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Staggering Stories Podcast #261: Of Companions and Pilots
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sat, 22 Apr 2017 17:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Jean Riddler, Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the 2017 Doctor Who episode ‘The Pilot’ and discuss what makes a Doctor Who companion, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 02:29 — Welcome! 02:21 – News: 02:36 — Star Trek: Discovery narrowly avoids Worf. 04:41 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #260: Masterfully Unbound
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 09 Apr 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the 2016 Big Finish Doctor Who boxset ‘The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield, Vol. 3 – The Unbound Universe’ and discuss Doctor Who’s The Master in general, play a game, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #259: British Robots Invasion of Earth 2150AD
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 26 Mar 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the 1966 film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. and the 2017 film The Lego Batman Movie, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:15 — Welcome! 02:01 – News: 02:20 […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #258: That Osgood and Kate Sound
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler and the Real Keith Dunn discuss possibilities for the next Doctor on Doctor Who, review the first three Big Finish UNIT New Series boxsets, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:20 — Welcome! 01:42 – News: 02:04 — […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #257: Holistic Double Banking
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller discuss BBC America/Netflix’s ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ and Douglas Adams’ time on Doctor Who, play some games, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:20 — Welcome! 02:14 – No news […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #256: The Double Whammy
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 12 Feb 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller discuss Peter Capaldi’s departure from Doctor Who and the legend that was John Hurt, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:25 — Welcome! 02:09 – News: 02:20 […]

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The Triangle: Eternity War Logo

K'Retalra Mission 6: Loss

Reports plucked from SubSpace By Keith Dunn


Restarc forever undefeated

 

Tactical log of the I.K.V. ghop ta'voDelh
27th day in the year of Khaless 1003
K'Ratalra recording

"We are still on still on patrol of the swi'vey shipyard and production facilities. This is our third week of patrol. The previous patrol boats were deemed to inefficient to defend against the new threats to the Empire and have been decommissioned. There has been a delay and the new prey bird fighters; deployment craft have not yet left the shipyards around Kronos. Now scout craft are trying to plug the gaps and cover the system."

 

K'Rontep sat in the command chair his head on his fist staring listlessly at the view screen, K'Ratalra stood behind him at the tactical station,

"Section amber twelve no contact".

K'Rontep sighed deep and long,

"Helm, enter next set of co-ordinates and proceed at warp 3".

With the smooth practiced action that had been performed many times before the ship leaped to warp and its destination. Still watching the veiwscreen as the stars streaked to lines. K'Rontep started to mumbled under his breath and as it was K'Rontep his mumbling was audible to every one,

"I grow bored with this, I miss the smell of blood in my nostrils, the sound of battle and pain in my ear's. As usual Var'Keer has a headache, I even miss the Cadassians. We seem to have been on patrol for all eternity, am I to remain here, growing old and wrinkly waiting for some thing to happen, as potent as a photon fart".

"This is only the third week of patrol my leige. And we have just entered section Amber 13." muttered Dorff from one side of the command chair. K'Rontep made a non-committal sound deep in his trough and considered using the newly installed holo-suite, turning off the Fed safety protocols first. K'Ratalra looked up from his station

"Three marks at eighty by seventy three mark twelve!"

K'Rontep surged to his feet "Shields, prime weapons, red alert, increase to attack speed. To glory

 

The wedge shape ship glided forward. Still carried forward by the momentum of engines that had been shut down some four weeks previously. No running lights glowed, no internal lights shone in the portals. But despite appearances this was not some ghost ship; it was not a derelict

 

Admiral Trayman looked around his darkened bridge with some pride. The only illumination came from the monitors, coursing distorting greenish/ blue glow. The entire ship was set to stand by, the crew was kited out in thermal uniforms monitored the functioning control and made sure the rest of the controls could be re-activated status at a moments notice.

Only two things stopped this from being a perfect mission. One was commander 113. He was part of the new Borg stormtroppers or Borg-troopers; even now he could see the discreet bear claw symbol next to his rank insignia on the white armour.

The old storm trooper's were always a breed apart from the regular army, fanatically loyal and incorruptible, but at least they were human. But these troopers, with their implants were directly wired in to there armour. He personally didn't have anything against cyborgs, but these men had there brains altered, their humanity burned away, they no longer acted like humans. The commander stood in the corner of the bridge, awaiting the signal that the other ships were in position. He only occasional left, to return to his alcove to recharge.

