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Staggering Stories Podcast #274: The Seven Keys to Starbug
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Crumbly, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review Big Finish’s version of the Doctor Who stage play The Seven Keys to Doomsday, the third and fourth episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and the new Red Dwarf episodes Cured and Siliconia, find some general […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #202: Babylon 5 – Phoenix Rising
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 15 Oct 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, roasted, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘Phoenix Rising’, and spout our usual nonsense! Byron is losing control of more than his flowing locks, Garibaldi has a word with Bester and the rogue telepaths are burning bright. But enough of their […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #273: Captain Ace and a Bout of ST:D
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 08 Oct 2017 08:50

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review Big Finish’s Doctor Who: Earth Aid audio play, discuss the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 02:01 — Welcome! 02:53 – […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #201: Doctor Who – Extremis
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 01 Oct 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, simulated, in front of the 2017 Doctor Who S10 episode, ‘Extremis’, and spout our usual nonsense! The Doctor is doing his Daredevil impersonation, Bill has an unreal feeling and the Monks are definitely meddling. But enough of their problems, please sit down with us […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #272: Doctor Who and those Effing Nanites
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 24 Sep 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller compare TV’s Doctor Who: Dalek and Big Finish’s Doctor Who: Jubilee, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:10 — Welcome! 02:38 – News: 02:48 […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #200: Babylon 5 – In the Kingdom of the Blind
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 17 Sep 2017 12:24

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, blackmailed, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘In the Kingdom of the Blind’, and spout our usual nonsense! Byron and his flowing locks are attempting some dirty blackmail, the Centauri Regent has taken to drink and Londo Mollari needs to watch […]

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The Triangle: Eternity War Logo

K'Retalra Mission 7: Boom

Reports plucked from SubSpace By Keith Dunn


Restarc forever undefeated

 

The wedged shape ship plowed through the depths of space, in much the same way a Naval ship used to plow it way through the water and ice of yesteryear, running lights blazing out in to the night.

Albion Spilnesh crossed the bridge and stood before the sensor suit. Commander Otsa, seeing that Captain Spilnesh was on duty approached to report "We are still receiving the distress signal, though it dose now seam to be an automated beacon".

"Any evidence of a ship or wreckage?"

"Negative, however there is an unidentified energy field, that is in the form of globular clusters, scattered throughout the area".

"I see. Lets be cautious commander, alert status three".

Commander Otsa turned and stood over the crew pit, speaking in a firm voice "Energies the defense screens, clear the turbo batters for firing".

 

The other ship stood off the edge of the distortion field at two thousand kilometers. It was a strange and unusual configuration, flower-like with short petal style wings that flared blue/ black against the red and yellow mottled skin, it supported an elongated stamen like structure that grew directly out of the petals.

The ship was virtually invisible, nothing as primitive as a cloaking device, but rather blended in to the back ground, so like a photo with a slight distortion, or a musical note played wrong in the middle of a symphony, you would only notice it if it was pointed out to you.

It was watching, waiting, observing. The probe it had sent out was still transmitting on the new order distress signal. He wished to test a hypothesis on the nature of the anomaly that was the energy field.

 

Captain Spilnesh stood over the crew pit looking down on the instruments "I don't like this, Commander Otsa! Call all stop".

Otsa left his side to stand over the helm suit and gave the command, after a few minuets "now reading all stop sir"!

"Let's take this slow, distance from the anomaly?"

"We are steady at three hundred meters".

"Prepare a reconnaissance shuttle."

There was a sudden commotion and a panicked shout from a technician from the science suit "sir we have an energy spike. Sir! The field is expanding in our direction!"

Spilnesh turned and fixed the lieutenant with a cold stare "show a little decorum". He then turned to the helm suit "Helm full reverse".

 

The instant the field started to expand in all directions the mottled ship maintained its distance to the expanding front, all sensors and recording logs on. The instant the wave front hit the victory class star destroyer, it shifted and blurred, as if seen through water.

The deck plating lost its sheen, grew dark and spotty with rust as a water pipe somewhere on bored burst. Then the hull plating begins to slough off in to the depths of space. Like a thousand mime Jack in the box's lifeboats burst forth from the main body of the ship. Some of them a very small amount managed to escape, some simple exploded, some just grew dull and lifeless, retrorockets failed and left them spinning in the star destroyers wake. It all happened in less time then it tock to tell. After it was over the flower like mottled ship spun on its own axis and sped away in the cold night.

