Bresa returned from Oka more tired than when he left. It had been days of meetings with limited success. Targa had obtained a holographic emitter the size of a torso to contain the diagnostic program provided by the Gatrubbian government. He was arguing with a company in Oka over the construction of the cargo jacket. It was not needed on their next mission to the Wellness Institute.
Bresa and Quidano spoke with Targa before they activated their holographic crew member. Diagnostic Hologram One greeted Captain Bresa and the others in the room. Quidano's first question was a reaffirmation of the Hippocratic Oath. Lyras needled T'Zora whom she suspected of wanting to practice medicine rather than a hologram. Bresa decided to assign DH1 to engineering rather than the med bay given it's role on it's previous ship. It would be given leave to wander throughout the ship despite Quidano's vocal misgivings.
Natasha had wandered around Sentinel Station for ten days and was finally seated in the First Contact Bar. It was a Parisian cafe complete with charming holographic rain. After lunch, Nat waited on a response from Axel.
Word spread of a Writer appearing witin Oka after the quake. Ensign Serota shared the appearance of a Builder while beneath the surface with a Lacosian worker. Evidence was mounting of a opportunistic trickster. The station's commander, governor and senior scientist offered to continue support as Oka rebuilt. Graven had never heard of a Writer appearing in the flesh and Favor was doubtful of the Writer's identiy. It followed Clark's Third Rule: any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Bresa walked into Oka's main temple. He had lost track of the Gatrubbian calendar and was surprised by the eve of Scribe Grimana's Day. Families would come together and share their stories of the past year. The evening prior, Gatrubbians remembered the stories the Writers decided to end. The temple was lit only with candles. The day was based on an ascetic monk who regretted not spending time with his parents before they died. Bresa had long ago lost everyone he knew. He was invited to a Scribe Grimana Day gathering with Reader Kalana and his family.
Indrisi Elva had transitioned from maintaining the fleet of aging ships to dismantling the fleet for the construction of Oka. Many of the ships that reached the Sphere were automated and few Gatrubbians that remained at the Sphere after the schism had a desire for space travel. He was designing the external cargo module for SS Axel. The Cestus-class ship fit what the Gatrubbians needed for trade beyond the Sphere.
Pleg watched a small ship leave the station. He didn't recognize it.
Commander Favor still had mixed feelings over his decision to undergo neuro-muscular adaptation. His body was not accustomed to humanoid gravity norms.
Seket was confident that Kal would betray Husar. She just had to find his price. Husar was no better than the nasty, spitting voles she delivered to the embassy. They were sent to the Cardassian Café to be turned into stew. Kal declined to help his only friend and a woman who did know his price. Seket revealed that Husar was a member of the Scravvan families. She had planted the seed in Kal's mind and was ready to release him back into Husar's hands. Her door was open whenever Kal had information for her. Deben handed the Kazon a care package as he left. It held syrupy sweet cakes. Kal told Husar about meeting Seket and her offer. He didn't care about her criminal connections. Husar told her new employee to take the box of cakes with him in case it was bugged.
S'Yahazah appeared to Toraith. She was a hefty Gorn with shiny scales. She was a ghost of Christmas past showing Toraith his younger self on the hunt with cousins. Alton encouraged Toraith to interact with the past. Toraith's dream morphed into a boxing match with his father. A scene of Gorn massacring humans came from Alton's past. Alton and Toraith had never built a friendship because of that event. Toraith awoke aboard Axel. Toraith fell back to sleep and was greeted by his old captain. Rather than show alternate futures for Toraith, Elias told him that he needs to trust himself. The Gorn had lost faith in himself. Control was an illusion and sometimes life is lived by winging it. Toraith decided to make himself a new sash bearing his family crest and Axel's logo.
A woman slipped silently out the back door of a huge house. She met up with someone in the shadows and they moved further into the woods. The following day Mr. Morales berated two local police. He had last seen his wife the previous evening before bed. Neither of the police officers were going to expend much effort in finding her knowing she had run away. Ana reached Sentinel Station and an unused space on the Promenade. Elizabeth had evaded her husband for three years and disappeared in the Delta Quadrant. She had taken a big step in reclaiming her own life.
Ana had slept on the floor with her duffel bag for a pillow. She looked both ways before stepping out into the corridor; old habits die hard. She shut out memories of her past as she stepped into an unoccupied cafe space on the Promenade. She was enjoying a freshly ground and brewed cup of coffee when a Grazerite stopped by her open threshold. She offered coffee. Ashon-Milyo drank black tea and asked about the new cafe. She would be opening breakfast and brunch cafe with baked goods. Ashon-Milyo had confidence in her success. He finished his tea and continued his walk on the Promenade. Ana was assailed by self-doubt.
Ariana was an outsider, even amongst the scientists aboard Sentinel Station. She sent invites to the science department that spread more widely through word-of-mouth. She was throwing a party on the /Holideck/. Her favourite android replied he would not be attending. The season was a sore spot for him. Kal was surprised at the invite to an Earth holiday. He was glad to have an evening to break him from his self-enforced isolation. Kal invited Husar to a Christmas party as his 'plus one'. Mahlon was glad to have a third chance with Ariana. He gritted his teeth at sending a form letter as a reply with no personal message and followed up with something only slightly better.
The holodeck was programmed with a wintery glade and a bonfire. The party included most of Sentinel Station's science community. The geologist bartender served all drinks 'on the rocks'. Kal felt out of place. He brought the cupcakes given him by Seket hoping they were appropriate to the occasion. Mahlon worried that Kal was making a move on Ariana. Kal shared that he had been aboard more than one Borg vessel and never assimilated because his species was unworthy. The others tried to make him feel better. Husar showed up fashionably late to the party. It was the first major holiday after Favor's surgery. He had never been able to partake in Winter events in his harness. Ariana was used to the holideck being a place where rank and role were set aside. A woman was making the rounds with a sprig of mistletoe dangling above her head. Husar found it entertaining as Kal, then Mahlon, tried to avoid her.
Mary joined OH1 from another roleplay group. To quote Rich: "The more the Mary-er".
Roxane achieved her 50,000-word goal for NaNo (National Novel Writing Month). Finley (XO of USS Discovery) also achieved 50,000 words.
Doug wrote a fantastic take on Gaston's song. We were all stunned to hear that Toraith saw himself not as Gaston, but, as Belle.
We were introduced to the new SS Axel. It's a cozy ship. It includes a table-top holographic monster chutes and ladders.
Jim and Caleb shared tips on cleaner formatting when copying from an editor into email.
The Promenade page was expanded to include signage.
We all exchanged happy Christmas and New Year messages.
2417.12.22.01 SENT Kal "Food glorious food.."
2417.12.22.01 AXEL Bresa "Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy?"
—Reading these subject lines, I had to sing the whole thing.
Twas the night before Chrismas and all through the ship
Not a crewmate was stirring not even a bit
Toraith the Gorn was asleep in his bed
While dreams of dead crewmen danced in his head
—The lead-in to Toraith's visitation by the ghosts of Christmas (Doug)
No player selected.
Captain Tervan decided he needed to board the Requiem to save the sole life sign aboard. Avinbruch offered to join the boarding party along. The Gatrubbian captain welcomed the better trained and more experienced Marines. The Mainframe was confused by the attack and Kima and Diagnostic Unit One more performing their duties. It fired it's outdated phasers in a weak defence and made for Sentinel Station whom it assumed would protect it. As Mainframe routed all power to phasers, it's shields wavered and Tiberius Strike Group was able to disable it's tactical systems. The diagnostic unit defended Kima from the Mainframe citing ethics grounds. Mainframe was focused on operational efficiency and survival. Ghastly images of ghastly, malformed Gatrubbians appeared to the boarding party lead by Captain Tervan. Kima defended Diagnostic Unit One when it was clear the boarding party intended to disrupt it's holographic matrix. Gatrubbian law treated the holographic being as a person. Kima and DUO were beamed aboard the Requiem. The Mainframe escaped in the form of a memory core as the ship around it was utterly destroyed.
Quidano was promoted to First Officer over Xin who took the position of Second Officer (Bridge Operations).
Targa toured Axel's engine room. Without an endorsement from his former captain, the engineer was unlikely to be given a new posting with the Klingon Empire. It an entirely different life with a ship of species he'd never met before. Axel's shuttle bay was barely large enough to hold the Clydesdale-class shuttle. He downloaded the shuttle's entire navigational database. He familiarized himself with Axel's schematics. The Dahk'let was a cargo hauler and he knew he could improve the load capacity of his new ship. It's engine design precluded pulling a cargo train. He opened a connection to Bresa within the Sphere via Sentinel's communications network. He proposed a cargo jacket; containers carried alongside Axel to improve capacity.
Quidano was surprised at the leeway he and Toraith were being given. Under their previous captain, they had commandeered a ship. They both felt Toraith was lost after the loss of his mother. He showed a weakness neither ever expected to see in a Gorn. T'Zora had been discharged from the med bay and given quarters near the engine room. She would accompany Quidano and Toraith aboard Sentinel Station to find new crew. Quidano mentioned renting permanent lodging aboard the station but no one else seemed to notice.
Toraith was surprised his ban from the station had been lifted. He joined Quidano and T'Zora at the First Contact Bar. Cash Bailey returned to the bar he had visited on his last trip to the station. B.B. threw a man out of the bar, then gave him Valdian coffee on the house. T'Zora and her alter ego argued. Quidano came across Bailey who presumed the Garan wanted something stolen or something returned. Toraith told Bailey not die like the other humans. He was bothered by Axel abandoning their mission on Gornar and the loss of some of it's crew and his own parents. Axel would be underway when it's new captain, Bresa, returned from the Sphere.
Bailey chatted with T'Zora in the corridor near their quarters. He noticed a change in her eyes when she started talking about the Institute. Lyras nudged her consciousness.
Xin was minding Axel's docking port when Toraith came back early from the First Contact Bar. She was reading 'A Christmas Carol'. Toraith commented on humans treating Ferengi with disdain. The Gorn could just as easily have been talking about his own mistreatment.
Bresa admired the resilience of the Gatrubbian people. Oka had been largely cleaned up after the quake. The architecture looked the same as it did on Gatrubbe. A hologram from the destroyed ship Requiem was offered to Axel for a period of servitude. The Gatrubbian government would install the necessary holographic matrices.
Quill represented himself as a Builder in the appearance of an Adonis-like Lacosian. A God-like radiance shone from his face and he threatened punishment. Ariana stumbled into the face-to-face between the supposed Builder and a scizophrenic Lacosian. After several changes of appearance, Quill disappeared. Skel's confusion was quickly replaced by his obsessive need to fix the Sphere. Ariana noted that the Lacosians were generally unstable and that the Sphere was falling into disrepair. Skel paused when he realized that, perhaps, Ariana was real. She followed the Lacosian deeper into the Sphere's crumbling interior structure.
A summit of Starfleet, Federation and Gatrubbian officials met in Oka over stories that a Writer had appeared. Word spread like wildfire in the settlements. Reports of a shape-shifting being dispelled the notion it was, indeed, a Writer. Efforts by Sentinel's engineering teams, Marines and the assistance of PlegCorp had repaired the physical damage to the city and mitigated the effects of future quakes. Never in recorded Gatrubbian history had the Writers appeared in coporeal form.
Lirka tried to convince Commander Mirel to change her uniform after blotting out the non-existant stain. The Commander was undeterred from speaking with the station's new ambassador. The Fenergi female spoke loudly about Pleg's humanitarian efforts in the Sphere and it's many opportunities.
Husar strung Kal along with the story of the Kel Dakul. Kal was dejected by the thought of his unworthiness for assimilation. Gaspar offered commentary on everything Husar said. The story ended with a box of Borg odds and ends. Kal was hooked. Kal couldn't leave the Sushi Bar fast enough. Husar showed Kal a chunk of metal he immediately realized was not Borg. She made him swear he was not undercover security. The bits had been recovered as salvage and resold before the Obsidian Order could confiscate them. The real prize was an interplexing beacon. She doubted the kid could afford such a piece. Kal was willing to do anything and said as much. Kal had attempted to surgically implant Borg components in the past. Kal agreed to a months labour for the beacon while Husar was considering ways of keeping him working for her indefinitely. She put him to work cleaning teh pens of fighting voles. Kal was willing to lose his fingers for an interplexing beacon. Husar almost knocked over a bottle of kanar when Kal announced he was finished. She rewarded his efficiency with drone exoplating. Kal offered to sleep in the back room where he would be available at a moment's notice. Husar decided on an alternative to sleeping next to vole cages.
