First Tour of Duty [U.S.S. Sun-Tzu]

Episode 0: Command Conference

Directed by:
Aldebrarn Sector; Deep Space 13 [Docked]

Captains Log: Stardate 97641.9
We have completed all associated registration for our fleet transfer, and are ready to undergo our first tour of duty within the fleet. I have submitted a mission plan to Admiral Bishop which has been approved, given the minor alterations for the current galactic climate. All that’s left is to brief the senior officers, and head out. I for one can’t wait to get back out there, this down-time has been stifling…

The senior officers of the Sun-Tzu sit at the conference table as Commander Barron shuffles through his data PADD’s before him. “First off, I want to thank everyone for a smooth ship inspection. The official report has not been submitted yet, but after speaking with Lt.Cmdr Carter I was advised we had nothing to worry about. And given our flight clearance approval, I stand to believe that.” he announced, as the table gave a small round of applause to the news.

“Now with the good news out of the way, we can address the elephant in the room. Stern?” At the Captains words, Commander Stern stood and touched the panel on the screen next to them, on it appeared a 23rd Centry Klingon woman standing at a summit on Qo’noS.

“By now it shouldn’t be new news to anyone, but the Klingon Empire has fallen into Civil War. J’ula of the 23rd Century House Mo’Kai has risen in influence, and attacked Chancellor J’mpok at a recent Council gathering. Details are scares at the moment, but it is believed that J’ula feels that the current state of the Empire; alliance with the Federation Included, is a dishonor to the empire and has called for J’mpok’s head.”

“Ugh…Damn Klingons never change. If they can’t find a good war to fight in, they resort to fighting amongst themselves.” Commander Roptojmey growled. “You’re not wrong, but depending on the victor of this bout, determines the state of the current alliance.” Commander Barron remarked, before nodding for Stern to continue. “As of right now, General Order One is being upheld, and no action should be taken by any Starfleet personnel to aid or interfere with internal Klingon politics.” Following her presentation, Commander stern returned to her seat.

“All due respect, Klingons aren’t going to keep this fight in their own back yard…sooner rather than later, their conflict will start spilling across the border.” Lt.Cmdr Brannigan scoffed from his seat. “Agreed. Which is why 38th Command has ordered all Taurus Squadron ships to begin patrolling the Federation-Klingon Boarder within our boundaries. I know some of you were looking forward to exploring the new expanse, but that will have to wait for now.”

Barron now stood and changed the screen from J’ula to a Star Map of the Fleet’s Jurisdictional boundaries of the Beta Quadrant. “I have drawn up an Operational Mission Statement, which Command has approved. Our second stop will be Ajilon Prime, it is a Federation Colony in the Archanis Sector that has been one of the initial conflict zones of both the 2nd and 3rd Federation—Klingon wars. If anything is going to pop off, I have no doubt it will start there again given it’s the closest colony to Klingon Space. Officially, we will be delivering and helping install defensive provisions provided to us by the fleet. Unofficially we will also be looking to re-initialize a listening post to help give us and the colony a heads up incase the fighting crosses the boarder, give the colonist some much needed warning to help evacuate so we don’t have another bloodbath on our hands.”

“Sir…you said that was our second stop? What’s our first?” Lt.Cmdr Pi asked, slightly raising his hand. Commander Barron smirked before making his response, “So the fleet has given us a standard array of provisions to take to the colony, but like me they agree that given the history of the location, that may not be enough. So we have been issued 300 strips of Gold-Pressed Latinum to barter with. Our first stop will be at Drozana Station which is on the way, where we will negotiate with a local ‘profiter’ who can get us extra provisions to take with us.”

“You mean like a War-Profiter?” Lt.Cmdr Southerland inquired. Roptojmey chuckled at the bolian’s question, “Where there is war, there is profit, and you’ll be damned sure someone will be willing to sell to both sides to line their greedy little pockets.” Stern nodded at the Klingon’s assessment. “And we are still looking only to purchase defensive provisions, nothing provocative that might insinuate we are stockpiling for war.” Brannigan leaned over to his Bolian friend and whispered “A heavy satellite turret is a great defensive provision!” to which both officers snickered.

Barron, hearing the Chief Tactical Officers remark only smirked before tapping his PADD, changing the screen, focusing everyone’s attention again. “V’era, would you like to brief us on our third stop?” the commander asked. Lt.Cmdr V’era stood at her seat as the eyes of the conference moved to her. “Following our trip to Ajilon, we will be heading north into the Xarantine Sector. There we are to survey the Hromi Cluster and Corroborate Federation Starcharts.” There was a slight groan from Brannigan and Roptojmey at her words, to which she shot them both a venomous glare before continuing. “However, this is only a front for our real mission in the region. The Klingon Empire has made ancient claims to this region, and this in particular was the straw that broke the camel’s back, igniting the last Federation-Klingon war. Klingons working outside of the Empire’s purview have been known to use stellar anomalies like this one, and the Briar Patch to place hidden operational bases. And that’s what we will be searching for.”

V’era took her seat with a ‘haughty’ look towards Brannigan who now seemed fully attentive to her words.

Tapping the controls on the table, the screen changed again. “We will end our trip around the block by patrolling the Risa Sector.” Both Brannigan and Southerland high-fived one another at the mention of the destination, to which Barron sighed. “With the Lohlunat Festival ended, and traffic through the system has normalized, we are to patrol the area and ensure pirate activity does not resurface. To that end we will be reporting to the Omar Space Station, to ensure mining operations in the area aren’t being picked on, and deal with whatever may come our way.” The look of disappointment on Brannigan’s face was pitiful, realizing they went going to ‘patrol’ Risa, but he did not speak up.

“Following that, we will return to Deep Space 13 for resupply, and granted all hell doesn’t break loose, Senior officers will be afforded Shor leave opportunities.” Barrons words were met with a myriad of positive cheering and acknowledgement from the staff. Since their re-assignment from Starbase 39-Sierra, Refit at Earth Spacedock, and now integration into Argo’s ranks, all of the senior officers had been working nonstop, and were due for some down time. “If there is nothing else, everyone to your stations.”

A few moments later

The Bridge was busy with activity as every took to their positions. “Deep Space 13 Traffic Control has given us clearance to depart, Sir.” Lt.Cmdr V’era stated from her station. “Disengaging Tractor Moorings now.” Lt.Cmdr Pi imputed. “Heading 297 Mark 48 set, standing by for 1/2 Impulse Thrust.” Lt.Cmdr Brannigan noted. Over the speakers, Lt.Cmdr Southerland reported from Engineering “Dilithium regulators and antiproton injection seals operating within normal Parameters, Quantum Phase Energy Output is at standard levels. She’s ready to fly when you are Captain.”

Commander Barron sat in the Captain’s chair, Commanders Stern and Roptojmey sitting beside him as they both acknowledged they were ready to go. The Commanding Officer stood from his seat, adjusting his jacket once before pointing at the screen, “Helm… Light’er Up!!”

Click to Warp


OOC Special Thanks to @kermit @Katriel @Sam and @Valore, and anyone else I may have missed for helping me get situated within the fleet, and getting this storyline ready! This will be a multi-part Solo-Run of my crew, so keep an eye on the thread for (hopefully) weekly updates! If you like what you see, and or want to help contribute any plotline hooks, feel free to DM me!

Episode 1: Gold Rush

Directed by:
Donatu Sector; Drozana Station [Orbiting]

First Officers Log: Stardate 97657.5
We have arrived at Drozana Station, an old Federation deep space station now managed by a Ferengi Corporation. I have been tasked with negotiating a trade agreement with a Ferengi ‘Civilian Resupply Contractor’ named Garlianto for bulk provisions to take with us for the fortification of a federation colony. Though the Ferengi Alliance is now a member of the Federation, I highly doubt we will be receiving any discounts on that behalf…

Commander Stern entered a large Cargo area devoid of the hustle and bustle of the bar/casino area, which she could still hear the roar of echoing down the hall. After visually scanning her surroundings, she could only see one Ferengi in view; but between the consoles, crates, and transport equipment several more could be hidden in wait. As she walked forward, she deliberately brushed the stun pistol attached to her left hip to ensure it was there.

“Mister Garlianto, I presume?” Stern greeted with a forced smile. The only Ferengi in the room was leaned up against a support beam and glanced at her for a moment, before a wicked smile cracked across his face. “Ahh…You must be my contact from the Sub-Net Relay…Ms.[Penny4Thoughts]? I suspected you might have been Federation!” Stern pushed a small giggle at the Ferengi’s words, “That would be me! Though, not here on official federation business, more of a side project, so you should be able to look past the uniform.”

Garlianto paid little mind to Stern’s explanation, lifting off the beam and getting a closer look at her, her hair, eyes, pips, and even taking notice of her phaser. “Ahh, a Betazed! Explains the handle now. You must have arrived on that battlecruiser that just docked!” Garlianto surmised. “I hope you know, your telepathic abilities won’t work on me! But I’m sure your captain already knew that.” “But I…” she began to protest, before Garlianto cut her off, “Tut, tut Ms.Penny, lets not pretend where anything but pawns here. A commander of a starship isn’t about to smuggle that much cargo aboard a Starfleet Vessel without its captain knowing, and your shoulders don’t quite fit that bill.” he said with a gleeful toothy grin.

“And you appear to be a little under guarded to be holding as much cargo as you advertised” stern remarked back, folding her arms. “Precisely! We are just the middle-men for our respective employers transactions. Now, down to business shall we?” clasping his hands together, Garlianto pulls out a pair of spectacles from his arm sleeve and places them over his eyes before withdrawing a Data PADD from his pocket. “Now, Understanding this correctly, your looking for colony provisions for planetary defense, shield generators and the like, correct? Don’t worry, doesn’t matter where, just making sure I’m getting the right information before we continue on.”

“Yes; Shields, Batteries, Replicators, anything one might need to stock up on before winter.” Stern acknowledged. The Ferengi nodded as she spoke, and continued to nod at his padd for a few seconds before putting it back in his pocked and removing the glasses. “Ahh, well I’m sorry to inform you, these items are not on my employers list of available stock!” Stern’s face frowned a bit at this, “Well that’s not very helpful…why did I come all the way out here then? You could have told me this over the Subnet Relay.”

“Ahh my dear Penny! You mis-understand me. You see, I may not have what you WANT, but I can assure you we have exactly what you NEED. For the right price of course. See, this sector is at war! If people went around buying up all the shields, and batteries, then it goes to reason their stockpiling weapons to boot! That can easily cast a vendor in the wrong lime-light, make them out to be a ‘war profiteer’, and that can easily draft you into one side or the other, which is bad for business if you catch my drift.”

As he droned on, Garlianto became more animated with his movements as he reached the crescendo of his sales pitch, “See, what we sell here is everyday components, from your mundane, to the more extraordinary. A Micro-Powercell here, a Handheld Calibration Control Unit there. These things past customs and boarder checkpoints all the time! Now throw in an Emitter Array and a Particle Alignment Matrix with a little Engineering know how, and BOOM, you got yourself a Shield Reinforcement Field. However, in the right hands, with the right tools, you could easily swap out the Emitter Array for say… Isolinear Circuitry? That’s how those TR-116 Battle Rifles are created, am I right?”

Stern cracked a small grin at his words, catching on to the play he was making. Seeing that she was understanding things, Garlianto relaxed some, “And now you get it. I simply sell the building blocks, what my customers do with it afterwards has nothing to do with me, and my illustrious business. And I assure you…” the Ferengi waved his arms around the cargo-hold to the multitude of storage crates it housed, “We have all the building blocks you can possibly need…” Re-invigorating the swagger in his posture, he locked eyes with Commander Stern, and flashed his teeth malevolently. “Now that -that’s- out of the way, my dear sweet Penny…lets talk Price!

Back Aboard the Sun-Tzu;
Location: Commander Barron’s Office [2hrs Later]

“Forty Bars of Gold-Pressed Latinum?!” Barron sputtered after hearing his First officers report. “Jessica! We only have 300 strips on hand, that’s 15 Bars worth! How the hell are we supposed to come up with the other 25 bars?” Jessie folded her face into her hands, knowing Mai’kull was not going to like her report. “I didn’t even tell him how much we had on or how much we wanted to buy. It’s all whole sale, we buy by the crate, and for all the components we would need, we would need 31 crates worth, that comes out to right at 40 bars.” Lt.Cmdr Pi who stood across from her pondered the situation. “That’s a little over 25 strips a crate, which isn’t -bad- for some of the higher end components.”

“Yea, but he makes his money’s worth in droves by the upcharge of the more mundane components we don’t have the time to replicate on our own.” Mai’kull finished. “He justifies that as his built-in contract fee.” Jessie explained. “Contract Fee?” Pi inquired. “Each purchase comes with a non-disclosure agreement and endorsed by the Ferengi Alliance. Our purchase is completely confidential, and should Garlianto, his employer or any of their associates violate the contract; we get all of our latinum back.” Barron looked outside his office window, contemplating his current circumstance. “A money back guarantee from a Ferengi has to be the highest form of pinky swear in the galaxy.” “Well he is defiantly putting his money where his mouth is.” Pi stated

“As solid as the transaction may be, still doesn’t answer how we are going to make that much GPL in such a short amount of time.” Barron addressed. The two officers paused for a moment before Stern perked up, “Well, Drozana presents itself as a entertainment and respite station, I’m sure people come here all the time and look to scrounge up some Latinum for gambling. I’m sure there are probably odd jobs or trades that can be made.” Pi nodded at her statement, “And a Federation crew on some much deserved down time, wouldn’t raise much suspicion if they were on the station looking to pay for their play.”

