Suburban Timewaster

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Archive for the month “April, 2019”

The Search (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Once again, Candy takes center stage as she remembers how Garak called her to help him solve the mystery of the Hur’q.  However, the answers she found were more than she bargained for.

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96158.78

This is Candy Marino speaking and I got a message from Councilor Elim Garak.  I asked Garak what the sitch was and he told me that the Dominion asked the Alliance to send an expeditionary force into the outer reaches of their territory.  Then Garak said that the Hur’q aren’t as numerous there and that they’re hoping they can learn more about them while they render aid to Dominion forces in that sector. Great, I finally get to talk to the mysterious former tailor of Deep Space Nine and it’s about those life-sized bug abominations.  Thankfully, Garak didn’t notice my discomfort because he preceded to tell me that Ambassador Odo will be accompanying us on his flagship, along with Captain Kira aboard the Defiant. Then Garak said that he’ll be commanding a modest Cardassian fleet as well. He told me that we’re starting in the Dosi system, since their latest intelligence has discovered a Hur’q presence there.  Then he told me to meet them there at our earliest convenience. I ended the communication, feeling scared and excited at the same time. Excited because I finally get to match wits with the famous lying tailor of Deep Space Nine. Scared because I hate bugs and now I have to go on a mission to fight aliens that are life-sized versions of them.

Regardless, I went through the wormhole and set course for the Dosi System. Ambassador Odo was there to greet us and thanked us for joining him. He talked about how they can’t defend their own stations from Hur’q attacks.  Then he said that it’s going to take a joint Alliance and Dominion effort to stop them. Odo said that we’re currently at the edge of the Dosi System and he was thankful that the Hur’q aren’t attacking the Dosi homeworld, yet.  Odo warned me that the Dosi are still evacuating as a precaution. Meaning a Hur’q attack is bound to happen sooner or later. I really hope it’s going to be later, when the Winchester’s far away.

I read about the Dosi when I was reading up on the adventures of Deep Space Nine, so I didn’t even have to ask Odo who they were.  They’re the race Quark and a Ferengi named Pel negotiated with on behalf of their people. I’ve read quite a bit about Deep Space Nine and their adventures, so you can imagine that I’m rather excited about getting to work alongside them.  However, there’s still the whole Hur’q thing that makes me more than a little nervous. I didn’t have time to dwell on that, because the Hur’q showed up and Garak ordered his ships to target the Hur’q and fire at will. I wasted no time doing the same because, let me tell you, I’d much rather deal with this species in space than on the ground.  One of the Jem’Hadar chimed in with Victory is Life. From what I heard about their species, it’s pretty much their catch phrase. Even in space, the Hur’q put up a tough fight but at least I don’t have to look at their ugly faces.

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After the battle, Garak called me and said that I was a handy person to have around.  Let me repeat, Elim Garak, the former Obsidian Order spy, said that I was a handy person to have around!  This is the greatest moment of my life! Then he told me that, while he’d like to put this system far behind us, he believes that we should find out what we can about the Hur’q and their reasons for being here.  Garak said that we should do this while we still can, because the Hur’q may decide to send more ships here. I froze up for a bit, causing Garak to ask if anything’s wrong. I told him that nothing’s wrong, but then suggested that we could learn everything we can about the Hur’q from right here.  Garak told me that he was disappointed because, from what he heard about me, I’ve never been one to leave a mystery unsolved just to save my own skin. After that I felt challenged and I never back down from a challenge. So, I told him that, if he needs my help that badly, I’ll beam down with an away team if it’s necessary but, with my talents, I could solve this whole thing up in space.  Garak only smiled and said that it would be interesting to see.

I cut communications and scanned the planet.  Garak contacted me again and said that this planet appears to have been abandoned some time ago, since there was no life signs detected.  Then he said that sensors indicate an extensive network of defunct mines. Garak told me that he was reading residual levels of dilithium, topaline, kemocite… and several components used in the production of ketracel-white.  Then he found something curious, since he couldn’t see what use this world would be to the Hur’q. After all, this planet’s of no value to the Dominion. Garak and I didn’t have time to dwell on that, because more Hur’q arrived and we had to take care of that.  Kira immediately told us that the Hur’q are going for the station. I went to fight that as Kira wondered what they could be after and, I have to say, I’m wondering the same thing. I continued to fight as Kira suggested that we scan the station after we’re done with these Hur’q.

You can bet that I scanned the station as soon as we were done with the Hur’q.  Kira told me that the station is a basic resource transport hub, not exceptionally old.  She said that there were no life signs on sensors and it looks abandoned. Then Kira claimed that she was picking up trace levels of mineral resources in several storage areas, but there’s nothing of note here unless the Hur’q are driven solely to consume an assortment of minerals.  I said that I wouldn’t be surprised, since they are giant bugs. Kira said that the station’s a very interesting place, in that it’s completely uninteresting to everyone but the Hur’q. I told Kira that, even with my brilliance, I don’t think we’ll find the answers we’re looking for here, so I might get to leave without beaming down.

Unfortunately, Kira told me not to be so eager to go to warp and she sounded rather annoyed with me.  She said that she’s picking up a distress signal over there and that I should take a look. I unscrambled the distress signal on my ship and got another call from Kira.  She told me that it looks like a Ferengi signal, of uncertain origin, coming from the Karemma system. Kira talked about how she recalled Quark mentioning some business with the Karemmans recently.  Kira doesn’t think this is a coincidence and I agree with her 100%. She said that we should look into this, since Quark may have bitten off more than he can chew again. As someone who’s read all about Quark’s exploits on Deep Space Nine, I have some idea of what she’s talking about.  Odo didn’t feel that it was a good use of our time, because the Karemmans are very resourceful. Apparently, they’ve designed a number of weapons and defense systems for the Dominion. So, he was confident they can deal with the Hur’q on their own. Then he said that, as for Quark, he’s quite capable of getting himself out of trouble.  Trouble, Odo might add, that Quark had no business getting into in the first place. Garak told Odo that he’s rather shocked. Garak claimed that he knows Quark’s a gambler, but he never realized Odo was one as well. Garak said that Karemma is a part of the Dominion, and an important one at that. He asked Odo if losing their tactical and technological resources to the Hur’q wise.  I added that, if we rescue Quark, we can get a discount on anything we want. After all, he’d be in our debt big time. Odo eventually agreed, since he saw that there’s no way he can talk us out of this, even if a discount wouldn’t do him any good, so he’ll accompany us to Karemma. Then he said that they’re ready to go to warp when I am, and he really wanted to get this over with. If the Hur’q are part of this, then I have to agree with Odo.

When we got to the Karemma system, we found it guarded by a group of Jem’Hadar ships.  

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Garak asked where all of these ships came from. Odo contacted me and said, half-heartedly, that we’re at the Karemma system.  He told me to just find out what Quark needs, deal with it, and move on. Instead of doing what Odo wanted, I asked him what was going on here.  Garak agreed with me, even if he did act more polite about it, though it was a bit sarcastic. He said that it was far beyond him to question the word of a Founder, but that was a very large Dominion fleet he’s reading on sensors.  Then he claimed that he only mentioned it because we were led to believe Odo’s fleet was the last, something I honestly doubted. Anyway, Garak finished up by saying that he trusts there’s a reasonable explanation for this miscommunication.  I didn’t have time to speculate, as I had to tell Garak that the Dominion flagship is hailing us. Who should it be but the female founder? She told me that my presence was not required here and demanded that I explain myself. This is the same woman I freed from a Starfleet prison, so way to be grateful.  Instead I told her that I should be asking her the same thing. Then she started going on about how what I could do and should do are separate matters, and called me a solid. Then she had the never to tell me that I would be wise to learn the difference, as if I were a naive schoolgirl! Look, she doesn’t want to be grateful, that’s fine.  I have relatives who use me for free room and board, so this is nothing new to me. However, she doesn’t get to talk down to me like I’m a child! Anyway, she said that Karemma’s part of the Dominion and that they are here to assist them, if they wish it. I repeated that last part right back to her, but she ignored me. So I pointed out that she seems to have a larger fleet than Odo.  The Founder explained that Odo commands an expeditionary fleet; it is his to use in a mission to seek and destroy the Hur’q as he sees fit. She claimed that her fleet was a defense fleet, then said that the distinction was not made clear to me which, in her words, was rather unfortunate. Then I asked the Founder why the Karemmans have to ask for aid. She told me that the Karemmans are proud and, if they wish to stand alone and deal with the Hur’q, they will certainly accommodate them.  The Founder said that, should they decide to ask for aid, they will gladly assist them. Then she claimed that the point might be moot, however, because Karemmans are known for their potent weapons and defense systems. I told her that we’re going to assist the Karemmans. Odo contacted the Founder and said that he will take responsibility for their actions in Karemman space. He told her that one of their operatives requires immediate extraction. The Founder said that I’m quite persistent and then finally caved in.  She made this big deal about how, in the spirit of our newfound pact with the Alliance, she will allow us to proceed, albeit at our own risk. Then she told Odo to exercise caution, because it would be tragic for him to come so far, only to end it all here over Karemma. If I didn’t know that Founders have an Ape Shall Not Kill Ape rule, I’d think she was threatening Odo. Then again, just because she can’t kill Odo doesn’t mean that she can’t arrange for an accident and, with the Hur’q running rampage, it would be the perfect opportunity.

After the Wicked Witch of the GQ cut the comm, Garak pointed out what I already know, that we’re not getting the whole story.  Kira just responded with business as usual, to which Garak just said exactly. After that, we got to work destroying the enemy ships and protecting the Karemman freighters.  I ordered Chris to hail them, but he told me that he was getting no response. Then said that he was using all hailing frequencies, but getting nothing in return. Which, in all honesty, sounds like most of my major relationships.  I told Chris to keep trying. Garak contacted me and said that his sensors are showing a broad band of interference in the area. Then said that it’s jamming the standard Karemman hailing frequencies. Then he suggested giving them a new, more secure frequency to use for communications.  I immediately said that I’ll send them a new frequency, which I did quickly. We got the message from the Karemmans that they need help and fast. The guy said that most of their planetary defense lines are in danger of being overrun by the Hur’q. He said that they tried to evacuate, but the Jem’Hadar opened fire on their ships when they broke orbit.  Then said that they’re trapped. I asked Odo his thoughts about the Karemmans’ claim that the Jem’Hadar fired on them. Odo said that combat is notoriously chaotic. Then he claimed that he’s sure there’s a reasonable explanation for that, one best pursued after we find Quark and help the Karemmans. I told him that we’ll play it his way, for now. Garak is as curious about all this as I am, but said that we should find Quark as soon as possible.  He said that Quark should be the only Ferengi on the planet, so a deep-range scanner should be able to locate him. I told Garak that we’ll scan for Quark, getting a strong feeling that Odo’s not the only one hiding information from me. What is it with men and their constant head games? Anyway, Chris scanned for life and told me that it took a few scans, but he’s found one Ferengi life sign. Then Chris told me that said life sign is surrounded by a handful of Karemma and a large number of Hur’q.  Chris told me that there’s a lot of interference in that area, so we can’t get a transporter lock on him at this time. I asked Chris if we could hail them. What do we get but a scrambled message from Quark? I couldn’t catch most of what he said but he did get angry about how long we took and hinted that Garak hired him to do a job. I told Quark that we’re coming. Garak contacted me and said that we need to get Quark out quickly, before he has an encounter with the Hur’q of the fatal variety. Garak suggested that we go down together while Captain Kira and the Ambassador cover our ships in orbit and said that it looks like, even with my abilities, I’ll have to beam down after all.  I told Garak that I might be better off staying in orbit while either Kira or Odo beam down with him. Garak said he won’t stop me, but this could be my chance to discover the mystery of the Hur’q and he would hate for me to throw it away. I swallowed my fear and said that I’ll beam down. He told me that we’ll have to beam down outside of Quark’s location. Then suggested that we bring some pattern enhancers along, because we may need them to beam out once we find Quark. I told Garak that I was ready to beam down and face the Hur’q.

I beamed down to the planet and met Garak, who told me that we’re about as close to Quark’s last known location as we can get with transporters.  

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Then he said that he’s afraid that we’ll have to make the rest of the journey the old-fashioned way. I just wanted to get this trek through bug land over with, so I said that we should go.  Garak told me that Quark’s lifesign is near here and that we should try to find a way in. We followed the path and found an opening to a cave, to which Garak said that was convenient. Then talked about how we found a hidden path and said that we should have a look.  I told Garak that I wouldn’t exactly call that hidden. Before he could respond, we found a metal door that Garak said completely scattered his sensors. Well, guess what was waiting on the other side, more Hur’q! Which Garak said means we’re in the right place while I’m trying to fire at these guys and, let me tell you, it’s not easy!  I’m usually a good shot but my hands are shaking like mad!  Thankfully, Garak didn’t notice because, if he did, I would die right there! Chris did and he told me that I really need to get a hold of myself. I responded back by saying that Indiana Jones fears snakes and I fear bugs. Chris responded by telling me that Indiana Jones manages to pull himself together to go through snakes, something I really couldn’t argue against.

