Poll

Which post do you pick for POTM in July?

#4 - Solluk
0 (0%)
#6 - Catherine Goodspeed
2 (33.3%)
#11 - Solluk
0 (0%)
#92 - Catherine Goodspeed
0 (0%)
#106 - Paul Wessex
3 (50%)
#112 - Beja
0 (0%)
#125 - Solluk
0 (0%)
#146 - Solluk
1 (16.7%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Voting closed: August 04, 2020, 02:51:02 am

Author Topic: Katra's July POTM - Poll  (Read 153 times)

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Offline Tess tLhoell

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Katra's July POTM - Poll
« on: August 01, 2020, 02:51:02 am »
Katra crew,

every month we want to recognize all the amazing writers on Katra. We would like to ask your help to pick one of the many nominations we received.






#4 Solluk


Katra Station - Station Commander's Ready Room

"Come in."  The Vulcan gestured to the available chair, "Have a seat, Ensign."

A tea tray was on Solluk's desk.  As his guest came in, he picked up the tea kettle and poured two cups.  One for his guest, and one for himself.

It was not the first time he'd shared tea with Rayek.  In better times, when they'd been closer, he'd engaged in what was, for Vulcans, an intimate tea ceremony.  A gesture of closeness between friends.  The ceremony was passed down from ancient times, when passion had been a part of Vulcan affairs.  While the passion had supposedly been extracted from the custom, it remained as a gesture of import between people.  An expression of trust and respect, if no longer one of love.

But of course, Solluk was not like most Vulcans.  He could feel anger.  Indeed, he had felt a swell of it.

He could also feel regret.  And forgiveness.

The love?  It had never really left him.  It was the driving force behind everything else.

Rayek had been a friend. 

Rayek was a friend.

And now, finally, Rayek had taken the first true step in his redemption.  He had performed well in a situation where his own wife and unborn child had been threatened.  He had proved that he could be trusted.

"I have had time to study the after-action reports," Solluk said, "and pass them along to Starfleet Command with my recommendations.  A staged mutiny was a masterstroke, given your personal history.  And the fact that Lieutenant Falleg went along with it so readily suggests that in people's minds, you are still their trusted superior officer."

Solluk lifted his cup, and nodded to Rayek.  "It could easily have been a real mutiny.  The motivation was there.  Save your wife.  Your child.  Surrender the ship.  Surrender anything, rather than risk them both.  But in the end, you remembered your duty.  Your duty to the ship.  Your crew.  The service..."

He looked across at the Romulan, truly believing that his old friend had come back to him after a long and difficult journey.

"... and your duty to me."

Solluk sipped his tea.





Outside the Tholian Embassy...


"It is they who want something from us," Tokara pointed out, "hence, protocol dictates that they should be coming to our embassy.  Not the other way around."


Ambassador Kol regarded his aide from within the confines of his heavy environmental suit.  "This is about more than protocol, Tokara.  And it is about more than one day's request.  We are building a relationship.  Not every maneuver is about power.  Sometimes, it is about position."

Tokara frowned, "At least allow me to accompany you."

Kol chuckled, "Your concern is touching, as is your willingness to die alongside me in glorious battle against Tholian treachery.  But I think this is not such an end.  They seem genuine.  And our strength is best demonstrated thus: I walk into the lair of the beast, alone."

With that, he stepped through the doors and into the Tholian embassy's ...lobby?  It was hard to describe the space.



"I am Kol," he declared, "Ambassador of the Klingon Empire.  Director of Gamma Quadrant affairs.  I am here to meet with Eydis of Tholia, at hir request."








#6 Catherine Goodspeed

Katra Station - Docking Bay - USS Healy

As the 3rd shift engineering and cleaning crew stepped onto the USS Healy the sounds of Debussys "Clair de lune" piano music could be heard, filtered through the ships main speaker system.

To most it was just music from a long dead Earth era and most ignored it, merely putting it down to the whim of the current engineering Teams odd taste in music but after a while it's gentle melody; played on a repeat loop; seemed to seep into everyone's pores like a gentle soothing lullaby. 

Petty Officer Torbjorn Gustafsson hummed the tune to himself as he made his way to main Engineering,  gently carrying several bags of coffee and snacks that he had been requested to pick up on the way.

Stepping onto the main deck Gus looked around until he saw a pair of non Regulation heavy rubber soled work boots in a human size 4.5 sticking out though the hole made from a removed wall paneling.

