Suburban Timewaster

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Archive for the tag “candy marino”

Tenebris Torquent (Star Trek Online

A/N: Candy’s back and, this time, she’s recounting when she had to visit the Hur’q homeworld and got separated from her away team while traveling dark corridors, praying that she doesn’t become the Hur’q’s next meal.

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96225.23

This is Candy Marino and I just got a call from Garak.  He told me that researchers led by his friend, Doctor Bashir, have isolated several fascinating aspects of Hur’q biology.  Garak said that he’s told this data provides insight on their native environment; specifically a metallic planetoid orbiting a pulsar within a nebula.  Garak claimed that there’s only one system that meets these requirements: Havas-Kul, in the Gamma Quadrant. Garak told me that he’s going to investigate, along with Captain Kira in the Defiant.  Then he said that Doctor Bashir will accompany us as well, since his insight will be critical to the mission’s success. Garak claimed that the doctor believes we’ll find what we need to end this conflict on Havas-Kul.  Garak said that if Bashir’s right, and he often is, Garak’s willing to go to the heart of enemy territory. Then asked if I would join them. I told Garak proudly that I never back down from a challenge. Garak only challenged this by pointing out how I acted the last two times, barely able to contain my fear of the Hur’q.  I countered back by pointed out that I still managed to do my job. Garak then had the nerve to say that he hopes I can still manage this time and then cut the connection with a smile on his face! The nerve of that man! I set course for Havas-Kul, determined to prove him wrong.

As soon as I arrived, which was a long flight, I met with Garak and he talked about how the survey reports don’t do this system justice.  After all, it’s got a nebula, a pulsar, dark energy and the Hur’q homeworld. I said that it’s like a haunted house in space and then pointed out that I’m not reading any Hur’q ships on sensors.  Garak said that he didn’t either, something he found strange. Garak claimed that one would think that they’d place a heavy guard on their home system, something we both found peculiar. Garak wants to use the opportunity to look around quietly, but I suspect a trap.  I still conducted a system scan, which Garak said picked up a number of interesting phenomena, despite interference from the nebula.

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We found a plethora of heavy metallic compounds, and a hotbed of tetryon and thermobaric energy throughout the nebula. Kira contacted us to say that there’s a moon nearby.  She claimed that the preliminary scans aren’t showing much, but it’s just the kind of place the Hur’q could be using to hide a base… or a fleet. Kira said that she wanted to take a closer look, something I agreed to. After all, the bug people are much less scary when they’re flying around in ships.

I headed for the dead moon and got another call from Kira about how the pulsar’s throwing off a lot of hazardous energy.  Garak complimented her on being astute and then suggested that we make the appropriate shield adjustments. Meanwhile, I scanned the dead moon and got another call from Kira.  She told me that she didn’t like that scans were showing a lot of bare rock, but no metals or compounds. She and Garak said that it’s a lot like it’s being stripped of anything remotely useful, which is the calling card of the Hur’q.  Garak suggested sending down a probe just to be sure. He said that there could be some Hur’q down there, hidden by the nebula’s effects on our sensors.

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Hey, anything that prevents us from running into the Hur’q is all right with me. I immediately sent a probe and got a call from Kira right after.  What can I say, she works fast. Kira told me that the moon is barely Class-D; no metals, complex compounds, liquids, or atmosphere. Garak said that the interior is a complex maze of tunnels-thousands of them. Bashir told me that this matches Hur’q patterns they’ve seen elsewhere, so you can bet that the Hur’q have been here.  I was about to set course for the dead planet until Garak contacted me. He told me that the probe is online and transmitting and their science teams are taking a close look at the incoming data, but it doesn’t look terribly promising. Then asked if we should forge on, since there’s a lovely planet nearby, no doubt filled with a bounty of toxic rocks and metallic salts, which he was being sarcastic about, of course.  I set course for the planet and got another call from Garak about how I’m entering scanning range.

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Bashir contacted me and said that the astronomic readings are strange. He said that the planet has a highly eccentric orbit and it looks like it collects matter from the nebula as it sweeps around the pulsar, all while being bombarded with radiation. Bashir concluded that it’s definitely not habitable by most standards, but not quite Demon-class.  Bashir went on about how the planet has an orbital period of several thousand years, which explains the Hur’q lifestyle. Bashir claimed that they must hibernate while the planet is at the far range in its orbit. Bashir talked about how this orbit coincides with the previous emergences of the Hur’q. Then he said that the thousand-year-cycles explain why they appear suddenly, then vanish just as quickly. Garak contacted us and put in his two cents, about how we’re reading complex structures here, along with power systems and technology.  Then said that this could be a base of operation for the Hur’q. Garak told us that it appears to be deserted and suggested that we look around, since this is a prime opportunity. Great, I have to beam down and face the bug people, again. I sarcastically asked Garak if I have a choice. Garak only responded by saying that I actually do, I can help them stop the Hur’q now or I can lay back and wait for them to devour everyone I know and love, including myself. Damn, he’s good. Kira contacted us and said that we need to meet on the Defiant.  After all, we’ll need to make preparations before we send an away team down there.

