Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

Dave

Voleron

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

May 25 2019


Another Stonewall Gaming #WritingContest is upon us and we're excited to announce the theme of our second writing contest of 2019: "Fables of Betrayals!"

Running now through June 30th, 2019, we're inviting all members of SGN to submit a story of their in-game character from their favorite game, whether it be Star Trek Online or any other, but we want you to incorporate the theme of the contest into the very heart of your story!  For our Star Trek fans, you might draw inspiration from such episodes as Voyager's Counterpoint or DS9's Michael Eddington.  Might you be the betrayer or the betrayed??  Maybe your tale of betrayal takes on a noble form, like Michael Burnham's.  In any event, we want you to tug at our heart strings so hard that we can't help but sob uncontrollably in the tub as we read your entries!

We'll share every submission with the entire community for them to enjoy, but we'll also be looking for the top three entries that excel in three criteria that we'll detail below.  This contest is open to all members of the Stonewall community, regardless of which games you play.  We're so very eager for you, Stonewall's amazing writing talents, to once again share your talent and creativity with us and your community!


To participate in Stonewall's "Fables of Betrayals" writing contest, you must post your entry here, in this thread, before day's end on June 30th, 2019.  Please use the #WritingContest hashtag in your entries.  Your posted entry must comply with these additional rules to be eligible:

1.  Your story must in some way relate to one of your in-game characters
2.  Your story must be written in English (so the judges can understand it)
3.  Your story must be your own original work (plagiarism will result in disqualification)
4.  Don't make your story novel length; we need to be able to read it in a single sitting!
5.  The content of your story must not be edited after the submission deadline of June 30th

Only one entry per community member, please.  While we encourage you to include graphics to supplement your Fables of Betrayals, only the written narrative portion of your entry will be judged.  Instructions on how to incorporate graphics in your post can be found by clicking here.

As always, we'll be looking for the THREE stand-out fables among all of the entries.  As we've done in the past, a panel of three judges will individually rate each of the entries in the categories of creativity, detail and impact.  The average of all three judge's rankings of an entry will produce the final score against which, the other entries will be ranked!  The categories are explained in more detail below:

  • Creativity: To what degree is the content original or unique?
  • Detail: To what degree are elements of the story explained in more intricate detail, rather than simply being stated as fact?
  • Impact: To what degree does the story resonate with the reader for a more lasting impact?


The winning contest entries will be recognized on our Facebook and Twitter social media feeds.  We'll also be giving away a participation prize of two Stonewall Credits to all those who enter!  The prize packs are as follows:

First place:
  1. 5 Stonewall Credits, AND, your choice of either:
  2. 20 Master Keys in Star Trek Online, OR
  3. $25.00 Redbubble Gift Card to purchase Stonewall Merchandise!

Second place:
  1. 4 Stonewall Credits, AND your choice of either:
  2. 10 Master Keys in Star Trek Online OR
  3. $20.00 Redbubble Gift Card to purchase Stonewall Merchandise!

Third place:
  1. 3 Stonewall Credits!
  2. $15.00 Redbubble Gift Card to purchase Stonewall Merchandise!

*Stonewall credits can be saved and/or redeemed for in-game merchandise through the Stonewall Credits Store.

Good luck to all participants!  We can't wait to read your entries!




5 people liked this
Edited May 25 2019 by Voleron

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

May 25 2019
Recently, PopEye's got my order wrong and forgot my biscuits. Does that count?
Gareth GXV3

GXV3

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

May 29 2019
It's a perfect day


The heat of the sun flared down upon the flat unending sands of the Australian dessert, the heat was almost unbearable even for someone that was born into these lands... Pushing a payload full of gold coins and priceless items was an even harder task.
"hehehe, they didn't even know what hit um.. stole all this right under there noses" said in a heavy cheerful Australian accent as he looked over to his partner who was helping him push the payload. "Uhff" replied his partner, his voice muffled under the mask he was wearing.
"What'da ya think we'll get for all this loot mate? this is the most we've gotten in our life time, fair dinkum! it was the perfect day for some mayhem!"... looking over at the payload he began to calculate how much its all worth, but in vain as as soon as added amounts in his head he was distracted most of the time by his wooden leg getting stuck in the heat cracks of the dry dessert floor.

As they pushed the cart further and further in what seemed like a few hours journey.. they saw their lonely sheltered camp in the distance... "Ughhh unnff" said the very tall and quite large partner of the Australian, For some unexplained reason the Australian had always understood his crime partners grunts having grown up together on the streets of Junkertown, they had formed a close bond, almost like brothers.
They had to learn to fend for themselves while taking care of each other and watching out for each other through the decades.
"Yup, not long now and when we get home we can celebrate with a Tinny and a few bangers on the barbie!.. boy does my leg ache".
A creepy smile formed upon the Australian as he imagined what he could be doing a week from now, now that he can afford to move out of this hell hole.. and perhaps buy their own condo in the paradise city in Numbani, something they had always talked about doing ever since they met all the many years ago.

They had reached there camp... pushed it into an underground shelter and covered it with rocks so any passers by could never spot it.
"first thing in the morning, we'll sell all this loot.. and get ourselves a one way ticket to Numbani, and never want for anything again! I cant wait! just you and me kiddo heheheheheee" expressed the Australian full of glee.
"Ill go and get us some tinnies to drink" said the Australian as he stumbled off towards the camp hut....
His partner turned to look at him walk off, and grabbed his hook weapon from his side and launched it at his Aussie friend, it looped around his waist and with a hard tug, he launched the Aussie back right in front of him.
"what are ya doing mate!" expressed the Australian with panic in his voice.
His partner looked down to him, a muffled laugh crept out from behind his mask.. and said "Eat this!.".. as soon as he said that, he put up his scrap gun and began shooting at his friend while shouting "its roadhog time".
The Australian was pelted with scrap made bullets until he could take no more.. and fell to the floor in a slump.
Looking up at his partner.. with his breath slowly subsiding.. "Why mate.. why did you do that.. we were brothers you and I.. partners in crime, Roadhog and Junkrat the... unstoppable duo..." with his final breath, The Australian simply said "why".. before his eyes closed forever.


#WritingContest
6 people liked this
Edited June 04 2019 by GXV3
Patrick Aka Trick

trick

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 03 2019
The Vintaak Job

This was, undoubtedly, one of the happiest days of half-Romulan Praevus Aethra’s young life. Considering much of that life had been spent on the run, trying to evade pursuers sent after him ad inifinitum by the Terran Empire’s Imperial Starfleet, happy days had been a very rare thing for quite some time. However, as he knelt before his beloved Khellian, the most beautiful emerald ring he had ever seen clutched in trembling fingers, he could not remember ever having felt so content, or so hopeful for the future. The “yes” that had just escaped Khellian’s lips had changed everything.

Khellian leaned in closer, a grin beaming across his sun-darkened features, and he held out his hand so Praevus could place the ring on it. Praevus slipped it over his fingertip, sliding it down slowly… until it stuck on Khellian’s knuckle.

Praevus sighed. “Damn it! I knew I should have asked for your ring size, but I didn’t want to give away the surprise.”

Khellian chuckled warmly. “It’s OK. Let me try.”

Khellian struggled with the ring for several moments, but it quickly became clear that it wasn’t going to fit his finger. He eventually had to give up trying to force it and slipped the ring into his pocket.

“It’s beautiful, Praevus,” Khellian exclaimed, leaning in for a kiss. "Once we get it sized I’ll never take it off again.”

One long, slow kiss later, Khellian spoke again. “As wonderful as this has been, you know we really should talk about the job.”

Praevus had to admit Khellian was right. Money was tight, and they were going to need a lot more if he and Khellian were going to have any kind of real life together. They couldn’t keep running forever, but if they could get their hands on the Vintaak Records, they’d be set for life. What had really happened when the ISS Enterprise was destroyed in its clash with the USS Defiant and the Tholians at the Vintaak system was a closely guarded secret by Imperial Starfleet, and there would be no shortage of people willing to pay a hefty price for authentic logs from the wreckage of the Enterprise.