2 crewmen were sitting crossed legged on the floor busy cleaning what seemed to be a couple of power couplings with a vigor not normally associated with cleaning components. 

Gus smiled at them both and went to nudge one of the feet with one of his own but a hand suddenly shot out and grabbed his ankle before he could made a connection. 

Gus stared down with a look of puzzlement on his face and into the face of the person clutching his foot.  The face was shaking its head from side from side and was mouthing one word. "Noooooooo".

Ensign Samuel McVay looked at Gus and whispered "just no.  She's in a bit of a... Mood".   Sam nodded at the body currently lying prone and still.

"I bloody well heard that McVay... I'm old but not deaf. Yet!"  Catherine Goodspeed who was lying on a small gurney,  wheeled herself out from the hole and pulled herself into a sitting position.  She wiped the back of a grubby hand over her forehead to wipe away some sweat, smearing more grime over an already grime covered face.  Seconds later Muffin the Cardassian vole trotted out, just as dirty. 

Since the Healy had returned from her ordeal and was now safely docked the newly appointed Lieutenant Jr Grade Catherine Goodspeed had suggested.. no demanded that a complete Level 1 diagnostic check from top to bottom be carried out on the ship. 

This also included what Cat liked to call  'a ruddy good and proper spring clean'.  Each and every inch of the vessel was systemically being checked on a grid basis so nothing was missed.  Each and every component was being double checked by computer and personnel, each component cleaned or replaced with additional checks by the voles for micro fractures in the framework and paneling.   

In addition a cleaning crew was allocated for every work shift; cleaning, polishing and vacuuming as they followed the crew teams around like a shoal of cleaner fish. 

In a couple of days once her crew and the cleaning team were finished the old girl would be as sparkling as a new pin.

Gus stared at the woman sitting upright.  She looked tired.  She looked tired and slightly cross.

In fact he had from good authority that Cat had been working on each and every shift and was currently camping out in one of the side rooms which had already been checked and cleaned so if something were to happen and the Captain needed to launch The Healy within a heartbeat she could be on hand to oversee any issues. 

Gus took out one of the takeaway coffees that he had acquired from the nearest coffee stall on the Promenade and handed one to Cat.

"Okay... I'll bite.. What's happened?" Gus kept his eyes on Cat whilst he waited for a reply.

Ensign McVay sighed "It's my fault... I bumped into Calabrass .. You know, the Coridanite?  Normally on the rota with Rune on the Station? Heading up repairs on the emmiters?"

Gus handed out drinks to the 2 seated work crew McVay and Parker and waved at the cleaning crew lounging in the corner to come over to get a drink.   "Yes.. Of course I know Calabrass.. Mean card player... So?"

"WELL... " McVay coughed to clear his throat

"I bumped into him as he was coming out of the mess hall and well one thing lead to another and we got chatting about.. You know..."  McVay tilted his head towards Cat ".. Well.. promotions and demotions and such and well.... He told me that Rune had told him that.."  McVay swallowed painfully.

".....that Rune had said that Rhade was Kirk and that Cat was an old lady..."   McVays voice died down at the end like he was hoping if he finished very quietly everyone would ignore him.

The cleaning crew who had wandered over to collect the free hot drinks on offer from Gus did a collective shudder as the last 3 words were spoken.

Gus tried to keep his face expressionless but failed badly. Oh my... An 'Old lady'...

Cat smiled brightly which just made everything that little bit worse. It was like watching glass shatter very, very slowly.

"No it's FINE.  I mean Rune is correct I AM an old lady"  Cats brittleness seemed to bounce off the soft melody still playing in the background like a brick.  "So he IS right about one thing.  I'm old and I'm no Kirk."

Cat took a deep long drink from the coffee, ignoring it's heat burning down her dry throat.

"McVay... What you holding? Tell me EXACTLY what you are holding in your hand.. And I don't mean the coffee cup"

MCVay looked at her oddly "This?"  He held up the piece he had been cleaning before Gus had come into the room.   "Its an Electro-Plasma Regulator.."

Cat nodded "Correct.. And what do you use it for?"

McVay looked at Gus and then at Petty Officer Emily Parker who was sitting next to him  clutching rather tightly the component she had been cleaning. Was this a test?

"... Errr.. It's used for the handling of EPS power relays? and the maintenance of the power conduits??".

"Correct my young man!"  Cat stretched her legs in front of her and crossed them to be in a more comfortable position, took the lid off her coffee and poured some of the liquid into the upturned lid and watched as Muffin lapped some happily.

