experience that everyone in Star Fleet goes through. A trial by fire as it were, though typically such defining moments happen once a cadet graduates." Maggie said with a conviction that seemed to surpass that of a mere counselor or her concerned motherly attitude. "I have seen many promising officers turn in their commissions, or let themselves fade into obscurity after their own moments. Neither of those prospects is anything to be ashamed of and yet your still here, in uniform no less. So perhaps instead of focussing on what you can't do, for all your talents, right this moment. Or how you got conned as any good officer would, ask yourself this; why are you still here?" Ellen went to speak but ended up staying silent for the simple reason that she didn't have a straight forward answer in mind. "You know," Maggie said as she got to her feet and straightened her uniform. "The thing about trials by fire or whatever you prefer to call them, is that just because you pass doesn't mean that no more challenges lay ahead nor does it mean that you will always pass. Rather they show us who we are and what we are capable of." Ellen pondered that thought for a moment but when she was ready to reply she looked up to find that she was alone once again. In the several hours that followed Ellen wandered through the Tarisa's Jewel pondering all that Maggie had suggested to Ellen. Ellen had even watched a number of technicians and operations personnel from the starbase come and go which was why Ellen decided to sit at the helm console as the [...]pit had received the least attention of those that come aboard. The view from the helm position might have been great in space but it currently gave the worst view possible of several of the docked vessels in the space dock. But that mattered little to Ellen as she had felt a change occurring. As time went on the lingering doubts that had been plaguing her had began to fade giving way to career aspirations and the reason why she was still aboard the runabout instead of running her resignation or transfer papers to the personnel office on the starbase. With a smile on her face, one which Ellen didn't realise that she was wearing, she turned to see Commander Herodion, two other cadets and a blue shirted officer board the runabout. Ellen immediately got to her feet but as normal Ellen didn't get a word in before Commander Herodion began speaking. "As you were cadet. I hope you enjoyed your down time because you and your fellow cadets are about to earn every second of it." Herodion stated in her typical fashion pausing only slightly. "Unless you wanted to jump ship, while you have the chance. If you thought your last training mission was tough, this one will be even tougher." Ellen had never been shy about telling people that she joined Star Fleet to be challenged and yet she hadn't truly appreciated what that meant until that moment. Maybe some part of her still harboured doubts about herself and her future but in that slither of a moment Ellen realised just how much she loved being a cadet in star fleet and how much more she would love being an officer. It was hard and the unexpected did happen at all the wrong times, but that was why she loved it. Sitting at the helm console once more Ellen didn't care who noticed the ridiculously large smile on her face. "I'm not going anywhere Commander because if last time was any indication, this will be a blast." Ellen replied not meaning to make the pun. "Your orders Sir?" While Ellen might have added that last part with a straighter face because she knew that was what Commander Herodion expected from her while on duty, it was light years from how Ellen felt inside. ----- Ensign Clayas Vell Intelligence USS Victory
  22. Blunt Forces She felt herself falling backward more then what she stumbled on. As she fell her mind seemed to be processing information at warp speeds which made time seem to stand still but in reality it only took seconds for her to hit the ground. Adrenal coursed through her body, training raged in her mind attempting to dictate her actions and fear fought to quash both of those survival mechanisms and more. As she touched the ground she immediately rolled to her left amazed she hadn’t broken either of her arms in her descent but in truth all she cared about was avoiding the black blade that landed where her head had just been a second earlier. Her eyes went wide in a terror that surpassed every feeling she had had since arriving in that ancient supposedly abandoned monastery. She felt like screaming but couldn’t get a peep out as she watched a second blade plunging toward her with unquestionably lethal intent. Though the monster, or automated weapon system drone, before her knew no other way. She didn’t want to think of that though just as the bladed weapon that was about to kill her seemed to be as black as the void of space and being swung with a force that would make even the most brutal of Klingon warriors fearful. No, if that was to be her last moment she wanted something else, anything else. She knew after everything that she had seen on that training mission that a pleasant thought wasn’t something that was so easily conjured to the point that she would have had an easier time reciting the temporal prime directive word for