A Different Directive (Star Trek)

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A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2014-03-31 08:59am

Nels Gresstise urgently strode down the white marble halls of the Rose Court. The red carpet sucked up the sounds of his footsteps as he preceded through the last great palace constructed by the long overthrown Vaneer Dynasty. Light streamed in from floor to ceiling windows on the upper levels, reflected off crystal columns, and mix with more light thrown off by lumen tubes to fill the air and give the interior an almost otherworldly feel. It was a magnificent artistic and architectural achievement and so it had become a treasure of the republic that has succeeded the kingdom and rightfully so.

Gresstise stopped at the desk near the end of the hall. The silver haired man at the other end of the massive ivory coloured nilk wood desk looked up at him. "Counsel Gresstise, hello."

"Hello Myren," said Gresstise with a smile. He was well aware that people had trouble saying no to his smile. His wife for one. "I've got urgent news for the executor."

"You're not on the schedule," said the secretary. "Urgent, you said? To do with the Banehammer?"

"Yes," said Gresstise, not bothering to hide the excitement in his voice. "There's been a spectacular development. Everyone on the planet will remember where they were when they hear this news for the rest of their lives."

"Just a moment," said Myren. He touched the speaker control on his desk. "I'm sorry to disturb you Executor, but Science Counsel Gresstise is here with urgent news regarding the Banehammer."

There was a long pause and then an answer. "Tell him I'll be ready to see him in a few minutes."

"You heard the man," said Myren.

"I did."

"Is it bad?"

Gresstise shook his head. "No, it's wonderful."

"Really? It's not going to hit us?"

"Not anymore. It's-"

The speaker buzzed. "Myren, please send him in."

"That was quick," said Gresstise.

"A civilization ending asteroid tends to outway Sub-Erasian religious civil wars," Myren replied.

The door opened and four men in dark suits filed out. "That's my que," said Gresstise and stepped inside. The office was spacious and set with several chairs, couches and low tables as well as a heavy nilk wood desk at the end. The office dated from when it had hosted Dynasts and their host of courtiers and ministers. Executor Naden extended his hand.

Gresstise took it. "Mister Executor." Both men were brown skinned with elaborate cranial ridges but the executor was taller and slimmer while Gresstise was heavyset.

"Counsel Gresstise. You said it was urgent?"

"It is, but it is good news. The Banehammer was destroyed an hour ago."

"Destroyed? You're positive?"

"Half the telescopes on the planet saw it, Executor. We're sure."

"Nearly a hundred billion tresks spent on building an interceptor to destroy it, whole space projects sidelined including your wave rider program, an unparalleled level of international cooperation, and puff it's gone? An asteroid that would send the few survivors back to the iron age during a climatic holocaust and it's just gone, a year from launch? I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry."

"That's not it," said Gresstise. "There's the manner of its destruction." Gresstise opened his briefcase. Inside was a unfolding tablet computer and folder with several pictures. He opened the folder and handed the executor the photos one at a time.

One of the images was full of light and fire. "This is the destruction of the Banehammer. The next is from a moment earlier."

"What are these green lines? Some kind of ray?"

"We don't know yet, but we think it is a weapon." Gresstise handed him another image. It showed a vessel of some kind. It had a bulbous head at the end of a neck with a wider body. The body spread into wings that sported pylon-like structures.

"Is this what I think it is?"

"An alien space ship, the source of weapon that destroyed the Banehammer."

"Gods beyond. Aliens." The executor was silent for a moment. "Those structures on the wings. They look like the nacelles from the wave rider craft."

"That was our thought as well. Aliens from another star system traveled to our system with the wave rider drive and identified the Banehammer as a threat to our planet and destroyed it."

"How many people know?"

"Half the telescopes on the planet or in orbit are focused on the Banehammer and some of them are in other nations or in the hands of private citizens or institutions. It's death was quite visible and will certainly make the evening news. The space craft is less so, but I think it is unlikely that none of the other powers know about it."