 

As soon as we defeated the Hur’q, Garak told me that his tricorder shows a Ferengi life sign beyond that rather secure door.  Garak claimed that the Karemman security system is beyond him. He said that, given time, he could crack it, but we’re running low on that commodity.  Then Garak told me that there are a number of Karemman life signs nearby however. He claimed that one of them might be able to help us reach Quark. I quickly led the team to find the first group of Karemmans while Garak told me that I do need to contain myself.  Then he followed that up by saying that it would be a shame if I accidentally shot a Karemman because of my own shaky hands. Great, so he did notice.

As soon as we made our way to the first Karemman, we found ourselves greeted by Hur’q.  I let out one little shriek, which I am a bit ashamed of, but I quickly got over myself and defeated the Hur’q with my away team.  I asked out loud why it had to be bugs, almost quoting the great Indiana Jones himself. Aubryllin said that she thought that she was going to get eaten by one of those things, an idea she didn’t like very much and I don’t blame her.  Then thanked me while she wondered who I was. Aubryllin could tell that I wasn’t police or military, though I beg to differ on that one. She corrected herself by saying that I wasn’t Karemman military. Aubryllin asked me what brought me down to the middle of hell.  I told her the truth, that we’re looking for a Ferengi. The way Aubryllin responded to that, you get the feeling she didn’t like him very much. She told me that she thinks she saw her brother and some of his men hustle Quark or, as she calls him, the little grifter into a vault before those monsters got in there.  Then she wished me luck getting Quark out of there. Then Aubryllin apologized for being rude because we just saved her life, so she’ll return the favor. Aubryllin told me that one of her brother’s people should be able to open the door for me. Then said that, if I find them, I’m all set.

I left to go rescue the other Karemmans, but Abryllin didn’t want to come with me.  She claimed that perhaps waiting here would be best, because the outer world is still a mess. Something I agree with because, as soon as we left, we got attacked by the Hur’q.

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We defeated them and made our way to the second group of Karemmans.  Guess what was waiting for us, more Hur’q. After beating them, we met Marimat who thanked us for the timely rescue.

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Then asked me if I was willing to turn a blind eye to all the contraband I’ve seen down here.  Marimat claimed that it would save me the trouble of shooting me later. I admitted that I didn’t know about that. Marimat made this lame attempt to cover herself by saying that she was kidding, something she dragged out for awhile.  Then said that I’m clearly not Karemman police, so she asked what brought me down here. I told Marimat that I’m looking for a Ferengi named Quark. Marimat said she knows Quark, describing him as a little guy with big ears and a flashy dresser, and also that she heard that Quark owns a moon.  Marimat told me that they locked him up in a secure room when the shooting started, because a big spender like that should be kept safe. Then she told me that, if we help them out with the nerks or gurks (she didn’t know what they were called), they’ll help us out with Quark. I recognized it as a you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours kind of deal, which I agreed to.  Then I told Marimat that, in the future, if she wants to keep her illegal contraband safe, don’t let that be the first thing she mentions when meeting officials.

After that, I left to go find another group of Karemmans and got a call from Kira.  She told me that the other Dominion ships just left the system, so we’re on our own.  I told her that I do some of my best work when I’m on my own. I saved the last group of Karemmans from the Hur’q and met Konali.  You can bet that he was really glad to see me and said that he thought that they’d be safe from those things down here. Konali claimed that caves do a number on sensors and transporters, but that didn’t slow them down much.  Then he asked why we were here, since we’re clearly not with Karemman defense. Konali asked if we were mercenaries or private security. I sarcastically marked that it was a smart observation and then told Konali that we were looking for a Ferengi. Konali knew I was talking about Quark, since he’s the only Ferengi around that he knows of. Then told me that Quark’s in a secure vault, not far from here, with another VIP. Konali said that he owes me his life, but he doesn’t have the code to get to Quark.  Then Konali told me that there are others nearby, so one of them should have the code. Then Konali told me that, if I help them, he’ll make sure that they open the door for me. I told Konali that we’ve already helped the rest, so we need to go get Quark.

Konali followed me to the door and volunteered to stay behind while I save everyone.  I found Marimat right by the door, happy that we’re all alive and kicking. She said that we had a deal and she’s not about to back out on it, especially since we’re all so well-armed and cranky, her words not mine.  So we’re definitely not the type of people she’d want to cross. Then we heard a Ferengi scream in the distance, which could only be Quark. Marimat knew that couldn’t be good, so she told us that the door’s open and we’d better get a move on.  Marimat stated the obvious by saying that our pal sounds a little stressed, to which I responded, only a little? We went down the hallway to hear another scream, courtesy of Quark, so Marimat’s comment is the understatement of the year. Quark had every reason to scream, because we came across more of those giant bugs and, let me tell you, they pack quite a punch.

It took a long while, but we finally managed to get rid of them and Garak sarcastically responded to Quark that it’s good to see him.  Then Garak said that he sees that Quark’s mission was a successful one as well. Quark did not look happy to see Garak and told him that he found his mysterious widget.  So, Garak was behind this all along. Quark asked what it was exactly, since it’s clearly not Karemman tech. Then Quark explained that the Karemmans found it a few days before he got here, but didn’t have time to analyze it thanks to the Hur’q.  Garak thanked Quark, saying that this narrows things down considerably. Quark was happy to hear that, because it makes the item more valuable, something Garak agreed with. After that meeting, I talked to Quark who told the First Minister that his distress call was heard.  Then he thanked me for saving his life and said that my reputation for getting things done is well-deserved, which would’ve had me ecstatic had I not been recovering from facing my greatest fear.

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Quark turned to Garak and told him that they need to have a long discussion. Apparently, he forgot to mention that Karemma was under a Dominion blockade, and in the middle of a Hur’q invasion. Quark asked if Cardassians go senile and told Garak not to answer that, because he doesn’t want to know. Then Quark angrily told Garak that he’s not paying him enough for this aggravation. I told Quark that he’s not the only one Garak kept secrets from, something that angers and intrigues me at the same time.  I don’t like being someone else’s pawn but, I have to commend Garak, not many can successfully manipulate me like that. Anyway, I talked to the First Minister and she told me that we weren’t the liberators she expected, but she thanks us nonetheless. She introduced herself as First Minister Bekelba and told me that their situation has gone from bad to worse.  It’s something they have the Dominion to thank for. Bekelba told me that those of them that were on the edge of the Dominion were abandoned when the invasion began. In light of that, they voted to secede, to truly stand alone. Then Bekelba said that the Dominion stood by while the Hur’q attacked them. They held off the invasion for a while, but the Hur’q’s numbers were too great.  Bekelba told me that, when they asked for aid, the Dominion refused. When the Karemmans tried to evacuate, the Dominion fleet opened fire. Let me tell you, these guys are the most unforgiving people I’ve ever seen, and I have a sister who spread a rumor about one of her exes having an affair with his own sister. I got a call from the Winchester telling me that I’ll need to set up the pattern enhancers in order for them to get a lock and beam everyone out from my location.

I set up the first pattern enhancer, but found some rubble that I wanted to examine.

 

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Garak said that it appeared that the Hur’q burrowed this way to bypass the doors above. Then he said that, unlike most burrowing creatures, the Hur’q actually ate their way through the ground.  I said out loud that these creatures sound like monsters from a horror holo-program. No matter how far you run, they’ll always find you.  Garak didn’t know what I was talking about, so I mentioned some famous horror monsters such as Pennywise, Jason, Freddy Krueger. Chris interrupted us, saying that he doesn’t really think this is important right now, so we went back to setting up the pattern enhancers.

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After I set up the second one, Kira contacted me to say that the Hur’q are leaving, for now. Then I finished setting all of them up and Quark wished the Prime Minister good luck with the revolution, because they’re going to need it. Then told Garak that he’ll be hearing from him soon.  Garak only sarcastically responded that he was looking forward to it. Quark quickly told Garak that he won’t when he sees the bill and then beamed out. I talked to Garak who said, now that we’re past that unpleasantness, we need to have a chat with Ambassador Odo, particularly about this technological wonder we’ve acquired. I asked Garak what it was, who told me that he has his suspicions. He asked me what I make of the device, and I said that it looks technological, obviously. I told him that, judging by the color and the design, I’d say that it’s Dominion. Then Garak handed it to me and I felt a small vibration from the device, so I told him that someone turned this thing on and, if this sphere thingy is important enough for him to pay Quark to get it, what it does can’t be good.  Garak then asked me what I think it does and I said that the Wicked Witch of the GQ didn’t want us to find it and, in all honesty, it reminded me of the bug zappers people use on Earth, the little spheres that call bugs to them and vaporize them out of existence. Then it clicked in my head what this thing does and I freaked out, practically tossing it back to Garak and screeching at him to keep that thing away from me! Garak only gave an amused smile and said that, suffice it to say, he believes that I’ll find its purpose of great interest to all concerned parties.  Garak told me that his main concern lies in what the Ambassador will have to say about it. Then Garak proposed that we get to the bottom of this together. He told me that he’ll make all of the necessary arrangements and meet me aboard Odo’s flagship.

We beamed up to Odo’s flagship only for a Jem’Hadar to demand what’s going on.  They were about to fire at us, until Odo ordered them to stand down. Then he turned to us and asked us what he owes to this unexpected visit.  Garak told Odo that he hopes he’ll forgive the intrusion and said that we need to speak in person. Kira asked Garak what he was up to, something Odo agreed was a very good question.  Then Odo asked what this was about. Garak said that it’s in regard to this device we found on Karemma. He opened said device and asked Odo if he knows what it is. Odo said that he didn’t know and suggested that it might be new Karemman military technology.   Garak quickly shot that down because the Karemmans didn’t make this, but it is a Dominion creation. Odo asked what its purpose was, to which Garak admitted that he had no idea, but it does emit a signal. Garak said that it’s quite similar to that used by the Hur’q.  Then Garak suggested that he turns it on and shows Odo. Odo got all defensive and said that there’s no need for that, meaning he knows more than he’s telling us. Kira admitted that she didn’t like where this was going, to which Garak agreed. Then Garak explained that he found a similar device on Bajor and beamed it right in.  Kira and I both demanded to know when Garak found the item on Bajor. Garak said that it was right after the recent Hur’q attack and told Kira to scan the device. Then Garak talked about how she’ll find the soil residue on it is of Bajoran origin. Kira said that Garak’s right and that it’s from the Kendra Province. I pointed out a little angrily that, considering how cushy things were between the Alliance and the Dominion, they wouldn’t have been stupid enough to draw the Hur’q all the way to the AQ.  Kira started to defend Odo, who only interrupted her and said that he can’t have her defending him on this. Odo then explained that Garak’s right, because those devices call the Hur’q and the Founders put them there! Odo put a dangerous species on a planet where my daughter lives! Thankfully, Kira was as pissed as I was, even if she is much slower than I am. So, she demanded an explanation from her Founder boyfriend. Odo gave one by talking about how they needed the Alliance’s help, immediately. Apparently, there wasn’t time for summits, or diplomacy.  So, Odo found a high-value target, and led the Hur’q to it! He claimed that he took steps to make sure their attack would fail, like that’s supposed to make it better! Then he said that Bajor was never at risk and told Kira directly that she has to understand, but she wouldn’t hear a word of it. Kira slapped him, something that made Garak and me smile, and then let Odo have it. She told Odo that he put her entire planet at risk and people died! I pointed out that some of these people were children, while silently grateful that Rose wasn’t one of the casualties, but I’m not letting Odo off the hook that easily.  Odo tried to plead with Kira, but she told him to save it because she’s heard enough. Garak, on the other hand, wanted to hear the whole story. Odo said that he did what he needed to do to bring the Alliance into the war and admitted that he lied, risked the lives of millions to save billions. I’ll tell you right now, he’s lucky Rose wasn’t one of the millions or I would blow him up with my phaser right now! I don’t care what consequences I face for killing a Founder! Then Odo said that there’s more to this than a staged Hur’q attack. He talked about how the other Founders are hiding things from him, making his family even more dysfunctional than mine, which is really saying something.  Odo said that, if he challenges them now, he’ll have no chance to find out what. Then he claimed that, for now, he has to play the part. Kira told Odo that he’s doing a great job of that and called him a Founder. She beamed out, leaving Odo looking severely distressed. Then Garak told Odo that he understands his position, but Kira feels differently. Odo could only respond with an I know, but I’m still steamed and I let that be known. Garak asked me why I care so much about Bajor. Apparently, he read my report and I’ve been diagnosed as a high-functioning sociopath who cares very little about life, if at all. As angry as I am right now, I really have to commend him for getting that one right.  Odo started talking before I could answer, saying that he has a strong lead, but he’ll need our help to move on it. Garak told Odo that he knows how to reach him. Then Garak told Odo that he is a gambler, and a high-stakes one at that. Odo only gave a sad response about how Garak has no idea.

After that twist, I went to talk to Loriss and Weyoun, who were busy arguing like an old married couple about their place in the Dominion.  

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Weyoun serves the female Founder while Loriss serves Odo. Finally, I left when it looked like they were too busy to talk. I talked to Garak, who said that this was quite the revelation and that it would be interesting to see how the powers that be respond to all this, which made me think of Angel.  

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Garak told me that, for now, he thinks it’s best to keep this in the purview of the diplomats. Garak suggested that we return to our ships, and claimed that there will be more time to speak about this matter later. I talked to Dukan’Rex, the main Jem’Hadar, and he said that it is not his place to question the will of the Founders, which still sounds like slavery to me.  

