"A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Steve » 2013-07-16 07:08pm

Act 7

The Kelley orbited lazily over the Chesapeake, her cloak active to prevent telescopes from reading their presence. Below them, on the planet, smoke belched from the smoke stcks of new industrial plants. It was 1853 locally, Universe C1P2.

In a set of private quarters, Robert was fidgeting with what now passed for a uniform worn by he and his fellows. The black jacket and color-coded trim was different from his usual pproach of "wear what is comfortable". The torch insignia they'd adopted was displayed on the collar. "I really prefer just normal clothing," Robert lamented.

"You need to make a good first impresssion," Farmer pointed out.

"Still... this is a uniform?"

"A very sopisticated one, honestly," he continued. "I saw some of the conceptual holos for the universalization of Starfleet uniforms in a couple years, it inspired me. Didn't like the gray shoulders though, if you're taking the department color off the jacket then why bother with a second color?"

"I'll take your word for it." Robert straightened the jacket up. "I was surprised when you said you wanted to come along."

"As much as I enjoy focusing on building ships, the Aurora is now in the capable hands of Mister Scott to prepare for her shakedown. I'm not needed at the moment. Besides..." Farmer smirked. "I'm really looking forward to seeing their reactions."

At that Robert could only smile. "Well... I guess we'd better get this done. What I wouldn't give to have swapped duties with Julie..."

The Koenig rocked under Julia, a jolt that shifted everyone in their seats. Energy beams played over their shields repeatedly from the strangely-shaped asymmetrical vessel ahead. "Enemy ship coming around," Jarod warned from Ops.

"Ignore him. Zack, Angel, deal with the pirate after those transports."

She was answered immediately and under Zack's control the Koenig shifted to avoid a big hit from the pirate's main gun. As that enemy's sister ship tried to hit them from behind Zack lined up the Koenig and gave Angel a clear shot. Orange blasts of pulse phaser fire lashed out and struck the ship before it could maneuver out of the way. It twisted and brought stronger shields to bear, dispersing the effect of Angel's fire.

Which was exactly what they wanted the pirates to do.

The Koenig went past the enemy ship and fired aft torpedoes into the now-barely-shielded quarter of the pirate. "Hang on!" Zack manipulated the controls and the ship spun around, hard. Julia barely got a chance to protest before Zack shouted, "Now!"

Angel was ready; her cannons hit the enemy ship in the weak side, blasting through the weak screens and into the hull. Flame erupted from the wounds in the enemy ship. A pair of solar torpedoes crashed into those wounds, blasting through to the other side. The entire ship disappeared in a white fireball.

The ship that had been pursuing them now faced them, having to maneuver to avoid the exploding remnants of its fallen comrade. Angel poured fire into the ship, stripping away its shields so that her spread of solar torpedoes could penetrate. The bow of the pirate ship almost disintegrated under the attack. The pirate ship tried to turn too little too late, as a follow up burst of cannon fire ripped into the wounded ship and destroyed several more sections. "And they're giving up."

"We'll let the convoy handle the prisoners. Can you raise them, Jarod?"

"No need. I've got one of their Starfleet escorts on speaker."

Jarod pressed a key. A female voice spoke over the line. "Koenig, this is Major Kira Nerys on the Orinoco, sensors are clear. The Bajoran Militia thanks you for your assistance."

"Any time, Major. We're always ready to help Bajor." That had, indeed, been the unanimous decision of the Council following the final examintions of S5T3's political situation. Aided, of course, by the continuing negotiations - now relocated to the New Liberty Colony - to form a multiversal alliance, which Bajor had been invited to participate in but respectfully turned down.

"It's appreciated. If you're interested you can dock at DS9 and have some leave time."

Given the material they'd reviewed of S5T3 in the past months, that invitation was rather inviting. A stable wormhole to the other side of the galaxy, a reputation for all sorts of varieties of characters to come through... And if I take it without Cat here she'll be so upset... Julia shook her head by reflex. "I'll have to decline, Major. The Koenig is due elsewhere."

"Understood. Orinoco out."

"We'll follow them until we're close enough to Bajor that there's no worry." Julia looked to Jarod. "So, how did we do?"

"No damage." He flashed her a smile. "We had shields drop to about sixty percent during the worst of it. We might want to have someone beef up the shield generators."

"I'll see if Tom and Lucy can manage that. In tthe meantime..." Julia finished giving some orders, and when they were put into effect silence was the immediate result.

"It's a shame we can't stop at DS9," Zack finally said, breaking the quiet. "I mean, lots of aliens, stuff from across the galaxy..."

"We don't have any local money, Zack, so how would we pay for anything?", Julia asked. "I doubt they'll take dollar bills."

"I dunno.... maybe if we trump them as collector's items?"

"Zack, no, just no."

"Oh come on, where's your sense of adventure? All sorts of interesting things happen on DS9."

"Cat would be furious if she wasn't here for it," Angel remarked.

"Yeah. So, how is she doing anyway? Getting her first mission as a commander, I mean?"

"Knowing Cat, even the most boring ice planet has her going nuts with excitement," Julia said, grinning.

The Weaver slipped out of orbit of an ice planet with grace, piloted by an exchange officer from the Dorei Federation. Cat was not in her command chair as she was intended to be; instead she was camped out at sensors while the actual sensor officer for the trip, Philippe, looked on in boredom and bemusement. "And look at those atmospheric effects! Isn't it stunning? I wish we could have sent a landing party..."

"Good luck getting a people to go down to such a world," Philippe remarked.

"There's got to be more to space travel than blasting pirates." Caterina finished examining the readouts from the planet.

"I think you should give Philippe his seat back." The Ops officer, Magda, had been Ops at one point for the Kelley; now the Colombian girl was acting as Cat's XO. "You can look over that data later."

"You're no fun. And sorry Philippe." She stood and let him take the controls back. Caterina let out a sigh and nearly flopped into the command chair. "Next planet?"

"Jovian-scale gas planet and its thirty moons."

"Oooh. Those should be fun to study. Vanrya, set a course."

The Daxai woman nodded. Caterina found her interesting as a "blue elf lady", though calling a Dorei an elf wasn't being accurate. "We're at full acceleration."

Caterina waited as they came up on the Jovian body, arguably larger than its namesake in the Sol system. She was about to see about commandeering Philippe's post again when he looked up. "I'm picking up some debris near the ninth moon."

"Oh? On screen?"

The viewer changed to show a field of metal flotsam arranged haphazardly. "Scans?"

"The material is reading as very old. This station was destroyed long ago. We'll need to examine it to determine what happened."

That sounded like a fun challenge, a very fun challenge. "Okay, transport it into the cargo bay."

"Doing so now." Magda remotely activated the transporter systems. "I'm having trouble locking on to some of the material."

Curiosity swelled up in Caterina. Transporter-resistant material? "Okay, we'll do this another way. Open the main shuttle bay and tractor everything in."

"We don't have the systems to examine it here," Magda reminded her. "We'll have to go back."

"We've only got a few space systems left on the list anyway. I want to get this stuff examined immediately." Caterina leaned back in her chair. "Get every piece we can and set the drive to return us to the Facility."

At Facility Control Julia was waiting when Robert returned. He gave her a look and drew in a sigh. "It didn't go well," she remarked.

"Well, they won't be going into civil war soon, I think," he answered. "We've given them a common threat. And I almost got beaten with a cane by a historical figure."

Julia crossed her arms and her expression became curious. "Oh? Who?"

"That guy from South Carolina who beat the New England senator with a cane." Robert looked deep in thought for a second. "Mom would be ticked that I can't... oh yeah. Brooks."

"And what happened?"

"Oh... um... I stopped Kwang from shooting him. Instead I just decked him." Robert rubbed his shoulder. "He winged me before I got my free hand on the cane."

Julia started laughing hard. "You mean you almost got caned by the guy behind Bleeding Sumner?"

"And then I punched him." Robert allowed himself a small laugh. "I got to punch a historical figure."

"Angel will be really jealous."

That brought more laughing until Robert noticed a ship through the Control window he hadn't expected to see. "Wait, is that the Weaver? Did something happen with Caterina?"

"She found some debris and decided to put her survey mission on standby to do a personal examination." Julia allowed herself a half smile. "Angel's going down to talk to her about it, don't worry."

"I won't." Robert went over to the seat by the main station, his favored seat in the Facility Control. "I'll be too busy worrying about the mess I've made in C1P2. No good deed ever goes unpunished."

Caterina had gathered four of her fellow science officers to go over the debris field, now moved by tractor drones to one of the cargo bays. "An interesting formula for an alloy," she muttered, looking at its molecular structure. "And look at that..... no wonder transporters don't like it, the disruption it causes..."

"Cat!" Caterina went over to where Simon, a Russian Jew from C1P2, was looking over a piece. "What do you make of this?", he asked.

She went over and found why he was so interested; it clearly wasn't a broken piece of anything. She looked over the rectangular object and brought up her scanner. "Hrm, a low level energy field of some kind from within. It might be a stasis container or something. If it's not letting us see what's inside on sensors, we'll need to start a quarantine procedure to open it."

"I can start whenever you're ready," Simon offered.

"Let's get everything else catalogued first." Caterina moved on to the next piece. She hadn't done more than a cursory scan when she felt a tap on her shoulder and turned. Angel faced her, smirking and crossing her arms. "Woh, sis, what is it?"

"We need to talk, Cat. Privately?"

She nodded and looked to the others. "Go on, I'll be right back." She turned and followed Angel to the control room for the chamber. "This is about me coming back early isn't it?"

"Just because you found something new doesn't mean you can drop everything just to see it." Angel let her admonishment hang for a moment. "Things are getting serious now, sister. Orders are given and have to be obeyed."

"But... Angel, it's just so... this is material that could alter how we use transporter technology!"

"And it'll still be there tomorrow."

"Something could have happened though! I can always go back out, but if something happened and I lost these samples...! And I'd rather be here doing science than doing that anyway."

Angel smiled at her with bemusement. "Cat... you do know the old saying, right? You can't always get what you want, ooo you can't always get what you waaaant..." Angel continued to sing the song until Cat playfully slapped her on the shoulder. "Isn't it your favorite?"

"It's one of my favorites." Caterina took a breath. "Let me finish examining this stuff and I'll go back out? Please?"

"I'll recommend it to Rob and Julie," Angel promised. This prompted her to get a glomp-style hug and a delightful shout that came out as "squee!" "Don't thank me, little sis. They might pile on more work for you as reprisal."

"That's fine, I'll do it!"

In Control Robert had put up a screen showing the Aurora. After all that time as a shell, the hard work of Farmer, Scotty, Barnes, and others had brought it almost to completion. "I see the weapons are in place. Engines?"

"Ready for shakedown." Farmer nodded to Scotty. "It's been a pleasure working with you and your teams on this."

"She's a beauty of a ship, that's for sure." The portly old Scotsman patted Barnes on the shoulder. "Me and the lad made sure she'll run like a champion. I can't wait tae see her go."

"We're hoping to shatter some warp speed records Scotty's told me about," Barnes confirmed.

"And I should know, I set some of them meself!"

"What's the status of moving things on board?" This was from Julia.

"Well, yer personal effects are in assigned quarters already," Scotty replied. "Unless ye're changin' yer minds on who's going tae be doin' what. And we've copied some of the Darglan database over."

"So does that mean Control is going to be on the Aurora too?"

"Regrettably not, Jarod," the AI answered, appearing beside them. "My personality matrix and memory core would take up too much space in your systems. It is better to have the data from the database."

Jarod crossed his arms. "I might be able to help with that. We might be able to compress your matrix enough to fit in an auxiliary core."

"The effort is appreciated, but not necessary."

"Well, we'll still be around," Robert pointed out, as if looking to reassure Control. "And it'll be months before we transfer permanently to the Aurora."

"Still the issue of command to work out..." Julia looked at the ship intently. Robert went silent for the moment; he wasn't sure which of them deserved it most.

"Just leave the engineering stuff to us and anyone can command the thing." Barnes nodded and noticed Zack standing, his arms crossed. "Hey, Zack, you alright?"

"He's still irritated that we didn't take a look at Deep Space Nine," a new voice teased. Angel stepped through the doors from the corridor. "I think he heard some stories about the Dabo girls and got bright ideas."

"I just think it's a wasted opportunity," Zack responded. "Dabo girls or no dabo girls... and I don't even know what 'dabo' is anyway."

Robert smiled a little. "I'm sure we'll all get there one day. Besides, if anyone had gone without Cat, she would've been furious."

"Speaking of Cat..." Julia looked over to Angel. "You two talked?"

"We did. She won't do it again. And she'll be going back out just as soon as...."

The alarms started to go off. Control was quick to provide the reason, shouting "Energy spike detected!"

Caterina was finishing the last catalogue of pieces while the others checked the unopened container. "Simon, how is that power flux?"

"We just finished scanning it with our best equipment. Near as we can tell, it's... it's opening, Caterina! It's opening!"

Full of shock and eagerness, Caterina turned and faced the others. The side facing away from her opened. Simon's expression turned to wonder to bewilderment.