Gordo was cleaning an apartment of blood when Husar and Kal approached. His brother Groud hadn't been since doing a job for Husar. The apartment was a small living space at the back of a commercial business owned by Kang and Kodos. Husar insisted on coming along and Kal was glad to have her along. He started to unpack in the apartent with blood-stained walls until Husar stepped in. The next apartment was a luxury by comparison. Kal had little to move as all of his collectibles were kept on the shuttle safely out of view.
Kal stepped into an astrometics lab at 3am. He was alone to search for the Cube he knew was in the area. After several unfruitful searches, he asked Chief Petty Officer Eiwan for assistance. He told her he was a xenobiologist studying the Borg. His searches were being filtered by Starfleet Tactical. He closed the channel and tried a different tactic. He compared sensor scans from a year earlier including gravimetric distortions and tetryon emissions. Four planets had been affected; Ari-Saae had changed orbit, polar tilt and density. It was last visited by USS Disovery. Four of Six decided he had to visit that planet.
Kal added high-dose caffeine to his breakfast drink and still looked awful when he showed up for work in the morning. His morning task was to take a crate to the Cardassian embassy. It contained live animals and it would be best to avoid the scrutiny of police. He was going to be turned away at the door until Seket stepped in. Kal tried to leave but Seket insisted he enter. Isolating him within the embassy intimidate the Kazon. The crate contained fighting voles. Kal was repulsed by the idea but he wanted the interplexing beacon so badly he swallowed his ethics. The large males were favoured but Seket prized the quiet female. When she dropped her back into the crate, she was ready for attack and none of the other voles dared approach her. Seket added sweet Terran muffins to the table that Kal feared were poisoned.
Kal heard alarms, phaser fire and screaming. He lost his mother, father and twin brother that day. He and his older sister scavenged for six years. Once Kal turned sixteen, he could earn his warrior's name and find a place in Kazon society.
2417.11.23.01 SENT Kal "If I use enough jargon it might at least look like I know what I'm taking about."
—Kal trying to find a Borg Cube purposely hidden by Starfleet Tactical . To paraphrase Roxane, Kal may not know what he's doing, but, he looks darn good while doing it.
Four of Six is a throughly interesting character. He is driven by his desire to be assimilated. It's something he shares with others despite an inner voice always telling him to stop. Even when Husar is clearly manipulating and taking advantage of him, he sweeps it aside because obtaining Borg technology is worth any price. Tabitha has written a character with a level of fanaticism and doublethink worthy of a George Orwell character.
Honourable mention to Doug. Toraith's angry, offhand comments reveal the pain he's feeling over the death of his family and friends. His empathy for the mistreatment of Ferengi on the station is clearly a bit of unintentional self-reflection.
Ariana was happy to hear Mahlon's voice. He had a seat up front next to himself on the Wadati. Farmer had an awkward pickup line or two and an offer of a second date surveying the exterior of the Sphere. Enroute Ariana did some homework and was beamed down to Lieutenant Commander Favor's position.
In Oka, Lieutenant Commander Favor coordinated the search for a cause. A quake was unheard of in the history of the Sphere. The Marine regiment had recently relocated to the Sphere and were already lending assistance transporting equipment and personnel through the capital. Graven introduced a being claiming to be a Writer who immediately disappeared and appeared elsewhere in the city. Lieutenant Bear and Ensign Serota were each searching for clues. The DFA geologist was expected to hvae a preliminary report in two hours. She expressed her concern for aftershocks. Graven reassured the Starfleet team that they had not yet begun construction of a subterranean transport system. Ariana wondered if the Lacosians could shed light on the situation. The Sphere was falling into a state of disrepair.
Lirka spent hours trying to reach Gatrubbian officials. Pleg hadn't had any luck with the Kharians, Lacosians or Johvan. The Gatrubbian official was leary of the below-market price from a Ferengi merchant. Lirka played hard ball and got the deal sealed.
Lieutenant Bear was in command of USS Daystrom. He was his usual brusque self when asked to scan the deeper structure of the sphere under the Gatrubbian capital. He was greeted by a squeling Ensign Serota who had first met him when a volcano appeared within the Sphere. It was before Favor's assignment to Sentinel Station and asked to be brought up to speed. Ariana had located several Lacosians who identified the 'volcano' as molten matter being created by malfunctioning machinery. She hadn't found any Lacosians yet to inquire about the latest geological event. There was no geological activity to account for the quake. She could use Daystrom to tap into miniature science stations distributed throughout the Sphere including one seismic detector.
Favor shared that someone or something had claimed to be a Writer and they could not ignore it as the source of the quake.
Skel moved through dusty, abandoned spaces within the Sphere. His voice ws disharmonious within the Great Chorus. He followed a swarn of biomechanoids awoken by the disturbence with the Sphere. He followed them around a corner to Quinn who was neither biomechanoid nor Lacosian.
Admiral Rostov and Ms. Valmont met with an agitated Kharian. The latter grabbed a vial to kill his own brother with. With the trade complete, Rostov settled to sleep enroute to Sentinel Station. He dreamt of his little girl. Rowland was concerned about the ambassador's first public even being so public. He entered the station with more than a dozen personal guards. Rostov's team had organized and funded the extravagant ball. The Lady Lirka glided into the ball in a diaphanous gown. She and Pleg were a royal couple. Rostov spoke with Pleg about his intentions to increase trade in the Delta Quadrant with the creation of the Economic Development Advisory Committee to which Pleg would be invited. Lirka and Rowland both moved to invite Commander Mirel and keep her from interrupting the deals being struck by the new ambassador. Lirka looked at an imaginary spot on Commander Mirel's dress uniform in horror and dragged her away to blot it out with water.
Yul Brynner awoke from a nightmare enroute to Sentinel Station. It was from his time aboard Starbase Horizon. He was like a ghost. After a shower, a drink and concealing weapons on his person he returned to the Promenade. After an hour of casual browsing and checking for a tail, he entered /Whims and Favors/. Pleg didn't recognize his old associate at first. Ghost left a card and contact info for then Pleg could locate him some work. Ghost stopped by the Department of Records to locate a friend. Colonel Anderson was still alive although his record had been redacted and sealed. He met with a reporter posing as a DFA Intelligence officer. She was working on a story about Garam 4. Everyone involved had died, some under unusual circumstances.
Ghost captured Romsey Dom Insa, an entrepreneur, and shared a bit of his own past. Ghost was El-Aurian and had lived on Earth, joined the Marines and eventually Section 31. He asked a childhood friend to look after his family. His wife and child were killed to tie up loose ends. Mr. Romsey Dom Insa had once been Mr. Thomas Stone, the man who reported seeing Ghost's wife and child to Section 31. Mr. Insa was killed and the scene cleaned.
Timari questioned Pleg's motives of selling self-sealing stembolts to the Gatrubbians. Pleg came to Timari because of he was known as an honest broker. Timari called for a bottle of Kanar to seal the deal. Pleg asked for something else, something that would not make him itchy for hours affterwards. Timari offered a variety of beverages and food. He suggested Seket serve the food like a good Ferengi female. Seket recoiled in disgust and fetched beer instead. Pleg stroked his lobe at the opportunity of trade with the Gatrubbians.
Kal docked his 10-year old shuttle at Sentinel Station and inquired about quarters and lab space to develop an assimilation virus to prove his worth to the Borg. He had lost everyone he cared about. The Assistant Quartermaster asked questions to find the right fit for the Kazon traveller. He was drawn to Sentinel over rumours of a Cube in the vicinity. He settled on lab space and access to the main computer during overnight shifts. He sat in his temporary quarters watching a holo of his family. He thought back to seven years earlier. Kal's science vessel was boarded by Borg. Of the 27 life forms on his deck, 26 were assimilated. Kal was knocked unconscious by a drone. Kal awoke to a Talaxian doctor who reassured him that he was safe; his species was unworthy of assimilation.
Kal strayed from his usual diet of unlavoured nutrient supplements and accepted Gaspar's welcome at /Sushi Bar/. Husar admonished Gaspar and adviced Kal leave immediately to avoid being poisoned. Kal avoided the sushi plate and asked for a drink instead. He didn't drink it either after Husar called it vole pee. Husar laughed at Kal describing himself as a scienist. He was different that the usual knuckle-dragging variety of Kazon. Husar part-owned Sushi Bar as well as a curio shop. Kal appreciated the many species aboard the station and asked about the nearby Borg Cube. Husar shared how the Kharians were nearly eradicated with the remainder screaming back to the Sphere.
Kima stumbled through his ship trying to escape the constant repairs. He was shocked unconscious from an Engineering console. His ship regretted the lack of replacement vocal units but was optimistic of acquiring additional replacement parts for it's sole Gatrubbian sub-system. A holographic replay of the ship's former crew looped. The replay was corroded. The ship tried to place Kima into the scene but was arguing with itself to dispose of Kima or repair him further. Instead, more poorly reproduced Gatrubbians walked the corridors.
Captain Tervan of the Gatrubbian patrol ship /Requiem/ detected a ship that concerned him immediately. He contacted Sentinel Station with his concern and was patched through to Lieutenant Commander Valrenie of Tactical Operations. Captain Tervan shared that the ship was gifted to the Gatrubbian Fleet but it's artificial intelligence failed and the crew evacuated. It had become a harbinger of death. Varenie deployed a strike group to help Tervan destroy the threat.
Mahlon called on Ariana for a trip outside the Sphere. During their conversation, he was reassigned to meet up with Gatrubbian ship Requiem. Ariana was disappointed. Mahlon promised to call her when he was back at the station.
Requiem detected a life sign aboard the ship of interest. Tervan linked up with Strike Group Tiberius who were willing to follow the Gatrubbian captain's lead in dealing with the ship.
Xin was the target of interest of a senior officer aboard Dahk'let. She knocked him to the deck and left the bridge with a copy of it's scans of the Gorn system.
Toraith was reeling from the loss of his family. He felt Imgres was the only sympathetic ear aboard Axel and had no kind words for their former captain. Toraith and Quidano had rescued Chelsea while the captain did nothing. Bresa defended their former captain who they believed had escaped the ship before it blew up. Xin had the Dahk'let's sensor logs but their Clydesdale shuttle was not up to the task of tracking down the lost Work bees. Targa disliked the new Axel; a Gorn design with Federation styling. He made a point, as it's new engineer, of walking every square inch of it. It was up to Targa to keep their true identity hidden until they reached allies on the Gorn moon. The moon was desolate with a thin atmosphere and sparse vegetation. The shuttle detected high-decibel audio Toraith identified as music. It was a festival of debauchery called 'Crodie Graw'. Xin was taken aback despite her Risan heritage. Duke Faritha thanked his son Gromo as if the party had been organized specifically for his return to their home world.
T'Zora moved through the Batim Wellness Institute to the ground floor and into the lobby. It was devoid of patients and staff. The stench of rot was overwhelming. The cafeteria was littered with bodies. T'Zora speculated that deep meditation hid their life signs from whomever or whatever killed every living person at the Institute. Lyras suggested reprogramming an escape pod. She staggered through the bloody mess and into an escape pod.
In the six weeks since their arrival on the Gorn moon, the restored Duke Faritha provided the Axel crew with a new ship. It had a top speed of Warp 5 and required unfamiliar piloting techniques to fly the equivalent of Warp 8. They had all submitted themselves to medical scans to the Gorn medbot. Axel intercepted an escape pod bearing a single lifesign. Quidano guided it into the cargo bay where it could be safely opened.
Bresa and Toraith triggered it's egress protocol. T'Zora and Lyras bickered as they regained consciousness. They raced each other to the surface of their conflicted mind.T'Zora was taken to Sickbay. Axel's medbot did not have Vulcan physiology in it's database. After so long in the escape pod, she stunk even to Toraith's sense of smell. Toraith set her down in the small med bay. She was still covered in the remnants of the Institute's staff. The stench was typical of Vulcans. Bresa pulled rank and left Toraith to look after the Vulcan woman.
T'Zora set a bowl of tepid broth on the side table. She was undisturbed by her own nudity. There was no sense of privacy at the Institute. The medbot had scrubbed the blood off her body and from under her fingernails. She gave Bresa a rundown of the events at the Institute and her own escape. Bresa recommended a return to the Institute. T'Zora did not object.
