Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

Dave (Voleron)


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

June 20 2022

Another Stonewall Gaming #WritingContest is upon us and we're excited to announce the theme of our 2022 writing contest: "Sagas of Sorrow!"  Running now through July 31st, 2022, we're inviting all members of SGN to submit a story of their in-game character from their favorite game, whether it be Star Trek Online or any other, but we want you to incorporate one of the following tragedy themed writing prompts in your submission:

Writing prompt choice selections:
  • Write a story that spans a month during which everything changes for the worse
  • Write a story that either starts or ends with someone or something saying "please, don't do it"
  • Write about your character being followed by misfortune that they just can't seem to shake
  • Write about your character being a pivotal part of a terrible world or universe changing event
  • Write about your character being captured and tormented by the enemy
  • Write about your character shouldering an unspeakable burden for those who do not realize that they are
  • Write about your character being challenged by lies that were spread about them, causing no one to trust them
  • Write about your character's dreams being crushed either by their own decisions, someone sabotaging them or personal circumstances
  • Write about your character being deceived by the one person they have left (such as their partner, family member, friend or other trusted person)
  • Write about your character being in love with someone who doesn't love them back or doesn't want to return their affections because of prejudice (eg. societal standards, illness, etc)
Whichever writing prompt you choose to work with, we want you to tug at our heart strings so hard that we can't help but sob uncontrollably in the tub as we read your entries!

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

To participate in Stonewall's "Sagas of Sorrow" writing contest, you must post your entry here, in this thread, before day's end on July 31st, 2022.  Please use the #WritingContest hashtag in your entries.  Your posted entry must comply with these additional rules to be eligible:

  1. Your story must in some way relate to one of your in-game characters
  2. Your story must include one (or more if you want) of the writing prompts above
  3. Your story must be your own original work (plagiarism will result in disqualification)
  4. Don't actually make your story saga length; we need to be able to read it in a single sitting!
  5. The content of your story must not be edited after the submission deadline of July 31st
Only one entry per community member, please.  While we encourage you to include graphics to supplement your Sagas of Sorrow, only the written narrative portion of your entry will be judged.  Instructions on how to incorporate graphics in your post can be found by clicking here.

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

The winning contest entries will be recognized on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media feeds.  We'll also be giving away a participation prize of 5 Stonewall Credits to all those who enter!  The prize packs are as follows:

First place:
  1. 12 Stonewall Credits, AND, your choice of either:
  2. 20 Master Keys in Star Trek Online, OR
  3. $25.00 Redbubble Gift Card to purchase Stonewall Merchandise!
Second place:
  1. 10 Stonewall Credits, AND your choice of either:
  2. 10 Master Keys in Star Trek Online OR
  3. $20.00 Redbubble Gift Card to purchase Stonewall Merchandise!
Third place:
  1. 7 Stonewall Credits!
  2. $15.00 Redbubble Gift Card to purchase Stonewall Merchandise!
*Stonewall credits can be saved and/or redeemed for in-game merchandise through the Stonewall Credits Store.

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

7 people liked this
Edited June 20 2022 by Voleron
Danielle Farling


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow -

June 28 2022
For your #WritingContest reading, "Steep Declination" - All stardates use function two found here.

Acting Captain’s Log, Stardate 88463.13:  Acting Captain D’ani logging.
For my first command to be like this...  The Baker is shaken, and on my training cruise, as it would happen.  Little had been heard of the Borg in recent years, and most often only in Academy lectures.  Yet, here they stood, and here they fell.  Our captain and senior commissioned staff?  Abducted suddenly, assumed missing or – more likely – assimilated.  The Baker herself is still whole… if one can call it that.  All major systems save life support, artificial gravity, and auxiliary power are gone at this point.  With all breaches temporarily shielded at least, we’ve bought ourselves some time, but we’re on ration provisions and emergency supplies, likely until we hear something.  Not like we will, at least for the moment… long-range everything is still down, and life support is hanging on by a thread.  It’ll hang on by less of one as we keep losing the severely injured, which is a cold comfort to those remaining.  For now, our best hope is a survival focus, and that we’re eventually found by friendlies.  Until then, we’ve taken the Baker as dark as she’ll go.
Acting Captain’s Log, Stardate 88477.56:
Five days, and we’ve lost all of those who were critical.  We're down to one-quarter of the junior staff, and roughly two-thirds of my fellow cadets.  Those in junior staff have been asked to actively train the cadets in the ship’s continued maintenance and the crew’s continued treatment, as we’ve still not heard a thing.  Long-range sensors have just come back an hour ago, but we only get nebulous pings – nothing concrete.  Engineering’s working on getting subspace radio back, so we can at least send or receive something.  No word there, though hopefully soon…
Acting Captain’s Log, Stardate 88495.45:
Cadet Neleg from the Engineering track, as well as Lieutenant Azaki, have managed to get subspace radio back online – or so I was told at 0600.  We first received static, but then managed to get occasional chatter throughout.  No luck on cleaning the audio so far, so we’re opting to remain silent as a precaution.  We’ve managed to reinitialize three replicators, though they’re acting in a very reduced capacity and can barely sustain the crew as it remains.  Of the combined crew, about 62 remain, and 47 are on death’s door.  We need rescue sooner, rather than later, or there’ll be no one to rescue.  And in the case of detection by the Borg, the auto-destruct system has been confirmed operational, and the relevant codes have already been logged.  Given the relative equal chance that we'll lose someone who has such an authorization code to concur, this has been rigged to act on sole authorization if I am the one to initiate it.
Acting Captain’s Log, Stardate 88521.09:
Radio is back, and cleaner… and we all wish it wasn’t.  The run-in we had with the Borg was far from the only one, and the Beta Quadrant is overrun.  Sol system is holding on for the moment, but even they’re not optimistic about being able to hold out indefinitely.  At this point, rescue is far from likely, and our eventual discovery by Borg scouting forces becomes more and more likely if we choose to actively transmit.  We’re down to a skeleton crew of 46 – we were 49, but three crewmembers opted to pass on their own terms.  The rest of us aren’t faring much better, and the remaining supplies are thin.  Losing all but one replicator helps there, for sure…
Acting Captain’s Log, Stardate 88534.05:
Ensign Rohtt found something.  A micro-wormhole, unable to fit so much as a gel-pack and that we've not noticed yet, but leaking a signal… of a free quadrant.  And of all places, it’s right off our saucer by less than a kilometer.  No Borg signals, only Starfleet and standard civilian chatter.  Yet we think – no, we know – that it’s not our quadrant.  Long-range sensors picked up two spheres en route to our location, undoubtedly tempted by this find themselves, and due to arrive within minutes.  So, to get this out of the way, since we know this is likely the end, and as we’ve all agreed…

Computer, initiate auto-destruct sequence.  Authorization:  D’ani-Echo-Zero-Seven.


This is Acting Captain D’ani.  Destruct sequence Alpha 1. Fifteen seconds, link commencement to detection of Borg signatures within range ten kilometers, with silent countdown upon that mark.


It’s clear that our time has reached its end… but may the crew of the Baker – cadets and all – be remembered for their commitment to duty, in the midst of mounting adversity.  I am proud to have served with them, and to be their Captain, albeit briefly.  If you find this across the barrier of our universe, live for us.
Computer, package all logs from stardate 88463.13 onward, and transmit on specific vector one-two-seven mark forty-two.  Include active log in data stream.


Computer, end l--

Captain's Log, Stardate 88571.27:  Captain D'ani logging.
In a relatively routine patrol of Sector 001, the Grissom has happened upon a micro-wormhole, nearly destabilized but still here for just a moment.  What caught our attention wasn't the wormhole itself, but what it brought us.

A standard Starfleet transponder code... from the Baker.  That ship has long since passed its prime and found itself a new crew, and likely a few training cruises since.  The signal carrying the transponder code also had a data stream, consisting of a number of logs dated from stardate 88463.13 and on.  This bears investigating...

Computer, initiate log playback, USS Baker, stardate 88463.13.


... D'ani-Echo-Zero-Seven.


Acting Captain’s Log, Stardate 88463.13:  Acting Captain D’ani logging...
7 people liked this
Edited July 28 2022 by DaniDaniSylvini

Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 10 2022
                Tarrex ch’Rihan Dor
       Sitting on a beach on the planet Risa, watching the sunset, Tarrex contemplated the holo sitting on his lap.  The last time he was home after his father’s death, his little sister, no not so little anymore, a young woman now, threw the holo at his head just barely missing him.  He knew his younger brother was lurking somewhere in the shadows, watching silently.  Narissa screeched at him “How dare you come here to our home, after you threw everything, Father gave us in his face the last you were here!”
     Tarrex chuckled at the remark, everything he had given, that was a joke.  Father had brought them to the “Artifact” to live after the home world was destroyed.  They were expected to join the Zhat Vash, as Father was a General in it’s ranks. “If you mean me rejecting the Zhat Vash, and Tal Shiar?, then yes I walked away from it all”, “Do you agree with her little brother?", “I know you are there Narek, come out of the shadows and speak boy!”  A young man stepped forward, out of the shadows, and glanced at Narissa, swallowing hard, as if he were afraid to cross her.  Averting his attention from his brother and playing with a puzzle box in his hand, he responded “You deserted us, you promised to return for us, but you didn’t!  We did fine on our own!”  Slumping into a chair partially in the shadow’s, “We don’t need you.”  Running his hands through his hair, Tarrex sighed heavily.  “I’m here now, I was making a life for us on Virinat.  A real home!  Not some derelict Borg cube!” 
     Narissa slammed her hand down on the table, “Enough! You expect us to be farmers! Have you gone as insane as Auntie Ramdha!” Turning toward his sister Tarrex responded, “Don’t let your anger, and bitterness consume you as it did our older brother Nero”, looking at Narek, he saw him wince.  The it pained him almost as much as it did Tarrex at the loss of Nero.  Now shaking with anger Narissa shouted, “How dare you!” picking up the holo, and walking slowly and purposefully toward Tarrex, she slapped the holo into his hands.  “Take that and go!  Now! You are not wanted here!” 
     Slumping in defeat, Tarrex walked slowly to the shuttle bay, with the memory of Nareks pained look as he left their quarters on the Artifact.  He somehow knew he would never return here.
      Coming out of his musings when a native bird landed on his beach chair, Tarrex picked up the holo, and switched it on. With a faint glow in the dying light, an image of his deceased father flickered to life. His fathers image began to speak “My children are or were my greatest success and yet my greatest weakness.  Nero, so brilliant yet stubborn, he let his grief consume him, and what did it get him, nothing but death.  My daughter Narissa, so angry, I fear she may follow in Nero’s footsteps.  She is so headstrong and will only listen to her aunt.  Narek, lost in his own world.  Always trying to solve puzzles and doing his sisters bidding.  She is such a bad influence on him, and nothing I do matters.  Then there is Tarrex, Strong-willed, so much like me, yet so different.  He marches to his own tune.  Of all four of my children, he is the one I am most proud of.  Strong enough to stand on his own and make his own way.  If only we had not left things the way they were, if I could have only reached out to him, and tell him.”
     Switching off the holo, Tarrex swallowed back the tears, His family broken, he tried, but could not fix it.  Now his father dead at the hands of Hakeev, Nero dead consumed by grief and hatred.  Narissa also dead due to her hatred, and Narek, in a Starfleet prison, and even his contacts couldn’t get him in to see him.  Tarrex stared out at the darkened horizon, and whispered to no one but the wind “Father I tried”
5 people liked this

Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 16 2022

Nothing That Belonged to It Exists Anymore

The holodeck gateway opened onto a rain slick street, lit by incandescent bulbs sprouting from telephone poles and squat apartment blocks. A yellow and red taxi belching exhaust drove past that gateway heedlessly as Saadia Shah stepped through and into the program. She wore a grey trench coat over her uniform; somehow, she knew it would be raining.
The heels of her boots clicked on the pavement as she walked out into the night of Hong Kong in the early 1960s, her slightly embarrassing personal holodeck programme based on an old Earth romance holo. It was a strange place to meet but it was where she was asked to go, and this was a request she’d never dream of denying.
The woman who made that request stood about half a block away, where the narrow street bent into a curve to twist between more Kowloon apartment buildings. Her beaming face somehow outshone the streetlight, the Chinese neon sign above it—and her vivid red trench coat. “Vice Admiral! You came!”
Saadia approached, hands buried in her pockets, and smiling. She’d gotten all too good at projecting calm, even when everything was falling apart. When she was three metres away, she stopped. This was close as she was allowed to get. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world, Pythia.”
Pythia bounced on her heels and clapped, threatening to shake her dark hair out of its pristine, period-appropriate updo. “I had hoped to see you one last time, Vice Admiral Shah. I hope you approve of my choice of venue? I thought you'd be more comfortable in your favourite romantic period-piece sim and that it would make this, well, easier. I know you weren’t keen on my decision about the Borg virus…”
Saadia took a deep breath. Suddenly she didn’t feel the rain anymore, even as it soaked through. “It’s beautiful, Pythia. When you dematerialised to pursue your plan, we didn’t think we’d see you again…” she tried to sound hopeful, but she knew a permanent goodbye when she saw one. Still, there was a chance. Surely? She’d do what she always did, give an inspiring speech, talk her way out of this… “You know you don’t have to do this. We can find another way to purge the Canberra’s systems of the virus; it’s what we always do, Pythia. We always find a way.”
They had to. Saadia knew it was her own fault this had even happened this way. She gave the order to scan the Borg probe, after all.
Pythia smiled serenely. “We always do. And we did! Today, I am the way.” She flickered suddenly, her photonic body turning into a wave distortion for three painfully long seconds. “…Oof. Yep. 75% deleted. It was the only way, Vice Admiral.”
“Really, call me Saadia, please,” she said with a soft smile. She’d often tried to get Pythia to refer to her less formally, but to no avail.
“Okay. I’m sorry, Saadia. But it had to be this way. There were no other solutions! You said yourself that being in Starfleet means being willing to do the right thing even at great cost to yourself. Well, there's no higher cost for me. But I’ll pay it to stop this ship from being turned into a weapon against the very people we’re trying to save. I know some people still doubt that synthetics can be trusted with Starfleet’s mission.” That serene smile again. “Now there should be statistically less doubt.”
“The colony is safe, Pythia. We’ve moved a safe distance away thanks to Lieutenant Legasova’s heroic efforts, you…”
“Oh, Lieutenant Legasova! I will miss her and her balalaika-playing. I don’t think I complimented her enough… she stopped playing in the lounge re…” Pythia shimmered into another distortion. “Oof. 85%. It is getting more difficult for me to sustain this representation of myself, Adm…Saadia. I’m sorry; the holodeck was the only place I could boost myself with enough efficiency to re-materialise without jeopardising my sterilisation scheme. But even that's becoming difficult. There won't be anything left of me soon, anyway...”
Saadia frowned deeply; Pythia’s plan was dark genius. To stop the Borg nanovirus she dematerialised her entire code into a form that could overwhelm and eliminate it. Not isolate it from key systems or stop it from reproducing—which was all they could achieve in the preceding twelve desperate hours—but obliterate it. Pythia turned herself into an anti-Borg retrovirus. At the cost of her own life. Every bit of Borg virus deleted consumed some other bit of her.
“She played just last week. You said it was beautiful and that you wanted her to teach you to play. She agreed,” Saadia reminded her.
“Oh yeah! Gwah, this dang ol’ Borg virus. There’s so much I want to remember… things I wanted to say to you…”
Saadia shook her head. “It’s alright, Pythia. Truly.” She tried her best to smile. “You know, if you let us find a way to get you out of this, I’m going to promote you, right? Lieutenant Commander, like you always dreamed. We talked about it so much, I said you were just one solid experiment away. Well… this counts!” She laughed, trying so very hard not to get choked up.
“Aww, that’s sweet, Saadia! Really! That’s… that’s so good to know. Can you call me Lieutenant Commander Pythia? I want to hear it in your voice! The way you say it like 'left-tenant!'”
Saadia grinned and looked away for a moment, nearly losing it right there. “Lieutenant Commander Pythia… you’re the best of us. A noble and brilliant woman. And you still have so much to give the U.S.S. Canberra. And the Federation. You’ve neutralised 85 percent...”
“92 percent!”
“…92 percent of an unstoppable Borg virus! You can do so much more. Why let it end here?”
“I’m sorry, Saadia. But as a Lieutenant Commander… wow that feels so good to say!... I have to make hard choices! There’s no other way to save the crew in time. You understand, you’d…” she dissolved into a distortion.
“…do the same for us,” Pythia’s voice returned, and enough of her face for Saadia to see her smile. “… love you all… say bye to… but... I... please… keep believing in synths!”
Then nothing but the sound of falling rain, perfectly rendered. A monsoon was coming in.
“Computer…” she called out, knowing full well the answer she’d receive. “Locate Lieutenant Commander Pythia.”
“Lieutenant Pythia not found on board. I noticed that you used a new rank for her; would you like to log a promotion?”
“Yes,” Saadia said tersely.
“Record updated.”
“Admiral!” came a voice over her combadge. Her XO, Commander Flores y Santiago, sounded exhausted and ecstatic all at once, “the virus is gone! Every system is purged but intact!” she said rapidly.
Then, nothing but rain again. Saadia turned around to walk back to the gateway. She’ll be stoic about this, the way she always was. “Copy. Run another scan, have Delta do a Level 5 Diagnostic. Then gather the crew…”

Saadia would do what she always did. Be the mother of the crew, be the pillar for everyone to lean on, to cleave to… There was no time for her own grief right now.
A friend had just died, a friend she’d thought immortal. Some part of herself grieved the loss of what she now realised was a foolish dream: the hope that synthetic officers could spare everyone the grief of loss, that they would always be one repair or molecular-reconstitution away from cheating the death that stalked all organics relentlessly--especially in Starfleet. These officers would be courageous yet undying. But now all that was left of Pythia was a memory strangled by grief that she’d tamp down, for the good of the crew. She’d have to be strong for them when they found out.
Then suddenly another sound peeled through the gathering monsoon. The distinct, metallic ringing of an old telephone. It was coming from the red, British-style phone booth across the street.
It rang again.
Saadia stared at the phone box and walked over curiously. Her romance programme was supposed to be paused. Once Pythia had… died… there should’ve been no other events beyond environmental effects. She stepped into the booth, finding relief from the rain and picked up the beige receiver, putting it to her ear. “…Hello?”
“Hi Vice Admiral!”
“Pythia! I… how…?”
“So, don’t be mad but this is a recording. If you’re hearing this, it means I’ve died. I slapped this together just before I started running my Pythia_IsTheAntibody program, because I knew that going all retroviral would screw with my memory, so I’m going to say all my proper pre-death goodbyes here in case my scheme with the holodeck doesn’t work out. First of all, you were really cool. Thank you for creating a home for me and other synths aboard the Canberra and treating us just like everyone else. So much love for you.
“And tell Commander Flores y Santiago that I love her too. But also tell her I hid her anbo-jyutsu stick in Jeffries Tube 26, in the entrance by the Cosmozoology Lab. I meant to tell her but with everything happening this week I kinda forgot about that prank…”
Saadia leaned against the wall of the booth and sank. Slowly. Until she sat on its floor, legs gathered against her chest. The tears were coming in sheets now as she heaved with sobs. “Don’t… please… don’t do this…” she whispered.
To no one in particular.
But she listened to every word.
7 people liked this
Edited July 28 2022 by Qeraeth
Michelle C.M.


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 21 2022

May Love Set You Free

Dedication: To K, with love and gratitude.

Captain’s log, stardate 88538.8. The Valkyrie has rendezvoused with the Alexandria in orbit of New Romulus. In a surprising about-face, Commodore Liazi Trin has requested my assistance with the examination and interrogation of the Tal Shiar prisoner. Although the Alexandria boasts a dedicated team of specialists, they’ve not found a way to reverse her brainwashing. The Commodore hopes I’ll have better luck, and there’s good reason for her to be hopeful. After all, the prisoner asked to see me.

Captain Michelle Marie Alvarado — a handsome, muscular, dark-haired Human woman in a crisp Starfleet service uniform — stepped off the transporter pad. She took a moment to admire the gleaming white surfaces of this fresh-off-the-line Yorktown-class vessel — quite a contrast from the battle-worn gunmetal gray of her venerable Sovereign-class Valkyrie. Commodore Liazi Trin — a dignified, square-shouldered, light-haired Trill woman in a science blue flag officer uniform — extended her hand in greeting.

“Welcome aboard,” Trin said as Alvarado shook her hand. “Thank you for coming so quickly.”

“You said time was of the essence,” Alvarado replied as she followed the Commodore out of the transporter room and into the adjacent corridor. “So let’s get down to business.”

“Indeed,” Trin said. “We have less than 36 hours before we have to turn the prisoner over to Republic authorities.”

“Where are you holding her?”

“Main Sickbay.”

“Not the brig?”

“Let me put it this way, Captain. She killed one of my people, critically injured three others, sustained multiple injuries herself, and made it look as easy as breathing.” Trin stopped and looked the Captain straight in the eye. “Where did a doctor learn to fight like that? Was it part of the programming?”

“Based on what you’re describing? That wasn’t the Tal Shiar. That was us.”

Trin quirked a brow. “You mean she learned that at Starfleet Academy? I saw no mention of it in her file.”

“That’s because my father taught her personally. Her family and mine go way back.”

“And now she’s using that against us.” Trin shook her head. “We need to fix this, before her and the other sleepers do any more damage.”

“Damn Tal Shiar,” Alvarado grumbled, “using children for their own ends.”

“There’s a certain twisted brilliance to it,” Trin opined as the two officers entered a turbolift. “They thought ahead, planted the seeds before the destruction of Romulus. And now they’re reaping the fruits of their labor.”

“With respect, sir, I’m not here to praise their tactical genius. I’m here to help undo the mess they made. And then I’m going to blow them to bits for what they did to my friend.”

“Careful, Captain,” Trin said in a tone both firm and gentle — one she perfected with her children. “Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment. I need you at your level best.”

Before long, the two women found themselves in the Alexandria’s Main Sickbay. Despite the quotidian name, it was a massive facility, spanning four decks. It resembled a planetside or starbase hospital more than what was found aboard most Starfleet vessels. Trin directed Alvarado to a private suite within, the entrance to which was flanked by two rifle-wielding security officers. Four more awaited them inside. There were two biobeds, but one of them was cordoned off by a force field.

Major Veris Saval of the Tal Shiar awaited them on the other side of that force field. Superficially, she resembled Commander Veris Saval of the Romulan Republic. She bore the same long black hair, the same piercing green eyes, and the same alabaster skin. However, she swapped a serene smile for a narrow-eyed contemptuous glare, made all the more menacing by a bevy of green-brown bruises.

“Captain Alvarado,” Saval said in an all-too-familiar voice. Any good voice authentication algorithm would flag it as legitimate, though it was now laced with bile.

“Major Saval,” Alvarado replied in an affected businesslike manner. “You asked to see me?”

“I needed to see if you were real.”

“Oh, I’m real. Pretty sure I am, at least.” Alvarado chuckled as an old saying came to mind. “‘I think, therefore I am.’ That was René Descartes, Human mathematician and philosopher. Maybe you’ve heard of him?”

