Star Trek - Citadel - 'Hope's Return'

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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby captainuniverse » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:14 pm

It was that crew. I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. #-o #-o #-o

I think the heat's starting to get to me. Damn, it's hot here.
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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby captainuniverse » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:45 am

I went back to Hope's Return and I edited it while including some stuff. Let me know what you think, please.

- Cap


Star Trek: Espero
‘Hope’s Return’

By Captain Universe

Chapter One

The loading of the supplies seemed to take longer than expected. Anax watched them being beamed aboard the Espero before enlisted crewmembers hauled them to their assigned places in the cargo bay. The little Defiant class ship had finished with her repairs after the Battle of Intar and she was preparing to leave Starbase 128. The Edoan senior chief petty officer was a new addition to the crew but he still had some big shoes to fill as the ship’s tactical officer.

Behind him, the cargo bay doors opened and closed. When he turned around, the orange-skinned alien didn’t see anyone there until he looked down and saw a green-skinned woman with short blonde hair and large pointed ears. With lieutenant commander’s pips on her crimson collar, she walked up to the console that the Edoan stood behind, her eyes on the cargo containers before they looked up at him.

“Loading the cargo, finished soon, will it be?,” the Horrusi woman asked him with a kind look on her face.

Anax consulted the padd in his middle hand before he answered her. Along with the regular supplies needed for the ship’s own requirements, they would also be carrying additional food and medical supplies for FOB Gwalior in the Intar system.

He nodded. “We should be done in another hour or so, ma’am.”

“Good, good. Soon under way, we will me.” This was the senior chief’s first meeting with the Espero’s captain since he had reported aboard to Lieutenant Andrew Mundi, the ship’s first officer, seven days ago. “Out in space, prefer it, I do, to the harsh confines of a starbase.”

“I never liked hanging around the starbases myself, ma’am. Give me a working replicator, a fully-charged phaser rifle and the open road,” he agreed with her. “Life couldn’t get any better than that.”

“In an escape pod, stranded for six days, you could be.”

After making that statement, the commander became quiet. The Edoan SCPO was definitely a man after her own hearts since she, herself, had entered Starfleet, thirty years ago as an enlisted person. She had chosen this line of employment because her destiny had drawn her to explore the galaxy much like the Humans did. War with the Dominion was still new in the minds of Starfleet when she had been promoted to the officer ranks as an Ensign. Later on, her ship, the Athabaskan had been one of the fatalities lost at Tyra.

“Ma’am?”

broken out of her musing, Ikar started to turn for the door. “Never mind,” she said. “Carry on, you should, Senior Chief.” She gave him a final look before remembering something important. “When convenient for you, join Mr. Mundi and I for dinner, you should.”

Dinner… uh…”

“At ease, put yourself. Once a week, dine together, we all do,” she assured him. “Tomorrow night, 1800 hours, in the mess hall?”

“Um, uh, yes, ma’am,” Anax said, surprised by her invitation.

“Carry on, then, you should.”

----

“Hey, Skipper, did you meet the new guy yet?,” Lieutenant Mundi asked her captain when he met her, passing over from an adjacent corridor. He was tall with a bald hair.

“Left the cargo bay, I just did.”

“Did you invite him to dinner?”

“Surprised, you are?”

“Not really. Captain Derajan used to do that,” he said, mentioning their former captain. Before she assumed command of the Espero, both officers had served together aboard the U.S.S. Hindustan after the loss of the Athabaskan at Tyra. Despite that tragedy, they had been good friends for the past six years and they had met at the Academy when Ikar had been taking officer training courses to qualify for her promotion to Ensign. He had been a senior cadet at the time that she had easily taken under her wing.

“A bad model, he wasn’t,” she said in reverence to the Zaldan.

“Bridge to Captain Ikar,” the voice of Petty Officer 1st Class Alida Meir came over the intercom. Unlike many members of the crew who were on their first assignment, the Trill woman had served under her command for the last three years.

“Ikar, this is,” the Horrusi said, tapping her combadge.

“Ma’am, Admiral Mecum is asking to speak with you.”

“In my ready room, take it, I will.”

Mundi raised an eyebrow as she tapped her combadge again to end the connection. “What do you think he might have in store for us? More tangling with the Tzenkethi?”

“Knowing admirals as I do, Andrew… trouble.”

----

The transporter beam dissipated around Ensign Derrick Lake and Kor lasch Grev after they materialized aboard the Espero. As small as the ship looked on the outside, she looked larger on the inside to the Human officer since this was his first time aboard. He looked around the tiny transporter room to see a tall, bald-headed man at the transporter controls.

“Welcome aboard the Espero,” the dark-skinned man said with lieutenant’s pips on his red collar before he stepped away from the controls. “I’m Lieutenant Mundi, your first officer.

“Ensign Derrick Lake, reporting for duty, sir,” Lake spit out, jumping to attention. The Tellarite beside him didn’t seem to be impressed by either officer.

“This ship smells worse that a garbage scow!,” he shouted, snarling at his superior officer with a smug sense of self-importance.

“This ship probably smells better than your last bath, Ensign.”

Grev stepped down from the transporter platform and glared up at the lieutenant who was a head taller than him. “You look like a piece of partially-digested gagh served with a side order of Bolian shellfish, puked up on an Orion slave girl after dinner with a one-celled paramecium.”

“Why, thank you,” Mundi said, gushing from the compliment. He looked down at his uniform and straightened his sleeves. “You sure know how to make a guy blush, son.”

Grev grunted at him. “Permission to come aboard?”

“Granted. Welcome aboard, Mr. Grev.”

“It’ll be a pleasure once I get a chance to check out the controls.”

“The controls?,” Lake asked him.

“The controls…? As in the buttons on the helm? You damned noodleknocker!,” Grev shouted, glaring back at him. “I’m a pilot! Espero’s pilot?! You Humans are… so… “

“You’ll report to Lieutenant M’Reeta for your bunk assignment and then you’ll report for duty at 1800 hours, guys,” the first officer said, holding out two padds that he lifted off of the nearby console. “This here is the duty roster, a map of the ship, and all the orientation data that you’ll need.”

“Uh, could you tell me where the medical bay is?,” Lake asked after Grev left. The Tellarite was still grumbled and cursing the intelligence of Humans.

“I’ll show you,” Mundi said, leading him out of the room.

----

Lieutenant Commander Ikar walked into her ready room and saw the bouquet of red roses sitting on her desk. Smelling the sweet essence of the decapitated plant life, she read the card that came with them. the gesture in itself was sweet, coming from Kara Mundi, her second-in-command’s wife. The rose bouquets had started arriving on her desk every morning since the ship’s arrival at Starbase 128 as a thank you for bringing her husband back home safely.

‘A mystery wrapped in a conundrum, that woman, she is,’ she thought to herself before she sat down behind her desk. The Horrusi woman put her personal thoughts aside for the moment and turned her monitor on. Admiral Thomas Mecum appeared on the screen, a second after the Federation logo appeared and disappeared.

