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Volume 2, Issue 1

The newsletter of the ISS MacArthur

Spring 2007

Star Trek: XI Rumors Abound! By Dave Lowe -- Paramount Pictures has set a Christmas Day 2008 release date for the 11th Star Trek feature, to be filmed by “Mission: Impossible III” director J.J. Abrams. Shooting will begin in the fall, Paramount said. Rumors continue to swirl about the casting and storyline for the film with suggestions that it would not focus on Starfleet Academy after all. IGN cited insiders who said that the upcoming film would be more of a “first adventure” for Kirk and Spock than the story of their meeting at the Academy, picking up with their first mission together as Starfleet officers. The source stated that because previous Star Trek producer Harve Bennett initially brought the Starfleet Academy idea to Paramount, the filmmakers wanted to go in a different direction. According to IGN news, as of February 2007 the actors being considered for Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are Matt Damon, Adrien Brody, and Gary Sinise, respectively

From the Center Seat... By Kirylyn Dreamer -- Greetings from the Captain. Here's what's been going on this quarter! It is my great honor to announce that our Executive Officer, Abe Smith, has very busy studying and passing his exams. So busy that he has managed to pass 50 exams to earn a Bronze Boothby!! I throw down the gauntlet to everyone to match his success!! The following members have also been busy polishing their apples February 2007: • Kirylyn Dreamer IOLS - STARFLEET Officer’s Leadership College (IOLS:SOLC) IOLS:SOLC-101 - CS Exam 02/16/2007 HONORS IOMS - College of Security (IOMS:COS) IOMS:COS-202 Convention Security Officer’s Course 02/14/2007

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DISTINCTION


IOMS:COS-103 Early Law Enforcement History 02/14/2007 HONORS IOMS:COS-101 TOS Rank Recognition 02/14/2007 DISTINCTION • Kaith Rush IOTA - College of Economics (IOTA: COEC) Economics 101 - Money 02/28/2007 DISTINCTION • Jeff Neves IOLS - Officer’s Training School (IOLS:OTS) OTS 02/04/2007 DISTINCTION January 2007: • Abe Smith IOLS - STARFLEET Officer's Leadership College (IOLS:SOLC) IOLS:SOLC-104 - COMM Exam 01/20/2007 DISTINCTION December 2006: • Abe Smith IOFA - College of European Studies (IOFA:COES) The European Continent 12/17/2006 HONORS IOIE - School of Intelligence in Movies (SIM) SIM-103 - The Bourne Identity 12/20/2006 HONORS SIM-104 - The Bourne Supremacy 12/20/2006 HONORS IOLS - STARFLEET Officer's Leadership College (IOLS:SOLC) IOLS:SOLC-103 - OPS Exam 12/06/2006 PASS IOMS - College of Starship Operations (IOMS:COSO) CSO-104 - Guidance and Navigation Operations 12/02/2006 DISTINCTION CSO-106 - Extreme Measures 12/05/2006 DISTINCTION CSO-105 - Communications Operations 12/07/2006 DISTINCTION IOSF - College of Treknology (IOSF:COT) ST: TOS Main Characters 12/02/2006 DISTINCTION ST: TOS Characters 12/09/2006 DISTINCTION ST: TOS Episodes 12/09/2006 DISTINCTION ST: TOS Technology 12/28/2006 DISTINCTION ST: TOS Trivia 12/28/2006 DISTINCTION Degree - Associates ST: TOS 12/28/2006 DISTINCTION The following promotions were approved this quarter. Congratulations to everyone for a great job! February 2007 SCC: 56048 Darrell Morrison PROMOTED TO Lieutenant Colonel on 02/21/2007 SCC: 62345 Rebekah Weaver PROMOTED TO Lieutenant Commander on 02/01/2007 SCC: 62346 Michael Borgert PROMOTED TO Lieutenant Commander on 02/01/2007 SCC: 63601 Walter Brooker Jr. PROMOTED TO Marine Captain on 02/26/2007 SCC: 63796 Jeff Neves PROMOTED TO Ensign on 02/04/2007 December 2006 SCC: 56048 Darrell Morrison PROMOTED TO Commander on 12/13/2006 SCC: 56052 Jeani Mauller PROMOTED TO Lieutenant Commander on 12/13/2006 SCC: 63604 Stephanie Brighton PROMOTED TO Lieutenant JG on 12/07/2006 SCC: 63675 Gary Hicks PROMOTED TO Lieutenant JG on 12/07/2006 SCC: 63678 Tom Tostanoski PROMOTED TO Lieutenant JG on 12/07/2006 SCC: 63679 Jay Ashworth PROMOTED TO Lieutenant JG on 12/07/2006 SCC: 63680 Eric Bohner PROMOTED TO Lieutenant JG on 12/07/2006 SCC: 63681 Wiliam Case PROMOTED TO Lieutenant JG on 12/07/2006 SCC: 63682 Virginia Peeples PROMOTED TO First Lieutenant on 12/07/2006

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Executive Decisions (Or, from the other seat, the smaller one, without the cup holder) By Abe Smith -- OK Summit was a blast this year! I had a lot of fun, met a lot of new people, and hung out with some old friends. I really encourage everyone to attend one, it’s a great chance to meet your fellow fleeters in Region 2. The command crew is talking about hosing a summit, possibly in 2009, I know as correy chapter this might be a little difficult, but with the great crew we have I know we can do it. We won 2 awards at Summit. The Region 2 Recruiters Award, and the Most Informative Website. I’m waiting on some pictures from other folks so we can post showing me accepting the awards on behalf of the Mac. Dave has the awards already posted in the gallery. Jim Brunton of the USS Okatoma was nice enough to hand out bat'leths to the COs of every ship present. I was there to accept it on the behalf of our captain. I’m going to finish it up a bit, take a picture and post it. Thanks Jim and his crew for all the hard work they put into the bat'leths. I finished up my 4 exams needed at the Summit, and unofficially got recognized as having the first 50 I need for my Bronze Boothby award from Starfleet Academy. I know we also have Kaith and Capt. Kiry working on their first Boothbies as well. If you want to see pics of the Summit go the MacArthur gallery: Pop Tops Crew, please start saving your soda “pop tops” (the tabs off of cans like Coke/Pepsi). As a ship we’re going to donate them to a charity. Most likely the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This is a great cause, you can read up about it here. For right now, just save the tops, we will determine a collection date and means of sending in later. Our new crewman Jeff Neves and myself have saved up almost 500 so far, and Dave has agreed to pitch in. Any questions, please let me know. Please guys save yours if you can. We will do a central location mail-in and deliver them all at once. If you have some and would like to mail them in send me an email for the address, and if need be, I can pick up the postage with a prepaid mailer, just let me know. What we need from YOU! - Participation - Log in on chat nights, or any night for that matter, create a RP character and join the roleplay, join in on the fundraising activities, join the SFMC and follow Dave in a new direction, take some courses from the Academy, anything... - Ideas - Without new ideas the club will not grow, it's not a club of 3-5 people "and some other guys" tell us what you want to do. - Lead - We want to be the best at what we are, the best correy chapter, the best RP, the best mirror chapter, the best at everything we are involved in, and all it really takes is a little effort from all of us. - Interaction - Just because we are a correy chapter does not mean that we can't be involved in regional and fleet activities, go out, get yourself involved in your area, and if we can help, ask! - Recruit - Have friends interested in sci-fi, roleplay, chat, Trek, writing, charities, etc..., Get them involved as well. Remember the Mac takes associate members not in Starfleet. The more people we have involved, the more we can do!

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FCAPT Abe Smith XO ISS MacArthur

Second Officer's Log By Bryan Bartlett -- I am pleased to announce that as of February 12, 2007, the ISS MacArthur has completed all requirements for the Vessel Readiness Certification Program. Congratulations to everyone who has worked hard to get their academy courses done to make this dream a reality. The ISS MacArthur has worked hard since its commissioning to certify in the departments of Command, Operations, Security, Intelligence, Marines, Tactical, Medical, Science, Engineering, Communications, Diplomacy, Counselor, Chaplain, and Education. Our next goal is to work to the coveted General Command Readiness for the Marine Unit Readiness Program. We already have the ability to certify in our primary BOS of Aerospace, as well as Professional Development. These programs are more than simple certificates. It is a program where the entire ship works together as one, it is a test of teamwork, and commitment. I am proud to serve on a ship that shows these essential qualities.

