ST: CITADEL - 'Risky Ventures' (COMPLETED)

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Re: ST: CITADEL - 'Risky Ventures'

Post by AdmiralSirJohn » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:00 pm

Chapter Eight

Personal Log, Supplemental:

The plight of the Autarch’s Successor-designate, his daughter... that poor soul. Who would have thought something as innocuous as tanzila could cause such agony?

But it proves that we can’t let the Tzenkethi have Intar, or even give them access to Intaran products. To have an entire world addicted to something like that… it would be the Dominion War, all over again.

I will be maintaining contact with the Chamberlain, in hopes of opening more backchannels in hopes that these hostilities will end. In the meantime, we are returning to Intar, bringing along now former ambassador Wassen Lenar. While he’s still his irascible self, he seems genuinely relieved to be off Tzenketh.

End entry.




“Contact! Three-niner-four mark one-seven!”


John Colby dropped his cinnamon bun back onto the small plate. “Always when I’m eating,” he grumbled, pushing back from the table.

“I know what you mean,” Yineth Nikara answered, swallowing a last bite of apple danish.

The Opaka Sulan had crossed into Federation space near the Perraton system twenty minutes before, and the small crew had relaxed a bit, but this new contact sent a flood of adrenaline through them.

“Report,” Yineth called, as he and Colby strode into the runabout’s cockpit.

“Tzenkethi patrol ship. No ID, though.”

“That’s damn peculiar. How’s the holoflauge?”

“Still working. To the universe, we’re still Pakleds, so…”

“Maybe someone talked,” Wassen Lenar said, walking in.

“Shall I activate the holofilter?” Tatannin asked.

“Yes, COB. Hopefully—”

“Incoming hail. Audio only.”

“On speakers.”

“I know who you are! Surrender or be destroyed!”

“Aw, hell, it’s Fayne.”

“Maybe we can still—”

“Federation vessel, I say again: Surrender immediately or be destroyed!”

“So much for that plan,” Yineth grumbled. “Raise shields, activate weapons.”

“He outguns us three to one, Nik,” Colby reminded his captain.

“I know, but we can’t outrun him. Maybe we can sting him enough to slow him down.”

“Or hide,” Lenar said.

“What do you mean?”

“Tzenkethi can’t scan through warp plasma. Stop and go dark, and he’ll never find us.”

“But if he’s close enough to already have a fix…”

“I don’t think we have much choice. All stop, release drive plasma, then quick dark.”

“All stop,” Colby reported. “Releasing drive plasma.”

“Going dark,” the COB added as the lights went out. “All power systems down.”

“And now we wait.”



“Mike, I hate to have to do this, but I’m worried about Yineth. Think Hammersley can take a quick run out to the Tzenkethi border and scan for him?”

“Of course, Captain. Any idea where we should look?”

“Well,” Ritan Th’Nar answered, “the Perraton system is the most logical waypoint, so you might want to start there.”

“We’ll get underway immediately, Sir.”

“Don’t stay away too long, Mike. If you have to, arrest him, but I want him back sooner rather than later.”

“We’ll stay out no more than twenty-four hours, Sir.”

“Very well. Th’Nar out.”

As the main screen returned to its forward visual, Mike McCune looked around the bridge. “You heard the man, Nav. Set course for the Perraton system.”

“Aye-aye, Boss,” Harnell Jones replied, working the flight control console with practiced ease. “Course plotted and laid in.”

“Ahead maximum warp. No sense dilly-dallying.”

“Maximum warp.”

A moment later, the Defiant class starship left light, and the Intar system, behind.



The transporter deposited him on a quiet, tree-lined street. It took him a moment to orient himself before setting off.

It was a simple house, not unlike family dwellings on a thousand different planets. He’d hoped to raise a large family in it, but it had only been the three of them… now only the two of them.

As expected, the door was not locked. Few people locked their houses in the secure, gated community.

He didn’t expect to find Brevik Karan in his kitchen.

“Not the homecoming you expected, I know,” the administrator said, placing a plate of something Kayn didn’t recognize on the bartop in front of him.

“You can say that again,” Kayn answered, taking a seat. “What is this?”

“The Federation people call it sushi. I adapted it for local ingredients.”

Kayn tried a piece of the strange-looking concoction, finding it bland, but not bad. “Thanks, but you didn’t need to take over my kitchen to welcome me home.” He looked over at his old friend. “What the hell happened, Vik? How did we end up in this situation?”

Karan came around and took the seat next to him. “About two weeks after you left, a Pakled ship entered orbit.”

“Pakled?”

“Traders, mostly. They come across as a bit… slow, but they’re a lot smarter than they first appear.”

“What happened to the Tygarians?”

“They still show up now and then, but the Pakleds look more like us, and had navigation charts of almost a tenth of the galaxy. We thought they’d be interested in some sort of technology, but all they really wanted was food, so we traded a few tons of various produce, including about a ton of tanzila beans. In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have done that. About four months later, the Tzenkethi showed up. At first, they traded like the Tygarians and the Pakleds.”

“What do you mean?” Kayn asked.

