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Cptn Corizon

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Everything posted by Cptn Corizon

  1. Really? I didn't get that at all. :)
  2. Actually, yes I do.
  3. Except the entire point of doing a reboot of the franchise is so that they don't have to deal with 40 years of canon. They even say, right in the movie 'alternate timeline, we can't assume it plays out the same.' History, as our characters know it, changed, irrevocably. Put another way, the history established in most games is that in which Vulcan didn't explode in 2258, nor was there a whole bit with, you know, Pike only captaining the Enterprise for all of six hours. This movie changed history so that the writers could do whatever they darned well pleased from here on out and new people coming in don't need to know 40 years of established trek lore to get into the series.
  4. The actors signed on for three movies. For me, it was a lovely experience. Only the Uhura-Spock thread caused my brain to hurt, other than that I thought that everything was so true to form. I could instantly recognize the characters and imagine the original actors playing the same roles. For me, as a hard core fan, I appreciated being able to instantly connect with the characters that I loved in a new adventure. That's how I judge a reboot, and by that nature it was a success.
  5. Excalibur skated through a cloud of blue-green gas on a calm morning. Barely a month remained till they once again were home at Camelot station. It had been almost nine months since they set out on their mission to find the Founders, and though they'd paid a heavy price in crew and occasionally conscience, they'd survived and at least to some degree, accomplished their mission. Contact with the Founders had been made, even if the end result wasn't what the Vorta Council was holding out hope against. Corizon had considered the mission for what had seemed weeks before being able to put his thoughts into any coherent shape. There was much to be encouraged about; his crew had through everything worked together towards a common goal and survived what could have broken other crews. They'd had en entire squadron of fighter pilots killed, they'd been through hell and back during the incident with the Boganary. They'd also seen some wondrous things like the sky cities of the Satarimi and their archives. In deed, even if they did not return with Founders, they would return to home with knowledge thousands of years old, having discovered new life and new civilization. The troubling thing was, whether or not that was enough for absolution. Absolution was an odd thing, one Corizon wondered if he'd ever truly find in this lifetime. He had seen such terrifying moments of light and darkness in his life, witnessed pain and suffering in the name of peace and prosperity. This mission had been no exception. The lives that had been lost in the name of finding the Founders to hopefully prevent the collapse of the Dominion bounced about in his head, and he wondered if they thought their death had been with purpose. Was the knowledge Excalibur gained on her mission enough? Of course, they were Starfleet officers, he told himself. Every man and woman who put on the uniform knew the risks they took when they did so, and they knew that their lives were on the line on a daily basis. Space, as someone had once said, was a dangerous place. Traveling far amongst the stars in of itself was dangerous enough, but venturing into the edges of the unknown in search of that which had yet to be discovered, to expand the knowledge base of the whole was even more dangerous, and they knew that. You didn't join Starfleet because you wanted an easy job, you joined Starfleet to do what other men only dared dream – you joined to make impossible possible. Still he had doubts about the validity of the mission that he'd led them on. The Dominion had been, just a few years before, the mortal enemy of their government and their Captain. They'd taken everything that was pure and innocent from a generation and turned it to dust beneath a silent starred sky. They'd ravaged homeworld after homeworld and left a trail of blood in their wake. Yet, here the Federation and Corizon was, trying to help keep their government together. Perhaps that said more about the measure of man more than anything else. Many of the crew who'd given their lives on this journey had joined either during the Dominion War or in it's afterglow; they'd joined to fight against tyranny and oppression, yet here they were helping to continue it and had given their lives in that pursuit. Why were they helping the Dominion anyway? The thought had bounced around his head plenty. Of course part of it was the deal he'd struck to gain their assistance in liberating the wormhole; but beyond that there was seemingly a thought, from what Corizon could tell from his conversations with Command, that while it was regrettable to help further the Dominion's ability to oppress people by the billions, that it was preferable to deal with the devil they knew. Still he couldn't help but get the feeling that what they were doing was wrong. The long serving officer exhaled and considered a speech he'd given to the new recruits preparing to enter the clandestine service branches of Starfleet's intelligence apparatus. At some point in your careers, you may be asked to do something that runs so counter to your morals and beliefs that you won't do it, even if it is for the good of the Federation. For some of you, that will be the end of your career in the clandestine services, others will do it anyway after telling themselves that, after all, it is for the good of the Federation. The human philosopher Nietzsche once cautioned to take care fighting monsters, least you become them. If you can make yourself do those things – stopping terrorists by becoming a terrorists, preventing assassinations by being an assassin – you must always keep your conscience about you, when you've lost that you've become the monster and it's time to leave. Our conscience is what separates us. The words echoed in his head. In truth, there was never an absolution. The mission of Starfleet was to preserve the peace and explore the galaxy, but not ever mission could be a success. And though he remained skeptical of the validity of the mission he was completing and though it morally panged him—perhaps in failure it had been a success. And for now, the fact that he still had that feeling would have to be enough of an absolution for both him and his dead crew members.