Me and my team immediately beamed on the Defiant and met with Kira.  She told us that she’s sent a team down to establish a secure zone. Apparently, they’re ready for us, but we’ll want to put on EV suits before I beam down.  Kira said that they have some in that container for me to use. She told us that, once we’re suited up, they’ll beam us down to the planet’s surface in a large cavern area.  So, we got the EV suits and beamed down to the caverns.

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As soon as we beamed down, Chris told me that this chamber appears to be a natural cavern, but the readings show unusual energy and a lot of magnetized metals and salts not far from here.  He said that some of the caves near here have a regular structure, like they were dug out rather than naturally occurring. Chris suggested that maybe the Hur’q have something like an ant hive.  I sarcastically told him that he’s telling me that the Hur’q have something in common with Earth’s most vicious species. Chris looked at me like he thought he was joking, until Elisa chimed in asking about that famous saying. Then said that, if ants had photon torpedoes, they’d end the galaxy in a week. Chris thought it was crazy and asked me if I really believed that. I told Chris that I don’t think it would take them that long. This was more than enough for me to take, so I said that we need to check in with Kira’s away team and see how they’re progressing.  First I went to Williams, who said that he should have a habitation area set up soon. Williams told me that we can replace the reducing atmosphere in this cavern with standard oxy-nitro and warm things up a bit. He said that Kane’s keeping watch and Weir’s looking into other connected areas. Then Williams told me that we should have a perimeter field up within a few minutes.  After that, I went to Ishimura who told me that she’s reading a lot of background radiation and some wild magnetic fields. Ishimura claimed that it’s like the pulsar and the nebula are supercharging the metallic crystal compounds here. Then she proceeded to tell me what I already know, about how the environment’s very different from anything we’d consider a habitable planet. Ishimura said that it explains why the Hur’q are so alien.  Then she said that it’s quite a treasure for a geologist like herself. I told her to just ignore the fact that we might get eaten alive by a giant ant colony and it’s a real picnic. Chris suggested that we hail the Defiant and explain our situation, which I agreed to. Bashir asked the Defiant if they still have a lock on us. Thankfully, Kira replied with an affirmative but, if we need transport, there might be a slight delay due to pulsar emissions.  Ishimura said that she’s getting something odd on her tricorder and I’ve played enough horror holo-programs to know that’s never a good sign. Turned out I was right because we heard something sneaking around us and I’d bet the Winchester it was the Hur’q. Ishimura yelled that she saw something nearby, that “something” being a Hur’q hiding like a horror movie monster in the shadows!

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That thing blasted us with a shockwave like it was a Final Fantasy monster and knocked me out big time!

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Thankfully, I didn’t need a Phoenix Down to get back up again, because I woke up in a series of underground tunnels.  Not so thankfully, my entire crew didn’t wake up with me. Before I could contemplate that, I got a call from Kira. She told me that she was glad that I was still with them.  Then said that whatever it was must’ve left me for dead. Kira said that I’d better get moving in case it comes back to make sure. She also explained that I’m in a series of tunnels that connect to a larger cavern.  Then said that Garak and Bashir are close to my position and they’re moving into a large open chamber. Kira told me to try to make my way to them. I told Kira as I was trying to regain my senses that I’ll just get my away team and then I looked around and realized that I had no away team. After that, Kira told me to be careful. She said that some of the crystal formations down here are emitting intense amounts of energy. Then said that they can’t lock onto anything with transporters, and the others are reporting that directed energy weapons won’t work. I cut the communication with Kira and got another one from Bashir, saying that he and Garak are alive but they’re a little lost.  Thank God for small favors.

I wasted no time and immediately started walking through the caves.  It didn’t take long for me to get another communication from Kira, who told me to keep moving because I should head up to another chamber.  I’ll admit, I’m hoping to find my crew ASAP and get out of here before any of us becomes that creature’s next meal. Then I got worried that my crew might’ve already become its next meal.  No, I can’t think like that! Each member of my crew is alive until proven dead! Kira contacted me to tell me that the creature’s in a passage near my location and I need to stay sharp. I got my weapon out and kept moving, which wouldn’t really do any good against the creature but it makes me feel better, like a security blanket.  I got another call from Bashir, who told me that he and Garak are moving into a very large, oblong chamber. Garak called in with his own commentary about how he was hoping that those cozy, cramped little tunnels would make a nice vacation spot. I said that it might make a decent theme park ride. Come one, come all to a tour of the great underground.  Run for your life from giant man-eating bugs while fearing for the lives of your friends. Caution: chance of getting eaten alive. Those with claustrophobia or a deathly fear of bugs need not apply.

Before anyone could respond to my little joke, I found a door up ahead that Kira told me was locked.  I examined the door and got a communication from Bashir. He told me that those readings I’m getting from that crystal node are interesting.  Then he explained that it’s generating a localized magnetic field. Bashir said that manipulating that field could cause a response, similar to pushing a button or flicking a switch.  Then Bashir asked me if I think Hur’q can sense magnetic fields, similar to sharks on Earth?