Everyone looked at the vole drinking and waited.

"Now... Emily... Do you think if we gave these objects to the lovely Lieutenant Beja; filled this room with smoke and sparks and gave her 15 seconds to replace a damaged EPR by feel alone and replace the EPS relays would she would be able to do that?"

Emily; who was about as used to having several eye focus on her like a mole rat is used to winning a beauty contest; looked panicked.. "well... No Sir... How is she meant to know how to do that? She's our Counsellor...."

"and NOT an engineer!"  Cat exclaimed.  "Right... And what have we learnt?"

One of the cleaning crew raised their hand  "Err..Crewman Cassie Lark Sir?  That a Counsellor wouldn't know how to replace those things??"

"Correct Cassie and why??" Cat didn't wait for an reply this time. "because a Counsellor is not an engineer.  Like I wouldn't know which product was best to clean dried blood from a carpet....

"oh! Cassie again Sir! That'll be a mix of equal parts liquid-dish-washing soap and cold water.. You need to soak a cloth and lay it on then blot Sir.. Or a salt paste.."

Another cleaner nodded "oh goodness yes, salt paste.. We've got a batch on hand all the time.."

Cat waved a free hand towards the cleaning crew.   "See?  I didn't know that! Cheers team!  I'm not Kirk and neither is anyone here.  He was a Captain.  A bloody good Captain, but no engineer. Did the legend that was  Montgomery Scott spend his time doing barrel rolls and chatting up the ladies?  No.. He stayed at his post whilst the other trainees ran"

Ensign Parkers ears pricked up at the name of the famous Scottish Engineer "My Nan met him once!  He had a dirty laugh she said!  Really dirty laugh!  He taught her to say 'bums' in a Scottish accent... She was only 4 at the time"

Cat actually laughed. Threw her head back and laughed.  "'Bums!  That will be todays words everyone... Bums.. In Scottish accent.  Now I need a shower and wash Muffin in the sink then have a 2 hour nap. Gus.. Take over checking the conduits, I've marked on the PADD how far we've got. Emily, come wake me in 3 hours, and change the music someone... Something with a bit more.. Bite".








#11 Solluk


Katra Station - Station Commander's Ready Room

Solluk set down his cup and nodded, "Rhade has been a problem," he agreed. "It is undeniable that he provided valuable aid in a crisis.  And also displayed gross insubordination.  He saved officers, but also forced the diversion of resources for his own salvation.  I think he is a gifted officer, but I also don't trust him to follow orders.  However... developing his potential is a challenge for another day."

Solluk reached down to open a desk drawer.  This had become a ritual of its own, and one that he most enjoyed re-enacting.  The small box came out, and he laid it before Rayek. 

"Starfleet Command concurs with me that it is time to restore most of your lost rank," he said, perhaps overstating things a bit.  There was no need to mention that Solluk had been threatened with the command of a hauler for suggesting this.  "This is provisional, for now.  To become permanent when the Counselor gives her all-clear.  I'm confident that when she considers your recent actions, she will come to the same conclusions I have." 

Solluk's eyes were bright.  It felt good to be in this place again.  To look upon a friend with hope for the future.  "With Saxon's extended medical leave, I find myself in need of a new Strategic Operations Officer."

Having set down the box, Solluk closed the drawer and took up his teacup again.  "For the time being, I'd like you to cover both Security and Strategic Operations, essentially taking over all of Saxon's duties, until I can find a good candidate to take over Security.  I think you'll be ideally suited to coordinate fleet activities in the Sector, deal with Intelligence matters, and provide Tactical leadership."

He smiled, "And of course, the position would make you the station's Second Officer.  Congratulations, Rayek.  It's good to have you back in the circle of Command, where you belong."






The Tholian Embassy...



Ambassador Kol's gaze lifted to the ceiling, where the Tholian ambassador apparently preferred to perch, like a bat.  As Eydis spoke, it became apparent that they would not be retiring to any other room for this negotiation.  Shi apparently desired to discuss it right here in the lobby. 

The first words out of the ambassador's mouth were about warfare between the Tholians and the Klingons.  A curious opening gambit.  Kol was not accustomed to dealing with species who craved glory in battle.
 
But of course, Eydis was a warrior caste member who had been hastily repurposed for diplomacy.  Hir priorities and ideals would reflect that, and perhaps be closer to those of Klingon culture than any other Tholian caste.