Marine Unit Report By Dave Lowe -- Things have really been happening for the 668th. Since the ship disbanded the Special Operations unit, we moved everyone that was in the team to the Marines. The unit is 12 strong, 8 regulars and 4 reserves. For a Marine unit, this is huge. Our unit is a "Combined Arms" unit with two primary Branches of Service (BOS). We are Aerospace (fighter jocks) and Infantry (ground pounders). We will likely also specialize in Aerospace Medicine as well, we just need to take the correct courses through the Marine Academy (TRACOM) to get our Marine Unit Readiness (MURP) set up for those three BOSs. I am currently working on the Aerospace courses needed to certify the unit, as is Abe Smith (the XO, he's a reservist as well). Hopefully in the next quarter, we'll have our primary BOSs certified and we can work on some of the other ones just for grins. The various branches we can certify in are Aerospace (AE), Aerospace Medical (AEMD), Armor (AR), Combat Engineering (CE), Infantry (IN), Leadership (LD), Medical (MD ), Mecha (ME), Maritime Operations (MO), Non Commissioned Officer Leadership (NCO), Professional Development (PD), Special Operations (SO), and Support (SU). If anyone is interested in transferring to the Marines, either regular or reserve, please let me know. We are always looking for a few good men (or women) to serve.

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Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who is the Most Ruthless of All? The Mirror Universe conjures up visions of a militaristic, fascist society, where conquest is the norm, discipline is brutal. Officers move up in rank by assassination. The Empire takes what it wants, and lays waste to anyone that stands in their path of domination. There are some chapters of STARFLEET that have chosen to "play" in that universe. Do we really kill off officers of the chapter to advance our STARFLEET careers? Of course not! We are not REALLY bloodthirsty savages, we just pretend to be. There was only one episode of the Original Series that took place in the Mirror Universe. However, several novels, comic book series, and other speculative works have expanded the Universe for fans. Then, the folks at Paramount, the producers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, decided to do a crossover into the Mirror Universe. In the five episodes of DS9 that took place there, it was established that the Empire had been defeated by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance at some point. Unfortunately, canon sources did not give an EXACT timeline of Imperial history. It is said after the events of the Original series episode "Mirror, Mirror" (2267), Spock becomes commander-in-chief of the Terran Empire and implements several major reforms, turning the Empire into a more peaceful and less aggressive power. Prior to the full enactment of these reforms, Terran Empire forces occupy Bajor. Spock's reforms leave the Empire unprepared to fight against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. The Alliance conquers the entire Terran Empire, enslaving the Terrans and Vulcans. This would take place some time between 2267 and 2370. That's an over 100 year gap where there is no information on the Mirror timeline. So in a "modern" Star Trek timeline, currently the year is approximately 2382, there is no Terran Empire. Not anymore, anyway. So what fun is that? How are these "Mirror" chapters playing in this sandbox? There are several possibilities. Either the chapter's fictional storyline takes place in a time BEFORE the fall of the Empire, or they have gone against the history that the "canon" Star Trek has established for the Mirror Universe. One problem with alternate timelines and parallel universes in Star Trek, it has been established that there is an infinite number of "quantum realities" based on every decision that we are presented with. In the episode "Parallels" of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Worf was being transferred around between realities due to exposure to some sort of space anomaly. Data said in that episode, "I believe the quantum fissure is a fixed point across the space-time continuum. A 'keyhole' which intersects many other quantum realities. For any event there is an infinite number of possible outcomes. Our choices determine which outcome will follow. According to a theory, everything that can happen do happen at some quantum reality. Worf ponders that somehow he has been shifting from one to another. When Worf’s shuttlecraft came into the fissure, its warp engines caused a small break between the quantum realities. Worf was thrown into quantum flux. He immediately shifted into another realities." In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise," the act of heroism performed by the Enterprise C at Narendra III was the catalyst that prevented two decades of war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The act of returning the Enterprise C to the battle, with the alternate Tasha Yar aboard as Tactical Officer, the timeline in the "primary" universe was skewed to include the birth and rise to power of Sela within the Romulan Empire. Jean-Luc Picard made the decision to repair the timeline, however that repair had repercussions in their own future as well. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Past Tense," Benjamin Sisko, Julian Bashir, and Jadzia Dax go back in time to 21st Century Earth and change history. In the future that resulted, the Federation, the Defiant, and life as

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they were aware of it did not exist. They were forced to correct the timeline in order to return to their reality. Also, in the Original Series episode "City on the Edge of Forever," McCoy's tampering with the timeline also caused the Feredation to never exist. They also had to repair the timeline to return to their reality. In Star Trek: Voyager, the episode "Year of Hell" depicts a race of beings known as the Krennim that have a time weapon. With a discharge of their ship, they can eradicate entire species from existence. Each time the Krennim captain tried to restore the timeline, races would come and go, at different levels of influence, technology, and power in the current universe. So following this theory that there are an infinite number of quantum realities, it is possible that the Mirror Universe that is depicted in The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror" and the Mirror Universe as seen in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is NOT the same reality at all. Only one possible outcome among infinite combinations. Following this logic, the fictional storyline that the ISS MacArthur follows takes a different path altogether. We have accepted the canon storyline of a defeated Empire. But we added a few twists of our own to make our story more plausible. With the imminent defeat of the Empire becoming a strong reality, some time between 2267 (The TNG novel Dark Mirror) and 2371 (The beginning of Star Trek: Voyager), ruling houses of the Empire began a retreat from Imperial worlds. They went into exile, with a few dozen starships, into the Badlands area of the Alpha Quadrant. While in the Badlands, ISS Voyager (in 2371) is taken to the Delta Quadrant by an entity known as the Caretaker. Voyager learns of the power of the Array, and engages the Caretaker, defeating him, and gaining control of the Array. With this new found technology, the exiled Imperial Fleet transports to the Delta Quadrant by the Array to continue their exile. During the years 2371 - 2378, the Imperial Fleet encounter multiple species in the Delta Quadrant. Most are no match for the superior technology of the Empire, and they quickly become a strong power in the Delta Quadrant. With new found allies the Kazon, the Hirogen, and with technology taken from Borg ships, the Imperial ships began to refit and improve their technology. The Empire establishes shipyards, and begins to rebuild. Some of the technology acquired included slipstream technology from Species 116. This quickly extended the range of Imperial ships tremendously. This drive, combined with the Caretaker's Array, could provide the remnants of the Empire an advantage when they decided to make an attempt to reconquer the former Empire back in the Alpha Quadrant. Meanwhile (2370 - 2375, on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) in the Alpha Quadrant, a new Terran Rebellion was forming in the Bajor sector. Based on Terok Nor, the mirror Benjamin Sisko, and later "Smiley" O'Brien, successfully defeat forces of the Alliance, including the capture of the Klingon Regent. In 2380, the exiled Imperial Fleet begins reconnaissance missions into the Alpha Quadrant via the Caretaker's Array. Over the next two years, multiple sorties are launched, escalating to a full scale war with the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. Several key systems under Alliance control have fallen back into the hands of the Empire. It is now 2382. The ISS MacArthur, one of the original ships to transition into the Delta Quadrant, has arrived in the Alpha Quadrant to investigate Terok Nor. Intelligence believes that the station is under Rebel control. Will the rebels join the New Empire? Or will they fire on the MacArthur? You can keep up with the adventures of the ISS MacArthur on our website at http://rpg.issmacarthur.com and some of the facts used in this article were taken from Memory Alpha, the Star Trek Wiki located at http://www.memory-alpha.org

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The Empire has fallen, Earth is no longer safe. For those of the ISS MacArthur, danger exists around every corner. Allies are a thing of the past, Trust is non existent. Can the MacArthur come together and gain a foothold in whats left of the Alpha Quadrant?