A moment later, he let out a scream of terror as an energy beam lashed out and struck him.

Jarod had rushed to the internal sensor station the moment the alert came. "It's from Cargo Bay 10!"

Angel's face went white. "Cat!"

It took only a second for Jarod to check the readings. "Picking up large energy releases, various photon and gamma effects with x-ray emissions showing up..."

Control's face shifted to show what clearly came off as horror. "Oh no... power signature detected and matched with files!" The alarms grew louder and changed tone. Unused monitors across the facility flashed to life with orange and red light. His voice shifted to take on a more mechanical tone, booming throughout the Facility. "Omega level threat detected! Omega level threat detected!"

Caterina was in a bad place; the things killing the others were between her and the door. She rushed behind a corner and hit her comm. "Control, this is Caterina! Something came out of the debris, it's killing people! Please get us out off here and reinforce quarantine to max level! Please get us out!"

The stack of materials she was hiding behind disintegrated and almost made her lose her balance. She turned and stared down at the inhuman things that were facing her, the weapons that had killed Simon and the others pointing toward her.

A group of single electronic eyes, each a cold blue, stared back at her. A shrill mechanical voice dripping with malice came out clear, an announcement to her of her impending death.

"Your species is inferior! You will be exterminated!"

The others joined in.

”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Enigma » 2013-07-16 08:14pm

Please, oh please let the doctor show up to help them out of their predicament? Please? :):):):)

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Steve » 2013-07-18 07:46am

"Power signature match confirmed. Dalek presence detected." Control's expression remained mechanical. "Maximum quarantine procedures initialized. Sterilization sequence on standby. Facility destruct sequence on standby."

Jarod was busy at one station, Farmer at another. Jarod looked back. "I can't lock the transporter onto Cat, the quarantine procedures have everything locked in."

"No!" Angel glared at Control. "You have to let us get Cat out!"

"Emergency override not recommended against Omega level threat," Control informed them.

Caterina didn't die. The machine-like things continued to focus on her, but none fired. Another was accessing the main control panel on the nearby wall. She could see the panel was not responding; quarantine procedures had eliminated its network connection.

Finally one of the lead things looked to her. The lights on its head lit up in rythym wiith its speaking. "You will open the central computers to us or you will be exterminated!"

Caterina swallowed hard and tried to not look at the fallen bodies of Simon and the others. How had the pod not been contained by the quarantine field? Even then... One mystery at a time, Cat. Just stay alive and give them a chance to rescue you. She inched over to a control panel. One of the things was trying to interface with it using an appendage that looked almost like a plunger.

Cat began tapping the control. The quarantine was at Omega level containment, which made it virtually impossible to circumvent it from inside. Even emergency override had to be confirmed from outside. She tapped a few keys and began typing a message.

"What are we up against?" Robert hovered behind Jarod, looking at the readouts. "What are those things?"

"Whatever they are, they're good at computer cracking. If not for the quarantine they'd already be hacking their way through Control's systems."

"Dammit, Control, get Cat out of there!", Angel cried out. "At least tell me how to take a Tactical team through the quarantine!"

"Again, emergency override is not recommended against Omega level threat. Sterilization procedure prepared."


To Robert's question, Control's answer was chilling. "Enriched naqia charge. Estimation is destruction of one quarter of the Facility."

"One quarter?! Are you nuts?!" Barnes took an extra seat. "There's got to be a better way to deal with these things... what were they again?"

"Threat detection confirmed: Daleks." Control showed none of the usual warmth and friendliness, like his very personality was locked down. "Universe Designation W8R4. Advanced alien species genetically engineered for heightened intelligence and aggression against other life forms. Threat level extreme."

"Okay. Tell me how to beat them and rescue my sister," Angel insisted.

"Accessing countermeasure plans... accessing... countermeasure found."


"Find the Doctor."

Robert looked back from the screen, bewildered at such an unexpected answer. "Repeat that?"

"Find the Doctor."

"Doctor?" Angel's expression betrayed the mix of confusion and fear in her. "What do you mean 'Find the Doctor'? Doctor who?"

"Find the Doctor."

Julia shook her head in disbelief. "It's been three thousand years, whoever this Doctor is I bet he or she is gone. Angel, get that tactical team."

"I've got Caterina over the network." Jarod brought up a screen. It showed a display from Cargo Bay 10. Caterina was standing at a station; around here were a number of the aliens and, sadly, the dead bodies of the others. For such deadly things a number of those assembled couldn't help but think the things looked almost like pepper shakers with attachments. "She's stalling, but there's not much she can do but communicate. The quarantine is pretty thorough."

"Could we draw attention with an attack?", Robert asked.

"The quarantine field doesn't let us in either." Jarod was checking various systems. "I can activate the override-"

"Emergency override not recommended."

"...-and let Farmer beam her out, but I'll be busy shoring up the firewall and preventing any breakthrough. We can re-initialize the quarantine one we get Cat out."

"Sounds like a plan. Get to it."

Caterina made a show of trying to work the systems, but in truth she was writing a goodbye to her sister and the others. I'm actually going to die was the thought in her head, and it made her want to quiver and whimper. But she couldn't let herself do that. She wouldn't let these things see her terror. Besides, she knew they'd get her out. Her sister and friends wouldn't let her die.

"You are incapable of removing the firewall," one of the things stated suddenly. "You are of no use to us. You will be exterminated!"

Caterina turned back and saw the nozzles on the things coming up. That was it; she was dead. I won't cry, I won't...

The aliens fired.

A column of light appeared in Facility Control. Caterina appeared from it and almost stumbled over. "You... you got me out?"

"The Daleks are breaking into the computer systems!" Jarod's work at the station was almost frantic. "I'm getting multiple attacks through the firewall, trying to lock them all off!"

"They're smarter than I thought and more of them are joining in!" On the screens they could see three Daleks at the controls.

"Control, restore quarantine!", Julia ordered.

"I cannot," Control answered woodenly. "Unspecified overrides have locked down the capability. Self destruct failsafes offline."

"So much for..."

"Angel, get your team together, now!" Robert's shout led to her nodding and leaving the room. Robert turned to Scotty. "Mister Scott, just in case... I want you back on the Aurora. Get her ready for launch."

"And start bringing people aboard," Julia added. "It'll take a while to get everyone in the Facility on the ships."

"Aye sir! Mister Barnes, I'd appreciate yer help."

"I'm there." Barnes typed several keys, after which he and Scotty were whisked away by the transporter.

"We're evacuating?" Caterina looked at them incredulously. "Over this? We can beat them!"

"Just in case we don't, Cat. If the Daleks are enough of a threat to make Control go into auto-destruct mode, we can't risk them taking this technology." Robert went back to Jarod. "Jarod...?"

"Not now!" It seemed like his hands couldn't move fast enough.

Control and the screens went blank. Over the central holotank one of the Daleks appeared. "This technology will now serve the Daleks. You will be exterminated!"

"Like hell," Julia shot back. "We're not out of the fight yet."

Looking to buy time, Caterina added, "We could help you get to your home universe if you let us!"

"You are irrelevant. You are weak. You cannot aid Daleks. You cannot fight Daleks. You will be exterminated."

"They have lift control!", Jarod warned. "I'm trying to keep them out of the transporters and jump systems, but..."

The Dalek wavered and disappeared. Control reappeared in his place, looking back to normal. "Control re-established. Thanks to Mister Jarod's efforts I have isolated the remaining key systems not yet slaved to the Daleks, they can only be controlled from here. I'm afraid my measures won't last long if the Daleks break into the main computers or take Facility Control."

"I'm keeping them distracted, but with the quarantine down they can leave the Cargo area."

"The moment they start moving route that information to Angel and the tactical teams." Robert went over to a station and hit the comm button. "Control to Medical. Leo?"

"I'm here. Just what the hell is going on?!"

"We have a dangerous group of aliens loose in the Facility. It's bad enough... Leo, get your patients and staff secured for immediate beaming to the Aurora med center."

"It's really that bad?"

"It is. Robert out."

"I'll get to the Koenig and start bringing people aboard," Zack offered.

"No." Julia shook her head. "Lucy can head Koenig. You and Locarno get to the Aurora's bridge to launch her."

Robert gave an agreeing nod. "Yeah. And you're in command, Zack. No buts! If you have to, get out without us."

"But..." Zack swallowed, seeing their expressions. "Alright, I'm going over."

After Zack beamed away, that left the others. "It all depends on Angel and the others," Julia murmured, standing beside Robert. "If they can't..."

"If they can't stop them, we'll have to blow up the Facility," Robert finished for her, frowning. "If they've locked down lift controls it means they're coming up this way."

"Do you want to go help?"

"You and I have something else to get ready for. If we have to... well..." Robert gulped and looked at the Kelley, thinking of all the adventures and time he'd spent on that ship. "The Daleks may have locked down the Facility self-destruct, but we have other destruct mechanisms."

Julia turned her head slightly. "You mean..."

"Yes." His frown deepened. "We'll blow up the Kelley, and other ships if we have to. Anything to stop the Daleks."

Angel had never imagined having to haul the heavy weapons out of the armory for this kind of purpose, but here she was, leading a combat team of various rescuees - as well as a couple of volunteers from the other universes - to head off the Daleks. The lifts were out of order, forcing them to take the emergency grav chutes and endure the G forces within. Her head spun as they came out on the cargo level. One by one the others came out behind her. "This way," she directed them.

As they moved along, Angel was again thankful for how quick and easy it was to get into one of the Darglan combat armor suits adapted to the human body. Going into this with a T-shirt and shorts would have seemed... silly. And suicidal.

The main lift in the area was in a useful position; the top of a T-junction. Scanners confirmed the Daleks were approaching from the stem hallway, letting her team take up firing positions along either side. Sweat began to build on her forehead and face as Angel waited, with failing patience, for the Daleks to come into range.

When they came, it was with a different one in the lead. It didn't have the "plunger arm", just a big weapon nozzle. When it fired a thick burst of energy lashed out and nearly hit a couple of the team despite their cover. Angel bent a bit over the side and swung her weapon around. She squeezed the trigger and felt slight recoil as a rapid series of blue energy pulses lashed out and played over the Dalek's surface. Amber energy met her blasts, absorbing them the shots from the others. "No damned effect!", she cried out into the comms.

"Bring up the power levels!", another voice cried. Everyone did so save Angel - her's was already at max output - and another barrage of fire focused on the Dalek... just as it fired. The blue burst struck the team members on the opposite side of the corridor. Their skeletons were briefly visible through their skin and then... nothing. They were gone.

Angel pulled back again and took in a breath. Four down in one shot, like their forcefields weren't even there. She pulled out a micro-naqia charge. "Everyone brace yourselves!"

One of the troopers looked at her like she was mad. "You're going to use that in here?!"

"Like I have a choice!" Angel looked around the corner and pressed the delyed fuse on the charge. She threw it a split second before the thing fired at her, barely evading the blast. It felt like the entire Facility raddled and even through her closed eyes it was like looking at the sun for a split second. With her weapon raised Angel looked around the corner.

The damned thing was still alive.

Without waiting to see if it moved Angel opened fire with her weapon at max power and rate, enough to drain the power clip in seconds. The others opened fire behind her, causing a massive barrage of blue pulses to converge on the Dalek's marred form. "You will not stop the Daleks!", it shrieked in rage. The top suddenly exploded, followed by other bits.

"Dalek down!", Angel cried into her comm-line. "One down, three to go!"

At that moment, she realized she didn't see the other three and wondered why. She soon realized why when cries erupted from both sides of the T-junction. Three more of her people went down. She turned to the cries nearest hers and saw two more Daleks, the normal models, bering down. Energy shots erupted from their nozzles and enveloped members of her team, taking them out instantly. A single Dalek was getting the same effect on the other end. "We're in a crossfire! Everyone into the main junction!"

In Facility Control, everyone save Jarod was paying attention to the tactical layout. The dots representing Angel's team were going out one after the other, the three icons of the Daleks coming in on both sides and thinning them out. Cries of battle came over the radio as they tried to follow Angel into a retreat toward the same Dalek they'd just destroyed.

"Angel, please," Caterina whimpered, her eyes bright with the tears welling up in them. "Please..."

The icons continued to go out...

"Fall back!" Angel motioned the others to go behind her. She cursed not having another micro-naqia charge; it might have actually worked. Even at max output her weapon couldn't break their shielding.

One of the survivors was one of the Mexican girls from their first rescue operation. Maria Ana grabbed her arm as she went by. "Aren't you coming?!"

"Take the others and get beamed out, Maria." Angel brought up her weapon's control systems. "I'm playing my last card."


"Go, now!" Angel's face tightened. The horror she saw in Maria's eyes told her that Maria could see what she was thinking; there was no coming back for her. "Tell my sister I love her and I'll always be with her."

"Go with God." Maria looked to almost be in tears as she continued down the hall to get out of the lines of fire.

Another death cry saw the fall of the last defender at the T. Angel finished modifying her weapon and brought it up. When the first Dalek came around the corner she muttered, "Burn you bastard."

Her finger squeezed the trigger.