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I told Bashir that, right now, I’d much rather be dealing with sharks. Bashir seemed surprised by this, but I told him to get to the point.  Then he told me that I might find a way to manipulate that magnetic field to open the door. Bashir said that the morphogenic crystals are probably the “keys,” so look for one nearby that has a similar output to the door nods. In other words, we just went from Final Fantasy to Legend of Zelda.  I said out loud that maybe, if I keep looking, I’ll find a weapon that can help me defeat the Big Boss. I turned around as if expecting one of my crewmembers to respond, but found no one there to appreciate my pop culture references. Then I went to get one of the crystals Bashir told me about and got another communication from Kira.  She told me that the readings she’s getting on that crystal are weak, so it’s probably not usable. I found another crystal that Kira told me had an odd harmonic and doesn’t seem to match the rest. Then I found another crystal and, apparently, third time’s the charm because Kira told me that it’s the one I need. Then she told me to use it to open that door.   I wasted no time because, the sooner I get through this dungeon, the sooner I can find my crew and get out of here. I must’ve said it out loud, because Kira told me that this was a cavern, not a dungeon. I told her to play a Legend of Zelda holosuite program next time she’s at Quark’s and she’ll see what I mean.

Before Kira could respond, one of the bug people beamed in right behind me!  

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Kira told me not to fight that thing and run, which I was already doing anyway!  Then she said that there’s a deep crevice ahead of me and told me to see if I can get across.  I told her that it doesn’t look like I have much of a choice, and ran and jumped through the thing with a speed and strength I didn’t even know I had!  After that, Kira told me that there was hazardous energy and anti-gravity ahead, and to use my thrusters. I wasted no time turning them on while praying to every religion in existence that the energy’s also hazardous to the giant Hur’q that’s chasing me.  Thankfully, the creature turned back and Kira said that it might not like anti-gravity. I stopped and took a deep breath, thankful that this Indiana Jones boulder chase was over.

Then I found myself in an underground anti-grav labyrinth when I had to go down at the end of the hallway.  Kira told me to be slow and steady and to not get lost. Then she said to try to head up when I can. The good news is that the monster can’t get to me here.  The bad news is that this labyrinth doesn’t have any 80s rock stars ruling it, and I still haven’t seen any sign of my crew. I told Kira that, with my brain, I’ll be out of this maze by dinner time, hoping I sounded more confident than I felt.  Then we got another call from Dr. Bashir who said that he and Garak have a breathable atmosphere and that we need to try to reach their location. After that, Williams called and said that he’s stuck in some kind of tunnel maze and not sure how to get out.  Then Ishimura called and told us that her nav system’s useless, but she’ll keep trying to find us all. Meanwhile, I found a console nearby and operated it. That’s when Kira called and said that this one looks like technical data. Then she said that it was interesting that none of their starships had weapons until two thousand years ago.  Apparently, their first designs were way ahead of most species at that time. Then Kira asked aloud how they went from the geniuses to the ravenous eating machines we’re dealing with now?

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Honestly, I have a hard time believing that those creatures ever had the slightest form of intelligence. I left the room and then heard screaming from Kane on my comm that got cut off.  Please don’t tell me the bugs are back! They’re supposed to hate anti-gravity! Kira told Kane to report in and then said that she just lost his vitals. Great, what if my crew suffered the same fate and I don’t even know it? I came across another console in this labyrinth and activated it as Kira told me that Weir’s comm signal is down, but he’s still alive. Then she told me to keep an eye out while I’m trying to keep an eye out for my own crew.  It wasn’t long until I found more tunnels I had to go up and down in. Then I found another console and sent the transmission to Kira who told me that there’s a lot of historical data and cultural references in there. She gave me the short version, which was that they used to be a peaceful species. I interrupted by asking Kira if she was seriously telling me that a race of humanoid consuming bugs used to be peaceful! Kira angrily responded by saying that, if I’d let her finish, the information talks about a “great betrayal,” and some kind of epidemic.  Then I sarcastically responded by saying that it’s not their fault that they devour people alive, they’re just sick. I finished up by asking Kira if their daddy also didn’t give them enough hugs and, I’ll admit, I got a little on edge. Actually, I got way on edge. Kira responded by asking me how many hugs my father gave me. All I could do was stare and blink and tell Kira that she’s good. Then I followed up by asking Kira what else she found out about them. She told me that the rest of it is gibberish. I asked Kira if she’s located my crew yet and, when Kira answered no, I hung up on her.  Then I went deeper into the labyrinth, found another console to turn on and kept going. Yeah, this whole thing is getting redundant, even if this console actually opened a door for me that pushed me deeper into the labyrinth. Then I found another console to open a door, went past two consoles that did nothing and then went into a room that finally looked like the exit. Kira contacted me and told me that Bashir and Garak are just past this chamber.