Roxane returned to Seiklon Axel after too long an absence. She has never stopped writing and we are glad to have her back within our ranks.
Jason joined OH1/Axel. He is a long-time writer with Borderlands and has been a leading voice on Starbase Horizon.
Tabitha has been writing with DFA Cromwell for a while and has brought her new character, a motivated Kazon, to OH1.
Jorge has joined Borderlands as a former UFPI player. UFPI, Quadrant Delta and Borderlands splintered in 2000. We're honoured to have him with us.
A call went out to everyone about NaNo 2017 (National Novel Writer's Month) to everyone who writes within Star Trek: Borderlands. About half a dozen decided to try writing a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days.
2417.10.10.01 GORN "Risan prude"
—Doug responding to a Gorn free love festival that not even a Risan would participate in
2417.10.22.01 SNT Kal "Area of research: Don't say nanoprobes! Don't say nanoprobes!"
—You just know he wasn't going to keep it under wraps
Kal woke up several hours later in the sickbay of a DFA vessel with concussion and a scar down his neck from were the drone had thrown him.
"Why didn't they take me?" He asked the doctor half deliriously.
The talaxian doctor smiled at his patient "You were lucky, it was the Borg, they consider your species to be 'unworthy of assimilation'" he laughed "Wish we were."
—A patient being told the exact opposite of what he wanted to hear
Anna Maria came back from a break and jumped into several threads, Skel in the quake thread, the Timari captain, Husar manipulating the impressionable Kal. Her breadth of involvement is impressive.
Honourable mentions to Devon and Tabitha:
Ariana is a lynchpin character trying to explain a quake we all know is inexplicable. She is plucky and unafraid. She stood up to Quill. I had forgot about the shard given to Ariana by Sazz. It was a nice bit of continuiuty.
Tabitha has introduced a very well-written, interesting character in Kal. There is a great backstory. I am in eager anticipation of the mess Kal will make.
Seket met with the captain of the Kinat'Nu. She ordered him to carry cargo to Cardassia Prime. Her team within the Sphere managed to extract Builder technology. Timari warmed to Seket and offered to bring back the same quality of supplies back to the Sphere from her family.
Pleg's plans had gone awry. His merchant association died a quiet death. The silver lining was that Delmo was under investigation and no longer a competitor. He bellowed for his son after the youth left the table without permission. Lirka gently defended their son. Pleg softened under his wife's attention.
Pleg moved through the promenade with purpose. He sought out Husar. Their last venture to organize shopkeepers on the Promenade fell apart and Husar was left with the bill. Pleg was willing to gift half of the profit from his next venture to the woman. Pleg was in possession of self-sealing stembolts and needed a trader to take them to the surface. Husar immediately started an inventory of useless commodities to bulk up the shipment. Pleg wanted a legitimate trade to ingratiate himself to the Gatrubbian government. Husar mocked him as wearing a Federation uniform. Her contact had a good reputation among Cardassians and the Federation. She gave him the name Timari; captain of the Kinat'Nu.
Pleg approached the Kinat'Nu on Deck 39 to establish a rapport with the Gatrubbians. Timari did not greet Pleg in person. Name-dropping Husar did not give Pleg any credibility. Anyone working with Husar was presumed guilty; out to steal and swindle. Pleg reassured the captain that his honest reputation was the reason for seeking him out.
Seket convinced Ashon-Milyo to have a meal with her. It would be his first time in a Cardassian restaurant. They admired the traditional architectre as Seket intimidated the staff. She reassured the governor that despite it's brusque tone, she was being polite. Ashon-Milyo was content to drink water and chew cud.
Mirel agreed to a tour of Oka, the Gatrubbian capital city. Ashon-Milyo was excited to visit Oka and to open negotiations with the Kharians. Mirel shut that down immediately and deferred to Colonel Stoneclaw. The shuttle to the Sphere was set to depart the following morning. Graven Larant eagerly awaited the arrival of the government shuttle carrying Commander Mirel, Governor Pro Tempore Ashon-Milyo and chief scientist Lieutenant Commander Favor. The spaceport had finished construction weeks earlier and made entirely out of dismantled ships. The Gatrubbian government official explained that Oka means 'home' in their language and a fitting name for the capital of their settlement. The next major infrastructure project would be an undergrond mass transit system. Their expertise in geology was lost after generations of space travel. The station commander offered all needed assistance of the Starfleet's Corps of Engineers. Mirel waived off an offer of payment. Governor Ashon-Milyo wanted to discuss further trade. Grown agricultural products were in demand aboard the station's civilian population. After the Great Exodus, the idea of corporations became foreign. Mirel strongly recommended Federation economists provide guidance as the Gatrubbians moved to a free economy. The conversation turned to the separation of the Gatrubbian people.
A Q named Quill materiazed a room of spectators as he observed the Hope One Dyson Sphere. He shook the Sphere with his hands.
Lieutenant Commander Favor was the first to feel the tremor. Oka shook. The trade mission took cover as best they could. There was no history of quakes within the sphere. Commander Mirel called for immediate assistance from Sentinel Station. The dispatch centre for the settlement's security and safety was being overwhelmed. A tall building collapsed into an adjacent building. Several hundred were presumed injured. They made their way to the nearby government operations centre. While enroute the station commander offered immediate help with large-scale support from USS Daystrom. The first thing she needed was a place to land the scores of incoming craft carrying supplies.
Ensign Serota was found by an out-of-breath crewman to inform her of a quake within the Dyson Sphere. The young ensign ran for the first shuttle leaving Sentinel Station for Oka. She managed to find an open seat next to Lieutenant Avinbruch. The last time she had to rush to the Sphere, she ended up sitting on a crate aboard with Avinbruch in the pilot's seat.
Toraith's mother boarded the Dahk'let as part of the Gorn delegation. She questioned why they had been out of contact for so long. Duke Faritha pleaded that he had been assimilated. Bresa silenced Quidano; insulting a Klingon was expected but insulting a Gorn could lead to lost limbs. One of the Gorn grabbed his belly and moaned. Klang, Dahk'let's captain sensed danger and whisked the Axel crew out of the cargo hold. Moritha turned to the agonizing Gorn. Becko quickly moved in to disembowel the him. Against Toraith's protests, he was pulled through a hatch and Klang ordered sheilds raised. Momentarily the ship rocked from an explosion. Moritha, bait for her son and husband, was killed in the explosion along with the conspirators and members of Dahk'let's crew. Toraith picked Captain Klang four inches off the floor who unsheathed his dk'tahg and held it to the Gorn's neck. Targa fired a disruptor at his captain who went limp in Toraith's hands.
Elias watched the Dahk'let's cargo module flashed and spewed shrapnel and bodies. Seiklon Axel lost power under the persistent Gorn attack. A Gorn ship opened fire on the Seiklon Axel. Elias could feel his skin burning from the aciton weapon used by the Gorn. The last few members of the crew aboard made for the workbees as makeshift escape pods. The pulse phaser cannons did what little they could. He had one weapon left, the Axel itself.
Targa took command of the ship. The Axel crew filled stations as best they could. They were facing off against a Gorn Draguas-class cruiser. Bresa had assigned Xin the gunner's position which she quickly gave up to Toraith and took the spotter station. Kalo looked forward to the glorious battle with Axel's motley crew. Quidano handed the Duke a small data card slipped to him by Lady Moritha. Xin saw a workbee escape Axel. It was occupied but the sensor resolution was too poor to identify it's occupant. The Dahk'let began with a straffing run of the Gorn cruiser. Axel self-destructed causing heavy damage to the Gorn ship. A second work bee was detected through the anti-matter static. Targa demanded every bit of energy to the forward disruptor. The Klingons and Gorn aboard Dahk'let fought amongst themselves brandishing weapons. The Draguas-class cruiser turned away from the Klingons but Kalo kept the ship squarely aimed at the retreating cruiser. One last disruptor blast vapourized the Gorn ship.
Toraith and Faritha sat in the empty mess hall. Toraith had destroyed those responsible for his mother's death. Gromo, Toraith's brother was no responsible for the false charges. It was Dunde, Gromo's son who had aspirations for the Gojari estate. Klang demanded Bresa, his crew and Targa be thrown off the ship. Axel's shuttle was capable of Warp 2 and he was confident they'd find their way to Gromo. Bresa piloted the Clydesdale to one of Gornar's moons. Targa, exiled from his own ship, modified the warp signature to something more like a Lisepian supply ship.
Debby stepped back from OH1. We thank her for the years she's written with OH1 and Borderlands.
Charlotte has been on an extended leave of absence. We hope she comes back but has formally left OH1/Axel.
The new OH1 short novel New Enterprise was posted. The crew of SS Albatross take on a seemingly simple mission that does far more than tug on the crew's heartstrings.
Anna-Maria rode out Hurricane Irma. Rich helped distract her and she came through unscathed.
Captain's Logs as far back as 2012 are now online.
Doug was very involved behind the scenes. Axel has been helping it's Gorn crewman for the last few months. It was not a smooth ride and several characters were killed in the process. It was a really interesting story. Well done Doug.
Pleg was soothed by both her touch and her wisdom, but still he needed to tease her. With all politeness, he said. "I thought you said it wasn' your place to tell me how to run my business."
She turned her head slightly away, but smiled. "I am not a perfect wife."
—Rich with a bit of banter between Pleg and Lirka. Always enjoyable seeing the Pleg family's home life.
No player selected.
The chaos in the Promenade Medical Clinic continued. Marines escorted a discharged patient to his quarters. Another was hyposprayed and escorted to the brig.
Lieutenant Colonel Stoneclaw held a press conference. He promised to fully investigate the actions of the marines under his command. He confirmed that Battlegroup Agrippina had engaged a Borg Cube. Some doubts about the dedication of his marines was succinctly rebuked. His final statement was handing over all station security duties to another command.
Ashon-Milyo informed Commander Mirel that he had insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges. The evidence collected thus far was too much to close the investigation. It would linger over Mirel like a Dagger of Suv'tiS. Rather than return to Earth of Vaca VI, Ashon-Milyo would remain as Governor Pro Tempore. He had plans to resolve the discordant tone on the Promenade.
Quill observed the Hope One Dyson Sphere and thought of the delicious havoc he could cause.
Elias coordinated the search of the ship with Toraith and Reed. Reed received a kick to the face as he poked his head around a corner. She moved down a ladder directly into Toraith's path. Reed held the stowaway. She was a Starfleet deserter. Elias asked Reed to feed Kira and take charge of her.
Commander Mirel and Lieutenant Commander Bear reviewed the latest briefings from Starfleet Intelligence. The Gatrubbians were not a threat, less so now that most of the fleet had relocated to Crossroads Station. Bear was particularly concerned about his poor memory. Mirel's behaviour was erratic; she cursed and punched a wall. Bear had undergone a thorough exam by Chief Petty Officer Eiwan while aboard USS Daystrom. Mirel wanted another exam. Mirel demanded thorough exams of the two unconscious intelligence staffers as well.
Governor Pro Tempore Ashon-Milyo chatted with the station's new chief constable. It was a dramatic change from the previous security regime. Seket observed the change and was determined to get close to the new Promenade leadership. The governor recognized her from her intelligence jacket. She asked to share a meal with the governor where they could have a discussion in a less public place.
Bresa requested the Dahk'let under Commander Klang be neutral ground for negotiations with the Gorn over both Toraith and Duke Faritha. Klang would proudly serve as arbitor. Toraith was fearful of the Gorn negotiator, his own mother. She had trained, and nearly killed him, as a youngster. Bresa, Quidano and Xin would go aboard along with Toraith and his father. Imgres brought the shuttle from Seiklon Axel to dock with the Klingon freighter Dahk'let. Axel's crew were concerned how the Gorn would act, even under the watchful eye of the Klingon Empire. Enroute, Quidano expressed his desire for Xin... and his desire that she be more demure in her appearance. Xin suspected she had triggered the Garan's mating cycle. Xin had "dialed it back" as much as she could. Targa, the Dahk'let's first officer held a grudge against his self-important, mediocre captain. He and those of the security detail wore disruptors and small-bladed weapons better suited to the close confines of the cargo hold that would serve as the meeting ground. He sealed the forward section of the ship and checked the shield emitters. Klang saw the value of the ship in the flag it flew rather than the low-value cargo it carried. A strike against any Klingon ship was a strike against the Empire. Several Gorn, including Toraith's mother, boarded the Dahk'let. Klang had set a table of biologically-appropriate beverages and foods. There was no live food. All parties bantered with insults and snarls. Klang brought in additional crew to balance out the numbers in each party.