“What are you suggesting?” Barron asked. “Send a triage team down to offer medical services in trade for a few strips of Latinum. Pass it off as they are saving up for a good time before we depart. I mean, I know the station has a rudimentary medical department, but it’s nowhere near the level we can provide. People might pay a little for assured care.” Pi described.

“That, and we could also offer repair services to some of the ships in orbit of the station.” Stern added. Barron thought about the prospects for a moment. “I’m not convinced this is going to help us reach our target in time, but I don’t have any other options available, so lets see how far we can get with this. Stern, Head down to Medical, have Roptojmey set up a team to go down to the station. Ill head to Engineering and brief Kiff. Pi, start monitoring comm traffic, see if anyone could use some engineering assistance, and reach out to them. We will go with the ‘Girl Scout’ ploy, just looking to pay for shore-leave.”

Pi’s eyebrow perked, “Girl Scout?” he mumbled. Stern shook her head and placed her hand on Pi’s shoulder, “Its and old earth custom, look it up later.” she whispered. With all in agreement, the three officers left the room

Sun-Tzu Sick-Bay

The doors to Sickbay opened, Lt.Cmdr V’era entered, making a bee-line for Chief Medical Officer’s Office. Commander Roptojmey sat at his desk going over data on his terminal when V’era knocked on the support beam. “Hey Grouch, got a minute?” the Science officer asked playfully. Roptojmey looked up from his screen and cracked a grin at the girl. “How could I say no to my little Hobgoblin! Come in.” V’era looked around making sure none of the on-duty personnel were paying attention and crossed the office, getting close to the Klingon’s desk. “Look…I need a favor. I’m not ill or anything, but; I just, something just doesn’t quite feel right. I was wondering if you’d be free to give me an exam?” Feeling this being less of a social call, and the slight concern on V’eras face, Roptojmey dropped his blithe attitude. “What’s wrong?”

V’era sighed heavily, and sat down on the desk. “That’s the thing, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve scanned myself, nothing seems out of the ordinary, but it’s like I’m anxious over something, but there isn’t anything to be anxious about. I mean our mission is routine, sure were in a new fleet, but were all together like normal, so I don’t know what it is.” Roptojmey scratched his beard, “Well, you have access to the same Tricorders I do. If you want, I can get you up on a Bio-Bed and give you a more in-depth scan.” V’era looked past him for a moment, seeing all the nurses and patients in Sickbay and withdrew some. “Id rather it be…discrete. I don’t want people thinking something is wrong with me”. Roptojmey paused for a second, stunned at the Vulculan’s words. “But there is…that’s the whole reason why you’re here? Damn your Romulan half, always trying to keep stupid ass secrets!” V’era, realizing the irrationality of her request only chuckled some. “I’m sorry, your right, it’s stupid, but this is what I was tal…”

Just then the door to Medical opened, and Commander Stern walked in, seeing Roptojmey through the glass she smiled and waved at the two senior officers. The Klingon Medical Officer returned the wave but V’era quickly hopped off the desk and straightened herself causing Roptojmey looked to look at her perplexed. As Stern rounded the corner into the office, V’era uncharacteristically began speaking “Thank you commander, I’ll get right on that spectral analysis!” she said with a smile, and quickly bolted out of sickbay, past Stern who immediately picked up on the vibe of the room. As the door closed, Stern pointed and looked to Roptojmey, “What was that all about?” The doctor just shrugged, “You’re the telepath, you tell me!”

Shrugging the instance off, Stern changed the subject, “So, we are in a bit of a situation. Were needing to round up more GPL from the station to purchase our provisions for Ajilon. Commander Barron and I were wondering if you could round up a volunteer triage team, and take them onto the station and offer medical services in exchange for a donation of Latinum strips? The premise being were saving up for a shore-leave party.” Roptojmey nodded as Stern explained the situation, “Yea, I’ve seen what their passing off as sick-call, some random kid walking around with a few hypos playing ‘Inny-Minny-Miney-Moe’ . People would defiantly flock to us for brand recognition alone. Problem your gonna run into is the station wont let us barter services like that on the station without paying a retainer-fee. Which is 50 strips a day, in case you were wondering.”

“I think we can round that up, at least for a day. See how profitable we can make it, and re-assess from there.” Stern confirmed. The Doctor nodded, “Ill set up a team, and ill also get Marco to set up security protocols, in-case I need to bring a patient or two aboard, not that im going to advertise that, but who knows what we might run into down there.” Stern smiled, “That should be fine, but remember, were only looking for donation, not charging a fee for service. I don’t want to turn away someone who might need the help, but cant afford it.” Roptojmey chuckled, “Don’t worry, it’ll be good practice for the Ensigns. Plus, I can be very persuasive when I have a scalpel in my hand!”

Sun-Tzu Engineering Deck

Commander Barron entered Engineering, and quickly found who he was looking for. Lt. Cmdr Southerland, the Chief engineer stood at one of the ship diagnostic terminals, with Lt. Cmdr Brannigan next to him chatting away. Both officers took note of the CO’s arrival and quickly ended their private chat. “Captain! What brings you down to the lower decks?” Brannigan joked aloud as Barron drew near. Opting to ignore Zach’s remark, Barron addressed his engineering officer “We are going to be looking into alternative means to gather some GPL for our trade negotiations, Pi and Stern thinks we can barter Engineering services to some of the local ships that come into dock in exchange for extra Latinum. Think you can get a repair team together? Pi is on the bridge monitoring station comms, would like you to reach out and offer our services if need be.” Zach furrowed his face at the notion, “Take it the initial negotiations didn’t go well?”. Barron nodded at the Andorian’s assumptions, Kiff closed his terminal, “Yes sir, Ill get a few teams together. Ill need to pull ship schematics from the bridge anyway for any ships we are going to potentially work on.” Barron tipped his head, “Good, were not looking to modify any weapons systems, and if a Klingon Vessel requests assistance, notify me first…gods know we don’t need to look like were aiding and abiding. If you think you will need security, get with Marco.”

At that, Barron turned to leave, as Kiff turned to ready his troops. Seizing the opportunity, Zach followed his Commanding Officer into the hall. “Sir, sir! So how bad is it?” he inquired. Still walking, Barron looked over at Zach, “500 more.”. Brannigan winced in pain at the announcement of the additional price. “How the hell are we gonna make that much in such a short amount of time?” he questioned. The pair reached the turbo-lift and got on, Barron indicating for the bridge, to which Brannigan paid no attention. “The idea is to barter engineering and medical services in hopes to get up that much in donations.” Brannigan shook his head, “That’s going to take weeks!” The Andorian office reached over and hit the [Stop] button on the turbolift. “Sir, I know it sounds risky, but we have 300 slips on hand now…” ”Two-Fifty, Registration for services aboard the station.” “Moot Point, we have 250 GPL on hand, and a perfectly good Dabo Table on the station!”

Barron looked at Brannigan astounded at his tactical officers brazen suggestion. “Are you seriously suggesting we GAMBLE our allotted funds away…on a Ferengi ran Dabo Table?” Zach took a step back, “I told you, it sounds risky, but I can assure you, I am a damn good Dabo player! I can double our earnings in one night, easy!” Barron stood there staring at Zach, voiceless. “Look…we need the GPL, and we need it now. Dabo can get us that quick and easy. Say we don’t make the 800 for the purchase in time, are we able to make a partial order?” he asked eagerly. Barron’s face turned into a frown, “No…looks to be an all or nothing deal.” “See! We don’t make it with the charity work, we’re out of luck. I blow it on the tables, were still out of luck. But If I win…we get what we came for, and on our merry way.”

Barron paused for a moment, almost as if he was considering the ludicrous notion. “I know, it’s a tactical risk, but it’s the best shot we have at meeting our goal! And if anything, they see a Starfleet officer playing Dabo, they are more inclined to believe the ‘Were here to party’ story and more likely benefit the other avenues we have! AND!!!” Brannigan started to hype himself up, feeling he had his CO on the ledge. “AND, Should I fail, which I wont! But if I do, Ill sacrifice my Senior Officer Shoreleave!”

There was another deep pause from Barron as he pondered the risk assessment of what Brannigan was proposing. He took a deep breath, reached over and pressed [Continue] on the Turbolift all while Brannigan looked on in anticipation. “If you lose all this GPL…you wont have to worry about missing out on shoreleave.” Barron stated firmly. The turbolift doors opened and Barron stepped off onto the bridge, turning around towards Brannigan, “Because ill strangle you myself. Make the arrangements with Marco to get the GPL.”

As the turbolift doors closed, the Bridge Crew looked on as Lt.Cmdr Brannigan literally jumped and cheered for joy. A sense of dread washed over Mai’kull. “Welp…time to start on that backup plan…”

Drozana Station; Bar
[The Next Day]

V’era sat at one of the tables, a drink in her hand as she overlooked the Dabo Tables. Brannigan stood at the table, his back to her as he along with the other table goers cheered and placed their bets. “Sun-Tzu to Lt.Cmdr Vera, Report?” the woman heard in her ear. Tapping her comm badge to reply, she looked around to make sure no one was eaves dropping on her. “All is clear, Zach doesn’t seem to be sweating yet, so things look good so far.”

Back on the Bridge of the Sun-Tzu, Lt.Cmdr Pi sat at a terminal and chuckled. “Well, if you see guards looking to drag him off to a backroom, let us know. We will keep the emergency transporters locked and ready.” The female voice of V’era giggled through the terminal. “Ill keep an eye on him, V’era out.”

“What’s our status Mr.Pi?” Commander Barron asked from his seat on the bridge. Pi got up from his station and walked around to address his commanding officer, “Lt.Cmdr Brannigan has started his games, betting small to feel out the table, Lt.Cmdr V’era is close by keeping watch. Lt.Cmdr Southerland found a repair job on the station no less, turns out their power grid hasn’t had a refit since the 23rd Century. So he has taken some supplies over to upgrade their power grid for a negotiated price.” “Oh? How much?” Barron inquired. Pi only shrugged “He didn’t specify, only said it was well worth it and then laughed. Guess we will find out when he’s done.”

Barron shook his head, “How is Roptojmey’s team doing”. Pi picked up a small Data PaDD from his belt and reviewed something for a moment before answering. “Several treatments for acute blood-alcohol poisoning. Various patch ups from minor altercations. He’s saying that the works coming in fairly steady, but less than half are offering any GPL as tips for the service, so we’ll have to see how that pans out.” Commander Barron let out a deep sigh. “Ok, ill be in my ready-room, you have the bridge. Let me know when this nightmare is over.”

Back on the station, V’era glanced around the open bar area, taking note of the various inhabitants. Starfleet Personnel, some she recognized from the Sun-Tzu, some from other postings; Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, Orion. Her eyes landed on an Orion Male who stood by an information terminal. He was very fit, most likely an escort or guard for some ship. He wore tight leather pants, and had a lather and metal harness strapped across his bulging chest…

V’era shot up from her seat rather suddenly, shaking her head vigorously. She took a heavy chug from her water before wiping her mouth with her shirt sleeve. (‘What the hell was that?!’) she thought to herself. She looked back to Brannigan who was still entertaining himself at the tables, behind which were several booth’s that had just as good view of the Dabo table as the open bar tables did. Feeling it in her best interest to get away from everything she headed towards the booths.

But just as she rounded the table, two well dressed Ferengi stopped her. “Ahh! Your new here Starfleet, aren’t you?” the first one asked. Before she had a chance to respond, the second one chimed in, “Hoping you are enjoying yourself, your boyfriend seems to be quite the gambler!” V’era fumed at the second Ferengi’s words “He is NOT my boyfriend!” she snapped. The smaller Ferengi retreated back at her harsh words, “My college meant no disrespect! We notice you watching him is all, we just assumed he was your mate.” Truthfully she didn’t know why she snapped, she had no attraction to Brannigan, but she could not understand why she felt so ‘offended’ by the notion all of a sudden. She closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap. He is my colleague, I’m just making sure he doesn’t lose the uniform off his back… ”

The second, smaller Ferengi returned to his normal posture, and cackled some at her words “We have seen that happen from time to time!” “We don’t mean to impose, only to introduce ourselves. We are collectors you see, and we trade artifacts space-faring visitors like yourselves may come across in exchange for Gold-Pressed Latinum.” The older, and more composed Ferengi explained. V’era nodded in acknowledgement as the second one spoke again, “Incase your friend ends up having troubles with one of our local loan-shar…I mean, brokers.” V’era faked a smile, “I will defiantly keep that in mind, thank you…” just then her communicator went off. “Lt.Cmdr V’era, if your free, can you meet me at the medical tent? I need to take a patient on board for some test, and need someone to keep an eye on the ensigns.”

V’era took a step away from the Ferengi Collectors and tapped her comm badge, “That’s clear Doctor, ill be there shortly. V’era out. She looked back at the two and nodded to them, “If you’ll excuse me.” she said curtly before turning and heading for the market place, where Roptojmey had set up shop. As she walked away she could overhear the two begin to argue, “Did you see her smile? I told you she wasn’t Vulcan!”

Sun-Tzu Sick-Bay

An elderly Bajoran male sits on the edge of the bio bed, as Commander Roptojmey scans him with a Tricorder. “I really am sorry for all the trouble, Doctor!” he said softly. Roptojmey just chuckled and shrugged it off, “Well hell, you could have told me that before we beamed aboard!” he said jokingly, to which both he and the elder laughed. “Its no trouble at all, amidst all the drunks we have had you’re probably the tamest patient we have treated today, so I don’t feel bad about giving you preferential treatment.” he said with a grin. “How long ago did the symptoms begin?” he asked, focusing back on his tricorder scans.