The other plight was standing over by the massive view port polishing the ice of the plexi-glass. Mr Gates was currently wearing a fir trimmed over coat. He approached every thing with an air of condescending smugness. Smiling at every snub and insult as if he had seen the future that involved him holding your still beating heart. He was the Emperor's special advisor and envoy, indicating the importance the Emperor had placed in this mission. Mr Gates stopped what he was doing, tilting his head to one side as if listing to some thing then started to amble over to Trayman. The next thing Trayman knew was commander 113 was standing next to him and Captain Telko was rapidly approaching with concern on his face. The commander spoke but to Trayman's ears it was not the intercom that made his voice flat and lifeless

"The other vessels are now in position. Interdictor class ships are on the most likely approach routs into the system, Blast boats and carrier ships can cover the rest." Traymen forced him self to look the trooper's visored eyes. It maintained discipline and reminded the junior officers of rank but it was difficult with these troopers

"Very well you may give the signal."

He then turned to Captain Telko "You may begin re-heat procedures".

 

Tactical log of the ghop ta'volDh
Supplemental K'Rtalra recording

"The three contacts proved only to be Imperial probes and did little to improve the Captains mood. Still this situation has been going on to long now to be simple administration error. Things must be rectified be fore the imperial new order finds out and takes advantage. They have been to quiet recently."

 

The mess hall was crowded with the activity of shift change. K'Rontep held sway on his table. There was a vivid purple burse on his check and lived cut on his forehead. One arm was dislocated, tucked in to his chain-linked sash. But despite this he was demonstrating to Dorff how he 'killed' a holo-Romulan from the battle of Track'nor val, by using his knife and a Bergaret lung. The air shimmered and a small balding man stood there in federation Starfleet uniform. K'Rontep made a classic double take,

"What's that doing there? I didn't order it!"

The man reached for one of the wall lockers and retrieved a tricorder

"The computer notified me that you had deactivated the safety protocols for the holo-suite and I anticipated your injures. That for instance is dislocated. Now I suggest that you come with me to sickbay for treatment."

K'Rontep stood and leading with his shoulder ran at the wall. There was a popping sound and he walked back to his seat flexing his arm. The Doctor retrieved a sub dermal regenerator from his kit and started to play it round K'Rontep shoulder joint.

"Yes we are all very impressed. But you are still going to join me in sickbay!"

K'Rontep's voice took on a silky menacing air; it was usually a precursor to extreme violence.

"1st officer do you still have that roll of insulation tape?"  There was a rasping sound as Dorff unwound some of the tape. "Good, unless this light bulb stops flapping around me I want you to cover up all the Holo-emitters in here."

The Doctor straightened up and looked at K'Rontep for few moments,

"I will see you in sickbay before your next duty shift starts or I will knock you out and drag you there my self!"

And with that he faded out with a heat haze shimmer.

 

Alra'kron giggled in to her ghar as the mess hall settled down in to its usual background chatter. She managed to catch K'Ratara's attention,

"Pass me the Soothi testacies. What's your opinion of this black fleet that's been sighted around the space lanes?"

K'Ratalra's reply was cut short by K'Rontep's snort of derision and booming reply,

"And which particular black fleet would this be. The black fleet of Sto'va Kor, the manta ray fleet of the Cromaggs, the silent gas dirigibles of the Hoothi? The galaxy is overflowing with bogey men and their black fleets, we've defeated them before and we will do it again!"

 

The Yaridian transport burst out of warp at the edge of the system, glided gently round to orientate its self on the second planet and ignited its impulse engines. Boling out of nowhere came two imperial blast boats and a wing of T.I.E. fighters, swirling around the virtually defenceless transport. It put up a merger defence; it shields already failing from the multiple onslaught and its solitary phaser to slow to have any effect against its opponents. The distress call only sounded once before being smothered by a jamming field from the blast boats

 

"If you could just raise your arm and proceed in a circular motion".

K'Rontep sat on the bio-bed and glared balefully at the holo-doctor, as he hovered around him playing the diagnostic modulator over the joint,

"You see how easy this is."

K'Rontep growled some thing under his breath .The lights flashed red and the intercom bleared "Captain to the bridge, Captain to the bridge".

