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Star Trek Reimagined.

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Charles Markov, Apr 2, 2019.

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  1. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Ok So a friend on another forum put me onto this site and I have been running around for days looking at all the shiny new threads. Eventually I figured I might as well post my own story here, but rather than come up with something original I am just going to post my ongoing fanfiction imagining a rebooted Star Trek series. It is completely (more or less) SFW and hopefully is in the right spot.
    As the some content has already been written and is on other forums I will just post what has already been written over the next couple of days, before settling into a normal schedule I use for the series. By the way this series is essentially Kirk and crew but with my own occasionally lame-ass writing and poor characterisations so enjoy.
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Episode One, Encounter at Larsa Part one. (Part one)
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Stardate 309034.11

    The Enterprise is currently on a course for the Larsan Union. A collection of worlds lying in the Archanis sector that has requested to begin the procedures for joining the Federation. The Unions strategic position in the sector makes its entry into the Federation as soon as possible Starfleets number one priority. Enterprise has been dispatched to begin the proceedings, with the UES Manticore and UES Warsaw scheduled to arrive some days after us.

    While I am honoured to be trusted with the responsibility of beginning to procedure to admit a new member into the Federation I must admit to some trepidation. It is unlike Starfleet to send a green captain and fresh crew on such an important mission.

    Regardless I have done my best to work the crew into a proper command, even with some seventy persons of her compliment not yet aboard Enterprise at the time of this log entry. Regular combat and emergency drills have made marked improvements over what the ship was capable of just a month ago when I assumed command. And have also served to bring the crew together in a remarkable way.

    Commander Spock, Enterprises first officer has been a big help these past few weeks. Being the only senior officer aboard who is not newly assigned to the ship his knowledge of the vessel has been indispensable. While his calm and collected demeanour has also put many of the crew into a steady routine.

    At our current speed and course we will enter into the Ooruchet system in two hours. Consisting of a single main sequence star and seven planets the system is host to a small Larsan naval base and colony of some five million and is the agreed upon rendezvous point where we are to meet with the Larsans.

    James Tiberius Kirk closed the log entry and leaned back into his chair, resisting the urge to sigh loudly as the stress of a solid month of command welled up inside him. Command of one of the fleets precious few heavy cruisers was a considerable honour usually reserved for the senior most captains of the fleet. Balding men and greying women who’s decades of experience commanding other smaller ships served to prepare them for the weighty responsibility and heavy workload that went into captaining a heavy cruiser.

    In Kirks mind command of a destroyer along the Klingon border was not sufficient preparation for his current command. However, Starfleet was in the middle of a massive expansion of its fleets and captains were in short supply. Especially at Star base 12 where Enterprise had sat in spacedock for over a year after many of her previous crew had been assigned to other commands.

    It had been made abundantly clear by the bases commodore that Enterprise was likely a temporary assignment until either a more suitable command came Kirks way, or a more suitable captain came Enterprises way. And that he was to do nothing with his ship but rigidly adhere to any orders given to him by Starfleet.

    The whole experience had made Kirk feel almost like a child. But after nine months of inactivity following Nautilus`s battle with a Klingon C-9 light cruiser getting back into space felt like a massive release. Hours of inquiry and official hearings were finally over and he could get to work once more.

    Memories of the Nautilus flew into his mind. The small hundred-man destroyer had been his first command after his stint aboard Farragut. And the cramped little ship had quickly become his home, as well as dream assignment. Until a Klingon disruptor volley tore through the ship and many of its crew.

    “Captain sir,” Lieutenant Noyota Uhura the ships Communications chief said to his right. Knocking Kirk out of his reverie.

    “Subspace just went wild sir, like an old-style wave transmission was just sent,” she reported a frown of concentration on her face as she worked her board with one hand and cupped her ear with the other.

    Kirk was over by here side in three steps “can you get anything from it?” he asked looking at a tangled web of energy spikes and background noise on one of the displays.

    “I don’t think so sir, the source of the signal was to far away for us to get anything other than the last waves over subspace.”

    Kirk was not surprised. The Larsan tech level was said to be roughly equivalent to the 2380s United Earth. Its ships, weapons, sensors and subspace communications were all shorter ranged and less accurate than Starfleet equipment.

    “Keep scanning, we may get another message once we get closer in range,” he ordered probably unnecessarily. Uhura was good at her job and was likely already scanning subspace for another message. But it was necessary for the ship’s records if nothing else.

    Kirk tried some mental calculations. They were still some fifteen lightyears our from the Ooruchet system. At warp factor six they would reach the outskirts of the system in a little under two hours. If his memory was right then the best the Larsan subspace transmitter technology could do was perhaps eight or nine lightyears. Meaning that Enterprise could expect a decent signal sometime in the next forty-five minutes.

    “Keep on it Lieutenant,” he said as he left the communications station and made his way to the helm/tactical station which occupied the space just forward of the bridge center.

    “Can I help you sir?” Lieutenant-Commander Hikaru Sulu the ships navigational officer asked unphased by the presence of the captain over his shoulder.

    “Just checking your sensor logs, don’t mind me,” Kirk said as he plugged his security codes into the console and began to comb through the sensor data. It was more a brain exercise than anything. Going over the logs kept Kirks mind sharp and gave him something to do. It was unlikely that a ship would be in the area. But of one was, and it was in range of Enterprises sensors it would be in the logs. Sulu did not mind and soon was back to his panel. Even moving over some so Kirk had more room.

    As expected, there was nothing. This far out in the Archanis sector and away from United Earth space traffic was sparse and very limited. Aside from the Larsan subspace transmission, which was likely to be a simple greeting, there was nothing on the logs.

    He went through all logged data for the past two days before he got bored and without any joy returned to the mass of reports and forms waiting for him to approve or sign. This he did at the conn, or control station in the center of the bridge. Consisting of a backless chair with a large collection of controls and a display screen on the arms it was from here that the ships captain directed the operation of his starship.

    It was a position that seemed rather glamorous when Kirk had first enlisted in Starfleet. However, he had learned aboard Farragut where he had an occasional watch commanding the bridge that the job mostly consisted of paperwork. Lots of paperwork.

    When he had initially taken command of Nautilus the paperwork had seemed overwhelming. Now as CO of Enterprise he longed for the days when he had merely fifty or sixty documents to read per shift. A ship of almost five hundred persons generated a tremendous amount of the stuff. Enough to drive someone mad almost.

    He was nearly done with just twenty-six more before he could call it quits and get onto something else. He thought that by the time the ship could receive clear message over subspace that he would be finishing the last of the reports.

    He was almost done in fact by the time that Uhura suddenly gasped behind him, “something to report Lieutenant?” He asked just as he finished reading and signing a purser’s report on the ships water consumption. He had just three more left.

    “Yes sir we just received a beta band subspace transmission from the Ooruchet system, text only,” came Uhura`s reply.

    Similar to radio or light subspace consisted of multiple bands in a spectrum layered atop one another. Named Alpha to Lambda there were eleven known bands. With only the Alpha to Gamma bands being useful for communications.

    A beta band transmission was the easiest to use, with Alpha being to unstable for a long-range message. Gamma was useful for very fast, very long-range messages. But required very powerful transmitters which was beyond the Larsan abilities.

    Kirk took the printout offered by Uhura and began to read with mounting alarm. Short and to the point, likely a necessity given the limited output of most observed Larsan fusion reactors, it left very little room for interpretation. “I don’t suppose there is anyway that the computer altered the translation?” He asked already certain of the answer.

    “No chance sir, not with the system we are using,” Uhura said her voice betraying her own surprise at the message contents.

    “Something wrong sir?” Sulu asked turning to face Kirk and Uhura.

    “See for yourself,” Kirk offered holding out the message.

    Sulu walked the short distance over and with mounting shock and surprise began to read.

    Consisting of only twenty-five words the message read

    “Approaching Federation Starship your presence in Union space is no longer welcome. Return immediately. Federation membership no longer needed, alliance with Klingon Empire chosen instead.”

    “How could this be sir?” Sulu asked as he handed the message back.

    “I seem to recall in a briefing that some members of the Larsan government had lobbied for an alliance with the empire during their vote for Federation membership, but they were only a minority,” Uhura said from behind Kirk.

    Kirk nodded, he had read the same thing “circumstances and public opinion changes regularly,” he said moving to sit down. Sulu followed and was soon back seated at the helm.

    “Shall I plot us a return course to Federation space?” He asked hand hovering over his board. Kirk did not immediately respond. He thought over the possibilities for a moment.

    On the one hand it was quite obvious that the Klingons had to have done at least some meddling in the Unions political structure for this sudden change in their policies and choice of alliance. This was unlikely to go unanswered by Starfleet, and any information Enterprise could bring back about the Unions current situation. And extent of Klingon involvement. Could be vital.

    On the other hand, Starfleet had sent Kirk out with the Enterprise expecting a routine mission. And Kirk had personally been given strict orders to stick to his orders and not risk the ship. And anything Kirk could likely do besides immediately ordering the ship back to star base 12 would constitute endangering the ship.

    After some thought Kirk decided on a bit of a compromise order. “Mister Sulu what is our maximum passive subspace and gravitic sensor range?” He asked.

    “Two lightyears sir,” Sulu answered eyes narrowing at the odd and seemingly out of place question. But his captains plan clicked before he could give the order. “Ill see how close I can get to the Ooruchet system sir,”

    “Thank you,” Kirk said once again marvelling at his helmsman’s seemingly uncanny knack for anticipating his captains’ orders. He simply shook his head and turned over to Uhura.

    “Call all senior officers to the conference room and start scanning the Ooruchet system and any other nearby star systems for Klingon transmissions,” he ordered. Glancing at his display he saw that Sulu had already completed a course that would bring the ship to the outer limits of the Ooruchet system in a little under one hour. Just enough time for a quick briefing.
     
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  3. Threadmarks: Episode one, Encounter at Larsa Part one, (part Two)
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    “Captain I must point out that Starfleet is strict in their non-interference with the political processes of alien species,” the ships first officer and science officer Commander Spock said after Kirk had finished a quick summary of events.

    Kirk sighed. Spock had been invaluable over the past weeks in bringing the ship together. He was a gifted officer who managed to maintain a level of approachableness while possessing a cold exterior.

    The problem was that the same cold exterior was a result of his Vulcan upbringing. Making getting to know him, or even guess at what he was feeling, nearly impossible. Often times Kirk was not sure whether his remarks were meant as in insult, or a simple statement of opinion. Or something else entirely. It made any conversation with him difficult, McCoy the ships chief medical officer had already taken a dislike for the man which went far beyond his usual disdain for Starfleet officers.

    “I am not intending to interfere in the slightest mister Spock, what I intend is to simply scan the Ooruchet system for evidence of Klingon activity in the system.”

    Spock seemed to take this in for a second before responding. “You expect there to be evidence of the empires interfering with the Union then?”

    “Isn’t the conclusion obvious mister Spock?” Commander Montgomery Scott the ships chief engineer said from across the briefing room table. Third in line of command Scott was the oldest officer aboard at fifty-two and was gifted in his field. But he seemed to lack any desire of advancement beyond chief engineer. And he was far from an expert on matters unrelated to his chosen field.

    “I am not suggesting that the sudden reversal in Larsan policy is not suspicious and likely indicative of a Klingon presence in the Union. However, if our scans of the system are detected it would be difficult for us to explain our actions without Klingon involvement being brought up. And for that reason, I suggest that Enterprise set a course for Star base 12 and allow Starfleet command to decide on what course of action to take.” Spock said turning to face his captain for the last part of his speech.

    “Noted commander,” Kirk answered unwilling to discuss his orders further. At least not in the presence of his other officers. Debating his decisions in such a way was the fastest way for a crew to lose trust in their captain and to begin openly disrespecting him.

    Perhaps realising this Spock’s changed the discussion from what needed to be done to what was going to be done. “It will take some time to process any scans we make of the system, perhaps several hours.”

    “You will have all the time you need to analyse our scans. We will head for star base 12 as soon as we have made our sweep of the system.” Kirk said just before an alarm went off signalling that they had were approaching their objective.

    All present in the conference room piled out and into the hall where they quickly dispersed for their posts. Kirk and Spock walked together for the bridge but said nothing.

    “Captain on deck!” Sulu thundered as the turbolift doors swung open admitting both Kirk and Spock onto the bridge.

    “Report!” Kirk ordered as he sat down at the conn which Sulu had vacated in favour of the helm. Spock to sat down at his own station.

    “The ship just dropped out of warp sir and we await your orders to begin a detailed broad and tight band sweep of the system,” was Sulu`s prompt reply.

    “Mister Spock?” Kirk asked.

    “Ready to begin sensor sweep, all stations report standing bye,” Spock answered. He slid an earpiece onto his head and signed into his station.

    “Begin sweep!” Kirk thundered.

    In the space around Enterprise brilliant flashes of energy lanced outwards towards the Ooruchet system, who’s single star winked faintly some lightyear and a half away.

    Subspace, Gravitic, Tachyon and passive lightspeed sensors probed the system intently for seven and a half seconds. Creating a detailed model of the system in the ships computers precise enough to see every vessel, comet, space station and orbiting satellite present in the system. Her sensors also mapped gaseous phenomenon, population levels in the atmospheres of all the planets and above all else plasma wakes indicative of vessels dropping into or our of warp.

    “Engage course for star base twelve warp factor seven!” Kirk snapped as soon as Spock signalled that the scan was done. At once Sulu slammed his fingers down on the appropriate controls and with a lurch the big ship speed into high warp.

    If the Larsans had any subspace sensors then they would surely see the ship. Just as they had surely seen her sensor sweep of the system. However they would be unsure of where Enterprise was for some time until they could triangulate the ships location. Giving Enterprise more than enough time for a clean getaway.

    “The computer shows a clean sweep without interference captain, I am sending all appropriate data to the science departments,” Spock reported.

    “Very good mister Spock,” Kirk said with relief. Such scan and dash tactics had been commonplace during his command of the Nautilus. But performing such a manoeuvre with a heavy cruiser was a new trick for Kirk.

    “Report mister Sulu,” Kirk ordered swivelling to face the helm.

    “Speed and course holding, though we will need to drop down to a lower velocity if we want to avoid burning out the engines. Aft sensors do not show any pursuit forces being launched by the Larsans, or any Klingon vessels on out tail,”

    “A clean getaway then,” Lieutenant Slocum said from the tactical station.

    “Or so it would appear Lieutenant, keep scanning for anything out of the ordinary,” Kirk ordered choosing not to reprimand Slocum for his outburst. The young man was currently stuck doing the job of a Lieutenant-Commander as Enterprises official tactical officer had not been present at the time Enterprise had been dispatched to the Larsan Union. And he had been doing an admirable job, he just sometimes forgot his place.

    Slocum took the cue and said nothing else. Simply nodding affirmative and darting a nervous glance back to Kirk after he had begun a scan. The ship shuddered slightly as she passed the warp four threshold, her engines humming quietly in the background. Their vibrations could be easily felt as they worked hard to push the ship up to high speed.​
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Episode One, Encounter at Larsa part one (part three)
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Five hours later and there was still no sign of pursuit by either a Larsan vessel, which hadn’t a hope to catch them at the speed Enterprise was pulling, or the Klingons who were likely in the system.

    After reaching a point where Kirk was certain they were not being chased he allowed the ships speed to be eased slowly back to her cruising speed of warp factor six to avoid putting unnecessary stress on the reactor. Or run the danger of overheating the reactor and causing a horrific meltdown.

    During this period Spock was busily processing data at the science officers’ station. Sending off bits of data to whatever department he thought most logical to do so for examination and evaluation. This process could be done by the ship’s computer, However Spock wished to be as thorough as possible and the ships computers had a nasty habit of ignoring some data that could potentially be useful.

    By the sixth hour of their retreat from the Ooruchet system Spock informed Kirk that the data gathered from their scan of the system had been evaluated and that a report was ready.

    It was back to the conference room for the briefing. Kirk left Slocum in charge on the bridge, a major honour for one of his age. But necessary considering all the ships senior most officers needed to be present for the briefing.

    They just fit, Kirk, Scotty, McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, and Winston Peters, the ships quartermaster all arranged themselves at the table with a single seat to spare. Spock had the luxury of standing as he was presenting the findings.

    Without any form of introduction Spock began “After thorough examination of the data retrieved from our scan of the Ooruchet system we have discovered some supporting data for the captain’s theory of Klingon involvement in the Unions politics lately.”

    Using a handheld mouse he turned on the display which took up the upper half of the far wall of the conference room. A massive image of the Ooruchet system appeared showing the system primary and its planets orbiting. After hitting another button the image zoomed into the main planet of the system and a number of dots appeared in its orbit all baring several different colours.

    “These represent ships and space stations orbiting Ooru, the only class m planet in the system,” some dots were dimmed while all the purple dots grew brighter “these are space stations, both naval and civilian,” Spock explained. The purple dots were dimmed, and green ones appeared “here we have civilian vessels with power signatures to low to be warp vessels, likely these ships are simple surface to orbit transports or short haul vessels,” again the green dots were dimmed and blue dots appeared. “And here are what we extrapolate to be civilian warp vessels based on available data and power signatures.”

    Finally, bright angry red dots replaced the blue. There were far fewer of these than there had been of the other colours. “the red dots represent Larsan military vessels of all known types and configurations from small low warp system patrol and attack craft to their larger cruisers.”

    “Handsome little fleet,” Sulu said as he looked over the screen. “Can you display which ships of what type each dot represents?” He asked.

    “May I ask why?” Spock returned even as he moved to comply with his juniors’ request.

    “If we can see how many of each type of ship are in the system then we can see how the Union has deployed its fleet to its outlying systems. A large number of defensive craft shows that they are possibly expecting an attack, while the same number of cruisers could show them preparing to meet any Starfleet reaction to their refusal to join the Federation,” Sulu said after examining the new data Spock placed on the board for some length.

    Kirk was surprised. Sulu was gifted at his job as helmsman. But he had never expected the man to be terribly well versed in tactical thought or fleet deployments. He would have to remember to ask the lieutenant-commander about that later.

    The display now showed a large number of cruisers in relation to smaller ships. Perhaps six cruisers to four patrol/attack ships. Quite a top-heavy deployment for a system outside of any major threat areas.

    “What other vessels are deployed throughout the rest of the system?” Kirk asked something suddenly feeling off. Why the Larsans would have so many of their warships orbiting the planet didn’t add up.

    “Only a pair of smaller vessels in the outer reaches of the system captain” Spock said as he made the individual energy signatures of the Larsan warships disappear. However he refrained from doing anything else with the display.

    “Is there something odd about that?” Leonard H McCoy, the ships chief medical officer asked. Spock turned to him with eyebrow raised. McCoy looked around at everyone.

    “I am not an expert on space warfare so someone explain to me why you are all looking around in confusion as soon as the commander shows a couple of colourful dots on his display.” He all but demanded.

    Kirk had to hide a sigh. He knew that the doctor only got this way when he did not understand what was going on and felt excluded. But still he always picked the worst times to get uppity.

    “It means that there is something very off with their fleet deployment. With that many ships orbiting Ooru they should have some ships to spare for patrolling the rest of the system. Not just two ships.” Kirk explained, but he did not have time to answer every one of McCoy’s questions, “Please continue mister Spock.”

    “Finally, peculiar Larsan deployment notwithstanding the final pair of vessels positively identified by our scans are these two ships here,” again the red dots disappeared, this time replaced with a pair of white dots which also orbited Ooru in the same general space as the Larsan ships.

    Spock let these two dots sit on the display for a second as he pulled up something on his own reader. “These two dots represent Klingon warships which when their power signatures are matched with intelligence data on the Klingon fleet reveals that one of these vessels is a C-9 light cruiser and the other is an E-10 escort. At present these are all Klingon forces known to be operating in the Larsan union.”

    The identity of these dots had not come as a surprise. Still some were taken back by the vessels present. While both vessels in orbit of Ooru were powerful for their size range they lacked any serious staying power in a fire fight. However their presence in the Ooruchet system suggested that heavier Klingon forces would likely be present in other more populated Larsan systems.

    “The C-9 has been identified with the C9-24. A vessel first encountered last year along the Klingon border which intelligence believes to be attached to the fourth fleet as a part of the eleventh roving cruiser squadron. The identity of the E-10 cannot be confirmed at this time.”

    Again Spock allowed the weight of what he had just said to sink in. He switched the display back to the overview of the Ooruchet system in general and stood to one side of the display.

    “That’s a fairly heavy Klingon force to be deployed this far from their border, I thought the empire was keeping away from such overt interference with border governments,” Uhura said. Kirk noted she had written some notes on a sheet of paper. Something she had done in prior briefings.

    “It may be indicative of a much more aggressive Klingon policy in Archanis,” Kirk said eying Spock curiously.

    “The empire has consistently said that Archanis belongs to the empire,” Sulu pointed out. And he was right, since first contact with the empire the Archanis sector had been claimed as rightfully Klingon space. Irregardless of the large number of human outposts which already dotted the region.

    “Was that all mister Spock?” Kirk asked wondering why Spock had not sat down. He was anxious to end the briefing and send a message to Starfleet informing them of the situation. What level of response was required after that was their problem.

    “I have one more item of interest to report from our scan sir,” Spock said not moving from his spot beside the display screen. “Shall I continue?” He asked.

    “Please,” Kirk said motioning for him to take the floor once more.

    “Fractal scans of the system revealed a complex series of war trails both leaving and exiting the system which is in keeping with Starfleet’s belief that the system is a major shipping hub for the union.”

    A series of complex lines appeared on the map. Mostly concentrated along a narrow plane and being the thickest at the upper and lower right corner of the system the lines headed likely to the more populated Larsan homeworld of Vaial and outwards to the Federation and Orion markets where Larsan minerals were traded for Federation high technology.

    Spock did not long dwell on these trails, instead zooming the map into a location midway between the orbit of Ooru and the gravity limit of the systems star. The point at which a ship could engage her warp engines fully without any serious interference from the systems star.

    A trio of very brightly coloured purple-blue smudges on the map appeared and Spock zoomed in on the space around these. A knot of warp trails led into the smudges and appeared on the other side headed for the inner system.

    “What are we looking at mister Spock?” Scotty asked his eyes narrow slits as he tried to look closer at the display.

    “Radiation spikes consistent with a major matter antimatter explosion, seemingly consistent with the detonation of a Larsan naval warp core,” Spock answered.

    “A battle then,” Sulu said jumping out of his seat and walking to stand beside Spock. “The drive trails, they were so erratic because the ships that left those trails were in the middle of combat manoeuvres.”

    “Mister Spock is there anyway to determine if the Klingon vessels orbiting the planet had anything to do with the destruction of those Larsan ships?” Kirk asked also walking over to stand beside Spock and Sulu.

    “It is probable to assume that the empire had some involvement in the battle, but our instruments did not have the resolution to determine the sources of the drive trails,” was Spock’s reply.

    Kirk did some fast thinking. If his memory served the Unions government had been somewhat divided over joining the Federation or seeking closer ties with the empire. It was possible that the pro-Klingon faction had managed a coup to seize power and reverse the decision to join the Federation, if that was the case then it was likely that the Klingons were involved.

    With all the information that the scan had revealed there was likely little doubt that the empire had interfered with the Larsans, if they had been invited peacefully there would be no reason for them to deploy a cruiser and escort to one of their outlying systems.

    Starfleet would likely find a fitting response, and tensions would likely become even more strained between the empire and Earth. However, the Klingons now held a key strategic forward base for their ships and colonial expeditions deeper into the Archanis sector. Putting Earth at a major disadvantage.

    Kirk knew that the likelihood of war was likely to become even higher. And a repeat of the four years war was not something that anyone in the UE or Starfleet wanted. The wounds from that conflict were still to fresh, not yet fully healed.

    And then a thought struck him, “Mister Spock thank you for your presentation. It was certainly enlightening,” he said ending the briefing. Spock was obviously confused by this, likely having still some minutes of his presentation left. However he sensed that his captain had something else planned and so shut down that display.

    The rest of the senior staff also caught the hint and began to file out of the briefing room. Kirk caught Spock and Sulu`s eye and they followed him to the turbolift.

    Kirk pressed the control for the bridge after the three of them were in the lift. As the car began to accelerate along the route the onboard computer had chosen he turned.

    “Gentlemen I have made a decision, I am bringing us back into Larsan space after we inform Starfleet of what we have learned.” He began, moving past the shock in Sulus`s eyes, and the surprise in Spock’s change of facial expression he continued, “It is safe to assume that the pro Klingon faction of the Larsan government has seized power violently, possibly with the aide of the Klingons.”

    “It is safe to assume that the Federation friendly members of government have opposed them and failed. However if we can prove that the empire is supporting a regime which seized power from a friendly government then the Federation can force the Klingons to back out of the Union.”

    “And how do you intend to prove imperial involvement and the illegitimacy of the current government captain?” Spock asked revering quickly from his initial shock.

    “I intend to take Enterprise into the Yokuna system and into orbit of Fiar itself and hope that whatever remains of the government contacts us. If we can get at least some of them aboard then we can leave the system and they can officially ask for Federation assistance.”

    Kirk waited for a response. The course of action he had just laid out was dangerous, even potentially illegal. Taking his ship into orbit of the Larsan homeworld against their wishes was something Kirk could likely be court marshalled for. However if successful the outcome would give the Federation a major base in the sector and force the empire back several parsecs towards their border.

    Eventually Spock spoke, “The Klingons, and indeed whatever government has taken power is unlikely to simply allow us to enter the system and beam up those who oppose their regime. Enterprise even being allowed to enter orbit of Fiar seems unlikely.”

    “I agree with commander Spock sir, it won’t be easy to do what you have said,” Sulu said finally catching his breath. Kirk breathed a silent sigh of relief. Both of them were in support of his plan.

    “Thank you,” he said with a surge of pride.

    “Do you have a plan that will allow us into orbit?” Spock asked. Kirk smiled a lopsided smile. He did, or at least he had the beginnings of one.

    “We are going to lie our butts off mister Spock and hope that some of it sticks,” he said grinning like a little kid.
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Episode one, Encounter at Larsa Part two, (part one)
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Captains log stardate 309041.14

    I have taken Enterprise into the Yokuna system and we are orbiting the planet Fiar, the homeworld and capital of the Larsan Union.

    While our arrival in the system was met with some hostility from the Larsan navy and government, and by demands that we leave the system immediately from the pair of orbiting Klingon D-7 cruisers we have been allowed to enter orbit after claiming that we had been ordered by Starfleet to act as an observer to the signing of any formal treaties between the union and Klingon empire.

    This fabrication will hopefully be looked over by Starfleet following the success of our mission to bring a member of the Larsan government who opposes the alliance with the empire to testify before the Federation council and ask for assistance.

    After a full twenty-four hours Enterprise has not yet been contacted by any resistance movements. However even without the use of active sensors it is clear that the alliance with the empire was not a popular move. Wreckage belonging to several Larsan naval units scatters the system, planetary defensive platforms have been damaged and one of the Klingon cruisers shows signs of taking some weapons fire.

    We have been told that this is the result of an attempted mutiny and coup by the navy however I consider this highly unlikely. I have ordered mister Spock to discretely scan the surface of Fiar to see if there are any signs of ground combat or protests. However dense cloud cover has so far impeded our sensors.

    We are told that the empire and Union will sing their treaty of alliance in a little over six hours. And myself and a small landing party have been given permission to attend and look over the treaty to ensure that Federation interests are not threatened.

    I hold out hope that those who oppose the alliance will contact Enterprise before the document is signed. Once the treaty is signed and ratified by the Larsans our continued presence in the system becomes ever more difficult to justify.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Episode One, Encounter at Larsa part two, (part two)
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    “Anything yet lieutenant?” Kirk asked Uhura as he ended his log entry.

    “Nothing on any frequency the Larsans use sir, although coded Klingon messages are still being sent between those orbiting cruisers and the ground,” Uhura said in what was a variation of the words she had used since the Enterprise had first arrived in orbit.

    “Captain our passive scans of the planet have also not yet revealed anything, though news channels continue to broadcast reports of resistance to the new government and major damage being dealt to several cities in the attack,” Spock said before Kirk could ask him. The science officer was likely getting just as irritated as Uhura about Kirks constantly asking him the same question. He just did a better job of hiding it.

    “Keep on it you to,” Kirk could understand their frustration, even sympathise. But he was to nervous and frustrated himself to stop asking at least once every twenty minutes.

    For not the first time he ran through some mental calculations. Enterprise had sent a subspace packet to star base twelve some forty hours previously. It would take the message the better part of three days to reach the star base. And roughly three and a half to reach Enterprise in her current position.

    That meant that Kirk had roughly four days before he was likely to be relieved of command by Starfleets responding message and Enterprise ordered back to Federation space and apologies offered to both the Larsans and Klingons.

    Perhaps a bigger problem was the UES Manticore and UES Warsaw. The big Majestic class battlecruiser and its escorting light cruiser carried the Federation delegation that was to formally accept the Larsan Union into the Federation.

    If the vessels were turned back as Enterprise had been via a short and abrupt message then they would likely do so. They would no doubt wonder why the Enterprise had not messaged them about the sudden switch of the unions loyalties but would head for Federation space without much problem.

    If, however the Larsans mentioned Enterprise being in orbit of Fiar then there may well be a problem if the captain of Manticore asked why Enterprise was in orbit and got an honest response. The ship could ruin Kirks plans and recall Enterprise, and Kirk would have no choice but to follow those orders.

    Kirk did not know when the Manticore and Warsaw were to arrive at the Ooruchet system, they had been just leaving Wolf three five nine last he had heard. He also did not know if the ships had already been turned back by the Larsans.

    If that was the case then Enterprise would likely receive a message from star base twelve in the next few days inquiring why the ship had not already arrived back at Rigel. No matter what happened Kirks window to do anything was rapidly closing.

    He did not like to say it, even to himself, but if his gamble failed and he left the system without either proving Klingon involvement or making contact with the remnants of the legitimate government it would likely mean his commission.

    That was something he could accept, captaining a starship was his dream job. But that did not mean he would never do anything to risk it. Especially if he felt his course of action was right. The thing that ate at him was the fate of his officers if his gamble failed. Like their captain they would likely lose their commissions and be forced out of Starfleet. And while he had resigned himself long ago to possibly loosing his position he was not really prepared for the effect of knowing he had possible ruined the careers of his officers as well as his own.

    But the bridge was not the place to think such thoughts, and this was not the moment for it either when everything hung in the balance. “Mister Sulu,” he called “could you prepare a correction to our orbit that will bring us over the Larsan capital?”

    “Yes sir right away,” Sulu said without turning his head. His hands flying over his board almost to fast to keep track of. “Shall I punch it in or just keep it waiting?” He asked a moment later.

    “How long will it take to complete?” Kirk asked.