"A battle between us would be glorious," Kol admitted, "but I have come to crave glories that transcend battle."  It was almost a blasphemy for him to say such a thing.  "Having a friend beside you is as rewarding as having an enemy before you."

He considered Eydis' mention that the mission shi wished to undertake would have been better with a Tholian vessel due to similarities between the Crystalline Tholians and the Crystalline Entity they craved to meet with.

"There is a hatch on the ventral side of a D-7's 'neck,' Ambassador.  It would be a small matter to build a support pylon out from this 'neck' which could be affixed to one of your small attack craft.  And with some work, we could extend the cloak around such an attached vessel. 

I confess this is not my own idea.  It was proposed by your new Federation friends.  The Captain of this station was apparently once an engineer.  My own engineer, Grom, confirms that such a pylon could be built within just a few days' time, given the resources of the local drydock."


Kol paused, considering the Tholian.  He wondered what shi would make of the price of his assistance.

"There are two things the Klingons require, and one thing I require personally," he began.

"First, the mission is to be undertaken as part of an officer exchange program between the Klingon Empire and the Federation.  This will provide some measure of deniability for the Empire, should your intrusions into Gregari space provoke a war we are ill prepared to prosecute.  The official mission will be to scan a planet in the Gamma quadrant for suitability as a colony site.  This scan will be conducted.  Then, the Federation officers will send the Lod Qan into Gregari space against orders from the Klingon Defense Force.  If the ship is captured by enemy forces, the Empire will be able to denounce the Federation rogues who went against orders, and avoid any larger entanglements."

He paused to be sure this was understood, and then continued.

"Second.  You will make a gift of two of your crystal halberds to our Chancellor.  A personal gesture of honor for the great favor he is doing for you in lending you the use of a vessel."

Kol did not expect much resistance to this.

Finallly, "Last.  And this is a personal favor to me, not from you, but from your government.  The Tholian Assembly.  For giving you the use of my Diplomatic Cruiser. 

There will be a new Klingon presence established in the Gamma Quadrant.  When it is, I require the Tholian Assembly to officially recognize it as an independent nation."


And there it was.  As dangerous a request as any he'd made in his career.

He waited to see what shi would say.









#92 Catherine Goodspeed

Katra Station - Briefing room
 
One word popped into Cat's head as the Captain lay the floor open for her to fill everyone in on the construction plans ahead.
 
That word was. 'bugger'. 
 
A great and noble Old Anglo Earth word that.  Spoken in times past when similar situations did rise forth and present themselves in front of her Ancestors.
 
She hated public speaking. Oh well, may as well get this over with.  Cat checked herself for any crumbs and stood up.
 
"Thank you captain"  Cat nodded in his direction.
 
"The plan; thought up by the Captain himself I may add, is to use a  pylon or tether system so both the Lod Oan and Thoilan will be joined for the entire journey;  thus enabling the Lod Oan's cloaking device to be extended around the 'hitchiking' Tholian vessel to avoid detection".
 
"Ordinarily, attaching one ship to another is usually difficult but not impossible.  However, Klingon and Tholian structural integrity methodology are very different from each other.  Basically we are dealing with two very contrasting beasts here.  Two beasts that normally don't like being around each other very much, let alone attached at the hip so to speak".
 
Cat looked around.  Well at least they seemed to be still with her.
 
"Klingons use dedicated Structural Integrity Field Generators or SIF for short,  which are a bit like our Starfleet vessels but without the finesse and with more in your face brutal power to be able to function as battle plating"
 
Cat pointed to the 3D image of the Klingon ship floating above their buffet.
 
"This is especially true of D-7 Cruisers.  More boxer than ballerina you may say".  Cat chuckled to herself then stopped just in case no one else was.
 
She looked at her feet for a second then up again and the bird of prey hovering in front of her.
 
"However, because they are generators they can be modified to permit the extension of hardware, including to support other craft so that's half the battle fought!".
 
"The thing which is going to cause us the biggest and long term headache of this little trip is the The Tholian vessel.  This little beauty utilises a fully Gravimetric Drive which;  as well as giving them enviable agility, if not a greater top speed,  it also functions as both an integrated SIF but emits a residual gravity shell which competes with the Klingon SIF AND the cloaking tech". 
 
Cat tried to empathise the word "and" to really try and drive home that this wasn't going to be a lovely long weekend or week away from the station where everyone would be skipping along holding hands and having lovely picnics and singing fun Klingon tunes in a round.
 
