'Life After Death' - Written by Gretchen on Request

One fateful day, I posed a scenario for Gretchen to write involving one of my characters and her subset of NPC support characters (and peripherally one of Razor's characters)..

After many edits, reads, rereads, snerking and wet noodle wars, G has finally churned out this beauty on my behalf. He writes my characters fully with my permission, but the gorgeous writing is all his, baby.

And now, may I present:

'Life After Death'.

Also known as
Spoiler: This is actually a spoiler, k.Show
The Story of how Nethali got Totally Screwed by Bio-Neural Circuitry

“Dropping warp” announced the Armitage's conn officer.

“Shields up” ordered Ra'jiradh. “Open hailing frequencies.” The crew responded promptly; nobody was surprised to hear these orders, and neither was anyone startled by the scene that greeted them upon their arrival. A Luna class science vessel, alone and helpless, was under attack by a Klingon Puyjaq raptor.

“Neither ship responding, sir” reported the communications officer. Ra'jiradh leaned forward in his seat. It was understandable that the Klingons wouldn't respond, but that the science vessel was silent meant that either their communications array had been destroyed or the bridge crew was already disabled. Either way, the Armitage was now entering the battle blind. Ra'jiradh did not like it, but there was little he could do except proceed.

“Scramble fighters,” he ordered, “and fire all forward batteries at the raptor.”


When responding to a distress call, it was standard procedure for all peregrine crew to assemble on the flight deck during warp. When a telltale jolt indicated the Armitage had dropped to sublight speeds, everyone climbed into their fighters without anyone telling them to. By this point in everyone's careers, the situation had become routine.

Sharnec climbed into the cramped, two-person cockpit of the Breshtanti, one of the Armitage's peregrine complement. Settling into his usual seat, the Bajoran co-pilot began the pre-launch system checks.

“Sure you can fly?” Sharnec asked, his voice all music and not an ounce of concern, when the Breshtanti's pilot clambered aboard.

“Woke up an hour ago,” Nethali replied, falling into her chair, “too early to get rightfully drunk.”

“I know,” repeated Sharnec, “sure you can fly?” Nethali flipped him a vulgar human hand-signal and activated the engines.


The flight-deck commander's voice sounded bland over the comm.“Breshtanti, you are clear to launch.” Sharnec braced himself on the edge of his console as the Breshtanti's impulse engines lit up like angry, red monster eyes.

The entire hull shuddered as Nethali took the Breshtanti roaring across the flight deck and into space. The inertial dampeners kicked in as quickly as they could, but not before a brief moment where Sharnec was nearly torn from his seat by the G-force of their takeoff.

“I wish you'd drink more,” said Sharnec once the feeling of pressure relented. Then he got back to work, bringing up the tactical readout and status displays for the other two peregrines in their wing, both of which launched after the Breshtanti.

The order to attack came.

“Crimson Wing,” barked Nethali, “form up and engage.”

“Aye, Crimson Leader,” came Crimson Two's reply over the comms. Crimson Three gave no verbal response, but both other peregrines followed the Breshtanti's lead into the fight. Sharnec turned his attention to assessing the Puyjaq's attack patterns and the Luna's situation.

“Looks like standard armaments;” said Sharnec, “fore cannons and torpedoes. I'm seeing a lot of turret fire, too. Looks like the whole ship is focused on forward attack.”

“Crimson Wing,” said Nethali, “attack pattern kappa and watch out for turret fire.” With that, she pulled the Breshtanti into position for an attack run against the Puyjaq's aft section. Wordlessly, the rest of Crimson Wing following suit.


They came in hard for the attack. As the three peregrines straightened out, the enemy vessel began to pour out mines.

“The Hell, Sharnec?” Nethali yelled inside the cockpit, then ordered “Maintain attack vectors” across the comms. The first mine detected the Breshtanti and engaged its thrusters, but Nethali was already maneuvering to engage it. A quick blast of cannon fire detonated the mine early and, as the Breshtanti cruised past the shockwave, Nethali was already targeting and destroying the remaining mines.