Most of the rest of the evening was spent planning the heist. The records were being held nearby at Imperial Intelligence. It was going to be a difficult job, but not impossible. There would be the usual guards and alarm systems to get past, and Praevus knew there would be several deadly traps to disarm or avoid as well. Fortunately, the right lips had been loosened and Praevus and Khellian were in possession of a rather detailed set of plans for the facility that should allow them to reach the vault unscathed.

Neither of them had much experience with cracking vaults, however, so they were going to need a third man. That’s where Sebastian would come in. If Sebastian couldn’t open those vault doors, they were impregnable. He was also a known factor: Sebastian had frequently been a third in Praevus and Khellian’s bed over the years, and there were few people the two of them knew better, or more intimately, than Sebastian.

Many hours later, when the last details of the job had been discussed and finalized, Praevus and Khellian retired to the bedroom to enthusiastically celebrate their engagement.

---

The job had gone almost exactly as planned. Except for one unexpected encounter with a patrolling guard, which was rapidly solved by a mild and very precise use of force, the trio of Praevus, Khellian and Sebastian had reached the vault doors. While Sebastian rigged a series of cobbled-together electronic devices to the door’s locking mechanism and Khellian monitored the building’s security feeds on a tricorder, Praevus slowly patrolled the hallway for more immediately present dangers.

After what seemed like hours, and may actually have been, Sebastian let out a whispered cry of victory. There was an audible click, and the door to the vault swung open slowly.

The three men entered the vault, and quickly found the shelf where the Vintaak Records were said to be stored.

“Allow me,” Praevus grinned, and fired a short blast of phaser fire at the door closing off access to the shelf, blasting a hole just large enough for a hand to fit inside. He reached in and felt something cold and metallic. It would not fit through the hole, but fortunately he could reach the interior latch with his hand, and with a flick of his fingers managed to unlock the door. Inside was a box which, Praevus could tell after a quick inspection, was quite likely to be a recording device from the bridge of a starship. While the exterior was seriously damaged, it appeared to be intact, and the engraving of “I.S.S. Enterprise” along one side was still barely visible.

Praevus felt a sharp pain in the back of his head, knocking him to the floor. He lost his grip on the box and it tumbled across the floor of the vault. Barely conscious and blinded with pain, he could focus on nothing while he heard the unmistakable sound of a hand phaser powering up.

“No, Sebastian. Don’t!” It was Khellian’s voice.

Sebastian’s voice replied. “I guess you’re right. We can just close the door behind us when we go, and Imperial Intelligence will find him eventually.”

Praevus’s vision was slowly clearing, though he could only make out vague shapes as he lay on the floor, the pain in his head crippling him and preventing him from standing. He watched helplessly as Khellian left the vault, followed closely by Sebastian, who only paused a moment to reach behind him and pull the vault door closed with his left hand. On that hand, Sebastian wore the most beautiful emerald ring Praevus had ever seen.

#writingcontest
9 people liked this
Edited June 04 2019 by trick
Fenris McCaster

FenrisMcCaster89

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 12 2019
Dishonored Family

A young klingon was in her home packing her belongings. Her hands carefully fold each peace of clothing, rolling it in a tight roll, and placing each item in her bags. In the door way another young klingon woman stood watching her.
“Gija, do you have everything you need for tomorrow?”
“Yes I do. All my belongings are packed and ready to go L'soa”
L'soa nodded and left the room for bed. Gija stood there a moment re-looking everything over. She walks through her home remembering when she moved in with L'soa. The two met in combat training. Gija was younger by a few years but could take most older klingons in a fight. L'soa challenged Gija to a sparing match test her strength. The fight didn't last long before L'soa stood over Gija with both covered in cuts and blood panting. The crowd cheered as Gija stood. proud, Gija stood tall knowing she learned much from L'soa. L'soa offered to help Gija with her combat training expressing she saw great promise in Gija's strength and ability. After months of training together and many drops of blood shared L'soa challenged her again in a public sparing match to show how Gija had grown. The match went on for hours, both we covered in cuts and bruises. Blood ran down both of their faces and bodies. Gija laughing as she fights, L'soa doing the same. Gija held her blade high and lunged L'soa fell to the ground and Gija held the batleth above her. L'soa smiled and stood as the crowed cheered loudly.

That night to celebrate her victory Gija and L'soa shared blood wine. The two spoke for hours at L'soa's house. Gija, after many drinks, admitted to L'soa she had begun to feel parmaq for her. L'soa nodded to Gija and they moved in close to each other. The two shared a passionate night together and in time decided to marry.

Gija went into her room and climbed into bed with L'soa. Thinking of fond memories she quickly fell into slumber. As she rose the next morning L'soa already had food laid out on the table and the weapon chest ready to be picked up Gija sat down to eat one final meal with her wife before heading off to the ship yard. Not many words were spoken that morning, but not many needed to be. They both knew it would be a long time before they would see each other again but did not want the other to leave with any hardships. Gija rose from her chair to clean her dish. Still silent she gave L'soa a small nod as she gathered her things and headed for the door. L'soa standing there watching her leave she held her gaze showing Gija that she was just as strong as the day they met 6 years prior.

Gija made her way to the ship yard. She saw many others boarding their designated vessels to reach their assigned ships. Crates of weapons and personal belongings were being boarded as well. She walked until she found her younger sister Marisol. Marisol was a young half klingon half human. Her father was Marcarov Asano, a young independent freighter captain. She was raised mostly by Gija after their mother passed away from an unknown illness when Marisol was 4 years of age. Gija was granted one request before accepting her role as Captain of the Ning'tao class bird of prey the I.K.S Jev ’I’SeghIm. Gija asked that her sister continue her combat training aboard the ship with her while serving at a recrute status. After deliberation the request was accepted.

As Gija approached her sister she noticed her first officer N'etar was next to her. Gija greated them both.

“Marisol, N'etar is the crew ready?”
“Yes captain everyone is aboard,” replied N'etar, “ The I.K.S Jev 'T'SeghIm is an old raider ship that the captian failed to bring honor to. Acording to the logs the previous captian, a T'Volk, fled from a battle that would have protected many klingon people. His act lead to the deaths of many non combative recrutes and even some civilian housing. The ship was brought back here and the captian and crew were all sentanced to exicution for dishonorable conduct.”

Gija nodded and motion for them to fallow her. Their vessel brought them to her ship after a short while. Upon entering the ship Gija moved to address her crew. She stood tall and proud grabbing a glass of wine and holding it up.

“Listen! This ship has brought dishonor to many families! We will fight to bring all those who fell because of T'Volk's cowardice honor again and to restore honor to this ship! With me as your captain we will be victorious! We will show everyone that HIS dishonor will never harm another soul!”

The crew cheered as they roughly clashed their glasses together and drank their wine and ate their first meals aboard the ship. Gija retreated to her room to prepare for their departure. She placed her belongings in the dressers and on the desks. She grabbed her personal weaponry and attached them to her side. Gija heard a knock at her door and when the door opened she saw her sister.

“Yes Marisol,” Gija addressed her.
“G....uh...Captain Gija the ship is ready to depart and your presence is requested on the bridge,” Marisol said stumbling on her words.

Gija nodded placing on hand on Marisol's shoulder then making her way on to the bridge. The ship departed and they left to explore. Their mission? They were sent to make sure that their raid groups and boarders had support at any moment. Gija received a hail a few days into the mission. An older male klingon told her that a few small ships fell in battle and she was to report to their location to assist in battle. She obliged and off they went.

Upon her arrival Gija saw the wreckage of many ships, both federation and klingon alike. She cloaked her ship and made she way to find the raid group. After a few moments she found two ships one of the empire and one of the federation. They seemed to both be down for repairs. She moved in close and ordered her helmsman to open a disguised communication channel to the other klingon ship.
Once the hail was answered she realized the klingon was not the one who had summoned her.

“Do you require assistance? My crew is armed and ready,” Gija asked the younger male.
“Yes we do. Our captain has fallen in combat and we require assistance defeating the federation ship,” he replied to her question.

Gija gave her order to hail the federation vessel.

“They are not answering Captain,” her helmsman exclaimed
“Then keep trying,” She shouted!

The helmsman nodded and tried a few more times. In time the federation ship answered the hail.