“Oh I’d say about a month or two ago, off and on, so it wasn’t a big deal until now.” He sat still as the Klingon doctor continued his scans, looking back from the Doctor to the floor. “If I may. Ive seen my fair share of Klingons in Starfleet, Security Officers mostly, an Engineer here and there, and the occasional scientist…but I’ve never seen a doctor before.” Roptojmey laughed at the man’s observation. “Seems almost out of character doesn’t it?” the old man withdrew some, feeling he may have offended the doctor in some sort of way, “Im sorry, I didn’t mean anything b–” Roptojmey held his hand up to cut the man off, “Its fine, in fact it was done specifically to go against that Klingon warrior stigma. Here, lay back for me.” he said, as he helped the elder lay flat on the bio bed.

As Roptojmey worked on the bed’s controls he continued, “I’m originally from Qo’noS, but I was born with a birth defect, comparison is something along the lines of humans brittle bone disease. Mother spent the first few years beating the hell out of my father, because I kept getting injured and she blamed him for being too rough with me. But when I was 5 I was diagnosed. See, Klingons for the most part don’t do long-term care for someone like me. If you become a burden to your house, unfit to face your enemies like a Warrior, they make you undergo ritual suicide.” The old man gave a small gasp at his words as the Bio-bed began beaming and humming its scan over him. “Bah, no worries. I was too young for that, so they did the next best thing. Ejected me out of an escape pod along a local trade route. Got picked up by a Federation ship, and when they managed to track down my parents, they called me -Roptojmey-, which translates to ‘scar’. Well, more precisely a scar from an illness. Said they had no use for a defective child; So I got picked up by a nice Tellarite family who routinely chose to wake up and choose violence in the pettiest of ways!”

As the scans completed, Roptojmey helped the Bajoran sit back up, and tapped in a few buttons on the bed to transfer the results to his console. “See, whole reason my klingon family abandoned me was because they thought I couldn’t be a warrior. So my new family taught me healing, taught me the benefits of medicine and chemistry, to make me the epitome of a true warrior!” Entranced by the doctors tale, the Elder asked, “How does being a doctor make you a better warrior?” Roptojmey bellowed a laugh at the question, “Klingon Warriors Risk their singular lives battling man and beast on the battlegrounds. Medical Doctors save countless lives and battle against disease and death itself! Id say my fight is a hell of a lot tougher than there’s. Any idiot can pick up a phaser, but it takes true skill to treat…”

Doctor Roptojmey froze in place as he reviewed the results of his scan. His face lost all of the color and bravado he had previously been preaching as he re-read the data over and over again. “Doctor?” the Bajoran asked curiously. Roptojmey shook himself out of his stupor and slowly faced his patient. “I’m sorry, I just…your results…the scan.” “I take it…not good news then?”The elder observed. Roptojmey huffed a bit and nodded. “I apologies, I’m usually better at breaking news like this…I…” “Its Iverson’s, isn’t it?” Roptojmey looked at his patient a little perplexed. “You already knew?”

The elder shook his head, “No, but I had suspected. My father was Human, so we were warned what kind of genetic overlap could occur. I knew if I asked the hacks on the station, they wouldn’t have been able to tell me, or would have tried to sell me some sort of phony miracle drug. I just…I wanted to be sure.” “I mean, this IS serious, but we can draw up a treatment plan for your symptoms…prolong your…” “Suffering? I know there still isn’t a cure for this, all I would be doing is prolonging the inevitable. I’m old doctor, there is some solace in at least knowing what’s going to kill you.”

The two walked solemnly back to the Transporter room from Sickbay, “What will you do now?” Roptojmey asked. “Well, I’m too old to go out in a blaze of Dabo and Escorts, so I might as well charter a flight back to Bajor and get my affairs in order. Pray to the Prophets at the Calash Monastery for my place in the Celestial Temple.” Roptojmey chuckled at the caviler attitude of the elder. As they reached the transporter room, the elder reached into his robes, and withdrew a small box. “Here, I want you to have this.” he said as he presented the box to the Klingon. Roptojmey accepted the box, and slowly opened it, revealing a pristine set of ancient Jade Bajoran Gratitude Beads. “Its not Gold-Pressed Latinum, but that’s been in my family for generations, and I don’t have any heirs, so all their going to do is burn it with me when I die.”

“I…I can’t accept—” he began, before being cut off by the elder. “Of course you can. And don’t go all sentimental on me and keep them collecting dust. To the right collector, those beads will fetch you a handsome stack of Latinum Bars, to help your crew unwind proper.” Clutching the box in his hand, Roptojmey bowed respectfully to the elder who stepped onto the Transport pad. “Thank you.” “The make of a true warrior isn’t measured in the strength of the man, or how many battles they have won. Its judged by their heart, and you are a true warrior doctor. I can tell you care deeply for your craft.” Roptojmey smiled at the elder’s words before rubbing his nose, “Well, don’t go spreading that around with the crew that I care…I got a reputation to uphold and all.” The two men shared a hearty laugh before giving a nod to the transporter chief, sending the Bajoran man back to the station.

Sun-Tzu; Conference Room
[The Next Day]

The Senior officers sit around the conference table, most look a little on the tired side with the exception of Lt.Cmdr Brannigan who appears to still be nursing a hangover. “Alright everyone, I understand we worked through the night to wrap things up, and I deeply appreciate that. Give me a breakdown so we can find out where we stand with this trade deal. Lets start with the star of the show, Zach, you good?” Brannigan nodded slowly, “Just because the drinks blue, dosent mean its good for you…” he started in an almost sing-song tone. Lt.Cmdr V’era giggled across the table, “Lets just say he was doing SO well, they started comping him shots of Romulan Ale to try and disorient him from the table.”

“So the Gambling Gambit paid off?” The commander confirmed. “It was hit and miss for a couple of hours, he hit a two of a kind quark off a 20 slip bet and just played off those winnings for a while, but he lost all that over time. He ended up getting goaded into making larger bets by the Holo (And the alcohol), and ended up with a three of a kind off of a 50-slip bet. I managed to pull him out after that, and we cashed out with just at 500 slips of Gold Pressed Latinum.” Brannigan had his head folded into his arms on the table, “Yea…what she said…” he mumbled. The conference of officers looked at the Chief Tactical officer and smiled and chuckled pitifully at his condition. “Glad you convinced me then Zach, you did a really good job. Roptojmey, how did you fair?”

“Tent was useless. Good practice for the new officers onboard for medical deployment measures, but brought in shit as far as Latinum. However, I did Diagnose a very distinguished man with Iverson’s Disease. He…thanked us, in the form of some ancient bajoran beads which we were able to sell off to some collectors V’era found on the station for 150 slips. So there is that. ” “I’m so sorry, that poor man. He was the one you brought onboard?” Stern asked. Roptojmey nodded to her. “Well hopefully knowing can help bring him some solace. That brings us to a total of 650.” Barron confirmed as he made some adjustments on his PaDD. Looking up at the table, he motioned to Brannigan “Doc, can you take him down to medical and get him sorted?” “Thank you…yes please” Roptojmey stood, “Ill do what I can, but he may be a lost cause, I may have to amputate!” there was another murmur of laugher at the table as the Klingon helped the Andorian officer to his feet and guided him out of the conference room.

“Well, it all comes down to you Mr. Southerland. How well was your exploits?” Barron hadn’t notice it yet, but his Chief Engineer was looking very smug, and at being called he saw Lt.Cmdr Pi hide a smirk as well. “What? Did I say something funny?” Barron inquired. Southerland shook his head, “No sir, I managed to negotiate with the stations superintendent a reasonable price of 1 GPL per crewman, for upgrading their old 23rd century power core.” Barron looked puzzled, “That doesn’t seem like much, how many crewmembers did you take?” Pi snorted at the Commanders comment, “Yea, that was the same mistake the superintendent made…” Barron tilted his head in confusion and turned to Southerland for further explanation. “See, I told them what you said, that the crewmen of the ship were looking to make some Latinum for their time off, never in our talks did we discuss my specific work crew.” Barron’s eyes widened as he began to understand what went down, “You mean to tell me…” “344 slips of Gold Pressed Latinum, one for every assigned crewmen aboard the Sun-Tzu!”

Barron chuckled a bit, and Stern’s mouth fell open in shock, “You pulled a fast one on a Ferengi?” she said, amazed at the Bolian’s boldness. “The station’s Damon got involved, he was expectedly NOT pleased about the deal and tried to wiggle out of it, but not knowing where we stood on progress, I held fast and presented him the recording of the verbal contract. He reluctantly agreed.” Pi clarified “Reports show he’s already started to dismantle the upgrades we installed, to sell them back off to make up for his loss-margin.” Barron shook his head, not only at the ingenuity of his crew, but the potential backlash that could have come from a sore deal with the stations management. “Well with 344 slips from Southerland’s team, that puts us well over target. Stern, go ahead and set up a meeting with your contact to make the trade. What’s left over we will return to the stations Damon, as a show of good faith. We’re going to be stationed out here for a while, so best not muddy the waters too early. Thank you everyone, Dismissed.”

Drozana Station; VIP Lounge
[4 Hours Later]

An Away Team consisting of Commander Barron, Commander Stern, Lt.Cmdr Brannigan, Lt.Cmdr Southerland and Lt.Cmdr Mark-0 transported onto the VIP section of the station. The Orion secretary sitting next to the transport station greeted them and lead them down the hall to a medium sized cargo hold, where Garlianto and his employer Damon Qwen awaited with a small contingency of Nausicaan Body Guards.

“Ahh, Penny! Welcome! Good to see you made it. Allow me to introduce Damon Qwen, my business facilitator.” The older Ferengi nodded at his mention. Stern smiled and returned the nod. “Thank you, this is Commander Mai’kull Barron, Commanding officer of the Sun-Tzu. With us is our Chief Tactical officer Zach Brannigan, Chief Security officer Mark-0, and Chief Engineer Kiff Southerland.” The elder Ferengi chucked some, “Ahh, the Lucky Dabo Player, and the Cheeky Engineer that my cousin has been complaining about recently.” Damon Qwen laughed. “Your cousin is Damon of this station I take it?” Mai’kull inquired. Qwen nodded, “Yes, funny how he complains of losing out on so much, yet it’s all coming right back into our pockets.”

“Well, we are ready to transport the agreed upon 40 Bars of Gold Pressed Latinum for the Components, and an additional 9 bars for…the inconvenience my crew may have cause your cousin during our stay. No hard feelings.” Both Qwen and Garlianto smiled at the mention of more Latinum being sent their way, “The quickest way to mend all wounds, is to line the pockets of a Ferengi! I will make sure he gets his 5 bars of Latinum, and extend your apologies.” Southerland looked puzzled for a moment, counting on his fingers before starting to raise his hand in protest, but Brannigan reached out and kept him from raising too much attention to himself, whispering “Don’t…” Both Qwen and Barron exchanged data PaDD’s which they each passed off to their subordinates. Garlianto and Stern took the PaDDs from their commanding officers and stepped aside to facilitate the transfer. Qwen then produced a secondary Padd to Barron, outing the terms of their ‘Non-Disclosure Agreement’. Knowing better than to sign without reading, Barron scanned the document for a few moments before nodding, and placing his fingerprint on the screen for a biometric Signature, which Qwen followed up with afterwards.

“A pleasure doing business with you Commander!” Barron and Qwen shook hands before the two troupes departed. As they made their way back to the Transporter Pad, Barron turned to Southerland. “Confirm inventory of our new cargo and get your teams ready for production.” Southerland nodded at his orders as Barron tapped his comm badge, “Barron to Sun-Tzu, set a course for the Ajilon system, Warp 5. We will leave as soon as Engineering confirmed we have what we paid for.” “That’s clear sir” Pi’s voice echoed on the comm badge.


OOC I hope you all enjoyed this little ‘episode’. I know its long, but I tried to break it up into bite sized pieces! My goal is to give everyone a good look into the heart and soul of the Crew of the USS Sun-Tzu while also presenting a fun and enjoyable Star-Trek plotline that fits well with the Fleet! Also will be slowly participating in fleet ran activities, as I get use to the swing of things, so that by the time this thread is over, Ill feel comfortable jumping in to anything needed! So if you have any future plotlines you think would be good for my ship or crew, feel free to contact me! Critiques are always welcome!

Episode 2: Requiem of Retribution

Directed by:
Archanis Sector; Ajilon System

Chief Engineers Log: Stardate 97685.8
We have been hard at work manufacturing the components we received from Drozana Station. With such a surplus of raw materials, it was hard to nail down just what exactly we needed to create. Captain Barron and Zach settled down on; Shield Generators, Force Field Generators, Support Drones, Transport Inhibitors, and holographic emitters. Even with full teams working round the clock, and the captain’s slow choice of speed, there is no way we are going to covert all the components in time. I have designed easy tutorials for the colonist to follow to create what they need with materials on hand once we arrive. Till then, Captain has given us a reprieve, suggesting we take the time to relax before things get…hairy. I have scheduled time on the Holodeck for a very important test I have coming up.

“I just need you to stand there and watch me, that it! For moral support!” Kiff begged his friend. Lt.Cmdr Southerland and Lt.Cmdr Brannigan walked down the corridor together, the Andoiran looking a little miffed. “I don’t see why, I mean you’re going to have to do it by yourself eventually!” The Chief Tactical officer argued. “Yes, but you can critique me afterwards and let me know what I can do better for the real thing!” At this Zach bellowed at the Bolian Officer. “Trust me, there is NOTHING you can do to ‘better prepare’ for this.” The two came to a stop at Holodeck 1 as Kiff manned the control panel. “That’s weird, theres already a program running…” Kiff stated looking at the data on the screen.

