ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock" - COMPLETE

A place to post ideas, casting, ships, images, and stories for the ST: CITADEL shared-universe.

Moderator: Michael

Forum rules
For discussion of ideas, casting, ships, images, and stories of the ST: CITADEL shared-universe. Please observe all requests by thread originators concerning the level of feedback/critique they seek. (11/15/16 - I have received a request to lock this subforum. If there is a desire to unlock it again, please contact me by PM. Thanks. - Michael)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:00 pm

That's never good...
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:56 pm

Here's the latest, courtesy of Cap...

Tarahni Nayce sat beneath a control panel in the Espero’s engineering section, replacing a bio-neuro gelpack.
With the ship’s refit at Starbase 128 and their recent skirmish with the Tzenkethi, the ship’s systems needed a bit of TLC to bring them back to her exacting standards. They had landed the little Defiant-class ship at an airfield near Citadel, and the Haliian woman welcomed the chance to fine-tune the ship’s systems under natural gravity.

“Hey, Skipper,” the master chief petty officer said with a sudden ping to her telepathic senses as she climbed out from underneath the panel,” what brings you down to my neck of the woods?”

Ikar smiled at her, bending down to look at her. “The Espero, looking her over, I am.”

Tarahni nodded, leaning up against a nearby bulkhead. “I heard about that big boulder that the Tzenkethi aimed at us.”

“Know this, how, do you?”

Nayce turned to pick up her tools, now that her task was finished. “Oh, Commander Gazhk on the Ernst Ruska is a friend of mine. He asked me to weigh in on the rock problem.”

“Good to hear this, I am,” the Horrusi said, nodding her understanding. She wasn’t sure what to say next. Usually she would go to Andrew with her thoughts and her concerns. However, his family was here now and she didn’t want to pull him away from them just yet.

“Andrew still with the wife and kiddies?”

“At the spaceport, greeted them, we did. Good to see them, it was.” the green-skinned alien reached down to hand the engineer a sonic wrench that she had missed in her cleanup.

“And I’m guessing that you’re down here because you miss your best friend.”

“Like that, something, it is.”

“Wouldn’t you rather talk to M’Reeta?”

“Studying the asteroid, she is.”

Tarahni smiled at her, lifting herself up to her feet after closing her toolkit. “I guess it was bound to happen, Skipper. You need to find yourself some new friends. Maybe find yourself a nice gentleman to spend some time with.”

“Far from Horrus, I am, Tarahni. ‘A nice gentleman,’ hard to find, they are, for me.”

The chief engineer sighed and asked with a giggle, “Ain’t that the truth?”

Ikar smiled as she crossed her arms over her chest. “For coming down here, a reason, I had. Go, you will, to the Kumari. On this asteroid problem, continue to consult, you will. Recall orders, to all Starfleet and Intaran Military have they gone. Needed, as many minds working, they are.”

“Anything I can do to help, Skipper. Officers don’t have all the answers… ma’am.”

Before she could offer a witty comeback to the Haliian’s remarks, the voice of the ship’s tactical officer, who was serving a watch in charge of the skeleton crew that remained aboard while the rest were on shore leave, came over her combadge. “Anax to Captain Ikar.”

“Ikar, this is.”

“Ma’am, the port gangway just reported that Captain Yineth has come aboard.”

“For his visit, any idea, have you, Senior Chief?”

“No, ma’am,” he reported.

Ikar nodded. “To my ready room, direct the captain, if you would, please.”

“Aye, ma’am. Anax out.”

“I wonder what he wants,” Nayce said, speaking the very thought that was on the skipper’s mind.

“Like most captains, know this, I do… nothing good…”



Ikar certainly likes to keep her ready room simply decorated, the Ernst Ruska’s Bajoran captain told himself when he looked around his junior counterpart’s private sanctuary. As soon as he came aboard the little ship and asked to speak with Lieutenant Commander Ikar, a tall, multi-limbed Edoan had escorted him here.

He looked down at the PADD in his hand while he sat in one of the chairs in front of Ikar’s desk. The plan that he had formulating on his personal access data device was something that he had been planning since arriving in Intaran space, but before he brought it before Starfleet Command and the Intaran government, he wanted someone to bounce his ideas off of. Knowing that the Horrusi were universally known for their wisdom and their ability at diplomacy, Yineth had decided that consulting with Ikar was a good decision.

“Unexpected, this is, sir.”

Yineth turned around and stood up from his seat as the doors closed behind the Horrusi. “I’m sorry to pop in like this, Commander,” he said with a smile. “I was hoping that you might have some time for a chat.”

Su casa, es su casa, Captain.”

“I’m sorry?”

“An Earth saying, it is. My first officer, a fan of it, he is.”

“Ah… I see.”

“Get you something, may I, sir?” Ikar asked as she walked over to the replicator. With a simple command, a glass of water appeared before her.

“No, nothing, thank you,” Yineth said, returning to his seat. “If I drink any more raktajino, my chief medical officer might try to relieve me of duty.”

“Many doctors, this threat made, they have.”

“Actually,” he continued,” I came for some advice.”

“Advice? From me? My time, yours, it is, sir,” Ikar said, moving over to her chair and sitting down, her eyes looking across her desk at him. “Help you, if I can, I will.”

“Well, I have an idea that concerns the current situation with the Tzenkethi.”

“To war, the Federation and the Ernst Ruska, take us, you would? A sad state of affairs, such a plan, it would be.”

“Nothing like that,” Yineth quickly countered, missing the Horrusi’s attempt at humor. “It’s something that might resemble cowboy diplomacy.”

“Hmm… your record, studied it, I have,” the Horrusi said, tapping one of the PADDs on her desktop. “Required, I felt it was, when arrived here, you did. A fighter, you are, not a diplomat. Yet, diplomacy, you recommend. Why?”

“Maybe I’m starting to mellow out in my middle years?” the captain quipped, belatedly recognizing her joke. He picked up the PADD from his lap and handed it to her. “Would you look over this, please? I’ve jotted down a few ideas.”

Ikar took the proffered PADD and took a few moments to read through its contents. The plan, that he had yet to propose to Starfleet Command, definitely had merit. While his Starfleet and Bajoran Militia records didn’t show much experience in the area of diplomacy, she believed that the different path he was considering could find a non-violent way to end the Intarans’ and the Federation’s hostilities with the Tzenkethi.

“Admirable, this is,” she noted, returning his PADD. “With your record, unexpected, this is. Carry it out, how will you, if approved?”

“Well,” Yineth said after retrieving his PADD,” I’m going to suggest to Starfleet that they send another ship to temporarily relieve the Ruska, since I don’t want to weaken the defense of Intar. Ideally, I’d like to have a second ship with us, but with the current shortages, I’d be lucky if I could get a ship to relieve us, much less a second ship as backup.”

“Hmmm…” Commander Ikar rubbed her chin in deep thought. “Alone on such a mission, the Ruska should not be. Another ship, help you, it might. Another thought, have this too, I do.”

“I would love to hear what you have to say, Commander.”



The physical energy in the Kumari’s engine room was tense. Gathered together around the situation table were the chief engineers of the Ernst Ruska, Blount Island, Espero, Hammersley, and Kumari, as well as a number of civilian engineers. The first officer of the Sovereign-class starship was also in attendance. The only person missing from the meeting was the chief engineer of the Edward O’Hare, since the Constitution-class cruiser was on assignment, escorting more civilian ships to Intar.

“As all of you can see, we have a difficult task before us,” Commander Senek said with his hands folded behind his back.

“I’ve looked over Lieutenant M’Reeta’s analysis, over on the Espero, on the asteroid’s rate of progress towards Intar,” Tarahni Nayce said, standing on the opposite side of the table, next to Lieutenant Nancy Lebeau, the Kumari’s Cajun chief engineer. The Haliian woman was one of two enlisted people there (not counting the civilians), but she didn’t feel like rank was an issue. They were all engineers, after all.

“Even if we were able to combine the tractor beams from all of our ships, I don’t think that we could push that rock around much. We could try to reduce it’s mass by—”

“Couldn’t we try to push it into a stable orbit?,” the Ernst Ruska’s chief engineer, Commander Datho gher Gazhk, asked, interrupting her. The Tellarite’s face had a permanent scowl, and as his dark eyes moved over the display on the table, he wished that they could have met aboard the Ruska, instead of the Kumari. He felt uncomfortable anywhere but the ship that he had helped build with his own two hands.

“According to our sensor scans, Commander Gazhk, that would not be a viable option,” Senek said from beside him. “The combined power of our ships is insufficient to slow the asteroid sufficiently to place it into a stable orbit.”

“Then blast it.”