Commander Saval would’ve erupted with laughter. She might’ve even made the same quip in Alvarado’s shoes. But Major Saval didn’t find this amusing at all.

“Tell me something,” she said. “Why do I keep seeing you every time I close my eyes?”

Alvarado blinked. She wasn’t expecting that. “Excuse me,” she said to Saval, just before directing Commodore Trin to a far corner of the room. Saval grumbled, but offered no other protest.

“Veris is still in there,” Alvarado said to Trin in a hushed voice. “And I think she’s trying to fight back.”

“What makes you think that?” Trin asked.

“It’s a long story, but here’s the gist. I think she’s using memories of me to antagonize the hostile intruder in her mind. And I think she also baited this intruder into seeking me.”

“That’s quite the theory, Captain. How do we go about proving it?”

“Honestly, sir? I’m not entirely sure. But I’m reasonably certain of one thing. You kept me away from her because of our personal connection. But I could use that connection to give Veris — the real Veris — a powerful incentive to break through. And maybe, just maybe, we can do something similar with the other sleepers.”

“I don’t like this,” Trin said. “But you Alvarados are a tenacious bunch. Your father certainly is. And if the memories of the previous Trin host are anything to go by, so was his father.”

“Does this mean I have permission to proceed?”

Trin nodded.

“There’s one more thing, sir. In order for this to work, I need proximity to her. She needs to feel my presence, without restriction.”

Judging by the deep frown on Trin’s face, she liked this even less. But she also knew that the best and brightest minds on the Alexandria hadn’t thought of anything better. So she nodded her assent yet again, albeit with great reluctance.

“Be advised,” she said. “If this goes sideways, I’m pulling you out and returning you to your ship. Understood?”

“Please, sir, let me do what I need to do,” Alvarado said as she positioned herself just before the force field. “I have faith in Veris. I hope you have faith in me.”

Trin offered no response to that. She simply dropped the force field just long enough for Alvarado to cross the threshold, then switched it back on.

“Let me see if I understand this correctly,” Alvarado said to Saval as she casually leaned against the biobed. “Are you saying you dream of me?”

“I do,” Saval groused, “and it’s growing tiresome.”

“What do you see when you dream of me?”

Saval marched up to Alvarado until the two women were mere centimeters apart from each other. “Why should I tell you, Human?”

Alvarado grinned, as if to say, challenge accepted.

“I have some guesses,” Alvarado said as she held that grin tight. “Maybe you’re dreaming of that ice rink on Yonge Street, in Toronto. We were teenagers, and you were trying to teach me how to skate. I was so clumsy then. You had to prop me up to keep me from falling.”

Saval growled, but found herself unable to move or take any other action.

“Or maybe you’re dreaming of your Academy graduation,” Alvarado continued. “They announced you as the ninth Romulan graduate in Starfleet history, and the first physician. You saw me there, in the audience, rising with everyone else to applaud you. Your smile was so radiant, it almost blinded me.”

At this point, Saval clenched her jaw, but still couldn’t move. Something — no, someone — was holding her back.

“Then there was the day you left us for the Republic.” Alvarado’s grin slipped into a downcast expression of melancholy. “You hugged me so hard, for so long. I didn’t think you’d ever let go.”

Being frozen was bad enough, but that was only the start. As Alvarado spoke, these memories came rushing to the surface of Saval’s consciousness, in screaming color. Then, there were the fantasies — the embraces she wished to prolong, the kisses she longed to steal, the way she hungered for Michelle’s touch in the wee small hours of the night. But fear held her back. Even in this relatively peaceful period of Romulan-Human relations, intimate relationships between them remained taboo on both sides. She couldn’t bring herself to take that first step into an undiscovered country.

“Enough!” Major Saval yelled as she reasserted herself. “It’s clear I need to end you, Captain. And then I can purge myself of this weakness.”

Saval’s hands rose to meet Alvarado’s neck, then closed tight around it.

“Of course… you think… love… is… weakness,” Alvarado said between desperate gasps. “You’re about… to find out… how… wrong… you…”

Trin signaled for the security officers to intervene, but Alvarado managed to shake her head ever so slightly, and hoped that would keep them at bay. Have faith in me, Alvarado had said. Trin didn’t have much, but in that moment, she had just enough.

After that, Alvarado could neither speak nor breathe. Her eyelids slammed shut like blast doors, and she slipped into limp unconsciousness. That’s when Saval’s expression shifted from snarling rage to wide-eyed alarm. A voice bellowed from deep within her — paradoxically, one that sounded both the same and different at the same time:

“Let go, you Tal Shiar bitch!”

As Saval loosened her grip, Alvarado slumped to the floor. Trin ordered the four security officers through the now-dropped force field. Two subdued Saval, and two dragged Alvarado into the biobed on the other side of the room. The skreet skreet of the Code Blue alarm summoned a flood of medical personnel, bearing hyposprays and tricorders. One prepared a defibrillator posthaste. Another removed Alvarado’s uniform tunic.

Commander Saval — now fully in control — could only watch with open-mouthed horror as the medical team attempted to revive Alvarado. Her eyes flicked upwards to the status monitors above the biobed. They registered a double-digit systolic and a pulse both faint and weak. A doctor brought the defibrillator paddles to Alvarado’s now-exposed chest. As Alvarado’s body rose to meet the shock, Saval’s heart jumped, as if she received the shock herself.

“I’m sorry, Michelle,” Saval pleaded through sobs. “Please, hold on, please —”

With that, she slumped to the floor herself, sliding against the force field on the way down. She brought her knees to her chest, allowed her head to rest in the space between, and cried until she could cry no longer.

“I love you,” she whispered against the tension in her throat. “Please, come back to me.”
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Edited July 26 2022 by Gamerchelle
Gareth GXV3


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 25 2022

2 Weeks
By Gareth GX age 6

Day 3: The cloth canopy that I constructed from my uniform to keep this god damn sun from my skin is about as much use as a chocolate teapot, it barely keeps that scorching ball of fire off my skin, this desert is slowly cooking me.
I've attempted to contact my ship via subspace again.. my shaking hand causes my fingers to barely grasp the communicator through desperation.
What happened to the calm and collected Captain I used to be... well.. still am, If my ship ever gets to this god damn planet.
Well.. it's ration time. I held out as long as I could, even half of this emergency food sludge in a packet is mouth-watering to me right now.. remeber.. just eat half.. no more.

Day 5: The sand storm was quite mild last night, though it didn't feel like that at the time, thousands of tiny particles beating on my skin at 100 miles per hour wasn't a fun experience.
Why aren't my subspace hails getting through?! this communicator is on its last bit of power, maybe I should try hailing just once every hour instead to save the remaining power?
Surely he's looking for me? Karl follows orders to the letter, he is diligent and aware.. he's always been the same since I met him and helped him through the Terran empire military academy and had him as my number one.. he knows my shuttle is due back tomorrow and I would have sent an update communication and the Rendezvous coordinates to meet.... has he given the order to look for me?

Day 7: The Sun is setting thank the Empress, The heat.. I can no longer take it, I sit here on this rancid desert planet.. no life, no plants.. no water, I can't risk moving far.. they may have gotten my hails.. 
The communicator finally died on my this morning, my last hope evaporated into this filthy heated thin air.
I know the subspace messages went through.. I know they did.. how.. why are they not.. where are they? my ship, my crew.. 
Should I risk eating the remainder of my rations? I need.. im so hungry.
there was no time to act when the shuttle's warp was due to breach, I found the nearest planet and grabbed what i could and beamed down not 5 seconds before the breach destroyed the stupid shuttle.. I didn't see it coming, why would it breach just like that? Did I have time to grab more ration boxes? .. no.. i don't know, this heat and hunger is making me weary, stop thinking!

Day 10: The thoughts in my head are hammering into my skull, day and night think think think!.. they should have been here, god damn will have them all put to death when i get back. Call themselves Terran officers, they took an allegiance to serve on my damn vessel. Here was I thinking Karl took me as his mate as well as my 1st officer, he said we would rise through the ranks together forever.... where is he!?
I've stooped so low as to lick the ration packet for any morsel or taste of food, the empty bottle of water is now gone days ago... i can't swallow all i can taste is sand, I feel so weak.. they need to come.. they need too.

Day 14: I just lay here, my energy has gone, depleted the sun has scorched and left its mark all over my skin in painful blisters, you would think that the reason for my discomfort.. but no, my body yearning for water is unbearable like a savage monster in my gut tearing away at me from the inside.. i can't move, I no longer want to move.
How could they.. ?
My eyes are heavy.. I can barely motivate myself to inhale and exhale anymore... its getting dark.. why is it.. getting dark... the sun is still over me.. but it.. getting dark... how... could they.. do...this, .. so dark..... ...


Day 3: Acting Captain's log, Commander Karl Duggan, I.S.S Moscow. I've decided to order a full diagnostic of our communications systems.. I want it thoroughly done so we should expect downtime of all comms and subspace channels for several days. Having seen off the Captain personally to his assessment mission of a new mining colony several days ago we should expect him back soon. This is a relatively straight forward mission for him.

Day 8: Acting Captain's log, Commander Karl Duggan, I.S.S Moscow. The Captains shuttle did not rendezvous with the ship as intended.
I ordered the Moscow to scan for his shuttles signature, and.. It is my sad duty to officially report that we found shuttle debry in orbit of an M class dessert moon, caused by a warp breach. 
Having personally scanned for life signs on the planet and area, I found nothing.
I prepped his shuttle before take off myself and found nothing out of the ordinary, It must be down to his lack of care when commanding this shuttle.
This is a sad day for the I.S.S. Moscow. But a new day for me...
It is my duty to take this ship under my command and with Terran custom, Raise my rank to Captain.... Its what the Captain would have wanted, and As my mate.. he will be missed, but life goes on.
End log.


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Sage Rothwell


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 27 2022

(Write about your character shouldering an unspeakable burden for those who do not realize that they are.)

Agent Kos
Section 31


"Belli dura despicio. 'I despise the hard knocks of war.'" -
Motto of the HMS Warspite, United Kingdom, Earth, 8 March 1915 to 1 February 1945

Logic is subjective. The practical applicative meaning of "logic" is woefully indefinable and at times even arbitrary. Perhaps, then, the most ubiquitously applicable logical ideology one can embrace is that of pure pragmatism. And the simple, inescapable truth of our current situation, which we have discovered, is that the universe is not as we would prefer it. We had chosen humility, tolerance, unity, peace, life, and prosperity. Yet, as we ventured out into the galaxy, we found pride, greed, ignorance, subjugation, war, and death. Regardless of our sincerest attempts at holding to, and offering peace, the consistent retort from Cosmos is to force war upon us. 

Therefore, having found our ideology to be incongruous with reality, a reevaluation of our morals and virtues becomes necessary. While we hold the ultimate ineffectiveness and counterproductiveness of war to be true and obvious, in the presence of universal conflict, the waging of war becomes logical by necessity if our survival is to be maintained. 

Therefore I have chosen to reject the Vulcan doctrine forbidding violence, that I may study and practice the art of warfare without restriction. Throughout time such evil must necessarily be embraced by a few for the sake of the many, and I embrace that evil to secure the opportunity for others to live and prosper in innocence. 

Truly, "Victory is life."

I leave this supplemental log for posterity and explanation. For surely one day my fellows will learn of my deeds and ask, "How could he, a Federation citizen, a Starfleet officer, and a Vulcan, have done such things?" 

Because logic demanded it.

Peace, long life, and prosperity to The United Federation of Planets and to Starfleet forever. Live long and prosper.