Episode 1, The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning? Act I, Episode 1 -- Two lessons are important to learn. Don’t cross the Empire… and Andorians are crunchy with ketchup Mission Date: 0.0245 Earth Date: Feburary 10, 2382 2:45 AM The ship shook as it exited the effect of the Caretaker’s Array. Commander Valareos Draconrouge stood from the bridge, looking as the universe pieced itself back together around them. “Ssstatusss report?” The helmsman tapped a few keys on his console. “Receiving location data now, sir. We are back in the badlands, sensors showing an active station within range.” He hissed as he narrowed his eyes. “Musst be Terok Nor. If it isss operational, it could be either in the handss of the Alliance, or the Rebellion, neither of which isss a optimal sssolution. Iss there any Imperial forcess in range?” “None sir, it is quite possible we are the last remaining forces.” Draconrouge nodded. “Very well, Bridge to Flight deck” [[Maxwell here]] “Major, we will need you to get a force together to invessstigate Terok Nor. We need to know who controlsss the sstation. I need not emphasize that if your forcess are caught, it would be besst for them to destroy themsselves. Any enemy forcesss lead to uss will ressult in me taking every bit of damage thisss ssship takesss out of your hide, iss that undersstood?” [[Perfectly, Sir]] “Very good, Draconrouge out.” He drummed his claw on the seat, growling softly as he looked at the screen. The captain, was not on the bridge yet, which suit him just fine. It kept him out of trouble. *** Captain Del Kubiak watched his monitors as the Dragon officer conducted the bridge. The junior officers knew he watched them. He knew it made them a little nervous. Nervous is good sometimes. Keeps the officers on their toes.

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Not that he needed to watch his officers. All had proven loyal to him to a fault. Despite his “hard ass” approach, morale was exceedingly high on the MacArthur. Discipline was not needed on the scale of other starships in the Empire. There had not been any major attempts on senior officer’s lives, no dissension among the junior officers. The mission had gone well so far and had been mostly uneventful. Almost too quiet. The Dragon continued to assess the situation n the Badlands, conversing with the Flight Deck and setting up sorties to assess Terok Nor. Draconrouge was a competent officer. It took a little getting used to a non-humanoid in a command position. Terrans were hostile to other non-Terran races, but doubly so to non-humanoids. Kubiak knew this all too well being Bolian. Hazing as he came up the ranks was something he had to endure. But the Bolians were pretty high on the caste system in the Empire. And with the Empire in its present state, a government in exile, the Empire had quickly learned that loyal officers of ANY species was a commodity that was in short supply. For the first time in Imperial history, non-Terrans were being granted commands of their own. With the Fleet in such a “rag-tag” state, each ship was essentially a privateer, reporting back to the Starfleet Command at their leisure. New ships were not being constructed. Resupply was not something to expect. These ships were essentially on their own. A few ships may join into small task forces for specialized missions, but large scale Fleet formations were not common. Truly, the MacArthur was an island. As an Akira Class starship, with deployed fighters and Marines, she operated outside the sphere of Imperial influence. Kubiak had a large amount of freedom in orders and went without contact from Command for months at a time. That suited Kubiak just fine. It kept him out of the political disaster that had become the government. Infighting, backstabbing, squabbling families vying for shreds of power in the shadow of the fallen Emperor. The Alliance was holding their own as the forces of the Empire fought to regain systems. This was the first time any offensive had been launched in the Bajoran sector. Reports that the Regent’s flagship was captured, and the Intendant removed from power had trickled through Intelligence a few years before. A group of Terrans built a resistance and had retaken the sector, but were scattered, unorganized, and leadership was unfocused. No real relations had been established with these Terrans. The MacArthur’s assignment was to establish communications with the Terran forces and persuade them to rejoin the Empire. There were no guarantees that this faction would join them. They may resist Imperial control, preferring to remain independent. Kubiak continued to survey the Bridge. He tapped his communicator gently. “Draconrouge. My ready room, please.” [[Yesss, my captain ]] He watched as the Dragon headed to the door of the ready room. It was time to get a report on the Terok Nor situation. The door chimed softly. “Enter,” said Kubiak The door to the ready room opened, as Draconrouge entered, hissing softly as his eyes glanced around. He walked with a lizard like gait, his tail swaying behind him. He gave a low growl as he approached the bench, then clamped a fist against his chest in his version of a salute. “You wisssed to sssee me, Captain?”

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Kubiak eyed the alien with mild contempt. He was a cocky one, this Dragon. But he had served well at Second Officer. Cool. Efficient. “You have ordered sorties to reconnoiter Terok Nor?” asked the captain. “Aye, sir,” replied Draconrouge. “I want to keep the MacArthur out of scanning range of the station. We don’t know the full capabilities of Terok Nor, much less who is in control of the station at the present. Our last intelligence reports the station was in the hands of Terran rebels. Data is sketchy at best on the leadership of this faction. We do not know if they will welcome us or fire upon us.” “If the Alliance regained control, it isss guaranteed we will be attacked if we show oursselvess. If it isss with the rebelsss, we may sstand a chance of.. convincing them, for now, that we sshare the ssame idealsss. The fact you are a blue sskinned freak and Im a sscaled monsstrossity may help in that matter, sssir.” He gave a sly grin, one that you never knew if he was joking, or contemplating how you tasted. “It’s true, that the Rebels may be more willing to work with aliens. This is, after all, a much different Empire than what has come before,” said Kubiak. The remnants of the Empire had to, against their bigotry and hatred of “conquered” races, give equal status to alien cultures in exchange for the services of the officers. Loyal officers were a commodity that was very hard to come by after the fall of the Empire. Kubiak, as a non-Terran, had served the Empire with distinction, stories of his prowess in battle and his even hand had spread through the Fleet. Many aliens had found a home on the MacArthur under his command. Although, Kubiak often wondered if it was mere chance that his ship was full of non-Terrans, or by design. Fleet may have just assigned them all here to keep them out of the way, and someplace where Imperial Security could keep an eye on them. “In either casse, Captain, Ive sssent out Major Maxwell to invessstigate. She iss our besst pilot, and thisss misssion can afford no misstakess. Asss per your orderss, all the comm badgesss have been equipped with a loopback circut, ssso you can hear everything that isss said within her vicinity. If ssshe isss captured, it will ssstilll provide us information. “Keep me informed at every turn, Commander. Spicey is not to engage at this juncture. It’s a simple recon mission, Make sure she is well aware of this. We don’t need any surprises. If we have to attack the station, we’ll need more ships. The MacArthur will be no match for a fully armed Nor class station. We’ll need a task force to lay siege.” “Yess, Captain,” hissed Draconrouge. “And keep the XO apprised as well. She will likely lead the assault team that boards the station. She’ll need all the data we collect. Dismissed” Valareos gave another salute, and left the office. *** Finally! The order came down. Investigate Terok Nor. “How I would love to take that venom out and dump him.” “What was that? Maxwell?” “Nothing, sir.” She patted the bird that gave her the freedom from the disciplines of the routine. She was a trapped animal pacing back and forth. These past months there was nothing worthwhile to do. Nothing except maintenance,