Finally, I got out of that labyrinth and Kira told me that they’re picking up some interesting tech on sensors.  She said that it was interesting and old, very old to the point that most of it predates the Federation by several centuries.  She asked me if I was reading those energy patterns on the other side of that opening. Then Kira said that the patterns are far more intricate than the others we’ve seen.  She claimed that they think there’s some kind of ship ahead of me. Then said that it shows signs of damage and I might be in some sort of drydock or repair facility. Kira told me that there are large gaps in tech level between each section of the facility, as if the Hur’q learn as they hibernate. Then Kira elaborated by saying that they wake up with a thousand years of advancements at hand and get ready to work. Okay, this I’ve got to see. I told Kira that I found a console that looks like it can operate a door here.

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So I opened the door, went through the hall and came across another big giant door that opened on its own.  Then I finally ran into Chris and I was so happy that I did something completely against my character, I hugged him! Chris was quite shocked, but eventually hugged back. Then I regained control of my senses and ended the hug, telling Chris that it would be hard to find another doctor who has the stupidity to put up with me. Chris responded by telling me that, what I call stupidity he calls patience.  Then I said that, if he’s okay, then the rest of my crew should be fine and I don’t have to go through any hassle trying to get a new one. Chris told me that we’ve got a safe area set up here, so it should be fine. Garak interrupted us by saying that he’d hate to break up this touching reunion, but we’ll need all the help we can get if we’re to leave this world alive. Garak claimed that he and Bashir have started to make sense of our surroundings.  Garak explained that we seem to be in some sort of Hur’q command center. He told me that, from here, we can begin to restore power and critical systems. Bashir then explained that Hur’q technology is driven by electromagnetic manipulation of morphogenic crystals, doors, life support… everything, even their central computer. I said that this feels like a huge design flaw, to which Chris said that it’s a design flaw that works in our favor. Bashir agreed and told us that, if we can find the right crystals, he can bring things back online.  Then we can look for information on Hur’q biology within their data system. Then he said that we might even find a cure to what’s ailing the Hur’q. Then Bashir went on about how this planet used to be rich in a type of fungus and it thrived in the harshest of environments, even areas high in pulsar radiation. He said that it used to be a staple of the Hur’q diet until it disappeared from the ecosystem. I sarcastically remarked that I wondered who was responsible for that. Bashir just kept on talking about how, without the fungus, the Hur’q began to suffer a severe type of malnutrition. Apparently, it led to a number of neurological disorders, many of which we’ve seen firsthand. Then Bashir said that, based on these readings, there should be more data storage units in the tunnels beyond this chamber. He told me that they’re the ones by the door with the blue glowrods. I told Bashir that I’ll get the spiritual stones and help him get the Triforce before Ganondorf. I was about to leave, until Bashir told me some parts of the tunnels still have malfunctioning gravity systems. He said that I should be able to navigate through them, but the energy fields in there will nullify my weapons, so I need to be careful.  I made a remark that it sounds like I’ll be going through the water temple. Bashir asked if that was going to be a problem, to which I told him that I got through that temple… eventually. What I didn’t say was that I had to consult walkthroughs on my PADD. Even for someone of my intelligence, that temple is a real pain in the ass.

I equipped some knives I got from Lek who, in return, got to copy my music playlist. Even if phasers and disruptors are nullified, physical weapons always come in handy and I’m going to need more than my fists.  I went through the tunnels and found Kolez waving to get my attention, so I went to get him. There Kolez was with Ishimura, who was really happy to see me.  That’s when you know the situation’s bad. She said that they were about to leave and then got cut off by getting grabbed by one of those bugs!

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I’ll admit, that made me jump and I nearly threw my knife at the thing until it disappeared! Then I got a call from Kira, who demanded to know what was going on because Ishimura’s vitals just flatlined. The thing attacked me and Kolez before I could answer, so I immediately started attacking with my knives while Kolez shot and threw bombs at it, his weapons working just fine.  After a while, the thing moved away from me and shrouded itself, which Kira was kind enough to tell me. Bashir told me to send Kolez to him so he can address any injuries.  I ordered Kolez to do so and then told Bashir that my weapons are working just fine, to which he immediately corrected that he meant that going through the malfunctioning gravity system would nullify my weapons. Ordinarily, I would fight that but I’m still trying to compose myself after that random encounter.  Knowing that the thing I’m so afraid of is still cloaked and lurking around is not helping. Anyway, Kolez went back to Dr. Bashir and I got one of the storage crystals from the room. Dr. Bashir told me that it covers the first peaceful meeting between the Hur’q and the Founders over three thousand years ago.

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Honestly, it’s still hard for me to believe that there’s anything peaceful about this species, no matter how much information I come across that says they were. However, I’ll admit that, thanks to my half-sister, Tanya, sticking bugs in my hair when I was a kid, I’ve got a huge fear that makes me somewhat biased. Maybe if I went back in time and told Tanya that I would face giant man-eating bugs in the future, she wouldn’t have done that and I could actually get through this with my senses intact. I take that back, that would only encourage her.  