  6. The promenade level buzzed lightly. The morning rush on shops had ended and the keepers retooled and restocked for the afternoon run as the second wave of transports that followed along the Escaline-Gajin trade route stopped to refuel or change loads. After the last several weeks of upheaval, there finally seemed to be a sense of normality returning to the starbase. Ah-Windu Corizon leaned against the railing of the upper mezzanine level of Starbase 203. After nearly two months away, he'd been pleasantly surprised when he received orders for him to return to the starbase he'd made his home for the last two years, giving him a delighted respite from the oppressive heat of Vulcan. In deed it seemed everything was beginning to calm down, and though a tiny voice in his head told him that only meant more of need to be on alert, he welcomed the chance to once again have a routine that didn't include daily briefings with the Admiralty on tactical contingency plans. Running his hands along the railing, he felt an odd kinship to the starbase. 203 had been built as a front-line 'deep-space' type station when it entered service. It had projected the Federation's sphere of influence further out and protected her against the then still new threat of the Cardassian Union and the Tzenkethi Confederation, but as Starfleet and the Federation had grown and aged 203 gradually became a mid-range base that served as stopping point along a trade route for civilians, and the occasional lay-over base for a patrol vessel. Then the Dominion War came and 203 was once again on the front-lines, serving as crucial launch point for the 6th Fleet. When the war mercifully came to an end, the scars of war littered 203—twice the Dominion made attempts to capture or destroy the Regula-class station. Starfleet had considered demoing the station and rebuilding one closer to a major port, but for whatever reasons, they'd decided not too. And after twenty years of relative peace for the station, she once again found herself nearer the front-lines than anyone would have liked. Corizon considered how much he shared with the station he now mastered. He exhaled. The threat to the quite way of life for places like 203 posed by the aliens who'd attacked Earth—the Soltons—was disquieting, even for a seasoned commander like himself. It wasn't like fighting the Dominion. That was a real war, one where you knew who the enemy was and in general where he was going to strike next. This on the other hand, was something different. With the ability to use FT-FTL drives, the Soltons could drop in, strike a target, and escape to the safety of their homespace before Starfleet could even react. As the images of the Battle of Earth flickered through his mind, his heart skipped a beat when his communicator beeped. “Admiral,” the rough voice of the chief operations officer of the station came. “Sorry to interrupt you.” A relieved sigh escaped his lips before he hit his badge. “No worries, Jaworii. What's up?” “I just received an encoded message from Starfleet,” Lt. Commander Hajk Jaworri said. Corizon's ears perked and his body tensed again before releasing. “Oh?” “Apparently Starfleet is dispatching a contingency of Marines to supplement our defenses. They'll be arriving aboard the Majestic in a couple of hours.” The Dameon nodded, as if the man on the other end of the communication could see him. He'd known for a few days that this could be coming, but hadn't been sure enough to say anything to any of his senior officers. “How big of a detachment?” “Our own regiment,” Jaworii said with a heavy sigh. “The 29th Marines.” Corizon returned the sigh. Precisely what they needed an entire ground force of Marines lounging about on a mid-range base of twenty-six decks. “Well, I guess it's a good thing then that we've been understaffed for the last year. Start looking for a place to house them in one general area... we'll have to find some office space for them too I suppose... and a Marine Center for their operations.” “Already working on it, sir.” “Good, who's commanding the 29th?” “Colonel Mike D'Atori.” A smile formed on Corizon's face. “D'Atori?” “Yes, sir. That's what the file Command sent along says. You know him?” Chuckling, Corizon smiled even wider. “Old friend of mine. We came up through the Academy together. Good man, Mike is.” “Well thats a silver lining, sir.” “How long till they arrive?" "Four hours sir. I've got them lined up to dock after the convoy to Cetrus VII leaves.” “Very good, we'll have them unload into Cargo Bay 3 till we can get everything set up to start moving them into quarters and the like. I am sure the Captain of the Majestic will be eager to rid himself of a boat load of jarheads.” Jaworii laughed into the comm before catching himself. “Right,” he said. “Well Admiral, if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of work to do if we're going to be ready for the Majestic.” “Of course. I'll be in touch.” -- The cargo bay buzzed with activity as supplies and marines unloaded from the Intrepid-class Majestic and onto 203. Organized chaos was the best phrase anyone could think of to describe such a mess of a deployment. “At least they're doing all the heavy lifting themselves,” Jaworii said looking over to the silver-haired Dameon with a slight smile. “Yes,” Corizon responded. “I assume that the Captain of the Majestic also had a supply request?” “Yes, he did. Nothing to major, but we're seeing to it now. As soon as the Marines are unloaded, our people will begin loading the stuff onto the Majestic.” “Good.” "If I may ask, sir...you said you went to the Academy with the CO of the 29th? But he's a Marine... aren't you class of '56?" "'57," Corizon said with a sidelong glance. "And yes, we did graduate together. He was in Starfleet Security at the time. He worked his way up through the ranks and even had his own command during the Dominion War. He retired for a bit after the war. When they began the Marine study program, he was one of the people tapped to work on it. Re-uped as a Colonel instead of a Captain. Been the same rank ever since." Jaworii nodded, but noticed Corizon starting to walk towards the throng of jarheads. “Where are you going, sir?” “To have a look at the boys up close.” – Most of the Marines didn't even notice the lanky, aging war-horse milling through them, making mental notes on them as he passed. Those who did gave brief nods of respect but continued working. It wasn't until Corizon snapped off a salute that anything seemed out of the ordinary. “Aren't I the one supposed to be doing that to you now, Checkers?” Corizon grinned fangily and chuckled. “Old habits, die hard Romeo.” The two men grinned at each other before hugging. For anyone who knew either of them separately, the entire exchange seemed more than just odd – it seemed downright strange. Here they were, two hard-edged officers who were known more for their burly, growling demeanor than their soft-touches hugging each other? They released embraces and smiled, taking a brief moment to size one another up. Corizon noted that the short, well-built D'Atori remained in impeccable shape, still as fit as he'd been at the academy when the two had been on the wrestling squad together. The only noticeable change was the specs of gray hair that had infiltrated his buzz cut and the crows feet that had formed at the edges of his eyes. War had worn on them both, but D'Atori had seemed to weathered it's effects better than Corizon, they both thought. “It's been a while,” D'Atori said with a smile. “What... before the Romulan War?” “Yes,” Corizon said. “Thatok VI, if I recall.” They both smiled as a pleasant memory bubbled to the surface. D'Atori grinned to the marine next to him and pointed to the Dameon. “That was the only time the two of us were together and at the same rank. Otherwise, this brass-barnacle here's always had to salute me.” “Yes, well... he was always the smarter one. He never let them get him behind a real desk.” “Pfft,” D'Atori said with a laugh. “The very idea of 'General D'Atori' is enough to make me consider retirement.” “I used to say the same thing.” The exchanged smirks and let a moment pass. Though neither would say it openly, both were glad to see face from the old days – before the wars. “Well, Colonel D'Atori, it looks like your men have everything under control. I'm going to go back up to the control tower. We're still getting everything situated for your men, but we should have some place for them all to stay by the end of the day. Your quarters are almost done, too.” “Thank you, Ah-Windu.” “Why don't you come by my place for dinner? We have a lot of catching up to do.” “That we do. That we do.”