With a shout of triumph K'Rontep grabbed his tunic and ran from the room. The Doctor watched him go, open mouthed,

"And once again I am left on!" He pottered around the sick bay putting things away and tidied up, stood and looked around the empty sick bay

"Right, lets see how far did I calculate PI to last time?" he sighed.

 

K'Rontep hit the bridge at a run,

"Tactical report!"

"Yaridian transport under attack, section amber nine, we are travelling at warp nine ".

"Tactical engage cloak, pre heat all weapons, 1st officer find out what other ships are in the area?"

"Wolf's claw and Empire's dagger are one minute way!"

Alra'kron spoke from her position "We are arriving at the co-ordinates."

K'Ratalra bent over his monitor "I'm reading two blast boats, Skipray class and twenty four snub fighters T.I.E class, The transporters shields are failing."

"Tactical, target the blast boats set torpedoes to proximity detonation, fire when ready."

 

Space rippled and ran as the shape of a bird of prey coalesced out of nothing. Green fire spat out of the wing tips, splashing flower like over the blast boats shields, orange / gold orbs shot out of the nose cone, scattering the T.I.E.'s before it. The ghop ta'volDelh charged through crowded space.

 

K'Ratalra looked up from his monitor,

"I think we have a problem!"

K'Rontep squeaked his chair round to face K'Ratalra,

"Tactical report!"

The blast boats are fitted with faster than light engines but are no larger than thirty meters and cannot carry other vessels. The TI.E.s have only sub-light engines and need a deployment ship. The transport is transmitting a cone of energy, type unknown!"

"Tactical, target that transport!"

 

Again the bird of prey spat green death, this time to be embraced by the transport ship, which shuddered, then expanded in a flower of flame and destruction. Behind it two star destroyers shimmed into being.

 

The bridge of the Imperial star destroyer was very different, the lighting was back to it's normal subdued level. Aides bustled around collecting discarded thermal jackets. Tech and maintenance crews were cleaning up melt water.

Captain Talko walked up to Admiral Trayman and spoke in discreet tones,

"The captain of the Viceroy has informed us that the transport has been destroyed and its cloaking field has dissipated, they have now engaged the enemy."

"Understood Captain how long till we are at full combat efficiency?"

"Two minutes thirty seconds till optimum combat efficiency, five minutes till full combat readiness".

 

In the distance through the view port was the delicate glass like stems of the space bound dockyards, slowly moving around and between them were the smaller lights of service craft.

The Admiral turned from their contemplation to face the Captain,

"Once the Klingon defence fleet has left bring the main engines up to full and inform me".

He turned and pointed at the Borg trooper "Pipe these instructions to the rest of the task force. We will attack when their fleet leaves."

 

"I'm reading two Victory class Star destroyers!"

"Understood Tactical. 1st officer inform the Swi'Vey dockyard of our situation. Tell the Empire's Dagger to cut across the lead destroyer's y-axis and Wolf's Claw to attack its left bridge deflector shield on my mark... Mark."

 

The three birds of pray split in a starburst formation rolling and twitting in a graceful formation.

 

"I'm reading multiple contacts, they have released their T.I.E. complement"

"Helm get us some distance. Tactical set weapons and choose your targets, fire at will, 1st officer inform the other ships." Dorff looked up from an auxiliary panel,

"We've had a response from the dockyard fleet E.T.A. is two minutes thirty seconds."

 

The T.I.E's swarmed and boiled around the birds of prey, green bolts of energy traded back and forth. The Birds of Prey broke formation and surged forwards, each in a different direction. Then they spun, still maintaining a forward motion, and fired a full salvo of photon torpedoes back the way they had come, detonating in the cloud of smaller ships.

 

"Admiral the fleet has just left"!

Trayman looked up at Captain Telko a brief smile flicked crossed his lips,

"How many ships does that leave?"

Telko pursed to mentally re-a just as the question threw him slightly. At this point Mr Gates ambled through the doors of the bridge and headed over to the Admiral.

"Twelve ships sir, all of them D7 class!"

Trayman nodded in satisfaction,

"Very good Captain, send the co-ordinates to the task force. Have wing alpha is to target the space side dock facilities. Wing Beta is to attack the planet side facilities wing Gamma is to remain in reserve helping out where needed we shall take on what is left of the defence fleet. After the task force has arrived inform the interdictors to commence the blockade of the system."

At this point Mr Gates leaned in to the conversation,

"But are you sure it will work?"