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Then he told me that my mind, however, is my own. Rex said that I can do with my mind as I will, but be warned: the Founders do not appreciate betrayal. He told me that, if the Alliance withdraws from their pact with the Dominion, the consequences could be severe. In other words, the Founders expect you to take all of their bullshit but, if you dare to point out how they treat you, they’ll throw you out the airlock whether you’re right or not.  Yep, definitely an abusive relationship. Trust me, I know. After that, I talked to Odo, who told me that he needs me to understand that he took precautions, so Bajor was never in any danger.

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Odo claimed that he made sure that his fleet was in position to neutralize the Hur’q in time, which I call dumb luck. Then Odo told me that Karemma was not his decision, asking me if I honestly thought he’d take part in a plot to bring allies to their side, and then move to wipe another group of allies?  Which, in all honesty, does make sense. Then he told me that, as he said to Garak, there is more to this than we know. Odo said that he’s going to find out what, and he hopes that I’m inclined to join him when the time comes. I told him that it doesn’t really look like I have a choice and then beamed back to the Winchester.

As soon as I got back to the Winchester, Garak contacted me.  He said that visits to the Dominion are always enlightening. Then he told me that he suspects we’ve only just begun to discover what the Founders are playing at here and that concerns him greatly. Garak said that, after today, the wrath of Captain Kira may be the least of Odo’s concerns. However, Garak still feels that we need to continue working with him, as it may be the only way we learn the true intentions of the Dominion.  Garak told me that, with that in mind, he’ll contact me when they’re ready to move forward with his plan. I told Garak that I’d hate to admit it, but he’s right. He then brought up that I never answered his question, what is my concern with Bajor?  All I told him that I don’t like the slaughter of innocent animals and children and then hung up. Muttering under my breath that I especially don’t like it when it’s my child.

A/N: So, what did you think about Candy’s recollection of one of the famous Victory is Life missions?  I took a few liberties, such as the futuristic bug zapper.  Let me know what you think and, if you have your own Star Trek Online character, feel free to RP in the comments!

Jabberwocky (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Candy’s back and, this time, she talks about how she not only retrieved an Orb of the Prophets, but had to take it back to Mirror Bajor where she found herself facing Mirror Leeta, voiced by Chase Masterson.  I normally post recaps on Tuesday, but I was sick yesterday.  So, I had to make up for it.  Also, see if you can catch the subtle reference to another Deep Space Nine character.

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96012.75

This is Candy Marino speaking and I just got the Orb of Possibilities back from Gul Kardek.  Commander Sarish Minna contacted me and stated the obvious about how the True Way was following me.  Then she told me that I had to return the orb to the temple in Hathon. Sarish told me that she notified Vedek Krim and that she’s waiting for me in the temple.

I have to admit, I’m nervous about going to Bajor.  I don’t know if you know this but, when I was seventeen, I gave up my daughter for adoption.  Last I heard about her, a couple of Bajoran farmers took her in. I’ve been wondering if I should look her up; maybe even meet her.  Oh well, I’ll worry about that later.

Well, I didn’t get to beam down to Bajor immediately due to the True Way ambushing my ship.  Elisa managed to pick up their warp signatures before they hailed us. Apparently, it was Gul Mutak of the Kriger, the adjutant general to Gul Kardok.  He said that I was carrying property that belonged to the True Way, meaning the orb that they stole, and then told me to lower my shields and prepare to be boarded.  I quickly pointed out how stupid it was for him to be making demands in orbit of Bajor. Elisa told me that the man cut off communications and is powering up weapons, so they didn’t get to hear my retort.  Then she asked me what my orders were, which was to hail Deep Space 9. I contacted Saresh and told her that the Winchester got ambushed by the True Way and in orbit of Bajor no less. You can imagine that she was pissed, but she managed to cool herself long enough to tell me that she’ll borrow the Defiant and be there momentarily.  I told her not to worry, because we’ll hold them off.

It wasn’t long until the Defiant showed up anyway and, together, we kicked their asses!  After destroying the first two ships, Saresh contacted me to see if I was still in one piece and got a bit excited about teaching the next batch of True Way invaders a lesson.  She’s getting a little bloodthirsty for Cardassians but, if it helps her show these extremist nuts who’s boss, I really don’t care. Together, we defeated the next two True Way invaders and showed them why you don’t try to ambush people near the planet you used to rule as overlords.  Sarish contacted me to tell me that was the last of them, but she’ll remain in orbit while I return the Orb, just in case.

After that detour, I immediately beamed down to Hathon.  Elisa contacted me to tell me that Vedek Krin is waiting for me at the temple.  I’ll admit that I did a little sightseeing before I went to see her. I have to say, Bajor is a beautiful planet!  

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Even if it does drive my allergies mad. No wonder the Cardassians took it over for so long. I also stopped by Colonel Kubus’s office to look up Rose, my daughter.  It was easy because there was only one Rose in all of Bajor. Turns out the farmers who adopted Rose are Termas Inarn and Lara. Yep, Lara as in Superman’s biological mom.  Rose also has a sister named Fiora. I only hope that they’re treating her well.

I finally went to the temple and stopped to read some of the Bajoran transcripts.  Hey, that orb isn’t going anywhere, I have time. One of the books had a possession story that gave me a serious Supernatural vibe.  I also found books about Sisko, a book about cooking for fasts (which seems like a great way to torture yourself) and even a book worshipping the Pah Wraiths.  I’m not big on Bajoran religion, but aren’t the Pah Wraiths to the Prophets as Satan is to God? Why would the temple have a book like that in their archives? My guess is, whoever this Anjohl Tennan is, he must’ve paid a fat load of latinum to get his book featured here.

Anyway, I finally talked to Vedek Krim and told her that I need to return the Orb to the temple.  

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She was all smiles about it, claiming that The Prophets are smiling upon us and that what was lost is now returned.  Krim told me that I’ve done a great service for the Bajoran people and that they are most grateful. I told her that she can’t really speak on behalf of the entire Bajoran people anymore than I can speak on behalf of the entire human race. Krim didn’t respond to that and only told me to place the Orb upon the altar, but she did sound a bit annoyed. Oh well, what do I care?

I went to the altar and placed the Orb of Possibilities where it belonged only to find out that it didn’t belong.  Well, not in this temple anyway… or this world… or this universe. Yeah, I probably need to explain that. The Wormhole Aliens talked to me in the form of people I already knew which, I have to say, was actually pretty cool.  At least, it would be, if I ever wanted an orb experience in the first place. Anyway, they talked to me in these riddles about how the service rendered is not the service desired. Then they told me that, when we gaze in the mirror, we see our faces as others do, but reversed.  I may be brilliant at deductive reasoning, but I suck at riddles big time. After all this, they sent me back to Bajor to try to figure out what they meant.

Honestly, if I had known that I would be talking to the WAs, I would’ve sent someone else in my place, someone who would actually want an orb experience.  As pretty and mystical as those orbs looks, I’ve never wanted to use one and I’ve definitely never wanted to talk to the WAs. I make my own destiny and I don’t need a group of mystical aliens to tell me what that is.

After that, I went to Vedek Krim who told me that she would be honored to know what the Prophets shared with me, if I’m willing.  Krim claimed that sometimes their visions can be very confusing, but she has some experience interpreting them. I told her what they told me, that they suggested that it’s not their orb and I have to return it somewhere else.  Krim got confused about that, since it’s an Orb of the Prophets, so it has to belong on Bajor. Then she asked me if I’m familiar with the so-called Mirror Universe. Do I know anything about the MU? Only that it’s where Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura got stranded in after a transporter accident!  Then Kira visited it with Bashir and found out that the Terrans got enslaved by the Alliance thanks to Captain Kirk’s meddling! After that, they abducted Sisko a couple of times to force him to help out, first by having him pose as his MU counterpart who died and then by having him lead the Defiant!  Then Kira’s counterpart came to our universe with their Bareil to steal an orb! Before I could bring up the time Quark and Rom had to go to exchange a cloaking device for their Nagus, Krim told me rather politely that she sees that I’m familiar with it. She said that she wasn’t as familiar as I was and then told me that, if I want to learn more, I can read the book on that table over there by a Vedek Eeth describing his experiences and said that it could guide me.  I’m so ecstatic; I have to exercise serious self-control not to bounce around the whole temple!

I went to pick up the book and read about how fascinated Vedek Eeth was by the Mirror Universe, not that I can blame him.  

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Then he talked about petitioning the Vedek Assembly for permission to go there. Unfortunately, for him, the Vedek Assembly denied his request because the Federation quarantined access to the MU and, at the time, Bajor was still seeking membership.  So, Eeth just renounced his seat on the Vedek Assembly and went to find the MU on his own, like a badass! As for how he managed this, turned out this former Vedek has an Engineer friend who owes him a favor. Well, he managed to find his way and, guess what he discovered, the Terran Empire’s back.  They took over Terok Nor, which we call Deep Space Nine in our universe, and dominated the Bajorans again. Talk about one-step forward and two steps back. The Terrans finally get their independence from the Alliance and they conquer them all over again. Guess conquest is just a never-ending cycle in the MU.  Plus, being on the path to peace is what got them enslaved in the first place, so maybe that’s not too hard to believe. The Bajorans are now doing the work that they made the Terrans do, mining and ore processing. Eeth talked about how he needed to cross over with a spaceship and he got a message from the MU that offered to help. After that, our universe never heard from him again. This sounds like one of those horror holo-programs where the guy goes missing and it turns out to be the work of a monster that hides in the shadows.

After that, I got a message from Sarish.  So, I told her what I found out, that the orb’s from the MU and we can pass through the anomaly we found earlier.  She told me to be careful, because the MU is known to be more treacherous than our universe. Then she said that I’ll be cut off from any support here.  I told her that we’ll be fine. After all, it’s not the first time my crew found themselves in a life or death situation and came out on top. Elisa contacted me and asked if I was ready to beam up.  I told her to beam me up and take me to the badlands.

I got contacted by Sarish the minute I arrived.  She asked me what our status was and I told her that we’ve entered the Badlands and are heading to the anomaly.  Sarish told me to keep the comm lines open as long as possible. She sounds like my mom when I first started learning to drive a hover car.  Then Sarish started talking about how we have limited intelligence on the MU but, from what we know, it appeared that the Terran Rebellion spread from Terok Nor, eventually forming a new empire.  So, she’s basically telling me what I already know, but that’s not going to stop me from being excited to find out more. Sarish told me that the Terran Empire reoccupied Bajor and that she believes that this Captain Leeta is the administrator of the Bajor sector.  Leeta, I can swear that I heard that name before but I can’t remember from where. Hey, my brain stores a ton of information and, occasionally, I have to delete some. Though I might be able to restore some files from the trash folder.

Later on, I got contacted by Gul Haneri of the Torhne, who called herself the Chief Tactical Advisor to Gul Kardek of the True Way.  She said the usual about how I’m not welcome here and to lower my shields and prepare to be boarded. Yeah, I’ll get right on that, sarcastically speaking.  Instead, I went to red alert. So, I had to battle them and I focused on the two weaker ships before attacking Torhne. While I was fighting, Sarish told me that she believes Gul Kardek used the orb from the MU to somehow create the anomaly that leads back to them.  Then Sarish talked about how he must have formed an alliance with the Terran Empire and warned me to stay on my guard, since they’re probably expecting me. Considering that the Alliance from the MU who enslaved the Terrans is made up of Klingons, Cardassians and Bajorans, I find it surprising that they’d team up with the Cardassians from our universe so quickly.  Anyway, after taking care of Torhne’s lackeys, I destroyed her ship and Chris contacted me. He told me that he believes that we can activate the portal by bombarding it with tachyon radiation. I told him to make the necessary modifications to the deflector dish, because I really want to see the MU. Then I did what Chris suggested and entered the portal.

As soon as I found myself in the MU, Captain Leeta herself greeted me.  Now I remember her, she’s that Bajoran woman Gul Kardek contacted. I have to say, she’s either aged well or she’s got great access to a plastic surgeon.  She went on about how it’s a pleasure to have visitors from my universe and how she didn’t believe Gul Kardek when he said that we’d be here, but she couldn’t afford to take the chance.  Then told me to surrender now and she’ll guarantee the safety of my crew. You can bet that, after all the studying I did on her universe, I know better than to take her up on her word. So, I refused to surrender and asked her if she thinks I’m a complete moron.  Leeta seemed a little set back but settled for cliché villainous taunting as she said that we could have had so much fun together and now she has to destroy me. Yeah, well she can try. I focused on destroying the ships from the Terran Empire and, after destroying one of them, Leeta gleefully talked about the fun she was having and how she was growing rather bored before I showed up.  Well, I’m not here to entertain her. After destroying Leeta’s pathetic attempt at an ambush, she apologized for the state of her troops. She talked about how they’d grown rather complacent and how she’ll have to provide a demonstration. Apparently, she sucks at demonstrations, because I had no trouble kicking her ass. Then Leeta talked about how Gul Kardek warned her not to underestimate me and she won’t make the same mistake next time, if there is a next time.  After Leeta left, Elisa contacted me and said that we can warp to Bajor, which I immediately did.

Finally, I made it to the Mirror Bajor!  