“There’s also a shortage of quantum torpedoes among our ships,” Lebeau piped in, looking over at Lieutenant Aerru, her Bolian counterpart from the Blount Island who shared her grim view of the situation.

“Our industrial replicators are already working at capacity, trying to fabricate parts for Gwalior and for the torpedoes, sirs. Commander M’Rowri has a team on the Blount Island putting torpedoes together, but I’m afraid that we won’t have enough time to finish them.”

“Time is an asset that we do not have enough of, ladies and gentlemen.”

“What about using a shuttlecraft?” Nayce suggested.

“A shuttlecraft?”

She looked over at the Hammersley’s engineer, who had asked the question. “Yeah, we get a shuttle; rig it up with explosives. Then Espero or Hammersley can tow it into position.”

“Then remote-pilot it into the rock.”

“An interesting solution. However, will it work?,” asked Senek with a raised eyebrow.

“All I can suggest, Nayce answered, “is try it and see.”

Gazhk glared at her. “A great philosopher told me once, ‘There is no try. There is only do’.”


More to come.
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby captainuniverse » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:03 pm

I can't wait to see what happens next. However, for the moment, I think I should go to Yellow Alert and prepare to launch fighters. \Y/
"All of Time and Space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"

"Geronimo!"

Thanks to FltCpt. Bossco for my Tattok avatar. This is Tattok when he assumed the position of Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet in the year 2411.
User avatar
captainuniverse
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 7281
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Washington State

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Sun Nov 27, 2011 3:10 pm

You kind've wrote me into a corner, so this is a very short part:

When they ran the plan past M’Rowri, he was less than impressed.

“And what kind of explosives do you think will do anything to that rock?” he asked. “There aren’t enough conventional explosives on the planet to even nudge the thing, the Intarans expended their entire nuclear stockpile fighting off the Tzenkethi, and it would laugh at the amount of antimatter we could pack into even a cargo shuttle. If it weren’t moving so fast or was composed of something less dense, we could probably nudge it off course with a dozen photon torpedoes.”

“So we’re back to square one,” Nayce said, dejectedly.

“We’re before square one. Every moment increases the delta V we need to achieve.”

“What if we speed it up?”

“What do you mean?” the Caitian asked, handing the PADD back to the Haliian.

“Hit it at warp. The subspace distortion coupled with the impact might be enough to alter the asteroid’s trajectory.”

M’Rowri picked up his hard hat, but then stopped to consider the idea.

“Let’s run the numbers.”

Two minutes later, they knew it was too late.


More to come.
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby captainuniverse » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:49 pm

Looks great and I'm sorry that I wrote you into a corner.
"All of Time and Space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"

"Geronimo!"

Thanks to FltCpt. Bossco for my Tattok avatar. This is Tattok when he assumed the position of Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet in the year 2411.
User avatar
captainuniverse
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 7281
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Washington State

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:53 pm

No worries. I'll handle the A plot (the asteroid), while you take care of the B plot (everything else, but especially Mundi).

We'll need to coordinate a bit when they come together, of course.
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby captainuniverse » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:58 pm

That sounds like a plan, John. And I'll definitely send my part to you before there's any posting. Let's hope that this collaboration continues on smoothly. \Y/
"All of Time and Space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"

"Geronimo!"

Thanks to FltCpt. Bossco for my Tattok avatar. This is Tattok when he assumed the position of Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet in the year 2411.
User avatar
captainuniverse
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 7281
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Washington State

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:07 pm

Here's Cap's newest additions:

It was a warm, bright morning in the city of Citadel.

High above, Lieutenant Commander Ikar sat on the roof of the Kalmiko Tower, one of the Intaran city’s tallest buildings, in a state of deep meditation. The Horrusi Starfleet officer had chosen this spot for her early morning meditation period after she had been offered the use of a condominium in the Tower by a member of the building’s owners. Personally, she would have been happy staying in her quarters aboard the Espero. The developer, however, had been insistent. Ikar suspected that it was good business to have ‘aliens living among us’.

“You look peaceful,” a deep voice said from behind her.

“Peace, easy to find, always, it isn’t,” Ikar said with her eyes closed. The still rising sun was too bright for her corneas this early in the morning.

Andrew Mundi walked over from the lift bank. He wore his Starfleet uniform, the jacket draped over his left arm. “Wow, this is some view. Definitely something you don’t see on the ship.”

“Truly, it is not,” the commander said, with a contented smile. She opened her eyes slowly, raising a hand to shield them from the sun. Sunglasses, replicate a pair, I should. This star, blinding, it is.

The green-skinned woman turned around to face her First Officer. “With your family,” she continued,” having a good time, you are, on this visit?” Silhouetted in the sunlight, she resembled some kind of alien deity.

“Yes, and thank you for the time off, Skipper,” Mundi answered. “I really appreciate spending time with my girls.”

“Missed them, have you?”

Mundi nodded. “It’s almost like falling in love with Kara, all over again. We…”

“Enough time together on Starbase 128, there wasn’t?”

“Well, it was a space station,” the lieutenant said, a sad frown on his face. “It seemed like we were always fighting, and I was always running away to escape the arguments. But here, on Intar…”

“A paradise, perhaps? Peace, found it here, have you?,” Ikar asked him, gently folding her meditation mat. It was blue and green, with letters of the Horrusi alphabet etched across it, in red. It had been a parting gift from her mother, a High Priestess of the Order of Ihriah, when she left Horrus to join the enlisted ranks of Starfleet. It was the last memory that she had of Bezda, since she died of natural causes soon afterward.

“I wouldn’t call it a paradise,” Andrew said with a smile, “but it has a feeling we haven’t felt for… years. Kara feels like we have a second chance for our marriage here. In fact, we’ve been hearing rumors about dependents being allowed to live here. If it’s true, we might just settle down.”

“Interesting…”

“Why’s that?”

Ikar finished folding up her meditation mat and picked up her uniform jacket from where it had been lying beside her. “Unsure, I am, about living quarters for our dependants,” the Espero’s commander told him. “Talk to Commander Wilcox, you should. Or the base housing officer. Help you, maybe, they can.”

The lieutenant nodded in agreement before the Horrusi woman’s combadge chirped for attention. The diminutive woman tapped the small communicator pinned to her black-and-grey vest. “Ikar, this is.”

“This is the Ernst Ruska, Lieutenant Breeze speaking.” The voice was that of the ship’s new Vorta communications officer, who was a ‘gift’ from the Founders to the Federation. “Captain Yineth requests the honor of your company for breakfast, ma’am, here aboard ship. Is 0:700 hours acceptable?”

“Acceptable, it is, Lieutenant. Be there soon, I will. Ikar out.” She tapped her commbadge with a tridactyl hand, deactivating it.

“What’s going on with Yineth? You guys have been as thick as thieves lately.”

“With the captain, consulting, I am. My advice, asked for it, he has.”

“We’ll, you are one of the smartest women that I know, Skipper.”



Materializing aboard the Ernst Ruska, Ikar saw Captain Yineth waiting for her, his eyes glued to a PADD as her humanoid form reached solid coherence. An Andorian-Bolian woman stood beside him, her arms crossed over her chest. She wore the rank pips of a Lieutenant on her blue collar.

“Good morning, Commander” the Bajoran said briskly, welcoming Ikar aboard as he stepped up onto the transporter platform. “This is Lieutenant Nha’trii, my ship’s counselor,” he explained, turning around to face the officer manning the transporter controls. “I’m sorry, but breakfast will have to wait.”

“Something happening, is there?”

“We have a meeting with Prime Councilor Kodo,” Counselor Nha’trii said, taking a place beside her on the transporter platform.

“Sudden, this is. Your plan, presenting it to him, you are?”

Yineth nodded. “The Prime Councilor is willing to give me ten minutes of his time.” He looked ahead at the transporter officer and said, “Energize.”

The three officers became pillars of blue energy before fading from view as the transporter whisked them to the surface.



As Aram Kodo and two bodyguards watched, the three Starfleet officers materialized on the wide veranda outside his office.

“I will never tire of that,” he remarked, a grin spreading across his chubby face. “You must be Captain Nikara.”

“Yineth, actually,” the Bajoran replied, shaking hands with the Prime Councilor. “Bajorans place the family name first.”

“My apologies, Captain. I should read my cultural briefings more thoroughly. Have you come about the plan to deflect the asteroid?”

“Unfortunately, no. The engineers still haven’t cracked that problem. There is, however, something I’d like your permission to undertake…”


More to come...
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby captainuniverse » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:59 pm

Looking good! \:/
"All of Time and Space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"

"Geronimo!"

