The message came in via encrypted channel, only two days out of space dock. Trajan took all of the appropriate security measures, plus a few extras that he considered necessary — the sound-canceling devices hidden throughout the Cardassian’s ready room weren’t mandated per se, but in this day and age one could never be too certain.
“I trust the shakedown cruise is going well?” Admiral T’Nae inquired, her cold tone belying this opening pleasantry. Even for a Vulcan, her voice was particularly frigid. Trajan replied with a warm smile. “My crew and I thought we were done flying historical reenactments, but the Meridian is slowly growing on me.”
“However,” he added smoothly, “I doubt you called to just ask me that.”
“No, I did not. Are you aware of ‘the Vault’, commander?”
Little is known about Two of Thirteen’s existence before the Collective; for all practical purposes, her ‘life’ began in 2403, when the deep-space exploration vessel U.S.S. Helix recovered her near-lifeless remains from the wreckage of a Borg probe. The probe had encountered some sort of mysterious end, much like derelict Borg sphere salvaged from the Servin system by the SCE. Whatever disaster befell the Borg vessel, it was a blessing in disguise for Two of Thirteen — somehow, the long period of stasis Two was held in following the probe’s destruction eased the Borg drone’s reintegration into human society.
But a Borg drone’s resocialization is never a sure thing, and the success witnessed by the Helix was in no small part predicated on the first officer’s insistence that Two be allowed to sit in on the ship’s weekly poker night. Two of Thirteen ‘earned’ her name — Deuces Wilde — from those very poker nights; it turns out a former Borg has an almost preternatural card-counting ability, and the stoic poker face didn’t hurt either.
That’s right, guys… because I am perpetually locked out-of-step with the blogosphere’s playing habits (i.e. LotR and RIFT), I started back up STO today! More on that later — right now, my creative juices were pumping, so I belted out a bio for my new crew.
Ladies and gents, I know that many of my loyal readers are pretty bored by my musings on EVE — they’re not very general, for starters. Anyways, I decided I’d make an EVE fiction focused blog, right here. My first post is a story in the first person, which is a big first for me — I usually rely on limited third person point-of-view.
Anyways, here’s to hoping I have the time to post more, both here and there.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
The Amarrian glanced up, trying to not make eye contact (though the heavy hood made that unlikely) and stared at his office door. Through its glass, he could make out his name and title etched in frosted letters, and though from his seat the letters appeared reversed, he knew what they spelled out by heart: “Chakh Madafe, Military Adjunct-Advisor, Imperial Academy, Deepari II”. It was a position that, as a devout and loyal citizen of the Amarr Empire, Madafe was extremely proud to hold. But today had been especially trying—this morning had brought word that Savel Nabnela, an old friend, had been murdered by religious extremists, and now he was having to deal with this—and the only thought the military advisor could ruefully summon, was that a title’s length increased in an inverse relationship to its importance.
In front of him sat a street urchin. Or at the least, someone who should have been a street urchin, if there were any justice or order in the world. She was a Minmatar—probably a Vheroklor, by the looks of her. No Voluval tattoo, though—too young? Exiled? Madafe shook his head, realizing he was overthinking this; no member of the slave races deserved this much consideration.
Except that she was a capsuleer.
The U.S.S. Ticonderoga (NCC-93594), a Centaur-class light cruiser, was a scheduled for decommissioning in 2406, but the threat of open war with the Klingon Empire kept it out of mothballs and in service for the next three years. Lacking the armament of a front-line warship and ill-equipped for long-range exploration, the Ticonderoga was tasked with curtailing Orion Syndicate activity in the Sirius Sector. Thanks to this close-to-home assignment, the Ticonderoga was one of the first ships to respond to the Borg incursion in the Vega system, 25 lightyears from Sol.
It was at Vega that the Borg revealed their ability to adapt tactically, ruthlessly targeting the command structure of the Federation ships arrayed against them. The entirety of the Ticonderoga‘s bridge crew was killed, and command devolved to Ensign S’Rros Tanaj. With all other contenders killed or assimilated, Tanaj was eventually made full captain of the Ticonderoga.
Following the battle in the Vega system, the Ticonderoga became a testing bed for a S.C.E. project analyzing the viability of retooling Centaur-class vessels into fast, heavily armed but lightly armored escorts, similar to the Defiant– and Saber-class starships. The forward and aft phaser banks were stripped and replaced with disruptor cannons and turrets, and Tanaj, a commendable but as-yet unremarkable captain, was considered a good, neutral bet for commanding this new weapons platform.