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Yes, I’m still excited about being in the MU, despite getting attacked by an evil bimbo. Elisa was quick to remind me that this isn’t a tourist expedition by telling me that Bajor was re-conquered by the Terrans and that we need to be on our guard, but I was only half-way paying attention.  She was kind of right because, the minute we stepped out of the transporter room, we got ambushed by the True Way. They didn’t put up much of a fight, even with me coughing and sneezing like crazy, but Elisa got worried that they followed us through the portal.  I told her that, more likely, they were Gul Kardek’s troops just waiting for us to arrive.

Remember how I talked about Bajor’s beauty, with its plants and trees everywhere and how it drove my allergies nuts?  Well, in the MU, the Terrans went a bit more exotic disco club and less nature holo-documentary. Let me tell you, this club only caters to one type of preference, because all they have are silhouettes of naked women and not one hologram of a man who’s at least scantily clad.  

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It’s also raining like mad and that’s not exactly good for my allergies either. Thankfully, Chris injected me with medicine after the battle so my allergies don’t wear me down. The Bajorans also look far more bitter and hateful as opposed to serene and peaceful.

It wasn’t long until we ran into the bimbo again.  She talked about how Gul Kardek was right, we are formidable but perfectly predictable.  I’d be angry about her calling me predictable, if I wasn’t sneezing up a storm. Chris’s medicine hadn’t fully kicked in yet, but I’m feeling better than I was a few minutes ago.  Leeta ordered her Terran forces to attack and said that she wanted us alive. Thankfully, that gave us an advantage even with my huge disadvantage. Sometimes, Leeta’s forces managed to get the drop on me, but we kicked their asses.  We would’ve taken Leeta down with them, but she spent the whole battle hiding behind a force field and beamed up afterwards. Okay, so maybe she’s not a complete bimbo, but I don’t think that kind of planning takes much brainpower.

We continued to the temple and passed by the fountain right in front of it where, in our universe, there’s a large tree.  In the MU, it’s a giant dancing holographic stripper and guess what gender that is. I didn’t have much time to dwell on it, as my team got ambushed by another group of Terrans.  This time, Leeta was nowhere to be found, but we did see Gul Kardek again. He said that we’ve interfered with his plans for the last time and attacked us. Thankfully, my medicine fully kicked in and I could actually fight to the fullest of my potential with my crew.  Also, is it just me or is Gul Kardek’s posture a little too perfect for a humanoid? Anyway, Gul Kardek actually managed to put up a fight. I can’t count how many times me and my crew had to make use of the medical generator. I also had to use the second setting on my weapon, something I don’t often do.  

Vedek Krim, or her MU counterpart, showed up in the middle of the fight and tried to stop it, saying that fighting is not permitted here.  Yeah, Vedek, that’s really going to stop Kardek from trying to kill us. What happened next was a bit of a shock, because Kardek’s arm turned to liquid and stretched out Mr. Fantastic style to strangle the Vedek!  That’s right, Kardek’s a changeling! Well, it explains why his posture’s so perfect. Then he told the Vedek that this is not her affair. After that interruption, we attacked Kardek with him using his changeling powers.  Though I don’t get why he waited to use those powers in the first place. It wasn’t long until Kardek went full on changeling, but we managed to defeat him.

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I even made sure to lock Kardek up in a special box so he won’t cause any more trouble.

After the battle, I healed Vedek Krim, who thanked me and admitted that she was surprised to see a changeling here.  

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Not surprising considering that, in the accounts I read, the only changeling they knew was Mirror Odo and our Bashir killed him.  Then the Vedek asked me what the purpose for our visit was. I told her that we’re here to return their orb. She was rather surprised, due to the fact that they lost the orb decades ago during the First Occupation of Bajor. Then Vedek Krim decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth, except she put it in a more religious way. She told me to go place it on the altar, which I planned on doing in the first place.

Before going to the temple, I picked up a PADD Gul Kardek left behind and found a note he sent to a man named Gul Pulat.  

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Kardek talked about how he ran into some complications, meaning us, and how we stole the Orb of Possibilities. He assumed that we returned it to the Bajorans by now.  Then he talked about how grateful he was that the anomaly’s still stable and retreated to the MU to take shelter with his Terran allies. Kardek told Pulat that he needed him to meet with a Dumat’Zukan at a facility in the Devos system in his place. Kardek was even kind enough to send Pulat the coordinates.  Dumat’Zukan, that’s a Jem’Hadar name if I ever heard one.

We went to the temple and I made a minor detour to the library and, let me tell you, most of the books read the same as the books in our universe, the only exceptions are the book about Sisko’s life and the book about the other universe written by Eeth played out differently.  Not surprising since Mirror Sisko’s no emissary and their Eeth would have a different experience. There’s still a book written by an Anjohl Tennan worshipping the Pah Wraiths. Even in the MU, the Bajorans still consider the Pah Wraiths the bad guys. Can’t say I blame them. Even their name doesn’t sound nice.  Then again, my name’s Candy and I’m not a blonde space trash bimbo stripping on Risa. So, in all reality, what difference does a name even make? The away team didn’t like my little detour, but I told them that the orb’s not going anywhere.

I went back to the altar and placed the orb there, again.  This time, they thanked me for restoring the balance and took the time to warn me about an ambush waiting for me in space.  Fortunately, they were kind enough to send me and my ship back to our regular universe.

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Elisa contacted me and asked what happened.  All she remembers is that I opened the orb case, everything went white and she and the rest of my away team appeared on the Winchester in orbit of Bajor, back in our own universe.  I told her that the Mirror Prophets returned us, assuming that they were different Prophets from our universe. No, I’m not converting to Bajoran religion, I’m just feeling too lazy to call them Wormhole Aliens right now.  I told her that I have to talk to Vedek Krim and then I’ll beam up.

Anyway, I went to see the Vedek and she told me that she didn’t see me enter the temple. I told her that the Mirror Prophets returned me here. She told me that she didn’t know much about the Mirror Prophets but, if they’re anything like our Prophets, then this is a great honor.  They were so similar, I’m still wondering if I even talked to their counterparts at all, or if they even have counterparts. Then Krim said that it’s very rare for the Prophets to interfere directly with our lives.  I’ll admit, I wish they stayed out of mine. Then she asked if my mission was a success. I sarcastically replied that it was a huge failure and the Prophets sent me here out of pity. She ignored my comment and said that I have the gratitude of two Bajors and closed with “May the Prophets continue to smile upon you.”  

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It gave me flashbacks of my grandpa trying to force the Catholic religion on me. Thankfully, my mom wouldn’t let him. Still, can you imagine the look on my grandpa’s face if I ever told him that I actually consulted with “false Gods?” Maybe I’ll break it to him next time I visit Earth.

I know I told Elisa I’d beam up after talking to Vedek Krim, but I didn’t say that I’d beam up right away.  I took a walk outside, fully able to enjoy the beauty now that I took Chris’s medicine. My mind started wondering about more than just the Wormhole Aliens. Maybe I had an MU counterpart over there I haven’t met, one who’s more Moriarty to my Sherlock Holmes or Joker to my Batman. Maybe my MU counterpart is like Leeta, a bimbo high on power.  Maybe, and here’s the worst thought, my MU counterpart is stripping on Risa, not taking part in the Terran Empire whatsoever. What choices did she make? Did she ever meet Joey and, if she did, was he the one who seduced and abducted her?  Maybe she was the evil seductress manipulating him to her own ends. What about Chris? Was he still the Watson to my Holmes or the Alfred to my Batman? Will I ever know?

While I was contemplating, I got a communication from Sarish who talked about how surprised she was to hear that Gul Kardek’s a changeling.  She said that an alliance between the True Way and the Alpha Dominion could prove dangerous for the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. Sarish did look on the bright side, by saying that she’s happy the orb’s been returned to the MU and I’ve returned to our universe.  Fortunately, Sarish doesn’t get distracted by small details and focused on the big picture, which was stopping the alliance before they could do any further damage. Then Sarish told me that they’ll analyze the PADD I found to see if they find this ketracel-white factory.

After Sarish hung up, I remembered the data I found on Rose and her new adopted family.  Maybe I should just stop by and introduce myself. Rose might be happy to meet her bio-mom and her family might welcome me into their home.  I could be their Fonzie or their Uncle Jesse, visiting their home and being Rose and Fiora’s cool older sister figure at the most. Then again, Rose might realize that I abandoned her and hate me for it.  Her family might not even let me talk to her and who could blame them? If some stranger showed up at your house claiming to be your kid’s biological mom, how would you react? Maybe I could just visit the Terma Farm and watch Rose from a safe distance, just to see how she’s doing.  I mean that in a non-creepy way. What are the odds that she’ll spot me? Then again, there’s a good chance that those odds might not be in my favor and I doubt that I can book a nearby hotel on short notice. I beamed back up and ordered my crew to leave orbit. Elisa asked me what took so long and I only told her that I was gathering my thoughts, even if I didn’t say what my thoughts were about.  I know, I can fangirl about going to the MU but I can’t bring myself to meet my own daughter. What kind of coward am I?

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy and her trip to the Mirror Universe?  Feel free to request a Captain’s Log or team up with one of my characters for a Star Trek Online mission that I haven’t already done.  You can request or team up with me to do a Star Trek Online mission I’ve already written if it’s from the point of view of another character.  For example, feel free to request for me to recap this mission with a different character.  You can also Role-Play in the comments with your own Star Trek created character, if you wish.

Sci-Fi Warrior (Azaleas Dolls)

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Have you ever wanted to create characters for the Star Wars universe?  Now you can with the sci-fi warrior dollmaker! Create your own Star Wars or sci-fi female OCs, female characters from famous sci-fi franchises or yourself as a Star Wars character!

Like many dollmakers, this has no storyline.  You just create female characters that can be Jedi, slaves, or rebels.  You can even create characters that have nothing to do with Star Wars.  SeekHim and I have both used this dollmaker to make our own Star Trek characters.  I even used the game to create a Star Wars inspired character.

Aura/Darth Vixen (Star Wars OC) by suburbantimewaster

I even used this dollmaker to make Firefly’s River Tam, as I’ve posted on this blog. If you want to make male characters, there’s a separate dollmaker for that.  I used that one to create Clark Kent from Smallville.

Clark Kent (Smallville) by suburbantimewaster

This one works as your typical dollmaker, with you picking various hairstyles, clothes and other features for your character. Unfortunately, one of those features is not different face shapes.  You’re also limited on hairstyles as all you can choose is straight or wavy with no options for curly hair, unless you pick a bouffant. Like many dollmakers, you’re also limited to one body-type.  You also have no option to put freckles on your character. Other than that, the game is very good at staying true to the Star Wars universe, with many options to make your character an alien. You also have a wide variety of clothes and weapons that fit the universe very well, such as lightsabers and blasters.

This game is fun, but needs work.  I give it 5 out of 10; I hope to see a scene maker version soon.  On another note, have you used this dollmaker to make characters or to just goof off?  If so, feel free to share your creations in the comments.

Revelations (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Candy’s back as she recalled the time she got to team up with Seven of Nine herself and discover the true threat to the Delta Quadrant.  See the rest of my Star Trek Online characters here.screenshot_lcl2018-02-11-21-26-51

Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 95898.47

This is Candy Marino of the U.S.S. Winchester and Ethan Burgess contacted me about a distress call sent by the U.S.S. Callisto.  Apparently, they were on a research mission to a little explored area of the DQ a.k.a. the Delta Quadrant. Burgess said that they’re not sure what happened to the Callisto, but they need someone to check it out.  He told me that there were a lot of good people on the Callisto, good Starfleet officers and researchers. Burgess ordered me to bring them home.

Thankfully, I was already in the DQ when Burgess called.  So, I set course for the location of the Callisto’s distress call.  As soon as we arrived, Flores told me that we arrived at the location of the distress call from the U.S.S. Callisto.  She said that we’re no longer receiving the distress beacon, but sensors are picking up debris consistent with a Luna class Federation starship.  I told Flores that there might be some survivors, so I ordered her to scan the wreckage. To do that, I needed to bring the Winchester closer to the ship.  I scanned what looked like the remains of the Callisto only for Flores to tell me that there was no luck.

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She said that our sensors weren’t reading any lifesigns in the wreckage.  Then she told me that the Callisto had a crew compliment of 350. I just asked if we could identify who attacked her though, from what I can tell, whoever did this was ruthless and didn’t like invaders.

Chris told me that we have an incoming message from the outpost station.  I said that I wanted to hear what they had to say. You would not believe who showed up on the screen, Seven of Nine!  That’s right, I’m actually getting to meet Voyager’s rescued Borg drone herself! She told me that she was part of a Federation research team assigned to the U.S.S. Callisto.  Seven said that her team was investigating this outpost when the defense systems activated and destroyed the ship. Despite my fangirling, I managed to keep my cool and introduce myself as Admiral Candy Marino of the U.S.S. Winchester.  I also told Seven that we responded as quickly as we could. Seven told me that she’s aware of my service record while I was thinking to myself “urge to fangirl rising.” She said that she was able to deactivate the outpost’s defenses, but the system sent out an automated distress signal upon shutdown.  Seven claimed that it’s logical to assume that someone will be arriving to investigate. Then she asked me to please transport her and her team to the Winchester, saying that she will be of more assistance to me there. I said that they have a lot to explain before cutting off communication and flying to the outpost all while thinking “I get to have Seven of Nine on my ship!”