Thanks to FltCpt. Bossco for my Tattok avatar. This is Tattok when he assumed the position of Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet in the year 2411.
User avatar
captainuniverse
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 7281
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Washington State

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:13 pm

Here's the updated cover image:

Image
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby captainuniverse » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:15 pm

:JD :JD :JD

I am absolutely gob-smacked. I don't know what to say. Seriously... :shock:
"All of Time and Space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"

"Geronimo!"

Thanks to FltCpt. Bossco for my Tattok avatar. This is Tattok when he assumed the position of Commander-in-Chief, Starfleet in the year 2411.
User avatar
captainuniverse
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 7281
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:29 pm
Location: Washington State

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock"

Postby amehatrekkie » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:46 am

i think i'm in love with that cover
Ahmie K-[ay][aka Adam Kriegel], Captain of the Department of Weird yea i'm weird
STPMA WORLDBUILDING EXPERT[ RIP MJ!!] Normal people scare meAging is inevitable, maturity is optional
https://imgur.com/a/bUvNm
User avatar
amehatrekkie
-the weird one-
-the weird one-
 
Posts: 10489
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:53 pm
Location: Earth, North American Continent, Southeast USA

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock" - COMPLETE

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:25 pm

Okay, here's the final version, including revisions and edits. Yes, there's some duplication...

(Michael, if you like, feel free to split this part off and close the original thread.)

STAR TREK
CITADEL

“Let it Rock”
By
AdmiralSirJohn (John H. Harris)
and
CaptainUniverse (Jack Elmlinger)

Base Log: 11 Chaiteen, 8125 (Stardate 55982.5), filed by General An Rentoshi, base commander.

Personal note: While it will probably take me a while to master them, these stardates are quite ingenious, really. I should read up on their history…

The base setup is progressing, and localized food distribution following the burning of selected fields is going well. The Federation is nothing, if not generous. A few of the Starfleet personnel here at Gwalior have introduced me to something called cappuccino that I find a good alternative to my morning tanzila. Nana informs me that local stores are starting to report shortages. Hopefully, the fields on Kentar will be able to make up the shortfall soon.

The starship Espero, which was damaged during what Starfleet is calling the ‘Battle of Intar’, has returned from repairs, and the starship Ernst Ruska, a sister to Captain Harris’ Marshal Martz, has also arrived. While I have not yet met her captain, I have been informed that it will, eventually, take on the duties of the Kumari, which will then be assigned to other duties. Meanwhile, I have a request to allow the crews of the Espero and Hammersley to relocate their dependents here, should they choose to. While that is a political decision, it would certainly make it easier to keep those two ships here, if not permanently, much longer than would otherwise be possible.

Hopefully, by that time, we will have rebuilt our planetary defenses to the point where we won’t need ships like that defending us.

And speaking of ships, I’ll be taking my final check ride in a Starfleet shuttlecraft today. That means I’ll be able to see our own newest, the Ayan Platex. I’m sure, had he survived the first Tzenkethi raids, it would be he making this entry, and not I.

End entry.

***


The little shuttlecraft was far out, beyond the system’s kuyper belt, where the Corps of Engineers had set up a small test range for the training of new Intaran pilots and gunners.

The seat Rentoshi occupied seemed a bit narrow, but not as bad as some he’d been in, and the controls before him had originally been daunting, but as he’d learned his way around them, he’d found that they were not so different than those on the shuttles he’d flown previously in his career.

Commander P. L. Richards, sitting in the copilot’s seat to his right, looked on approvingly as the general programmed and executed the maneuvers with near perfect precision.

“All right, General, you seem to have basic maneuvers mastered, so let’s try a landing. We’ve got some shuttlebay deck simulators off to port on sensors. See them?”

Rentoshi checked the readings on the small screen between the two stations and then looked out the window to his left. “I’ve got them… but what is that moving beyond them?”

“Looks like some sort of asteroid,” Richards answered, “but it’s not showing up on sensors.” He then reached forward and activated the shuttle’s subspace radio panel. “Gwalior, this is shuttlecraft Tanzen. We’re visually tracking an asteroid moving near the flight range, but it’s not showing up on sensors. Have you guys got anything?”

“Stand by, Tanzen. I’ll check with the ships in orbit.”

“It’s definitely big enough to do some damage if it hits something.”

“Yeah, but why wouldn’t it show on sensors, unless…”

“Unless someone didn’t want us to see it.”

Tanzen, Gwalior communications. None of the ships show anything out there except you and two other training flights.”

“I do not like where this is leading, Commander,” Rentoshi remarked, as he laid in an intercept course. “I’m taking us in closer. Maybe we can find out why it’s not showing up.”

“I’m on the sensors.”

“Whatever it is, it’s big.”

“And fast. It’s moving like the proverbial bat out of hell. I have the controls.”

Rentoshi immediately lifted his hands and watched as Richards programmed in a jump to warp that would last less than half a second.

“That’s an awfully short warp jump,” Rentoshi remarked.

“I’ve made shorter ones. Remind me to tell you about some of the flying I did back in the war. Here we go…”

It was over almost before it could register. There, before them, was a floating mountain of nickel iron. As they moved closer, a light caught Rentoshi’s attention.

“What’s that?” he asked, pointing to it.

Richards quickly had the indicated light on the screen. “Computer,” he ordered, “identify object on the screen.”

“Object is a stealth field generator, type unknown. Visual scan indicates mixed Tzenkethi/Breen design.”

“Can we deactivate it from here?” Rentoshi asked.

“A focused resonance pulse of 2.286 megawatts will neutralize the device, based on EM sensor readings.”

“Do it.”

Instantly, the shuttle emitted the ordered pulse. The light flashed several times brighter than it had before going dark.

A moment later, the subspace panel came alive.

“Gwalior to Tanzen! I don’t know what you did, but we’re reading that asteroid now. We have a fix, and we’re generating a plot, but it doesn’t look good… Holy crap…”

“What is it?” Richards asked.

“You’d better get back here, Sir. These readings indicate that it’s headed for an impact… and it’s a continent-killer.”

***

As he looked out the window, he saw a peaceful world.

Intar was much like his own homeworld, Bajor, as it was before the Occupation.

Yineth Nikara could see the scars that the Intarans had endured in fighting off Tzenkethi raids. The damage to the fields on the southern continent could be seen even from orbit.

The Ernst Ruska’s captain had been reading and re-reading the reports filed by Captains Picard, Harris, and Th’Nar. For all their apparent shortcomings, the Intarans’ resistance against the Tzenkethi reminded him of his time in the Bajoran Resistance. The Occupation had taken many lives, including those of his wife and son. To him, the Tzenkethi might be overgrown house cats, but to the Intarans, they held the promise of being evil oppressors, much as the Cardassians had been before the Federation began their administration of Deep Space Nine.

Looking down at his PADD, he thumbed through Lieutenant Commander Ikar’s report about the recent Tzenkethi incursion. This thoughts were interrupted by the door chime’s distinctive ring.

“Come in.”

The doors opened to admit his executive officer, Commander Henry Nash, who was carrying a PADD of his own. He was accompanied by Lieutenant John Colby, the Nottingham-class starship’s chief tactical officer.

“Gentlemen,” Captain Yineth said, greeting them, as he turned away from the window, “what can I do for you?” Silently, he motioned for both officers to assume the chairs in front of his desk.

“We’re still in the process of beaming down cargo and personnel for Gwalior, sir,” Colby said, who remained standing as the commander took the offered seat. The dark-skinned officer folded his hands behind him and stood at ease. As a former Federation Marine who had transferred to Starfleet Security after the war, his Corps training was still a part of him. “According to the quartermaster, the Intarans seem to have a different process of checking, re-checking, and storing all of the equipment. The local hospital is insisting that everyone be medically checked before reporting for duty.”

“I’m sure their procedures aren’t appreciably different from our own, Lieutenant. Our technology merely allows us to do them nearly instantaneously. I trust that Chief Lewis and her people are capable of working through any snafus?”

“Affirmative, sir.”

“I’m also sure that Doctor Reh’loryn will be happy to give the Intarans a hand, should they need one.” Reh’loryn was a physician from the Klingon Exchange Program whose assignment to the Ernst Ruska had been requested by Commander Worf, in his last days as the Federation’s ambassador to the Klingon Empire. Despite a few incidents when she had first come aboard, the Klingon woman was a quite capable medical professional.

“If I may, I’d like to bring up a security issue, sir,” Commander Nash said, ignoring the light banter between the security chief and the captain. Handing the Bajoran his PADD, he continued, “Lieutenant Collins has told me that we’ve been receiving a number of requests for tours of the ship from the base public affairs office since our arrival.”

“It seems that the popularity of the Marshal Martz has worn off onto us. What’s your concern, Henry?”

“I’m concerned about possible sabotage attempts, sir,” Nash said, setting his PADD down on the captain’s desk. “These are people who aren’t familiar with our level of technology, and until fairly recently, they didn’t even know there were other sentient species beyond their star system.”