    “Two hours sir,” Sulu answered confidently.

    Kirk thought for a moment. “No wait two hours until you execute the course correction, but let orbital control that we will be making a course change right now. We don’t want them to enter into a panic.”

    “Very good sir,” Sulu said again without so much as turning his head. His hands had begun moving even before Kirk had finished the order and shortly he signalled that he had informed the planets orbital control of the ship’s future course change.

    Kirk pulled up the course Sulu had entered, with a forty second thruster burn Sulu planned to shift Enterprises orbit a few degrees and bring her into a geosynchronous orbit above the Larsan capital of Matfshta. An orbit that brought her less than three hundred kilometres away from the Klingon vessels.

    Such an orbit was necessary for the ships matter transporters to function, the system needing a clear line of sight with the landing zone to work, unfortunately that mean bringing the ship almost to close to the Klingon wolves which had previously been obscured by the bulk of the planet Fiar.

    An alert appeared and Kirk called it up and read through it. “Mister Spock would you come with me please? The doctor is wanting to give the landing party their shots,” he said stifling a sigh.​
     
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  7. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    1. Spock nodded and quickly signed off his board, calling a replacement before he stood up. “You have the bridge mister Sulu,” Kirk announced before he and Spock got into the turbolift. He ordered the car to deck six before slumping back against the wall. Feeling the car jerk slightly as it began to move.

      “Are you certain that you want Lieutenant Uhura along on the mission sir?” Spock asked as soon as the car was in motion. “She is not proficient in small arms combat, nor is she in the habit of joining landing parties.”

      “Expecting a firefight mister Spock?” Kirk asked taken aback at the odd reasons Spock had given for Uhura being excluded from the landing party.

      “Not at all captain, I am simply stating that the Lieutenant is hardly a typical choice for a member of a landing party,” Spock said recovering quickly and managing to give a good reason for not including Uhura.

      “I am aware that Lieutenant Uhura is not in the habit of joining landing parties, but she understands Larsan and is fluent in Klingon. She should be able to let us know of anything out of the ordinary while we are on the planet.”

      The car came to a stop and the doors slid open and both Kirk and Spock exited and began to walk the short distance to sickbay. Kirk with significantly more outward dread than Spock who seemed unfazed at the concept of being poked with needles.

      “Are you also certain it is wise for you to lead the landing party captain?” Spock asked seemingly accepting Uhura`s presence in the landing party and moving on to another member of the team.

      Before Kirk could answer they entered sickbay and were greeted by a scene of barely controlled chaos. A crewmen lay on one of the beds groaning, his left leg contorted at an unnatural angle and face bloody. His right arm was similarly mangled, a mob of nurses and doctors crowded around him. They were just getting him tied down to stop him from moving and had obviously not yet sedated the poor man.

      One of the heads suddenly jerked upwards as the doors opened, once clear of the other medical staff Kirk could see it was the ships chief medical officer Leonard McCoy.

      He said something to nurse Chapel, his assistant and second ranking member of the medical staff, and then left the bed and made his way over to Kirk and Spock.

      “Couldn’t have picked a worse time,” he said with just a touch of the grouchiness which was his defining personality trait. Before either Kirk or Spock could as he explained, “able crewman Kristen here was working in the cargo bay when a lift slammed into him, he is pretty badly broke up, but will be alright.”

      “Has a report been filed yet doctor?” Spock asked casting a glance back to the bed where the crewmen was finally out under.

      “He just came to sickbay commander,” McCoy said.

      “Standard procedure doctor is for a report to be filed as soon as a wounded member of the crew is brought to sickbay which explains his wounds, as soon as their extent and treatment can be determined a second report is to be filed.” Spock cut in before the doctor could say anything further.

      “The man is hurt very badly commander, I am a doctor not a paper pusher. I don’t fill anything out before I know for certain that the patient is stable and to hell with your procedure!” McCoy shot back defiantly glaring back at Spock.

      “But a report will be filled out as soon as you can confirm that the able crewman is stable?” Kirk asked trying to prevent an argument. McCoy had taken in instant dislike to Spock as soon as he was aboard the ship. And the arguments between them to had been often long and heated, at least from McCoy’s perspective.

      “Of course captain,” McCoy said stiffly still glaring at Spock.

      “Then I am satisfied to let you get to your duties,” Kirk said ending the argument before it could get to bad.

      “Of course captain,” Spock said bowing his head slightly. Kirk knew that his first officer would likely bring up protocol again when they were in private, he also knew he would have to have a talk with the doctor about doing everything by the book, and not arguing with superior officers.

      “You two need your shots before you beam down?” McCoy asked dropping the argument. He motioned for an orderly not working with Kristen, “could you bring me the immunizations for the landing party please?” He asked.

      “They are in your office doctor,” he answered. “Just as you ordered.”

      “Well then would you give the commander his shot?” McCoy asked, “thank you,” he added.

      He led both of them into his officer, a large room off to one side of the medical ward with a doorway leading into the surgical and research wards farther back into the complex what made up sickbay.

      He handed the orderly, who’s name Kirk could not remember but who looked familiar, one of the syringes and took the other for himself. Without any further talk he shoved the needle down deep into Kirks shoulder and injected a couple millilitres of a brown liquid into his bloodstream.

      Kirk winced and had to stop himself from pulling away. It didn’t matter how many times he was given a shot he always nearly panicked. McCoy had told him, and even showed him pictures, of the massive surgical needles’ doctors had used before precision injection had been developed to perfection in the twenty third century. It didn’t make him any less terrified of needles.

      Spock by contrast was unmoved by the injection and even as the orderly pumped the needle into his arm his face did not change its expression. Kirk envied him immensely at this point and did his best to match his expression.

      “Alright now shoo!” McCoy said after he was finished. He set the injector on the table, its needle retracted into the assembly and cleaned itself before extending back ready for its next use.

      Kirk and Spock left, they were nearly to the turbolift when it opened and expelled Uhura and Lieutenant Mathew ships security. Both were members of the landing party and had come to sickbay likely for the same reason Kirk and Spock had just left.

      “Captain, Commander,” Uhura said as she passed them. Mathew saluted, and echoed Uhura`s greeting. “I have a basic translator working for Larsan captain, it should be entered and ready to go by the time we beam down,” Uhura said handing Kirk a pad.

      Kirk scanned the offered electronic document, “pretty basic,” he commented scanning through the words and sentence structure that had been coded into the translator.

      For the last fifty years the universal translator had been used to communicate with alien races in their own languages. It was advertised as a device which removed any reason for a human to need to learn an alien language, the device functioning as a two-way translator which turned one’s words into a language understood by the other and vice versa. However the system was not without its faults. Being somewhat slow to translate and somewhat simple with its translations.

      It could also be difficult for the device to sense humour or sarcasm, stress or the actual meaning behind words. Making some translations positively confusing or even changing their meaning entirely. However if the language the translator used was suitable well understood it did tolerably, Klingon dialects and Vulcan common speak were each easily understood by the translator.

      Uhura winced slightly, “its not perfect but with just a few hours and a less than complete Larsan lexicon it was the best I could manage,” she said defending her work.

      “It was not a criticism of your work lieutenant, I think it admirable that you managed this much with the time you had. Unfortunately, that does not mean that the translator will work as well as it may otherwise.” Kirk was not complaining, despite what it sounded like even to his ears.

      “Its for when the translator goes haywire that we are bringing you along. In the time I have known you I have come to trust your ears far more than the translator,” he added noticing how Spock shifted his weight with the mention of her ears. Kirk wondered if it had anything to do with his Vulcan ears. Not that he would ever ask that question.

      Uhura nodded and smiled and her and Mathew left Kirk and Spock agreeing to meet in the transporter room in an hour. Spock soon parted ways with Kirk, citing duties on the bridge. Leaving Kirk some free time before they were to leave.

      He headed in the general direction of rec one, the ships main mess hall and entertainment center located in the leading edge of the ships command hull. A grilled ham and cheese sandwich sounded good, and Kirk had not eaten in several hours.

      A pair of footsteps headed his way fast caught his ears and he stopped to turn around. “Yeoman Rand,” he called catching sight of his tall blonde assistant.

      “Captain the bridge is looking for you sir, mister Sulu says he found something,” she gasped. “I had just delivered a report and was on my way to get some lunch when I caught sight of you.”

      “Do you know what lieutenant commander Sulu found?” He asked his stomach protesting with a gurgle at its hunger not being sated.

      “No idea sir.” Rand said apologetically.

      “Thank you for informing me yeoman.” Kirk said starting to move off in the direction of the turbolift. He stopped short and turned back towards Rand.

      “Were you headed to rec one for lunch?” He asked.

      “Yes captain, would you like something?” Rand asked. Kirk nodded. She smiled, “what would you like me to bring you?” She asked.

      “A grilled ham and cheese and a coffee would be appreciated,” Kirk said, “please?” He added.

      “Of course sir, my pleasure.” Rand turned and headed off, leaving Kirk to count himself fortunate for having such a good assistant. Aboard his last ship the nautilus his yeoman, a man named Killick, had been far from eager to help his captain at all.

      He hurried to the turbolift and punched in the command that would take him to the bridge and prepared himself for whatever it was that was urgent enough for Sulu to look for him.

      “Captain on deck!” Sulu said as the doors opened to the bridge. “I actually was looking for you sir, I just talked with doctor McCoy and he said I had just missed you in sickbay.”

      “Yeoman Rand said you were looking for me, have you found something?” Kirk asked waving down the bridge crew which was all standing at attention.

      “We actually just saw some heavy airstrikes conducted against one of the cities along the wester coast of the small southern continent. Nothing to serious, but a lot of aerial activity and ground attacks going on.” Sulu reported moving over to the science station which was manned by an ensign Cheeseman, a junior officer on his first deployment. He moved aside and showed Kirk a playback of the strikes.

      It was an impressive sight Kirk had to admit. At least thirty atmospheric vehicles of some description swarmed around the mid-sized city and simultaneously fired off rounds of missiles at a large complex of buildings in the city center. Occasional spats of ground to air lasers and counter missile fire could be seen and at least seven of the aircraft were downed by these weapons as they attempted a second pass.

      “Comms reports a massive increase in military communications across all channels in a variety of codes and some of the Larsan vessels have assumed orbits over important cities, the Klingons have also been communicating regularly with the Larsans over the past hour.” Cheeseman pulled up a new page which showed the significant spike in comms traffic.

      “It could be another uprising,” Sulu suggested.

      “Or the last elements of the legitimate government getting killed off,” Kirk said a pit forming in his stomach. That attack had likely caused at least a few hundred civilian casualties. As well as making a fair amount of collateral damage.

      “Keep scanning the area with passive, we may still find something we can use.” Kirk ordered with a mental sigh. It made sense. Whatever was left of the legitimate government after the pro-Klingon coup would have likely went into hiding. And the appearance of a Starfleet ship in orbit may likely have led them to expose themselves expecting Federation assistance. Kirk had been afraid of that.

      Rand came in just then and gave Kirk his sandwich and coffee. Kirk thanked her and checked the time. Less than four hours to go now. He had just time to make some final preparations.

      “Mister Sulu, you have the bridge I am going to engineering to make some final preparations with mister Scott. Please see inform me of any further developments.” Sulu nodded and rose to take the conn, the command chair located in the centre of the bridge.



      Last minute preparations made and a final briefing later and it was time to beam down to the surface of Fiar to witness the signing of the Larsan-Klingon treaty of alliance. Kirk stepped onto the transporter pad flanked by Commander Spock to his left, Lieutenant Uhura to his right, Leftenant Averof of ships security behind him. All four wore the elaborate dress uniforms the situation demanded.

      “Energize!” Kirk ordered once he was given the all clear sign by commander Scott in the transporter control room. As the pad began to glow and a high-pitched whine became audible Kirk tried his best not to wince.

      He just about managed it, like always. As the whine grew ever louder and the transporter room turned to a blinding white light a grimace forced its way onto Kirks face. It was a grimace he still wore as the light faded down.

      Narrowly avoiding falling to his knees and vomiting, as many first-time users had the habit of doing, Kirk fought back the disorientation and took stock of his surroundings. Running through a series of techniques to stop the world from spinning and control his stomach.

      He was in a large square with elegant and large buildings around the edges. A large fountain in the center spewed forth clear water from an animal mouth and a line of armed men in uniform standing behind a single better dressed man clustered around the fountain edge.

      As the world came back into focus Kirk could see that the man coming his way wore the blue-purple robes and elegant white suite of a Larsan high committee member. Flowing white beard and grey eyebrows gave Kirk the impression that this man had held his seat for many years.

      “Welcome captain Kirk to our world,” the man said without any genuineness behind his words. “I am member Rah`je Jeoplannap from the Tak ungertha representative region.

      He spoke in English with a heavy accent which blended r and j sounds together in a harsh way. However to Kirks ears the n and g sounds he made were most pleasant.

      As Kirk had asked lieutenant Uhura stepped forward and said something indistinguishable in the Larsan language most commonly spoken during the Unions dealings with the Federation. Raj`je bowed his head, a tight smile curving the edges of his mouth.

      Kirk sized the man before him up. Doing his best as he did so to ignore the at minimum forty armed guards standing behind him. Raj`je was short and plump as was typical of Larsans. His features were standard humanoid for the most part. Four limbs, two arms ending in a pair of hands with five digits, two legs with feet attached, a torso, and finally a short neck which held the head. Which itself had a pair of eyes, nose in the center of the face, and a mouth from which he spoke, ate and breathed.

      The only major distinguishing feature the Larsans held was a mass of cartilage perched atop the nose which resembled a knot. From briefings Kirk remembered that the older the individual Larsan the larger the knot. And Raj`je`s knot was quite large. Though in proportion to the rest of his face it was not really noticeable.

      The thin smile disappeared and was replaced with a vacant expression. “We have prepared a meal to enjoy before the singing of the treaty. Members of our three governments will be present, as well as many citizens. I trust that you will not object to this?”

      Kirk smiled trying to put the Larsan at ease, “that is no problem, I could definitely eat something.”

      “Good, follow me please.” Raj`je said with an odd sort of finality. Without further word or even look he began to walk off, the line of armed men forming an honour guard on either side of the little party.

      “You are not armed, are you?” Raj`je asked suddenly wheeling around a look of either panic or displeasure on his face.

      “Leftennant Averof carries a sword, a form of bladed weapon that is part of his ceremonial uniform,” Kirk said gesturing to Averofs sabre.

      Raj`je was dubious, “It is used for ceremony only?” He asked, “not for combat?”

      “Once long ago on our world they were used. But those days are behind us now,” Kirk said trying his best to not look to obviously at the weapons carried by the guards. Some form of plasma weapon most likely judging from their bulky barrels and large gas canisters.

      “Both we ourselves and the Klingons carry ceremonial bladed weapons, we will allow your leuefteant Aeverif to carry one as well,” Raj`je said once again turning around and starting off towards the building at the edge of the square.

      “I can take it off and leave it sir if you think it will be a problem,” Averof offered whispering into Kirks ear.

      “Member Raj`je says it is alright for you to have it, so you can keep it on,” Kirk said wondering if the Larsans knew that the Klingons d`k tahg daggers were anything but ceremonial.

      “It would seem captain that the Klingon delegation has no interest in welcoming us,” Spock whispered.

      Kirk had noticed the same thing, “It would appear the empire is even less thrilled about our presence than the Larsans,” Kirk said as quietly as he could.

      “The empire does have a presence though, look.” Uhura said turning her head over to one of the guards. Kirk followed and was rewarded with the sight of a Klingon disruptor pistol tucked into the guard’s holster. A holster obviously used for a different weapon entirely judging by its shape.

      “A gift?” Kirk guessed. It was common, or so he had heard, for such weapons to be given as trades by Klingon troops.

      “Likely. And his is not the only one.” Spock said. Now that Kirk looked around he could see several other Klingon sidearms and even a disruptor rifle strung around one mans shoulders.

      “How generous of them, and here we are with nothing to offer,” Kirk said without humour. He was keenly aware that his entire party had only a single sabre between them. He felt naked and vulnerable.

      Surrounded by a large group of armed men the four were led to a large building just off the square where they had beamed down. From its roof hung several brightly coloured banners, likely holding some meaning for the Union.

      Above the entrance hung a blue and red banner depicting a flame with a starry background behind it, the symbol of the Union. Beside it hung the red and black triple blades revolving around a halo, the symbol of the Klingon empire and the cult of Kahless. The imagery was quite clear. Larsa and the empire were equal partners in the alliance they were about to sign.

      “Please feel free to mingle with the crowd, the signing will take place at the hour of Mishnah, seventeen hundred hours your time,” Raj`je said now standing beside the building. The soldiers formed a guard at the door and snapped sharply into alert positions spaced equidistance from one another.

      “There will be a special place for your party to observe the signing of the treaty captain, meet me at the stairwell when it the announcement is made,” Raj`je said before he disappeared into the crowd.

      Kirk assumed the member meant the announcement that the treaty was going to be signed. But he wasn’t about to ask. He motioned his group into the building and with a deep sigh of trepidation followed them in.

      He found himself in a large banquet hall with two long tables arranged along the edges of the room with a large open space, probably a dance floor in the middle. Filling the room was healthy number of Larsans in various official looking uniforms. Kirk spotted a large number of Klingon officers present as well. Some of whom spotted the four Starfleet officers standing awkwardly at the rooms entrance and began to move towards them.

      “Sir,” Averof said his voice rising to be heard over the chatter of the room.

      “I see them leftennant thank you,” Kirk said automatically moving to the head of the landing party and meeting the curious gaze of the lead Klingon officer levelly.

      “Honoured visitor you delight us with your presence,” the leader of the group. At least Kirk assumed he was the leader, said bowing his head slightly. As he rose Kirk got a good look at his forehead ridges and long stringy dark hair which had a number of religious beads woven in its strands.

      “So glad you allowed us to witness this historic event,” Kirk answered as always somewhat at a loss for words when a Klingon spoke politely to him.

      “Indeed,” the warrior said with obvious annoyance. Perhaps resisting the urge to say something further he began to introduce himself and his party. “I am Klurn of the house of Mukogh, general of the Imperial military.” Gesturing behind him a non-ridged Klingon sporting a large moustache stepped forward. “Commander Horusui Fel menoratu of the battlecruiser yoHlaw’ Suvwl’.” Another stepped forward, “Feronio Casrian his second and finally Klass of the house of Suvror, master of the battlecruiser.”

      Kirk introduced himself and his part, noting that one of the non-ridged Klingons, Casrian cast a curious look at Averof`s sabre. “Are you the empires representative to the Union?” Kirk asked Klurn.

      “I am, it is to me that the honour of signing our treaty befalls.” He said. Kirk decided he likely belonged to the conservative faction which had come to power in the empire following the empires defeat in the four years war. The fact that the Klingon high council had sent a man of such importance showed how serious they viewed the Unions inclusion into the empire’s web of alliances.

      “And you are the one who was to begin proceedings for the Unions inclusion into your federation are you not?” Klurn asked casting an eye over his human counterpart.

      Kirk nodded. “I find it strange that your Starfleet should then assign you to witness the signing of our treaty,” Klurn said a careful amount of confusion slipping into his voice. “Perhaps the Starfleet is more thinly spread than it is normally thought,” he offered.

      “Perhaps,” Kirk said with a shrug.

      “This is quite the celebration,” Averof remarked looking around in an attempt to break the ice between the to groups. “Your governments must put great stock in this treaty.”

      “We do human. Both the union and empire consider this treaty to be of the utmost importance.” It was Klass the master of the Suvwl’ who spoke this time. Klurn shot back a glare but otherwise seemed to agree.

      “Would you walk with me captain?” Klurn asked. “I would speak with you,” he added motioning in the direction of the nearest banquet table.

      Kirk had his doubts but agreed, “meet me back here when the treaty is about to be signed,” he ordered to his landing party. Averof went with Klass and Casrian while Spock and Uhura remained together in company with commander Horusui. It was pretty clear to Kirk that his party would have no chance to meet in private with any Larsans belonging to a resistance movement. A fact which the Klingons were likely well aware of.

      “How long have you been in command of your vessel captain?” Klurn asked as he and Kirk entered a line around the buffet. He grabbed a plate for himself and began to pile on some strange smelling noodle like things to it.

      Kirk was guarded in his answer, “Less than a year,” he said also taking a portion of the noodles and eying the fried meat that Klurn was now adding to his own noodles.

      “I thought as much,” Klurn said nodding to himself. “Our intelligence shows Enterprise under the command of captain Christopher Pike still, I do hope the good captain did not leave this life.” Klurn said either doing a passable imitation of concern.

      “He was promoted to another post, though I would be doing your intelligence services a disservice if I told what his new post is,” Kirk said grabbing something that looked vaguely like an eggroll from Asian cuisine on Earth.

      “Not willing to betray military secrets in polite conversation. Oh well there is much else we can talk about.” Klurn said casting a curious look at Kirk over the eggroll lookalike.

      The two spent the next few minutes discussing Larsan, Klingon and Human cuisine. Klurn remarking about the vast variety of human dishes and the huge array of ingredients that go into it. He even went so far as to say he was fond of Russian cooking, something Kirk was largely unfamiliar with. About as unfamiliar as the huge number of Klingon dishes Klurn mentioned.

      Throughout the conversation Kirk got the distinct impression that he was being distracted and corralled towards sitting at a certain area. Kirk noticed without surprise that a large number of Klingons sat around Kirk and Klurn with few Larsans present.

      Kirk was introduced to a few of them. Captains of the other ships present in the system, their first officers and gunners, shock troop commanders and a smattering of diplomats. All greeted him pleasantly enough.

      Kirk noticed something in the group that recent intelligence briefings had made repeated mention of. And that was the large number of ridged Klingons in the group. Intelligence was uncertain but knew that at least eleven races existed in the empire, all calling themselves Klingon.

      Those with ridged foreheads and those with dark, almost bronze skin and thick matted black hair were the most common. Although occasionally a pale grey skinned race with prominent spinal ridges was seen. In the past the two main Klingon races were seen to be more or less equals. With both serving in equally highly placed positions within the empire’s military forces.

      Intelligence believed that this had begun to change with the various coups which had plagued the empire since the end of the four years war. A string of coups which had seemingly ended with members of the cult of Kahless seizing power from a provisional government formed after the assassination of chancellor Gowlah.

      If intelligence was right then the cult of Kahless was purging the various other races from power in the empires government and military and replacing them with other devout members of the cult. A cult which placed a high price on honour and glory in battle. Which did not bode well for the continued peace between the federation and empire.

      As he was eating the surprisingly edible Larsan food something caught his eye. A group of Larsans dressed in muted colours were making their way to the center of the room.

      Klurn must have also noticed as he hissed something into the ear of a shock troop commander who immediately rose and motioned to the guards standing in around the room. Immediately disruptors were checked and three soldiers began to work their way as unobtrusively as possible over to the Larsans.

      “If I were you captain and did not have a weapon I would think about taking cover about now,” Klurn said conversationally even as he drew his own elaborately decorated disruptor pistol and charged it, the weapon emitting an audible hiss as its activation knob was turned.

      Kirk, sensing the underlying urgency in the general’s words immediately ducked down and began to crawl over to a nook in the wall where to pillars almost met. He tried without success to catch the eye of the rest of his landing party and as soon as he saw one of the Larsans flash a weapon ducked down as low as he could.



      Spock and Uhura were sitting in the same area as Kirk but several tables down and surrounded by most of the few non-ridged Klingons present in the delegation. Uhura had for some time been carrying on a conversation in her best dialect A Klingon with commander Horusui while Spock had been observing the group around them.

      Unlike Kirk Spock was seated facing the wall and so did not notice the Larsans entering the room. He did take not of the sudden alertness of the Klingons around him however and quickly looked around. Seeing the same weapon as Kirk had flash brightly as its bearer brought the weapon up and took aim.

      “Down!” Spock shouted grabbing ahold of Uhura just as chaos engulfed the banquet hall and the sound of disruptors filled the air. Holding the lieutenant by the shoulder he slammed both himself and her to the ground and began to drag Uhura towards the relative safety of the wall.



      Averof heard Spock shout and immediately turned towards the commander only to see disruptors flash a faint blue towards the center of the room. He did not even have time to react before one of the Klingons he had been eating with picked him up and threw him towards the wall shouting that he should protect his captain.

      Taking the fact that he was still alive and not filled with disruptor holes as a sign that the Klingons were not shooting at him Averof complied and made his way over to Kirks hiding spot.

      “Are you alright sir?” He shouted over the din.

      “Fine!” Kirk yelled back wishing he had a phaser or at least a personal shield handy. He looked around but did not see a fallen Klingon disruptor pistol handy.

      “Where is Commander Spock and lieutenant Uhura?” He asked looking around for the other half of his landing party.

      “Didn’t see them!” Averof shouted back. He took out his sword for the scant comfort it could offer and looked around for anyone trying to take a shot at them. It seemed for the moment that everyone was more interested in shooting at eachother than “accidentally” killing a pair of Starfleet officers.

      “I think we should move towards the exit!” Averof said, a suggestion Kirk was all to happy to follow. With the leftennant leading the way both of them crawled along the wall trying to keep the table between themselves and the line of sight of any of the shooters.

      It took some time, but they managed it in the end without any difficulty. No one tried to stop them and no one got in their way. As soon as they were out the front doors, a pair of Klingons guarding the entrance waving them through with scarcely a second glance, Kirk pulled out his communicator and tried to raise the ship.

      “Jammed!” He shouted as he flipped through all channels and got back only static.

      “Probably means it’s a little more than a few locals with guns then,” Averof remarked eyes darting around rooftops and alleyways in an attempt to see any other hostiles. He didn’t find any, but that did not mean none were there waiting to take a shot. “I suggest we find the commander and lieutenant and then try to get beyond the disturbance and beam back to the ship.”

      “Solid idea leftennant!” Kirk said ducking down beneath a vehicle of some description. For a brief moment he considered stealing it, but his likely inability to drive the thing more than a few meters quickly made him change his mind.

      A noise behind him made Kirk turn around just in time to see one of the Klingon door guards go down in an orange flash of agony as a disruptor hit him full in the chest, his corpse hit the ground smouldering and lifeless.

      Immediately the other guard dropped down, narrowly avoiding a second blast and returning fire even as he waved a pair of Larsans through the door. Between them they held an injured Klingon warrior who moaned pitifully as he clutched a smouldering shoulder.

      “Help them!” Kirk ordered temporarily dismissing all thoughts of his own people. He could not do anything for his people with the banquet hall still so chaotic.

      Averof was quick and offered to take the injured Klingon, an offer the two Larsans gratefully accepted. Averof deftly moved the much larger Klingon over beside the vehicle and looked him over. His face told Kirk all he needed to know.

      “How long?” He asked trying hard not to look at the dying warrior.

      “Not long,” Averof said very upset. Like Kirk he wanted to help the man before him. A grenade blast within the banquet hall went off and shifted the vehicle the five of them were hiding behind.

      “We won’t have much longer if we don’t get out of here,” Kirk said under his breath. At least the warrior was armed. His disruptor pistol was still in its holster. Or was until Averof grabbed it and thumbed the power switch to the on position.

      “Maybe one of these two knows how to work this vehicle,” Averof said pointing the gun at the Larsans.​
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  8. Threadmarks: Episode One, Encounter at Larsa Part Two, (Part Three)
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    So that nearly wraps up the first episode of the series. I will post the last part tomorrow and then move on to the second episode. Charlie X.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Constitution class Heavy cruiser development and history.
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    During the course of the four years war the Africa class cruiser was developed into several subclasses and variants, Saratoga, Yorktown and Ticonderoga. These were essentially enlarged and more combat orientated versions over the mostly scientific and peacekeeping orientated Africa. These ships performed well in the war and were the equal to the Klingon D-5 and D-6 cruisers, and especially against C-7 and C-8 class light cruisers.

    With the war over in 2445 however the fleet began a massive reform of its structure and tactical doctrine. It was realised that the small and nimble prewar cruisers had been easy pickings for the Klingons and the larger command cruisers had fared equally poorly due to their lumbering size and poor speeds. Frigates while useful for missions away from the battlefleet were found to be poor screening units and scouts for large scale formations as well.

    In the new doctrine that Starfleet eventually adopted several new types of ship were adopted and a fleet doctrine and deployment based on battlefleets, battlegroups, task forces, squadrons and flotillas were developed. In this new doctrine battlecruisers, massive ships boasting massive ship to ship firepower and enough space to carry a significant ground contingent for planetary assaults and defense were designed. Heavy cruisers packing sufficient firepower to stand in a line with BCs were also envisaged. With the wartime Saratoga and Yorktown classes shuffled into the light cruiser category and the Ticonderoga being reclassified as heavy cruiser.

    Frigates remained largely unchanged in their intended roles prewar where they served as border and trade protection vessels, internal security and couriers. However their role as scouts and screening units for fleet formations was diverted to the new destroyers which were developed in the 2450s. Scouts to experienced a fairly limited change in role from before the war. Being used to blaze new spacelanes and discover new star systems, transport people and information throughout the UE and Federation and perform a myriad of other roles.

    To fill out the new fleet a massive expansion of Starfleet was proposed with numerous new classes of ship to be designed and constructed. A force of at least twenty four Battlecruisers, fifteen heavy and fifty light cruisers, fifty both frigates and destroyers and one hundred scouts were planned. Much of this force could be made up of existing ships. But at least sixteen battlecruisers, twelve heavy and ten light cruisers, twenty frigates and thirty destroyers would be needed. In addition to one hundred scouts would be needed due to combat losses and the retirement of many prewar scouts.

    In various forms new ships were designed in the late 2440s. The Majestic class BC, Constitution CA, Trafalgar CL, Nelson and Hermes class frigates, Saladin and later Gazelle class DDs, and Capella class scouts would all be designed in this period and would enter service in the 2450s. In many cases the designers of the new ships chose to work off of existing types, particularly those built during the war. In other cases, such as with the Majestic and Trafalgar classes totally new designs were developed.

    Constitution class development. 2447-2449
    Even before a new class of heavy cruiser was ordered designers at the San Francisco orbital shipyards of Earth knew that the Ticonderoga class, of which only three examples were built, would likely serve as the template for the next heavy cruiser. With this in mind from 2445-46 the shipyard created a small team composed of many of those responsible for the Ticonderoga design and tasked them with the early stage development for a new heavy cruiser.

    Initially the team designed their new ship as a simple improvement over the Ticonderoga. Mounting the new FNM-7 Phaser ball turret over the preceding FNM-5 and FMN-6 phaser cannons of older ships. Additionally the new Mark 14 Shooting Star and Mark 15 Impact photon torpedoes were planned to include in the ships using the Ordinance Launcher type 16 torpedo tubes. The stronger Model 2446 shields then undergoing development were also planned for the theoretical ship. A maximum speed of WF 8 and cruising speed of WF 6 was also planned.