Trayman looked at him for a few moments, as if he was some thing scraped from one of his boots,

"The Klingon Empire has just finished a costly and bloody war with another degenerate race, they are short of ships and man power. Also about a century ago they lost a lot of their energy producing facilities to civil war and accident, something from which they have never really recovered. We can gain their resources while they are weak."

Mr Gates nodded with a curious half smile,

"And if they get reinforcements?"

Trayman narrowed his eyes in annoyance at this interloper that stood before him, some one that dared to question his orders on his own bridge. Captain Talko, seeing the sift of emotions in his superior gave the reply,

"As you know the interdictor class star destroyers can generate and project gravity wells up to planetary mass size. It is designed to knock ships out of hyperspace, our researchers think it will do the same to ships in warp drive ".

Mr Gates broke in to a beaming smile,

"That's right. I do like it when you get your research right."

The Admiral turned to Commander113 and in a strained voice said,

"Space troopers and pod units".

 

Illuminations blinked on in dozens of alcoves, with vents of steam-like gas cables snatched back from powered armoured space suites. Minds that were empty and should have been long dead were activated to calculate trajectories. Frontal lobes were programmed with mission profiles and objectives. Everything was ready all that was needed was a return to real space.

 

The space dock hung serenely in space. Three canopy like structures spidery arms reaching out, Starlight glinting of the mirror like solar panels. Tugs and tender ships scurried around them, travelling between them and the planet side faculties. Scattered around them was the paroling D7's.

Suddenly expanding out of nowhere came two Imperial star destroyers and sundry other ships, plus one massive ship. The D7's quickly formed up in to attack formation. The hatches on the side of the oblong like ships snapped open dispensing troopers in armoured space suits; they drifted out adding their firepower to the imperial ships. Other ships that had strange lumps and ridges on them drifted closer to the dockyards. Suddenly the lumps split off from the ships under powered flight, orientating them selves. They begin to align themselves against the dockyard. Lights flared out from the underside of the pods as they welded themselves to the dockyard and begin to cut there way through.

 

"Sir were are receiving distress calls from the dockyard they are under attack!"

K'Rontep spun round his chair round to face Dorff,

"WHAT!"

Dorff took a step back due to the force of his emotion,

"There are garbled reports of multiple ships in attack formation".

K'Rontep sat back in his chair as different possibilities flashed through his mind,

"1st officer inform all ships to break off and defend the docks. Helm inform the Heg qaD fleet of our situation".

 

The bird of prey performed one last strafing run on the Victory star destroyer. Gathering itself at the end of its run, it leaped to infinity.

 

The Klingons inside the space dock took up defence positions around sections of glowing walls. With a shudder that echoed down the corridors, chunks of metal exploded inwards, forcing the defenders to duck. White armoured troopers forced there way through the rough breach. Red and green bolts of fire were traded up and down the corridor. The invading troopers dodged down the corridors using all the bits of cover available, until an unspoken signal seamed to pass through the troops. As one they all stood up and marched out in unison. The Klingons hesitated for a few moments, unable to believe that an enemy would present such a target for them. Then they opened fire, only to their beams to hit a panel of shimmering air, as the Borg troopers had adapted to their energy weapons.

 

A group of greenish dots expanded in to the Klingon defence fleet.

 

"Qay'vey look at the size of that thing." Alra'Kron blurted out. K'Rontep twisted his chair round

"Tactical report. Is it the Death Star?"

K'Rontep leaned over his scanner,

"No, it's too small!" This started background muttering around the bridge with K'Rontep mouthing "Too small".

"It seams to be some kind of dedicated siege platform. I'm reading over four hundred missile tubes".

"Deploy the fleet defend the dry docks, attempted to take down the that platform. Choose your targets we delay them long enough for the Heg qaD fleets gets here".

 

The fleet split, flowering off in different directions. Once again swarms of T.I.E fighters burst out to meet them. Green fire streaked back and forth, interspersed  with red, orange explosions followed by expanding white atmosphere.

 

"Captain I have lost contact with the orbital docks!"

"Understood, Helm new course!"

K'Rontep marked out a new course on the command interface. Dorff lent forward,

"Captain the Heg qaD fleet reports that it has run into a gravimetric field that has knocked them out of warp, they are currently under attack by the New Order forces. They cannot say when they can disengage and aid us here."