I beamed over the survivors and Seven told me that long range sensors are picking up inbound energy signatures.  She said that they were Voth ships and that they must lay claim to this system. The Voth Commander hailed me and called me a trespassing endotherm, meaning this guy needs to get better insults.  He said that I was trespassing in Voth-aligned space. I can surrender now and they will allow us to live out the remainder of our lives on a prison world. I only scoffed at the guy, remarking sarcastically about how our choices are either to become his prisoners or die.  The Voth only hung up on me with clear offense, so I had to deal with an ambush. I’ll say one thing about these guys, they know how to put up a fight.

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I had to summon the Nimbus pirates to stand a chance at beating them. After defeating them, more Voth showed up and said that we violated the Voth facility and will be…  The Voth cut their transmissions short and engaged warp drive, something Seven point out. Which usually means we have a greater threat to worry about. The Voth high-tailed it out of here, which puzzled Seven because, in her own words, it’s not like the Voth to leave a battle they would have clearly won. I pointed out what I already suspected about the greater threat, which is usually how these things pan out.  Chris told me that we’re receiving a distress call from the Turei homeworld.

I ordered the message on screen and saw a weird blue alien say that this is a general distress signal for any ships in range.  He said that this is the Turei homeworld and they are under attack by an unknown force of immense power. He said that they require immediate assistance, meaning I was right.  The Voth are afraid of a bigger threat. I asked Seven who the Turei are and she told me that they’re a space-faring culture that Voyager encountered in 2376. She said that they claim ownership over the Underspace, which are corridors through subspace that significantly shorten travel time here in the Delta Quadrant.  Seven told me that Command has been attempting to contact them without success. She said that access to the Underspace would be a distinct advantage for our fleet. I asked Seven if this bigger threat the Voth were afraid of might have been the ones who attacked the Turei, or the Voth themselves. She said that it’s a definite possibility.  Seven told me that, to her knowledge, the Voth and Turei are not enemies. Then she said that there is still much we do not know about the Delta Quadrant. I told her that a show a good faith might be in order. Flores told me that she already laid in a course for the Turei homeworld. Then said that they’re ready to leave on my orders. It’s an order I wasted no time giving.

Seven told us when we arrived in the Turei system and said that the Voth ships are in combat, but they’re not engaging the Turei vessels.  She said that their opposition does not conform to any known ship in the database. I told Seven that, whatever they are, they’re packing quite a punch.  I watched the Voth and Turei attack the unknown ship, leaving me to wonder if they’re allies or they just teamed up to exterminate this one threat. Either way, one thing’s clear, I was right about the bigger threat.  Let me tell you, that’s some technology they’ve got. I don’t think even the Borg have ships like that. Flores told me that one of the ships was breaking off and moving in our direction. You want to pick a fight with me, you better know what you’re getting into.  However, I will give these mystery enemies one thing, they make tough opponents.  Flores told me that the debris from the Voth ships is falling and she’s reading massive damage to the planet’s surface. It took awhile, but I managed to defeat that ship. After the battle, Seven told me that the Voth and whomever they are fighting are speaking on an open channel.  She told me that we can listen in on their communications. I told her to do so.

I managed to make out a helmeted bad guy that looked similar to Darth Vader with a woman’s voice, despite the static.  She said to the Voth that their defense of the Turei thieves will be their undoing. So maybe the Voth and the Turei are allies.  Then I saw a clear picture of the Voth commander’s face, who told them that the Turei and Voth have a long standing allegiance.  So I was right about them being allies.  Anyway, he claimed that the Turei’s exothermic nature make them superior to the other feeble races of the quadrant. He’d better have been talking about the DQ. Anyway, the unknown alien told the Voth commander that he will be loyal to the death, and people say I’m stubborn.  These guys aren’t even attempting to negotiate. After that little bit of outer space eavesdropping, Seven told me that the surface of the Turei homeworld is being devastated by the debris from the Voth vessels. She said that the Turei do have a defense network of satellites and shields that is capable of protecting them, but the control network is offline.  Then she claimed that this was intentional — their attackers deliberately targeted the area during the initial assault. Seven told me that there is a secondary command center on the outskirts of one of their major settlements. She said that, if we transport directly there, we will be able to restore the control network. I wasted no time beaming down with my designated away team.

As soon as we beamed down, Seven explained how the invaders attacked this facility but they did not do significant structural damage.  She told me that they were, however, able to take down the control network controlling the orbital defense grid. Seven said that the defense grid is the only thing capable of stopping all of the debris from the battle in orbit from raining down on the planet.  She claimed that small pieces will burn up in the atmosphere and my ship’s weapons can deal with some others, but a significant percentage will get through. Then Seven told me that, until that grid is operational, there will be a widespread devastation. I told her that we need to get the defense grid back online and give the Turei a fighting chance.

We came across a scene of wreckage and a Turei begging us to help him, so Seven and I came to the conclusion that there was a firefight here.  Seven told me that one of the Turei is injured, but his condition is stable. She said that he may be able to give us more information about the invaders.  I told Seven that we’ll help him and maybe he can answer some questions. I healed the Turei, who thanked me, said his name is Bellas and asked if I was from Starfleet.  

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I told him that I was and then asked him what happened here. Bellas told me that the ships emerged from the Underspace, and they were too close for their defense grid to stop the launch of drop pods.  He said that, in minutes, they had knocked out the grid controls and they were defenseless. Then he claimed that they barely had enough time to transmit a distress signal. I asked Bellas what Underspace was, but he said that I’m not Turei so he cannot reveal their secrets.  It didn’t matter if Bellas did or not, because Seven answered my question. She told me that Underspace is a network of subspace corridors that extend through much of the Delta Quadrant. She explained that Voyager was pulled into one when its warp field interacted with the corridor’s radial wall.  Seven said that, at the time, they speculated that the corridors would speed their journey back to Federation space. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible for them. It would be like Starfleet saying that the wormhole should only be used by Federation officials which, thankfully, we haven’t gone that far.  I asked Seven, if Underspace is a Turei secret, how were these attackers able to use it? Bellas explained that the attackers were Vaadwaur and that Voyager did indeed interact with one of their corridors. Then Bellas got all bitter about how, instead of deleting the information as they requested and going on their way, Voyager revived their greatest enemy.  Bellas went on to blame all of the destruction and death on Voyager. So you can guess he’s not one of their biggest fans. I asked about the Vaadwaur. Seven froze up and insisted that it was impossible, it couldn’t be the Vaadwaur and said that she would know. I turned to Seven and asked her who the Vaadwaur are. Seven talked about how it was all her fault.  She said that, when they first encountered the Vaadwaur, they were in cryostasis. Then Seven told me that she foolishly awoke their leader in a moment of curiosity. She said that she didn’t know their history and explained to me that they were conquerors, despots. Seven talked about how the Vaadwaur used Underspace to rule the Delta Quadrant for decades. She said that it was only when the other races banded together that the Vaadwaur were defeated.  Seven explained that, at the time Voyager encountered them, when she awakened them, Captain Janeway said she probably would’ve done the same thing. Seven then said that it wasn’t Janeway’s choice, it was hers and she is responsible. Seven explained that the Vaadwaur they encountered did not have the level of technology like what we face here. She said that this is far beyond anything that the Vaadwaur are capable of developing in such a short amount of time.  I said that now we need to form a plan of action. Seven told me that her analysis remains unchanged, we need to restore functionality to the defense grid. She said that there are four nodes located on the edge of the complex. Seven explained that we must restart these nodes and re-align them to the central tower to re-establish the grid. I agreed with Seven and told her to keep an eye on the Vaadwaur, because they won’t like what we’re trying to do.

Bellas told me that he’ll go to the central tower and start the initialization sequence.  We followed him to the next location as Seven said that she blamed herself for the return of the Vaadwaur and claimed that it was a door best left unopened.  I made a remark about how Seven should’ve known that the Vaadwaur were screwed up before she decided to act like a good Samaritan. Before Seven could respond, we came across the Vaadwaur and had to defeat them.  I have to say, they don’t seem as tough on the ground as they did up in space.

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All right, the technician near the first node was tough, but that’s only because he’s got a shield that makes it almost impossible to do any damage to him.  Eventually, we defeated him and I got to work on the first node. Seven gave me the info to get it started up, which I can summarize as reboot, update and align. I kept repeating that over and over, to Seven’s chagrin, but how else was I supposed to remember that? 

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We managed to establish the uplink and made our way to the next node with more Vaadwaur blocking our way. Seven said that, when Voyager first rescued the Vaadwaur, they thought they could be allies. I told Seven to trust me when I say that she’s not the only one who makes bad judgment calls like that.  She asked me to elaborate but all I told her was that, sometimes, you can trust the wrong people. We made it to the next node and Seven gave me the instructions, which I once again remembered by repeating the keywords over and over.

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We made our way to the next defense node, having to fight more Vaadwaur on the way.  Seven told me that, when Admiral Tuvok asked her to leave her post at the Daystrom Institute to assist the Callisto, she thought the possibility of seeing the Vaadwaur was statistically insignificant.  I just said that it’s a small galaxy and listened to Seven say that, whatever happens here, we must inform our superiors of the Vaadwaur threat. Then I followed Seven’s instructions about how to activate the third defense node successfully.

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We went to the final defense node and had to fight even more Vaadwaur on the way.  Seven told me that they had to ally themselves with the Turei to escape the Vaadwaur.  Then she gave me the instructions to activate the final defense node. After that, I activated the defense grid and I really hope the Turei appreciate everything we’ve done for them.  

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It wasn’t long until I got a call from Bellas, but the message wasn’t really a thank you, more like a cry for help. Apparently, he needed assistance at the central tower. We made our way to the landing pad and Bellas told us that we did an excellent job getting the defense nodes back online and realigned to the central hub.  Not exactly a thank you, but it’s better than what I would’ve said in his place. Bellas said that the restart process will take some time, but the defense grid will be active in about two minutes. Then Bellas said that they’d be in good shape, if the Vaadwaur hadn’t launched more assault pods. He told me that these are mobile transporter pads used to bring more troops to the surface rapidly.  Bellas assumed that they’re coming to stop us from restoring the defense grid. I told him that we need to hold them off until the defense grid has completed the restart sequence. Then Seven told me that the Turei took control of Underspace after the Vaadwaur were defeated. She said that clearly, the Vaadwaur objected. There was little time to comment as we had to repeal swarms and swarms of Vaadwaur.  If that weren’t enough, Seven told us that Vaadwaur reinforcements were approaching. They just kept beaming in to the point that Seven said that the Vaadwaur are relentless, and the probability of our survival is slim. I told her that a slim chance is better than no chance at all. After a while of fighting more Vaadwaur, Seven said that they’re tenacious fighters so we must be more so.

We kept on fighting to the point where Bellas said that we can’t keep this up forever.  Seven saw a few guys in machine suits land and asked what that was. I recognized it as Voth mecharmor and, let me tell you, I never thought I’d be so happy to see those Gundam knockoffs.  They helped us defeat the remaining Vaadwaur, which makes them our big damn heroes. After that, Chris told me that he was receiving a message from the Winchester. He told me that the Vaadwaur are retreating to Underspace.  Then Chris pointed out that, even with their defense grid online, the Turei couldn’t have defeated them. Then he asked why the Vaadwaur would leave before they finish the fight. I agreed with Chris that it was odd. The Voth commander said that it wasn’t because Voth reinforcements have entered orbit.  Then he claimed that these Vaadwaur do not want to do battle with an obviously superior force. I turned to the commander and asked him that, if he’s such a superior force, how did the Vaadwaur tear his ships apart so easily? Instead of answering, he told me that, while he did sustain great losses, they have made good on their agreement with the Turei.  Then told Bellas that they restored the defense grid. I corrected the a**hole commander by saying that Seven and I are the ones who restored the defense grid. Bellas told us that he’s not interested in petty squabbling about who did what. He said that the grid is restored and we are safe, that is all that matters. Chris told me that the U.S.S. Voyager has entered orbit.  Then he said that Admiral Tuvok is requesting to beam down to my position, which I immediately granted. It’d be cool to see him again.

Tuvok beamed down and greeted Seven.  Then he said that they detected the destruction of the Callisto and was about to ask a question when Bellas interrupted him.  He claimed that it was his fault, because his ship invaded the Voth outpost and they woke the Vaadwaur. Really, this again? Tuvok was confused, because Starfleet Intelligence did not consider them a threat.  I don’t know if Section 31 feels the same way, but that’s one of those things I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut about. Anyway, Tuvok said that they believed their numbers were few and their technology outdated.  Bellas got on Tuvok’s case about how they were wrong, because the Vaadwaur have returned and no one is safe. I said that you make this guys sound like monsters out of a horror holodeck program. All Tuvok could say was that he sees and told Seven that Voyager could use her expertise again.  Then he asked her if she would return to the ship. She said that it would be acceptable. Tuvok said that they would take the other survivors of the Callisto as well. Then he stopped to thank me. Seven beamed up to Voyager with Tuvok. Flores told me that Seven of Nine has safely arrived on Voyager and the Vaadwaur threat on the ground here is over.  She told me that the Voth commander has indicated his forces will deal with any remaining hostiles. Then Flores said that we’re cleared to return to the Winchester on my command, which I immediately gave.