  7. “Never invoke the gods unless you really want them to appear, it annoys them very much,” C.K. Chesterton. The Vorta functionary Lexin sat cross legged in the near empty room staring at the glowing purple device the humans had termed the ‘Holy Grail.’ This name, he’d discovered, wasn’t entirely accurate, but the humans had such limited understandings. He sighed and waited for the purple light to change to that of the face of his gods. While studying the humanoids from the Alpha Quadrant, he ran across a very odd notion. Apparently many humans had formed a theory that their gods were created out of fear. It was a truly foreign concept for the Vorta, but then he reminded himself, their gods were false. They were created by imperfect beings and their beliefs were perpetrated by imperfect beings. The Founders, on the other hand, were real. They were truly wise in all things and had created the Vorta and Jem’Hadar to be the perfect servants. Unlike the Alpha Quadrant humanoids, he did not fear his gods. He could never recall a time during any of his lifetimes in which he’d been fearful of a Founder. He loved the Founders. They were wise and communion in their presence was a worldly experience. Of course that reverence had been bred into their genetic make-up. And while they shared a love and respect for the Founders with the Jem’Hadar, the bond between Vorta and Founder was something he doubted anyone could ever understand. They needed the Founders. Without the guidance of the gods they were lost, directionless and unable to make decisions. It was not, as some had suggested, their place to interpret the will of the Founders. Still, now that he finally had the chance to speak to the gods he was apprehensive. Semil, for all his faults, had brought up an interesting point in their last conversation – one he’d told no one of, and tried not to think about if at all possible. But now, now that he was about to sit face to face with his makers for the first time in many years he couldn’t help but keep that conversation out of his head. “Why do you think the Jem’Hadar were created with a genetic predisposition to need white, Lexin?” The thought had occurred to him, of course; like all Vorta he’d overseen the distribution ritual numerous times. Unphased, he responded with the programmed response. “To remind them of the debt they owe to the Founders. Without the Founders, there is no white – without the white, there is no life.” Semil nodded. “Yes, but you do understand the larger complication.” Lexin tipped his head in the very typical Vorta manner. “Elaborate.” “The Founders created the Jem’hadar with a need for white to control them, to prevent them from ever turning on them and slaying their gods…” “And their servants,” Lexin reluctantly admitted. “Yes,” Semil said. “And they have done the same to us.” Generations of engrained tendencies strained as he listened to Semil. What he spoke was heresy. Still, he remained calm and decided to let Semil finish. “Do you not see that the Founders have held us back? They have prevented us from ever achieving self-actualization by keeping us dependent on them as they keep the Jem’Hadar dependent.” “Our purpose is to serve the Founders.” “And how do we serve them by being little more than glorified machines? We are sentient creatures with minds of our own and our free will is being constrained by the Founders who no longer have our own interests in mind, but their own.” Lexin stared coldly at the Vorta whom he’d known for generations. How he could be brought to say such ravings. “What you speak of is heresy, and if you’d not already abandoned the Founders to serve the false…” Semil waved a hand. “They are Founders, Lexin. They simply do not approve of the policies and tactics of the Great Link…” “Then they are just as heretical…” “Consider for a moment your response. Are those your thoughts? Your feelings? Or are they just the programmed response that the Founders have made you have.” The conversation lingered for what seemed an epoch in Lexin’s head, bouncing to and fro until the silent purple light that bathed the near empty cargo compartment that housed the ‘Grail’ fluttered to life. Rising, Lexin drew in a long deep breath of the rapidly oxidizing air as the holoprojection sprung forth and he found himself eye to eye with Odo, leader of the Great Link. Bringing his wrists together and bowing his head, Lexin took in the serenity of the one called Odo before his amethyst eyes pointed towards the floor. He’d never met the Founder, personally, who’d brought so drastic of changes to the Link, the Dominion and the Gamma Quadrant; but from his initial review there was no outward difference between he and any other Founder he’d met. “You are Lexin?” Odo queried, motioning towards the Vorta. Lexin remained in his position, not looking up. “I am Lexin.” Odo sighed slightly. He had never been comfortable with the behavior of the Vorta towards him and after spending more time around them, he had began to understand why the Prophets chose not to commune with the Bajorans more often. “You may look up,” Odo prodded lightly. “I am not going to turn you to stone.” Lexin finally looked up, again taking in Odo’s visage. “I am most grateful for your audience… there were many who doubted we would be able to speak to you again so soon…” “That was the idea of isolation,” Odo said with a neutral expression that didn’t engender the sarcasm he felt. “So why have you gone to such great measures, Lexin, to find us.” Lexin took a deep breath and began to explain, from the beginning, what had been occurring in the Dominion since the Founders had gone into the so-called Glorious Isolation. Odo, for his part listened intently. Though he’d come to prefer the near telepathic communication of the Great Link, he’d spent so much time with the Solids that he didn’t mind their primitive verbal communications. Nodding occasionally and smiling or frowning when a topic came up he approved of, such as the establishment of the alliance that had borne Camelot Station, or disapproved of, such as Keevan’s purges of dissenters, Odo considered everything that was being said. Lexin finally began to crescendo into his final point, “As you can see,” he said, “though Keevan and Taenix have done an admirable job of keeping the Dominion from completely falling apart – given the circumstances – without the guidance of the Founders we are leaderless, directionless and lost. We’re wandering in a wilderness without a map of compass.” Odo nodded. “And you say some are turning to Eloi and the Hundred for that guidance?” “Yes,” Lexin said. “But many of us cannot accept them as a replacement for the Founders. The ideas they are advocating, the beliefs they are suggesting go against everything that has been programmed into us to believe is correct and proper.” Nodding again Odo sighed, a frown appearing on his face. Finally after a long moment of thought, he spoke directly. “What is it that you wish, Lexin?” The directness of the question caught him off guard. A Founder asking a Vorta what he wanted? It took a full minute of blinking and reorganizing thought patterns before Lexin reminded himself that Odo was unlike the other members of the Great Link and was, himself, one of the Hundred. Choosing his words carefully, Lexin finally responded. “Though I do not doubt the Founder’s wisdom and vision,” he said. “I perhaps wonder if it is not time you returned from isolation to guide us through these difficult times.” Odo shook his head. “I am afraid that is not an option, Lexin.” The Vorta blinked as his entire moral center of right and wrong was suddenly thrown off its delicate equilibrium. The Founders were wise in all things. They were gods. They couldn’t be mistaken, could they? But how else could one explain Odo’s response? Once again careful of his tone, Lexin pushed again. “Founder… surely you mean that you yourself cannot return, but perhaps another member of the Link, a proxy?” Again Odo shook his head. “No, I meant we will not be ending our isolation. The problems the link faces are not simple nor are they solved. It could take generations and until we have solved those issues the isolation will not end.” “But the Dominion,” Lexin protested, years of genetic manipulation fighting against raw emotion. “Founder…Odo, please reconsider. The Dominion is falling apart; we need your guidance…” Odo waved his hand. “The Dominion is not my concern… the Gr…” “The Dominion is your responsibility… the Founders created it… us…” Sternly Odo waited for Lexin to finish. Lexin, for his part, had realized his emotional outburst and instantly felt a desire to activate his implant – what was he doing? This was a Founder he was talking to, not some irresponsible child. “I understand your feelings,” Odo said calmly, but sternly. “However, the Dominion is temporal. Empires come and go, but the Great Link must endure. The Vorta are resilient, they will find a way to continue the Dominion according to their own desires, and perhaps someday, when we are ready, we will return.” Lexin felt the warmth stolen from his heart. The love he felt for the Founders was suddenly, inexplicably, being twisted. Yet, if this was this wish of the Gods, he would respect it. He would have to, wouldn’t he? Slowly, forcing himself to, he nodded. “The Founders are wise in all things. What orders do you give me, Founder.” “I entrust one final task to you, after this – we will not answer the call of this device again.” Nodding, Lexin motioned for him to continue explaining. “I am concerned about the Hundred,” he said. “You are to transport this device to a place where you may arrange a meeting with Eloi the leader of their new link and myself. He and I must commune, we have much to discuss and hopefully he will see the wisdom in joining us to repair the damage that has been done to our species.” Lexin nodded his understanding. “Is that all, Founder?” “Yes.” “It will be sometime before this vessel returns to Dominion space and I am able to arrange the meeting… I w…” “Time is only perceived, Lexin.” “Yes, Founder.” The holoprojection finally faded and Lexin once again found himself bathed in purple light. For the first time in his life he felt utterly alone. The Founders, his gods, were abandoning him and his entire species to their own devices. For the first time, he understood how other solids felt about their own gods. He placed his hands over his physical heart. Metaphorically, a hole had begun forming in him. Everything he’d been certain in was falling and crumbling around him. A painful epiphany was settling – Semil was right. The Founders were only looking out for themselves, they no longer cared what happened to the beings, to the nation they had created.