The weapon whined in protest as the energy cell powering it dumped all of its capacity into the weapon's emitters. Instead of a series of bursts, the blue energy came out in a solid, crackling beam that speared the Dalek's shields. Amber light met sapphire.... and failed completely, the beam slicing into the Dalek's form with blue light and the familiar red of melting metal. The Dalek's death scream echoed in Angel's ears a split section before it exploded violently.

Another Dalek came around the corner, but it didn't have time to fire. The overloaded capacitors of her rifle were never meant to contain the energy she'd dumped into them. Angel dropped the weapon reflexively, but had no time to do anything else as it exploded. Heat and agony flooded into her despite her armor as she felt the blast throw her backward.

And everything went black.

"Way to go Angel!", Julia shouted in exhuberation when another Dalek icon disappeared. Everyone's spirits soared... until the marker for Angel flew backward at an impossible speed and faded out.

Caterina let out a wail of despair and began crying. Robert felt his legs weaken so badly that he had to grab his chair for support. "Life signs?"

Farmer was quick to answer. "Very faint. I'm beaming them to the Aurora's sickbay, but I don't know... and the Daleks are entering the lift. They're coming to this level."

"We don't have any more time. Jarod?"

"Trying to stall them, but that Dalek that's still in Cargo 10 is keeping me occupied. I can barely keep up with them."

Robert and Julia exchanged a worried glance. Nobody had ever been able to "keep up" with Jarod before. "Do what you can." Robert forced himself to stand. "Cat?" When he received no answer he walked up to where Cat was curled up in her usual seat, face buried in her knees and crying. "Cat."

"It's my fault!," she wailed. "I let them out! Oh God I let them out and they killed Simon and Alisa and Tamika and Angel oh God my sister is..."

"Cat!" Julia stormed up beside, and past, Robert to go straight to her. Julia took her by the arms and made her look up. Their eyes met and remained locked together. "Cat, Angel is still alive. Leo won't let her die. And you and I both know Angel will never give up as long as she has you. Now, listen, we need your help."

Julia's words made Caterina's crying subside to mild sobbing. Robert stepped up beside Julia and took Caterina's hand. "Cat, we need to make sure the Daleks don't get this technology. I'm going to use the Kelley, but I need to make sure it works. I need your cute, geeky brain here, Cat."

Caterina sniffled. Her mind began to race at considering the problem. It let her refocus her thoughts, getting them away from her guilt and fear for her sister's life. "A normal naqia explosion may not be enough," she said through a sniffle. "Unless we blew up the Aurora... no, what we need to do is to enrich the naqia in the Kelley's reactors. It'll make it unstable. It won't be hard to set up an overload in the engines once the process is finished."

"Okay." Robert brought her to her feet. "Cat, I need you to come with me and Julia. Help us begin this process in the Kelley's reactors and then get to the Aurora to help Zack and Nick Locarno, okay? Can you do that for me?"

Caterina fought down another sniffle. "Y... yes, I can."

"Okay. Captain Farmer?"

The older man nodded. He had walked over to the control room's small armory and retrieved a pistol, even if it was likely to be woefully inadequate against a Dalek. "I'll try to sabotage the lift remotely. They have lift control, but I can try to exploit access to tube control, and after that the emergency partitions."

"Good. That will give Zack, Lucy, and Magda time to finish the evacuation and get their ships out. But as soon as the Daleks get here, Captain, beam out with Jarod. We'll set the Kelley to explode and evacuate to whatever ship is available."

"Agreed." Farmer turned back and extended his hand. "Good luck."

"The same to you." Robert turned and nodded to Julia. She hit several controls on another station and transported the three to the Kelley.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Steve » 2013-07-20 10:19am

Zack was sitting beside Locarno on the Aurora's bridge; with all hands busy with getting the ship's launch schedule hastened or dealin with the evacuation, they were alone and most of the ship's functions were shifted, rather badly, to Ops for Zack to use. "It looks like we've got almost everyone," he said. He hit a button. "Koenig, this is Zack. Lucy, are you full?"

"Full here, I've stuffed everyone where I can. Even the runabouts."

"Then get out of here. Jump to the lunar far side, we'll join you there." Zack switched the comms to the Weaver. "Magda, this is Zack Carrey. Hey, beautiful, how goes the evac?"

"We've gone past capacity, I've crammed 600 people into space for not even 500."

"Set jump for the lunar far side, then. Carrey out." He brought up a different screen. "Six hundred, five hundred... that leaves fifteen hundred, and we've gotten a thousand of them."

"This would be impossible without Control running the Facility transporters," Locarno remarked. "As soon as we confirm the last evacuees are on board I'll fire up the impulse drives."

"Are Scotty and Tom ready for that?"

"I would imagine so by now."

Zack nodded. His attention was drawn by a beep at his board. "That's odd, we have something coming down the lift."

"Someone overrode the lift controls locally?"

"I don't know. It might be...." He brought up the caera to the lift opening and waited for his hope and fear to resolve itself.

Zack's heart fell when he saw the Dalek emerge. "Closing the blast doors." After hitting that control he triggered a signal to the Kelley. "Rob, Julie, we've got a Dalek down here and I don't know how long the blast doors will hold it. What's the status on your bomb?"

Kelley was abandoned save the three friends in engineering, running from place to place with Robert and Julia doing the hands on work while Caterina shouted orders. "Regulate the particle flow! I need it reduced by twenty percent or we'll get early instability!" She reached over and hit a button to answer Zack. "Zack, we're coming along. How is my sister?"

"I haven't talked to Leo yet, Cat. How much longer is this going to take? I've got an unwanted guest at the door."

"It'll take as long as it needs to. If I go too fast the naqia will destabilize and blow up before it finished enriching."

"Not what I wanted to hear, but we'll do what we have to."

Julia looked up. "Zack! If you need to, get the Aurora out immediately!"

"I'm not leaving you behind, Julie."

"Yes, dammit, you're going to, because I'm not having you kill all of those people for me," she hissed in angry retort.

Caterina returned her attention to the display, trying not to think about her sister and whether Angel was even still alive.

"We're losing her!"

Leo cursed under his breath at Nasri's cry. Don't you die on me, Angel, not when Cat needs you. He moved away from the tactical team member he'd just stabilized to the bed where they'd brought Angel. He tried to detach his emotions as he looked at his friend and the charred remnants of large sections of her skin area. "Second and third degree burns over almost all frontal surface area," he noted, seeing the latest reading. "Internal damage is severe..." He swallowed. "Push ten ccs of dizaproregene and not one cc more."

"Dizap, sir?"

"No time, Nasri." He didn't need her questioning his use of the cellular regrowth agent; if too much was used it could cause cancerous growth. He checked Angel's failing vitals and grabbed an injector. Another chemical compound would calm her overtaxed body while they tried to heal it.

"Doctor, I'm losing this one!"

Leo temporarily left Angel to the care of Nasri, heading to another off the troopers. He looked over the severe damage to the man's body. A heavy, weary sigh came from him. "He's too far gone. Tag him." As the somber nurse did so, Leo felt like collapsing. Even if the grim necessity of triage was what he'd trained for almost from the beginning of his medical career, even before this wild new life began.... it felt like murder.

He looked back to Angel's bed. He knew that, honestly, she was damned close to that line too. Would he have to tag her as well? Dammit, Angel, don't you die on me. Don't you die on Cat.

In Facility Control, Jarod and Farmer were still busy at work, the former blocking one of the Daleks attempting to overtake control of the computers, the latter using the massive transporter capacity of the Facility to evacuate the last of its crew and occupants to the Aurora while throwing every obstacle he could before the two Daleks on their way to Facility Control. "They're getting through another bulkhead." Farmer's long Starfleet experience was helping him to hide the creeping desperation in his voice. "They're going too fast. It takes time to enrich even small amounts of naqia..."

"If we had another tactical team..."

"It is highly unlikely such would succeed," Control interjected. "The Daleks are... highly adaptable. They will not expose themselves to destruction as easily as the last time."

"We've got to delay them somehow!", Farmer insisted.

Jarod didn't turn from his controls, but he felt an idea pop into his head. "Control! When you went automated, your systems mentioned that the counter-measure to the Daleks was to 'find the Doctor'. What did that mean?"

Control was quiet only for a moment. "I've accessed my databanks. It appears that in the prior two occasions when the Darglan were threatened by the Daleks, they were aided by an alien being who referred to himself as the Doctor. He was of one of the ancient races of the multiverse and provided the Darglan with the means to develop dimensionally transcedental field technology."

"Not interested in that part, just his relationship with the Daleks." Jarod hit several keys, barely avoiding a penetration of the firewall.

"He appears to have been the greatest threat they knew of."

"Do you have his appearance on file?"

Control took a half second to check. "Strange. I have not one but two."

"Two?", Farmer asked.


Farmer bit back the question of why, allowing Jarod to finish explaining. "Control, intercept them in hologram form and pick one of the appearances. Make them think you're the Doctor."

"Ah." Control nodded. "An interesting gambit. I shall attempt it immediately."

Another blast door melted away under fire from the two Daleks. They pushed through the resulting hole and confronted Control. He shifted to have curly, light brown hair and a green jacket. The two Daleks stopped. "It is the Doctor! The Doctor is the enemy of the Daleks! The Doctor must be exterminated!"

Control's holographic visage turned and ran into an adjacent corridor, the Daleks pursuing.

On the bridge of the Aurora Zack and Locarno were busy monitoring the evacuation by transporter. Zack kept a nervous eye on the Dalek stuck at the airlock leading to the docking arm. "Any luck getting the arm to withdraw?", Locarno asked.

"No, apparently that's one of the systems the little bastards took over first." Zack watched the thing working at a console. "I think it's trying to override the blast door now."

"So how do we get it from getting aboard?"

Zack bit into his lower lip in thought. He brought his hand over to a control to re-route controls to his console and used that to re-route tactical. He brought up the targeting system, overrode the safeties, and targeted the starboard weapons on the docking arm. "If that thing comes through, I blast the arm off."

"Good plan!"

The shouts of panic filled sickbay. "Doctor, we're losing her again!"

Leo dashed over to see where Nasri was trying desperately to keep Angel alive. He looked at the readings. "Dammit! Prep for surgery! Get samples for the bio-replicators."

"Reactor 1 is done!" Caterina hit a key. "I'm preparing the overload to trigger, I'll match it to reactor 2 when it's done enriching!"

Robert looked up from the control panel he was monitoring. "Good!"

In Facility Control Farmer was busy shoring up the last bulkheads to the area while Jarod continued working at his station. Suddenly his console went dead. "Dammit. Jarod, I've lost transport control and we still have two hundred people!"

"I know! I'm having to give ground to keep the Dalek out of key systems." Jarod never looked away. "It looks like they realize our plan, it's trying to get to the safety field systems for the docks. The Kelley's explosion would be wasted. Aurora is going to have to complete the beaming themselves."

Farmer nodded and pressed his wrist device's comm button. "Farmer to Aurora. We've lost transporter control, you need to get the last couple hundred evacuees."

"We're transporting as fast as we can here, Farmer, but that Dalek is almost in control of the blast door."

"Damn." Farmer put a hand on his chin. "Let me help you, Jarod. I'm trying to restore transporter control."

It was new for Control to be running around "physically", so to speak. He was quite surprised that the Daleks were so willing to ignore their objective and pursue him; his creators had been spot on concerning the Doctor's importance.

Before they could see him he changed position, fading out his holo and reappearing behind them. "Are you looking for me?", he asked.

The Daleks turned their heads. "The Doctor must be exterminated!"

Control turned to continue running.... and his holo-Doctor disappeared. He ran an immediate diagnostic to ponder why, but it was too late. The Daleks stopped. "Deception! The Doctor was not real! Return to primary objective!"

A deep frown crossed Jarod's face. "Well, the good news is we have transporters back."

"The bad?", Farmer asked.

"I had to give up control of some non-essential systems, including the holo-projectors." Jarod kept working at it, switching code commands and fighting to keep the hacking Dalek at bay. "Our decoy just turned off. They know they've been fooled."

Farmer nodded and went back to work. "Control, how much help can I get?"

"I regret that much of my function is still tied up trying to aid Jarod's firewall," Control responded. "The Daleks are now at the third blast door. They are burning through."

Farmer keyed the Kelley. "We've only got three doors left! How is that enrichment coming?!"

"Enrichment process at fifty percent," Caterina said. "We need at least five more minutes!"

"Third door breached. Daleks approaching second door," Control informed them.

"You might not have five minutes!"

The operating room on the Aurora had an emergency crew working with Leo on Angel's body. It was not cut open; the technology aboard allowed projected tools and short-range transporters to be used in repairing or replacing bad organs. In this case, Angel's organs were badly damaged and she was further weakened by internal blood loss. With only 20th Century technology she'd already be dead; Leo's efforts to save her were only working because of the technology at his disposal. "The Dizap isn't working fast enough," he muttered. "Okay, we're going to have to focus the regenerators on the primary organs. We prioritize!"

"Yes, Doctor!"