A nerve pulsed in K'Rontep's check as he ground his teeth together,

"Understood 1st officer, inform the defence fleet and tell them, this facility will not fall to enemy hands. Helm set course for the orbital docks ramming speed!"

K'Ratalra's shout focused every ones attention on the viewscreen,

"The siege platform is firing!"

 

The sound of the detonation echoed around the planet, with the glow of the disruption being seen all over the northern hemisphere and down as far as the equator.

 

K'Ratalra's next words didn't inspire any confidence,

"The planetary shields held but there down to twenty three percent and the siege platform is powering up to fire again."

"Helm get us moving. Tactical make sure nothing gets in our way!" K'Rontep slumped back in to his chair.

 

The bird of prey leaped forward, the cannons on its wing tips blazing green fire at any thing that moved in its flight path. A path that would slam to its end in the middle of the orbital dry dock. Suddenly a shadow passed over the front of the ship, yellow / golden beams of light reached out, locking on to the speeding ship and pulled it sideways.

 

The bridge crew grabbed their seats and workstations as a violent shudder ran through the fabric of the ship.

"Tactical report!"

"We are locked in to a tractor beam by a Klingon ship of an unknown type".

K'Rontep exploded "UNKNOWN!! WHAT DOES THAT MEAN; UNKNOWN?"

"The vessel has a Klingon configuration and transponder but I don't recognise the name, class or type ".

"Open fire on it. Disable that tractor beam!"

After less than thirty seconds a figure coalesced in the middle of the bridge, as if throwing of a cloak. He was human, somewhere in his late sixty's. He wore an all-covering cloak and robes of black and midnight blue. His silver/ white hair was slicked strait back on his head. His thin haughty face stared glared around him self with imperial distain. The voice was whipcord sharp and full of authority,

"You will desist your attack on my vessel!"

With a savage roar K'Rontep leaped across the bridge knife in hand. Only to pass straight through the figure .The mage turned, following K'Rontep with a speed that belied his years. He made a pushing gesture with his hands and K'Rontep flew into the air, hitting the ceiling of the bridge. At the same time flames seemed to engulf the mage's head revealing snarling wolfs head, golden eyed, snarling fangs, lolling tongue.

"If you want an ignoble death continue attacking my ship and my shade."

The figure made a motion with his hand. K'Rontep slide a crossed the walls and down on to the floor. The mage's face reverted to normal,

"Listen to me, little man, the day is lost leave here now!"

"The day is not lost as long as one Klingon draws breath!"

"You ignorant sub-brained. . .You are involved in a battle that will shake the very pillars of Stov A Cor itself. Observe" The viewscreen flared in to life revelling two D7,

"Tactical report!"

"Planetary shields are down. The D7's Romulan terror and blood wing report that they are locking on to the planetary facility".

 

The two D7gracefully swooped round to face the planet. The engines flashed green as they prepared to smash into the planet side dockyard at warp speed, sending it to oblivion. At the same time above the planets northern pole, the blackness of space condensed, as if the fabric of space was taking on form. Swirling out of the darkness was three spider-like shapes, dark, menacing, brooding. Just as the D7 went to warp, purple and white beams lanced out of the middle of the black ships, neatly carving of the warp engines of the D7's, immediately halting their headlong rush to destruction. The next beam sliced off "Blood Wings" boom section allowing it to float free for a few moments, with bodies and debris being sucked out of the neatly cut end, before the anti-matter containment failed and what was left of the ship expanded in to a fire ball. "Romulan Terror" faired no better, a cutting, lancing beam sliced it from prow to stern, allowing the to half's to begin to flout away before it to disappeared in red and golden flames. And then with a strange shriek that echoed across the comm. Lines all three ships faded away

 

K'Ratalra looked up from his board "We've just received a recall and confirmation signal from the Heg qad fleet"

K'Rontep turned slowly "What! Retreat! "

The white haired figure looked smug as he imperially looked around him,

"At last, someone has a modicum of sense. Now go back to your home systems and tell your leaders to prepare for WAR!" The mage swirled his arms around himself as if putting on a cloak and vanished from sight

 

Tactical log of the ghop ta'volDeh
Supplemental K'Ratalra reporting

"The worst has happened the Imperial New Order has made numerous attacks across the Triangle sector. A number of these were feints designed to draw us out, others strategic strikes. This is no longer a minor irritant."

 

The end

The Klingon Empire was harmed in the making of this story