    This design was to at first displace in the ballpark of one hundred and forty thousand tons. A ten thousand ton increase over the Ticonderoga, and a fifty thousand ton increase over the Africa class that started the lineage. However as the designers recognized that any new ship they built would likely need longer range and increased versatility over the ships that preceded it. This lead the design team to early in 2446 to drop the concept of modifying the Ticonderoga hull for a new build ship.

    The hull form eventually chosen was very close to the original Ticonderoga. Only at almost two hundred thousand tons standard displacement the ship dwarfed all other cruisers before her. She also packed almost thirty percent greater firepower, forty percent greater shielding and stronger engines than the Ticonderoga. Much of this being due to the decision to increase the number of individual Phaser mounts and adopt the new SSCR generation three Chimera 7 (SSCR standing for Shipboard Spherical Cavity Reactor) from the Yoyodyne propulsion company. This allowed for increased shield power, weapons power, stronger sensors and the mounting of the new Sabre MK II warp nacelles onto the design.

    Internally the new ship was very spacious and modifiable. Needing a three hundred man strong crew for general starship operations. However provision for up to two hundred additional mission personnel. Be they scientists, medical specialists, or even ground troops. Large amounts of internal space were left open for easily constructed laboratories, enlarged sickbay space and surface warfare vehicle equipment and command centers were also provided allowing the type to perform a wide range of missions on theoretically very short notice.

    When the Starfleet board of Research and Development submitted a formal order for designs for a new heavy cruiser the SF yard was quickly chosen due to their forethought and the project proceeded at a very rapid pace for the new ship. It had been hoped that a full fifteen ship order would be placed and the Ticonderoga class reclassified as light cruisers. However Starfleet R&D only ordered twelve ships. Formal orders were submitted in 2447 and the first hulls were laid down in the first months of 2448, with final delivery for Starfleet acceptance trails expected sometime in 2453-54.

    Block One.
    The SF dockyards delivered on their contract and the first ship of the class UES Constitution was delivered in 2454 with the remaining ships of the class all delivered before 2458. All block one ships were named after famous American and British aircraft carriers, mostly from Earths second world war. The type represented a major shift in the posture of the fleet. Being the first ships in the fleet to match the new Klingon D-7 Battlecruisers in open one on one combat.

    The type quickly was assigned to a vast array of missions. From exploration to border patrol to diplomatic missions, disaster relief, acting as part of task forces and battlefleets and participating in many of the Federation Naval reviews and war gaming exercises of the 2460s. Often times the ships were deployed unescorted. Using their weapons to defend themselves from anything faster than themselves, and superior speed to outrun anything that outgunned them.

    Block one ships
    UES Constitution
    UES Constellation
    UES Yorktown
    UES Enterprise
    UES Hood
    UES Excalibur
    UES Ark Royal
    UES Black Prince
    UES Intrepid
    UES Furious
    UES Glorious
    Block Two
    By the time that Starfleet had received the first ships of the Constitution class it became apparent that an arms race with the Klingon empire had become inevitable. As a result a new wave of ship classes were ordered, notably battlecruisers, light cruisers and destroyers. However due to the perceived success of the Constitution and Nelson classes Starfleet decided to simply order additional ships to an improved design. These block II ships featured many of the same systems as their predecessors. But incorporated improvements and new technologies developed since the launch of the older ships.

    For the block two of the Constitution class, of which eight were ordered, these changes were mostly in the forms of new SSCR Generation Four and new sensors. The improved Sabre IIIa nacelles were also added to the class late in development. All ships in the class were named for famous American and Japanese aircraft carriers of the second world war. The first ships of the class would be laid down in 2460 with delivery planned to begin in 2465 and conclude in 2467.

    The new ships performed very well in service. Supplementing the block one ships and leading to an increased Starfleet presence along the borders when it was needed most following the return of the Romulans, first contact with the Gorn, Tholians and increased Klingon hostility. Following the loss of the UES Constellation, Intrepid and Hood further ships of the block II were ordered and received the designation Block IIa in Starfleet manuals.

    Block Two ships
    UES Lexington
    UES Bonhomme Richard
    UES Wasp
    UES Hornet
    UES Soryu
    UES Kaga
    UES Akaga
    UES Hiyo

    Block IIa ships (ordered to replace UES Constellation, UES Intrepid & UES Intrepid)
    UES Leyte Gulf
    UES Essex
    UES Shinano

    Block Three
    The arms race continued as the Klingon fleet continued its massive expansion programs as it made a serious bid to outnumber and outgun the combined Starfleet. In order to keep up the fleet began development of a new cruiser design to further increase the size of the fleet. However initial estimates for the new class placed it to be field ready by the mid 2470s. A stopgap heavy cruiser was needed to serve until the new ship design could be ready.

    It was unsurprising that Starfleet chose the Constitution class to serve as this stopgap in a modified form. In fact SF dockyards had already begun to develop just such a ship and a design was in the final stages of completion by the time Starfleet ordered the block three ships. Of which ten were ordered. Fortunately soon after this the team tasked with the development of the block III ships became aware of several developments related to the Miranda class development project in its early stages at San Francisco dockyards.

    The first of these developments was the SSCR Generation Four Titan reactor produced by McDonnel Douglas and Fokker jointly. The other was the creation of the new Arrow nacelle built by the Sukhoi design bureau, the first functional rectangular warp coil design. When combined the new reactor and nacelles could push the ship ahead at speeds as high as WF 10 with a cruising speed of WF 7.5. The decision to incorporate these new components would lead to a radical redesign of the block III ships.

    For starters the spaceframe would undergo significant modification. The saucer and secondary hulls being massively modified and significantly enlarged to accommodate the new systems. Allowing room for new shields, sensors, torpedoes and phasers. Notably the new Mark 16 Starstreak torpedo and FMN-9 Phaser ball turrets. All designed for the Miranda class. The FMN-X Phaser cannon was also installed aboard late in development, as was an enlarged shuttlebay and cargo bay.

    The changes were so significant that SF dockyards initially planned to classify the new ships as a completely new class. However thanks a refusal from the UE assembly to fund two new cruiser programs Starfleet chose to keep the Block III monicker, with clever winks exchanged between officers when discussing the new ships. The gimmick worked and approval for all ten ships was given in 2469 with the first ships to be delivered in 2472.

    Unlike with the block II ships it was not initially planned to refit any preceding ships to the new standard. The changes made to the hull were seen as to significant to make such a practice possible without essentially ripping the refitted ship down to her basic structural members and starting over. However following the battle of Chandria the heavily damaged UES Enterprise was earmarked for refit, becoming the first ship of the Block III designation to see service.

    The ships would be so successful in service that the trouble laden replacement class was cancelled in favor of a further Twenty ships of the Block III class being ordered. These ships designated as Block IIIa would be laid down in 2477 with the first ships completed in 2481. The ships largely replaced the vessels built in the four years war and served as a visible sign of the expanding militarism which ran rampant in the fleet in the 2470s and 80s.

    By far the most numerous variant of the Constitution class these ships would serve for upwards of forty years in the fleet before the new wave of vessels mounting the Vertical Injection Reactor Tube (VIRT) totally replaced them in service. The class soldiered on for many decades more in service in various support and training roles in Starfleet, while many other ships would be sold to other Federation member states or UE protectorates. The Trill systems Republic operating the type well into the 2570s. Today numerous ships of the class have been preserved as museum ships and some vessels still serve in private hands as prospecting ships, transports and habitats.

    Block III ships
    UES Enterprise
    UES Nimitz
    UES America
    UES Queen Elizabeth
    UES Charles De Gaulle
    UES Normandie
    UES Pytor Veliky
    UES Dimitri Donskoi
    UES Nagato
    UES Kongo

    Block IIIa class ships
    UES Graf Zeppelin
    UES De Ruyter
    UES Poltava
    UES Minas Gerias
    UES Seydlitz
    UES Dreadnought
    UES Arizona
    UES Kuznetsov
    UES Victory
    UES Hiryu
    UES Enterprise-A
    UES Valley Forge
    UES Ticonderoga
    UES Leonardo Da Vinci
    UES Courbet
    UES Charles Martel
    UES Astute
    UES Sverige
    UES President
    UES Potemkin
     
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  10. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Images for all three blocks of Constitution class ships are forthcoming as soon as possible. The models for all three were made by Kalga, a regular on the site.
     
  11. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    Don't worry, I got this.

     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  12. Threadmarks: Episode One, Encounter at Larsa Part two, (part four)
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    1. “I have a bad feeling about this!” Spock shouted as an explosion went off somewhere at the far end of the room, blowing shrapnel in all directions where it often intersected with both Klingon and Larsan alike.

      “Is the exit clear?” Uhura said as loudly as she could. Over the din of the battle that had erupted here voice was almost inaudible.

      Spock chanced a look and was met with a near miss from some kind of energy weapon. Plasma based judging from the din. “It does not appear so.”

      “Great. Just perfect!” Uhura said looking around for another exit. She didn’t find one but there was what remained of a Klingon shock trooper a few meters away with a mostly intact disruptor rifle and pistol still clutched in his arms. All that separated her and Spock from the weapons was a gap where a table had collapsed.

      “I have an idea!” She shouted turning to face Spock.

      “I do not like the way you said that!” The half-breed Vulcan shouted back. His face changed from grim to alarm as he caught sight of the singed corpse and the weapons.

      “I`m smaller than you, stay here!” Uhura yelled before unceremoniously diving for the weapons despite the protests of Spock who felt strongly that she should have remained while he fetched the weapons.

      Her dive brought her most of the way over to the next table. She landed flat with just her legs showing. Fortunately there was no one paying attention to her area that moment as she was able to pull her legs away without getting shot.

      “Made it!” She shouted triumphantly holding the weapons for Spock to see. Spock signed his congratulations a look of alarm and unhappiness still on his face. A look that grew more unhappy when Uhura threw the pistol over to him.

      Uhura was not in a mood to argue. She had other issues on her mind. Like who to shoot. The Klingons, who had as far as she could tell not yet shot at them, were out of the question.

      But what Larsans were shooting at them and what Larsans where shooting at the Larsans who had shot the first Larsans was the question. A confusing one, but the question nonetheless.

      She had not seen who it was who had fired the first shots and so had no way of knowing friend from foe. Or perhaps potential foe from actual going to kill her foe. After a few seconds of thought she decided to only shoot at those who shot at her.

      The next question Uhura asked herself was how she and Spock were going to get out of the hall and to a safer place. Hazarding another look around no exits in easy reach presented themselves. And then an idea came to her.

      Looking down at the disruptor rifle she took a moment to go over the various controls and power settings of the weapon. Doing her best to translate the Klingon characters into their English equivalents as she did so. Finding the setting appropriate for her plan she set the weapon, took aim and fired.

      A gaping hole appeared in the wall and through it another room, some form of closet or food storage area. Most importantly no shots came through it into the banquet hall. A good sign that it was unoccupied.

      “What are your intentions lieutenant?” Spock asked the concern in his voice going to a slight panic as he lost control of the situation. Something that happened often when he was in company with the ship’s communications officer.

      “Getting out of here!” Uhura thundered back. “Go on I will cover you!”

      “No, you go first, and I will cover you,” Spock ordered. “I am in a better position to do so and you are closer,” he added when she appeared ready to argue the point.

      With Spock firing at something Uhura closed her eyes and rushed for the hole she had created, leaping through and hitting the ground in a ball before hastily rising and taking cover facing back towards the hall.

      “Ready!” She shouted to Spock who at once got up and rushed along to the hole and rushed past Uhura, dropping to one knee and turning around to make sure he was not being shot at. And to shoot anyone who was about to before they could have the chance.

      “Now what?” Uhura asked looking around the room they found themselves in. It was indeed a food storage area, the butchered carcasses waiting for the kitchen hanging from the ceiling being the tipoff. On one side there was a door. If all went well on the other side there would not be anyone trying to kill them.

      “Cover me,” Spock offered holding his borrowed pistol and moving towards the door. Behind him Uhura took up position ready to follow the commander through if no one started shooting.

      “This is not how my day was supposed to go,” Uhura muttered under her breath as she followed Spock out of the freezer rifle trained to the left as Spock searched the right.



      The Larsans had indeed known how to drive the vehicle and with a little bit of trouble with the universal translator Kirk had managed to get the point across of what he wanted to do. Amounting to going as far away from the shooting as possible it had been fairly easy to convince the Larsans to take Kirk, Averof and the injured Klingon.

      It proved harder for Kirk to talk them into driving around the area to look for Spock and Uhura however and Kirk had to resort to flashing his disruptor pistol to convince them. Nothing as open as saying he was armed, just bringing the thing into view to remind them that he had it.

      “See anything leftennant?” Kirk asked scanning the building where the firefight between the Klingons and Larsans raged. Kirk suspected that the attackers belonged to a resistance group which was against the alliance between the Union and empire. Whether or not they supported an alliance with the federation or not was beyond Kirks guess.

      “Nothing on my side sir. How about you?” Averof asked looking over every inch of the building.

      “Try that alley,” Kirk commanded the Larsan at the wheel of the vehicle. Or what would have been the wheel on an earth designed car. On the Larsan vehicle it consisted of a joystick mounted between the legs of the driver with a series of levers and dials on its sides.

      “Safe this not is!” The Larsan hissed the translator keeping pace with his words but mangling all sense of grammatical correctness out of his sentence. Kirk got the gist though.

      “Just a minute more,” Kirk pleaded knowing he could not continue to wave the disruptor around to get his way. “My people are still inside.”

      Apparently his words came across to the Larsan who simply hmphed and settled deeper into his seat. The vehicle moved in the direction Kirk had pointed out slowly, all four occupants scanning the area for possible attackers.

      Kirk was just about ready to give up, nearly convinced that Spock and Uhura were still trapped inside, when Averof shouted “there sir!” Kirks head swivelled and his eyes focused on the area he was pointing at.

      He saw a smouldering hole in the side of the building and rubble strewn about the alley. Emerging out of the hole however was Spock, followed closely by the lieutenant. “There!” He cried, startling the Larsans. “You have to stop! Averof get their attention.”

      Averof hoped out of the vehicle and ran over. Coming to a stop some ten meters away when Uhura raised a Klingon disruptor rifle in his direction. She lowered the weapon when she saw who it was and both she and Spock ran over to the waiting vehicle.

      It was a tight fit, seven beings in a vehicle designed for perhaps five at the most. But comfort was not exactly high on their list of priorities at the moment.

      “Captain I am glad to see that you and leftennant Averof made it out of the fighting safely.” Spock said once again slipping on a mask of passive non-emotion.

      “As am I to see that you both are alright. We were worried.” Kirk said trying to maintain a degree of decorum and not break down. This had been the first time an away mission had ended like this. And the thought that any of his crew could have died was not a pleasant one.

      The sound of distant disruptor fire reminded him that death was still very much a possibility. “Go we must now! Or wound may we get!” The Larsan not driving said

      Without further comment from the front seat the vehicle sped off at what Kirk estimated had to be at least a hundred kilometres an hour. The wheels of the vehicle were apparently not connected to a suspension system intended for this level of abuse and so the little thing bumped and shook all over the road.

      City streets and buildings became a single blurred mass out the windows at sharp turns and screeching halts caused the occupants of the vehicle to bash into each other. By this point Kirk was almost certain that the warrior was beyond hope. He had almost completely stopped making any noises and his pulse had grown very weak. He and Uhura had managed to fashion a basic bandage for his wounds. But it was he feared too little too late.

      The two Larsans, the driver and his companion, chattered back and forth so fast that the universal translator had trouble making any sense of what they said. Uhura did her best. But was able only to translate bits as she recognized a familiar word here and there.

      Spock monitored the communicator intently not wanting to miss the moment when the interference cleared and they were able to raise the ship. Averof scanned ahead for any signs of danger Uhura`s borrowed rifle at the ready.

      Kirk asked at one point if there was any place the driver was taking the vehicle. But apparently he was not noticed by the two Larsans who were to busy arguing about something themselves.

      Finally the vehicle began to slow. Looking around Kirk could see a few buildings. But they were out of the urban sprawl of the city center when the banquet hall had been. Infuriatingly though they were still in range of the comms interference. Spock posited that perhaps the attack was part of a much larger assault against the city itself. And that the firefight in the banquet hall had been just one part of a much larger attack.

      Something about Spock’s theory didn’t sit right with Kirk. It seemed off somehow. But he did not have any theories of his own to counter with and so he said nothing.

      “Captain I think we are stopping!” Averof said

      “I believe you are right leftennant,” Spock said having noticed the vehicles engine beginning to throttle down. Its hum growing quieter as the vehicles speed decreased.

      The driver stopped in a small courtyard belonging to a decent sized house. Kirk guessed they were somewhere in the suburbs around the city, likely a fairly affluent neighbourhood judging by the architecture and general appearance of the buildings.

      A group of Larsans exiting from a door at the far end distracted him and he focused on them. Numbering six in total they shouted something to far away for the translator to catch at the driver and his companion who answered back something that was translated as something happened not right.

      Alarm bells sounded as Kirk saw one of the Larsans with a handheld weapon of some kind bring it up to bear in their direction, “look out!” Escaped his lips before he could think up a proper order to arms. But the point got across.

      Averof and Spock raised their weapons while Kirk fished his out from the seat beneath the warrior who by now was almost totally still. “Stop right there!” Kirk shouted as loudly as he could finally powering up his disruptor pistol and pointing it at what appeared to be the group leader.

      The Larsans responded by raising their own weapons. A surprising arsenal considering Kirk had originally seen just the one pistol. Each individual had their own beam weapon and now that Kirk looked harder he saw that each also carried some form of bladed weapon. Perhaps the ceremonial weapons Raj`je had mentioned what seemed like days ago.

      This impasse held until the driver suddenly grabbed at Kirks pistol shouting. Averof was upon him before the translation could get through, but eventually a shout of “danger not, friends of Starfleet they are!” reached his ears in English.

      “What was that?” Kirk asked holding Averof off the Larsans who now had eyes the size of moons and glanced about in confusion and mild terror, his companion glued to the side of the cabin trying to be invisible.

      Averof followed orders quickly and gave the alien room to breath muttering apologies to his captain. The Larsans fear dissipated and he collected himself before speaking. “Friends of Starfleet and federation we and they are. Contact you during treaty thing we wished. Men extreme in their views attacked first, run we did and stumble into you we did while carrying friend of us to safety who was injured.”

      Kirk took a moment to process. Spock spoke first, “I believe that these two men were supposed to contact us during the banquet. But that others who were more violent in their opposition to the treaty signing attacked before they could speak to us. It would appear that these others are also a part of the group that wished to contact us.”

      Kirk nodded. He had reached the same conclusion but was just slower putting it into words than Spock. “What is it that you wanted to speak to us about?” Kirk asked.

      “For help of Starfleet against Klingon and other Larsans their friends are,” the driver answered eyes darting to the other group which had gotten much close while this conversation had been going on.

      “All is well now, no weapons needed for violence!” He shouted outside relief flowing into him. He suddenly grew almost limp. Sinking deep into the chair and sighing loudly.

      It was a feeling Kirk could well understand. The driver’s words sounded clearly like a plea for help. If he could just get one of the members of the group to explain what had happened and the extent of Klingon involvement. And then get at least one of them to return to star base twelve with him he could likely get the federation to take action in favour of the Larsans. Meaning his defying of orders had not been for nothing.



      They were brought into a house. From the looks of it a simple residential dwelling and not the more ornate domicile of a high placed official. Not the sort of place one would expect a major attack to be orchestrated and commanded.

      Hastily installed monitors and plotting tables dotted the main rooms of the house while armed guards swarmed the area. Missile and laser emplacements guarded the sky and off in the distance a row of aerial combat vehicles could be seen parked along a basic runway.

      The basement of the house held a war room. The kind of hodgepodge and quickly assembled place normally portrayed in film as belonging to the underdog rebel cell which was used in their war against the evil empire.

      It was a trope Kirk could well appreciate, the grizzled man before him also fit well the stereotypical rebel leader. Gruff and scarred a line of cauterized skin ran along the side of his face as a grizzly mark of some grievous injury. Judging by the wounds freshness it was gained fairly recently.

      “Glad we are to see with our eyes you.” The man said in a strained and throaty voice. Likely having something to do with damaged vocal cords.

      “I must apologize for your near-death experience, others wish to destroy the Klingon leadership and their puppets through any means necessary. They did not know of your presence at the banquet and would likely not have cared if they did know it.”

      Kirk was somewhat taken back by the mans switching to English, but recovered quickly, “we are most grateful for your agents, without them all four of us may likely have perished,” he said grateful that he would not have to put up with the translators butchered translations any longer.

      “I am Puv`le Kraksom, former member of the government before those supportive of an alliance with the Klingons launched their coup. And now current leader of the movement which wishes to restore the legitimate government to power.”

      Kirk nodded, “I am captain James Tiberius Kirk of the starship Enterprise,” he said. He turned and gestured to his officers, “this is commander Spock, Leftennant Averof and lieutenant Uhura.” Spock stepped forward.

      “Greetings member,” he said nodding his head slightly.

      “Camandey Spook,” Puv`le said mulling the strange words over for a moment. “Cepten Kurk,” he said as well before seemingly abandoning the effort to pronounce Human and Vulcan names. “Have you been able to contacy your ship?” He asked instead.

      Kirk shook his head wondering if the Larsans understood what the movement meant. “No we have not been able to reach our vessel since beaming down,” he said.

      “We assumed as much. Jamming has effected most of this continent and the string of battles that have erupted have merely made things worse,” Puv`le said shaking his head in sorrow.

      “We do have a tie in to the military communications network however you could use to contact your vessel,” Puv`le offered. “It is somewhat patchy with all that is going on, but you should be able to hold a brief voice only communication.”

      “Thank you,” Kirk breathed already looking for the station.

      “Captain a moment?” Spock asked diverting Kirks attention. “Lieutenant Uhura can raise the ship.”

      “What is it mister Spock?” Kirk could see that his first officer had a question at the tip of his tongue, though he did his best to hide it.

      “What do you intend to say once the ship is raised? Knowing that the channel may well be tapped by the Klingons and their supporters. And as you have yet to determine the intentions of our hosts.”

      Spock had a point. Kirk did not really have any plan for what he was going to say. He did not even know if the men around him would even want federation help. Or if at this point if the federation would have any interest in helping the union.

      But then the past few hours had gone along well enough without him having time to think up a plan. And he trusted that the trend would continue for the near future.

      “Member may I ask you a question?” Kirk asked mentally crossing his fingers.

      “Of course captain,” Puv`le said suddenly looking concerned at the others change in tone.

      “If I were to offer official help to your faction in restoring legitimate government to the union what would that entail?” Kirk asked.

      “We would not expect the aid of your federation until one of us has had the chance to petition your council on the matter. We would also of course plea for admission into the federation as soon as law and order is restored. And pledge to hold ourselves to the ideals such a position would demand.”

      Kirk breathed another silent sigh of relief, that was just what he wanted to hear. “In that case,” he said, “I offer federation support to you and your colleagues and request that you assign a delegation to accompany us back to our ship.”

      Puv`le was quick to respond, clearly he had been expecting more struggle to get such an outcome, “On behalf of my government and people I accept, six of us will accompany you back to your ship.”

      “Thank you,” Kirk said feeling a weight come of his shoulder as he finally accomplished at least half of what he had set out to do.

      It took some time longer for Uhura to raise Enterprise. She was unfamiliar with Larsan technology and her helper did not speak English like Puv`le. Making communication over translator difficult.

      But she managed and before long a familiar voice crackled over the speaker, “Captain are we glad to hear from you!”

      Kirk could not help but smile, “its good to hear a familiar voice mister Scott. Sorry it took so long for us to get in touch.”

      “Danne mention it captain, just glad your safe. Its not been looking good from our vantage point.”

      “I can imagine,” Kirk said wondering how widespread the fighting was. But he did not have time to ask, “mister Scott we don’t have time for chitchat, out communications may be cut off at any moment. We have eight to beam up immediately if your willing.”

      Scotty was willing and five minutes later Kirk and seven others, his original landing party and four larsans, materialized aboard Enterprise. Having just beamed down to the planet a few hours previously Kirk found the experience almost unbearable. He nearly fell over as a wave of nausea hit him. Spock had to prop up Uhura with one arm.

      One of the larsans, Kirk had not even learned their names, retched onto the deck. Soon another followed while the other two of the delegation ran from the transporter pad and to the doors trying to stay away.

      The bioscanner detected no foreign bacteria or anything harmful to the ship or its crew and with the blink of a green light the doors slid open silently and admitted the two Larsans spilling out into the anteroom of the transporter complex.

      “Captain sir,” Yeoman Rand said from beyond the door eying the Larsans with a curious eye. Behind her a somewhat disgruntled looking crewman moved into the transporter room and began to clean up the vomit.

      “Were we detected by the Klingons yeoman?” Kirk asked not having time for pleasantries. If the Klingons knew, or cared what Enterprise was doing their mission could be in jeopardy. Kirk silently hoped the Klingon forces were so thrown into chaos by the fighting that they were paying Enterprise hardly any intention at all.

      “I don’t know captain, so far they have been mostly concerned with the capital and the fighting there. Apparently most of their senior officers were in the hall when the fighting broke out and they have yet to account for all of them. They have been sending down a steady stream of drop ships and air support the past few hours though.”

      Rand eyed the group with obvious relief. “You all made it out ok it seems though.”

      Kirk attempted a smile, “more or less,” he said wondering how dishevelled he looked. Going off Averoff or Uhura he looked pretty rough. Spock somehow appeared none the worse for wear. At least his hair and uniform were still presentable and not bloodstained and tattered like Averofs.

      “Yeoman would you be so kind as to show our guests to quarters, Averof accompany her. Commander, Lieutenant would you follow me?” Kirk said jumping into captain mode. He imagined Scotty would have much to say once he made it to the bridge.

      Rand and Averof nodded and moved off while the three others made their way out of the transporter room and to the nearest turbolift. Leaving a transporter operator and crewman alone in the room.

      “Captain on deck!” Scotty thundered as Kirk and company entered the bridge. Kirk waved the salutes down and got to business.

      “Status mister Scott?” Kirk asked sitting down at the conn and glancing around the bridge to get a gauge on the feelings of the crew. They seemed alert. Not at all scared or alarmed at the ship’s situation. A good sign Kirk decided.

      “Could be a lot worse captain, the Klingons have been worked up into a frenzy the last few hours. It seems like they have been fighting a losing battle down there judging from the flurry of shuttles and what communications we have been able to intercept.”

      “Have you been able to decode much of what you have intercepted?” Spock asked already at his station and signing into the computer to get access to the sensor data Enterprise was taking in.

      Scotty shook his head in a negative, “we have not. Klingon codes are still quite good. However one of the smaller cruisers has already left the system at high warp.”

      Scotty moved over to the helm and leaning over Sulu`s shoulder he keyed up a report and looked over it before nodding to himself. If it was important he did not say anything about it before he moved over to the bridges engineering console. There he keyed up another report and read through it.

      “Anything to tell me mister Scott?” Kirk asked wondering what his chief engineer was up to.

      Scotty sounded almost conversational, “well sir I was just checking a program I was running on passive sensors trying to track aerial traffic on the planets surface.” Scotty huffed, “haven found anything terribly useful yet,” he reported.

      Kirk nodded wondering what use he had for this information. He himself keyed up a report on the ship’s current situation. Scotty had been right one of the Klingon vessels previously in orbit was gone. And it looked like another was in the process of powering up its own engines to follow.

      The report went on further to say that a small nuclear weapon in the ten to twenty kiloton range had been detonated around a city on the southern continent. Fighting had also spread to much of the world and even the system with some warships firing weapons at one another.

      In summary the system was a warzone. A warzone with many different factions if what he had heard from Puv`le and his delegation was true. It was so far fortunate that no faction had decided to target the Enterprise. Though a few shots had been already taken at the Klingon vessels. Likely a major reason for the retreat of Klingon forces from the area.

      In short, the situation was chaotic and changing rapidly for the worse. And who knew if the Larsans, or even Klingons would soon turn their attention to Enterprise.

      “Mister Sulu I see a course is plotted for star base twelve?” Kirk asked deciding that it was best if the ship did not wait around long enough to give the opportunity for an attack to either the Larsans or Klingons. Sulu nodded hand hovering over the board.

      “Please enter it in and execute as soon as you are ready,” Kirk ordered knowing it Sulu would have it done likely before he had even finished. As if on cue just moments later Sulu commented, “course laid in for star base twelve at warp six.”

      “Engage mister Sulu!” Kirk said eager to once again feel the vibrations of the ship’s engines under his feet. Vibrations that told him the ship would be traveling far away from Larsa and all its troubles.



      Captains log stardate 309044.18

      Enterprise managed to leave the Larsan Union without major incident, although the Klingons seemed suspicious at our sudden urge to leave. With envoys aboard we will arrive at star base twelve in a few days where hopefully they will be able to garner Federation support for their moderate faction in what seems to be a full-blown civil war.

      As for myself I find it likely that our actions will not be looked upon well by Starfleet. However captain’s prerogative and initiative being well ingrained into the service it is unlikely either myself or members of my crew will face any punishment for their actions.

      If it should come down to it I shall Endeavor to protect my crew, holding that it was my orders they followed and thus my butt that should be punished. However again, as we have managed to give the federation a cause for aiding the union I doubt it will come to that.

      Kirk ended the entry there. It still needed work. And a lot of it at that. The entry seemed to much like he was justifying himself and mentioning to often that he would likely not face punishment. Almost as if he was saying that just to hope it was true. It also made it seem that he only cared about intervening in the civil war tearing the Union apart.

      He then wondered for not the first time if that was such a good thing. Allowing the federation to get involved in the Larsan civil war could conceivably result in a quick win for the moderates like Puv`le. Also it could result in a massive long-lasting intervention along the lines of Starfleet’s current intervention in the triangle and other historic interventions like the American war in Vietnam or French efforts in equatorial Africa during the 2130s.

      And then there was the question of if the Klingons would support a side in the conflict. Such an occurrence would make the parallels with Vietnam even more pronounced. And there was also the possibility of what happened if Klingon and Starfleet came to direct blows. The Eugenics wars showed how that could likely turn out.

      Another sigh, this time deeper and much longer. Dammit to hell! Kirk swore to himself. He had been supposed to open the process that would admit the Larsan Union into the Federation. Not try to undermine the Klingon position by contacting resistance movements. And certainly not get dragged into a civil war in its early stages.

      He swore again at himself for enjoying the whole thing so much. Covert sensor sweeps, made up pretences for involving the ship in Klingon affairs, and the deadly firefight. He felt alive. Like he was doing something important. It was a feeling far more invigorating than escorting a convoy of merchant men or taking part in diplomatic exchanges.