"And that's if the aliens decide to do nothing else to draw attention to them. Where are they now?"

"I have their course mapped out on my computer." He unfolded the tablet, which one piece being the screen and the other the keyboard and turned it on. "It was staying on the same course an hour ago, but I can get course correction data sent here with up to the minute data, which is less accurate that it sounds because it is a light hour away."

"Show me." The computer booted up and Gresstise touched the screen to bring up a program and entered user name and password. A projection of the star system came up with a glowing red line.

"Is that right?" the executor asked.

"Yes," said Gresstise. "It's changed course and is heading toward us at ten percent light speed. Either they're employing wave rider technology or they're capable of generating enormous accelerations and surviving them."

"But they're definitely coming here," said the executor.

"Yes."

"With superior technology and weapons of mass destruction and having saved us from a rogue asteroid that was likely to hit us in three years if we couldn't stop it."

"Yes sir."

"Thank you counsel. I've got a lot to think about."
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by MondoMage » 2014-03-31 04:53pm

Imperial Overlord wrote: "We don't know yet, but we think it is a weapon." Gresstise handed him another image. It showed a vessel of some kind. It had a bulbous head at the end of a neck with a wider body. The body spread into wings that sported pylon-like structures.
Well, that doesn't really clarify things. Damn near every race in the Alpha Quadrant that the Federation has encountered (with some notable exceptions) have ships that follow that basic body plan. Still, if we're to assume that it's one of the major players, then it may be a rather vague description of a Federation vessel, but my first impression on reading that particular passage was a Klingon ship. Maybe Romulan depending on the time period. Interesting.

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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2014-03-31 04:56pm

Bulbous head only sounds right for either that Pastuer-type medical vessels or the old Daedalus class.

Given that it's a green weapon and the description sounds like one the of the Romulan warbirds.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2014-03-31 05:23pm

My first thought was TNG Romulan Warbird. From the use of head and wings as descriptors. And the green weapons.

This looks like it could be an interesting approach to the old condemnation of the TNG Prime Director episodes. The Romulans don't let natural disasters happen. But they will hold it over the head of a government and use it as leverage to incorporate them into the empire?

And apparently wrecked world peace on the world while doing it.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Diverball » 2014-03-31 05:41pm

I agree with MondoMage. Bulbous suggests spherical, and the description draws a distinction between the body and wings. The D'deridex Class don't really show such a distinction. I'd put my money on a Klingon D7 or derivative - it has the most bulbous head of any starship I can think of, and the most pronounced neck.

Not to mention that blowing up the asteroid first, then coming to the planet to "negotiate", having already demonstrated their firepower, is more Klingon style. The Romulans might be tempted to visit the planet first, and essentially blackmail the inhabitants with the threat of the asteroid.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Lord Revan » 2014-03-31 07:43pm

of the 4 known canon Romulan designs, T'Varo or T'liss have no head to speak of, D'Deridex and Mogai have more Beak like heads then anything I'd call bulbous. So a Klingon Cruiser (D7 or K'tinga most likely) would be the more probable suspect.

PS. for those not familiar with STO class names the T'varo is the 22nd century BoP, T'liss is the classic TOS BoP and Mogai is the Nemesis warbird.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by bilateralrope » 2014-03-31 08:10pm

Ten percent of lightspeed is an unusual speed for Trek ships. Too slow for warp, too fast for their typical sublight speeds.

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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Enigma » 2014-03-31 08:48pm

Not really. Impulse acceleration can go as high as .5c, so ten percent is well doable.

Don't the Romulans have D7s too? Bought off from the Klingons?
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by bilateralrope » 2014-03-31 09:06pm

Ok, so it's doable. It still doesn't make sense going sublight instead of doing a short warp.

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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2014-03-31 09:41pm

It's possible that they don't want to scare the shit out of the locals too much. After all, the approaching ship may not be aware that the planet has warp drive, so going from "blowing up impending apocalyptic asteroid" to "appearing right overhead" might be seen as overtly provocative.