"Hence it comes about that all armed prophets have been victorious and all unarmed prophets have been destroyed." - Niccolo Machiavelli
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Adam Kotaška


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 29 2022


The voice of the ship´s computer recited the incident report in such inappropriately seductive manner. But Elieth was trying to ignore that distraction and attentively watched the graphics on the monitor showing a turbulent change in a bundle of lines after a single thread has been torn from it.
Watched with a gnawing sense of dread as he understood better than anybody that it signals the end of every known civilization in the galaxy. He would of course never allow himself to express such or any feeling. He was, after all, a Vulcan.
Not only would his crew lose all trust and faith in their captain if he did indulge his emotions, but more importantly, he would.
Every since he was a little boy growing on Vulcan Elieth has been taught that expressing an emotion was unacceptable for a Vulcan. It was regarded as the most abhorent betrayal of logic, of Vulcan customs, of untouchable heritage that allowed his ancestors to survive their primal self-destructive impulses and grow into enlightened society, that has since became respected and admired throughout galactic quadrants for its scientific knowledge, nobility and serenity. Showing feelings meant becoming a v‘tosh ka‘tur. It was unspeakable. It was worse than death.
And so Elieth, just like every other Vulcan, did what the society expected of him. He was what he was expected to be. A seemingly insensitive genius whose every motivation could be broken down to strictly logical reasoning.
Yet sometimes, more often than he felt comfortable with, the grip holding emotions tightly in control loosened. Bit by bit. After centuries filled with heartbreaks and a myriad kinds of suffering the grip was loose enough that Elieth long ago admitted all these feelings to himself, if never in front of others, without bothering to reasoning them away. He even admitted that deep down he always knew he was not a „proper“ Vulcan. Every since that landing pad, that touch of cold.
How „unvulcan“ of him, he thought, was the fact that he so often drifted in memories to that moment when he first witnessed a person die. But he couldn‘t help it. It might have seemed so distant back then, when he was just five years old boy spooked by the noise of huge explosion at the other end of the shuttlebay, turning around and watching the poor maintenance worker being shred to pieces. Immediate reactions of all the other nearby Vulcans showed concern or curiosity, but no emotion, no saddnes or pity. All the others seemed so unaffected by the violent consequence of one broken fuel tank. However little Elieth felt the fear for the first time, the innermost fear for life, the horror of mortality. Distant or not, that fearful, ghastly and yet fascinating image burned itself on Elieths infantile katra like a deep little scar and reminded itself every now and then like an itch.
And now, just as many times before, Elieth forced himself to stop replaying the dreadful scene from his „unfortunately“ eidetic Vulcan memory. It is only natural, he thought, to be reminded of the strongest impression of his childhood now, when the new crisis demanded his return to his homeworld, Ni‘Var, after many centuries of absence. Only back then the planet was called Vulcan, he reminded himself; back in those days that he so often remembered with a tint of nostalghia. Another of those creeping emotions! But again, he could not help it.

Long before 29th century, before becoming a captain of the colossal Chronos-class temporal dreadnought U.S.S. Strangelove, long before the fateful battle of Caleb IV where he seemingly died and before being recruited as a temporal agent by mysterious „ensign“ Hunter/Daniels, Elieth was a plain and simple chief security officer of the U.S.S. Andalusia, small and light-armed, yet very fine Pioneer-class Utility cruiser.
Pride. Elieth remembered how humans called that other emotion he often felt, yet never expressed, when serving on Andalusia in the 23rd century. Only 20 years old and already he rose through the ranks as high as to have a whole security section of a ship entrusted upon him.
It was a different era, a better one in a sense. The age of heroism, the times of the original U.S.S. Enterprise and her bigger-than-life crew, of such advancement, such wonders!
            Paradoxically Elieth remembered even the most dangerous moments of his service in those times with fondness. The rescue mission on Taurus II, fighting Klingons alongside the legendary captain James T. Kirk (how silly it seemed to Elieth that Klingons were once the arch enemies of the Federation when now they are among it‘s most respected members), or later spending whole night at the Earth Space Dock drinking and chatting with Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and others and many more cherished moments.
Elieth used to like patrolling the corridors of the Andalusia, pacing with a prideful step, meeting crew in the hallways, greeting them and wondering if the Vulcans among them were like him – pretenders, feeling whatever they felt and just putting imaginary masks over their faces to conceal the fact. He would never dare to ask another Vulcan, of course. He would never know.

Despite the farce the Vulcan way of life forced him to live in, those were still the good times. He was sure of that. Not like now, not like 29th century when each day, hour and minute and every resource had to be devoted to preventing incursions into timeline that might cause destructive ripples through aeons compared to which even the most atrocious war crimes of past wars seemed almost negligible. Damn the temporal cold war, Elieth cursed in the privacy of his thoughts. Damn every single Vorgon, Certoss Ajahlan and Na‘kuhl that ever broke the temporal accords and sparked a fire that almost burned the timeline all the way to eternity! Every horror discovered in someone‘s attempt at weaponizing time made Elieth‘s struggle to maintain emotional control that much more difficult.
But it was important he „kept it together“, because his uniquely trained mind, experienced by centuries serving as so called „agent of yesterday“, was among the few major advantages the temporal fleet had in developing countermeasures against the Na‘kuhl incursions. At least that was Elieth‘s educated guess – this new temporal incursion located on Ni‘Var was likely of Na‘kuhl origin. After all, they specialized in similar tactics – precision surgical strikes at unexpected shatterpoints in spacetime, moments so subtle they have yet to be recognized as crossroads of temporal branching and marked in the maps of time for protection.
What Na‘kuhl lacked in time-traveling technologies they more then enough compensated with zealous comittment. That made them the greatest threat in Elieth‘s eyes. Possibly the greatest the Federation has ever faced, considering the possible consequences of their actions. Whatever they did this time changed the timestream after 2252 into millennia of galaxy-wide misery. At least according to the tangled mess the timeline monitors were showing now. And only ships of the temporal security fleet, perpetually displaced from spacetime continuum by their unique chronoinduction engines and cyclical-time shields and therefore protected from the changes in the timeline, had any chance of preventing it. And preventing it was what Elieth was trained to do as well as his crew and that‘s also what they were best at.
Whole history tangled up – such dreadful consequences! Yet solution seemed so simple and easy… in theory. Just to send an agent back into the past, right before the incursion, and prevent it from happening. Easier said than done, Elieth muttered for himself while thoroughly studying analysis provided by the computer. Na‘kuhl terrorists were smart enough to anticipate such countermeasures. They used some sort of localized temporal jamming field that even the most advanced temporal sensors of the Strangelove couldn‘t penetrate. It was impossible to determine what exactly happened at that point on a timeline, six hundred years ago, that should not happen according to history. But it could be traced...  so it could be followed.
All agents of yesterday, how popular nickname described the 29th century field operatives, were trained for such eventualities. But this was about Ni‘Var and Elieth wouldn‘t let any of his subordinates take this job if he could perform it himself. He reasoned he is the most qualified officer anyway and that his Vulcan nature would make it unnecessary for other agent to undergo change of appearance in order to blend in with the population of Ni‘Var. It sounded thorouhly logical when he presented his arguments to himself in a silent inner dialogue. Yet Elieth suspected that to some degree at least, the decision to go back in time himself was based, at least in part, on some emotions from underneath.

Elieth decided not to reflect upon those feelings and instead to prepare for action. He held the necessary tactical briefings with his officers (necessary, but of little use - a thousand things could still go wrong), retrieved and checked his gear in the equipment room and realized that this was about to be the first in hudreds of missions when he didn‘t have to receive a hypo to subdue the symptoms of temporal necrosis till his return, since he was about to travel to his original time, to his native era, the most natural time and place for his body and katra. He didn‘t even need any surgeries done.
On a ship isolated from normal flow of time he and his crew didn‘t age. Not in physical sense anyway. The elderly Vulcan man still looked exactly the same as when he was twenty two years old boy. He motioned to computer to remove his clothes and the uniform dissolved into thin air. He felt a slight bit of shame, despite being alone in his quarters, and suppressed the scolding voice in his head telling him how illogical shame was.
Elieth opted not to use the programmable matter to recreate era-appropriate outfit and instead make the illusion perfect by replicating physical clothes as used to be worn back then. He decided to pose as a Starfleet officer, since that was a role most familiar to him and easiest to „sell“ convincingly if confronted. This was slightly before „his“ era, so he couldn‘t use the redshirt top and black trousers that he so proudly wore on the U.S.S. Andalusia, but instead the computer offered him somewhat bland, mosty blue uniform that was the norm earlier in time. After replicating it, checking if the colors and the badge matched the archived documents and trying it on, Elieth found it… mostly satisfactory. Then he noticed the pockets and raised his right eyebrow. What a nonsense this was. Starfleet uniform with pockets!
Officers gathered around the small circular transporter pad on the bridge to receive their captain‘s final orders and to wish him luck. This time Elieth chose not to protest against that illogical sentiment. It… felt… appropriate, somehow. Instead he accepted it with a slight nod and wished them all long and prosperous lives by traditional Vulcan hand gesture. He knew once he is gone they can‘t do anything to help him on this mission, they can only monitor the progress. His officers must have felt just as helpless as he always felt when sending an agent out there. He didn‘t wait any longer; as soon as the computer finished calculating the spacetime transport coordinates, he gave the order and dissapeared in bluish light.

The sun 40 Eridani A was shining so bright! Such was Elieth‘s first impression. His inner eyelids helped him adjust to the sharp difference from the dim lighting of a ship interior. The air was just as hot as he remembered from past long gone and yet alive in front of his eyes. He was standing on a busy square and the sharp sunlight reflected on the reddish surfaces of the typical Vulcan architecture of 23rd century. That seemed right. Quick glance around and Elieth made sure that nobody found his appearance suspicious. After all, he was supposed to be a Starfleet officer that beamed down from one of many orbiting vessels for shore leave and visiting his family, or to undergo a ritual in the temple of T´Panit or any other logical reason to come planetside. Nothing strange about any of that.
He took a look at his temporal tricorder, which was remade to look like big boxy tricorders of this time, and as expected the device was still calculating the temporal coordinates. That couldn’t be rushed so it gave Elieth some time to walk around and make a few observations by himself. He walked the streets noticing passersby and the fashion they wore, looking up at the sky and recognizing the types and designes of shuttles criss-crossing it. All that he saw fit the right time when he was supposed to be.
Quickly he realized the time-transporter beam deposited him in Vulcana Regar, the largest city and spaceport on the planet. Tall transparent-aluminum buildings were typical, as was the busy traffic in the air, not to mention famous sights like the Vanik Tower. Surrounding street holo-ads advertized desert racing, orbital sky-diving or visiting places like T´Jerel Gallery and Museum of Vulcan-Andorian relations. The place was unmistakeable.
Elieth found small cozy open-air restaurant in a shady street corner. He took a table and ordered a spice ice tea with his favourite mix of flavors that probably only Vulcan toungue could feel and distinguish. The waiter took the order, bowed slightly and addressed him as „ensign“, recognizing the rank on the fake badge. That seemed right as well. If this was indeed the right time, it was an era when respect for Starfleet was growing among Vulcans. After all, that is probably the reason Elieth chose such career himself he mused for a moment. He looked around and felt home, again… and only slightly as a pretender.