In fact Cat would have preferred that in many ways.  She wasn't a fool.  A nice long trip away, maybe some lie-ins and naps along the way... Popping down to some new planets to feel some sprigs of cool alien grass between her toes or swim in some clear crisp emerald ocean.  That would be nice....
 
Cat looked around the room again.
 
"In a nutshell... the Tholian vessel is going to fight the Klingon cloak EVERY inch of the way there and back again.  For this to work, the Klingon SIF has to be manually manipulated and monitored at all times otherwise both ships will repel from each other like a Klingon and Tribble on a blind date."
 
Cat's face was not one filled with the joys of spring. "And if that happens then there's no guarantee any emergency shielding will go up in time to save either vessel so we can't let that happen".
 
Cat looked at the Captain and nodded and sat down again. 
 
It was going to be a long trip. She hoped they had enough stims to go round.








#106 Paul Wessex

Well, this is going well, thought Wessex as he was pinned to the wall by his assailant.

<Katra Station - some minutes earlier>

"Eyes on target", continued to reported one of the Security crewmen, before handing over to the next unit in the predicted chain of movement as they continued their usual patrol, doing well to spot and report on the figure but in a sloppy manner that did not tip off their suspect as to the tracking. "Proceeding to D14-Delta". Thus far, the young thief had travelled one level down and across. Wessex kept his comms to a minimum as he and Solen threaded around the edges of the floors in light pursuit, Paul stressing the need to the Angosian ex-'super soldier' to ascertain the end destination rather than chase their heels.

Solen nonetheless disagreed. "This is a waste", she reported for the umpteenth time. "I still say we should bring him in for questioning, not play Tarsian Tag". Paul had no idea who or what a Tarsian was and so kept his retort to himself, not only because he didn't want to debate the issue any more than they had already, but also because her frosty voice carried.

"This is D14-Delta patrol. Eyes not on target. I repeat, I have lost sight of the suspect." came the low voice of the patrol who's 'beat' incorporated that area.

Solen muttered some expletive the universal translator was not either programmed, or inclined, to bother with. Paul waved her down, and pointed ahead. In a quiet, far corner - empty but ready to open to new businesses as they arrived - the Orion boy had slipped down to his haunches and had swiftly prised off one edge of a bright, hinged signage panel from one of the walls. The light had steadfastly stayed on, despite its clear disconnection, which gave Wessex the thought this had been modified to both open on a hinge and continue its lighting from some 'third-party' reserve battery so not to signal a power outage. The thief, golden item still in hand, slipped behind the fitting and closed it behind him. The action had taken less than 7 seconds to pull off; Paul had been lucky to have been at the right angle to have caught it.  "Where would that lead?" he asked Solen as they rapidly approached the now inconspicuous hatch.

She pondered, her face less furious than he would have imagined in the circumstances- perhaps there was something in the audacity of the escape she admired. "There's a service conduit about 2 meters beyond; one end leads towards the tattoo parlour, and the other to the Assay's Office. But there are secondary spokes that intersect with other service conduits."

He frowned. The whole place behind that panel was a warren, perfect for the slight form of the boy; they could have made it anywhere by now. He sighed; not a great start. "Alright. I'll take full responsibility for this. I suppose we'll need to speak to the shop staff to log the theft and see if they have some sensor coverage of the incident; I imagine there's some way of reviewing internal sensors?"

The Master-at-Arms nodded. "There is. And...this is my responsibility too, sir", she said quite unexpectedly. "They've been evading us for several weeks now - this is as close as we've come; and at least we've uncovered some part of their bespoke evasion network; you're right - if we had brought him in, we'd never had seen this."

Paul smiled, appreciative. "Nevertheless, I'll report it to the Chief. In the meantime, I think it'll make more sense if you review the internal sensors - I'll still need to get to know the system before I can make the best use of them. I'll speak to the traders and then report back."

She nodded, her mask of ice returning to her face, but...there was also something a little warmer in her eyes that wasn't there before. "Agreed."

And with that, she strode off, leaving Wessex to briefly take in her deceptively powerful frame, before blowing out a frustrated breath. "Right then..." he told himself. He was about to turn away when something caught his eye.

Before he could move towards what looked like a strange scratched sigil on one of the far walls, a shadow fell over him. He turned, and one of the Nausicaans he had spoken to on the trip to the station stood behind him. How-?

His wonderment turned into alarm as he was hoisted off his feet and pushed into the wall. No-one seemed to be about; not surprising - no shops or traders needed to be here, just vacant modules.Well, this is going well he thought.