  8. Hey everyone, The Excalibur Command team is pleased to announce the second Excalibur March Madness log competition! The rules are pretty simple, starting today and running until March 29, any log written for Excalibur will be eligible for the "competition". Awards will be given in three categories: Command Team's Choice and Player's Pick, and separate one from non-plot logs. Command Team's choice will be selected from all entrants and be chosen by the CO and XO in both single person and joint-log categories, while player's pick will be selected by the crew at-large. However, you may only enter one piece for each type of award, (You can write a joint log and a single person log, as well as a non-plot log.) you can however enter in all three catagories. To make a log eligible, all you need to do is include the tag: EMM09 in the Topic Description line. Prizes will include "Get Out of ANY Peril FREE" cards and a healthy dose of satisfaction. As well everyone who enters will get a famed "Get Out of N'Dak-induced Peril FREE" card. Non-Excalibur players are also encouraged to participate, they simply need to e-mail either myself or Commander JoNs, or may participate in a jointt-log with a current Excalibur player. Additionally, the winner of GM choice will get a surprise bonus prize. Good luck everyone, and let the madness begin!
  9. I think there has to be, however, some sort of generalization of what "canon" is because you have situations where someone will want to come in and isn't playing the same sort of canon that others are using and it's messy. Again, I think someone pointed out that it should and is a decision of the hosting team.
  10. I think that's what I've always found so interesting about them, is how honor-bound they are, and how complex the honor system is. With a Klingon, it's usually just personal or house honor that's spoken of, but for a Romulan it seems so much deeper. Speaking of something I find it interesting, and this comes again from drawing from Roman-ish cultures. While they seem to value power and honor, it always seems that this is tempered by it not being personal power. Romulans who seek power for themselves or at the expense of the Empire seem spurned, which was something related to the Romans (see: Caesar.) On the Xenephobic issue, to sort of expand on my own thoughts of what Blu said, yes, the Romans were fairly open to new cultures, but unlike the Romans, the Romulans had a unique experience during their the "Sundering" and even before, where they were raided by Orions and sold into slavery, which made them wary of other races. It's more than just xenophobia though, it has to do with their notions of power, another great maxim: "If knowledge is power, then to be unknown is to be unconquerable."
  11. Oh, that jives then. ;)
  12. I don't disagree that there more than likely are cultural variations, in fact it's something I've committed on a few times with my own character. But there's a point to that even. I think, in order to have any semblance of unified canon, there are certain things you have to be able to agree on.
  13. Barring something unseen, I will be making the short five hour jaunt to Baltimore this year. woot.
  14. “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.” -Ernest Hemingway The jungle had gone still, the once buzzing biosphere now deathly quiet. It made them both slightly uneasy. From their hidden vantage, they surveyed the scattered campsite. Trees in the area were broken and battered, the foliage trampled. Several of the tents were ripped and torn, now housing only traces of their former occupants. Patches of rain-saturated earth were now pits of mud. Dozens of footprints littered the camp. It looked as though many of the crew had struggled against their captors. Corizon sniffed the night air as the wind shifted in their direction and glanced to his companion. "Smell that?" "Blood," Victria said decisively. "Human blood… and something else." After a moment of listening to the silence, she glanced at him. "The attackers are not in the area." Corizon nodded and stood, trusting her senses as much as he trusted his own. He placed his sword back in the scabbard at his side as he moved into the camp. Unzipping his fatigue jacket, he tossed it into the remains of one of the tents and grabbed one of the lighter packs. "They must have clubbed the rock with a bigger rock," he pointed out, pausing at one of the crushed tents. "Dragging something that large through the jungle is not going to be easy." "Take a look at these prints," she said, bending to examine the mud. "Clawed." "They look like some sort of reptile prints, though walking upright on two legs. They shouldn't be too hard to track." He settled the pack on his back and paused, sniffing the air. "It smells like it might rain soon." "Then we need to hurry before all traces are gone," she said grimly. She swept everything off one of the unopened crates and thumbed open the lock, cracking the lid and pulling out her own Al-Ucardian blade and scabbard - not at all Federation issue, but they had made allowances. She slipped into the harness and settled it across her chest, leaving the sword within easy reach over her left shoulder. "They did not pillage the camp," she observed after another careful look around. "They were more interested in our people," he frowned. "Let's get moving. They can't be that far ahead of us." He motioned for her to take the lead, thinking how fortunate for the others that two of the better trained stalkers on the ship were now hunting the hunters. "I should have known better than to think we could just come down here." "It never works that way." Following the trail of destruction, they paused at a large trampled section a few meters beyond the camp. A large swath of blood stained the foliage, still wet and glistening. Nearby, a smaller area was splattered with something non-human. "They must have stabbed him in the stomach," Corizon said, "but I wonder why there was no blood from the others." "Sedated, probably. I found tipped darts in the tree where they tried to shoot me. There were also traces of urine