      He finally turned off the computer and dimmed the lights. This train of thought would get him nowhere. Better to get some sleep and work on the log entry in the morning when he wasn’t feeling so negative. Any other work he had could also wait a few hours as well.



      They approach ever nearer! One of the beings said. Well, not so much said as thought. Communication between beings of pure energy and light is a difficult thing for mere physical mortals to comprehend.

      We must destroy them as we have done to others! Another being also of light said urgently. Before they grow to important that their destruction does not cause a total collapse. I warned you all these races represent a clear danger! Yet no one listened then. Take heed now!

      A third being scoffed. He had heard this all many times before. And always the outcome had been the same, he had no reason to believe this latest threat would be any different.

      They dislike one another immensely. Perhaps they will make war upon another to their joint extinction. A fourth being said thoughtfully putting forth a plausible end to the threat. And one that required no intervention on their part.

      The third being sensed words on the very edge of another’s tongue, or what passed for a tongue in the realm of thought-speech. What is it young one? He asked putting an abrupt end to the argument with his words. He was to be respected by all and once he spoke all stopped talking themselves to listen to what he had to say.

      Cautiously this new voice spoke. He was young compared to the others and normally would lack a voice in any discussion. His inclusion into the current debate was highly unusual, and he knew that but was determined to be heard.

      They are an interesting species. Combining violence and passion with calculation and cunning in a fascinating manner. Our study of them has not even lasted a cycle. We should continue to learn from them.

      The room burst into uproar as the phrase “learn from them” was processed. Uproar began with many insults being shouted back at the speaker. Words just as hurtful over thought as with traditional sound waves.

      And yet behind the uproar the senior being could sense something else. He sensed that the words of the young one was hardly unique amongst others of his age. Increasingly calls had been put forth for greater exploration of the races around them. Many pointed out that their home was well hidden enough that they would remain safe for many millennia to come. Why spend that time holding races back when you could observe them.

      Silence! The senior being boomed turning the space around him quiet. This one’s idea has merit. At least for the Humans which are the far more fascinating species. For now, we will observe them in their natural environment.

      He had spoken, and all knew that further argument was impossible. Conversation now turned to how best to observe the Humans. All agreed that only small-scale observation, perhaps aboard one of their starships was for the best. It was also decided that the vessel would need to be subjected to both macro and micro level tests to fully understand Humans.

      Eventually it was worked out that a single observer would be dispatched to interact with the chosen vessel and its crew. And that it would be he that would execute any and all tests the vessel was subjected to. He would then report back his findings.

      But until such an individual could be selected and trained a few large tests were to be performed. Some new, others time tested. One or two of which had even been conducted already on Humanity, or at least Human vessels.

      After much debate all agreed and the tests were ordered to begin at once. As soon as a vessel was selected. One with a suitably large crew to give the tests as big a pool as possible to see the results.​
     
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  13. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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    So for anyone's who's following this and wondering what the D7 and C-9 classes look like, here they are (right side, D7 is the top one and the C-9 is the one in the middle right).
     
  14. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    The C-9 being a light cruiser of the Klingon fleet. There is also the E-10 down there on bottom, a small Klingon escort and scoutship.
     
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  15. Threadmarks: Episode two. Charlie X, part one.
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Stardate 309063.8

    Enterprise has left star base twelve after spending almost two months in berth while a hearing was held over our actions in the Larsan civil war. Both myself and vessel have been cleared of any blame for the events of that mission by a board of inquiry and we have been assigned a mission to star base ten to deliver hard copies of Starfleet command orders for the sector.

    Enroute to the star base we received a message from the UES Antares, a scoutship which recently returned from a survey of the Priester cluster. In their message they claimed to have a survivor of a crashed civilian surveyor which suffered engine failure over one of the planets in the cluster. Due to our higher speed they have asked if we can take the survivor to star base ten. However, they have so far failed to give us any further information.

    Antares is approaching Enterprise quickly and we shall take custody of this person as soon as the two ships have assumed a parallel course with one another. I wonder how this survivor managed to live for ten years on a barren and lifeless world like those of the Priester cluster. Surely this individual will require extensive physiatric treatment.

    “UES Antares has confirmed parallel course with Enterprise sir,” Lieutenant Commander Hikaru Sulu the ships flight officer in charge of her helm and navigation reported.

    Kirk, who could see the same readouts as Sulu simply nodded and rose from his seat. “I will be in the transporter room to meet with the Antares captain, you have the conn mister Sulu.”

    Sulu nodded to this and rose to take the control chair in the center of the bridge. “Yes sir,” was all he said as he began to transfer over control to himself.

    Kirk disappeared into the turbolift at the back of the bride and ordered it to deck eight. As the doors closed he rubbed his eyes fighting a headache, something that despite hundreds of years modern medicine had yet to find a cure for.

    It was a short ride from the bridge to deck eight and soon the lift slid to a halt and the doors opened. Kirk walked the short distance over to the transporter room and entered into the anteroom where he was greeted by Spock and a transporter tech.

    “Captain,” Spock said nodding to his commanding officer with either indifference or Vulcan lack of emotion.

    “Good morning mister Spock, have you sorted out the fluctuation in the matter flow dilator?” Kirk asked returning the greeting and looking over into the small room where the transporter control pad and hardware were located.

    “The problem if fixed, it was discovered that one of the dilator processors was flawed. It has been replaced with a new module and all tests indicate the transporter will function properly.”

    Kirk hoped Spock was right. At the best of times a transporter made him uncomfortable. And although irregular when they did occur transporter malfunctions were horrible. Either the device never rematerialized the individual, or did but in gruesome fashion. Every time he used the device pictures of malfunction victims came to his mind.

    But Spock was not one to do anything half-way and if he said something was working then it more than likely exceeded Starfleet standards by a healthy margin. And the technician, a young woman named Albrecht, was quite capable as well.

    “Antares signals ready captain,” Albrecht said shortly after a beeping alert sounded on the control pad.

    “Energize,” Kirk ordered mentally crossing his fingers that the transporter worked.

    He had nothing to worry about. In a blinding shimmer of light and energy the forms of three individuals materialised on the transporter pad. Two men wearing Starfleet uniforms, the ships captain and first officer, and a young teenager who looked out of place in somewhat large civilian clothing.

    The three staggered as the transporter pad powered down, the full effect of being torn apart atom by atom never being a pleasant experience. However they seemed to recover quickly, the two Starfleet officers likely through training while the you man through the strength of youth was able to remain upright.

    “They check out as clear sir,” Albrecht reported. Kirk nodded in acknowledgement. From one Starfleet vessel to another the chances of foreign bacteria being discovered by the bio scanners built into the transporter were rare.

    “Would you let us through miss Albrecht?” Kirk asked. She smiled at the question, as captain Kirk had no need to ask for anything ever, but he had long ago found that asking often got better results than simply commanding.

    The doors from the anteroom into the transporter room proper swung open with a slight hiss of pressures matching and Kirk and Spock walked to the waiting visitors from Antares.

    “Captain Fergusson?” Kirk called as the senior most of the two officers caught sight of him and Spock. He gave Kirk a look of slight surprise. A look he had become quite accustomed to over the past three months as much older captains saw how young he was.

    “Kirk?” The older man called as if not quite believing that the man before him was captain of a heavy cruiser. Kirk nodded.

    “My first officer commander Spock,” Kirk said gesturing to his right where Spock had taken up position.

    “My first, commander Lebance,” Fergusson said the sight of a thirty-year-old captain and Vulcan in a Starfleet uniform beginning to register. Kirk wondered if the captain of Antares had even bothered to look up Enterprise.

    Fergusson finally shook off the odd look from his eyes and placed his hand on the shoulder of the youngest man in the room. “This is Charlie, only survivor of the civilian surveyor Heralder.”

    The young man, who could scarcely have been much past fifteen smiled uncertainly, “captain,” he said weakly.

    It was Kirks turn to stare. Antares had not mentioned anything particular about the survivor they had found. Saying only that the away team had found a man amongst the wreckage.

    Kirk ran through some mental math. Assuming he was fifteen then that would have put Charlie at a mere five years old at the time of the vessels crash. He tried not to judge the boy’s parents to harshly for bringing a child out on a potentially dangerous mission to deep space.

    The fact that there had been a survivor at all was astounding. But that he should be so young and seemingly so healthy was another matter in and of itself.

    Kirk sensed some uneasiness on the part of Fergusson and Lebance, as if neither was telling everything they knew. Looking at the two Kirk also gathered that they would not be staying long.

    As if reading his counterparts mind Fergusson spoke, “we must be getting back to Antares, we have been delayed significantly by this little diversion and must finish our survey mission.”

    “Of course,” Spock said stepping forward to fill the void between the two groups of officers. “Do you have any medical records from your sickbay you wish to send over?” He asked eyeing both Charlie and the Antares crew with a cold eye.

    Lebance spoke for his captain, “our medical department should have already sent a data packet over radio.”

    “Confirmed sir,” Albrecht reported from the operator room. “Communications reports a message being sent about a minute ago that was marked for doctor McCoy.”

    That was not all that unusual. But something still made Kirk think Fergusson was not telling him everything. He refused to make eye contact and shifted his weight between feet constantly.

    Perhaps sensing that Kirk had further questions he was not willing to answer Fergusson turned to Charlie, “these people will care for you now. They won’t hurt you.”

    To this Charlie merely nodded, a look on his face somewhere between discomfort and joy. Fergusson and Lebance exchanged a glance Kirk could not see and then the captain of Antares spoke, “now we must be getting back. It was good to meet you captain.”

    “And you as well,” kirk said not entirely sincerely.

    “You may beam us back as soon as you are ready,” Fergusson called to Albrecht who looked to Kirk. Without any reason to keep them he nodded to her.

    It took a moment to warm the transporters back up and get a positive lock with the transporter room aboard Antares. When this had been done she signalled ready from her console.

    “Energize!” Fergusson commanded and soon both he and commander Lebance had left the pad. Likely facing extreme discomfort as they rematerliazed back aboard Antares. Two uses of the transporter in such quick succession were not something the human body could bear on a regular basis.

    Kirk and Spock were left alone in the transporter room with the boy Charlie who looked between them with some slight confusion. Finally he asked, “why are your ears so weird?”

    “I am a Vulcan,” Spock said stiffly. Eyebrow raised.

    “He is not of Earth, the commander is an alien,” Kirk said unsure how much Charlie understood of the galaxy and its many races. He could not have learned much in his time alone.

    “I know what a Vulcan is!” Charlie exclaimed excitedly. “You see I used the ships memory banks to learn as much as I could. I bet I know lots more than most people seeing how all I had to do was learn.”

    Kirk wondered how the memory banks and at least one monitor from the Heralder had survived the crash. A thought Spock apparently shared, judging from the look he gave Kirk. But he decided this was not the time to ask about it. “You must be exhausted,” he said instead. “We will have to do some medical scans and then we will assign you some guest quarters to sleep in.”

    Charlie nodded in understanding. His nod ended suddenly when yeoman Rand walked into view, his head jerked suddenly to one side and his eyes bulged.

    “The yeoman will show you to sickbay,” Kirk said returning Rand`s polite smile and shuffling the boy her way.

    Charlie jerked back into reality, “you’re not coming?” He asked in surprise.

    Kirk did his best to ease the young man’s fears, “I have other things to attend to, but the yeoman here is more than capable of taking you to our sickbay and then quarters.”

    He could tell his words had little effect, “I want to stay with you,” Charlie protested.

    Rand stepped in and took charge of the boy, “captain Kirk is a busy man with an entire starship to run, I won’t hurt you. Promise.”

    Charlie seemed still uncertain but moved to follow Rand giving the yeoman a thorough lookover as the two left the transporter room.

    “Curious,” Spock commented as soon as the two had moved off.

    “Its like he expected me to show him around personally,” Kirk said in agreement.

    “I was not only referring to the boy, the actions of captain Fergusson also lead to some questions.” Spock gestured to the now vacant transporter pad.

    Kirk was glad he was not the only one to sense something was off with the two other officers, “can you think of any reason the captain and first officer of the Antares would beam over to Enterprise, deliver a child and then beam back seconds later?” Kirk asked.

    “They did claim to be in some hurry to get back to their survey mission,” Spock suggested.

    “Have you ever known a scout to be in a hurry to get back to a survey mission in a lifeless star cluster?” Kirk asked pointedly. Spock shook his head slightly after thinking for a few seconds.

    “I have not, although perhaps Antares is involved in some pursuit that is not entirely legal in the Priester cluster and wish to get back to whatever it is as soon as possible.”

    Kirk, who had thought the same thing nodded, “certainly something to mention in a report,” he said just before the comm panel beside the door beeped.

    Walking the short distance Kirk thumbed the acceptance key, “Kirk here.” He said in as formal a voice as he could manage.

    “Captain this is the bridge,” Sulu`s voice came through the speaker. “Just wanted to inform you that Antares has left our proximity at high warp and wishes to send you their regards.”

    “Acknowledged bridge,” Kirk said. The notification was hardly unexpected given Fergusson’s apparent hurry. Nor was their sending him regards, it was in fact something of a tradition within Starfleet. “Anything else?” He asked.

    “Mister Scott request your presence in the reactor room, something about a minor field adjustment he wants to make.” Sulu said with a hint of boredom coming into his voice. Kirk only smiled.

    Commander Montgomery Scott, Enterprise`s chief engineer, was always wanting to make some adjustment or modify some piece of the ships hardware to give it marginally increased performance. Often somewhere in the range of a one to five percent boost. Kirk had grown used to such requests in the months since he first assumed control. “Tell him commander Spock and I will be down in a few minutes.” He said.
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Episode Two. Charlie X, part two.
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    “That wasn’t so bad was it?” Rand asked Charlie as the two of them left sickbay behind.

    Rubbing his shoulder Charlie disagreed, “those needles hurt,” he complained.

    “Yes, but you lived through it and now doctor McCoy can say for sure that your healthy and none the worse for wear after going through what you did.” Rand pointed out still maintaining a friendly tone. It was something she had found came in handy when she had dealt with her nieces and nephews during family reunions.

    “I didn’t like the doctor, he was mad,” Charlie said still refusing to cheer up. “And I don’t like needles. They gave me a few shots on Antares bigger than those and they really hurt!”

    Rand guided Charlie to the turbolift and tried to come up with a suitable response to his outburst. None came to mind and instead she ordered the lift to deck five, the forward section.

    “You actually have pretty good quarters, towards the front of the primary hull with good views and you will be very close to the forward recreational deck.” Rand said trying to casually change the subject.

    “Recreational deck?” Charlie asked the word sounding unfamiliar to his ears.

    Rand was momentarily stunned, but then remembered the circumstances of the boy’s life. “You know, fun, games and food. I`ll show you,” she offered as the lift came to a stop.

    Charlie was unsure but followed Rand out of the lift and to the short distance to the forward recreational deck. Informally known as Red One by most of the crew save a few holdouts.

    As the doors opened Charlie gasped at the vast open space that appeared before him. The room was a massive two deck space with an upper promenade containing mostly dining booths overlooking both the three massive windows looking out to the space ahead of the ship, and the gaming area below on the lower deck.

    “Its huge,” he finally managed to say eyes still glued to the room before him.

    “It’s the largest room in the command hull,” Rand said watching the excitement in the boy’s eyes. She had felt something similar when she had first seen rec one, and to be honest the amazement had not yet entirely faded.

    She showed Charlie a few of the different games that could be played at the big tables, he watched with intense interest with all of them. But he seemed to pay special attention when a cube building game came up. He even played it for a few minutes before moving on to the next game.

    She also showed Charlie how to order different food from the automated system. The variety of dishes available to him seemed to good to believe and he spent perhaps twenty minutes doing nothing other than ordering again and again off the menu until eventually one of the cooks came personally to the table and asked him to stop.

    That was the que for them to leave and with minimal prodding Rand managed to get Charlie out of rec one with promises that he would be able to go back many more times before they reached star base ten. She led him down the main corridor to a block of empty guest quarters.

    She stopped in front of one of the larger cabins and used her authorisation to open the doors. “Its not the largest cabin we have, but it has a good view out ahead of the ship and easy access to the lift and rec one depending on where you want to go.”

    Charlie peered in the open room for a moment before he stepped in. Rand turned on the lights and showed him around, the room was rectangular in shape. With a small bedroom on one end separated from the main living space by a thin wall and a head complete with shower on the other end. The living space in between was big enough for a couch and entertainment centre with a little bit of floor left for walking around. It was about average for officers’ quarters, and was far larger than her own quarters, which she shared with two other people.

    “This is all mine?” Charlie said eyes wide. He wondered aimlessly around the room and finally plopped himself down on the couch and looked around. “Its so big.”

    Again Rand smiled, she was doing a lot of that, but Charlie was so sweet and innocent. Looking at every little thing in open wonder. Even little things like the shower seemed to be incredible to him.

    “If you need anything use the comm, I will be off duty in a half hour, but someone will be able to help you.”

    “Your leaving?” Charlie was up off the couch and to the door in one nervous instant.

    “I can’t stay here,” Rand laughed. Charlie sunk back into the chair dejectedly. Almost as if he was deflating. Rand could not help but feel sorry. “Look,” she said moving to sit down next to him. “I will be back tomorrow afternoon to check up on you. You can go to rec one for breakfast if you like and meet me back here noonish,” she suggested.

    “Ok, I can live with that,” Charlie said clearly not entirely happy to be separated from practically the only person he knew on the ship, but he seemed to accept that Rand could not spend every second of every day with him. “Just please don’t forget about me,” he pleaded.

    “How could I forget about you?” Rand asked shaking her head. “Trust me you are the most interesting person I have met since I was assigned to Enterprise. It will take me a lot longer than a night to forget about you.”

    Charlie again brightened and walked Rand to the door, he was already chatting about what he would do in the morning once he woke up, Rand gave him access to the ships computer, basic level, before she left and Charlie spent some hours reading as much as he could about the ship and making plans for what he would explore in the morning.

    So engrossed was he in what he was reading that he fell asleep at the computer terminal hunched over the display. Sometime in the middle of the night he woke up with a start only to realise what he had done and move to the bed. Where he soon fell back asleep.



    Charlie woke up early the next morning and after consuming nearly a dozen fried eggs, quarter pound of bacon and a litre of coffee in the span of fifteen minutes he left rec one and began to wonder around the ship. Not every section of the vast Enterprise was accessible to him, which Charlie thought made sense. Wouldn’t want just anybody wondering into what had to be really dangerous places.

    He eventually got the turbolift working and it took him all around the ship, where he was allowed to go. He visited the sickbay again, though only long enough to watch the doctor perform a quick exam. He then wondered around the scientific department for around an hour, looking into the various laboratories and speaking with a number of crew when he saw them.



    Captain Kirk was making his daily inspection, really just wondering around from one department to the other and speaking with the personnel on duty for a bit. It was nothing as official as a dress inspection or even his weekly reviews and all he spoke to were well at ease, not really worried about impressing their captain to much. Just doing their job and answering any of his questions.

    In each department he spoke with the senior most officer in overall charge of it. Engineering had seen Kirk walk with Scotty for almost an hour, while the ships quartermaster had warranted only a ten-minute walk.

    The science department under Spock Kirk hoped would take somewhere in between the two extremes. Located on decks two, three, four and five most of the science labs were close together and hardly staffed this early in the morning.

    They had just toured the stellar cartography and planetary geology labs and were on their way to the biosciences department when they encountered Charlie around a corner. The young boy was startled, but recovered quickly and stammered out a greeting to Kirk and Spock.

    “Exploring?” Kirk asked seeing no one with him. Not that anyone needed to accompany the child, there was not really much trouble he could get into that Kirk could think of in the primary hull.

    “Yes sir, miss Rand said we could have lunch together in the afternoon and that I may like to see some of the ship before then.”

    It was a good suggestion, and one that the yeoman had likely made thinking it would be good for him to adjust to his changed circumstances if he were aloud some time alone. Spock obviously thought otherwise. “You have been simply walking the corridors of the ship? Without any guide or destination in mind?” He asked.

    “I had hoped for a look at the bridge, but I could not get there. The computer said something about clearance,” Charlie answered looking not at Spock, but at Kirk. “Could you give me a tour captain?” He asked brightening. Kirk noted that he seemed to go from low to high rather often. A side effect of the years of isolation?

    “I`m afraid I have some other business to attend to currently. Maybe after you have lunch with yeoman Rand you and her can meet with me? I should be free and would love to give you a tour of the ship. How does that sound?”

    “It sounds great!” Charlie yelled, startling Kirk and resulting in a raised eyebrow from Spock who looked over the child with an examining eye. Charlie noticed and gave back a look of his own, frowning at something.

    Kirk glanced at the old-fashioned watch he usually wore on special occasions but had put on this morning. “You had better head for rec one soon, its almost eleven hundred and thirty hours,” he said wondering if Charlie, or Spock for that matter knew how to read a watch with hands. In a completely digital age it was a rare skill for a person to have.

    Charlie jumped and excused himself from Kirk and Spock’s company. He did not want to be late, he even asked for the best way to the turbolift as he ran off. Not waiting for Spock’s answer before he had disappeared down a long hallway.

    “He seems quite attached to the yeoman,” Spock said once Charlie was gone. “And also, you.”

    I think he may have a slight crush on Rand, she is very pretty. But he will get over it once he gets to star base ten and meets girls his own age. And I have no idea what you are talking about,” Kirk turned back towards the direction of biosciences and shook his head. Though Spock did make a point, Charlie seemed very happy at the idea of Kirk giving him a tour.

    “He may even look up to you as a father figure, the boy seemed not to like captain Fergusson all that much.”

    Kirk had noted Charlie`s seeming dislike of the captain of the Antares as well, but he did not think Charlie saw him as anything other than a starship captain. And he was not comfortable of anyone seeing him as a father. A feeling which had nothing to do with his age.

    “I think you have no idea about fathers,” Kirk said not wanting to talk about it anymore. Deciding to change the subject he asked, “who is on duty in biosciences right now?”



    Charlie had just about made it to rec one when he realised how he would look if he went storming through the door’s red in the face and out of breath. Stopping to take a breath he pushed his mind ahead and into the massive room ahead. A trick he had learned during his time as a castaway, a term he had learned in an old book.

    Charlie smiled at the memory of learning the trick, his benefactors, another word he had learned from old books, had taught him it when he was rather young. Likely not to long after initially climbing out of the escape pod. The ability to extend his mind around him had come in handy a number of times since then. Allowing him to sense dangerous predators long before they could even see him. And to sneak undetected upon prey.

    When he had been first rescued he had assumed all humans had this ability, but after spending time on Antares with its mean captain and crew he had decided otherwise, not only did they seem to lack the ability, but they seemed unaware he possessed it at all.

    Antares had been a bad place, its crew were all older and grumpy. They did not like him, and after he tested some of his abilities on the ship’s surgeon. Nothing serious, just a prank, they had become terrified of him, the ships captain had even threatened him if he did anything like that again.

    When he learned he was going to be put aboard Enterprise he had decided to hide his abilities from these new people and had taken steps to prevent Antares from relaying any mention of his abilities.

    All this thinking was disrupting his concentration and so, breath nearly caught, he focused on Rand. Her mind was happy, appearing as a warm light. But underneath it was a nervousness, likely her wondering if he would come. Wouldn’t she be surprised to hear where he had been.

    He entered the room and looked around, he could sense she was close, but he had never been able to clearly see where a being was. Regardless he soon located her and he stopped dead in his tracks.

    She was with a group of people, three to be exact, two men and another woman. And then Charlie got a clear sense on her emotion, it was happiness, but not at the thought of seeing him, rather she was happy about being in the presence of one of the men, the tall dark haired one sitting in front of her.
     
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  17. Threadmarks: Episode two. Charlie X, part three.
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Rand was enjoying a breakfast with her roommate Nancy and two others, one of whom, Steve Pratt, she had dated a few times, while she waited for Charlie. A scream at the back of rec one caused her to raise her head. She saw Charlie storming her way red faced and sputtering.

    She rose to meet him confused and mildly scared. She tried to ask him what was wrong, instead he simply brushed past her and continued on to Steve. Grabbing the much taller man it initially appeared to Rand that the boy was biting off more than he could chew. Not that she understood why he was doing it in the first place.

    Steve clearly thought so as well and tried to pry himself away from the much smaller teenager. When that failed, and Charlie proved to have to tight a grip he grabbed the young man and tossed him to the ground, “call security,” he told Rand standing over Charlie. Rand turned and ran to the comm panel mounted in the wall.

    She turned when she heard Steve suddenly scream. She had just time to see her friend consumed in pale red light, clearly in agony, and then in a blink of red-white light he was replaced with a small lizard which scampered away towards the safety of the dark recesses underneath the tables.

    “You can’t love him!” Charlie screamed as chaos engulfed rec one. Men and women rushing to get away from whatever Charlie was. The smell of fear and panic filled the room and screams from at least one woman could be heard.

    “I had to!” Charlie moaned moving towards Rand. Thinking only that she had to get away she turned and ran as fast as she could, pursued by Charlie who cried for her from a few meters behind her.

    She had not idea how long she had run for until Charlie`s screams ceased to follow her. But eventually she ran into the captain and commander Spock who had likely just finished their tour of the ship.

    Kirk reached out and grabbed her, she nearly ran right past them. “What is it yeoman?” He asked noticing the fear in her eyes.

    Rand struggled for a moment, but eventually she realized she was safe. Collapsing into Kirks embrace she sobbed, “Charlie! Charlie saw me with Steve and turned him into a lizard!”

    “A lizard?” Spock asked somewhere between disbelief and shock. Rand did not have time to correct him as alarms throughout the ship began to blare as reports of the occurrence reached the bridge.

    “Where is Charlie?” Kirk asked.

    “I don’t know, last I saw him he was following me up the stairwell between E and F deck.” Rand was frightened by the alarms, but managed to regain some of her composure. She shook off Kirk and took a deep breath. “Would you like me to help look for him?” She asked, not out of any desire to be anywhere near him. But because she followed orders, no matter how they made her feel.

    Kirk had other ideas, “get her to the bridge, she can help search for Charlie,” Kirk ordered Spock. “I`m going to try to talk to him, maybe I can calm him down.”

    Spock moved to comply, guiding Rand towards a turbolift. But he had to ask, “what makes you think you will be able to calm the child?”

    “You said that he may see me as a father figure, maybe I can use that to calm him.” Kirk felt silly answering, but he had to try talking to him before resorting to a more permanent solution. Spock understood that and nodded.

    Kirk ran to a comm panel and keyed for the bridge. “Captain we were just trying to alert you! It seems that Charlie has some kind of mental powers,” Lieutenant Samuel, a ranking weapons specialist who had been acting as interim tactical officer said in a blur of words.

    “I know, I have sent commander Spock and yeoman Rand away, they will be on the bridge shortly. Work with mister Spock and see if you can locate Charlie, also send a security team to the forward stairwell on E deck. I will meet them there.” Kirk said cutting off anything else Samuel had to say.

    A moment pause and Samuel spoke again, “yes sir, a team is on their way and we will be waiting for commander Spock.”

    “Thank you!” Kirk said into the comm before rushing off in the direction of the stairwell. Alarms ringing in his ears he felt naked running towards something that could potentially be dangerous without a weapon. Then again, he did not know how Charlie would respond to seeing him with a weapon in hand.



    Charlie had stopped chasing after Rand about halfway to the stairwell and began to cry. He did not really know why, partly it was out of anger at himself for using his powers in such a public way. Partly it was out of regret for his actions, he had basically destroyed any feelings Rand may have ever had for him.

    Mostly he cried for the likely repercussions for his actions. He could never live a normal life now. They would take him and study him, or throw him into prison. His benefactors would not be happy either, they had warned him that he should be careful using the gifts they had given him. Make sure he never used them obviously or to give himself to great an advantage. This counted as an obvious use of his powers.

    But then again, his benefactors had warned, not threatened him. Perhaps he was beyond their reach now. Afterall he had not heard anything from them since leaving the planet. Perhaps he could use his powers and not attract their attention.

    A thought suddenly occurred to him, the tales of past conquerors of the past came to mind. Alexander the great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Genghis Khan, Khan Singh and others. They had each amassed huge empires through personal power and military might. And not one of these men of the past had wielded the power he had.

    As a young boy living in exile he had dreamed of becoming one of these conquerors. With millions, perhaps billions living under his control. Without a single person to talk to for so long it had seemed like an impossible dream. But now?

    Further thoughts were interrupted by the sense of a person coming his way fast. Extending his mind towards the individual Charlie knew it was captain Kirk. He was worried, worried but not frightened. Which both confused and somewhat angered Charlie. Why should Kirk not fear him? He had already demonstrated his tremendous mental powers, even if only a fraction of their full potential. Any normal human should be cowering in some dark corner from him.

    It was strange Charlie thought. Just minutes prior such a thought as people cowering before him would have caused a massive panic attack. Now? Now such thoughts made him smile.



    Kirk paused a sudden chill running down his back. The stairwell had been empty, without even a trace of the boy. Now on E deck something moved around the corner ahead of him.

    It was Charlie, tears streaming down his face. Kirk abruptly stopped some four metres away. “Charlie,” he said putting as much compassion and concern as he could into his voice. Charlie to came to a stop and looked up at him. Kirk gulped in a breath of air.

    “I don’t know how you did it, but you need to turn the man back from a lizard if you can,” he said getting no reaction from Charlie. “You aren’t in any trouble yet, but you will need to explain how you have these powers. Are you really human?”

    Something about Kirks mental sense shifted in Charlie`s mind. And there was something in the way he had said human, in his mind Kirk saw Charlie as different. Which he was.

    Still it was this feeling of segregation, or differentness that the captain and crew of the Antares had felt towards him. And from the mental sense of other members of the crew Charlie knew that all felt the same way.

    Well, this time he could not deal the same way with Enterprise as he had Antares. Even if he could get aboard another vessel he doubted he could exert the necessary control from a such a great distance over so many minds. He didn’t have the mental discipline for it. No it seemed that people would see him this way from now on.

    Charlie didn’t even care, he had grown in the past few hours and come to realise that if he couldn’t be one of them he could just as easily be their leader. Using the same fear as Rand had he could control millions, while with his closer companions he could use a more direct control.

    “I am human captain,” Charlie said finally. Another shiver ran down Kirks back, the boys face and voice had changed. His posture as well had become straighter, more confident. It was as if he had made a sudden decision. Kirk had a feeling it would not be pleasant.

    “Perhaps human is not the right word captain,” Charlie continued. “You see I am human in body, but mentally I am far superior. Perhaps superhuman. Like the heroes and villains in old comic books.”

    Kirk was familiar with some of the stories he spoke of, and Charlie was talking more like a Villain. One without a corresponding hero to best him. “Don’t do anything further, we can help you,” Kirk offered. Charlie laughed.