“This is the captain of the U.S.S Symphony”
“Captain surrender and prepare to be boarded! If you do not we will fire on your ship,” Gija replied to the captain.

“I am sorry but we can not do that,” replied the captain.

Gija ended the hail and ordered her ship to fire to destroy the federation ship. As the ship was destroyed Gija ordered a boarding party to assist in any repairs the other klingon vessel. Once repairs were completed they moved a good distance into Empire territory.

Gija entered her quarters and began making her report. She made a detailed report and made sure to tell of the honorable death of the klingon captain. She sent her report in and decided to turn in for the night. She had a difficult time for the next few months. Countless hails on the Empire boarders came in. Many patrol ships had failed their missions and tails of Gija's triumphs and bravery were the talk of many. She and her crew brought honor to her ships name once more. In the final weeks of their mission before returning home Gija gave her farewell speech.

“ We have accomplished many things these last few months, tales of our victorious battles against the Federation will be told for years to come! Be proud of these victories! You and helped bring honor not only to each of your houses but to this ship again! No longer will this ship be known as a traitors ship but as the ship that brought the empire honor and many victories!”

Her crew cheered as the drank blood whine. Marisol stood in the corner jealous of the praise her sister was getting. Over the last few months Marisol's anger and jealousy grew for Gija and she began to despise the one who raised her. She hatched a plan to get rid of Gija and she didn't care for the consequences of her actions.

On the final day Gija was making her patrol rounds along the boarder. When she found nothing she gave the order to return home. Marisol who always stood behind her pulled out her pistol and aimed it to Gija's head.

“DON”T MOVE,” Marisol yelled!
“What are you doing Marisol,” Gija said calmly?
“I.....I am tired of hearing YOU'RE tales! Of YOU'RE stories and YOU'RE victories! I am tired of living in your shadow!,” Marisol placed her finger on the trigger,” Well no longer!”
“Marisol if you do this........”

Gija's voice stopped as Marisol pulled the trigger killing the young captain. The crew stood there in shock.

“GET THIS SHIP HOME NOW,” Marisol screamed!

The crew listened and returned home. L'soa waited eagerly to see her wife once again but she only saw Marisol exit the ship. With out a word Marisol went right up to a superior officer out of L'soa's hearing range and told them what happened and what she did. She showed only anger towards Gija and no remorse for her murder. L'soa watched them carry a body out of the ship covered by a cloth. L'soa began to get angry and demanded to know what Marisol told the officer. The officer told her what had happened and that Marisol would she trial the next day.

L'soa sat as the trail for Gija's murder went on. Testimonies from the crew confirmed what Marisol had confessed and after hours of deliberation a punishment was decided. Marisol would be exiled to Rura Penthe. Gija's honor remained in tact and L'soa went on with life helping train Klingon recruits.

#Writingcontest
7 people liked this
Kieran

Kierix

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 16 2019
The night is June 30th...The air was still and peaceful.

Thud

Thud

Thud

Kiki'Tlan swung round in confusion,
"What was that sound?" he asked aloud, however his senior staff had disappeared and he was left alone.

Thud
Thud
Thud

The noises were getting closer, panic started to set into the Jemhadar...

Klink

Was the sound made as the Jem'Hadar reached for his weapon only to discover his sturdy holster was empty...

"Oh for the love of the white..." he muttered under his breath, heart racing in panic, realising he was defenceless.

Then suddenly a shadowed figure appeared!

The warrior could not make out what it was or who it was, all he knew was that it was coming straight at him at speed!

Before he could react it had knocked him to the floor and the face he saw shocked him!

For it was the admiral of the hour! Voleron!

With a knife to his throat and the monsters head by his ear, he was paralysed in shock.

"It's another writing competitionnnnnn...." the voice creepily whispered in his ear

That's when he screamed.


"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH" he belted at the top of his lungs

Suddenly the Jem'Hadar awoke to the sight of His Lord Admiral Zandor, looking at him puzzled.

"What's the matter Kierix?" He questioned in his casual tone


"I...Had a nightmare of another writing contest, sir..." he replied back slightly dazed.

"Don't Worry, You won't win it." The admiral replied back, turning to the officer revealing a smile wide and full of sharp pointed teeth.

#WritingContest
8 people liked this
Edited June 16 2019 by Kierix
Rich Ryan

thunderfoot1007

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 16 2019
T'Cael sighed deeply. This patrol couldn't end soon enough. Unlike previous ones, it had no emergencies, no world-ending crisis, and no hope at all of relieving the crushing tedium piling up day after too long day. The lift doors opened and he entered the Command Deck of Fai'col Ryakna.

"Fair morning, Riov. My report is ready and awaits your command."
"Thank you, Subcommander, and the same to you. Please conduct your end of watch report at once."

"Fai'col Ryakna is sound on all decks, compartments and stations, Riov. No crew are injured or sick. We are currently on schedule and enroute to the next control point of our patrol. The warbird we are to rendezvous with there, Hakeev's Pain, reported at mid watch they are on schedule as well. So our personnel and supplies transfer should occur on time. No unexplained or enemy contacts are within range of our sensors. No distress calls recieved. In short, a quiet watch. For which I am grateful, Riov. This was a pleasant alternative to our usual excitement."

T'Cael could not quite keep the quirk of annoyance off his face.
"Anything else before I relieve you of the conn, Subcommander?"

"Yes, Riov. I nearly forgot. About two hours into my watch, there was a series of subspace comm bursts near Fai'col Ryakna. They were on a very low frequency which the Fleet seldom uses except at very short range. They lasted for approximately one minute, eighteen seconds. They did not repeat nor reoccur. A recording of them detected no pattern. They were gibberish, Riov. After two hours, I directed Signals to discontinue analysis and log them as background static normal to this part of NearSpace."

"Why was I not notified at once, Subcommander? There are standing instructions in the Watch Log about such things, as I recall."
"Because Riov, Signals and I determined the subspace emanation originated from Quasar 36-Y-18Beta."
"Explain further."

"Riov my Academy Scholia and training are Science. Quasars are known to emit regular bursts of energy across the electromagnetic spectrum and across subspace as well. Upon looking at the readings recorded by Signals, I determined the signal was part of the normal 'chatter' produced by a quasar. I judged you would not take kindly to being awakened simply because a failing star decided to speak to us as we passed by."

The relief on the Subcommander's face was obvious as a bright bubble of laughter burst forth from T'Cael. "I need some shore leave and soon", T'Cael thought. "When I am about to put a junior member of my Command Team on report for something like this, I have been away from Mol'Rihan too long. And if I've been away too long, what does this say for my soldiers?"
"Very well, Subcommander. You judged correctly, or got lucky in this case. Please remember this incident some day when you are the commander of a Republic War-" The Alert horns began their shrill scream. Sensors shouted across the command deck.

"Riov! Contact decloaking off starboard! Its weapons and targeting sensors are hot and active! Threat profile identifies it as, as Tal'shiar!"
"I have the conn! Helm, port two five mark plus thirty, execute! All soldiers, this is T'Cael! Action Stations! First Officer, to Combat Control! Weapons, bring our cannons and torpedo launchers online at once! Stand by for my command to engage! Flight, launch Ready Fives! All others as soon as possible! Signals, send a contact report to Fleet!" The quick chorus of confirmation responses was interrupted by Signals.

"Hostile is jamming subspace, Riov! Unable to get off a contact report to Fleet at this time!" There was a pause and Signals spoke again, "The Tal'shiar warbird is hailing us!"
"Onscreen."

"Rebel trash! Stop all engines! Power down your weapons and shields! Prepare to be boarded! You are hereby arrested for treason against the rightful government of the Romulan people! All Warbirds, cease cloaking!"

Two more Tal'shiar vessels shimmered into view, their weapons pods bright with barely contained energies.
"This is T'Cael. All stop! Power down weapons and shields! Tal'shiar commander, Fai'col Ryakna and her soldiers await your instructions."
"What?! Those ancient scows are no match for us, Riov!"
"But there are enough of them to kill or injure some of you. They currently have the advantage over us. So wasting lives to return to even stakes is not something I choose. Stand down."
"As ordered, Riov."