Brannigan got close, reading the program description, “Twilight Risan Sands? Sounds Sexy…I wonder who’s getting freaky on th—” Zach started, but stopped himself as both officers jumped. The Door to the Holodeck suddenly opened, and Lt.Cmdr V’era stood in the doorway. The glare of her eyes barred down on the other two officers with murderous intent. She was sweaty, out of breath, and clearly annoyed. “V’era! Sorry! I didn’t know anyone had reserved the holodeck for this time block!” Kiff apologized. V’era took a deep breath and wiped the sweat from her brow, “No its fine…I noticed no one had locked it in earlier and tried to run a program.” Brannigan perked a brow “Spicy night on Risa? I can dig it!” he said with a smirk. The cold glare returned to the Half Romulan as she turned her eyes to Zach “I chose the scenic view for a jog, to help work off some stress…not that it f***ing worked.” she growled as she pushed past the two off to her quarters.

After watching her disappear down one of the hallways, Zach turned to Kiff “Is it just me, or has she been getting more and more moody lately?” Kiff shrugged, “Rumor mill says she snapped at one of her Ensigns the other day. Somethings up for sure.” Trying to shrug off the encounter and change the subject, Brannigan laughed “So we gonna do this or what?” Kiffs eyes lit up as he turned back to the Holodeck’s Command terminal, but just as he began to load his program, a ship wide broadcast rang out.

“Now Hear This, Now Hear This. All Senior Bridge Officers Report to Your Stations. All Senior Bridge Officers Report to Your Stations.”

Kiff rested his head against the terminal as Zach slumped at the call. “Sorry bro, duty calls. We probably reached the Ajilon System.” Kiff nodded and cleared his command from the terminal, “Yea, I might as well head to engineering.”

On the Bridge; A Few Minutes Later

“Sir, systems show the colony has received our hails, but still hasn’t responded. Should we keep trying?” Pi asked from his station. “I’m detecting a subspace distortion field, it could be interfering with communications.” V’era cut in. Pi reviewed his console for a moment, “Looks like it’s coming from a debris field just ahead.” Barron took a deep breath, the look on his face was one of uneasiness. Picking up on this, Stern reached over, and placed her hand on his “We know what that is…on screen.” The screen blipped onto the new image of the region before them, everyone on the bridge went silent. Mai’kull took another moment before standing up from his chair to face his past. Brannigan could be heard mouthing “What tha fuuuu—” before their Commanding Officer announced, “Welcome to Ajilon Outpost.”

Barron turned to face his crew, clearing his throat before he began his depiction.

“About 47 years ago, in an effort to destabilize the Federation/Klingon alliance, the Dominion convinced the Klingons to ‘take back what’s theirs’, prompting them to launch a full-on invasion into the Archanis Sector. They captured the Archanis system and we pushed them back in the Ganalda System which brokered us a Cease Fire. The Klingons violated that cease fire and invaded Ajilon Prime in one of the shortest but most brutal skirmishes of that conflict.

We gave up most of the sector, but we kept Ajilon Prime, and we rebuilt. Ajilon Outpost was constructed to make sure what happened before never happened again, gave us a listening post in Klingon Space. When J’mpok declared war on the federation 15 years ago, they came to finish what they started. Ajilon Outpost stood as a blockade, to slow the advance of the Klingons to the colony, giving civilians the chance to evacuate or prepare. It was a back-and-forth conflict. Klingons would take the station, bolster their resources before heading to the planet, then the Federation would show up and take it back; off and on without respite, with each encounter getting more and more desperate.

A Orbital Mining Station and Minor Shipyards were constructed to give the controlling fleet a means to try and regain their footing after an encounter, but even they became targets for the opposition. Once the war was called off…well, you can see. Barely anything left worth saving. With resources stretched through conflicts with the Borg, Undine, Vaadwaur, and Iconians, it was all Starfleet could do just to get the needed aid to the colony, let alone try to salvage all of this.”

“V’era, Scan the Communications Array, I think that’s one of the only things that still work, could explain why the Colony isn’t answering our hails.”

The Science Officer attempted to comply with the order given, but her terminal just reported error signals. “There is too much magnetic distortion around the arrays sir, I don’t even see how they could get anything in or out” Stern chuckled some, “They are six times the size of our ship, and calibrated in such a way that they can cut through the interference. When the Klingons took the station, Starfleet set the distortion field around the satellites to try and prevent them from tampering with them. They responded by simply putting their own next to ours.”

“With 6 Satellites of their size, it would take us a couple of hours to run a diagnostic, let alone re-align them by ourselves. That would be pushing the Tractor Beam WELL past integrity thresholds.” Pi added. Barron took his seat, “We can always come back, their not going anywhere. I want to get to the Colony and see what’s going on before we spend any more time out here, Zach, set a course for Ajilon Prime.” The Andorian nodded, “Aye sir.”

In Orbit Around Ajilon Prime

“Ahh, Sun-Zoo! Welcome to Ajilon Prime. I’m terribly sorry about the comms, we are experiencing some sub-space interference. We can receive messages, but its hard to get them out past the orbital satellites! What brings you to our little neck of the stars?” A very posh looking Orion spoke on the view screen. Barron remained seated as he addressed the woman, suppressing the nerve that twitched when she mispronounced his ships name. “Ahh, well, as our previous transmissions explained, we are here to provide colonial, and defensive provision to the colony, given the current political atmosphere In the Beta Quadrant.”

“Oh my! Did something happen?” the woman asked, looking a bit shocked. Barron looked over at Stern who glanced back with a raised brow shaking her head. “Well, I’m not sure if you have been told yet, though it’s been all over the Federation News Network, but the Klingon Empire has been engulfed in Civil War. Were here just to check up on our boarder colonies, and ensure the fighting doesn’t spill over. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name?”

“OH! That’s right, where are my manners. I am Ajilon Prime’s Resource Manager, Adria.” She explained with a proud gleam. There was another slight pause and sideways glance before Barron responded “What happened to Axel?” There was a slight facial tic at the name, but Adria appeared to remain unphased. “Oh, Axle, yes…were you friends?” she inquired. Barron stood firm “We were old acquaintances during the last War, I thought he was the Resource Manager for the Colony.” Adria nodded and smiled, “Oh he was, but he has since retired. War took a toll on him and he just couldn’t keep up anymore! ANYWAY, if you’d like to come down, we would love to receive the provisions the federation has brought us!” she said, returning to her cheerful demeanor.

Barron returned the smile, “Yes Ma’am, our away teams will be down shortly! Sun-Tzu out.”. At the commanders’ words, Pi cut the transmission to the colony.

Barron’s face drew cold as he continued to stare off at the view screen, “Scale of one to ten?” he asked aloud. Most of the bridge officers were confused at his question, but Stern replied. “She’s so full of shit, I can smell her from up here. But she wasn’t lying about being the new Resource Manager.” Barron started slowly rocking in place, a nervous twitch of his. “Axel wouldn’t retire, He lived through both Klingon Incursions, he’ll be damned to let old age keep him from his home.” “She did seem to be baiting for information before making any statements.” V’era pointed out.

Barron nodded. “Yea, somethings not right. Stern, you have the Bridge, Pie, Roptojmey with me.” He started to head to the turbolift as he tapped his comm badge. “Southerland and Mark-0 to Transporter Room 2. Jess, hold out here while we look around, but after a bit, I want you to check on that Communications Array.” Stern nodded at the orders as the Three officers entered the Turbolift.

Transporter Room, USS Sun-Tzu

Pi and Southerland both stood ready on the Transporter Pad as Commander Barron, Commander Roptojmey and Lt.Cmdr Mark-0 huddled together at the end of the steps having a hushed conversation. Looking a little concerned, Southerland leaned over to Pi, “Uhh…should we be listening in to that?” he whispered, sounding a tad bit hesitant. Pi shook his head, “If he wanted us to know, he would have called us down there.” The Cyborg responded. Kiff shifted uncomfortably in place, “Yea, but I mean, were all going down there, shouldn’t we all get the same brief?” Pi chuckled at the Bolian. “Cap use to be SFI, He still operates like that from time to time. If he has a plan, the less we know, the less likely we are to get in its way.”

Roptojmey nodded and gruffed at the Commander before taking his place on the transporter pad, pushing past Southerland. The Trio then observed as Mark-0 handed his Comm Badge to the Commander, and dematerialized before him. Southerland looked a bit shocked, and headed down the ramp towards the Commander. “Im sorry sir, is there something wrong with his Mobile Emitter? I can try and take a look at it and fi–” he began to ramble, but Barron held up a hand to silence him. “Relax Kiff, Mark-0 wont be joining us today.” He said with a smirk, as he slid the Chief Security Officers Mobile Emiiter/Comm Badge into his pocket and headed up the ramp. “You coming?” Barron asked as he turned to see Kiff still standing there a little dumbstruck.

Pi and Roptojmey chucked a bit as The Engineer walked back onto the Transporter pad, thoroughly confused. “Chief, Light Us Up!” the Commander ordered, as the Transporter Officer hit the controls to send the away team down to the Surface.

Ajilon Prime, Resource Headquarters; Tananda Bay

The Receptionist at the desk was quite pleasant and apologetic as she assured for the 4th time that Miss Adria would be ready for them soon. Barron kept his cool and assured here they were in no rush as Southerland stood by awkwardly, and Roptojmey was taking random scans.

“KID!” the Klingon Barked, causing Kiff to jump some. “Do something useful, see if you can pull up a colony map so we can figure out where to offload the supplies.” Kiff stammered for a second, looking at Barron for confirmation, only to received a wide-eyed ‘Hes not wrong’ look from him. “Uhh, right! Sorry!” he said, before heading off to the nearest terminal access. As Roptojmey continued to scan around, he leaned in towards Barron muttering in Klingon (1)“ Val da De’wl’. Yay’ da puq” Barron stifled a snicker before responding in kind(2)“ Nob ghaH ghor!”


(1) Roptojmey Says: "Smart as a computer. Dumbfounded as a child…”
(2) Barron Says: "Give him a break!”

Translations made Circa

The Receptionist looked up at the two a little concerned, “Im sorry, I didn’t know you spoke Klingon…” she said a little bewildered. Barron turned to face her and gave her a grin, “Well, him for obvious reasons, but I learned it back in the war. Kind of a mandatory study.” The receptionist smiled a bit and nodded, looking to Roptojmey, “And what house are you from?” she inquired to the doctor. Roptojmey looked to Barron for a second, before clearing his throat, “No offence, but, that’s classified information.” he gave her a small wink. Initially a harmless means of deflection, but to both the Starfleet Officers surprise, the Receptionist winked back “Oh, I think I understand!” she said with a smirk.

She leaned in across the counter as the two joined her, whispering “We didn’t expect your family to come aboard a federation ship, let alone so soon, though I can understand the need for cover. We thought you were Starfleet, so I was supposed to stall you, but Ill buzz you into Miss Adria right now! We apologize for the delay, and mean no disrespect by it! Cant be too careful!” Barron and Roptojmey both held their composure and smiled, nodding and thanking the woman before heading off towards the offices. Barron waved down to Pi who was examining a computer terminal to join them.

As the three headed for the office section, Roptojmey whispered to the Cyborg, “Hope you got a built in recorder in that head of yours, I think we just stumbled into some serious shit.” Pi nodded, and with a twitch of his neck, he confirmed to the other two “Recording now.”

Ajilon Prime, Resource Operational Manager’s Office

“Commander Barron, I do apologize, your sudden appearance had us all scrambling! We had no idea K’hugoq would even respond to our offer, let alone send a Federation Starship for negotiations.” Adria said, standing and shaking the officer’s hands before taking her seat. “Well, as you can imagine, things are quite hectic right now. Cant be showing all the cards in our hand.” he bluffed. The Orion woman chuckled, “Oh that reminds me, I need to call off my contact! You had us so scared, I called in for a Destroyer to come deal with your ship!” she chuckled as she picked up a PaDD. Roptojmey’s Tricorder made a few beeps, and the Klingon withdrew it, growing at the results. “That idiot Bolian went and got himself lost…Looks like there is plenty of people here to handle this, Ill grab him and head back to the ship.” Barron nodded to Roptojmey, “Yea, get the cargo bay prepped so we can start unloading the supplies. Need to make this trip look productive while we talk.” Pi had been watching Adria the entire time, and had noticed that though she grabbed her PaDD, she had made no attempt to type anything.

“Oh, so you did bring provisions?” Adria asked, setting her padd down as Roptojmey walked out of the office. Barron nodded, “Yes, Starfleet’s been fortifying the boarder worlds, worried that either the civil war will flood over, or after wards another empire expansion would occur. That’s what took us so long to respond, had to wait to pick up the assignment, as to not raise suspicion.” As he spoke, Adria looked at Pi more intently. “And who is this fine young man?” Pi did not change his facial expression, and spoke in a very monotone voice, “This unit is designated Three of Fourteen, ” “He’s just an XB, more Robot than human now, made him easy to reprogram. Damn thing glitches though whenever there is an EMP.”