While the Ticonderoga gained improved alpha-strike abilities, it quickly became apparent that the ship’s weapon’s layout had significant problems. Most significant was the fact that without wider arced weapons or more turrets, the Ticonderoga was completely ineffectual against swarms of fighters. On Captain Tanaj’s recommendation, the Ticonderoga‘s refit was regarded a failure and its designs scrapped.
The U.S.S. Indomitable (NX-92981) wasn’t always named such – nor is it even of this universe. Originally a warship of the Terran Empire, the then-named I.S.S. Interdiction was commanded by Captain Jonathan Maxwell, a bigoted human who treated the alien members of his crew as little more than slaves. The joined Trill Xerxes Kahn was seen as a particularly useful piece of Maxwell’s chattel, notable only for her engineering abilities and long memory.
Chattel, that is, until she murdered Maxwell and led a xenos rebellion against the human crew. Playing on centuries-old resentment against the oppressive, human-centric regimen, Kahn united the mutineers and led them in a series of successful hit-and-run operations against the Terran Empire. In the throws of Emperor Spock’s reforms, the Empire was slow to react. But for its lack of haste the Empire’s response was particularly brutal, and the Indomitable was eventually outgunned and outmaneuvered. That’s when Kahn played her trump card – a teleportation device of her own devising, one that carried the Indomitable one hundred years forward and out of the Mirror Universe and into our own.
Starfleet Command was torn about how to respond. The Indomitable‘s crew were refugees, yes, but they were refugees with a powerful, albeit dated, warship. A warship that could, with minimal modifications, be useful on any one of the half dozen military fronts the Federation was currently embroiled in. A compromise was eventually struck: the crew was to be given political asylum, and Kahn could retain command of the Indomitable, so long as she accepted a commission as a ‘Merchant Marine’ in Starfleet and allowed Starfleet personnel to serve on her ship. Seeing no better game in town, Xerxes signed on.
Though superficially resembling a Constitution-class starship of our universe, the Indomitable is significantly different. Its gunmetal-grey hull is more heavily armored, and it bears the dark yellow markings of the Terran Empire’s fleet. Thanks to Kahn’s tinkering, the light-blue phaser banks of the warship pack the same punch as contemporary weapon systems, and despite appearing several centuries out-of-date, the Indomitable has been deemed fit to patrol the Sirius and Regulus Sectors.
So unlike Syp or Gordon, the linking of other blog posts has not become a regular feature of CA. I’ve definitely been trying to read my friends’ blogposts more thoroughly, but actually getting around to compiling their links is currently beyond the pale.
Except that today, it isn’t!
- Terilynn has written up two hilarious accounts of her experience in STO – the first as an underleveled Lieutenant trying to help in a Fleet Action, the second a story of her (repeatedly frustrated) efforts to liberate Borg Drones. Both are extremely funny and easy to read. (EDIT: only as I linked them did I realize the first was posted in May – I guess that explains why the her level jumps from Lt. to Rear Admiral!)
- I found this through Twitter’s #STO tag: DevorahQuinn has done exactly what, in a perfect world, I would love to do – write an awesome, detailed story set in the STO universe. I’ve not had the chance to read much of it, but it looks very promising – maybe the author will post how he/she has the willpower and motivation to write so much, so consistently!
- Moving on to the other Star universe, Tipa offers some spot-on insights into what Clone Wars Adventures is like. It’s a really fun read, and were I half the age I am, I’d probably love to play this game/game-portal. As it is, I can’t shake the feeling that maybe there is some truth to Gary Kurtz’s allegations – I’m not a “sacrifice fun on the pyre of ‘realism’/’canon'” sorta dude, but there are some lines I don’t want to cross – and Jar Jar Binks and Ahsoka Tano are toeing that line, man.
- And the unflagging GeeCee has written several nice summaries of the current state of SWTOR hype. Seriously, I read her blog and only her blog for TOR information; for instance, I rely on her blog to know when the next installment of Blood of the Empire is up.
Alright, bonus video time! Below is Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” set to footage from The Original Series. It’s a hilarious video, far better than it sounds – I think my favorite part is the crew teleporting out at the line “and when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back.” Well, and the glasses part. And the phone part. Actually, it’s all good.
In my opinion, the only way it could have been better is if the maker had included the crew line-up from “Trials and Tribble-ations”, featuring Bashir and O’Brien.