Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

Dave (Voleron)


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

February 25 2023

Another Stonewall Gaming #WritingChallenge is upon us and we're excited to announce the theme of our first writing contest of the new year: "A Slice of Life!"  Submit your entry by logging into this site and posting your story in this thread between now and March 31st, 2023.

Theme Instructions:
We want you to write and share a Slice of Life episode with us.  Slice of Life episodes show the audience what ordinary life is like for a character.  The writing style depicts a day in the life of your character.  No one is blowing up, the universe isn't shattering, no one is dying, it's an episodic story about a regular, ol' day in the life of your character.  Slice of Life stories are very character driven.  Example Slice of Life Star Trek episodes include some TNG: Lwaxana Troi episodes, DS9 episodes such as: Prophet Motive, Explorers, Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places, and Who Mourns for Morn.

This time around, we aren't looking for edgy stories about the daring orphan who was raised by wolves and somehow has connections in Starfleet but hates it, only works solo, is buddies with The Guardian of Forever and hates authority, etc.  This is your chance to write something fun and light and we're excited to read what you can cook up!

  • Write a story that's fun, light and is character centered
  • Write your story as though it's an episode - but not too long.  Think Short Treks!

We'll share every submission with the entire community for them to enjoy, but we'll also be looking for our three favorite entries that excel in three criteria that we'll detail below.  Since this challenge is Star Trek themed, it's open to all members of Stonewall Fleet or Trek enthusiasts in our community, regardless of which faction you play.  We're so very eager for you, SGN's amazing writing talents, to once again share your talent and creativity with us and your community!

To participate in Stonewall's "Slice of Life" writing challenge, you must post your entry here, in this thread, before day's end on March 31st, 2023.  Please use the #WritingChallenge 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 should stick to the guidelines above
  3. Your story must be your own original work - no ChatGPT or AI help!
  4. Don't make your story saga 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 March 31st

Only one entry per community member, please.  While we encourage you to include graphics to supplement your Slice of Life episode, 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.

Unlike in the past, this is a writing challenge, not a contest, so everyone who enters will receive a deposit of 5 Stonewall Credits into their account.  That said, we'll also be giving our three favorite stories a little extra swag!  Several of us will individually read and score each of your entries in the categories of creativity, detail and impact to determine our faves! 

Our favorite contest entries will be recognized on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media feeds. The prize packs are as follows:

Our favorite story will get:
  1. 12 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!

Our second favorite entry will receive:
  1. 10 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!

Our third favorite entry will get:
  1. 7 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 everyone!  We can't wait to read your stories!

Edited March 07 2023 by Voleron

Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

February 26 2023
Captains Log Entry Konia Lanas:
Who knew being in command could be this boring.  Since I was assigned to my first warbird, I just wanted to fix stuff and build stuff.  Turrets that blow up your enemies  are true puzzle to get the targeting right and I love that!  And let’s not talk about the time I blew up the captain’s targ, but I wander.

Ever since I won ageist that p'tok Jurlek, it has been worse than working the night shift as 3rd officer.  I have no time to tinker, and now I stare at nothing but reports.  Sure we get to fight now and then, but mostly it’s just reports.  And yes the worst part is not the fights, its missing my dear maintenance bay.  Now I have to build in the captain’s quarters, and there are just not enough places to use as workbench!  Also someone gave me a tardigrade and it keeps eating bearings!  It’s a carnivore, why does it feel the need to eat a large bearing, let alone 4 of them!
Now please let me get back to this missile launcher that…lupDujHomwIj luteb gharghmey!  “Captain to the bridge, enemy sighted.”  Why, oh why when I have a tactical officer as a first mate must I take command every time we see a Federation Shuttle!  I am going to finish building the base of this missile launcher, so I don’t have to replicate the bearings for the 5th time and get there when I get there!
2 people liked this
Edited February 26 2023 by DarkWaterSong
Zander Hawk


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

March 04 2023
Episode Title: Go Figurine

Scene: The Star Trek: Orpheus theme song and credits play.  

A wide camera shot reveals the U.S.S. Orpheus, an Odyssey Class starship traveling through space at impluse speeds.

Admiral Zander Hawk and Admiral Voleron are on the bridge of the Orpheus and during a slow afternoon they see a commercial from Freecloud that showcases some goods and services. A commercial appears for Quark's Emporium and Voleron notices something in the far right corner of the commercial.  