“Greetings, Commander Ikar. How’s the Espero coming along?”

“As well as can be expected, she is. Proceeding on schedule, we are, Admiral. At 0700 hours tomorrow, depart for Intar, we will,” she said, picking up a padd from her desk. It had an updated crew roster that she needed to familiarize herself with.

“That’s good to hear, Commander. All you have to do is deliver your supplies to Intar and await instructions for your next assignment from General Rentoshi. Of course, you’ll remember to keep an eye out for any Tzenkethi ships, correct?”

“Your concerns, understand them, I do, Admiral. Close to the Tzenkethi border, Intar is.” Ikar nodded with understanding. “Unsurprising, it would be, to engage them again. Stopped them at Intar, once, we did. Stop them again, we can.”

“Starfleet’s already looking into assigning more ships to that sector but I’m afraid that they might have to dig at the bottom of the barrel. According to Captain Th’Nar, it’s been quiet lately.”

“More to this mission, is there, Admiral?,” Ikar asked with a suspicious tone to her voice. She had encountered Section 31 once in her career and it was an encounter that she chose not to experience again. Their mind games always gave her a blasted migraine.

Mecum hesitated for a moment before answering. “Nothing that comes to mind, Commander.”

“Then nothing more to say, there is.”

“Good luck and have a good journey. Mecum out.”

The admiral’s image disappeared and Ikar rubbed her chin in thought. ‘Damn,’ echoed in her mind before she smacked the flat side of her padd down hard on the face of her desk. The concussion of her anger shook the desktop for a moment, almost sending the vase of roses crashing down to the floor below.

----

“Doctor?”

“Yes?”

“I have a patient for you,” Mundi said, addressing the Vulcan in the room. He stood on the far side of the medical bay, inventorying the medical supplies with one of the other medics when the first officer and Ensign Lake walked in.

Looking up from his padd, Doctor Sovek stepped towards them, remembering Lake from the crew roster. “I would correct in assuming that you are Lieutenant Lake?”

“It’s actually ‘Ensign’ now, Doctor…?”

“I am Doctor Sovek.”

The Espero’s chief medical had once been a civilian physician back on Vulcan and during the war, he had enlisted in Starfleet to serve aboard a medical ship named the Samaritan. After his son had been killed on MN-1274 by the Jem’Hadar, the Vulcan doctor accepted a provisional lieutenant’s commission in Starfleet before he was transferred to the Espero.

“This is the guy that I told you about, yesterday, Doc,” the first officer said, pointing a thumb over his shoulder at Lake. “This is the guy who—“

“I am familiar with Ensign Lake’s history, Mister Mundi, as I have undertaken the task to review his records before his arrival,” Sovek said and the lieutenant frowned at the Vulcan’s dismissive tone. after serving together for close to three years, there was still an ounce of animosity between them and the doctor could not theorize why he displayed this form of emotional behavior. One clue that he had was the inkling of a past event that drove the cause of his dislike for him.

“Then see to his needs, Doctor,” Mundi said, leaving Sickbay to return to his duties.

Seeing the first officer leave the room, the operations officer suddenly became nervous. It wasn’t often that he shared his personal medical problems with anyone but with this particular ailment, he required the services of a qualified medical professional.

“So I guess you’re familiar with my medical records?,” he asked the pointed-eared man as he switched padds with the stack on a nearby instrument table.

“According to Starfleet, you abandoned your commission in 2372 and became a member of the Maquis. Before they were violently disbanded by the Jem’Hadar, you were a member of a mission to destroy a Cardassian biogenic weapons facility on Gorla II.”

“That sounds like the jist of it.”

“The circumstances of your situation are disastrous since you were accidentally exposed to a genetically-modified strain of the Dystrum-B virus,” the Vulcan continued, looking up from his padd with a raised eyebrow. “I believe that your last physician was treating your condition with a prescription of hallitene and improvaline?”

“That’s right, Doc. According to her, exposure to the modified virus will take twenty years before I lose complete autonomic control over my body. I won’t be able to move, to speak, or to do much less anything else except to be a brain stuck in a useless shell.”

“As I am aware of the symptoms, Ensign, and this unfortunate malady has no cure, why have you come to me?”

“The lieutenant recommended you.”

“Indeed.”

“Look, Doc, you’ve heard of rosinstalis, right?”

“I have,” the chief medic said, returning his padd to the stack on the table. He recalled the research of Doctor Beverly Crusher on the Dystrum-B virus. She hypothesized that this particular drug could remedy the effects of every strain of Dystrum-B in most humanoid species. It would halt the progression of the disease and made the patient capable members of society. However, it was a Tzenkethi drug and the availability of it outside of Tzenkethi space was limited.

“Then you understand what I’m asking for.”

“If I were Human, Mr. Lake, I would be flattered by such a request. However, as a Vulcan and as a practicing member of Starfleet Medical, I am obliged to deny you such a treatment. Rosinstalis hasn’t been cleared for use by Starfleet Medical because of the source of the drug and the possible side effects of the drug.”

“I’ve taken it before, Doc, when I served aboard the Celestris during the way. The whole time, I was under a doctor’s care and—“

“And you believed with your transfer to this ship, another physician would be sympathetic enough to give you what you require to treat your condition?”

“I came to you because I want… I need to continue to be useful. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a hospital!,” the younger man shouted at him before he remembered himself. Holding up a hand, he spoke again but in a gentler tone. “Look, Doctor, I’m not an addict. If you have to, then go ahead and report me.”

Sovek sighed with a deep breath and considered the younger man’s words. Since he had taken the Hippocratic Oath to ‘do no harm’, seventy years ago, he had always considered the patient’s needs before his own. A request for medical intervention couldn’t be ignored, no matter the circumstances.

“I can synthesize what the computer has on the drug for ‘research purposes’,” he said in agreement. “However, I will be the only one to prescribe this drug to you when you absolutely need it as I shall also be closely monitoring your condition. There may be a possibility that I might be able to devise a cure or an antidote.”

“Sounds like a plan, Doc.”

----

Chapter Two


“Good morning, Skipper,” Andrew Mundi greeted his commanding officer the next morning when she walked onto the bridge. He was standing next to Senior Chief Anax at the aft tactical console behind her command chair. “Did you sleep well last night?”

“I did. Started ‘The Compass Rose’, I did,” the blonde Horrusi said, referring to a piece of 21st century fantasy fiction written by Gail Dayton. Fantasy fiction was a hobby that she shared with the first officer since their time at the Academy.

“Is it a good book? I’m still in the middle of a George R.R. Martin book.”

“So far, good, it is.” The green-skinned captain moved to the center of the bridge between her command chair and the helm, looking around. “Ready to get underway, are we, Mr. Mundi?”