Adria hit a few buttons on her PaDD on the table before continuing, “So, I assume my offer to your house is acceptable?” Barron took a moment, staring into Adria’s eyes before beaming back to her, “Not Quite. The old Resource Manager, Axel. He was a War Hero in the last War over Ajilon. Before anything further is discussed, we need to know that Stubborn Ass Andorian has been dealt with.” Adria’s lips pursed once more at the mention of Axel, clearly a sore topic for the woman. She leaned back in her chair, “I’ve infiltrated Resource over many months. Bribed, Blackmailed, or Beaten almost every influential person to get where I am. No one will dare speak out against me, I can assure you I -HAVE- total control over this colony. Not even the federation is aware of what’s going on here.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.” Barron affirmed. Adria threw up her hands in frustration “Look, I don’t know! I managed to get the council to vote him out on a vote of no confidence and instill me as the new Manager, but when my operatives tried to capture him at his home after the meeting, he had vanished. Probably fled the planet by now. We now have tight control over off world transports and are monitoring and censoring communications, nothing indicates he’s here, coming back, or even calling for help. It’s one man, how much harm could he really be?” she snapped.

“ Kahless is one man, but invoke his name and you can rally an army to your cause.” Pi spoke, once again keeping with his monotone guise. Barron pointed and nodded to the Cyborg. “We have worked too hard to allow any slip-ups. Before we continue further, I want to see his old dwelling, see if we cant find any clues as to where he could have gone.” Annoyed by the proceedings, Adria snarled “We have torn his house apart already and found nothing of use! But Fine! Ill arrange a transport if it means we can proceed with this deal.” Barron nodded, and both he and Pi stood “We will wait outside, Thank you Miss Adria.”

Once they had reached a quiet corner, Barron sat down next to Pi, “They’re going to come for us soon, Mark-0 signaled that Rop and Kiff got onboard, but someone tried to stop them from leaving. Once they realize were not the agents of whoever the hell collaborated this they’re going to come for us.” Pi wondered how he knew this, but remained focused, “Alright, so do we try to beam back up? I don’t think she called off that ship.” Barron shook his head, “Nah, Sun-Tzu’s shields will be up dealing with that, or she’s already on their way to the Comms Array to get word back to the Fleet. We need to uncover and expose what’s going on down here.”

“Ok, I can hack their network easy enough, but I can’t do it and avoid capture.” Pi stated. Barron placed his hand on Pi’s shoulder. “That’s why were going to let them capture us. Don’t have time to explain, but were going to play -Andy’s Coming-. Their most likely going to hit you with an EMP Blast, I want you to pretend like it worked and feign unconsciousness. Ill signal you when the coast is clear.” Pi understood now why the commander had made the comment about an EMP to Adria, though Pi was fully shielded against most EMP wavelengths. “What about you sir?” Pi probed, concerned for his Commanding Officer. Barron smiled, “Lets just say, I have a Guardian Angel watching over us.”

As the two finished talking, a round ball rolled into the foyer which caught their eye. At the same time, the door frame leading back into the main hall lit-up, as if a Forcefield had been activated. “DOWN!” Barron managed to yell as the ball exploded in a flash of bright light. The lights in the area flickered and died, and the whole area had filled with a flash of smoke. Barron coughed and felt around, feeling Pi laying on the couch, not moving. “Three!” he hacked, as the smoke cleared, he shook his officer, but the Cyborg did not respond.

Two Orion Males bearing rifles entered the small room and aimed their weapons at Mai’kull, who turned to face them. One spoke up chuckling “She said the EMP would work on the borg!” , the other one grunted, thrusting the barrel into Barrons chest. “Adria would like a word with you, Commander.”

USS Sun-Tzu; In Orbit around Ajilon Prime

“Commander, Southerland and Roptojmey have returned to the ship.” Lt.Cmdr V’era announced before the comms channel opened. “Roptojmey to Bridge, Raise Shields, we have company in-bound!” Stern looked over to V’era with a concerned look, which the officer was already working on her console “Long Range Sensors do show a ship on course to the planet. Though, I don’t think we would have spotted it if we weren’t directly looking for it.”

Stern acknowledged the report, “Zach, Raise Shields, see if we can’t find out who’s coming to the party.” After a moment, the Turbolift doors opened, and Commander Roptojmey entered the bridge. “Report?” “Captain’s staying on the planet, that new Resource Lady is up to something shady as hell, and sent a Destroyer after us. ” There was a moment of pause on the bridge at the Klingons words, before Brannigan confirmed. “Looks like it’s a Vandal Destroyer, Nausicaan Build, coming in hot. 90 seconds before their in weapons range.”
“V’era, any word from the colony, or from the away team?” “No Ma’am, tried hailing them but no response.” Roptojmey growled, “Bottle of Bloodwine, that green bi**h down there has rigged the comms somehow.” “Contact, 10 seconds.” Brannigan announced. Stern looked to the viewscreen, “Yellow Alert”. The hue of the Bridge changed to a dull medallion yellow as the screen showed the Nausicaan Ship drop out of warp.

“Sensors show the Destroyer’s weapons are primed” Vera revealed. “Probably taking in the realization their sitting Infront of a Federation Battlecruiser, open a channel.” Stern proclaimed. “Channel Open Ma’am.”

“ Unidentified Vessel, This is the USS Sun-Tzu. You are in orbit over a Federation Colony, power down your weapons and explain yourselves.”

There was a few moments of silence on the bridge as everyone waited to see what was going to happen. “No Response.” Zach informed. Vera turned from her station to Stern, “Ma’am, the ship’s registration does not match any KDF registration patterns, and there is no House Markings.” “Good, that means their freelance, and we don’t have to worry about red tape when dealing with them. Send the message again, and this time…” Stern began to say, when the ship rocked from disruptor Fire from the Nausicaan Ship. “Nevermind! If that’s how they want to play this FINE! Red Alert, Return Fire!”

The USS Sun-Tzu Powered her Forward Arrays, and fired blue phaser beams towards the enemy ship, which immediately broke off and headed away from the planet, it fired a few more shots at the Sun-Tzu before taking off at Warp. “Shields Holding, No Damage or Injuries Reported. Looks like their heading towards the Ajilon Outpost.” “Peruse Course, All hands to battle stations!” Stern Ordered. Roptojmey settled down in the chair next to Stern, “If this don’t have trap written all over it.” Stern concurred with the doctor’s belief, “I picked up panic from them when they dropped out of warp, I don’t think they expected someone capable of fighting back.” The USS Sun-Tzu turned about from the planetary orbit, and raced after their quarry at Warp.

Ajilon Prime, Resource Operational Manager’s Office

“Commander Barron, so glad I caught you before you ran off, seems there was some miscommunication earlier that I wanted to clear up.” Adria stated as Commander Barron was escorted back into her office by the two armed Orion Guards. “Yea, no, your EMP Flash Bang cleared up that pretty well.” he grunted, rubbing his ears to try and relive the ringing. “Where is my officer?” he snapped, looking around and seeing they did not carry Pi in with him. “Don’t worry, you’ll be joining him soon enough, I just needed to ask a few more questions. Take his Comm Badge.” Adria ordered, and at her word one of the guards ripped Barrons badge off his uniform.

“You have caused a great deal of irritation Command…” Adria began, but the terminal at her desk began to chime. “Excuse me a moment.” she walked around her terminal and seeing who was hailing her, placed a device in her ear before answering.
“What is it?”
“Yes, I know it’s a Federation, do what I paid you to do and take care of it!”
“What do you mean it’s a battleship? Wa…”
Adria moved the device from her ear and looked over the screen to Barron. “Commander, what class starship did you come here in?” “Oh, that would be an Avenger Class Battlecruiser parked outside…” he said with a facetious tone. Adria slowly fell into a face palm before placing the device back into her ear.“Lure it out to the old Outpost and destroy it there! Yes, Ill double the price, just get it done!” she snapped before shutting off the terminal.

“What was I saying before? Oh yes…a great deal of irritation.” “Well, we do what we can. What was the plan, wait till the civil war came to ahead and sell the colony to the highest bidder?” Adria scoffed at Barron’s evaluation. “Let’s not be naive Commander, the Klingons want the rest of the surrounding sectors, and are willing to go back to war over them sooner or later. By tactically annexing the colony to the most influential side, everyone wins! The Klingons get the last corner of the Archanis sector. The colonist avoid yes another bloody conflict. And I get paid in power and influence within the Empire. See? Win, Win, Win.”

Mai’kull laughed at the Orion,“Cept for the small hiccup that they never answered you huh? That’s why you were so willing to talk to us about it.” “I knew this was going to be a long-con, the early bird reaps the worm.”"Unfortunately, Klingons don’t work like that, they want something they would rather take it than be handed it without a fight. Not an honorable –kill- to claim. Not to mention they probably wouldn’t have believed you anyway?” “You sound like your friend Axel.” “We got to know each other really well in the last war. How’s the old coot been lately? Real pain in the ass huh?”

“Well with you being such good friends, he should be inclined to try and rescue you then! With him finally dealt with, and you ship destroyed, you can remain our guest incase the Federation starts snooping around again.” “I couldn’t begin to tell you the number of ways that’s not going to happen, but I guess we will just have to wait and see huh?” “ENOUGH! Take him and his broken droid to the brig. Seal them up tight, hopefully that damn Andorian will slip up and we can end all of this!” As the two Orion Guards began to drag Barron away, he smartly remarked “Id get an exit strategy planned if I were you…”

Ajilon Outpost

USS Sun-Tzu dropped out of warp just outside of the former Starfleet Station, Shields and Weapons flaring back up to maximum. “Scanning the area.” Brannigan Reported.“Sensors indicate the Naussian Ship flew into the magnetic distortion around the arrays, probably to try and mask their trail.” V’era added.“Take us in. Broadcast on all channels for them to stand down. Zach, what do we know about that type of vessel?” Stern asked.

" Nausicaan Vandal Destroyer, Very Small Forward Profile and very agile. We outclass her in every aspect except turn rate. Probably hoping to use the sensor distortion and her maneuverability to her advantage." The Tactical Officer reported. “Impact of our tactical sensors in the magnetic distortion?” Stern queried. The internal communications chimed on from the Engineering Department, "Commander, I’m boosting the sensor array from the Quantum-Phase Converter. We should only see a 10% drop in effectiveness from sensors."Lt.Cmdr Southerland reported. “Good Job Kiff. What would it have been without the extra power?” She inquired.“60-75% Loss” The Chief Engineer answered.

There was a light rock as the USS Sun-Tzu was struck with disruptor fire. “Port Shields Holding, Down to 90%. Looks like their making full speed passing runs to try and hit us and get out of weapons range.” Brannigan Conveyed. “Bring us about! Zach, Attack Pattern Lambda, Fire at will!” Stern ordered.

As the Destroyer lined up for another pass, the USS Sun-Tzu had turned her port side to the ship, and unleased a broadside stream of blue phaser fire, striking the Naussian vessel’s forward shields several times. In return the enemy vessel hailed disruptor cannons on the USS Sun-Tzu’s Port shields before zipping past her at full speed.“Port Shields at 75%. We hit her, but it didn’t seem to do very much.” " Vulnerability Assessment Sweep shows the Enemy’s focusing most of their power to their forward shields." “Focus Fire after they pass us, hit them in the aft section where their shields will be weakest.”

As the Naussian Destroyer flew past again, firing a barrage of disruptor fire on the USS Sun-Tzu, Brannigan held his trigger until just after it passed, firing Starboard arrays at the aft section of their enemy. Three Beams struck true, and nearly collapsed their Aft Shield Grid, but the ship managed to get out of weapons range before another hit could be made. “Port Shields at 60%. Looks like we almost got them, but she got out of range.” Brannigan Recounted.

“Alright, evasive maneuvers, bring us to bare on them. Let’s see how they like a full frontal assault. Arm Cannons!” Stern continued.

The two vessels faced off, and charging full speed unleashed a volley of Cannon Fire at one another striking several times, before The USS Sun-Tzu pulled off, firing Port Phaser Arrays at the Destroyer. “Direct Hit. Forward Shields down to 80%. Looks like theirs took a beating too.”

“Good, bring us around for another run. Weapons Room; Arm two V.A.T.A. Warheads, Tachyon Emitter Payload, and place them in the Shuttle bay and ready for decompression.” Stern Instructed.

“Shuttle bay?” V’era questioned.

Brannigan chuckled, knowing what Stern was up too. “Fire them now, the enemy will detect them and possibly intercept. Suck them out the suttlebay and they will sit there till we activated like a mine trap. Tachyon beams will destabilize their shields giving us a softer target.” he explained.

The two ships made another pass at one another, and as before exchanged cannon fire before veering off. The USS Sun-Tzu depressurized its Shuttle bay flinging the two Variable Auto-Targeting Armament Warheads into space.

“Forward Shields holding at 60%”

“Alright, set a collision course with the Destroyer! Divert power to the Aft Phaser Arrays. As soon as they pass, activate the warheads, then when they veer off, fire at their aft section and disable their engines!” Stern decreed

“IF they veer off!” Roptojmey grumbled, looking for the seatbelt in his chair.

Realizing their enemy was now charging directly AT them, the Naussian Ship appeared to hesitate for a moment before pressing on their assault. The USS Sun-Tzu maintained course as the Destroyer unleashed a rapid fire of its Disruptor Cannons. Just before it went to change course, the Warheads activated firing two Tachyon beams at the ships Aft Section, both striking true. As the Destroyer veered away, the USS Sun-Tzu also turned her aft section and unleashed its Phaser Fire, breaking through the enemy’s shields and striking her engines in an explosion of special flames.

“DIRECT HIT!” Zach cheered. “Destroyer is losing velocity” V’era announced as the federation ship flipped around to face her pray. “Target her weapons systems!” Stern ordered, as the USS Sun-Tzu surgically fired at the Destroyer. “Weapon systems offline, Engine Capacity at 15%, Shields offline.” V’era reported. “Bring us in, and lock a tractor beam.” Stern finalized.