    At that moment four security personnel came around the corner weapons at the ready. Charlie heard them coming, he had been distracted by Kirk. Turning he caught sight of the weapons and reacted. The four men plus Kirk suddenly dropped to the floor gasping in pain as waves of flame engulfed their bodies. Or so it felt to them.

    Charlie smiled. He had done this illusion before on the small animals around the wreck site. With some disappointment he felt that the feeling was much the same as those tiny creatures had felt. He got the sense of pain and fright, not anything more advanced. Their bodies also wriggled in much the same way as animals.

    Charlie watched them for a few minutes as he contemplated his next move smiling throughout their intense agony. Only after making a decision did he leave them, putting them to sleep with a wave of mental energy and leaving them in the hall where they had fell. Weapons and all, he had no use for such things.



    On the bridge things were not going well. The ship was in turmoil as frantic reports came in from all sections, flowing the comms board and forcing Uhura to call in an assistant to help her sort through the volume of reports.

    There was no word from the captain. In fact the security team he had asked for was also overdue for a report. Spock had sent another team to investigate. But they had yet to find anything.

    The only thing Spock was sure of was that Charlie was not anywhere near rec one. Possible not even in the primary hull. Or even the ship. Spock had locked down all sections immediately after arriving on the bridge, and begun a section by section search of the ship for the child. However Enterprise was a big ship. And only ten percent of the ship had so far been searched.

    On top of it all Uhura had received a report from the UES Tijger, a destroyer which responded to a distress call from UES Antares. Tijger reported the entire ship destroyed, apparently in a reactor meltdown. There were no survivors.

    Spock did not have time to consider the loss of Antares. Although he considered it odd that a ship belonging to a class with a generally excellent reactor safety record. Indeed, reactor meltdowns of the type which had consumed Antares were exceedingly rare, Spock was far busier with other business and so filed that away for future contemplation.

    Lieutenant Uhura caught his attention and he put down a report from the ships gunnery department which said Charlie was nowhere in their section and came over. “They found the captain and security team on E deck. They were on the floor and unresponsive. The team reports they have been rushed to sickbay.”

    “Were their any wounds or phaser burns apparent?” Spock asked hoping the boy had not managed to somehow get his hands on a phaser. Such a weapon in the hands of an inexperienced user could be disastrous. Fortunately Uhura shook her head.

    “It doesn’t appear so, and the team reported that all four phaser rifles were with the original team and the captain.”

    “The team and captain were together?” Spock asked. Uhura nodded.

    “Yes sir they were, though the team and Kirk were facing eachother. Perhaps they found Charlie and he did this to them?” She suggested. Spock had come to the same conclusion.

    “What is their condition?” He asked.

    “Sickbay just says they are unresponsive, doctor McCoy is trying to revive them, he warns though that he is not sure how much stress that would cause. Apparently their nervous systems have taken quite a beating.”

    Spock made a decision, “Inform doctor McCoy that I will be there shortly, and that he is to do everything he can to resuscitate the captain and security team. They may have information vital to our apprehension of the boy.”

    Spock did not consider his order overly harsh. McCoy would not do anything that would kill them. And any brain damage could be repaired once they reached star base ten.

    Unfortunately doctor McCoy did not think along similar lines to Spock. “I won’t do it!” He said for the fifth time by Spock’s count. “Its dangerous and I won’t do it!” A sixth time. Spock did not have time to debate the matter and so with a sigh brought his full demeanour to bear.

    “Doctor I haven’t time to discuss this matter with you, if you do not comply with my orders I will relieve you of duty and have one of your orderlies wake them. And before you mention and regulations which you feel may hold me back from such action I remind you of regulation 223C, which gives me complete authority in situations where the captain is dead or otherwise incapacitated.”

    “This is going in a full report!” McCoy shouted. But the desire to argue had left his eyes and he had injected Kirk and the four security men with a powerful stimulant which quickly brought them into full consciousness.

    Blinking at the sudden rush of light Kirk gasped suddenly for breath and thrashed around only for McCoy to be by his side hypospray at the ready. “Easy Jim its ok, your fine,” the doctor said managing to calm the captain without using whatever was in the hypo.

    “What happened?” Kirk asked a confused look on his face as he took his change of surroundings in. “Last thing I remember was Charlie using some kind of torture on me, it felt like I was being burned alive!” He tore at his shirt to get a look at his chest, only to see pale unburnt skin.

    “Curious,” Spock muttered from beside Kirks bed. McCoy shot him a dirty look, Kirk turned, something about the tone of his first officer.

    “Something on your mind mister Spock?” He asked.

    Spock hesitated, it had really only been a passing thought. And an ill-advised remark. But he could not tell his captain it was nothing. “A thought captain about the boy Charlies apparent mental abilities.” Kirk prodded him to say more with a look of impatience. “Humans possess some basic level of telepathic and mental abilities, about the norm for most beings. Far below the abilities of the average Vulcan.”

    “What a nice way to mention your superior mental capabilities, do you have a point?” McCoy asked. Spock decided it best to ignore him, casting simply a disparaging glance and raised eyebrow his way before continuing.

    “It is unlikely that the boy developed these abilities on his own during his years of isolation. His demonstrated abilities outstrip even the strongest Vulcan mental powers that I am aware of by a significant margin. He had even showed substantial ability to project his power over vast distances.”

    “He had?” Kirk asked trying to think of an example where Charlie had done that.

    “You were unconscious at the time captain, but we received word from the UES Tijger that Antares suffered an apparent reactor malfunction. Normally such a disaster would be assumed to be the result of a tragic accident or faulty engine components. However, given Charlies apparent dislike or even hatred for the ship I find it unlikely that this is a coincidental destruction.”

    “How far away was Antares Spock?” Kirk asked a knot forming in his chest as he pondered the true power of the boy.

    “Anywhere from sixteen to thirty lightyears captain. It is difficult to day given our two divergent courses and uncertain timeline.” Spock answered without a moments pause.

    Playing back the conversation he had just had with Spock as a way to make sure his brain was working Kirk caught something, “you said you thought it unlikely that Charlie developed these powers on his own. How would you guess he got them?”

    “Many older spacefaring species speak of a highly advanced civilization whose members possessed impressive mental capacity. Tales of vaporizing warships, controlling weather with mere thought and teleportation without any visible technology are spoken of.”
    “Your blaming all this on the bogey man Spock! You must be grasping at straws!” McCoy said as he walked away towards the beeping comm.

    Spock waited for the doctor to be out of earshot before continuing, and even then he studied Kirks face intently. He fully realized that what he was saying sounded like a thin answer, and it was if he was being honest with himself. But it was the only thing he could think of that began to make any of this make sense.

    “You think some remnant of this ancient race survived and imbued Charlie with these powers? Perhaps even his essence?” Kirk asked before Spock could speak.

    “I do. It is also possible that whatever gave Charlie these powers intended for the boy to behave this way as a means of accomplishing some ultimate goal.” Spock frowned, something about the way McCoy stood over the comm gave him pause. Unable to make out any words from his conversation Spock stopped talking to observe McCoy`s body language.

    Kirk caught on and he to turned his head to watch the doctor. “something the matter?” He asked after a moment. McCoy flinched and hastily severed the connection to whatever he was listening to.

    “Charlie is on the bridge, that was Sulu asking what your condition was. He came in while I was telling Sulu that you were more or less stable, all I heard was Sulu calling his name and then screaming.” McCoy said ashen and shaking.

    Before anyone could say anything further a shipwide alert sounded, causing both Kirk and McCoy to jump.

    “ATTENTION THIS IS A SHIPWIDE ANNOUNCEMENT INFORMING YOU THAT I, CHARLIE HAVE TAKEN OVER ENTERPRISE AND AM SETTING THE SHIP ON A COURSE FOR EARTH.”

    Dazzled looks were exchanged between Kirk and McCoy, Kirk turned to Spock to see that the other was paying rapt attention to the speaker, eyes almost glazed over. Suddenly he jerked sideways and nearly fell to the ground. For a moment Kirk wondered what was going on, he was about to ask Spock if he was alright when Charlie began again.

    “I HAVE DECIDED TO USE MY POWERS, A MERE FRACTION OF WHICH YOU ARE AWARE OF, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE HUMAN RACE. HEREBY I DECLARE MYSELF EMPEROR OF THE GALAXY AND CHAMPION OF HUMANITY.

    IT IS MY INTENTION AFTER GAINING CONTROL OF EARTH TO LEAD US IN A CAMPAIGN AGAINST THOSE WHO WOULD DEFY MY RULE. ANY AND ALL WHO OPPOSE ME WILL BE SWIFTLY DESTROYED. THAT IS ALL FOR NOW.”
     
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  18. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Well things are heating up now that Charlie has decided to go the way of Alexander, Bonaparte and Genghis Khan and take over everything there is to take over. Stay tuned to see how that goes!
     
  19. Threadmarks: Episode two. Charlie X, part four
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    “Emperor of the galaxy?” Kirk stammered unable to even comprehend what Charlie had just declared. With a sickening thought he realized that Charlie likely thought himself fully capable of backing up such a claim.

    He wondered at the silence in the room and looked around. Only to see that everyone besides him and Spock was lying motionless on the floor, including McCoy.

    Spock looked around him, “Curious,” he muttered breathlessly.

    “What has he done?” Kirk asked running over to McCoy and shaking him violently in an attempt to wake him. “Bones!” He screamed in his friends’ ear to no avail. It did nothing, but at least Kirk could feel him breathing.

    Taking the more pragmatic approach Spock was scanning nurse Chapel, McCoy`s chief assistant, with a bioscan instrument. “Steady pulse, regular breathing and normal brain activity.”

    “He didn’t kill them he merely put them to sleep.” Kirk finished for Spock setting McCoy down as gently as he could back onto the deck. The doctor was his friend, but Kirk wasn’t about to lift that much deadweight onto a bed.

    “I wonder why you are unaffected,” Spock wondered aloud. “I felt him probing me for a moment, but it would appear that he is unable to control me as he controlled the rest of the ships crew.” He gave Kirk a very peculiar look. “Did you feel anything odd during the announcement by our new emperor?” Spock asked.

    Somewhat taken aback by what he assumed was an attempt at humour Kirk thought back. “Now that you mention it,” he said shivering. “I did for a moment feel like someone was watching me. Almost like someone was right behind me and I could feel their breath on my neck.”

    “Perhaps your proximity to me renders Charlie unable to control your brain?” Spock theorised. Something Kirk knew the half Vulcan did not like to do without at least some evidence.

    “I`ll stick close to you,” Kirk said moving to stand less than a metre from Spock in case his theory was correct.

    “That would imply that you have a plan of action to neutralise the boy,” Spock said not being entirely comfortable with the look in his captains’ eye. “Would that assumption be correct?” He asked.

    “Kirk looked around. “You could say that,” he said not giving anything away that he may be planning. He doubted Charlie would be listening, but it was still he felt a safe precaution. “We need to move, preferably as out of sight as possible.”

    “The Jeffries tubes?” Spock suggested. Kirk paused. Although the Jeffries tube network connected virtually the entire ship it was a tangled mess and it was easy to get lost.

    However, he was with Spock who in addition to having served for over five years aboard Enterprise also had an eidetic memory and habit of memorizing different parts of the ship. And the worst thing that could happen was that they were caught and killed. Hardly a different fate from being caught still in sickbay.

    “Let’s go,” he said looking around sickbay for some form of weapon. A phaser would have been nice, but he settled for a scalpel. Casting a last look back as Bones he hoped Charlie was not controlling any of the crew, and that he would not force any of them to try to kill either him or Spock.



    Charlie smiled as he sat down in the captain’s chair in the center of the bridge. Around him the ships crew worked like automatons to carry out his bidding, bringing the ship to the center of human civilization. Earth, where his reign over the galaxy would begin.

    His announcement had sent a surge of adrenaline through his body, never before had he done anything like that. Speaking to so many people and controlling so many minds. It had been hard, he had not even been sure he could do it. But though he strained to his mental limits he succeeded in gaining control over the hundred or so minds he needed to operate the ship and incapacitate those whom were unnecessary.

    He had learned some important things from the experience and was eagre to put what he had learned to the test upon the next ship he encountered.

    For instance, he learned that he did not need to exert complete control over every mind he touched at all times. Simply taking over and giving them a task was sufficient, after their task was completed the person would stand quietly until given a new job. Helpful if he were to take over entire planets and fleets of starships. He was working on making it so when their task was completed the individual would carry on with their lives to prevent someone he forgot about just standing there until they died. But for the moment it worked just fine.

    He had also learned that his mental powers were not universal. During his announcement he had sensed some resistance to his power from one person somewhere in the ship, however he had been to distracted to pay much attention to this individual.

    Now though he had ordered a shipwide search. Charlie doubted that one lone individual could do much to the ship, but still it would not do to have someone running around the ship that he could not control. Charlie had ordered that all crew be accounted for to determine who it was that he could not control. The count was still underway, but Charlie had his suspicions as to who it was.

    The alien, Spock. Charlie had been unable to read his mind on their first meeting, even pushing back his own mental probe with apparent ease. Charlie had severed the connection before the other learned anything, but it was enough to leave an impression.

    Charlie had read all he could on Vulcans, there wasn’t much. The ships database not being an all-encompassing encyclopedia of galactic knowledge. But it had mentioned that Vulcans possessed some limited psionic powers.

    Once he was caught Charlie would like to see if he could force control over him. Or if Vulcan mental abilities were to strong for him to overcome. It would be a useful test before any attempts were made to take over the Vulcans which it seemed possessed a large empire of their own and a military to match. If he could not take over their minds directly it may be better to conquer other races and build up his strength before taking them on.

    But that was not something that he would have to worry about for some time. For the moment Enterprise was still days away from the nearest Earth outpost. And months away from the planet itself. There would be plenty to do in the meantime. Charlie would be happy for the moment with just the single Vulcan to play with.



    Enterprise was big. Very big. Kirk had never really known the true size of the ship until he was crawling through her maintenance crawlspaces on his hands and knees with only his first officer’s hind quarters to look at. Every time he began to doubt that Spock knew the way the commander would say something to the effect of “we are passing beneath the water processing plant” to calm Kirk.

    They had just climbed down eleven decks from the primary hull to the service hull which housed the ships reactor, shuttle bays and cargo handling areas. All the while being neither found, nor running into a sealed bulkhead.

    Kirk wondered at that. If it were him and he were looking for someone the first thing Kirk would do is seal off all Jeffries tubes to prevent anyone using them to evade search teams. The fact that this had not been done implied that Charlie was directly controlling the minds of the ships crew and that they were not able to suggest any possible courses of action.

    “We are nearly there,” Spock said suddenly coming to a stop at an intersection. Kirk had not been paying all that much attention and nearly ran into the Vulcans feet. And not for the first time either.

    “How much farther?” Kirk asked. His knees hurt, his arms hurt, and his neck hurt and he was becoming increasingly claustrophobic surrounded by the metal of the Jeffries tubes.

    “Not to great a distance, we are just passing the deflector control room, auxiliary control should be just a few more meters ahead and then a few decks down.” Spock was confident, much more so than Kirk.

    His first officer was correct however and in just a few minutes they emerged cautiously from the Jeffries tubes and into the corridor outside of auxiliary control, the ships backup bridge buried deep inside the ship. No one was guarding the entrance, something Kirk would have done for certain.

    The doors were not even locked either, admitting Kirk and Spock with a quiet hiss of equalizing atmospheres. For a moment Kirk entertained the notion that Charlie had done this deliberately to trap them both. But as both he and Spock began to call up different ships systems he realized that the boy was either unable to control the people necessary to do that or had not considered the possibility.

    “Captain may I inquire at this point what exactly you plan to do now that we are in auxiliary control?” Spock asked without even looking up from the engineering station which he was in the middle of bringing online.

    This was going to be the difficult part, neither of his plans were especially good ones. But he had been unable to think of one that was better in the time it had taken them to crawl their way here. And if Spock objected now or refused to follow Kirk, he was not at all sure what he would do.

    Giving it his best shot Kirk answered, “I have two plans mister Spock. One of them which I will call plan A does not involve us dying. The other and far less appealing, which I have named plan B does involve our deaths. Which would you like to hear first?” Kirk asked.

    If Spock felt any surprise at the frankness of his captain he hid it well, “lets begin with your plan A.” He requested finally turning to face him. Kirk said a silent prayer and began to explain his plan. Spock just listened and when it was done agreed to start with plan A and see where that got them.



    “Your mightiness!” Sulu said almost drunkenly from the helm station. He had been at his post for roughly fourteen hours by this point that Charlie knew of and his body was beginning to protest, his mind as well. In his own mind Charlie could feel Sulu`s body ache.

    And he was not the only one to be in such a position. All around him, not only on the bridge, but the rest of the ship as well, crew which had been at their posts for double or even triple shifts urged to be relieved of their duties and sleep. However Charlie could not do that as the strain of compelling so many minds to sleep while simultaneously calling replacements to pick up their slumbering comrades shifts was too much for him.

    Truth be told Charlie was in little better shape than those under his control. He had not slept just as long as Sulu, and his mind had been under significantly more stress during that time. He was struggling to keep his own eyes open.

    “What is it?” He asked wondering how the ship would manage while he slept.

    “Mightiness someone seems to be attempting to access the ships control systems from auxiliary control. I am being locked out of my station!” Sulu said slurring his r`s while his s`s at the same time degenerated into a single drawn out hiss sound.

    Charlie doublechecked Sulu only to find that indeed someone was accessing the ships systems from Enterprises auxiliary control room. And doing a very good job of it as well. Just as soon as Charlie had confirmed what was happening his console went dark, its functions transferred over to auxiliary control.

    Mind racing Charlie tried to think about what was going on. He knew from looking through the ships manuals that it was impossible for the ship to be controlled entirely from the bridge, he assumed the same was true of auxiliary control.

    However, with control of the ships systems a few people could send or receive messages via the ships communications equipment. Or shut down certain systems remotely.

    “Tell the engine room to shunt all computer functions into backups!” Charlie roared reaching over Sulu`s shoulder to do it himself. A dozen other orders flew in the next minute both verbal and mental. Adrenaline allowed him to work almost as fast as usual and soon he was receiving reports that his efforts to block out auxiliary control from the ship had succeeded.

    Without computer control it would be impossible for anyone to do much in the auxiliary control room. A team of the ship’s security team were awoken to trap whoever was in the room there until Charlie arrived.

    After ensuring that the ship would continue on its course Charlie left the bridge in the care of its half-asleep automatons and made his way to auxiliary control. Only getting himself lost twice but managing each time to get back on track before he was too far away.
     
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  20. Threadmarks: Episode two. Charlie X, part five
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Badha`a! Kirk swore putting the limited Arabic he knew to good use for once. He had just been locked out of the main computer and alerts showed that other ships systems had been shunted to backups from the bridge.

    “It would appear that plan A has failed captain.” Spock said sombrely, far more sombre than usual.

    Kirk swore again, this time using stronger language. Plan A had involved crippling the ships engines and shutting down the turbolifts across the ship. Perhaps even jettisoning the bridge module from the ship and then sending a signal to Starfleet command informing them of recent developments.

    But without computer control that was impossible. Another spat of cursing, this time English and Spanish profanity lacing the earlier Arabic, lasting some seconds before dying down.

    “Plan B?” Spock asked voice deep.

    Without any plan C springing to mind Kirk nodded, plan B.” He said moving over to the console directly behind the compact helm/conn station in the center of the bridge. There they began to input a series of codes into the computer mainframe.



    Charlie arrived outside of auxiliary control with a frown on his face. This was clearly the work of the Vulcan, the one called Spock. Extending his mind into the room Charlie could sense him working, sense him notice his presence and disregard it. And could sense the cold resolve behind the mind.

    Charlie could sense something else in the room as well. Another. Although he was unsure of the identity of this additional man Charlie was certain that his proximity to the Vulcan was the reason he was not under his power.

    “Mightiness what are you orders?” The leader of the security team asked. He and his men stood ready just outside the entrance in a clump. Phasers trained at the door and primed.

    Charlie was cold in his reply, “destroy them.”



    “A nice little trap isn’t it?” Kirk asked smirking at the monitor which showed a mass of men standing outside the door to auxiliary control. Clumped like they were they would be an easy target for the flash grenade Kirk had placed outside earlier.

    “Indeed,” Spock said putting in the last of his codes. Silently the computer flashed once before asking for final verbal confirmation of the orders input into it. A final failsafe designed to give the people giving the order time to reconsider.

    Kirk breathed in deeply and said what would likely prove to be his final words. “Computer begin autodestruct of main reactor.” He turned to face Spock.

    “Confirm computer.” Spock said. The computer again blinked and a ten-minute countdown, enough time for the ships crew to evacuate to escape pods, began.

    “Are you ready sir?” Spock asked. Kirk nodded.



    Outside the flash grenade did its job well. Sending most members of the team off in many directions and knocking most of them out instantly, though not killing them.

    Standing some seven metres away Charlie was spared the worst effects of the blast, only belatedly realising that he should have spread his security team around the door. Head ringing, he two figured walking calmly out of auxiliary control. Face white with pain and rage he charged them sending waves of mental power the way of the Vulcan and Kirk.

    Kirk fell to the floor, Spock’s shielding vanishing beneath Charlies onslaught. Again it felt as if her were being burnt alive. On his right Kirk could just barely make out Spock who appeared to be undergoing a similar amount of pain.

    Neither had counted on Charlie being there. They had both taken the gamble that no further security personnel would be outside the blast radius of the flash grenade. And that both of them would have time to make it to the escape pods further down the hall.

    Truthfully Kirk had not felt as if either he or Spock deserved to survive after condemning the ship and her crew to death. However, Spock had argued that someone would have to survive to explain what had happened. Kirk had taken comfort in the fact that even in the unlikely event their pod was found it would likely be months after the fact. By which point both would have likely died from lack of oxygen. A pod having only enough for a few weeks.

    At least this way Kirk thought, he would die before his crew and likely Charlie would have no idea what it was that killed him and put a stop to his plans for galactic domination.



    Charlie reached Kirk and began to pummel him. Kicking, punching, gouging and biting the man even as he writhed on the floor incapacitated from his mental torture.

    Reading his thoughts Charlie knew the ship was doomed. Its crew doomed. And he alongside it. And there was nothing he could do about it. So far as he knew there was no way to stop an autodestruct sequence once it had begun.

    And so, he hit the captain a dull sense of defeat tugging at his throat making him want to cry. But Charlie had read that for a man to die crying he was not a man at all. And so instead he decided to beat first Kirk, and then Spock to death until the ship exploded around him.



    The pain was incredible. Spock had trained to withstand a fair degree of pain. And typically Vulcans had a high pain threshold to begin with. But this was something else entirely. To Spock it felt like every single atom in his body was being ripped apart all at once. Dimly Spock wondered if pain worse than this could possibly be felt.

    Suddenly the pain ceased and Spock collapsed in a heap outside of auxiliary control. He nearly passed out when he noticed someone else still screaming. Turning first to Kirk and seeing that the captain was also on the floor immobile he then noticed a pale pink light.

    Eyes straining Spock looked at the source of the light. Less than two metres in front of him Charlie was hanging suspended in a tangled web of energy screaming and pleading with some unseen power. And that was the last thing he saw before passing out.



    YOU HAVE GONE AGAINST OUR ORDERS AND USED YOUR POWERS LIKE A GOD! A voice thundered in Charlies ears. Writhing in pain he struggled to shout back.

    “I was protecting myself!” He managed weakly mind reeling to badly from the pain to think up a better defence. The voice was unconvinced.

    IT WAS WRONG OF US TO BELIEVE YOU READY TO LIVE AMONGST HUMANS. THE POWER WE GAVE YOU IS TO MUCH FOR ANY MORTAL TO WIELD. FOR YOUR CRIMES YOU WILL RECEIVE A SERIOUS PUNISHMENT.

    Charlie had never heard his benefactors this mad before. He wondered how much they knew. He did not wonder long though.

    FOR YOUR ATTEMPTED GALACTIC CONQUEST, the voice sounded bemused, MANIPULATION OF THIS VESSELS CREW AND EXTERMINATION OF A HUMAN STARSHIP YOU SHALL BE PUNISHED. WE WILL RETURN YOU TO THE PLANET WHERE WE FIRST FOUND YOU. THERE YOU WILL BE PUNISHED.

    Charlie attempted to fight back. Attempted to being all he could do when confronted with the awesome power of his enraged benefactors. In a whirl of pain and light he disappeared from Enterprise and emerged in the pouring rain of his home world.

    YOUR PUNISHMENT BEGINS the voice announced. Charlie felt himself suddenly grow smaller. Not physically for he remained in the same body as before. But rather he felt his mental power suddenly vanish. And then he understood that his benefactors meant to let him die here alone and with no one to remember him. And then with no one to turn to he began to cry.



    Captains log stardate 309072.11

    Enterprise has been directed to star base six due to our course change. A full report has been made to Starfleet though I feel that I am inadequate to properly describe the events of the past few days.

    Those effected by the boy Charlie were returned to their own minds by the child’s disappearance and I and commander Spock were able to shut down the ships self-destruct sequence with three and a half minutes to spare.

    Yeoman Rand has not said a single word of her ordeal, thought I suspect it has left far more of a mark on her than she lets on. Something which could be said about several of us. I have decided to bump Rand up on the list for shore leave at our next port of call. Hopefully some recreation time will help her.

    Kirk paused the entry as Spock and McCoy’s argument reached a new level of volume, mostly from the doctor. Resigning himself to finish his log entry following the arguments conclusion Kirk listened in.

    “You really don’t expect me to believe that Charlie was part of a plan to destabilize the federation do you?” McCoy asked.

    “I merely suggest a theory which would begin to explain the events of the past few days,” Spock answered levelly.

    “Well I don’t buy it!” McCoy declared.

    “Very well then what is your explanation of the past few days?” Spock asked. McCoy stammered before pulling an explanation out of somewhere.

    “Maybe something on the planet gave him the power.” He retorted knowing full well that he was grasping at straws and had likely lost the argument. But he refused to give up.

    Kirk took the moment to weight in, attempting to put a stop to the argument before it could grow truly out of hand. “I think we should hold of making any decisions about what caused Charlie to have his powers until an expert can give their opinion.”

    Both turned towards him. Kirk looked innocent. “What?” he asked. “Its not something that has an open and shut answer like…” he strained for an example. “Like who shot JFK, the American president.”

    Kirk had hoped the reference was obscure enough that neither Spock nor McCoy would get it. He was wrong and soon a new debate had sprung up over who had shot the long dead American president of some half a millennium earlier.

    Kirk threw his arms up into the air and attempted to get some work done. Opening up a report he began to read, doing his best to tone out the bicker sons in his ear.
     
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  21. Threadmarks: Episode Three, the Valkrian Den, Part One
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    “Captain!” Yeoman Rand shouted from behind captain James Kirk. He turned around to see her walking as fast as she could to catch up to him. A notepad in one hand.

    “Good morning sir,” she said breathlessly as she handed him the notepad which had a message from commander Spock scribbled on it. It never ceased to amaze Kirk just how bad the handwriting of his first officer was.

    Normally that would never be an issue as under normal circumstances there was rarely a reason to see another persons handwriting. Computer messages being sent in digital letters only. People only used handwritten notes on rare occasions. Such as the ships comms network going down just as they reached starbase six.

    Seeing that he was struggling to read the half Vulcans handwriting Rand relayed the message verbally instead. “Commander Spock wishes to say that the last of the ships crew have been taken on. Although he adds that a few stragglers have not yet arrived on station yet, though the missing personnel are not mission critical.”

    Kirk nodded, grateful for the help. “Thank you yeoman.” With the comms down getting messages back and forth between different stations, departments and officers was a real pain. Kirk was just glad that Enterprise finally had the majority of her compliment of four hundred and thirty.

    Eighty persons had been missing since Enterprise had been dispatched to the Larsan Union and it had taken Starfleet many months to get around to assigning Enterprise her missing crew.But now with few exceptions that was over. Enterprise now officially carried four hundred and twenty four men and women aboard.

    The lights suddenly turning off, flooding the deck in darkness brought Kirk out of this line of thought. Kirk hid a sigh as he groped around for something to guide him along. The ships systems had been experiencing some problems since the incident with Charlie, a boy with impossible mental powers who had been recued by the now destroyed UES Antares only to try and takeover the Federation once aboard Enterprise. Gravity plating had failed, lighting bugs plagued the ship and now the comms were out.

    Commander Scott, the ships chief engineer had done a marvellous job repairing the ship as best he could. But really the ship needed a stopover at a starbase for a combover of all her systems to ensure that the failures did not grow to serious.

    The emergency lighting came on, illuminating the deck in a pale blue glow. Bathing everyone’s faces in otherworldly shadows which gave all a slightly demonic appearance.

    “Mister Scott also wanted to speak with you sir,” Rand said sprawled across the floor where she had fallen as the lights failed. Kirk had nearly stepped on her.

    “Lets hope the turbolifts don’t fail halfway there,” Kirk said helping her up before walking off. In this section he had quite a ways to go before he found the lift. But once he got there everything seemed to work just find. Taking him smoothly down to engineering with just one stop along the way.

    “Excuse me,” A tall alien wearing the uniform of a Starfleet engineer said as he walked into he lift pod. Kirk hid a gasp.

    The man over two meters tall and thin, not gaunt but thin. Kirk got the impression of a steel beam. His skin was a dark, very dark blue, and his eyes when he looked at Kirk seemed almost to glow a deep purple. The creatures chiselled face seemed impossible flat and almost hard, as if made from stone rather than skin.

    “Captain,” he said voice gravely recognizing Kirks rank and position.

    “You must be lieutenant Commander Rajan,” Kirk said. He had never met a Laconian before, nor had he heard of all that many in Starfleet. So Kirk could be fairly certain he was speaking to the ships engineering mate.

    “I am,” the man said bowing a polite nod. “Commander Scott had left me a message asking that I meet with him as soon as I beamed aboard.”

    Kirk nodded, “He probably needs all the help he can get,” he said. “We have been experiencing some systems hiccups since we arrived in system.”

    “Hiccups?” Rajan asked before apparently deciding it wasn’t important. “Were these the result of your encounter?” He asked instead.

    Kirk nodded, he had wondered how far news of Charlie had spread outside of Enterprise, apparently pretty far. “nothing to critical has been effected, but what was has been somewhat inconvenient.”

    “I can imagine, cancelling an autodestruct often has that kind of feedback effect on non-critical systems. Something about the way the sequence is wired into the coding of the ships processors.” Rajan caught Kirks odd look, “Commander Scott and I have been in correspondence for some months ever since I was assigned to Enterprise,” he explained.

    The door opened, putting a stop to further conversation. Kirk for one did not approve of Scotty writing to someone off the ship about classified events. Although Rajan being technically assigned to the ship meant that it wasn’t illegal.