On a more pragmatic note, this planet is likely to be on high alert, so suddenly appearing in orbit is a great way to make them panic and open fire with potentially unknown weapons. A slow cruise in at impulse gives the approaching ship time to more thoroughly scan the planet and assess their capabilities, and it gives more time for the planet to be swept up in hero-worshiping their messiahs rather than readying the Big Red Button of Doom (TM).
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Borgholio » 2014-03-31 10:03pm

Upon re-reading the description of the ship, it definitely sounds a lot like an old D7 class. With that said however, a few things that popped into my mind. First, the saucer of a Federation starship could look somewhat spherical if viewed from the top or bottom from a distance. Remember, the ship doesn't have to be perfectly flat according to the POV of the planet. Second, the wide swept-back pylons of a refit Constitution or similar ship could appear to be wings as well. Finally, the weapons seem a bit off. Green lines / rays definitely point to Klingon or Romulan...but from a weapon yield standpoint, would disruptors be enough to destroy a massive asteroid? I would think only photorps would be effective and the only torps colored green were TNG-era Romulans.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Diverball » 2014-04-01 03:20pm

Borgholio wrote: Finally, the weapons seem a bit off. Green lines / rays definitely point to Klingon or Romulan...but from a weapon yield standpoint, would disruptors be enough to destroy a massive asteroid? I would think only photorps would be effective and the only torps colored green were TNG-era Romulans.
If the asteroid is small enough to feasibly be diverted by a civilisation with a technological level similar to our own, which seems to be the implication, then it can't be that big. Otherwise, it would be planet-sterilising, not merely civilisation-destroying.

Equally, given that most starship shields can withstand at least a couple of torpedo strikes, if disruptors were several orders of magnitude less powerful, then they would be essentially useless in combat, which we've seen isn't the case. It's not a case of significantly differing yields, but differing roles. Disruptors are precision-targeting instant-response weapons used at knife-fighting range (i.e. less than one light-second, given that they are limited to STL speeds). Torpedoes are used at longer ranges, and most especially at warp. So long as torpedoes are within one order of magnitude of the yield of disruptor strikes, it would be more efficient to use disruptors on a target like an asteroid, rather than wasting torpedoes, of which you have only a limited supply.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by bilateralrope » 2014-04-01 04:43pm

Eternal_Freedom wrote:It's possible that they don't want to scare the shit out of the locals too much. After all, the approaching ship may not be aware that the planet has warp drive, so going from "blowing up impending apocalyptic asteroid" to "appearing right overhead" might be seen as overtly provocative.

On a more pragmatic note, this planet is likely to be on high alert, so suddenly appearing in orbit is a great way to make them panic and open fire with potentially unknown weapons. A slow cruise in at impulse gives the approaching ship time to more thoroughly scan the planet and assess their capabilities, and it gives more time for the planet to be swept up in hero-worshiping their messiahs rather than readying the Big Red Button of Doom (TM).
Perhaps. But I wouldn't call 0.1c slow.

If wanted to avoid seeming provocative after I just blew up the asteroid, I'd send a radio message.

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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Lord Revan » 2014-04-02 07:09am

Diverball wrote:Equally, given that most starship shields can withstand at least a couple of torpedo strikes, if disruptors were several orders of magnitude less powerful, then they would be essentially useless in combat, which we've seen isn't the case. It's not a case of significantly differing yields, but differing roles. Disruptors are precision-targeting instant-response weapons used at knife-fighting range (i.e. less than one light-second, given that they are limited to STL speeds). Torpedoes are used at longer ranges, and most especially at warp. So long as torpedoes are within one order of magnitude of the yield of disruptor strikes, it would be more efficient to use disruptors on a target like an asteroid, rather than wasting torpedoes, of which you have only a limited supply.
At Warp combat is near non-existant (there's cases of it happening but it's very rare), also it's show that torpedoes are more powerful then energy weapons just not very much so. More accurate assessment of the role torpedoes in combat would be that they're a big hitting guns you bring to bear to finish of your opponent while energy weapons are use as more cost effective way to bring down the shields, also IIRC torpedoes have more bleedthru (some damage getting thru active shields due to shield mechanics) then most energy weapons in ST.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-04-02 02:08pm