word. Despite her desire to defy the mental images plaguing her it seemed rather pointless as the blade was still being thrust toward her and it was too late to move again even if she could think of a direction or better yet a plan of attack. Time seemed to slow again dragging out the inevitable. But at the last second a brilliant flash of red light struck the beastly attacker pushing it back. Then another blast hit it and she found herself thinking more and succumbing to the terror less as if suddenly things weren’t so bleak. So without another second of hesitation she rolled to her belly and crawled away before getting to her feet turning to the newcomer feeling slightly relieved once the monster that had attacked her was render to a pile of incinerated flesh. That relief barely lasted a second though as her savior, who took the form of her commanding officer, spoke and not to kindly at that but she knew this wasn’t the time stand on formalities or niceties. "If you’re done sitting around waiting to be killed, grab your phaser cadet. We are still far from the objective and I don’t have the time to continually save your rear end." her CO said sternly. Looking around she saw the charred remains of several of those monstrosities and about a meter from where she was standing she saw her borrowed hand phaser. As she quickly knelt down to pick it up she found herself remembering the events of several hours before that when she had been given the weapon. As she grasped the weapon to stop her hands from shaking or at least hide the fact she found herself allowing the memories from when she had first been given that particular phaser to overcome her for the moment. *** Cadet Ellen Cain sat in the field laboratory tent feeling, well; she was trying not to feel at that point. In the wake of the first attack and the realisation that she, Commander Melitta Herodion and several civilian scientists had become trapped and besieged by creatures that Ellen could barely identify was becoming too much for her. In fact it was the first time since leaving the Academy on her “cadet cruise” that she wondered if her decision to accept the real world posting, instead of a standard placement on one of SB118’s holo-ships, was the right choice. For the first time she found herself without any answers and struggling to know what path to take as she stared at the analysis on the computer terminal in front of her. Despite that though Ellen jumped to her feet as she heard Commander Herodion approach who almost instantly said “at ease” then in her customary way requested a status update. “This equipment is designed more for imaging and text translation so I haven’t been able to do a full medical analysis.” Ellen said regretfully. Even though the work terminals offered more processing power over that of her tricorder which she patched into the terminal to gain access to its programming and functionality, what she could achieve was still extremely limited. She continued on anyway. “That said I haven’t found a match for the species in my medical tricorder. I would assume they have been genetically engineered based on observations during the attack. Also I have detected extremely high levels of nanites and the remains of other cybernetics.” “And the purpose of that would be?” Commander Herodion probed. “Control over the individual creature, self repair when injured and if I had to guess the limited shape shifting that we witnessed. Hands that turn into swords and the like. It would also explain why phasers had such little effect Sir.” Ellen replied. “I ask this because you are the most competent individual I have at hand, would you be able to form a counter measure to this nanotechnology?” Commander Herodion said simply obviously without a thought as to how Ellen would respond to such a comment. Ellen knew exactly where the Commander was coming from and accepted that but somehow it still felt like an insult. “This really is my brother’s area of expertise, not mine unfortunately. That said though we don’t have the resources on hand or the time to develop a solution even if I did possess the knowledge Commander.” Ellen replied somberly. “I have already reconfigured all available phasers so they should be more effective based on your preliminary data. While the scientists seek shelter in a nearby cave that is still accessible, we are going to find the source of the force field trapping us and destroy it.” Commander Herodion told Ellen. “Once the shield is down we will be able to call for help but it stands to reason that whoever is behind this scheme is also at that location.” Something must have been showing on Ellen's face because Herodion leaned against another nearby workstation and started to talk again but this time without that ice cold edge of detachment that she prided herself on carrying around. Ellen had never seen the woman like that and rarely heard of it either so she didn't know what to expect next. "You know when I was still a marine I went on a training mission which turned out very much similar to this one." Herodion started to say. "My CO hated the idea of using holodecks for training so I lead my squadron on what should have been standard practice manoeuvres inside an asteroid belt. On our way back to our ship, the USS Hornet, however