    The two walked out into the upper deck of the ships reactor control room. A vast two level space which acted as the primary control center for the ships matter and antimatter annihilation reactor. A massive sphere located just beneath their feet.

    “Captain!” Commander Montgomery Scott, the ships chief engineer thundered from the left gantry as he caught site of who it was that had come 0ut of the turbolift. Grabbing the ladder rails he slid down and slammed onto the deck below with a practiced ease that made Kirk envious.

    “Sorry about all the lighting trouble on E and D decks sir, we just got the comms back up and running and it looks like it bled into the lighting programs in a bleedback circuit.” He said before Kirk could return his greeting.

    “Its quite alright,” Kirk said but Scotty had already moved onto Rajan.

    “I was not expecting you to look quite this terrifying!” Scotty said examining the lieutenant commander in a manner that would have made Kirk uncomfortable. The Laconian merely laughed.

    “You would be surprised how often I get that,” he said shrugging. “Actually I get that quite a bit from members of my own species.”

    “Not a looker are ye?” Scotty asked laughing so hard he had to gasp for air. Rajan shook his head no.

    Suddenly shifting to serious Scotty grabbed Rajan by the arm and steered him over towards Kirk. “Do you know anything about this mans career?” He asked. Kirk had to shake his head.

    “Very little,” he admitted.

    “When you get the chance read his career. Its fascinating stuff. He worked on the development of the Constitution class and a few other projects, written in technical journals and even was loaned to the Vulcans for quite a bit.” Scotty said listing a few achievements.

    “I also clean and cook.” Rajan said before Scotty could go on. He was looking around the engine room with a practiced eye Kirk noted. Taking it all in and letting it wash over him. “You said you had a bleedover to the lighting programs?” He asked walking over to one of the ready use terminals along the right bulkhead.

    Scotty suddenly remembered he was on duty and with a jerk followed his second in command. “Right!” He exclaimed. “Sorry captain I will tell you more later, right now I have work to do!” He said. Soon he and Rajan were chattering quietly between themselves as they went over a solid screen of code piece by piece.

    Kirk did not wait around all that long before he left for the bridge. Once again he had little trouble with the turbolifts. A smooth ride the entire time without so much as even a single stop along the way.

    “Captain on deck!” Sulu thundered as Kirk walked in. Wondering how the helmsman always seemed to announce his presence with his back turned opposite to him Kirk waved down the salutes.

    “Report!” He ordered once settled into the conn, the control station as it was technically known. Little more than a chair with readouts and controls on either arm it was chair from which the entire ship was commanded and Kirks personal station where he spent much of his time.

    “The comms have come back on line as of around twenty minutes ago, all sections have reported in and we are cleared with orbital control, and the last of our stores and fuel has been taken aboard.” Sulu said handing Kirk a notepad with a proper report written on it.

    “very nice handwriting,” Kirk commented leafing through the paper document.

    “Thank you sir, I thought I would give it a go. Having to write all these messages got me in the mood to actually write out a report for once.” Sulu answered pleased at the compliment.

    Kirk finished reading the paper report and handed it back to Sulu with his signature. He then noticed that the comms station was unmanned and a large amount of backlogged messages were piling up in the unread folder. “Where is the communications operator?” He asked.

    “Lieutenant Uhura was down in the subspace radio room working with the technicians there to try and bypass the faulty circuits in the network. She must not have made it back yet, it is her shift,” Sulu said moving over to the helm station and working his controls for a moment.

    “I just checked sir, she is still down in the subspace radio room. Shall I have her come to the bridge?” Sulu asked.

    “Please do,” Kirk said. “I don’t know about you but I haven’t the slightest idea what any of the comms section controls do. If we get an important message then we would have no way of answering it even if we knew what it was.”

    Sulu smiled, but said nothing as he wrote a short message and sent it to the lieutenant. With luck she would be on the bridge in a few minutes. Until then any messages the ship received would just have to wait.


    Lieutenant Nyota Uhura was in a rush. With the comms you would be excused for thinking that there would be nothing for the ships communications department to do until they were fixed. Maintenance was afterall not the job of the department, but rather engineering. You would think that.

    But as it turns out you would be wrong. Completely wrong. It had been nonstop work for her and her people since the comms had went down. First internal communications had broken, followed quickly by the ships subspace communications and then old fashioned radio systems. Uhura and her meagre fifteen person strong department had worked nonstop with engineering to try first to fix the systems. And then to find a workaround for them. All without success.

    Scotty down in engineering had managed to finally fix the ships internal comms and radio, but the subspace communications equipment remained inoperable. And Uhura and her team had been working nonstop to try to fix it before Enterprise was inevitably called off for a new mission.

    And now the captain wanted her on the bridge. Sulu`s note had mentioned a large pile of messages waiting to be looked over. But someone else could do it! Couldn’t the captain ask for someone other than her?

    She pushed that line of thinking from her mind. That was no way to think. Captain Kirk was doing his job. And it was not up to her to decide how he did it, or why he did certain things. She was just a lieutenant after all. And all she had to worry about was following orders.

    She called the turbolift and was surprised to see commander Spock and someone else she did not know in the uniform of a tactical department. They made room for her and said they also were headed to the bridge.

    “This is lieutenant commander Chekov, the ships tactical officer. He is one of our new arrivals.” Spock explained after some moments of silence. The young man smiled and offered a hand.

    “Pleased to meet you lieutenant,” Chekov said in a heavy Russian accent. To her ears he sounded like he was from either Moscow or Saint Petersburg.

    “Glad to finally meet you, are you any relation to admiral Chekov?” Uhura asked knowing full well that he was.

    “She is my grandmother. Captain Chekov of the Potemkin is my father,” He answered with what he likely intended to be a modest answer.

    “The lieutenant commander recently graduated from the Newport Naval College,” Spock added. Again it was something she was well aware of. And again Chekov nodded in what was either a genuine attempt at modesty or a poor impression of it.

    They were on the bridge before anyone could say anything else. And Spock introduced Chekov to Kirk in repeat of his conversation with Uhura. She could not be sure, but she thought she saw Chekov roll his eyes at the attention.

    Without anyone noticing her Uhura made her way to the communications station and began to arduous task of sifting through the huge number of messages the ship had received since he comms had gone out.

    She had got through around two hundred of them by the time she saw any meaningful messages. Mostly they had to do with the crew that would be coming aboard. All were useless as the crew transfer was already over.

    A new message appeared on her board marked urgent and she opened it. “Captain sir,” she called.


    Kirk was speaking with Spock and Chekov, who was a lot more unassuming than a man of his family and career usually was, when he heard Uhura call him. He looked over and nodded for her to continue.

    “Sir we have a message from admiral Harris requesting that you contact him immediately.” She said hand hovering over the key that would call the admiral.

    “Please try to raise him then,” Kirk said with a sigh. He settled into his chair, dismissing Chekov with a polite nod. He then prepared himself to speak with a rather prickly character in the form of the admiral.

    Uhura worked her controls and was promptly put on hold by the admirals secretary. And she remained on hold for the next sixteen minutes as the admiral was contacted and informed that Enterprise was wishing to speak with them.

    And then finally his secretary said the admiral was ready. And asked for a moment longer. A moment that quickly turned into five as the admiral apparently found something more pressing to dot than speak with the ship that he had asked to contact him.

    “Your on sir,” an exasperated Uhura finally announced.

    “Thank you lieutenant,” Kirk said as an image of a short and balding middle aged man replaced the view of the starbase. He was almost glaring at Kirk.

    “Admiral you wished to speak with me?” Kirk asked unsure of what would be a proper greeting in this circumstance.

    That was not the correct way. “I sent a message to your ship ffteen minutes ago captain. Long enough had passed that I had just sat down for my dinner.”

    “I am sorry,” Kirk was doing his best to loo genuine in his apology, but days of such treatment were beginning to wear rather thin. “Our communications equipment was out of order and we only just got it back online. Your message caught us offguard.”

    “I am aware of your technical difficulties captain,” nothing Kirk could do seemed to bring him out of his perpetual bad mood. “You informed my secretary of them when you arrived. But I had thought the problem had been solved by now.”

    Harris seemed to loose interest in this line of conversation as he changed subjects. “I called because I have a mission for you. A Tellarite freighter, I`m not even going to try to pronounce its name, the data packet we are sending you will include it, anyway it went missing some fifteen to twenty lightyears from here without a trace. No distress calls, nothing.”

    He saw Kirk was about to say something and raised a hand to silence him, “I am sending Enterprise along with the seventeenth scouting group to search for the ship.”

    “How long before the group begins their search?” Kirk asked through clenched teeth.

    “They are leaving now, you will follow as soon as you have finished with your personal transfer and taking on your supplied.” Harris answered with a wave of his hand.

    “We finished taking on supplies and our crew a few minutes ago.” Kirk said teeth yet to unclench.

    Harris was unconcerned. “Then leave with the seventeenth scouting group, and good luck,” he said almost casually. Kirk did his best to be polite as he signed off. As soon as the image of the displeased admiral was gone Kirk took a moment to silently curse the man.

    He was exactly the sort of person that did not belong in the fleet. Entitled, bored and without any desire to do his job. His father had been a decorated captain during the initial skirmishes with the Minoans before the border was fixed. And his son, the present admiral, had rode through his entire career on his father’s fame.

    Kirk had little patience for these men and women. They had no love for the service and only joined the fleet because they felt it a safe career move. Kirk spared a moment to look at Chekov`s back. He potentially was just such an officer. Coming from a very long line of distinguished service going back to the pre Romulan war United Earth Stellar Navy. Likely he would be able to coast along to admiral on his name alone.

    But from what he had read of the mans record Chekov was not that sort of a man. Top of his class at the academy, served with distinction aboard UES Vixen and recently worked through the Newport Naval College. One of the most prestigious spatial warfare institutes in the entire United Earth.

    Perhaps sensing the scrutiny Chekov turned around and cast his captain a quizzical look, “Something the matter sir?” He asked.

    “Nothing lieutenant, I was actually just going to ask Sulu to get us underway.”

    Sulu needed no further prodding and had soon called up a new course to bring the ship out of the system in the vague direction of the Tellarite ship and matched course and speed with the five frigates which formed the seventeenth scouting group.

    It was not long at all before Kirk gave the order and with a faint humming of her engine the Enterprise suddenly sped away from the starbase driving hard to the gravity limit that, once passed, would allow her to make the jump to high warp.
     
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  22. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Sorry for the hectic and somewhat poor upload schedule, this should be remedied now. Anyway, new episode written entirely by me and trying to go with a grittier feel, for this episode anyway that raises the worst aspects of people. In later updates at least.
     
  23. Threadmarks: Episode Three, the Valkrian Den, Part two.
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Captains log, Stardate 309083.6

    Enterprise is part of a search party tasked with investigating the disappearance of a Tellarite freighter. Thus far no sign of the vessel has been detected. However we have not yet given up on hope of finding the ship. Or at least some of her lifeboats.

    I must say that I am pleasantly surprised at the crew we took on at starbase ten. Lieutenant Commander Chekov has proven a capable sensor operator and generally competent officer, much as his record said he would be.

    I would also like to praise lieutenant Commander Rajan, our only Laconian officer, for his work with commander Scott repairing our systems. Most of the worst hiccups in our systems have been repaired through their diligent efforts.

    Rajan and Chekov have even proven exemplary working together. Yesterday the two of them had the idea to boost our sensor performance by routing some input through the precision targeting arrays on the lower primary hull. Tests have showed that at least a five percent boost can be achieved in this way and I am curious to see if anything similar has been done aboard any other vessel in the fleet when we make it back to starbase six.

    Currently Enterprise has entered the Alpha-Romeo-39G system. This desolate system with only a single red dwarf star and three gas giants lay along the projected course of the freighter and would likely prove to be a safe place for the ship if she was looking for a place to stop for repairs. We will begin sensor sweeps as soon as we have cleared one of the planets in the system.



    “Ready to begin sir,” Sulu said calmly. By this point a complete sensor sweep was a routine operation on the ship. All where by this point capable of performing the sweep while sound asleep.

    And like the past three systems they had visited it did not look promising. Lacking even a proper name Alpha-Romeo-39G possessed little of interest to even deuterium collectors. Since the system had been surveyed a hundred and twenty years prior there were less than three recorded instances of the system being visited. Meaning there were no settlements in the system, no ships. Nothing the slow the sensors down.

    In total eighteen systems had been scanned by both Enterprise and the frigates, meaning that it was increasingly likely that the freighter was not to be found. The most likely explanation was that her reactor had failed, either stranding the ship in deep space where it would never be found. Or going critical and spreading bits of the ship in a rapidly expanding cloud. Either way it was unlikely the vessel would ever be located.

    Suddenly Chekov straightened in his chair and announced, “Captain I think I have something on my scanners!” He sent the sensor data to Kirks own monitor.

    It was indeed something. The second gas giant in the system had a plume of excited gas shooting out of its northern polar region. It was not much, but it was the first lead they had that was worth following. “Take us in mister Sulu,” Kirk ordered.

    “right away sir,” Sulu said from beside Chekov. A moment later, “Course laid in for half impulse. ETA is around an hour.”

    “Very good.” Kirk said. He would have preferred to go there quicker. At full impulse, half of light speed, they would reach the gas giant in just over twenty minutes. But the system was cluttered with asteroids and dust, and Enterprises deflectors could not protect the ship at the speed she would be achieving. Objects would have just to much force behind them.



    An hour later found Enterprise hovering above what looked very much like an entry point of a vessel into the gas giants upper layers, where exhaust gases from an impulse engine had disturbed the gas around it.

    The sensors reported nothing, however the atmosphere grew to dense for effective scans below sixteen kilometres. Kirk ordered the ship in to look for the vessel that had made the disturbance. Given the state of the gas any ship which had caused it would have had to have done so at least a week prior. Meaning the ship was likely either the freighter they were looking for, or long gone.

    “Got something sir,” Sulu reported as Enterprise reached eighteen kilometres. “Sensors show a metal object roughly one hundred ninety metres, by seventy metres, by twenty. Consistent with the freighter sir.” Sulu added before sending the sensor data to Kirk and Spock for their review.

    “That’s not all the sensors show,” Spock said a moment later.

    “What do you mean?” Kirk had just pulled up the data himself and did not see anything out of the ordinary.

    “I am detecting faint traces of radioactive gases consistent with low power disruptor fire.”

    “My scans show it to,” Chekov said. Spock looked up from his board and sent him a data packet. The young Russian looked it over for a moment and nodded, “I can confirm that sir.”

    “What can you confirm?” Kirk was out of the loop and not liking it.

    “If that is the missing Tellarite freighter, which I suspect it is, there are no lifesigns, and the weapons fire is consistent with Orion manufactured weapons.” Spock said calmly.



    Spock had been correct on both accounts. They had indeed found the Tellarite freighter. Or rather what was left of it. Its hull was mangled, chewed by disruptor fire almost in two. Her reactor and cargo were gone. As was her crew.

    The shuttles that had gone over, transporters being inoperable due to the gas, had reported signs of a boarding action within the ship. Corridors scorched with weapons fire, breached rooms and broken bodies. Both Orion and Tellarite. One individual, tentatively identified as the ship captain, was propped against the outer bridge bulkhead with a short sword pierced through his chest. A pile of dead Orions lying around him. It was not a pretty sight.

    Kirk had taken Enterprise back out of the planet and beamed a message over subspace saying the freighter had been found and her location. In the middle of a routine sensor sweep Spock had then reported an ion trail consistent with a small fast vessel. Obviously the Orion fleeing the scene of its latest victim, a cargo hold full of fresh captives and booty.

    Enterprise had followed this trail, it was rather obvious. Perhaps the pirate had been damaged in its fight with the freighter? It led to the outskirts of the system where Spock had been able to pick up a faint warp signature. Less than six hours old he had said.

    Kirk had ordered Enterprise to follow the trail, beaming another message to the starbase and frigates which explained what they were doing and promised further reports as the situation developed. At high warp, with frequent stops to reacquire the warp signature of their quarry, they set off in pursuit of the pirate.
     
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  24. Threadmarks: Episode Three, the valkrian Den, Part Three
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Captains log, Stardate 309084.15

    Enterprise has followed the Orion pirate to the Valkru system. A well known haven for smugglers, terrorists, pirates and slavers lying in the outskirts of Orion settled space.

    If my suspicion is correct then the survivors of the Tellarite freighter have been brought to the slave markets of the world, the largest in in the region. There they will be sold as laborers, servants and playthings to the highest bidder.

    We have notified Starfleet. However any response they send it likely to take at least a week to reach us. Meaning we are on our own as regards our next course of action.

    “Can we say for certain which vessel we followed into the system?” Kirk asked. Enterprise was sitting some half lightyear out from the edge of the Valkru system to avoid detection. The system claimed independence and thus the presence of a federation flagged warship if discovered would not go over particularly well.

    Kirk looked around at his senior officers. Assembled together in the conference room to decide the what the ship would do next. They had just all sat down, being forced to wait for Scotty to disentangle himself from a climate regulator repair on J deck before they could begin.

    “We cannot be certain due to the large amount of traffic in the system captain.” Spock answered. He had brought a pad in with him and was periodically looking down at it during the conference.

    “But we do know that the vessel arrived in this system,” Kirk asked knowing the answer. Feeding into his real question he continued, “if the vessel we followed in were to leave the system could we identify it for certain?”

    Again Spock answered, “it is likely that the orion ship took damage. If that is the case and the damage is repaired then we may have some difficulty in identifying the vessel.”

    “And even if we do catch the pirate when it leaves the system we likely wont recover the crew of the freighter it mauled!” McCoy said pent up hours of frustration spilling out.

    Kirk had been thinking the same thing, and had even devised what he hoped was a solid plan that would hopefully allow them to get the Tellarite crew back.

    In the past if it could be proven clearly that federation citizens were being held captive in a slave market they would more often than not be handed over without a fuss. Occasionally however the operators of the market would deny the evidence, forcing federation authorities to outright buy the prisoners instead.

    Neither of these options went over particularly well with those in the conference room. Spock pointed out that while those tactics had worked in the past the slave markets had been growing in recent years. Giving those who owned them a degree of ability to refuse to deal with the federation. Or if things got to bad calling on the Klingons for assistance with Starfleet.

    Spock also mentioned that the orions don’t typically accept Earth currency, viewing it as worthless. Sulu and the rest of the ships officers seemed to be in agreement. And Kirk could not argue the point. It had been a long shot anyway even if all had thought it worth it.

    Kirk then revealed his second plan. He did not want to call it a backup plan, but effectively that what it was. This got a substantially better response from the ships officers, to varying degrees.

    Kirk would lead a landing party to the slave market in a modified shuttle and there attempt to confirm the location of the captured Tellarites. Once this had been done Enterprise would be contacted and enter the system shooting down any fleeing vessels as she did so, going to lengths to ensure that any vessel with potential slaves aboard would be destroyed outright.

    Once in orbit the ship would deploy further security teams to the planets surface and capture the slave market itself. Once this had bee accomplished the ship would await reinforcement from Starfleet and effectively hold the planet hostage.

    “Excuse me sir,” Chekov said being the first to speak since Kirk had finished. “I don’t mean to appear unhappy with your plan, but would not the independence of the system preclude us from attacking it in such a manner as you described?”

    “Not necessarily lieutenant commander,” Spock said looking up from his pad. “If federation citizens lives are at stake, or freedom in this case, then any federation flagged vessel must immediately render any assistance that it can to those people. And slavery is also against strict federation laws as you are no doubt aware.”

    Kirk nodded, he had been about to say the same thing. “Are you willing to carry out my plan mister Spock?” Kirk asked knowing that Spock saying something was technically possible and willingly doing it were two different things.

    However he had nothing to worry about as Spock agreed after a moment. The others followed quickly after. Taking the first officers que and agreeing to go along with the plan. All that was left then was a letter to Starfleet explaining their planned course of action and a request for reinforcements.



    “Captain Kirk this is captain Freiderick Frakes, UES Emden. What have you got planned?”

    Kirk tried his best to look innocent of anything the captain of Emden may know, “What do you mean?” He asked.

    “Don’t try to be coy Kirk,” Frakes said with a wiggle of his finger. Admonishing the much younger man. “Us and the Valdez intercepted your little message to Starfleet. We want in.”

    “Valdez?” Kirk asked wondering where the other frigate was.

    “She came in the other side of the system,” Frakes answered before Kirk could finish his question. “She is waiting for you to make your move before swinging in at the Orions back.”

    “Why?” Kirk asked somewhat stunned by the offer. Not that wasn’t the right word, the forced help. Not that it wasn’t welcome. “Why potentially risk your career over this?” Kirk asked.

    “Why are you?” Frakes countered. He sighed and leaned back into his chair. “If you must know I retire in six months, wife is sick, and I figure whats the worst they can do to me until then?”

    “And Valdez?”

    Frakes smiled an evil smile. “Well her captain, young hotshot named Daniele Somua-Kurt, is the step daughter of admiral Harris, I believe you two have met?” Frakes smile broadened. “Well she and her dad aren’t exactly in the best place relationship wise. She feels like sticking it to him and doing something good all at once.”

    “Thank you,” was all Kirk could say. And he meant it. What the captains and crews of Emden and Valdez were doing could be construed as illegal if someone had a big enough bee in their bonnet about it. The fact that two ships, who’s captains Kirk did not know, would volunteer to join him on such a mission was amazing.

    Frakes had more to day. “I may have one other motive captain.”

    “Oh?” Kirk asked trying his impression of Spock’s eyebrow.

    “Yes captain I do.” Frakes smile was back. “Cant let you top that little stunt you pulled in the Larsan Union without help. That just wouldn’t be in good form!” And with that he signed off.
     
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  25. Threadmarks: Episode Three, the Valkrian Den, Part Four
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    “Captain once more I feel I must object to your decision to personally lead the landing party. Due to this missions high level of danger it would not be advisable for an officer of your value to risk yourself.”

    As always Spock had a point. The mission would be dangerous and were Kirk to be killed it would not be all that bad a thing in the long run, except for Kirk himself. However were he to be captured in the course of the mission then what he knew about Starfleet security and shipboard operations would likely make him a major target for the Klingons, Kzinti, Mirak, Tholians, Tzenkethi, Mirrelians, Ariaor, Gorn and even the Romulans.

    However Kirk had to lead the mission. Not out of a personal sense of adventure or anything of that nature. But simply because he could not send his people into a potentially deadly situation and then sit back and let them die.

    It was something that Starfleet orders did not go into specifics about either. Only mentioning that the captain should not endanger himself, unless they believed the circumstances warranted it. And he usually felt warranted when leading a landing party. And until the orders changed Spock was just going to have to live with it.

    “We are not in any danger mister Spock. We are just going down for a quick peek, we will contact you if things go haywire.” Kirk said trying to calm his first officer. He doubted it worked, Spock simply raised and eyebrow and stepped back from the shuttlecraft entrance.

    Kirk still couldn’t quite believe what Scotty and his technicians had done to the big type H shuttlecraft, one of two the Enterprise carried. Clever use of paint and some additions to is hull had transformed the vehicle into a civilian shuttle that, in appearance anyway, looked like a souped up yacht.

    A similarly souped up warp sled completed the disguise and the result was a craft that in civilian hands would be able to make short distance trips at a speed of warp factor five. While also being small enough that it could escape customs inspection in most systems. The perfect vehicle to carry federation citizens to a slave market to purchase slave girls.

    Kirk stood by the entrance and watched his team enter into the vehicle. Chekov and sergeant Younge, ships security, Sulu and Rajan. All dressed as civilians of somewhat shady appearance. The sort of people that would be expected at a slave auction.

    Rajan shot Kirk a look as he boarded somewhere between resignation and indignance. He had been strongly against Kirks plan, at least his involvement. But with proficiency in several different forms of hand-to-hand combat and ranged weapons he was a rare commodity aboard a starship. Kirk did not fully understand why, and Rajan had not explained it. Kirk briefly wondered if he would try something once planetside. But quickly dismissed the notion.

    Granted he did not know the Laconian well. But with a twenty yearlong record in Starfleet and before that a lengthy career in the Laconian Royal Navy he was a man who could follow orders. And his orders were to be as unnoticed as possible.

    Kirk boarded last and sat down in the co-pilots seat beside Sulu. Kirk wondered where Scotty had found mahogany to line the interior of the shuttle. But he had found it somewhere on the ship. And done a decent job of installing it to. Much the same could be said for the extra plush seats which were much comfier than those that came standard with the shuttle.

    “Ready on your mark sir,” Sulu said bringing Kirk out of his marvelling at the ships interior. Kirk glanced at the instruments, which all showed cleared for launch.

    “Go for it,” Kirk said seconds before the craft began to rapidly accelerate out of and away from Enterprise. Kirk doubted he had even finished the word it before Sulu had slammed the shuttle out of Enterprises shuttlebay.

    “Standard approach sir?” Sulu asked pulling up the screens used to plot a course.

    “No,” Kirk answered shaking his head. “We cant give them any reason to suspect we are anything other than civilians looking for slavegirls. If we fly in like a Starfleet shuttle they will know. And the game will be up.”

    “Gotchya sir, fast and loose it is,” Sulu said suddenly grinning ear to ear. Kirk was not sure what fast and loose meant. But he was certain he would not like it.



    Kirk had been right in assuming he would not like fast and loose flying. Whipping the shuttle around at dizzying speeds with near constant course correction the shuttlecraft in Sulu’s hands had felt more like a roller coaster than a form of transportation.

    What passed for law enforcement in the Valkru system seemed to agree with Kirk that the shuttlecraft was on a collision course with something and so stopped it some five AU from Valkru itself.

    “What gives?” Sulu had asked with a annoyed clip to his voice over the comm before Kirk had a chance to raise the cutter which had intercepted their shuttlecraft. “We are trying to get a rush here, why are you blowing it?” Sulu asked a moment later before whoever was on the other end could say anything.

    “Shuttle this is the Valkru naval cutter Einfreincia what brings you to our system?” A gruff sounding voice asked over the comms.

    “Those green babes. We want to buy a few!” Sulu exclaimed. Behind him Rajan shifted in his seat.

    “The slave trade is not present in Valkru space, whatever you may have heard.” The voice said. A pause followed. “We do however offer refuelling and rest facilities for spacecraft of all descriptions. Perhaps you would like to make use of these facilities before you return to where you came from?” The voice asked. Kirk had wondered idly what would happen if he were to openly say he had come to buy slaves. But he never would have asked it. Apparently nothing all that serious happened.

    Sargeant Younge, apparently catching on to Sulu’s ruse then spoke up, “Yeah that what we want. Some…rest.” With special emphasis on the e in the word rest.

    They were given permission to land soon after and made a jerky landing some hours later in one of the worlds many small craft hangars. This one, located just outside the city of Buroorum`da goosha, was positively cavernous. Large enough with the landing pads removed to fit a large cruiser.

    Supporting the cutter captains warning that there were no slave markets on the world the smiling attendants that met Kirk, Sulu, Younge and Rajan all wore large metal collars around their necks, wrists and ankles. Kirk was sure that had nothing to do with slavery in the slightest.

    As it was by this time quite late by their clocks the four of them found a hotel and got four separate rooms of some luxury. Room service was called and they sat down to develop a plan for the morning.

    Kirk would take Younge and try the northern parts of the city while Sulu and Rajan would try for the southern sections. The city being perched along a narrow stretch of land with an ocean on one side and sheer cliffs on the other there was no east or west to the city. Simply north and south.

    With a plan formulated and dinner in their bellies the four went to bed. A two hour watch at the door of Kirks room and music blaring as a further safety precaution.



    “I always liked classical Orion architecture,” Sulu said as he and Rajan sauntered down a major side street which ran parallel to the others in the city. “Very pretty,”

    Rajan could understand why Sulu would say that. Laid out essentially in a cake pattern which each level above smaller than that below it the opalescent buildings in this part of the city were definitely attractive to the eye.

    “The city dates from your Earths first century. By your old calendar.” Rajan said eying the buildings. One in particular, to determine if they were fake or not. Likely he decided. But there was no use in telling Sulu that.

    Sulu whistled. That was old. Very old. “On earth there are few buildings that old,” he remarked trying to name a few in his head. He got as far as the colosseum in Rome before he ran out of buildings, and he was pretty sure the Colosseum was built later.

    Changing the subject he asked, “you know much about Orions?”

    Rajan smiled, “a little,” he said clearly not wanting to delve terribly deeply into the matter. Sulu kept trying.

    “Its such an old culture, spaceflight for fifteen hundred years and a written history that goes back twelve thousand. It’s a shame they have never recovered from the Joffre cataclysms.”

    The two continued in silence for some time after that before Rajan asked, “what makes the captain think there is a market in this area?”

    “Captain Kirk looked over every bit of intel he could find on the system and this part of the city seemed to see the most ground vehicle traffic when the city was observed from orbit by the Pelagic six years ago.

    Rajan shook his head. “Its not here, Orion slave markets tend to be much more obvious than this. I don’t care what the official stance on slavery is on the governments part slavery is a major business here. Wherever the market is it will be a lot more obvious than this.” Rajan looked around and grabbed Sulu, “you see that line of people?” Sulu nodded.

    “See their collars?” Squinting Sulu again nodded. Rajan began walking towards the group, most of whom looked to be under twenty years old in Sulu’s eyes.

    “Slaves every last one of them,” Rajan said just before reaching earshot of the group. He walked towards the massive Orion male guarding the group, whip in hand. He said a few words to him in a language Sulu could not follow, nor even identify. The Orion answered back and shook Rajan’s hand before shouting something at his slaves which made them pick up their pace and continue on.

    “What did you ask?” Sulu asked after he was certain they were out of earshot of anyone on the street.

    “I told him those were fine purchases and asked him if there were many more like them. I then asked him where I could buy them, and he pointed me in the right direction,” he said in a tone that conveyed his total distaste for everything about where he was and what he was doing.

    “Where is the market then?” Sulu asked looking around as if expecting one to suddenly appear.

    “Its in the northern part of the city. Where the captain is searching, The guard said it was hard to miss,” Rajan said glowering at the slavemasters back.



    The slave market was indeed hard to miss. A massive edifice to what a truly depraved mind could do if given the budget and a society of corrupted morals. The multi-story building even from the outside managed to convey both a sense of the misery its inhabitants must feel, as well as the sense of the glee in which throngs of beings from many different races rushed in to buy beings for their own pleasure. The whole thing made Kirk ever so slightly queasy.

    “Never seen one of these before. Heard about them though,” Younge said eying the building and those entering it from their rooftop café where they had stopped to have lunch.

    “I will tell the others,” Kirk said as a waitress came up food in hand. Kirk reeled as he caught a whiff of her hormones and eyes swimming paid the check. Younge appeared even worse effected.