Zal beamed back aboard Albatross and faced his father. Zoss had observed his son during his time on-planet and decided the boy needed further training. The two would depart Albatross at the next port of call. Roquel awoke in Albatross' medical bay. Karbo had been looking after her since the landing party returned to the ship. Distance from the planet and neutralization of the mental effects of the Raeldra would aid her recovery. Albatross made it's way to Sentinel Station no richer than when it left. Noluk chastised Icmod as only a Vulcan could. Icmod tendered his resignation which Noluk dismissed as unnecessary. He and Roquel, Albatross' pilot, were both leaving the ship to pursue a quiet life together. Noluk gifted a set of old T'mur patches to the pair. They had survived it's destruction some years earlier. Zeno would be travelling with Icmod and Roquell to Crossroads Station. For the ship's engineer, it would close the circle on temporal continuity.
The Gatrubbians who remained within the Sphere named their capital 'Oka'. Ubanir Vimeg Graven Larant was left with a divided community and eager to reassure the Federation of the settlement's permanence. She scheduled a meeting with Commander Mirel. The two women were apprehensive about the other. The Gatrubbian schism and the Marine crackdown had put many people on edge. Graven reassured the station commander of her intent to deepen the relationship with the Federation and that Reader Kensen was not a mainstream voice of the Gatrubbian people. Mirel reassured Graven that there were no strings attached when the Hope One Dyson Sphere was offered as a home world. Mirel was offered an invitation to see Oka for herself. The new station governor was also welcome to visit. Lieutenant Commander Favor reached out to Commander Mirel to join her trade mission to the Gatrubbian settlement. He mused at how quickly the Gatrubbians convetred their ships into surface structures.
Commander Mirel brought the reactor core of Deep Space 21 online. Their support ship, USS McNamara, was attacked while the small team of engineers looked on, defenceless. Lieutenant Lethe identified the attackers as Kzinti. The new reactor would be quite a prize for the Kzinti. The duranium shell of the reactor was tougher than the Kzinti ship's interior. The engineers prepared to release the reactor's high-energy plasma as a poison pill. Their actions did not go unpunished and the reactor was sliced by disruptor fire killing everyone but the future CO of Sentinel Station.
Our roster has shrunk considerably. Tim left Borderlands for grad school. Roger left Borderlands because of real life commitments. After failure to respond to our emails, five additional players were finally removed from our roster.
SS Albatross ended it's last mission with the disolution of it's crew.
Ribbons were assigned to each player-of-the-month since the Fall of 2015. Several ribbons were redesigned and will be issued to players (inspired by Seiklon Axel) rather than charaters.
Devon finished editing the "Book of the Future". It's the length of a novel and took a lot of time and effort to turn hundreds of posts into a coherent, linear story.
Rich gave a very interesting in-character, in-story tour of the Dahk'let. Rather than simply describe the ship in the third person, we follow the disgruntled first officer moving through the ship. It sets the tension between himself and Commander Klang at the same time. Hinting of a future visit from a Q was tantalizing; especially when he described his own actions as "delicious havoc". We never did find out what was in Quidano's lap. ;)
The crew of Albatross settled on helping the Vegone liberate the captive Raeldra so important to their culture. The riots of earlier in the afternoon subsided into routine amongst the colonists. The Albatross crew finalized their plans within sight of the Raeldra holding pens. Zal suggested a distraction. Roquel was enamoured with her rebel leader. The settlement would be in chaos once the liberation of Raeldra began. Zal took a position in a ditch two kilometres from the Raeldra holding pens. He lobbed several grenades at the Akritirian settlement breaching it's perimeter. Jillido came across a jumpy sentry named Pel. Pel and Lirin were subdued easily by the Orion.
The colonial governor was awoken from his sleep by the cacophony of the released Raeldra. Daiken, a staffer in the governor's office was struggling. Pelira calmed him, told him to organize fire brigades. Pelira realized that the Albatross crew was behind it.
Sezha Drayka was with the Albatross crew within the settlement, attempting to calm the panicked Raeldra. He was knocked unconscious. Without the calming influence, the full brunt of the panic set upon Roquel's mind. Icmod called for medical assistance.
A new operations officer chatted up a man whose family had a long history with the Blues. Le Rodeur showed off his mid-twentieth century Gibson that shone like a Risan sun. Odell asked Le Rodeur to show his chops. The latter filled the bar with loud sexy sound. Seket thought it sounded like a zabu in pain.
Battlegroup Agrippina summed the losses. USS Invigilator was boarded by drones and self-destructed. Other Strike Groups suffered 50% damage. The Cube had lost all propulsion to buy USS Discovery more time.
Eiwan was working quickly to launch a repair mission to Lighthouse before she was bogged down in repairs to Battlegroup Agrippina. Ensign Le Rodeur was excitedly signing to himself. The chief was unfamiliar with the style. Le Rodeur was singing the Blues; a music borne out of hard times. The ensign was looking for like-minded musicians to bring style to an audience on Sentinel.
Elias and Xin moved their conversation from the second officer's quarters to the lounge. Elias felt a spell had been cast over him. He cut short their conversation to clear his head.
Several people entered the Promenade Clinic with injuries from the riot. One person fell through the archway into the clinic. Doctor Butler called for security and additional medical personnel. Doctor Cranshaw was stopped on his way to the civilian clinic on the Promenade by Marines in their ongoing security crackdown. Marines entered the clinic to offer assistance. The doctor wanted calm restored so that the patients could be quickly treated and released. The Marines had not responded to Butler's call for help. They had been dispatched to identify troublemakers seeking refuge in the clinic.
Gral stood outside Sushi Bar watching the commotion on the Promenade. He debated abandoning his post to buy something sweet from the Gatrubbian's shop.
Komara strolled around the Promenade during his lunch break. The news consoles broke to Reader Kensen aboard the Mukrala. He announced the Commonwealth of the True Readers and their separation from the tyrannical bureaucracy of the United Federation of Planets. The Nothran system and it's Crossroads Station would serve as the new home of the Gatrubbian peoples. Reader Kensen reaffirmed the open borders of the Gatrubbian Commonwealth to the Federation as well as other Alpha Quadrant powers.
Starfleet Intelligence compiled a report on the Gatrubbian situation identifying Reader Kensen as the de facto head of government with no known criminal background nor association with the Nal'Gaharay. Nothran is the site of Crossroads Station believed to be sourced from a temporal loop on the edge of Federation space.
During a meeting between Lieutenant Bear and his staff, a pair of staffers came to blows over accusations of infidelity. Bear subdued the two and called for medical assistance.
Toraith admitted his hatred for his own father. He planned to steal historical artifacts and family heirlooms. Elias and Chelsea refused to be roped into the Gorn's scheme.
Duke Faritha continued to negotiate with a Gorn bureaucrat. The nuance of the discussion was lost on Axel's bridge crew. Reed was concerned that denial ofthe Duke's existence was political. Wimpy, the Gorn bureaucrat lost patience and demanded the return of Toraith on tax evasion charges. Bresa stood up for Toraith as a valued member of Axel's crew and used his position in the Gatrubbian government to extend diplomatic protections to his Gorn enforcer. Wimpy closed the channel when he realized the negotiation was above his pay grade.
Elias and Chelsea reviewed the ship's supplies while the bridge worked with the Gorn government. They were short a crate of meat and one of water. Elias heard movement behind him. A woman burst out of a storage container and ran for cover. He called for assistance while he armed himself with a small Bajoran phaser. The girl pulled the panel off a ventilation and shaft and crawled in before Elias could take a shot. Toraith and Reed reached the cargo hold. Toraith made a comment about a live dinner and had to reassure the chief officer he was kidding. One of the three would have to follow through the ventilation shaft while the other circles to possible exits.
Toraith and Faritha argued in Gorn which none of the crew understood. It seemed that the Duke was commenting on the lack of combat skill among the crew. Toraith made sure to mention beating Elias in a boxing match some months earlier. Xin questioned the Gorn legal system. The Duke needed to prove he was alive. Toraith could not submit to an examination without being arrested. It would fall to a third party to negotiate the situation. Potential negotiators included the Nausicaans, Letheans and Klingons. A Klingon transport was their best option.
Noluk was exiled from Vulcan for his use of trellium. The emotional neurological effects were antithetical to Surak's teachings. Noluk was abandoned by nearly everyone he knew. Selek presented Noluk with an aged frontier science vessel, the T'mur. Selek recommended the Delta Quadrant as a destination. The Geroch Wormhole was newly discovered. It was a gateway to new worlds and new experiences.
July was a quiet month. As a group, we only wrote 12,200 words.
Across the Threshold was posted to the OH1 website; short fiction page. It's our second short novel. It follows the crew of USS Daystrom investigating the loss of communication with a research outpost.
Thomas joined OH1 and left a couple of weeks later. Writing a PBEM RPG wasn't his style. He was wow'd by the group's creativity.
Inspired by S'Task, players were asked to write flashbacks for their characters. At the end of August, Rich, Richard and Kevin will pick their favourites.
2417.07.08.01 AXEL Quidano "Who Understands Gorn?"
—a question we have all asked ourselves (Rich)
2417.07.15.03 AXEL Wink "let me get my supervisor"
—doesn't even scratch the surface of the confusion that is Gorn bureaucracy (Doug)
Kevin expanded the OH1 universe with the galactic politics of the Gatrubbian people. The Gatrubbians will definitely become a force of change and conflict. Kevin is the first player to post a flashback of his character.
Honourable mention to Rich for his strong development of Roquel. There is a lot of emotional depth to this character.
Vos Edors wandered around the Promenade at mid-day befre reporting for his first shift. He read a book from Ancient America and appreciated the diverse, multi-cultural environment. He was assigned as a patrolman until his Investigative Specialist Certificate was approved and he was assigned as an investigator. He was looking over a crate with doctored shipping records containing contraband saepionite artifacts. It had been left by two persons known to be involved in smuggling. The owner of the crate was Delmo, a business owner with good ties to the Johvan community.
Pleg and Lirka arrived at Sushi Bar before the guests. Delmo was stuck with Seket as a distraction as Pleg and Husar prepared to sit down with Governor Kal-Nar. Pleg raised a toast as the governor arrived.
Delmo waited for Sentinel Station's civilian governor. Seket was the first guest to arrive. Delmo offered a variety of waters with Seket choosing the most expensive bottle of red wine instead. Delmo wanted to welcome his guests from the entrance after seeing a grey-skinner business owner walk past. Seket convinced him to follow a Cardassian custom of welcoming guests from a position of honour well away from the entrance. Seket let slip (wink) that Husar was a criminal of the most vile sort. The Bolian was apalled.
Ensign Edors and Chief Rand decided to question Delmo about the contraband artifacts and discovered the Bolian's political aspirations. Vos believed Delmo was being framed or blackmailed. Delmo was willing to speak to the investigators. Delmo had an excellent relationship with Johvan traders including his restaurant and spa. The two people handling the crate had a long criminal record. As the security officers left the restaurant, two men entered through a side entrance.
Dream read the Starfleet Intelligence file on herself. She was wanted by the Tal Shiar, Obsidian Order and Section 31. She slipped through security when she arrived at Sentinel Station and made her way to Seiklon Axel. She hugged an unsuspecting Imgres. She asked for the news and recieved a short list of everything new aboard the ship. Toraith saw a human with her arm around Imgres and pounced. Dream easily evaded the Gorn.
Admiral Leval completed his treatments. Doctor Butler provided a 72-hour booster.
Reed was excited at the prospect of joining the crew of Seiklon Axel.
A Federation News Network retorspective on the 21st Marine Expeditionary Force. Their good deeds were weighed against their heavily-armed presence aboard Sentinel Station under hard-liner Lieutenant Colonel Gravor of the Stoneclaw. Yellow-striped security forces were augmented more and more by marine green.
The Voyager Initiative was a project to introduce the Delta Quadrant to the best cadets at Starfleet Academy. A group of cadets debarked at Sentinel Station for field deployment. Cadet Skylar Calimo would serve aboard USS Discovery as soon as transport was available. In the meantime he and Cadet Kira Raine looked for a restaurant. Kira aired doubts natural to people so young being deployed to the furthest reaches of the Federation. She would serve aboard USS Daystrom. While double-fisting his meal, he received orders to report to Major Washington aboard USS Hunter.