we discovered that our ship had been boarded by pirates." Herodion told Ellen. "Star Fleet command decided that the Hornet could not remain in enemy hands and ordered all nearby forces to intercept which included my squadron. I lost more than half my fighter squadron before we regained control of the ship and it was hours later that additional reinforcements arrived to assist. Most would say that the Galaxy and Sovereign classes are the titans of the fleet but I don't having seen the far outdated Akira class shred a squadron of Star Fleets best star fighters.” The older woman paused to allow her words to sink in. Ellen saw at least on the surface where the Commander had been going with the speech. It was a stereotypical and dearly needed "nothing is impossible" speech. Though Ellen still wasn’t encouraged because in the simplest terms she wasn’t a super soldier like her commanding officer, or at least that was the perception she got from her CO. Ellen was simply a star fleet cadet who happened to be gifted with a photographic memory. "I am not telling you this story to encourage you." Herodion said which caught Ellen off guard. "I am telling you this because we both have a job to do. You may be a cadet but this is what it means to be an officer in star fleet. If you can’t hack it then stay here with the civies but I am not going to pretend that I don’t need your help today." "So you’re saying that the needs of the many...." Ellen started to say only to be cut off by Herodion. "Never ever quote Vulcan logic to me unless you are a Vulcan. We might put our lives on the line, sometimes futilely, for others but that is never a reason to pretend that you can approach these situations without emotion, the gods know I can’t." Herodion said sharply, her hand dropping to her waist holster where she withdrew her type II-D phaser pistol and offered it to Ellen. Ellen stared at the pistol for but a second before taking it. As a cadet she may have been in her rights to turn her CO down but despite everything Commander Herodion struck a chord in Ellen making her realize that she needed and wanted even more to help even if that meant traveling to the belly of the beast where she would probably die. *** A creaking sound was what brought Ellen back to the present as if a new wave of fear overrode her flashback. The sound while faint and coming from a far distance away was probably caused by a rodent or insect or maybe even the wind but in that near pitch black corridor sneaking behind Commander Herodion every sound seemed to set alarm bells off in Ellen’s head. As the pair moved as silently as possible through the narrow corridor Ellen couldn’t help but feel that another one of those monsters would leap out of the next alcove of which there were many. Her senses were going into overdrive again and it wasn’t helping. Knowing this, Ellen tried her best to focus on one thing so she chose to focus on her movement lest she bump into Commander Herodion or stub her foot and give away their position. In any other situation she might have allowed herself to joke that she was focusing so very hard on putting one foot in front of the other. It wasn’t the time or place for that though even if she could bring herself to make that joke. Thankfully that technique helped just as Ellen and Commander Herodion reached a T-juncture. Peering down one side of the new corridor Ellen saw natural light in what appeared to be a courtyard but in the other direction she saw several shadowy figures. Looking to her CO Ellen knew that Commander Herodion also saw them too. Herodion flipped closed her tricorder and returned it to her belt then readied her rifle before turning to Ellen. In the quietest of whispers Herodion spoke to Ellen. Despite the volume of her words Commander Herodion’s tone was dead serious. “Power readings suggest the generator for the force field is in that courtyard. On my signal run to it and disable it by any means Cadet.” Commander Herodion said firmly ensuring that there would be no confusion over her orders. Ellen’s mind was screaming to fight that order. Perhaps it was the safer role to take, or on the other hand what if there were more of those things out in the courtyard or maybe the better plan was to stick with Commander Herodion. Ellen liked that last one the most as she figured her CO would be able to watch out for Ellen. And there is truth to the adage that there is strength in numbers. Instead though Ellen nodded to Herodion signalling her agreement and readiness to Herodion’s plan. They each had a job to do and Ellen was going to play her part. She figured she came that far so she might as well see the job through. It wasn’t as if she was in the best location to argue with her CO anyway. Herodion was the first to move to a standing position in the middle of the juncture already firing her weapon. Ellen ducked past her, getting to her feet she started to run and didn’t stop until she had left the confines of the corridor and entered the courtyard. Rising the phaser pistol she scanned the courtyard waiting, expecting someone or worse to jump out at her. When it didn’t immediately happen and she eyed the power generator, she ran to it. Maybe it was rather convenient that the generator was there unguarded but Ellen didn’t