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flight sims, sorties, and briefings. What did you do wrong? What I did wrong, she said was not busting the recruiter in the job when he said I had to start from the bottom of the ladder when I can out fly the usual ground pounders who decided to not get pooped on by the birds in the air and go up and poop on them instead. She grumbled as she slipped the helmet onto her long hair. Cut it? That would be like cutting the locks of that strong man in ancient history. My good luck! She chuckled. “Move it! Maxwell!” The CAG shouted. “Yeah, yeah, keep your shirt on, and everything else, thank you.” She climbed up inside the fighter, and began hooking up the systems. She shook her head. “What you don’t know….” She smiled. “Ready for launch!” She sat stiff in the seat. “Crap, someone’s adjusted the seat pads again.” “Launch sequence started. Going auto now!” “What’s that about the pads?’ “Keep the crappy mechanics outta my bird!” “Strict maintenance detail, Max, I promise. We went over everyone’s….” “Yeah, well everyone’s isn’t mine. Stay the hell outta my world and I’ll quit nagging you in yours!” “Max…” “Launch eminent in six clicks, counting down now, five….” Thalia slammed off the com. She liked the burst of thunder from the burners below her to be a surprise. The sudden kick of the ship against the deck was a wake up call she welcomed. A rush of atmosphere puffed into the cockpit as she slammed into the fighter’s seat. She leaned her head back. Then it stopped, slinging her forward into the dash. The straps kept her upright. The ship was floating. At some point the launch clip disengaged sooner than it should have. “Maintain your own systems, you dumped me!” “Well, well, an over sight.” He smirked. He’d purposely disengaged the sling. No harm to either the ship or to the fighter, just an announcement of who’s boss, him or the pilots. The jolt was usually reserved for the newbies on board. He got a buzz from dumping Maxwell. He didn’t like her personally. He couldn’t say much against her flying, however. She played tag now and then, but when the hard part came, she meant as much business as the rest. Black! Void, with no relative up or down, unless where one planted her feet was denoted as down. Thalia smiled. She ignored the chatter between the computer and the ground controller. Freedom! A mission after, how long? Six months since joining the ship. She grinned. So what if she did have to prove herself. She was the best pilot there was, at least female pilot. The thruster barked hard against the hull. She’d have to make a note to check on that. Probably a valve springing slow. Nothing to taking care of that one. “Maxwell, where do you think you’re going?” Command could be annoying at times. She lowered the volume on the com so she could drift out, not a care in the world. This was more her own place, much better than anything, the crew were her family. Why would she need more?

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Crossing the distance between the station and the ship’s position was a matter of timing. She’d run close enough to the station, get records of who or what was docked there and slip back. There shouldn’t be any trouble. “Max?” “Dodger?” She slid the volume just a nudge. “What are you doing out? I thought you were grounded for that stunt you pulled with the newbies.” “Me? Grounded? You think they’d ground me and risk not having enough eyes out here? I’ll stay at 6 and you can go forward and do the work.” “Just like you, laying low when there’s a job to do.” “Yeah, yeah, well, consider this the favor returned for covering my back when the Captain took leave for a while.” “Yeah, he sure didn’t like that trick you pulled, taking out the main lifts on the way to his quarters. Be thankful to the prophets you got out of that mess.” “I’m not out entirely, just walking around that one for a while.” His gasp alerted her. “Dodger?” “Yeah, there’s some big goings on out there.” “Why do you think that?” “Trades not this good even with the pirates sneaking through.” “Dummy, we’re the …” “Not what I meant, beauty. Nine o’clock…slowing, port above your dorsal gimble.” “Yeah, I see it. What’s going on? I’ve never seen transports with more than one detail. This boxcar’s got a whole squad on it, and it’s heading straight for our target.” “Weapons, more than likely.” “Not a diplomat?” “Not unless they’re sneaking someone big. He’d have to be REALLY big.” She sighed. “I got that one. You take off on the other side. Silence, and we’ll meet up on the other site…keeping speed steady.” “I’ll let you buy the drinks when we get there.” “You still owe me.” “I pay my bills. You forgot that time….” She lit the thruster to skip space just a bit. One of the escorts wavered in the flight path. “That was close.” “Yeah, really.”

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*** The muted glow of the lights indicating a low power mode cast an eerie shadow on the bridges different stations. The Commander looks around and taps his comm badge “Captain to the bridge.” The ready room doors open and the Captain steps to his seat and speaks quietly “Status report, Commander Freeman.” “Cloak is activated, ship is rigged for silent running. Target has been acquired with passive sensors. They have just launched a vessel towards Terok Nor, as per their orders, sir.” Freeman responds with a slight snarl. Morrison looks at him and in a soft but powerful voice, that demands you listen because you wont be asked or told again, “You have a problem with our sister ship out there, Commander?” “Permission to speak freely, sir?” Morrison nods and Freeman begins, “They cant be trusted. That ship is crewed by a bunch of…slaves. How can a mission of this import be given to them? How is the balance of terror to be maintained when a bunch of slaves has such a powerful weapon in their possession?” At this point Morrison holds up a single finger and in the same controlled and soft voice, “Mr Freeman, the Empire is no longer in a position to be as bigoted as we were in the past. All loyal sons and daughters of the Empire, regardless of race, are needed if we are to retake what has been lost.” Morrison slowly stands and with an icy look in his eye his voice gets softer, “Commander Freeman, remember one thing. I will not tolerate that bigotry on my ship. I don’t care how prominent your family is within the Empire. I guarantee my reach extends further.” Morrison sits down with a small smirk on his face, “Its one of the benefits of having been in a command position for as long as I have. You see, Commander, I have been in command of starships for more than 20 years. I have no desire other than to be on the front lines. Hence, why we are here. If you don’t like that, then maybe you were not the best choice for Exec as I thought.” “Captain, I am the best choice. But, having been raised how I was…it is sometimes…difficult…to break old habits.” Freeman responds. “I apologize for that outburst sir. It wont happen again.” The Commander takes his seat at Morrison’s right hand. Morrison looks one last time at the Commander, “Ops, open a secure tight beam channel to the Mac. I need to speak with “Blackheart”. Tell him “Darkhawk” wants to chat.” Morrison gets up and heads for the ready room. “Route it to my ready room once the channel is established.” The ready room doors close behind him. The view screen rises out of the desk top at the touch of a control pad on the desk surface. The imperial emblem appears and the image of the Mac’s bridge comes through. “Hello Blackheart. its been a long time.” It was like an image from his past. Kubiak and Morrison had been colleagues for a long time. They were fighter pilots back during the conflict with the Tzenkethi. Morrison, an El-Aurian, rose through the ranks rather quickly and now commands the Archangel. His ship was also Akira class, a sister ship to the MacArthur. Captain Kubiak nods, “Yes it has indeed. Your officer indicated you wanted to chat?” Morrison tilts his head slightly, “You want to talk in public or private? What I have to say will affect you and your crew equally.” Kubiak thought for a moment. What could Morrison have to say that was so important? The Bolian looks around his bridge, “They’ll find out anyway so lets hear it.”

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Morrison nods an acknowledgment of understanding and gets a hard look in his eye, “By contacting you I am breaking Imperial protocol. I have your ship on my sensors as well as Terok Nor. The Admiralty, in spite of the policy change, still doesn’t have 100% trust in you or your crew due to…racial issues. I am here to monitor your progress and to make sure you succeed. If you don’t, your ship and everyone on board are forfeit.” Morrison holds up a hand as Kubiak starts to speak. ” I know you understand your situation. I felt compelled as your friend to let you know who was watching you. And if necessary, would be pulling the trigger.” “You can watch all you want. The mission is still mine to command. And we will continue. However, if an assault on Terok Nor is imminent, we will need reinforcements to succeed.” “I understand. How many ships will you need?” asked Morrison. “A small task force. The Archangel is welcome to join in the mission, naturally. And if we can scare up a few more ships to support us, that would be ideal. We do not know the capabilities of Terok Nor at this time. It has been six years since the Rebels took control. They may not even be in control of the station any longer, that has yet to be determined.” “We have a recon mission in progress. We are waiting to hear back from the initial sortie before making a determination,” said Kubiak evenly. Morrison pondered this information carefully. “Do you expect to board the station? An assault team?” “I am considering a small infiltration team to beam aboard the station covertly and gather intelligence. Our Special Operations team is preparing for such a contingency as we speak. Once we have gathered the needed intelligence, we will take the next step,” said Kubiak. Morrison smiled. “It looks like you are taking the safe route, as usual, Kubiak. You must be losing your edge.” Chuckling slightly, Kubiak signalled for the connection to be broken. Draconrouge looked at the Captain and listed his head to the side slightly. “A friend, Captain?” “I am not sure anymore. But he is the Admiralty’s eyes and ears. So we are being watched. Let’s make sure they get an eyeful. Contact our command base. Let them know we may need more ships to take Terok Nor. The Archangel will be one of the ships in the task force. We’ll need some other support ships to make the assault.” “Aye, Captain.” “Continue to make preparations for the infiltration team. I want our top people prepped and ready to beam over to the station in six hours. We’ll need to get a feel for the climate over there before we attempt first contact.” Draconrouge hissed as the communication with the ARCHANGEL cut out. “I wouldn't mind firing a torpedo right into an admiralsss flagssship mysself…”Kubiak shook his head. “The admirals are as needed as any of us, they make good scapegoats. Now, what is this I hear about you sending one of our shuttle pilots out behind the Marine’s back?” Draconrouge grimaced lightly. Leave it to Kubiak to have his ears even in archaic paper communications. “The marinesss have their own agendass, ssir, you know thisss. We authorized one sscout, they sssent out two. I wasss going to ssend out a warp ssshuttle for invessstigation purposses.” “And what would we do if it got captured?” He gave a grin. “Unlike a fighter, the sshuttle can be convinssingly be independent. He hass a built in alibi.” Kubiak nodded and pulled up the specifications of the pilot. “Petty Officer Third Class William ‘Tarzan’ Case…