“It’s almost like when the Vulcans first came to Earth, sir,” Colby piped in.

“There could also be Tzenkethi sympathizers.”

Yineth nodded at them, moving to sit down behind his desk. Picking up Nash’s PADD, he saw a list of security contingency plans on it. “Hmm…,” he murmured to himself, speed-reading the report. “I’ll bring the matter up with the general, but I think you’re wrong, Henry. We’ve been sent here to represent the United Federation of Planets and to protect the Intarans. If we instituted these ‘security procedures’ aboard the Ernst Ruska, we… I would be setting a policy that I’ve fought against all of my life. Besides, they’re not quite as primitive as your people were when Dr. Cochrane made his first flight. These people have had warp drive for nearly a decade.”

“This isn’t Earth, Captain, nor is it Bajor.”

Yineth narrowed his eyes at his first officer. Nash’s assignment as his second-in-command had been a computer-generated decision by Starfleet Command, before the Ernst Ruska had gone to the Gamma Quadrant on their last mission. The officer that he had handpicked for the XO’s position had been tapped by Starfleet Intelligence at the last moment.

“Commander, I will pretend you didn’t say that,” he said, returning to his feet.

“Sir, I—”

“Bridge to Captain Yineth.”

“Yineth here.”

“Sir, you’re needed out here.”

“Acknowledged.” Tapping his commbadge to deactivate it, Nikara walked around his desk and stopped in front of Nash, who stood up from his own chair. “Henry, we’ll discuss this later. I don’t like loose ends.”

“Aye, sir,” he said, following the Bajoran out of the ready room.



Walking out onto the bridge, Yineth could see that everyone was on edge. As Nash and Colby moved to assume their positions, he walked towards the center of the bridge and faced Lieutenant Commander Joan Kelby, his operations officer.

“Situation?”

“We’ve received a request from Gwalior Base to aim our short-range sensors at something near the flight range,” the brunette said, turning aside to look at him before returning to her panel.

“What’s so unusual about that?” Nash asked from the first officer’s chair.

“Well, what the shuttle and our sensors discovered,” Kelby said, putting the source of the emergency on the main viewer, “is something that could ruin everybody’s day.”

“By the Prophets…”

***

The Citadel Spaceport, which was in reality one of the largest of the city’s airport’s terminals, was filled with a multitude spanning much of the local galaxy, with an occasional Intaran. While a fair portion of the aliens were from Starfleet, a number of civilian ships had come seeking commerce.

With the arrival of the Federation upon their shores, business was booming, and seeing a lot of happy people brought a smile to Andrew Mundi’s face. Of course, he was happy for other reasons.

“See them, do you, Andrew?”

Standing beside him, Lieutenant Commander Ikar wore civilian clothes, like her first officer. Unlike the Hawaiian shirt and dark trousers that the younger man wore, the green-skinned Horrusi was attired in a gold blouse and dark trousers. Only the commbadges they wore identified them as Starfleet.

“No, not yet,” Mundi answered, politely waving away another food vendor. Though he accepted the choice the Intarans had made, he was starting to find their desire to ‘fatten him up a bit’ an annoyance.

“Sure, you are, on the Wozrel, they came?” Ikar asked him, her head stretching in her attempts to look over the crowds. It was an exercise in futility, as she stood only as high as her first officer’s waist.

“Kara said it was the Bolian ship.”

“Three Bolian freighters, arrived, they have.”

Mundi nodded, looking up at the large monitor that displayed arrivals and departures. Some thoughtful programmer had reconfigured it to display Federation Standard as well as the local Intaran dialect. The Wozrel was one of the ships shown to have just landed on the tarmac.

The dark-skinned man smiled when he saw which arrival gate that was being used for arriving passengers.

“C’mon!” he said to his commanding officer. Moving at a quick jog, he moved ahead of Ikar, who tried desperately to keep up with him.

“Andrew!” a happy voice called out to him.

Standing on the edge of the arrival gate, Kara Mundi and her daughters, Myra and Sarah, were waiting for him. Andrew’s smile grew wider when he saw them. He ran up to them and grabbed his wife, pulling her into a fierce hug. Their lips met as the lieutenant lowered her back to her feet.

“Oh, it’s so good to see you!” Andrew whispered into his wife’s ear.

“It’s good to see you too, honey.”

“Auntie Ikar!” the girls screamed in unison when Ikar finally caught up with her first officer. The Horrusi smiled at the girls as they ran to embrace her. She had never expected to be adopted by the Mundi family, but since she didn’t have a family of her own after leaving Horrus, they were a valuable substitute.

“To my heart, good feelings, they are, seeing you,” she said, accepting a kiss on the cheek from Myra. Both girls stood as tall as she did, turning to watch Andrew and Kara sharing several kisses between them. Her first officer’s love for his wife was a passionate one, and protecting them was the force that drove his service to Starfleet.

“Ikar, it’s good to see you,” Kara told her, once Andrew gave her a chance to come up for air.

“The flight, good, it was, hmmmmm?” The Horrusi asked, as she walked next to the Mundi family on their way through the spaceport.

“I saw a Boolian!” Sarah told her, smiling.

“Boolian?”

“It was a Bolian, silly,” Myra corrected her younger sister.

Espero to Commander Ikar,” suddenly came over the Horrusi’s communicator.

“What the--,” Mundi started to say. It was supposed to be their day off.

Ikar held up a hand and moved aside to a quiet alcove. Tapping her commbadge, she said,” Ikar, this is. Go ahead.”

“Skipper, this is Ensign Lake,” the operations officer answered her. “I’m sorry to interrupt your day off, but General Rentoshi is asking for all captains to report to him immediately.”

“I see. Transporter relays, orbited, are they?”

Ernst Ruska and Kumari[/i] are running transporter relays.”[/i]

“Onto my signal, lock on. Back to the ship, beam me.”

“Should I inform Lieutenant Mundi?”

Ikar looked at his first officer, seeing a worried expression on his face. She certainly didn’t want to interrupt his reunion with his family. She smiled, turning back to the conversation with Ensign Lake.

“Bother him, you shouldn’t, Mr. Lake. A day off, deserves it, he does.”

“Aye, ma’am. Locking on transporter.”

With a wave of her hand to Andrew, Kara, and the girls, the Horrusi commander disappeared in a wave of blue energy, just as an announcement sounded over the terminal’s public address system.

“All captains, please report to Gwalior facility immediately. All captains to Gwalior immediately.”

***

An Rentoshi looked out at the assembled aliens before him. Most were civilians, but the black, gray and red uniforms of the Starfleet commanding officers were distinctive.

“Captains,” he began, slowly pacing along the edge of the small stage, “thank you for coming. We find ourselves in need of your assistance. An asteroid is heading for this planet that will, if allowed to hit, end civilization as we know it, and likely cause a mass extinction event. Normally, we would position a nuclear or photonic charge and push the asteroid off course. Unfortunately, we do not have that option.”

One of the civilian captains signaled for recognition, standing at Rentoshi’s nod. “What about those quantum torpedoes the Defiant class ships carry? They could pulverize your average asteroid.”

“We don’t have any,” Mike McCune, the captain of the Hammersley, answered. “We used them fighting off the last mass Tzenkethi raid, and resupply is two months out.”

“In a similar situation, we are,” Ikar added. “Manufacture quantum torpedoes, Starbase 128 cannot.”

“Same with the big ships. We have a few, but not enough to affect this thing,” the Kumari’s Andorian captain added.

“I understand that some of your ships have more powerful tractor beams than those used by Starfleet,” Rentoshi said. “I’ve asked Commander M’Rowri to brief you in more detail. I will be reporting to the Prime Councilor, and I’d like to be able to go to him with a plan.” He stepped aside, allowing everyone to see the large screen behind him. “Commander?”

“Thank you, General,” the Caitian engineer replied, activating the small control panel built into the podium. “The object we are facing is an irregular piece of iron approximately four kilometers in diameter, closing at a velocity of one tenth light speed.”

There was a wave of whispers and murmurs that quickly passed.

“Obviously, this is not a natural occurrence. This thing was deliberately accelerated, and the projected course bears that out.”

At the touch of his finger, the screen came alive with a simulation of an impact. “Computer predictions,” he continued, “indicate an impact in the mountainous region to the west of this city. At predicted angle and velocity, more than ten million cubic kilometers of planetary crust will be melted or vaporized, and the released energy will be equivalent to 4.5 billion photon torpedoes. A global seismic event of 12.3 on the Terran Richter Scale will be produced, as will an atmospheric overpressure of 129 meters per second at the antipode. Wile this will not destroy all life, it will, as the general stated, end all civilization on this planet. I believe this object was very carefully targeted to leave as much arable land and existing crops intact as possible, as the antipode is located in the prime tanzila growing region, which was just replanted following the government-ordered burn.