He downloaded the latest newsfeed from local terminal into his tricorder and was scrolling throught it while sipping his tea: „Zebulon Carter´s journal found and returned to Earth. New excavation site opened in The Forge – artifacts dating back to The Sundering discovered. Second battle of Axanar victorious. A plague viped out the population of Dramia II…“ he kept reading and based on the headlines he assumed the year was 2252 according to the Earth‘s old gregorian calendar. Right on that time the tricorder beeped to signal finishing of it‘s calculations and confirmed Elieth‘s assumption. Excelent work, he thought. So far, the mission went exactly as it was supposed to.
Now it was time to make the tricorder busy with another set of calculations. Elieth started the search for recognition of lifeform signatures. The device could easily sort through entire population of the planet in matter of seconds. Results came almost immediately. Or actually, in 2.47 seconds, as Elieth forced himself to calculate out of old habit.
First scan revealed majority of Vulcans and several minorities of allied species – Andorians, Denobulans, Caitians, Saurians, Tiburons, Deltans, humans and others. Nothing out of ordinary. Except…, then Elieth paused the small screen, except maybe for several Romulan signatures…? That was curious. This was long before The Unification and almost two decades before official revelation of the „kinship“ between Vulcans and Romulans.
Elieth scanned these Romulans for chronometric abnormalities and found nothing anomalous about them. Probably Tal Shiar or Zhat Vash secret agents infiltrating Vulcan society and using for an advantage the fact that contemporary scanners couldn‘t possibly differentiate a Vulcan from a Romulan. It wasn‘t known to 29th century researchers that Romulans were operating here at this time, so Elieth saved the data with a note for future reference, his officers will analyze his findings upon his return, but his mission had a different goal and that took priority.

He reset the handheld sensor and focused on Vulcan signatures only, having the tricorder search for particular anomaly and founding it – a singular occurence of a lifesign surrounded by the slightest aura of particle leakage; particles typical for Na’kuhl chronoplasma technologies. Elieth has seen that before. No doubt this was an agent using personal holographic camouflage device and posing as a Vulcan and there was only one of them – that made sense as well. Given the limitations of Na’kuhl time-displacement technology they probably didn’t manage to send more that one person through a portal in a single attempt. But that hypothesis didn’t make Elieth feel any less pressure. Even a lone terrorist can cause unimaginable damage to the timeline.
That lifesign located in the outskirts of Vulcana Regar was clearly on the move; probably already heading towards it’s target. There was no time to waste. Elieth quickly rose, set up coordinates and teleported to the vicinity of his suspect. He didn’t have to search the crowd for long. His trained eye could analyze all the non-verbals of the people around him in order to pick up the only one exhibiting odd patterns of behaviour. He set his eyes on middle-aged Vulcan man that looked so average nobody would pay any attention to him. Elieth would probably forgot that he ever saw that little tired-looking „grey“ man the second he would look away, if not… if not for that strange posture, that unusually fast walk for a man of that age, that lifeless look in his eyes… Damn! Their eyes met and Elieth realized he has been recognized as an agent just as he recognized his target.
The following fight happened so fast it was carried out mostly by reflexes. Before the Na’kuhl agent jumped in the underground gyro-train station he moved his arm in a gesture suggesting shooting a phaser in Elieth’s direction. There was no light to be seen, but Elieth clearly felt the heat of the invisible beam on his right cheek as he dodged. The Na’kuhl agent shot and missed without anybody in the street noticing the mortal danger surrouding them. That was luck!
The covering fire served its purpose as it enabled the aggressor a clean escape, but Elieth didn’t bother to give a chase. His tricorder got even a better lock on the Na‘kuhl terrorist‘s signature by now and it was easy to track the enemy from now on. There was no camouflage or cloaking that could hide his target from Elieth now. The little black dot on the small screen of his tricorder was moving in the direction of the cosmodrome. That seemed a likely destination for a terrorist attack. It was time to move a step ahead of his opponent.

Elieth beamed right into the spaceport located just outside of the city. None of the contemporary security measures or transporter inhibitors could prevent it. He didn’t loiter. Once he made sure noone pays attention he accessed nearest computer terminal and began searching it’s database. The list of passengers revealed noone of importace or any ancestor to an important future figure. There was nothing on the list of cargo either that would catch Elieth’s attention. It wasn’t like emeritus president Archer was supposed to land in one of the docking bays that day or that a cargo container held a Tox Uthat or the Stone of Gol. So what could possibly bring a time terrorist to this place?
Elieth‘s lead was not supposed to last long. The Na’kuhl was faster than expected and soon the tricorder signaled his entering the spaceport edifice and moving through the labyrinthine maintanence tunnels.
With the advantage squandered by fruitless search through databases Elieth had no option left but to follow the Na'kuhl in person again. There was no other lead than the aggresor's steps. To preserve his cover Elieth quickly changed in a nearby closet into a maintenance jumpsuit and began a pursuit through tight, dimly-lit maintenance tunnels. On his way he set his phaser for desintegration. There must be nothing left of the attacker and the future tech he carried but subatomic particles if the right timeline was to be preserved. Elieth couldn't allow even the smallest room for a mistake.
He will shoot to kill, first opportunity he gets, no fair play, no warning. Just like in those illogical 2-D western films that his crewmembers liked to watch on friday movie nights on Stranglelove, as he remembered with the slightest tug of a smile in the corner of his lips. Then he quickly chased the memory away. Focus is important! He cannot allow emotional or any other distraction to soften his concentration, especially now. However he might have doubted himself most of his long life, in the next few moments he couldn't afford to be less than a perfect example of Vulcan mental discipline. So much depended on it. He forced himself to once again swallow it all down, tasting every feeling for a fleeting moment, until there was nothing left on his mind but cold calculus to guide his actions.

How curious! The Na’kuhl terrorist seemed to have led him into a huge automated loading bay in the least important part of the docking complex, just a few workers and some visitors moving in safe distance. Nothing but empty cargo haulers and some long-distance courier probes there. Nothing of any… Wait a minute. A courier probes, including the one that according to history files ambassador Sarek used to send an invitation to Coridanites? Of course! Coridan cut all ties with the then Coalition of Planets following the disaster the planet suffered during the Earth-Romulan war. All the subspace relay stations in surrounding systems were turned off.
If memory serves right, and it always does for Vulcans, then 2252 must have been the year, when following the decline of the Klingon/Federation relations, Vulcan diplomatic corps decided to gain more strenght by reconnecting with former allies and sent a faster-than-light probe with a diplomatic letter to Coridan. The letter lead to years of talks and almost two decades later to the Babel conference of 2268.
Should the probe get sabotaged and it‘s lost on its way to destination, there are no talks. ‚No talks‘ leads to ‚no Babel conference‘, ‚no Babel conference‘ leads to ‚Coridan not joining the Federation‘ which leads to upsetting the balance of power between triangle of Alpha and Beta quadrant super powers, which leads – most likely – to a long and devastating war with either Romulans or Klingons or both, which leaves the Alpha quadrant weakened for centuries and unprepared for threats about to come; the Borg, the Dominion, Iconians, Hur’q, Fen Domar and so on. By the way, Elieth remembered old terran saying that well described such „domino“ effect:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Right. That would certainly explain the catastrophically looking diagrams on the temporal computer monitors. And seemingly all it takes to prevent it is to intercept lone Na’kuhl operative before he gets to the probe on it’s launch pad. Elieth felt like rolling his eyes. Time is a joker indeed.

By peripheral sight Elieth caught movement to his left. And there he saw the Na’kuhl. The vampyrical face and sleak red uniform. The enemy agent must have discarded the holo-costume in order to use his future tech. It was time. Elieth didn’t hesitate and shot a phaser blast just as his target began to aim a plasma pistol at him. Getting a direct hit the Na’kuhl just evaporated. There was no flash of light, no sound, nothing to gain attention of passersby in the distance or to leave any trace.
Hopeful the mission was succesful Elieth picked up his tricorder and one last time probed the area and all the local equipment for signs of tampering. All seemed to be in order. He reacted in time. Now it takes just to wait a little bit for the temporal jamming field to dissipate after Na’kuhl‘s devices disintegrated along with his body and Elieth could signal his ship to pick him up. One more time, a millionth-time at least, the timeline was saved.

And then again, as so many times before, the familiar touch of cold paralyzed Elieth’s body. The strenuous effort to subdue his feelings must have been taking it’s toll, Elieth thought. But then he paused and looked around. This landing bay – he has seen it before. Those voices in the distance – are they children? What is the exact time, again?
Elieth focused his eyes into the distance and noticed a group of students; engineering pupils just like he used to be once, around this time, no doubt visiting to learn more about the spaceport. And what was that heat he felt right before the cold? Did the Na’kuhl manage to shoot one more of those invisible beams before he died?
He turned quickly, but still too late. The scorching marks on the fuel tank behind him went too deep. It was about to explode in less than a second. In his last moment, right before the explosion, before the darkness came, Elieth realized that all those centuries ago, when he was still a child, that event that scared him to the core of his soul, was watching the moment of his own death.


The end.


Themes I attempted to work into the story:
  • Write about your character being followed by misfortune that they just can't seem to shake
  • Write about your character being a pivotal part of a terrible world or universe changing event
  • Write about your character shouldering an unspeakable burden for those who do not realize that they are
  • …and many other tragic aspects not specified in instructions above.

Even though it‘s my original short story and sufficiently transformative, as I believe, it has many inspirations, references and links and to be fair I feel at least one has to be mentioned besides, obvisously, Star Trek Online and that’s the inspiration for the ending that I borrowed from a 1962 movie/photo-novel by Chris Marker called La Jetée, that had a big influence on me. Except Star Trek references from canonical sources and STO there are bits of information I borrowed from Vulcan Travel Guide by Dayton Ward and Federation: The first 150 Years by David A. Goodman. And of course there is a ton of my own speculations that I just made up whenever needed.
All comments, suggestions, pointing out mistakes etc are welcome and encouraged. Reach me here, or in-game, or on Discord, whatever you like.
P.S.: Oh and let me know who’s idea it was to make us write sorrowful stories and I will send them the bill for my depression pills.
6 people liked this
Cheyenne Cartwright


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 30 2022
“Commend Me to My Kind Lord”

The First City belongs to the warriors.

Change comes slowly to Qo'noS, and as the Empire struggled with itself and its ideals in the early second millennia of Kahless, even another thousand years of change would surely prove this one keystone could not be moved. Warriors alone can claim the First City.

To say that all Klingons are warriors is not mere posturing, but it also does not tell the whole story. It is true that a Klingon is taught from their first steps to walk in the shadow of death, unafraid, ready to look it in the eye and dare it to take them. What is oft forgotten is that only a fraction of this great people, who slew their own gods, belong formally to the ranks of the KDF.

Not only do the other powers, great and small, of the known quadrants forget this, but so too do the warriors of the First City forget the people who build their ships, their weapons, who make their uniforms, press and age their bloodwine. They tend not to concern themselves where the souls go of people who write their songs of battle, and their opera, who raise the worms for fresh racht and gagh.

If a KDF officer is, however, on guard duty in the First City, they are very concerned indeed with the comings and goings of anyone on their streets that has no rank, or approval from a great house.

“Hold there, woman,” a guard called. “Your business.”

“Is my own,” the woman lifted her chin at his affront. She softened reluctantly, remembering her place. “And the business of the courts.”

She presented a pass for herself and the small, rambunctious girl child at her side, which the guard snorted at, passed to his compatriot, then ignored to more thoroughly eye her. “Look at Lady Sirella here,” he laughed, tossing her pass back to her. “Keep your skirts clean and the child close, 'mi'lady'. The City is not a soft bed to lie in with your eyes closed.”

He laughed again at her passing, and the girl child, kept firmly in hand by her mother, nevertheless twisted in her grip just enough to growl at the guard. She was too young to take his meaning, but understood the tone well enough.

Her mother hauled her up then by one arm and tucked her against her bosom, encouraging better behavior with a good natured hiss and chuckle under her hood. “He deserves your ire, yes, little one,” she cooed, “But best for us to be finished and back ho--... well finished anyway. And not kept here in irons because my little targ likes to snap at foolish men.”

The woman teased the child with a length of her own braid under the girl's nose, the ridges across its bridge only weeks old, and her first steps just a fortnight ago. The child gnawed at the braid and clung tight to her mother as they moved into the markets.