care and didn’t think of the possibilities of an ambush. Kneeling by the inbuilt control console Ellen dropped her weapon as she furiously tapped commands into the generator but no matter what she tried she was unable to power the [...]ed machine down. Panicking she struggled to remember what Herodion had told her, she said to do the job by any means necessary. So taking a page from her CO’s book Ellen’s hand dropped down to the ground where the phaser pistol laid and picked it up as she moved back toward the corridor entrance. Ellen was a fraction over two meters from the corridor archway but she saw the red flash streak straight toward her. Her eyes went wide in terror but the instant later when she was still alive and a second shot again narrowly missed her, going an inch over her right shoulder, she turned to see another one of those things with a gaping hole in its abdomen. Even with that hole the drone didn’t look like it was going to fall over and die, they never did. Ducking behind what must have been the remains of a pillar; Ellen took aim and fired her phaser at the power generator which the humanoid monster was standing next to. Even though she shielded herself, as much as she could, as the power generator exploded she was still knocked backward into a wall ringing the outside of the courtyard. With her ears ringing and vision slightly blurred she noticed a human figure stalking toward her with great speed. Ellen shakily raised the phaser again trying to steady her aim fully intending to pull the trigger. “Careful with that Cadet,” Herodion said outstretching her hand to help Ellen to her feet. “Getting shot with my favorite phaser is not on my agenda tonight.” Taking Commander Herodion’s hand Ellen pulled herself rather shakily to her feet feeling her vision and hearing returning to normal levels or normal for her current condition. “You’re not usually one to act so bluntly Cadet.” Commander Herodion said, a faint smile could be seen on her face. “Finding the off switch was taking too long!” Ellen replied also smiling despite feeling as if the battle was far from over. The pair had done what they had set out to do, they might not have found the master mind yet but the shield was disabled and no more of those things appeared to be near. And yet Ellen eyes darted out into the darkness, expecting the worst. Ensign Atherton Grix USS Gemini
  23. To: Department of Fleet Logistics, Star Fleet Head Quarters, Earth From: Commander Fia Eckelson, Star Base 118 Star Date: 239108.20 Re: Implementation of a new Fleet wide uniform. Sir, Since the beginning of this year, I have had the duty of commanding the Public Relations and Workplace Efficiency Think Tank based out of Star Base 118. While I will not bore you with the details of the day to day operations of the think tank I would like to bring one of our latest projects to your attention as I believe it worthy of fleet wide implementation. This project centers around a complete overhaul of uniforms that Star Fleet personnel are required to wear while on duty. Before I continue, I will stress that I am recommending a new uniform scheme rather than removing the concepts of uniforms from the fleet. Uniforms play too much of a vital role even in civilian workforces to be discarded by Star Fleet. With that said it is the opinion of my think tank that from both a public relations and efficiency standpoint that the current generation of Star Fleet uniforms is lacking in many regards. With an ever evolving fleet which has many new but sorely implemented technologies at its disposal, it is believed that implementing a uniform scheme along the lines of what the proposal outlines will keep the fleet going strong into the future. Attached to this transmission you will find the complete proposal and supporting research in addition to holographic mock-ups of focus tested next generation uniform concepts. As I quickly came to expect of the Public Relations and Workplace Efficiency Think Tank, the proposal and supporting material is nothing less than completely thorough as well as painstakingly pieced together. For that reason it would be fairly redundant for me to go into too many details that you will undoubtedly read soon so I will just mention the following. The proposed changes are made on the premise that while the current standard day uniform is rather well designed. It was however primarily designed with day to day duties aboard a starship or on an M-Class planet in mind. What it doesn’t allow for is the rapid and unpredictable nature of Star Fleet. One minute three crew men are on a shuttle run, the next they are stranded in a desert dressed in that same day uniform which is rather ill-suited to deserts (the least of which is because the base fabric color is black). Like with most reported cases of such occurrences, those stranded did not have access to the appropriate specifically designed uniform to best much the terrain they would be visiting. No uniform created will ever be completely adaptable to any environment especially when used by members of Star Fleet but advances in bio-polymer based synthetic fabrics and even imbedded technologies such as communication equipment would turn that near disaster that I mentioned above into a not so bleak scenario. In that light the proposal also details other computerized technologies that can built into the next generation uniform that will undoubtedly enhance the way members of Star Fleet operate. During my time with the think tank I have heard some farfetched ideas but this one is something that I can wholeheartedly get behind. I hope that the rest of your department does the same. If you require clarification on any part of the proposal please contact me. I will be more the happy to oblige as will my team. Yours Sincerely, Commander Fia Eckelson Commanding Officer Public Relations and Workplace Efficiency Think Tank, SB118 ----- Ensign Atherton Grix USS Gemini