“As far as I know, Skipper. All personnel are aboard and at their duty stations.”

Ikar nodded. “Mr. Lake,” she said, looking over at the young officer sitting at one of the port consoles,” clear all moorings.”

“Aye, ma’am.”

The Horrusi watched him for a moment before looking away. She had read about his history and she felt sorry for him. To have your life whittled down to only a certain amount of years would have to be torture for him. However, she noticed that he took everything in his stride.

“Port and starboard thrusters are at station-keeping, Captain,” Ensign Grev announced, anticipating her next command.

“Lake, request departure clearance from Operations,” Mundi ordered.

“Aye, sir.” The operations officer nodded, typing commands into his panel. Like the rest of the crew, he shared their enthusiasm to get the ship underway and back out into space.

“Ikar to engineering.”

“Engineering, Nayce here,” the Espero’s Haliian engineer responded over the intercom. “Everything’s shipshape down here, Skipper, from the warp core to the kitchen sink.”

“Good to hear that, I am.”

“Incredible,” the first officer said as he walked over to stand beside Ikar’s chair. “She told me that it would take six months to get the ship up and running again. Then she gets up running again in only a couple of months.”

“Crack the whip, did you, Andrew?” The captain skipped her second-in-command’s grin before his gaze moved to observe the crew at work.

“”Well, Tarahni is from the Scott School of Engineering. They love to set their repair estimates by a factor of two. But then, she did have some help from 128’s engineers.”

“I have Operations on audio,” Captain,” Lake reported. Ikar nodded and climbed up into her command chair.

“Starbase Operations, the Espero, this is. Request departure clearance, we do,” the little ship’s little commander said, leaning back into her seat. She liked this chair because for her, it was the most comfortable seat on the ship. Her ship.

“Espero, this is Starbase 128 Operations,” a disembodied voice that Ikar recognized as Admiral Mecum’s, announced over the comm system. “You are cleared for departure. Please set your helm to fold course nine-seven-three, mark two-one until you reach the outer markers.”

“Acknowledged. Espero out.” The Horrusi woman looked ahead of her at the Tellarite sitting at the helm. “Plot course and proceed, you shall, Mister Grev. Maximum impulse.”

“I do know how to drive,” the Tellarite responded, sarcastically.

“Excuse me, Ensign?,” Mundi shot back as him, glaring over his shoulder at him.

“Yes, ma’am. Course and speed set.”

“Engage.”

The little starship turned to starboard away from the starbase and sped away.


----


Hours passed by quickly since the Espero left Starbase 128 with the stars splashing past the window in Ikar’s ready room. She watched them go by at warp speed since this was her quiet moment of the day in private contemplation. Or it had been before she reads the reports on her desktop monitor.

The door chimes emitted a slight whistle and she said,” Enter.”

The door slid open to one side and her first officer walked inside. He rested a padd on his right hip when he stopped in front of her desk. “You wanted to see me, Skipper?”

“Yes,” she said, looking over at him. “A complaint, against you, made, there has, Andrew. Explain it, your side of it, you should.”

“If I knew what the complaint was about or who the complainant was, then—“

“Doctor Sovek, it is.”

Mundi took a deep breath and tried to avoid the harsh look on her face. This matter was one of ship’s personnel and a matter that he should have been able to handle on his own. For the Vulcan medical officer to bypass the chain of command and make his complaint to her… it annoyed him.

“Leave Starbase 128, we on, and on the first day out, received his transfer request, I do,” she continued, climbing effortlessly into her desk chair. She picked up a padd on her desk and handed it to him. “Into your arena, falls, this complaint does. Explain yourself, you should before, grant the doctor’s request, I do.”

Mundi nodded. A look of dissatisfaction was on his face as he voiced his reasons for disliking the ship’s top medic. “I was on MN-1274 during the war and I was rescued by this hospital ship, the Samaritan…”

“From the Hindustan, on TDY, you were?”

“Yeah. Starfleet wanted some of us to gain some practical experience with the Marines. So Seylek and I were paired up with a team from a Marine ship.”

Ikar’s eyes widened at his revelation. She remembered Lieutenant Commander Seylek and how the young Vulcan had been the Hindustan’s chief engineer. Of course, she failed to understand the connection between him and Sovek. Mission reports from MN-1274 were classified by Starfleet at the highest level when she went looking into the doctor’s records.

“Sovek used to be a civilian physician before he joined the Samaritan’s medical team. When their shuttles flew down to rescue us, he…,” – he was beginning to have some difficulty with those memories from that period of his life – “, he let his own son die… He just lied there and died while his father worked on another patient. At the time, he was as cold and as emotionless as most Vulcans are. I’ll bet he didn’t even shed a tear over Seylek’s death.”

“Saving an injured man, Sovek was. His duty, Seylek was performing,” the captain said, leaning back in her chair. Folding her tridactyl hands in her lap, she watched him with blue eyes.

“Skipper, you didn’t see him then. He let his son die! He didn’t even care that—“

“Wrong, you are, Andrew. About a child’s death, a father does. Seen Starfleet Medical’s report, I have. A tortured soul, Sovek has. Regrets his death, he does.”

“Are you ordering me to cut him some slack, Skipper? Even though he was responsible for the death of one of my friends?” Mundi was angry now.

“Some, perhaps. Hatred, runs deep, it can. Your friend and mine, lost, he was. Imagine yourself, you should, losing one of your own children.”

Mundi’s thoughts turned to his wife and children once Ikar said something about them. There had been some time for him to see them for a short time at Starbase 128 during the refit. Kara Mundi was a very loving woman and he missed his girls more than anything.

“I’d… I’d be devastated… if anything happened to Kara or my girls,” the Espero’s executive officer said slowly.

“In his shoes, put yourself, Andrew. His feelings, consider them, you should.”

Andrew nodded. There was some wisdom behind her advice. It gave him something to think about. He sighed, nodded at her. “A’ight, I’ll see if I can get him to reconsider his transfer.” Changing the subject, he indicated the padd on his right hip. “I brought you the updated crew roster.”

“Andrew,” the Horrusi said, stopping him in his tracks,” serious, I am. Breaking in a new doctor, ready, I’m not.”

“I’ll talk to him.”

“Believe it, when I see it, I do.”

“Bridge to Ikar,” Senior Chief Anax’s voice came over her combadge before an argument could erupt between them.

“Ikar, this is.”

“Long-range sensors are detecting a ship directly in our flight path, Captain,” the rough voice of the Edoan said. “It appears to be drifting.”

“On my way, I am.”


----


The obstacle in the Defiant class starship’s path became more apparent as it slowed to impulse. On the Espero’s viewscreen, it was a refit Constitution class heavy cruiser, drifting on its side. Plasma was leaking from its port nacelle and its secondary hull bore the scars of battle. Breaches in the hull plating of the saucer section showed areas where oxygen was escaping into space. Despite the battle damage that could be seen on the surface, the ship appeared to be mostly intact with its power systems off-line, hence its darkened state.