Voleron rises from his chair, "Can it be..." He orders an ensign to recall the commercial and freeze frame and magnify to a spot in the far right corner of the frame.

To everyone's surprise, the frame reveals a rare Benjamin Sisco figurine.

Zander looks over at a lieutenant on a communications station. "Lieutenant, open a channel to Quark's Emporium on Freecloud."

Zander tries to reserve the figurine with a Ferengi store manager but has no success. "We don't do reservations anymore and you have to come get it, it's definitely here and we only have one left hehehehehe...."

Zander responds in a calm voice "Thank you, I really appreciate your time....end transmission".  He looks over at helm control and with a charged voice he orders the use of the ship's experimental spatial drive. "Activate the experimental spatial drive and lay in a course for Freecloud...engage..." 

Everyone looks in shock "but sir, that's only for emergencies..."

Zander's face is intensified by the shift in the bridge lights and responds "...This is one...."

Scene: The camera shifts to Voleron's quarters. 

Voleron rearranges his room to make space for the figurine "ah the sweet smell of a new figurine, I can't wait".

Voleron pushes a cabinet against a wall "Soon, you shall take your place amongst the greats". The cabinet reveals a few figurines but more prominently, Captain Edward Jellico and Captain J.T. Esteban.

Scene: The camera shifts to a spatial singularity opening as the Orpheus appears and parks at Freecloud.  

Scene: The camera cuts back to Voleron's room and a door chime is heard.

Voleron calmly sits on his couch and looks at the door "Come in".

Zander appears.  "You know, I really thought that you'd prefer the cherry wood cabinets instead of these bamboo style cabinets...."

Voleron smirks and in a very polite fashion he motions at an empty wine class "Can I get you something?".  Zander nods in agreement.

Voleron brings out a bottle of red wine and pours some of its dark red contents into the wine glass "You know Z, those Bamboo style cabinets are from my family, I couldn't say no and I have to prove that I'm using them...you know how they get with gifts..."

Zander looks at the wine bottle "Yes, I know, I learned that the hard way.  Is this the stuff from that one place we went to during the recent seaQuest DSV convention?"

Voleron smiles "Yup, The Wine Cellar..."

Zander notices a small device attached to the bottle "and I assume that this a portable stasis device?"

Voleron checks the settings on the device "It works like a stasis device but there's more to it.  This little device changed the whole wine industry, you see, the device essentially stores, protects, and regulates wine within any container".

Zander looks amused, "that's quite impressive, will it work for me, does it work on people?"

Voleron laughs "It's not made for people but who knows, I'm sure it can be modified for you, aye."

Zander laughs "What a friend you are, you were supposed to tell me that I don't need one because I already look young and well preserved..."

Voleron smirks.

At that moment the coms chime-in "Sirs, we have arrived at Freecloud and we have completed all parking protocols..."

Zander responds "Thank you, we will make our way to the transporter room, Hawk out."

Zander and Voleron quickly change into their Starfleet away mission gear and walk towards the transporter room.

Zander looks at the floor in thought "...So..V..., I was thinking, there's only one figurine and maybe we could share custody..."

Voleron responds "I'm right there with you Z..."

Zander and Voleron beam down to the surface of Freecloud and see Quark's Emporium. The emporium looks like a giant one floor bodega. They enter Quark's Emporium and ask for the figurine.  

Cindy, the store clerk that's dressed like a Dabo Girl tells them the location of the figurine "It's all the way towards the back of the store in Area W..."

Simultaneously they both request a site to site transport but the clerk tells them that that's not allowed "...the entire store has transporter inhibitors for you know...for loss prevention purposes."

They look at each other and they both make a mad dash through the maze-like emporium.

They try to sabotage each other with the various gadgets and niknaks throughout the store.

They do double flips and acrobatics and even swim across an indoor river that surrounds the outdoors-camping section of the emporium.

They finally duel each other with laser swords until in the end, exhausted, they both see the Benjamin Sisco figurine. 

They crawl towards the figurine when suddenly out of nowhere Fleet Admiral Nicholas Johns appears in a trenchcoat, takes the figurine, and leaves.

Scene: The camera zooms out and shows Zander and Voleron laying on the floor in defeat.  The TNG end credits and theme song play.