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commended for both the Battle of Orias III, and the Battle of Earth. Impressive naval pilot, wonder why he didn't go for the marines… Lets see.. disciplined for punching an officer… doesn't specify who.” “That wasss over 10 yearsss ago, whatever he had did kept hisss promotionsss from being approved.” “Well, we are in different scenarios now. Bridge to PO3 Case.” [[Case here]] “This is Captain Kubiak, report to my ready room immediately” [[On my way]] Kubiak walked towards the science station. “Status, Science Officer?” The young Terran ensign blinked in surprise. He was not ready for the question, obviously, and his voice quivered slightly. “We have scanned the station with long range sensors and a series of class three probes. Life form readings indicate a population of about 14,000. Mostly Terran, though there are alien races sprinkled in. There are some Bajorans and Cardassians in the population as well, sir.” “So there is no way of knowing who is in control of the station by a mere scan?” “No, sir. The concentration of races could speculate the Terrans are in control. But the history of the station suggests that even when the Alliance operated the station, they were in the minority of the population.” “Ssso it is anyone’s guessss,” replied Draconrouge. “It appears so,” said Kubiak. He walked up the ramp to the Tactical station. “Analysis, Mr. Lanning. Tactical capabilities of Terok Nor?” Lanning cleared his throat and answered hesitantly. “It is difficult to say from this distance, Captain. The station was lightly armed during the Alliance’s reign. But it is possible that they upgraded the weapons platform. The hardpoints on the station were capable of handling photon torpedo launchers, quantum launchers, even some heavier plasma weapons. There are no energy signatures at this time to make a determination of their weapons status. We woud have to go in closer, put them on alert, to get a better reading.” “I want to keep them unaware of our presence, for now. Keep me informed, Mr. Lanning.” The captain turned back to his Second Officer. “Any more surprises you would like to inform me about?” Draconrouge shifted uncomfortably as he looked in the eyes of the Bolian. He gave a slight growl, then turned his head away, losing the battle of wills. “There is rumorsss that an order has came down promoting the XO to the rank of captain, asss well asss the CMO appearsss to have gone misssing. Itsss asss if the Admiralty isss hoping we fail” “Of coarse they are, if we fail, we become an example on why non Terrans are not fit for command positions. Send a message to your mate, inform her of her new position as CMO if our old one does not show.” “Rae?? But.. why her, there are others with seniority” “That is true, but she can keep you in line.” He glanced at his panel, seeing that Case was on his way. “Now if you would excuse me, I need to give our esteemed pilot some new directives.” He stood, and entered his ready room. *** Thalia studied the target. A considerable amount of activity surrounded the station. The transport that she and

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Dodger had passed was considerably slower than their craft. She hadn’t expected the transport, but there it was. How? She studied the docking ring, zooming in on the pylon where the transport had been docked. It wasn’t the same one. Nor were the other two similarly docked nearby. She shook her head. Something was definitely going on. These weren’t ordinary transports. There were no markings of any kind. And there was a problem registering them on the sensors. The engineers of the station had either figured a sensor dampening net, or there was a high amount of radiation that interfered with hers. She had, after all, clearly seen the other transport, the one still in progress here. If that were it’s intended destination. She kept her distance, peering into the shadows of the pylons lit by the nearby sun. Thalia was glad for the brilliance. She was able to slid in and out of the flares that were a normal occurrence. That was partly how the Alliance had defeated the previous owners of Terok Nor. She remembered the station, before, when she was trying to figure out where she wanted to be. Her emotions brought bitterness as well as joy. She should never have come this far out. Never let her defenses down with HIM, but then she was much to naive to not believe everything someone told her, especially the commander she vowed to follow to the ends. Now, she was following all right, but trapped in the middle of another race’s politics. What WAS a human doing out here? She cringed. Reconfiguring the sensors to eat through some of the disturbance, she focused on the data streaming in. Most of the docking slots were filled, but not with passenger craft, with Alliance ships. That gave her the largest clue of all. They WERE there. She hissed. A habit she learned from being out here in the hell she created for herself, by being caught. That wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t been so careless, and she wouldn’t do that again. There they were, a whole squadron of them, sleek, but clumsy to her mind. The offensive craft. There was definitely something going on; forces were amassing. There couldn’t be another war. This system couldn’t take more. The people were already devastated from the last one. Now. She realized that she had to pull back. She’d take the long way to the ship, so that if someone decided to check on her appearance there. She streamed to the lower level of the station. Dodger? Where was he? She didn’t dare open the com, not at this distance. She’d been stupid for conversing with him on the way down. It was more the trivial discussion that pissed her rather than the talk. That had been dangerous, and in their line, a very stupid move. Even the lowest rank knew better. Dodger was new, and she more experienced, but that didn’t excuse the practice. A crackle interrupted her survey. She strained to hear. The words were familiar, only not the language she commonly heard on the ship. Had she been spotted? The docking manager was guiding someone to the lower ring. She couldn’t hear the answer, the ion activity surrounding the station? She scratched the helmet, driving the material into her hair, trying to scratch the itch she suddenly acquired. That was the one thing she didn’t like about her nervous system. Any time she sensed danger, a spot on the very top of her head itched with a fiery annoyance. Was she, the watcher, being watched? She noticed a flare rising from the nearby sun. Taking advantage of the energy wafting into space, as a solar wind blew up, she ducked into the extra energy. Being a good distance from the source of the disturbance, she had the knowledge that it wouldn’t fry the ship’s sensitive instruments, but it would allow her to show up as a blur, perhaps a reflection of another craft. She didn’t dare whistle for Dodger now. She’d have to get the information to him someway that she was pulling back, that she’d gotten enough. Something about Dodger bothered her. He came in on a supplier three months before, but he didn’t have to go through the usual tight reigns before he was assigned to follow her, as her wing. She’d been on the ship working in other areas of flight control before she was allowed out on her own. They all did, every pilot that came to the ship, everyone but command and… Dodger.