in the camp, consistent with loss of consciousness." Victria ignored the human blood. She knew instinctively that it belonged to Mark. She'd felt the attack and the pain of his wound. The alien blood was of extreme interest to her, however. She removed one of the tainted leaves, tasted the substance, and then handed it to Corizon to smell. "Not changelings," she stated. "No," he agreed. "But the smell is… somehow… familiar." "Familiar, yes, but none that I have ever Hunted." They continued onward through the oppressive gloom, relying on their enhanced vision rather than insufficient hand-lamps. Much of the time, the canopy of trees overhead remained so interwoven that very little moonlight filtered through. Droplets of water from the previous rainfall dripped incessantly from the broad leaves of the upper story. Despite the level of darkness, the trail was painfully easy for them to follow, though both remained wary of possible traps. The silence eventually died away as nocturnal creatures resumed their nightly habits and the insects began to chirp once more. A low, rumbling roar soon reached their ears and continued to grow in volume. When they at last they broke free of the trees, they found themselves on the bank of an angry, swollen river. "Lovely," Corizon said, looking up in search for a way over. "I doubt they could navigate rafts over this. There must be a bridge somewhere." She began to search the area, going upriver while he went down. "No bridge," he said with a grin after a few minutes of searching. Motioning her over towards a collection of boulders on the embankment, he cleared away several rocks and muck to reveal the opening to cave. "Clever lizards. Why go over when you can go under?" Victria frowned and bent to peer through entrance. "I dislike tunnels. The last one we ventured into was inhabited by giant spiders that killed several of your marines." Nevertheless, she slipped inside, pausing as her vision adjusted to the darker darkness. Corizon's own yellow disks took a moment to adjust to the darkness before he could lead them through, using the scent of fresh blood as his guide. The cave was damp and dingy. As they turned a curve and headed lower still, he could hear the water above them rush by. They had to have been only a meter or so from the river bed. "I am mildly concerned we were so easily taken by surprise." "You know as well as I that there are some situations for which the Federation does not prepare you. You were on watch and did not even see these attackers." "That's my problem," he said with a sigh. "Am I losing my edge?" "Perhaps," she glanced at him briefly as they moved further into the tunnel. "It is my greatest fear." "I will be glad when this mission is over." "I am rather enjoying myself," she said wryly. She touched her hand to the wall as they passed and frowned as it came away muddy. "Though, we need to leave this place as quickly as possible." He nodded and picked up the pace. "The opening shouldn't be much further." She relaxed slightly as they emerged from the tunnel, having half expected it to be collapsed atop them or for the rushing river to have broken through. The trail of blood continued, though she was relieved to see it had lessened. As she scanned the dense underbrush, she caught the sound of soft guttural noises over the falling rain. "Listen," she hissed quietly, slowly unsheathing her sword. Corizon froze and hunched slightly, ears popping up and swiveling in either direction. The two of them flung themselves out of the way as darts whistled through the brush, whizzing through the space they had just occupied. Almost as if they had practiced the maneuver, they each rolled, sprang to their feet, and launched themselves toward their unseen attackers. Several throwing daggers preceded them. The humanoid-lizards barely had time to react before the cold, deadly steel of dual swords sliced through their bodies and hacked the life away. While Corizon dispatched his foes, Victria quickly decapitated two of her own in one fluid motion. The third she took alive. Straddling the barrel chest of the lizard-man and pinning his arms to the ground with her knees, she held her blade steadily against the pulse of his throat. The lizard lashed at them both with its tail and hissed wildly. "Infidelssssss!" "Do you think it can tell us anything?" she asked as Corizon approached. Wiping blood off his blade, Corizon circled around and bent down, grabbing and twisting at a fin on the thing's head. "You well tell us where you took our people." The lizard-like creature cackled and hissed. "You will never see your... people... again. They have been taken to hognaln'ik-kolbannnneee... where infidelsssssss belong... hehehehehehehe" With fire in his cold, yellow eyes, Corizon released the lizard and straightened, looking at Victria. "Kill it." She didn't hesitate. Her blade sliced cleanly across the lizard's throat and she stared unfeelingly as it gurgled its last breath. Rising, she stepped over the twitching body. "That did not sound promising..." "No," he frowned deeply. "It di..." He trailed off as he spotted a small vial hanging from the lizard's body. He grabbed it, snapping the chain that held it. The small glass vial contained a white, syrupy substance. Without thought, Corizon uncorked the bottle and smelled it. "Dear gods..." Victria looked at him questioningly, her nose wrinkling as the smell reached her. "Drug?" "You've heard of Ketracel-white?" "The substance the changelings use to bring their soldiers at bay. You believe this to be one of their constructs?" She peered down at the lifeless lizard and growled out of habit. He shook his head, unsure. "I do not know, but his... whatever it is smells almost identical. And the enzyme in Ketracel-white is fairly rare." Frowning he recorked the vial and placed it in a pants pocket for later analysis. "I have feeling that this... hog-whatever, maybe exactly what we came looking for." "Hognaln'ik-kolbannnneee… where infidels belong," she repeated. "Yes, that sounds like the place for us." She grinned wildly as she brushed past him to pick up the trail once more.