3 people liked this
Dave (Voleron)


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

March 05 2023


"A Piece of Quiet"

Scene: A Space Station Bar on a Quiet Night (Dim lighting)

Ever so slightly he shut his eyes until the lashes of his lids gently converged and wearily fluttered.  With vision nearly faded, he leaned forward into the glass he swirled gently in his hand and drew from it a deep breath, the aroma of the 2407 Pinot Gris permeating his olfactory organs.  Comfortably ensconced on a stool at the end of the bar, Voleron had intentionally chosen the middle of three unoccupied seats furthest from the promenade, casually draping his excursion jacket across the chair to his right and positioning an old, paperback novel on the counter-top to his left, laying subtle claim to the entirety of the space as though anyone else was likely to patronize the establishment so late in the evening.  It was nearly 2500 hrs and the best time to indulge in a quiet meal at Quark's he had learned, after having visited on innumerable occasions over the years.  The Tycho seemed perpetually relegated to deep space and border patrol assignments, with only the occasional convoy escort mission offering intermittent relief from the otherwise monotonous task of patrolling the demilitarized zone.  Voleron relished the few days of sojourn that re-supply at DS9 offered, for the relief it bestowed from the close confines of life aboard ship.  As was his ritual when the Tycho was put-in at dock, he'd starved himself all day until the majority of the crew had long since retired to their quarters, so that he could enjoy the rare dinner in an atmosphere of near-solitude that he desperately craved.

Relishing a small mouthful of wine, its sweet, dry taste washing over his pallet, Voleron gradually exhaled through his nostrils and eased his posture into the back of the bar chair, which caught and embraced his exhausted body.  They'd added backs to the stools, he noted, subconsciously musing that it was about time, recalling a particularly inebriated Cardassian having fallen to the floor and cut his face after a few too many glass of Kanar during a previous visit.  Voleron slowly re-opened his drowsy eyes and caught the sight of the striking Dabo boy behind the bar staring at him; the lone remaining employee who was doubling as both barkeep and waiter, what with there being no bettors remaining at the wheel.  Taken aback by having inadvertently met his gaze, Voleron sheepishly averted his eyes, not allowing himself to believe that the young man, likely 15 years his junior, may have taken an interest in his rugged, middle-aged appearance.  More likely, he was annoyed by having to wait on a lingering late night customer and was wondering when he might be ready to order, Voleron theorized.  He turned his attention to the menu, pretending to study it, knowing full-well that he would once again order his favorite dish that he'd been craving. 

His salivary glands sprung to life as he beckoned the waiter over to order a bowl of Hunan Kung Pao, treating himself to another sip of his wine. But as he attempted to regain his server's attention, a station-wide announcement broke the calming ambience of the simulated evening environment.  "USS Orpheus arriving at upper pylon three.  Maintenance team four, report for duty assignments."  "Oh fuuuuuu-ck me" Voleron muttered to himself, his typical poise giving way to obvious annoyance at the news of the unscheduled arrival of the Odyssey class starship.  His now bitter glare caught the eye of the waiter once more, who appeared panicked at the prospect of having to single-handedly manage what was likely to be an influx of unanticipated patrons.  

Scene: Fade out & fade back in to an overhead view of Quark's Bar

Not ten minutes later the establishment had erupted into chaos, with a mixture of civilians and off-duty Starfleet crew crowding the bar - the tranquility of the evening having been transformed into anarchy.  The roar of the crowd spilled out into the promenade, awakening it from its former slumber like a Klingon being defibrillated by a painstik, Voleron imagined.  At the bar in front of him, a Bolian once again erupted into a fit of obnoxious laughter, gasping for breath as he snorted and pounded the table repeatedly with clenched fist in response to a joke told to him by his companion, which Voleron thought to be of questionable comedic value at best.  With each subsequent pummeling of the Bolian's mitt against the counter, a generous helping of wine sprung from Voleron's glass, which he had to quickly grab by the stem to prevent from overturning. "BULLSEYE!!!" screeched some woman behind him, causing Voleron to nearly jump from his seat, as he swore he'd felt a pointed projectile whiz past the back of his head on its trajectory to the inner ring of the dart board.  "Who in this century even plays a primitive game like this anyways?!" Voleron demanded.  "What is this, Naussica??", though his protest was drowned out by the noise of the horde.  Sliding his hand across the back of his head, he checked his cranium for signs of blood, just in case.

