Suburban Timewaster

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Archive for the tag “federation”

Jabberwocky (Star Trek Online)

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

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Fleet Admiral’s Log Stardate 96012.75

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, I made it to the Mirror Bajor!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coliseum (Star Trek Online)

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

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Subadmiral II’s Log Stardate 95840.09

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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