 

K'Rontep and K'Ratalra waited outside the generals office. The place was griped by a controlled panic as command was still trying to get to grips with the devastating loss that happened at the Swi'vey shipyards and loss of control over almost the entire sector.

With a grating clang the doors of the office opened and the two Klingon officers proceeded in to the organized chaos.

The displays of the Hegh qad war room were being constantly updated with new information. Some of them displayed the new boarder (reviling just how much ground had been lost to the new order). General K'Batlh, Brigadier Khaji, councilor Korgh and his attendants were grouped around the main operations table.

There was a definite sense of tension in the air; both K'Batlh and Kaji had pensive looks of annoyance on their faces, while Korgh had a look of smug satisfaction.

Korgh looked up "Greetings K'Rontep, I think we have a mission worthy of your talents".

General K'Batlh reacted sharply, trying to regain the lost position of command 'I'm still in command of this taskforce councilor and it is I who will conduct the mission briefings!"

It seamed that what ever had gone on before the Captain and the tactical officer had entered the room Korgh had won; now he was content with his victory. With a wave of his hand, he smiled at them "Of cores General, of cores."

"It seams that after the failure of the situation conference at Venwi's claim that Chancellor Garron has thrown another temper tantrum and had the ambassadorial staff recalled and closed the boarder again!"

K'Ratalra frowned "What is being done about the Earther's allegation "?

Korgh snorted dismissively "They lie as easily as breathing, but I believe that Captain Ki'yak is making some preliminary investigations."

K'Ratalra took a sight intake of breath "The butcher of Eventas! I didn't know he was still alive?"

K"Rontep looked his tactical officer in the eye "I didn't know he was still sane!"

The General continued, "At this time we cannot divert a full ambassadorial flotilla from the front. You will join a taskforce of one K'avort class, the Iron Fist, and one B'rel class the Clawed Dagger. Proceed to Earth collect the Ambassador and his staff and return to Kronos safely!"

K'rontep growled his dissatisfaction, K'Ratalra added his own voice "That don't give us a lot of room to maneuver. Can you not give us a Vor'cha class as well?"

The General gave a barely restrained sigh "the councilor has every faith in your abilities to complete this mission within the parameters he has set. As you did when you freed him from the Imperial Star Destroyer.

K'Ratalra turned and glared at Korgh "And just what is your position within the Klingon government?"

At that point K'Rontep reached out and grabbed the offered PADD from Brigadier Kaji and begin to leave the room "Tactical we have our mission parameters it is time to leave. General, Brigadier"

They both left the war room and marched back to the hangar deck, where the ghop ta'voDleH was berthed. As they crossed the noise crowded deck K'Rontep leaned over to K'Retalra "Councilor Korgh has recently been placed as the minister for internal security".

K'Ratalra made a sour note at the back of his throat "The last time we had one of those was during the emperors of the flag and any child could tell you what trouble they brought".

Krontep slapped his communicator "Helm prepare the ship for immediate dust off as soon as we are aboard "

 

The ghop ta' voDleH exited the hanger deck; the ship hovered momentarily outside the deck, spun around on its own axis, its wings repositioning themselves into its cruse mode. With a flared of its engines it shot through the clouds of attendant ships into open space, then stretched into infinity.

 

The communications officer flagged the supreme "Report!"

"Our agents report that they have left for the staging area. The beacon has been placed aboard their ship."

"Understood, inform the cadre commander of there flight plan and beacon frequency. The commander has authority to deploy its cadre."

"I obey!"

 

Tactical log K'Ratalra recording

We have arrived at the staging point after a delay of twenty-four hours. The reason? To collect a package from Restac house fleet that I know will come in useful.

K'Ratalra cleared his tactical board then activated the comms relay "Sir we are being hailed by the Iron Fist".

"Understood Tactical put em on screen!"

The viewscreen wavered then the angry features of Captain Veng appeared "K'RONTEP!! You waste of space where have you been. I could have been destroying twelve fleets of jem hadar ships while I've been waiting around for you!"

"Cool your tough dust for brains, we will be underway shortly! Tactical cut transmission."