From across the bar, Voleron caught another glimpse of the questionably clothed Bajoran Dabo boy, who was now noticeably perspiring while frantically running from table to table delivering platters of drinks to demanding guests.  Stains of spilled beverages were noticeable on his revealing, white uniform shorts as he bustled from table to bar and back.  Voleron's state of annoyance momentarily melted away to a feeling of compassion for the overwhelmed barkeep.  Just then, a legion of Ferengi filed into the premises, grabbing PADDS and serving trays, their race's equivalent to sending reinforcements into the front lines of some active battle, Voleron reckoned.  "Finally, maybe someone will take my ord--", Voleron hoped... "SMACK!" his musings were interrupted by the the crushing blow of an open-palmed strike to his upper back. "VOLERON, MY GOOD FRIEND!" thundered an obnoxious voice from behind him.  "Oh for God's sake" he thought, as he instantly recognized the vocalization.  It was Lieutenant Robert Janeway, a problematic gambler who knew his way around a Stonewall credit. 

"DAAAAA-BO!!!!!" erupted the crowd from elsewhere in the bar.  Voleron motioned his meal order to the nearest Ferengi, slammed back what remained of his glass of wine and turned to face his assailant, who had already helped himself to the vacant seat beside him, sitting on and crumpling Voleron's jacket.  "Do you know... the Orpheus just got back from a rescue mission where I personally saved three civilians from being hunted and sacrificed to some sort of entity?" Janeway bragged in his usual manner.  Voleron breathed deeply, preparing to feign interest in the conversation when his performance was cut short by an erupting brawl between two Caitians.  Chairs were over-turned and cheering patrons pushed aside as as the pair circled one another, hissing and pawing at each other's manes.  Finally the larger of the two beasts grabbed the other and threw them clear across the bar in front of Voleron, the victim letting loose a "REEEEEEEEEEEER" that only a Caitan could vocalize, taking Voleron's wine glass and freshly delivered meal with him across the counter and crashing to the floor.  "Oooo, a cat fight" joked Janeway as Voleron stared solemnly at him, thoroughly unimpressed by the attempt at humor.

That was it.  The Trill had had his fill.  Wine had been spilled this night and now his Kung Pao decorated the floor.  Voleron hadn't worn his uniform, wanting to disconnect from his vocation for just one night.  Approaching the Caitian he grabbed him by the scruff.  "You're under arrest" he decreed, pulling from his pocket his Starfleet I.D. as an assertion of his authority, which identified him as Captain of the Tycho - an influence that the rowdy feline declined to recognize.  Dragging the meowing cat to the security office, Voleron deposited the irate prisoner into their care before retreating to his quarters aboard ship.

Scene: Voleron's Quarters: Soft instrumental music playing in the background

"Computer, one glass of Pinot Gris", Voleron ordered from the replicator, approaching the receptacle from across the room wearing nothing but a form fitting pair of white Class of 2399 embroidered shorts from back in his academy days.  "There are fourteen varieties of Pinot Gris available from this replicator..." replied the device.  "With ice, with air bubbles, Bolian style..." "Plain" interrupted Voleron.  "Specify room temperature or cold" responded the machine.  "Cold.  Cold, plain Pinot Gris" responded Voleron with palpable annoyance. 

Grabbing the replicated beverage -- a sorry substitute for the real imported vino stocked at Quark's, Voleron at long last laid back in his chaise and closed his eyes.  Finally sliding into some semblance of peace, he was once again jarred from his rest by rambunctious laughter growing ever louder as it approached his quarters.  "No, no, nooooo..." he muttered to himself.  A ring of his quarter's chimes followed.  Once... twice... three times more.  Not even bothering to further clothe himself, Voleron answered the door, finding Admirals Hawk and Nick boisterously present, arm in arm, with the Dabo boy and Lieutenant Janeway in tow.  "Can we come in?" they asked, feigning the formality before barging in.  With them, a rare, Captain Sisko figurine that Voleron had long since sought for his collection that they had no doubt come to brag about... it became clear that there'd be no rest tonight.

Scene: The camera zooms out as Short Trek end credits and theme song play.

3 people liked this
Edited March 06 2023 by Voleron
Austin  Rockford


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

March 13 2023
The Officer Dinner on U.S.S. Stonewall

“Ugh I haven’t shopped at a real grocery store in a year, thankfully everyone agreed to Earth favorites for the dinner” Gladiator said to Jaxon as they put all the stuff to be scanned

“You know it’s better to have fresh ingredients instead of replicated meals and it’ll be fun to start an officers and rep dinner again” Jaxson said as he filled the baskets back up and they started towards the shuttle.