Mukrala remained in orbit even after most other Gatrubbian ships were grounded. Reader Kensen remained aboard believing that his people were not destined to settle within the Sphere. Ligshuk was confident in the Sphere being a new home for the Gatrubbian people. Boan spoke with Ligshuk about negotiations with powers besides the Federation.
Talo Thrace was set to become the captain of a cadet training mission aboard USS Daystrom. Admiral Leval inquired if the young Kobali was ready. The Voyager Initiative would gives cadets exposure to the Delta Quadrant in anticipation of their post-graduate deployments. The cadet training squad would choose it's own name. Ensign Vos would vet each cadet before boarding.
Lieutenant Commander Michaels met with Commander Mirel regarding accusations. The judge advocate provided few details as to the scope of her investigation.
Elias, Chelsea and Toraith entered Axel's holotheatre. It was a temple with a statue of S'Yahazah surrounded by candles and broken eggshell. S'Yahazah is the revered mother of Gorn mythology. Elias was touched by Toraith's sharing of his culture. Toraith quickly dispelled that notion by stating he was agnostic although he did pray just in case she was real. Inside a compartment within the temple was a room of artifacts that would be easier to steal. Elias was shocked. Toraith was already wanted on his planet. Toraith explained the monetary value of the items to Chelsea as the ship's financial officer. The artifacts were the property of his father, Duke Faritha, whom he hated.
Roquel began to recover from the events in the fighting arena. Icmod helped her to her feet. The Vegone had disappeared. She realized that the Akritirians felt a high as the raeldra were slaughtered. Zoss and Zal joined Icmod and the rest of Albatross' crew. The nearby crowd was becoming violent. Icmod wanted to stay on-planet. Roquel also decided to stay. The Albatross away team went in search of answers amongst the native peoples of the planet. It didn't take long to locate a Vegone settlement. There were no apparent guards nor sentries. A lone Vegone stepped out into the open. Zoss unshrouded and stood between the Vegone and the away team, Zal was positioned as rearguard. Icmod told the pair of Jem'Hadar to stand down and approached the Vegone. The Vegones asked the Albatross crew to follow past ritual burials. Zoss was clear that he acted in self-defence and would not be guilted. Icmod apologized to the Vegone Sezha; the healer. Icmod and Roquel wanted to stop the continued slaughter of raeldra by the Akritirians. Zoss had made a connection the raeldra in the ring who begged to be killed rather than continue it's pain. Zoss returned to Albatross while Zal refused to abandon his crew and the native on-planet.
Ariana brought hyposprays to Engineering to further inoculate the crew against the effects of borayon radiation. She was also concerned about how the radiation affected Lieutenant Bear's positronic brain. The intelligence officer was questioning the Loukassan scientist. It was practically an intervention. The android resented and questioned Ariana's motives. Eiwan's role as chief engineer gave her the same powers as the ship's chief medical officer to determine competency. Ariana convinced the three-foot android. Ariana replicated a pair of goggles that Bear could wear. The inoculant would be absorbed through the android's optical sensors.
Campada asked to speak to the collected science complement of USS Daystrom. Lieutenant Commander Favor lead a debrief in the conference room. He wondered why, with warp technology having nearly reached it's asymtotic limit, transwarp was still an active area of research. Campada informed the crew of USS Daystrom that their theories would allow for instataneous travel between any two points along a transwarp conduit. It was Iconian-level technology. The Loukassan physicist believed a positive feedback look collapsed the conduits and could only speculate at his own survival. Lieutenant Bear wondered aloud the Cronin involvement. Campada was adamant that the Cronin had no part in the research. He was confident he would be assigned to another Starfleet research station to continue his work. It would be left to diplomats to smooth over any loss of face with the Cronin if their ships were caught up in the explosion.
Elias chatted with Xin in her quarters. The chief officer spoke at length about Axel's new shuttle. Xin wondered if he was in her quarters seeking relationship advice. She asked if Elias was looking to deepen his relationship with the captain. The misunderstanding sent Elias on a tirade and he promptly left the room. Elias drank with Alton enroute to the Gorn home world. Alton had to reach /far/ back into the cabinet to fetch Kharian tonic water for his former captain. Seiklon Axel would be returning to the Alpha Quadrant, a place it hadn't been in years. They would steer well clear of Klingon space. Axel had gotten into trouble while still under Captain Korav's leadership. Bresa joined the pair and discussed how the crew was reacting to their new roles. Xin entered the lounge to find Elias watching a vid drama about a brother wrongly accused of killing the Federation Vice President. The former captain liked underdog stories like David and Goliath, Bajor versus Cardassia. It was a driver in the selection of a Bajoran shuttle. The Clydesdale-class transport was what Axel really needed: cargo space, warp capability, tractor beam. It and Axel were a perfect match.
Bresa sat in the captain's chair as Seiklon Axel passed the Lighthouse and entered the Geroch Wormhole. Reed had not been in the Alpha Quadrant in eight years. The whole crew admired the wormhole as it blossomed open like a multi-petaled flower awash in colours seen nowhere else in the galaxy. Axel made it through undamaged. Reed struck up a conversation with Quidano, a Delta Quadrant native. His past as part of the Nal'Gaharay gave him a strong sense of species staying on their own sides of the galaxy. Exploration lead inevitably to invasion and supression. Reed had distanced himself from Federation policy. He preferred the DFA's policies to those of the UFP who had given itself a free hand in the DQ. Quidano apologized to stealing Reed's ship to rescue Chelsea. Reed was not holding a grudge.
Seiklon Axel reached Gornar quickly and without incident. Captain Bresa deferred to Duke Faritha to make contact. A representative of the Hegemony Legal Defense Ministry confirmed the Duke was dead.
Lieutenant Colonel Stoneclaw informed Commander Mirel about Battlegroup Aggripina coming through Sentinel's sector. A Borg Cube was detected at long-range in the vicinity of USS Discovery. Some elements would remain behind to provide security to the station and the Gatrubbians settling the Sphere. Mirel checked on the added security on the Promenade. Increased contraband required a firmer hand that the Marines were more than willing and able to lend. Mirel asked the Marines to sweep cargo areas to improve their monitoring of suspected shipments. The station had the capacity to closely monitor 15% of all cargo. She needed to increase that to 30%. Stoneclaw asked about the political difficulties that would arise.
Marines manned several checkpoints throughout the civilian sections of Sentinel Station. There was a constant stream of traffic from the docking bays to the Promenade. Two humans decided to go around the crowd they presumed was a protest or gathering. The two Federation citizens expressed their distate for their ill treatment. When a Marine placed his hand on a civilian, several others stepped out of line. The crowd became vocal when a civilian fell against the force field and was pushed back to the crowd. The Marines responded with low-intensity stuns and reinforcements.
Warrant Officer Bogaert got permission from Eiwan to modify a runabout to a new warp core design being implemented in the next generation of ships.
Major Washington waited until the room had been scanned for eavesdropping devices before discussing omega-level technology aboard the runabout. The technology was a completely new warp engine design being implemented in the next generation of starships. Bogaert understood the Major's subtext about relying a bunch of cadets against the Borg. Washington was also concerned about hand-delivering such technology to the Borg. The runabout would tag along with Battlegroup Aggripina and be deployed as the Battlegroup engaged the Borg Cube. It would rendezvous with USS Discovery with whom Outpost Hope One had lost contact.
As Battlegroup Aggripina approached the Cube, USS Zambezi was released to rendez-vous with USS Discovery. It's new warp engine configuration fired without a hiccup. It's nacelles flared bright blue as the tiny craft exceeded Warp 8 in a spaceframe and engine designed for Warp 5.
The Battlegroup moved against the cube with a variety of ship classes. Smaller Strike Groupd approached the Cube and attacked with a variety of tactics. The success of each would determine subsequent waves of attack. A burrowing polaron beam by Brazier Strike Group proved effective. Vaquero Flight moved in quickly to deploy the Battlegroup's real weapon. The small fighter craft would be low on the priority of Borg weapons with USS Mizelka offering cover. On contact, a singularity formed on the surface of the Cube. Space distorted towards it's point of contact.
Nothing of note.
2417.06.05.01 AXEL Reed "I won't let this turn out like the last time"
—The last time meaning Reed's ship being stolen by members of Axel's crew. So far, so good.
"My mistake." Xin pulled the blanket more tightly around her.
"Oh, now, Miss Flaunt It, don't act all coy now!" Elias challenged at seeing her actions. "You answer the door in a clingy satin robe that hides NEXT TO NOTHING. Then we have a long talk in a closed room with very little pretense at modesty. What's changed?" Again he gestured emphatically with his hand, this time tossing it outward toward the wall. "DO NOT EVEN PRETEND that you don't LIKE the attention." With his tirade over, he stepped back from her and crossed his arms, waiting.
—Elias with Xin in her quarters as written by Rich
Tim was heavily involved in several stories this month. On New Enterprise, there was a very spirited argument between Zoss and Zal, father and son, about their responsibility to the Vergone natives. In the end, Zoss returned to Albatross while Zal stayed with the Albatross crew to lead an attack against the Akritirian colony. He lead Battlegroup Agrippina against a Borg Cube in an effort to delay it's intercept of USS Discovery. It was a victory despite the loss of several Starfleet vessels. The Cube will take some time to repair the damage caused by a singularity. Tim is also instrumental in the civilian crackdown that has resulted in injuries. The ongoing investigation of Commander Mirel is complicated by the civil unrest. Thank you Tim for being so involved this month.
Honourable mention to Skylar who came to Outpost Hope One with a story that ties directly to USS Discovery. It's nice to see the events in sibling duty stations influence each other.
Marines monitored passengers and crews boarding Sentinel Station. Gavin questioned a Marine about the increased security and reluctantly presenting his identification and his right hand, palm-up. A flash and smoke filled the corridor. Gavin dropped to the ground, a blade in his hand. Pleg came along side and offered a way past the checkpoint. Marines looked through the space with tachyon emitters to look for personal cloaking devices. Gavin questioned Pleg's motives who was hoping to earn a favour from the traveller.
While speaking with Varg, several ships of Cronin design entered USS Daystrom's sensor range. Trensu questioned Varg's motives who swore he was the only chance for a peaceful resolution. Favor registerd a ping on sensors and wondered if the ships were engaged in a search operation. Doctor Theophilus reported an innoculant to counter the boryan radiation permeating the ship. Daystrom's captain ordered the helm to reach what appeared to be an escape pod ahead of the Cronin ships. USS Arbalest was dispatched to assist but was still an hour away. The pod was small, short-range and carried a single occupant. As soon as the pod was in range, it was beamed into the cargo hold and it's occupant directly to Sickbay. Daystrom then set a course at it's maximum speed for Sentinel Station. The captain realized the Cronin would pursue them even more that they had a survivor aboard. Varg hurled an insult at the retreating USS Daystrom.
The occupant of the escape pod materialized in Sick Bay. Ariana recognized the species as Loukassan. He had spent days in a pod depleted of breathable air. Campada awoke with a start and recognized his doctor and Ensign Serota as human. Doctor Theophilus reassured him he was safe and that she was actively countering the effect of borayon radiation. Campada stated that his planet had been occupied by a faction of Cronin who were a generally chaotic species. The Campada were compelled to maintain Cronin ships captured from the time they rebelled against the Solimenti.
Delmo moved from storefront to storefront engaging their owners in conversation. Seket noticed the Bolian and decided to tag along. Delmo tried to ignore the Cardassian woman at first. He was adamant he had an invitation for her as well and would prefer to hand deliver them. Seket offered to introduce the shopkeeper around the Promenade. In one interaction with a spice-and-oil dealer, Seket took it upon herself to speculate on the Promenade's future of higher rents and corruption. The Cardassian offered to distribute Delmo's pamplets for him.
Husar stepped into Pleg's shop while Gral was stocking fake Gatrubbian statuettes. Lirka was unaware of her husband's venture but played her part as good Ferengi wife. Pleg had learned that Governor Kal-Nar was invited to an evening meeting with Promenade shopkeepers at Delmo's invitation. Pleg assumed Husar was prepared to order Delmo's execution. Her links to the Scravvan families gave her almost as much power as the Obsidian order. Another option was to frame him for smuggling on behalf of the Kharians including a few sloppily coded communications. A couple of expendable lackeys would be caught with biogenic weapons. It was not going to go well for Delmo.