Angel's life was still slipping away, but she'd not go. Not with Leo there to keep her here. "You're not dying, Angel," he murmured. "Your little sister needs you."

"Dalek breaching final door," Control warned them.

Farmer ignored that; he kept at the transporter controls. Under his hands the final group of residents of the Facility were whisked away into the safety of the Aurora. "All evacuees away!" He stood up. "Jarod, we can't do any more, see if you can lock down safety control long enough for the Kelley to go off."

"I'm trying..." Jarod kept at the control. "You'd better get to the Aurora. They'll be coming through any time."

"And what about you?"

"I have to finish this, I've almost got Facility Control isolated. It'll buy a little time..."

"The Daleks have gotten through the last blast door." Control looked somberly at them. "Evacuation recommended."

"Don't worry about that." Jarod went back to work, feverishly operating the panel and issuing commands and code changes into the systems.

Farmer looked back at the locked door. It glowed bright red. Blue light began to appear at the center of the red. "Jarod, I'll stay."

"You've got family. Get out, now!" Jarod brushed him off.

Farmer brought up his communicator. "Aurora, this is Captain Farmer. Standby to beam me straight to the bridge, follow my comm signal."

The door blew open.

"I've got it," Jarod said. "Now get...."

Farmer turned and slapped his comm unit on Jarod's free wrist. "Aurora, energize!"

The savant stared at him in bewilderment until white light covered him and stole him away.

Farmer pulled his pistol and fired it at the door. Amber light met his shots, rendering them harmless. One Dalek entered and then the second. "Human! You will surrender control of this technology or you will be exterminated!"

Farmer took in a breath and got behind Control's holotank for cover. "Like hell. I joined Starfleet to oppose monsters like you!"

"Exterminate!" The Daleks opened fire on him and began to approach.

On the Kelley Robert had the comms open to Farmer and overheard everything. "I'm going to help Captain Farmer," he said.

Julia and Caterina turned from where they were working to face him. "Rob, you can't," Caterina insisted. "You don't have anything that can hurt them."

"It'll buy us more time, and might save Farmer," he pointed out, going up to a control. "Finish prepping the Kelley and get over to the Aurora as soon as you can." He brought the transporter online.

Julia went up to him and twisted him around. "Don't get yourself killed," she demanded.

"I'll try."

She nodded at him and took a breath. Robert went to hit the transport control when she grabbed him and pressed her lips against his. His eyes widened briefly. When the contact ended Julia reached around him and pressed the controls. Before he could speak the transporter whisked him away. Julia sucked in another breath and looked over at Caterina. "How much more do you need to do?"

"I'm done with my end," she answered. "Now all we have to do is trigger the overload. It'll take a few minutes for the energy buildup to finish destabilizing."

"Then we'd better get going." Julia reached over to the controls again. "Tell Zack to launch immediately."

Caterina opened her mouth to ask why, but had no time to speak before the transporter whisked her away.

The moment Jarod appeared on the bridge Zack jumped out of the chair and went to Tactical. "Jarod, Ops, now! That Dalek's starting to go for our computers too!"

After a moment's bewilderment Jarod jumped into the ops chair. "He's already got control over the blast door, he's trying to override our force fields so we can't keep him from getting in."

"Keep him busy."

Zack brought the weapons online and locked on the blast door, waiting for the Dalek to come through. He heard a noise and looked up to see Caterina appear. "Cat! Science!"

She looked around, bewildered for a moment, but nodded and went to the sensors controls. "The Kelley's on her way to going boom."

Zack hit his comm. "Julie, you're done, get out of there!"

"I'm going to help Rob, Zack. Get the Aurora out, now. There's no more time."

A strong ache welled inside him. "Julie, we're not going to have time to get you out."

"Don't worry about us, we'll take the old entrance! Just get the ship out!"

Zack let out a growl of frustration and struck the controls with his palm. As confident as she sounded, he knew he was likely leaving them to die if he did that. And he didn't want to. They were his friends!

But so were the others. He was responsible for everyone on the Aurora, good people who would die if he didn't get them to safety. I'm not supposed to make these kinds of decisions, he thought. This is too big for me. It's not....

"Zack, we have to go, now," Caterina insisted.

"Can't we beam them out while going?"

"Only if you want the Daleks to take control of the Facility and turn on the containment systems," Caterina pointed out. "They have to be distracted. And once the portals are on the disruptions will block the transporters...."

God dammit... Zack bit into his lip while hot tears formed in his eyes. Losing Rob, losing Julie.... he couldn’t do this!

"She's flatlining!"

"God dammit," Leo cursed. He finished repairing one of Angel's bronchi and looked toward her stopping heart. "Nerve stimulators, now!" He went to work on the heart, regenerating cells. “Get valve pumps ready!”

Nasri and the rest of the team worked as well, Nasri taking the key job of operating the nerve stimulators. She was, in effect, trying to jump start Angel’s heart back into operation, in a way most people saw a defibrillator being used (if not the real use of it). With its tissues being repaired and the nerves being stimulated into function, Angel’s heart suddenly beat, and then beat again. A slow, steady rythym began.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Leo mumbled.

Robert materialized outside the entrance to Facility Control. He pulled out his pistol, set it to max power, and brought it up as he came to the door. The Daleks were starting to outflank Farmer, so he opened fire on one of them. "Hey rustbuckets! Over here!" He took cover beside the door and watched a beam sizzle beside him. He leaned back over, ready to take another shot.

"Your species is inferior! You will all be exterminated!"

Farmer acted first. He came out of cover and got to a control, which he tapped several times. He let out a laugh. "Lock out complete!"

"Farmer, look out!"

Farmer didn't react. "Tell Carol and Linda I love them," was all he said. Then he lit up with blue light, a skeleton briefly showing through the flash, and his body crumbled to the ground.

Robert took cover again and swallowed. Visions of Duffy bleeding to death from a gunshot came back to him, and the pirates on that station in N2S7. Someone else had died in front of him, right in front of him....

One of the Daleks moved over to the controls. "Attempting to restore systems control from this location."

Robert looked around the corner and squeezed off a shot. Not only did he miss wildly, but he barely got back into cover before the other fired on him. It began to approach the door.

"The Daleks have Facility Control, it looks like they're trying to re-establish the controls here to take over the computer systems," Robert said over the radio. On the Aurora bridge Zack heard those words and drew in a breath.

"I don't know how long Control can hold them now," Jarod said. "If they lock down the drive systems..."

"Zack." Caterina looked over from Sensors. "I'm sorry Zack, but..."

"Cat." He shook his head at her. His gut twisted and tears formed in his eyes. He couldn’t make this decision, he couldn’t....

He looked into her tear-filled eyes. He could see she still blamed herself for this. He wanted to hold her close and reassure her that she wasn’t, that this wasn’t her fault.

Even though what to come was certainly going to be his.

With Rob and Julie’s faces in his mind, Zack swallowed. It wasn’t what he could do that mattered, only what he had to. Every fiber of his heart screamed in protest, on behalf of the two of his dearest friends in the world that he was going to endanger, even condemn to death. "Mister Locarno, power up the drives. Mister Jarod, detach us from the dock."

The two went to work. Zack turned his attention to the firing board before him. The blast door was sliding open. The Dalek was through. He looked at the ugly damn thing, a children's toy that was forcing him to abandon his friends, and felt rage build inside of his very soul. "This is for my friends, you metal son of a bitch." He reached down and hit the triggering keys.

One of the phaser strips on the Aurora's starboard side came to life. Energy met on the strip and a beam lashed out, spearing the Dalek and the blast door. The Dalek exploded in a fireball.

"Airlock detached," Jarod reported. "Drive activation standing by.”

"Bringing impulse drives online." Locarno operated the board quietly, but a deep tone came from it. "I'm getting a safety warning through the system. Something's wrong with the impulse drives."

Zack began to sweat at that. "Bridge to Engineering. We need impulse power, now!"

The frantic pace in Engineering hadn't let up since Scotty and Barnes had beamed in. Scotty was directing the chaos of the engineering teams getting the ship ready to go, shaving precious minutes, while Barnes took charge of checking every piece of equipment.

Zack's plea came over the comms and he looked at the engines. "Oh hell." He saw indicators going red. "Dammit, the simulations were off! The vibrational stresses are going too high, the couplings are going to fail!" He reached over and picked up a tool and a kit at a nearby station and scrambled to the ladder.

Scotty looked over at him. "Lad, what are ye doin'?!"

"I'm going to reinforce those couplings! It should last until we get out!"

"Don't be daft, Tom! Ye're not in any gear, the vibrations will..."

"It's my screwup, Scotty. You were right about those Goddamned couplings." Barnes frowned and pulled himself into the workspace. As he moved along he could feel pain build inside. His ear hurt and his balance went off. Sweat clouded his eyes as he fought through it and got to the offending machinery. I'm not having my friends die because of my damned mistakes.

From Kelley's engineering controls, Julia had a screen showing the Dalek at the controls, another Dalek firing on Robert and approaching him. Just one hit and he was probably dead...

I'm not letting him die. I'm not letting these things win! She brought up Engineering's emergency ship controls and fired the Kelley's thrusters to change its orientation. As she did so, she reached over and hit another key. "Warning: Overload detected in reactor systems. Overrides disengaged. Reactor overload pending."

Julia finished the change in angle to face the ship toward Facility Control. Another series of presses brought up a weapons control board. She focused the pulse cannons on the Control room. "Control? Control, are you there?"

"Not very well, Julia. Over 99% of my functions are tied up delaying the Dalek in Cargo 10 from completing an override of my systems. I estimate I have five minutes before my last protections fail."

"So even if I destroy Facility Control, we still lose the Facility." Julia drew in a breath. "I'm sorry, Control."

"Do not be. My programming is fulfilled. My purpose is fulfilled. You and your friends are rebuilding that which the Darglan made. I am grateful."

Julia drew in a breath and triggered her comm. "Robert! Get away from the Control room door!"

"Julie, what are you doing?"

"I'm saving your life," she answered succinctly. She reached over and triggered the fire controls. "Okay Daleks, exterminate this."

The Dalek firing on Robert noticed the change in orientation of the Kelley. "New threat detected! Raise emergency defense screens!"

"Defense screens not responding!", replied the other Dalek. "Overloading portal system to form gravity we..."

The other Dalek was moving to the door to get away. But they were too late; the Kelley's main guns opened up.

Robert was moving away from the door and into cover when the explosion threw him off his feet. He hit a far wall with enough force that he felt two ribs crack. The world began to spin with color when he tried to get off the floor. "Unnnhhh."

He felt his arm grabbed. He was pulled to his fleet and looked up to see a familiar pair of green eyes. "Julie?"

Julia smiled at him. "I barely got out before the portal came online. Come on, we don't have much..."

There was a clatter of debris down the hall. They looked over and saw metal debris shift around, thrown away from the entrance... "Oh, you've got to be kidding...", Robert mumbled.

From the debris emerged a charred but intact Dalek. The voice that came out dripped with pure rage and hate. "YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"

"I think I pissed it off," Julia answered. "Run!"

*listen only through the next two scenes*

Barnes thought his ears were going to explode as he finished the reinforcement binding. He struggled to twist around, knowing he had to get out before the impulse drives powered up fully. He crawled slowly toward the opening, but the pain in his head was becoming too intense. He couldn't concentrate....

At the opening he saw a familiar face appear. "C'mon, lad!" Scotty reached in and took his arm. The old man grimaced and groaned with struggle, while around them the vibrations grew worse as the impulse drives went into operation. "I've got ye!"

Groaning with effort, Barnes used every bit of strength he could to finish pulling himself out with Scotty's help. He almost lost his grip on the ladder beside the old Scotsman as he finished getting out. Scotty used a free hand and slammed the control to seal the access port. "Bridge, this is Engineering!", he called out. "Ye've got full power!"

On the bridge Zack heard that and shouted, "Jarod, lock on to Julie and Rob and beam them out!"

Jarod shook his head. "I can't! The Daleks activated the drive portal for the Kelley's dock! The interference won't let me get a lock."

God dammit. "Then get our exit active! Locarno, get us the hell out of here!"

For the first time, the Aurora's drives came fully to life. The ship began moving forward toward the swirling green and blue portal. The wreckage of the ruined docking arm receded beside it, while the crew focused their sight on the portal ahead. It drew larger on the screen.

The Aurora's speed picked up. Like a great eagle being freed from its cage, it soared on and into the portal, its freedom lying just ahead.

Leo looked up from his work and toward Angel's vitals. The EKG and EEG lines were stabilizing, finally. "I think we're out of the woods," he murmured. He looked back to the controls. "Looks like we'll need a new spleen. Of all the things..."

"I’ll get one replicated, Doctor," Nasri answered.

I knew you’d stay, Angel, Leo thought as he patted his friend’s shoulder. I knew you wouldn’t abandon Cat.

The Dalek was still pursuing them across the deck, with the exit looming. Robert had regained his steps, adrenaline helping to suppress the agony in his chest and limbs. The Dalek’s shots at them were going wide due to the damage to its weapon and its inability to maneuver the nozzle to aim. "We’ve only got seconds!", Julie cried as they came up to the door.