They loaded up the shuttle with everything they got an took off and quickly arriving to the beautiful and huge Universe-Class Stonewall. The shuttle doors opened wide for us and we sat down and the groceries and ourselves were beamed back to the captains quarters. We got there right as the Spacedock engineers got done adding a captain's kitchen and we immediately had to start cooking before our guests came.

We quickly made all the dishes and set the table and put on some music. Bramsek the KDF representative was the first guest and he brought Bregit Lung and Bloodwine which was a great surprise. He had a custom chair with him due to his size and being a Gorn and of course he looked hot as always in his armor. Veleena the Romulan representative who’s always on time came with Jumbo Romulan Mollusk and Romulan Ale.

The rest of the crew came in not much later and drinks were served while Jaxon and Gladiator finished making dinner for everyone. We finally finished and loaded up the table with our goodies and started eating their way through scrumptious food. The conversations went from day to day things to the new assignments and even some of the new experiments that the science department was running.

As they drank and finished eating they started to gossip and it was juicy. One said story was a couple of engineers found having sex in a nacelle and ended up getting burns. We talked into the early morning telling stories and sharing memories. Everyone loved the meal and the company. Everyone took some with them which helped with waste.

Gladiator and Jaxon said bye to everyone except for two of the main officers. Six of Nine and T’Vrell seemed nervous but they finally confused that they want to get married and they want it to be on the ship. Gladiator and Jaxon were so excited and happy for them because it’ll be the first wedding on the ship. After they left Gladiator and Jaxon cleaned up and went to bed and just as they’re head hit the pillows they were out and the day would start a new and onto new missions.
2 people liked this
Edited April 10 2023 by nicholasjohn16
Adam Kotaška


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

March 22 2023
Stonewall's "Slice of Life" writing challenge entry #WritingChallenge



For a moment Darin wasn’t sure he heard his yeoman right. „What do you mean an ambassadorial tour of the ship? Like another one?“ He whisked the padd from ensign Salot’s hand and started sliding through its contents; ridges on his nose deepening even more as he frowned.

Darin’s young Vulcan assistant didn’t waver despite his captain’s badly contained annoyance. „The request for a visit of the ship came shortly after we had docked at the station. Since you encouraged the crew on multiple occasions to always pursue every opportunity for diplomacy, we approve every such request automatically. And there should be plenty of time for a brief tour of the ship before the resupplying is finished.“

„Alright. I don’t remember ever saying such thing, but fair enough. Now why are you giving this thing to me, ensign? We have a whole diplomatic section on duty roster for precisely this reason.“ So that I don’t have to deal with it, Darin added in his mind.


Salot leaned over his captain and pointed to a line on the padd. „All members of the diplomatic team requested R&R during our stay in the Vulcan system and you approved it.“

„I did?“ Darin mused, staring at his personal seal on the padd. „Wonderful. Then…uhhh… what about you? Are you busy?“

„My shuttle for P’Jem is leaving in 20 minutes. Undergoing a ritual there is a considerable privilege and you have also approved my participation.“

„Ah, right. Good for you. What aboooout…“

„Captain,“ Salot interrupted. „The fact is that the only remaining person onboard with any diplomatic credit on their resumé is you. I am certain the councilor will be grateful to meet you in person.“

„Lucky me!“ Darin sighed. „One quality flirt with a hot Betazoid at Quark’s, turns out she’s some ambassadorial attaché and hooray I have officially a diplomatic credit.“ Darin rolled his eyes. „Let’s get this done and be over wi… wait a minute! Did you say councilor?“



Darin admired the sight visible from the corridor window, as it beautifully framed the orbital station with a reddish crescent of the planet Vulcan in the background. Workbees and shuttlepods crisscrossed the view. Half an hour elapsed since Darin’s briefing with ensign Salot.

Next to the window the circular airlock door slid open to let councilor T’Praal in. With pointed ears and even more pointed gaze in his keen eyes set deep in a strict face, greying hair and waist-long beard and robust figure under voluminous ornate robes with gold-thread lining the Vulcan diplomat presented an imposing countenance. „Admiral Darin, I presume,“ a deep hoarse voice sounded.