Diverball wrote:
Borgholio wrote: Finally, the weapons seem a bit off. Green lines / rays definitely point to Klingon or Romulan...but from a weapon yield standpoint, would disruptors be enough to destroy a massive asteroid? I would think only photorps would be effective and the only torps colored green were TNG-era Romulans.
If the asteroid is small enough to feasibly be diverted by a civilisation with a technological level similar to our own, which seems to be the implication, then it can't be that big. Otherwise, it would be planet-sterilising, not merely civilisation-destroying.
Their reference to "wave rider" drive strongly implies that this civilization is nearly (if not yet at) warp-capable technology. They may be able to divert a bigger asteroid than we expect.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by lord Martiya » 2014-04-02 02:50pm

My money is on either a Klingon ship using disruptor or a D-7 in Romulan service using torpedoes (that in the picture looked like lines due their speed and the distance involved).

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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2014-04-03 09:08am

A Klingon woman stood on a pile of rubble near the wall of a fortress that had long ago fallen into ruin. She was tall for one of her race, with dark hair that fell almost to her shoulders. She wore an armoured vest over a sleeveless tunic, pants, and boots. The arms were corded with muscle and decorated with scars. Her skin was light and her forehead ridges were small, but her smoke grey eyes held the promise of murder.

Dark blood sprayed from the Jem'Hadar's neck as the bat'leth sliced through flesh to it's spine. Keelan pulled the blade free and kicked the dying Jem'Hadar down the rubble pile into the path of the Jem'Hadar coming up behind him. The other surviving Jem'Hadar was coming up the steeper slope to her left to outflank her. The Klingon woman spun to deal with him, raising her bat'leth to deal a devastating overhand smash. The Jem'Hadar stabbed at her with the blade of Kar'takin pole arm, but a half turn and side step made it cut only air. The bat'leth went through the top of the Jem'Hadar's skull and went deep. One of the blades emerged through the bottom of the Jem'Hadar's skull.

The Dominion soldier toppled, dragging the bat'leth with it. Keelan's breath hissed through clenched teeth as she wrestled the blade out of the Jem'Hadar's skull. She turned to deal with the last one.

The blade of the Kar'takin punched through the light armour vest she wore and deep into her abdomen. The bat'leth fell from Keelan's hands as Jem'Hadar pushed the blade in deep and twisted. Steel glinted in the klingon's hand and she buried the knife in the Jem'Hadar's eye. She fell to her knees, laughing.

A harsh masculine voice cut through the air. "Bridge to Captain. They have replied."

"End simulation," she said. Everything vanished, leaving the Keelan kneeling on the bare metal floor of the holodeck. She touched the badge on her armour that was made in the shape of the komerex stele, the Imperial Trefoil. "Keelan to bridge. I will be there shortly."

"Acknowledged."

She pulled on her gunbelt and left the holodeck. The holodeck was located near the connection corridor to the bridge. The trip didn't take long. The doors of the bridge opened.

"Captain," said a stocky male Klingon rising from the captain's chair. His mutache and beard were short and neat, but his hair was a long, tangled mane.

"Report," she said.

"The leader of one of their greater nation states has addressed their world and us."

"And the other great nations?"

"Nothing or agreement in their own addresses to their populations. In the old days we would have announced ourselves after blowing up the asteroid and stirred them up."

"In the old days it was komerex til khesterex and many of our worlds were poor," said Keelan. "It is different age."

"It's still komerex til khesterex," replied her Executive. "We just know there is more than one way of being komerex. Although if the captain wishes to discuss philosophy the one suggests switching all the way to klingonaase instead of tlhIngan Hol with a few loan words."