A transporter effect whined at the aft end of the command deck. As it ceased, the Tal'shiar officer from the hail and several soldiers appeared.
"You are in charge of this pitiful collection of traitors and cowards?"
"I am."
"Your day cabin. We will go there now. No one other than you and I."
"By your order."

Several minutes later. T'Cael and the commander were in T'Cael's day cabin. T'Cael observed the Imperial's body language unobtrusively. The man was tense and his eyes were restless. He moved at odd moments and in unexpected ways.
"I have no idea how to say this except as directly as possible. I desire to leave the Tal'shiar and join the Republic. Along with my crew. The past few cycles have been difficult. We have done terrible things in the name of the Empress and the Empire. Innocents have died or been punished for things they...they did not do. The leadership no longer protects the Declared. Instead they desperately cling to whatever power they have and only seek to gain more. By any means possible. No scrap of control is left lying unused. No task is too bloody. No life standing between them and whatever power they crave currently is safe. And I, I have had enough. More than enough. I am tired of killing Rihannsu to protect the masters I serve currently."

"You have three ships to my one. Their weapons are online and ready. You ordered us to take our weapons and shields offline. Obviously, not all of your soldiers are willing to follow you in joining the Republic or we would not be having this conversation. Equally obviously, you have a solution to the impasse we are currently at. What is it?"

"My warbird will put a towing beam on yours with my other two warbirds taking up escort positions. I will transport the soldiers loyal to me aboard your ship to act as guards. At the appropriate moment, the towing beam will fail due to an unexpained EPS conduit power feedback into my ship's primary power circuits and both of our ships will be pulled from warp before the others realize. In the minutes before they return, my remaining loyal soldiers will beam aboard your warbird. Which will then destroy my vessel and make an escape."

"It is a bold plan. You have thought about this a great deal. It is also the only plan you have. So like it or not, I will go along with it. Is there any sort of cover along your route where a search for Fai'col Ryakna would be difficult?"

"There is a nebula along the course back to the Empire which is about a day and a half's travel time from here at low warp. That will be the place where we act. Thank you, Riov. I will rest easier tonight knowing the evil I have done will soon be behind me. It will always be with me. But it will not continue."

***

A gentle tug downward and to starboard indicated the Tal'shiar towing beam had locked onto Fai'col Ryakna. T'Cael reached for the comm button to instruct Varama to assign some of her engineering soldiers to inspect the inertial dampeners and then thought better of it.

"Riov, we are being hailed by the Tal'shiar commander."
"Answer him."

The viewer showed the commander comfortably seated on the command deck of his warbird. It also showed the nasty smirk splayed across his features.

"Ah. Hello again, Riov. I am comming you to express my delight at how trusting and simple minded you were during our conversation. I am not leaving the Tal'shiar. Nor am I joining the Republic. Instead, you and you soldiers will stand trial for treason and then be executed. Your fine warbird will be repurposed to serve the guardians of the Empire and the Declared. The gullability of Republic soldiers when they hear one of us wants to defect is my favorite quality of you fools. And all of you seem to have it in abundance. Have you any words on this unforseen and unknowable change of affairs?"

"No. Not really. Except for these. This is T'Cael. Close the trap. The serpents have eaten the bait."
Five plasma torpedoes, angry and red, appeared. They hit the escorts very nearly simultaneously. Unshielded, their hulls melted under the barrage as the plasma scorched its way through deck after deck. Fires guttered into open space from open decks until the oxygen ran out. Clouds of debris, gaseous at first and solidifying quickly in the absolute cold, spun away in slow arcs from the now destroyed warbirds. The look on the Tal'shiar commander's face went from assured to wild panic instantly.

"Wait! Wait! Riov! This can still be resolved simply! What we discussed can happen as I said it would! Stop and think before you do something rash!"

As the trio of Republic warbirds swung about onto a firing vector towards the now solitary Tal'shiar vessel, T'Cael spoke.

"Using the quasar to hide ships is a clever tactic, is it not? Quite a few Republic ships have disappeared near here over the past few months. You never expected us to figure it out, did you? And now, now you are willing to remove your fangs and join us. After it appears you have no other choice. How convenient for you. The problem with removing the fangs of a serpent? They always grow back. This is T'Cael. All ships, fire."
6 people liked this
Edited June 18 2019 by thunderfoot1007
Lars Zandor

Lars_Zandor

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 16 2019
Happy Birthday

“Transporting now, Admiral,” the new transporter officer of the R.R.W Anarhai said. The last one had died during a battle with the Iconians (or so the records say). Fleet Admiral Ghaelhan Laris was waiting for his last guest to arrive on his ship. As the green shimmer of the transporter faded away, a Klingon Dahar Master had appeared on the transporter pad.
The transporter officer immediately got their weapon, aimed it at the Klingon and warned her.
“Throw your d’k tahg on the ground!”
Ghaelhan turned to the lieutenant and back to the unimpressed Klingon woman. She indeed had a d’k tahg dagger stuck in her belt. Ghaelhan turned back to the lieutenant and said:
“Dahar Master Kolinna is a dear friend, lieutenant. She has earned the right to wear her d’k tahg anywhere on my ship if she so pleases.”
The transporter officer calmly said “yes, sir,” while putting away their weapon.
“Ghaelhan, what a welcome!” the Kolinna shouted enthusiastically. She sprinted of the transporter pad and hugged Ghaelhan tightly (despite being at least a decade younger, she was still a head taller than him, so Ghaelhan’s feet came off the floor a bit). After Kolinna let go, Ghaelhan finally managed to speak (while checking his spine for any broken bones):
“Kolinna, good to see you too! No doubt you want to see my sister. She’s in my quarters with Kurat’Aklan.”
“Kurat is here already? It’s time for the bloodwine to arrive then!” Kolinna turned to the transporter officer who just now still had their weapon aimed at her and continued: “I have a barrel of 2391 on the PltSa’Chab. Beam it directly to the Admiral’s quarter, will you.” It was formulated as a question, but Kolinna’s tone made it clear that it wasn’t. As she walked out of the transporter room, she said: “I’ll see you in your quarters, Ghaelhan. I want to see my wife and it’s time for a party.”
“If only you knew,” Ghaelhan thought.

Ghaelhan first had to check if his plans for the evening were all on schedule, so he first went to an unused cargo bay. Or unused only as far as his crew was aware. When he entered, ten Tal Shiar officers stood before him.
“Everyone is here now. In twenty minutes, it’s your turn.” Ghaelhan said calmly. The Tal Shiar Subcommander responded:
“Understood. If this succeeds, you will be the new right hand of Empress Sela. Are you used to being called Colonel Ghaelhan yet?”
Without saying a word, Ghaelhan walked past the Subcommander to a console on the wall.
“The explosive device is active, and the transporter device seems to be in place.” Ghaelhan swiped the panel to the left and a security cam from his quarters appeared. Dahar Master Kolinna and Ghaelhan's sister, Rhianna, were holding hands while they were talking with Kurat'Aklan. Kolinna’s barrel of bloodwine had been transported to a corner near the windows.
“The barrel needs to move.” The Subcommander’s annoying voice interrupted Ghaelhan’s train of thought.
“Moving it would be suspicious,” Ghaelhan said. “I’ll just have to make sure the barrel won’t be in the way when the time comes. I’ll go there now. We have only fifteen minutes left.”
As Ghaelhan walked towards the cargo bay exit, the Subcommander had one last demand:
“Make sure your sister is among the dead. We can’t have Hakeev's killer walking around freely.”

Five minutes later, Ghaelhan entered his quarters. In spite of what he was about to do, his warm smile when seeing his sister and closest friends, was genuine. They guided him into the room, but somehow they kept him out of range of the transporter device. Everyone stood around him, each wishing him a happy birthday.
“Brother, I have a birthday present for you!” Rhianna said. She held a bottle of wine in her hands. “It’s Chateau Picard!”
“My favourite! Thank you, Rhianna!” Ghaelhan was actually happy with this present, even though he could enjoy it for only a short time.
“I’ll pour a glass for you,” Rhianna decided.
“Pour a glass for everyone!” Ghaelhan enthusiastically said. The wine would be gone in less than ten minutes anyway, together with everyone and everything else in his quarters, so no need to keep it all for himself, as he usually would.
While Rhianna was still pouring the wine for the other guests, Ghaelhan decided to take his first swig.