But Darin didn’t win six galactic wars by being easily intimidated. Not even by a kung-fu master with pointy ears, as he nicknamed T’Praal in his mind. „Actually, I’m just a porter assigned to guard this airlock. We don’t want interns playing Enterprise bingo or something, right?“


T’Praal stood motionless for a few heartbeats, eyes locked on Darin’s, betraying no sign of emotional reaction. Not even one wink. „I know your likeness all too well from many a session of Federation council, admiral,“ the elder Vulcan stated sharply.

„I see.“ Darin said. So, he’s the no-nonsense type. Those pointy ears should have given him away. „Well, I take it as a cue I need a new haircut. Aaaaanyway, I have no idea what you fancy, so I played ‚Allamaraine count to four‘ with replicator and ended up with double raktapuccino,“ and with those words Darin pressed one of the two steaming cups he carried into T’Praal’s hand.

The Vulcan raised one eyebrow in surprise, but took the cup, and Darin congratulated himself in his thoughts that he managed to break the other man’s mask so quickly. „You can take mine if you like it with mango flavour and a drop of targ milk. And by the way, call me captain. The function over rank, if you know what I mean. At least as long as I’m onboard my ship.“

„On that note,“ T’Praal interrupted Darin’s precipitous monologue with a voice of ancient authority. „I have a lot of questions regarding your new ship, captain Darin.“

„Oh.“ This time Darin was a bit startled. He expected himself to be the focus of councilor’s inquiries. „Well, sure thing, ask. What sparks your interest in Quantum Messiah?“

„The name, for one.“ T’Praal interjected. „Highly unusual.“

„Unusual name fits an unusual ship. I was going for some ,salvation through science’ kinda meaning, you know.“

„Also, the unique design solution to both primary and secondary hulls. When viewed from top the combination of a triangle entering concentric circles shows resemblance with a symbol of a core philosophy of Vulcans, the I.D.I.C., so I am wondering – Is that a coincidence or an intent?“

“Well, I dunno… I think you’re probably just imagining the similarity there and I can’t really discuss…“

„Please, keep in mind,“ T’Praal interrupted Darin again, pointing a finger at the ceiling, „That I am Federation councilmember. I have the highest clearance. And I wish to hear the full version. I already know you have found this ship adrift in the Azure nebula and that it likely originates in the 32nd century Starfleet and it is equipped with highly classified FTL technology.“


„Right,“ Darin muttered, eyes wide, „Didn’t realize you‘d know that. Few people do, even among the crew. Well then, that changes the plans, let’s skip the cocktail bar, if you don’t mind, and let me take you through the cool stuff on the lower decks. Next stop – wonderland!“ Darin said and motioned towards the turbolift.

Together they started their walk down the corridor. Darin began his long, improvised summary of every strange fact about his new starship and T’Praal listened carefully to every word.


„…by the way, if you’re wondering how we’ve just walked like three miles on a 750 and so meters long Crossfield-refit class, it’s because of something called compactified subspace folds so the ship’s got basically an internal volume of ESD, anyway this door next to our mycelial spore garden contains this gadget that the engineering department calls the Fek‘Ihri torment engine, since I grabbed the tech during our recent visit to Klingon hell, and it has a real hellish synergy with the aux deflector, if you believe it, and the labs further that line of doorways contain, if I get them in the right order, that’s parasitic ice containment unit room, in the next one we have protomatter wave projector,“ Darin was counting on his fingers while giving his lecture. „Next’s the temporal trajectory shifter operating room, magnetometric generator, cyclical polarity modulator, potential energy entangler and deconstructive resonance emitter. I think.“ Darin paused to take a breath and continued, „Useful pieces of equipment. Just like the ones I’ve shown you on the previous deck. The wonderous part isn’t really in what these things can do, but more so their total intercompatibility. That’s where the magic lies.“

„I can relate to your enthusiasm for cutting edge science equipment.“ T’Praal said after a long time of patient listening. „After all, I have spent most of my career working at the Vulcan Science Academy, the most advanced research and education center in the galaxy, if I may add. It worries me though,“ and then an unnatural-seeming pause occured; T’Praal looked troubled for a fleeting moment, „That any of these devices could be easily weaponized.“

Darin sensed more was coming so he sipped from his now ice-cold raktapuccino with mango flavour and a drop of targ milk and stayed silent, bracing for an incoming storm.