I soon as me and my away team beamed back to the Winchester, Tuvok contacted me and thanked me for assisting Seven and lending aid to the Turei.  Then he said that the discovery that their old foes, the Vaadwaur, have made such a leap in technology and are now threatening the entire quadrant is… troubling.  I told Tuvok that no one gets that advanced that fast, so this seems more than just a tad bit suspicious. Then I got a call from Seven, who thanked me. She said that, without my help, she and her team would’ve been killed by the Voth.  She said that she has to turn her attention to the Vaadwaur. Seven claimed that, since she is responsible for their return, she must assist in their defeat. I told Seven that it was really awesome to meet her and cut the channel. Chris told me that we’re clear to depart as soon as I’m ready.  Trust me when I say that I was ready. I contacted Commander Burgess who said that he read Admiral Janeway’s mission logs from Voyager. He claimed that it would be troublesome enough to have the Vaadwaur return in force — they’re an aggressive and difficult species but, if they have technology and forces that can defeat the Voth…  this does not bode well. First of all, way to stereo-type an entire species. Second of all, I think this danger goes without saying. Oh well, at least I got to team up with Seven of Nine. That will be a story I tell my daughter… if I ever get to meet her.

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy and her mission to expose the threat while fangirling over Seven of Nine?  Feel free to request a Captain’s Log or team up with one of my characters for a Star Trek Online mission that I haven’t already done.  You can request or team up with me to do a Star Trek Online mission I’ve already written if it’s from the point of view of another character.  For example, feel free to request for me to recap this mission with a different character.  You can also Role-Play in the comments with your own Star Trek created character, if you wish.

Uncharted Tides: Port Royal Beta Test

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When Mary Jane receives a message telling her that she might find her missing father, she sets sail and makes a new thief friend named Jack.  Can they find her long lost father or is this a trap set up by a clever villain?

The story is one of a pirate adventure starring the characters of Mary Jane and Jack.  Honestly, it didn’t really interest me but, after Shadowplay, it might have had a tough act to follow.  Mary Jane is the typical tomboy pirate while Jack is the typical thief.  A pirate named Jack, now where have we heard that before?  Yes, there’s a mystery about what happened to Mary Jane’s father but, in all honesty, it just doesn’t interest me.

The game play is typical hidden object with you searching various locations for items that you can use to help progress through the game.  Some items require you to participate in a hidden object scene.  You sometimes have to play mini-games in order to advance and, if you’re stuck, you can use the rechargeable hint.  I often found myself using that hint though I don’t know whether it’s because I couldn’t remember where anything was supposed to go, or I just didn’t care enough to fully participate in the game.

This game is average at best.  I have no interest in buying the full game when it comes out.

Cutting the Cord (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Siket’s back, and he’s ready to talk about the time when he had to team up with Obisek to uncover an Iconian plot.

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Subadmiral II’s Log Stardate 95843.73

This is Siket of the R.R.W. Mhorazz, officer of the Romulan Republic and ally to the Federation.  I just received a communication from Admiral T’nae at Starfleet Command. She told me that Starfleet completed its analysis of the data I recovered in the Nopada system.  Then told me that there is a 67.47 percent chance that the Iconians are using the Tal Shiar as a way to influence the Romulan Star Empire, and that their persecution of the Remans is directly related to this.  She said that command is considering lending assistance to Obisek and his forces, and, since I’ve directly opposed the Tal Shiar in the past, my assistance has been requested. Then T’nae told me that the data indicates that Hakeev is operating out of the Brea system.  She said that long-range sensor scans indicate that there may be a major Tal Shiar installation there. Since I understand Hakeev better than any of their other officers, T’nae felt that I had the advantage in destroying his installation. She told me that Hakeev must not escape because he may be the only person who knows how extensive the Iconian influence in Romulan space is.

I immediately set course for the Brea system.  As soon as we arrived, Tovan informed me that the preliminary scans showed automatic defenses and a handful of Romulan ships, most likely Tal Shiar vessels.  He said that, if we were going to reach that planet, we’d have to breach the Romulan defenses. Tovan then told me quite confidently that he doesn’t see anything the Mhorazz can’t handle.  He said that the weapons platforms are probably short-range, but we must disable the satellites and any enemy ships in orbit, or any away teams that we send to the planet might be at risk. Tovan advised that I draw off the ships and engage them separately from the fixed defenses.  Instead of taking Tovan’s advice, I took care of the weaker defense turrets first and then worried about the ships.

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The Tal Shiar used their usual threats about how I’m in enemy space, and I should either leave or be destroyed. I opted for neither one and took care of the single ship.  Unfortunately, reinforcements arrived and we had to fight them. With the help of the Zdena, we managed to defeat the reinforcements. Tovan told me that we needed to get within transporter range of the planet’s surface. Then, after I did so, he said that long-range sensors show that the Reman and Romulan vessels are converging on this location, so the Mhorazz will need to remain ready for action.  Tovan warned me that he’s picking up an increase in energy use on the planet’s surface as well. He said that the Tal Shiar base is mobilizing and we need to hurry if we’re going to have any chance to find Hakeev and his Iconian connections. He said that he was ready to transport on my orders, which I immediately gave.

As soon as I beamed down, I found myself without an away team.  

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Tovan contacted me and explained that the Tal Shiar was trying to jam the transporters, so there’s a lot of particle leakage from the Iconian technology.  He can’t identify the type of particles yet, but the rest of the senior staff are reporting in from different locations. Tovan explained that the transporters are being diverted so I’m on my own, for the moment.  Then he told me his scans show that parts of the settlement are locked down with force fields. I’ll have to disable them, or find ways around them. Tovan warned me that Hakeev would be somewhere well defended, so I’d better be ready.  I told Tovan that, when it comes to the Tal Shiar, I’m always ready.

I went to the west and received another message from Tovan.  He told me that the Tal Shiar are using force fields and construction supplies to choke off access points.  Apparently, the Tal Shiar detected us in orbit and put the base on emergency lockdown. He told me that they’re orbital scans show that many of these buildings have catwalks and balconies.  Tovan said that I might be able to use those to get over some of those walls and barricades. Then he told me that some of our tactical teams made it to the surface with beachhead equipment.  So there’s a good chance that I’ll be able to get support from them and I won’t be completely alone in this.  Tovan told me that Romulan ships would be here soon, so they’ll have to raise the Mhorazz’s shields and they won’t be able to use the transporters.  He ended the channel by wishing me luck.

I exited the square and only encountered a single Romulan technician, who was rather easy to deal with.  It wasn’t long until I came across a courtyard with a fountain as well as a number of Romulans.  Thankfully, I managed to call reinforcements, but these Romulans still put up a fight.  

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It didn’t help that my current weapon takes a while to charge after every shot. The reinforcements beamed back up after the battle and I set the first spatial charge on the wall of the building near the north side of the courtyard.  

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After that, Tovan contacted me and told me that he downloaded virtual markers to my HUD that will show me where to go to place additional charges. I activated the virtual path to see a stream of green arrows showing me the way to go.

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I had to climb up a set of stairs to the top of a building where Romulans once again beamed in to attack me.  Once again, I found myself struggling in what should have been an easy battle due to the limitations of my weapon.  It was then Tovan contacted me to warn me that the Romulans are massing reserves in multiple locations around the base. He told me that the Mhorazz is in synchronous orbit, so they can provide fire support if I supply target coordinates.  I walked along the catwalks until I came across Remans fighting Romulans down below.  After I crossed the catwalk, I set up the second spatial charge.

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Tovan contacted me and told me that there’s another catwalk on the other side of the rotunda.  I headed around the rotunda to the right and found one of the perfect places to launch an orbital strike.  All I had to do was make one call and the Mhorazz destroyed the scorpion fighters.

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It’s like my instructors always said, if you find any advantage, you take it.  After that little detour, I activated the virtual path, followed it to the new catwalk, and crossed that partway down the stairs. Even though the arrows pointed to the ground, I had to see if I could find another area where I can order an orbital strike.  So, I went up the stairs to the second rooftop and found myself with the option to remodulate the weather controller to depolarize the gravitic lift. Unfortunately, I had no training in Engineering.  So there was nothing I could do. I went back to the stairs and followed the arrows down to the courtyard.  I found myself in the middle of a few skirmishes with the Romulans and took it upon myself to finish them. I have to say, I made a smart choice in changing my weapon. Tovan contacted me and said that the building to the right at ground level housed a data facility. I set up the third spatial charge only for Romulans to beam in and attack me.  

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Thankfully, I was able to call in reinforcements and managed to take down the Romulans with their help.

After that battle, I fought my way down the alley and to the south corner.  During my journey, I helped the Remans defeat the Tal Shiar. It wasn’t long until I reached the base of the large tower and placed the final spatial charge.  

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All that was left was to find Hakeev. So, I did a quick scan and Satra pointed me to his location. She said that Hakeev’s in the promenade outside of a building southwest of my location, but I’m separated from him by one of those forcefields.  Satra told me that there was an access gate on the walkway, but I’ll need to disable the force field. Then she suggested that, if I create a massive power draw at one of the other large facilities, it should temporarily disrupt the field. Satra said that, if I get back on the rooftops, it would give me a better vantage point.

I took Satra’s advice, headed for the rooftops, going north, and then proceeded across the rooftop, and took another catwalk to the roof of the data center building.  I found just the console I needed to create the power drain and used it.

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Satra contacted me and told me that the force field to the south is compromised. Then Veril called me and said that Hakeev’s in a reinforced section of the base.  She told me that I’ll need an access chip or else the doors won’t open. Veril said that they’re reading a forward observer team on the highest building in my area. She informed me that, if I can get the officer’s access chip, that should get me into the heart of the base.

After Veril finished talking, more Romulans beamed in and attacked me from a nearby rooftop.  

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Thankfully, I managed to take care of them and went south to Hakeev’s location, using the guide path to help me.  On the way, I found another location to launch an orbital strike, something I immediately took advantage of.

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I watched the Mhorazz destroy a heavy disruptor turret and the Romulans that stood near it.  Then I climbed up to the top of the building to the east and took out the Romulans there with a little support from a team I called. After the skirmish, I found the access chip I needed on one of the officers.  Veril contacted me and told me that I should be able to use the officer’s ID chip to bypass the security lock on the access gate in front of the central plaza. Then she told me that Hakeev is directing defense operations from there.  Before leaving, I changed weapons to a disruptor pistol that wasn’t as powerful but didn’t take so long to charge between shots.

I activated the guide path and followed it to a catwalk heading south, which lead to some stairs leading back to the ground.  

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Tovan contacted me to tell me that I’m in the section with Hakeev’s personal offices and that he should be just ahead. I had to help some Reman soldiers fight a few Romulans and, with my new disruptor pistol, I had an easier time taking them down.  Then I took an alleyway running south towards the arched entrance to a large paved square.  The minute I approached the square, I received a hail from Trononeg telling me that we have a problem on the Mhorazz. He said that, over the past few minutes, the ship suffered a series of cascading system failures. Trononeg told me that it was nothing serious yet, but it looks like we’re being hit by an Iconian virus.  He told me that they’ll purge the computer memory and restore the archives, but that will take some time and we’ll continue to have system problems until the work is complete. Trononeg claimed that, even if it works, Hakeev could simply send another virus our way. Trononeg informed me that I need to find and destroy the Iconian transmitter before the Mhorazz will be secure.

It wasn’t long until I ran into Hakeev in the square.  He did his usual gloating about how he would love to explain his strategies, but he’s afraid that the subtleties would be lost on me.  Hakeev talked about how a lowly being such as myself could never recognize the true power the Iconians represent–and that any future will depend on a place in their regime.  Then finished it up by saying that, as the Borg would say, resistance is futile. How appropriate, considering that the Tal Shiar really aren’t that different. This “lowly being” managed to defeat Hakeev’s guards with the help of some reinforcements I called.  He only called me a fool and said that he can call as many reinforcements as he needed, beaming down more guards. He treats his own people as if they’re expendable resources, disgusting. Fortunately, Obisek beamed down with a group of Remans and told Hakeev that his ship placed an interference field around the plaza.  

Together, we managed to defeat Hakeev and his reinforcements.  I took a PADD from Hakeev’s struggling body with a file about the Iconian gateway only a dozen meters from this very plaza.  Unfortunately, it was the only open file on Hakeev’s PADD. After that, Hakeev finally died and I felt only a slight bit of relief.  While he won’t be causing any more trouble, I don’t look forward to cleaning up his messes. Besides, I still have Sela to worry about, which is not comforting.  I talked to Obisek, who told me that the road to Reman independence will be long and bloody, but this is a significant step.

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Obisek told me that, while he does not seek my approval of his methods, he’s grateful that we both managed to cross paths.  Trust me when I say that the feeling is mutual. However, he finds it a pity that I can’t aid him further in his liberation. He told me that I have his respect, and the respect of his crew, another feeling that’s mutual between the two of us. Obisek said that if, in the future, we encounter each other again as allies, he would find this gratifying.  Obisek finished this by saying that he must return to the Zdenia. He recommended that I finish what I came to do and leave quickly. Obisek beamed out with his guards.

I took Obisek’s advice and decided to destroy the Iconian gateway, but not before studying it first.  Since I managed to get the access codes from Hakeev’s PADD, I was able to freely enter any building I wanted to.  I first went into the west building and found an alien console. Satra contacted me and told me that it’s an Iconian interface.  She suggested that I could use it to counteract the Iconian virus. I used my science training to deploy a worm that could do just what Satra said it would.  