Groud and Durk stopped to check the heavy crate they were carrying matched their instructions. They had been told to pick up the box on dock two. Durk had second thoughts about not using a grav sled and was reminded by Groud that spoonheads were as cheap as Ferengi. Durk speculated the contents were valuable contraband. Their curiousity got the better of them. Seket watched the pair over a security camera. As Durk reached into the crate, Groud slammed the lid and ran for his life. He yelled over his shoulder he was going to pick up a grav sled but was already on his way to the next freighter leaving the station. Durk wandered away. The partially opened crate was left in the open with Delmo's name on the shipping manifest.
Husar inspected the Sushi Bar before the guests arrived. She wore a dress that sent a statement of wealth and power. She asked a number of clipped questions without allowing Gaspar to answer any of them fully. She told the restauranteur that Pleg was footing the bill. The Ferengi entrepreneur and his wife arrived first. The lady Lirka wore a diaphanous dress that barely covered her.
Special Inspector Ashton-Milyo met with Admiral Leval to hear his opinion on Commander Mirel. The Vulcan admiral found her to be a competant and dedicated administrator. He also met with Judge Advocate Melinda Michaels to discuss any open investigations against the station commander.
Governor Kal-Nar took a break from the pile of padds on his desk. He found Delmo waiting in a back corridor and pressed a silent alarm. Delmo began politicking and the governor agreed to a town hall that evening. It was an incredible opportunity for the Bolian.
Charles Goodwin entered the smoke-filled 'Pit and Dagger Cantina'. He placed a few bars of latinum on the counter and asked for the Dream. He found her in a back room with her feet on the table. She dismissed the well-dressed man. He responded with double her usual rate. He was looking for a woman named Valeria. She had stolen something from his family. Dream asked if he needed time to gather the funds. Charles tried to keep the offense out of his voice; money wasn't an issue. Dream admitted that she was Valeria. Charles doubted her claim. Dream offered her bottle for a genetic comparison aginst whatever Charles had of Valeria. Dream remembered what she had stolen: engine schematics; the elder Goodwin's life's work. Dream kicked up the table she had been resting her feet on and shot Charles and his two bodyguards with a heavy stun. She collected the reward of finding Valeria from Charles' pockets, tossed the bartender a few bars for his trouble and disappeared. Again.
Admiral Leval walked into Sickbay weak and with a headache that would down a sehlat. Doctor Butler dropped what she was doing and began examining the sector commander. The growth in the admiral's brain was found quickly. He was concerned with recuperation time given all that was happening in and around the station. He was typical of all Starfleet officers, hard to get into Sickbay and nearly impossible to keep there. She gave Leval a hypospray to temporarily alleviate the symptons. His next visit would be an overnight stay while nanites removed the growth.
Bresa was called to the Gatrubbian settlement within the sphere. He was the center of attention as he walked through the spaceport. Egira invited the time traveller to the opening of a new temple attended by several prominent Readers. What he most wanted was to see Ligshuk again. She and her father had a home on the outskirts of the settlement. When Bresa had finished his meeting, Ligshuk was waiting for him in the lobby of the government building. They decided to attend the Readings. It had been a long time since Bresa set foot in a temple. Kalana welcomed them and told Bresa he had heard many stories of the last of the Voci family to live on Gatrubbe. Kalana was a direct descendant of Bana Voci, Bresa's brother.
Dvir told Elias he was leaving Seiklon Axel as soon as the ship docked with Sentinel Station.
Captain Pigg would justify the actions of Quidano and Toraith by their success. It was more than he had done himself. He reported Chelsea's kidnapping to a marine desk sergeant. They also reported the theft of the Cyclone. The group were referred to Lieutenant Colonel Stoneclaw, task force commander. Johnson provided a statement beginning with aiding Axel during an attack. His ship was then stolen by two members of Axel's crew. The colonel did not deem the theft as a general threat to travel and trade. Captain Johnson reserved his right to press charges on the condition of his ship when it was returned. He understood the motivation for stealing the ship and could not fault it. Pigg described the attack and kidnapping. Stoneclaw needed more than the Elias' accusations to pursue things further. Elias presented evidence that showed planetary bombardment by retired, and presumed stolen, Starfleet ships against the planet Thela. Elias himself was a target to be returned for a mock tral in front of the Setlin Commerce Guild. The Marine CO agreed to dispatch a squadron to intercept Eugene and recover Reed's ship. He agreed with Elias' decision to not further risk his entire crew to save a single individual and, instead, ask the Marines for help. Both Bresa and Reed gave reassuring getures to the guilt-stricken captain.
Duke Faritha thanked Captain Pigg for taking care of his son and offered a generous payment to take the two back to the Gorn home world. Pigg was determined to repair his ship and pursue Chelsea's captor. Xin and Imgres hoped to repair the ship well enough to reach Sentinel Station under it's own power. The crew dreaded the idea of being towed. Noluk also declined the Duke's offer. Reed Johnson barged into Pigg's quarters demanding answers about his stolen ship. The Cyclone was capable of warp 8.5. Elias winced knowing neither his ship nor Albatross would catch it. The captain said he would declare the ship stolen if Toraith and Quidano didn't return it undamaged. The Duke apoligized for his son; not on behalf of his son, for his son.
With Chelsea rescued and aboard the Cyclone, Serosian raiders decided to move in. Chelsea came to, to find Quidano and Toraith standing over her. When the raiders boarded, they offered the Axel crew free passage if they laid down their weapons. Toraith believed they were sent my Eugene to recapture his ship. Toraith grabbed a fire extinguisher intending it as a blunt, improvised weapon before Quidano told him what it really was. Toraith stalled by asking the raiders about their culture. As soon as the Serosians started their attack, Toraith moved in and bit down on the lead raider. Quidano came out of a side compartment and engaged the raiders from the side. He knocked one down before taking a disruptor blast to the chest. Toraith was shot as well before Chelsea, in her drugged state, fired a phaser at it's highest setting against the last Serosian. In the end, the Axel crew were the ones left standing.
The crew of the Serosian raider began to worry when their boarding party did not check in. Toraith beamed onto the raider and quickly dismembered the remaining two pirates. With it's crew dead, the ship self-triggered a self-destruct forcing the Gorn to escape back to the Cyclone.
Vaquero Flight arrived and offered assistance to the damaged Cyclone. A recovery team beamed aboard Cyclone. The lead marine asked Quidano and Toraith to identify themselves and then placed them under arrest. When Toraith threatened the Marines, he was shot with a heavy stun.
Elias surveyed the Axel shuttle bay. It had an occupation-era Bajoran raider, a grav truck and a Kobali shuttle. He liked the pair of versatile workbees that could be endlessly configured. He needed a proper shuttle. Seiklon Axel's new Chief Officer moved the two workbees to the shuttle bay and brought a third aboard.
Elias was perusing small craft at 'The Motorpool' and immediately liked the Clydesdale-class shuttle. They had been workhorses of the Federation for decades according to Lieutenant Caspin Mudd, great grandson of Harry Mudd. The interior was configured for eight seats along with a replicator and lavatory. The control board was covered in scores of buttons; not like modern shuttles with endless submenus. Elias regretted that he had sunk his funds into a 2332 Bajoran raider. It was perfect for a history buff. Those shuttles were collectors items. Mudd wondered aloud about selling to a Cardassian collector and accepted a straight up swap.
While working in Axel's shuttlebay trying to accomodate the new shuttle and the existing workbees, Elias received word that the Cyclone had been recovered. Chelsea was aboard a Starfleet ship, safe and sound. Imgres received the same message and offered his Chief Officer a thumbs up. Elias realized he as an ineffective leader and didn't belong in the captain's chair. Elias had earlier spent 30 minutes conveying his condolences to Chelsea's parents. Without preamble, he announced his resignation as Captain of Seiklon Axel to Bresa and Xin. Bresa would be the ship's new captain and Elias would retire to a home with a white picket fence. In the short term, Elias would stay aboard as a mentor.
Chelsea stopped by Elias' quarters. He saw the faded bruising and apologized. She knew the Arvonians would not give up until they had Elias in prison. He openly cried at his own failures; he could not have done what Toraith and Quidano did. Chelsea was shocked that Elias gave up what he loved: being a captain. Elias didn't say that he loved Chelsea more than being captain.
Bresa decided to adjust the titles and responsibilities of the crew. Elias would become it's Chief Officer in charge of deck operations. Bresa offered Xin the position of Second Officer with bridge duties. Elias liked his new captain's ideas. Bresa also wanted to add a Third Officer. Elias mused about who could fill the roll when Bresa threw a curve ball and suggested Toraith. Bresa appreciated the Gorn's drive to save Chelsea. Elias suggested Quidano but Bresa disagreed. When informed, Toraith immediately asked for a sash. Xin stepped into the role immediately offering to have crew evaluations on the captain's desk the following morning.
Reed Johnson had been in the same situation as Elias Pigg. The latter captain would recover in time. Reed decided not to press charges. The Cyclone was in bad shape. Elias offered his own share of Seiklon Axel's profits until the damage was repaired. And the share of a crew member as well. Elias didn't feel right collecting his fee on a mission where he lost Chelsea. With Reed's ship needing repairs, he could tag along with Axel's crew in the meantime. Axel had a good reputation os earning enough for 'gas'. Captain Pigg enjoyed the adventure all the more. Toraith was brought into the shuttle bay restrained and muzzled. The Duke removed the muzzle so that Toraith could apologize.
With Bresa taking command of Seiklon Axel and a crew shuffle, the ship was left without a pilot. Reed Johnson was willing to fill that role. The indepedent captain had expected to remain aboard Sentinel Station while his ship was repaired. He had been on Cyclone alone for eight years. He knew every position. Chelsea would show Johnson to his new quarters. It meant a lot to the new pilot to be a part of a crew again.
The crew of Albatross beamed down to the colony on New Enterprise. It was a boom town of pre-fab structures and a physical wall separating it from the outside wilderness. Icmod seemed to appreciate it whereas everyone else was surprised at it's rustic style. Pelira welcomed the crew to his home. He invited the crew to the Raeldra busting competition that evening. Raeldra were a native horned animal described as projecting and indomitable spirit. Icmod asked about the colony's relationship with the native species. Pelira brushed aside the question. Raeldra were hunted and used for sport. The beasts were worn down and bled upon a field as a public spectacle. Zoss and Roquel reacted with disgust. Icmod played the diplomat and Jillido was indifferent.
Before the Albatross crew could settle in, the colony was attacked by the native Vegones. Locals unholstered weapons and ran towards the site of the attack. Zoss and Zal joined the defenders while the rest of the crew took shelter. The walls of the settlement looked they would collapse momentarily. There was no organized defence. The Human and Akritirian colonists fired their low-powered phaser rifles until the locals 'skedaddled'. The pair of Jem'Hadar vapourized a tree sending several natives running. They became defacto commanders of the settlement's defence and ordered the colonists to deny the natives cover. The vegetation was shredded and the Vegones ran off. Several were picked off for sport by the colonists. Zoss informed Icmod that the locals were intelligent beings.
Icmod and the Albatross crew say on wooden benches surrounding the raeldra fighting arena. It looked like the ancient rodeos once held on Earth. Jillido saw New Enterprise as a money-making venture for his old Orion Syndicate bosses. Shenara braced for the fight wishing she could face one of the fearsome creatures in face-to-face combat. Roquel was conflicted. She did not like the idea of blood sport but this was the mission she picked on behalf of Captain Noluk. An Akritirian walked to the center of the ring welcoming the distinguished guests from Albatross. Three colonists entered the ring claiming to be able to wrangle even the wildest beasts. Roquel felt physically uncomfortable as a raeldra fought against it's handlers. It knew it was going to die in the ring. The Akritirian spectators whooped and hollered and beat the heals of their boots in a steady rhythm-the drumbeat of death. Jillido wished he had placed bets on the contest. The raeldra avoided the people in the ring and tore for the fences looking for an escape. Icmod recommended they leave but Roquel was glued to her seat. She spoke in words that didn't seem her own, distant, in a sing-song voice. Roquel slipped to the ground speaking for the raeldra, pleading for help. The crowd roared as the beast was speared multiple times. One of the fighters was gored and ground into the dirt. The pain of the raeldra, through Roquel, was beginning to wash over Icmod as well. Roquel fell to the ground and spotted one of the planet's natives beneath the stands. They were sharing the same experience. Roquel coughed up blood as the raeldra was raking along it's side with a lance.