Following behind, Crimson Two and Three ignored the mines in favor of tearing into the Puyjaq's rear shields with cannon fire. The Puyjaq returned fire with its rear turrets as expected, but what few blasts managed to connect merely splashed across the peregrines' shields.

Silver Wing followed Crimson Wing's example, and soon Sharnec was able to detect a minor hull breach in the Puyjaq after its shields gave out. Nethali directed Crimson wing on another attack run even as the Armitage itself began to launch a spread of capitol torpedoes.

“Tachyon signature.” chirped Sharnec, his voice falsely chipper.

“Balls,” yelled Nethali, “Break and evade. Crimson Wing, break and evade!”

Sharnec tapped in a quick sequence of commands on his terminal, his cheerful demeanor yet to slip as he called out the results. “Birds of Prey... two of them at--”

Cannon fire tore into Crimson Two, easily overwhelming the small fighter's shields and melting its hull. The damaged fighter spun and leaked radiation for two seconds, then exploded.

“--42 mark 8 and 12 mark 9” finished Sharnec.

“Attack pattern omega” barked Nethali. Crimson Three and the Breshtanti danced away from the recently-uncloaked Bird of Prey and its withering barrage.

The second Bird of Prey made a similar attack against Silver Wing with similar results until the Armitage redirected fire against that Bird and forced it to into evasive action. The ship that had killed half of her wingmen, however, was Nethali's to contend with.


Nethali brought the Breshtanti into a tight turn that sent Sharnec's innards tying themselves into knots. The turn brought them dangerously close to the Bird of Prey, and then they were buzzing the Klingon ship's forward sensors. The trick worked, and the Bird wheeled to fire at them. It only worked for a moment, however; Nethali was too quick and the Breshtanti was too nimble. Agile as the Bird was, the Klingons could not keep the peregrine in their firing arc. Then Crimson Three passed in that very arc, and the Klingons opted for the easier target.

No sooner had the Bird turned its attention away than Nethali pulled the Breshtanti around for an attack run against it.

“Weapons full,” she ordered and opened fire on the Bird as Sharnec routed their auxiliary power into the cannons. The Bird's shields faltered, and the Breshtanti zoomed across the larger ship's fore-section. The Klingons obligingly changed targets again.

The Breshtanti danced around the Bird's shots, her RCS system straining as Nethali manipulated the Breshtanti this way and that in an erratic spiral. All the same, two disruptor bolts had the Breshtanti shuddering as they broke her shields. Then they were out of the Bird's firing arc once more. Nethali pulled around for another attack run.

The Bird of Prey turned and disappeared.

Nethali adjusted the Breshtanti's facing slightly with one hand; her other hand keyed in a certain code.

“Warning,” announced the Breshtanti's computer, “torpedo guidance disabled.” Nethali fired. The torpedo flew straight forward, unerring. Nethali fired her cannons along the trajectory. The phaser bolts disappeared before traveling far, and while the Bird's cloak held, it was clear that Nethali had found their position. The Breshtanti's torpedo disappeared where the bolts had vanished, and where it disappeared, there materialized the shattering remains of the Bird of Prey, which had proven unable to withstand a direct hit from a quantum torpedo.

“PetaQ” growled Nethali at the exploding wreckage, leaning forward in her seat as if to lunge at her opponent. Then she slumped back into the chair. “Return to hangar” she ordered across the comm, and both remaining peregrines in Crimson Wing made for the Armitage. Sharnec kept an eye on his display, alert in case the second Bird should uncloak on them, but Nethali watched the screen dedicated to the status of her wingmen instead. Crimson 3 showed no damage and shields at 40%, but the display for Crimson 2 was blacked out.

“Warning,” interrupted the computer, “torpedo lock detected.