It didn’t open.

They grabbed it and pulled on opposite ends, but the door didn’t budge. A holographic sign came up; Control’s quarantine was still in effect. "Control, open the door!", Robert shouted.

"Control, we’re trapped in here! Override!"

"You will not escape!" The Dalek continued to fire on them, forcing them away from the door. "EXTERMINATE!"

As it continued forward, it was suddenly stopped by a blue energy field. Julia and Robert went back to the door in time for Control to appear in holoform. "Go! I can't hold control of these systems!" Control indicated the door, which slid open.

"Thank you," Robert breathed.

"No, my young Human friends." Control shifted in appearance to the original Darglan form he'd once briefly held when meeting them. "I thank you. My creators would be proud of you." As he watched them go through the door Control relinquished control of the holoprojectors again, letting his systems concentrate on holding the Dalek in place to prevent its escape. He sensed the Aurora about to enter its escape portal and found the transmission controls, abandoned by the Dalek in Cargo 10 in its frantic efforts to take control of the safety containment systems and prevent the Kelley from destroying them. He only had a short time, but it would be enough, as data flowed from his central cores into the Aurora's auxiliary computer cores.

Robert and Julia got up onto the transport platform. It was no different than when they'd first arrived nearly two years before. They took a look at the open Facility door and the Dalek there, screeching in rage. The Facility had been their home for so long that both felt pain at losing it. Robert reached over and put a hand on the control. "Hey Dalek," he called out. "Score one for the inferior species."

There was a bright flash in the distance as Robert hit the control. Light erupted from the platform and they disappeared in it. The Dalek screamed in incoherent rage... after which time it disintegrated, claimed by the energy wave erupting from what had been the Starship Kelley.

The Kelley's naqia cores, loaded with unstable enriched naqia, overloaded together. The energy release was massive, vaporizing almost everything it touched as it expanded out from the sacrificed vessel. The Dalek in Cargo 10 screeched in impotent rage as it tried to bring up a defensive screen to protect itself. It nearly succeeded.

Not that it would have mattered. The massive energy release claimed the generators and systems that sustained the DT field that allowed the Facility to exist as it did. The pocket dimension could no longer be sustained and the inside of the Facility began shifting back to normal space-time. Everything inside - everything left after the destruction of the Kelley anyway - was suddenly forced to occupy a space several orders of magnitude smaller. The result crushed everything inside into the resulting space. The remnant energy from the Kelley blasted the Facility's physical form to pieces and the transport station adjacent to it.

On the surface, light erupted from the mound and Robert and Julia appeared from it. It had barely started to fade when the land under them shook hard. Both fell to their feet and began rolling down the mound. This turned out to be a blessing, as the mound collapsed underneath them. A fall that would have been painful, even deadly, was avoided only by following their momentum until they hit the ground proper.

When they did so and stopped rolling, Robert let out a cry of anguish from his cracked ribs getting another impact. He picked himself up from the ground and got to his knees, pain filling him. But despite it all he smiled; they had survived. He stumbled over to Julia as she sat up, dirty from rolling in the Kansas soil. He offered a hand and, despite the explosion of pain in his ribs, helped her to get to her feet. She immediately grabbed him in a tight hug. "Ow!", he laughed, even as he returned the embrace.

They were still alive.

Both looked back to where the mound had once been. It was almost like it had never been there, its passing only marked by the bizarre pile of top soil and praire grass that had covered it. "I think I'm going to miss that mound," Julia sighed.

"Yeah." He returned to looking at her. "Thanks for coming for me."

"You don't need to. I couldn't let you get blown up, Robby."

He showed no reaction to her use of his long-abandoned childhood nickname. Instead he put a hand on her shoulder. "Thanks anyway. But... you could've been killed, Julie. I wish you hadn't..."

"Let's pretend I gave you the serious answer of 'Oh, you're my best friend in the whole wide world and I couldn't leave you to die', and I'll move on to the fun answer," she answered.

He chuckled. "And that would be?"

Her green eyes glistened with intent. "I'd never get to do this."

And then she kissed him again.

This time it wasn't the tight lip contact they'd had aboard the Kelley. It was a full kiss, their lips interlocking as they tasted one another for the first time. Robert felt resistance at first. Old worries about taking his feelings for Julia too far. She was his friend and having things go in the wrong direction could jeopardize that. The resistance faded, replacing by a deep raw need to feel Julia, to hold her. He found a wanting for her that he'd never considered before, and it drove him to return the kiss urgently, as if he was afraid she would end it.

There was a beep from their wrists. "Aurora to Robert. Aurora to Julia. C'mon... please tell me you're there. Please." There was an urgency in Zack's voice that demanded attention.

Their kiss stopped. They looked at each other intently for a long moment before Robert pulled his arm up and hit the button on his wrist device. "This is Robert. We made it, Zack. Julie and I are okay."

"Oh... oh God...."

"Standby for beamup." Robert looked at her and put a hand in her hair. "Do you want this, Julie? I mean... we've been friends for so long. And romance, it complicates things...."

"I just wanted to kiss you at least once," Julia answered. She smiled at him forlornly and took his hand in hers. "I think you and I both consider wanting more. And we... as much as we'd enjoy it, and as much as it might be what we really want... we can't go through with it. We've been in each other's lives since we could think, and we're.... I guess I feel that..."

"....that romance would complicate it," Robert finished for her, sensing the thought. "I know. It's funny, but we mean so much to each other that..."

"....that we don't want to risk losing that if we're wrong." Julia's eyes teared up a little, but she was still smiling. "It's okay, Robby." She put her hands on his head and face. "Nothing will change about how we feel about each other. Whether we each find someone else or decide otherwise.... I'll be here for you. I'll always be here."

"I feel the same way." Robert used his hand to touch her chin. A part of him wanted to push his lips against her's again, to taste that moment over and over...

There were footsteps crunching the nearby grass. Very light footsteps, but both heard it. They turned and looked to see what it was.

The children stood together, their dark chocolate complexions glistening in the Kansas sun. A boy and girl looking to be about the same age - maybe 11 at most - dressed in colored t-shirts and shorts, with a smaller girl between them several years younger with a cartoon girl character blouse and a skirt on. The three children looked at them quizzically. The boy stepped forward and motioned the other girls back, putting himself between them and Robert and Julia. "Okay girls, we're going back. We have to find Mom or Dad or Gramps." His look dared them to threaten his family before he turned back to the farmhouse, following the others across the flat farmland. With the mound gone they were no longer high enough to see anything of the other side of the house, but even from here a couple of vehicles were visible. For the first time Robert noticed that the farming equipment was active.

"It looks like someone bought the farm," Julia said. She looked back to him with sad eyes. "Are you... okay?"

As much as his heart ached for the loss of his family's old home (not to mention his aching ribs) Robert actually smiled. Tears formed in his eyes. "Didn't they remind you of anything, Julie?" He looked to her. "Maybe, just for a moment.... it made me think of when we were that age. And Susanna..."

She nodded. "Yeah, I guess it did," she agreed, teary-eyed but smiling as well. "Susanna always wanted to play too. And you always let her. You were a wonderful big brother."

"And.... yeah, the farm's gone. But look who bought it. It wasn't Duffy or someone like him. It was a family." Robert drew in a breath. "They'll make memories here too. And they'll hopefully pass it on. And more memories will be made. This isn't the Dale family farm anymore, but it is a family farm. Maybe... maybe that's good enough. After all..." He looked up into the sky. He could imagine the sight on the other side of the moon, where the Aurora and the Koenig and the Weaver were sitting silently. "...we have a new life, right?"

Julia nodded and kept smiling despite the tears on her cheeks. "Yeah. Yeah we do."

They hugged again. As they did, Robert reached around her shoulders and hit the communicator on his wrist device. "Dale to Aurora. Two to beam up." He looked past her at the field of grain he had seen since he could remember. All of those memories of his family, of this land, and all that he had become because of it. Someone else would have it now. But he could live with that.

He knew his destiny was elsewhere, with the ship that now pulled him and Julia away from their past and back to their future.

On the far side of the Moon, the Weaver and Koenig jumped to warp speed first. The Aurora turned briefly around the far side and into the sun, allowing sunlight to finally greet its azure hull like the dawn she was named for. Gracefully the vessel slipped out of its orbit and toward the stars. For the first time her engine nacelles flashed to life. Energy brimmed inside them and surged until, with a flash of light, the Starship Aurora took her first steps into the great unknown.

End Act 7
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Steve » 2013-07-22 04:50pm

Act 8

The Aurora entered orbit of New Liberty in the company of her fellow ships from the Facility and the various vessels of the negotiators on the planet below. In the conference room of the Aurora Robert was waiting with Julia, his ribs healed fully. Zack stood by himself at a window, looking out at one of the beautiful Dorei cruisers, but a distant look in his eyes. Julia stepped up to him. "Are you okay?"

"I left you and Rob to die," he answered hoarsely. "No, I'm not."

"Zack, you made the right call. You did the right thing."

"I made the necessary call, that's all. I'm just glad you got out anyway." He looked down. "I don't know if I can do it, Julie. Being a commander and having to send people to die, or letting people die..."

"None of us can," Julia admitted. She looked out the window as well. "It's just.... you have to keep your mind on the larger goal, that's all."

"Yeah. Locarno said the same thing. Maybe he should be in command."

"He turned it down. Said he wasn't ready to try it again."

"I feel the same way."

The door across the bridge opened and Henry Morgan entered. "I heard something was wrong," he said. "Seeing the Aurora is in space... what happened?"

Robert stood from his seat. "That, Mister Secretary, is thankfully not a long story. We have the logs ready if you want to watch."

Caterina was sitting quietly in the medbay, her seat pulled up beside the biobed where Angel was sleeping. The burns that had charred her face were gone, healed by Nasri after everything quieted down, but she was still fast asleep. Caterina was leaned forward enough to put her hand in her sister's.

"Hey Cat." She looked up and saw Barnes come up, a chair in his hands. He set it beside her to take a seat.

"Are you alright?"

"Yeah, Leo just had to fix my ears. And make me stop feeling like a walking vibrator."

Caterina, despite herself, blushed a little. "Yeah. I'm just glad we all got out."

He nodded. "So, uh, how is Angel?"

"She's sleeping," Caterina murmured. "Leo says the surgery took a lot out of her, but she'll be okay." A sniffle came from her. "It's all my fault, Tom. It's all my fault."

"Cat? Any of us would've picked up that debris. Hell, I know I'd have asked for it. Transporter resistant exotic materials and all." He put an arm around her shoulders. "It's just a danger we never even thought of. We all messed up there."

"But all those people died," Caterina cried. "Captain Farmer died. If I hadn't brought that stuff back..."

"Then it'd have been something else, eventually."

"I almost lost Angel."

Barnes said nothing more, seeing Caterina was inconsolable. He brought her closer and put his arms around her shoulders, giving her a hug and hoping it would reassure her.

When the last of the logs were played out and everything explained, Robert and Julia waited quietly for Morgan to react. He seemed distant for several moments. "We will all mourn the loss of Captain Farmer," he finally said. "And the other deaths at the hands of these aliens. I believe a moratorium against further visits to W8R4 is in order."

"I'd agree." Robert gave a nod of his head.

"So that leaves what you have left." Morgan put his hands together. "As unfortunate as this has been... there is a silver lining in the cloud. The Facility has been something of a friction point in the negotiations. Some of us argued to leave it in your hands, others believed the new Alliance should control it."

"If it helps the negotiations for the Alliance then at least something good came of it," Julia remarked.

"For the time being, I believe I can convinced Secretary-General Rodenko to allow your ships to use Earth Confederacy bases for support. I think it best, however, if the Aurora remains here for the time being. The technology that went into building her should not be seen as available to any single state until we have an Alliance structure in place to assume authority over her."

"What is going to happen with New Liberty Colony?" Zack looked away from the window. "You've all got populations of billions. We don't even have a couple hundred thousand people. There's no way it gets to have a full voice."

"Protectorate status with autonomy in the Alliance," Morgan answered. "The Colony Assembly has been taking part in the talks and agreed to the provision. And any interventions we make for humanitarian concerns will see refugees directed to the Colony if at all possible. Should the day come that the Colony's population reaches sufficient size, it will be allowed to vote on full membership."

"That's going to be a long time from now."

"Agreed, Miss Andreys." Morgan stood up. "I'll have the logs shown to the negotiators out of session. I feel confident that all will agree your actions were the best that could be done in the situation." Seeing the looks on their faces, he pondered his words with a politician's care. "I've become convinced the Alliance is the likely future, and you still have places in it. You're young, skilled, and getting the experience to deal with the problems that the Multiverse will pose. The Alliance will need your services and I will make sure it finds an appropriate venue for you. You may be asked to undergo further training and education in the following months as we see where these talks go, and how long any agreement takes to finalize, but I am confident you will meet that challenge. Take care of yourselves for the time being." That said, he headed out.

"Whatever comes, I just know I want the rest of you by my side," Robert said.

Julia nodded. "Agreed. We have to stay together."