  24. Reality of command "Yes Admiral, I did disobey two sets of direct orders and through my negligence to my duty as a Star Fleet officer I caused the deaths of three crew members as well as the destruction of my ship." Commander Arden Cain said without a trace of pride in his voice. The truth of course was more complicated or at least more detailed but the essence of the story was correct. And while he knew that he faced court marshal and even prison for his actions, right then in the Admiral's office wasn't the time for Arden to start defending himself. In a way, as far as Arden knew, the admiral was only the messenger not to mention the one that rescued Arden and his crew off of that sorry excuse of a planet. For that Arden was deeply grateful so he showed a little extra appreciation. Although that "extra" appreciation was quickly fading in the face of an unnecessary and annoying line of questioning. It seemed as though this Admiral was taking the whole incident personally even though she had no stake in the issue as far as Arden was concerned. He, like the rest of his crew was tired so all he wanted to do was to see to his crew’s well being and then get some much needed rest on the ride back to Star Base 75, even if that was to take place in a brig. After a week in a wet and overcrowded cave, the prospect of even staying in a brig felt like being in a Risian hotel. "And yet you still disobeyed your orders. I have review the logs and I can't help but get the impression that you planned on disobeying. Is that accurate Commander Cain?" the female Trill Admiral asked pointedly. "If I had planned anything Admiral, the rescue and subsequent escape might have gone smoother. No, planned, isn't a word I would use. I knew very well before I even heard the distress call that my career was hanging by a thread and yet that had nothing to do with my decision. I would have made the same call no matter what my personal situation was because I was in a position to help those civilians and I was able to do so, so I did." Arden said keeping irritation from his voice but not caring what else slipped through. The Admiral simply stared at Arden but this was the part that Arden didn't care about. While he deeply regretted the fact that the Altamira was destroyed and devastated at the loss of those crewmen despite not really knowing any of them or showing his grief, Arden was absolutely proud of the fact that he and his crew had saved all the civilians that were still alive when they had arrived on site. What's more was that because of his decision; a supposedly renegade Klingon war bird had been destroyed. That too was a little regrettable to Arden but he hadn't lost any sleep over the matter. "Out of interest commander, do you have the slightest idea why you were ordered not to engage the, at the time, unknown hostile?" The Admiral asked in what Arden was quickly seeing as her typical manner. "Because I was ordered not to deviate from the Altamira’s assignment being that of cargo hauling. The other reason, which I would be more inclined to follow, was because the 'unknown hostile's' apparent technological superiority meant that it would have the clear tactical advantaged. Statistically speaking of course." Arden replied. Arden then paused for a moment deciding how best to continue as it was apparent that that was what the Admiral wanted. He didn't quite know what the woman opposite him expected Arden to say or which answer she wanted to hear but it didn't matter as Arden had already had the time to think through them all. Ultimately though in that moment Arden decided to approach the matter as he had been trained and not as rashly as when he made the decision in the first place. "Somebody at Sector Command probably looked at the stats for a Miranda class vessel and came to the conclusion, based on that alone, that any attempt would fail probably in a dozen different ways.” Arden said before calmly continuing. “Tactically speaking such an assessment isn't wrong especially considering the outcome. If I did follow either of those orders, however, I would have condemned two dozen civilians to their deaths and Star Fleet would have been none the wiser about supposedly rogue Klingon activity." "As distasteful as it is to face, being a Star Fleet command officer sometimes means having to do things that run counter to the principals that our organization represents. And by extension there are times when we must set aside personal opinions and instincts. That is the reality of command and not some fanciful notion of doing what’s right. I would have expected you to have learned that lesson before