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Then I went to the East and received a communication from Tovan. He told me that their analysis of Hakeev’s PADD shows references to his use of the Iconian gates, and he’s been receiving messages from the Iconians as well.  Tovan said that Hakeev must have a gate in this facility and that I’ll have to find and destroy it. Satra managed to locate the Iconian computer systems to the east of the building I just left. I went into that very building and found a Romulan technician who fled at the sight of me.  I planted the spatial charges on the gateway and left.

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Turned out the arch was also a large Iconian gateway.  Satra contacted me and said that she has my coordinates, but she can’t beam me up until the gate is destroyed.  She said that they’re still getting a strange interference. She said that they are prepared to destroy the Iconian gate with an orbital bombardment.  They’ll target the warhead yield, but I should get to an area away from the blast. I headed to a sheltered spot amongst a ton of rubble in the South-west corner of the plaza.  Then I called in the strike to watch my ship destroy that gateway with a salvo of photon torpedoes.

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Satra contacted me and said that, with the gate destroyed, they can get a lock and beam me up whenever I’m ready.  I immediately beamed back to the Mhorazz.

As soon as I beamed back, Tovan told me that Romulan reinforcements were starting to arrive.  Obisek contacted me and said that we have our work cut out for us. Then said that he would assist me, since we face a common foe.  We managed to defeat the first wave with no problem, only for a second wave to arrive, which Tovan warned us about. After defeating the second wave, we had to deal with a third wave led by none other than Empress Sela.  

She introduced herself and said that interference in Imperial affairs will not be tolerated.  Then she declared that rebels and insurgents would be eliminated. I took care of Sela’s lackeys and then concentrated on Sela.  She managed to disable Obisek’s ship with her thalaron beam attack, a weapon that I have a love/hate relationship with. I hate that it’s in the hands of the Empire yet, at the same time, I know that weapon could do wonders for the Republic but we wouldn’t use it so brutally.  Obisek told me that I have to finish this and I intend to. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that chance as the Iconians dragged her ship through a gateway before I could destroy it for good. Tovan asked if Sela escaped, or if the Iconians kidnapped her against her will. In all honesty, after everything Sela’s done, I hope it’s the latter.  Not a healthy thought for someone allied with the Federation, but I’m still a Romulan through and through. Tovan then pointed out that this gate is deep in Romulan space and it’s too risky to leave it in Romulan control, even with Hakeev and the Empress gone. It’s something I agreed with, so I targeted the gates weak points and destroyed it.

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Satra said that, if it was another Iconian gateway, that explains how they can move entire fleets.  She told me that we have to get out of Romulan space and warn Starfleet Command. Satra said that the Romulan threat might be over, but it looks like a bigger threat is looming on the horizon.  I left the system and hailed Admiral T’nae. She told me that Starfleet will continue the search for Sela’s vessel but, as of right now, we have no idea if the Iconians took her or if she went willingly.  Admiral T’nae said that she found this turn of events disturbing and I agree with her. She said that Sela’s absence would throw the Romulan Star Empire into even greater chaos, which, I’ll admit, is something that didn’t really cross my mind.  She claims that Romulans are at their most dangerous when they have their backs against the wall, something you can say about anyone. Then went on to compare my people to Sehlat cats who will strike out at anyone in reach, and the Federation may bear the brunt of their fury.  Again, you can say that about almost anyone. T’nae finished it up by saying that the return of the Iconians could change everything.

I pointed out to Admiral T’nae that the Iconians’ presence threatens the Federation.  She agreed that the Iconians are a cause for concern. She said that their motives are still unknown to us, as are their plans for the quadrant.  Then claimed that what we do know is that they desire chaos. T’nae talked about how many of the problems we currently face can be directly traced back to their machinations.  She speculated about how the Iconians antagonized the Undine and whether we would be at war with the Klingon Empire had they not done so. T’nae’s guess is that they want the powers of the quadrant so fractured that we will not be able to unite against them.  It’s something we can’t allow to happen. Admiral T’nae told me that Obisek asked to speak with me one last time. She said that I could meet his ship in the Haakona system. Then she finished by admitting that I earned both his and her respect with my involvement in this event.

I went to go see Obisek and asked him why he returned to the vault.  He told me that their base in the Dera system was heavily damaged by the Tal Shiar.  He said that they reactivated the Vault, and we will continue to rebuild it. Obisek talked about how a place that was once used to create weapons of war will now be a home where all are welcome.  Then I asked him about the Romulan refugees who live in the Vault. Obisek told me that he has no quarrel with them. He said that his people fought for freedom and peace, and that the Remans can learn to live with the Romulans if the Romulans will learn to live with the Remans.  Considering how I view Obisek as a friend, he couldn’t be more right. I asked if he knew what happened to Sela, which he doesn’t know. Obisek said that he knows the Romulan military is searching for her, but there are no indications of where the demons took her, or what their plans for her are.  Then I asked if he thinks Sela was working with the Iconians, which Obisek claims that his instincts tell him no but he doesn’t have any proof to back that up. He said that Sela was at odds with the Tal Shiar, something he doubted would have been so if they served the same master. I asked him what the Romulans are doing now that Sela’s disappeared.  Obisek said that the petty arguments and plays for power Sela crushed have begun anew. He talked about how there are dozens who wish to rule the empire, so it will take some time before a new leader arises. Until then, much blood will be shed. As much as I hate Sela, I can’t help but begrudgingly agree with Obisek. I changed the subject by telling him that one of his resistance fighters asked to join my crew.  Obisek told me that he wishes him well and says that he never wanted to rule his people and he puts no restrictions on their freedom. Obisek claimed that, if there are Remans who wish to rebuild their lives elsewhere, they are welcome to do so. I asked Obisek what he would do now and he said that his people are free but there is much to do. He said that the Romulans hate and fear them, and they don’t have a planet to call their own.  Therefore, he doesn’t think that the fight is over. I told him that I didn’t have any more questions and he bid me farewell, saying that he would welcome the chance to fight by my side again.

After Obisek cut communications, Tovan told me that he transferred something for me to the Mhorazz.  Apparently, Obisek wanted to give me something to remind me of old friends and new beginnings. Tovan took the liberty of having the item moved to the crew lounge and said that I could see it there.

So, what did you think of Siket and how he had to participate in a one man mission to help uncover an Iconian threat?  Feel free to request a Captain’s Log or team up with one of my characters.  You can also Role-Play in the comments with a Star Trek character, if you wish.

Shadowplay: Harrowstead Mystery Beta Test

When you and your friends try to solve the ancient mystery of the disappearance of Harrowstead, you find yourselves at the center of a supernatural phenomenon.  Is this the same phenomenon that destroyed Harrowstead? Can you stop it from destroying your town?

The storyline is a mystery with a supernatural twist, one of my favorite type of genres.  I’m sure many of you know that the town of Harrowstead is a work of fiction. However, those of you familiar with Roanoke know that there is history like this in real life.  In this case, inventing a fictional town works more to the story’s advantage because it gives the writer more freedom. It’s also a sequel to another game but the storyline is so simple, you don’t have to play the original to know what’s going on.  Trust me, I didn’t even know it was a sequel until the survey pointed it out to me.

The game play is typical hidden object with you going to various locations in the game.  You can pick up items scattered throughout. Some of these items will require you to participate in a hidden object game.  You can also complete mini-games, which you can skip you find too hard. The game has a rechargeable hint option so that you can use it whenever you get stuck once.  However, the game is not complicated to follow as I completed all of the mini-games and only used the hint option once. When I did the latter, it pointed me to take something that I honestly should’ve figured out on my own.  Let’s just say it was one of my stupid moments.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I’m definitely buying the full version when it comes out.

Coliseum (Star Trek Online)

A/N: Meet Siket, my Federation Allied Romulan character, and see his recollection of how he got captured by the Tal Shiar and forced to fight to the death in their arena.

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Subadmiral II’s Log Stardate 95840.09

This is Siket, subadmiral of the R.R.W. MHORAZZ of the Romulan Republic, allied with the Federation.  I just received a communication from Obisek, informing me that Starfleet has rejected his request for military assistance.  Obisek expressed his disappointment but he understood why the Federation wouldn’t want to engage such as formidable opponent.  Obisek said that he contacted me in the hopes of appealing to me, not as an ally, but as a fellow survivor of the persecution of the Tal Shiar.  Then he explained to me that one of their ships was carrying a load of thalaron weapons through the Nopada system and disappeared. What was even more peculiar was that the ship and its cargo vanished with no sign of a battle.  Then asked me what would happen if the thalaron weapons fell into Hakeev’s hands, a thought I do not find comforting. He provided me with the last coordinates of the vessel and begged me to help, telling me that I can do what I see fit with the weapons as long as I find his people.

After ending the communication, I set a course for the Nopada system.  Satra told me that she wasn’t reading any active vessels on her scanners, but she did sense a debris field nearby.  She explained that it’s clustered around a satellite in orbit of the planet, and the composition of the debris corresponds with ships that have gone missing in this region.  Satra said that she’ll keep scanning, but we’ll need to take a closer look before she can determine if there are thalaron weapons on one of the hulks. Therefore, I brought the MHORAZZ closer to the Derelict Hulk.  Satra scanned it and said that she’s not detecting the vessel that Obisek sent us to find. However, she did discover that all of the ships in the debris field show signs of being affected by the same thing, a high-frequency energy beam that overloaded all of their systems.  Satra speculates that, if that beam hit the Remans’ ship, it might have crashed into the planet’s surface or gone adrift somewhere else in the system. She also detected energy readings from the satellite and speculated that, if the Reman crew detected them as well, they could have tried to use it to record a distress signal.  Satra told me that we’ll need to be closer before she can attempt an uplink with the satellite’s communications array.

However, there was no time to take Satra’s suggestion as an energy beam from the nearby satellite zapped my ship.  I scanned the satellite to see if I could do anything about it.

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Satra told me that the beam is holding us like a fly in a spider’s web.  All that’s active is our life support and environmental controls. Satra didn’t detect any life signs on the satellite, but she did discover a compartment with life support.  I took the one transport we could operate with a small away team to set our ship free.

As soon as we beamed aboard the satellite, Trononeg called from the MHORAZZ to inform me that the consoles here are controlling the beam that’s draining power from my ship, but there’s a security lock preventing access.  He told me to find a useable console. Unfortunately, this task is more difficult than he anticipated. I finally found a working console they haven’t locked out.

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Veril said that she could access a back door through the satellite’s programs from here.  Then she pointed out the problem. Apparently, the Romulan consoles are causing a lockout by forcing the satellite’s primary processers to run through a series of equations and removing key bits of information from the answers, which cause the processors to lock up.  Veril said that, if we can solve these equations and input the information directly into the consoles, the security lock on the satellite’s controls should be released. Veril downloaded the corrupted equations onto the console for me. Therefore, either I solve these complicated equations, or I accept capture for my crew and me.  Fortunately, I would never even consider the latter an option.

I managed to solve the equations and get the proper access codes for each station.  Satra told me that we need to plug those correct values into the console controlling the security lock, and then we should be able to access all of the satellite’s major operations.  First thing I did was use one of the codes to override the Operations Console. Satra explained that this console controlled the satellite’s general operations. Then she suggested that perhaps we could turn off all of the functions that are affecting the ship.  Unfortunately, a system error told me otherwise. Therefore, I went to unlock the Targeting controls and set the firing control to manual.screenshot_LCL2018-03-26-18-53-47

Then I went to the Satellite’s Power Generator Console and successfully overrode it. Veril told me that this console controls the satellite’s power supply and suggested that we could decrease the power to the satellite’s weapons and disable it that way.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option at the time. Therefore, I went to the Satellite Targeting Console, which Tovan informed me controls the satellite’s targeting functions.

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He said he wasn’t sure if there was a way to disable whatever it is that is disabling systems on our ship but, if we can get this satellite to target something else, we may have a chance of prying our ship free. Trononeg contacted me and told me that the satellite ensnared a piece of debris near our ship.  He told me that its stranglehold on the MHORAZZ is weaker, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Critical systems are stable, but we still don’t have weapons or communications. I went to the Satellite’s Power Generator Console to try my luck once again.

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Veril told me that, since we weren’t able to free our ship by targeting something else, perhaps we can decrease the power to the satellite’s weapon. Then the MHORAZZ might be able to break free. Not quite the way I wanted to go about this, but I favor anything that can free my ship and crew from capture.  I set the weapon on economical mode and then restored it to the factory default settings.

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Trononeg contacted me and told me that, if the MHORAZZ does not attempt to move or fire at the satellite, it will engage a lower-power version of the beam affecting us. It’s almost like an energy saving mode. He said that we can use that to our advantage. Then assured me that he and the rest of my crew will hold the ship stable and keep working on boosting power to critical systems while I try to disrupt the satellite’s function and free them. Finally, I went to the Satellite Operations Console.  

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Satra told me that we’ve managed to minimize the power outlet of the satellite. She told me that, if we keep at it, we can switch the satellite’s controls over to a sleep mode that will shut down everything but life support and power. I turned off the satellite’s operational state and received a message from Trononeg on the MHORAZZ. He told me that systems are coming back online all over the ship. We have weapons, shields… even the replicators are working again. He told me that he’ll beam me over as soon as I was ready, which was now.

