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Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Podcast #282: Lighting Up Leicester
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 11 Feb 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the 2013 Big Finish Doctor Who 50th anniversary story ‘The Light at the End’, discuss their visit to the Doctor Who convention ‘Science of the Time Lords’, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #210: Babylon 5 – The Wheel of Fire
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 04 Feb 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, bargaining, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘The Wheel of Fire’, and spout our usual nonsense! G’Kar has become a cult, Delenn has a parasite and Lochley finally does something. But enough of their problems, please sit down with us to […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #281: Ruler of Swindon (or maybe Sweden?)
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 28 Jan 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith and the Real Keith Dunn discuss our Top Ten 2017 Films, review the 2017 Big Finish Doctor Who boxset ‘The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield, Vol. 4 – Ruler of the Universe’, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #209: Doctor Who – The Eaters of Light
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:55

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, consuming, in front of the 2017 Doctor Who S10 episode, ‘The Eaters of Light’, and spout our usual nonsense! Bill has fallen down a hole (again), Nardole is getting inked up and Kar is fending off a demon. But enough of their problems, please […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #280: Welcome to the Annual Predictability
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 14 Jan 2018 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller discuss Capaldi’s best Doctor Who bits, review the film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, come up with our Predictions, Hopes and Dreams, and Fears for 2018, see how wrong we were about our Predictions for 2017, find some general news, […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #208: Babylon 5 – The Fall of Centauri Prime
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 07 Jan 2018 10:54

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, coronated, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘The Fall of Centauri Prime’, and spout our usual nonsense! Mollari has a fetching new outfit that he doesn’t want, Delenn and Lennier are wrecked and Vir suddenly has a large supply of Ferrero […]

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The Triangle: Eternity War Logo

K'Retalra Mission 3: First Strike

Reports plucked from SubSpace By Keith Dunn


Restarc forever undefeated

Tactical combat log of the I.K.V. ghop ta’ voDleh
247th Day in the year of Kahless 1000
Lt Comdr K’Ratalra Tai Restarc Recording

The ghop ta’ voDleh is currently on course for star base Olympus. For re-supply and mission briefing, all crew are allowed a 24-hour pass, which I myself will be enjoying. After I have attended a briefing with Brigadier Khaji K’Mpec aboard the Hegh quD

The mood on the Bridge of the K‘Vort class bird of pray was light. Captain K‘Rontep dominated the proceedings as he strolled from once side of the bridge to the other. His heavy ridge tilted back. His voice seemed to rumble out from the centre of his barrelled chest and echoed in every corner of the darkened bridge. He was singing one of his own compositions. K‘Ratlra was at his station 1st Officer Dorff was at his side. Both were smashing the top of their consoles with their fists to keep the rhythm. The rest of the bridge crew rapidly joined in, hitting their own consoles or clapping in time.

“We sing in praise of total war,
Against an enemy we abhor.
To free this quadrant of their hoard
We‘ll put creation to the sword.
There is no glory greater than,
Snatching honour from victory‘s hand.”

When he had finished the whole of the bridge crew hooted and cried their approval.

“My lord, coming up on the co-ordinates for Olympus,” reported Alr‘Kon from her helm position.

The captain span round on the spot, “Helm,” he snapped, “slow to 1/3 impulse then get me an approach orbit. Tactical raise Olympus operations. I want a docking bay in 2 minutes ‘ Action.”

K‘Rontep returned to his command chair as the bridge scrambled into action around him.

 

Tactical log of the I.K.V.ghop ta‘voDleh
248th Day in the year of Kahless 1000

The last of the crew are currently returning to the ship after a night of revelry.

The Brigadier has laid an interesting mission in front of me. To destroy the cloning tanks of the planet Simrot.

I have requested all data on Simrot to help formulate a plan that will help us get planet side undetected

“Tactical report”.

K‘Rontep was still in a jovial mood from his escapades on Olympus. K‘Ratalra looked up from his tactical display which listed new supplies and the remains of the crew yet to board, “The Brigadier has selected a mission worthy of our talents. We are to destroy Simrots cloning tanks and do as much collateral damage to the surrounding installation as possible.”

“What plans do you have for completing this mission?”

“I have a few ideas!” he replied as he transferred the mission data to the Captain’s screen.

“Daring and typically cunning. Why don‘t we just fly in and incinerate the surface?” The captain‘s voce was tinged with humorous scorn.

Familiar with the routine K‘Ratalra rose to the bait, “Palpatane is a control freak and likes to show off all the trappings of power. That will include at least three capital class ships, probably their Star Destroyer class.”

K‘Rontep swung round in his chair and feigned disgust, “Sometimes Tactical I think you want to live forever.”

“No! Just die trying”.