Here extended the great sprawl of stalls and cargo containers in the cave reserved for off world commerce, where aliens were allowed to ply their wares and make deals for everything from disruptors to voDchuch silk. Few warriors here, and only a little more than half of them Klingons besides, but it suited the great houses and the High Council to have this bounty so close to their halls.

The noise and color fascinated the child, but kept her wary, her head turning like a point defense turret loaded with defensive barks and hungry looks at all the sumptuous excess. The only thing to hold her attention longer than a few moments also made her body go rigid and her breath still as she beheld a wonder unlike any known to her on the still half charred landscape of Narendra III. A funny little man with enormous ears and a great coat of many colors entertained a small crowd with a rainbow of flying silk handkerchiefs, which he kept flying as he juggled balls, pins, rings, an endless array of glimmering treasures. They would disappear into his coat, or the very air itself, and reappear just as suddenly, to the delight of most, and to the child most of all, who did her best to pull her mother towards the show by her own braids.

“Bah!” scoffed a warrior. “Tis foolish mummery, and cheap at that!”

“Oho, right you are, mighty one,” the Ferengi mountebank averred. “I dare say half the cost of any other foolery and twice as foolish, guaranteed!” He defused any ill will by making a bottle of prune juice appear in the center of a metal ring as he spun it on his counter, offering it to the warrior who smiled in spite of himself and took it, though grumbling about transporter tricks.

“And who is this little one, may I ask?” his attention was suddenly on the child and her mother.

“A busy matron with a--”

“Q'ama!” the little girl barked. Her mother looked at her a moment with calm resignation to her fate for the next few minutes, then sounded out the girl's proper name. “Q'ama'la, that's your name.”

“And how old are you, Q'ama'la?”

The child screwed her face up with effort, the ridges of her nose colliding into one another and turning her cheeks a darker plum. Eventually she held up a fist and counted out two fingers, waving them at the Ferengi.

“Two! You don't say... why I bet you'll be commanding a whole fleet in a few years time, if I know little Klingons, and I do. How I still have all my fingers is anyone's guess!”

Families laughed and shared knowing grins. One father slapped his son's hand from off of a wooden disruptor on the Ferengi's cart and glared. Q'ama'la simply glowed, happy from head to toe.

“Any captain worth his qapla' needs a friend though, an ally, someone to watch his back,” The Ferengi continued thoughtfully. “And I bet I know just the... Aha!”

And from behind his cart he produced a beautiful, cream colored, stuffed Sehlat, with gold latinum button eyes, and a great big black tuft of fur on his tail. Q'ama'la was enraptured, unable to contain whines and growls of deepest need, but her mother held fast.

“Our house is true, but modest, merchant,” she said, bracing her spine and hardening her heart. “And we must to the court.”

“A gift then,” he said with finality. Others looked on, stunned. The woman turned to him incredulous, uncertain if he meant insult. “Or ...” he rethought, “rather, do me a favor. Commend me to your advocates when you get there, eh?”

“What business a toy maker with our advocates?” she raised an eyebrow.

“Pays to have a finger in all the rokegs you can reach, let's say that. And ahhh,” he dropped his voice enough to respect her clear desire for privacy. “As a long standing patron of the arts, think of it as a small token of appreciation for one of the greats. Now let's make a little warrior's day while we're at it.”

The woman stared several long moments, then kneeled to set her child on her feet, hiding a slight blush in her cloak. “Go then, claim your prize,” she said. “And what do we say?”

Q'ama'la swept the gift into her arms with fierce joy, and roared at the Ferengi as best she could, “Qapla'!” before head butting his knee.

“Oof!” he grunted. “I am undone, truly! May you find worthier foes than this poor fool.” With a wink he was instantly appealing to his crowd once more, “though I could leave here a richer fool by far if any here are moved to spend, hey hey, what have I brought for you today?”

Her hand closed that little bit tighter around her daughter's as they made their way through the market and away. The halls of judgment sat waiting for them, implacable, and anchored by centuries of doling out men's fates.

The territories here had been slowly colonized by the homes of wealthy advocates. They had grown only more clever in the centuries since Kolos stood for valorous justice across the Empire, arguing first that theirs is a warrior's work like any soldier, and thus were they entitled to the franchise, as well as homes in the city. Many would think then, in the days of Duras, Gowron, and more that while Kolos could still be found here, in effigy, a basalt monument before the courts, his vision was long gone. Many would think this, but they would not say it, not in hearing of those same courts.

At one large house, busy with the crowded passing of messengers, clerks, and petitioners, the woman shouldered her way through, head high, and dropped her hood at the threshold. She strode for the officer on watch to receive, heedless of the line or those seated, and intoned, “I am Shree, daughter of Va'athi. Tell your master I am here, with my daughter... and her grandfather's will.”

Her demand caused a stir, and consternation among the functionaries therein. Such commanding mien, so plain in every other respect, and a name nowhere on the rolls of honor, but still she stood, unmoving, unbent, even by the burden of all their curious or contemptuous glares and the weight of a restless girl child, who circled her mother like territory to guard from scavengers. It was several long moments before a voice answered from beyond the petitioner's pit.

“Send them in.” It called. “And let no one else pass.”

The torch lit chamber they were ushered into had been, like most of the oldest structures, hewn from the surrounding stone, a manifestation of the Klingon will to make of even the darkest, most unyielding of places a fertile bed for the Empire to flourish. The man therein, who smoothed his long, pointed eyebrows and beard as he regarded them both coolly, was much softer by comparison, except for his eyes, which could have been the force that made the rock surrender.

“He knows,” was all he said by way of greeting.

The woman took a seat and encouraged Q'ama'la to play by herself in the corner of the room. She took time adjusting her robe to her comfort and regarded him again with a slow blink. “He does,” she answered.

He steepled his fingers and paced slowly. As he raised a finger, about to think aloud, she cut him off. “Ch'Pok,” she said, not entirely without warmth. “There is no room for schemes here. It is done. Grandfather knows and he has already acted.”

“How so?” the advocate asked, leaning heavily against the table before her and crossing his arms.

“Does it matter?” she laughed mirthlessly. “A jealous cousin, a... scandalized inlaw, or mayhap blackmail, who can--”

“No, no,” Ch'Pok lowered his arms and voice. He regretted his defensive posture before her, gentling as he began to feel the joy of her presence again. He asked, “How has the old man acted, now that it's out?”

She grimaced. “Rab'n'drAth is disowned. It is not public, yet, but it is final. He would rather no heir at all than a...”

Ch'Pok pressed, “And his intentions regarding me?”

I do perceive here a divided duty...” Her eyes narrowed and the woman nearly flew into a rage, but for her daughter's precocious ears taking in every word. “You. You, Ch'Pok, have done rather well for yourself. Landed quite nicely on your feet since that business with the Son of Mogh, haven't you? You ... are too powerful, too far out of his reach, he knows this even in his wrath.”

The advocate sighed, and knelt before her. “I had to ask.” He took her hands in his and kissed them, which she did not resist. Against his every instinct as a lawyer, as a man with secrets, a past, he could not help but look past her to the child. Shree followed his gaze.

Oh beware, my lord, of jealousy. The meat it feeds on...” the woman said to him, guiding his face back to hers. “She is not yours.” Shree said, firmly but kindly. “That was the agreement.”

“But now,” Ch'Pok drew a pained breath. “Now she is no one's. She will be a no one. Unless...”

He shared his thoughts with a look, and she met it with tears. Angrily, but with dignity she wiped them away and continued, “She is not yours. My mate loved another when we were joined, and I knew this, and we made our way as best we could, with respect. With care. We had a duty. And when he could not give me child and our house an heir... we made an agreement. He, and I... and you.”

“All that's over now. I could ... my house...”

“Your house could not survive it, as powerful as you are,” Shree quieted him. “Rab'n'drAth has committed hegh'bat--” she pressed a finger to Ch'Pok's lips when he looked to make a howl of mourning. “His lover was the man who gave him the blade, and he now has fled, with no one to give him his own. Now his father dare not say what he knows, but if you took her... if the old man thought it a move on what little he has left...”

Ch'Pok shook with a rage he was accustomed to baiting from others in the cut and thrust of rhetoric. “Though I do hate him as I do hell pains, yet, for necessity of present life, I must show out a flag and sign of love.” He covered his face. “Shree... I am sorry.”

The sound of a d'k tahg opening its blades echoed in the chamber. “So am I. Think on thy sins. They are loves I bear to you...”

“Advocate! Get down!”

Braziers spill their burning coals in the contention, a disruptor erupts bale fire. A child's cry and a terrible silence.

* * *

The sound of visitors materializing in the main courtyard of the academy shook the old Nausicaan to wakefeulness. Though easily twice the height of the stout Klingon before him, he showed curt deference all the same. “Advocate”, he said, crossing his arms. “Good you are not dead. And a close one, that I am told.”

“Yes, well... The time I spent here years ago was brief but valuable.” Ch'Pok said without looking at the Nausicaan.

“Clearly. And this is the one? With no house?”

“This is she.” Ch'Pok said, his hand hovering a moment above Q'ama'la's shoulder, indecisive.

The Nausicaan chose for them both and took the child by the arm directly. Here eyes grew wide as she learned quickly that her strength would avail her naught against this behemoth. “You, child! You will be remade here! You will bleed as we cut and chisel you into the very image of the Empire's wrath! But you shall not weep, you hear me?”

She could not quite grasp the man's intent and longed only for her mother. She clutched her stuffed Sehlat to her chest as he held her under her armpits before his face and growled, spitting and hissing and kicking out at the man who only laughed.

“This one fights, has guramba,” the Nausicaan said, approving. “She will do well if she lives.”

“See that she does,” Ch'Pok said, adjusting his ceremonial armor. “She will have to find family here.”

“Mmm... this will only get in the way, I think.”

With casual, efficient cruelty, he ripped the Sehlat from her grip and held her by the back of her neck in one hand. He held it before her, watching her eyes track the toy and her arms struggle to reach it. He waited until he felt he could read in those wild depths whether the heart of a killer was in her or not, and decided there was only one way to be certain. He crushed her toy in his fist, sliced it open on his bladed gauntlet, and cast it into the dust.

He saw it then, what he was looking for. A soul that would burn white hot with hate, and in that flame would be consumed many enemies of the Empire.

“Get this one a bunk and a blade,” The Nausicaan shouted to an older youth. “And be quick about it.”

Ch'Pok resolutely looked away, and kept his back to her. Before he could register for transport, the Nausicaan behind him laughed again, asking, “Is it true?”

“Is what true?”

“The woman, who attacked you. Is it true she was ... an actress?”

Ch'Pok choked down his bile and looked across the academy. Hundreds, thousands of children, from across the Empire, each being bled, cut, shaped and forged. Whatever else they might be, whoever else they could be, tossed into a charnel pit a thousand years old or more.

Demand me nothing,” he said. “What you know, you know. From this time forth, I will never speak a word.”

The Nausicaan shrugged and turned his back on the last shimmer of the advocate's presence.



referencing DS9 episode "Rules of Engagement", and Shakespeare's "Othello"

Q'ama'la is my own character and this work is confirmed an original work of my own, I think this takes care of the rules, I hope?
7 people liked this

Unknown Person

Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 31 2022

Traitor is what everyone is calling her now.

Most likely every single Terran civilian and slave knows her now. And every single citizen of the Alliance. Janeay the traitor.

Marshal Janeay, the filthy xeno traitor. Commodore Janeay, the traitor of Starfleet Intelligence.

What fancy titles...

Both the Terran Empire on the mirror side and the various branches of Starfleet and the Alliance are closing around her, like a noose slowly tightening around her neck. Had she overplayed her hand? Would it really end like this? Janeay stands by the large window, looking into the star-filled void.