As I was thinking about all this, I got a call from Garak telling me that Kolez is with them. Then I finally saw a pile of rocks and activated the anti-gravity machine before going through that.   After that, I found Zarva lying on the floor injured. I gave her some first aid and she thanked me, explaining that the thing ambushed her and Weir.  Said thing tried to ambush us again but, after a few rounds of shooting at it, Kira contacted us to say that it moved away from us and shrouded itself again.  This feels less like Legend of Zelda and more like trying to get away from Pennywise in Neibolt House, or when Batman went to the sewers in Arkham Asylum and had to evade Killer Croc.  Once again, Bashir told me to send Zarva to him so he can address any injuries. Zarva told me that she’ll head to the central area now and wished me luck before leaving. I went through the tunnel and came across the last member of my away team, Elisa.  To say she was happy to see me was an understatement. Crewman Williams told me that I’m a sight for sore eyes, again something people only say in the most desperate circumstances. He said that we need to get out of here before— and then got killed by the thing he wanted to avoid.  

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The thing dragged him back and, if I can make an educated guess, ate him. Seriously, do the Hur’q have bottomless pits for stomachs? They’re like those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park whose only purpose is to eat! Which is actually quite fitting, considering how the Hur’q came to be in the first place.  Then Elisa and I had to, once again, fight off the Hur’q. After the Hur’q shrouded itself, Bashir told me to send Elisa his way, who was a little wary about following his orders, but I told her that I’ll be fine. It wasn’t long until Garak contacted me and told me that one of my officers has arrived there.

While I was exploring the area looking for more crystals, I found a helmet that belonged to Kane and Kira said that she doubts we’ll find the rest of him.  

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It wasn’t long until I found the second storage crystal and got a call from Bashir. He told me that the Hur’q tried to synthesize the enzyme they needed for cognition but failed. After exploring the bottom, there was nowhere to go but up. So I hummed the Song of Time and went up one of the anti-gravity beams. Then I went up one of the beams and I have good news and bad news.  The good news is I found the crystal. The bad news is it’s behind metal bars and I can’t beam myself past them. So, I had to go back down and find another anti-gravity beam to go up. Unfortunately that led to another set of bars and, even worse, I saw one of the Hur’q behind it!  Please, whatever deity runs this universe, don’t make me fight that thing again!  Guess what, I had to fight that thing again and, let me tell you something, Lek’s knives suck!  At least they do against the Hur’q.  Then I remembered that Kolez managed to use his bombs, despite Bashir’s claims that weapons wouldn’t work and re-equipped my original weapon of choice.  Guess what, it does work and I’m going to have a fun time pointing this out to Dr. Bashir later on!

After quite a bit of backtracking and error, I finally found a way to the third shard.  Yep, this is definitely the Water Temple. Except, this time, I can’t consult my PADD for walkthroughs.  Anyway, I got the third shard and Bashir told me that the enzyme the Hur’q need is a precursor to Ketracel White. I didn’t have time to contemplate that, because the Hur’q attacked me again!  If there are any deities controlling the universe, they hate me. I didn’t even fight that thing, I just got the hell out of there and went back to the Central Room! Then I talked to Bashir, who congratulated me on a job well done.   He told me that we should be able to translate the Hur’q data files and run a detailed analysis of them at a greatly accelerated rate now. Bashir told me that he has a good friend in Starfleet Engineering that’d love to spend some time with this technology, who I’m guessing is the great Chief O’Brien I read about when I was learning about Deep Space Nine history at the Academy.  It was one of the few times I willingly paid attention in class. Then Bashir said that the Hur’q have made some remarkable advances in their time. Bashir practically celebrated when the first results came in, and then told me that he has access to a few critical systems, including gravity and power generation. He brought them back online and claimed that doing so should make things a little smoother.  I’m all for anything that gets us out of this hellhole ASAP. Bashir told me that he got some historical records and, guess what, it was the Dominion who removed the fungus from the ecosystem during a Hur’q hibernation cycle for military conquest and it drove the Hur’q to madness.

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I sarcastically asked Bashir if he really needed to risk all of our lives to get files that say something I could’ve deduced in two seconds and, I’ll admit, my voice got a little higher than it should’ve.  Chris responded by telling me to calm down, but everything I’ve been holding in during this nightmare just came pouring out! About how I had to deal with man-eating bugs, actually worry about the lives of my crew and nearly turning into a sap and, to top it all off, Odo nearly got my daughter killed when he planted that device on Bajor! After that, I took a deep breath and, if it weren’t for my E suit, I would’ve drank from my flask. Everyone stared at me, except Garak who only gave me a smirk.  Then Chris asked if I really had a daughter. Before I could respond, a Tzenkethi beamed in with Vorta and Jem’Hadar.