K'Ratalra activated the pulse message indicator on his board and read the log entry "Captain K'Reth informs us that the package is in position two thousand meters off our starboard hull. They will remain in that relative position until we enter the Sol system".

K'Rontep grunted his understanding "Tactical inform all ships it's time to get this movable feast under way. Helm warp eight at my command, head Earth the Sol system, initiate."

 

The three birds of prey took up positions, the larger one in the front the two smaller ones behind each wing tip. All the ships shimmered as if in a heat haze and slowly vanished. The light from the stars flared and distorted in the shape of the ships, as they went to warp.

 

Tactical log supplemental

The long journey through Klingon space has passed without incident and we are now rapidly approaching the Federation border. Disruptors have been set at 10% power in accordance with ambassadorial exchange regulations.

K'Ratalra looked up from his sensor display "Sir I'm reading four ships all battle cruiser classification two ambassador class, two Nebula. I didn't know we warranted such a response."

K'Rontep leaned back in his chair "They were probably expecting a larger fleet".

K'Ratalra grinned madly "There probably feeling very embarrassed right now."

"Tactical inform all ships to go to sub-light at my mark. Helm slow to impulse... Mark!"

Krontep plotted a course on the situation PADD attached to his command chair "Helm execute this flight plan. Tactical send this to the taskforce and tell them to implement it at my command. Acknowledge when received."

 

Although the ships were invisible and transparent, they glided round the three federation ships pirouetting to balance on one wing tip, and then came to rest in front and facing the Federation ships. Then one by one, smallest one first, then the largest they faded in to view.

 

With a smile in his voice K'Ratalra informed the bridge crew in general "They have raised shields and there are indications they have gone to red alert. Ah we are being hailed."

"Well put em on screen".

The three ship captains plinked on to the screen at the same time. The man at the top had a crew cut steal gray hair and supported vice admiral rank, he was bull necked and flabby like a prize fighter who had gone to seed. His face was the color of puce, that couldn't be good for his heart. Beneath him in the other two pictures were a younger man and a woman both of captain rank. The woman made a motion and her red alert signal cut out."

The Admiral growled, "Cut off that damn noise... greetings...Gentailmen, that was quite some entrance. I do hope this isn't going to be a difficult journey".

The picture shifted as Veng joined the videoconference "The only difficulty that will arise will be if you dare to attack us like you did with our unarmed delegates, then we would have to crush you!"

This brought a round of chuckles from the bridge crew, exclamations of outrage from the two male Federation members and a sharp retort from the female "GENTLEMEN! Just because our respective governments have screwed up doesn't mean that we have to follow suit "

The Admiral took several deep breaths "Yes of course Captain Maitland you are quite correct. If we could start again. I'm admiral Lovegrove of the U.S.S. Warspite, and these are Captain Gordan of the U.S.S. Custer and Captain Maitland of the Alaska."

Krontep leaned forward in his chair "I an Captain K'Rontep, my fellows captains are Veng and K'Rom. We will proceed at your discretion Admiral."

 

The seven ships glided round into a new formation, the Klingon ships in the center, and the Federation ships on the outmost. They glided on to a new vector, then with an explosion of blue/ white light from the Federation engines and a visible distortion from the Klingon ships they shrank in to the distance.

 

Tactical log supplemental

We are traveling through Federation space to Sol three so far with out incident.

"I think if I have to attend one more of these closing ceremonies I shall descend in to a killing frenzy".

K'Ratalra understood what K'Rontep was going on about, they had arrived on Earth three days ago to collect the ambassadorial staff. All baggage had been beamed up within twenty-four hours, since then they had been subjected to the indeterminable closing ceremony. Even the Ambassador, Brigadier General Macktock was looking decidedly twitchy. The new Acting President of the Federation just seamed to be falling a sleep; the only person who seemed to be enjoying himself was the master of ceremonies, Vice Admiral Lovegrove.

After what felt like an eternity of speeches they broke for lunch. Walking back to the ambassadorial section they griped about the situation whilst unbuttoning their dress uniforms.

"Tell me Tactical, how many of my ancestors did I insulted and dishonour to be given this duty and for how much longer am I expected to suffer"!

K'Ratalra was about to reply when a commotion from further down the corridor attracted their attention.