Immediately Ghaelhan felt something was wrong. He became dizzy and the room was spinning. While trying to keep his balance and grasping for something to hold on, Ghaelhan dropped his glass. Somehow he managed to see that something changed hands between Kolinna and Rhianna.
“What was in tha- What are you do-”
Full sentences were not a possibility anymore for Ghaelhan.
Suddenly he felt a hand on his chin, forcing his head to face a certain direction. He looked right into Rhianna’s eyes - which were suddenly filled with hate. Ghaelhan had only ever seen that hatred in her eyes when she saw
“The Tal Shiar. How could you join them, brother? After everything they took from us? After everything we fought for together?” Ghaelhan suddenly felt a sharp pain in his abdomen and fell to his knees. When he looked down, he saw Kolinna’s d’k tahg sticking out of his stomach, green blood pouring out of the wound.
“You disgust me, brother,” were Rhianna’s last words to Ghaelhan as she pulled the d’k tahg out of the wound (his blood poured out and covered her hands) and brought it to his throat.

Epilogue
As if on queue, the door opened and D’Vex and a Jem’Hadar entered Ghaelhan’s quarters, right after Rhianna had slit Ghaelhan’s throat.
“I assume you were victorious then?” Dahar Master Kolinna asked them. D’Vex answered first.
“We were. Tovan led a tactical team and defeated the Tal Shiar officers after a short firefight. Three survived and are in the brig now.”
“I shrouded during the fight and looked for the explosive device. It is neutralized now and being removed by one of the Anarhai’s engineering teams,” the Jem’Hadar reported.
“Well done, Lamso’Clan. Go back to the ship. I will return shortly,” First Kurat’Aklan told his Operations officer.
“Who knew a bloodwine barrel is useful for smuggling Jem’Hadar onto a ship.” Kolinna said a bit more excitedly than she should in this situation.
Meanwhile, Commander Rhianna Laris got out her disruptor and shot the transporter device hidden by the bloodwine barrel by the window. She then walked to a communication console and hailed Admiral Kererek.
“The operation has succeeded. All infiltrators are either dead or captured,” she reported.
“And your brother?” Kererek asked. Rhianna held up her bloodied hand in response. Kererek's shoulders relaxed, as if a weight had just fallen off them. “This was a sad day for the Republic, Commander. I still wonder what caused him to turn to the Tal Shiar. I preferred you had kept him alive for questioning, but I’ll stand by your decision.
And now another decision has to be made. Of course you will get command of the Anarhai, but we also have a spot for a new Admiral now. It's yours, if you will have it...”
7 people liked this
Edited June 16 2019 by Lars_Zandor
Joye McCaster

Niko

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 18 2019
Captains Table: Falling in the Night

The ship was cold, it was always cold; bitterness seeped into the bones of the crew, filled the very metal of the ship with fingers of frozen emotion. A breen ship that the feline captain had acquired as salvage, rebuilt and crewed now by those who were like J'soph. The forgotten of the stars, those who were left behind in the darkness to die before frozen salvation came for them. 
Doors hissed open, giving the sound of serpents drawing back before snapping closed. J'sophs heavy feet fell against the deck, creating an echoing chorus in time with the workings of the weathered ship. Slowing before turning his head, the faint stirrings of music... something from Earth, he thought. It brought him back for a moment, to a time when youth and life still filled every part of him. Life was everything to him then; those days when the stars were the calling force, and the service in which he chose to continue.

Turning away from that music, trying to force it from his mind; from the warmth that fiddle and piano brought to him. His steps continued down the hissing dark corridor, till the feeling of fingers moving along fur alerted every sense in his body. J'soph spun, pulling his weapon free, looking around him to anything that was there or could be there. The weapon slowly returned to the holster, his hand moving to where he felt familiar fingers. The stirrings of memory, of feelings he once held dear; ice was there, though, trying to steal that feeling away into a frozen cage.

A long hiss emanated from the Caitian, before turning on heel to enter his private quarters. Stepping through he felt only warmth, the wash of laughter and the alluring scent of drinks that had not been tasted by the Feline Captain in some years. The door shutting behind him was not his, not his ships, not one that he could ever recall seeing. Around him a field of lifeforms, many known and so many more he had never encountered or seen. Darted among them, a few Klingons and Humans engaging in bouts of boasting.

Reacting as though he was still in the war, reaching for a phaser that had not been at his side in more years than the old Caitian would care to remember; The arm reaching out, though clothed, seemed the age of a much younger man; from a time when a badge sat on his chest proudly. J'soph found himself seeking the nearest reflection; finding what he feared, a younger mans face... one that was his when the heart was still warm, and he knew his purpose in things.

"Remarkable, isn't it?" Feline eyes darting to the source of those words, his head cocked a little to the side, finding himself staring at a human. One that every bit of his senses told him was not human, but not anything he could understand yet. Yet this man spoke softly, Irish tones lifting from his lips giving a light ease and comfort, an empty glass slowly being cleaned effortlessly set down before the feline captain. Soon something amber and sweet smelling filled the glass, as the man stood there watching J'soph. "Remarkable, this place... not what you want but sometimes just what you need, and sometimes, even a reminder of what you are." His lazy smile somehow easing J'soph, who nudged his paws forward till one hand slipped around the offered drink.

"Wha...." The question dying on the felines lips, as the barkeep held up one weathered hand. He smiled broadly, using that hand to motion around the gathering there. "The Captain's Table, just a place for stories and to find some respite, some peace or kinship. Drinks and time only cost a simple story, nothing more, nothing less. You came here, so something must be on your mind that wants to be told. Find a good ear to speak it too and enjoy yourself, Captain." Leaning back, the human looking man turned ,strolling down the long bar attending to others, as though nothing else ever need be spoken on the matter, no questions to reply to, just the simple answer.

Taking the drink, he walked towards what looked to be an empty table. J'soph felt some of that old age creeping into his bones. He looked and felt young, but the feeling was there, growing as he sank into a chair... That all too familiar feeling of age and pain, it was his frozen weight; what the feline captain dragged behind him, wore around his neck every day. The drink he carried was one that had been missing from his lips for long years, its taste pulling J'soph back to long nights. To a time that his uniform would adorn the floor, among other discarded clothing from the man that had been his lover.

Sitting next to him suddenly, a young human, joined by a battered old Klingon. It didn't take long for the table to fill with drinks and boasting being shared. Yet J'soph sat there silently, until the jovial hand of that Klingon rapped against his arm. His voice deep and resonating, almost operatic with its tone and ringing that lingered. "You look too young for such a dark and weathered presence... come, share a tale with us, Captain..." His words trailing away as the Caitian's eyes looked up to meet his, showing the age that lingered behind them before lips moved speaking softly. "A tale... stories, yes, I do have a few. Many good times with crew and friends, many times when all was calm and held the peace I once treasured... yet I can't recall them as I would want too. I can only think of a story from when I stepped down from the command of a ship, to take up a different role for a Captain that had become dear to me. It is not a kind story or one that many know about or should, but it is here on my lips and I shall share this story. My name is J'soph, my first command was the Pendragon... a Starfleet ship, though given those gathered at this table, I am sure many know that just by how I am dressed.” Looking around, those gathered offered a few nods showing acknowledgment, though one set of eyes, those belonging to a young human seemed more focused. He seemed familiar to the feline captain, though placing him, he could not just yet.

“My Command there was long and fulfilling, the ship sturdy and steadfast in all she tried and needed to do. Though during those long years in command I trained, and became close to many young officers who went on to their own dreams and desires, one was particular to my heart; he served under me as a junior officer, later, my second in command until the day came for him to gain his own command. It was during this time he asked me to step down from command for a time, to join him as his chief medical officer. And as his lover. The Pendragon was a good ship of the line, but I had always been a doctor that was pushed into command when time came for it. I accepted his offer, the draw to heal again... to serve the purpose I found most desired rose so hard and fast. I stepped down from command, and became the chief medical officer of the Hopkins. Now as ships go she was not the sleekest, not the most armed...She was a hospital floating in the stars; armed just enough to hold out long enough, or clear debris and nothing more. An ambassador class starship, they were already pretty rare at this point, the majority of the class phased out for Galaxy or Nebula class ships, or newer ships of the line. Though old, she had history soaked into every deck. Five years she was home to us, days on duty... nights together, clothes rarely kept on when we were together in quarters.”