now." The Admiral told him. Even though Arden didn’t take his eyes off the Admiral or say anything aloud he sighed inwardly. In a very real sense, it was that same reality that the Admiral spoke of that was the reason why the Altamira had been reassigned as a cargo freighter in light of another decision Arden had made. Another poor decision if Arden was to judge against the Admiral’s “reality” of command. "I have learned that Admiral and it’s something that I have accepted because I could see the reasons why those distasteful things, as you put it, had to be done.” Arden replied plainly. He could have gone into more detail or give dozens of examples on either side of the argument but there was no point. There was no need to be drawn into an ideological debate over something that couldn't be changed at that point. "Was there anything else you wanted to know Admiral?" Arden asked reluctantly. "Well you certainly seem eager to be done with me which is rather rude to begin with. But to want to leave before listening to my request, well that is something else." The Admiral said in a slightly playful tone. Or at least her tone wasn’t as stern as it had been up until that point. That knocked Arden off guard. He didn't understand what he was doing there in the first place or even why an Star Fleet Admiral had come to his crew’s rescue, let alone what request could possibly be made of Arden at that point. Surely it went without saying that the Admiral could get whatever she wanted from people that weren't about to be court marshalled. Arden couldn’t help but be intrigued if for only a few of those reasons. He wasn't foolish enough to think that the admiral represented a way to bypass the consequences faced. Just like many times before curiosity got the better of him so he stood silently and patiently. "Before we get to that though I would like to know how you got to the surface of that planet." The Admiral stated leaving the question implied but not expressly asked. "I have read the preliminary report but I want to hear it from you." Arden gave a sigh; he had had plenty of time to draft the report while waiting to be rescued but knew that he wouldn't escape having to retell the story. Some part of him did hope that he wouldn’t have to though. Whether he was proud of certain portions of the outcome or not, this particular story wasn’t one that he wanted to dwell on more than necessary. Taking another breath he began to speak in order to describe the events in the most concise but thorough way he knew of. "The idea was to drop out of warp in system just inside of transporter range and start beaming the civilian survivors out. We kept our distance from the civilian ships but did what we could to shift the attacker's attention to us. And all that worked until we made our escape from the system by jumping back to maximum warp." Arden said pausing for a moment to think before continuing. "The Klingon's closed the distance quickly and started taking pot shots at the Altamira's shields. They must have got in a lucky shot to because one of the EPS conduits running directly from main engineering blow out and I was told that it wouldn’t be long before we'd lose stability in the warp core. Firing the last of my photons torpedoes and detonating them early to hopeful blind the enemy's sensors I had my pilot drop us out of warp, we then dumped the warp core and ran like hell before it too detonated. We weren't far from the planet when the shock wave caught up with us and we went crashing into the planet below. " Arden paused having told the Admiral the first half of the story in order to give her a little time to process what he had said. In a way Arden also made use of that time to consider how he managed to take a string of the hairiest moments of his life and condense them into a minutes worth of dull story telling. Something in all that just didn’t sit right with him. "It goes without saying that the Altamira's landing was rough but she held together long enough to touch down on the planet’s surface with quite a few minor injuries. In that regard we were extremely fortunate. That fortune however didn’t last as after we recovered from the landing we couldn't have been planet side for more than twenty minutes when we spotted the war bird coming in for an emergency landing a couple kilometers away. After that we followed standard procedure: tend to our wounded, find better shelter, open lines of communication with the Klingon which was shot down almost immediately, and then activate a distress beacon as soon as it was safe to do so." Arden concluded listing each item off one by one. "I also read that after you defeated the last of the Klingon that you investigated their crashed vessel and proceeded to destroy what was left of their communication system. It strikes me as odd that you would destroy something that could speed up the time it took for rescuers to find you." The Admiral said completely unfazed by what Arden had said before that. "By that point we had a functional beacon and a shuttle that we could get into orbit if need be so I wasn't concerned about being found. What did concern me however was the very real possibility of more Klingon showing up and recovering what little data was left in those systems. My Klingon is a little