They jogged round the corner only to come a crossed two Klingon's struggling. It took a few minutes for them to realise that it was in fact two of the same Klingon, but the hand of one of them ended in a bag of orange goop that was positioned on the head of the other.

After a second or two hesitation the two watching Klingons kicked in to action, Krontep ran forward to body check the Klingon, while K'Ratalra grabbed a hand full of medals from his tunic and threw them with a precise aim. They dug into the face and neck of their opponent. The skin around the wound bubbled, grew orange and transparent, flowed round the medal stars and absorbed them, only to have them emerge in its free hand seconds later. It prepared to throw them back when K'Rontep slammed in to into it. Sending them both sprawling, releasing the Klingon guard with a sucking plopping sound. The victim crumpled to the ground, unconscious due to the lack of oxygen. K'Rontep was on his feet in an instant, trading blows with a figure that was rapidly growing too many limbs. By now it was a completely translucent golden/ orange. Picking up K'Rontep, he was thrown bodily down the corridor. Pulling something off his elbow pad K'Ratalra charged forward, launching himself. He struck the translucent figure headfirst. His hands buried themselves deep in the golden /orange goop, a long limb like tactical rapped itself around his middle. It pulled him off, crashing him up in to the ceiling, then spun him off down the corridor in to Krontep. K'Rontep circled wearily round the changeling as K'Ratalra picked himself up and tried to remember where he was. Both Klingons stayed well back. K'Ratalra made a great show of retrieving a small two button device from his pouch, as he brandished it in the air the changeling looked down in to his own torso, where a dark shadow of a box like object lay. With a spectacular grin K'Ratalra pressed a button. There was a muffled crump and globules of rapidly powdering golden goop were liberally spread around the corridor.

It was during the victory grinning and mutual back slapping that that the Federation security detail came jogging down the corridor, turning to K'Ratalra K'Rontep stated "Inform the Ambassador what has happened mention nothing to Vreng. He is the type of buffoon that would want revenge against the Fed's for this".

Holding his hands where the security detail could see them K'Rontep approached the detail to inform them what had happened.

 

K'Rontep steadied back in the command chair and sighed deeply in satisfaction glorifying in the moist humid air of the bridge. The image of the Earth was receding on the viewer "Helm course and speed "!

"We are on course for Wolf 359 at warp three. The Ambassador wishes to pay his respects to the fallen warriors."

"The other ships?"

"The Clawed Dagger and the Iron Fist are in formation. We are surrounded by the Alaska, the Warspite, the Custer and the Baker."

"Tactical, what's the status of the vessels?"

K'Ratalra took a quick scan "They are running at yellow alert. Shields active, weapons on standby. We are receiving messages from Captain Veng, he states that as his ship carries the ambassador he demands leadership of the taskforce."

K'Rontep smiled "tell Vreng he can kiss my Bat'leth."

Alra'Kan leaned back in her chair "We are coming up on Wolf 359".

K'Rontep swung the command chair round, ignoring the long drawn out squeak, to face forward "Prepare to come out of warp on my command".

There was a flurry of activity. Then K"Rontep barked out "Now".

 

With an explosion of white light, the seven ships stretched into existence, then took up formation just off what looked like a floating junk pile in space. Shattered dishes spun gently with warp pylons that had been rent asunder; exposed decks were like gaping wounds. Occasionally there was a faint flicker of plasma fire, still burning after all this time.

The Klingon ships glided forward from the rest.

 

K"Rontep rose from his command chair to stand in front of the viewscreen. On the bridge of the other Klingon ships the same thing was happening.

K'Ratalra looked up from the readings on his panel "Sir the Fed ships are receiving a signal, they're gone to red alert status, weapons are running hot!"

K'Rontep spun round "Shields up red alert. All vessels to hold formation, make sure that dunder head Veng understands, I will personally castrate him if he acts without orders!"

"We are receiving a transmission from Lovegrove"!

"Put em on screen".

"Klingon task force, we are receiving reports that there is a Borg incursion at P'Jem - it is under attack. We are going to intercept, you will proceed to star base 12 where you will rendezvous with the U.S.S. Cornell, who will accompany you as far as Starbase 234."

With that terse communiqué the view screen flipped to the external view as the Federation ships turned then warped off in to the distance.