Taking up his drink, sipping slowly, whiskers dipping after a moment before setting the glass down to look among those there. “Many long, good years... times I spent the last twenty and more years of my life trying to forget, to leave in the past and never dredge up again... but they are there again, reminding me what warmth once felt like. Hmm, I digress I think from the point of things. The Federation had just left one long, devastating war, attacks by the Borg... then the destruction of Romulus. The Hopkins was there in the early part of colony evacuations along the path of destruction, part of Federation relief and aid efforts. The Federation lost Ambassador Spock in the effort to stop the wave of destruction, the Romulan Empire broke. Power struggles rising up quickly between the Tal Shiar and the Imperial Fleets, the outlying colonies where hit hard. But it was the mid range and inner colony worlds that were devastated; we responded to one of their calls for help. The colony world was deep into the Empire's territory, Star Fleet had ships throughout Romulan space assisting where they could. While most of the wave from the Hobus supernova was neutralized, fingers of it still traveled until hitting something.

This world had eighty percent of its surface burnt and scoured by what hit them, a hand full of farming communities and the remains of one city being all that survived. In all, maybe a million Romulan civilians. Our scans of the planet showed remains of planet side shipyards and military complexes. What remained of the planetary government informed us that the planet was a supply world for Tal Shiar ships and families of their crews. It didn't matter to us, they were injured, and dying down there. Our shuttle bays emptied running supplies and were temporarily turned into mobile triage units. The shuttle bay became a spare ward, waiting to receive the incoming patients. This is when the storm of these events rained down upon us. Klingon birds of prey decloaked, giving warning shots to the regions around our ships bridge. The Captain was injured from a power conduit rupturing, the first officer left pretty dazed with a good head wound.

Shields were raised and weapons made ready; granted, our weapons were stripped down to just turrets that would require a good amount of concentrated fire to bring down another ships shields, or enough to do any damage to them. My medical team arrived on a smoke filled bridge, damaged consoles sparking and my lover laying near the command chair, unmoving. We got him and the first officer stabilized quickly, before sending them down to medical to get them on their feet as quickly as possible. The second in command was so green, she looked as though the next disruptor bolt to hit us would do her in. Growling to myself, I assumed temporary command until the Captain was on his feet again. It worked in my favor that I outranked, and had the most experience of anyone else on the ship.


Getting the Klingons on screen to talk was easy enough, a little prodding and their angry wing commander filled the view screen. He promptly declared himself the head of House Mal'tOgK, and that they where laying claim of vengeance upon the remains of the colony world. 
My reply, was every weapon the ship had firing at once upon his ship, as we put ourselves between them and the planet. Three birds of prey vs. us was not a favorable option, but we only had to hold them off long enough for help to arrive. Working on withering one bird of prey at a time down enough to inflict some damage, became a staggering wall to over come. Their weapons pounded into our shields and hull, my crew pleaded for use of more deadly force... I couldn't bring myself to the order, though... no lives taken under my watch. The order to only disable their ships stood.

We were holding on, reports of injuries piling up across the ship; engines were gone, shields were only a flicker of defense... the Klingon's weapon fire stopped. The Hopkins was heavily damaged; our shuttles had returned, taking up holding positions around the ship. The coms flicked back to life with a priority reply from Star Fleet command. The face of a smug admiral filling the screen, informed me that the Klingons agreed to hold their fire for the moment and would allow us to leave the system safely, but we were not allowed to render any help to the Romulan Colony. I won't bore you with the heated argument between this Admiral and myself, but his orders where relayed to the whole of the ship. Render no assistance to the Romulan colony, leave the system, and maintain our good relations with the Klingons. I told him to go to hell, and ordered battle stations with full deadly force. I knew, the crew knew, what would happen to those civilians if we let the Klingons by. Before the admiral could start saying anything else, he was removed from the screen. The bridge crew looked at me, a mixture of fear and questioning looks.

I hadn't noticed my mate... my lover, returning to the bridge. His strained voice cutting through to me, that voice I loved, telling me to stand down. I couldn't look back at him, I gave the order to fire. He shouted, 'Belay that order!' I ordered the crew to fire again, and again, he belayed me. I was enraged, my claws cutting into my palms; I hadn't turned to face him yet, to see his face. I looked ahead at the three birds of prey. They were damaged, a few good lucky hits would do enough to destroy maybe one, or at least disable them long enough. His voice was warning me to stand down to return to my station. I shouted at him....

'NO... WE ARE STAR FLEET, THEY CRIED OUT FOR OUR HELP; THEY ARE CRYING FOR HELP!' My voice calmed enough to speak firmly to the crew at hand, 'We do not turn our backs on those who cry out for help....'

'J'soph... my lo...' His sigh cut through me worse then my willingness to kill. 'Chief Medical officer J'soph, you are relieved of duty, we have our Orders and they will be followed. Return to your Quarters!'

I spun on him, coming to face him finally; finding a phaser shaking in his hand, aimed for me. There were no tears in his eyes, just the determination to follow orders to protect his command. 'No!... tactical fire on those ships...' His hand was shaking still when my voice cut out, pain flared through my head. I saw the phaser beam reaching out towards me... it filled my vision... then darkness.

I woke in transit to medical, one medic battered and bleeding pushing me along the hall on a hover bed. My rage took over everything; rolling up from the bed striking out, hitting him square. The poor kid hit the deck hard. He would be okay but I had to stop things; my thinking was not clear at this point, but it was focused enough to get me down to the Captain's Yacht. Not the best ship to go into a fight with, but she was armed as well as a runabout, so it would do. I had all the codes, the overrides and soon launched myself from the Hopkins.

The small craft turned in space lining up with the lead bird of prey; the Hopkins was thrusting out from orbit, their shuttles already docked. Emerald bolts of energy rained from the Klingon ships down to the planet. I lost it, phaser fire laced out from the Yacht, hammering into the lead bird of prey. Their shields buckled, most likely too weakened from the earlier fire fight. Its starboard wing tore away from the ship, sending it crashing into one of the wing ships. The third turned firing hard on me, my phasers streaking out to meet them head on. Their shields failed first, I was doing damage enough to make them peel away for a moment and cloak. I was already in bad shape when I took more fire, this time from the Hopkins. Shields failed, structural integrity was failing; engines flicked at best, leaving me caught in the planets gravity, losing orbit quickly.

The descent and damage done, left it difficult to beam me out if they tried, or if they even could still. The world went dark on me again. For how long, I really don't know... I woke a few times in the wreckage; screaming in the distance, flashes of emerald light, before darkness claimed my mind again.

The next time I opened my eyes, the world was silent; no flashes, no screaming... just one gruff voice telling me I was not allowed to die there. The visage of a Klingon I knew very well came into focus. My old ship's science officer, Groth. 'Come on, Captain, I didn't fly all this way to save your ass for you to die on me like this.' He was right, I couldn't die, not like that. 'Groth... am I dead... because you're one ugly mug to wake up to.... how bad is it?' His grin faded quickly, easing me up to rest against a bulkhead, or the remains of one.

'You seem to have taken a short range phaser hit to the eye; it had to have been on stun for you to live through it... but your eye is gone. The area around it is too damaged for any form of replacement. Most of your ribs are broken, along with both arms, and one leg is broken in multiple spots... could be worse, you could have lost that charming fur of yours.' I couldn't laugh, it hurt a little too much at that moment. Broken arm or not, I reached up, taking the badge from my chest. It was pretty burnt up, but held its shape still. 'I can't go back, Groth... Star Fleet... it's wrong, they have too much blood on their hands, and well, him... I think next time we meet, he will die.'

Groth got me off that planet, with a few unlucky souls who lived through the Klingon bombardment. It took some time but my health returned. I gained a new ship, a new crew, though I am no longer a Doctor, nor ever will be again. That died in me, my hope in Star Fleet died in me... love died in me. Now I am just what you see, one captain making ends meet for his crew in anyway that I can."