I said to look at this, Vorta and Jem’Hadar slaves everywhere, but their master is nowhere to be found.  Garak noticed this and said that it appears we have some uninvited guests. Bashir told the “Admiral” that he’s a long way from Tzenketh.  Garak agreed and asked what we owed the pleasure to. Turned out the Tzenkethi was actually the Changeling bitch herself, to the surprise of no one.  Bashir asked if she was traveling incognito, and Garak said that it was one of her many covert identities, he suspects. The Changeling bitch told us that this expedition of ours has gone on long enough.  Bashir then asked the Changeling if we touched a nerve and she told us that we found a secret that she’s kept for a millennia, even from Odo and the Great Link, which Garak guessed was the origin of the Hur’q infestation, and Bashir finished the sentence for Garak like they were an old married couple by saying “And your role in it.”  I told the Changeling Bitch that I’m guessing she’s not here to give us a medal. Then she said that she needed soldiers to realize her dream of Dominion, enforcers willing to obey without question.

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I responded by saying here comes the evil villain monologue and she only told me to be quiet as if I were a child!  I was about to grab my phaser and blast that inconsiderate bitch all over the cave, but Garak gave me a look that said he had a plan that might be better than a simple phaser shot. Anyway, the Founder went on about how, physically, the Hur’q were perfect candidates but their peaceful free-thinking nature was an obstacle.  Fortunately for her, and unfortunately for us, she found the key to the Hur’q’s loyalty by studying their biology. Bashir said out loud that it was the Ketracel precursor. Then the female Changeling went back to her evil villain monologue by admitting that she extracted that from the Hur’q ecosystem so that they had no choice but to obey or die.  

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All that’s missing is some cookie dough chips and a cherry Dr. Pepper with vodka in it and I can really enjoy myself. Garak said that he took it things didn’t go according to plan. The changeling said that it didn’t because they became savage, incoherent, volatile and, with each cycle, the swarm grew larger, wilder, and her ability to control them diminished. So, all she could do was point them to the direction of her enemies.  The Changeling told us that she would let them rampage and await their eventual hibernation, which really pissed Chris off as he summed up that she used bullying to get her way. Kolez added that now her victims are fighting back. Bashir quoted Lex Luthor from Smallville by saying “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” Even the Changeling bitch herself admitted that they were a failure. I told her that it’s not hard to believe. Then I explained that she tried to control life, but life can’t be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territories and it crashes through barriers. Life finds a way. The female Changeling insisted that solids might not be able to control life, but changelings can. My phaser trigger’s getting really itchy right now. Then that Changeling Bitch said that some good came from the Hur’q, the Ketracel White, it was a gift that led to a more successful endeavor, the Jem’Hadar.  While the Changeling went on with her monologue, the backpack transformed into Odo and he told her, in a crowning moment of awesome, that he thinks he’s heard enough! Then he said to the changeling that he knew she was involved in this somehow. After all, she built an empire on slavery and now it’s all falling apart.

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Odo told her that, when the Alliance learns about this and was about to say what we would do before getting interrupted by the Changeling insisting that they won’t because we’re not leaving this world alive.  Elisa rolled her eyes and said that we haven’t heard that one before, earning a smile from me. Odo seemed surprised that she would kill another Founder while I sarcastically said, “So much for ape shall never kill ape.” Then the female Changeling explained that there were other Founders who knew the truth, once. Apparently, they had as many reservations as Odo did about building a Dominion on the backs of slaves. So, they tried to depose her, and to expose the truth to the Link. She said that they failed, and paid for their lack of vision, meaning they died.  Then the Jem’Hadar aimed their guns at us and Weyoun ordered all of us against the wall. Garak told Odo that this is getting out of hand and Odo told the female Changeling to stop this now. Predictably, she refused because, according to her, this is bigger than him, bigger than all of the changelings. She went on about how the Dominion must endure, but Garak told her that he’s afraid he can’t allow that. Before I knew it, Garak retrieved a Hur’q remote and said that she forced his hand.

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So, this was what Garak was planning that would be better than blowing her up to smithereens.  He told the Changeling bitch that it was a modification of her own Hur’q lure. Then he said that every Hur’q in the quadrant is homing in on the signal as we speak. The Founder asked Garak if he was seriously calling them here, to their homeworld? Garak explained that, on the contrary, he was calling them to The Founder homeworld. Then he told that Changeling bitch that her chickens, as the humans say, are coming home to roost. I smiled at this, adding that the dinosaurs broke free and they’re eating everything in sight. The Female Changeling lost her shit and called it insanity, but got interrupted before she could say what her people would do by one of the Hur’q themselves.  

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As bad as I was shaking, there was something satisfying about watching the Hur’q murder the Wicked Witch of the Gamma Quadrant. Unfortunately, not everyone was as pleased as I was. Zarva looked horrified, yet couldn’t look away. Weyoun and the Jem’Hadar looked like their lives ended as their God was killed right before their eyes. Unfortunately, that meant we had to clean up the mess and fight that Hur’q before it killed us.