The door to the medbay opened and admitted Robert. He found where Angel was laying beside Caterina. "Hey Cat, how..."

"She's fine," Caterina murmured.

"Ah." Robert pulled up a chair and sat beside her. "Cat, please..."

"Don't tell me not to blame myself. Just don't," Caterina mumbled. She looked over at him. "So, are you and Julia....?"

He chuckled. "Oh, the kiss? No. No, that was just... well... she thought I was going to die and all."

Caterina giggled. "Yeah, I guess... it's just.... I don't know how to say this."

"Say what?"

"Julia is... she's my friend okay, and Angel loves her almost as much as she loves me. She says Julia keeps her sharp as a martial artist and is the best friend she has." Caterina sighed. "But she says Julia is why you two never worked as a couple, and I just don't want you to try it and then break her heart when it doesn't pan out."

Robert remained silent for a moment. He thought back to the point when he and Angel had last been together and how he missed that. "I didn't know."

"She's not jealous. At least, she tries not to be. It's just... this is why I asked you about breaking her heart again. She can't compete with Julia and she knows it."

"She doesn't need to," Robert said. "Julia and I..."

Caterina interrupted him with a head shake. "You two are soulmates. That's all there is to it. It doesn't mean you're going to get married, but you've been so close so long that you're soulmates and anyone who tries to get involved with you or Julia is going to have to fight through that. And Angel doesn't want to."

Robert thought back to their second kiss, and the conversation afterward. He knew Caterina was right. "Yeah. I understand. Angel will be okay, and I still want her as a friend."

A weak voice mumbled, "I hope so." When Robert and Caterina turned to look back at the bed, the voice added, "I am so going to kill you, little sister."

"Angel!" Caterina jumped to her feet and wrapped her arms around her sister's shoulders before Angel could sit up. "You're okay!"

"I feel like crap," Angel mumbled. After putting her arms around her happy sister, she looked past Caterina to Robert. "Rob.... is everyone okay? I... this isn't the medical center back in the Facility."

"You're on the Aurora, Angel." Robert sighed. "A few things happened, but.... we're just happy to see you're okay."

Lucy was getting things settled on the bridge and found Jarod in the command chair, sitting for the watch. "Hey Jarod." She could easily notice his mood. "Well..."

"If you're going to try and cheer me up, you'll be wasting your time." Jarod stared at the viewscreen.

"I wasn't aware you needed it."

"I've had Thomas, Scotty, and Julia all try. And Zack suggesting we go planetside and find 'good company'." He smirked despite himself. "The fact is... Carlton is dead because of me."

"He saved your life, from what I hear. I doubt he'd think of it that way."

"I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about..." Jarod closed his eyes and shook his head. His hand pounded the chair arm. "They outsmarted me, Lucy. They outsmarted me."

"The records said the Daleks were highly intelligent." Lucy got into the auxiliary seat to the command chair's left. She checked the systems through it before looking back to Jarod. "You did your best."

"And it wasn't good enough." He rubbed at his forehead. "It wasn't damned good enough."

Angel had been checked out from the medbay and decided to check on Caterina. She found Cat's quarters easily enough and knocked. After there was no answer she hit the door chime button. The door slid open seconds later. She entered to find Cat in her pajamas, sitting cross-legged on her bed with a portable holo-tablet in front of her. It was displaying a Dalek. Her eyes were red from crying. "Cat?"

"We'd downloaded parts of the Darglan database into the Aurora," she explained. "And more to the computer banks on New Liberty. I'm... I'm studying the Omega Threats. I won't get tricked again." She looked at Angel with tear-streaked eyes.

Angel frowned for a moment before forcing a smile on it. She sat in the bed next to Caterina and took her sister in her arms. "Cat, it's okay."

"No!", Caterina cried. "No it's not! Look at all we've lost! It's all because of me. Because I didn't think!"

"Cat." Angel tightened her embrace to make it more supportive. "Cat, we were all making mistakes. We should have had you bring it to a station or something. Somewhere not in the Facility. You didn't fail, the Council did."

"I was the one who brought the pod in!" Caterina leaned against her sister, breaking out into sobs. "I... I watched the Daleks kill them all Angel. And... and they were going to kill me..."

"Shhh...." Angel held Caterina closely and let her cry.

When the crying faded, Angel gently put Caterina to bed, making sure she was comfortable, and took the holo-tablet over to one of the basic tables in Cat's small dining area. She set it down and looked at the image of the Dalek, snarling. "There's more of you bastards out there, isn't there? And there are more threats too...." She reached over and began cycling through the records.

The first page was a ship, a nasty nightmare that looked like someone thought spiders made for excellent spaceship designs, with a profile of a twelve-eyed arachnid alien beside it. Another tap of the button showed a peculiar-looking alien, a cone-headed humanoid with eyes along the sides of the head. Then there was a weird-looking alien with a spikey shell and a three-pronged mouth. And a really nasty damn thing with dark skin, clawed appendages, and a long, black head with nasty sharp teeth.

Feeling tired, Angel just flipped through them, noting the ship shaped like a cube and the golden-armored ships with four big prongs and the one that looked like a cuttlefish. Lots of weird looking things.... seriously, that looks like a koala bear.... and okay, why am I seeing a cute cat with drooping floppy bunny ears... and how do those rings stay on their ears without....? Ugh. Evil bunnycats? I'm waaaay too tired. She turned the tablet off and got into bed beside her sister, holding Caterina close and settling into sleep.

The next morning Caterina woke up first. She left Angel to sleep and decided to take a shower, after which she checked messages and the schedule for the day. As she went through the messages, she found one with a peculiar header, and she opened it.

The holo-projector on the desk shifted to show Control as she'd long known him. "Caterina... I leave this message to you as I feel Aurora slip through the portal and to freedom. I know you enough to know you are hurting right now. You blame yourself for the Dalek attack and the losses it caused, including my own impending destruction."

Caterina nodded, feeling her eyes start to tear up.

"Nothing I can say will ease that pain. But I want you to know... I was happy to know you, and I do not want this to dampen that unquenchable thirst you have for knowledge, for learning new things and seeing new sights. All of your friends were a joy to me, as much as I could experience such a thing. But you were the closest I came to knowing my creators once again. Your love of discovery for its own sake, that desire to see everything that could be seen, are qualities to the Darglan people. They would have been satisfied to know such a being gained access to their legacy. Please, don't let this horrible tragedy change you and take that away from you. That would be the greater tragedy. Farewell, Caterina."

The message turned off. Caterina looked silently at her windows for several moments for drawing in a breath. She still loved being out here, still loved the thought of finding new things.... She would have to be more careful from now on, but Control was right; she couldn't let this cost her everything she was.

I'll do you proud. I'll do you all proud, she thought quietly before turning back to her studies.

As it turned out, Morgan had been understating how close the negotiators were to an arrangement. A week after the Aurora arrived in orbit, everyone was assembled in the ship's newly-opened lounge area to watch the holo as Morgan, Ledosh, and a host of other delegates from several alien races and thirty other interstellar states - some all Human and some mixing Humans and aliens - signed the New Liberty Treaty. Interuniversal transceivers were beaming the result to almost every universe Robert and his friends had made contact with. Morgan took the lead in speaking. "It is my pleasure to sign this agreement for the Earth Confederacy of H1E1 and to support the creation of the United Alliance of Systems. It is my honor to accept the nomination of my fellow delegates as the candidate to be the first President of the Allied Systems. If the ratifying governments will have me, I will devote myself to the cause of strengthening this new multi-universal society we have begun to forge...."

"Well, I guess Morgan's got the pick," Julia said. "I was hoping that Gabe would get it."

"Gabriel has made it abundantly clear that he is no politician." Angel was smiling as she said that. "He'd rather continue to oversee the incorporation of new refugees into the Colony."

"I'm sure Morgan will eventually convince one of our's to sit in his government." Robert crossed his arms. "Just so long as it isn't me."

"You mean you don't want to become President Dale?", Barnes teased.

"Never," Robert insisted, shaking his head.

"Never say never," Julia said, smirking.

They listened to Morgan finish the speech. When it was over and the signal shut down, Robert turned back to all those assembled. Julia and Zack were beside him, Angel and Cat beside Julie and Barnes and Leo beside Zack. Jarod and Scotty were standing to one side, talking quietly and looking at schematics of the ship's systems. Lucy was chatting up Locarno. Peter, Nasri, Magda, Jack and Patty Lawson, Hava, Philippe, Jasmine, Yousef, Nasira... many of those who had served beside them on all the ships in their fleet had finished applauding Morgan's announcement and were beginning to make small talk. Robert cleared his throat and picked up a glass of wine, from a batch given as a gift from one of their wealthy supporters in the interstellar states. The others all noticed this and conversations quietly ceased. Glasses full, half-full, or nearly empty were brought up as attention focused on him.

Robert looked out at them and felt proud. Despite all the problems they'd had, all of the stresses of their work, the inhumanities they'd faced (and some had endured), the lost friends and homes... they were still together. He and his closest friends had gone off on an adventure out of the best intentions, and the result was to be seen; a circle of friends and comrades that would forever remember one another and the creation of a new society that would bridge multiple universes together. "My friends. I want to have a toast... for our fallen comrades, to Suun, Kwang, Noh, Jeon, Ramirez..." He listed the names of their fallen, finishing with Captain Farmer. "And to what they, and we, have accomplished together. The Alliance being created is their legacy, and we will forever honor and defend it. To our friendship, to the Alliance, and to the cause of freedom!" He lifted his glass.

Some said friendship, some the Alliance, and most called for freedom, but everyone was smiling as the toast was had.

"We may not always be together like this. The duties to come may separate us for whatever reason," Robert continued. "But we will always remember one another and what we have come together to build. And I hope we will always stand together to do what is necessary to protect this beautiful thing we've built and to ensure its future. I look forward to serving with every one of you in that cause."

There was more agreement. Robert had nothing more to say; there was nothing more to say. The festivities were left to continue.

When everything was over Robert was standing alone in the officer's lounge, looking ou the window at the ships in orbit over New Liberty and the beautiful planet below. He drew in a tough breath. What if we didn't have the other states? What if this had happened a year ago? What would we have done, what could we have done?

He kept thinking of what happened, what he might have done differently. Traps for the Daleks? Micro-naqia mines? So many things he might have done... and he might have saved Carlton Farmer and the others. As it was, despite the Alliance treaty.... they had suffered a terrible setback. How much data had been lost forever?

He heard noise behind him and turned to see Angel standing there. "You're recovering well," he murmured.

"Leo deserves a medal." She stepped up beside him. "So... I know that look." She turned her head to look at him. "There is nothing you could have done better."

"Micro-naqia mines in the lift tubes."

"You're assuming the Daleks weren't smart enough to change lifts as needed, or to find ways to remotely detonate them. And even then, they survived those things, and you remember how tough the tubes were." She sighed. "And it doesn't stop the fact that they were going to take over the computer in time. Making them go defensive wouldn't have changed what we had to do."

"No, but Farmer and the others might still be alive."

"Assuming having six Daleks focusing on the computers wouldn't have quickly overwhelmed Jarod and Control." Angel slapped him on the shoulder. "Stop moping. You made the right calls, Rob. There's nothing to second guess."

"If you say so." He drew in a sigh. With her here, now, he had something else on his mind. "You overheard me and Cat. I... I'm sorry. I never realized. I'm sorry, Angel."

"Cat wasn't in the best frame of mind." She took his hand. "I can't compete with Julie and I don't want to. But I don't regret what we had. You're a wonderful guy and I enjoyed every bit of it. I just don't see this relationship going anywhere." She smirked at him. "Maybe the occasional fling if we're both lonely enough. But we should never kid ourselves that it'll be any more than that."

Robert nodded silently. "You're right." He looked at his chronometer. "It's getting late and we have meetings in the morning. Maybe we should..."

He didn't get the chance to speak any more, as Angel brought her head up and kissed him. The kiss was quiet, subdued, and he returned it. When it was over she gave a follow-up kiss to his right cheek, smiled at him, and walked away to leave him with his thoughts.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Steve » 2013-07-23 05:16am

One Year Later...

The year since the loss of the Facility had seen spurts of activity bridged by periods of almost mind-numbing waiting. Everyone had initially lived on the Aurora, then had moved planetside when a deal was finally struck to have the Aurora completed in a yard deemed sufficiently neutral and under Scotty's watchful eye. From New Liberty they continued some of their rescue operations, increasing the population to nearly two hundred thousand, but increasingly there were other things to do. Topping that list had been training with their allies, preparing for wider responsibilities when the Alliance formed, and adjusting to a more regimented life (especially difficult for the likes of Barnes and Jarod). Admiral Maran had taken a personal interest in Robert and Julia's educations, putting them as unofficial advisors on his staff to show them the finer points of starship command, and some of the others had been given similar experiences. It was especially necessary given the loss of the Facility and its data infusion systems; everything had to be learned the old fashioned way.

And it had all led up to this day and this event.