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Thalia decided, as she used the cover of the energy wind to head back in the proper direction, to find out all she could about Dodger. It was, at least, usual; if a pilot would be assigned to accompany another, in any capacity, the CAG would often give the senior pilot the privilege to ‘check up’ on the wingman, to get to know his strengths, weaknesses, and often his background. Thalia was clear of Terok Nor’s operations, and well out of the occupied flight lanes. She breathed a sigh of relief that she hadn’t been seen. She, however, didn’t see the ship that left the station at the same time she headed back toward where they had earlier seen the transport. The ship had moved from the area, leaving the space empty of all but a few smaller craft, possibly luxury ships to throw anyone observing off their track. She contemplated waiting for Dodger, but she had to get the information back to their ship. I should never have left. Not yet. “What’s going on? Tal? You split out of there in a hurry.” “Where the hell did you come from, Dodger?” She shook her head. “I headed down the lower surfaces to find you and you disappeared.” “Must’ve been on the other side, dear.” “Don’t call me dear! You have NO respect for….” She snarled. “Calm down. Didn’t mean anything by it.” “Did you get anything?” “Depends on what you were looking for.” “Dodger, you’re a pain in the ass.” “What else is new?” He could sense that Thalia was smiling. That was the one special thing about him that no one knew, he was an empath. And he knew that she had a special talent also, that’s why he was sent to observe her. Thalia and that bird had grown a symbiotic relationship of sorts. How, the scientists couldn’t tell, but they didn’t want to do anything to disrupt the relationship until they could duplicate it. Her reaction time wasn’t remarkable, until she got here, on the MacArthur, and had been paired with this particular fighter. Something had happened in the year she had been assigned and he was going to hang on her until he discovered the secret, whatever it was, but not because THEY wanted him to, but because HE wanted the secret for himself. *** As the tall Andorian sat in his office chair on the flight deck, he looked over the different pads on his desk. Some contained flight rosters, others containing vital information dealing with the current situation with Terok Nor. As he sat in his chair, he wondered what information Major Thalia Maxwell would bring back? Is the Alliance still in control of the station or are the Terran rebels in control? He frowned. Shouldn't the ship be on yellow alert? There was too many unknowns on this mission. The Andorian tapped his communicator. “Thalos to Captain Kubiak could you please see me in my office on the flight deck when you get the time? Thalos out.” The CAG of the ISS MacArthur just sat in his chair waiting and wondering what information Major Maxwell would

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bring back. *** The absolute impudence of the man. Practically demanding he come to his office. The Captain was not amused. Kubiak stormed out of the ready room to salutes and people snapping to attention on the bridge. “Mr. Draconrouge, you have the bridge. I need to go set our CAG straight on some issues of protocol,” said the captain sternly. The Drecan officer tilted his head sideways in an expression of amusement. “Aye, ssssir,” he replied. Kubiak continued his walk through the ship. Everywhere he looked was the embodiment of efficiency, which pleased him to the extreme. His ship and crew was running at peak performance. As he strolled through the corridors, crew came to attention and snapped an Imperial salute. Kubiak returned the salutes with a slight smile. Despite his status as an “alien” commanding officer, the MacArthur was known throughout the Imperial Fleet as one of the most decorated vessels remaining loyal to the Emperor. His status was unique, other ships even with Terran commanders paled in comparison to the record of the MacArthur. Many officers of non-Terran worlds had come to the MacArthur to serve. Thalos, the ship’s Commander, Aero Group, or CAG, was no exception. He always struck Kubiak as arrogant, which may simply have been a reflection on his racial makeup; Andorians were not known for their subtlety, their manners, or their good moods. “Well,” thought Kubiak, “we’ll set him straight.” As he got to Deck 8, Main Flight Deck, Kubiak entered the area through the main hatchway. Lined up on the deck were the Harrier and Kaneda fighters that were carried on the MacArthur. He walked up to one of the Harriers, doing a short handed inspection of the craft, looking over the craft’s deck crew busily fitting the ship with ordnance and fuel. He made a mental note to log some hours in one of the Kaneda fighters, he had certified on the Harrier many years before. The Kaneda was a newer craft, and he looked forward to trying one out once the crisis with Terok Nor had passed. Kubiak made to the CAG’s office, where the tall Andorian was speaking to one of his deck crew. Thalos saw him coming and snapped a salute. “Captain, thank you for seeing me,” said Thalos. Kubiak sized up the Andorian, returning the salute. “I do not make it a habit to come when summoned, CAG. This had better be good.” “I would like to recommend the MacArthur go on standing yellow alert during the duration of our time near the space station. We do not know the capabilities nor the intent of the forces holding Terok Nor. We should be prepared for any contingency.” Smiling slightly, Kubiak nodded, agreeing with his junior officer. “Yes, you make an excellent point. However, we must remain emissions-quiet during our surveillance, yellow alert would usually bring up active sensors, emissions that could be detected by the station from this distance.” Thalos thought for a moment, considering the captain’s position. “I understand, sir. I would like to schedule more sorties, to keep ready for anything that we may encounter.” “Yes, good idea. Get another two teams aloft, and stand ready to receive telemetry from Spicey once she finishes her run. Oh, and CAG… when I order ONE fighter, I mean ONE. Sending Dodger along with Spicey was more response than we needed. I did not want two fighters that close to Terok Nor. That could easily have compromised

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the mission.” “Yes, Captain,” replied the Andorian. “Keep these teams back to protect the ship. I want no more aggressive moves on Terok Nor until we hear back from Spicey.” “Understood, sir,” replied Thalos. “I’d like you to meet with the senior staff in one hour in the wardroom. We will get our mission briefing at that time. Hopefully by then, we’ll have the telemetry from Spicey analyzed.” Kubiak tapped his communicator. “Captain to Bridge. Senior staff to meet in the wardroom in one hour for mission briefing.” [[Understood, sssir.]] replied the Second Officer. *** To make room for the more advanced fighters that the ship had procured—not exactly by the book—the Suiting areas for the gendered pilots had been partitioned rather than a separate area claimed for each. None of the pilots cared, their only thought being on the missions, and if they did, they were well armed. At least Thalia was. Most of the pilots—male, female, or ‘alternatively gendered’—knew to side-step Thalia and her volatile personality; hence her call sign ‘Spicey’. Dodger wasn’t sure, as he—upon his return from the sortie—finished suiting for life aboard the ship, whether her handle designated her temper, her preference for hot, well-seasoned, foods, or for her daring to take risks, on missions and in personal relationships. He vowed not to find out the answer, at least not too quickly. He’d have to study her—a target—for a while before he took action. “How dare you!” Thalia screeched, throwing the towel at him as she rounded the partition from her side of the hangar-sized room into his space. He looked up. He had preferred to have seen her minutes before she removed the towel, but a very angry, fully uniformed woman rushed at him. It was barely enough for him to throw his arms up in defense, and side-step her, causing her to rush forward into the bulkhead. He figured the slam would stun her momentarily, but the collision with the metal had no visible effect on her, except to make her angrier. “What the hell do you mean!” “You on the sortie! You deliberately tried to make us—me a target—with all the chatter!” “I didn’t know.” “What the hell did you think you were doing out there? The escort on that transport could have snapped out of their formation and…” “Transport? Escort? I didn’t see anything past your fins, until we got to the station.” He shrugged. “That transport was too large for you to miss, or do you need to get new eyes.” She didn’t pause for his answer, turning around and heading to the flight deck, to make her formal report. “Hey, lady, your…er…towel.” He held up the cloth, knowing that once she’d determined to leave a room, she didn’t return for a good while. He chuckled, tossing the material on the bench and shaking his head. One of these days, woman, he thought. Thalia hadn’t advanced much further than the nearest fighter before she was angered by the sight of two mechanics

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hovering around her fighter. “Get the hell off this bird! Who told you you could…?” “Ops! They want us to evaluate all the craft on out-go and incoming, for damage status, and repair stats.” One of the pair dared to face her. His assistant continued his evaluation, marking off the information on the slate in his hand, and being careful not to get close. He had heard of the red-head’s reputation and didn’t want to find his head in contact with her physical fist. “Yeah, well, I’ll tell Ops a few things. This is MY bird! Not yours not his, not ops and definitely not….” “Thal! You’re back!” “Yeah, with no help of yours.” She turned to address the flight officer now off duty. “If you ever boot me through the chute like that again, you’ll learn first hand how to fly out of the tube, without a ship!” “Yeah, yeah, well, the bosses want you to fill out the obs chart. They’ve been chomping upstairs wanting to know just what you saw, and … well they want to figure what to do about it.” “They know what the hell I saw. Those Alliance creeps are all over the place like a swarm of Tibourian wasps and just as dirty.” “What was that you said about a transport?” She shook her head, inputting her information on the slate the man handed her. Command would get their answers from the input, and if they had any further questions, they could always call for a debriefing; their prerogative. The data was going up the chain as she typed. “Not sure. It didn’t have any insignia, and considering it was in the usual trade lanes, that were before the Great War, well, who knows.” “Yeah, well,” he paused, knowing just how she liked to relax after a flight. “Wanna see what concoction we can come up with? That last batch of stuff you made sure was…different.” “Might do it, but later. There’s a few places I’d rather be…for now. I’ll hop up to the mess in a few and see what you’ve cooked up.” Thalia spoke as she tossed the slate back at him. It clattered to the deck; he stooped to pick it up keeping her in sight. I’d like to cook something else, he thought, but didn’t dare give it away. Thalia, however, sensed his idea. “You and a lot of others.” She brushed him off. He stared as she left the flight deck and headed for her private space on the ship. Everyone guessed where she hid herself, but no one had discovered her in the exact spot, and hadn’t proven that any of the individual guesses hit the mark. *** Morrison looked at his desk display for the 4th time, a look of regret crossing his face. “Well you’ve gone and pissed the wrong people off for the last time Blackheart.” Morrison rises from his chair and heads to the bridge. The doors slide open his 2 personal guards salute as the doors open with the fist to the heart. Cmdr Freeman rises at the sound of the ready room door opening. “Trouble Captain?” Freeman asks. Sitting in his command chair Morrison looks at his XO, “Nothing that I can’t handle. Just have to order the death of an old friend.” Freeman nods, “Are you taking him out personally? Or has command decided to promote someone on the Mac?”