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It took a while, but we defeated that monstrosity and, after that, Garak said that, since we have restored operations here, our ships will be able to lock onto us with transporters. He suggested that we take advantage of this while we can and I agreed. Weyoun collapsed in a heap and got angry at us for killing his god.  He cried about his “beautiful” Founder being gone and how much he loved her. Then he declared vengeance on all of us, ordering the Jem’Hadar to attack.  Odo ordered them to stand down, but Weyoun refused and called Odo a traitor. Then Weyoun claimed that he would carry out her final order. Loriss stood by Odo’s side and told Weyoun that the Founder he’s crying about is no more. Then she pointed to Odo and said that this Founder has given him an order and he will obey. Weyoun kept demanding that Odo is no Founder and the Changeling Bitch was a Founder.

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Then he called Odo a traitor and ordered the Jem’Hadar to shoot to kill every single one of us! Fortunately, Dukan’Rex told the other Jem’Hadar to belay that order and told Weyoun in another crowning moment of awesome that they don’t serve him!  Then Rex pointed to Odo and said that, where this Founder leads, they follow. Odo thanked him for that, but it made Weyoun angry as he declared that he would do it himself. Then Rex knocked that asshole down and Garak clapped while I told him, “Nice punching, Rex!” Odo told Rex to take Weyoun into custody and to return to his ship. Then Odo turned to Garak and said that we have business at the homeworld to attend to.

We beamed up and now we have to deal with a whole swarm of Hur’q.  Great, more giant bugs! Thanks a lot, Garak! Kira demanded to know if it was part of Garak’s plan to draw every Hur’q in the sector to this system.  Because, if it was, it worked with flying colors. Then Kira said that we need to get out of here, and fast. She told me that our only hope is to punch a hole through the swarm so we can go to warp.  I told Kira that I’d do anything to get the hell out of here. While I started fighting the Hur’q, Garak told me to try to hold them off and he’ll see if he can arrange a distraction.

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Then I heard from one of his soldiers that they got a containment breach!  Then another Cardassian said that the structural integrity was failing and that they needed to abandon ship! It took awhile and the Winchester suffered quite a bit of damage but, eventually, Kira contacted me to tell me that the Hur’q are breaking off. Garak said that they received the signal, they’re heading for the Founder homeworld.  Zarva said that it was to commit genocide against an entire species. I told Zarva that it won’t happen if we can help it. After that, Garak contacted me and said that he thinks we’re in the clear. Garak told me that the Hur’q have departed for the Founder homeworld, but it will take them some time to reach it, even at maximum warp. Garak said that we should make the most of that time and bring an end to this madness.  He told me that the information Bashir, who he calls the good doctor, found should do just that. Then Garak suggested that we return to our respective fleets and prepare the next and, hopefully, the final steps of the journey. After that, Odo contacted me and told me that, thanks to Garak, his homeworld is under siege. He said that he realizes that there’s not a lot of love lost for the Founders these days, but if the center of the Dominion falls to the Hur’q, so does the rest of the galaxy.  Odo said that, if I’m willing to stand with them one last time, I should assemble my forces and rendezvous with his fleet in the Gamma Quadrant. He told me that he hopes to see me there, before it’s too late… for all of us. I told Odo that, lucky for him, I don’t judge an entire species based on a few members and, even if I did, I wouldn’t let the rest of the Galaxy go down with them.

I warped out and got a message from Garak, who told me that there’s a certain poetic symmetry at play.  He told me that the Dominion are about to receive their comeuppance from one of the many species they’ve abused.  Then said that, regrettably, his people have experience in such matters. Garak told me that our work is just beginning.  He said that we need to formulate a cure for the Hur’q before they devastate every species in the quadrant. Garak added that, hopefully, we can achieve this lofty goal before they make a meal of the Dominion.  Then he told me that science is often a lengthy, perilous process. Garak said that he’s certainly glad to put Havas-Kul behind him, because small dark passages are not a passion of his anymore than bugs are a passion of mine.  

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Thankfully, he didn’t say that in a mocking way. I cut the connection and prepared to head for Odo’s fleet.

A/N: So, what did you think of Candy’s take on the underground Hur’q mission?  I meant to post this mission before the Mirror of Discovery two-parter, but I ran into an issue with Star Trek Online and had to do the uninstall/re-install method.  Needless to say, a lot of my pictures got deleted, save the ones I took through Bandicam, and I had to replay a few missions.  Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments and feel free to role-play or make requests.

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!

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.

Out in the Cold (Star Trek Online)

A/N: I’m going to be doing something different with this post.  Anyone who follows me knows that I am an avid Star Trek Online player.  So I decided to recap my missions from the point of view of my STO characters.  This is Candy’s recollection of Out in the Cold from the Breen story arc that, unfortunately, got removed in the latest update for Star Trek Online.  When reading the log, imagine the voice of Eliza Dushku, who I picked out for Candy.  You can hear her in this video.

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Captain’s Log Stardate 95670.87

This is Admiral Candy Marino of the U.S.S. Winchester, and we just got a message from the Deferi about Breen attacking civilian ships.  I’ll admit that I don’t know much about the Breen other than they wear refrigerated suits, their planet is colder than the North Pole and they look like something out of a Star Wars holo-program.  I’ll admit, protecting civilian ships isn’t much of a mental challenge, but I’d really like to discover more about these Breen.