“Identity?,” Ikar asked, moving over to the starboard side of the bridge. Her blue eyes fell onto Lieutenant M’Reeta as she conducted her sensor scans.

“The library computer lists her as the U.S.S. Edward O’Hare, NCC-1914, last reported to be commanded by Captain Roberto Vallejo,” the Caitian science officer recited from the Starfleet database. “She was formerly the U.S.S. Jassan, NCC-1745 but she was recommissioned into service from the Qualor II surplus yards during the war. Her most recent assignment was to categorize and record gaseous anomalies in the Penzat Nebula.”

“Any survivors?,” Grev asked, looking over from the helm.

M’Reeta looked at the captain and nodded. “There’s some… form of energy residue… I’m sorry, I can’t find any lifesigns.”

“Can we recalibrate the sensors to detect lifesigns?,” Lake suggested.

“That would take too long,” Grev pointed.

“Hmm… curious, this is.”

“Skipper?,” Mundi asked her.

Ikar rubbed her chin, lowering her head in thought. After a few moments, she looked up at the Caitian. “Life-support, does the O’Hare have?”

“That’s probably the only thing still functioning, Captain.”

“I know that look. What are you planning, Skipper?”

Ikar looked up at the dark-skinned Human. “An away team,” she answered,” to the O’Hare, we will send.”

“Aye, Skipper,” the lieutenant said, already heading towards the nearest exit. “A’ight, Lake, you’re with me.” He tapped his combadge. “Mundi to Sickbay. Doc, we’re gonna need you and bring Gunny Nh’Tor with ya.”

“Acknowledged,” the Vulcan answered over the intercom.

“Be safe, Andrew. Insist on this, I do.”

“Hey, I always play it safe,” the first officer said with a smile before the door closed shut behind him.


----


‘What the hell hit these poor unfortunate souls?,’ Andrew Mundi asked himself after he beamed onto the damaged Constitution class starship. He turned his head to look around the O’Hare’s bridge, seeing fire damage and a few fallen support beams littering the deck. He walked over to the center of the room, his familiarity with 23rd century starships directing him.

his away team from the Espero was composed of Ensign Lake, Doctor Sovek, Gunnery Sergeant Liandra Nh’Tor, the Andorian Marine who commanded the ship’s small Marine detachment, and two of her Marines, Corporal T’Nerra and Private Peter Goldman.

“It looks like they took more than a few hits,” Derrick remarked during his survey of the science station. The O’Hare’s bridge was updated with the current technology but the thirty-four year old still felt like he had just jumped back in time to the Enterprise when she was commanded by Captain James T. Kirk.

“Start downloading their database,” Mundi told him. He sat down at the forward starboard console that controlled the ship’s helm and tactical functions. “Maybe those logs will tell us what happened to the crew.”

“Already on it, sir.”

Suddenly out of nowhere, an unknown light came out of the shadows and flashed Mundi in his eyes. Raising a hand to block it, the Espero’s first officer saw fellow Starfleet officers coming out of the captain’s ready room. As they approached the away team, Gunny Nh’Tor and her Marines raised their phaser carbines and moved to cover the first officer, Lake, and the Vulcan medic.

“Stand easy, Gunnery Sergeant,” Andrew said, recognizing the man approaching him.

“Andrew, amigo, is that you?,” asked Captain Roberto Vallejo.

“Roberto… I’m surprised to see you, you lucky bastard!,” the lieutenant said, smiling.

“Nayce to Mundi.”

“Go ahead, Tarahni.”

“We found some O’Hare crewmembers down here in Engineering,” the Haliian answered him. “They’re helping us to restore power. It should take no more than a minute or two.”

“A’ight, any explanation for the power loss?”

“Well, from what their chief engineer’s been able to tell me, it looks like someone used a Breen energy dampener on them but they should have been protected at their last refit. I’ll know more once I take a look at their systems.”

“A’ight, keep me informed.”

“That’s impossible,” the O’Hare’s Latino captain said. “We were attacked by Tzenkethi ships, not Breen.”

“There are two possibilities that exist,” Doctor Sovek said, speaking for the first time since beaming over from the Espero. “The first is that the Tzenkethi and the Breen are working together. The second is that the Tzenkethi could have salvaged Breen technology after the war.” The Vulcan’s attention returned to a Bolian crewman who was suffering from second-degree radiation burns.

“Doc’s theory makes sense,” Nh’Tor agreed. “I’ve heard some reports of Orion and Ferengi salvage teams combing through battle sites all over Federation and Cardassian space.”

The lights on the bridge returned to normal from their dim state as power was restored to the ship. That was when Mundi saw that the damage to the bridge was minimal. Looking at Vallejo, the Espero’s first officer delegated to him before of his rank. “What’re your orders, Captain?”

“It looks like you guys have everything in hand. But what ship are you from?”

“We’re from the Espero, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Ikar.” He stopped for a moment when he remembered something. “Thanks for the reminder, Roberto.” He tapped his combadge and continued,” Mundi to Espero.”

“Espero, this is. Go ahead, Andrew.”

“Your captain’s a Horrusi?”

Mundi ignored him. “We found some survivors, Skipper. One of them is Captain Vallejo.”

“Good, this is,” Ikar said over the communicator. “Assist them in repairs, you should. A word with Captain Vallejo, I would, if available, he is. A discussion, we must have.”

“I’m at your convenience, Commander,” Vallejo answered for the lieutenant.”

“Good, good! Bring you aboard, soon, we shall. Any order, have you, for now, Captain?”

“Nothing yet, but if you could give Starfleet a sit-rep…? I’m afraid our communications are down and—“

“Understand this, I do, sir. Do this, we can. Espero out.”

Vallejo scratched the side of his face after she ended the transmission. “She seems… “

“’Blunt’?”,” offered Mundi.

“I was going to say ‘direct’ but that works too.”

“She’s a good skipper, sir. She knows her stuff. I’ve known her since the Academy.” Mundi took a second glance at the bridge before looking at the captain again. “Any orders while you’re with the skipper?”

“Nope. Just keep at what you’re doing, Andrew. I’ll be down in engineering.”


----


Captain’s personal log, supplemental;

Encountered, the U.S.S. Edward O’Hare, we have. Intact but damaged, she is. An encounter with the Tzenkethi, survived it, the O’Hare crew has. Fortunate, she was. the mystery of her survival, a curious question, it is. Known, the Tzenkethi, they are, for not leaving survivors. Left me with pause, this situation, it has.

The look on Admiral Thomas Mecum’s face was almost priceless when he was informed about the attack on the O’Hare. Ikar almost wished that she had a holographic image of the shocked look on his face when she mentioned the presence of Breen weaponry on Tzenkethi ships. However, he maintained a rather decisive façade when he looked down at her from the viewer on her ready room wall.