"What do you know?" hissed the Nausicaan, his tusks quivering with every angry syllable. "Tell me; did Mereath send you?"








#112 Beja

Katra Station - Briefing Room - Morning of Day 2

Beja worried since she had spoken in the meeting that she had made the incorrect choice in electing to remain on Katra. Not just because she was going to miss out on some great scientific discoveries and probably what could have been one of the most interesting first contact experiences she would most likely ever had. But because it was clear to her that none of the senior staff really understood Klingon culture, let alone how a Klingon ship operated. Each word that Cat spoke made it clearer and clearer the terrible error Beja made with her choice of Katra station.

Beja had a lot of respect for Goodspeed. The older human woman had displayed such a high understanding of complex systems. Beja admired Goodspeed’s diligent work ethic and the human woman’s true desire to care for the engineering crew as if they were blood family. So it pained Beja to hear the disparaging remarks about Klingon’s ship upkeep and hygiene habits. Klingons prided themselves on their warrior culture yes, but that didn’t mean they were just a bunch of degenerates as the humans said.

After clearing her throat Beja finally spoke up, “I think you will find that the tales of Klingon’s ships that you have heard Goodspeed to be a bit exaggerated.”

You will find the vessel to be in top cleanliness shape I am sure. There are not crusty bits as you say on a Captain’s chair, nor do we dishonor our quarters with “stickiness” that you speak of. Perhaps in the private sector you have encountered ships operated by mercenaries or Klingons from dishonorable houses. This will not be one of them.”  Beja gently tried to correct some of the misconceptions that the Senior staff had.

It was no one’s real fault, but perhaps the Klingons did like to embellish some tales of glory, where blood ended up splattered about more than the reality of it. But a Klingon’s honor lied in not just the battlefield but also the songs and tales of the victory too. Perhaps that had allowed for such assumptions that were not factual in nature. No one wanted to hear the tale of the shiny and clean ship that zipped through the galaxy wafting disinfectant fumes as it sought to destroy their enemies!








#125 Solluk


Katra Station - Solluk's Quarters - Day 4

Solluk looked down at himself for a moment. 

"You think so?  I fear I am suffering from what our Counselor would call 'Impostor Syndrome.'"  He sighed, "But as the humans say, 'Dress for the job you want.'"

He gestured for her to come in and feel at ease, and went to the replicator alcove in his room.  "I have every expectation of returning from this mission successfully," he said, punching up an order for a ritual-appropriate Vulcan tea set.   

It materialized, and he carried it to a small dining table.  Setting down the tea set, he took a small plasma lighter and lit a golden pyramid-shaped candle that was part of the set.  It was not a normal candle one might employ for romantic ambiance, but rather one used for sacred ceremonies.  In this case, it was a statement of understanding between two people:  The pyramid represented ascending knowledge.  The light, a shared illumination.



It was, perhaps, the closest thing Vulcans had to a 'friendship bracelet.'

"However, on such a dangerous assignment, one must prepare for alternative possibilities."  As he spoke, he poured tea into the singular azure cup that was part of the set.  His movements were delicate and precise.  This was no casual drink between colleagues.

"I recently set something into motion that would ensure that my preferred successor would claim this station, in the event that anything should happen to me.  I once had some illusions about who that might be.  But past experience did not prepare me for the wonders of my emerging reality.  It is hard to recognize the Sun, after all, until it rises above the horizon and lights up the world."

He lifted the azure cup, and sipped from it.

Then he lowered the cup, wiping the rim with a delicate cloth that was part of the replicated tea set.

"Once you see their light, you can never mistake your Suns for any other stars."

He held out the cup to her.

"Starfleet did not hesitate when I asked.  They, too, recognize the Sun when they see it.  You are no longer a Lieutenant Commander, Commander.  You are the one whose light can be trusted to illuminate Katra, if duty or destiny ever comes to claim me."










#146 Solluk


IKS Lod Qan - Training Hall

The training hall on the Lod Qan was a large space where warriors could practice fighting techniques with each other.  It was also a mustering space for the ship's Security forces, where they could be gathered together for briefings, or prepare for deployments.  The ship's largest transporter room was just up the hall, and the enlisted crew barracks were also on this deck, allowing the troops to muster in short order.




Kost bu' watched with interest when the ship's new Starfleet Security officer marched into the training hall and immediately started a fight with one of the young officers.  It wasn't a bad tactic, doubtless meant to preempt any challenges to his authority.  The brief duel ended quickly.  This man Kal clearly had some fighting talent, but Kost could see that the depth of his experience was shallow.