Most of her bases in the Delta quadrant within the mirror universe had been smoked out by Terran Intelligence seeker fleets, routing her various fleets and dealing a mortal wound - slowly bleeding her resources and assets out. Meanwhile on the other side, the various intelligence agencies of the Alliance have been doubling down on her operations. Had she really been too arrogant? Too ambitious? Will her legacy be the same as of past overambitious failures? Will her name really sit alongside the names Archer, Burnham, Lorca and others, as part of a shameful history within Terran history? Had she become the prey?

Janeay lets out a heavy and drawn-out sigh. Starfleet’s reconditioning really made her weak, huh.

The doorbell chirps from the door of her quarters. 

“Who is it?”

“Commodore, it’s R'lin. I have a new status report.”

“Enter.” Janeay peels her gaze away from her window and sits down into her desk chair.

A tall gorn in full combat gear walks in with big and heavy strides and then salutes curtly before they hand a large PADD to the Marshal.

Janeay already knows that the reports are all negative though, she can feel the anxiousness and subtle rage from the gorn - perks of being a natural empath, she quips to herself sarcastically.

“Report, Commander.”

“Sir. Phi and Rho bases and outlying support cells have been completely wiped out-”
Ah, so Terran Intelligence has resorted to search and destroy tactics instead of actively trying to capture.
“Beta fleet attempted to halt their advance but were forced to retreat. The I.S.S. Vanguard is critically damaged and is being repaired at Omega station, while I.S.S. Ferocious and Desecrator were both destroyed before being able to retreat. All hands of both ships were lost. Including their COs.”
She sighs heavily, reflecting the loss of over 400 of her loyal forces, her following already rapidly dwindling due to constant losses as well as betrayals. She mentions to R'lin to continue his report.
“Furthermore, the Epsilon fleet was engaged by a combined Alliance fleet in the Yontasa sector while moving to our deep space base in the Delta quadrant. The U.S.S. Hiroshima was captured by Alliance forces. We have been unable to locate where they took our forces, however, we received the confirmed kill signal from the CO’s subdermal implant - so the head officers are most likely in a vegetive state. Several bases in the Alpha quadrant have also been raided by various Alliance forces and many of our informants and other assets are-”
Janeay dismissed the gorn with a nonchalant hand gesture, prompting the gorn to salute again before quickly leaving. 

She was bleeding profusely on both sides now. She has to do something. Something she knows will spell her definitive end should it go awry but it’s the only way forward to building her New Terran Empire. It’s time to cauterize her wounds and become the predator. It is time to kill her weak side and commit fully.

A most insidious plan is now unfolding - The Birth of a New Terran Empire

“Computer. Connect me with all of my COs, now.”

Two weeks later.

“Hello, this is Anya Forester with Federation News Network, continuing to bring you coverage of the sudden war with the Terran Empire. Currently Terran forces have taken Cardassia, Defera, Bajor and Trill. We have reports that a massive Terran fleet was spotted on its way to Klingon space, fracturing Alliance fleet forces even more as a growing number of KDF-affiliated members are opting to rather defend their faction's territories in light of the overwhelming onslaught of the Terran forces against its Federation allies throughout the Alpha quadrant. The Federation and Romulan Republic are desperately shoring up the borders but are engaged in frequent skirmishes with the Terran Empire. The Emperor- Hold on. We have breaking news. We are deeply sorry to report that the Terran advance on Ferenginar and Betazed have been successful. Viewer discretion is advised as the images are said to be quite disturbing-”
The feed shows multiple Terran dreadnought type vessels firing massive volleys of tricobalt devices upon Ferenginar. With drones encircling the planet and creating an energy net reminiscent of Tholian web technology, only this time, the energy of this planet-encasing net is amplified Agony phaser energy that causes any survivors to be viciously tortured in the aftermath of the bombardment. Then several fighters and escort vessels are shown to be chasing the ship that’s relaying the footage before they fire indiscriminately and an explosion can be seen before the feed cuts.
“As seen with the footage, the Terran Empire is actively engaging in indiscriminate, genocidal and purificational war crimes on a scale that we have not seen before. This whole war is based on a war declaration by the new Terran Empire, falsely claiming that the destruction of their "Earth" using Red Matter was a preemptive strike to an Alliance invasion into their universe and that they would purify our universe of sinners. Alliance leadership have denied these claims and attempted diplomatic negotiations multiple times to no avail. According to various military analysts and experts within the Alliance, we have never seen such a united Terran Empire before and are worried that the cost of stopping their advance will be much greater than any other war the Alliance members have fought in before - especially with their whole fleets being seemingly refitted and upgraded to their upmost capacity, with some Terran frigate classes outperforming contemporary Alliance escorts classes of similar size. Alliance forces are currently at a stalemate with the Empire at Alpha Quadrant front lines, particularly in the Liuen, Andoss and Aokii systems. However, it is not all hopeless. The Alliance won a decisive victory to free Denobula before the Terrans were able to “glass” the planet, and successfully fought of the invasion fleet at the Delta sytem; both of which has boosted morale considerably. Our sources have also confirmed that the Alliance military command has been in frequent contact with Commodore Janeay, the traitor turned Rebellion Leader. She currently leads the main Terran rebellion against the Terran Empire. Their intel has helped the Alliance forces considerably this past week. If you need a recap of our report of this infamous Starfleet Intelligence flag officer, please see our in-depth report-” The news feed cuts out in the darkened room.

“I would say that my deception was a success, no?” The masked and hooded figure says in a smug voice.

“You may have deceived the public opinion, however, other Starfleet Intelligence officers will come to find out the truth as I have.” said the bound Vulcan.

“True, it’s a possibility. Unless... I manipulate the Empire into destroying Intelligence first..? What would you think of that plan.. Admiral Tuvok?’’ The hooded figure presses a disruptor pistol against the Admiral’s head while pressing a knife deeper into his back. Wafts of pain and suppressed anger permeate the air around him.

“A most reckless plan, Commodore.” Tuvok says in sharp breaths. “One, that in time, you won’t get away with. I'm disappointed in you.”

Janeay chuckles within her mask, how cliché. “Well, I did get away with destroying Terra with a Red Matter module and blaming it on the Federation, so I’d wager that this should be easier..” She undoes her mask and hood and locks eyes with the Vulcan Admiral directly. “But thank you so very much for your valued opinion and insight, Admiral.” She says sarcastically while rolling her eyes before firing the overcharged disruptor, disintegrating the Vulcan Admiral.

She taps her communicator as she struts out of the Admiral’s ready room, passing various Starfleet officers bound and incapacitated by her own agents “Execute the crew.” She commands nonchalantly as she makes herself comfortable in the command chair. Each crew member on board is then systematically disintegrated like their commanding officer was.

“Bring the cloak back online, turn on your holo-disguises, and set course for the New Terra system. Execute the Sword-phase of the plan. It’s time for attempted regicide.”

Ten days later.

“This is Anya Forester with an urgent emergency update on the ongoing Terran war. Priority report: Earth has been attacked by Terran forces. I repeat, Earth has been attacked. While the main defensive fleets were engaged at Vulcan and Andorra, a cloaked tertiary fleet broke through the defenses in the Sol system and started a planetary bombardment on the planet. A defensive rapid-response fleet is currently engaged with the Terran fleets in orbit of Earth and Mars, however, we have multiple reports of heavy losses within and a confirmed report of the destruction of the city of San Francisco due to a tricobalt orbital bombardment. Starfleet headquarters is completely destroyed, thankfully a majority of the leadership was already off-world. Major damage to the Utopia Planitia fleet yards has been reported as well. More fleets from the Romulan Republic are en-route to Sol as well. We will continue with live updates as we receive them. I repeat, priority emergency report: Earth has been attacked by the Terran Empi-” 

Janeay shuts the feed and brings up her attention to her two officers in front of her and a badly wounded and bound Vulcan and Andorian.

“Are you ready, my dear comrades?” She asks her two most trusted officers, Elisa and Liliana, who salute and sternly answer “Yes, Emperor!” Janeay walks up to them with a sad but proud smile and pats each of them on their shoulders “Then go forth, my daughters, and bring victory to your future Emperor. I will make sure that our new Empire will remember and honor your sacrifices.”

The two officers bow deeply and kiss their would-be Emperor's hand before marching out of the throne room. The two bloodied prisoners slump onto the ground. Pain, fear, anxiety, anger, hatred and desperation emanate from them in droves - even from the Vulcan. Finally, the Andorian speaks with a shaky but authoritative voice “What are you planning, you monster..” Janeay smirks and turns on the large view screens of either side of her throne with a press of a button on her wrist. The left screen shows Vulcan. The right shows Andoria. Various ongoing battles are seen over the planets.

The prisoners look at the screens, confusion emanating from them. Then simultaneously from each screen, the voices of Elisa and Liliana can be heard.

“Arriving at Andoria, commencing operation.”
“Arriving at Vulcan, commencing operation.”
“Glory to the New Terran Empire.”

On each screen a Terran dreadnought type vessel is seen warping in, within the vicinity of each planet, before unceremoniously engaging full impulse towards their respective planet.

Then chained Vulcan ambassador realizes something, she bursts out with desperation and despair “NO! Please! Anything but that!”

The Andorian admiral is still confused and attempts to ask the Vulcan what she’s realized before she cuts him off “They’re using Red Matter!” The Andorian’s eyes widen as tears well up in his eyes, he tries to say something but his mouth is just agape, unable to form coherent words.

Momentarily, the pair watch helplessly as the two dreadnoughts deliberately crash into the planets at sub-light speeds.

The Vulcan cries out weakly a pained and hopeless wail “Please… Don’t do it..” 

The singularities slowly form and consume each planet. A wicked smile forms on Janeay’s face as she basks in their anguish.

One week later.

Various subspace signals set on a repeating broadcast on various comm buoys throughout Federation space - seemingly looping indefinitely between each other in the forlorn void. 

"This.. this is war correspondent Anya Forester. Priority emergency broadcast: the Federation has fallen, the war is lost. Earth is occupied by the New Terran Empire. Vulcan and Andoria have been destroyed. Tellar, Risa, New Romulus and others have been annexed. Millions have been enslaved. Many more have been displaced. Tens of billions have been killed. This is the end… isn't it?" 

"This is the last order of the Federation and Starfleet leadership: All remaining Starfleet flag and commanding officers are asked to execute General Orders 30, 44 and 45. Godspeed."

"General planetary notice: All Federation and Republic civilians and other refugees are asked to start the evacuation process as dictated by your local government and or military council in a calm and orderly fashion."

"This is Rear Admiral Odenssa of the U.S.S. Maryland, the flagship has been destroyed. I'm taking command of this battlegroup and am ordering a full retreat from the Vulcan sector. I repeat-"

"Hello?! Is anyone out there?? Please, this is the First Minister of New Zagreb! Please, is anyone picking this up?! The rescue shuttles were shot down as they were landing and the U.S.S. Shanghai has been destroyed as well.. please! We need urgent evacuation of our colony! Please! The Terrans are com-... Oh gods, they're here.."

"Hello..? Is there anyone out there? This is Lieutenant Koppa of the U.S.S. Clydesdale. We are adrift in an escape pod but the nav-computer was damaged in the launch. It's me and 9 others, 6 of them were patients from sick bay so we require immediate and urgent medical assistance. I've sent out our rescue beacon to ping our location. I repeat, this is-"


"This is a warning for anyone thinking about approaching Starbase Sierra 39. It is not a safe haven run by Starfleet! DO NOT APPROACH OR DOCK THERE! This is a trap set by the Terrans! I repeat, DO NOT APPROACH OR DOCK WITH STARBASE SIERRA 39!"

"Hello… this is Ensign Avans, of the U.S.S. Evergreen. We're drifting and need assistance. Matter-antimatter reaction is shot.. running on emergency power only.. life support systems are failing deck by deck.. senior officers didn't make it.. I-I don't even know if the subspace receiver is working…"


Heya, so this is just a one-shot so it'll not be part of my character's actual lore or biography, roleplaying-wise.