  15. Month of January 010409.txt 011109.txt 011809.txt 012509.txt
  16. MISSION BRIEF: The Excalibur saved Reaent's bacon. (Corizon is mildly interested in this bacon) Two hours have passed and Excalibur is now aiding a wounded Reaent in recovery. Captain Corizon has invited Captain Michaels over for a discussion of both ships relative positions, while Medical and Engineering aboard Excalibur aid the Reaent in repairs and recovery of paitents. Excalibur's fighter squadron is aiding in recovery of pilots and fighters to Reaent. Excalibur_Reaent_122808.txt
  17. MISSION BRIEF: Excalibur is two weeks out from their destination, crusing along at warp 7. Everything seems to be in order. Right, right? Excalibur_122208.txt Reaent_122208.txt Excalibur_Reaent_122208.txt
  18. Two days before the ‘Reaent Incident’ Recreation Room 4 normally had a rather cold feel to it. Rarely used by anyone but the occasional officer when the other three rooms aboard the Excalibur were full, it had made the perfect location for Captain Ah-Windu Corizon to set up his ‘training sessions’ with the joint Security-Marine teams that would be accompanying him on the away mission. As he walked around the room, it was decidedly hot with energy. “Do you feel that?” He asked rhetorically as he paced around the group of Starfleet officers in practice fatigues sitting in a cross-legged position. “That is the energy of the room. Feel it, use it, embrace it.” Dressed in a black kimono and hakama with red obi, the tall Dameon stalked about the room with precision. Subtle red and purple markings resembling claw marks intensified his already imposing stature. “I know you have all been trained in hand to hand combat,” he said, continuing to circle. “And I am sure more than few of you have been trained in some form of martial arts… some might even consider themselves to be… experts… in this field.” He stopped in the middle-front of the room. Replicated haegn-ej (similar to bamboo) mats covered the grey floors of the recreation room, while an assortment of weapons racks targets gave the room the feel of a dojo. “However,” he said. “None of you are ready.” “The last few months have shown me that this crew needs to be harder, faster, stronger…I will make you these things.” The assorted Marines and Security officers looked at each other, a mix of amusement, anxiety, wonderment and surprise. Rumors of the Captains proclivity in combat permeated the ship. After all, they’d heard that during the boarding attempt by the Cult that he’d actually ripped the throat out of one of the attackers with his bare claws. That he was now challenging the crew, and to be more specific the security and Marine detachments directly was a bit unnerving to most. Corizon crossed his arms behind his back and smiled. “Who thinks they can stand for one minute against me?” Looking from one to another, they were clearly waiting for someone to stand up. Finally, Harry Tolbek stood up. The hulking Jalarian mass of muscles and skin smiled. “I can, sir.” Smirking, slightly, Corizon nodded. “Very well… clear the ring.” Forming around a light circle that was painted on the floor mat, the group watched as Corizon and Tolbek stood across from each other, staring into each others eyes. The Dameon clasped his open hands together at the crook between his index finger and his thumbs and bowed his head respectfully at the Jalarian, who repeated a similar justure from his own training. Corizon took his ready position, his arms in front of him, bent upward with his hands facing forward with his fingers and claws in an attacking formation. The strong armed Jalarian squatted slight and extended his arms infront of him, bending them slightly with open palms. “Come,” Corizon said. “Start counter…” A computerized beep echoed across the chamber as the Jalarain lumbered forward. He knew he had strength on his side, but that the Dameon would be quick… and brutal in his strikes. Lunging forward he thrust the might of his weight and inertia into a palm strike destined for Corizon’s chest. Waiting till the behemoth was upon him, Corizon moved suddenly, quicker than the Jalarian—or any one in the room—thought possible and launched into a spinning corkscrew kick that landed a heavy heal to the Jalarians lower neck, causing him to fall to the ground with a heavy thud. Landing then quickly placing an elbow to the back of Telbek’s thoat. “Yield?” “Yield,” the Jalarian sputtered. “Computer, time?” The computer beeped before responding. “15 seconds.” Letting the Jalarian stand up, Corizon triumphantly smirked at the group of rather stunned onlookers. “We have a bench mark, who’d like to challenge it?”
  19. I completely missed this somehow! Happy belated birthday!
  20. “You seem rather... well you're not nearly as excited as I anticipated,” Corizon said, looking towards the Vorta Lexin. Lexin nodded. “I am... conflicted.” “Conflicted?” “My entire life... all four of them... I've been taught that the Founders are infallible,” he said looking out the window of the archive. In the distance fog rose from the nearby lake and a mist had begun to settle in around the ruins of what had once been a key Satarimi base. The Dameon Captain and the Vorta Functionary had been looking over star charts when the the Excalibur Chief Science Officer had arrived with information about the probable location of the Founder's hideout during their exile. “I doubt a man such as yourself can understand,” Lexin continued. “But the very idea of our gods having to... to hide from a race as brutish and savage as the Scorpiads is...” “Rather shaking, I can imagine.” “That's one way of putting it... and combined with our defeat at the hands of the Federation,” Lexin said, dispensing with his usual formality. Corizon lifted an ear. The tone and mood of the Vorta had certainly swung in the last several hours, more than he could ever remember from any other Vorta, let alone Lexin. “If you don't mind me asking, you seem more upset that I've ever seen you... or really any Vorta.” Exhaling, the Vorta sighed then let a small smile appear on his face. “Forgive me for my Lapse Captain,” he said, his tone returning to it's normal coolness. “I am just so frustrated that the Founders would leave us in such a predicament and give us such little guidance.” Nodding, Corizon walked up behind the Vorta and patted him on the shoulder. “Oh to have such subjects...” “You don't strike me as a religious man, Captain, but tell me, if I may be so bold, how did your race react to there decline? Did you blame the gods? Question their wisdom?” Corizon considered the question. He'd spent his formative years training in a monastery, learning the old ways of his people, and such a statement caught him off-guard, but then religious to a Vorta and to a Dameon were two very different terms. After a moment, he formulated his response. “My people never put too much stock in 'gods,'” he said. “Or at least not in a conceptual way that you would understand the word.” “So you're pagan?” Corizon laughed. “Not exactly. We hold that the Universe itself exists as a sort of god... as the One. It's difficult to explain, but in short it's far more... fatalistic of a belief system. The will of the One is what it will be and there is little you can do but play a part in a much larger system.” The concept seemed unusual to the Vorta. “But to not hear the voice of your god...” “The Vorta have enjoyed a luxury few cultures ever experience.” “Oh?” “Their gods actually happen to exist.” Lexin wasn't sure what that was supposed to mean exactly, but he nodded anyway. “The problem,” Corizon continued. “Is that now your gods are gone, and you've gotten so used to looking to them for direction that you cannot find your own path.” The Vorta nodded, for infidel with a chip on his shoulder and a decided lack of tact, Corizon proved to have some sage wisdom. “Hopefully,” Lexin said, “We will be able to find the Founders before we have wandered to far from the path.” “I've wondered,” Corizon replied. “Perhaps it would be best for your people if you didn't find the Founders.” The idea was frightening, “What do you mean? The Dominion stands on the brink of collapse and you think it would be... good for us to not find the Founders?” “You've been dependent on their guidance for so long, perhaps it is time for the Vorta to find their own way.” Lexin shook his head. “The Vorta role is not of leader, but follower. We were made to facilitate, to carry out the will of the Founders, not lead the Dominion on our own.” “And if we don't find the Founders?” “Then I fear that one day our own race will be as the Satarimi. A lost and forgotten people. A house cannot stand without it's foundations Captain.” Corizon nodded. “I suppose. Time will tell.” “I only wish that the Founders would have given us... given us some clue as to their will.” Clasping his hand on the Vorta's shoulder again, Corizon sighed. “Come on, we should get back to the Excalibur. I have a staff meeting planned to go over the information we've found so far. It looks like we finally have a lead.” “Yes,” Lexin said. “That would be wise.” Corizon removed his hand from Lexin's shoulder and began walking away from the open window. Lexin watched absently out the window for a long moment before speaking. “Captain,” he said. “Yes,” Corizon said, pausing mid-stride. “Thank you.” “Just doing my job.” “No,” Lexin said. “You could have turned back long ago, yet you've stayed the course. I know this must be exceedingly difficult for you, helping my people... after what we've done.” “Like I said, I am doing duty. But for what it's worth, you're welcome.” “I'll join you at the shuttle shortly. If you don't mind, I'd like a moment alone.” “Of course. We'll wait for you before taking off.” “Thank you, Captain. When this is over, I am going to recommend you for the Star of Azthura.” “The what?” “It is the highest honor that can be awarded to non-Vorta or Jem'hadar. It is traditionally awarded to a person who has done a great service to the Dominion, only five have been awarded in my lifetime, only to great heroes of the Dominion, champions of the Founders.” “Thanks... just what I always wanted. To be remembered as Hero of the Dominion, Champion of the Founders...” Lexin smiled as Corizon headed out of the room, muttering in his native language well into the hallway. As the great doors of the Orrery swing shut. He exhaled deeply. His faith was being tested, but hopefully his dedication would be rewarded with the salvation of the Dominion.