“Based on current readings, we do not have enough firepower in this system to destroy enough of it to significantly alter its trajectory. What we need is a Fesarius-class tractor beam or some way to destroy this rock, and we have twenty days to come up with it.”

“What about Blount Island?”

Dominic Baier, the captain of the ship in question, turned in his seat. “Blount Island is a construction ship, not a tug. Our tractor beams are built for precision, not raw power.”

“It looks like we’re going to have to think outside the box,” M’Rowri remarked. “I’ll be reporting to the Prime Councilor with the General, but I’ll make my engineers available to consult with all of your and your engineers. Maybe together, we can come up with something.”

“Obviously,” Rentoshi said as the screen went dark, “evacuation is out of the question. Just here in Citadel, which would be obliterated just by the overpressure, we have a population approaching five million. Planetary population is approaching 3.8 billion. Also, I would ask you all, and your crews, to keep the information quiet. Mass panic can be just as devastating as an impact.

“Are there any more questions?”

He was met by silence.

“I know some of your planets have faced this sort of threat before, and I can only pray that, with your help, this planet will survive. Thank you all.”

***

Aram Kodo was not happy. He’d been looking forward to his meeting with the President of the Nectem Republic, if for no other reason than to be able to speak his native language for the afternoon. Instead, he was rushing back to his office in response to General Rentoshi and Commander M’Rowri beaming directly into his outer office.

His personal assistant was at the door of his office, visibly shaken.

“They just appeared, Prime Councilor. I didn’t know what to do. They insisted that you be pulled from the meeting.”

“It’s all right, Licha,” Kodo said, reassuring the young woman. “I’ll see them immediately.”

He then stepped past her and opened the door. Inside, he found Rentoshi and the felinoid alien from the Starfleet Corps of Engineers waiting.

“Prime Councilor,” the general began, “we have a situation.”

“And if we can’t do something about it soon,” M’Rowri added, “this planet will be looking for a new civilization… One the Tzenkethi will be only too happy to provide.”

“What sort of situation are we talking about, Gentlemen?” Kodo asked, taking a seat behind his desk.

“An asteroid.” Rentoshi nodded to the large viewscreen that the Corps of Engineers had set up in the office, on which the same simulation they had played for the visiting captains appeared.

“Normally, we wouldn’t have a problem deflecting an asteroid discovered that far out, but this thing is moving so fast that we just don’t have enough tractor power to push it far enough off course to avoid an impact,” the engineer explained.

Kodo suddenly found himself shaking as the practical destruction of his world played on the screen. He closed his eyes, took a slow, calming breath, and regarded the Starfleet officer. “Can you destroy it?”

“Not with the firepower we have here. The ships would burn out their phaser relays before they could vaporize one percent of it, and it would laugh at torpedoes. We’ve got the engineers working on it.”

“Evacuation is obviously out of the question,” Kodo remarked. “Can we call for help?”

“The Federation has made a request with the First Federation to send a Fesarius class ship, but it’s doubtful they’d arrive in time.”

“First Federation? That could get confusing.”

“They’ve been around a while longer than we have, but we encompass more territory,” M’Rowri explained. “They’re commonly called Fesarians.”

“Could this Fesarius do something?”

“Easily, Sir. It’s what we call a gigatug. The Fesarians use it in mining operations. They go out, snag an asteroid or two, then take it home for processing. I’ve even heard of one snagging a couple of kuyper belt objects the size of a small moon.”

“I’ve done a bit of research on these people, Prime Councilor,” Rentoshi said. “They have very few of these Fesarius type vessels, as their resource needs are rather small. The chances of their being able to send one, much less it arriving in time…”

“Remote, at best, I take it,” Kodo remarked, cutting off the general’s bad news.

“Essentially. If we can’t do something ourselves…”

“How long?”

“Twenty days. After that, only a miracle could save us.”

Kodo took another steadying breath. “Obviously, the people can’t know. At least, not yet. Thank you, Gentlemen. Commander, I assume I’ll be able to call up this simulation?”

“Yes, Prime Councilor. I’ve uploaded it to the computer here at Council House.”

“Good. I’m calling an emergency session of the Executive Council. They should see this. Thank you again.”

“Thank you, Prime Councilor.”
Last edited by AdmiralSirJohn on Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock" - COMPLETE

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:53 pm

Tarahni Nayce sat beneath a control panel in the Espero’s engineering section, replacing a bio-neural gelpack.

With the ship’s refit at Starbase 128 and their recent skirmish with the Tzenkethi, the ship’s systems needed a bit of TLC to bring them back to her exacting standards. They had landed the little Defiant class ship at an airfield near Citadel, and the Haliian woman welcomed the chance to fine-tune the ship’s systems under natural gravity.

“Hey, Skipper,” the master chief petty officer said with a sudden ping to her telepathic senses as she climbed out from underneath the panel,” what brings you down to my neck of the woods?”

Ikar smiled at her, bending down to look at her. “The Espero, looking her over, I am.”

Tarahni nodded, leaning up against a nearby bulkhead. “I heard about that big boulder that the Tzenkethi aimed at us.”

“Know this, how, do you?”

Nayce turned to pick up her tools, now that her task was finished. “Oh, Commander Gazhk on the Ernst Ruska is a friend of mine. He asked me to weigh in on the rock problem.”

“Good to hear this, I am,” the Horrusi said, nodding her understanding. She wasn’t sure what to say next. Usually she would go to Andrew with her thoughts and her concerns. However, his family was here now and she didn’t want to pull him away from them just yet.

“Andrew still with the wife and kiddies?”

“At the spaceport, greeted them, we did. Good to see them, it was.” the green-skinned alien reached down to hand the engineer a sonic wrench that she had missed in her cleanup.

“And I’m guessing that you’re down here because you miss your best friend.”

“Like that, something, it is.”

“Wouldn’t you rather talk to M’Reeta?”

“Studying the asteroid, she is.”

Tarahni smiled at her, lifting herself up to her feet after closing her toolkit. “I guess it was bound to happen, Skipper. You need to find yourself some new friends. Maybe find yourself a nice gentleman to spend some time with.”

“Far from Horrus, I am, Tarahni. ‘A nice gentleman,’ hard to find, they are, for me.”

The chief engineer sighed and asked with a giggle, “Ain’t that the truth?”

Ikar smiled as she crossed her arms over her chest. “For coming down here, a reason, I had. Go, you will, to the Kumari. On this asteroid problem, continue to consult, you will. Recall orders, to all Starfleet and Intaran Military have they gone. Needed, as many minds working, they are.”

“Anything I can do to help, Skipper. Officers don’t have all the answers… ma’am.”



The physical energy in the Kumari’s engine room was tense. Gathered together around the situation table were the chief engineers of the Ernst Ruska, Blount Island, Espero, Hammersley, and Kumari, as well as a number of civilian engineers. The first officer of the Sovereign class starship was also in attendance. The only person missing from the meeting was the chief engineer of the Edward O’Hare. The Constitution class cruiser was on assignment, escorting more civilian ships to Intar.

“As all of you can see, we have a difficult task before us,” Commander Senek said with his hands folded behind his back.

“I’ve looked over Lieutenant M’Reeta’s analysis, over on the Espero, on the asteroid’s rate of progress towards Intar,” Tarahni Nayce said, standing on the opposite side of the table, next to Lieutenant Nancy Lebeau, the Kumari’s Cajun chief engineer. The Haliian woman was one of two enlisted people there (not counting the civilians), but she didn’t feel like rank was an issue. They were all engineers, after all.

“Even if we were able to combine the tractor beams from all of our ships, I don’t think that we could push that rock around much. We could try to reduce it’s mass by—”

“Couldn’t we try to push it into a stable orbit?,” the Ernst Ruska’s chief engineer, Commander Datho gher Gazhk, asked, interrupting her. The Tellarite’s face had a permanent scowl, and as his dark eyes moved over the display on the table, he wished that they could have met aboard the Ruska, instead of the Kumari. He felt uncomfortable anywhere but the ship that he had helped build with his own two hands.

“According to our sensor scans, Commander Gazhk, that would not be a viable option,” Senek said from beside him. “The combined power of our ships is insufficient to slow the asteroid sufficiently to place it into a stable orbit.”

“Then blast it.”

“There’s also a shortage of quantum torpedoes among our ships,” Lebeau piped in, looking over at Lieutenant Aerru, her Bolian counterpart from the Blount Island who shared her grim view of the situation.