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“Promotion on the Mac.”, Morrison looks to Ops, “Open a tight beam channel to the Mac and route it to Commander Rhane Pryde.” Ops taps a few pads, “Channel open, Captain.” Morrison looks at the screen into a stateroom on the Mac, “Commander Pryde?” A female steps into view of the screen, “Sir?” “You know who I am?” Morrison asks, the female nods. “Good. Access security protocol Alpha-Tango-Alpha. Tie into the Archangel computer.” “Tied in, Sir.” Pryde responds with a gleam in her eye. “Computer release orders to secure connection. Authorization Morrison-Qapla’-Tango-Tango-One.” Computer voice, “Orders released to Commander Pryde, current billet ISS MacArthur.” “Commander Pryde. If you succeed in completing the orders sent to you by Imperial High Command, I am authorized, as Senior Officer currently in the Sector, to promote you to Captain and give you command of the MacArthur.” Morrison gives an icy stare. “Do not fail the Empire as your soon to be former Captain has.” Pryde reads her screen, “Kill the Captain and set up the CAG? Shouldn’t be too difficult.” “Contact me when your task is completed so I can transfer the command codes over to you. Archangel Out.” The screen goes blank and Morrison looks over to his XO. “She should do just fine.” Freeman nods, “I guess we will see, Sir.” Morrison gets up and goes to his ready room, “You have the bridge Commander. notify me when Commander Pryde sends her message.” “Aye, Sir.” Freeman moves to the center seat as the ready room doors close. *** Rae Draconrouge was smiling mirthlessly as the young crewman writhed in agony on the floor of the lab sectioned off for her own personnel use, her eyes taking in every detail of the slowly changing colouration to his skin. Almost… almost… the beginnings of scales were becoming visible … Just as at the same time the alarms started sounding … She swore under her breathe and bent down hurriedly to administer a drug to the almost flat-lining Bajorian , straightening back up and yelling out loudly for assistance. ” Bleak , get your sad and sorry arse up here and get this reject from a glue factory out of my sight ,” she kicked at the unconscious man viciously before walking out of the room without a backwards glance. ” God this place is going to pot ,” she muttered loudly as she slouched against the entrance to her domain … even the CMO didn’t come here unless she was invited ,a snarl of pure derision curled Draconrouges lips, something she didn’t display in front of the highest ranking medic aboard this ship…… the snarl turned into a grin of pure mischief as Bleak came into sight. He had had a crush on her ever since she was first taken aboard, rescued from the clutches of the rebel Cardassian forces.

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Bleak tensed as soon as he saw her , the hair hanging like a jet black waterfall down to the middle of her back , her uniform barely decent and those icy pale blue eyes piercing him with their coolness as they watched him come closer , purely predatory just like that red eyed lizard that she was mated to .Assuming a more seductive pose she slinked over to him and draped herself around his withered form. ” I’m so sorry for ordering you like that Bleakypoo ,” a well manicured and snow white hand cupped his jowls and a finger , the tips of which was painted black traced the outline of his lips ,” you know how it is, I try so hard to create and what am I given as guinea pigs ? “, she let out a sigh that was supposed to resemble sadness ,” third rate specimens that's what, rejects that even the mining colonies refuse to take on consignment.” He was trying to move forward , to get past her and attend to the poor bloody soul that had fallen into her clutches , he shivered though at her touch … as much as he wanted to grab her and show her what he felt for her, he dared not and she knew it …. what a bitch … he grimaced as she ran her tongue down the side of his face … the Dezeldi , her husband would have his head on a platter after hunting him in on of those holodeck games if he so much as sniffed out that he , Bleak , wanted what he considered to be his. Rae smirked as she felt the older mans body tense under her ministrations, to her it was just a game , done because she knew she could do it and get away with it. Bleak was as helpless as a fly caught in her spiders web, she pushed away from him and laughed nastily ,” Take good care of him Bleakypoo, I’ll be giving him another treatment next week.” He watched her leave , watched the seductive way she swayed from her hips… he would have given anything to have been her first … he shook himself, he could fall down dead at her feet and she would have merely walked over the top of him… god what a woman, he sucked in a breath and bent to help the crewman up. Valareos walked into the sickbay, glancing around as he watched Dr Bleak take care of a still weeping patient. A snarl of disgust, as he looked for the Biogenics office. On this ship, the Biogenics Engineer had her own private workplace, it was an esteemed position. Val knew better… it was easier to quarantine a possible outbreak. He tapped his talons on the door, a signal between him and Rae, so she knew who dared interrupt her. Rae was pouring over the latest medical magazine illustrating the illicit uses of some very popular medications , little things that could be added unknowingly into someones diet via the replicators that would have them …. she paused and dog eared the page as she heard the code used only by one creature aboard this derelict excuse of a rowboat…. her body quivered in response to the thought that swiftly followed , now there was the hallmark of an addiction if she ever saw it… racing heartbeat , palms suddenly sweaty , dry mouth…. god and the things he could do with that tongue… She coughed slightly bringing her wayward thoughts under control , ” Whoever it is make it bloody quick!,” she shouted more to distract her assistant's attentions from who it really was then as a chastisement for him. He smirks as he entered the room, letting the doorshut behind him. “Now now, mi Ingatha. if I made it quick, it wouldnt be ssatissfying now will it?” The need of him shivered down her body , pooling in a sudden warmth at the juncture of her legs , pale blue eyes gleamed mischeifiously into his red orbs,” Right now quick just might be slow enough ,” her face challenged him to do so …. here…. right now… knowing he wouldn’t. He nipped her neck slightly, drawing a bit of blood as he then licked it clean, the tounge drawing up her chinline up to her ear. Leaving her in that state of wanting, he pulled away. “Here on official busssinesss mi Ingatha. The Captain hasss ordered a meeting of all sssenior officcersss… Ive recieved responsses back from everyone exccept the CMO. Do you know where ssshe isss?” Rae touched the tip of her fingers to his chest and lightly ran them down the full length of his belly , slowing to a halt where the standard issue uniform trousers prevented her from actually touching his vent…. she rubbed gently