Robert looked back at his friends and pulled at his collar. Each was in uniform for this event, showing the torch insignia they'd adopted nearly two years before as well as newer rank insignia. In honor of Carlton Farmer, they'd adapted Starfleet rank insignia, but with stripes instead of circular pips. The red trim on his uniform, Julia's, Zack's, and Locarno's marked them as command and navigation. Olive brown marked Angel as Tactical/Security, blue was for Leo as Medical, dark blue for Caterina as Science/Sensors, and beige for Jarod, Barnes, Lucy, and Scotty in their roles in Operations.

They weren't alone. Similar uniforms were worn by other figures in the seats of honor, including Admiral Maran and Meridina. A handful of different uniforms were also present, and across the way in an area for guests outside of the new organization Robert thought he saw Starfleet uniforms. All remained quiet as Henry Morgan led the procession of officials in the formal ratification signing of the New Liberty Treaty. "To the peoples of our systems across the Multiverse, I am proud to commemorate this momentous day," Morgan announced loudly. "Today, the United Alliance of Systems is now an official body, and I am honored to stand as its first President." Behind him a flag unfurled. Robert tried not to smile too widely when the same torch insignia he was wearing was prominent in the middle of the field, with blue, green, and white horizontal stripes behind it, twelve in all with four of each color. Above them fireworks went off and aerospace fighters soared in the sky; the crowd began cheering.

"I still think 'Alliance of Democratic Nations' would've been better," Robert whispered to Julia.

She responded with a smirk. "Nah, I don't think so. It sounds, well, kind of silly."

"I'm hurt," was his reply, feigning insult. This was answered only by something between a chuckle and a snicker.

When the celebration quieted, Morgan accepted an object from a figure standing beside him, an aide. "And with my first act as President of the Allied Systems..." Morgan turned to Robert and his friends. "Please, Robert Dale, everyone with you... step forward."

Robert's stomach was doing cartwheels as everyone followed him, all standing at attention before Morgan. "We owe the birth of this new Alliance to you fine young people. You embody the spirit we all want to see this new institution sustain, and I can think of no finer people to represent the Alliance in our dealings with the wider Multiverse. I hereby confer upon you the first commissions in the Alliance Stellar Navy." He took the stack of commissions and offered them to every member of Robert's party, announcing them as he did, with everyone returning to line after accepting their commission. "Captain Robert Dale, Commander Julia Andreys, Commander Zachary Carrey, Commander Montgomery Scott, Lieutenant Commander Leonard Gillam, Lieutenant Commander Jarod, Lieutenant Thomas Barnes, Lieutenant Angela Delgado, Lieutenant Caterina Delgado, Lieutenant Lucilla Lucero. I am honored to have you in our service." Morgan looked back to the podium. From there he continued the speech, and the celebration continued.

In the reception after the celebration, Robert and his friends split up and walked every which way. He met various leading politicians of the other states and exchanged pleasantries. Admiral Maran spoke with him, discussing the months this prior year Robert and Julia had spent as trainees on his staff. "The President is going to assign me as Chairman of his Defense Staff," Maran explained. "You'll be getting your orders through me."

"I'm gratified," Robert answered, "even if I know that now I don't get the luxury of that."

"True. You're in a real service now. Be careful."

That discussion done, Robert kept moving through the crowd until he found a familiar sight. He gave a small smile and stepped up to a figure in another uniform, this one red and black and which draped over him to the knees like a pullover top. "Ah, Captain Picard." Robert offered his hand.

"Captain Dale." Picard matched his grin and accepted his handshake. "I am pleased to see you are well."

"And I you, Captain. You're part of the Federation entourage?"

"The Enterprise was sent to ferry Ambassador Sokal to your new capital," Picard explained. "I heard about Captain Farmer. He died upholding the finest traditions of Starfleet. We are all diminished by his loss."

"Despite his disagreements with Starfleet policies, he remained a Starfleet officer at heart." Robert could still remember the sight of the Daleks killing the proud old engineer. "And he did a lot for us."

"Ah yes. I heard he helped you finish a rather impressive starship. Any idea on when she will be put into service?"

Robert shrugged. "The last few months Alliance engineers and techs nearly took the Aurora apart. I'm not sure who will command her. I'm not even sure what they're doing with me and my crew. I doubt they're sticking us all on the Koenig."

"Whatever they do, I am certain you will prove more than adequate to the challenges placed before you." Picard's expression turned only slightly more serious. "I believe that, whatever our differences on certain... philosophical issues, the Federation and the Alliance will both benefit from a close and friendly relationship."

You mean the Prime Directive and how much we disagree with it, Robert thought. He gave a nod. "Disagreements with friends can be trouble, but sometimes it helps. I've had my share of them with my own friends, and they usually result in something better as a result of the meeting of minds."

"The difference in viewpoints different peoples can have will enrich the whole if they are willing to show tolerance. That's part of the principle that the Federation is built upon. I believe the Alliance will be no different... even if I still have some concern about the trouble you may find yourselves in if you become too... assertive in those differences."

"The future will tend for itself in that, Captain. I think it may make us stronger in the long run, and save more lives."

With that said, it was clear to both men that the lines were still drawn as before. Picard was the defender of the Prime Directive, Robert its harsh critic. The two exchanged further nods. "I can see that the future ahead of us could be very... interesting," Picard said diplomatically.

Before Robert could respond, a happy shriek, or more like a "squee!", got his attention, Picard's, and several others around them. They turned and found themselves facing a peculiar sight; Commander Data, in Starfleet dress uniform, being met by a grinning, energetic Caterina who was bombarding him with questions. Robert grinned widely. "I'm afraid, Captain, that we need to hurry, or Cat is going to end up abducting Commander Data."

"Well, I'd hate for Federation-Alliance relations to get off on such a rocky start. You first, Captain..."

Julia was standing alone, sipping at a drink and taking in the sights. "Commander Andreys." She followed the voice and faced Meridina, wearing a new Alliance uniform in the olive brown of security-tactical. The stripes on her left collar were two gold and a silver, marking her a Lieutenant Commander against the three gold on Julia's. "I'm pleased to see you."

"Meridina." Julia smiled and nodded to her. "You're in the Stellar Navy too? I didn't know swevyra knights joined the military."

"It is an established custom on Gersal." Meridina smiled and nodded. "I am proud to be here, in this uniform, in the glorious dawn that has shined this day."

"It's living history." Julia put her glass down. "We're waiting for news of the ship we're getting. And finding out if Zack is going to be security chief."

"Oh, he is not," Meridina answered. "I have been assigned to your crew by Admiral Maran to be your security officer."

"Wow." Julia showed some surprise. "I... that's great. I mean, I look forward to it."

"As do I." Meridina's smile remained... stoic, it seemed. Not genuine mirth, but not fake either. "It will be an honor."

"So.... Zack ol' buddy." Barnes put down a glass and put an arm around Zack's shoulders. Zack had been consciously avoiding the wines and drinks, insisting on water whenever asked. "We're serving together after all. I thought you were cinched as commander of the Koenig?"

"That's what Robert and Admiral Maran led me to believe." Zack let out a dissatisfied sigh. "Eh, I don't know. I would miss you guys if we were separated. It's just.... the Koenig is the ship I love piloting above all else. And captaining a ship is... okay, it's almost piloting, right?"


"So I'd rather serve on her. God knows what they're going to give us."

Barnes smirked. "What, you don't think we'll get our ship back?"

"What ship? You mean the Aurora?" Zack laughed loudly. "Yeah, right. I figure they're keeping her in a nice, quiet dock to take her apart and put her together again, a chance to get more Darglan tech and such."

"Hey, you never know." Barnes shrugged. "Rob's got pull with Maran and our new President. Maybe he arranged something."

"I'll believe it when I see it."

"I bet you ten bucks we get her back then."

"You're on, Carrot Top."

After the reception, with everyone off to their planetary living quarters for transfer to postings the next day, Meridina entered her spartan quarters and removed the black jacket of her uniform, revealing the sleeveless olive brown garment beneath. She put the jacket up and heard her holo-comm chime. "Computer, identify caller," she asked in melodic High Gersallian.

"Mastrash Ledosh," the feminine voice replied.

"Activate." She turned to face her teacher, bowing as he appeared. "Mastrash."

"Commander Meridina." Ledosh nodded. "I trust your new posting agrees with you?"

"It does. But I am concerned..."

"Concerned of what, my student?"

Meridina swallowed and lowered her eyes. "Is it not deception to hide from them my true purpose?"

"They would not understand your true purpose amongst them Meridina. Not until the signs are clear and when we are certain. When that time comes, you may inform them of the coming Dawn and their roles in it."

"And the ones who might be trained..."

"Do not rush it, Meridina," Ledosh warned her. "Let them discover the power of their swevyra on their own. Be there for them when they realize what they have been gifted."

"At your command, Mastrash." Meridina nodded in acceptance of her directions. She still showed evident guilt about covering things up, but if Ledosh thought it necessary... "I shall be going to rest now."

"Understandable, it has been an eventful day. Mi rake sa swevyra iso, Meridina."

"Mi rake sa swevyra iso, Mastrash Ledosh." Meridina remained still as the holo-comm disengaged.

In short order she undressed and got into her sleeping robes. She got onto her sleeping mat and picked up the old book. The High Gersallian of the text was lovingly printed, the work of a master, its language archaic and thousands of years old. She enjoyed reading the old texts more than her fellow adepts ever had back in Temple, but this one in particular always excited her imagination.

In the final days of Swenya
The Grand Foundress felt the future.
The ones who would come
Kin of the Lost People
The Bearers of the Dawn

She cried onto her people
"Seek them, people of Gersal
Their Light shall bring salvation!"
The forger and the leader
The commander and the sage....

Meridina continued reading it. Its final line was her favorite. The promise of Hope and Victory, of the brilliant new age, made her feel excited. To think that she had stumbled into a future that Gersal's swevyra'rase had spent three millennia preparing to see...!

Smiling and drawing in a breath, Meridina let her mind quiet and soon fell fast asleep.

The next day the assembled were shuffled aboard a new runabout, built by one of the new Alliance members to Lucy's schematics. The runabout Susquehanna lifted off and moved with precision through the orbital traffic under Nick Locarno's expert piloting. Jarod and Cat were at the side stations and Robert was acting as Locarno's co-pilot; everyone else was standing around behind them without any difficulty; the flight was deceptively smooth s they raced on to the space station. Earth L2M1 - a 27th Century Earth where the Alliance Capitol was being erected in the rebuilt metropolis of Portland - circled quietly below them, while ahead of them the fleet base of the local government - the Federated Stars - circled quietly. "I think some of the starships they build here are beautiful," Julia said, commenting on a sleek, long FedStar cruiser they moved by, its gravitic drive shining blue at the rear.

"I think the Dorei make some beautiful ships myself," Angel added. "Maybe we'll get one of their starbirds."

"No data infusions for any of the Dorei languages, though," Barnes mumbled. "I'll just take a straight up Human starship."

"I think, everyone, that Morgan has a ship in mind for us already," Robert remarked as Locarno flew them toward one of the open spacedock berths. "We're at our coordinates." He motioned to the ship they were facing through the cockpit.

"You don't mean..."

"There's no way they'd let us...

"They'll be wanting to take it apart..."

Zack smirked and let out a sigh. He brought out a ten dollar value note of Earth Confederacy currency and slipped it to Barnes, who smiled and pocketed it.

Despite the astonished remarks of some of those present, everybody was ready for the sight before. Sitting at rest in the dock was the Aurora. Her blue sheen remained as beautiful as ever. Torch insignia now marked her upper warp pylons on the outside, with green and white stripes following the mid-point of her hull. Along the upper decks of the ship's rear drive areas, just forward of the nacelle pylons, were ports added in the prior year; ports everyone recognized as for a starfigher or aerospace fighter complement aboard the ship. Further head, between the striping at the middle of the lower half of the rear hull area, the registry number ASV-1701 was emblazoned in the middle of the stripes. "I cannae believe it," Scotty murmured. "They had tae pick that registry number?"

"That's the Enterprise's number in Starfleet," Robert clarified for the others. "I figured we'd get a '1' or something similar."

"Maybe it's a sign," Julia suggested with a grin. She looked over at Scotty. "I'm just surprised they're letting us take command. I figured they'd be taking it apart to study..."

"They tried, lass, but President Morgan backed me. I told them that there'd be nae dismantlin' her, she's a masterpiece. Reminded 'em a good man put everything he had intae her and wasnae here tae speak for keepin' her together."

Locarno pulled the Susquehanna up around the bow. The gold and blue deflector dish settled into the lowermost decks, about a quarter of the way down the ship's kilometer plus length, passed by, as well as the sensor pallets, the weapon emplacements, and they could even see through the trans-steel windows of the navigation bridge set into the bow. Above the very tip of the bow were more decks, including the windows of the main crew lounge, and the main bridge at the very top. The space halfway from the bow to the bridge was where the ship's name was repeated in large characters: A.S.V. Aurora.

"'Allied Systems' Vessel'? I wonder why it's not 'Allied Systems Ship....'" Caterina suddenly giggled. "Oh."