"You barely speak klingonaase on your best day Rezhar," she replied as she took the command chair. "It would not do for my crew to see my First Officer so easily bested." Laughter erupted over the bridge. "Their transmission, main viewer."

An image of a slight humanoid with a brown skin, black hair, and five lines of ridges on his forehead appeared. Behind him was stretched a flag depicting an avian surrounded by stars.

"My fellow Ubarians today I have important news for you and for all the people of our great and precious planet. We have confirmation that the terrible threat posed to our magnificent and fragile planet by the asteroid named the Banehammer has been ended. But that is not all.

"The Banehammer was destroyed not by our hands or a miraculous celestial occurrence but by an alien starship. We don't know these people yet, but they have our gratitude for their heroic action. I have spoken with other world leaders and they have agreed that we should, as one people, hold out hand in friendship to these visitors from a distant star.

"It is true that we do not know them, but we do know what they have done for us. Now, with the terrible darkness that has hung over our heads for years gone, is not the time for fear. Now, with our dreams fulfilled, is the time for hope. This transmission, along with contact information, is being beemed to the alien starship with hope that they will be able to decipher it and respond appropriately. May all the blessings of all the gods be upon us and to those who would visit us in peace."

"They are afraid," said Rezhar.

"There is no shame in being afraid of Klingons," replied Keelan. "More so when your civilization cannot boast a single functioning warp drive. Communications, prepare to send a reply."
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2014-04-03 09:23am

Ah. So Ford Klingons became TNG Klingons in this verse? Interesting.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2014-04-03 03:22pm

Crazedwraith wrote:Ah. So Ford Klingons became TNG Klingons in this verse? Interesting.
More of a closer integration of the two than usually presented. Given the number of The Final Reflection references in DS9 I feel wholly justified. Of course given my feelings on The Final Reflection, I would do it anyway. :wink:
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2014-04-03 04:33pm

There were many Final Reflection references in DS9? Cool. I was surprised reading it when Prune Juice seemed to get a mention. Had to figure out from the dates if TNG reference FR or the other way around.

I do know from TV Tropes that the Pocket Novel, IKS Gorkon series references Battlecruiser Vengeance :)
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2014-04-04 01:45am

The Final Reflection predates TNG. TNG borrowed, but in a dumbed down form, from The Final Reflection. DS9 has, among other things: singing, references to the Black Fleet, and Martok swearing by Khaless's hand.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-01 04:02am

The sun had sunk down over the ocean, leaving the Rose Court a cathedral of light on the dark ocean shore. Inside one of the upper halls it was as bright inside as true daylight, although the windowed wall looking out over the sea broke that illusion. The great and powerful took their places around the long table were they were joined by experts and technical specialists. Most of them were male and they all wore military uniforms or dark jackets over white shirts with lace froth at the neck and wrists.

The door opened and Executor Kewel Naden walked in, followed by Science Counsel Gresstise. Gresstise took a seat at the executor's right while the executor sat at the head of the table. "Sirs," the executor began, "you're here to assist in developing policy to deal with impossible. Within the last twenty-two hours the world has been turned upside down and aliens from another star system have visited us. The entire planet is going to be looking at us for our response and half the planet will strongly consider following our lead just because it is our lead. This call is one we can't afford not to make right.

"Counsel Gresstise, if you could lay out what exactly has happened?"

"Certainly, Mister Executor," said the burly man. He stood up. "As most of you are aware, the asteroid known as the Banehammer was destroyed earlier today by an unknown weapon deployed from an alien star ship. After some consideration we sent a greeting to their location, a light hour away."

He pointed a control at the far wall. "One hour ten minutes later we got an answer from high orbit. From the best we can tell we detected it almost immediately after it arrived in orbit, which was the time of its transmission. According to our calculations, based on when it vanished an hour later, the alien ship was able to cross the distance of one light hour in under fifteen seconds. I say alien space ship, but we have a name for it now.