At a distance, Zoss felt a physical reaction to the fight in the ring. His body responded as if it was in the fight: sweating, twitching extremities, visceral rage. Zoss and Zal had no sense of love, fear, compassion or sadness and could only feel the death struggle of the raeldra. Zoss armed himself ready to shoot every single colonist in the area. He aimed the reticle squarely on the thrashing raeldra and took aim. A single bright lance struck the raeldra on the forehead. It lasted only a millisecond and the beast fell forward, dead. The Akritirians, deprived of psychic, endorphin-inducing stimulus fell the ground in agony before mania and panic set in.
Randy scaled back his writing duties to just three duty stations (from five). Rich and I and everyone within OH1 and the Axelverse appreciate his contributions. He's going to miss us.
Pamela returned to Borderlands from too long an absence.
Guillaume joined OH1; brand new to Borderlands. His security officer will try to bring order to a very disorderly station.
Callib, currently writing for USS Discovery, joined OH1 and will lead a cruise of acting ensigns.
As a group, we wrote 39,700 words.
2417.05.14.03 CYC - Quidano "Explosions Come To Those Who Wait"
The Akritirians in the stands started whooping and hollering for the spectacle that was about to commence. Many of them removed a boot and used the heal of it to pound on the the rail before them or the bench at either side. After 20 - 30 seconds those who had done so settled into a steady rhythm - the drumbeat of death.
—as described by Rich
Rich put so much into his writings in May. The character of Elias Pigg (formerly Paul Gorgon) has been evolving and this month had a turning point after the abduction of Chelsea. He had a crisis of identity and stepped back from the captaincy of Seiklon Axel to take on a new role with enthusiasm and a sense of purpose. He expressed such pain through Roquel's psychic connection to the raeldra. The reader is experiencing far more than a play-by-play in the arena. I have written with Rich since I joined Borderlands and am amazed at his skill.
Pleg was the first customer through the doors at Pilgrimage Cafe and Books' grand opening. He met with Husar. After a bit of mutual distrust, they settled down to business over a bottle of kanar. They both depended on trade goods of questionable provenance. They began to hatch a plan to organize businesses on the promenade. Pleg maneuouvred himself next to the station commander in an attempt to improve his public profile. He threw Husar's name into the ring as leader of a business organization. Mirel was uncomfortable with a Ferengi and a Cardassian working together.
Gavin Darklighter reached Sentinel Station is a cleanskin starship. Pleg noticed the man immediately as someone who was hiding something. Darklighter was weary of the marines scanning everyone who came aboard. The marines were distracted by smoke. A Lechian skilled in pyrotechnics provided the distraction. The Ferengi introduced himself as a leading citizen of the Sentinel Station Business Organization. By Ferengi calculus, Darklighter now owed Pleg a favor. Delmo joined in the conversation as a leading citizen of the Sentinel Station Chamber of Commerce. Gavin tried to part ways with the two and find a dive bar. Pleg knew just the place. Delmo was out of his depth with this character. Gavin thanked Pleg and promised to come by Whims and Favors. Delmo continued to campaign for public support. They traded insults before parting ways.
Husar brought a few extra Earth items in her delivery to Athena Theophlius. Athena was unconvinced by the plight of Grouds imaginary children.
Chelsea awoke in a cell aboard Eugene's ship. He was sure to tell her about the damage he inflicted upon Axel and that they were in no position to mount a rescue.
Axel was saved by Captain Johnson of the Cyclone, a willful peacekeeper. The captain then agreed to beam to Axel is assist in repairs. As Captain Pigg left the bridge, Quidano and Dvir expressed their concerns to each other about his netal fitness. In engineering, Bresa, Imgres and Xin worked to repair the ship. Johnson joined in a bit of banter with Dvir as he admired the patchworked systems.
Aboard Albatross, Quidano informed Toraith of Chelsea's kidnapping. They rendezvoused with Axel, further delaying Toraith's return to Gorn space to fight charges of tax evasion. Toraith was determined to save his human friend. His father, Duke Faritha, was unimpressed with yet another delay. Quidano and Toraith did not wait to meet with Captain Pigg. Seeing the Cutlass through a window, they decided to comandeer the vessel that saved Elias. They beamed aboard and flew away with the ship in under a minute. Neither had thought past the immediate plan of stealing a ship. They'd worry about the Syndicate when they reached Setlin. They chased after Eugene with loud Gorn music on the speaker system. Eugene reported in to his employer. He was going to deliver half of his contract. Knowing that Paul Gorgon was now Elias Pigg was worth something to his employer. It would make Elias easier to trail and capture. Quidano and Toraith found Eugene quickly in the Cutlass. Toraith opened with a friendly hail and fired weapons almost immediately out of boredom. Eugene threatened to suffocate Chelsea. Quidano was unsure if Toraith was wise to Eugene's empty threat or just careless. Eugene returned Chelsea and escaped. He forfeited his bounty and all future contracts from the Syndicate. He asked K'livin to empty his accounts and place a bounty on Seiklon Axel.
Duke Faritha grew impatient and spoke directly with captains Elias and Noluk. Axel needed significant repairs and Noluk was hesitant to indulge the Gorn aristocrat. Their summit was interrupted by Captain Johnson who accused the Duke of planning to steal his ship. Cyclone could reach Warp 8.5 to the surprise of Elias. Neither Axel nor Albatross could maintain that speed. Reed was stuck on Axel until it could hobble back to Sentinel Station.
A Serosian Raider waited the outcome of the fight between Cutlass and Cyclone. With some battle damage, it would be easy to board the ship, kill the crew and claim salvage. As Chelsea came around, Quidano and Toraith reassured her she was safe. Six armed Serosians boarded the ship and asked the ecclectic crew of Cyclone to surrender. Toraith stalled by asking questions about Serosian culture and proposing a friend request.
Roquel, Albatross' pilot, was tasked with choosing their next mission. SHe chose a livestock-shipping mission from a planet called New Enterprise. Roquel did not want to visit Axel herself. She distrusted Paul Gorgon regardless of what he now called himself. She was content to wait aboard Albatross until Captain Noluk's return. With Duke Faritha safely deposited into Bresa's hands, they departed for New Enterprise. Pelira, an Akritirian, offered the hospitality of his colony as shoreleave for the crew. It was a frontier town with a dusty, industrial look and a high perimeter wall to keep out the wildlife.
Emporer Gret'ak toured the perimeter wall that had once barricaded his people. Negotiations with the Federation and trade with Cardassia had turned them into a fortified defensive structure that protected the Kharian people from outside aggression. He was a leader of a sancutary for the Kharian people.
USS Daystrom investigated a pair of cone-shaped debris fields. Chief Eiwan kept the ship's engines at the ready for a quick egress. Ensign Serota excluded the brown dwarf star and Threshold Station itself as the cause of the debris fields. They were not the result of combat. Taking a clue from Lieutenant Bear's question of borayon particles, the most probably cause was a catastrophic accident involving transwarp conduits. The facility's research was highly secret. Favor expanded the sensor parameters to include tachyons and chronotons as Daystrom approached the destroyed moon that once held Threshold Station. Eiwan could not determine the origin of the ships destroyed. Bear named a handful of species known to use transwarp technology and several that were interested in developing it. Bear, ever the conspiracy theorist, believed sabotage was the only answer. Three Cronin ships approached Daystrom from using conventional warp engines. Their hull composition matched very closely to the debris fields. Cronin are an aggressive, clan-based culture.
Favor and Theophilus expressed concern at how the borayon radiation was affected the crew. The crew was receiving an unhealthy dose but not immediately fatal. Captain Trensu was willing to let the Cronin ships destroy themselves in a star system torn apart from failed transwarp research. After admonishment by Lieutenant Commander Favor, Captain Trensu warned off the Cronin ships. The captain opened a dialogue with Varg, the senior Cronin officer.
Gavin joined OH1.
Tim returned from a his leave of absence after travelling the world.
Rich kicked off a renewed interest in Promenade characters with Pleg as civil organizer.
We wrote 24,000 words as a group covering a number of storylines including the big two: the kidnap and rescue of Chelsea, and, the exploration by USS Daystrom.
Doug is prolific and tireless. He keeps everyone guessing what his characters will do next. His multiple references to Holobook were hilarious. Toraith was willing to shoot at Eugene's ship and still ask the bounty hunter to make sure Chelsea was ok.
"Did you hear what happened?" the Garan inquired.
Toraith glad he brought this up "I might if you accept my friend request on holobook"
2417.04.18.03 CYC Quidano "And We Will Chase Them Round The Rings of Regula"
Captain Patch lead a briefing of the crew of USS Daystrom. Despite decades of previous experience, it was his first command as a Starfleet officer. He spent every waking hour since his assignment by Commander Mirel to prepare. His ship would carry a full science complement as well as the station's intelligence officer.
Axel's crew was involved in a dicey trade of cargo on Thela. Captain Elias kept an eye on the two warring parties from the cockpit of his old Bajoran raider. T'Nan demanded their surrender amid sporadic shelling. She and the captain had history. Pigg cut a deal with T'Nan nonetheless, leaving his cargo shipment for her rather than completing delivery to Griffen. The whole incident rattled Captain Elias. He sat down with Chelsea. They had both changed their names to avoid past entanglements.
Toraith and his father were found hugging by Roquel. Gorn family counselling involved cuts, bruises and hugs. Duke Faritha thanked Albatross' Klingon doctor for deborging him. The duke was determined to clear his son's name on tax evasion charges and retake his own place within the Gorn Hegemony. He requested use of the Albatross. Noluk was already enroute to return Toraith to Axel when Axel's distress call was recieved. Icmod went about repairing the damage by the pair of Gorn.
Icmod and Roquel had their own heart-to-heart. They were both seeking distance from their pasts and the freedom of open space. And they found each other, walking off hand-in-hand.
Roquel and Icmod shared an intimate moment. Icmod recommended they stay together and Shenara pilot Albatross. On her way back to her quarters she came across a bruised and bloodied Toraith. She touched on the touchy subject of Toraiths speech impediment: short 's' sounds.
Pleg chastised his son for removing collectable Maurauder Mo figures from their packaging to play. His anger was short-lived as Pleg sat down next to his son to play.
T'Nam hired Eugene to exact revenge aagainst Paul Gorgon (aka Elias Pigg).
Imgres and Xin examined the unusual activity of Seiklon Axel's warp core while underway. Along with Dvir, they tried to identify the slight power loss. It could have been the result of a faulty part.
Captain Pigg ran through his personal history with T'nan and the Arvorian Syndicate. He was hours away from Sentinel Station; plenty of time to think. Their arrival was further delayed by taking Axel out of warp to attempt a fix on their engine troble.
While travelling on impulse, a ship appeared and beamed Axel's steward away before the bridge crew could react. Imgres and Xin emitted a dispersal field to disrupt Eugene's transporter lock. Eugene regretted not beaming Elias aboard his ship first. Elias (Paul in a former life) demanded Chelsea (Christina in a former life) back. Captain Johnson of the Cyclone defended Axdel from a heavy barrage. The Cutlass escaped with Chelsea aboard.
Komara Imtaren readied for opening day of his new shop on Sentinel Station's Promenade: Pilgrimage Cafe and Books. Pleg was his first customer. The Ferengi had cornered the market on souvenirs (some fake) and was not keen on a real Gatrubbian merchant. His worry lasted only until his next scheme. Husar kept a watchful distance. Bear wondered what happened to the pet store. He was ever suspicious of Husar and Pleg. The idea of a business association formed while Husar, Imtaren and Pleg chatted in the cafe.
During a public demonstration Pleg roped Commander Mirel into the discussion.
Husar and two heavies delivered furniture to the quarters of Sentinel's Chief Operations Officer.
Captain Trensu outlined the mission to his hand-picked team. Communication with Threshold Station was lost. Preliminary astrometric readings showed a massive change in the structure of the brown dwarf system. Lieutenant Bear, OH1s intelligence officer, was also assigned to the mission for reasons known only to himself and the captain. Ensign Serota spoke with Lieutenant Bear in the corridor to ease some of the tension from the briefing room. The intelligence officer was well known for this paranoia and aggression but proved he had a sense of humour as well.
Daystrom's chief scientist held a briefing the ship's science and engineering contingent. They needed to re-establish communications with Threshold Station and understand the unusual readings from the moon upon which the station was built and the brown dwarf star it orbited. The team was working from scans and schematics provided by Threshold in their regular reports to Starfleet Science. Something had changed seemingly overnight.