Hope you enjoy?
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Edited July 31 2022 by Unknown Person


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

July 31 2022
Jake heard the sound, it was all too familiar to him....the BOOM as the generator blew up again, his skills did not check as usual.
It was loud enough to get attention, 'I'd better run' he thought to himself...

His luck in this trapped realm had been awful to begin with and it never seemed to get any better...
His friends all abandoned him, working in sync on the other generators instead.

And Jake's luck just got worse when he ran straight into the arms of a man in a white coat. "har har har" he heard this Doctor bellow...
Jake tried to about turn but he was stabbed in the back and fell to the ground.

He felt the blade penetrate deeper, the pain resulting in a scream of desperation. 
Another stab with blood pouring all over the ground....

A klaxon sounded...and doors in the distance opened up...all Jake could do was hear the rest of his party leave this accursed realm
All Jake could utter with his last strength became his last words 
"please, don't do it...."

3 people liked this

Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

August 01 2022
“Please, don’t do it!” screamed Dwight as Trickster raised his bat overhead. He lay on the cold wet ground, his elbows digging into the dirt as he propped himself up again the pallet. He had thrown it down to protect himself from the psychopath chasing him, but Ji-Woon Hak had seen it coming and countered the move. Dwight’s mind game had failed.
Feeling generous and knowing his prey was well trapped, Hak lowered his bat and knelt down in front of him. He grabbed Dwight’s chin with his hand and looked him right in the eye. The terror in his eyes, welling with tears, excited Hak in ways he didn’t fully understand. He leaned in to kiss Dwight; his hands begun running down the man’s body who was paralyzed with fear; feeling his slender frame, caressing his flat stomach and moving below his waist. Just before their lips kissed with one quick movement, Hak lifted Dwight onto his shoulder and started carrying him to a nearby shack.
With Dwight still on his shoulder, Ji-Woon entered the shack and descended into the basement where four sharp hooks awaited Dwight. Hak thrust Dwight onto the nearest hook. Dwight couldn’t even comprehend the pain as the rusty metal pierced his chest. He let out a blood curdling scream. When he came to, he could still see the maniac in front of him. Some other poor souls trapped in this realm had told Dwight the killer’s name was the Trickster. He seemed to enjoy Dwight’s pain. Trickster gently touched the face of his new prize. Once he had settled on the hook, the killer ran off back upstairs, laughing manically all the way.

David had seen Trickster chasing Dwight and had tried to intervene. He’d attempted to get in the way and take the killer’s attention, even get hit instead of Dwight, but the Trickster wouldn’t take the bait. He had to watch helplessly from the sidelines. He hid just out of sight waiting to rescue Dwight when he could. Ever since the moment they’d met, David wanted nothing, but to protect Dwight, but deep down he’d hoped they’d escape this eternal trap together.
Dwight had met David what seemed like years ago, but he knew it’d only been a matter of weeks. How many trials had they been through? How many times had they narrowly escaped death together? He wasn’t even sure at this point. All he knew was that David had always been there for him since they first ran into each other. Time and time again, David had swooped in, saved him at the last second, wrapped Dwight in his strong safe arms and carried him to safety. Dwight never would have made it this far without him.
David knew the killer would be coming back. With Dwight safely off the hook, he grabbed his hand and led him quickly up and out of the basement. They found a secluded spot in a bush in an unremarkable corner and David started to take inventory. Dwight was badly hurt, but not completely in disrepair. Dwight sat shacking and whimpered softly from the pain; David had to help him. He’d found a medkit in a nearby chest and started treating Dwight. He used some bandages and a needle and thread to patch up the wound in Dwight’s chest. Using some styptic agent on the scraps and cuts helped stop the bleeding. He could use a good doctor, but for now, Dwight was going to be okay and that put David at ease.
They both relaxed, as much as they could, in the safety of their bush.
“Thank you,” Dwight winced, “for saving me again.” A small smile crept across his face.
“It’s no problem. That’s what I’m here for.” David smiled back, gazing into Dwight’s eyes. “You should try to get some sleep while you can. I think we’re safe here for now. I’ll keep a look out.”
Dwight nodded. He was exhausted and in no condition to argue. He leaned up against David and went out like a light. David couldn’t see much from his vantage point, but his uncanny premonition of danger had kept him safe thus far. Dwight had only been asleep a few moments before he turned over in his sleep; wrapping his arms around David. David put his arms around Dwight and pulled him in closer. Dwight rest his head on David’s strong chest. David ran his hand through Dwight’s soft hair. Feeling Dwight’s lean body against his was almost intoxicating. Having the object of his obsession so close to him was almost more than he could bare. Trapped in this never-ending nightmare, he was so glad they’d at least found each other. Before meeting each other, David had thought about just giving up. He couldn’t keep going anymore, but after meeting Dwight he had something to live for again. He had something to fight for. As the adrenaline in David’s body began to wane, it became harder and harder for him to keep his eyes open. He was exhausted from an earlier chase with Trickster and desperately needed to rest too. He drifted off to sleep with Dwight resting in his arms.
David’s entire body jerked. Something was coming. Off in the distance, ever so faintly, he could hear the pitter patter of Trickster running. He was close and getting closer. Dwight had woken up when David jumped. His heart was pounding. They both quickly crouched and scouted they area. David grabbed Dwight’s hand again and led him to a nearby locker. Hopefully, this would keep them safe. David opened the door and stepped inside. He grabbed Dwight and pulled him in too and closed the door. He looked down at Dwight, who was so perfectly nested against his body he couldn’t stand it any longer. He leaned in and kissed Dwight, deeply and passionately. To his surprise, Dwight kissed back. For a moment, everything else fell away and the two shared a pure moment of passion, entrapped in each other’s arms.  David lifted Dwight up and pushed him up against the back of the locker. Dwight’s legs wrapped around David’s waist and David couldn’t help but grind into Dwight; roughly thrust into him. Dwight desperately wanted to moan, to sigh with passion, to let out any kind of sound to let David know how badly he wanted him inside him, but he knew any sound would be put them both in great peril.
Then, they could hear the laughter. The killer was back and they both held their breath hoping he’d pass by with them unnoticed. They peered out the slits in the door and watched as Trickster passed right in front of them. Dwight squeezed David even closer. Trickster was gone again just as quickly as he’d come. Safe from the killer, David opened the locker and they both stepped out. David first, followed by Dwight. For some reason completely unknown to him, David let out a scream as he stepped out of the locker. He looked at Dwight, both of their faces froze with panic. They both knew what that meant. They killer would have heard that. Dwight darted for a tree and ducked behind it, but it was too late for David. Trickster quickly rounded the corner with his weapon already ready. Totally exposed from stepping out of the locker, David was down on the ground with one quick sing of his bat.
Just as before, Trickster lifted David onto his shoulder and whisked him away to his shack, moving at an unusually fast speed. Dwight crept quietly behind being sure to stay out of sight. Once in the basement, Hak thrust David onto the nearest hook and quickly headed back upstairs, but wouldn’t go far this time. He had caught his prize and wasn’t letting this one get away. Dwight slipped down the stairs while Ji-Woon was distracted by some pebble thrown by another survivor. He peered around the corner of the basement. It would take every ounce of his strength to lift David off that hook. He could hear Trickster laughing just outside and his blades flying through the air. Just behind that shack, he could hear the claxons of the gate firing. Someone was opening the gate; escape was possible.
But he knew they couldn’t both make it. There wasn’t time. Dwight’s knees shook as he looked up at the man who’d saved him countless times before. “I’m sorry…”, Dwight meekly let out, before heading back up the stairs and towards the gate.
“Please, don’t do it”, cried out David as his love abandoned him on the hook. His heart breaking as Dwight ascended the stairs.
4 people liked this
Chris  Swinford


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

August 01 2022
@writingcontest (Outriders)

“Please don't do it,” Sam says to Hendrik as they play cops and robbers. 

“Too bad if you didn't want to do the time you shouldn't have done the crime,” Hendrik playfully responds, giggling. Putting Sam’s arms behind his back, Hendrik starts to put the handcuffs on Sam shortly before being called in for dinner.

“Yes, Mom,” Sam replies, looking at Hendrik. “Time to eat.” The boys rush inside to eat, quickly jumping into their seats. “What’s for dinner?” Sam asks. 

“Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans with biscuits hun,” Mom replies as she hands out plates for them. Shortly after dinner, it's time for Hendrik to go home so he says his goodbyes and gets on his bike to go get ready for bed. 

Being yelled at to wake up, Hendrik gets up in a rush. “What's going on?!” He exclaims.  

No response. He quickly gets dressed and runs into the living room. There it was - the reason he was woken up. A national emergency alert on the T.V. 

“Come in here to help! We have to leave!” His father yells from the kitchen. From the living room, Hendrik could see his father quickly packing the canned goods into a large bag.

“Wait, what about Sam?” Hendrik fearfully responds. 

“Don't worry about him! You know the drill - we will see him at the checkpoint.”

The loud explosion roughly pulled Hendrik back to the present, out of his childhood memory. 

The lead car was hit with an RPG. The convoy stops as his men rush out of the cars to defend their position, with a few of them falling before they were able to get completely out of the vehicles. He climbs out of the vehicle and gets behind the mounted machine gun in order to provide covering fire to the survivors. As he fires the weapon, he searches for a more defensible position for his men. 

When his soldiers finally make it to cover, they in turn provide cover for him while he disabled the heavy guns and brought the weapons to them.

“Ava, hand me the radio,” Hendrik commanded. 

Ava pulled out the radio. It had been shot.

Hendrik grabbed the radio and threw it in anger. “Looks like no backup is coming,” he tells his squad. “We just have to try and survive.”

The squad fought valiantly for hours, killing over double what they had lost. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t enough - they only had so much ammo.  

Hendrik looks at the bodies laying around him and then to the remaining three members of his convoy. “I will put it to a vote. Majority rules. We surrender or die fighting. For all those who want to surrender, raise your left hand. Those who want to die fighting, raise the right.”

Two raised their hands - one left, one right. All eyes went to the remaining man.

“So, what’s it going to be private?”

The private looks around and ponders for a moment, before raising his left hand. 

Moments after surrendering, the men are bound in zip ties, on their knees in front of the enemy convoy. A man walks up to the surrendered prisoners and takes off his mask. 

It is Sam.

“Nice to see you again,” Hendrik says. 

“Kill them all!” Sam shouts at his troops, but looks at Hendrik. “Except this one. He is mine.”

A series of gunshots ring out as Hendrik yells “NOOOO.”

Sam turns around and removes his weapons and gear before placing them on the ground. He faces Hendrik once more. “Stand up.”

Hendrik looks up at Sam. “Please, don’t do it…”
3 people liked this
Dave (Voleron)


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

August 01 2022

Writing Contest Now Closed!

Thank you to everyone who entered our writing contest!  Entries are now closed and we'll be enjoying your submissions over the course of this next week.  Winners will be announced by Sunday, August 7, 2022!  

6 people liked this
Edited August 01 2022 by Voleron
Dave (Voleron)


Writing Contest: Sagas of Sorrow

August 08 2022


I'd like to sincerely thank everyone for entering our "Sagas of Sorrow" writing contest.  We've arrived at our winners, with two of us reading each entry and scoring every story from 1-10 in three categories: creativity, detail & impact.  The top six entries were separated by only fractions of a point and two entries tied for second place.  While not every entry could come out in the top three, know that we thoroughly enjoyed each and every one and would like to thank everyone who shared their amazing talents with us!  We'll do another writing event again later this year!  We'll be in touch with those who have won prizes in the days to come. 

Unknown Person liked this
Edited August 08 2022 by Voleron