"Before I continue, it is essential to remember we don't know how good their translation technology is. Concepts that we appear to share may in fact be only approximate matches. They don't come from our culture and they don't even come from the same planet. As products of potentially a radically different environment their is considerable room for misunderstanding."

"If they're not lying," said a main wearing a blue uniform jacket with red piping and a chest full of star cluster medals.

"Yes," Gresstise agreed amiably. "That does presuppose they're telling the truth. This is what they sent us." He pushed a button on the control.

The back wall vanished and was replaced by a dark and smokey command deck. Lurid red light was projected from several consoles visible in the background. The shot was focused on what appeared to be a humanoid female wearing battle armour over a dark uniform. Weapons were visible around her waist. Her arms were bare and marked by scars. She possessed a single forehead ridge, instead of the four or five smaller ones that marked the skulls of most Ubarians. She spoke.

"People of Sellon, I am Keelan of the Imperial Klingon Defense Forces and Captain of the Battlecruiser Koloth. In the name of the Klingon Empire we greet you. We come in friendship and are pleased to have earned glory and honor defending your civilization from the rogue asteroid. I look forward to meeting your leaders in person and discussing your future relationship with the Klingon Empire." The communication died.

"That sure as hell didn't look like a tall green bald guy in silver robes, come to share his wisdom with his star brothers," a sky marshal mumbled, just loudly enough to be heard.

"More like a Fourth Dynasty conquistador after a sex change," said another sky marshal.

"She looked a lot like us," said the Communications Counsel. "Maybe too much. Any chance it's a fake?"

"Of course it could be a fake," said technical specialist. "We could have faked it, easily."

"Even if they're really squid people?"

"With enough budget, yes."

"Gentlemen," said Executor Naden, "focus please. It's obvious they're not pacifists, but what do we really know and what are our options?"

One of the sky marshals spoke up. "Given the speed that the drive is capable of, it seems unlikely that any attack except one launched at extremely close range will have a chance of damaging that vessel. And to be frank sir, given their already demonstrated capabilities, I don't have great confidence in that working. We know they can make us pay for any attack on them. I strongly suggest that military options be kept as a last resort. Counsel Gresstise, is the whatever the hells they used to move so fast consistent with the wave rider drive?"

"It is," Gresstise replied, "in fact I am convinced by the available data that we are looking at a mature form of that technology. Now that they're in high orbit, we have some nice high resolution pictures. The drive nacelles are clearly visible." He hit another button and a crisp image of the Koloth filled the screen. The superstructure on the Vor'cha class battlecruiser's command pod and back were clearly visible as was the hull plating and the forked shape of the command module. "Not exactly a flying saucer, but it might be able to do the Tressel Run in ten parsecs," he said, referencing a popular entertainment. There was a low chuckle. "They might not look like aliens from our popular entertainments, but they could still have much to teach us."

"If they don't want to eat us or enslave us," said a marshal. "Yes, I know they aren't here for food or water, if they have the technology to reach us they can just plunder the comet cloud even if no other star system has one. But there is still ideology and what could be common for us could be a rare resource to them."

"Unlikely," said Gresstise. "Our theories on star system formation strongly suggest anything we have in abundance our neighbors will possess as well. Unless there is a fundamental failure in our understanding of stellar life cycles and astrophysics there is no common element that we possess that should not be obtainable elsewhere. As for their ideologies or economics, we can't know what those are until we know more about them."

"They just saved civilization, they want to talk, we need to learn, and fighting's a bad idea," said the executor. "I believe that's an accurate summary?" Nods and silence answered him. "Well, then our course is clear. Let's meet these Klingons and find out what this Klingon Empire is really about."
Last edited by Imperial Overlord on 2014-06-04 05:26pm, edited 5 times in total.
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LadyTevar
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by LadyTevar » 2014-05-01 06:09pm

I want to see more.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by Falkenhorst » 2014-05-02 08:23pm

Me too.
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Re: A Different Directive (Star Trek)

Post by drakensis » 2014-05-03 04:41am

To coin a phrase: fascinating.

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