T’Praal continued. „I was wondering when I heard you replaced that large overgunned battlecruiser you used to command with a small, purely science ship. I thought maybe when a leader famous for stunts in battle takes a step like this, it might be a sign of healing, a sign that Starfleet is becoming once again a tool of exploration and discovery, that the dark times are over. I hoped you might even inspire other Starfleet captains by your example. But I am starting to suspect I was wrong in my assumptions.“


Darin sighed. He was expecting this sooner or later. „Listen,“ he started.

But T’Praal wasn’t finished yet. „Do you even realize, captain, that some of these devices fall under subspace armaments category and therefore would be banned by the second Khitomer Accords? Not to mention the ,gadget from hell’, as you described it. Their very existence is a threat to peace in the galaxy.“

„I realize the Accords no longer apply since the Klingon-Federation War of 2405 as well as peace in the galaxy no longer applies. Sadly!“ Darin countered. But then he mentally scolded himself for escalating this argument rather than trying to offer understanding. Damn! It’s going sideways real quick and he didn’t even get to see the isolytic torpedoes storage room yet.

So, he tried again. „Listen, I know what the deal is. I heard about you, councilor. I know about the demilitarization act you’re trying to get passed on the Federation council and I know you’re a big pacifist, I’m not the only person with a reputation on this ship right now, and, shoot, you probably disapprove of me, my career and everything I did so far, and I get it. War is bad and peace is good, there is no arguing with that.“

Darin couldn’t suppress a slight painful smirk at what he was about to say and went on, „Actually I think I know the ugliness of war a lot better than you, councilor, since I’ve been actually there, on all those battlefields, you know, when Borg invaded, and on site when True Way ships hit our colonies, not to mention Vaadwaur, Voth, Undine and Iconian war, Tzenkethi crusade or Hur’q hordes swarming all galactic quadrants.“ Another meaningful pause and another gulp trying to swallow the bitterness that war memories brought in Darin‘s mouth. Should have had two sugars.


Darin realized those were not the right words to say either. So he tried yet again. „I believe in your dream of a galaxy in peace, T’Praal. You don’t need to sell me on it. But there are some powers out there that don’t share the dream with us and some of them are extremely dangerous. Most recently that maniacal emperor of Terrans that almost ended us all. We can’t demilitarize if they don’t.“

„So, no, I am not apologizing for getting every available offensive technology under the hood of this badass future ship, councilor. Because whatever comes at us next, our weapons will tear holes in it and our EPG generated anomalies will grind it to space dust. And so at least someone in the Federation, if not me, can sleep peacefully at night.“


„And just in case you’re right and we’re safe and sound till kingdom come and I’m just paranoid, this still is a science ship, and all this equipment can be just as well used for exploration and discoveries. Let’s hope for more of that but be ready in case things go bad once again. Either way, Quantum Messiah is ready.“

T’Praal took his time to ponder. Darin observed as old Vulcan’s pointed eyebrows twitched every now and then ever so slightly, indicating some heated internal dialogue. At least heated for Vulcan standards, Darin thought.

Finally, the Vulcan elder spoke. „I was hoping to hear you say something like that, young man. It means there still remains some concept of what Starfleet is supposed to be, buried under your cowboy diplomacy skills and kirk-esque bravaddacio.“

Darin noticed the slightest tug of smile in the right corner of the old man’s lip and wasn’t sure what to say. Maybe he was just imagining it. Probably dementia… „What do you mean… wait, did you know captain Kirk?!“

T’Praals eyes got a dreamy look for a moment. „That was a very long time ago. You better show me where that cocktail bar is, son, if you want to hear that story.“

Darin couldn’t help but giving T’Praal the widest grin. „This way, please, sir.“ He knew from that moment the tour won’t be all that bad after all. „After you.“

The end

2 people liked this
Edited March 22 2023 by DarinNajem
Michelle C.M.


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

March 31 2023

Those Were The Days

“Yeah, come in.”

Commander Savannah Gates stepped into the office attached to Captain Michelle Alvarado’s quarters. She brushed aside a long lock of curly black hair and swept the room with a glance. The walls were decorated with various pictures of Los Angeles. Many, but not all, featured the captain’s beachside Playa del Rey neighborhood. She stopped at one, featuring a dramatic sunset taken from an overlook high on a hill.

“You really like that one,” Michelle said, looking up from the stack of PADDs arranged before her on the desk. “Maybe I should give you a copy.”

“I’d rather see this view in person,” Savannah replied, still looking at the photo.