The table was silent for a long time; with the story finished, the drinks empty, and some faces looking grim. The young human's face looked the most shocked. J'soph stood, making for the door when his sleeve was pulled back. Turning on foot, the Caitian glared down at the human. His eyes were cold and hardened, though his lips moved still with a voice that surprised the old Captain, so much like his old lover's. That was what sparked recognition in his mind, the youth, even though sporting Captains pips, looked dead on for his old mate. "He's dead... he married, had a family... but upon learning you survived him shooting you... My father took his life soon after that." This young human, eyes cold still, began to shed tears. J'soph pulled his arm free before adjusting himself; his age had returned inside and out, showing the weathering of time and regret. The Caitian's lips started to move, but stopped when the youth spoke again; his words sharp and aimed well, "He still loved you... his last message to our family was his confession. He still loved you."

Coldness crept back into J'sophs veins again; replying before leaving the Captain's Table, "He died in my heart long ago; all he did was betray you and your family, because of guilt.” The door closed behind the Caitian captain in silence, the chill of his ship once more felt beneath him. A glance behind him, the edging of a tear that refused to fall. His body straightening, turning on heel, returning to the bridge.

( forgot the #WritingContest ))
6 people liked this
Edited June 22 2019 by Niko
Kevin Van Eeten

Chipz416

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 22 2019
Treasure Trading Station in orbit of Argelius II – July 2409
Leaving the stale recycled air behind him, he entered the airlock connecting his Interceptor-class Orion shuttlecraft to Treasure Trading Station. The narrow confines of this walkway gave him about half an arms-length at each side to manoeuvre, but it was preferable in any case over the cold hard vacuum present in the high orbit over Argelius II. His shuttle’s door closed behind him, and an almost inaudible hiss reminded him of the gaseous disinfectant that was being dispersed through the airlock. The soft hiss was almost immediately drowned out by the voice of a computerised Ferengi female.
“Welcome to Treasure Trading Station, Saler-Thon! The Argelius II Ferengi Trading Consortium hopes you had a comfortable journey from Ter'jas Mor to our vibrant trading outpost. Disinfecting will shortly be completed, and you and your partner have been assigned to the luxurious suite number 109 so that you can enjoy a breath-taking view on the planet below. We hope that your stay will be a pleasant one. And on the subject of pleasure… rush over to deck 24 to meet our highly skilled entertainers from all over the Galaxy in the Silverling Night Club, where perpetual night-time creates the perfect atmosphere for all your… eh… more exotic desires!”
The heavy leak-tight doors at the end of the walkway slowly slided open and the atmosphere abruptly lost its serenity. Raucous laughter made by a group of passing Chalnoth, exaggerated gesturing by shady merchants, unfamiliar yet magical music, and overwhelming perfumes all battled for Saler-Thon’s attention and his mind needed a second to re-adjust to this abrupt change of scenery. Focus now! Any small mistake can cost you your life, or worse… that of your beloved Ya’ara.
Wading through the crowd towards his assigned suite 109 was quite a struggle, but he managed to re-focus his attention. Ya’ara would have arrived about one hour ago and was already waiting in suite 109 with the files on an isolinear chip. Together, they’d flee the Orion Syndicate and request asylum in Federation space. Whatever acts of marauding and piracy Saler-Thon had committed in the past against Federation targets would be rapidly forgiven, when Starfleet Intelligence found out what Ya’ara’s files could offer.

Orion Syndicate Palaces, Ter’jas Mor – October 2406
Ya’ara and Saler-Thon were both immune to the powerful pheromones produced by Orion women to subtly assert dominance over the male population. Although this biological curiosity is considered rare, it was not completely unheard of. What was most irregular about Ya’ara and Saler-Thon however, was that they survived their childhood with this pheromonal immunity… and the only reason they survived was that somehow they both and separate from each other were able to stay out of the clutches of the Orion Syndicate’s secret police. Melani D’ian and her predecessors spared no resource to fortify and assure her dominance in this strictly matriarchal society… not even the killing of pheromonally immune boys was beneath her.
When Ya’ara and Saler-Thon met at the Syndicate Palaces they were both very recently been recruited by impressment. Saler-Thon would serve as a pirate captain in D’ian’s fleet, while Ya’ara was sent to the Palace’s quartermaster to serve. Even though they were mutually unaware of their common immunity at that time, their romantic attraction for one another was not so unapparent. The moment they laid eyes on each other they fell hopelessly in love… there could not conceivably be a pheromone in the universe so strong that it could block this almost gravitational attraction. This attraction grew stronger with every visit Saler-Thon and his pirate ship made to Ter’jas Mor where grand celebratory feasts were held in honour of the great pirate captain. Halfway through these celebrations, when the copious amounts of imported Romulan ale had placated even D’ian’s most devout followers and secret agents, Saler-Thon and Ya’ara would sneak out for their illicit romantic activities. This warm summer night was going to be somewhat different from the other tête-à-têtes they had had before…
“During our latest raid, we boarded the U.S.S. Linnaeus, a medical science vessel, and I stumbled upon some interesting piece of intel,” Saler-Thon knew he was on very slippery grounds here, but he knew that he could trust Ya’ara. The only reason for their mutual affection could be that Ya’ara was also immune to the Orion pheromones. Ya’ara’s smile and deep green eyes encouraged him on.
“Starfleet Intelligence is performing biological research on disrupting the activity of the female control pheromone, after discovering that a small group of the Orion population is born with an immunity for it.” He hesitated… these were dangerous words, but he knew he could trust his lover. They were both immune, it could be the only reason for their bond. Saler-Thon continued: “An immunity we both seem to possess…”

Treasure Trading Station in orbit of Argelius II – July 2409
A little less than three years passed since their coming-out to each other and their shared secret not only empowered their growing emotional bond, it also was going to be their ticket out of this oppressive society. During his raids near the Federation border, Saler-Thon was constantly looking for more intel on Starfleet Intelligence research on the Orion pheromones, while Ya’ara was building up a database of his own. During one of his earlier raids, Saler-Thon was able to steal a very small, yet extremely advanced biochemical tricorder of an unknown alien origin. No small effort was made to keep it out of Melani D’ian’s hands, and give it to Ya’ara. With it, Ya’ara was able to secretly take samples of the pheromonal biochemical structure during all phases of an Orion female’s life, and the different interactions with a broad spectrum of genetically dissimilar males and non-binary Orions.
All this biochemical data was now safely stored on the isolinear chip in Ya’ara’s possession in suite 109. They would contact Admiral Jamal Al-Fayed of the U.S.S. Persephone the moment the two Orions were reunited, so that they could be taken to Starfleet Intelligence for questioning and live their lives in freedom and love for each other.
As Saler-Thon approached the luxurious suite 109 his heart was pounding in his throat… soon they’d be safe, soon they’d be together forever! He opened the door to the suite in anticipation of his lover’s face… and was greeted by a group of three Orion secret police officers pointing their disruptors at him. Next to the officers was Ya’ara. Saler-Thon’s initial reaction was to make sure that Ya’ara was safe. A deeply chilling feeling crept over Saler-Thon though as soon as he realised that Ya’ara was more than fine… there was no sense of fear or worry on his lover’s face but a demonic smile. A wicked smile it was, as though a grand and evil scheme was finally reaching its horrible conclusion.
Ya’ara spoke in such a disdainful tone it slashed through Saler-Thon’s soul: “Melani D’ian thanks you for your loyal service in investigating how your abnormal and degenerate nature can now be identified and corrected. Of course no knowledge of your research can ever be allowed to fall in the hands of our enemies. And therefore I now need to tidy up some loose ends… by loose ends I mean you of course Saler-Thon.”
“By the authority of my mistress Melani D’ian, I sentence you to die.”
An energy beam engulfed Saler-Thon. Unexpectedly, it was not the energy discharge of a disruptor, but the transporters of the U.S.S. Persephone engaged just in time to save Saler-Thon’s skin. His life was saved, but his heart would never be whole again.

#WritingContest
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Edited June 23 2019 by Chipz416
Isthisscience

Thval

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 23 2019
The Admiral and the Activist
#WritingContest

The force field between them seems to stretch a thousand light years. They have traversed more than that since they last spoke. A starched uniform faces off a utilitarian jumpsuit, each seeing the brig as their stage, their moment of defiance.