K'Rontep grunted to himself then turned to K'Ratalra "Send to Iron Fist we proceed at the ambassadors convenience".

 

It watched from the darkness of naked vacuum. The hard shell of it's exterior protected it from the deprivations of deep space. It had been hard wired in to the protective armour for so long that it thought of the shell as its own skin. The sensors that had been wired in to it's brain showed that there was ongoing comms traffic passing between the three hostile ships. It activated a secure channel and alerted the rest of the cadre. They went from stand-by to active status. The Federations ships, that were designated non-essential targets in the battle plan, had just left the edge of it's sensor range. It sent an activation impulse to the comms jammer, then powered up the transolar disc thrusters. Then it opened a communiqué to the rest of the cadre "All units concentrate all weapons fire on the lager vessel, it carries the ambassador. All units attack, attack, attack."

 

K'Ratalra looked up concerned "My lord we are being jammed! I am reading multiple contacts".

K'Rontep ran for the command chair "How many contacts?"

"I'm reading 1000. They are no larger than about four meters in height and about three meters in width."

"Break through the interference".

"I'm working on it!"

"Science work with tactical"

"At once, my lord"!

K'Ratalra looked at his tactical board as he shunted the jamming data over to the science board "The angle of the attack is located on the 'Iron Fist".

"Helm bring us about".

"K"Reth is de-clocking the Brood Mother. They are releasing prey bird fighters".

Val' Tara looked up face flushed with success "we have broken through their jamming filed' they have only swamped the higher frequencies we can still communicate on the lower ones though our range has been reduced"

"Tactical, send to all ships - form up to protect the Iron Fist at all costs, attack Patten kama!'

"All ships have acknowledged. Iron Fist reports that Captain Vreng has had to have a little lie down, Brigadier General Macktock has taken command."

 

The space between the ships was covered with superheated gases, debris or expanding atmospheres. Hard radiation, plasma pulses and neutrino beams pieced the dark. Red green bolts of energy joined with negative blue beams slicing through the night.

Tactical data was fed directly into it brain, eyestalks swiveled round to follow targets, gun sticks aimed and fired. The transolar discs and their occupants out numbered the Klingon ships at about three to one. The Klingon ships could stand multiple hits before exploding in to oblivion, the transolar discs were destroyed with just one shot. It was going to be a battle of attrition, with the last one standing the victor. Most of the discs concentrated their fire on the Iron Fist; this left them open to the devastating fire from the prey bird fighters.

With a burst of white light the Alaska burst in to the field of battle, scattering the discs in front of it, almost immediately it disgorged Federation Recon shuttles and once again the battle was joined.

 

K'Ratalra pressed the indicator on his board "the Alaska is hailing us "

"Lets hear what they have to say, Tactical"

The screen flared and changed to reveal the attractive but stern features of Captain N.I. Maitland was set in a grim smile "I'm sorry to disturb you gentlemen but I didn't think that this was a private party. Besides if I remember my cross cultural training that would be a big no, no to leave you all alone here".

With a savage smile K'Rontep replied "You are more then welcome to join us their seems to be more than enough to go a round, why are you not in glorious battle with Borg?"

Maitland's grin softened in to some thing more sardonic" There will be more than enough Admirals and Captains from over twenty sectors trying to write them selves in to legend, I don't think I would be missed, that's if the Borg are there anyway. Besides we, err, suffered from engine trouble. Yes, that's it engine trouble and we had to drop out of warp, just out of sensor range. Then we noticed that your comms traffic had stopped so we came to find out if any thing was wrong".

K'Rontep barked a laugh "Your investigation has brought its reward, happy hunting, Krontep out. Helm Malors gambit on my mark, Tactical photon torpedoes proximity detonation, Mark".

K'Ratalra looked up from his tactical board "We have five hostiles coming in on a formation on our rear, our shields are under fifty percent in that sector".

"Understood. Helm emergency stop, z minus 1000 degrees photon torpedoes wide angle spread, fire!"

 

The ghop ta'volDeH swooped low, followed closely by five of the transolar discs with three more following close behind them. The bird of prey braked hard, flipped over on its axis and fired photons and disrupters, catching the last three discs in the destructive maelstrom. But the main five remained close, firing repeatedly.

 

"Rear shields are down to twenty two percent. Sensors state that they are using a form of energized neutrino beams".