“Damage Report Brannigan?” Stern asked, taking a sign of relief things were over. “Negligible, Forward Shields are down to 40%, Port Shields holding at 65%, Minor Thermal Damage on the main hull, but that’s about–” “MA’AM! Massive Energy build up coming from the Destroyer!” V’era shouted. “She’s overloaded her warp-core! We need to back off NOW!” Southerland shouted over the comms from Engineering. “ZACH!” Stern cried out.

The USS Sun-Tzu had disabled the tractor beam just as the Vandal Destroyer Self-Destructed, not 6KM off the ships Port-Bow. The USS Sun-Tzu rocked violently as a few terminals overloaded on the bridge. As the dust settled, the USS Sun-Tzu remained intact. As the bridge officers regained themselves, Stern called out,“Damage Report?!”

Brannigan got up off the ground and checked his terminal. “I managed to activate the secondary Ablative Hazzard Shield Grid just before it blew, looks like it absorbed most of the impact. Minor Damage reported on decks 4 through 8. No casualties, but several injuries are being reported.”“Ill head to sickbay.”

“What the hell was that? Was that us?” Stern posed. “No ma’am, it looks as if it were deliberate, there was no indication of power build up or fluctuations until after we locked the tractor beam.” V’era commented. “No capture, no surrender…” Brannigan said softly.

Shaking off the shock, Stern composed herself and took her seat once more.“Set course to the closest Satellite. We need to restore communications and get back to Commander Barron as fast as possible.”

Ajilon Prime, Underground Detention Center

Barron leaned back in his holding cell as he watched the Orion mess with the controls before leaving the room. After giving it a few minutes he called out.“Pi? You there?” there was a moment of pause before he tried again. “Three point one four, one five, nine two, six nine, three five.” Another moment of silence before he heard the reply,“Its Six Five…” Barron chuckled, “Just making sure you’re paying attention. You doing ok?” “Yea, they were rough, but nothing compared to Doc’s Bedside manner.”

“Alright, sit tight, He’s going to get out of here in a minute.” “Gotcha. Wait, who?” Pi queried looking out of his cell seeing the room was empty. Commander Barron whistled loudly from his cell “Ay! Bruce Banner! You forgot something!” A moment later, the Orion Guard walked back into the holding area, disgruntled and glaring at Barron. “Keep it down Human!” he snarled. Barron held up his hands to indicate complacency. “Look, I get it, your just doing your job, but I don’t want you to get in trouble over this.” “Over what?” Barron pointed to his shirt where a Comm Badge was pinned.

“Adria told you back in the office to take this off me, she finds out you left it on, she’s going to be super pissed.” The Guard leaned in closet to get a better look, a bit stunned and confused. “I thought I did take it off? How did that get back on there?” he asked. “This is why you leave the thinking to the women. Don’t feel ashamed, my first officer is a woman for that exact same reason, I can barley remember what I had for breakfast! Speaking of, do we get complementary lunch in here?”

Pi held in a snicker at his Commanding Officers sly remarks. It was rare to catch Commander Barron ‘out of uniform’ but there were a few occasions that they had caught some of his more humorous side, clearly the man was acting in his former element. The Orion growled in frustration and walked over to the control panel, aiming a disruptor at Barron with his free hand. “Shut up and stand against the wall, don’t do anything stupid!” Barron complied and leaned his back against the wall, standing on top of the makeshift bunk. “Oh don’t worry about me! Ill behave!” he commented as the Orion dropped the force field around his cell. “Him on the other hand, I’d watch out for…”

Pi watched as behind the Orion, a shimmer appeared, and out of the shimmer emerged a large metal rod that struck the guard against the head knocking him to the ground. The rest of the shimmer dissipated, and there stood an aged Andorian Male, a little out of breath looking at the two. “Took you long enough!” Barron nipped as he walked out of his cell. He reached over and hit the control panel on Pi’s cell which dropped the force field as well.“Damn klahz(3)!” The andorian barked back, leaning down and collecting the Orion’s disruptor. “Help me get this oaf in the cell before you get all emotional on me.”


(3) Axel calls Barron a “klahz” which is Andorian for (an animal known for its careless way of moving) – Circa Memory-Beta

As Barron and the Andorian grabbed the Orion, Pi crossed over to the control panel, and as soon as they tossed the guard inside, he raised the force field. The two men caught their breath and looked at each other before embracing in a brief hug. As they separated, Barron explained. “Pi, this is my friend Axel. Axel, this is my second officer, Three of Fourteen, but we call him Pi.” "Second officer? Whos the first? Not that damn Klingon I hope?"Barron chuckled, “Nah, Remember Jessie?” Axel’s eyes grew wide at the name, “And they call me a sly dog, look at you!”

“Sir, how did you know he was here?” Pi inquired, rightfully so as the whole plan seemed to have hinged on Axel. “Remember when Roptojmey’s Tricorder went off? Before we beamed down, I had him scan for trace Graviton particles. When I worked in Intel, just before I got transferred from working on the Ajilon Conflict, I had set up a shipment of Portable Shroud Generators to be sent to Axel, as a going away present. Figured if he had managed to escape, he would probably be using them to evade detection. Because no way in hell would this stubborn old fool leave the planet.”

“Anyway, we got plenty of time to catch up once we sort this mess out. Pi, see if you can hack into the central computer core from here.” “I wrote half the subroutines for the damn system, but Adria set up an encryption which has kept me from getting in and doing anything” Axel added.“I can break the encryption, give me a few minutes.” As Pi went to work on the terminal, Axel checked the door to ensure they were clear before returning to Barron.

“So what the hell happened?” The commander asked. “I’m a soldier, not a politician. Adria came in sweet-talkin her way up the ladder. By the time I realized she was a snake, I was already in her strike zone.” Axel exhaled deeply as he leaned against the support beam, his age was showing.“Rebuild after the ‘alliance’ started wasn’t nearly as bad as what we had when I was a kid, they elected me to Resource Manager because of my time and contribution keeping everyone alive. But once she got her claws into everyone, she started convincing them. He’s too old. He’s too militaristic. Need to focus on the future not the past. And the worse thing about it all, she wasn’t wrong.”

Barron had a worried look on his face as he watched his friend unload what must have been months of isolationist despair. Axel looked up to his friend, his eyes glistening from held-back tears. “I cant keep doing this Maik. I mean, run out by a damn Orion is one thing…but now the Klingons are back at each other’s throats, who knows what the victor is going to do. I…I can’t do this a third time, I don’t have it in me anymore.” Pi had stopped typing, but remained quiet, unsure he wanted to disturb the somber moment or not. Barron took notice and nodded. “Sir, I broke the encryption for you.” he said softly, which seemed to snap Axel back into focus.

“Right, damn your good kid. Let’s see. Need to access her personal files, and see just how far down the rabbit hole she’s gone.” Axel said, pushing Pi away from the console. “Whatever it was, she must have hit a dead end, she was desperate to believe we were sent to negotiate with her.” Barron added, as he peered over the console as well

Axel growled, “She was trying to sell us out to the Klingons, but she was sending the offers to some of the more mundane houses. Mar’voga, D’Ewos…none of these have much standing within the Council.” “Council has dissolved, J’empok has declared himself Emperor. Right now all the houses are picking a side vying for power and influence.” "Capturing Ajilon for the Empire might be a good stepping stone for some of these more unknown houses. Thankfully it looks like none of them responded back. Though in the spirit of the alliance, none of them reported this to the Federation."Barron remarked.

“She’s made me out to look like a paranoid pariah. I come forward with this, she’ll just spin it around and claim they were doctored.” Barron and Pi looked at one another and smiled. "Oh I think we got that part covered."Pi’s right arm melded into a stream of Nanites that formed a connection between him and the console. His eyes glowed green as he made the connection. “Sir, I have connected to the communications network. As you thought, Adria was filtering everything through her office, both outgoing and incoming messages. However it looks like…wait…standby.”

A small view screen popped up on the terminal, and on it showed the bridge of the USS Sun-Tzu."Stern! Good to see you. How’s the ship?"Stern smiled seeing the Commander on the view screen “She’s good, shields are a little wobbly, but all is good. We just re-aligned the communication arrays out here by the outpost, but Southerland said there was an encryption on the controls. Take it you cleared that up on your end?” Barron nodded. “Don’t got much time, Pi is going to transfer you some files. I need you to upload it to the Satellite Array and broadcast it across the whole Colony. Priority one. Then head straight back here.” “Receiving files now.” V’era confirmed from the bridge.

“We will be there as soon as we can. You need any back up?” Stern Inquired. “Nah, we just got a flight to catch. Barron Out.”

Ajilon Prime; Resource Shuttlebay

The Video Recording of Adria admitting to her plot had been blasted on every screen and terminal in the entire colony. The people were in an uproar demanding Adria to respond, however she had no intention of answering them. Instead she took her personal teleporter to the Shuttlebay and fired on the platform preventing anyone else from using it to follow her. Drawing her dual disruptors, she aimed at any flight crew personnel who tried to get in her way, carving a path to a shuttlecraft she intended to use to escape, but as she rounded the back end to the access door, she stopped in her tracks and drew up her weapons.

Axel stood with his disruptor at the ready, Pi too with a Rifle in hand, and Barron stood between them, his arms crossed. “Going somewhere?” he teased. "These are Mark 15 Disruptor Pistols, re-engineered for maximum damage. I assure you ‘Commander’ I will tear through your personal shields before your friends have a chance to stop me."Adria snarled.

Barron smiled. “Mark 15? That’s a good Series. I mean really, that is some impressive hardware you have there, probably the best gold-pressed latinum could have bought. We are clearly outmatched. Gentlemen, lower your weapons.” Barron decreed, as he took off his comm badge and tossed it past Adria, holding his hands in the air. Adria remained still, confused as to what was going on “What game are you playing at?!” she shouted. Barron lowered his arms and pointed his right finger at Adria. “I just wanted to test my weapon against yours. Do you like it?” he said waiving his finger in the air, still pointing at her.

Aggravated, Adria charged her weapons “I don’t have time for your games human, move or die!” But Barron didn’t move, "Oh I assure you, I’m not playing anymore. See, every Starfleet Commander is issued one of these. I like to call them ‘Finger of Authority’. They work wonders, we just point them and what we want gets done. It may not be Mark 15, but can you guess what series they issued me? "

Adria aimed her pistol at Barron’s head, “Use your last words to enlighten me!” she snarled. A malevolent grin flashed across Barron’s face Barron: “Mark-0!” Before she could squeeze the trigger she felt the tip of the rifle press against her back.

”Polo!” The Sun-Tzu Photonic Security Chief, Mark-0 had materialized from the Holographic-Emitter Comm Badge that Barron had tossed behind her. “And since were sharing weapons, Mine is a T-116, it’ll make your personal shields feel like your wearing wet paper. Now drop it.”

“Lady Adria, Your under arrest.”

Captains Log: Supplemental
Adria of the Orici Crime Syndicate has been taken into custody, and being held in the Colony’s Brig pending judicial review. After revealing her plot, the Resource Committee has elected to restore Axel’s place as the Colonies Resource Manager. Southerland and Pi have begun transferring our Cargo to the surface, and instructing the settlers on manufacturing models. More review into the Klingon connections (if any) will come at a later date, I however have to catch up with an old friend…
((Back on the Sun-Tzu, Crew Lounge))

Barron and Axel looked out from the Officers Lounge Window together. “I don’t know what I would have done if you didn’t stumble in when you did.” Axel began. Barron took a sip from his drink and shrugged off the complement. “You would have been fine.” he tried to assure, but Axel just looked at his drink. “No…you don’t get it. I’m tired Maik. Tired of always fighting, tired of always worrying when the sky is going to burn green again with Klingon Orbital Strikes.” Barron thought for a moment to interject, but thought against it, and let the old man continue.

“This Colony, these people are all I have left. I have no living family here, and I was so busy working or training to stop and try and have a life of my own. When Adria overthrew me, I felt as though I lost the only thing I had left that was important to me. I thought so many times about just letting her put me out of my misery.” Barron placed a hand on his friends shoulders,“Then why didn’t you?” Axel snorted and took a drink “Fought against countless blood-thirsty Klingon warriors in my life, I wasn’t about to let some green twig with tits do me in.” The two men shared a laugh at the joke, but the gravity of the topic weighed them down.

“I can’t do it a third time Maik. I still have nightmares from the first time they came to our home, let alone the bloody memories of the second time.” “Then don’t. You don’t have to be the one to lead Resource, you still have time to go out there and find yourself. Go Visit Andoria!” “Bah! Too Cold.” “Find a nice fossil your age to settle down with and enjoy the remaining days. No-where is safe anymore. Hell; Earth has been attacked 3 or 4 times in the last decade. All you can do is make the best of the time you have, till shit eventually hits the fan. If its not the Klingons, then the Iconians, or hell the Q Continuum might sneeze and turn us all to slime. Leave the worrying to the young guys. Gods know you got enough winkles as it is.”

The two men looked out into the stars again as they enjoyed the rest of their drinks. “You know I’m going to build a big ass orbital laser with all them components you gave us!” “For the record, I didn’t hear that!” Barron laughed.


OOC Hey Guys! Thanks for giving this a read, I know it’s a long one, but its one I had a lot of fun working on (despite the drain it put on me). Don’t worry, I think I have learned my lesson, and will try to trim down the next episode some. I want to give a special thanks to @Mudd who guest starred as our Nausicaan Vandal Destroyer, and helped me get some good shots for the story! Id like to give a shout out as well as @Katriel and @Kermit who I bugged relentlessly in Discord Tickets about cannon and lore regarding the location! Hope you all enjoyed it! The 3rd Episode will be the closer to the “series” I have build up, followed by some outside DM’d RP that I might have opened up to others joining in! So stay tuned, and critiques or questions are always welcome!