“A Breen energy dampener,” he said over subspace. “I almost can’t believe it. I thought that we insulated the entire fleet from them. Even the older ships were equipped with protective shielding against them.”

“An exception, the O’Hare must be,” the Espero’s captain said from her place behind her desk. “My chief engineer, theorized, she has, that modified, the device could be.”

“That’s a matter to take up later with the Corps of Engineers,” Starbase 128’s commanding officer said, contemplatively rubbing his chin. “With the attack on the O’Hare, this incident would definitely signify another Tzenkethi buildup in your sector.”

“Another attempt at Intar, it could be. With the new dampener, our ships, disabled easily, they could be.”

“More unfortunate possibilities,” Mecum said, looking at the monitor on his desk. “Hammersley is escorting a couple of freighters to Deep Space Nine and isn’t available at the moment. Only the Kumari and the Blount Island are currently at Intar, holding the line if there’s an attack.”

“The Intarans?”

“Their ships are too easily defeated by Tzenkethi weapons system. They’ll be sitting ducks to them.”

“Then continue to Gwalior, Espero will.”

Mecum looked over at Captain Vallejo who was sitting on the opposite side of Ikar’s desk. He had been quiet since the meeting started. “How’s the damage to the O’Hare?, Captain?,” the admiral asked him.

The O’Hare’s commanding officer leaned forward in his seat, his hands resting on his thighs. “My chief engineer and Espero’s engineer report that we can be warp-capable in the morning but they aren’t certain about our combat capabilities. We extended our supply of photon torpedoes against the Tzenkethi and the reports to our phasers are on hold because we can acquire the parts for them.”

“You can’t replicate them?”

“Our replicators were damaged. Currently, we’re on emergency rations for the duration, Admiral.”

“The engineers on the Blount Island, assist you, they could.”

Mecum nodded in agreement with her. “Ok, look, Vallejo, you’re not necessarily in my chain of command. I know that you report to Admiral Sethen over at Starfleet Science but for the critical nature of this situation, I’m ordering you to accompany the Espero to the Intaran system. Any questions?”

“None from me, sir.”

“I’ll see if Starfleet Command has any other ships nearby that can be diverted to Intar. Just remember that with the war, the pickings are still slim.”

“A surprise, it won’t be, sir,” Ikar said with a smile,” if outnumbered, we are.”

“Make the best of the situation if you can, Commander. Mecum out.”

Vallejo sat back in his chair and thought about the situation. He had a stunned look on his face when Ikar looked at him. There was the fact that he didn’t like how the admiral deferred to her more than him. “I’m afraid,” he started to say,” that the O’Hare didn’t have much of an opportunity to see much combat during the war, Commander Ikar. We were mostly delegated to escorting convoys and scouting missions.”

“Easy, it can be, if think about it much, you don’t.” She turned aside, looking at the replicator. “Get you anything, can I, sir?”

“Please, call me Roberto, and if you have any, I’d love some tequila.”

Ikar frowned at him with a raised eyebrow. “Keep poisons around, suggest it, you do? Think me, suicidal, do you? For shame, Captain Vallejo!”

Vallejo blinked at her in shock. “I’m sorry, I…”

Ikar giggled, smiling at him. “That jokes, works, every time, it does, on Humans!” She turned to the replicator and continued,” Computer, one root beer and tequila.”

“Those beverages are alcoholic in nature and are deemed poisonous to--,” the computer began to say.

“Override, authorization: Ikar-Zeta-India-8022,” the skipper said and their drinks appeared. Taking the root beer for herself, she handed the tequila to her guest. The O’Hare’s captain took a sip of the fiery drink and sighed.

“Synthehol just doesn’t have much of a kick as the right thing,” the Latino said, setting the glass on her desk. “So, this situation… how do you want to handle it, Ikar? Because I’ll have to admit... I feel like I’m over my head a little.”

“Command the O’Hare as you would. To your feelings, to your heart, listen to them, you should.”

“You should like you’ve been doing this for some time.”

The Horrusi nodded at this. “Served in Starfleet, over fifty years, I have. Until killed or of natural cause, die, continue to serve, I will. My destiny, it is.”

“That must be some destiny.”

“Your destiny…,” the little alien woman said after she took a sip of her drink. For the Horrusi, soda pop was as much of an intoxicant as alcohol was for Humans. “Unforeseen, it is, and around you, still forming. Embrace what you see, you should.”

“You’re starting to sound like you have some inside information.”

“Perhaps, I do. Perhaps, I don’t.”


Chapter Three


Working together in tandem, the Espero and the Edward O’Hare were able to get underway the next day. However, the weapons systems of the aging heavy cruiser were less than the more advanced vessel traveling at her side. It was a fact that bothered Anax while he contemplated their situation in his quarters and it kept him from sleeping.

He sat at the desk console in the small room that he shared with a crewman from Engineering. The man had a tendency to talk in his sleep but ignoring his roommate, the tall, orange-skinned, multi-limbed tactical officer made a decision. Standing up from his chair, he left the room with a padd in one of his three hands.

“Computer, what is the location of Captain Ikar?”

“Lieutenant Commander Ikar is located in the canteen,” answered the monotone voice of the ship’s computer. Anax nodded to no one in particular as he walked down the corridor.


----


“Excuse me, Sovek?

The Vulcan looked up from his microscope at the sound of the First Officer’s voice. He frowned at another discussion with him since he found it futile to continue to ignore the dislike that the Human had for him.

“Yes, Lieutenant?”

“Do y’all have a moment?,” Mundi asked, standing a few feet inside the Sickbay. at this late hour, the room was empty except for the chief medic who was examining some blood samples taken from Ensign Lake, a few days ago.

“I am in the middle of something. Is it important?” He didn’t even bother to look at Mundi. Though he was supposed to suppress his emotions like the rest of his people, Sovek almost felt like turning around and attacking the man.

Mundi held up a padd, the same padd that had Sovek’s transfer request on it. “I was wondering if I might be able to talk you out of your transfer request.”

“Why would I wish to remain aboard this ship? It is clear that you and I will never be friends.”

“And that’s a problem on my part, Doc. You see… I was on MN-1274 and—“

Sovek raised an eyebrow and turned around to face him. “Seylek, you know him?”

“He was one of my best friends on the Hindustan.” Mundi lowered the padd and looked down at the floor. “Look, I know that we can’t bring him back and… it was… immature of me to blame you for—“

“I am to blame, Mr. Mundi. I allowed my son to perish while I worked to save another. I allowed logic to determine who could be saved. He could not be saved. His injuries—“

“Were too severe,” Mundi said, finishing the man’s sentence. “And I was too young then to understand why you let him go. For years, I blamed you for his death.”

“Is that the reason for your hostility towards me?,” Sovek asked him.

“It was, but a smart lady told me that I should consider putting myself in your shoes.”

“Why would you want to wear my shoes?”