Locarno let out a laugh. "Yeah, I don't think they want us making A-S-Ses of ourselves to the rest of the Multiverse."

Everyone shared a laugh as they flew over the bridge and looked down the top of the ship down to the tip. Zack, however, quickly returned to a more somber, almost disappointed look. Julia noticed it and looked at him. "Is something wrong?"

"Oh, nothing much, it's just.... I..." He sighed. "I kind of wanted the Koenig. I mean, the Aurora's beautiful and all, but Koenig is just... She reminds me of you, Julie. She's quick on her feet, fast, packs a mean punch... pretty sexy if you ask-unnh!" He grimaced at getting a playful elbow in the rib. But the smile on Julia told everyone it was done in jest, not offense.

"I wouldn't worry about that," Robert commented. "Look."

The forward section of the main hull sloped downward by about fourty meters in the rear, heading toward the slightly slimmer drive section of the hull. The rear of this downward slope showed shuttle by doors adjacent to a big hatch, a hatch that was currently open. Zack looked inside the hatch and his expression turned to a wide grin.

Inside the Aurora's main launch bay was the Koenig, resting in docking struts. "They turned the entire space into a launch bay for the Koenig or similar ships," Robert remarked. "Did you think you were getting stuck as third-stringer behind me and Julie?"

Zack didn't respond; his eyes were riveted on the Koenig. "So... she's mine?"

"Yes," was Robert's answer.

"This is the best day ever," was his reply.

"Alright, everyone." Locarno banked the Susquehanna toward one of the side doors. "Time to get settled in."

"Last one to the bridge gets waste processing duty!", Caterina declared, giggling.

WIth the exception of Scotty, everyone went to the bridge and relieved the caretaker officers. Everyone knew their proper seats, with Carrey sitting beside Robert opposite of Julia's seat as the First Officer. Meridina found her seat at Secondary Tactical and Leo, for want of a better seat, sat down at one of the auxiliary computer controls. Robert settled into his seat and hit the intercom. "Bridge to Engineering. Find everything in order, Scotty?"

"Aye sir. She's just like I left her. We're ready tae bring the drives online at yer command, Captain."

"Well..." Robert settled back in his chair and looked over at everyone. "What do you think?"

"I think..." Julia smiled. "...I think that it's time we got out there."

"Oh hell yeah," Barnes added from the Engineering station.

"Connecting you to the dockmaster's station now, Captain."

"Thank you, Jarod." Robert shifted in his seat. "Dock Control, this is Aurora, requesting permission to depart."

"Permission granted, Aurora. Transmitting departure vectors now."

"Closing launch bay doors," Jarod added. "We wouldn't want something to happen to Zack's new girlfriend."

Several people began chuckling and giggling. Zack smirked and shook his head, taking the poke in stride. "Thanks for looking out for me, Jarod."

"You're welcome."

Julia was fighting down giggles. "Mister Locarno, as soon as all lights are green, take us out, one tenth impulse power."

"One tenth, aye sir."

The Aurora's engines came to life. With slow but sure movement she moved forward from the cage in which she had been berthed, heading out into the open spaceways. Other vessels kept a respectful distance as the ship returned to open space. Locarno's piloting was precise, moving the massive ship with ease far from any obstacle. "We're clearing the docking approaches."

"Good. Set course for the Moon, full impulse. We have a rendezvous to make."

"Aye sir."

Quiet briefly settled in, save the occasional beeps from the stations. Julia looked over at Robert, delighting in his wide grin. "It feels good."

"It feels right," he answered. "We're back where we should be."

"Amen to that," Angel agreed.

Mastrash Ledosh took his seat amongst his fellow Mastrashes, the leaders of their Order. "Meridina is in place with the others," he confirmed. "I... still feel uncomfortable about this."

The wizened old man sitting in the middle of their ranks nodded. "I understand your wish to bring Meridina in fully on the prophecy," Mastrash Maklir remarked. "But it is for the best. The Prophecy of the Dawn is a dangerous knowledge..."

"If it is even right." The harsh voice was from another figure, that of a Mastrash who had entered the Order in the same cadre as Ledosh. Mastrash Karesl crossed his arms. "It is not wise to rely on the glimpses of future that even a powerful swevyra'rase can have. It is always changing, as we have repeatedly found."

"It was not just any swevyra'rase who made it though," a gray-haired woman sitting beside Maklir poined out. "It is a prophecy from Swenya herself."

"You should know more than any of us how the origins of the Prophecy of the Dawn are muddied," Karesl said reproachingly. "She wrote it down, but there is just as much evidence that Reshan had the vision and simply shared it with her."

"Does it change anything if it came from Reshan?"

"Yes! Reshan is widely known to have been an outsider, and he wrote so little..."

"He was her teacher! Her wisdom came from him and shaped us, outsider or not!"

"Please, everyone." Maklir raised his hands. "Perhaps Robert Dale and his friends are those spoken of in the Prophecy of the Dawn. But whether they are the Dawn Bearers or not is not the issue; the issue is.... if the Prophecy is true, time draws short. We all know the true ending of the Prophecy."

"Which is why we should tell Meridina, she must know the full stakes..."

"It is best if we wait until we are more sure," Maklir insisted.

"Or not at all. Not all of us are as convinced as you," Karesl pointed out.

The meeting continued on for some time, but nothing was settled. Ledosh excused himself early and returned to his chambers. He had lesson plans to prepare for a youth cadre of mindtalker adepts. But he couldn't stop thinking of the Prophecy of the Dawn, and not with the enthusiasm he knew Meridina had for it. He couldn't have that feeling, not when he knew the true final line and all the horror it was portent for...

For with the Bearers of the Dawn
Will all be given Hope and Victory
When the Darkness come again

End Act 8
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Steve » 2013-07-23 08:33pm


A single jump point formed in the empty space near New Horizon, the premier Allied Systems' colony (or rather what was now the Allied Systems) in Universe S5T3. The few ships in system both noted the new arrivals with interest; one a ship of legendary accomplishment, the other a ship of legendary promise.

Despite being smaller than her compatriot, Starship Enterprise still looked impressive alongside the Starship Aurora, her wide saucer and frame an interesting contrast to the long, sleek surfaces of the Aurora. The ships decelerated from their journey through the Aurora's jump point and came to a relative stop side by side.

On the bridge of the Aurora, the holoviewer shifted to show the bridge of the Enterprise. Robert stood from his chair and nodded as Picard stepped forward from his own chair. "Thank you for your assistance, Captain Dale," Picard remarked. "It was a pleasure to see you and your crew again."

"Likewise, Captain. I imagine we'll run into each other again some time."

"Yes." Picard nodded. "And I look forward to hearing of where your journeys will take you. Sadly, we must bid you adieu. We all have our schedules to keep."

Robert nodded. "Good luck, Captain Picard, and happy voyages to your ship and crew."

"Bon voyage, Captain Dale. Picard out." The holoviewer shifted to show the Enterprise as Picard was turning back to his seat. The crew of the Aurora watched as the Enterprise pulled away from them and, with a flash of light, elongated and disappeared.

"Well, that was nice for a first mission. Taxi service." Julia's smile was one of mirth.

"I'm sure they'll get harder," Jarod remarked.

"Of course." Robert settled into his chair. "Well, let's bring up our orders again..." He tapped a key and a small holo-projector on his seat arm lit up, projecting text. "Surveying systems in the Horizon Sector for further settlement. They're turning us into surveyors. Yippee."

"We can't always be shooting pirates or slavers," Angel pointed out with a smirk. "Sometimes I'm betting we do boring stuff."

"Hey! Scanning planets is not boring!", Caterina protested.

"That's because you're weird, little sister," Angel retorted, her smirk becoming a grin. Caterina smiled and stuck her tongue out at Angel in response.

"Oh, I'm sure we'll have less boring missions," Julia assured them. "Admiral Maran is relaying our orders directly from President Morgan, after all. We're going to get to do all the fun stuff."

"Yippee." Barnes shook his head. "That means more work for me."

"And me," Leo added.

"Well, we have work to do, we don't want to be late." Robert allowed himself a grin and hit his intercom button. "Mister Scott, we're running a little behind schedule. Didn't you once say you looked forward to seeing Aurora break some warp speed records?"

"Aye. Just tell me which records ye'd like tae break today, Captain."

Robert looked from Julia to Zack, seeing their growing grins, and then forward to where Locarno was in his seat and turned to face him. "I don't know, Scotty. How about... all of them?"

"Just give the order, Captain," Locarno said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what she's got."

"Set yer course and speed, Captain, me bairns will give ye all the power ye need."

"Thank you, Scotty." He pulled his finger off the button. "Set course for the nearest system to New Horizon, Nick. The best speed you can get out of her."

Locarno grinned and turned in his chair. As he activated the navigation controls he answered, "Yes sir. Best speed."

Julia smirked. "If it's not cars, it's starships."

"Boys will be boys," Angel teased.

Robert let out a short laugh.

And at the press of a key on Locarno's board, the Starship Aurora's warp drives powered up, sending ship and crew racing into their future.

The Adventures of the ASV Aurora
and her crew
will continue in...
"Undiscovered Frontier"
Season 1

"Jem'Hadar ships are on attack vector!"
Zack barely shifted in his command chair as the Jem'Hadar vessels bore down on the Koeing. "Time to show them what she's got! Target the lead vessel and fire!"

"Zack, are you okay? What's wrong?"
Zack put his arms around Julia's shoulders. "I've always felt this way. I'll always love you..."

"I wonder what those big stick things are for..." Zack narrowed his eyes at the armored humanoids as they lined up and leveled their sticks.
One amongst them pointed to the landing party and shouted something in an alien language, but the distance made it hard to understand the cry. Red energy erupted from the segmented tips of the staves, forcing Julia and the others to take cover.
"Well obviously they're for shooting at us!", Julia pointed out irritably.

Robert hovered over Caterina and Barnes' shoulders as they brought up the data display. The Astrography hologram shifted to show highlighted systems. "Are you sure?"
"Positive," Caterina insisted. "The readings are the same. It's another Darglan Facility."
"And on the other side of the border, too," Julia pointed out in a dark tone.

"I'm sorry about the Enterprise, Jean-Luc." Robert extended his hand to Picard.
"Thank you, Robert. I regret to inform you, however, that the Federation cannot provide the assistance you seek..."

"A five mile long O'Neill cylinder, sweet!"
Caterina looked on in excitement as the Aurora approached the space station. Over the comms they heard a traffic controller give a standard greeting. "This is Babylon Control, Aurora, please proceed to the following location for station-keeping..."

"Is it just me, or was that a talking jellyfish?", Lucy asked as she followed Meridina through the ward courtyard, barely avoiding a very short alien in an environmental suit. "Oops, sorry."
"It was, yes. But I would appreciate it if you focused..."

Jarod was entering the commands as quickly as he could manage, watching as the main computers, system by system, went red with corruption. "I can do this," he murmured. The ship rocked from a direct impact on its hull, the shields offline from the virus taking out their control systems. "I'm not getting outsmarted again..."

And featuring the return of a classic
Undiscovered Frontier villain...

Robert blinked, a mixture of surprise and dread in his gut as he recognized the insignia emblazoned on the warship's hull. "Is that actually a...?!"
"Hail coming in," Jarod said, interrupting the question. "Putting them on speaker."
"This is the cruiser Reich's Glory! You have violated the territory of the Third Reich! In the name of the Fuehrer I order you to withdraw!"

Undiscovered Frontier
Season 1
"Seeking the Past"
Winter 2013/2014
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by seanrobertson » 2016-11-27 05:22pm

This is the best fan fiction I have ever read. Sincerest compliments, Steve.
Pain, or damage, don't end the world, or despair, or fuckin' beatin's. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, ya got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man ... and give some back.
-Al Swearengen

Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay: The worst is death, and death will have his day.
-Ole' Shakey's "Richard II," Act III, scene ii.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Burak Gazan » 2016-11-28 04:16am

Thank you
I never got the chance to see this the first go around

And now, the adventure continues
"Of course, what would really happen is that in Game 7, with the Red Sox winning 20-0 in the 9th inning, with two outs and two strikes on the last Cubs batter, a previously unseen meteor would strike the earth, instantly and forever wiping out all life on the planet, and forever denying the Red Sox a World Series victory..."

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Steve » 2016-11-29 08:51am

Thank you kindly, Sean. I PMed you the link to Season 1, BTW. :)

Burak, I wasn't aware you'd missed the pilot story. Well, now you've seen where it all started, and this Friday, you'll get to see more of where they're going. :mrgreen:
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Re: "A Time for Heroes" - Reimagined Fic Setting

Post by Burak Gazan » 2016-11-29 06:49pm

I think if my timeline is right, I probably missed it from being in the hospital; 2013 was not a lot of fun :) But reading later, and now the genesis of things, just as good.
"Of course, what would really happen is that in Game 7, with the Red Sox winning 20-0 in the 9th inning, with two outs and two strikes on the last Cubs batter, a previously unseen meteor would strike the earth, instantly and forever wiping out all life on the planet, and forever denying the Red Sox a World Series victory..."

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