“You and me both.” Michelle offered Savannah one of the chairs facing the desk. “Anyway, what’s going on?”

“Just checking on you,” Savannah said as she got settled. “And it’s a good thing I did. You look like shit.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You heard me.” Savannah just had to laugh. “A junior officer—I won’t say who—came to me with concerns about your well-being. And frankly, I have concerns of my own.”

“Who was it?” Michelle set her jaw, and her eyes locked focus on Savannah’s. “Bjornstad? Vulara? Dauphine?”

“Doesn’t matter. Point is, they’re right.”

Michelle exhaled sharply. “Look at all this,” she said, presenting the PADDs on the desk with her arms outstretched. “Incident reports, after-action reports, and I still need to make a captain’s log entry about Risa. Where do I even begin with that?”

Savannah groaned with evident frustration. “Maybe now’s a good time to remind you that you have a first officer. Her name is Savannah Gates, and she’d be happy to help.”

“Yeah, well.” Michelle sighed. “I was hoping—”

“Oh, for God’s sake.” Savannah threw her head back and sighed. “I get that you’re, uh, frustrated. But is throwing yourself into work really the best way to deal with it?”

“What, you have a better idea?”

“Yeah. Like, I don’t know, going back to Risa? I know you just dealt with a bunch of Nausicaan mercs there, but what are the odds of that happening twice?”

Michelle managed a laugh—but just one.

“Here’s what we’re gonna do.” Savannah straightened up in her chair. “I’m gonna head to the bridge, assume command, and order maximum warp back to Risa. Meanwhile, you’re gonna pack a few things, including that little gold dress of yours and a horga’hn. You know, just in case.”

“Just in case?”

“Don’t play dumb, Michelle. You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

Michelle leaned forward. “Let me get this straight. You want me to—”

Savannah nodded matter-of-factly. “I want you to—I need you to—get it out of your system. Seriously, whatever it takes. Just… spare me the details, okay?”

“Oh, no,” Michelle said, cornering a smirk. “If anything happens, I’m telling you everything.”

“Fine, whatever. At least you’re getting in the mood. That’s progress.”

Both women languished in silence for a moment, smiling at each other, trying to keep themselves from laughing.

“This is nice,” Michelle said in a soft voice. “We haven’t chatted like this since the Academy.”

“Maybe we should do it more,” Savannah said, nodding in agreement.

Another stretch of silence followed, this one more awkward than the last. Michelle straightened the PADDs on the desk. Savannah shifted uncomfortably in her chair.

“Those were the days,” Michelle said with more than a little wistfulness.

“Those were the days,” Savannah repeated, nodding in agreement. “But enough reminiscing. We need to get you to Risa, and back to sanity.”

“As if life on the Valkyrie is ever sane.”

“Right.” Savannah guffawed as she rose from her chair. “Now get ready for some fun in the sun. That’s an order.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Michelle said with a mock salute.

Savannah shook her head as she exited Michelle’s quarters and stepped into the adjacent corridor. Once the doors shut behind her, she breathed a heavy sigh, then looked down at the platinum wedding band on her left ring finger. Really, she couldn’t be happier with her marriage. Tanya was one in a million—whip smart, a fellow at the Daystrom Institute, and drop-dead gorgeous to boot. But a part of her would always wonder what could’ve been.

“Those were the days,” Savannah said one last time.

(Hungry for more? Check out my award-winning Sagas of Sorrow entry! And if you want to learn more about the Valkyrie and her crew, check out the Ships of Stonewall 2022.)
2 people liked this
Edited March 31 2023 by Gamerchelle
Dave (Voleron)


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

April 04 2023


Thank you to everyone who entered our Slice of Life writing contest!  Entries are now closed and we'll be enjoying your submissions over the next week and will post results of our writing challenge in the near future!

Unknown Person liked this
Edited April 04 2023 by Voleron
Dave (Voleron)


Writing Challenge: A Slice of Life!

April 12 2023


Thanks to everyone who contributed to our first writing challenge of 2023!  Our panel of three impartial and distinguished judges who did not submit entries read and scored every story from 1-10 in three categories: creativity, detail & impact to arrive at our top three, who we'll reach out to shortly to arrange prize delivery!  Everyone who participated will receive Stonewall Credits.  To spend them, login to this site with your account, click the drop down menu next to your profile picture on the menu bar and select 'wallet'.  

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Edited April 12 2023 by Voleron