Unfortunately, that didn’t go quite as planned.  Instead of beaming back to my ship, I beamed into a cage.  

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I escape one trap only to end up in another. If only my parents could see me now.  I didn’t have time to sulk about it as the doors opened and the prisoner next to me told me that we have to fight or die.  He told me to pick a melee weapon from the rack because all of my gear is deactivated and he won’t be able to protect me in there.  I chose a Vulcan Lirpa, it served me well during training and I’m betting that it will do me well in this prison. My new companion told me to remember to equip my weapon, something I did as soon as I took it off the weapons rack.

I headed for the huge sandlot and heard a mysterious voice say that they were commencing test one with Nopada Desert Acari.  After that, I had to murder a pack of wild Warriguls and then a Mugatu. I hated having to kill these animals but I didn’t really have a choice.  As soon as I defeated the Mugatu with my new companion, energy beams immobilized him.

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I found out his code name was Prisoner 1478 and he had to remain for interrogation while I had to go back to my cell.  I didn’t want to go back while he was still in danger, but he told me that I can’t save him and I need to leave. I went back to my cell, remembering a thriller I read when I was a child about a decorated officer abducted by an unseen force.  He found himself subjected to cruel experiments with no hope of escape, not even allowed to self-terminate.  Now here I am as an adult, living that very story that gave me nightmares for the second time in my life.  At least, this time, I still have my wits about me.

The Prisoner returned to the cell next to me and I chose to start a conversation with him.  I asked him what his story was and he told me quite bitterly that he’s stuck in this prison, just like me.  I clarified by asking him what led him here? He told me that he was Slamek; the one Obisek was looking for.  About a week ago, he was part of a crew ferrying weapons from one base to another. When they passed through this system, a satellite disabled their ship.  Just like what happened to my ship. Unlike my ship, Slamek’s ship drifted into this planet’s atmosphere. He activated the emergency transporter and a few of them were able to transport to safety before their ship crashed in the desert.  They were looking for shelter and a way to contact their people when a group of soldiers found them. These soldiers took Slamek and his crew and kept throwing them into the arena. Now he’s the only one left. I asked him how he could just let himself be captured like this and he refused to talk to me.  I apologized to him, realizing my own hypocrisy, and asked him what happened to the weapons. Slamek explained that they were transporting a shipment of thalaron weapons that he knows my people will never use. He admitted that his people don’t want to use them either, but their fight was getting desperate.  They needed something, anything, to shift the tides of war. Slamek jettisoned the cargo as they entered the planet’s atmosphere and they were completely destroyed. Slamek claimed that he’s seen what thalaron weapons can do first hand and he won’t allow them to contaminate a world not involved in his people’s fight.  I asked Slamek if he had any idea who brought him in. He told me that he doesn’t know who’s responsible, just like in that story. According to Slamek, the trainers and guards all appear to be mercenaries without any clue about what’s going on. They’re paid to keep us in cages and look the other way.  Slamek was interrogated the night he was brought in with bright lights in his eyes and a synthetic voice asking him questions. He said that whoever it was took great care to conceal his identity. I asked Slamek why they want to know these things and he told me that he has no idea what they want with us or why they make us fight. Then said that this all seems like some sort of giant game, but there’s no one in the stands to be entertained.  After that, I asked Slamek if there are other prisoners being forced to fight. He told me that he thinks there are because he hears other fights. Then told me that, if there are other prisoners, he’s never been able to contact them. Everyone’s kept separate and in a cage unless we’re fighting. Apparently, Slamek’s been in too many fights to count. I finally asked Slamek if he knows a way past their defenses. Apparently, the trainers carry key cards, which is the only way Slamek knows how to get through their defenses.  I asked him if we can get one of those cards and he, in return, asked if he could trust me. I told him yes, I want to get out of this prison as badly as he does. He was happy to see that we think the same way and told me that he once worked as a bodyguard for a Ferengi merchant who had quite a talent for acquiring latinum and Slamek learned quite a few things from him. Slamek said that he was able to lift a key card from one of the trainers during his interrogation. If I help him, we can overpower the guards and escape through the main door in the arena.  Naturally, I agreed to escape with him.

After that, it was time for us to return to the arena and complete test scenario number four, Aehalh worms.  Slamek agreed to free the other prisoners while I fight the worms.

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After defeating the first, a giant worm showed up in the center.  

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Slamek told me to use the consoles on the side to fight the worm, which activated a defense turret from above that weakened the giant worm enough to make it retreat. 

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Unfortunately, more of its minions showed up and I had to handle them while Slamek continued freeing the other prisoners. After destroying them, the big worm came back and I had to activate another console with another turret over it to make the worm retreat.  More small worms arrived just as Slamek told me that he released the prisoners from the other cellblock and told me to go to our cellblock doors and release the rest of them. They turned out to be quite the assistance in dealing with the worms. Unfortunately, they injured Slamek during the attack.  I managed to activate the remaining turrets and destroy that worm once and for all. The worm managed to destroy the gate, which Slamek and I took advantage of to finally escape from this arena.

Slamek and I found an underground base, one that was Romulan in origin.  

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Slamek asked what they wanted with us and pointed to the strange gateway device, wondering what that was.  I accessed the main controls to see that the gateway was for the Iconians.

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I also found a recent communication and guess who it was for, Hakeev.  Apparently, he’s been gathering data about different species for his disgusting little project. My only consolation is that he hasn’t had much success.  Unfortunately, judging from the transport logs, that hasn’t stopped him from trying. I tried to access the Gateway, but it shut down in five seconds due to me not having the right biometric signature.  I went to the only other console I could activate and discovered that I was their most recent subject.

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They gave me a very high threat level, which I suppose is rather flattering, and used their failed attempt to brainwash me as an example.  All that did was remind me how much I despise the Tal Shiar and, to think, I once wanted to join them. Reading about how they gathered different animals and humanoids for their disgusting experiments only made me hate them more.  Slamek had his own file about interrogations, all of his combat tests and a recommendation that he’s a suitable subject for team testing or alternative study. The data will be forwarded to Colonel Hakeev, so I can see why Slamek is so determined to escape.  Finally, I read a personal log by Hakeev himself about how they plan to destroy the Remans. According to Hakeev, the Remans are mindless slaves who need to learn to respect their betters. It talked about admiring Taris for being able to control them; until Starfleet captured her and the surviving Remans developed… delusions about their own self-worth.  Those were Hakeev’s words, not mine. Sadly, at one point, those would’ve been my words. Then Hakeev derided Obisek for inspiring the Remans to fight for their freedom while also revealing their own fantasies about taking his broken corpse to the Iconians in tribute. Hakeev talked about the second part of their plan, which is capturing different species and performing different experiments on them.  That sadist talked in glee about how he was going to make the different species of the Alpha Quadrant break and use this planet as the testing ground. At that point, Slamek told me to hurry up and I got out of the consoles. He also said that, now that we have some real weapons and he’s disabled his shock collar, we need to get out of here. Slamek pointed to a waste pipe and said that it had to lead out of this place.  

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We went through said pipe and found ourselves in the outside desert wastelands in the middle of the night.

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Unfortunately, Slamek and I couldn’t waste time celebrating.  He warned me that there are Romulan Scorpion fighters overhead and that they’re looking for us.  We needed to move quickly and smartly to avoid detection. Slamek recommended the mountain to the east.  He said that his ship crashed on the other side, so it might have something we can use to signal my vessel.  Then Slamek told me that the search for us would only get more intense the longer we stay here. We needed to get away from the Arena as quickly as possible.  So, I headed for the nearby mountain until a scorpion flew over us. Fortunately, we managed to take cover in a nearby rock formation. It wasn’t long until the scorpion left and Slamek and I could continue on our journey.  However, Slamek limped on his leg the entire journey, so we needed to find a place to rest. Thankfully, we found another rock formation nearby.

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He sat down and apologized, which I told him that he didn’t need to do. Then Slamek told me about how the worm’s venom affected him, because the pain is excruciating, his vision is blurred and his blood burns in his veins.  Slamek said that, before they were captured, his science officer told him that the local plants have medicinal qualities. He told me that he needed something to disinfect his wound, something to treat his fever and anything that will ease his pain. It took awhile, but I managed to collect enough of a herbaceous plant to work as a disinfectant, a leafless woody shrub to alleviate Slamek’s fever and some large egg-like seed pods to work as a functioning painkiller.  If the circumstances were different, I’d be ecstatic about all of my findings. I gave everything I collected to Slamek and he thanked me for it, saying that he’s feeling better now and we can continue.

We went through the canyon having to fight off the local wildlife and, this time, I had a better weapon than a lirpa.  Slamek said that the weather’s not going to hold out for much longer and suggested that we should look for a place to spend the night.  He also suggested scavenging provisions to create a camp. He wanted me to find a gourd, hollow one out and use it as a container to collect water from a nearby spring.  I agreed to do so, remembering one of the first rules of survival I learned, water should always be your number one priority. During our journey to find shelter, I saw some gourds and tried to hollow the first two out, only for spores to pour out and to find myself attacked by Desert Akari.  

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It wasn’t until my third try when I could successfully hollow out a gourd. Then I had to find a nearby spring, which took awhile before I could succeed. I filled it up with water and took it back to Slamek. He said that this should last us through the night and suggested that we should get into the nearby cave before the temperature drops anymore.  We set up camp for the night and I pointed out that temperature’s dropping rapidly now. Slamek said that this cave should protect us from the elements. He told me that he’s done some exploring and it looks like this cave continues through to the other side of the mountain. He said that, when the sun rises, we could save time and energy by traveling through the cave rather than trying to find a way over.

The next morning, we emerged from the cave and I pointed out that the passage saved us hours of walking.  

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I told Slamek that this could actually be a good day and that we’ll find his ship. Slamek said that his ship isn’t far from here.  He told me that he could make out smoke from the wreckage on the horizon. We came across the wreckage as soon as we emerged from the hills and found ourselves in the valley.  Slamek pointed his ship out, saying that she wasn’t much to look at… but she was theirs and, when they were flying through space, they were free. He seems optimistic that his ship could help us one last time.  We went through the valley and straight to Slamek’s crashed ship. He suggested that we check to see if the emergency beacon survived the crash. Then says that, it the more likely event it didn’t, we might be able to piece some components together and create a makeshift emergency beacon.  I went through the cave at the base of the wreckage and examined what remained of Slamek’s vessel. It was clear that his ship would never fly again. If the emergency beacon wasn’t vaporized in the crash, then it’s buried under thirty meters of rock and sand like almost everything else on this ship.  Thankfully, I found a backup generator with only a miniscule amount of energy left but it will have to do.

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All I need to do is construct a makeshift subspace beacon and I can contact the MHORAZZ, if I can find the right components. I won’t be able to do more than transmit a few pulses to let my crew know where I am, but it’s my only option.  After getting the backup generator, I went searching through the wreckage to find a Communications Array, a Navigation Beacon and a Subspace Distortion Inverter, taking the parts I needed from each wrecked piece of equipment. Then I went back into the cave and rigged up my makeshift emergency beacon.

I went outside to see Romulan officers beaming over with Hakeev himself as their leader.  He gloated about how there is no place where he can’t find me, because his spies are everywhere.  He introduced me to one of them, who turned out to be Slamek as he took his place at Hakeev’s side.  Hakeev condescendingly congratulated him by saying that he’s happy to see one Reman who knows their place.  I asked him how many “interrogation sessions” it took for that to happen. Hakeev ignored me, no doubt wanting to continue his pathetic gloating.  He told me that the loss of the listening post is only a minor setback. Then that the Remans’ refuge in the Dera system has been destroyed and dozens of subjects have been tested in his arena of horrors.  He didn’t actually call it that, but that’s how I see it. After that, he talked about how, when the Iconians return, they will find he’s done all they ask for… and more. I pointed out that I’m sure his masters will be pleased.  Hakeev didn’t like my remark, but it didn’t matter because, when that day happens, I won’t be there. He mourned about how I could’ve been a fascinating test subject. Hakeev was about to shoot me, but my ship beamed me up before he could pull the trigger.  It’s a real shame that I couldn’t see the look on Hakeev’s face after I beamed out.

I contacted Obisek and told him everything that happened.  He apologized for Slamek’s actions, but I told him that Slamek was a prisoner of the Tal Shiar for a long while.  Then I said to Obisek that they have ways of… making you do their bidding. Obisek noticed my tone and told me that my trip to the Nopada system was not in vain.  He said that Hakeev is a pawn of a greater power and the demons of air and darkness are real. Obisek suggested that I report to my superiors about my discovery. After I finished talking to Obisek, I contacted Admiral T’nae and told her about the Iconians.  She said that we already know the Iconians survived the destruction of their homeworld. Now we know that they’re active in Romulan space and using gladiatorial combats as a way to test the species of the Alpha Quadrant. She told me that Starfleet Intelligence will analyze the data I recovered from Hakeev’s command center.  Then she said that she needs to confer with Admiral Quinn and Starfleet Command. She said that conflict with the Romulans (I corrected her by saying the Tal Shiar) and the Iconians may be unavoidable.

A/N: So, what did you think of Siket and his forced stint in an arena?  Feel free to request a Captain’s Log or team up with one of my characters.  You can also Role-Play in the comments with a Star Trek character, if you wish.

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