“Our industrial replicators are already working at capacity, trying to fabricate parts for Gwalior and for the torpedoes, sirs. Commander M’Rowri has a team on the Blount Island putting torpedoes together, but I’m afraid that we won’t have enough time to finish them.”

“Time is an asset that we do not have enough of, ladies and gentlemen.”

“What about using a shuttlecraft?” Nayce suggested.

“A shuttlecraft?”

She looked over at the Hammersley’s engineer who had asked the question. “Yeah, we get a shuttle; rig it up with explosives. Then Espero or Hammersley can tow it into position.”

“Then remote-pilot it into the rock.”

“An interesting solution. However, will it work?” asked Senek with a raised eyebrow.

“All I can suggest,” Nayce answered, “is try it and see.”

Gazhk glared at her. “A great philosopher told me once, ‘There is no try. There is only do’.”



When they ran the plan past M’Rowri, he was less than impressed.

“And what kind of explosives do you think will do anything to that rock?” he asked. “There aren’t enough conventional explosives on the planet to even nudge the thing, the Intarans expended their entire nuclear stockpile fighting off the Tzenkethi, and it would laugh at the amount of antimatter we could pack into even a cargo shuttle. If it weren’t moving so fast or was composed of something less dense, we could probably nudge it off course with a dozen photon torpedoes.”

“So we’re back to square one,” Nayce said, dejectedly.

“We’re before square one. Every moment increases the delta V we need to achieve.”

“What if we speed it up?”

“What do you mean?” the Caitian asked, handing the PADD back to the Haliian.

“Hit it at warp. The subspace distortion coupled with the impact might be enough to alter the asteroid’s trajectory.”

M’Rowri picked up his hard hat, but then stopped to consider the idea.

“Let’s run the numbers.”

Two minutes later, they knew it was too late.

***

It was a warm, bright morning in the city of Citadel.

High above, Lieutenant Commander Ikar sat on the roof of the Kalmiko Tower, one of the Intaran city’s tallest buildings, in a state of deep meditation. The Horrusi Starfleet officer had chosen this spot for her early morning meditation period after she had been offered the use of an apartment in the Tower by a member of the building’s owners. Personally, she would have been happy staying in her quarters aboard the Espero. The developer, however, had been insistent. Ikar suspected that it was good business to have ‘aliens living among us’.

“You look peaceful,” a deep voice said from behind her.

“Peace, easy to find, always, it isn’t,” Ikar said with her eyes closed. The still rising sun was too bright for her corneas this early in the morning.

Andrew Mundi walked over from the lift bank. He wore his Starfleet uniform, the jacket draped over his left arm. “Wow, this is some view. Definitely something you don’t see on the ship.”

“Truly, it is not,” the commander said, with a contented smile. She opened her eyes slowly, raising a hand to shield them from the sun. Sunglasses, replicate a pair, I should. This star, blinding, it is.

The green-skinned woman turned around to face her First Officer. “With your family,” she continued,” having a good time, you are, on this visit?” Silhouetted in the sunlight, she resembled some kind of alien deity.

“Yes, and thank you for the time off, Skipper,” Mundi answered. “I really appreciate spending time with my girls.”

“Missed them, have you?”

Mundi nodded. “It’s almost like falling in love with Kara, all over again. We…”

“Enough time together on Starbase 128, there wasn’t?”

“Well, it was a space station,” the lieutenant said, a sad frown on his face. “It seemed like we were always fighting, and I was always running away to escape the arguments. But here, on Intar…”

“A paradise, perhaps? Peace, found it here, have you?,” Ikar asked him, Gently folding her meditation mat. It was blue and green, with letters of the Horrusi alphabet etched across it, in red. It had been a parting gift from her mother, a High Priestess of the Order of Ihriah, when she left Horrus to join the enlisted ranks of Starfleet. It was the last memory that she had of Bezda, since she died of natural causes soon afterward.

“I wouldn’t call it a paradise,” Andrew said with a smile, “but it has a feeling we haven’t felt for… years. Kara feels like we have a second chance for our marriage here. In fact, we’ve been hearing rumors about dependents being allowed to live here. If it’s true, we might just settle down.”

“Interesting…”

“Why’s that?”

Ikar finished folding up her meditation mat and picked up her uniform jacket from where it had been lying beside her. “Unsure, I am, about living quarters for our dependents,” the Espero’s commander told him. “Talk to Commander Wilcox, you should. Or the base housing officer. Help you, maybe, they can.”

***

An hour later, Mundi led his wife into the operations center at the base, which had become Wilcox’s default station.

“Afternoon, Lieutenant,” the base executive officer said, greeting his colleague. “What can I do for you?”

“Well, I know this is a bit optimistic, given the current situation, but I was wondering what housing arrangements there were for dependents.”

Wilcox sighed. “Right now, I’d say put them on one of the ships. If that rock hits, it’ll all be moot, anyway.”

“Humor him, would you, Commander?” Kara asked.

“Let me see what the housing officer has available for a family your size…” He went to one of the older-style Intaran computer terminals and tapped out a command. “Hmm… There’s an opening in Kalmiko tower. It seems Commander Ikar has requested something smaller.”

“Huh? She never said anything about it to me,” Mundi said. “I just saw her there this morning.”

“She put in the request just before lunch.” He continued reading down the entry. “Three bedrooms, good for an officer. Pretty high up in the building, though.”

“We’ll take it,” Kara said. “I have a feeling Ikar would want us to have it.”

“You’re probably right,” Mundi said, “still, I’d rather she not know, okay?”

“She won’t hear it from me,” Wilcox answered.

“So, any word from the engineers?” Kara asked.

“No. Every idea that comes up has been shot down. I think the Intarans are wondering when we’ll start evacuating.”

“Apparently, nobody told them we don’t do that,” Mundi said.

“Too bad full impulse is only one-quarter C,” Kara said, a thoughtful look on her face.

“What?” Mundi asked, picking up on the look.

Kara looked from her husband to Wilcox and back. “You never considered Einstein?” They looked back at her with blank stares. “What do you get when you accelerate a light object to near the speed of light?”

“You get a…” Wilcox began, but stopped as realization dawned on him. “Holy crap! We’ve been coming at this from the wrong side!”

“But how do we do it?” Mundi asked. “Kara is right. Full impulse is only one quarter C.”

“Starfleet engineering teaches how to do it, but I bet one of the civilian engineers has actually done it.” He slapped his commbadge, opening the communication system. “This is Wilcox, general hail to all ships in Intar space. All engineers, assemble at Gwalior Base immediately! We especially need anyone experienced in high-sublight engineering! Repeat, all engineers, assemble at Gwalior on the double!

***

Aram Kodo glared at the screen. Granted, the archaeologist had never encountered a complete Preserver obelisk, but the Prime Councilor expected him to know a little more than what had been reported on the updates.

“The Federation people say that most of the Preserver obelisks they’ve found are planetary defenses of some sort. Do you think this one fits that role?”

“Prime Councilor, I couldn’t tell you what this thing does, even if I could read it. As for getting in… I don’t know if we ever will. All of the other obelisks were found in places with a breathable atmosphere. We have no way of establishing one here.”

Kodo sighed. He’d had hope that the ancient structure on Intar’s moon could hold the planet’s salvation, but those hopes were dashed. “Very well, Dr. Undarum. You and your science team should be safe for now. As for us…”

“Those of us who believe are praying to the Maker, Sir.”

“As are we all. Kodo out.”

The screen went dark, only to light up a moment later with the face of his secretary.

“Please, not another request for a status update.”

“Actually, Prime Councilor, this update is for you.”

That caught the dark-skinned man’s attention, and he sat just a bit straighter in his chair. “Put it through,” he said, picking up the handset.

The screen changed to show the face of General An Rentoshi, the commander of the joint Intaran/Starfleet base in the city of Citadel.

“Prime Councilor, we may have a solution, and it’s got most of the physicists kicking themselves for not thinking of it.”

“What is it?”

“How’s your sublight physics…?”

***

“It is my honor to speak before the Three Peoples today,” Yineth Nikara recited from the PADD in his hand. “With your discovery of warp drive, your days of isolation ended, and your place in the Universe was set with First Contact with the—” He stopped, turning away from the viewport. “Who the hell wrote this damn thing? Indira Ghandi or Spock of Vulcan?”

“Actually, it was Commander Nash, Nik,” Lanea Nha’trii, the Ernst Ruska’s counselor, said from the nearby sofa. A steaming mug of raktajino sat nearby, the fragrant vapor lending an audience to his speechmaking practice.

“I don’t even know how I got myself wrapped into making this speech. Why doesn’t th’Nar do it?”

“Because the Marshal Martz and her crew became quite popular while they were here. Since this is a sister ship, some of it rubbed off on us,” the Andorian-Bolian woman explained.