So, I had the Winchester go to the VZA-4001 system and investigate what’s going on.

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Well, wouldn’t you know? Chris picks up a distress call from a Deferi freighter. He looks at me, expecting me to do the right thing.  Then Elisa chimes in by pointing out the obvious and finally locating the Sabok. It took me awhile to get out of warp, but we finally got there.  I have to say, for a mysterious species, the Breen really don’t put up that much of a fight. Then the Sabok thanks us for our assistance and tells us all about how they took extra precautions, such as a micro-warp jump and using the magnetic field of the comet to hide.  Yet the Breen still managed to find them. Seriously, these guys are good. Then they tell us about the Paktau, which is the sister ship, and asks them to check up on it. I feel like a glorified bodyguard, but the Deferi will make valuable allies to the Federation, which also includes me.  So I have no other choice but to help them. Sometimes I feel that I should’ve gone solo; then I can choose my missions without having to worry about anyone else.

Well, what do you know?  The minute we start searching for the Paktau, it sends us a distress call.  Apparently, they just need some replacement parts to prevent a warp core breach.  Then, as soon as we beam that over, Breen ships ambush the Winchester. The first two went down like that, but the second one put up more of a fight.  Eventually, we destroyed all of the ships and the Paktau rewarded us with information on the Breen slavers. Apparently, they heard a couple of the raiders talking about the Zaria system.  Zarva scanned it herself and found nothing more than a broken planetoid, but she pointed out that the information could be out of date. So, I ordered the Winchester to fly there immediately.

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Good thing I did, because that so-called destroyed planet has a dilithium-rich core, as Zarva pointed out.  The Breen themselves even use the Deferi they capture as slave labor. Not the first time they’ve pulled shit like this.  The Breen even stationed ships around the planet, but the Winchester took care of them. After that, we still had to beam down to the planet and destroy the transporter inhibitor the Breen kept in place.  I have to give credit to Elisa for discovering that.

We ended up beaming down into a cargo storage area and, what do you know?  They have all of them in prison cells. I guess this is what the Breen call a break.  Either that or they go around capturing slaves while having no idea what a slave is. Chris pointed out that the Breen are using three separate transport disruptors that are keyed to Deferi physiology.  It’s why the Breen can beam in and out and why the disruptors didn’t stop us from transporting in. If you ask me; that’s a really huge oversight on the Breen’s part. Then Chris points out how we need to neutralize the Breen guards before destroying the disruptors.  Thanks for pointing that out, Captain Obvious. Zarva took the time to examine the cells and said what Chris already told us. Then she told us that there are other Deferi life signs on other levels and the cells are all connected to the same mechanism. Well, that makes my job easier.

So, my away team and I went through the hallways and ended up fighting group after group of Breen, disabling each transporter inhibitor on the way.  

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After that was done, Zarva pointed out that a new Breen beamed on the planet. According to her, we aroused suspicion from the Breen commander by freeing their captives.  You mean the Breen don’t like people beaming on to their home world and sabotaging their prisons? What a shock! Now all we had to do was check on the Deferi captives and the only thing preventing that was a force field.  

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Well, I easily deactivated that and we inspected the now empty cells.

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Chris told us that all of the Deferi prisoners transported safely, and claimed that we could return to the Winchester. Well, he was about to until we got a message from Thot Trel.  You wouldn’t believe what that asshole said to me! He went on about how I’m not impressive and called me insignificant! Then claimed that his little henchmen should have no problem taking care of me! I’d like to see the look on his face when I prove him wrong.

Anyway, Trell sent Thot Gran and his henchmen after me.  Me and my away team took out the guards first and then dealt with Gran.  Hey, you want to beat the big boss, you have to take care of the small fry first.  I’ll admit, he did put up a bit of a fight but I won and we beamed back to my ship.  Who’s insignificant now? Elisa immediately began celebrating about how the whole mining operation fell apart.  Then she started speculating about who sent the message and how we’ll need to look into this in more detail. She told me that Starfleet will either send patrols to make sure this doesn’t happen again, or the Deferi will mine dilithium here for themselves.  Honestly, I don’t give a shit. I just found myself in the middle of a mystery, so I immediately left.

As soon as we left, Ambassador Surah hailed us, claiming that the survivors are on their way home and they want to mine dilithium for themselves.  Then he talked about considering a joint operation with the Federation and sharing the resources with us. The Ambassador ended up thanking us and telling us that our actions helped preserve the Balance.  It’s a big day for Star Wars references. After this, I ended up getting myself a huge promotion! You’re looking at Vice Admiral Candy Marino!

A/N: So, what did you think?  Some of the stuff I took pictures of didn’t show up in the screenshots, such as the dialogue or the fighting.  So, I need to figure out how to get that in the pictures.  Anyway, feel free to requests any episodes you would like my Star Trek Online characters to recap.  You can also role-play with one of your Star Trek Online characters in the comments, if you want to.

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