“Shitfuckwhat?” demanded Nethali as she jolted to alertness and punched in an evasion course. The torpedo followed them, though, and struck the engines. With little shields left, the detonation tore into the Breshtanti's engines. They ruptured. The Breshtanti spun, and both Nethali and Sharnec were treated to a view of the defeated Bird of Prey's fore section spewing forth what must have been every torpedo in their magazine before finally exploding.

Then Nethali's console erupted in a fountain of sparks.

“Armitage,” shouted Sharnec, “two to beam aboard!”
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“Neural stimulator” intoned Doctor Odul, holding a hand out for the requested implement. Nurse Mills duly handed him the device, and the Saurian doctor proceeded to attempt the resuscitation of his patient. The latte-skinned brunette didn't move. Odul licked his eyes and watched the biobed's monitor.

There was a blip on the activity meter, then another, and then another. They were scattered, at first, but grew in intensity and regularity. Her heart started pumping. She started breathing. When the woman's reactivated brain attained the behavioral attitude of a junkie on amphetamines, Odul turned off the stimulator. The activity continued while he watched. When he was satisfied that Ms. Latte was officially alive, Dr. Odul gave her a dose of melorazine and left to let her confused neurons sort themselves out.

When Odul returned, the biobed showed Latte's neural activity as normal. He brought up the bed's automated physical examination for display. She was bruised and burned, but nothing that wouldn't heal quickly enough; the worst damage had been to her brain. She did have a large fracture on her right temple, though. He picked up a tricorder and used the medical probe to scan that side of her head.

As he feared, there was internal damage—mostly to her vestibular system—underneath the fracture. Odul sighed, but took a closer examination. On second thought, it didn't look like anything a regenerator probe wouldn't fix. Nurse Mills brought over the probe, and Odul set it in place, making sure the adhesive feet were nice and secure. With a deft touch, the device was activated and began its work.

“Done” he announced.


When Nethali awoke, there was a medical device sticking out of her head. She tried to look at it, but it was outside her peripheral vision. She turned her head, as if that would somehow help, but she still couldn't see it.

“Nurse!” she yelled, and one trotted briskly over to be asked “What the hell did you stick me with?”

The nurse smiled. “Just a regenerator probe to repair the damage.” Nethali grunted and tried to sit up. Nausea and vertigo overtook her, and she lay back down hard. “Don't try to get up just yet” said the nurse, “your body will need time to recover. Nethali growled with frustration, and the nurse took that as a sign that she needed more melorazine.

The next time Nethali woke, there was a Saurian standing over her bed.

“Who are you?” she managed.

“Doctor Odul” said the Saurian. “How do you feel?”

“Fine” said Nethali immediately.

“Good” said Odul, and with a quick motion he plucked the device from her head. “Then you're free to go.”

Nethali sat up and began to swing her legs over the side of the bed, but the vertigo came again. She wobbled and lay down hard. Then she tried to get up again, and this time she collapsed on the floor for her trouble.

“Nurse!” yelled the Saurian, summoning the nurse at a trot just as Nethali had. Together, the doctor and the nurse hoisted Nethali back into the biobed.

“What happened?” asked the nurse.

The Saurian shook his head. “I don't know. Hand me that tricorder.” Nethali was vaguely aware of the nurse handing the doctor a tricorder and him scanning her ear with it. The doctor clucked. “There's some damage, no, a growth. It's blocking off the pathways between...” the doctor trailed off, then uttered one of the harsher Saurian expletives. “It was the regenerator” he said, then swore again and ordered the nurse to sedate Nethali again.


The gentle babble of distant voices caressed Nethali back to consciousness when she returned again.

“I know exactly what I did.” That was the Saurian doctor. He sounded upset, really quite upset. The nurse did her best to comfort him in a soft voice. It was comfort that Nethali wasn't sure she thought the Saurian deserved.

“Nurse!” bellowed Nethali again, more to deprive the doctor than anything else, but when the nurse arrived at her bed, Nethali found she didn't like look that was given her—a look of sympathy, tenderness, and pity.
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