    Momentarily Kirk forgot what he was doing and merely smiled up at the woman. “Something wrong,” she asked sweetly.

    With effort Kirk managed to bring himself back to ground and he shook his head. “I’m fine,” he managed to stammer out. The waitress smiled again and walked off.

    “Well that was new,” Younge said watching the woman walk away lewdly. With effort Kirk brought him back. “I had always heard their pheromones were strong. But Jesus!” He exclaimed.

    Kirk agreed. That had been a powerful experience, no wonder Orion women were so desired across the galaxy. Taking a few deep breaths he remembered what he had intended to do before their waitress arrived. This was not the time to get distracted by pretty girls.



    “I don’t like it one bit,” Rajan said as he and the other members of the landing party stood at the entrance to the market. “I will do it, but only because you outrank me!” He practically spat. Kirk frowned.

    The Laconian had been vocal in his unhappiness about the mission from the start, not out of any desire to undermine his captain or refusal to put himself in danger Kirk felt. But whatever the reason this was not the time, or the place to go against Kirks wishes. And Rajan was getting very close to that point.

    “With that out of the way genteelmen,” Kirk said motioning the others forward. “I believe there are federation citizens in need of rescue.”

    Even Rajan did not argue with that and soon the four found themselves shuffled along a seemingly never ending hallway of private showing rooms, bidding rooms and grooming rooms for newly acquired possessions to be made up as their masters saw fit.

    Kirk did most of the talking, insisting with anyone that he met that they wanted to see the holding cells and get a firsthand peek at the girls. Saying that he wanted to see what he bought up close before he bid on one. Behind him the others seconded his demands, playing their parts well.

    Relenting to the pressure a guard finally allowed them into the horrors that were the holding cells where slaves were kept before auction. Fear, terror, hunger, and a dozen other feelings hung on the air, alongside a fair number of smells belonging to bodily functions.

    “Follow me closely, you don’t want to get to close,” the guard said once they had all made it into the area. He walked on an conversationally remarked, “this is where we keep the run of the mill slaves. Workers mostly. Though some are destined to be gladiators in the games elsewhere on the planet.” He motioned to a group of almost skeletal Klingons huddled in a corner of a stench filled cell.

    “We keep most of them on a limited diet, makes them more tame and easier to handle than if they had full meals in their bellies.”

    “What do you do with the bodies?” Rajan asked his voice betraying nothing but a cold disinterest in what he was seeing. Certainly not the strong emotions that must be boiling below the surface. Kirk hoped those did not get out. He also wondered if insisting that Rajan come along was such a good idea after all.

    But the guard did not catch on to anything out of the ordinary. “We usually just toss them. No sense letting corpses get the others sick,” he said shrugging.

    “Do you treat sick ones? Or do you dispose of them as well?” Rajan may as well have been talking about old EPS conduits back aboard Enterprise for all the concern that was in his voice. Even Kirk had to look at him in stunned disbelief at the callous way he spoke.

    “Usually we toss them yep. No sense spending money to cure something so easily replaced. We plan for such losses.”

    Kirk was certain the guard had gone to far. Rajan’s eyes suddenly lit up with the fire of hate. Hate and anger at its most pure. Kirk braced himself. But nothing happened. With a shake the Laconian got himself under control and walked on as if nothing had happened. Kirk breathed a silent sigh of relief. Deciding it would be a long while before he took the man on another away mission.

    Rajan did not speak again until they reached another door. “Where does this lead to?” He asked the others being to shaken to speak.

    The guard, a big hulking Orion seemed to suddenly grow bigger still. “Heaven,” he said before swinging the doors open.

    Kirk suddenly went weak at the knees and nearly collapsed to the floor. The same feeling as the waitress at the café, but a hundred times more powerful suddenly gripped him. Dimly he heard the guard say something about not getting carried away. Remembering that they could touch the merchandise. But nothing else. This before he mentioned that a perk of his job was getting to do that something else as much as he liked anytime he wasn’t working.

    Kirk could not much recall what happened next. He remembered smiling teeth and green skin everywhere. Little in the way of clothing and an almost carnal lust swelling up from deep within him. He could barely speak and move and had vague notions that Sulu and Younge were in similar shape.

    He did however have a very strong memory of Rajan during all this, in a room swimming in pheromones desire flooding his fellow officers. And yet there he was standing seemingly unaffected by the flood of chemicals around him. Casting the room a gaze of anger and revulsion. Kirk had a clear mental picture of Rajan speaking to one of the women and handing her something, something small and metallic.

    Kirk then remembered vaguely that someone had decided they were getting to excited. To the point of spoiling the merchandise. He remembered being carried out of the room and laid onto a large plush couch and left in the dark for some time.
     
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  26. Threadmarks: Episode Three, the Valkrian Den, Part Five
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Kirk came to with a massive headache and groaned as he sat up. Feeling as if he were going to vomit. “Well that was interesting,” Kirk finally managed after his head stopped swimming.

    He looked around the room disorientated and feeling out of place. Full of plush couches, pillows, tapestries, rugs and blankets the room was clearly meant for pleasure rather then recuperation. A pair of lumps buried under masses of blankets began to stir at the sound of his voice.

    “I radioed the ship,” a voice said from an unseen place. Kirk looked around but did not see its owner, though it sounded familiar through the fog of his mind.

    “Did you?” Kirk asked being unwilling to ask who it was.

    Stepping out of a sideroom Kirk had not seen in his initial sweep of the room Rajan came into view wearing a tight jumpsuit instead of the drab civilian clothing he had initially had on.

    “You were passed out eleven hours captain, I changed.” He explained sitting down across from Kirk.

    “What did you tell the ship?” Kirk asked his mind beginning to clear. Thought and memory were becoming much easier.

    Rajan took a deep breath. “I got commander Spock and told him that we had located the Tellarite freighter crew. I even spoke with them after you were hauled away.” Kirk wondered how he had been able to do so, but then remembered the cold almost emotionless man he had been during their tour and so did not ask.

    But then Kirk did remember something, “we never saw the Tellarites.” He said interjecting. “We looked but we went through the cells to quickly.”

    “You were not truly looking,” Rajan said smiling cruelly. “I don’t think you were prepared for what you saw. You saw only the suffering, the pain and the depravity but you did not look past it to the people actually in the cells.” He sighed, when he next spoke it was without the fire he had before. “I saw them during our tour, but I went back later with the guard and managed to speak with them for a moment. They are the Tellarites.”

    “Are they up for sale?” Kirk asked. It had been a vague plan of his that perhaps they could simply outbid all competitors when they went up for auction, rather than the more messy plan B.

    Rajan shook his head, “they are, but separately. We would have to be at fifty different auctions at once. And we don’t have time to bring in that many off Enterprise before they go up.”

    He paced the room nervously, like a caged animal. As he walked Kirk noted a slightly jerky motion in his right side. Not just his leg, but the entirety of his side seemed ever so out of sync with the rest of his body. Kirk wondered why he had never noticed that before, but then chastised himself for not focusing.

    “We have to act fast as well, the first of the crew are being sold off in a little under four hours and once they are sold it will be impossible for us to find them all.” A knock on the door caused Rajan to suddenly glide over to the far side of the room, out of the line of sight for whoever came in.

    “Come in,” Kirk said deciding that there was no point in refusing them entry. If they wanted in they would get in, and if not then they would go away.

    Rajan had nothing to fear. A small shrivelled old Minoan woman shuffled in with a big tray of food, breakfast. With compliments from the auction house owners. Smiling Rajan paid the woman and saw her to the door. Either oblivious of, or overlooking the looks of horror she gave him right up until the door closed.

    Picking up where he left off without missing a beat Rajan continued, “virtually the only way this will work is the main plan decided on in the conference room. Spock agreed and warned us to get away from the city as quickly as we could and be at least a hundred kilometres away to get beyond any jamming they may attempt.”

    That got Kirk fully awake. The first thing the local authorities would do when a federation flagged warship entered the system did would be to round up all federation citizens and attempt to use them. Or at least prevent them from contacting the vessel. And Kirk did not want to be anywhere near the city when that happened. “Lets wake the others and get going.”

    “I suggest we charter a sailing ship for a tour of the ocean, we will be quite a distance away and far beyond any other beings,” Rajan said tossing a pamphlet Kirks way. It was written in a script he was unfamiliar with, but boasted a number of pictures of sailing ships and clear tropical waters.

    “Good idea,” Kirk said moving to wake Sulu.



    “Have we been detected?” Spock asked exactly ten minutes since he last did so. Chekov had been keeping count of both the number of times he had asked, twenty three, and the regularity of when he asked, ten minutes on the nose.

    “It does not appear so sir,” he said supressing a groan. In the Academy he had always heard Vulcans were punctual. Well now he had an up close and personal lesson in why that was.

    Spock nodded. Enterprise was three AU away from Valkru itself and headed towards the planet at a rate one quarter the speed of light. Using a gap in the sensor network of the system to slip in so far unnoticed.

    “And the location of that patrol cutter?” Spock asked hands forming a little triangle under his chin.

    “Still on the other side of the planet sir,” Chekov said glancing down at his instruments.

    “Interesting,” Spock remarked as Chekov sent him the sensor data. It was his suspicion that the blindspot in the sensor coverage of the system was deliberate. A way for the planetary government to claim it had no involvement in the illegal activities going on. Whether or not the ruse would work if a major power should become involved was a different matter however and Spock suspected that if the Klingons or Kzinti became interested in the Valku system the blind spot would gain them nothing.

    “And the Emden and Valdez? Are the frigates holding position?” Spock asked this time turning to Uhura at the communications station.

    “Still signalling all sections ready,” came the prompt reply. The lieutenant had been in nearly constant coded communication with both frigates over a discreet channel since Kirk had left the ship.

    Spock nodded and checked the detailed map of the system projected onto the main viewer. At their current speed, just slow enough that their energy signature did not show up on anyones scopes, they would be in range of the planet in a little under a half hour. Well within weapons range, though transporters were a bit of a different story.

    Expect more questions mister Chekov, Spock thought as he settled back in his chair to wait another ten or fifteen minutes before launching his attack. He wanted to be certain that no ships got away.



    “This isn’t so bad,” Sulu said into the quiet that had erupted after the four man landing party had reached open waters in their little seven metre sail boat.

    Kirk did not look up from his communicator. He was searching all available frequencies for any sign either that Enterprise had been sighted by the Orions, or that Enterprise was attempting to contact him. He groaned. He really did not like being out of the loop like that, Rajan was technically within his rights to contact the ship without his captains approval. But very few officers ever did so for fear of reprisals at a later date. The fact that the Laconian had done so showed that he had a clear understanding of regulation and guts. Were Kirk in his place he doubted he would have done the same thing.

    Finding that no one said anything, either in agreement or otherwise Sulu went back to studying a chart of the waters around them. Behind him Rajan worked on the vessels only sail. What would on a earth ship be called a lateen sail, meaning a large triangular piece of fabric which was arranged running from the bowsprit of the vessel to the ships single mast. Kirk did not know if the man knew anything of sailing, but was willing to allow him to make an attempt. Younge busily threw up at the stern of the craft. His vomit attracting a sizeable school of fish from around the area.

    “How much longer?” Kirk asked unable to see the chrono at the tiller from his seat amidships. Younge wiped his face and reached for the chrono queasily.

    “Anytime it looks like,” he answered tossing the device Kirks way. The heaving of the boat nearly caused the chrono to fall into the sea, but Kirk grabbed it at the last second and looked for himself.



    “Mister Chekov unless I miss my guess we are in or nearly in a position where we will be spotted by passive sensors on the patrol ships in orbit of the planet.” Spock was almost conversational. Speaking almost casually, as if he had bumped into Chekov in one of the ships corridors.

    “You are correct sir,” Chekov said nervously. Despite his excellent test scores and extensive training he had never actually fired weapons in anger. In the moment he found it was not something he was really looking forward to. The thought that he could be killing men and women very shortly appealed to him very little.

    Suddenly master operator technician Tucket at the sensor station jumped. “We were just pinged by active sensors sir! Looks like they located us!” He reported from his feet. With a look from Spock he realized his mistake and took his seat sheepishly.

    Spock looked over the sudden jump in the high end EM spectrum that had gotten Tucket worked up. It was indeed an active scan of the ship. Its likely point of origin put it as one of the patrol ships, likely the one suddenly moving into an approach vector.

    With their approach discovered there was only one thing left for Spock to do, he hoped it did not result in bloodshed. “Raise hailing frequencies please lieutenant Uhura, system wide broadcast on all standard bands.”

    After a moment Uhura reported all frequencies open and Spock stood up, signalling as he did for the audio pickups located around the bridge to be turned on. “Valkru system authority this is the United Earth Ship Enterprise of the United Federation of Planets.”

    He let that sink in for a moment, though if the sensor technician on the picket ship was any good he would have already identified their sensor pickup as a Constitution class heavy cruiser, the classes sensor profile being anything but unrecognizable.

    “We have confirmed that there are Federation citizens in your slave markets, victims of an Orion pirate attack on their freighter. We demand the release of these citizens and that you order your warships to stand down.”

    Again he let his words sink in, although he could see that all nine of the patrol ships in orbit were converging on Enterprise and charging weapons and raising shields.

    “Failure to comply with my demands will result in the destruction of your orbital assets and seizure of the slave market by force. Please repond.” Spock signalled Uhura to end the transmission with a cutting motion and sat back down. “Lets see if they answer,” he said.

    By way of an answer the lead patrol ship fired a photon torpedo at Enterprise. It struck the ship square across her bow. Spock had the foresight to raise the ships shields as soon as sighted however and so the torpedo spent its fiery destruction uselessly against an invisible wall of energy. Doing nothing more to Enterprise than tossing her about somewhat.

    “Orders sir?” Chekov shouted as alarms blared. Having announce the incoming torpedo he was well braced for the impact. Even so he had been shook around hard and needed a moment to readjust himself.

    “We are done with words mister Chekov,” Spock said with steel in his voice. “I want every one of those ships destroyed or disabled and I don’t particularly care which.”

    “May I take that as an order to fire sir?” Chekov asked adrenaline and excitement surging through him. He was already targeting the lead ship, the one that had fired with the ships three dorsal phaser banks.

    “You may fire when ready,” Spock said sardonically for the record. A thin smile tugged at the corners of his mouth that only Uhura saw.



    The lead patrol ship saw that it was being targeted and swung into an evasive climb upwards. The six other patrol ships similarly scattered and attempted to encircle the much larger Starfleet cruiser. Armed with only a pair of channelled plasma cannon and a rotary photon torpedo launcher and equipped with only a low level shield they were no match on their own against a ship of Enterprises power.

    The cruisers phasers, six beams in all fired from three of her banks, struck the lead patrol ship dead amidships. Her shields held back the massive energy strike, but overloaded and slagged themselves in a burst of energy. The ship reeled and was easily destroyed by a second volley from Enterprises number seven bank.

    A volley of plasma fired from three of the Orion ships tore at Enterprises deflector uselessly. Her shields easily shrugging off the assault even as her ventral banks opened up. Disabling the second ship and leaving the third open to a photon torpedo burst which evaporated in a cloud of radioactive dust.

    The four survivors attempted to overwhelm Enterprises weaker aft shields with a concentrated launch of torpedoes aimed just above Enterprises shuttlebay where the nacelle pylons connected to the service hull.

    Spock swung the ship into a wide arcing turn and avoided all but one of the torpedoes which wasted itself against the shield, leaving it at a weakened sixty percent until the generators could recharge but otherwise intact. His turn brought the ship bow on to the four survivors. With all of her six forward facing banks having clear angles to fire, as well as her three forward launchers.

    Once again attempting to scatter and hit the ship from multiple angles a volley of eight photon torpedoes found two of the Orion ships and their combined power destroyed them both. The surviving two ships threw in the towel and attempted to flee. Firing their impulse drives for all they were worth in an attempt to get as far away from Enterprise as they could.

    Like a shark going after a minnow Enterprise gained on the nearest ship and obliterated her with a volley of phasers. By this time the tubes were reloaded and a burst of two torpedoes found the final surviving patrol ship. Tearing her in part after her shields collapsed. An instant later the fusion bottles for the impulse drive ruptured and the ship was consumed in a cloud of gas the same as its other squadron mates.



    “Final patrol ship destroyed sir,” Chekov reported scanning his sensors to see if any other threats were in range. None were at the moment. Most of the ships in the system were fleeing as fast as they could. Away from Enterprise.

    “Very good mister Chekov.” It had never really been much of a question of the outcome of the battle. Even combined the seven patrol ships possessed not even half of Enterprises firepower. But Chekov had handled his job beautifully. Putting shot after shot onto target with deadly accuracy.

    “Any report from the assault teams?” Spock asked turning to face Uhura.

    “Nothing yet sir, but they may still be descending and unable to communicate.” Uhura`s hands flew across her board as she received around a hundred different hails from the planet and ships in orbit. Sifting through she found a few of importance.

    “I have a message from the planets government. They demand that we cease our assault and explain why the federation is attacking an independent nation.”

    “Don’t respond, unless they hail us to surrender I do not wish to speak with the planetary authorities.” Spocks attention was drawn to Chekov’s board which had suddenly erupted in a series of alerts. “What is it lieutenant commander?” He asked suddenly beside the tactical officer.

    “It looks like a couple of the ships in orbit have swung around towards us,” Chekov said sending a sensor reading to Spocks station. “I would guess they are covering the escape for the twenty odd freighters which just broke orbit and are tearing out to the gravity well,” he added a moment later sending Spock another readout as he did so.

    Another smile tugged at Spock’s lips. The fleeing freighters were headed along a course that would bring them squarely into the waiting arms of the Emden and Valdez, Spock previously having guessed that route as the most likely for fleeing slavers.

    And there was no doubt that those ships were slave ships. A legitimate freighter would likely not be running away so panicked. Especially after Spock had announced over all frequencies that Enterprise was coming to free slaves. In fact many freighters had not even broke orbit of the planet yet. Choosing to stay out of Enterprises attention if possible.

    “Let them go mister Chekov,” Spock said confident that the two frigates would have no trouble dealing with the unarmed freighters.

    “Out of the frying pan and into the fire commander?” Chekov asked.

    “Something like that lieutenant commander,” Spock said sitting at the conn once again. “Besides,” he said. “We will have other things to worry about soon enough.
     
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  27. Threadmarks: Episode Three, the Valkrian Den, Part Six
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    “Looks like the attack has started,” Sulu said as another sonic boom rocked the boat, the result of a pair of suborbital fighters attempting to reach the battle some miles above. In the distance alarms blared as citizens were cautioned to seek shelter.

    Kirk could not sit down. It was his ship up there fighting. And here he was on the planets surface sitting in a boat bobbing slowly up and down on the waves. He felt absolutely useless.

    But this had been his plan and he had known going into it that he would not be there when the shooting started. Well he didn’t like it then, and he certainly did not like it now. But he had the choice of either sending a landing party into a potentially deadly situation and commanding his ship in battle. Or leading the landing party and trusting his first officer and crew to deal with the problem.

    And then the communicator suddenly came to life. “Captain Kirk?” Came a static filled voice.

    “I’m here! We are all here!” Kirk shouted relieved to have something to do finally.

    “Sir this is leftennant Paulsen sir, what is your location?” The static cleared and the woman on the other end cleared her throat. “So far its not to wild up here, we should be able to grab you without to much difficulty.”

    “We are in the bay on a boat, a sail boat.” Kirk said feeling suddenly silly at their position. “Thought it might be a good idea to get as far away from the city as possible before the shooting started,” he added justifying his circumstances.

    “Sounds nice!” Paulsen said dryly. A moment later she added, “we have a lock on your position. Should be there in under five minutes.”

    “Copy that,” Kirk said into the audio pickup on the communicator. A moment later Paulsen was signed off and Kirk picked up the faint sound of a sonic boom.

    “Have they began their assault yet?” Sulu asked.

    Kirk shrugged. “The plan was for the shuttles to deploy the rangers around the slave market and then dispatch one to pick us up. I don’t know if that is the plan they went with ultimately, but that’s what was supposed to happen.”



    If the first battle with seven patrol ships have been uneven the brief battle against a dozen small pirate vessels could be called a turkey shoot. Lacking the structural reinforcement of the proper warship the converted transports Enterprise faced next were taken out easily enough with phaser fire alone.

    “Shields holding at twenty percent sir,” Scotty reported over the comms. The last surviving raider had been to close to the ship when her matter/antimatter reactor went critical. Enterprise had shuddered and shook and her lights had briefly dimmed. But otherwise she seemed to have weathered the storm surprisingly well.

    “Thank you Commander Scott, keep me informed of any further developments.” Spock signed off with the engine room and turned to Chekov. “Have you found any orbital defense platforms?” He asked.

    “Only three of an outdated model sir,” Chekov answered sending readouts of the three small satellites to Spock’s console.

    Spock looked over the data quickly. Massing only three hundred tons the small stations resembled cylinders of roughly fifty metres long and twenty wide. A gauss cannon fixed to the top and bottom with a pair of lasers mounted in the centre of the station. It appeared that they lacked shielding. Little more than target practice by this point.

    “Any orbital craft from the planet?” Spock asked a moment later.

    Chekov nodded. “Aye sir a few, though they seem to have taken up defensive posture over the major cities. Likely wanting to prevent anything we might launch from reaching the planets surface.”

    Spock nodded. A prudent decision on the part of the planets military forces. But useless. Shuttles loaded with rangers had been sent in well ahead of Enterprise and had already landed around the slave markets of the planet. At least the three that the landing party had identified.

    Spock now frowned. In all the excitement of the last hour he had forgotten that the ships captain and three other crew were on the surface. “Any word yet from the captain? Or shuttlecraft?” He asked feeling stupid for not asking earlier.

    “Leftennant Paulsen reports that the landing party was safely picked up and that they have been brought to the slave market in the planets capital. Oh! And Emden and Valdez report the seizure of all of the slave ships which attempted to flee the system. One tried to put up a fight and its engines were crippled, though life support remains functional. Searches of all ships have begun.”

    Spock nodded. “It would appear than that our work is done. Please stand the ship down from red to yellow alert and release general quarters,” Spock folded his hands together in his lap. From what he had seen things had gone very well. A better example of orbital assault could not be found outside of textbooks. The only thing left as far as he was concerned was dealing with the planets airborne forces to allow the liberation of the slaves on the planets surface.



    Whatever Spock may have thought the mission had not gone off completely without problems, at least on the surface of Valkru anyway. The guards in the slave market, in a bid to save themselves, had barricaded themselves in and threatened to start shooting slaves if the Starfleet teams tried anything.

    This impasse had lasted all of an hour though as suddenly the complex was rocket by a series of small explosions and weapons fire could be heard. Worried that the slaves were being killed enmasse Kirk had ordered the doors stormed. Only to find the slaves had escaped and begun killing the guards while their backs were turned. The explosions had been the result of the markets power generators suddenly failing, shutting down the restraints and doors to the cells and allowing the slaves to escape.

    Few slaves were killed before the guards had been ripped limb from limb. Most of the casualties were flesh wounds, many of the guards having forgotten to turn their weapons from stun to kill.

    Kirk managed to raise Enterprise shortly after that and got a report that all space and airborne assets of the planetary government had been either destroyed or disabled. The government had agreed to cooperate and shut down their dampening fields around the city. Allowing transporters to begin removing the slaves.



    Captains log stardate 309097.4

    Enterprise has, alongside UES Emden and UES Valdez, completed its business in the Valkru system. In total over seventy thousand slaves belonging to many races were liberated from the planet and over six thousand slavers were arrested. The capture of sixty former slaveships has allowed us to bring all this number, both captive and master, with us as we return to Federation space.

    We received a hail from the Andorian Cruiser HIMS Shah’klint yesterday. The vessel had been dispatched by Starfleet command following their receiving our last communication. The ship has taken position escorting the transports. And its medical facilities have gone a long way towards caring for the worst of those held in bondage on Valkru. Doctor McCoy has been working around the clock alongside his medical staff to care for the many suffering bodies we rescued. Through the efforts of our own medical departments, and in conjunction with those of UES Emden, Valdez and HIMS Shah’Klint many have been treated. All seem to be in a celebratory mood. Enterprise has even thrown a feast for those former slaves fit enough to partake.

    As for myself I am in a much more somber mood. Seeing the depths beings are capable of sinking into to make money, and the total lack of remorse exhibited by many of the former slave masters has left me questioning a great many things.

    I find myself wondering what makes a being capable of that level of disregard for others. Upbringing? Culture? Or could it be that we are all capable of that level of cruelty? These are questions I do not truly want answered.

    In compliance with Federation law we have begun formal legal proceedings to determine the fate of those discovered in possession of the slaves. Many have defended themselves merely by stating that the Valkru system is independent and so Federation laws regarding slavery have no hold over them. However We have cited the Khimbash Convention of 2396 between the UFP, Klingon Empire, Kzinti, Minoan leagues. Alongside others.

    It is my hope that our rulings will be upheld when we turn these men and women over to Federation authorities when we reach starbase seven tomorrow.

    Kirk sighed as he signed off. More out of frustration than exhaustion. One of the prisoners, the former mayor of Buroorum`da goosha, a woman named Veiilis had asked to meet with him one final time. During her hearing the woman had threatened Kirk and the other members of the board judging her. Kirk expected much the same thing from her this time around. Right on cue an alert signed on his computer and Kirk considered for a moment claiming to be busy, but that would get him nowhere. Veiilis would simply try to get another meeting.

    “Final warning captain Kirk,” the middle aged Orion females voice cooed. Despite her threats she had never once yelled or even so much as raised her voice. Delivering her threats almost as a matter of fact than out of any particular malice.

    “Once the charges against me are dropped, as they will be, you will have made yourself powerful enemies in the crime syndicates. Enemies which will be more… understanding if you were to drop the charges. At least for myself and some close associates.”

    “That will never happen,” Kirk said trying his best to match the woman’s cold tone. “You are an animal, life imprisonment would be a blessing for you. Far better than you deserve,” he said almost spitting out the last part of his sentence despite his best efforts to remain calm.

    “Oh come captain,” the woman smiled showing sharpened teeth. “There are many, even in your vaunted Federation and United Earth that have purchased slave girls. And the syndicates keep records of them all. It will not be to much effort at all to find something we can use on any judge that hears my case.”

    Her smile broadened, Kirk was glad that they were speaking over the computer and not face to face. Her pheromones must be firing at full throttle. She had nearly managed to incapacitate a team of rangers when being transferred to the brig. Nearly escaping before she was caught.

    Kirk threw out all pretences of control and screamed at her, “you will face the full charges we have levelled against you in a federation court. Just consider yourself lucky we did not hand you over to the Klingons. Or better yet the Kzinti! There execution techniques I understand are quite brutal.”

    Veiilis blanched, just for a moment before regaining composure. Kirk was just happy to have scored a blow. “Do you really think they wont find out that we rescued some of their people from your market?” He asked.

    Veiilis shrugged, “we have dirt on many Klingon and Kzinti. It would be just the same as dealing with a federation judge.” She said confidently.

    “We will see!” Kirk spat before signing off and deciding he would never speak with her again.



    At the same time as Kirk was severing his connection with Veiilis Rajan was interrogating a number of former guards. Men tasked with dealing with uncooperative slaves. Thus far they had been just as unrepentive as any other Orion. And like Veiilis had even gone so far as to make threats. Rajan had decided he was done for the day.

    “I will take them to their cells,” he said dismissing Younge who had been assigned to the captured transport alongside Rajan and a handful of others from Enterprise.

    “You sure?” Younge asked. It was standard protocol for at least two, preferably three men to accompany prisoners during a transfer.

    “Yeah your tired, I can see it in your eyes.” Rajan was not at all forcing Younge. It didn’t really seem all that out of the ordinary for him. And really there had been a few times over the last few days where just one person escorted prisoners. And Younge was tired. Very tired.

    “If you want to then go ahead,” He said shrugging. He collected his things and went out the door towards what passed for crew quarters on the ship.

    “See you in the morning!” Rajan called just before the door closed.

    “Want to make a deal do you?” One of the former guards, a male named Verok asked smirking. “I knew at least one of you would come around.” He had been smirking like that all day.

    He never saw the hand coming, wiping the smirk from his face and breaking his jaw in a single fluid motion. Rajan smiled right back, pointing his phaser to one of the others who moved towards him. “I had something different in mind actually.

    At phaser point Rajan marched the four guards along. Passing through the airlock which separated the main body of the ship from the cargo hold sections which were attached. As the hatch swung open on the other side row upon row of small cells greeted them. Each inhabited by between four and eight former slaves.

    Just a few weeks prior those same cells would have likely carried double, or even triple the amount of people in them. Those inside glared out at the guards, anger and rage flashing.

    “Ahh good to see the merchandise is still intact!” One of the guards named Boomsh said slapping his hands together. He screamed as a phaser blast set on a very high setting tore through his left leg, sending him crashing to the floor.

    He turned in fear to face Rajan who was backing off slowly, weapon still trained. “Why?” He croaked out confusion and pain mixing in his voice.

    Rajan did not answer. Instead he closed one of the mesh doors, shutting himself off from the guards. He then began to work some of the controls. “These cells here are occupied by the ones you and your friends tortured the most. Those that survived anyway.” He remarked almost casually as he pecked away at a keyboard.

    “They are healthy now. Strong enough to kill an ox, an earth animal of some size and power. More than capable of killing the four of you.” He smiled a wicked smile. Appearing all the world like a demon.

    “You cant do this!” One of the unhurt guards stammered as the doors to the cells suddenly clicked. “Federation law on killing prisoners is quite strict!”
    “Indeed it is,” Rajan said a moment before the cell doors swung wide open. “But there is no punishment if an accident occurs,” he added before running away to tell the other members of the crew the horrible thing that had just happened.



    Kirk was furious. He paced angrily back and forth in front of Rajan. “An accident?” He asked the question needing no answer. “Four prisoners killed and you have nothing more to say other than an accident?”

    Rajan shrugged. “What more is there to say?” He asked. “I filled out an accident report and contained the situation as soon as I could. There is nothing else to say sir.”

    Kirk fumed. But there was really nothing else that he could do here. Without proof all he had was a suspicion that the massacre that had happened during Rajan’s watch, on a ship Kirk had placed under the Laconians command with strict orders to look after the former guards was deliberate. And even if he had proof that what had happened was not an accident Kirk was not even all that certain he wanted to do anything about it.

    “Get to your quarters,” he finally spat. “Someone else will take over the transport until a formal investigation can be launched.”

    Rajan did not argue, standing from the seat he offered a salute and walked out. Leaving Kirk alone to fume. Or almost alone. Seconds after the engineers mate had left there was a chime at his door.

    “Who is it?” Kirk asked pacing the room.

    “Leonard, open up.” Bones, the ships chief medical officer said through the microphone on the other side.