rusty, but it wasn't hard to work out that the data that survived detailed attempts at improving the Klingon cloaking device. If I had to guess I would say that the Klingons were having a lot of success with those efforts. As much as I am sure that there are those in star fleet that would love that data, I felt it best that it didn't survive to be found. Off the top of my head I can only think of one other planet that I have been to that was as bad as that one. The last thing it needed was more Klingon." Arden said speaking honestly. "Besides the ionic disturbances that prevented my ship from locating you initially, the planet didn't look all that bad." The Admiral commented. "You forgot to mention the frequent and long lasting storms as well as the incredibly dense jungle. That planet certainly wasn't Risa but definitely survivable if you don't mind dark and foreboding environments." Arden commented almost in a sarcastic manner. "It’s of little consequence but since you brought it up, what planet do you think is so much worse than this one?" The Admiral asked curiously. "It was a small mining colony known as Dusters Range. Well that was until an unidentified Borg variant appeared there. More to the point, between those Borg-things and sand storms common to that world it goes without saying that I don't have pleasant memories of my time there." Arden told her. This time Arden didn’t wait long to continue. The events of Dusters Range were long behind him but that didn’t mean that Arden wanted to spend any amount of time reliving those memories after the last few days that he had had. "My life in Star Fleet has never been dull," Arden said pausing briefly. "even when it was meant to be. I suppose that is one thing that is never really covered at the Academy." "Yes one of those concepts that needs adding or revising but all things have a time. Perhaps it is the way it is for a reason." The Admiral said dismissively. "Speaking of time, the time has come to end this conversation which means you have a decision ahead of you. Orders from sector command are that you are to be held in custody pending a formal trail and court marshal. In light of certain facts it is highly improbable that you will be imprisoned for what happened but your career will be over. Have no illusions to that." The Admiral told him so plainly. Arden of course had come to the realization that it probably would come to such an outcome but found it a little hard having someone else say it. Before Arden could comment the Admiral spoke again. "That however would be an unfortunate and wasteful end in my opinion as I happen to be looking for a few good commanders for my task force. Given everything that I have learned about you, I'd say you'd fit in well.” The Admiral concluded. "And if I work for you, you make these charges disappear. As lovely as that sounds it doesn't sound legitimate." Arden replied almost instantly. As much as the offer sounded appealing and even desirable, it wasn't Star Fleet that taught Arden not to be taken in by something that sounded too good to be true. "It is absolutely legitimate, political but legitimate none the less. It is much the same as the formal hearing that you will attend, it’s all political. In that case though someone is using politics to get rid of you. I'd be interested in finding out why but that is a conversation for another day. I am not a member of Star fleet Intelligence nor is this a setup." The Admiral told him with more conviction then Arden had seen in the woman previously. "So what would you have me do in this task force of yours?" Arden asked seriously. "See that ship being towed out the window?'' The Admiral asked to which Arden stood up to get a look at it.”That will be your ship if you accept the position." "And get it operational by the looks of it" Arden commented. "The USS Cressida is a ten year old nova class but has been in dry dock collecting dust for the last two. More importantly is that she is yours if you still want to be on the front lines exploring the galaxy, making it a better place and all that." The Admiral told him but even though her words might have seemed more than a little sarcastic, her tone and face told a completely different story. Arden certainly had more questions in mind then he possibly wanted to deal with at that moment, the least of which was whether or not he wanted to accept the offer. Whether or not he should accept considering recent events also came to mind along with why a rescue ship would be towing a Nova class vessel during a rescue mission. As he took one more look out at the USS Cressida though Arden knew that perhaps the first of those was the easiest question to answer just as it had been when he was first offered the USS Altamira. So he turned back to the Admiral and spoke knowing that at least one question had been settled. “When do you want me to start Admiral?” Arden asked. “My crew will be set to leave this area in six hours. You have that long to get your ship operational or to arrange for another ship to tow the Cressida back to the Star Base.” “Of course Admiral, I will get it done.” Arden said simply. Ensign Atherton Grix Counselor USS Gemini
  25. That brought a smile to my day. lol. Cookie!!!
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