USS Daystrom approached the brown dwarf system where Threshold Station was located. There were traces of chronotons and tachyons indicating a temporal anomoly. The star itself was in gravimetric flux with other planetary bodies strongly affected. The moon was destroyed along with the station. There were at least two other debris fields within the system. Lieutenant Bear recommended a scan for borayons on a hunch.
Devon was lured back to write with OH1 with the deployment of USS Daystrom. Skylar joined OH1.
We discussed a new, non-canon particle, borayons, related to the events at Threshold Station
2417.03.12.03 DYSTM Ariana "DFA is filled with go getters"
—A very eager Ensign Serota appearing after months of silence
Kevin regularly communicates with other players and is actively contributing to the major storylines in March as Gero (Daystrom), Eugene (kidnap plot) and Komara (Promenade) in addition to his regular cast of characters. He is a great writer and enthusiastic about the DS.
The Albatross crew returned to Crossroads Station following the fight between the Axel, the Gatrubbians, ships assigned to Sentinel Station and the Borg Scout Vessel. They bore two Borg. One of them was the father of a member of the Axel crew and entanglements with Starfleet were not wanted, so the idea was that they would be 'de-assimilated' at a non-Starfleet facility. While there the crew had some down time, but once the procedures were done, they set off for Sentinel Station again with Toraith and his father, a Gorn Duke still aboard. The procedures were in part done by Karbo, the Klingon nurse-practitioner aboard the Albatross, which went far to establish his ability level.
As the Albatross began its return some exchanges between Toraith and his father as well as between Roquel and Icmod showed just how complex relationships of all kinds could be.
The Axel underwent a detailed inspection by it's own engineer, Imgres and members of Sentinel's engineering team including Chief Petty Officer Eiwan and Ensign Annette Sinclair.
Following the inspection the Axel accepted a cargo from Pleg, which was to be delivered a planet in the Thela System. This cargo was predominantly weapons. Upon arrival they discovered the planet to be under siege by vessels which looked to be from Starfleet. It turned out that they were vessels operated by the Henderson Company, an mercenary entity that was helping the Arvonian Syndicate to crush Zarthizadek Griffen of Laitar once and for all.
The decision was made that they would go through with the delivery despite the odds. Eventually an arrangement was made for a meet on the planet between Griffen's people and the crew of Axel to exchange the weapons for money. That plan got derailed when T'nan the leader of the Arvonian Syndicate interceded. Elias, having no love for either Griffen or the Syndicate, made a deal to save his crew and to secure payment. They would leave the weapons for the Syndicate and NOT Griffen. The Axel left unharmed, but under the circumstance that the Syndicate now knew where the Axel was, they couldn't know how long they might have before they came under their sway again.
On the Sentinel Promenade, Althea Theophilus went shopping while considering whether or not to take a position aboard a starship to avoid boredom in her role as Operations Chief of a well run station. She and shop owner, Husar, discussed the value and quality of an assortment of merchandise as well as teased about Ferengi culture. The encounter didn't go all that well.
Later, Husar came to Althea's quarters to deliver some merchandise only to comment negatively about the starkness of the furnishings within. Althea was quickly realizing she didn't want to deal with the Cardassian. However, they did begin a discussion on decorating the space. Althea was particularly interested in finding pieces that would compliment a set of vases that she had. Federation standard became a bit of a problem for the two as Husar mistook Althea's desire for an overstuffed item to mean that she wanted a stuffed mammoth! She was really interested in a Victorian chair.
Lt. Commander Favor boarded the USS Daystrom and appraised the layout of the science department. He was satisfied with that, but not with the political pitfalls which had pretty much prevented the starship from being able to enter the Hope One Dyson Sphere.
Gero Ib spent two weeks with the Gatrubbians and experienced both their culture and religion first hand. He became convinced that the Bajoran Prophets and the Gatrubbian Writers were the same deities. He studied a good deal of astronomical data obtained during the Gatrubbian's Great Exodus. He spent much time in and around the Gatrubbians science building and got a chance to see the state of their facility. He got called back to Sentinel Station to help investigate a brown dwarf star as a member of the USS Daystrom science team.
Ensign Ahkhsu Trensu was given operational command of the USS Daystrom for its maiden mission by Commander Mirel. The Ensign was shocked at the possibility of captaining a vessel considering he had been previously told that such a thing would not be possible for at least three years. Trensu (a man out of time) hadn't commanded a vessel in over 100 years. In any case, it was becoming obvious that the Daystrom would no longer be hanging around the station. It had a mission!
Komara Imtaren opened a Cafe and Book Store on Sentinel Station's promenade. The grand opening was attended by Pleg, Husar, and Lt. Bear among others. Pleg was not particularly pleased that an outlet other than his own would be available to share Gatrubbian goods with the station's residents and visitors.
Roger has returned to the fold with the big job of bringing life to the USS Daystrom. Debby is also back! Alas Tim hasn't posted the latter half of the month because he's been away in China. (Having fun, Tim?) Many of us have been busy, but that hasn't kept a good number of us from taking the bull by the horns and forging on. Great going guys!
A couple ideas came up on how to put together a promenade association to build story lines around. That hasn't actually happened yet, though, but talk is important.
"OK so overstuffed - you don't mean what I think you mean." Husar scratched at her temple thoughtfully, "So what exactly do you mean? And how do you stuff this Victorian?"
—Husar, played by Anna Maria
I want to give the nod to Debby and Anna-Maria together. They've been working well together and keeping the promenade and station life alive with their posts. Thanks much.
Admiral Leval invited the Rex Gret'ak to meet with the Gatrubbians. During his oratory, the admiral waxed on about the intentions of the Builders to which the Emporer reacted quickly. He chastised the Federation admiral and leveled an accusation of arming the Gatrubbians. The Rex Gret'ak stepped back from the accusation by demanding consultation on all future colonization. Leval responded with calm agreement. The summit reached a conclusion of sorts with agreement "towards building a new home amidst a galactic community of nations".
Mirel felt she did not having the backing of her superior officer. Leval purposely kept Mirel in the dark about his leeway from the Federation Council to play “good cop” to the commander’s “bad cop”. Leval was prepared to offer concessions, gauge the timbre of the conversation. It would guide more formal talks. Leval equated the situation with a prison in which one prisoner is a leader among prisoners. Guards have power over prisoners but respect the lead prisoner nonetheless. Each level of authority is important for the entire system to run smoothly. Leval quoted an Ancient Earth saying, “trust, then verify”.
Eiwan and Sinclair chatted about their home planets, Pwane and Earth, while working on the defensive shield generators surrounding the Kharians. They completed their work and returned to Sentinel.
Chelsea sourced new communications devices for Axel's crew after the loss of their FLEX units. She returned with an armful of devices.
Elias and Bresa discussed plans for the Gatrubbian ambassadorship.
Athena Theophilus noticed Lieutenant Bear in a popular restaurant and approached the station’s Intelligence Officer. The android explained that he did not eat nor drink. He noticed immediately with Seket entered the establishment. Seket accepted the server’s recommendation. Theophilus and Bear sat with her and spoke of pets. They quickly turned to the substance of their conversation. They both suspected Seket of being a spy. Bear asked pointed questions about her involvement with the destruction of Winbal’s Pride. Seket offered to acquire information for the pair.
Mirok asked to speak with Commander Mirel as soon as he came aboard the station. Disguised as a Vulcan he aimed to plant a listening device within Ops. He was thwarted by bureaucracy and referred to Lieutenant Commander Theophilus who had never heard of Stellar Communications, Mirok’s employer. Lieutenant Bear suspected Mirok of being Nal’Gaharay but had no evidence. His employer provided a glowing reference and Theophilus grudgingly approved his clearance.
Elias met with Pleg to pick up his newest acquisition: an Occupation-era Bajoran shuttle. Pleg immediately asked a favor for the captain’s whim. Pleg needed weapons delivered to a nearby planet. Elias didn’t haggle. He was familiar with gun-running.
Althea Theophilus browsed several shops on the Promenade. Husar noticed the sister to the station’s Chief Operations Officer admiring a cup and directed her to other human artifacts at the rear of her store. Husar expressed her concern for proper handling of ancient items and her own expertise at it. With a little prodding, Husar’s story of archaeological origin turned into a debt paid, a collector from Mars and finally to being won from betting on vole races. It fetched two bars of latinum. The original Minoan cup was a fake according to Althea. Husar was unphased. She would place it in a more prominent position in the window and sell it to an unsuspecting tourist. Husar offered to deliver the chosen item for free. It would give the shopkeeper a look inside the human’s quarters, identify other items she’d be willing to buy.
The Borg cargo were prepared for transport to Albatross by Shenara, Karbo and Imgres. Quidano performed a final inspection before their modules were loaded onto a work bee. Toraith expressed the importance of family in Gorn society. It was one of the things he learned from viewing pre-holographic Earth films about boxing. Seeing the sentimentality, offered to rig another module so Toraith could travel with his father. His assimilated father returned a blank expression. Aboard Albatross, the two modules were secured for transport for Crossroads station. Many in the crew were uneasy with transporting borg drones. Zoss offered to keep watch.
In Axel’s Med Bay, the Borg drones were affixed with neural inhibitors under the watch of several armed crew. Upon reaching Crossroads Station, the drones were transferred to the care of Doctor Preston. The process of extracting Borg components from the two drones would begin with Orion, then the Gorn duke.
The Borg cargo was transferred to Albatross enroute to Crossroads Station. Their on-station contact, Dana Ramona, liaised with Crossroads medical team lead by Doctor Preston. Albatross’ crew was given liberty to visit the station. There were few amenities aboard the station. Zeno directed the crew to the Zenophile Cantina where his future self stockpiled food and drink. Roquel was hoping for more of a party. Icmod asked her to find 34th-century pop music.
Doctors Preston and Karbo reviewed Starfleet medical records of two Borg drones successfully decoupled; Jean-Luc Picard and Annika Hansen. Dr. Preston received a lesson in Gorn physiology from his Klingon counterpart. The neurotransciever was the first component removed permanently breaking the two individuals’ link to the Collective. Prosthetic hands and eyes were prepared. Carl could not shake the feeling of replacing electronics with electronics.
Imgres had run numerous scans to confirm Axel was free of borg nanites and, more generally, significant damage. He wandered the Promenade before requesting assistance of Sentinel’s chief engineer. Eiwan responded to Imgres in writing rather than orally which surprised Axel’s engineer. In under twenty minutes, inspection crews were ready to go over Axel’s hull. Chief Eiwan and Ensign Sinclair met with Imgres in Axel’s modest engineering section. His priority was ensuring Axel could achieve it’s primary mission: hauling cargo and towing ships at warp speeds. After two days, Axel received a passing grade and was ready to embark on it’s next mission.
The Thela system had ten planets and a handful of large asteroids with radical orbits. Axel proceeded cautiously towards Thela 6.
A fat human male stumbled through busy city streets pursued by a Hirogen. As the Hirogen hunter raised his knife to strike his prey, he fell paralysed. The two men, both named Henderson, offered a deal. The Hirogen would claim his kill by taking a clone as a trophy. In exchange, his prey would be reported dead and safely spirited away across the galaxy. Upon completion of their mission, they receive their next: mercenaries in a civil war between the Arvonians and Laitarians.
A squadron of Henderson-branded ships reached Beta Outpost. ACS personnel were being sieged by a battalion-sized group. A massive blizzard covered the attack. The skies cleared abruptly. Golden phaser beams criss-crossed the insurgent lines followed by duranium flechette torpedoes. Steam rose from the battlefield from the sublimed snow. T’Nan had been lured to the planet with the prospect of eliminating a long-standing rival, Zarthizedek Griffen.
Griffen would no longer be welcomed by the Thela with that kind of firepower overhead. His own reinforcements of freighters and 6 Cronin squadrons were a day away. His aide, Caltro, was willing to fight for the rightful heir of the Laitarian Commonwealth.
OH1 started the new year with a cadre of great writers and plenty of active stories. 2016 was a good year and we look forward to 2017.
We discussed cursing within the Star Trek universe and our individual approaches.
Devon stepped back from writing with OH1. He has been great to write with. DFA Cromwell keeps him plenty busy.
2417.01.23.02 SEN Althea "How much is that cuppy in the window?"
—Althea (played by Debby) expressing interest in Husar's shop on the Promenade
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