Author Topic: Katra POTM - May and June 2020  (Read 106 times)

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Offline Tess tLhoell

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Katra POTM - May and June 2020
« on: July 18, 2020, 12:54:44 pm »
Katra crew!

The site wide Post of the Month process is seeming to be on hold still, but the Command Staff of Katra wish to acknowledge and celebrate our amazing writers, so we are going to continue our tradition of selecting posts that highlight the creative writing skills of our members.

Please join me in congratulating John Saxon for two amazingly excellent posts.

We are looking for nominations for the Post of the Month every month, please continue to send us your nominations for posts you liked and feel should be recognized - which Katra truly has many of! :)


POTM May 2020

[Katra Station - Deck 12, Promenade]

Saxon watched with interest as Jada's leathery old Boss entered the 'fray'. On some minor level, John wondered if that was somewhat cheating; the compre, or ringmaster, stepping in from the fourth wall and into the narrative, and displaying his own brand of moxie. Mentally, he shrugged. He guessed this was now proof enough that there no real rules to participation, save for the spectacle of the show.

To that end, and watching as Ngachi was theatrically 'devoured' and subsequently 'excreted', John nodded to Rayek as the events reached the point where the hospitality of Katra Station would be demonstrated.

He waited for the attentive gaze of the Romulan to be exchanged, and communicated, and then tapped his combadge once more. " =/\= Saxon to OCC. Senior Chief Marcin: as we discussed if you please.  =/\="

" =/\= Oui, Lieutenant =/\=" came the amused, but cultured, tone from the Marseillais SCPO who had taken over duty at the OCC. In many ways, John was pleased it was he, and not Solen, who had been on call at the time. The latter was not exactly the first choice for theatrics, save for those of ill-disposition. " =/\= Implementing in cinq...quatre...  =/\="

As the elderly officer backed away towards Rayek the assembled Security Team, Ngachi had resumed his role as Master of Ceremonies, albeit with 'slime' now matting his already unkept hair. The echoing chant was challenging; certainly expecting Captain Solluk to show at any time. But Saxon had been somewhat unaware of timings of this little festival, and so it was likely he was still on his way down.

Fortunately, as always the job of the Security Department, it was they who were to hold the door closed for as long as possible until then.

" =/\=...Un... =/\="

The Promenade went dark. Pitch black, save for some emergency lighting at key evacuation points. Some sounds of thrilled surprise came from assembled crowd. Then as the seconds ticked by, a silence fell to match the darkness.

However, before said surprise and anticipation turned into concern and apprehension, dancing blue and pink light erupted from further down the Promenade, dazzling the onlookers as eyes tried to adjust from onyx to the brightness of luminescence. A high-pitched chime filled the air.

And then again night. And stillness once more.

The crowd stayed silent. Breaths were baited. Held.

A voice began to ring out. It was elegant but gravelled. The assembled populace mainly didn't recognise the voice, but it was unmistakable to those in uniform.

"Alas, the brave,
"Are laid low.
"Smited mortally,
"By a foe.
"And so it must be,
"That we,
"Assembled,
"Must perform,
"Our solemn duty.
"To hold the line against the Beast,
"And force it into retreat.
"But if not
"If we fail;
"We look to our Captain,
"To end this tale.
"Of valour,
"Of victory,
"Of sacrifice.
"And defend this station,
"That hangs in the night."

Suddenly, music began to play, fed through the station's internal speakers. A high-pitched rhythm of electric strings leading into a deep, heavy bass note that thundered through the chests of all that were present. At each heavy beat, a mere spotlight erupted from the ceiling, illuminating two figures down the Promenade's walkway; members of both Gamma and Beta Teams.



The beats reached five and a full line of Security could now be seen lit across the 'street', all adorned with replicated toy Type-2s and standing at ease. Waiting. Grinning.

At beat six, another spotlight then revealed Rayek at the front of the line, to the right of any onlookers. His toy type-3 Phaser Rifle in his hands, and a series of small devices on a belt.

Then beat seven boomed through the speakers, and the final spotlight lit up John Saxon from and left, his own toy Type-3's rifle in one hand, the butt resting on his hip, emitter pointing to the ceiling. More devices were on his belt. His eyes were on the Beast, and John did his best to look serious, while ignoring the ridiculousness of the scenerio. Then he smiled.

At beat eight, the lights of the Promenade came on, and John chopped his free hand down in an instruction to Rayek to lead the line into a charge. Still standing in place, his hand moved to his belt and a device was thrown by his aged hand. It arced ahead of the running, hollering Security entourage and bounced off the hide of the Monster to lay to rest half a meter to the right. After a literal second, a sound not unlike an ancient party blower could be heard and the device popped into a cloud of glitter.

No-one would ever say that the crew of Katra didn't know how to throw a good party themselves. Especially at short notice.



POTM June 2020

[Katra Station - Holodeck - Bowling Alley]

Walking up to the channel, John watched as the first few balls were thrown, with mixed results on both teams, and contemplating his own turn. Whilst he wasn't too familiar with the game - cricket was by far a more superior, if not prolonged, pastime - the basic goal and premise was simple. First, however, a selection of which weight class of ball was in order; Saxon thought this to be an important decision. Too heavy a weight, and his throw would lack speed or force, merely nudging the pins or careening off axis into the gutter. Too light, and an overestimation of the roll could just carve a neat hole between the pins, leaving the outer edges standing. The next crucial decisions would be style of roll, and angle of attack.