He called to the men, "In ranks!"  The twenty assembled warriors all formed up in four rows of five.  Then he addressed their new leader.  "I am Sergeant Kost, son of Kolor, sworn to the House of Voch.  These warriors report to me, and I report to you.  A ship of this size would normally have at least four times this complement of warriors, but this is a Diplomatic Cruiser, and we operate at a reduced figthing capacity.  However, I can promise you that these twenty warriors will fight as a hundred."

He took a step closer to Kal, looking into his eyes as he spoke in low tones, "Congratulations, Kal ne'.  You bested our least experienced new bekk."

The implication was clear:  This human from Starfleet would not find Kost to be so easy a target, should the occasion come for them to clash.










IKS Lod Qan - Main Engineering

The main engineering section of the Lod Qan was split into two areas.  The outer entry area of Engineering had multiple consoles and status monitors that were focused on balancing power levels between systems, as well as controlling the complicated field interactions between the warp drive and cloaking device.  And now, the innate gravitic systems of their Tholian passenger ship.

Beyond this entry area was a large opening with blast doors that could close in the event of an emergency.  This opening led to the inner sanctum of Engineering, where the Lod Qan's warp core thrummed with bright red plasma, casting the entire room in an even redder glow than was common on Klingon vessels.

As Catherine strode into the area, she was immediately greeted by a proud-faced Klingon woman.



She proceeded to introduce herself, "Torpa bu', daughter of Lorto, sworn to the House of Voch.  I am the head of our Cloaking Team, as well as the most senior engineer beneath you on this ship.  I have been ordered to coordinate with your people to manage the competing EM, Subspace, and Gravitic fields on this mission.  All systems are currently nominal."

She stood stoically for a moment, then her face broke into a snaggle-toothed grin.  "It is an honor to be working with you," she added.  It was a strangely friendly outburst from an experienced enlisted Klingon warrioress. 













Solluk entered the bridge of the Lod Qan.  The turbolift that allowed entrance to the command tower was just behind and to the right of the tactical station.  Anyone who attempted to gain entrance to the bridge would have to walk right by the Tactical officer, who could be presumed to be a formidable warrior.

To the left of the Tactical station was Damage Control, a position which liased with Engineering during combat to put out fires- literal or proverbial- and also to manage power levels as required.  The Executive officer would often man this station during a battle or important maneuvers.

To the left of that was the auxiliary station.  It could be configured for any task, but was often used to perform communications duties on a ship like the Lod Qan.

A corridor bisected the bridge, leading to the Ready Room (or War Room, as it was sometimes called) to the left, and the Head on the other, where officers could relieve themselves as required. 

The Captain's chair was bolted to the floor on a swivel, just behind this corridor.

At the front of the bridge, two stations flanked the viewscreen.   One was for Science, the other for the Helm.

Solluk was surprised to see the Science station given such a prominent, forward position on the bridge.  He had heard that on Klingon ships, a Science officer was often relegated to managing an auxiliary station... when they were present on the bridge at all.  But he recalled that Noh'ves and his crew were somewhat unusual in regards to Klingon stereotypes.  No small wonder, considering that his daughter was Beja.  Any Klingon who did not reject such a daughter would necessarily be more progressively minded than most of his brethren.  And she was not the only oddity on his crew.  Indeed, the officer corps who served under Noh'ves were so unusual that it seemed as though the man had gone out of his way to recruit the Empire's misfits and adopt them as his own.



"Captain!" K'mpoc called out, alerting everyone to his arrival.  The Klingon eyed Solluk's KDF uniform with concealed amusement.  Just the slightest quirk at the corner of his mouth.  Whether this was mockery or simple good humor was difficult to perceive, so slight was the expression.  No doubt the man had expressed the same humor regarding other members of the bridge crew, though it was so slight a smirk as to be easily missed... and it was only displayed for the briefest of moments.

"I have accepted this crew into your service, and I shall stand for them as we all serve you."

Solluk nodded, and took his chair.  "I shall receive your service and theirs, and I swear that I shall steer us only towards honor and glory.

Inform Katra Station that we are departing now.  Thrusters only, till we reach a distance of one-million kilometers.  Then take us to Impulse in a parabolic arc out of the system plane.  Once we clear major traffic lanes, take us to Warp Six and engage the Cloak."