  21. Corizon took a deep breath as the shuttle craft, Joseph d’Arimathie, entered his range of vision escorted by two Miramo flyers. To be quiet truthful he wasn’t sure what annoyed him more – that he had to leave the volume of lore he was reading or that he had to leave it to meet with the Vorta Lexin who’d decided to grace the Archives with his presence. How he’d become a diplomat was beyond him. This, after all, was a man who’d spent the better part of his career planning and teaching people to kill men like Lexin and now he was expected to liaison with them and help save their empire… oh it was a delicious irony if you were into that kind of thing – Corizon wasn’t. The shuttle sat down with a gentle thud and hiss of the landing thrusters. A moment later the hatch door lifted and the pale, slender body of the Vorta emerged. For his part, Lexin couldn’t be happier about the situation, for all of the talk about how gruff the Dameon captain supposedly was, he’d been nothing but an amicable host and though his dislike for the mission at hand was… palatable, he carried it out professionally and dutiful. The bright sun took a moment for his eyes to adjust too, he’d always wondered why the Vorta would have such keen hearing but such poor sight and taste, and perhaps someday he would get to ask a Founder that question, perhaps not. “Captain,” Lexin said with the cool tone the Dameon had come to expect from the Vorta. “I didn’t expect you to meet me personally; I do hope I didn’t tear you away from anything too interesting.” “Of course not,” Corizon said, a half-lie implanted. “Besides, I don’t think the Miramo would want you wandering around…” “Yes,” Lexin replied. “From what the Satarimi have told me they do guard their secrets rather jealously and take their role very seriously.” The two began walking down the pathway that lead to the archive area that they’d been granted access to and for a moment they both took in the scenery. For Corizon it seemed as something from his own world, where monuments to the glories of the Old Empire speckled the old cities and the mood often felt more like a morgue than a bustling world at the intersection of the Gorn, Klingon and Federation borders. For Lexin it was somewhat humbling reminder that even the mightiest of Empires could fade with time, something that he feared was happening with his own beloved Dominion. “I was wondering,” Corizon said, breaking the long silence. “Why or rather how did the inhabitants of this planet end up guarding the collective history of the Satarimi…” “The Satarimi are guarded about their past,” Lexin conceded, “but from what I’ve gathered they ruled this area some 15,000 years ago… in deed many of the ruins here pre-date the structures on their homeworld. Apparently the Miramo regard them as something as high-power and follow their word as law. ” “Interesting,” Corizon said. “I am still curious about why… “ “From what I can tell,” he continued, “The Satarimi ruled mostly in absentia, returning to their client worlds every so often to check on their progress.” “Seems to be a habit, you can’t deny that the Founder’s wouldn’t have been influenced by them or the Scorpiads.” Lexin paused long enough to send a sidelong glance at Corizon, unsure if the response was meant to be a heretical as it sounded, but then Corizon wasn’t a subject of the Dominion. “The Founder’s are wise in all things.” Corizon bit back a remark and smiled instead. “I suppose.” “So,” Lexin said, noticeably changing the subject. “What have you been able to find so far…” “Well I’ve been looking through the archives from the historical time frame that Taenix thinks the Founders were here… looks like the figured that the Scorpiads wouldn’t challenge the Satarimi…” The Vorta nodded along as Corizon prattled. He didn’t mention that the very notion of the Founder’s having to “hide” was repulsive, even offensive, but it was clear that such notions weren’t the most… engendering to the Vorta male. “And what of the device? Any mention of it?” “Not yet… though…” -- The Orion leaned back into the rather comfortable, despite its looks, wooden chair and considered the sheer number of files that were archived just in this building alone. It was astounding to imagine that she was one of few outsiders to ever glimpse into these files that held the collective history of an entire sector dating back to a time before the Dominion ruled. Great gods – she could spend possibly her entire life in the building and still be finding new pieces of history about the Satarimi. Her delusions of spending the rest of her Starfleet career happily running through the archives were brought to an end when the patter of Ensign Karly Harrein footsteps turned into Karly’s normally mezzo voice rising to a full soprano. “Commander,” the blond haired female said, almost giddily. “You’re not going to believe what Falo and I found!” Pausing for a moment, the Orion considered a response, ruefully smiling over the possibilities. Finally she decided to go with her better nature and went with a simple, “Oh?” “Well,” Karly said, catching her breath. “We were looking… on a hunch… at some of the exploratory records. We came across something really odd.” Again with the possibilities. Imagining herself to be a cat listening kitten telling about catching the first mouse, she nodded patiently with a wide smile. “Yes?” “Well this one system… it was showing up on star charts and exploration records for several years, then nothing. Absolutely nothing. Like it had never existed or something.” “Well these are old records,” she offered. “It could have been forgotten about, or the system really doesn’t exist anymore.” “Falo said the same thing,” she said, referencing the third member of the away team from science. “So we checked out some of our own records and looked through another set of star charts that referenced trade routes back when the Satarimi Empire stretched across the entire sector…” Laarell had to admit she was slightly impressed by the detective work of her team thus far, but then again she’d picked the group for a reason. “Good, what did you find?” “Well what we found only confused us more.” “Oh?” “The system is… nearest we can tell absolutely worthless.” “Well that could explain a good deal.” “I know what you’re thinking,” Karly said. “I said the same thing till Falo pulled up another record.” “Keep talking,” Laarell said as she resumed looking through files. “Other than a small mine on the fourth planet that was deserted when the Satarimi Explorative force came in. They placed a small base there and used it