K‘Rontep twisted the chair forward again, “Helm, inform Olympus ops of our departure. Then best speed to Simrot, stand by to cloak at my command. Tactical, select members for the strike team. We ride to Simrot and VICTORY! ! !”

 

Tactical log supplemental

I have studied the sensor data and telemetry from the recon probes. We have only a small window of opportunity to get planet side undetected.

The team will consist of my self, Science officer Val ‘Tara, engineer K‘Talvus, Tactical team members Var‘Tass, K‘Lovis, Lurkshor and of course the captain.

Dorff is to remain in command of the ghop ta‘ voDleh. It’s to remain cloaked and in system

Sensors have revealed 4 Star Destroyer class ships in orbit, 3 dreadnought class ships and one capital class construction facility (sensor data log and listed to follow).

 

The Assault shuttle span lazily around its own axis. Propelled by an explosive decompression of the shuttle bay some 20 minutes earlier .A dangerous and risky manoeuvre to be performed so close to a planetary atmosphere.

“Remind me once again, tactical, why are we doing this.”

The captain‘s voice was soft and silky, the tone he used when he was at his most dangerous.

K‘Ratalra was used to his captain‘s mood swings and calmly replied, “We don‘t know if the Emperor‘s new order has transporter technology. But they certainly do have sensor technology and will be scanning for anything unusual. The meteor shower that will take place within the next 10 to 20 minutes should mask any stray emissions from our transporter beam.”

There was a noncommittal grunt as K‘Rontep realised the logic of the situation, even if he thought it was the quiet way to the planet‘s surface.

Alra‘Kon called back from the pilots position, “The meteor shower is beginning. WE are approximately 2 minutes from planetary atmosphere”.

K‘Rontep‘s voice boomed out, “ALL UNITS PREPARE FOR ACTION!!”

 

Tactical log supplemental

As the shuttle bounced on the upper atmosphere, the strike team grabbed the last of their supplies then beamed down. The shuttle then changed its angle and used the atmosphere to bounce back in to space.

The General stared over the technician‘s shoulder into the readout screen, “Could it be a particle of energised matter from the shower that made it through the atmosphere?”

 

A presence entered the command chamber and silence seemed to descend. It walked up to stand behind the General. He didn‘t need to turn around to see who it was.

“You have found something?”

“It could be nothing, my lord. But it seems there was a strange energy discharge during the last meteor shower. I was about to order a probe droid to investigate”.

“No.. Send a scout patrol. Keep me informed!”

“Yes, lord Vader.”

 

It was a dense moonlit forest. Sounds were muffled with a thick layer of snow. The only sound was the occasional discrete crump as the odd branch gave out under the weight.

Into this environment came the orange golden glowing sparkle of a transporter beam. After transport the klingons sank 3 inches, they looked around, orientating themselves. K‘Talvus pulled his sleeveless jacket closer to him, “Weren‘t told it would be this dammed cold “.

K‘Rontep rounded on him, “You are wearing winter survival gear. Did you expect a stroll on the beach?”

He turned back to K‘Ratalra and murmured, “ You didn‘t mention it would be this cold”.

While this exchange took place Var‘Tass had been scanning with her tricorder, “Our objective is 2 days travel,” she pointed, “in that direction”.

 

A long droning started vibrating through the snow lined trees. 5 scout troopers on speeder bikes appeared through the woods travelling at unbelievable speeds.

The detachment commander signalled a halt and retrieved a portable scanner.

At that point the mounds of snow exploded into flakes and enraged Klingons.

The scouts wasted valuable seconds as their hands scrambled for their handguns. The Klingons hit them at full tilt. For a few minutes the only sound was the grunts of exertion, of men fighting for their lives. Hands found helmeted heads and twisted producing meaty, crunching snaps. Blades were inserted between armoured plates and pushed producing bubbling sighs. In moments it was over.

K‘Rontep stood, cleaned his d‘ktahg, “Science, Engineering, find out how those bikes work. Tactical, you and the rest of the team hide the bodies and cover the blood.”

K‘Talvus and Var‘Tass scanned the bikes as the rest of the team struggled with the bodies, “Science, Engineering report”.

Var‘Tass turned slightly and spoke while studying her tricorder, “Basically what you‘ve got here is an anti-grav on a directional thruster”.

“Can we use them?”

“I can‘t find any anti-tampering modules!”

“Right tactical squad. When you have finished! We mount up and ride!”

 

The five speeder bikes shot through the winter forest

Fir coats and cloaks flared out behind them.

K‘Ratalra leant back in his seat so Var‘Tass could hear him, because of the shortage of bikes Var’Tass, K‘Ratalra and K‘Talvas, K‘Lovis had to share. “How far to the sewage pipe? “

“12 Kalicames”

“At this speed that‘s about 2 seconds”.