“That may be,” the Bajoran captain said, glaring at her, “but I’m sure Harris didn’t have to give any speeches in front of the Intaran Congress. He didn’t even have to do any interviews for The Boredom Cure.”

“I guess we’re just lucky.”

“Lucky?! I don’t believe in luck, only the Prophets, Lanea.”

“Yes, Sir,” the counselor drawled.

Yineth heard the fatigue in her voice. “What’s wrong?”

“Us. You, me, the crew.”

“What about us?”

“Have you thought about just going down there and taking a walk? Let the folks see you.” She took a sip of her Klingon coffee. “It would certainly do you a world of good to get off this ship for a while. In fact, I think it would be a good idea to grant general base privileges.”

“Base privileges?” the captain asked. “This isn’t a base, yet. It’s just a FOB.”

“Nik, we’ve been in space for over a year and they haven’t had a break since coming back from the Gamma Quadrant. The crew’s tired… and so are you.” The fatigue on her blue face showed the truth and conviction of her words.

Neither of them could really remember the last time they spent any extended time on a planet. For the Ernst Ruska’s captain, he missed the serenity of the sea, while Lanea certainly missed the frozen peaks of her adopted home world of Andor.

“I guess we could authorize some base leave, if General Rentoshi signs off on it.” He sighed, crossing the readyroom to sit next to her. They’d become close friends in their time in the Gamma Quadrant, and he’d come to trust the woman implicitly, especially at times when he had trouble with the crew, none of whom he’d been able to choose. If he’d had his way, he would have been sure to include a few more Bajorans on the Nottingham-class starship.

“Still feeling homesick?”

“How’d you know I’ve had Rekantha Province on my mind?” he asked, a smile spreading across his face. “Damn, that sounds like a bad song title.”

He was about to break out in song, but was mercifully interrupted by the sound of the intercom’s priority chime.

“Bridge to Captain Yineth.”

“Go ahead, Sergeant,” Yineth answered, recognizing the voice of Sergeant First Class Terrance Joyce, the Marine who manned tactical during Beta shift.

“Gwalior base has just issued a recall order for all engineers, Sir.”

“Has there been any word about a solution to our rock problem?”

“Not yet, but there’s a new idea in the offing. They’re saying we’ve been coming at it from the wrong side.”

Yineth considered the words for a moment, and then his eyes went wide.

“Holy Prophets…”

***

“So many engineers,” Tarahni Nayce breathed as she looked around the expansive briefing room, “and not a one of them with an original idea.”

“Intrigued, I am, by this development,” Ikar replied as the two women took seats near the front of the room.

“You’re not alone. It looks like every freighter captain has accompanied his engineers here.”

Attech-hut!”

Instantly, every person in the room was on his, her or its feet, and remained there as An Rentoshi, commander of Gwalior Base, entered with the last two people Ikar expected to see.

“People,” Rentoshi said, “most of you know Lieutenant Mundi. This is his wife, Kara, and it is she who has made the conceptual breakthrough all of us missed.” He turned to the Mundis. “Lieutenant, Mistress Mundi, the floor is yours.”

“Folks,” Andrew Mundi said, “we’ve been coming at this problem from the wrong end. We’ve all been trying to come up with subspace-based solutions, when we should have been remembering Einstein. Kara?”

“For those of you who don’t know me,” Kara said, “I’m a teacher, specializing in basic physics. Since the discovery of warp drive, General Relativity and its effects have not been the problem they were before, since the critical momentum for establishing a warp field occurs at one-quarter the speed of light, long before such effects become apparent to the average person.”

“I think I see where you’re going with this, Mrs. Mundi,” Lt. Commander Davo gher Gazhk, the Ernst Ruska’s chief engineer, grumbled. “But at best, that would result in birdshot instead of a slug, and that would do even more damage to this planet.”

“Not if we go really old school!” Yineth Nikara called from the very back of the room.
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

Re: ST: CITADEL - "Let It Rock" - COMPLETE

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:13 pm

For the second time in a week, Aram Kodo’s evening was shattered by the arrival of General Rentoshi and a Starfleet officer. This time, they arrived directly in front of him.

“Prime Councilor,” Rentoshi said without the customary pleasantries, “we have a solution.”

“You’ve been able to reconfigure one of your ships to travel at high sublight?”

“The engineers are working on that solution on the two Defiant-class ships. They should be ready when we are.”

“What do you mean?”

“This is Captain Yineth Nikara, from the Ernst Ruska.”

“Of course. I’m very happy to make your acquaintance, Captain Nikara.”

“Actually,” the Ernst Ruska’s captain said, shaking the prime councilor’s hand, “it’s Captain Yineth. Bajorans place the family name first.”

“Of course. My apologies. I really should read those cultural briefing papers more thoroughly. You’re scheduled to speak before the Congress next week.”

“Yes, Sir, but that’s not why we’re here.”

“Of course, your solution.”

“Back before I became a Starfleet officer, I was with a group called the Maquis. Before and during the Dominion War, we fought the Cardassians…”

“Captain, we don’t have time for a history lesson. Please get on with it.”

“My apologies. Hitting a rock with a rock isn’t enough, even at relativistic speed. A solid chunk will just go right through the asteroid. However, if we hit it with something that will send a pressure wave through it, we can pop it like a balloon.”

“One of your photon torpedoes?” Kodo asked.

“No, sir. Subspace weapons, even matter/antimatter detonations, propagate too quickly to cause the kind of damage we need. No, what we need is a thermonuclear weapon.”

Kodo sat back, defeat on his face. “We don’t have any. We expended our entire stockpile, even the low-yield tactical weapons, fighting off the early Tzenkethi raids.”

“So the general informed me, but can you build one?” the Bajoran asked.

Kodo sat up suddenly. “No, Captain. Can you build one? You have a construction vessel, industrial replicators, some of the finest engineers in the known galaxy…”

“But we don’t have any fissionables.”

“I’ll take care of that. How fast?”

“Let’s find out.” Yineth tapped his commbadge, opening a channel. “Yineth to Blount Island.”

“Baier here. Go ahead, Nik.”


“Dom, do you have anybody on your crew who knows how to build a nuclear bomb?”

“How many do you need?”

“Just one.”

“I can do that myself! I’ve always wanted to build a real one of those…”

***

Jenna Stirling had never before been given such a large dose of hyronalin, but as she stepped out of the type 11 shuttlecraft in front of the loading bay at the Kyarin Nuclear Laboratory, she was glad she had been.

The men who accompanied the large metal case wore thick layers, complete with helmets and breathing apparatus. Jenna’s own radsuit, hastily borrowed from one of the base engineers, did much the same job in a lighter, and definitely more stylish, way.

“Here you go, Pilot,” the one in front said, handing her a datapad. “Six hundred kilograms of enriched uranium and plutonium. Just sign on the third line to accept custody.”

“I just hope this works,” his companion added. “I’ve got a date this weekend.”

“From what I understand,” Jenna replied, signing the datapadd file with the provided stylus, “Captain Baier is an old hand at building nukes. If anybody can do it in time, he can.”

“I thought you folks used photonic and directed energy weapons.”

“We do, but their effects propagate too quickly. Hopefully, this stuff will let us shatter that rock completely. The idea is actually Captain Yineth’s. He did something similar while he was with a Bajoran resistance group.”

“Huh. So why the shuttle? Can’t you just use your… uh… beamy-thing?”

“Transporters and radioactive material tend not to like each other.” Handing the datapad back to the Intaran, she then picked up a pair of antigrav units and quickly attached one to each side of the container. “Think you can help get this thing aboard? It’s still a bit bulky.”

“Sure.”

The three of them, working together, had the container loaded and secured in a matter of seconds.

“Maker’s speed to you, Miss,” the technician said.

“With us all, Sir. Thanks for your help, Gentlemen.”

Triggering the hatch, Jenna then went forward. “Computer, establish a level three forcefield around radioactive materials.”

Instantly, the requested forcefield appeared, accompanied by its distinctive sound.

“Citadel Center, Starfleet shuttle Musca, lifting off from Kyarin. Requesting priority routing to orbit.”

Musca, Citadel Center. The sky is yours. You have the hopes of an entire world with you.”

“Roger that, Citadel. Launching now.” She then reached forward and switched over to the Starfleet traffic channel. “Blount Island, this is shuttlecraft Musca, departing Kyarin Laboratory. ETA, six minutes.”

***

Andrew Mundi heard a litany of Haliian curses as he entered Engineering. There, he found Tarahni Nayce with one of her engineers, working on Espero’s impulse systems. At the moment, the chief engineer was flat on her back, furiously pulling isolinear chips from beneath a console.

Now there’s a position she’s probably familiar with, the First Officer thought. “You look busy,” he said, noticing her unkempt state.

