Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST fanfic) Ch1 up

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Darwin
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Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST fanfic) Ch1 up

Post by Darwin »

In the 29th century, Mankind faced a turning point. Content till now and not knowing that they could be part of a larger, pan-galactic community. They would be tested.




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HATTORAN CHRONICLE


There is a hostile sky above me. Man will never conquer space. He may live in it, but he will never conquer it. The sky above is void, and very black, and very hostile.
--Joseph W Kittinger, 16 August, 1960


Chapter 1: CONTACT



----


USS Heinlein
Captain's log
Captain Daniel Hawthorne reporting:



Two hours ago, the Heinlein came across an alien device. We had been sent for routine maintenance on Subspace Communications Relay 38114. This was especially puzzling when we found the relay unpowered on our arrival, but diagnostics still reported it present and in working condition.


We might have run smack into the alien device if not for the exceptional sensor work of Ensign Shimada. Scanners were barely able to find it, and even then only because of a chance occlusion of background celestial bodies. For an object so small, even with the Heinlein's sensors, we got lucky. We otherwise were unable to get sensor readings of any kind from the device, and after manually attaching a transporter beacon, beamed it to stasis quarantine in science lab three for analysis.


Preliminary reports have concluded from its position that the device has likely been intercepting secure Starfleet communications for some time, masquerading as the relay itself while somehow able to mask its own presence. We are now resuming our course to...

----

The intercom bleeped to life. "Captain, to the bridge."

Hawthorne paused his recording and rose from his ready room desk, the door sliding open in front of him as he stepped onto the bridge, moving to stand in front of the captain's chair. Before him, as was traditional, was the helm and operations stations, and the main holo display in front, mimicking a panoramic window nearly four meters across.

"I have the bridge. What is it?"

"Captain!" Ensign Shimada announced, "We have contact at port-side Five kilometers! It's holding station with us. A ship, unknown configuration!"


Hawthorne's face went pale with shock. As an Azophi-class science cruiser, the Heinlein had some of the best sensors in the fleet and three unprecedentedly massive computer cores for data analysis. How did a ship, even cloaked, get that close without being spotted? First that alien device, and now this. It couldn't be a coincidence.


"Yellow alert. Shields up! On Screen."

Hawthorne gestured over the arm panel of his chair, calling up a customized auxiliary sensor console to materialise at chest-height just off to his left side. For some time now, holodeck technology had been integrated into starship operations, allowing the crew to reconfigure bridge controls and displays for almost any task. The solid, but simulated consoles were a boon to both crew efficiency and safety.


The floor lurched slightly under Hawthorne's feet as yellow lighting flashed and the bridge retracted from its usual position atop the main hull, dropping down below Deck 2 underneath an armored panel. A ship appeared on the main screen, the image magnified. It was small, dagger-like in appearance. Sleek with no visible windows, ports or propulsion, its hull dark. Sensors could only discern the ship's physical dimensions. It was certainly no more than 80 meters in length, smaller even than a Federation escort or corvette, flat and narrow besides. Aside from being right there as real as life, it may as well have been a mirage.


"Open a channel. First contact protocol is in..."


"Captain, we're being hailed. Audio only."


Hawthorne sighed at yet another interruption. "Very well," He replied, "Put it up."


"Comms are yours, Sir."


Captain Daniel Hawthorne straightened the neckline of his uniform out of habit, despite the non-visual nature of the connection. He would have been an imposing figure, tall and fit for his 50 apparent years, with graying hair and wise eyes, the picture of Starfleet competence and composure.


The comm channel came to life with a gruff voice masked in a layer of obvious distortion. Hawthorne was not familiar with the language, but the computers quickly gathered enough data to provide real-time translation. "You have something that belongs to us. You will beam it into space and you will leave. Refuse to comply and we will come get it ourselves. You have four minutes. There will not be a second warning."


"USS Heinlein to unknown vessel. We..."


The channel cut off abruptly, leaving the bridge crew to stare in stunned silence at the small, dark-hulled ship on the viewscreen in front of them.


Communications officer Lieutenant Nichols saw the Universal Translator was working normally, his attention drawn to the displayed language base. Seeing it made his eyes go wide, the revelation causing the young officer to forget his discipline in momentary panic. "Sir, that’s Hattoran!"


Hawthorne turned to the shocked comms officer with a glare, but his expression quickly eased. He certainly understood the stress and worry his bridge crew were under right now. There were plenty of unsettling rumors about the Hattorans, if this was indeed one of their vessels. "Calm down, Lieutenant. We'll get to the bottom of this." He had to keep an air of authority and control, even if his own mind was aswirl with new and unsettling possibilities, reviewing in his head what little information he had on the mysterious race.


Counting today, Starfleet had recorded encounters with the Hattoran all of five times in recorded Milky Way history. Only twice before were they spoken to, by semi-interactive warning beacons. The first of these was the reason their language was in the Heinlein's databanks at all.


Through reports collected and compiled from all the races the Federation had friendly and unfriendly contact with, all they knew of the Hattorans was that they were an untrusting, secretive race, superficially similar to Karrians in that they were bipedal, scaled and draconic. They displayed markedly superior technology, and all encounters so far were before or after great catastrophes or to firmly warn a traveler away from a particular sector of space. The location of their home world was not known, but was believed to be somewhere deep in the Delta Quadrant, and they did not seem to enforce political boundaries of any sort.


Hawthorne hoped this would not be one encounter of the calamitous variety. At any rate, the strange ship seemed far too small to pose a real threat, and they weren't detecting any energy surges. Worryingly, they weren't detecting much in the way of energy emissions at all.


"Scan that ship, Ensign. I want to know what I'm looking at. Nichols! Open a channel." the comm channel bleeped to life, still linked through the Captain's badge. Hawthorne glanced down at the chronometer. They had three minutes left in the ultimatum.


"Hattoran vessel, This is Daniel Hawthorne, Captain of the USS Heinlein. We have reason to believe this device has been involved in eavesdropping on secure Federation communications. Please explain your demands."


Ten seconds crawled by, feeling like fifty to the captain. Was it an empty threat? Perhaps not, if the reports and speculation were true. A ship that small... No, he couldn't underestimate it. His crew came first.


"We owe you nothing." The reply came through, sudden, louder and sharp. "This is not a negotiation. Return the device immediately."


Hawthorne gritted his teeth. They destroyed Starfleet property, in Federation space, replaced it with a device clearly meant for espionage, and were now demanding its return? He scarcely believed what he was hearing. Did they even know that it was a potential act of war against the Federation?


"Please reconsider. Meet with us, and we can find an arrangement satisfactory to..."


"Signal lost, Captain."


On the main screen, the small dagger-ship's attitude changed dramatically. It pivoted sharply in place, red lights flaring along its knife-like edges. Two minutes. Were the Hattorans looking to make a show of their vessel's capabilities now?


"Hattoran vessel is coming about, Captain. Still no power surges detect... Wait! She's firing!"


Hawthorne clutched tightly at the railing. A blind, drunken Klingon couldn't miss at this range. "All hands, brace for impact! Full power to shields and..."



The Heinlein was suddenly rocked by the impact of a dozen brilliant blasts from the small vessel in a third as many seconds, and the lights suddenly went dark. Backup lighting took over in just a few seconds as terminals and displays flickered to life, leaving the bridge crew scrambling to bring control systems back online.


"Damage report!" Hawthorne barked, even as he felt something creaking, resonant and deep in his ship's structure. Reports came in quickly from around the ship. Phaser banks down. Power relays damaged. Main propulsion disabled. Worrisome fluctuations in the warp core. A dozen injuries, amazingly no one was killed. Unimaginably intense beams had burned straight through the Heinlein's shields as if they were as insubstantial as smoke.


In the confusion and brief sensor blackout, an important detail had been missed. The main screen was showing empty space. A sinking feeling growing in his stomach, Hawthorne narrowed his eyes accusingly at the empty display.


"Ensign, find that ship!" Accentuating his order with a slam of his fist against the rail, it struck at the very moment the ship jumped and lurched, the sickening sound of tearing, groaning metal echoing through the structure. Captain Hawthorne was thrown to the floor, caught off-guard.


"Hull breach on levels seven, eight and nine! We've been rammed!" Shoulder throbbing, Hawthorne dragged himself back to his feet, locking eyes with his second in command.


"Commander."


Further words weren't necessary.


"Aye Captain. All available security to decks eight and nine! Marine squad, meet me at Science Lab Three."


Commander Layton was tough and smart, always eager to go 'hands on' with any problem, and Hawthorne considered him command material if he could moderate his gung-ho attitude just a bit. Layton preferred to lead from the front, and right now that attitude was just what he needed. Hawthorne was willing to play nice, work it out and negotiate a settlement that would benefit both Starfleet and the Hattoran, but these aliens seemed bound and determined to force a conflict. If they wanted one, they would get it. Hawthorne refocused himself on managing damage control and getting his ship up and running again as soon as possible, knowing he could trust Layton to take care of the rest.


----------


The deck-9 corridors were still hazed with smoke, the air purifiers working furiously to clear it. Within the smoke, two dark figures moved with smooth precision. Bounding cover, scooting from edge to edge.


Wearing sensor-masking suits, they were covered head to toe in a layered, dull gray material. An unremarkable 1.6 meters tall, tapered snouts, digitigrade legs, thick, long tails and bat-like wings, tucked tightly to their backs.


Checking a wrist-mounted display, one gestured to the other, thumbed back towards a bulkhead. Without pause, an energy lance was ignited, its brilliant blade kicking up fiery sparks as it cut through with ease, the pair stepping through the smoking hole, moving on quickly.


----------


"Barricades over there! I want clear fields of fire down these two corridors."


Commander Layton directed the preparations like the seasoned tactical officer he was, stepping back a moment to tap his comm badge. "Layton to security. Report."


The chief's feminine voice came in distorted, crackly. The damned Hattoran ship, whatever it was emitting, it was interfering with communications and completely suppressing portable and security shields. "No contact yet, sir, it's a damned mess up here! We followed them through a hole they burned in the floor to deck 11. They're staying one step ahead of us! We can only track them by what they break."


Layton sighed in frustration. They were unable to create choke points without the use of bulkhead shields, and sporadic computer reports of deck breaches showed that whoever it was, they were on the move, and fast, directly towards deck twelve's science labs. He was determined to be ready. "Affirmative Chief. Keep up the pressure. When they run into us we'll catch them from both sides."


----------


The two alien figures were now past the need for hand gestures, In sync now that they were fully involved in their task, their movements so coordinated, they flowed as if one entity with two bodies. They were directly above the surrounded Lab three. The slightly shorter figure tapped its wrist display, looked up, and shook its head. The taller broke silence suddenly, with a gasp in native Hattoran. <"What do you mean they MOVED it? Shit! I know Shrike's sensors don't work well buried guts-deep in a starship, but how hard can it be?">


The other shrugged, and pointed down, as the taller sighed in exasperation. <"I know it's a stealth-probe, smartass!"> A sigh, and they both activated shining blades, cutting through the deck in a shower of sparks.


Commander Layton was keeping busy organizing the defense, when a specialist's tricorder gave a shrill signal. "Sir, high energy discharge directly above Lab three!"


Layton's brows furrowed in a scowl as he considered the actions of the invading aliens. "So, the direct approach. Marines! Displace for containment!" He hadn't expected the move, but he had planned for its possibility, the gray-suited Federation Marines quickly shifted from their defensive positions to aggressively covering the science lab, which was quickly filled with sparks and stinging, thick smoke from burning duranium. A flash of movement, then nothing. Phaser rifles set on maximum stun wavered, their scopes showing nothing useful through the hot smoke.


"Who do I have to choke to find out where our probe is?" The sound came from inside the lab, in amplified, un-accented if disturbingly informal Panglish.




Layton's blood boiled. Of all the arrogant... no, he took a deep breath and re-centered himself. He had a job to do, and couldn't let himself get angry over juvenile taunting. "You have committed an unprovoked attack and boarded a Starfleet vessel. You will stand down and surrender immediately or we will open fire!"


A pause.. five seconds. The same voice from inside, flip and dismissive. "Never mind, we found it!"


Layton had moved the probe across the hallway to Lab two, putting himself and his marines between the Hattorans and their goal, and Chief Haller with her security detail would hit the lab from the other side any minute now. Commander Layton allowed himself a smug smirk. With all the stories, he had thought these aliens would be a little harder to trick. Though something definitely sounded, well, strange about them.


"Just surrender and we can all talk this out like civilized bei... COVER!!" Layton yelled as a pair of small marble-like spheres flew towards their line, detonating on contact with the bulkhead behind.


Stun devices, releasing a wide-angle pulse that wasn't enough to force unconsciousness, but could deliver a splitting headache at ten meters. Reeling from the sudden attack, the Marines were unable to counter the sudden, aggressive rush of the Hattoran pair.


Blinking hard to clear his vision and the ringing in his head, Layton saw a marine flung past his shoulder and eight meters down the corridor behind. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Everything that is except the two aliens. His knees felt weak, his heart racing like he was a freshly graduated ensign in his first fight, and not the seasoned senior officer he was. Was this part of their attack too? Some psychic component? It was having an effect on the marines too.


Inaccurate, panicked phaser fire was countered with rapid blasts from forearm-mounted weapons, their fire invisible but for the violence and sparks of the impacts blowing fist-sized craters in the bulkheads and keeping the marines from returning accurate shots. A round energy shield sprung up from one of the aliens' forearms, screening phaser fire while the other leapt the distance to Lab two's door, sending the pair of marines there sprawling.


Layton's gaze dropped to a hand phaser at his feet. He didn't remember dropping it when the stunners went off. He quickly knelt, grasping the weapon and bringing it up in one smooth motion towards the further alien, who was pinning his marines with a withering volley of fire from both forearm blasters while it sidestepped towards the door.


Depressing the thumb stud, Layton's phaser beam lanced out, striking the alien right between its wings. He didn't get to see the result, as he was instantly lifted up off his feet, and slammed roughly to the battered door of Science Lab two, the wind knocked out of him.


He was held there seemingly without effort by a gloved hand around his throat, connected to a being more than two heads shorter than himself. A voice rough and angry, growling. "What're you, some kind of damned hero?"


Layton stared into the green lenses of his assailant's null-suit. It wasn't even breathing hard, after neutralizing half his marines by hand. Then in an amplified voice, it spoke over its shoulder to the remaining marines. "Drop your weapons now and I won't spread your commander's insides over three hallways! We're here for just one thing!"


The sounds of battle paused abruptly. Layton chanced a glance over, and saw that the second alien who he had shot had been momentarily knocked over, but was not otherwise any worse off from the full power stun blast, having already recovered with weapons pointed at any Starfleet marines who still appeared capable of resistance.


----------


Back on the bridge, things were not going well. Whatever energy field the Hattoran ship was using, it was playing hell with comms and slowing coordination of damage control teams. The starboard nacelle was going to be a loss from uncontrolled plasma leakage, and the warp core was looking unhealthier by the minute. Even worse, the damage from the impact had warped the superstructure, and the core ejection mechanisms were solidly jammed. Captain Hawthorne had to prepare for the worst.


"Nichols, broadcast a wide-frequency distress signal." He tapped his comm badge, hoping to get through the sporadic interference. "Engineering! Give me some good news."


"No can do, sir." Came the reply, amid a maddening warble of background noise and distortion.


"She's had it, reaction is steadily going out of control, can't bypass the cooling, can't eject the core! I hate to say it Captain, but I can give you four minutes tops. After that the matter-antimatter reaction cascades and we're all expanding gases."


Hawthorne brought his fist down, which just aggravated his injured shoulder, making him wince. He paused to gather his breath, a lump forming in his throat. "You've done all you can, Mike. Get your people out of there and to the lifeboats. Don't make me have to tell your family you died a hero, you understand me?"


There was a slight pause, then, "I understand. I'm sorry Daniel. Engineering out."


----------


"All hands. Abandon ship. All hands. Abandon ship."


Warning klaxons sounded throughout the stricken cruiser as the Captain made the announcement.


"Well, shit." Came the voice of the alien, holding Commander Layton pinned to the door. "Must be your lucky day." The suited alien let him go with a shrug. Toe to toe, its snout barely came up past his chest.


After a moment, the alien's mask and hood melted back. Some sort of nanotech memory material, revealing a maned, horned head, mobile ears, a grey mane, cropped up off the shoulder and a youthful-looking, draconic face under dark scales that shimmered with a green-purple iridescence, with slitted, bright green eyes.


The Hattoran dragon sported a lopsided, toothy smirk. Her ship, Shrike, had done an excellent job manipulating their stricken target's warp core to mimic the symptoms of an inevitable containment failure. "G'wan, Hero. Don't go disobeying your Captain." It really couldn't be easier.


Shaking and a little nauseous from the after-effects of adrenaline, those stun grenades, and his sound defeat by these two aliens, the veteran commander kept his anger to himself as he stumbled off to gather his marines and get everyone to the lifepods. To his surprise, not one body was left on the pockmarked, smoking deck. Marines were battered, injured, some were unconscious or certainly needed medical attention, but all were able to make it out either on foot or carried, and most importantly, breathing. Why were these aggressive, arrogant aliens showing restraint? He didn't have time to ponder on it, there were more pressing needs now.


----------


<"OH, your back is numb. Want me to kiss it and make it better?"> the unmasked Hattoran quipped at the other. They certainly didn't need sensor transparency anymore. The other turned and gave a withering stare back through its mask.


The dark scaled Hattoran laid her bare forehead against the 20 cm thick transparaluminum separating her from the probe. Layton had pulled one final trick, he had initiated emergency lockdown on Science Lab two. Its containment field was independently powered and totally isolated from the ship's systems, sealing it off securely enough that it would take the two Hattorans some time to get through it from here.


<"Let's go, I've had enough of this. Wasn't even an enjoyable fight. We just needed to destroy it anyway, and it's not going anywhere now."> She tapped her wrist display with a claw tip, intending to relay the location so that Shrike could incinerate the probe remotely, and her expression changed from almost boredom to shock as their ship displayed what it had been trying to communicate to them while the pair was distracted with fighting. The warp core failure wasn't a carefully planned ruse anymore. It really was about to go critical.


<"Lifepod! Now! Run!!"> Scrambling, she grabbed her brother roughly by the shoulder and bolted with him down the corridor, cursing up a storm the whole way.


----------


Shrike's AI had been monitoring the situation the whole time, and had come to one unerring conclusion.

It was well and truly jammed up within the USS Heinlein's innards.


It could have freed itself with a few well-placed particle blasts, but it was not in this case authorized to take sapient life when acting autonomously, and regardless, its two charges were still inside. Still, not a problem so long as it waits for everyone to exit the ship, and it was very patient.


As it detected the secure beacons of two Hattoran null-suits entering one of the escape pods, the last remaining life-signs on the stricken Starfleet vessel, new, overriding orders unlocked on a priority level that the ship wasn't even aware of the existence of until just now. Orders which it had no choice but to execute.


----------


Running. Running then an unceremonious pile into a lifepod. Clunk. A sickening crunch and a lurch of acceleration accompanied its blasting free from the hull.

The dark-scaled female looked back at the Heinlein as it seemed to fall away on the pod's small display. <"Hey, the damage doesn't look so bad from out here. Well now Shrike can blast itself free and pick us up and we can finally go...">

A searing explosion suddenly washed out the viewscreen, and it wasn't a warp core containment failure. A sharply defined sphere a kilometer wide briefly flared like a miniature sun before going dark nearly as quick. In a moment, absolutely nothing was left of the espionage probe or of either vessel save heat and rapidly fading light, the massive release of energy rocking the tiny lifepod and sending it into a tumble, warning bells going off everywhere.


<"What a piece of shit!"> She continued to curse vehemently as the two held on for dear life while the pod slowly self-stabilized, its main thrusters ruined by the wavefront's impact.


Deactivating his own mask which caused his long white mane to tumble free, He sighed and glanced up at his sister, sending her a concise mental image. She growled in annoyance. <"Don't start that karma crap with me again, I swear.."> The Hattoran girl was on a slow boil, anger burning through the pain of losing the ship and AI that had been their guardian, teacher, trainer and friend for as long as she could remember. And for what reason? Even a starship warp core breach would have just shunted off Shrike's phase shields, not concentrated enough a blast to pierce through. Not even close. Just what happened out there?


She softened after a moment, looking to her only clutch-sibling, white scales and blue eyes clearly denoting his leucistic albinism. Incredibly rare, they said. A side-effect of triumphs and sins millennia past. Well-developed telepathy, instead of the mundanely low-grade stuff common to most Hattoran, at the cost of both color and voice.


<"How are we going to get out of this one?"> She mused, while her brother silently suggested a few very inappropriate things, making her snicker and, at least for a moment, forget their unfavorable situation. They never noticed the ping on the lifepod's meager and damaged sensors as a 1200 meter-long Federation heavy cruiser dropped out of warp. They did notice its wide-band broadcast, lingering radiation from the explosion causing the words to crackle and pop.




"This is the Starfleet Cruiser Relentless. Please stand by. Recovery operations are underway."






CONTINUED IN CHAPTER 2
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Darwin
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Re: Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST/FF) Ch1 up

Post by Darwin »

If you like where this is going I'd ask you go give me a review/bump over on Royal Road, I'm trying to get more eyes on this thing and as much feedback as possible!
https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/39593 ... -chronicle
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Darwin
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Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST/FF) Ch2

Post by Darwin »

Chapter 2: Tabiya


"This is the Starfleet Cruiser Relentless. Please stand by. Recovery operations are underway."


Escape pods and lifeboats were being efficiently checked, tractored and evacuated. Shuttles, tractor and transporter beams began relocating pods and crews to the safety of the 1200 meter long cruiser. Easily triple the length of the science vessel Heinlein, Relentless was an armed and armored monster in comparison.


The arrival of the Relentless set off a flurry of activity in one particular pod. Equipment was hurriedly tossed into a pile. The two Hattoran dragons had reactivated their null-suits when Relentless showed up. In the rescue and recovery operation, a pod absent of life signs would be checked but not so urgently, and right now time was their only valuable asset.


<"Is that everything?"> The Hattorans' native language had an almost musical flow to its sound when not being re-modulated to intimidate starship crews, designed with consonants only manageable by an agile, forked tongue.


The white male nodded quickly to his sibling. It wasn't like they had so much to begin with. Few possessions of sentimental value, the monitor vessel Shrike, which was really equal parts ship, handler and parent for them almost as long as they could remember, since they had been pressed into service like every young Hattoran. Everything they weren't carrying was vaporized when Shrike exploded. One unlucky operation had cost them everything. Shrike would most certainly have lectured them on this, were it still around. The freedom to fail to bad luck and mistakes were luxuries enjoyed by the lesser beings, luxuries paid for in Hattoran labor and blood.


Having been molecularly assembled, all of their equipment was easily disassembled in the same manner, leaving a small pile of basic metallics and inorganics on the floor amid the rising smoke of self-destructing nanomachines.


<"At least none of that will destabilize this primitive backwater."> She sighed with regret. The recovery operation was going along at a fast pace. Whatever time they had left, it wasn't much.


The pair had already evaluated and exhausted all their possibilities for escape. There was simply no way they were getting out of that busted escape pod on anything but that Federation battlecruiser. They would be captured, interrogated, and who knows what else.


<+ The null suits, too. +>

Her brother's mind-speech was familiar in her head, effortless due to practice and relation. The skill was more difficult when used with others, and even more so when sent to aliens, and it had the limitation of only one recipient at a time. For most Hattoran, it was a foolproof, discrete method of communication, completely reliable over short distances, and completely inappropriate for use in public for those exact same reasons, unless your scales were white.


The siblings' null suits were the most impressive of the kit they had with them, serving for stealth and armor and environmental protection all in one. They were made up of layers upon layers of woven nano-machines, all networked to form a rather powerful and versatile personal device. All relative of course, the null-suits were the bare minimum level of gear taken onto a mission, suitable only for the lowest threat levels, or for when the risks of detection were dire. They were no comparison to the city-shattering might of Hattoran personal battlesuits.


<"Bye-bye, technological advantage."> she said as they both initiated their suits' destruct protocols, sending signals to each and every element to overload its tiny power-cell.

The suits boiled off their bodies, smoke rising as the microscopic matrix disintegrated in cascade, burnt elements falling to the floor as dust. Unprotected human skin would have suffered painful burns from the process, but these suits' destruction revealed tough, sleek scales, sensitive in a way to touch but not to pain or heat. Fully exposed, the Hattoran dragons had few nudity taboos, the reasons as much cultural as anatomical as there wasn't much to show with their internalized anatomy. Both had the build of mid-teenage athletes, a bit lanky, perhaps, but fit. The muscles to support a long, heavy tail gave them hips enough to look somewhat androgynous, their bodies sleek and well-internalized for protection from injury or accident.

They both sported intricate designs on their scales, woven geometric lines over their cheeks, shoulders, hips and tails, visible in the ultraviolet at least, marks of rank, position and glory within the Hattoran collective.

His albinism did not come with the myriad health issues that it accompanied with many other races, though he always felt small and a little weak around his sister, her dark scales lining a true hunter's build, bulkier than him by more than 7 kilograms of muscle.


<+Their life sign scanners are sure to have spotted us now, and they are going to know we aren't one of them.+> He silently mused, echoing in his sister's mind.

<"We're getting captured anyway, doesn't much matter when. It's just a matter now of what happens when we do.">

<+They should have small, distortion-drive craft at their base with enough range, but they're primitive. If we can't get a pick-up we're looking at up to ten years to get to a relay, worst case. +>

She sighed. <"Well that's a last resort. Nothing to do now but to pass the time until we get picked up.">

He almost avoided the tackle, but there just wasn't much room to move inside the tiny lifepod. He just hoped that they weren't about to get transported into a bay full of armed, unhappy primitives right away. After all this time though, She knew perfectly well which buttons to push, and his sister always got her way, despite his weakening protests.




----

The rescue operations had been going smoothly aboard the Relentless. Even before being brought aboard, Captain Daniel Hawthorne had informed his counterpart aboard the Relentless about the situation and the two were now standing at the bridge, a lone, damaged lifeboat on the view-screen.


"Recovery operation complete, sir. Four hundred sixteen crew accounted for. About two dozen casualties so far, still getting that data in. No fatalities, no emergency rejuvenations." a bridge officer reported from a crew station behind the two captains.


Hawthorne let out a sigh, the visible tension of the last two hours draining from his form. "It’s a miracle, that's all of them. Thank you, Lieutenant."


The Relentless’s Captain was a tall, dark-skinned man with graying temples and a distinguished, deeply wrinkled face. "That's the one, Dan. Two unidentified alien life-forms on board. Saved for last just like you asked."


"They knew right where to hit us, Matt." Daniel was easy, informal around his Academy classmate and friend, grateful after such an experience that his friend's ship was the closest to respond to their distress signal. "One volley and we were dead in the water."


Matthias Grosvenor settled back into his captain's chair, finger to his brow. "I've read the encounter logs, would you have really expected any different?"


"They've been brusque. Threatening. Mysterious. They've never fired on Starfleet before. This... bare aggression. We weren't prepared for that."


"They didn't kill anyone. I've already gone over some of the raw vid, what little of it that wasn't corrupted. I'm astounded they could execute an attack like that without a single fatality. If they were holding back..."


"Then we definitely wouldn't want to see them cut loose." Daniel finished his friend's thought for him.


"It was your ship, Captain. It's your call."


Hawthorne flushed slightly. Was. That word stung him more than he'd been prepared for. He tapped his combadge. "Layton, get all personnel clear from shuttlebay two. I want five units of Anesthizine and Neurozine transported into that pod before you pull it in. Captain Grosvenor is giving you all of his marines, use as many as you need to ensure security. Hawthorne out."




----


USS Relentless Medical Log:
Chief Medical Officer's report.

It has been three hours since completion of recovery operations for the destruction of the USS Heinlein. Triage and treatment of the Heinlein crew is as follows:


416 crew all accounted for.

43 admitted to sick bay, details follow:

19 treated and released for minor injuries relating to the attack and evacuation of the vessel.

2 serious injuries from the initial Hattoran barrage resulting from hull breaches to engineering. Both patients are in regenerative therapy and are expected to recover fully within 2 standard days.

22 security and officers who responded to the Hattoran incursion were treated for lingering effects related to a stun device. Additionally 7 of these had more serious but easily treated injuries from the direct confrontation, including concussions, broken bones, minor internal injuries, and burn/blast injuries, all simply treated and discharged.



With that out of the way, on to the subject of our guests. Ambassadors? Pirates? War criminals? Well, that's to be decided and above my grade. Below are the notes I've gathered to this point. I will tighten them up and formalize them when all this is over. Science Division is going to go mad over this.



They were delivered to my medbay heavily sedated. Two hours under the best medical scanners in Starfleet have only revealed how far they are from anything we have seen before. If I had five more lifetimes to study these two Hattorans, I still wouldn't be privileged to a tenth of their secrets, and that's just biologically, genetically. We can start with the easy and obvious, and the complexity just goes up as the scale grows more fine.


Subjects are bipedal digitigrade dracomorphs, both approx 1.6 meters tall not including accoutrements. Endothermic, and quite warm at that. Scaled in one way or another in near entirety. The scales themselves are remarkable, with an interlocking structure that is very effective at spreading force, and with a material strength that is well off the charts of any organic defense in our database. In addition to this the outer layer has what appears to be thermal superconductive qualities. Any directed energy below what I can only estimate is a remarkable threshold would be quickly spread over nearly the entire surface, and dissipated without penetrating deeper layers. Dermis, where it can be accessed, is flexible yet tough, a structure just underneath being highly resistant to penetrative force.


Eyes are highly developed with vertical slit pupils* (There are a few anomalies here for a later look), not only with visual acuity that would make a Terran eagle jealous, but with structures able to detect light well into the infrared and ultraviolet spectrums, as well as other structures that are as of yet unidentified. By all indications, their other senses appear equally acute.


Another layer. Musculature is highly efficient, tremendous power available with minimal bulk, their muscles are laced with superstrong materials. I can only anticipate their physical strength is more limited by leverage than power generation.


Organs are, well, they operate at efficiency levels higher than anything even remotely natural. More on that later. Nothing entirely remarkable otherwise save an unidentified structure partially enshrouding the heart and aortic area. Some anomalous brain activity has been recorded from the white one, and I have to wonder if there's some coincidental similarities to our own Aaenar sub-race. A question for later to be sure.


Bones follow the same theme of the rest of their bodies, though stronger, heavier metals and nanostructures are found throughout. This extends to their rather obvious claws, which when combined with their likely physical might, could be rather worrying. Teeth are large and configured as an obligate carnivore. Their muscular tails also carry dense exposed bone-structures at the tip, giving another available natural weapon. The dense bone combined with external armor account for their higher than average physical density. Given this, their fully-developed wings seem to be a legacy as full flight seems unlikely outside of low-to-zero gee environments. Perhaps they also aid in heat regulation, given a lack of sweat glands? Such high-performance bodies have to generate a lot of waste heat.


Now to the worrying part, on the micro and cellular level. There are the remnants of what would be considered a massive, biologically speaking, colony of nanomachines within their tissues and bloodstream. A small population seems to remain, apparently sustaining and optimizing necessary bodily functions, but from all appearances they had, and purged before capture, a staggering suite of specialized nanites, the functions of which I could not hope to catalog given months, much less a few hours. Intensive scans have assuaged my worries that the nanites might be a threat to the ship, (any extracted nanites seem to self-annihilate when removed from the very close vicinity of the host, making study difficult) however quarantine procedures will be in effect for some time.


Genetically, where do we even begin? The hallmarks of genetic engineering and manipulation are everywhere. Layer upon layer, even getting started on any useful analysis will take months, then likely decades to make any sense of it. Just because the Federation prohibits this sort of thing outside of correcting for disabilities, it doesn't mean we are in any way ignorant. What's remarkable is the depth and intensity of the modifications, as a species the Hattorans must have been doing this extensively, or having this done to them, for a very, very long time. Just to begin making sense of it in short order I had to place an order to Engineering to divert more resources to the ship's computer cores. Whatever species they were when they first decided to reach for the stars, it could not have greatly resembled what the Hattorans are today.


As for these two examples, scans place the physical age of both at around 50 years, earth standard, but as for physical development all signs point to something around late adolescence. Their genetics (fascinatingly partially triple helix DNA) use something we can identify as analogous to telomeres, and these show as close to zero degradation as I can measure. As far as I can tell, aging processes have come to a near standstill, past a slowed version of typical development towards full adulthood. There is all possibility that, so far as the ravages of time are concerned, theHattorans may be effectively immortal without external aid.




Blue-skinned fingers set the datapad down onto the desk. Doctor Rubhal reflected on his own eventful life after reviewing his hasty notes on the visitors for a third time. 80 years to Starfleet (total). Two retirements. One of them involuntary. One medical rejuvenation. (related to the previous retirement). His third stint in Starfleet Medical. What kept bringing him back, with long stints away from his amazing, expanding family? Well he had a definite answer now.

The physically 46 year old Andorian decagenarian ran fingers through his white hair. The last five hours had been intense. Exhilarating. If he didn't like excitement he wouldn't have taken posting on a tip-of-the-spear heavy cruiser. Again.


"Well we're not at war with anyone this time, so at least there's that." Rubhal ended up muttering out-loud to himself, the empty room, and the two sedated and secured Hattorans behind --


"You are, you just don't know it yet."


Doctor Rubhal spun quickly to the noise, simultaneously bringing his hand up to his chest to activate the combadge. He found his arm caught in a hot, iron-like grip millimeters away from the small delta shield. He froze with the sight of white scaled fingers securely about his wrist. The dark scaled one stepped into view in front of him, teeth glinting, her scales still smoking from brute forcing her way out of the bed's level 2 restraining field.


"So how about let's discuss how you're going to help us get out of here and back to our jobs."


The Hattorans had been conscious for over an hour before they made their move, bloodstreams purged of the chemical sedatives, other compounds generated within their specialized bodies to eliminate lingering effects and ready them for action, while keeping their vital signs steady and unalarming. Starfleek, or whatever they were calling themselves, had clearly not come up with countermeasures to secure telepathic communication, or superconducting scales that could slip a restraining field if you knew where to push it just so and have a massive pain tolerance, or, as in this case, if you can simply turn pain reception off until the devices very considerate self-injury failsafe cutoffs are exceeded.

Plans were formulated in the complete secrecy of telepathy, and they were not going to be caught negotiating from a point of weakness. A hostage would ensure a certain level of commitment.


-------

Rubhal required little convincing to agree to comply with their escape attempt. This was partly out of protocol, partly how the doctor knew, better than anyone else on the ship, the hopelessness of resistance a single Andorian could offer, and partly because... he wanted to see what would happen.

He had been criticized for it before. And of course it had essentially ruined his marriage when he re-enlisted in Starfleet only ten years after it nearly killed him. Not through the medical rejuvenation introducing a 50 year age gap, but because, as Doctor Rubhal had eventually come to realize, he craved the excitement in his life.

Now being hurried out of Medlab, between the two aliens with a tight grip on the back of his uniform, Rubhal was experiencing no shortage of excitement. These two appeared to know where they were going, transitioning from the main hallway to an access shaft before anyone spotted them: The Relentless had a crew of over 1200, but it was also a very large ship, with plenty of opportunity to move unnoticed.

"Past here, they're going to know we are on the move, So the plan is to move faster than they can predict. If you can't keep up, doc, you will be carried. I can't guarantee that will be pleasant."

Rubhal reflexively put both hands up when the female's claws on his chest pressed him firmly back into the bulkhead. "I intend to cooperate fully with.."


"I'm talking about your capability, not your intentions." She gestured down the narrow access tube. "It's a 300 meter sprint, breach across a hallway, into the next access shaft, then another 50, then a fight, and you're awfully tall for the cramped quarters."

"I'm capable, I'll do my best." the physician answered. "It's hardly my first life-or-death situation." He watched as the whitescaled Hattoran spat something into his palm, and slapped it down onto the bulkhead. The smell of smoke and heated metal quickly rose in the close confines.

"What... what are your names?" the Andorian asked. "I'm-"


"Doctor Rubhal Th'eqelnas. We got a download about this ship and crew before... Before things went to complete shit." She said as they all stood, watching glowing, sparking lights spread into a circular area 30cm wide, more acrid smoke rising as it started to form a bowl-shaped divot in the metal with a small dome at the center.

"You can't pronounce our names, and we don't even use them that much. We know who we are." She finally replied. Rubhal could sense her tension. Her claws were, impossibly, digging centimeter-deep furrows into the metal wall of the jefferies tube, without even trying.

"It would help." Rubhal insisted, sincerely.

"You call us Hattorans here. That's.." This one was a deep dig into the implanted recon data that they all get before a mission, a massive informational and cultural data dump into the internal storage of their implants. A few hours in and without use and reinforcement some of the lower priority data was already starting to fade. "Earth regional culture, Japan? I guess something on that theme..." She glanced over to her brother, who was scooping five burnt-looking berry-sized spheres out of the smoking hole left by the nanoforge nanites. "Fuck, we have to make do with this?"

Her brother shrugged and gestured. Lack of materials, lack of time. He passed her three of the orbs. Rubhal lost track of where they went after that.

"Fiine." She sighed, rubbing her face before pointing at her brother. "Fuyu. Call me Arashi. That'll be acceptable. Good? Let's go."


-------


Rubhal couldn't remember the last time he had moved so quickly, so carelessly. Just keeping up was taking everything he had, banging against walls the whole way and collecting a whole fascinating new set of blue bruises.

The Hattorans moved through the tubes like they had lived an entire lifetime in them. A yellow alert was sounded almost as soon as they started moving, the sensors in the tubes detecting unauthorized personnel, which was quickly escalated when it became clear precisely which unauthorized personnel it was. Strangely there was no lockdown, no forcefields blocking off movement through the tubes, and most disappointingly, no suddenly finding himself in the transporter room with a security team. Since they'd started their run, he couldn't help but notice, with dell developed senses towards exactly this sort of thing, the amount of heat radiating off of the... off of Fuyu... was dramatically higher than before.

Arashi hit the first hatch without slowing down, then turned a hard right. "See ya at the shuttle bay!" Before Rubhal could get in a word, he was yanked the other direction, and pulled into the next Jeffries tube after Fuyu, whose wings were now trailing shimmers of rising, intense heat.

Rubhal spoke up, concerned. "Is that-Rrk!" He was unceremoniously yanked along, stumbling after the whitescaled Hattoran until they dropped into a maintenance office adjoining the shuttlebay. Fuyu pressed himself right up against the airlock-grade hatch, slapping his palm flat to the center, leaning in close as Rubhal watched light flicker, the Hattoran exhaling a steady flame against the door, over his hand.

"What're you... doing?"

The Hattoran pulled back from the door and returned to Rubhal, tucking an arm around the doctor's middle. Rubhal flinched. Those scales were almost too hot to touch. Turning his gaze back to the door, Fuyu held up three fingers. Then two, then one.

Oh.

A device had constructed itself on the center of the hatch, about ten centimeters on a side. Still smoking, slightly glowing chevrons pointed towards a similarly glowing circle in the center. There was no more time for Rubhal to ponder its purpose as a dark-scaled blur flashed past them at a full sprint at what must have been pushing a hundred kilometers an hour.

Arashi slammed into the hatch foot first, dead center on the device. But what should have been a loud crash was instead dead silence, the Hattoran's momentum seemingly instantly cancelled as she dropped lightly to her feet in front of the door, grinning a disturbing amount of teeth. "Let's go!" She yelled, at just about the same time that the hatch simply stopped being there, followed by a sharp blast of displaced air. Arashi launched herself so hard through the gap, that her toes left long gashes in the deck plates below. Rubhal felt himself dragged forward and into smoking chaos.


-------


Layton was interrupted by a tremendous bang. He felt a compression wave crack past, and by the time his brain had registered that something had flown past, the deformed bulkhead hatch had already smacked loudly off of the shielded shuttlebay door 60 meters behind him as if it had been fired from a cannon. Somehow, it hadn't hit anyone.


His initial shock felt like it dragged on forever, though it couldn't have been more than a second. The 200 kilogram door, now crushed beyond recognition, had still not come to rest, crashing through a stack of grav-pallets before wedging itself underneath a utility mover.

"They're here! Turn on the generators!" He barked. He'd anticipated their escape attempt. Determined exactly where they would go. Convinced the security chief that lockdown would just make them unpredictable. That part was perfect. It's their movement that surprised him. It was an hour before even the most generous predictions of them waking up. When the alert went up that they had escaped holding, they were already half-way to the shuttle bay.

Layton's trap had been hastily assembled, but at least it was assembled, barely. Portable shield generators and sonic projectors would hem them in and disable them. He had 30 marines and security in firing positions between the door and the shuttles. Wide-angle stunners, personal shields, replicated barriers, and visored helmets to protect their senses against devices like the ones used against him on the Heinlein. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good, and he'd had just enough time to take out a little insurance as well.

Smoke erupted instantly all around, swirled with dark, sparkling particles. Something flashed past Layton's face to slam into the projector beside him. His eyes followed the movement to a deep gash that had been torn in the emitter. Deeper, there was a shining edge of a dark dragonscale. The projector was already starting to smoke and catch on fire. Simultaneously the same thing was happening to the other pieces of heavy equipment.

Layton pivoted around the modular barrier and raised his rifle, the holo scope flashing up in front of his eyes. There was pulsed fire at the other side of the bay, flashing through the smoke. The field generators had all been taken out. He could barely make out one of the Hattorans, smashing through the right flank in close combat. Where was the other one? He wondered as the rifle scope flickered and glitched into uselessness.


-------

Modern phasers had a variety of onboard targeting assist sensors that helped steer shots towards the center of a target where they could have the most effect. The disruptive, nanite-filled smoke not only absorbed much of the energy from each pulse, but also confused the sensors, making the usual target lock unreliable at best.

The pair of Hattorans had decided to not hold anything back in the shuttlebay. Everything depended on making it to one of the small spacecraft with their hostage. The kinetic amplifier assembled by Fuyu's nanoforge made for a fine entry and dynamic distraction tool, and the twins were fully doused in combat drugs excreted by specialized organs, sharpening their already considerable senses and reactions, everything seeming to move in slow motion around them.

First through the door, Arashi took in the situation, even while her nanite smoke bombs were hurtling towards their targets.

<+ Opfor with hard cover and energy rifles, fifteen left, seven front, twelve right. Heavy weapons two each. Objective 50 meters ahead. Neutralizing the hardware left and center and moving all speed for close combat left. You need to get the ones on the right. +>

The Hattoran combat language, efficiently designed by ancient and powerful AI minds, could articulate an entire battle situation in as little as three words. Fast under normal circumstances, the telepathic bond shared between the siblings allowed them to simply image the phrases to each other, almost instantly.

Arashi threw four blades in one motion, each made from scales specialized for the purpose, treated for hardness and density and honed to a perfect edge. Each one struck home into one of the shield generators or sonic projectors, ruining them.

The defenders still had their heads turned from the bulkhead door slamming to the far back of the shuttlebay. Arashi turned hard, claws tearing jagged rents into the metal deck below as she charged in a low run, directly at the first modular barrier on the left, her wingarms pounding onto the top of the barrier as she shouldered hard into it, the shock of the impact spreading quickly over her scales and through her skeleton, overloading the magnatomic panels at its base. The barrier jolted back by a meter, sending the defenders behind it tumbling to the deck. The hot, nanite-clouded smoke was just starting to fill the area ahead of her as she charged up the line.

Fuyu had kept a jamming signal up for nearly three minutes now. This was not a typical usage even under the best conditions. After disposing of many of their nanites before being captured, he had limited resources to work with, but had planned ahead and focused on replicating EW nanites. He was now generating an effective jamming field for at least a dozen meters or so, but the amount of waste heat it generated in doing so was immense. The fight had just started and he was already breathing hard, more blood going to his wings to help dissipate the heat. Thankfully pain wasn't a factor, those signals to his brain completely deadened for now, otherwise he'd be completely incapacitated by it. It wouldn't be long before the overheat would start to do real damage, the sort that can't be fixed in a few hours. One of those hot wings was tucked around their hostage, the cold-weather alien not taking the intensity especially well.

Fuyu threw his smoke beads, followed by a pair of white scales to disable the generator and projector on his side. Unlike Arashi's direct assault, he waited a tick before running low into the nanite smoke, all but dragging Doctor Rubhal with him as he charged more or less straight for the runabout. He mentally activated the secondary function of the EW nanites as he reached the forward line of defenders and their cover barriers, as a phaser shot from the right smacked his wing, spreading a patch of hot numbness even past his scales.

<+ Dragon-fear is up. Stop playing with them and get in the shuttle, slowpoke. +> A third scale was thrown, blunt end hitting the release for the shuttle's rear hatch. He dug claws into the barrier ahead of him, wrenching it up off the deck and dragging it along as he charged towards the dropping hatch.

-------

Layton watched the squad in front of the shuttle break like a bunch of fresh recruits. At the edge of the effect, he felt the same tingle he had on the Heinlein. So it WAS some kind of psychic attack? Not unprepared this time, he fired his rifle, but these Hattorans were moving so fast, and the tracking assist had been rendered useless. His ears were ringing from the dump of adrenaline, even at the edge of effect, and he only barely heard the transporter tech through the comm's ventriloquist circuit piping the sound right into his ear to be heard at all over the noise.

"Unable to get a lock on anything in there, Commander! We can't extract the doctor like this!"

Layton gritted his teeth and pulled the energized baton from his belt, forcing himself into a dead run at the runabout's opening hatch. Through the smoke, he nearly ran into a Karrian-shaped wall that couldn't have been anyone but the Relentless's security chief.

Lieutenant Ral was just over 2 meters of reptilian wrapped in smooth green hide. The Karrians had joined the Federation several hundred years ago and were generally a very respectful, peaceful people. Ral was one of those people who was the most gentle and easygoing sort, right up until the moment they weren't. Layton was pretty sure the Lieutenant deliberately requested his uniform a size too small. He granted that just added to the effect. Ral was built like a truck.

They met eyes, seeming in silent agreement with what had to be done. There wasn't time for discussion. Sporadic phaser bolts flashed closer through the smoke-filled air, following the whitescaled Hattoran, who was moving far too quickly for dragging both an incoherently screaming Andorian and a 200kg "portable" barricade along for the ride. Echoes shimmered around the Hattoran, images generated by the nanite smoke and making his movements hard to follow.

Layton barely had time to pass his shock baton to Ral. This close, the aura surrounding the Hattoran felt like a lead weight resting directly over his heart. Layton recalled exercises for this sort of thing. Breathe. Focus. He had to get Doctor Rubhal out, no matter what. Ral would be the distraction, taking the Hattoran head-on. Given what he'd seen, it wouldn't buy him much time.

Ral threw himself at the white Hattoran, a sparking baton clutched in each hand. Layton moved in from the other side, hoping to at least get his hands on the hostage. From his angle, Layton could see the Hattoran's toes flex, hard talons digging deep into the deck. In a moment, he understood what was happening, even if he could scarcely believe it himself.

"Ral, look out!"

The white Hattoran twisted, bracing on that solidly planted foot to heave the entire barricade in a scything arc. There was nowhere for Ral to dodge something that large, unyielding alloy smacking into the Karrian security chief. Layton barely had time to tumble to the side and keep from being collected too, as both Ral and the barricade came crashing to the deck. Layton still had his momentum, pushing off and making a lunge for the hostage, almost within reach.

The Hattoran hopped, pulling those talons free from the deck. He should have been unbalanced, but a simple pivot pulled the hostage out of Layton's reach. At about the same time that he noticed the sound of phaser fire had stopped, Layton spotted the broad, black club at the end of the Hattoran's tail, aimed straight for his head.

Some seconds later, lifting himself shakily up off the deck, tasting blood, Layton grabbed for the hand phaser that was, thankfully, still at his belt. He was dazed but he wasn't out, taking a moment to re-orient himself to the runabout, raising his weapon. The dark-scaled Hattoran had just stepped inside after her partner. She had been wearing a basic hospital gown, replicated for the aliens when they were brought into medbay. Not much of it had survived the firefight, tattered remains barely hanging onto her scaled form. She seemed wholly unconcerned. She was holding two broken halves of a phaser rifle, the emitter at one end shattered, and spattered with blood.

"Hey, it's you!" Arashi exclaimed, as she tossed the halves of the broken rifle out and punched the button to close the vessel's hatch. "Really like the tenacity, great effort! Better luck next time, hero!"

Layton was too confused to fire, or even to know if he should at this point. He watched as the hatch snapped shut with a solid clunk.
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LadyTevar
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Re: Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST/FF) Ch1 up

Post by LadyTevar »

Ok... I'm lost.

WHICH FF?? Cause this don't sound like Final Fantasy to me.
Image
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.

"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet
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Darwin
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Re: Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST/FF) Ch1 up

Post by Darwin »

LadyTevar wrote: 2021-05-25 12:56pm Ok... I'm lost.

WHICH FF?? Cause this don't sound like Final Fantasy to me.
I fucked up the title line and now I can't change it q.q I don't even remember what I meant. fanfic? damn
To be clear it's 29th century star trek fanfic, that I may just file the serial numbers off of later to make it generic trek-like scifi
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LadyTevar
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Re: Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST/FF) Ch1 up

Post by LadyTevar »

Darwin wrote: 2021-05-25 09:37pm
LadyTevar wrote: 2021-05-25 12:56pm Ok... I'm lost.

WHICH FF?? Cause this don't sound like Final Fantasy to me.
I fucked up the title line and now I can't change it q.q I don't even remember what I meant. fanfic? damn
To be clear it's 29th century star trek fanfic, that I may just file the serial numbers off of later to make it generic trek-like scifi
I fixed the title for you, so it's ST FANFIC.
Image
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.

"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet
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Darwin
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Hattoran Intermission: The OCP

Post by Darwin »

"An Outside Context Problem was the sort of thing most civilizations encountered just once, and which they tended to encounter rather in the same way a sentence encountered a full stop."

— Iain M. Banks, Excession

The Hattorans all have a job to do, and given the nature of the Incursions, it's usually bad news for whomever is nearby. Look, when you've been fighting a reality-destroying eldritch abomination from another dimension for over 600 millennia, and failing just once means the end of reality, you really don't tend to take chances.

Hattoran Intermission

The OCP
_____________________________________________________________________________





Decurio B'rask Borus stood at the battlements of the ancient fortress that was at the center of, and still being used for, the ceremonial offices of the 1st Alarian Combined Army Command. The posting itself was largely ceremonial as well, and that gave Borus no real bother. He was having a good day.




The Alarian species had descended from fast plains hunters, and despite being modern starfarers, their appearance still reflected those origins. Coal-dark, craggly skin protected them from the harsh radiation of their star, a trait they found to be quite useful in the unforgiving vastness of space. They stood taller than the local-galactic average by nearly a meter, granted most of that height being four long legs, mounted on a short hind-torso. Their large eyes were also remarkably acute for local-galactic average, taking up most of their face that wasn't occupied by what were still quite combat-relevant mouthparts.




The last fifty years of Alarian history had seen a veritable golden-age of cooperation and progress among the once divided Alarian people, their five colony-star nations now united. Active efforts had expanded their reach in three more habitable systems, with explorers delving out boldly past that. Being accustomed to the high ammonia content of their world, they were able to quickly exploit systems that were passed on by other local oxygen-breathing civilizations.




The Dormian Ecclesiarchy, established scarcely less than a century ago, drew Alarians of all planets and nations together with such righteous conviction, such unity of cause and inspiration that the young race hurled itself rapidly and fully into its place in the universe with leaps in technology and capability that even the futurists of 30 years ago could not have dreamed of.




Had he been of a more inquisitive nature, Borus may have questioned how or why hundreds of millions of citizens across the colonies had simply gone missing, or he may have wondered why nothing living was allowed in or out of the Holy City of Trall, the needs of its inhabitants served, in perpetuity, by automated grav-rail, the city's land and water approaches long since walled off and its shield-dome never lowering since it had been raised 3 generations ago.




Trall's dome shield gave off a perpetual, blue-tinged glow that could even be faintly seen off the horizon from where Borus stood looking over the south battlement, a constant, reassuring reminder that all was going as it should.




High in the predawn sky, Decurio Borus's keen eyes caught a brief meteoric streak of light. Five seconds later this was followed by three parallel streaks along the same course, due south. That was a little odd. He keyed his communicator to report it in, just out of an abundance of caution if nothing else, but the communicator made no familiar 'blip' into his ear to signify that a connection had been made. He keyed it again with the same disappointing result.




Twenty seconds later, the blue glow that constantly lit the southern horizon for the last 70 years went dark.




___________________________________________________________________________




Lark watched the dome shield fall, and the ship had already accelerated out of the system by the time local space forces reacted to the intrusion, clumsily trying to pursue with their subspace distortion drives. Lark led them out for a while, accelerating lazily until they started to fall behind at just over a thousand times lightspeed.





Showing off shamelessly, the Hattoran vessel effortlessly accelerated away, dancing out of their sensor range to a casual 30,000 light. Lark imagined they would, if given the opportunity, spend years trying to make sense of the hyperspace wake it just left behind for them, rippling outward from where Lark touched and slid along the "above" before its drive caught traction on the fabric of ultraspace, speeding off.





It would take a long curving path around to scoop its charges back up, giving them nearly an hour to seal the incursion before it blazed back through the system and retrieved them via displacement. An unnecessary precaution to be sure, but Lark mused, the locals were at a 3-B level of advancement, close to skipping right over C to D at their current course, that was still several orders of magnitude away from being able to threaten Lark's 80 meter chassis, or challenge a single thing it may choose to do in their presence. It could hover over their capital, project a giant image of their dead gods, returned to exact retribution and it would be, to the Alarians at least, utterly indistinguishable from, and inevitable as, a real divine creator/mundane creation reckoning event.





Still it was good to practice caution, as unpredictability was a hallmark of the Incursion; not in the Incursion itself, which nearly always followed a usual pattern, but the effect it had on sapient life in proximity, and a level-6 or higher could become very dangerous very quickly under such an influence.





Lark dipped out of the plane of the smooth spiral galaxy and set course to loop around the near globular cluster before angling back in, all the while monitoring its team's feeds and poring through all the media and documentation it had skimmed from Alarian systems on its approach. To the massive processing power of the AI, an hour may as well be an eternity for evaluating the civilization and determining the depth of contamination. It spawned a few clone processes and set them to work.




______________________________________________________________________________




Redd perched herself on what had, until recently, been the base of an ornate stone column as she watched a thousand-year old tapestry merrily burn away. Nearly everything in the vicinity that was able to burn was in fact fully involved, only the high arched ceiling of the cathedral-like bunker, a kilometer below the city, providing much relief from the flames. The Hattorans had entered at hypersonic speed, crash-fields projected by their armor negating any inertial effect on their occupants and effectively turning each one into a four hundred kilogram railgun shell that smashed through city, rock, and bunker with equal disregard. Depositing them nearly adjacent to their target, the raw force of their intrusion violently ended anything that may have been alive in the vicinity and started the fires that now surrounded them. A few remaining local defenders were burned down with barely any effort, and stopped showing up after just a few minutes.




Redd dug into a small compartment on the heavy, oily black armor to extract a small, shiny-wrapped bar. The helmet melted back from a face of deep-red/gray scales as the bar was stuffed, wrapper and all into her toothy maw.




"How can you do that?"




"Wut?" Redd responded with a full mouth. "I di'nt spend a half hour a torture acclimating ta this nasty atmosphere just to stay in my suit tha whole time. An you know how this makes me hungry."




Redd started coughing and nearly fell off the pedestal with the effort of both keeping most of her lunch and hurriedly sealing her helmet from the choking smoke.





"Can't breathe what's already burnt, idiot." Blue casually kicked a robed, burning, tauroid form away before setting a suitcase-sized box down on the blood-slickened stone. An identical device was being set up directly opposite the Incursion, a quick handshake between the two boxes starting a sequence where they began steadily unpacking themselves, unfolding, growing, synthesizing components as they expanded.





Blue stepped back from the device, giving a bit more space. Between the machines, the Incursion roiled nakedly. Though the Alarian clergy had built an enclosure to hide it from casual view, the Hattorans destructive entry had exposed the tear, its raw *Otherness* seeping into the surrounding room. Obvious though barely visible, the rent in reality surged slightly when the Hattoran devices began to scan and surround it.





Blue noticed he was digging furrows into the tiles with the clawed toes of his powersuit. Proximity to the Incursion was putting them all on edge. They always did, ramping up their aggressiveness and shortening fuses. They would probably fight it out once back onboard Lark, if nothing else managed to attack them here. He released two pebble-sized drones from his suit, one spiraling up to the top of the cathedral chamber as the other tracked up the hole they smashed on the way in. He swapped over to monitoring the drone scans and displays, anything to distract from the infuriating itch of the Incursion.








______________________________________________________________________________




Decurio Borus was having the worst day.




By the time alarms were sounded at the ancient fortress, Borus had already grabbed 5 other soldiers, and they were speeding towards Trall in a drop shuttle. The city was naked for the first time in Borus's life. Its streets and spires exposed to the air, a thick, dark plume of smoke rising from its center.




Borus had a moment of hesitation. The holy city. None were allowed in. Yet.. What had happened? This was unthinkable. He had to see. Had to do what he could.




"Land.. as close as you can."




The drop shuttle slid in closer. Near the epicenter, dozens of buildings had collapsed, choking the air with dust and smoke. The drop shuttle circled, the rubble too thick for them to put down closer than several blocks away.




The parts that were intact, Borus noticed, seemed more run down than he had imagined. That couldn't be right. With a breather mask over his face, he rushed back towards the epicenter, long legs taking him over the scattered rubble. It was eerily quiet. He could hear other shuttles approaching, circling. Perhaps they hadn't found the resolve to set down in the holy city yet.




Borus all but tripped over a body in his rush and he stared, stunned. Though a soldier, Borus lived in peacetime and this was his first time seeing a dead Alarian. All color gone, wiped out by the dust that still hung in the air, still, the body looked somehow wrong. He gathered himself taking a closer look. The signs of concussive death were there but, no, this wasn't right at all. Shaken, he continued on, slower. Finding another body, and another. Dozens. Some intact, many not. But all of them, every one, was twisted and deformed, a mockery of Alarian form.




Borus dropped to his knees, ripping off his breather mask and retching, suddenly unable to hold himself up. What had happened here? What the hell? What the hell??!




______________________________________________________________________________






"Eyes up. Two minutes to seal." Black announced after quite some time, stepping back from the second console. Each rift had its own peculiarities, and closing one was a fantastically delicate and complex process using fields and exotic particles. Only the Ships really understood how it worked, but that it worked was all that mattered.





Blue dropped one of the burnt and broken bodies, stuffing an ornate necklace into his armor's thigh compartment.




"What ya got? Why do you do that?" Redd sneered, shoving in. "Trophy?"

He closed the compartment. "No, ah, I don't know, just feels right?"




"Huh?"




Blue checked the drone feed. Response to their attack was scattered, uncoordinated. Nothing of significance would reach the chamber in time. No surprise since they disabled communications on the way in. He called both drones back. "Contamination level here is at least seven, maybe eight."




"That bad?"




"You didn't notice?" He gestured all around. "You know, this?"




Redd shrugged, noncommittally.




"Containment protocol." Black went back to the console. 40 seconds. She activated a few more controls, which produced a large and ominous handle. It was given a quarter turn and pushed back in. "Lark just finished the assessment. It's an eight."

"Shit."

Blue looked up, optics filtering out the smoke to see, to record what was left of the murals painted on the ceiling. Not one of them made much sense to the Hattoran. "Right, it's in their heads, culturally. we close this one, they'll just try to find a way to open it again, or go looking for another one. At least this way there will be something left."




"That's dangerous, Blue."




"Not the Incursion, fuck that, but out of 30 starfaring civs in this galaxy, why this one?"




They had to pause as the last subspacial/superspacial stitches were put through the rent, pulling it closed with an impossibly shrill screech that cut straight through their suits audio filters, their own augmented ears, even their bodies instantly shutting off pain reception, driving all three armored Hattorans to the floor despite their efforts. Then, silence. The buzzing tickle, gone. The Incursion was sealed.




"Aaaaggh I hate it when they do that."




The Hattorans worked up to their feet in time for Lark, just barely skipping the edge of the system, to scoop them up via its translocator. Air collapsed in to fill the pockets of vacuum where the three Hattorans previously stood. This time, the ship was not even noticed.




______________________________________________________________________________




Decurio B'rask Borus looked up. There were now dozens of shuttles, larger ships overhead. Circling, landing. He heard voices, but to him they seemed muted, vague. What was this? Is this what the Dormian Ecclesiarchy was built on?




Borus felt hands on him, bearing him to his feet. He scarcely noticed. He was being led somewhere when a sudden, piercing noise obliterated his senses. When he could hear, smell, see again, he couldn't move. It must have only been seconds. Something had gone terribly wrong. He felt a gust of wind. Terrible heat and noise. Another craft had crashed. They were all crashing. Borus struggled with all his effort just to turn his head to the sky. Everything flashed white, then there was nothing.

______________________________________________________________________________




Lark sped off, soon hitting a comfortable cruising speed of 60,000 light years per hour. Far behind it now, visible only on Lark's superluminal sensors, eight tiny lights flared brilliantly before slowly fading into the infrared background of the galaxy known to some as Messier 90.
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Darwin
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Re: Hattoran Chronicle Ch3

Post by Darwin »

Hattoran Chronicle Chapter 3:
You Knew What I Was When You Picked Me Up


Fuyu's fingers flew over the runabout's control console with the speedy confidence of someone who'd spent their entire lives as an operator, despite this having been the first one of this type he had ever seen. Operation of local equipment was a high priority imprint for the mission, and in seconds, he had entered the command lockout overrides, stolen by Shrike and uploaded to his implant as one of their ship's final acts. With full control of the craft's systems, Fuyu quickly commanded it to power up, shields raised by the time he heard the hatch seal up behind his sister.

With any pesky transportation devices now blocked by the rapidly cycling shields, only then did he command the microtransmitters in his bloodstream to stop.The ones that weren't already burning up, anyway. He sent them an emergency purge order as he pushed away from the console, blackness already creeping in at the edges of his vision. He'd been fighting to stay conscious since entering the shuttlebay, less than sixty seconds ago. His implants blocked pain sensation but not the feeling of profound discomfort of cooking himself from within. All he could hear was his own overheated blood in his ears. He glanced over at the hostage, instantly regretting the quick movement. Anti-nausea dosed in on top of the potent cocktail already surging through his overheated veins. He'd had to all but throw the blue-skinned doctor in ahead of him when he boarded the craft, and hoped Rubhal wasn't broken too badly.

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

The Andorian was at the moment just emerging from an externally induced panic, beginning to regain his senses. His shoulder hurt like it had been strained or dislocated. He vaguely remembered, through the clearing haze of pure fear, being thrown quite a distance. It must have happened then. He was still trying to get control of his breathing and racing pulse, propping himself up against the bulkhead when Rubhal saw the white Hattoran push away from the console and turn, dropping shakily to his knees.

Rubhal blearily watched as the Hattoran vomited out a rather alarming quantity of blood. Partially congealed and so dark red as to be almost black, it spread over the runabouts floor in viscous clumps, steaming. No, not steaming, smoking. Smaller splatters of the bloody mess were bubbling, cooking as he watched. Fuyu flopped over onto his back, wings spread out wide over the floor, his maw spread open as he breathed quickly and steamily. There was enough heat radiating that Rubhal could feel the runabout's climate control intensify to compensate.

"That isn't good and proper, right?" Rubhal managed to call out to Arashi, who was charging in from the back hatch. The Hattorans had been dressed loosely in light patient smocks, which hadn't been intended for activity, much less actual combat. Fighting had reduced the clothing to mere tattered scraps, torn in places, burnt in others. In contrast, Arashi's scales still looked perfect. Either way, the Hattorans didn't seem concerned about the state of their clothing.

Arashi spared a glance down to her brother, and the sizzling mess of blood and nanomachines on the deck.
"Nah, that's fine."
She pushed past, going right for the panel that concealed the emergency survival kit, simply ripping the clamshell case apart rather than unlatching it, and dumping out the contents onto the deck.
"He won't admit it but he loves martyring himself for the cause." Throwing a high-density emergency ration into her mouth, she bit down once and swallowed, ignoring that it was still fully wrapped, or that it was meant to sustain a marooned crewman for two full weeks.
She threw the medical tricorder and kit over to Rubhal before activating the two ice packs that were buried in the kit, dropping them onto her brother's chest.

"Fix yourself up." Arashi dismissively rumbled, scooping up the survival kit's hand phaser and snapping it in half as casually as a twig.

Rubhal flicked open the medical tricorder and began to stand... when his head bounced off the bulkhead behind him, leaving him stunned and seeing stars, a clawed hand about his neck pinning him to the wall.

"You don't get to do that." Arashi snarled right in Rubhals face. Her eyes wide, the usual vertically slit pupil split in a broad cross across the deep green. "We aren't your fucking patients or your fucking project. Do you understand? Strictly speaking, we should destroy this whole ship just for what you've stolen already."

Rubhal gasped as his hands dropped to the scaled arm effortlessly holding him aloft. His injured shoulder howled in protest. He had only just decided to head toward the fallen Hattoran, to help. Thought had barely translated to movement when Arashi crossed the meters between them in an instant.

"Touch either of us again, and I'll kill you, It will be messy, and not particularly quick, and you'll be aware of it long enough to feel bad for the night terrors it will give the poor fucker who has to clean up what's left of you." Arashi's fingers slowly released Rubhal's uniform and he settled back down onto his boots, his heart racing.

Something tickled the back of Rubhal's mind as Arashi turned away, bristling. A memory from more than 60 years ago, during the Kentari war, Rubhal had witnessed firsthand the effects of the use of combat drugs, and the Hattoran's behavior of the last couple minutes ticked all the boxes. He decided at that point to just be as small as possible for a while, tending to his own shoulder with a regenerator.


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

Arashi returned from the cabin replicator with two pitchers of chilled water, dumping both of them onto her brother on the floor, some of it at least hitting his mouth. Dropping the empty pitchers, she went back for two more. The runabout's climate systems buzzed a little louder to begin to deal with the sudden steamy increase in humidity.

<+ We're ahead of schedule by four minutes. +> Fuyu sent, as he swallowed some of the water being poured over his steaming mouth.

<+ Probably not enough time for more interference but you never know. Will you be ready to go by then? +> Arashi threw the empty second and third pitchers onto the floor.

<+ I would rather not. +> He replied. He was still starving of resources, and was prioritizing damage repair with whatever was left. Circulatory and respiratory efficiency were down by half. Pushing the nanomachine signal broadcasters that far had caused hundreds of burns and clots within his bloodstream. He was straining matters just by electing to stay conscious, when a regenerative coma would free up more resources for recovery. A high density survival ration pack was pushed into his mouth. He bit down and swallowed, the action causing a brief flash of pain along his burnt throat before being intercepted and suppressed. He needed more metals but the dense nutrition at least would help.

<+ Stay there, I can handle it, like I always do. +> Her nerves were still singing from the fight. Purging all the enhancers always took a few minutes. She walked to the control console and stabbed the display that read "Receive incoming hail", that had been bleeping for the past minute. An image of the bridge appeared on the main forward display. Arashi recognized the officer she had spoken with on the Heinlein, seated and having a nasty gash on his forehead attended to with a cell regenerator. Ahead of him was a tall, dark-skinned man who affected an air of control.

"First I'd like to welcome you to my starship. I know we didn't get off to the best of starts but I'm confident we can reach some understanding. I am Matthias Grosvenor, captain of the USS Relentless."

Arashi dragged claws through her short grey mane, a grin full of teeth. "You can open the bay door or you'll have some really quickly escalating problems. I'm not familiar with these weapons and might get a little messy."

"I'm hesitant to let you go while you still have my head doctor. Is he unhurt?"

"That's the wrong answer." Arashi jabbed the weapon control and was met with a cluster of warnings, the red lights reflecting off her scales.

[MALFUNCTION: WEAPONS CONTROL RELAY INOPERATIVE]

"Ha! Worth it!" Layton exclaimed from the back of the bridge. He had nearly lost his fingers earlier racing to remove the relay before the Hattorans got the shields up.

Captain Grosvenor cleared his throat. "Please, things are not unrecoverable here. Power down and I give you my word, we will hear you out."

Arashi slid her fingers over the console. In the shuttle bay, the runabout came around, facing directly away from the giant door instead of towards it. "Open the door. I'm not sure what one of these distortion drives will do inside an active field going the opposite direction, but I'm guessing it's pretty terrible for everyone."

"The Runabout's warp drive is coming online." Matthias heard from over his right shoulder.

"Helm, bring us out of warp now!" The Captain looked back, seeing Commander Layon conferencing in hushed tones with Captain Hawthorne. "Something to share, gentlemen?"

"Only if it works." Hawthorne replied. "But you'd better do what she says."

Arashi knew they were planning something, but she was too. She turned the runabout back around to face the bay doors as they began to open. "We're not monsters. At least we're not yours. Your officer will be dropped off somewhere safe with a beacon once it's clear we're not followed." She closed the channel, but not before seeing a commotion over at the bridge operations console. There it is. Right on time.

<+They will wait to try something until we are clear of their ship. Wait for the right moment. +> Fuyu's thought popped into her head like it had been there, complete, the whole time.

<+ I know what I'm doing. You're supposed to be recovering in case this doesn't work. +> This whole plan was far too shoddy. They were losing bargaining power like sand out of a mesh bag. Arashi found herself missing Shrike's comprehensive, perfect, tactical forecasts. So long as something, anything goes right, maybe they've got a chance.


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

The main holo-display winked back to the forward view of deep space when communications were closed. Immediately someone spoke up.

"I am seeing unusual activity from the main computer core. I am unable to switch to backups."

"Get down there and switch it manually." Captain Grosvenor ordered. "I need tractor beams on that runabout as soon as it's two klics out."

A deep rumble vibrated the ship, at the same time the main viewscreen switched to a rear view, showing the runabout blasting out of the shuttlebay on a column of fire. Simultaneously, the lights flickered. Matthias recognized it as a switchover to the bridge's independent backup power.

"Widespread power outages, all decks. Gravity plating, life support, everything is down!"


Hawthorne put a hand on his fellow Captain's shoulder. "Okay, the plan didn't account for strictly everything."

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

At full thrust, in the captured air of the shuttlebay, the runabout's engines created a roar that reverberated through the 1200 meter starship, scorching the bay and crashing one of the smaller workbees into the bulkhead behind. In an instant the runabout was clear, blasting away from between the twin nacelles of the Relentless main drive and dragging a trail of ignited atmosphere behind it.

"Just gotta get distance. Doesn't matter where." Arashi toggled the viewscreen to the aft view, just in time to see the cruiser's lights all go dark. Perfect. She set the current course and activated the main drive.

Instead of the expected thrum, it produced a loud bang as the suddenly darkened cabin started to fill with smoke, and Arashi was tossed forward into the blanked controls.

"Ah shit."


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

In the darkness of the space between stars, two crippled ships drifted steadily further apart, the much smaller of the two tumbling, spewing a thick trail of smoke into the void.
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LadyTevar
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Re: Hattoran Chronicle --- (ST fanfic) Ch1 up

Post by LadyTevar »

Double Post Removed.
Image
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.

"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet
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