 

Tactical Log Supplemental

The thermal readings of the discharge pipe indicated that it ran through the research complex. We should be able to backtrack it using the Tricoder and data from orbital intelligence sources. Then cut our way up in, or near, the cloning chamber.

 

The snow around the pipe and the ice for about 50 meters down stream was melted. Clouds of mist hung in the air, as the moist warm air mixed with frigid air of the outside.

Just inside, the bikes were parked, piled high with firs.

The Klingon taskforce strode deeper in to the sewer, “Tactical,” K‘Rontep‘s voice boomed out, “This place smells worse than the seven headed charger of Corojaam!!”

K’Ratalra answered with a sly tilt to his voice, “I‘m sorry sir perhaps we should get you nose plugs, a filter mask, an oxygen breather or how about an entire vacc suit!! “.

Unknown to the strike group some thing was watching them with hungry eyes. The single eye on a bent stalk plopped out of liquid ooze, looked around and then disappeared with a slurp.

“Science, E.T.A. to our cut through point,” K‘Rontep snapped.

At that point, a mud brown tentacle wrapped itself rapidly around K‘Ratalra‘s left leg and waist. Pulling him, he flew through the air and disappeared beneath the surface of the grime/ filth covered water. Disrupters were pulled and fired repeatedly into the water. The surface water bubbled and churned as one figure and a creature thrashed beneath the surface. The murky water fountained red then settled. The eyestalk broke the surface again, but kept on rising, revealing K‘Ratalra covered in gore and slime holding the entrail covered end.

 

The red indicator lights flicked on one by one. The lift doors slid open revealing an electric blue light. The dark figure strolled through the throne room. He ignored the visiting dignitaries and court nobles. To kneel on the illuminated dais.

The man lounging in the high Tec throne only wore simple robes, no black. He didn’t need to, light just seemed to fall in to him, like a mini black hole. A dark brooding presence surrounded him.

A supple voice cracked through the air, “Yes my friend. What is it?”

The dark voice rumbled out of the respirator, “An enemy strike force has entered the complex”.

Amusement entered the Emperor‘s voice, “I know”.

The dark voice rumbled on, “ My Master. . There is a Force sensitive among them”.

The Emperor looked away in to the middle distance. Stripping away the layers of reality, “It matters not. The paltry savages of this reality have no understanding of the feeble Force. It will always remain undefined, a raw talent. We shall continue to test our defences.”

“As you command,” The dark lord rose to withdraw.

 

It was a darkened corridor, little used, shrouded in a light layer of dust. There came a distant banging from beneath the floor panels. With a sharp crack one-floor panel raised from the ground and two insanely mad, angry eyes glared out.

K'Rontep glanced down, “All clear unfortunately”.

The Klingons swarmed out of the hole in the floor and took up defensive positions, “Engineer and you,” said K‘Rontep pointing to Val ‘Tara, “will disable any power source and planetary shields”.

He turned to K‘Lovis, “You and Science find the computer core. See if you can patch in the Tricorder. Run a translation and down load any vital systems. That leaves Tactical and you, with me. . .Action.”

The Captain, K’Ratalra and Lurkshor moved off. The rest of the group split off in their various directions.

 

The tubes were twice the height of a man and almost as broad and there were millions of them. They were layered deep along the walls of the canyon-like chamber. Thick industrial cables wound their way in and out of the cloning tanks. There were suited technicians milling around, checking readings, and making minor alterations. From one of the uppermost tier‘s K‘Rontep, K‘Ratalra and Lurkshor surveyed the scene.

Lurkshor cast a critical eye over the chamber, “We could sever the umbilical cables. But that would only terminate the current crop of clones. They would only reconnect and start again”.

“Any geological faults we could use?” K‘Ratalra enquired.

“Stand by . . .Scanning”.

 

The Technician checked his electronic clipboard and altered the controls in front of him. Then a hand was clamped over his mouth and a d‘ktahg bit deep in to his kidneys. K‘Rontep held him tight until he finished thrashing. He then waved Lurkshor and

K’Ratalra forward. As they moved forward they laid quantum charges at significant points in the chamber. They finally reached K‘Rontep, “All charges set, timer is primed,” Lerkshor reported.

“YOU THERE. . . What are you doing?”

Disrupter bolts found their mark in white armour. K‘Rontep turned round, “Our presence has been discovered. I think its time we got out of here”. He slapped his comm badge, “Science, Engineering, we are moving out “.

 

The dark figure slouched in the throne staring in to the middle distance. Suddenly he snapped upright, “It seems that our house guests are proving too resourceful “.

He reached forward and flicked a switch on the throne, “Have my personal shuttle made ready. Inform the captain of the Star Destroyer Death’s Head to receive my flag. Also inform the commandant about the intruders and tell Lord Vader they will be heading to the docking platform.”