You try altering every safety system on the whole ship on the fly.” She then reached up, not looking away from the banks of control chips she was working on. Her assistant, Petty Officer John Matthews, slapped a hydrospanner into her hand before picking up the sonic wrench she’d dropped. They’d worked together long enough to know each others’ innate intentions.

“You’re just removing the critical momentum sensors…”

“If only it were that easy! I have to set up a static warp shell to keep us from ending up in next week, I have to boost the impulse output and totally recalibrate the sublight velocity meters!

“I know what I’m doing, Andrew, and if I don’t do it right, a whole planet is going to die!”

“I’m sorry, Tarahni. The skipper wanted a sitrep.”

“Gee, I thought that’s what we had an intercom for.”

“She’s over on Hammersley with Grev.”

“And what the hell are they doing over on that waste of duranium?”

“Mission coordination. Remember, while you’re making the modifications here, Charge is doing the same over there.”

Tarahni stole a glance at the first officer before returning to work. “I just hope they don’t send her back purple again. It took Sickbay a week to get that stuff out of her skin…”

“I’m sure they’ll be on their best behavior…”



“Oversexed and uneducated, you are! Rotten, as well, you are, with delusions of sentience!” Master Chief Ikar screamed up at a very young Ensign Michael McCune as he stood at rigid attention on the shuttle deck of the starship Winchester.

“Takes me back, that does,” Ikar said from the open hatchway of McCune’s readyroom. Ensign Kor Lasch Grev stood behind her. “Harsh, I was.”

“I’d say you were a right bitch back then,” the Tellarite remarked.

Espero’s bitch now, I am, I suppose.”

“You got that right, Lady,” McCune said, rising from his seat. “Nice to see you, Ikar. What’s up?”

“By a rock, disturbed, I have been.”

“Haven’t we all?” Hammersley’s captain said, silently inviting his guests to sit. He then picked up a PADD and handed it to her. “I went over the modifications with Charge. He’s putting them into effect as we speak.”

“Charge?” Grev asked, a confused frown on his face.

“Old Australian blue water navy tradition. Just about every position has a nickname, and the tradition was popularized by an early twenty-first century Terran entertainment program. I’m ‘Boss’, my first officer is ‘X’, flight control is ‘Nav’, and so on. Since the engines on those old patrol boats were usually diesel-electric, the chief engineer was known as ‘Charge’.”

“Ah, I see.”

“We’ll be ready on time, but I can’t say I’m happy to hand my conn over to someone in a shuttlecraft.”

“Risk, our business is, Michael. Intarans know this also. Accept it, they do, those who wear the uniform. Much to lose, they have, if we fail.”

“True. I just wish I were flying the shuttle myself.”

“Captain Yineth, a skilled, I am told. Fly fighters, he does, as well.”

“If you can call flying those tin cans ‘skilled’,” the Tellarite grumbled.

McCune grinned. “Have you ever flown a fighter, Mr. Grev? They may carry less mass than a Defiant, but they fly much the same. In fact, I had the chance to fly one of the Ernst Ruska’s Gryphons just yesterday.”

“Your flight status, you are maintaining, yes?”

“Everyone needs a hobby, Ikar.”

***

“Well, this is it,” Dominic Baier announced, presenting the modified photon torpedo casing. “I call it the B-90, since the bomb by that designation was cancelled several decades before World War III.”

“What’s the yield, Captain?” General An Rentoshi asked.

“Computer simulations indicate a yield of 130 megatons.”

“Good Christ!” Lt. Commander Jeff Wilcox spat. “That’s bigger than the Tsar Bomba’s design yield.”

“Thirty percent, to be exact,” Baier confirmed.

“How’d you manage that?”

“I spiked the second stage with a tiny bit of antimatter. It’s not enough for an appreciable subspace propagation, but it almost tripled the yield.”

“Remind me never to make you angry, Captain Baier,” Rentoshi remarked. “What about the modifications to the shuttlecraft?”

“They’re done,” the Blount Island’s captain answered. “The engines will now propel her to .99999C, with a static warp shell to prevent relativistic time dilation. The controls will interface with both ships’ helms. Captain Yineth will have full control of the whole shebang as if it were one ship.”

The Intaran didn’t know what shebang actually meant, but he had a fair idea, based on the syntax. “I’ll be flying it.”

“Sir?” Wilcox said. “You haven’t had much experience flying Starfleet shuttles—”

“This is my planet, Jeff. Captain Yineth will have to be happy as copilot.” He looked over at the thinner man. “I’m sure you’d insist on the same if it were one of your planets in such danger.”

“Understood, General. I’ll let the captain know.”

“Thank you, Commander. Captain, would you show me how to tow this thing out to the rendezvous point? I’m more familiar with grapplers than tractor beams.”

“Of course, General,” Baier answered.

***

Nobody could see the asteroid with the naked eye, but plenty of live feeds were being shown from a number of telescopes ranged around the planet. The fear of it caused all sorts of panic, from renewed religious fervor to suicide to riots. There were even some parties, though they seemed to be subdued. Still, everyone, from the military to the civilian police and Emergency Services to hospitals, was on alert as they waited to learn if it was all going to end.

Yet all Andrew Mundi could do was think about his wife and children. The dark-skinned lieutenant sat in his quarters, a cup of black coffee slowly growing cold in his hands. I can’t really blame her, he told himself. I knew she was strong and opinionated when I married her. I just can’t believe she’d insist on staying behind.

He had wanted her and their daughters to evacuate on one of the outgoing freighters, but Kara would hear none of it.

“How can we leave these people to die alone, Andy?” she asked. “Starfleet is staying, and so are we.”

And that was all there was to it. Two hours later, their daughters had been ensconced at the base school, and Kara was offering her help at Citadel University Hospital. Being a Starfleet wife, she had undergone the same emergency medical training all civilian adults serving on board starships received.

If anything happens to her or the girls…

“All hands,” Ensign Lake announced over the intercom, “this is the bridge. Prepare for immediate departure. Port and starboard airlocks, secure for flight. Lieutenant Mundi, to the bridge, please.”

Here’s to the victors, Andrew thought, gulping down the lukewarm coffee. May we live to fight another day.

“Mundi, on my way.”

***

Yineth Nikara found An Rentoshi running through the preflight checklist when he walked onto the Blount Island’s flight deck. The Bajoran had beamed over from the Ernst Ruska, wearing a flight suit of a style that were usually worn by his own pilots. Of course, his had captain’s pips on it. Then again, he hadn’t flown much since the war, so he was likely only as good as Gwalior Base’s Intaran commander.

“Captain Yineth,” Rentoshi said, as Yineth settled into the pilot’s seat of the shuttlecraft, “I’m sorry to have pulled rank on you, but…”

“Not at all, General. I’m sure more than a few of my leaders would have in your place. First Minister Shakaar definitely would have. I take no offense at your commanding this mission, Sir.”

“Well, that’s a relief.” He quickly checked the console in front of him, finding everything ready. “Let’s go blast that rock, shall we?”

“Ready when you are.”

Rentoshi reached forward and activated the comm system. “Blount Island, this is shuttlecraft Bobcat, ready for departure.”

Bobcat,” Dominic Baier’s voice replied, “you are clear to depart. Take it easy, though. The warhead has been armed.”

“Understood. Thank you, Captain.” The big man took a deep breath and let it out in a long rush of air. “Here we go.”

“I’ve got the tractor beam,” Yineth said. “Weapon’s off the cradle. Clear to move forward.”

“Throttling up.”

With the reassuring feel of a properly functioning shuttle, they passed through the atmosphere retention field and out into space.

“I expected you about five minutes ago,” the general said as he plotted a course toward the two Defiant class ships, which had moved into a close formation.

“Sorry, got tied up in the mess hall.”

“I thought your Federation types didn't eat big.”

“Call it cultural sensitivity, General. Besides, I’ve become rather fond of having food that’s actually hand-cooked. Captain Baier was lucky to get a chef assigned to his ship.”

“Hmm, you should try my wife’s kavalera casserole. She puts in the right amount of kavler meat, cheese, and holta peppers.”

Yineth chuckled, taking his seat in the co-pilot’s chair. “If you like spice, you should try hasperat. My wife’s recipe is to die for.”

Hasperat? Is that a Bajoran dish?”

“Yep, as hot as the Fire Caves themselves.”
Image
(Yes, the image is me, but the photomanip wasn't done by me.)
User avatar
AdmiralSirJohn
Federation Attaché
Federation Attaché
 
Posts: 5993
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:21 pm
Location: Aboard USS Marshal Martz, NCC-78506 (though physically in Jamestown, NY)

PreviousNext

Return to ST: CITADEL

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron