The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

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U.P. Cinnabar
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-10-25 02:45pm

More of the Earthers' greatest mistakes coming back to bite them in their pompous asses. Nice twist, totally did not see that one coming.
"When you send a man out with a gun, you create a policymaker. When his ass is on the line, he will do whatever he needs to do.

And, if the implications of that bother you, the time to do something about it is before you send him out."
—David Drake


"Oh, but you did! You turn on any of my crew, you turn on me! But, since that's a concept you can't seem to wrap your head around, then, you've got no place here. You did it to me, Jayne, and that's a fact."

—Malcolm Reynolds, captain of the Firefly-class hauler Serenity,in a nutshell

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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Burak Gazan » 2016-10-25 05:08pm

I guess the Empress aint gonna get a new statue or stadium out of this one.....
"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: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2016-10-26 12:19am

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:More of the Earthers' greatest mistakes coming back to bite them in their pompous asses. Nice twist, totally did not see that one coming.


I think if you're going to make a group of people be isolationist assholes, there should be a reason they're isolationist assholes. Condemning an entire race of people to die, when you can easily cure them, and not even telling them why you did it, is enough to get you a shitty reputation, at least in certain circles, but the Valakians are just the icing on the cake; the Ascension has a whooooole different list of reasons for not wanting the Federation getting into their business, as we'll eventually see.

Also, I'm not really going for a "the Federation are a bunch of dumb assholes" story; I'm hoping to make it clear by the end of the story that both sides have legitimate grievances and reasons for the war. In real life, "good guys vs bad guys" almost never happens, and that's what this story is: there are no villains, just people with a reason to be pissed.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby U.P. Cinnabar » 2016-10-27 12:08pm

I know, you're going for the "understanding is a three-edged" sword story. Just my own bias showing.
"When you send a man out with a gun, you create a policymaker. When his ass is on the line, he will do whatever he needs to do.

And, if the implications of that bother you, the time to do something about it is before you send him out."
—David Drake


"Oh, but you did! You turn on any of my crew, you turn on me! But, since that's a concept you can't seem to wrap your head around, then, you've got no place here. You did it to me, Jayne, and that's a fact."

—Malcolm Reynolds, captain of the Firefly-class hauler Serenity,in a nutshell

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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-10-30 12:54am

On the plus side, the Federation is advancing, and learning about more of the Ascension as they continue fighting. Knowledge is power after all.

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:I know, you're going for the "understanding is a three-edged" sword story. Just my own bias showing.


Archer aside, the UFP are rather good people, and Archer is one of those people who grew thanks to experience. Consider him as a character at the end of season 4, and the beginning of season 1. He's a completely different person.

Though, I'm wondering if the Ascension's name is a clue about who they are. Like the original plan of the Dominion on DS9, they're the anti-Federation, uplifting primitive races they encounter and adding them to their government, instead of letting them develop naturally and achieve peace, enlightenment, etc. on their own.

Both approaches have merits, but both have severe drawbacks.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby seanrobertson » 2016-11-27 08:08pm

Swindle -- my favorite Combaticon, FWIW (Onslaught's a close second ;) ) :

You write well. I have thoroughly enjoyed the story so far, and I rea!ly hope you soon have the time to continue it ... emphasis on soon :). I also hope you might consider publishing your own fiction, if you're so inclined, because it's obvious that you've a gift for intelligent story-tellling.

I eagerly await your next installment :)

Sean.
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Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay: The worst is death, and death will have his day.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2016-12-11 07:45pm

seanrobertson wrote:Swindle -- my favorite Combaticon, FWIW (Onslaught's a close second ;) ) :


In the 20+ years I've been using this screen name, you're only the second person to get the reference. 1984 is a reference to both the year Transformers came out and the book of that title.

You write well. I have thoroughly enjoyed the story so far, and I rea!ly hope you soon have the time to continue it ... emphasis on soon :). I also hope you might consider publishing your own fiction, if you're so inclined, because it's obvious that you've a gift for intelligent story-tellling.


I have a post-apocalyptic novel that is roughly 2/3 finished and which I do intend to publish. My next project after that is a sci-fi series in the vein of Honor Harrington and Legend of the Galactic Heroes; that's actually why I'm writing this story: stretching my legs in that direction and getting a feel for writing the genre before doing it for real. I did the same with my post-apocalyptic book, writing several short stories (the most popular of which was about a guy who won the lottery, bought a bunker and a bunch of supplies right before a nuclear war broke out... and he didn't actually know how to use any of the expensive stuff he bought, which came around to bite him in the ass and got someone killed because he had the gear, but not the skills or knowledge. I based his personality on John Crichton from Farscape.).

So, yeah; I do intend to publish, and once my first book is out, this is practice before I dive into a new genre on a larger scale than just some short stories and a stand-alone novel.

I eagerly await your next installment :)


And here it is:


-----------------------

Doctor Dube gestured to the display in the conference room as he addressed the senior officers of the Enterprise, as well as Captain Shelby.

"The subject displays standard Valakian biology, but his genetic structure shows clear signs of tampering. Not only has the Ascension apparently corrected the genetic defect that was killing the Valakians, they've also selected for optimal genes; more efficient metabolism, stronger musculature, improved immune system. Nothing spectacular, but they were definitely selecting improvements when they went in to correct their genetic defect."

Shelby frowned and commented, "so whoever the Ascension are, they're adept at genetic manipulation. And then- what? The Valakians became their client race? Do the Valakians work as mercenaries to pay off their debt to the Ascension for saving them from extinction, were they assimilated into the Ascension to take a similar role as the Jem'hadar, or are they merely allies?"

Lt. Stennis spoke up, saying, "There's no way of knowing just yet. We can't interrogate the only Ascension soldier we've ever seen face to face, and we just don't have enough information to make more than guesses."

"Whatever the case," Picard announced, "Starfleet has sent a squadron to the Valakian homeworld in search of answers. In the meantime, the Saren and Gallipoli will be returning to Earth for a refit, and we'll be getting the first three ships equipped with the new point defense systems. Starfleet will also be sending an engineering team with those ships in order to mount point defenses on the Enterprise, the Magellan, and the Midway; they won't be as efficient as the ones installed at Utopia Planitia in a proper refit, but it will give our largest and most powerful starships better defenses against Ascension missiles."

"In the meantime," he continued, "we have a disturbing report that the USS Titan is overdue and has been out of contact for three days. Starfleet intends to investigate, but we simply can't be everywhere at once, and with the recent Ascension counter-offensive against Starbase 73, Starfleet is scrambling to provide enough ships to protect vulnerable systems the Ascension may target in the future. It may be several days before we can investigate the Titan's possible disappearance; hopefully we'll hear from them before then," he concluded grimly, not wanting to entertain the possibility that the Rikers had been killed.

Data opened his mouth to say something, but just then the PA announced, "Captain, we've detected a ship coming out of warp; it's not one of ours."

"On our way, Lieutenant."

"I'll be returning to my ship, Commodore," Shelby crisply stated as everyone stood up, Picard, Data, and Stennis stepping onto the bridge, while the others took the turbolift back to their respective stations. Picard detachedly noted that the Enterprise was already on yellow alert and tugged down his tunic as he sat down.

"Who is our mystery guest, Mr. Stennis?"

"The vessel appears to be a Ferengi D'Kora class; their shields are down and their weapons are offline."

"Hail them," Picard ordered, mentally frowning as he wondered what the hell the Ferengi would be doing in a star system only recently 'liberated' from the Ascension.

A snaggle-toothed but surprisingly tastefully clothed Ferengi appeared on the viewscreen, bedecked in a conservative green uniform with matching headdress and subdued golden highlights.

"Greetings! I am Damon Jarl. And you, I presume, are the infamous Captain Pee-card?"

"It's Commodore Picard, actually."

"Ah, Commodore; congratulations on the promotion, Pee-card."

"To what do I owe the pleasure, Damon?"

The Ferengi made a show of fidgeting in his chair and looking around casually, then slyly met Picard's eyes.

"I have information which the Federation would be most interested in possessing. Sooner, rather than later, I would think."

"And what sort of information might that be?" asked Picard, curiosity warring with distrust.

Damon Jarl grinned broadly, exposing his teeth, and chuckled before making an additional show of picking lint off of his impeccably cut uniform.

"Information I believe is highly relevant to the current conflict between you and the Ascension."

"Such as?"

"Now, now, Pee-card, you should know better! No freebies!" the Ferengi said as he waggled his finger in front of his smiling face. "I will sell you the information for... one hundred kilos of gold-pressed latinum."

Picard raised his eyebrow, but otherwise kept his face stoic.

"My, that sounds like valuable information indeed. But if I'm going to make that sort of payment, I'd like to know I'm getting my money's worth."

"Oh, you most assuredly shall. And, as I said, this information is time sensitive. It would be better for the Federation to find out from me than from the Ascension."

"Mmhmm. Damon Jarl, I am prepared to pay you exactly what you've requested, no haggling, but only if the information is genuinely valuable."

Jarl leaned back in his seat and steepled his fingers, looking at Picard through narrowed eyes for a long moment before leaning forward and gesturing excitedly.

"Normally I would be reticent to simply give up the information on the mere promise of payment, but the word of a Starfleet commodore, especially one as prestigious as you, Pee-card, is good enough. Very well; since you will undoubtedly judge my information to be worth my asking price, I will go ahead and tell you: the Ascension have acquired a dozen Klingon Bird-of-Preys, ten B'rel-class, two K'vort-class. All fully operational, with shields, weapons, and cloaking devices intact. "

Picard frowned as he considered the almost giddy Ferengi, and asked, "And just how is it that you've come by this information, Damon?"

Jarl barked out a laugh and swung his fist in a gesture of amusement, replying, "Who do you think sold them to the Ascension in the first place? I got them from a Klingon surplus auction at a very reasonable price, and the Ascension were quite eager to acquire them when I approached them."

"How long have they had these ships?"

"Oh, I don't recall the exact stardate off the top of my head, but about six months before hostilities broke out between the Ascension and the Federation."

"I see. Well, it seems you were right, Damon; that is valuable information indeed. I am curious about why you would come to us with that information; if the Ascension became aware that you were playing both sides, it would likely ruin your opportunity for any repeat business with them."

Jarl scowled, answering, "There will be no repeat business with the Ascension. The Klingons have suspended sales of all surplus vessels for the duration of the conflict, and the Ferengi Alliance has a policy against selling any of our own technology which may be of military value. I might as well gain some profit by informing you of the Ascension's possession of the ships before you run into them in battle."

Picard nodded, following Jarl's logic, and said pleasantly, "Well Damon, as I said, I consider that information to be worth your asking price. I will inform Starfleet and you can proceed to the nearest starbase to await your payment."

"It was a pleasure doing business with you, Pee-card. Good luck."

The viewscreen reverted to a view of the Ferengi cruiser as it turned and left the system, and Picard leaned back in his seat in thought.

"A dozen Birds-of-Prey. It's not much, but it does give them starships equipped with cloaking devices and faster warp drives; they may try for a surprise attack deep within Federation territory."

Data commented, "It also gives them more modern technology they can study and reverse engineer. Despite their technological obsolescence, we have seen ample evidence that the Ascension are innovative and possess significant skill in engineering. It is quite possible that they will begin upgrading their own starships with technology from the Klingon vessels."

"Now there's a disturbing thought," Picard mused. "Their cruisers are a tough nut to crack as they are; giving them modern shields on top of their armor and compartmentalized design would alter the balance significantly."

"Commodore," Stennis interjected, "I find it far more likely that the Ascension would either use the Birds-of-Prey as-is and press them into service immediately, or remove their components and install them into ships of their own design. Reverse engineering is a time consuming process, and we're talking about technology almost a century ahead; I don't think we'll be seeing large numbers of Ascension cruisers upgraded with disruptors and shields any time soon."

"Let's hope you're right, Lieutenant. In the meantime, let's inform Starfleet of this new development and continue scanning the debris from the Ascension space habitat. And let's contact the Klingons, see if we can't get confirmation that Damon Jarl bought and sold those ships; I'd hate to pay him so much latinum only to find out he made the whole thing up. But for now, let's assume he was being truthful and that the Ascension do possess those ships and is reverse-engineering them as we speak."

Picard's face grew grim and he rubbed his chin speculatively.

"I have a feeling the Ascension may just keep up their habit of surprising us."
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2016-12-15 09:44pm

Riker's existence had been delirium and excruciating pain for days now; he wasn't sure how long it had been, exactly, since the lighting in their cell didn't change and the only thing to indicate a passage of time was a slot on the door opening and a package of food being slid inside. Deanna tried to get him to eat something, but his mouth was a wreck; he subsisted on water and suffering now.

He was only partly conscious, too tired to stay awake but in too much pain to get any real rest, when Deanna shook him by the shoulder and said, "Someone's coming."

Sitting up quickly and immediately regretting it, he looked blearily at the door as it snapped open, revealing two of the hulking, black-armored soldiers the Ascension seemed so fond of.

"CAPTAIN WILLIAM RIKER, YOU WILL COME WITH US."

"... yeah, ok."

He got to his feet, Deanna supporting him as he swayed dizzily, and joined his captors at the door. He noted, as one cuffed him with a heavy and impressive-looking set of manacles, that both had long, vicious knives on the end of their rifles; it was just as well he didn't intend to offer any resistance, he thought. He wouldn't stand a chance even in his prime.

The door snapped shut, sealing Deanna alone in the cell, and Riker idly hoped the Ascension had some sort of safety sensor built into their doors; if it decided to close while you were still walking through, it could slice off a limb. Or maybe they only used doors that opened and closed that quickly in the brig, so prisoners couldn't slip through before the door shut.

He walked down the corridor, one Ascension soldier leading, the other following, and they passed through a security station, his escorts exchanging a series of clicks, chirps, and staticy hisses with the guards on duty there as they passed through. Grimly, he noted that the security station was an enclosed bunker, with what looked like a heavy automatic weapon emplacement poking through a small slot in the wall down the corridor where the prison cells were located; escaping prisoners would find themselves in one long murder hole, with nowhere to hide from the sheer volume of fire the weapon emplacement could put out, and even with weapons captured from guards they would have no way to harm the ones inside the security station.

As they passed through, he noticed an identical weapon emplacement, manned, pointed toward the turbolift on the other side; whether you were a prisoner trying to fight his way out, or a member of a rescue party fighting his way in, the security station was a nigh-impenetrable bunker with enough firepower to make taking it out unlikely.

The guard inside the turbolift was almost superfluous at this point, but unsurprising. The Ascension seemed to take security aboard their prison transports very seriously.

Stepping out of the turbolift after a brief journey, Riker's escorts greeted another guard and he was led through a door, this one opening and closing in a manner he was much more familiar with.

The room he was now in did not make him feel any better about himself though. He was unshackled, made to sit in a bulky and intimidating chair, and his arms and legs were strapped down, with another strap around his waist. The two guards then took positions on either side of the door and stood at attention.

It was then that Riker noticed a third figure in the room; clad in a white bodysuit that lacked the armor of the black soldiers, it was still nonetheless obvious that the man- he assumed it was male- was quite a big bigger and more muscular than he was. Instead of the intimidating black helmet with the respirator and eye lenses, he wore an odd helmet that was entirely a golden or silver color, depending on how the light caught it, and so reflective that it was like looking into a mirror. From a distance, it seemed featureless, but as the man pulled up a chair beside him and sat down, he could see a circle and small lines molded into the mask, but only when they caught the light just right.

Two more men in identical bodysuits and masks entered the room, bringing with them wheeled carts. One cart contained bulky equipment of unknown purpose, and the other was a tray covered in ominous looking scalpels, picks, hooks, and other tools. An intensely bright light in the ceiling activated, shining directly in his face, and he winced, momentarily blinded. He saw the silhouette of the first man pick up a tool, insert something in the tip, and the whine of a power drill as he tested it. Satisfied, the man set the tool down and picked up a PADD of Ferengi manufacture, turning to Riker.

"You are William T. Riker, captain of the Federation starship USS Titan?"

Unlike the deep and overly-loud monotone of the soldiers, his was more recognizably organic, though still clearly synthesized and monotone.

"Yesh."

"Do you have any known allergies or adverse reactions to any known medications?"

"Nuh."

"Have you ever had a heart attack, stroke, blood clot, or similar medical condition?"

"Nuh- Ow!" Riker jumped as one of the white-clad assistants apparently took a tissue sample from his arm without warning him, then crossed to a large machine in the corner of the room and began fiddling with it.

"Does anyone in your family have a history of heart attack, stroke, or-"

"What'sh thish about? If you're gonna interrogate meh, then jush do it!"

The man paused, looking up from his PADD, and said flatly, "You misunderstand; this is not an interrogation. You are in need of urgent medical attention. By the time your replacement teeth are done printing, we should be finished reconstructing your jaw."

Riker was momentarily confused, looking around the room.

"You're treatin' meh? Why wait- however long it'sh been- tuh get aroun' tuh it?"

"Members of your crew who suffered life-threatening injuries were a higher priority for treatment. Open your mouth, please."

He complied, still partly dazzled by the light as the machine in the corner began making a repetitive buzzing sound and the second assistant lowered something over his head.

"Hold still."

Bzzt-click.

"Scan complete."

The doctor, as he apparently was, studied his PADD closely, then set it aside and picked up an ominous looking gun.

"You are more sensitive to chemicals than my people, so your general anesthesia will be light. I am going to apply a local anesthetic; you will feel a slight pinch."

The tip of the gun went into Riker's mouth and he cringed as it made contact with his mangled tissue; then he yelped and thrashed against his restraints when the gun apparently stabbed him with a loud hisss-SNAP!

"Aaaagh! Your hyposhpray needsh improvement!"

"I apologize. I do not have access to your medical equipment; you will have to make do with ours. You will feel another pinch-" hiss-SNAP! "One more." hiss-SNAP!

Setting the hypospray gun on the tray, the doctor then retrieved what looked like a sharp pick and reached into his mouth with it.

"Do you feel anything?"

"Nuh-uh."

"How about now?"

"Nuh."

"Good. We are ready to begin."

One of the assistants, Riker had lost track of which was which, pulled a mask from his cart, attached a hose to it, and held the mask over Riker's face.

"Count backwards from ten."

He made it to eight before lapsing into a dreamless sleep.

---------------------------

He was aware that he was unconscious, but that was it. Slowly, Riker gained more and more awareness, feeling like he was wrapped in a suffocating blanket. There was a tiny pinprick of light in the distance, and he moved toward it, getting brighter and brighter until-

His eyes snapped open and he sat up.

"Oh, are you awake now?"

Looking around, he found himself back in his cell, lying on the bunk built into the wall. Deanna sat on the foot of the bed, looking at him with concern.

"How long have I been here?"

"They brought you back several hours ago; you were still drugged and didn't make much sense, so I let you sleep it off. You don't remember?"

"No."

He felt his face with one hand; his cheek was no longer puffy and swollen. Opening he mouth, he felt with his tongue and his fingers and found it... intact. All of his teeth were where they should be, and his jaw didn't feel broken anymore. There was a slight twinge of discomfort in his gums and as he worked his jaw, but otherwise it felt perfectly normal, if slightly numb.

"Does it hurt?"

"No. It feels great. How do I look?"

"Good. How do you feel?"

"Famished."

Deanna rose to her feet and picked up a small box made of what appeared to be pressed cardboard.

"Our captors thought you might feel that way, and left us an assortment of foods. I use the term loosely; it's the same stuff I've been eating since they captured us. Let's see..."

Holding a series of metallic pouches with obvious drinking nozzles, she said, "They recommended that you stick to liquids at first to alleviate discomfort after your surgery. I've sampled most of these; I can't read the writing on them, but this one tastes like chicken noodle soup, minus any noodles, this one is... oddly similar to French onion soup but with a strange aftertaste I can't quite describe, this one seems to be seafood flavored and is more of a paste than a liquid, and these are all jelly-like fruit-flavored concoctions. This one is definitely lemon-lime, this one I think tastes like guava, this one tastes like rose water, this one is very similar to Vulcan dimmu berries, and this one I have no idea what it is, but it's very tart and metallic. Not to my taste."

Setting the drink pouches aside, she reached in the box again and held up what looked like small bricks wrapped in mylar foil; obvious survival rations.

"This one is some sort of meat flavor, but I couldn't tell you what it is. This one is very similar to apple-cinnamon, this one has a very subtle flavor, sort of a vanilla/citrus? This one is obviously vegetable flavored, not that I could name any of them, and these two I haven't tried yet. So, what do you feel like having for lunch?"

Blinking in vague disorientation for a moment, Riker shrugged and said, "Well, if they recommended I stick to liquids at first, then I guess liquids it is. I'll take the chicken noodle soup."

Deanna picked up the appropriate pouch, grabbed a small tab at the bottom, and pulled. A green circle prominently displayed on the pouch slowly turned yellow, then orange, and finally a solid red, and she tore the top off the nozzle and handed it to him. He took a sip and was shocked to discover that not only did it actually taste like chicken noodle soup, it was also hot!

"That's a neat trick! How'd they do that?"

"I suspect it's a chemical reaction; after you drink all the soup, you can still hear liquid sloshing in the bottom, and the walls of the pouch are rather thick. It could even be something as primitive as quicklime and water."

"Huh. You'd think we'd have something similar in our survival rations," Riker commented before taking another sip. It was all he could do not to slurp it all down at once, he was so hungry.

Deanna smiled and said, teasingly, "If we did, it would involve a portable tachyon beam inverter and a tricorder."

He snorted in laughter and nodded his head in agreement, quickly sucking the pouch dry.

"Is there another one in there? That was good."

"No. Try the onion soup; it goes good on top of the vegetable-flavored brick."

"Sure, I'm feeling adventurous."

He imitated her actions, heating the soup in its pouch, then squeezing it out onto his aptly-described vegetable-flavored brick. He expected the ration bar to be tougher, but it was like biting into a moist shortbread cookie, and the flavors really did go together well, though as Deanna had noted there was an odd aftertaste. Desert was the lemon-lime jelly drink, and finally he leaned back against the wall, belly full for the first time in days, and sighed.

Deanna finished picking over the remains of her own meal and dropped the wrappers back in the box, then looked at him.

"Will."

"Yes, Deanna?"

"What do you think is going to happen to us?"

He thought for a moment, then shrugged.

"I guess we're prisoners of war. They don't seem inclined to mistreat us, from what I've seen. As for what happens when we get to wherever we're going..." He shrugged.

"You're right about them not mistreating us; as ship's counselor, they've allowed me to visit the crew a couple times and talk to them. They've been treating our wounded, and nobody has reported being harmed. But I'm sensing odd things from the guards."

"What sort of things?"

"I'm not sure. Most of them seem to resent us; not us in particular, the Federation in general. They just seem to want us to go away and leave them alone."

"I suppose that's understandable. We did sort of impose ourselves on them."

"Several of them seem vaguely... afraid. Like something bad is about to happen. I've felt anxiety in people before, particularly in a war setting, but this is almost different somehow."

"Different how?"

"I'm not sure. Like they expect some great calamity to befall them. And then there's the others."

He waited for her to continue.

"Their minds don't have the same... flavor, I suppose, the others do. There's something subtly different about them, and they outright hate us. I get the sense that if given the opportunity, they'd gladly kill us all, but they're too disciplined to do it without orders. I don't know, something sets them apart, but I can't tell what it is, beyond their hostility. It's only one or two of them though; the majority are just... doing their jobs, I suppose, and don't view the conflict with the Federation as anything personal."

"Interesting. Well," he said, putting one arm around her as she sat on the bunk beside him. "I guess we'll just have to hope for the best."

"You mean you're not going to engineer an escape attempt and commandeer their ship?" she said, half-teasing.

"Hell no! Have you seen those guards? I bet they could bench-press Worf without breaking a sweat!"

They laughed together, some of the tension of their captivity easing slightly, and then lapsed into silence.

That was the worst part about being a prisoner, Riker mused. Waiting. Waiting, not knowing what would happen next, and being utterly helpless.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-12-16 10:36pm

Nicely done
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2016-12-30 02:41am

By the late 24th century, the Federation had made great progress in creating the New Man, its ideal vision of humanity. Motivated by a desire for self-improvement and duty to society rather than self-advancement and greed, the New Man was what the Federation preached to others it wanted to impress with how enlightened and advanced they were. One of the less known features of the New Man were human society's having moved past, for the most part, cursing and using foul language. It hadn't been removed entirely, but it was at least deemed socially unacceptable to swear.

That evidently doesn't apply when you are in a combat site with everything and everyone seemingly out to kill you personally.

"HOLY SHIT, WHERE THE FUCK DO THEY KEEP COMING FROM?!"

The man screaming was Ensign Harold Merryweather, currently curled in a fetal position around his phaser rifle and clutching his head in both hands as the world around him exploded for what was probably the thousandth time. Lieutenant Gomez, the last surviving full-fledged officer at Federation Outpost Sigma 9, lay beside him, one eye and most of the back of his head missing after he'd stuck his head up to see if he could spot the Ascension sniper.

In the narrow depression in the ground, too shallow and natural to be called a trench, that he shared with Lt. Gomez's corpse, Ensign Merryweather was accompanied by Chief McCloud, Petty Officer Ortega, and Crewman Jones. McCloud and Ortega were firing their phasers at the enemy, but only sporadically; the Ascension's old-fashioned automatic firearms were doing a good job of keeping them suppressed, too busy staying behind cover to avoid the constant hail of bullets to return fire.

The Ascension, meanwhile, was not content to simply remain in place and trade shots with the Federation 'troops'; while several of their number, including a sniper nobody had been able to locate yet, continued to fire short, controlled bursts at the trench to force the Starfleet 'soldiers' to keep their heads down, others were flanking the trench on both sides.

Ortega, spotting a trio of hulking giants in powered armor approaching from the left, thought quickly and set his phaser to overload, then hurled it at them. The Ascension troopers, assuming it was a grenade, dropped flat on the ground, wondered why the grenade was taking so long to explode, and one was just beginning to lift his head to investigate when the phaser detonated, blasting a crater in the ground and hopefully killing the Ascension troopers.

"Yes!" Ortega shouted, pumping his fist, then spotted movement on the right flank and reached for his phaser... "Shit! Jones, right flank!"

Jones turned and fired his phaser at another Ascension trooper, hitting him dead center. This didn't seem to do much, but it did make the hulking alien pause and reach for something on his belt. Jones dialed up the power on his phaser to try again, but the trooper just hurled a spherical object into the trench and ducked behind a rock formation.

Unlike the overloading phaser, the grenade had both a timed fuse and an impact fuse; three seconds after the grenade was primed, it would detonate on impact, or after a total of five seconds, whichever came first. This versatile fuse allowed the grenade to explode upon hitting the ground or a hard object, air burst if the user timed the throw right, or still detonate after a few seconds if the impact fuse didn't function properly.

None of these details of the grenade's operating mechanism were important to Jones, only the fact that he barely had time to look at the sphere that landed at his feet before a full pound of octonitrocubane explosive detonated, launching over a thousand tiny tungsten balls at super-sonic velocities. Very little of Crewman Jones' lower body was left, and what remained of his upper body was killed by the overpressure instantly. Chief McCloud was riddled with hundreds of tungsten BB's and also killed instantly, but Ortega was thrown to the ground by the blast and the wind knocked out of him. It took several seconds, but he eventually became aware of a dull ache in his arm... looking at the mangled meat and bone fragments dangling below his elbow took the pain from 'dull ache' to screaming in agony in less than a second.

But Ortega's head was still in the game, and he caught movement out of the corner of his eye even as the shock of his wound threatened to overwhelm him. He lunged for Lt. Gomez's phaser, aimed it, and fired.

The full power blast caught the Ascension trooper, investigating the results of his grenade blast, dead center in the chest. The much higher power setting had much more spectacular results than Jones' low kill setting, and the Ascension soldier's chest exploded, flinging him to the ground. Two more troopers popped up from out of cover and fired bursts of suppressing fire, one grabbing his comrade and dragging him behind a boulder while the other continued laying down fire. Ortega sighted on him, fired, missed wide, and fired again... only to find the phaser was dead.

"Dammit! Gimme a break, already!"

Still clutching the useless phaser, Ortega began dragging himself across the ground, looking desperately for another phaser or something to hide behind... and an armored boot planted itself right next to his head and he found himself staring down the barrel of a gun. He futilely pointed the phaser upward and pressed the firing stud again, resulting in the quiet chirp of a phaser alerting its owner to recharge it. He dropped the phaser and held his remaining hand in what he hoped was recognized as surrender.

Ensign Merryweather, unharmed and still in a fetal position, was relieved of his phaser rifle and also held at gunpoint. There were five Ascension soldiers surrounding the two of them now, chattering back and forth in clicks, bat-like chirps, and bursts of static. If it was their native language, the Universal Translator in his commbadge wasn't picking up any of it, and it seemed like large parts of it were outside his range of hearing.

<"Squad B, secure those casualties. Squad C, move up.">

<"These are the only prisoners. Low rank, security forces. Unlikely they possess valuable intel.">

Merryweather, still huddled on the ground and holding his hands up in a defensive posture, tentatively peeked around his own hands at the enemy and did his best not to sob.

<"Coward.">

Ortega's mouth dropped open in shock as one of the Ascension soldiers, indistinguishable from the others in their dark green armor, pulled a large pistol from his hip and blew Merryweather's head apart.

"No!"

A second gunshot stopped his heart and Ortega flopped lifelessly to the ground.

<"This one showed courage. He killed two and wounded two others.">

<"Indeed. He tried to shoot me, but his weapon was dead. Their tactics are terrible, but some of them are commendable fighters.">

The Ascension soldiers began to move out, but one paused to pick up the phaser rifle that had been pried out of Merryweather's hands and pressed it into Ortega's arms, making sure his remaining hand had it by the grip. The man had gone down fighting, he deserved to look like it. This accomplished, the soldier stood and joined his brethren in securing the area, then moved on to the next objective.


-------------------------

Fire Team Bravo 1-7 sat on a hilltop where the sniper team could observe the main compound of the Federation outpost they were assaulting.

<"All enemy security elements surrounding main objective have been eliminated.">

<"Affirmative. Eyes on target. Enemy forces are in the open; no artillery, ground vehicles, or body armor visible. No heavy weapons, small arms only.">

<"Can you confirm that all enemy forces are wearing only soft uniforms, no armor or NBC gear?">

The sniper adjusted the zoom on the scope of the mass driver rifle he was prone behind, scanning from side to side just to confirm what he'd already seen; the view through his scope was being transmitted via laser burst back to the ground forces HQ elements.

<"Confirmed; soft uniforms only, no protective gear.">

<"Proceed with Plan Alpha.">

<"Wilco.">

The sniper closed his comlink and his spotter, just a meter to the left of him and scanning the Federation outpost with a pair of binoculars, shook his head.

<"Idiots. They're completely unprepared.">

The sniper grunted, then continued to observe as the rest of the fire team went into motion behind him.

A gunner fine-tuned the angle of the 100mm mortar, then nodded to his loader, who slide a plastic clip holding five shells together into the side of the breech and clicked to indicate his readiness. Another mortar pair nearby did the same, and the junior officer in charge of the fire team chirped the fire command.

THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP!

Both mortars fired almost simultaneously, ripping through the clips in full-automatic and spitting the empty plastic frames out the opposite side. A loaded clip was immediately fed into each one and a second volley followed the first.

THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP!

The sniper and his spotter kept a close eye on the Federation outpost, watching as the mortar rounds landed with enough spread to cover most of the inside of the walled compound; a brief haze, barely visible, surrounded the impact spots before disappearing entirely. All around the compound, Starfleet personnel fell over with no visible wound or cause of death. One woman, just on the fringe of the mortar barrage, suddenly became shaky and wiped her nose with the back of her sleeve, wondering why her nose was running all of a sudden. Not recognizing the symptoms of exposure to nerve gas, her vision became blurry and she wet herself as she slowly sank to the ground, unable to control her muscles. Not close enough to the short-lived chemical agent that had killed her compatriots almost immediately, she went into convulsions and then suffocated as her automatic body systems shut down and she quit breathing. The colorless, odorless, tasteless, and incredibly lethal nerve agent had done its job.

<"All enemy personnel appear to be down. No movement visible.">

<"Copy. Fire Team Echo, move in and secure the scene.">

The sniper watched a pair of infantry squads move into the walled compound, unopposed. They checked all the bodies, then fanned out to secure the buildings.

<"Two civilians alive and unharmed in Building 5. All other enemy personnel deceased. Site is secure.">



-----------------------------------------

Picard read the report with growing dread, scrolling down his PADD and glaring at it.

Three Federation outposts wiped out, all personnel killed or captured. Valuable scientific and military equipment looted. At one of the outposts, they'd planted explosive charges on the small reactor powering the facility and blown the entire place sky high.

The USS Grissom had been heavily damaged at one of the outposts and forced to retreat. The colony at Signus Regi II had been raided, all people with knowledge important to the Ascension abducted and examples of technology looted; though unlike the outposts, which were purely the domain of Starfleet, the colony had otherwise been left intact and the colonists unharmed. When they discovered two civilians undergoing urgent medical treatment at the colony, they'd left behind the doctors and medical equipment they'd originally intended to take with them. The Ascension could be as merciful as they were brutal.

But the trend was disturbing. While Starfleet was busy getting itself back on a war footing and his own fleet was waiting for the installation of the point defense phasers on his three biggest ships, the Ascension was busy striking at soft, practically undefended targets. There were simply too many outposts, colonies, and starbases for Starfleet to defend from an enemy willing to strike at easy targets rather than engage the enemy head on.

But there was some good news. Starfleet intelligence had located another Ascension system that seemed to be heavily populated, which meant heavily defended. That gave them a solid target to strike at.

And he was being given the Sovereign-class USS Invictus and two Defiant-class ships to bolster his forces to take that system. They would arrive just in time for the technicians to finish working out the bugs in the point defense systems on the Enterprise, Magellan, and Midway.

And then they were taking the fight back to the Ascension.


-------------------------------

"The problem," said Admiral Dornez, "is that the Ascension apparently don't restrict themselves to systems with Class M planets. In fact, none of the systems we've positively identified as being inhabited by the Ascension so far have a Class M planet in them."

"It would seem to me that might indicate the Ascension themselves don't hail from a Class M planet," mused Janeway.

Admiral Chu nodded, stroking his chin thoughtfully as he said, "That might explain those bulky, armored suits they wear. It's not just armor, it's a full environment suit."

"That's a distinct possibility," Dornez conceded. "But it makes our job harder. The Federation generally counts systems with Class M planets among its members, and the rest of Federation space just has uninhabited systems. We might mine it for resources or leave probes for scientific study, but if there's no habitable planet then it holds little interest to us. But the Ascension don't seem to care if there's a habitable world or not; if they have to, they'll build a world in a system. We've already seen one such space colony, now we seem to have identified a second. Whatever environment the Ascension are native to, it's clearly not the vacuum of space."

"Sounds like a rather big engineering undertaking for backwards savages," Janeway quipped smugly as she sipped from her mug of coffee.

Dornez didn't take the bait and continued with his statement.

"If it weren't for a random scientific probe we launched three years ago to investigate a gravimetric distortion, we'd never have stumbled across this Ascension starbase. It's a rogue planet, no star, no Class M planet, nothing we typically look for. It's a super-Jovian gas giant, not quite a brown dwarf, with several rocky moons and at least one icy moon. The planetary system barely even showed up on an infrared survey from the Argos Array; if it weren't for the gravity well caused by the gas giant, we'd have written it off as background radiation and never known it existed. But," he continued, "because we launched the probe to investigate the cause of the gravimetric distortion, we now know there's an Ascension starbase orbiting that rogue gas giant. The probe only made a passive scan as it passed by the system, and is en route to its main objective, a quasar eight lightyears away. So the Ascension don't know we're aware of their little hidden starbase."

Grinning maliciously, Dornez looked at the other admirals and said, "Once Picard's reinforcements arrive, his fleet is going to move into that system and blast anything that moves. For once, we are going to catch them with their pants down. And we'll get to introduce them to our new point defense systems as well. Let's see how they like that series of nasty surprises."

"Admiral?"

Everyone in the room turned to look at the door, where an Andorian in a lieutenant's uniform stood holding a PADD.

"Which admiral?"

"Dornez, sir."

"What is it?"

"New intelligence report, sir: after scanning the battleground around Outpost Sigma 9, we've recovered one of their small arms. I was ordered to brief you all right away."

"Proceed, Lieutenant," Dornez said, making a sweeping gesture toward the view screen on one wall. The junior office nervously walked across the room, aware of all the eyes upon him, then uploaded the files from his PADD to the computer and brought everything up on the display.

"This is an Ascension assault rifle. It was found near the site of several explosions and a number of dead bodies... all Starfleet personnel. We didn't find any Ascension dead, only fragments of their armor, but it appears they cleaned up most of it; all we have are pieces of titanium alloy, boron nitride, and silicon carbide, all of them small. We did find a rifle, apparently buried under debris by an explosion."

A blocky weapon appeared on the screen, colored a dark green.

"It's a fairly standard firearm in design, with elements similar to the Human LSAT weapon series of the early 21st century, the HK G11 of the late 20th century, the Del'Nar Song of Storms weapon series from the 18th century, and the Andorian M82 rifle of the early 20th century. Being a firearm, it doesn't have power settings, just this switch near the trigger which allows it to fire once per trigger pull, in a burst of three rounds every time the trigger is pulled, and a fully-automatic setting. The burst mode has a higher rate of fire than the automatic setting. The stock is length adjustable and the front and back of the grip are detachable, we think so they can be swapped out in order to fit the user's hand."

"Logical ergonomic features, " murmured Admiral Surik. "Perhaps ones we should adopt ourselves, given the variety of species serving in Starfleet."

"This device on top of the rifle appears to be the sight; judging from the parts we recovered, it appears to use a laser to project some sort of reticle inside of the sight, allowing the user to aim. Very similar to the so-called 'red dot' sights used on Earth in the early 21st century. There also appears to be some sort of transmitter, possibly projecting a view of what the sight sees to the user's helmet, but we can only guess; the sight itself appears durable, but was badly damaged, possibly by the explosion that buried the rifle. This device, attached to the side of the rifle by clamping onto a series of metal rails, is a combination flashlight, infrared illuminator, and laser, capable of projecting a laser beam in both visible light and infrared wavelengths. We're not certain of the functions for the infrared settings, but the flashlight has multiple settings in visible light mode: a 30 lumen constant on, 200 lumen constant on, an 800 lumen constant on, and an 800 lumen strobe setting. We're not certain what purpose the strobe setting has, but the security officers examining the weapon said it was very disorienting when they tried it in a dark room."

"I'd say they figured out what that setting was for," Janeway commented dryly.

"There was an identical rail for attaching accessories on the opposite side of the weapon, and another rail of greater length on the underside, but nothing attached to either one. The weapon's sight is attached via another rail on top. The grip of the weapon features a small storage compartment containing two small batteries identical to one found in the weapon's sight, and one found inside the flashlight. The weapon itself is surprisingly advanced; the external body of it consists of high strength, heat-resistant polymers, coated with a protective ceramic finish to give it the dark green coloration. The weapon's internals are a combination of titanium and advanced steel alloys, similar to what were referred to as 'super-alloys' on Earth during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Each has been coated in a self-lubricating ceramic finish, and moving parts are lubricated with standard graphite lubricant, still used today on most worlds of the Federation where more advanced lubricants are impractical for one reason or another. The barrel is made of a thin steel super-alloy, the interior coated with another self-lubricating ceramic, and the outside of the barrel encased in carbon fiber, resulting in a strong, but lightweight and heat-resistant weapon. The rifling in the barrel is known as 'polygonal rifling', a technique used on several worlds before the adoption of energy weapons, most notably in the 19th century on Earth and then revived in the early 21st century before plasma, laser, and phase weaponry made projectile weapons obsolete."

Updating the display, the lieutenant moved on to the weapon's ammunition.

"The rifle was loaded with a partly-expended magazine, which we believe holds a maximum of fifty cartridges. The ammunition is fairly standard for late development firearms, with the bullet contained inside of 'caseless' ammunition in what is known as 'telescoped ammunition'. The propellant consists primarily of HMX high explosive mixed with nitrocellulose and PETN, and a combustible primer to ignite it. Upon ignition, the propellant detonates and the super-heated gases push the bullet down the barrel, as in a standard firearm. The explosive components of the propellant, HMX and PETN, are highly energetic, but it would appear that the primary mechanism of propelling the bullet is the nitrocellulose and a thin plastic coating we believe is used to weatherproof the ammunition; when these are vaporized, they produce more gases which propel the bullet more efficiently than pure explosives would."

Clearing his throat, the Andorian twitched one antenna nervously before continuing.

"The bullet itself is a little more exotic; it is 6.5mm in diameter, and is a long, streamlined projectile with a high ballistic coefficient. It is encased in nylon, which serves to both 'grip' the rifling inside the barrel efficiently, imparting spin on the bullet to stabilize it during flight, and also reduce friction within the barrel to reduce wear on the barrel itself. The bullet has a super-hardened tungsten penetrator in the nose, and the bulk of the bullet itself is made of an osmium-iridium alloy, with other trace elements."

"Osmium-iridium?" asked Dornez, cocking his head in confusion. "Those are platinum-group metals. Very rare on Class M planets; iridium is one of the rarest elements in Earth's crust."

"Yes, but as you recently pointed out," Surik interjected, "the Ascension do not constrain themselves to Class M planets. Osmium, iridium, and other platinum group metals are extremely common in asteroids, such as those the Ascension were mining in the last system we took from them. Given how much of their industry is in space, it seems logical that what would be rare to a civilization largely confined to planets of a certain makeup would not be rare for them."

"Good point. Continue, Lieutenant."

"The osmium-iridium alloy used is the densest non-exotic material available without more advanced technology, and super-hard; not as hard as diamond, but nearly so. It's also brittle. The result, judging from the bullet holes we've examined in walls and equipment, and gunshot wounds in dead personnel we examined, are... effective. When it strikes hard material, the brittle osmium-iridium has enough density and hardness to punch through, then fragments and allows the tungsten penetrator to continue deeper into the target. In soft tissue and bone, the bullet essentially fragments and produces a fist-sized exit wound. You can imagine what being hit with one of those is like; now remember that these weapons are often fired in bursts."

Everyone in the room pictured the sort of horrific wounds such a weapon would produce, and several shuddered.

"The Ascension also made use of explosive charges during the battle; explosive residue seems to indicate that the bulk of the explosives used were octonitrocubane, with lesser amounts of heptanitrocubane. We also have strong evidence that they used a nerve agent, dispensed as an aerosol, to kill over two dozen Starfleet personnel and scientists within the outpost itself, but we can't identify the chemical used; whatever it is, it seems to have a short life upon exposure to air and decays rapidly."

"They used chemical weapons?" Janeway said, nearly dropping her empty mug in shock. "Those are illeg- of course, what am I saying? The Ascension haven't signed any treaties, with us or anyone else! Of course they'll use anything that gives them an advantage."

"We need to start issuing respirators to our personnel," Dornez said, clearly as horrified as everyone else. "If they're really this barbaric, they'll resort to anything!"

"Respirators won't be enough," Admiral Nachaiev commented worriedly. "Most chemical weapons used on Earth can be absorbed through the skin. Remember reading about the horrors of World War 3? The Massacre of Dresden? The civilians there all had gas masks, but they died anyway because only government personnel had suits to protect their entire bodies. We're going to have to start issuing hazmat suits to our personnel."

"Those are too bulky!" snapped Dornez. "They're not suited to combat operations! They're for scientists working in hostile environments. If Starfleet personnel get in a fight in those things, they'll be too clumsy. And bright red. And just one little tear in a suit would expose the man inside to God knows what!"

"Then I would suggest we design a hazmat suit that's suitable for combat, pronto!" Janeway said.

"Agreed! Lieutenant, anything else you can tell us about Ascension weapons or tactics?"

"Not at this time, sir. We're still examining the outpost, and we have several other sites to investigate."

"Thank you. You're dismissed."

Once the lieutenant left, the Admiral's Council devolved into near pandemonium as they exchanged ideas and worries. Janeway picked up her mug and crossed to the replicator in the corner of the room to get a fresh cup of coffee.

It was going to be a long day.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2016-12-30 05:21pm

I take it we're not going to have the Hazard Team suits from the Elite Force games be canon, or the tactical suits Tuvok developed in the Titan novels?

Also, the Ascension are assholes for gunning down POWs.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2016-12-30 06:20pm

FaxModem1 wrote:I take it we're not going to have the Hazard Team suits from the Elite Force games be canon, or the tactical suits Tuvok developed in the Titan novels?


No, since I haven't read the majority of the novels nor played any of the games. Basically, unless it happened onscreen, it isn't canon until it appears in my story. You'll also note that the Titan is still brand new when it's introduced in this story, so this is clearly before the majority of events in the Titan novels.


Also, the Ascension are assholes for gunning down POWs.



Well, the one guy certainly is. One could argue that he mercy-killed the wounded guy and there's clearly a cultural thing going on where he shoots the coward in disgust, but two guys who fought well had their weapons put in their hands afterward, but yeah; I'm gonna go on record and say that that guy is an asshole.

Then again, the Ascension are clearly different from what we usually see in Star Trek. They have an actual military structure, they're willing to kill themselves and thousands of their fellows just to prevent them from falling into enemy hands, they freak out and get all war-crimey when they encounter a telepath, and while they definitely have a concept of restraint as far as noncombatants go, they're also not going to play nice with the enemy. The Ascension are people who would look at the Hague Convention and ask who would be stupid enough to restrict themselves from using something advantageous in a war, such as expanding bullets, incendiaries, chemical weapons, etc. If the Ascension treat POW's well, or even take POW's in the first place, it's because they decided to, not because the rules say they have to. Note how in the first colony they raided, they abducted the doctors (as well as anyone with engineering knowledge they could use) along with all the medical equipment, but the second colony they decided to leave the doctors and medical equipment so they could treat a couple seriously ill patients. If they're merciful, it's because they want to be, not because they have to be.

Why shoot the wounded guy? Maybe they couldn't take prisoners due to lack of resources or other issues, or they couldn't treat his wound and he was going to die regardless, so might as well make it quick. Why shoot the guy too gutless to fight back? Again, maybe they couldn't take prisoners and/or there was a cultural thing going on. Is it really any different from lobbing nuclear missiles at a ship the minute you find out they have a telepath aboard? Until more is revealed, and this is the first time we've had anything from the Ascension's point of view, you really can't say.

But yeah, Word of God here: that one guy is definitely an asshole.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Burak Gazan » 2016-12-30 10:32pm

if only Janeway diverted the energy wasted on smug to something useful...
You aint making me like her more :twisted:
The oppo knows how to run a combined-arms invasion and are comfortable using chemys. This , is not going to be pretty for the Federation. They need more intel, better intel. Starting with who these guys really are.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Tribble » 2016-12-31 12:09am

Burak Gazan wrote:if only Janeway diverted the energy wasted on smug to something useful...
You aint making me like her more :twisted:
The oppo knows how to run a combined-arms invasion and are comfortable using chemys. This , is not going to be pretty for the Federation. They need more intel, better intel. Starting with who these guys really are.


To be fair, if this were Chuck's Janeway she would have masterminded the whole thing just to earn a promotion. :twisted:

Great job so far!
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2016-12-31 06:49am

Tribble wrote:
Burak Gazan wrote:if only Janeway diverted the energy wasted on smug to something useful...
You aint making me like her more :twisted:


To be fair, if this were Chuck's Janeway she would have masterminded the whole thing just to earn a promotion. :twisted:

Great job so far!



Sorry, as much as I adore the little guy, there will be no spiders urging Janeway to eat Harry.

I may have gotten it across with Picard's opinion of Janeway, and Dornez starting to tell her how much she sucked, but as far as my story is concerned, she got kicked upstairs due to people being worried she was too unstable/PTSD'd to command a starship and too popular to forcibly retire. And Janeway knows it. Hence, she largely leaves herself out of the decision making process, content to offer her opinion and snark, and only meddling when her ego/Janeway-knows-best attitude takes over. Otherwise, she's too burnt out to be anything but a figurehead.


The oppo knows how to run a combined-arms invasion and are comfortable using chemys. This , is not going to be pretty for the Federation.



Heh. You haven't seen a real combined-arms operation yet. And neither has the Federation. We've seen vehicles and ground-based anti-air defenses briefly deployed after the battle at one colony, then packed up and taken away without firing a shot, and we've seen infantry assault a poorly defended outpost with a sniper and a couple mortars as support.

The Federation had to rely on Klingons wearing leather armor and swinging the most poorly designed swords in the universe for ground troops in the Dominion War; how do you think they're going to fare the first time they beam down to an Ascension planet and find out that these guys basically have space marines, tanks, artillery, air support, and more? Federation goldshirts wouldn't fare well against a modern army, and the Ascension are a bit more advanced than that.


They need more intel, better intel. Starting with who these guys really are.


Well, knowing who your enemy is certainly helps understand their motivations for conflict, but might not be all that useful for defeating them. But the Federation is definitely learning and adapting; the Ascension may not do so well in future conflicts, at least between starships.

On the ground, it's pretty much effortless murder if you bring along the whole combined-arms division. There's only so much a bunch of guys in pajamas with dustbusters can do to an actual military.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Burak Gazan » 2016-12-31 12:18pm

It really just depends how gruesome you want to be. :lol:

With the Fed fetish for transporting everywhere, blanketing an area with transporter scramblers, and initiating them just before re-mat would be a horror show. Since you just KNOW their own treknobabble would doom 95% of the beamers.

One of the worst disconnects in-verse. How we, Humans, could suddenly just forget thousands of years of military history. And with no respect to Willy, Jean-Luck and the girls, You guys AINT naval strategists. :twisted: Any Marine general, watching from a cloud would be betting on The Other Guys :P

Damn entertaining though
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Tribble » 2016-12-31 02:41pm

Sorry, as much as I adore the little guy, there will be no spiders urging Janeway to eat Harry.


As there is no sign of Harry yet in your story, I naturally assumed he was eaten the moment they got back to Earth :P


I may have gotten it across with Picard's opinion of Janeway, and Dornez starting to tell her how much she sucked, but as far as my story is concerned, she got kicked upstairs due to people being worried she was too unstable/PTSD'd to command a starship and too popular to forcibly retire. And Janeway knows it. Hence, she largely leaves herself out of the decision making process, content to offer her opinion and snark, and only meddling when her ego/Janeway-knows-best attitude takes over. Otherwise, she's too burnt out to be anything but a figurehead.


Oh yes for sure, I understand where you were going there and I like it. I just find it amusing that Chuck's Janeway would've had more or less the same dialogue, albeit with an entirely different context :P
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2016-12-31 03:41pm

Tribble wrote:Oh yes for sure, I understand where you were going there and I like it. I just find it amusing that Chuck's Janeway would've had more or less the same dialogue, albeit with an entirely different context :P



That is the best part.
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2017-03-02 06:05am

Riker slurped the last one of the lukewarm water from the squeeze pouch and tossed it back in the box by the door; their captors didn't seem to mind if they held onto unconsumed ration bars and drink pouches, but trash was fanatically disposed of and the guards got brusque if they tried to conceal any. He wasn't sure what they thought he was going to do with an empty mylar wrapper, but whatever nefarious plan they suspected was never going to happen, given the way they inspected the cell each time they came to drop off more food.

Speak of the devil, the door snapped open with an audible hiss-clack and a guard, clad in bulky black armor and leveling a rifle and bayonet in their general direction, bellowed in that overly-loud voice with far too much reverb. Whoever built the voice synthesizers for their helmets had apparently gone for the intimidating robot effect, at the expense of the listener's comfort. It reminded him of that 20th century movie Worf had shown him, with the cyborg police officer; the big robot he'd fought sounded almost as bad as the Ascension.

"CAPTAIN RIKER, YOU WILL COME WITH ME."

Standing up and tugging his tunic down, he glanced at Dianna and asked, "And where, might I ask, am I going?"

"YOU WILL PROCEED WITH ME TO THE HANGAR BAY. YOUR WIFE WILL REMAIN HERE."

"What if I don't want to go?"

"YOUR CONSENT IS UNNECESSARY. YOU WILL COMPLY."

Another guard, waiting in the hallway, extended what looked like a baton from the wrist of his armor and then crackled an electrical arc across the end of it. Clearly they meant business, but still he pushed it, seeing how far he could go.

"I'll cooperate. But I want to know why I'm going to the hangar bay."

The guard's hesitation, as he decided how much of a hardass he wanted to be, was almost unnoticeable; almost, but not quite.

"YOUR CREW AND THE CIVILIANS FROM THE COLONY ARE TO BE OFF-LOADED AT A PRISON CAMP. AS THEIR COMMANDING OFFICER, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR WELL-BEING AND BEHAVIOR. WE ARE UNDER ORDERS TO EXTEND YOU THE COURTESY OF ALLOWING YOU TO INSPECT THE CONDITIONS IN THE CAMP TO ASSURE YOURSELF THAT YOUR CREW WILL BE WELL-TREATED. IN RETURN, WE EXPECT YOU TO ORDER YOUR CREW TO COMPLY WITH ALL ORDERS AND POSE NO RESISTANCE."

"That... sounds reasonable. I would like my wife to be present with me though; as ship's counselor, she is also responsible for the well-being of my crew."

The guards stood impassively for several long moments and Riker realized one or both must be communicating with someone else before the one with his rifle pointed at them gestured with the dangerous end and said, "THIS IS ACCEPTABLE. WE EXPECT YOUR FULL COOPERATION."

The unspoken threat hung in the air as they both stepped out of their cell, the door snapping shut behind them as their guards escorted them to the hangar.


---------------------------

The camp was surprisingly well furnished, all things considered. The barracks were clean, brightly lit, and, although spartan, comfortable; they had proper climate control and though there was little privacy, the bunk beds were comfortable. Men and women, as on the prison transport, were in separate barracks. Riker didn't see any surveillance devices, but he knew they were there. There was also a cafeteria where they were served meals three times a day, and Riker and Deanna got to enjoy their first real meal in roughly a week; they also got to take advantage of the shower facilities, which they both desperately needed.

There was a small field hospital to care for the sick and wounded, and it had been expanded and filled with Federation equipment and staffed with both Ascension and Federation doctors; according to the Ascension, the Federation doctors were to instruct their captors in their medical techniques and explain the operation of all of their equipment in detail. Engineers and scientists went to another building, where they were to explain their trades and the operation of other pieces of equipment to Ascension engineers. It all took the form of workshops and classrooms, as if the Ascension expected their captives to assume the role of guest lecturers explaining how the latest tetrion particle emitter worked. There was even an entertainment center, taking the form of a library filled with PADDs of Ferengi manufacture and pre-loaded with fiction from Earth, Vulcan, and several other Federation worlds, evidently copied from the Titan's computer, and a crude approximation of a holodeck. The 'simulator room' had the person playing in it sit in a chair, put on a haptic feedback vest, gloves, and a helmet that contained speakers and a visual display, simulating a 3D environment around the person; Riker found it disorienting at first, but not all that dissimilar from the holodeck. It seemed to be running a simulation of a Constitution-class starship engaged against modern Romulan warbirds and Orion pirates; once Tuvok pointed out that anyone playing the 'game' would be inadvertently revealing Starfleet tactics to the enemy, Riker quietly ordered him to pass the word that everyone was to be 'disinterested' in playing it and stick to reading novels instead.

As for escape, there was little hope in that. Guards, clad in dark green armor instead of the black Riker had seen up to that point, roamed the camp, always in pairs and always alert, more occupied guard towers that were unclimbable and had no doors at their bases (leading him to assume they got in and out of the towers via a turbolift or ladder leading underground) and were equipped with heavy weapons, and the entire camp was surrounded by walls 10 meters taller and topped with wire that was both razor sharp and electrified. According to a brief speech given by what was presumably the camp commandant, they were on a planet that was otherwise uninhabited, surrounded by jungle full of dangerous lifeforms, all based on the opposite chirality from the overwhelming majority of Federation citizens, meaning every plant and animal they encountered was at best indigestible and at worst would be deadly poisonous or prompt an allergic reaction. If they escaped the camp, they had nowhere to go and no way to survive out there, and no spacecraft were on the planet; if they wanted to leave, they had to wait for the space station orbiting above them to send a ship, and that wasn't going to happen if they tried to escape or overpower their captors.

The commandant assured them they would be treated well and that they would all be returned home at the end of hostilities. He then said that everyone in the camp would be allowed to compose a letter to home and that when diplomatic relations were established with the Federation, the letters would be sent. Riker had his doubts about that, but Deanna seemed to think they were sincere.

Once Riker declared he was satisfied with conditions in the camp, he put Tuvok in charge and boarded the shuttle back to the prison transport once again. It wasn't until he was being led back to his cell that he finally asked why he and Deanna weren't staying in the camp with the other prisoners.

"YOU ARE TO MEET WITH AN OFFICIAL."

"What official? For what reason?"

"TO DISCUSS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LINE OF DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE ASCENSION AND FEDERATION."

"To do what? Establish peace talks? Is that what this is about? You want me to help you talk the Federation into ending the war?"

"I HAVE NO FURTHER INFORMATION FOR YOU."

With that, he was deposited in the cell once more and the door snapped shut in his face.

"Well," Deanna said as she sat on the bunk again and examined the ration box that had been placed there. "At least we don't have just food to keep us occupied."

"Oh?"

She held up a Ferengi PADD, then turned it on and examined it for a few moments.

"Looks like it's been reconfigured as a text reader only; there's about a dozen novels here, as well as several religious texts. I guess the Ascension are considerate of their captives religious sensitivities to a degree."

"Well, that's something at least. Dammit! What the hell do they need us for, if they just want to talk to the Federation?"

"Will, they're at war. They're going to want to talk to someone so they know how the Federation thinks, how we'll react to certain things; will we negotiate, will we give concessions, will we demand reparations, will we ignore them and continue the war? Of course they want someone whose minds they can pick before they approach the Federation. The fact that they're even willing to consider negotiations is a good sign; I don't think they want this war any more than we do."

"They sure have a funny way of showing it!"

Pacing around the room, Riker sighed in disgust and threw himself onto the bunk.

"So what kind of novels are we talking about?"

"There's a few classics, only a couple of which I've read, and the rest appear more or less randomly picked. Strawberry Girl sounds interesting."

"I'm kind of curious to find out what Snow Crash is about."

"Well, there's only one PADD... why don't you go first? You've had a lot on your mind."

Smiling, Riker shook his head and pushed the PADD toward her.

"No, you've been worrying over me while I was in and out of it; you take the first turn. Let me know if Strawberry Girl is any good."


----------------------------------------


The Federation fleet dropped out of warp on the edge of the rogue planet's system and immediately drove hard toward the gas giant and its attendant artificial satellites.

What Picard saw on the viewscreen was disturbing.

There was another pair of colony cylinders, fully enclosed without the massive mirrors or windows, and what appeared to be a shipyard or spacedock.

And a hundred Ascension warships, many docked, others parked in formation as a swarm of shuttles, cargo vessels, and tenders flew around them.

Per the new type-naming system delivered from on-high, the Ascension cruisers were officially designated Warrior-class, the carriers were Wizards, and the frigates were Witches. Someone in Starfleet Command had clearly gone with an alliterative theme for the enemy.

"Captain, sensors show we're looking at about fifty Witches, forty Warriors, both missile-type and gun type, and a dozen Wizards. We're also detecting three large starships of a type previously unencountered."

"Onscreen."

The ships were more than twice the size of an Ascension cruiser and looked to be even more heavily armed and armored. This was not a fight Picard was looking forward to; a feeling like a lead weight settled in his stomach and he tasted bile at the back of his throat.

We should have gotten more intelligence before we committed to this...

"Sensor data suggests we are looking at the Ascension equivalent of battleships or heavy cruisers," Data commented from his seat. "It would also appear that the majority of Ascension starships in the system are operating on minimal power and are not ready for combat."

Turning to Picard, Data struck a deliberately confident pose and said, "I believe we have... caught them with their pants down, sir."

"Be that as it may, Commander, we're still heavy outnumbered by people who can punch above their weight. All ships, proceed with Attack Plan Shelby C; we're going to swoop in, do as much damage as we can, and get the hell out of here before they can organize a response."

"All ships acknowledge, Commodore."

"Engage."

The majority of the Ascension fleet assembled at this hidden base may have been taken by surprise, but a picket fleet on patrol against exactly this sort of incursion intercepted Picard's fleet, clearly hoping to buy time for the main fleet to power up and engage. Their first volley of missiles was evenly distributed amongst the largest ships, but when the combined phaser fire of the fleet and the point defenses on Picard's three heaviest hitters, aside from the Invictus, destroyed the majority of missiles before they got close enough, the second volley was entirely concentrated on the Invictus, which lacked point defenses entirely.

Picard could feel his teeth grinding as the nearly-brand new Sovereign-class starship and nearly a thousand men and women aboard it died instantly. The third volley was directed at the Midway, which survived but suffered heavily, despite the nearest ships lending their fire to thin out the missiles. There was no fourth volley; the Federation fleet blew past and through the picket squadron, raking the enemy ships with phaser and photon torpedo fire as they passed, and then the fleet was upon the Ascension ships waiting in formation.

Photon and quantum torpedoes blasted helpless Ascension frigates and cruisers, and one carrier exploded outright under the onslaught of fire. Both Defiant-class ships swooped in and gouged massive craters in the thick armor of a dormant Ascension battleship, sweeping past just as some of its guns began to fire back. The enemy fleet was awakening and beginning to return fire, engines coming online, but the Federation ships never slowed, continuing to race along the fleet and blast targets of opportunity with concentrated fire. The enemy space dock came into range, then withered under a hail of torpedoes and phaser beams.

The attack was going far better than Picard had expected when he saw the sheer number of enemy combatants he faced.

Almost as if the universe had picked up on his thoughts and sought to punish such hubris, an Ascension battleship came fully online and lashed out with what later examination of sensor logs indicated was a spinal-mount gamma ray laser fed by a series of fusion reactors; the end result was that the USS Ontario exploded and took another 450 men and women with it into oblivion.

"All ships, retreat; I repeat, all ships, retreat!"

Picard felt some of the tension in his back ease as his fleet raced out of the enemy's weapon range and jumped to warp, returning to their system of origin.

He had lost only two starships, but half a dozen others were severely damaged, and the Midway was going to need time in the drydock before she could fight again. The Ascension had suffered a seriously damaged space dock, a dozen Witch frigates destroyed or crippled, half a dozen Warrior cruisers in similar condition, a quartet of Wizard carriers destroyed and none damaged, and a battleship with light to moderate damage. All things considered, the hit-and-run attack could be considered a success; he didn't know whether the Ascension fleet was going to come boiling out of their hidden starbase like an angry swarm of hornets seeking revenge or pause to lick their wounds and get organized, but either way he had to warn the Federation what was coming. Regardless of what the Ascension had been planning to do with the fleet it had been secretly staging, one way or another they had to know about it.

"Open a channel to Starfleet, priority one."

"No response."

"No response?"

"Yes sir; we're not being jammed, they're just not answering."

"Hail any starships near Earth; I want an explanation."

"Sir, the USS Langtry is responding."

"On screen."

An older, heavyset, and balding man Picard had met a few times but had never gotten to know well appeared on the viewscreen; he looked almost... defeated.

"Commodore, this is Captain Somerset of the USS Langtry. It's bad."

"What do you mean?" Picard asked, coming to his feet.

"The Ascension have attacked Earth. We only had one or two starships available, they're gone. I wasn't able to get there in time, and my ship is badly damaged."

"How bad is it?"

"Pretty bad, but we'll make it. We should be able to rendezvous with the second fleet before they get here; you're too far out to do us any good right now."

"I meant Earth; how bad is it?"

Grim-faced, Somerset didn't mince words as he said, "It's bad. They've landed troops and are occupying San Francisco. Starfleet Headquarters has been overrun."

Picard felt the color drain from his face as he fell back into his chair, stunned, barely hearing Somersets next words.

"It looks like the Ascension went for a decapitation strike, Picard. The president and most of the Federation council were evacuated as soon as the Ascension ships were detected, but... we haven't heard anything from the admiralty. I'm afraid we have to assume the worst."

"Merde."
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2017-03-02 04:42pm

Starfleet has really fallen apart since the Dominion war. Even while fighting a total war with the Dominion, when the Breen attacked Earth, most of their fleet was destroyed and they were only able to make a symbolic blow against the UFP.

It's also worth noting that Riker and company should not be taking this imprisonment lying down. Especially if Tuvok is advising him. Working on formulating an escape plan, or at least on possible exploits in the security should be his priority, not on catching up on his reading. Unless you're trying to say that Riker is this lazy and defeated?
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Burak Gazan » 2017-03-02 05:18pm

Wait....
Did you just Kill Janeway, off-screen no less. Like neeeelix-juggling-tv??
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"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: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2017-03-02 05:23pm

FaxModem1 wrote:Starfleet has really fallen apart since the Dominion war. Even while fighting a total war with the Dominion, when the Breen attacked Earth, most of their fleet was destroyed and they were only able to make a symbolic blow against the UFP.


Details of the attack on Earth haven't been revealed yet. And yes, Starfleet as a military organization has degraded since the Dominion War; they've demobilized, mothballed their purely military ships to focus on what they think is important, exploration, and now that they're at war again they're having to recommission ships and scramble to get back on a war footing.

How prepared do you think the USA would have been for war with the Soviets in 1947?

Further, nobody expected the Ascension to be able to reach Earth in the first place; they're limited to warp 2, and only in short bursts. Striking that deep into Federation space is something nobody would expect them of realistically pulling off. But we'll see more of that in the next chapter.

It's also worth noting that Riker and company should not be taking this imprisonment lying down. Especially if Tuvok is advising him. Working on formulating an escape plan, or at least on possible exploits in the security should be his priority, not on catching up on his reading. Unless you're trying to say that Riker is this lazy and defeated?


1) Tuvok is perfectly capable of formulating an escape plan in the prison camp. We've barely seen Tuvok, we have no idea what he's been up to this entire time.

2) Riker already came to the conclusion that escape from the transport is, if not impossible, far more likely to result in everyone involved getting killed. These aren't standard Trek villains where they can technobabble a solution, overpower the lone guard while he isn't paying attention, or walk up to an unsecured computer terminal and take over the system; most of the point of this story is how the Federation would deal with people who aren't standard Trek veillains. He's an unarmed man, the guards are alert and wearing powered armor, and the only way in or out is a bunker with weapon emplacements and a clear lane of fire. He's biding his time until he sees something he can take advantage of, and trying to keep his wife safe and calm as well. Notice he's still noting little details, like how the guards take away all the trash from their rations, and he's made an effort to try hiding some before dismissing it as pointless.

There's also the matter of Riker being taken elsewhere to help the Ascension open up a line of communication with the Federation; if he can get the two sides to negotiate a ceasefire or even a peace treaty, that may just be worth not making an escape.



But thank you for the critiques; it shows where I need to shore up my writing, and maybe change the order in which details get revealed.



Wait....
Did you just Kill Janeway, off-screen no less.


You'll just have to wait and see, won't you. :P
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2017-03-02 07:35pm

Swindle1984 wrote:
FaxModem1 wrote:Starfleet has really fallen apart since the Dominion war. Even while fighting a total war with the Dominion, when the Breen attacked Earth, most of their fleet was destroyed and they were only able to make a symbolic blow against the UFP.


Details of the attack on Earth haven't been revealed yet. And yes, Starfleet as a military organization has degraded since the Dominion War; they've demobilized, mothballed their purely military ships to focus on what they think is important, exploration, and now that they're at war again they're having to recommission ships and scramble to get back on a war footing.

How prepared do you think the USA would have been for war with the Soviets in 1947?


If the Soviets were already marching on Hawaii? I'm pretty sure they'd keep a fleet near Washington DC.

Further, nobody expected the Ascension to be able to reach Earth in the first place; they're limited to warp 2, and only in short bursts. Striking that deep into Federation space is something nobody would expect them of realistically pulling off. But we'll see more of that in the next chapter.


Admiral Paris must have been kicked out of service for his quick thinking in Endgame, then. He assembled a task force of 27 ships in a matter of minutes :wink:


1) Tuvok is perfectly capable of formulating an escape plan in the prison camp. We've barely seen Tuvok, we have no idea what he's been up to this entire time.

2) Riker already came to the conclusion that escape from the transport is, if not impossible, far more likely to result in everyone involved getting killed. These aren't standard Trek villains where they can technobabble a solution, overpower the lone guard while he isn't paying attention, or walk up to an unsecured computer terminal and take over the system; most of the point of this story is how the Federation would deal with people who aren't standard Trek veillains. He's an unarmed man, the guards are alert and wearing powered armor, and the only way in or out is a bunker with weapon emplacements and a clear lane of fire. He's biding his time until he sees something he can take advantage of, and trying to keep his wife safe and calm as well. Notice he's still noting little details, like how the guards take away all the trash from their rations, and he's made an effort to try hiding some before dismissing it as pointless.


You might want to restructure it a bit, because if Tuvok had enough time to warn Riker not to use the simulator, they have enough time to try and initiate some orders or a small briefing on the situation. Even if it's nonverbal communication. Something small like 'Not ready', 'no torture' or whatever.

Though that depends on the rapport between the two officers, and Tuvok and Riker might not be as gelled as other crews.

It's also common for Starfleet officers to attempt escape, same as real world military, so that they aren't bargaining chips at the negotiation table. I guess for me, it seems less like Riker is biding his time, and more like he is continuing to play into the Ascension's hands repeatedly. A small sentence about Riker noting he can't use the leftover food wrappers for messages of the opportunity arises, so he'll need to try another approach.

It shows that both the Ascension are competent, and that Riker is being on the ball in how to play the cards he is being dealt. After all, he knows how to bluff. :D
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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby DarthPooky » 2017-03-03 01:06am

Just read the first chapter and has sure got my attention very interesting. My only gripe is the idea that because the Ascension ships are more primitive they must have a more utilitarian design with lots of antenna's and such and that more advanced must mean sleeker and such. though this is from a Federation view point which probably has some biases.

As it happens it just occurred to me while writing this that this idea is refuted in canon universe by the Borg who are more advanced than the Federation and there ships look quit crude as well None the less interesting concept.

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Re: The Sins of the Father (Star Trek)

Postby Swindle1984 » 2017-03-04 06:23pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
If the Soviets were already marching on Hawaii? I'm pretty sure they'd keep a fleet near Washington DC.


And how often do we see "the Enterprise is the only ship close enough to defend Earth!" throughout Trek?

You might want to restructure it a bit, because if Tuvok had enough time to warn Riker not to use the simulator, they have enough time to try and initiate some orders or a small briefing on the situation. Even if it's nonverbal communication. Something small like 'Not ready', 'no torture' or whatever.

Though that depends on the rapport between the two officers, and Tuvok and Riker might not be as gelled as other crews.

It's also common for Starfleet officers to attempt escape, same as real world military, so that they aren't bargaining chips at the negotiation table. I guess for me, it seems less like Riker is biding his time, and more like he is continuing to play into the Ascension's hands repeatedly. A small sentence about Riker noting he can't use the leftover food wrappers for messages of the opportunity arises, so he'll need to try another approach.

It shows that both the Ascension are competent, and that Riker is being on the ball in how to play the cards he is being dealt. After all, he knows how to bluff. :D


Valid. Evidently I didn't show this as well as I intended.
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