Mundi smiled, crossing his arms over his chest. “That’s just an expression, Sovek.” He paused for a moment before continuing, his smile disappearing from his face. “I guess what I’m saying is that I would feel awful if something happened to my wife and kids. I’d do anything to keep them safe.”

“I can understand the feeling, if not the emotions, Mr. Mundi.”

“Then, please tell me that you’re not transferring. I’d hate to have to break in a new doctor.”

“I shall reconsider my position, Mr. Mundi.”

“Please… call me Andrew.”

“Yes, s… Andrew.”


----


Ikar found herself to be restless and brooding over the current situation. With being only a matter of hours away from their destination, even sleep seemed to elude her while she searched for a solution. So at 0200 hours in the morning, no one could expect to find her meditating on the floor of the ship’s canteen.

Vacant of any other personnel, the blonde Lieutenant Commander had divested herself of her uniform jacket and the vest underneath it, both of them folded neatly on a nearby table. Her legs were crossed together and her eyes were closed at the same time that her mind wandered, searching for answers deep at the center of her subconscious. Some of the techniques that she used for meditation came from lessons that she had learned at home on Horrus and from the lessons that she had learned from her Academy roommate, a Japanese Buddhist.

The doors to the canteen opened and Anax found his commanding officer meditating at the center of the room. Surprised by finding her in this position, he was at a loss since he wasn’t sure if he should disturb her or to leave her in peace. The Edoan senior chief started to depart when he heard her speak.

“Answers for me, do you have, Mr. Anax?”

He turned his head back towards her and looked sheepishly at her. “I’m sorry, Captain. Was I disturbing you?”

“Merely meditating, I am. Silent at this hour, the canteen is.”

“I can come back if—“

“Come. Join me for a cup of tea, would you?,” Ikar asked him, lifting herself up to her feet. She walked over to the replicator and ordered up two cups of Orange Spice tea. It was a black tea blend that she found that she enjoyed since her first posting as a crewman out of Starfleet boot camp back in the late 2340s.

“Yes, ma’am.”

Anax took a seat at a nearby table as she brought the tea cups over. She could clearly see that he was a creature bred for service and she sensed that he still felt some uncertainty over serving under her command. Especially since she was the only Horrusi in Starfleet who had climbed her way up from the ranks of the enlisted to her current position as a starship commander.

“At ease, you should be, Anax. A tyrant, never will, I be.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Speak your mind,” she continued, setting a tea cup in front of him. she didn’t show it but his adherence to the regulations and his uptight behavior was starting to tick her off a little. To her, this was a man who clearly didn’t know the meaning of relaxation.

“I’m concerned about the upcoming battle with the Tzenkethi. They’re up to something, Captain. I think that the O’Hare would be more of a liability than a valuable addition to the fight.”

“Contemplated this, myself, I have, discussed it with Captain Vallejo, I have. However, lead us into battle, he will.”

“Isn’t Captain Vallejo a little inex---“ The Edoan caught himself before finishing his sentence. “I apologize, ma’am. I didn’t mean to—“

“Asked you to speak your mind, I did. Unnecessary, an apology is,” she said, sipping her tea. “Relax, you should. Drink your tea.”

“I apologize, ma’am. I—“

“Apologize again, and bust you to Crewman, I might.” A mischievous smile grew on her face when she returned his tea cup to its saucer. “Apologize, I should. Our meal, unable to have it, we were.”

“Things happen, ma’am. It’s not necessary to—“

“Try to relax more, you should,” the Horrusi said, interrupting him.

“Is that a personal assessment of my abilities, ma’am?”

“It is. Calm yourself! Replace you, I won’t. value you, in fact, I do.”

“How can you make such an assessment, Captain? I haven’t been aboard the Espero long enough to—“

“With your concerns, came to me, you did. Do that, not many would. Shows that you care, it does, about your crewmates.” She looked at him with an understanding look in her blue-topaz eyes. “Your concerns, onto deaf ears, they won’t fall. Open to everyone, they are.” She giggled at her own joke.

“Well, then might I suggest that---“

The sound of Lieutenant M’Reeta’s voice shouted over the intercom and interrupted the tactical officer. Her voice was followed by the klaxon of the red alert siren. “Red Alert! All hands to Battle Stations! Captain Ikar and Lieutenant Mundi, report to the bridge.”

“Basay,” the skipper swore in her own language before she tapped her combadge. “Bridge, Ikar, this is. Report.”

“Captain, we’ve detected three Tzenkethi cruisers moving ahead of us at Warp Seven,” the science officer answered. “Our course projections put them close to the edge of the Intar system.”

Ikar’s eyes widened at the possibilities and she jumped up to her feet, collecting her uniform jacket and vest. “The Kumari, heard from her, have we?”

“We were in the middle of a transmission from Captain Th’Nar when the signal was cut, ma’am,” Lake answered over the intercom.

“They probably started jamming us because they’ve come out of warp,” Anax noted, standing up onto his three legs. He was already following her on her way out the canteen’s door.

“On my way, I am.”


----


“Give me a sit-rep,” the Edward O’Hare’s captain said when he stepped out of the turbolift. Like his counterpart on the Espero, he was putting on his jacket as his first officer vacated from his command chair.

“Espero has reported three Tzenkethi cruisers on the edge of the Intar system, Boss,” Lieutenant Commander Aija Nakamura said as she sat down at the forward port side console used for ship’s operations.

“The Cats are ready for more than sharpening their teeth.” This remark came from Lieutenant Raia, the Deltan sitting at the helm/tactical console.

“Stand easy, Lieutenant,” Vallejo warned her, sitting down in his chair. “Has there been any word from General Rentoshi or the Kumari?”

“Nothing. The Cats are flooding subspace with anti-leptons.”

“A known Cardassian tactic,” the ship’s science officer suggested. The pointy-eared humanoid turned around from his station to look at his captain.

“Do you suspect something more than that, Mr. Vurek?”

“Merely a suggestion that the Dominion war may have taught our opponents some valuable lessons.”

“How so?”

“I am detecting signs of recent modifications to the lead Tzenkethi vessel,” the Vulcan answered with a raised eyebrow.

“It could be the ship fitted with the modified dampener,” Raia suggested before looking down at her display. “We’re still three thousand kilometers from them, sir.”

“Drop out of warp and go to impulse power.”

“Message from the Espero,” Nakamura said, adjusting the transceiver in her right ear. “Commander Ikar is requesting instructions.”

Vallejo nodded, tapping his combadge. “Vallejo to Engineering.”

A moment later, a male voice came over the intercom. “Engineering, Oakhorne here.”

“How are repairs coming to the phasers, Commander?”

“Well, with the few parts from the Espero, I’ve been able to get them working but only at fifty percent, Captain. I can’t get them working any better than that without a shipyard”

“I’ll take it. Vallejo out.” He leaned forward in his seat and looked at Nakamura. “Aija, let Commander Ikar that we’re going after the ship with the dampener. She can pick and choose on which one she wants.”


----


“They’re going after the ship with the dampener,” Anax reported from tactical, referring to the O’Hare. “His shields are still down.”

“What’s Roberto gonna do? Talk’ em to death?,” Mundi asked. He turned to Ikar from his place next to Lake. There was already a frown on her face over her dislike for the other captain’s actions.

“Slow to impulse,” she ordered Grev. The Tellarite acknowledged her order and a starfield appeared on the main viewer, a few seconds later. Three hulking Tzenkethi cruisers could be seen in the distance. On the far left corner, the Constitution class starship was quickly pulling ahead of the Espero.

“He’s gonna get himself and everyone else on that ship killed,” Mundi warned.

“Flank him, we will. Together, take the lead ship, we will,” the skipper told him, climbing up into her command chair. Slowly-rising anger was apparent in her mannerisms and the first officer knew that there would be consequences for the inexperienced captain after the situation resolved itself.

“Shields are at 100 percent. Pulse phasers are charged and all torpedo tubes are loaded, Captain.”

“The O’Hare, hail her, Mr. Lake.”

The operations officer tried for a few moments before shaking his head. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it looks like the anti-lepton interference is also disturbing our local comm traffic. I’ll keep trying but—“

“No ‘try’, there is,” Ikar said as she turned towards the dark-haired Human. “Only ‘do’, there is. Fail, you must not.”

“I suppose that I could—“

“O’Hare is firing phasers!”

“I thought they were disabled,” Mundi pointed out. “Have they raised their shields?”

“Yes, sir,” Anax responded.

“Defensive pattern zeta-four,” Ikar said, clenching her teeth. “As we pass them, the flanking ships, fire port and starboard tubes.”

“Tzenkethi ships usually have weak shields at those angles,” the Edoan said, admiring her tactics.

“Nice one, Skipper.”

“Like a dragonhawk egg, easy to crack, Tzenkethi ships are,” the skipper said just as the ship started to quake uncontrollably.

“Shields down to 89%!”

“Maintain course!”


----


Captain Ritan Th’Nar saw the battle erupting on the Kumari’s viewscreen after he walked out of his ready room. The Andorian frowned at his first officer who was standing up from the center seat.

“Is that the Espero?,” the captain asked, moving over to the center of the room.

“That would be my conclusion, Captain,” Senek said, stepping over to the first officer’s position and sitting down. “Shall we move to assist them?”

“That’s a joke, right?”

“No, sir. As I do not have much of a familiarity with humor, I—“

Th’Nar looked at him, a smile forming on his face. “That was a joke, Commander.” He took his place in his seat of command, resting his hands at the base of the armrests. “Helm, take us out of orbit. Mister Greene, sound battle stations.”

“Call from Gwalior for you, Captain,” the Kumari’s communications officer reported, turning her head towards him. “It’s General Rentoshi.”

“On screen.”

The Class-M specter of Intar and the battle in the far background disappeared from the screen and the visage of Forward Operating Base Gwalior’s commanding officer, General An Rentoshi appeared before them. His executive officer, Lieutenant Commander Jeff Wilcox stood nearby him in the base’s operations center.

“Captain Th’Nar, our sensors have detected a battle progressing on the edge of the system,” the Intaran stated quickly. “What’s happening up there? Could it be the Tzenkethi?”

“Well, sir, apparently, Lieutenant Commander Ikar and her crew encountered some unwanted guests on her return,” the Andorian captain said, returning to his feet. “We were just about to leave orbit and—“

“Negative, Captain.”

“But—“

“The Kumari is the only ship at the moment with the tactical superiority to protect my planet from any aggressors. So, Captain, I have to order you to remain in orbit.”

“What about Espero?”

“I’m afraid Commander Ikar is on our own for now.”


----


“One down, two more to go,” Ensign Raia reported from her station. The little Deltan woman had fired the photon torpedo that had been the death knell for the cruiser on the O’Hare’s port bow.

“Damage report!,” Vallejo shouted above the chaos. Smoke was filling the bridge and he jumped up from his command chair when an enemy torpedo struck the ship near the bridge. The Latino captain fell forward to the floor behind the rectangular console where Nakamura and Raia were sitting.

“Hull breaches are reported on Decks Six and Seven,” Vurek reported as the operations officer helped her captain back up to his feet. “Damage control is deploying teams as we speak.”

“Evacuate those decks and divert power to weapons and shields,” the captain ordered before he began to cough violently. Looking up at the main viewer, he could see the Espero fighting with a methodology of techniques that he hadn’t seen in his short career with Starfleet. The Defiant class vessel moved with a grace that reminded him of music from a violin concerto.

“Engineering to Bridge!,” the O’Hare’s chief engineer shouted over the comm system. “Shields are weakening!”

Vallejo didn’t respond to Oakhorne’s panicky concern over his ship. His attention was on the Espero but another weapons impact against the ship returned him to the world around him. He looked at his people and nodded.

“Helm, come about to course three-seven-two, mark nine,” he ordered. “Target phasers and torpedoes on that lead ship. Prepare to---“

“We just lost phasers, sir!,” Raia exclaimed, slamming her hand down against her display. “Shields are down to 9 percent.”

“Fire torpedoes! Do it while—“

Vallejo was interrupted by flashed of while light flying past the O’Hare. These mysterious ‘flashes’ moved quickly enough that the sensors barely had a chance to register them. The mysterious blotches fired blasts of red energy at one of the remaining Tzenkethi warships at the same time as another much more potent crimson streamer of deadly energy struck it. With these multiple hits, the enemy ship’s shields failed instantly and another massive phaser blast penetrated the hull, destroying the ship instantly.

“Report!”

“Aft sensors are off-line,” Vurek reported.

“Best speculation, Lieutenant?”

“It could be the Kumari, sir.”


----


“What the hell was that?!,” Andrew Mundi swore. He jumped up to his feet beside Ikar when the new sensor contacts popped out of nowhere on the Espero’s sensors. Unlike the O’Hare, the smaller ship wasn’t as brutally damaged as her counterpart was. In fact, her ablative armor was still mostly intact and her shields were last reported to be at 51 percent by Senior Chief Anax.

“Sensors are detecting something rather large coming up on us from astern,” M’Reeta said, looking at her captain. “I’m reading a Federation IFF recognition signal. It’s Starfleet!”

“Hail them,” Ikar said, climbing out of her chair. She was weary but she could have sworn that the unknown contacts were Gryphon class starfighters and according to her information, there was only one class of starships that were equipped with such of class of auxiliary vehicles.

“They’re hailing us and the Tzenkethi,” Lake added to M’Reeta’s report.

The forward viewer switched views to show the bridge of a Nottingham class exploratory cruiser. At first, the Horrusi woman thought for a moment that Starfleet had been able to send the Marshal Martz back to their rescue. However, the male Bajoran in the captain’s seat changed that view instantly for her.

“This is Captain Yineth Nikara of the Federation Starship Ernst Ruska,” the Bajoran captain said before he stood up from his command chair. “Intar is a system protected by the Federation and Starfleet. You’ve been told this once before. If you attempt to return here again, there will be severe consequences for you and your government. You have on minute to withdraw from the system or else your fate will be most dire.”

‘The Ernst Ruska?,’ Ikar asked herself. The last news that she had heard about any of the Nottingham class starships from Starfleet Command was that the Ernst Ruska was in the Gamma Quadrant as a part of the ‘Long Way Home’ missions assigned to the Nottingham class.

“The lead ship is turning, Skipper,” M’Reeta reported, his amber eyes on her readings,” and she’s on a course back from Tzenkethi space.”

“And the O’Hare?,” Mundi asked her.

“Operational and intact.”

“Her captain’s an idiot,” Grev murmured under his breath.

“A’ight, it looks like we live to fight another day, guys,” the first officer said with a smile.

“Hmph.” Ikar walked off of the bridge to leave her officers hanging their heads in confusion. This was the second battle that she had been forced to fight in this star system. Diplomacy had failed… Hell, it hadn’t even been attempted. Now the green-skinned woman found it difficult to believe that she had allowed herself to give into her baser instincts before finding a diplomatic solution to this matter.


----


Epilogue


Captain’s log, September 18th, 2377;

The Espero and the O’Hare, escorted to Intar, we were, by the Ernst Ruska. Relieved, I am, by Captain Yineth’s quick arrival. Our lives, owe him them, we do.

Meanwhile, our supplies for Gwalior, offloading them, we are. Uncertain, I am, our next mission. Know this, however, a wish I have, to return to exploration.

Getting to me, perhaps, the wages of war, they are.


“Welcome aboard the U.S.S. Ernst Ruska,” an ensign in security gold greeted Lieutenant Commander Ikar after she materialized in one of the Nottingham class starship’s transporter rooms. The Espero’s skipper was escorted by Andrew Mundi, her trusted right-hand man. After seeing to the repairs needed on the Espero, he had continued on for seventeen more hours straight without a break, assisting the O’Hare crew with their own repairs. With the S.C.E. engineers aboard the Blount Island, they had been able to get the old Constitution class starship up and running again without the needed luxuries of a shipyard.

“Thank you,” Ikar said, nodding at the ensign.

“I’ve been asked to escort you to Captain Yineth.”

“Proceed, Ensign.” Ikar looked at Mundi with a raised eyebrow and the dark-skinned man only smiled back as the two Espero officers followed their guide out of the transporter room.


----


Intar reminded Yineth of his own Bajor with the blue oceans, the brown landmasses, and the clouds in the atmosphere. He stood, looking outside a window of the Ernst Ruska’s observation lounge while he waited for his guests. After receiving orders from Starfleet Command after arriving back in the Alpha Quadrant through the Celestial Temple of the Prophets, only yesterday, he had been able to get his ship to Intar as quickly as he could.

The doors swooshed open and a security ensign showed a small, Horrusi and an impressively tall man into the conference lounge. Yineth turned around from the window, watching them for a moment. He had never met a Horrusi before but he had heard a lot about them. One of them was even an important member of the Admiralty.

“Lieutenant Commander Ikar, reporting as ordered, I am,” Ikar said, standing at attention beside her first officer.

“There’s no need for formalities with me, Commander Ikar,” the Bajoran said, motioning them to take a seat. His brown eyes met her blue eyes. “Please… call me Nikara.”

“Your ship, gigantic, it is. Of the Martz, it reminds me.”

Yineth smiled, nodded at her. “Oh, you’ll find that while the Ruska is similar in construction and appearance, she has some differences in the technology aboard her.”

“I wouldn’t mind giving one of those Gryphons a test flight,” Mundi said, sitting down at the conference table. Both he and Ikar sat down on Yineth’s right, the Horrusi sitting closer to the Bajoran than him.

“Maybe we can arrange that, Mr. Mundi.” Yineth turned his attention to Ikar after taking a seat at the head of the long table. “I’ve read your reports aboard the Tzenkethi and the Edward O’Hare. Captain Th’Nar and I are also aware of the facts behind the battle. Though the Ruska is more tactically superior to the Kumari, Starfleet has put Th’Nar in command of Starfleet forces in this region while we’ve been assigned here for the duration.”

“I see. A competent force, putting together here, Starfleet is?”

“I couldn’t tell you, Ikar. As far as I know, there aren’t many ships that can be spared after the devastation of the war.”

Ikar sighed, nodding her head. “Thank you, I do, sir.” She paused for a moment, her fatigue evident on her face. Like her first officer, she had helped in the repairs to her ship and the O’Hare. Being a woman of small height, it was easy for her to crawl through Jefferies tubes and do work that most regularly-sized humanoids had difficulty in doing.

“I don’t have orders for you, right now, but General Rentoshi has invited you to set the Espero down in a landing field outside of Citadel.”

“Really?,” Mundi asked. “That’s quite an honor.”

“I think the general feels a little safer with a Defiant class ship nearby.”

“Then stay, Espero will, for now.”


The End.
"All of Time and Space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?"

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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:25 pm

I like it. You've cleaned up the messy parts (grammatically, that is) and fixed most of the spelling. All it needs now is a bit of polish, and it'll be ready for publishing. :D

I do wonder if you'll eventually have Mundi's family move to Intar, since the general idea is to have both Espero and Hammersley based there.
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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby captainuniverse » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:41 pm

Thank you, John. Please PM me on any further polishing.

And I do have plans for Mundi's family to move to Intar. I've been brainstorming over my next Espero story because I definitely can't have them fighting all the time. Plus I need to develop the characters some more.

I'm just hoping that my personnel get finished in Requests soon. Looking at the pics of the crew make it easy for me to imagine them, their reactions, and stuff like that. Plus I'm also giving that Intaran liaison officer idea some more thought as well.

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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:28 pm

Speaking of that, let me go give them a look and see if I can tackle one or two of them...
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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby Michael » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:42 pm

captainuniverse wrote:Star Trek: Espero
‘Hope’s Return’

By Captain Universe

I enjoyed the story. It's a fun read. :/
-Michael Gray
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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby captainuniverse » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:58 pm

Thanks, Michael. :yhoo: :yhoo: :yhoo:

I'm already working on a second Espero story. I'm thinking that Mundi deals with family issues. I don't know about the rest of the crew. I might just wait and see what happens with John's side of Gwalior and Citadel before I write anything.
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Re: Star Trek - Espero

Postby AdmiralSirJohn » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:58 pm

I do have an idea kicking around my head, sort of based on Armageddon. It'll use a bit of real science along with the Treknobabble, and it'll also introduce a couple more characters.
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