 

Somewhere in the distance a siren blared. K‘Talvus and Var‘Tass were pinned down by cross fire on one of the gantries. There was some faint scuffling from the gantry above. The next minute Lurkshor leapt over the ledge, Bat‘leth in hand, heading towards the small knot of stormtropers. By the time K‘Rontep and K‘Ratalra reached the lower gantry there was only the sound of the dying.

“Engineering report,” K‘Rontep snapped.

“Explosive charges are set around their main power source. Just detonating these should solve our problems “

“Why! !”

“Because its geothermal. They have plugged in to a volcano and are controlling the lava flow.”

“Excellent! Then let‘s make things hot for them!”

K‘Rontep grabbed the Tricorder and keyed in a particular sequence of buttons.

 

A group of technicians moved swiftly through the glowing cherry red pipes. In their hands were sensor /detector equipment, “I‘ve got some thing here”.

The group rapidly approached one of the glowing pipes. Attached to the wall next to one of the pipes was a cluster of dull green/ gold pods. As the Tec reached out with the scanner, the wall exploded spewing the room with red viscous lava.

 

The whole complex was bucking like a ship in a storm. Girders, rocks and debris fell from above. As one, the group of Klingons rushed to the exit.

The docking platform shook with the distant sound of explosions, gently at first, but with gradually more violence.

Val‘Tara and K‘lovis crouched in the corner scanning the ships that were docked. They observed a squad of storm troopers take up positions facing the opposite corridor. The corridor that the rest of the Klingon group were coming down.

The sound of disrupter fire greeted K‘Ratalra and K‘Rontep. They pulled their disrupters and dove in to a prone position. The next few minutes there was a maelstrom of red and green destructive energy. K‘Ratalra noticed a figure approaching through the smoke, Tall, dark, brooding. It stood there watching the scene.

Then, in a move of direct confrontation, moved to block his passage to the ships. K‘Ratalra reached behind him and pulled his Bat‘leth from its harness and moved in to battle ready position. There was a snap hiss, a ruby red blade leapt in to existence and cleaved the Bat‘leth in two.

“Kherst!!”

Half the Bat‘leth caught the hand with the saber; the other found the chest panel. The resulting explosion was small but knocked over both figures. Almost immediately K‘Ratalra was up and running, as more troopers poured on to the platform. Behind him the dark figure rose and was catching Disrupter bolts fired at him by the others.

K‘Rontep gave covering fire from the doorway of a Lambder class shuttle as K‘Ratalra ran towards them. By this time the structure of the docking platform was starting to give way.

K‘Ratalra climbed in to the pilots seat of the shuttle, Lurkshor in the co-pilots. K‘Rontep took the gunners position, fired up the guns and started taking pot shots, much to his own amusement.

K‘Ratalra started issuing orders, K‘Rontep was too preoccupied, “K‘Talvas get down to Engineering, find out what makes this thing go. Vel‘Tara patch in the tricorder, I may have to use it to fly this thing.”

Within a few minutes the shuttle lifted off, the wings unfolded gracefully and it sped to the horizon, rapidly followed by a squad of T.I.E fighters

 

As soon as the shuttle hit the edge of space, two star destroyers released their wings of T.I.E.’s. The bird of pray decloaked next to the orbital platform and unleashed a full salvo of photon torpedoes in to its gossamer-like strands Ignoring the destruction, it turned to fire repeated torpedoes and disrupter bolts in to the growing cloud of Tie‘s

“I think I‘ve got it. The engines are of hyperspace induction and open a portal to parallel conduit dimen. . .

K‘Ratalra held up his hand cutting off the flow “ Can you make it go “.

“Yes. “

“THEN DO SO!! “

“I will need spatial co-ordinates “.

They both turned to Vel‘Tara, “I‘ve pulled what look like neutral co-ordinates.”

K‘Ratalra looked relieved, “Okay lets punch it “.

Almost simultaneously the Lambda and bird of pray stretched and disappeared.

 

K‘Ratalra once again stood before the Brigadier, “As far as we can tell, the mission was a success. The complex was destroyed in the eruption, the orbital construction yard was severely damaged.”

He handed over some data chips, “This is all the information that we could down load some of it might by garbled. And the techs are delighted with the shuttle.”

“And what of Darth Vader?”

“I can‘t say, I was occupied at the time.”

“Go. You have the rest of your 24 hour pass to enjoy.”

 

“The guns are hot, the hull is ringing
The engines sing the sound of triumph;”

K‘Rontep was in the mess hall once again holding court singing his favourite song.

K‘Ratalra immediately joined the fray and sung at the top of his voice

“And every one abroad awaits,
A prize upon the horizon.
Hand and weapon! Heart and power!
Cry it with the voice of Empire!
Victory and prize and plunder!
Vengeance flies at morning! ! “

THE END


No one was harmed during the making of this story.
But several late nights were sacrificed on the altar of creativity!!