as listening post for a couple hundred years till it gradually became less and less on the frontiers of their space.” “Mhmmm.” Unphased by her superiors waning interest, the human female continued. “The odd thing is that the records of the place don’t end after they stopped using the base – even then they were apparently very through in keeping track of things – it’s not until a few years after the supposed destruction of the Founder’s homeworld and the time frame we have for them going into hiding that the place drops off the grid completely, even rerouted the trade convoys that passed near it away.” “That’s nic… wait… what?” Smiling, despite herself, Karly nodded. “Founders lose their homeworld, then poof. No more records.” “Really? Now that is interesting. What else do we know about this system?” “Well other than the abandoned mine/listening post, there’s not much else there. The mining world is a small dead world, the Founders likely wouldn’t operate there though, it would be really obvious to anyone passing by to look there first.” “What’s the profile of the other worlds?” “Two aren’t even habitable… even for changelings and the other is… barely class-M.” “Barely?” “The entire planet is one big marsh.” “Life?” “Oh, lots of life… according to the scans, but no one is entirely sure of what kind. The Satarimi sent a dozen or so expeditions to the planet, but only two returned… and they weren’t ever the same.” The Orion looked dubiously at the science officer. “Explain.” “Well apparently there is a possibly sentient race on the planet… reptilian… but the two teams who returned couldn’t really tell any much about them…” “Oh?” “They were emotionally scarred…” “Oh. Lovely,” the Orion said. For a moment she considered how wonderful an assignment this was going to be before it clicked that this information was literally ten-thousand years old. “Well, maybe they’re all dead… or evolved into something friendlier.” “Possibly.” “It does sound like the perfect place for the Founders to hide at though.” “Falo and I thought as much.” “I’ll get ahold of the Captain… I think he’s with Lexin in the Ornery. “ Karly nodded and headed off to resume looking through files. Calling out after her, the Orion smiled widely. “And good work you two.”
  22. "My fate is to live among varied and confusing storms. But for you perhaps, if as I hope and wish you will live long after me, there will follow a better age. When the darkness has been dispersed, our descendants can come again in the former pure radiance."—Petrarch Taenix and Keevan sat looking at each other, staring intently at the report that lay before them, neither fully accepting it. Both understood the ramifications, but neither could wrap their brains around what they’d been genetically programmed to believe was heresy was the truth. “You wish to present this to the Council?” Keevan said looking up for the first time since the datapad had been delivered. “You believe this to be wise, Weyoun?” Weyoun shook his head. “I do not pretend to know what is wise any more, Keevan.” The two exchanged sorrowful nods. “I still… I still can’t believe it to be true.” They looked to Taenix; it seemed odd to the ‘younger’ Vorta that she’d be so utterly shaken. “The Gods…” she stammered as her brain processed the thoughts and tried to make sense of them. “They’ve abandoned us.” Silence. “Perhaps,” Keevan finally offered, “perhaps if the Excalibur is successful, if they find the device…” “You think Odo will return to lead us?” “The Dominion is on the brink of collapse. The Dominion is the Founder’s work, their legacy…surely he understands that?” Weyoun frowned deeply, even for a Vorta. “I fear he will not.” Taenix and Keevan looked at him. “And why?” “The Founders fear for their own survival, not that of their creations…” “What you speak is heresy,” Taenix replied sharply. “The Founders are our gods, they would not… they cannot simply abandon us so easily. Nor will they.” Another long silence pervaded the room. “I think this shows that we cannot yet reveal this to the rest of the Council,” Weyoun offered coolly. “As you say Taenix, the Dominion is fracturing. The client worlds are asserting themselves, asking for… for freedom. Many Vorta and even some Jem’Hadar are questioning our legitimacy…” “Yes,” she said. “This could only send them over the edge, and we do not know that Odo will reject us. Perhaps he can be convinced to… sure up our legitimacy issue?” “Perhaps,” Keevan said. “It would buy us time to re-position ourselves…” “We can only hope,” Weyoun added. “I fear that we are living in the last hours of the Dominion, that we are taking the last, desperate grasps for life and that shortly our time will expire and the dream of peace and order will die.” Silence.
  23. The Excalibur will run as scheduled this weekend, though attendence will not be taken. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend.
  24. Obama has jokingly said it will be a mutt, like him :)
  25. Corris Sprint played with a stray lock of hair absently as he read over the sensor logs he’d finally gotten access to; a few feet away from him Sogh’a (Senior Lieutenant) BroHngh, the stations chief tactical officer read the same with furrowed brow. “I spoke with the Governor,” BroHngh offered as he flipped through the information. “He’s concerned enough to be diverting some of his resources to this…” “Not surprising,” Sprint said. He’d known the Governor for many years and assumed that the young Sogh’a was putting it mildly when he said ‘concerned.’ “I wonder…” “Klingons wonder?” They chuckled lightly, in spite of the situation. “Occasionally, we have our moments of genuine intrigue,” BroHngh said with a toothy grin. “I wonder if there’s a pattern to these… happenings.” “We’re working on that right now,” Sprint said. “Admiral T’Pran and Columbia are going to head towards one of the sectors with several of these happenings and see if they can determine if it’s a natural phenomena or not…” “There’s any doubt?” “It is possible…” The Klingon looked dubious. “I suppose it could be coincidence that a half-dozen stars across three sectors that all just happened to be inhabited by Al-Ucardian bases just happened to all explode in the same manner.” Sprint’s brow furrowed. “I don’t disagree, however…” “However,” the Klingon said with a scowl. “The Federation isn’t willing to admit that their new friends are fiendish beasts who are wantonly killing billions to send a message.” If Sprint were a diplomat, his response would be more tempered and neutral, however he wasn’t. “Something to that effect, yes.” “Hmph.”