"I hear your code name is now White Knight," the Admiral observes with a wry sigh, "you always were one for such pretentious savior nonsense. What's the next one going to be, Angel Gabriel?"

"Says the woman who sums up her life achievements in a series of pips," the Activist retorts, relaxing into a smug swagger. "How much did that latest one cost you?- No wait, let me rephrase. How many lives did it cost?"

"I serve the Federation. Do you serve anyone but yourself?"

"Evasive as ever."

"Look in the mirror."

In the corner, the guard barely conceals a judging look at the direction of the interrogation.

The Admiral tuggs her collar up and ponders a change of tack. "You should start to cooperate before the trial," she begins "They may go easy on you."

"Me?" the Activist scoffs. "You think this will end in any other way than you hauled before the Supreme Court for, how many constitutional violations?"

"Everything I've done is sanctioned by the Starfleet Charter and the Federation Council. Times of war can require extreme measures."

"Such as mass slaughter of civilian populations?"

"Let's talk about that, shall we? What were you doing on the planet surface?"

"Saving lives. What were you doing in orbit?"

"I'm asking the questions."

The activist scoffs. "Okay, Admiral. I'll play your game."

"Did you, or did you not, leak classified battle plans to the enemy?"

"If by that, did I warn a colony of farmers to get out the way of your armada of death, then yes."

"So you admit aiding the enemy in wartime, leading to the deaths of countless numbers of your own troops?"

"They're not my enemy. Not our enemy. And you led those troops into battle on lies and jingoism. Those people would have stood no chance against your bombardment. They're peaceful."

"Using civilians as shields is an age old tactic. We won't win this war by playing nice."

"Playing nice? You make murder sound like a faux pas."

"And you make war sound like a game of cricket. There's no scones in the pavilion tea room after the match. This is about survival."

"And what about the survival of our principles?"

"You can't let principles come before protecting your children."

"Yes. You do. If your principles don't come first, they're not principles. They're just empty rhetoric to inflate your own ego; to relieve your guilt when times are good. Your generation drilled those Federation ideals into us throughout our life. Told us that they defined who we were; how we were different from those you called our enemies. Is it so surprising that we would take them to heart? That we would challenge you to live up to them when you fail to pass their muster??"

The Activist left an uncomfortable vacuum with her sudden silence, the Admiral unsure now how to fill it. The two broke off from their dog fight, avoiding eye contact as they paced in circles attempting to figure out who they're break through to the other.

"Do you remember," the Admiral began, still focused on her hands, "when we spoke at your graduation. I was so proud that you had chosen to serve in Starfleet. You said you were inspired by me, that you wanted to protect the Federation like I did. I don't understand why you turned your back on it all. Why you betrayed the Federation, betrayed your oath... betrayed me."

"I left to defend the Federation," the Activist replied, weary of this familiar ground. "I left to fulfill my oath. As for you, you are not the woman I thought you were. That became obvious after you ordered us to execute the prisoners."

"We didn't have the room. It's what they prefer in their culture."

"It's not what we do in ours. My mistake was to take you at your word. To see you as my mentor. Even, my hero. It blinded me to your dark side."

"Don't be so hyperbolic. Dark side indeed..."

"It was always there, I just chose not to see it. I was used to seeing you as compassionate and caring. I ignored the way you treated your crew. I ignore the way you stampeded over strangers for simple convenience. I ignore the way you treated my brother."

"He wasn't cut out for Starfleet, not like-"

"Like me? And look where we are now. How does that feel, Admiral? My turn for questions." The Admiral gave a mildly assenting huff. "What was the strategic goal of your assault?"

"To win the war. To drive back the enemy from our space."

"This planet was never Federation space."

"It would have been, if they weren't spreading like wildfire before we got this far out. It's a perfect world for us and a key strategic location."

"What enemy installations did you identify? Shipyards? Supply depots?"

"They were here, what more did I need."

"There are countless worlds you could have targeted. What made this one special?"

"Proximity to..." the Admiral wavered, a small crack in her poker face appeared, then faded. "It's provides key food supplies to the front line. Removing it from the board slows the enemy's advance."

"Ah... wheat. Despite the fact that front line supplies are routed two sectors away as this world doesn't produce enough for export yet. I did notice something unique about this world though. It has a similar population, topography, demographics and industry to Talion IX. What happened to Talion IX three days ago, Admiral?"

"There was a battle."

"Care to rephrase?"

"A massacre. The enemy slaughtered us."

"Did you know anyone there?"

"You know full well-"

"Did you know anyone there? Because I'm not so sure considering you didn't show up at his funeral."

"I was busy. There's a war on."

"Busy on a revenge spree I understand. They killed our own, and you wanted to kill their own."

"You wouldn't understand."

"How do I not understand. He was my brother."

"Blood for blood. That's the language they understand and we have to respond in kind! They have to know that we will be as ruthless as they are. Then, and only then, will they respect us."

"What's the value of their respect, when we can no longer respect ourselves. Admiral?"

"I suppose you intend to use that admission against me. I know they'll understand though. Will they understand your choice though? How many siblings and children were lost because you sold them out?"

"And how many were saved?"

"We both know that our own are of far more value. You traded lives, theirs for ours. You're coming down."

"Not without you I'm not." The Activist turns away, wanting to bury herself in the bulkhead behind her. The Admiral reaches out, her fingers hovering above the forcefield. The electricity tingles across her skin. She withdraws her hand in shame as the Activist turns back to her; her face possessed by a stern visage. "We both know how this will go. This," the Activist gestures to their reunion, "was a mistake."

"It doesn't have to end this way."

"Perhaps not." The silence haunts the silence between them. If only she'd just say it, they think. If only she'd show me it's okay. Eventually, the Activist gives up waiting. "I'll see you at the trial."

"It's not like I have a choice."

The Activist gives a brief nod to the guard before leaving her prisoner to be picked up by Starfleet Security.

"Emma!" the Admiral calls out. The Activist turns on the utterance of her name. She waits in the doorway for the admission; the compromise; the end of that damned facade. But the Admiral simply stutters; her face sinks and she retreats back into her cell.

"Goodbye, mom." The door closes.
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Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

June 24 2019
Today
#WritingContest

Today is the day I take command of the Oppenheimer. I just need to dispose of the Captain first...
Being the Chief of Security has the added benefit of having access to the whole ship without being suspicious. The bastard won't even see it coming.
The captain is a creature of habit. He hides it well, but he likes things done a certain way, which makes him predictable after observing his behavior for long enough. And I have - For longer than anyone else. We've been through hell and back together, so he trusts me implicitly. The fool.

As I finish my rounds, the Captain should be finishing up his jog across the upper deck, after which he'll have dinner in his quarters, followed by some reading.
I head to the galley and sit down for a meal myself. A medium rare steak ought to do the trick. I should make that Orion cook my concubine when I'm done. After we removed her pheromone glands, the green bitch always overseasons the food, but I'm sure she still has other talents.

I will make my move when the captain is indulging in his Andorian shisha in the officer's lounge. He always kicks everyone out when he does that so he can relax, even his boy toys. Even I had to make a copy of his access key to override the door. Luckily for me, this time his supply of tobacco was spiked with other herbs, so he'll be too intoxicated to notice.

It's almost time. I pat the dagger on my belt... Seems like I'm getting a little nervous. But then of course I am. Betrayal should not be taken lightly. I pass the crewmen on the way to the turbolift, they bow and salute to my superiority as I walk. 

Three more levels. That pointy eared freak enters the turbolift, but she has the courtesy to not look me in the eye. If she weren't so fat, she'd be attractive... For a half-breed.

The door opens and I stroll out of the lift, knowing that victory is only a few steps away.

I swat a fly on my neck. Wait...
By the time I realize that Doctor T'Lara injected me with something, it's already too late. As the muscle relaxant shuts down my body, I think to myself - We should never underestimate the subordinates.
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Dave

Voleron

Writing Contest: Fables of Betrayals!

3 weeks ago


Thank you to everyone who entered our "Fables of Betrayals" writing contest!  The contest is now closed and we'll be taking this next week to read over all the entries and name our winners!  Keep subscribed to this thread for the final results!


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