    Kirk did so begrudgingly. He really did not feel like talking to anyone. He was to full of emotion. Anger at what he knew one of his crew did, and also hate towards the people that he had likely killed and the others just like them still alive.

    “Whats up?” Bones asked immediately sensing that something was off.

    Kirk explained what had happened, giving both the official version that Starfleet would likely accept. And his own thoughts on what likely actually occurred. McCoy listened in silence until he was certain Kirk finished before asking, “and how does that make you feel?”

    “What are you a shrink?” Kirk asked again pacing the room. Something he had done a lot of over the past few days and would likely work a hole into the carpet if he did not stop before long. McCoy just shrugged.

    “I saw all the video of the market,” McCoy said with a shiver. “I saw the victims. Half starved, beaten, bloodied, their dignity destroyed and lives devastated. And I saw the smug look on the bastards that did it as they came aboard the ship. Saw how they could not have cared less. As if the fact that a Starfleet heavy cruiser and pair of frigates busting in and capturing thousands of their people and arresting them was some minor inconvenience. And I have seen the way many of them think they will be freed by the federation, as if we did something wrong.”

    Kirk nodded. “I know what you saw, I saw all the same things.”

    “That’s my point Jim,” McCoy said leaning back into his seat. A seat he had taken without an invitation. “You saw all that, and its not something I think any of us were prepared for. But seeing that for sure put me in the mood to do some killing of those that did it!”

    “What your point doctor?” Kirk said sensing where this was going.

    “My point is that it seems that your not so much upset at lieutenant-commander Rajan for doing what he officially didn’t do but likely did. Rather I think your pissed off at yourself for secretly in some little part of yourself wishing that it had been you that had done it.”

    Visions of Veiili danced in Kirks head as he pictured the lanky Orion woman being jettisoned out an airlock with his own thumb over the switch. Yes he would have liked to do it. And that feeling terrified him. For it meant that he was willing to treat life every bit as callously as the Orion slavers.

    But Kirk was not going to tell McCoy that. He could not. “Your wrong,” he said before attempting to change the subject. “How are the intensive care patients going?” He asked.

    McCoy was glad for the change of topic as well. Truth was he felt just as secretly bad as Kirk about the way he wanted to kill all of the former slavemasters. And so the conversation turned to those in the worst shape from the slave pens. And there to what would happen to the slaves once they reached a federation port. And likely what punishment awaited the slavemasters.

    McCoy would eventually leave and abandon Kirk with his own thoughts. Kirk was to angsty to eat and so went to bed for what was likely going to be a rough night of little sleep.
     
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  28. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    Well this episode was my take on a darker and less pleasant side of Trek. I will leave it up to you to decide if I pulled it off or not, but there it is.
     
  29. Threadmarks: I April Fools Episode, Part One
    Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Getting sticky.

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    1. “Easy there Trip!” Captain Johnathan Archer, UESPA, said as the small pod he and Chief Operations Officer Charles Tucker the third, Trip to his friends, were sat in lurched again.

      “I said it when we left the station that if you wanted a smooth no hiccups ride that you should have ridden in with a professional pilot,” Trip said with no apology. “We’ll get there soon enough!”

      “Will we be in a single piece still by then is my question,” Archer said dryly. Trip nudged him with one elbow and used his free hand to deliberately jiggle the controls. The pod shook in response. Nocking the bill of Archer cap into the transparent aluminium viewport at the front of the tiny pod.

      Any retort or reprimand became stuck in Archers throat as they finally hove into sight of there destination. Suddenly his face was right up against the viewport.

      ‘Quite the sight isn’t it?” Trip asked smiling ear to ear with pride. Archer wasnt paying the slightest bit of attention to him.

      At a little under two hundred and twenty five metres long and one hundred and twenty wide the E-class long range explorer Enterprise was somewhat small by even the standards of typical Earth ships. She was barely larger than the Iroquois class patrol cruisers of the United Earth Stellar Navy. Despite of this the ship was vastly more capable.

      Her odd hull form spoke of some of this. A large flattened disk served as the vessels main hull. With a pair of long nacelles housing powerful warp coils were suspended from the hull by pylons which came out of the saucer like primary hulls aft.

      She was unusual to say the least. Well unusual compared to most ships with the exception of the handful of testbeds and proof of concept vehicles which had come before her. One of them, the Beagle, a training ship and demonstrator, was parked in a nearby orbit to Enterprise and looked positively tiny. Like a minnow beside a whale.

      Archer, if possible, felt even smaller in his tiny pod. Trip slowed the vehicle down with a burst of thrusters and brought them along the ship. Flying around the graceful lines of Enterprise and giving her captain a good view of his ship.

      “Don’t scratch the pain!” Archer shouted as Trip got a little to close around the ships forward missile tubes. The tiny pod smacked the larger vessel with a resounding metallic clang and Trip wore a stunned expression so ridiculous that Archer could not help but laugh.

      Impromptu tour over the pod docked in the ships hangar, a large cavity sat between the warp nacelle pylons large enough to house the ships compliment of four shuttles, two tenders and a pair of cargo shuttles.

      In what seemed like forever, but was actually a few minutes the pod autodocked with the ship and with a hiss a secure pressure seal was established by the docking ring.

      “After you,” Trip said motioning to the waiting ladder just outside the pod.

      Archer gracefully disentangled himself from the web of safety and crash harnesses of the pods passenger seat, graceful meaning he looked much like a fish caught in a net, and climbed up the ladder and onto the ship proper.

      “Captain sir,” Helmsman Travis Mayweather said as Archer emerged from the docking ring.

      “Hello Travis how are you?” Archer asked shaking the mans hand. He knew he was smiling much wider than usual. He likely looked like a complete idiot. He did not care.

      “Pretty good, I think I finally have the helm arranged the way that I want it,” Travis said. The two men stood there for a few moment awkwardly. “Sorry to hear about your dad,” Mayweather finally said his voice becoming much more sympathetic.

      Archer coughed. His father, Henry Archer, had been largely responsible for the Enterprise and the revolution it represented. Travis, and most of the ships crew had worked with him extensively. His death to a rare degenerative brain disorder so close to the launch of his dream had been a blow to everyone.

      “Thanks,” Archer said automatically. It had been four days. Four days since he had rushed into the hospital to see the lifeless body of his father being removed from his bed, minutes late in saying goodbye.

      He had been sick most of his life. Sheerans disorder as it was known was rare, and totally preventable provided it was caught early. Fortunately Archer had been treated shortly after birth, the doctors knowing to look as his father was then suffering the early stages of the disease. But for those in whom the disorder was not caught in its early stages it was a long, slow and inevitable process.

      Archer would never get the memory of the last time he had seen his father, the quivering and convulsing form that had cared for him all his life, been his friend and mentor throughout his life. And he had seen the look of shame in his fathers eyes as he saw his son standing in shock at seeing him.

      Thinking about it he nearly teared up right there. The knowledge that the last thing his father had seen of his son was shock and fear would forever haunt him Archer knew. But this was not the time to dwell on it and so he pushed such thoughts from his mind.

      “Are we ready to get underway?” He asked changing subjects. Mayweather sensed the hidden meaning and nodded.

      “For the most part, we still are waiting to take on ambassador Fel and her staff, ambassador Soval and his staff are already aboard and are expecting to meet with you at your convenience. And they did stress that.” Almost as an afterthought Mayweather handed Archer a full report on the ships readiness, schedule and estimated time of departure.

      It looked good, very good. The ship had taken aboard all her stores and fuel, reactors were being brought on line, warp nacelles warmed up and all ships systems tested, so far with no faults. It was shaping up to be a pretty good day if not for the Vulcan presence aboard and sudden change of plans for the ship.

      Initially it had been planned for Enterprise to undergo an extensive shakedown period in the Sol system, humiliating the UESN as Enterprise set numerous new warp speed and endurance records in their own backyard. The ship would then be sent to Alpha Centari to commemorate the death of Zephrame Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive before the ship set out on a year long mission to explore as much space as she could before heading back to Earth for refuelling and evaluation on her performance.

      Instead the ships maiden voyage had been hijacked for political reasons. The current Forum chairman and leader of the United Earth Michael Rubenetov had ordered the ship to Vulcan as a shakedown cruise instead. Her new mission to flaunt Earths achievements in propulsion by transporting a group of assorted diplomats from Earth to Vulcan and then back again.

      He had done this Archer suspected to garner favour with his political base which wanted him to be stronger in his dealings with Vulcan, while also giving the same Vulcans a chance to look at the ship for themselves and see that it really was just a simple explorer at heart, albeit an explorer faster than any UE vessel to date with enough free volume to carry a very heavy weapons loadout.

      Rubenetov did not have Archers vote when he went up for re-election. Nor did he have the love of the UESPA. He had ignored even director Forrest’s concerns over giving the ship such a high profile mission when she was not yet even fully tested, instead threatening to replace him entirely.

      Archer knew that the Vulcans had pressured the man into this, the sudden change of orders reeked of it. Director Forrest had said much the same thing, confiding that there were likely spies in the ambassadors staff who would try to get all they could from Enterprise. Something that Archer felt was entirely plausible.

      Archer finished reading the report and signed off on it. “Looks good,” he said, handing it back to Mayweather. “I think me a Trip are going to check up on the engine room if there is nothing that needs my immediate attention.” Mayweather shook his head to signify that there wasn’t. He left report in hand and both Trip and Archer headed the short distance to main engineering.

      The room was large and sat in the center of the ships primary hull. Even so it felt rather small and cramped. Much of its volume being taken up by the massive spherical reactor that dominated the room, massive was somewhat of an understatement though as it was small by the standards of shipboard fusion reactors. Nevertheless its bulk dominated the room and took up four decks worth of space.

      Trip immediately descended into the chaos that was the startup sequence. A lengthy six hour long process just going into the critical hour four mark. Archer spent a little bit of time there watching, but really he was more in the way than anything else and so left after just a little bit of time to go to the bridge proper.

      Technically the room was the command center as the word bridge had been stolen by the UESN for their ships, but nevertheless the room was called so by the ships crew out of habit.

      All snapped their heads to the lift as Archer walked in. “Captain!” Mayweather said with a smile. “What do you think with the ship all put together?”

      Archer did not answer immediately, he was to busy taking in the bridge, last time he had seen it the room was just bare walls, lighting and panelling had not even been installed yet. “Quite a sight,” he said and meant it.

      He had been heavily involved in the outfitting of the ship. Working closely with both his crew and spacedock workers until he had been forced to spend most of his time working with the UESPA board of directors to plan how the ship would be used, press conferences and training sessions with the officers earmarked to command the next three E class ships. Columbia, Discovery and Atlantis. His fathers passing had been the final thing keeping him from seeing the ship fully put together.

      “Would I be right in assuming all the consoles work properly?” He asked playing with the helm controls. Mayweather smiled.

      “When we power them up they should work just fine. But until we need to leave orbit there is really no need. He to grabbed at the controls and began idly flipping buttons.

      “My stations are fully powered up so if you would mind not playing with them,” a gruff British accented voice said from behind Archer. He turned with a false smile.

      “How are you Malcom?” He asked Lieutenant-Commander Malcom Reed, the leader of the twelve man UESN team stationed aboard Enterprise to man and operate the ships limited armament of three point defence lasers and defensive missiles. Because he belonged to the UESN he did not fully fit in with the rest of the crew, his gruff attitude and apparent scorn for those around him was not helping to change this.

      “Just fine sir,” Reed said glancing up for a moment to smile partially at Archer before getting back to whatever he was doing at that time. “Just making a few final checks before we leave. Want to make sure that everything is working fully.”

      “Keeps talking about wanting all weapons to be fully functional, almost like he thinks we will be attacked by the Vulcans or something,” Mayweather joked. Reed was not smiling.

      “I expect no such thing,” he said with a sigh. “Captain I merely want to ensure that all of the ships systems under my supervision are functioning the way the are intended to. I would hate to go on our first mission with jammed missile tubes and misaligned lasers.”

      Archer hid an internal sigh. Reed was a perfectly good, if somewhat formal and non sequitur officer. Unlike some naval personnel he had met Reed held no real malice towards the civilians he was surrounded by. Choosing to do his job and not make any enemies.

      His problem was that he was very much a no nonsense kind of person, the very image of a UESN officer. Humourless and icy he carried out his duties with impressive skill, but outside of necessary conversations Archer would not choose to have much to do with him.

      “And how are our defensive systems coming along?” Archer asked. He was not allowed to use the term weapons, Reed had explained that a warship carried weapons. UESPA vessels mounted defences. Even if the lasers Enterprise mounted were the same as those carried by the latest UESN cruiser.

      “Not to bad. Still waiting for the final batch of missiles for launcher three, and number two laser is still a little misaligned. Otherwise everything shows as just fine.” Reed looked around his station, a cluster of consoles to the right of the captains chair located in the center of the room. He produced a report of his own. “Everything is in there sir, awaiting your final signature as soon as I have the last of the missiles and the laser aligned.

      Archer had to admit that as stiff as he was Reed was never late with a report, in fact if anything his reports were a little overly complex. Leaving nothing out and attempting to answer any and all questions a person may have before they could ask them.

      This report was no different and Archer only glanced through it. “Let me know when you want it signed and I will read it through,” he said passing the document back. Reed nodded.

      Archer spoke with the rest of the bridge crew for a little while. He knew each of them quite well. Mayew, the ships second helmsman was stood off in a corner of the room, waiting to take over from Travis, One the aft operations station was a new addition to the crew, technical specialist Daniels, the engineering section located in its own little niche at the very back of the bridge was currently unmanned. That left the science stations which were currently manned by only a single person.

      “Hello captain!” Hoshi Sato, lingual prodigy and close friend of Johnathans said with a sheepish smile.

      “Hoshi how are you adjusting to life in space?” Archer had finally managed to convince her to join him aboard Enterprise a week prior, just after his fathers death. It would be good to have the planets foremost xenolinguist aboard once Enterprise got into truly uncharted space. Assuming she could handle it.

      “Not as well as you may expect,” Hoshi answered holding up a, thankfully, empty vomit bag. “Artificial gravity is a harsh mistress.”

      “It takes some getting used to,” Archer admitted smiling at the joke, she was quoting a classic movie, the two of them both being major film buffs.

      That concluded the introductions and looking at the clock Archer realised he still had two hours before the ship got fully underway. And there was not really anything to pressing for him to do. At least not pressing enough that he could get out of the only real thing he had to do before the ship officially launched.

      “Malcom do you think you can look after things while I greet ambassador Soval?” Archer asked. Officially Enterprise held no second in command like aboard naval vessels. With a crew of just two hundred it was felt that such a position was unnecessary, just one more mouth to eat up valuable provisions and shorten the ships range to explore. This meant that when the captain was away command of the ship fell on whoever was there for him to give it to. Usually it fell on Mayweather, but he did not want to give the impression this early into the ships mission that he had favourites.

      Reed was somewhat surprised by the question, he had been given command only a few times. But he readily accepted, it did not much interfere with his duties at the moment as the ship was just parked in orbit. He went back to working on his console and generally left everyone else alone. Archer left the bridge and headed off to the ships hastily constructed guest quarters, empty science labs hastily converted to accommodation suitable for housing a few dozen members of the diplomatic corps of both Earth and Vulcan.



      “Captain I was beginning to wonder if I would have the privilege of meeting with you before we got underway.” Ambassador Soval had answered the door himself at Archers knock. Unlike some ships in the fleet Enterprise did not have buzzers to alert a person when someone was at the door.

      “What kind of host would I be if I did not check up on my guests.” Archer had dealt with enough Vulcans to be fairly proficient at their infernal politeness.

      “I am aware that you are a busy man, from what your director Forrest told me you have been rather busy as of late planetside.” There was a slight undertone of curiosity in the ambassadors voice.

      Archer smiled, as always uncomfortable with the Vulcans obvious examination of him. He wondered if the Vulcan knew what had made it necessary for him to be on Earth but decided he probably did not. “I have been, but things cleared up so that I could get aboard an hour or two ago.”

      “Your first class specialist Travis Mayweather informed me of your arrival,” Soval said. “The two of us were discussing your fine vessel.”

      Archer wondered if Travis had said anything specific, or if the ambassador had managed to get anything from him. He knew his helmsman had likely said only conflicting information to throw the Vulcan off.

      “I must say before we get underway captain how sorry I am that your mission and proper shakedown cruise were delayed. I assure you neither I nor my government had any part in your change of orders.” Soval looked generally apologetic, or as close as a Vulcan came.

      Archer did not believe a word the man said, but he was not here to say that. “No need to apologize, chairman Rubenetov likely just wanted to show us off to our allies.”

      Soval kept up the lies. “A senseless decision, but one that does have the happy result that I get back to Vulcan a little earlier than if I had travelled aboard one of your warships.”

      Archer took issue with the your warships phrase but said nothing. “I was made to understand that you wanted to speak with me?” He asked instead.

      Soval took a moment to collect his thoughts. Obviously thinking about his next words. “There are some among my staff that have significant prejudices against humans,” he said finally and with some obvious discomfort. Archer did not think he was faking it.

      “They will not be openly hostile or rude I assure you, we are not as aggressive even our racists as humans.” Archer was amazed that Soval managed to get in an insult even here.

      “They have been warned repeatedly about their illogical attidutes,” he continued. “But to no avail. I doubt they will do anything unwise, but they may speak to you unkindly and not treat your wishes and orders with the respect they are due. I wanted to make you aware of this before we got to far into our journey.”

      Soval looked relieved to have gotten that off his chest. I made no difference to Archer, in his experience one Vulcan was as condescending and rude as the next and the knowledge that one may be deliberately rude did not phase him to terribly much if he was being honest.

      “Thanks for the warning,” he said trying his best to put in some amount of false gratitude. “I will keep this in mind.”

      He spoke further for a moment with ambassador Soval for a few minutes. Discussing their accommodations and the speed at which they would arrive at Vulcan. Soval admitted that Vulcan had no idea of Enterprises true reachable speed. But Archer was eager to get back to the bridge and get the ship underway. The ships time of departure was drawing ever nearer. He left with a promise to speak with Soval further at dinner.



      Soval watched the human go with a mixture of feelings working through his mind. Unlike what many humans seemed to assume Vulcans did all experience emotions, but just controlled them through mental training ad discipline, not allowing their feelings and emotions to rule over them.

      The captain had clearly been less than truthful and had not found his warning to be of to useful or important. Unsurprising as intelligence had already reported the man to have a bit of a prejudice himself towards Vulcans. Like many humans he believed they had held humanity back with their centuries of oversight into Earths affairs.

      Soval snorted at the idea. Rather than hold humanity back with their two centuries of oversight and examination Vulcan had paved the way forward for Earth to become the bustling hive of activity it was today. Smoothing over the racial and religious differences that had dived the planet and repairing much of the damage inflicted by humans to their planet in their wars. If anything Vulcan had saved humanity from extinction and pulled their development far forwards.

      He closed the doors to his quarters and shook his head. He doubted the staff members he had warned the captain about would get into to much trouble. But still he wanted to make it clear early in the trip that he was not responsible for their actions.

      “Sir would you like for me to get back to my report?” A questioning voice asked behind him. Soval dismissed thoughts of the human and their two races relationship to focus on the report he had been getting before Archer interrupted.

      “Please do,” he said, sitting in the chair opposite the woman delivering the report.

      At just thirty years old T’pol was one of the youngest members of Soval’s staff. As well as one of his most helpful and important. As his scientific advisor and liaison with the UESPA she had also gradually assumed many further duties as his primary aid. Currently she had been giving a report on her observations of Enterprise and her conclusions regarding the capabilities of the ship in terms of speed, range and endurance.

      “As I recall you were just about to speak about your views on the vessels armament,” Soval said as a unnecessary reminder of her place.

      “Indeed I was.” T’pol looked down at her notes, a pile of paper on the table between their two seats. “Selvek is actually my source for the majority of the conclusions I reached, it would be better if I just allowed you to read through his official report,” she handed him a few pages and the ambassador looked over the documents. He was not a naval officer, but he knew enough to follow along with the report.

      “Selvek is thorough, if he says the ship is as lightly armed as this then I am inclined to believe him.” T’pol nodded. It was not truly up to her to offer up opinions. She merely delivered information and made a logical conclusion.

      But if she had been asked she would have said her opinions about the vessel they were aboard. In her mind, if she had been given the chance to speak, she would have said that she viewed the ship as a potential threat to Vulcans long enjoyed supremacy.

      Earth was still a small power, in terms of its military, economy and population it was still well below Vulcan. With the current situation it was unlikely that this would change at any point in the near future. But a ship with Enterprises speed had the potential to make a major difference. Allowing Earth to circumvent Vulcan fleets in war, and spread far beyond their current frontiers in peace. Unless Vulcan possessed similar ships, and in a short period of time, they stood to be outmatched by Earth in a number of years.

      In her opinion Earths development of the ship should have been observed much closer than it was. Soval was perfectly correct in his decision to keep a light approach at the time Enterprise had begun development, but in hindsight it had proven to be the wrong position.

      T’pol knew this was likely the reason he had been recalled so suddenly. It was a mere fluke that the Forum Chairman of the UE, that man Rubetenov, had decided to order Enterprise to carry Soval to Vulcan. Giving the ambassador the chance he needed to recoup his losses.

      They were not spying, not in the classic sense. More realistically they had been ordered to observe Enterprises abilities and performance and report on what they saw on arrival on Vulcan. As a part of this tours of the ship and discussion with its crew would be sought as much as possible. Those were the orders anyway, realistically conversations between Humans and Vulcans tended to be rather short and to the point. An efficient use of time, but one that seldom resulted in new information being learned.

      “Are you paying attention?” Soval asked noticing that T’pol’s mind seemed to be elsewhere. “I was asking if you would draft an initial report.”

      “Of course,” T’pol kicked herself for allowing her thoughts to drift off in that manner. She gave no external sign of this internal rebuke however and rose. “I will do so in my quarters if that suits you.”

      “It does, we will be leaving orbit shortly, it would be best if you were in your own quarters.” Soval rose and opened the door for her in a learned Human courtesy.

      She left and began to write up a basic report on the ship. At this point they had learned little, other than the basic layout of the ship and her general capabilities. But it would serve as a useful template to be added to and altered at a later date once more had been learned of the ship. Beneath her feet the deck pulsed and vibrated, the whole experience seeming like the ship was going to tear itself apart. Such feelings would not be found on a Vulcan ship.



      Hoshi Sato knew exactly how it felt to think the ship was going to tear itself apart. She clung for dear life to her console and closed her eyes. It was all she could do not to scream as the vibrating and roar of the ships engines grew louder.

      “Warp factor two point four,” Mayweather reported from the helm. “Warp factor two point five, warp factor two point six…”

      He went on and on, each new point being massively faster than the last. The ship continued to accelerate and speed up and the shaking grew worse. For Sato, who had never left Earth orbit let alone travelled aboard a warp ship, it was terrifying. For the rest of the ships crew it was perfectly normal.

      The ships speed levelled off at the warp three point five mark, the normal cruising speed for UESPA and UESN ships. After a few moments at this speed the vibrating and noise began to die down as the ships engines let off the power, once at a given warp velocity it became much easier and more power efficient to maintain that speed.

      “Hold her steady Travis,” Archer ordered. It might as well have ben music to Hoshi’s ears. He looked over at her and smiled a daredevils grin. “What did you think?” He asked.

      Hoshi decided to be honest. “That was terrifying,” she admitted. She could see Trip hide a grin. Archer was a lot less careful in concealing the laugh he made. “Was I that obvious?” She asked. Trip now broke out into open laughter.

      “You sounded like you were praying in Japanese or Orion or something!” He said between bursts of giggling. Sato blushed.

      “I hadn’t realised I had been talking out loud,” she said her face a deep crimson red.

      “We understand,” Travis said doing his best to calm Hoshi.
      “Yes, we do,” Malcom seconded. Hoshi did not know the man well. But he was the last one she expected to get any sympathy from.

      “You do?” She asked somewhat stunned. Everyone else apparently shared her confusion as they stopped laughing at her and looked over at Reed.

      “Yes, I do.” Reed wondered why everyone was looking at him. He knew as a naval man he was not at all the most popular man on the ship. And he knew he could be a little cold, but did they all think him totally emotionless?

      “It was her first time going to warp,” he looked at her. “Am I correct in that assumption?” he asked. Sato nodded. “My first time at warp was just as terrifying,” he said. All looked at him.

      He decided it best to speak directly to Sato and ignore the stares of the others. “I was just out of school and was sent off to the Jupiter station, to get there I flew aboard the UES DaVinci. An old systems patrol ship. She only made warp one point eight, even so the little tin can vibrated so badly that I was convinced we were all about to die and tried my best to make for the escape pods, only to be restrained by the vessels captain, an old and grizzled Swede.”

      “Sounds like fun,” Sato said stifling a giggle. Malcom did not much care, for one the young lady was very pretty, and for another he had obviously helped her not feel quite so bad about her minor freakout.

      The vibrations had almost totally ceased to be noticeable now, she could still feel them. She had heard that the engine vibrations would never stop once the ship entered warp, and that the higher the speeds the ship travelled the worse the vibrations, though they would die down as the ships speed levelled out.

      Archer read through the reports from the engine room and field control rooms and smiled. Everything was going as smoothly as he could have wished for. This was not the first time that Enterprise had gone to warp he knew, but she had never gone this fast.

      He knew that warp factor three point five was about the fastest Earth designed vessels ever travelled, Vulcan ships were another story and could reasonably hope to reach warp factor three point eight or nine under normal cruising conditions.

      Enterprise had been designed to achieve speeds as high as warp factor four point six, although for comparably short periods. In theory with a powerful enough engine she could reach as high as warp five, but the reactor fitted aboard at the moment could not hope to produce power sufficient for such speeds. Her cruising speed was considered as around warp factor four, well in excess of even the fastest Vulcan vessels cruising speed, and she reached such speeds consuming perhaps as little as ten percent that of what a Vulcan ship would.

      Fuel was something every starship was traditionally very short on. Fusion reactors were incredibly thirsty machines, and the faster a ship wished the travel the more power was needed from the engines, equating to even more fuel.

      This was not a problem at lower warp velocities, but as a vessel approached the warp two point three threshold it began to become a problem. Vessels needed ever more fuel to reach even the relatively short distances between star systems, leading to larger fuel tanks, and larger ships to fit them, and then larger tanks in an endless cycle. The fastest Vulcan ship that Earth was aware of, the Deik’lavas class, were immense half kilometre long monsters capable of reaching warp factor two point five for brief periods. Much of their internal volume was devoted entirely to fuel.

      Not only was Enterprise faster than the Vulcan behemoth, she was also less than a tenth her displacement. And as icing on the cake with just ten percent of her hundred thousand ton displacement devoted to fuel she could travel more than six times farther than the Vulcan, a ship which devoted more than thirty percent of her displacement to fuel.

      That was why Enterprise represented such a leap forward. She could remain on patrol far longer than a traditional design of starship, allowing her the range to be the first truly long range explorer ever built. She had a range measured in years rather than weeks, and capability to travel hundreds of lightyears on a single fuelling rather than a few dozen like normal vessels. She promised to be an incredibly effective explorer and had the potential to open up an entirely new frontier to human colonists and explorers.

      That was also why the Vulcan wanted to know more about her. The ship was capable of tremendous feats of exploration with her revolutionary design. But, if armed even moderately, she represented an extremely fast and powerful ship capable of outflanking any traditional battlefleet without issue and striking deep into enemy territory. If Earth built a fleet of such warships, which the UESN seemed determined to do, then they would immediately become an extremely large threat even to the massive Vulcan space marine.

      It was a sombering thought. At the moment the UESN, the military branch of the United Earths spacefaring forces, possessed only thirty cruisers, twenty of which were only short ranged ships. This made Earth a small power, with a fleet mostly only capable of policing its frontiers and colonies and little else.

      But, with the same number of ships like Enterprise the UESN could easily send a fleet to the homesystem of any potential threat race and outflank them, or send its forces to raid and disrupt the enemies spaceborn shipping. Crippling their economy and strangling them into surrender. Granted once Vulcan designed and built their own similar vessels they would be once again the dominant power.

      But the problem they were evidently facing was how to design their own high warp ship. Archer had not seen any intelligence reports. But he had heard rumours that Vulcans attempts in this field had so far ended only in disaster, they understood the basic concept, but were having trouble developing it into a proper working design.

      Archer looked at the position board and smiled. The ship would pass Mars before to long, he had plans to beam a message to the Utopia Planetia colony as they passed. After that Jupiter lay on a direct path along Enterprise’s exit course from the system. A thought struck Archer and he made a few adjustments to the course.

      “Travis, tell me what you think about this,” he said as he handed the helmsman his math. The other man smiled as he realized what his captain had planned.

      “I like it sir,” he grinned right back and passed the sheet of paper back to Archer.

      “What is it?” Malcom asked wondering what had gotten the two so amused.

      “You will see,” Archer said wondering what his reaction would be. Frustrated Reed got back to his board. Whatever it was he could wait to see what his shipmates were on about.



      Reed did not have to wait very long. Just a few hours after their exchange and just past Mars Mayweather suddenly jammed the ships engines into high gear, they roared in response and the ship lurched forward suddenly as Jupiter neared.

      Hoshi yelped in surprise but quickly forced herself to be quiet when she saw Archer and Mayweather grinning, it had to be alright then. She dug her hands into the armsrest, digging marks that would remain in the plastic until the ship was decommissioned.

      Enterprise rapidly gained speed. Roaring towards Jupiter and quickly exceeding warp factor four and climbing all the way up to warp factor five. As she flew by Jupiter Enterprise flashed a message to the UESN’s Jupiter Station informing them that the ship had just breeched the speed record one of their ships had set the year before to much publicity. Archer took the opportunity to order an active sensor sweep of the Jovian system. Lighting up every ship present in a deliberate act that set off every alarm in the area.

      Reed reported that a trio of Vulcan ships were also present in the system as Enterprise roared past, and that they had seemed to try to lock onto the ship with their own active sensors. But they had been to slow, by the time their sensors were warmed up they were pointing several million kilometres aft of the ship.

      Travis kept up the speed until the Sol system was well behind them, leaving the UESN fleetbase and Earth in her wake. The ship slowed only as she left the Oort cloud, and then only to warp three point seven. Holding that speed until the engine room reported some overheating issues with the reactor. But Trip said it was nothing to serious, so the ship only dropped down to warp three point five.

      It was quite a display of the speeds the ship was capable of. Enterprise had travelled well over half a lightyear in just under eight hours. An impressive feat and one that T’pol was careful to record in her constantly updating report. As the ship left the Sol system behind normal life quickly began, it being quite late Archer ordered dinner to be served and the crew given a moment to decompress.​
     
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  30. John_Oakman

    John_Oakman Come touch my hentai machine

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