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over the area , ” Maybe I do , then again … maybe I don’t … depends on how urgently you want it… her .” She laughed low and throatily waiting for his response. He gave that low, deep purr he knows she loves. “Again, my dear. I am on duty. If the CMO hasssnt appeared soon, I will need you to attend the sssenior officersss meeting at 0500 hoursss… Captainsss orders. ” Aringatha ,” Rae rubbed her cheek against the side of his scaly maw ,” she has been somewhat detained I believe …. with some very important research ,” she looked as innocent as a lamb as she gave Val an explanation as to why the CMO of the MacArthur was unavailable ,” guess I’ll have to do you the favour of attending in her place then.” Her smile held a slyness to it as she moved away from her mate and her walk was exaggerated in its sway … for his benefit of course . She stopped as she came to the side of one of the biobeds that held a white clothed body , the face obscured by a gauze dressing ,” I’ll be sure to inform her when she finishes her research as to what the meeting is about beloved ,” she returned her gaze to the waiting dezeldi , ” you can trust me to do that ,” there was a snicker in the background from one of he attending nurses and she favoured the young man with a withering glance ensuring his swift silence ,” you do trust me Aringatha ?.” “Out of all on this ssship, you I trussst the mosst.” A safe answer.. he had no doubt that if he ever stood in the way of her goals, she would attempt to kill him in a heartbeat. However.. her goals included him, for now at least. He hissed once more, turning to leave, as alarms went off in sickbay. Dr Bleak cursed once and looked at a console nearby. “Dr. Draconrouge, we have an emergency transport coming in…” He paled a bit as he looked up. “Its the Captain…” *** Kubiak left the flight deck area with a twinge of disgust. That Andorian was one arrogant individual. He did leave, however, sure that he would never try to call him to the carpet again. His guard appeared beside him, saluted, and Kubiak returned the salute. “Tavin, I think I am going to work out before the meeting in the wardroom. See that I am not disturbed. They walked to the turbo for the short ride to the gymnasium. He left his guard Tavin at the door, and stepped inside the gym. He proceeded to the locker room to change. The gym was a sanctuary for Kubiak, the Klingon Mok’Bara was his favorite martial art. He was trained in several, but this one was special to him. Despite the fact it was the Klingons that were involved in the fall of the Empire, knowing, no… MASTERING Mok’Bara was quite an achievement. “Know your enemy” indeed. Kubiak bowed to the dais and slowly began his workout. *** Pryde stared at the Imperial logo on her screen for a few seconds, reviewing the ship’s layout and Kubiak’s usual pattern of behavior. She knew that the Andy CAG had demanded he come down to the Fighter Deck, leaving the 2nd in charge She knew he wanted to keep up his flight readiness, but there wasn’t enough time to sabotage a fighter, nor any guarantee that he’d use that particular one. And it would be all too easy for the CAG to push off the blame onto the maintenance drones. but… she queried the computer and confirmed that the Bolian was working out in the gym. She smiled and pressed a

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hidden latch that popped open a small panel, just large enough to conceal an Ushaan-tor. She wrinkled her nose at the thought of having to touch an alien weapon but it would point directly to the CAG She made her way to the gym, taking a roundabout way to avoid being spotted by the crew. It wouldn’t do for someone to remember she was just outside the gym. She double-checked to make sure the device modifying her bio-sign to read as Andorian was still functioning. A quick glance down the corridor confirmed that there was only one guard standing at attention outside the gym. A quick zap and he crumbled to the ground without a sound. She was at the door and firing even before it fully opened. She didn’t want to kill the captain just yet, just stun him enough that she could finish him off without a fight. The captain had just enough time to spin around, his eyes widening in recognition, “YOU!” he shouted as she pulled the trigger. She smirked as his body crumpled to the floor. Rhane smiled, happy to see the blue skinned alien at her feet. where he, hell, ALL aliens belonged! As tempting it was to bury the Andy blade in his heart, there was a slight chance someone might find him in time for the doctor to save his miserable life. She bent down, careful to stay behind the body and with one swipe, nearly detached his head, making sure the blood splatter was in front of her After making sure there was no pulse, she quickly made her way out of the room and headed towards the bridge She had a briefing to run *** Rae growled as she scooted the shaking crewman off of the table. “Initiate Transport to sickbay, Emergency crews, stand by!” The site to be seen as the captain appeared drained the blood from several faces. Rae, to her credit, didn't flinch as she ran a quick diagnostic over the captain, the Andorian knife still embedded into the neck of the Bolian. She sighed, and closed her tricorder. “He has been dead too long, there is nothing I can do. Valareos.. can you contact the XO and let her…. she turned to hear the door shut. Valareos had left. She gave just a slight smirk… She knew that her mate, would demand blood. “Get a second table ready, I'm expecting another casualty soon.” *** The Andorian CAG glanced around with a bit of hesitation. The flight deck was empty, strangely so. He had put orders for repairs on several of the fighters, daily checkups, and…. A slight noise as he turned, narrowing his eyes. Something was very very wrong at this time. Quickly he tapped his commbadge. “Thalos to Security!” No answer, his badge not even making the tell tale beep sound. Defective? His eyes widened… he was in an unoccupied flight deck, with no communication… His hand quickly went to his phaser, keeping his eyes on alert, though a slight shaking went through him. It was quiet, not a breath, not a whisper… yet he felt as if he was being watched. He glanced quickly to the left, and turned quickly. Nothing… he could have sworn he saw something glowing… He slowly made his way up the flight line, his eyes couldn't escape the fact that every thing was in its place, locked down. He cursed to himself, and began to run , making his way back to the doors leading to the rest of the ship, and relative safety. He pressed on the panel and… nothing.

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The door wouldn't open. A shiver went down his spine as he slowly backed up.. and bumped into something behind him… large… scaley… The Andorian knew who it was.. and knew he was in trouble. The Second Officer, the command staff’s personal assassin.. Everyone on the ship knew the story, Valareos and the old second Officer, Chase Lomax, had entered a room. Only one came out, and the other… no one ever even found a body. His eyes kept wide open in fear, as he felt a strong claw close around the hand that held the phaser, and squeezed. He winced, the phaser dropping to the floor as he now shook uncontrolled, feeling Valareos lean down and hiss slightly beside his ear, that tongue, that forked tongue licking over his cheek, tasting him. “Your fear, isss exquisssite. Did you think you could kill the captain, and not be caught?” “But But.. I didnt….” Val snarled and slammed a single claw up into Thalos’s throat, between the jawline. Thalos yelled in pain, as the claw kept the mouth open, yet did not harm any vital veins. A slight sneer as the talon hooked the tounge, and holding it out. A smooth slice of the other claw, and the Andorians tounge fell to the floor. “I did not give you permisssion to ssspeak.” An evil sounding hiss as he kept his strong arms wrapped around the helpless CAG, licking at the blood dripping from his mouth almost intimately. “I could spend hoursss.. daysss.. tasssting every piece of you. But I do not have time for such thingsss…” A last snarl, as his jaws sank hard into Thalos’ shoulder, biting in as the bones shattered under the strong maw. The Andorian screamed in pain, unable to move, unable to fight, unable to run, as Valareos ripped a chunk of flesh and bone from him. He threw Thalos back on the ground, letting him watch as he devoured his prize. Murring in satisfaction, and licking the blood from his lips, he bent down, and picked up the tounge. Turning, the Drecon went to the door, and entered in the unlock code. He seemed to care not anymore for the Andorian, simply leaving the room as the door shut behind him. Thalos winced, dragging himself to the door. He was loosing blood fast… he needed to get medical attention… A wooshing sound stopped him in his tracks, as he looked behind, eyes opened wide in horror, as he watched the bay doors open, the protective field down, the air rushing out. He screamed in pain, in horror, as the force of the escaping air picked him up, and expelled him forcefully from the ship. Nature was a cruel mistress, the lack of pressure in space, and the open wounds in his body causing his blood to rush forcefully from his body. He barely had time to even register his fate, as he blissfully blacked out from the draining of the blood. His last thoughts, before his fate claimed him, were of but 7 words. Don't Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons! Welcome to the ninth issue of General Orders! This newsletter is published quarterly and made available electronically. This is the Spring 2007 newsletter. Submissions may be made to the Editor via email at info@issmacarthur.com -- Copyright ©2007 ISS MacArthur. All Rights Reserved. Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, STARFLEET, STARFLEET ACADEMY all ® TM & © 2007 CBS Studios Inc. No Infringement Intended. STARFLEET - The International STAR TREK Fan Association , Inc. is a non-profit corporation in the State of NC, is not connected with CBS Studios, Paramount Pictures, VIACOM, or Star Trek: The Official Fan Club, and has been in existence since 1974.

Google is Mother. Google is Father.

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General Orders Spring 2007