K'mpoc took his place at the damage control station as the officers dealt with their various orders.

Then his fist struck the console.

And again.

And again.

It was the beat of a song.  K'mpoc's loud voice- only slightly off-key, began to fill the bridge.

Solluk had almost forgotten this custom, but he began to thump the arms of his chair in time with the rhythm established by his new XO.

Hear! Sons of Kahless.
Hear! Daughters, too.
The blood of battle washes clean
The Warrior brave and true.

We fight, we love, and then we kill.
Our lives burn short and bright,
Then we die with honor-
to join our fathers-
in the Black Fleet where we battle forever-
in the Eternal Fight!


http://klingonska.org/songs/anthem/anthem.mp3













Katra Station - Operational Control Center




"This control center is stupid," Vilka complained loudly, "We're all in a circle, and looking in different directions."



"A circle is geometically satisfying," Grom noted, "and this arrangement is efficient in a service where force is not used to unseat people within your chain of command."



"I always forget how rich the informational resources of the Federation are," Tolec said, "And look at this sensor and communication network.  It is years beyond what we employ, and this is only a small outpost."



"A small outpost in one of the most dangerous places in the galaxy," M'Kai noted as she walked around the control center, taking in the space, "Surrounded on all sides by hostile nations."  She paused at the central holotable, bringing up an internal schematic.  "They should put one of these in the Security office.  We could monitor every individual on the entire station."



"I do not think that is a practice the Federation would follow," H'rel noted, "They value sentient rights, like privacy."  He tapped some icons on his console, dispatching a new Fighter patrol.  "I think I will arrange to lead one of the fighter patrols tomorrow.  It has been too long since I piloted a fighter, and I much prefer a flight console to this dispatching work." 



"Enough chatter," Noh'ves barked, "attend your duties."

At that moment, the station's executive officer entered the Operational Control Center.  Noh'ves had noticed her earlier during the transfer of command ceremony, but he looked her up and down once more, in detail.  He was surprised her treacherous Romulan husband would allow her to keep a post in this state.  Perhaps she was tougher than he was, even while very pregnant.

"Thank you, Commander," he said, his eyes holding on her collar for a moment.  She had not been a full Commander when he'd last seen her.  A parting promotion from her former Captain?

"I will be relying on your advice in the days ahead.  I suggest you join the other officers and myself for a feast... a meal in the officer's mess this evening.  You can acquaint us with anything you feel we need to know.  For now, I must spend some time reading and making reports.  My daughter will be meeting me within an hour's time.  Do not allow anyone to disturb me before then.  The bridge..."  he glanced around, "... Control Center... is yours."







A short time later, in the Station Commander's Ready Room...



"NuqneH?"  Noh'ves called out when his door chimed.  His desk was scattered with PADDs.  One PADD could hold multiple items of interest, of course, but he felt that organizing tasks on multiple PADDs was easier for him.  Or, he'd thought it would be.
 
Unfortunately, the tasks were so many and varied that his desk was now littered in the devices.

It seemed to him that Starfleet valued paperwork above all other things.

A strange priority.


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"You explore the universe. We've found that a single moment in time can be a universe in itself."
Tess' biography (updated Nov 14th, 2020) - Previous name: Tess Moreno
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Offline Zex

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Re: Katra's July POTM - Poll
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2020, 09:00:14 am »
voted

Offline Tess tLhoell

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Re: Katra's July POTM - Poll
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2020, 09:23:40 am »
The vote's closed!

Please help me congratulate Paul Wessex for his formidable post that has been voted as Katra's POTM for July by you :)

It's awesome to be on a simm with so many talented writers. Please never stop :)

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Offline Paul Wessex

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Re: Katra's July POTM - Poll
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2020, 03:37:33 pm »
This is truly unexpected; thank you very much - yet I feel all the other entries are far more deserving. It is an honour to be writing with you all.

Offline Zex

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Re: Katra's July POTM - Poll
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2020, 05:20:21 pm »
Congratulations!

Offline Rayek trLhoell

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Re: Katra's July POTM - Poll
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2020, 09:55:05 pm »
Congratulations!

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Offline Kal

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Re: Katra's July POTM - Poll
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2020, 10:05:58 pm »
Congratulations!!!!


Offline Solluk

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Re: Katra's July POTM - Poll
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2020, 04:33:22 am »
The post has been submitted to the site administrators.  But no matter what they do, I am very proud of our winner, and indeed all the winners among our crew.  We are blessed.
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