Episode 3: Hromi Headache

Directed by:
Xarantine Sector; Hromi Cluster

Captains Log: Stardate 97718.3
We have spent the last few days in the Hromi Cluster corroborating federation star charts of the sector. So far no data has indicated any Klingon activity, however plenty of stellar anomalies have kept our science teams busy. It has come to my attention that Lt.Cmdr V’era has been under some stress which has affected her ability to lead her teams. I have sent Commander Stern to speak with her, to try and get to the bottom of it.

The door to V’era quarters rung, causing her to look up from her sofa. She put away her Padd and took a deep breath before answering.

[LCDR] V’era::“Come In.”

[CMDR] Jessie Stern: Commander Stern entered her quarters and looked around. She noticed V’era and smiled. “I hope im not interrupting?”

[LCDR] V’era:: She shook her head with a solemn look on her face. “No…I have been waiting for you actually. Honestly expected Commander Barron. Or Marco and his Security Team.”

[CMDR] Jessie Stern: Jessie crossed the room and took a seat on the couch next to V’era. “Well, when you threaten to airlock an ensign ‘To give him a better view of his mistake’ it tends to raise concern. I assured Mai’kull that there was probably something more going on than just an incorrect report filing. ”

[LCDR] V’era:: V’era gazed away, unable to look the Commander in the eye.

[CMDR] Jessie Stern: Jessie shifted a bit uncomfortably in her seat, trying to find the right words. “Look, I’m not a councilor, but I am a Telepath. and I have sensed somethings been wrong since we arrived on Drozana. I didn’t pry, because you never let it interfere with your duties…until now. I’d much rather help you though this as your friend, than have to address it as your commanding officer. Because what you did was unacceptable for a department head.”

[LCDR] V’era:: “I know…I know…” V’era remarked, her eyes beginning to swell with the frustration and pent up emotion.“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I feel hot, irritated, anxious, impulsive; and I can’t explain why! I’ve run scans, I’ve tried to vent frustration on the holodeck! I’ve even tried that stupid Vulcan Meditation! Nothing’s worked!”

[CMDR] Jessie Stern: “Well, I don’t mean to sound patronizing, but are you doing it right? The Meditating? I know you weren’t that close with your Vulcan Heritage. Maybe you missed out on a step?”

[LCDR] V’era:: V’era chuckled a bit at Stern’s words. It was true, her meditation attempts were just sitting on the floor blasting music to try and drown out her thoughts. “Probably not, might have lit the wrong candles. That or ‘Paramore’ isn’t proper meditation music.”

[CMDR] Jessie Stern:Stern grinned, “Well, I took an advanced course on Vulcan Meditation and Mind Melding techniques. I’m not saying you have to agree to it, but maybe if we work together I can help you uncover what’s really going on, maybe something supressed.”

[LCDR] V’era:: V’era pondered on this for a moment, finally gathering the courage to look at the Betazoid Woman. “Where did you learn Vulcan Mind Melding?”

[CMDR] Jessie Stern: She smirked at the question,“Primarily taught for interrogation techniques, but I know how to control it well enough.”

[LCDR] V’era:: After a moment of contemplation, she finally agreed, re-adjusting herself on the couch to sit facing Stern. “Ok. Let’s give it a try.”

[CMDR] Jessie Stern: Stern also moved close to sit directly in front of V’era “Close your eyes and repeat after me.”

The two women sat in a traditional Vulcan Meditation pose, their knees under them and pressing both their index fingers together. As they began to chant, their hands moved in synchrony.

My Mind to Your Mind

They each rose one hand, palm facing the other in the traditional Vulcan greeting posture.

Your Thoughts to my Thoughts

Their hands reached out, and gently pressed against the other’s face as the telepathic link was established…

USS Sun-Tzu; Conference Room

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “And were sure it’s not a natural occurring phenomenon?”the commander inquired as he looked at the display.

The commander, along with Lt. Commanders Brannigan, Pi, and Southerland stood in the conference room around the display screen reviewing sensor analysis of their recent section of the cluster.

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “No sir, the signal coming from inside the Ion Storm is defiantly artificial. ” he confirmed. “Not many space bearing entities emits a frequency along the Terahertz subspace band.”

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland: “The Ion Storm itself is natural, it’s too large to be generated by a ship, and not even a station could maintain the power output for this long.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: he contemplated the reports from his officers for a moment, as he continued to review the display board.“And we have tried a probe?” he asked fruitlessly.

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: “Yup, destroyed almost instantly upon entering the storm.” he confirmed, tapping on the display and showing the readouts from the failed probe launch

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “So what is it your suggesting?”

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland: Kiff stepped forward and changed the display once again to a spectral analysis of the Ion Storm“The larger the Ion Storm, the more powerful, and this is easily a Level 9 Ion storm, too dangerous to try and take the ship into. However, the fluctuation between ionized particles are also larger.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: “Meaning, a well-equipped shuttle with a highly trained pilot should be able to make it through just fine.”

Barron glanced to Kiff and Zach, feeling this was their plan the whole time, but as he gaze turned to Pi, who gave him a nonchalant shrug, he realized there weren’t many other options. Had it not been for the Klingons using Nebula like this and the Briar Patch in the past to hide operational bases, he wouldn’t even suggest such a risky mission. However, he could not ignore the signal coming from the storm, be it a bi-product of a Klingon outpost, or possible distress signal.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “What steps are we taking to ensure the safety of the away team, should I approve it?” he added the end with great inflection

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland: Kiffs eyes lit up at the question, he had already anticipated this. “So, I will have to take the Quantum Phase Converter offline, and link it to the shuttle temporarily, this will give the shuttle the same Quantum Phase Regenerative Shielding we have on the ship, so IF its struck, say once or twice, it will be able to absorb some of the incoming energy and incorporate the ionic charge to the shield grid.” the Bolian officer tapped the display, showing a schematic of a Type 8 Shuttlecraft “We already have Ionized Gas Sensors onboard that I will tie into the shuttles navigation computer, which will allow you to differentiate between positive and negatively charged ion clouds.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: “From there, its just a matter of piloting inside or around the same charged particle clouds, and avoiding opposite charged ones. Like swimming in the ocean with a Lightning rod. As long as we stay underwater, we will be fine!”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: he pinched the bridge of his nose at Zach’s analogy “It’s the part where you come up for air that has me worried…”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:
“That’s why you need the best pilot on the ship!” the andorian grinned, giving the commander a thumbs up.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: after a moment of reflection, the commander nodded, “How long will it take to make the alterations?” he inquired.

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland: “30 minutes, tops.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “You have a go. Zach will pilot the shuttle, and I’m going to sending Stern with you. Dismissed.”

The Engineer and Tactical officer gave each other a high five before darting out of the conference room, leaving Barron and Pi to review the monitor.

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “If I may sir, are you sending Commander Stern for her Telepathic abilities?”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: Maikull looked back to Pi for a moment before shaking his head, “No, SD13’s SFI office asked us to look out for an abnormal signal. If this is what they are taking about, she will know what to do to handle it.”

Pi nodded at the explanation and did not remark. He had figured the C.O and X.O would manage to still work their way into their old profession. Even when they worked out of Starbase 39-Sierra, the two would often undertake more, covert missions dealing with the Tal-shiar. Barron finally made the move and cleared the display screen, before tapping his comm-badge.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “Barron to Stern, Come in.”

There was a pause, without any response.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “Barron to Stern, Respond.”

Both Barron and Pi looked at each other with a puzzled expression. Pi reached over to the display terminal to run a quick diagnostic on the internal communication systems as Barron Continued.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “Computer, Locate Commander Stern.”

COMPUTER: “Commander Stern is located on Deck 4, Crew Quarters Sierra-1.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : The XB finished his diagnostic and turned to the Commander “That’s V’eras Quarters. Diagnostic shows internal communications are working properly.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: He nodded at the Ops Officers assessment. “Yea, she went to go talk to her after her outburst in the Astrometrics Lab…” tapping his comm badge again“Barron to Lt. Commander Vera, Please respond.” Again there was no answer to his calls. Growing concerned, he tapped his badge a final time. “Barron to Marco.”

There was a confirming chirp before the Photonic M.A.C.O. Officer appeared in the Conference Room before Barron and Pi.

[LCDR] Mark-0: “Yes sir?”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: Barron raised his arms slightly, in a ‘finally’ mannerism before responding. “Commander Stern and Lt.Cmdr Vera arnt responding, please check Vera’s quarters and make sure everything is alright.”

[LCDR] Mark-0: Marco saluted his
“On it.” before tapping his comm badge “Marco to Security Team Alpha-4, meet me outside Officer Quarters Sierra One.” And with a final nod, he de-materialized from the room.

USS Sun-Tzu; Sick bay (20 Minutes Later)

Doctor Roptojmey and other medical personnel are rushing around scanning and attending to both Stern and Vera who lay unconscious on the tables, as the doors open and Commander Barron rushes in. He suppresses his natural instinct to call for a report, knowing it best to let the doctors do their work. However, he finds it grating standing by doing nothing so he withdraws into the Doctors office to wait for him. After a few minutes, Roptojmey comes in.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “What happened?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: The Klingon takes a moment to gather himself, and places his Tricorder on his desk to download to the computer.“At the moment, we don’t know. Security called in a medical response unit to V’eras quarters where they were both found unresponsive. I’ve already ruled out physical trauma, they weren’t attacked, and their toxicology screens came back negative so its not poison. ”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “So what’s wrong with them?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Right now, I couldn’t tell you. Their both in some sort of coma, but when they came in their vitals were all over the place. We managed to get them stable, both are still showing signs of a fluctuating neurochemical imbalance. We’re running a few tests to try and determine the cause, we should know more soon I hope.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: Barron walked out of the office and to the bio-beds where Stern and Vera lay. He looked down at Vera with concern on his face, but as he turned to Stern, the look was far deeper. He took her hand in his own for a moment, giving it a comforting squeeze before whispering,“Snap out of it Imzadi.” He once again turned to Doctor Roptojmey, swallowing his emotions. “Keep me apprise of their status please.”

Roptojmey knew of the past relationship between Maikull and Jessie. And though the two had not fully rekindled their relationship upon re-uniting on the Sun-Tzu, their feelings for one another hadn’t died out. The Klingon nodded as the Commander’s comm badge went off.

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland:
“Southerland to Barron. Shuttlecraft Stockholm has been outfitted and is ready to fly, just waiting for our Co-pilot.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: There was a look of pained annoyance on his face as he reached to his comm badge. “That’s clear, I’ll be there shortly, Barron Out.”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Ill take care of them here, you go worry about the rest of the ship.” He said reassuringly, giving Barron a pat on the shoulder.

Barron nodded, and reluctantly left Sick-bay.

Sun-Tzu; Shuttlebay

Barron contemplated the situation at hand as the turbo-lift stopped at Deck 6. Exiting into the Shuttlebay, he nodded to Southerland and Brannigan who were outside the craft waiting, and went directly inside the shuttle. At the helm, he sent a message to the bridge for Lt.Cmdr Pi to contact him privately using the C.O.’s office terminal. After a moment the screen lit up with the XB sitting at Barrons Desk.

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) :“Yes sir?” he asked, curious as to the secretive nature of the call.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “I’m taking Stern’s place and leaving the ship with Brannigan, you’re in command till I get back.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) :“Is everything ok?” he inquired further.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “Vera and Jessie are currently out of commission in Sick-bay, security found them unconscious in Vera’s quarters. Doc is doing what he can to figure out what’s wrong. So while I’m out keep an eye on that for me.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Pi did his best to hide his ‘oh shit’ face from the commander at the revelation of the X.O’s condition, realizing the gravity of the situation.“ Don’t worry sir, ill take care of things on this end, be safe out there. Pi Out.”

As the screen shut off, Mai’kull took a few meditative breaths, refocusing himself on the task at hand. Stepping back out of the Shuttlecraft, he met back up with Kiff and Zach who were standing by.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron:
“Well ‘Captain’ Looks like I’ll be your Co-Pilot for this mission.” he said with a grin to Brannigan. “Give me a run down.”

Both Kiff and Zach looked a little surprised at the news, but quickly adjusted to it.

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland:
“Well, the Regenerative Shield Array is online, We will prime the shield’s with a Quantum Entanglement from the deflector before you depart which will give you an extra 17.8% Shield Capacity. As long as you keep the shields up, the quantum state of the shield array should maintain itself for the flight, and help re-direct any low level electrical energy back into shield grid.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:
“The Signal inside the Storm is registering at 316 Terahertz, that’s going to be our navigation point. The Ship will be transmitting a signal at 295 Terahertz that we should be able to pick up from inside the storm. That will give us a definitive start/end point so we don’t get turned around. Navigational equipment won’t do us very good with all the magnetic interference, so we are going to have to fly manually. Fore and Aft communications arrays are attuned to these frequencies so we can position ourselves according to the signal strength.”

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland:
“An Ion Storm is just a giant conglomeration of two types of Ionized Gas Clouds, Positive Charged ‘cations’ and negative charged ‘anion’. Electrical discharge occurs when two opposite clouds intersect causing the electromagnetic reaction. Now the size of the storm means there is larger clouds, which usually means a larger and more violent reaction. However due to the size of the shuttle, you SHOULD be able to pilot in and out of these clouds and avoid most contact reactions.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:
“Problem is, the first Ionized particles we collide with when we enter the storm is going to prime our shields to that charge. So if the shield grid becomes positively charged, we cannot come into contact with a negatively charged ion cloud, or we will ignite a reaction.”