"Helm take us through the debris field, full impulse".

 

The bird of prey spun round and dropped through a hole in the spinning debris field. The transolar discs, with their pepper pot occupants, followed almost like a second skin. The ghop ta'volDeH spun down through the debris, twisting and turning, ignoring the smaller debris like doors and consoles, allowing them to bounce of the deck plates. Flying round main obstacles such as warp pylons and shattered hulls.

 

Studying the tactical readouts K'Ratalra made a decision and shunted the data to K'Rontep situation P.A.D.D., K'Rontep glanced down "Excellent Tactical, Helm slow to one third impulse then prepare to go to full impulse at tactical command".

 

The discs were rapidly gaining on the bird of pray, firing salvo after salvo. The rear shield shimmered blue/ green, then collapsed. The orange glow from the engines flared white-hot and the ship surged forward. At the same time the disrupters barked, sending green bolts into the shattered dish of the starship Melbourne, causing it to be wrenched apart. Solid chucks spun out in to the chaos of the battle field.

The discs scattered, flying debris crushed three, while the final two succumbed to the disrupters of the ghop ta'volDeh. Spinning rapidly round again she plunged to the surface of the debris field, suddenly she was flying through fire.

 

The bridge was being shaken from side to side, the smell of burning circuits was rife and small electrical fires were breaking out everywhere. "Emergency speed, Tactical report"!

"We have clipped the edge of a deuterium field, one of the hostiles must have ignited it just as we entered. Shields are out, warp engines are down, sensors are being overloaded while inside the firestorm."

 

The Plasma fire burned for many hundreds if meters, stretching back to a shattered hull, which ruptured sending burning debris spinning out in to the night. Ten of the transolar discs came to rest in front of the burning cloud, eyestalks and gun sticks took aim. The ghop ta'volDeH came boiling out of the chaos that was the cloud, firing disrupters and torpedoes, singed around the edges. Half a dozen of the discs with their pepper pot controllers exploded in flame, the rest returned fire scouring thick black lines down the hull plates of the bird of prey. It smashed in to the remaining discs, ripping them to bits. The bird of prey shot out of the Wolf 359 debris field, back in the final moments of the battle. A full salvo of disruptor bolts from the three birds of prey, and a phaser beam from the Alaska finished of the last of the tran-solar discs. The Klingon ships came round to form up for warp.

 

The smoke covered most of the bridge, control boards were dark, with the occasional ones blown out, and their electronic guts spread out over the deck "Damage report all decks".

"Engineering report that the warp drive is off line, they need to realign the plasma injectors. Explosive decompression on decks two and four, three deaths. We are being hailed by the Iron Fist".

"On screen, Tactical."

The grizzled features of Macktock faded in to view "We are ready to go to warp on my mark"

"We are currently unable to activate our warp drive, Tactical?"

K'Rontep turned to look at K'Ratalra "K'Talvas reports that it will take about fifteen minutes ".

K'Rontep turned back to the screen "Proceed without us. We will repair our engines then proceed to Triangle command".

"We are being hailed by the Alaska ".

"Go ahead Maitland".

The screen split and Maitland appeared in one box. The bridge of the Alaska had scorch marks up the walls monitors were dark. Her face was smudged with soot and there were burn marks on her uniform, but the expression on her face was one of triumph "we have been monitoring your comms traffic, can we leaned a hand?"

Macktock's gravely voice could be heard "Why would you concern yourself."

Maitlands grin turned sardonic "I'm just showing concern as expressed in my culture, to someone who could understand it, and if the worst does come to the worst and we find ourselves facing each other across the battlefield, you will remember this incident and treat me and my crew accordingly."

Macktock sounded resigned, "Be careful of this one K'Rontep she uses words like we would daggers! Join us when you're able".

 

Tactical log supplemental

We are currently on course for the Triangle sector. I have picked up a Klingon/ Federation distress signal coming from just outside the Triangle, both the Alaska and the ghop ta volDeH are investigating.

The wedge shaped ship was skeletal and pock marked, disused and decaying. But, without doubt, it was a Victory class Star Destroyer. Debris, wreckage and life pods hung around the ghost ship like fly's stuck in amber. The bird of prey and the Ambassador class vessels burst out of warp drive to slowly circle the wreckage.