Eyes flicking between the selection of hard orbs, and the distant pins which stood sentry-like, John's old, but strong, fingers reached towards his choice, fitting into the provided grips neatly, and hoisting it aloft to chin height. His steps towards the permitted line increasing in speed, as the gnarly old wardog finalised his strategy. His pace almost became a run, and he swung the ball high behind him, ready to release, before reversing the pendulum, throwing it down the alley at the same time Saxon's footing adjusted for his aim.

The ball sailed...

*

[Orbit of Betazed, 2375]


The air was thick with dark smoke, a result of the emergency ventilation system being reduced to a network of useless blackened conduits and circuitry deep within the bulkheads, crushed by debris. Coughing was the soundtrack, with alarms as the backing singers. Eyes streaming due the acrid atmosphere, which did little to clear the build up of onyx residue on every person's face. And those were the eyes of that lived; around the walking wounded, bodies of falling comrades littered the traction carpet, being unceremoniously stepped over by friends - colleagues - as they desperately tried to ensure their ultimate sacrifice was not in vain.

All in all, the Bridge of the USS Heracles was not a place to be.

"Report!" called out Captain Lavine Halloway at her second attempt to get any words out of her dry throat.

A voice responded, but there had been so many changed in the Bridge personnel over the last hour, it was hard to keep up. The sad fact was, whomever was responding probably wouldn't be for much longer. "Shields at 16%!"

The Bridge shook, rattling teeth. Bones. Muscles. Something in Halloway's neck popped and an intense pain spread through it when she tried to glance to her left. I just won't do it then, she decided grimly.

"10%!" continued the voice. Just 10% of shields of the once-mighty Galaxy-class remained now. Every ounce of reserve power spent. Every shield generator depleted. Every impulse reactor squeezed empty. This was it. The battle to liberate Betazed from the enemy had, like so many attempts, failed. The Dominion was just too good. Whether it was better intelligence. Or better strategiests. Or just better technology; the fact remained the remnants of the Seventh Fleet had their flayed backs to the gravity well of the very world they had come to save, pinned between that and the demons in purple. Over a hundred ships, just over half now remained, and of those none were in a position to hold off the enemy fleet of twice that for any longer than a few more minutes. StarFleet had swept in to the system, so confident their task force was the most powerful possible. And for an important 60 seconds, it seemed as if the Dominion had been caught snoozing.

Until the reserve battle force came out from behind the local star in numbers that truly beggard belief.

Halloway closed her eyes, as repeated impacts rocked the pinnacle of Starfleet's designs. Even the new upgrades had not little to prepare the ship for the abuse it had suffered at the hands of the Jem'Hadar and their Vorta masters. She heard the numbers trickle down. "5%! 2%! Shields are gone!" Another blow rocked the Heracles. "Hull breach, Deck 10, Forward!"

She forced her eyes open. She, like the ship, would go down tooth and claw at least. "All weapons. Fire at will." That was a laugh; torpedoes had long been spent - much of them on just one of those Leviathan battleships the Dominion had just rolled out - and the only phasers capable of reply were the tiny arrays on what remained of the nacelle struts.

And then..like rain on a roof petering out... the impacts faded away. An odd calm descended. A stillness that she had not felt since her days exploring the galaxy as her career in the Sciences intended. Lavine struggled to her feet, turning her whole body around to catch any evidence on what was happening on the sootied face of anyone still alive. Perhaps this is death, she wondered.

But death shouldn't have been met with equal confusion. "What-?" she forced out, more terrified of the sudden quiet than she had been of the fire chaos moments ago.

Whoever stood at Tactical, she'd have to find out her name Halloway promised herself, wrestled with the remnants of the console, which was rewarded with the crackle of the Fleet comms channel - how could something so delicate be functional, the Captain wondered, realising - in parallel - the ridiculousness of that stray thought in the midst of all this.

Through the crackling speakers, the channel was flooded by voices shocked, baffled and - in some - joyous.

"-id you see that?!"
"Thei- lines ar- crumbli-"
"-ensors detecting massive dam-ge to-"
"What was tha-?
"-unched a hole straight through the left flank-"
"Multiple collisions-"
"I'm reading something but sensors too damaged to-"
"They're turnin-"
"All available ships, open fire on their sterns!"
"Abou- fifty ship- gon-"
"-as that a moon-?"
"-eed a tractor bea-"
"-his is Jo-n -axon of the US- Splend-d. Need a pick-up from-"
"Some odd warp sign-tu-e"
"I've never seen anything -ike-"
"-hank the Great Bird!"
"Save the cha-ter; lets finish th-s!"


"Helm" Halloway said softly. "Pursuit course. Maximum thrusters."

This time the tears in her eyes were from within.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 03:19:39 pm by Tess tLhoell »

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Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: Katra POTM - May and June 2020
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2020, 01:08:12 pm »
A hearty congratulations to Saxon! 

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Offline Zex

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Re: Katra POTM - May and June 2020
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2020, 02:33:16 pm »
Here here!

Great job!

Offline Solluk

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Re: Katra POTM - May and June 2020
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2020, 04:02:15 pm »
Call me biased, but I believe our writers on Katra are the best on site.

Congrats!  And Thank you for everyone's contributions to our great writing.

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Offline Beja

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Re: Katra POTM - May and June 2020
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2020, 11:34:56 pm »
I so loved his posting, and I shall miss that dearly. But Congrats to a wonderful, well deserved writer getting the recognition he deserves!



Offline Catherine Goodspeed

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Re: Katra POTM - May and June 2020
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2020, 05:48:50 am »
Totally agree with Beja.  Brilliant writing and well deserved.


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