[LCDR] Kiff Southerland:
“I’ve installed Ionized Gas Sensors all around the shuttlecraft to act as a beacon, so you can tell what’s around you. And better avoid reactionary collision.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: ((TL;DR))“So were manually flying blind into an Ion Storm with nothing but Sonar for Guidance, and Radar for navigation. It’ll be like playing minesweeper, except the mines keep changing positions every move. One wrong move and were done for.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:Zach nodded along with the commanders rendition of the scenario, “Yea, pretty much. I mean we can probably handle a hit or two, but not recommended.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron:
“Well, let’s get the pre-flight check started.”

Sun-Tzu Bridge; 30min Later

[ENS] Tyisha Dauenhauer: “Sir, the Stockholm has entered the Ion Storm. We are tracking her transponder signal at 300 Terahertz.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Pi looked up from the captains chair to the reporting Sensor Officer and nodded in confirmation.“Thank you Ensign, keep an eye on it and let us know if it stops transmitting.”

The doors to the Turbolift opened, and Commander Roptojmey stepped onto the bridge, he scanned around seeing who was on duty, and without a word crossed the bridge and entered the Captains Ready-room. Pi looked a bit perplexed, as a second later the Klingon Medical Officer came out and looked him down.

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Where is Commander Barron?” he asked.

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Pi held a very blank expression, as his finger rose from his chair, to point at the Ion Storm on the view screen, “You just missed him…”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: Rop looked at the view screen and put two and two together, slapping his forehead ridges firmly with his open palm “I take it he filled you in before he left?” Not waiting for a reply, because OF COURSE HE DID, Roptojmey waved Pi to join him in the Ready Room, “Come!”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “Alright, what seems to be the situation?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey:Pinches the bridge of his nose as he prepares to deliver the news “The good news is, I have confirmed both Commander Stern, and Lt.Cmdr Vera have contracted Pon Farr.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Appears a bit stunned at the news as he takes a seat on the sofa “And…that’s the good news?” he blurted out.

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Scans indicate that V’era has had it for some time, her internal chemical imbalance is so severe I won’t risk waking her up at this point in time, it’s a task in itself to keep her stable as is.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “I thought Vera’s Romulan Half prevented her from having Pon Farr?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “That’s a general theory, but Romulan/Vulcan Hybrids are still a rare breed. I checked her medical records, and she has never had a recorded case of this, however, track back 7 years, and that puts her a Senior in the Academy. She grew up with a Romulan Lifestyle, so chances are she had an amazing weekend with a boyfriend and was none the wiser.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : attempting to shake off the thought “What about Commander Stern?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Oh her scans indicate she just stared it, however due to the security risk she poses, I don’t want to wake her up just yet either.” The Klingon spoke as he utilized the Captains Replicator to make himself a cup of Raktajino.

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “Security Risk how?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: He blew on his drink for a moment, taking a deep sip before responding “Pon Farr can be transmitted Telepathically. Thankfully, Vulcans or half-breeds are tactile telepaths, meaning they have to touch you to transfer it, which could have been the case for Stern seeing how close they were found next to one another. Stern however is a Betazoid, full-blown long-range telepath. As fun and intriguing as it would be to test that theory, I don’t want to fill out a report to the new fleet, explaining why the ship burst into a 300+ Crewman Orgy.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “Ok, so what are our options? We can’t keep them in a coma forever.”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “That’s where this gets tricky. See, Vulcans usually either just -handle it- with an established mate, or there are meditation practices, or even Holo-programs for this very thing. Problem is, Vera never grew up embracing her Vulcan side, therefor she lacks the discipline. Plus, she’s already tried a holo-program…had Mark-0 pull security logs.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Cringes for a moment having to think of his coworker and friend…in that situation “And, that didn’t fix her problem?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Apparently not. Look, Vulcans are super tight lipped over this, so even now we still only know a faction of what this entails, but I have a theory it has to do with both a physical, and spiritual connection. Vulcans who undergo this either already have a mate, or choose/dominate a mate of their choosing. Its not just bang the first person they see, there is a selection process. And they can be so fixated on that one person they will literally fight to the death over it. Vera…well, lets just say that’s a moot point now.” He hastily drinks his coffee as to try and ease some of the tension of the next set of questions

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “What do you mean?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Look…I’m pretty sure I can fix this whole thing, we just need Commander Barron back on the ship, like…now!”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Trying not to take offence to the Doctor’s remark “Look, whatever it is, I assure you I can handle it.”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: “Oh, no no no! You misunderstand. See, Stern already has a chosen mate…her Imzadi. I know they haven’t ‘been physical’ with each other since they took command of the ship, but those two share a deep bond, and I’m 99.7% positive if I wake her up, HE’s the one she’s going to go after.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : He relaxes some realizing the Doctor’s intent now“Oh, so the Captain just needs to…help cure the Commander.” He paused for a moment, reflecting on everything before realizing a gaping hole in the doctor’s report “Wait, but how does that help Vera?”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: His face winces some, as he was hoping to avoid this question. “Well, you see…when Vera transferred the Pon Farr to Stern, I think Stern also transferred her…affection for the Captain to V’era. Because she’s also moaning in her sleep for ‘imzadi’.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : If it wasn’t for the seriousness of the situation, this would have been hilarious, but Pi was well aware that this was a life-threatening circumstance, especially for Vera. “So, the Captain needs to…”

[CMDR] Roptojmey: Horrified at the suggestion, he threw up his free hand to stop the second officer “Oh gods no! No, my intent is to ‘cure’ Stern, and see if she can perform another mind meld to -share- the experience with Vera. Between that ‘spiritual’ connection, and a hypo injection simulating natural hormones increase from the ‘physical’ act, I’m hoping to trick her out of it. And if that doesn’t work, well we will have a moral tight-rope to walk.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Agreeing with the doctors evaluation and course of action, Pi knew he had to get Barron back to the ship, but with the Ion Storm blocking most forms of communication, there was only one method he knew to try and reach them. Tapping his comm-badge, Pi hailed the bridge “Pi to The Bridge, Begin a signal pulse of our communications beacon to the Away Team, resonate the signal off the old Morris Code for S.O.S. If they are paying attention, it might give them cause to return to the ship.” he hoped…

Hromi Cluster Ion Storm; Shuttlecraft USS Stockholm

Brannigan and Barron sat at the controls of the Shuttlecraft in silence. Zach manning the flight controls, while Commander Barron monitored the sensor readings keeping them on course. The pair had managed to hop into a pocket of positively charged gas and ride it almost exclusively into the heart of the Ion Storm with little disruption.

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:Growing uncomfortable with the silence “Is…everything alright sir?”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: Vaguely paying attention to the Pilots context “There appears to be a negatively charged cloud off the Starboard Bow, but we should miss it.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:
“No sir, I mean, are you alright? You seem unusually quiet.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron:
“OH! Shit, sorry. I’m just worried about Jessie and Vera.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:
“Yea, V’s been acting pretty out of it lately. Did she really threaten to airlock one of her subordinates?!”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: gives a small smirk “According to the complaint, yes. Stern went to talk with her to try and figure out what was going on. That’s when Mark-0 found them unconscious.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan:
“Well, they’re in good han…” there was a bleep on the terminal which struck his attention “Sir, the signal from the Sun-Tzu is blipping in and out, it may be interreference from the Storm the deeper we go in.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “That was to be expected. Signal strength from the anomaly has doubled in intensity, so I don’t think were too far off now.” Barrons console began to beep as well as he reviewed the sensor readings “Looks like our smooth ride is about over, I’m detecting three large negative ion clouds heading on an intersect course to this one, it’s about to turn into one hell of a light show.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: “I’m showing a large enough void, Heading 328 Mark 27. We can try and punch our way out to that, but we will need to locate another cation cloud, because our shield charge will attract the negative anion’s to us.”

The Two worked in silence as the Shuttle’s impulse engines fired, zooming out of the ionized cloud, leaving a trail of positively charged particles behind them. Barron watched on his sonar screen as the three negatively charged clouds collided with the one they just left. The shuttle rocked some as the electrical shockwaves burst behind them, and a stray bolt of electricity arced from the ion storm up through their trail, striking the shuttle.

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: Struggles to stay in his seat from the turbulence “Port Nacelle has been hit! Aft Shields down to 30%” he reported

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: “We have bigger problems, large concentration of anion clouds dead ahead, Port, and Starboard side; and they are converging on our position.”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: “We can drop the shields! That would clear us of our positive charge and let us pass through, but our hull will be ionized at that point. Any other hit we take could be catastrophic.”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: He reviewed his screen again, noting the proximity alarm from the ion clouds“Do it, and Push through, looks like another void beyond this cloud.”

The Shuttle’s shields dropped as they entered the Negatively Charged Ion Cloud at full speed. However, another bolt of electricity struck the main hull, rocking the occupants inside and shortening their consoles. The shuttle spirled out of control as it managed to clear the cloud in time, and somehow came to a complete stop on the void on the other side.

Inside the shuttle, Barron and Brannigan clambered back to their feet, being tossed from their seats in the collision. Brannigan checked his terminal, which was blank.

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: “Controls offline sir.”

There was a moment as Barron too got up to check his terminal, when the power flickered back on, and a voice spoke up behind them.

Unknown: “Terribly sorry, that was my fault, should be back to normal now.”

Both Officers whirled around to face whoever was speaking, finding a woman in a black outfit standing at one of the terminals near the rear of the shuttlecraft. Zach quickly withdrew his phaser, but Barron held his hand out to halt his Tactical Officer.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: skeptically cautious“Hi.” He took a moment to recompose himself, easing Zach to calm down as well before continuing “Apologize for that, you sort of startled us. How did you get aboard?”

Unknown: The woman smiled some at his question “Better question would be, what are you two doing deep in the heart of a level 10 Ion Storm?”

[LCDR] Zach Brannigan: “Our sensors showed it as a Level 9…” he remarked a bit snarky, still holding his phaser firm in his grip.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: Barron shook his head to Zach to drop it“Well, we had detected a signal coming from the storm, and weren’t sure if it was a distress call or not, so we were coming to investagate.”

Unknown: The woman looked a bit perplexed at him “A Signal?” she looked down at the console for a moment and realized what they were tracking, a look of annoyance and grimace flashed across her face as she snapped her fingers. “How embarrassing, I am so sorry…talk about leaving the emergency break on. Didn’t realize you would have been able to pick up on that. Sorry for the false alarm!” she said, resuming her pleasant smile at the two.

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: Confused, Barron reached over to the console nearest him and checked his readings. The signal they had been tracking this whole time was now gone“How did you???”

Unknown: “Look, it was very brave of you to come all the way out here to check on us…A bit reckless, but noble. However, you really need to get back to your ship. Lets just forget this thing ever happened, shall we?”

Before Maikull or Zach could respond, the woman snapped her fingers, and bright flashes of light filled the compartment of the shuttlecraft, causing both officers to shield their eyes.

USS Sun-Tzu, Bridge

[ENS] Tyisha Dauenhauer: “I’m sorry sir, it’s just…gone.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “How the hell does an Ion storm just dissipate like that? What about the Shuttlecraft? Are you still picking up their signal?”

[ENS] Tyisha Dauenhauer: “I’m not picking up any…Wait. I do have the Stockholm sir, but…These readings indicate, its back in the shuttle bay?”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : Looking extremely confused“What?” He looked up on the view screen showing both The Stockholm and the other Type 8 Shuttlecraft sitting in the Shuttle bay, as if it never left. Hesitantly, he reached to his comm badge “Pi to Barron, Do you read me sir?”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: over the intercom “Loud and Clear Pi, Were fine, and…no. I don’t know what’s going on either.”

[LCDR] 3 of 14 (Pi) : “Well, glad to have you back sir, we kind of have a situation we need you for specifically, Can you meet us in Sick-bay?”

[CMDR] Maikull Barron: over the intercom “Yea, Ill be on my way, Barron out.”

Several Hours Later

Captains Log – Supplemental

I have tried…several times to make sense of what transpired today, and I have no idea how I’m going to report this to command. The Ion Storm has completely dissipated as if it was never there. The Sensor Logs of the Shuttlecraft we were in have been wiped, presumably by the mysterious occupant me and Zach encountered. As to the Identity of said person, accusations of “The Q” or possibly “Organian” have been thrown around however, there is no evidence to support either of these claims.

In the case of V’era and Jessie, both have made a full recovery. Cant say I wasn’t a bit blindsided by Roptojmey’s recommended course of treatment, but truth of the matter is Jessie and I have been holding back our feelings for far too long. Thankfully the Mind-Meld worked and it was able to wake V’era from her fever dream. We are wrapping up operations here in the Hromi Cluster, and will be heading for Ayala System next. There should be plenty of time between then and now for us to…come to terms with what has come to pass.

As, frustrating as the past few hours have been, I have to thankful at least the ship and crew are all healthy and in one piece…Any mission you can walk away from huh?
End Log.

OOC Special thanks to @Moose or Co-Starring as my “Mysterious Stranger” aboard the Shuttle! I tried to change up the format a bit, and -tried- to shorten the post so it wasn’t so bulky while still getting the gist of the planned plot across. (Thanks to @Veneela for the feedback) I appologise for the semi-abrupt ending, but if I didn’t stop myself, I probably would have kept going. I think going forward, if I keep doing these, Ill just post the segments one at a time, instead of trying to do the whole ‘episode’, so its a lot easier for you the reader, and less of a stress induced ‘rush’ for me to finish. Going to take a break for a little bit, may post a small short (Hoping for more of a Video Presentation, or Comic Style, will see) And then go onto Episode 4, GM/Directed by @Sam! So stay tuned, thank you for reading and as always critiques or questions are welcome!