 

Vel'Tara looked up from her sensor board "I'm reading no life signs aboard, no energy readings of any type. However against reason there is a contained atmosphere on the bridge complex, I cannot explain it."

K'Rontep stood "First officer you have the conn. Tactical, with me, alert the transporter room we are on our way and explain to the Alaska what we are doing ".

 

The Imperial bridge was in partial darkness the stars could be seen through the gaps in the hull, all the monitors were dark. Outside the atmosphere bubble bodies could just be distantly seen floating round in the faint twilight. A bench and some chairs had been set up on the usually furniture free bridge.

The bridge was suddenly illuminated by the red/ golden glow of the Klingon transporter and the blue white glow of the Federation. Both parties consisted of only two people, both materialised in environmental suits. The almost incandescent white Federation with its distinctive red / blue illuminations, the Klingon's green/ gray, that gave the impression of being large and clunky, but was surprisingly mobile, light and maneuverable. With its full collection of holstered bladed weapons.

The imperial bridge was lifeless except for the one corner where the table was set up. On it was a collection of glass drinking goblets and a decanter full of water. Sitting at the table was a woman somewhere between the ages of twenty five and forty. Copper coloured hair hung free around the shoulders of her causal suit blended to complement her coffee coloured skin. Behind her stood what could only be described as a free standing oxygenator. It stood just taller than a man and was surrounded by a glittering curtain of some dark material. A collar at the top had ten centimeter thick tubes on it, that seemed to gasp and snatch at the air. Capping it all of was what looked like a stylized monitoring camera with a blue/ green light emitting from an iris lens that continuously changed size as it swept back and forward with a gentle motion.

She stood up and extended her hand "Greetings lady, gentlemen, please take a seat we have things we need to discuss".

The Klingons remained standing looking hesitantly round the room, while Maitland unlatched her helmet and took it off, then sat. The woman leaned back in her chair, took a deep breath to organize her thoughts "Your worlds are under attack from forces from outside your reality. Charged vacuum embodiments, or doorways, have been opened to other realms. From this reality and only this reality. If anyone wants to conquer one of these realities the battle will have to be fought here first."

K'Rontep leaned forward "This is nothing new, we have been fighting new and different enemies for months now".

The woman nodded her head sending her copper hair flying "We know, but things are deeper than you know. We believe that an ancient enemy from our realm has begun to organize the many scattered forces against you. It may have already touched your great cultures, it has been agreed that we should contact you to let you know.'

As she said this the free standing unit behind her glided forward and from behind the curtains, that were obscuring its body a tiny metal claw appeared and extended. In the claw were two small quartz-like crystals. The woman stood and retrieved the crystals giving one to Maitland, the other to K'Rontep. "These are data crystals they follow similar lines as your isolinier chips, so you should have no trouble in converting them. There is a frequency on them which you can contact us. We await your response."

She turned to leave when the unit glided up to K'Ratalra, the head piece swung round to look at him,a distant chanting seamed to spring up and a deep bass voice came from everywhere and nowhere, white lights flashed from somewhere deep within the unit, in time to the voice "You have a hole from within your world. Beware."

With that it turned and walked off the bridge. But when it walked it was if it stayed still and the world scrolled around it. The woman hesitated a moment, looking slightly lost and confused, then she followed, leaving both parties to look at each other confused and uncertain and beam back to their ships.

 

They had left the Alaska at the border and were flying through neutral space. Their mission reports had been encoded and sent. When K'Ratalra detected an energised emission shadowing them, the bird of prey went to red alert, swung round and dropped out of cloak, weapons were charged. Space rippled and folded and a mauve ship faded in to view but not in the standard wave effect of a cloaking device but in squares, section by section. It was like two lumped discs sandwiched together, a spire-like engine section attached to the rear. With four cannon like meson weapons, sticking out, prong like from the front.

 

The eye stalks swiveled round to stare at the monitors "This is the hostile vessel, prime meson for firing. All hostiles will be exterminated!"

"I obey!"

 

Four purple beams struck out, hitting the bird of prey, its shield flaring green against the onslaught, then collapsing. The deck plates held momentarily before melting, then the ship exploded in to millions of metal fragments.

 

The End

Here endeth the lesson

Dedicated to Dad, Sir Adrian and the little Raven