“While the Tygarians and Pakleds traded mostly for refined products, the Tzenkethi only wanted raw foodstuffs. Tanzila especially. They went insane over tanzila. It was only recently that we found out that their physiology turns chetarin into some sort of drug.

“Of course, by that time, they’d completely dropped their trader pretense and started raiding. They took out most of the orbital defenses in the first few attacks, and we knew we’d need help defending ourselves. The Pakleds weren’t interested and the Tygarians weren’t capable, but both spoke very highly of the Federation, so, after months of debate in the Council and the Congress, and raid after raid by the Tzenkethi, we sent a request through the Pakleds.

“We spent a month negotiating with various officers, and then they sent Harris. I’ll let you read about that from the updates and reports. Suffice it to say, once we had someone we could deal with, everything went into high gear.”

“So now we’ve got aliens defending us,” Kayn observed.

“Pretty much, but then not all of them are aliens, at least not genetically.”

“What do you mean?”

“The Ancient Commandments’ origin story is true. The Preservers are real beings, at least they were.” He picked up a datapad from the end of the bar and quickly tapped out a query, bringing up an image of an alien planet.

“This is Earth, our original home planet. It’s also the Federation’s capitol planet.”

“Now there’s a concept.”

“Really.” He tapped the screen, opening the planet into a map. He then tapped three parts, highlighting them. “These are the homes of the Three Peoples. We Kentari were taken from this area, called Scandinavia; the Nectem come from this area, generally called Northwestern Africa; and the Rongari come from these islands here, throughout the Pacific Ocean.”

“Amazing. Maybe we’ll get to visit someday.”

“Maybe. They also discovered that we were genetically engineered to fit into Intar’s biosphere, including our size, which deliberately fluctuates about every six hundred years or so.”

“Which corresponds with the sun’s variations, yes,” Kayn added. “I bet that went over like a lead balloon with the Thin Preachers.”

“Some are being thick-headed about it, but most accept the findings.”

“Well, that’s good to know. So what now?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do I go back to the Sea Forces? Do I stay with ISA? Do I take the Namree-Zaye out for another tour?” He sighed. “I’m kinda lost here.”

“Actually, I have an idea about that.” He turned off the datapad and returned it to its place on the bar. “What do you think about learning Starfleet methods?”

“That’s probably a good idea. Everyone we rescued from that Tzenkethi attack had nothing but good things to say about them, and Jayna Naytohm seems to be enjoying herself on the Espero.”

“Good. I think you’d be perfect for duty aboard the Ernst Ruska.”



Captain's Log, supplemental;

It's been six hours since we released our drive plasma as a countermeasure. In that time, the Tzenkethi haven't found us. But with the cloud dissipating, we'll soon be meeting our Makers faster than anticipated.



Through the window, the stars could almost be seen again.

If this is the day that I die, then let the people of Intar know that I did it in defense of their world, he thought as he wrote a final message into his console. The runabout's log bouy would be launched soon before they charged forward to fight the Tzenkethi.

“Damn frakking...” the COB muttered from underneath her console. She was trying to get the holouflage working again and it was a losing battle. “This ship is a piece of junk and I'm gonna let Gazhk have when we get back to the ship. This thing is a flying deathtrap!”

“I think that –”

“Contact!” Colby called, as a blip appeared on his sensor display. “I've got another ship at four-seven-two, mark-thirteen.”

“Tzenkethi?”

“No, sir... it's the Hammersley! They're hailing us.” He pressed a button.

“This is Commander Michael McCune of the Federation starship Hammersley to the Federation yacht Opaka Sulan. Please respond.”

“Open a scrambled channel.”

“Scramble channel open.”

Yineth turned towards the communications screen. “This is the Opaka Sulan, Captain Yineth Nikara in command. Go ahead, Hammersley.”

McCune's image appeared in front of him. “Captain, the people at Gwalior were getting worried about you.”

“Yes, I'm sure that Captain th'Nar is getting his white hair all into a frazzle.”

“I don't know about that but I was ordered to bring you home,” the captain of the Defiant class ship told him. “I was even given the option of arresting you if you resisted.”

“Resist? Why would I resist? I was already on my way home.”

“Well, according to my science officer, your warp nacelles are drained of plasma and you have some damaged systems. Do you need a jump or a tow”

Yineth turned to look at the engineering console. “COB?”

“I can get us going again. We just need to inject some new plasma… unless you’re up to sticking around here for another six hours.”

“We’ll take a jump, Mike. Be on the lookout, though. There’s a Tzenkethi patrol ship looking for us.”

“Yeah, we ran into him about ten minutes ago. He didn’t have much fight in him.”

“That’s good to hear. Ready to receive plasma whenever you are.”

“Just sit back and relax, then, folks. We’ve got it covered.”

“Thank you. Opaka out.”

“Well, it looks we're in for the home stretch,” Colby said, sitting back and stretching in his seat.

“No, John. I think things might get interesting.”

“Why's that, Nik?”

“I’ll let you know after I talk to Kodo.”



Yineth stood up as the door opened, and snapped to attention as Kodo entered, accompanied by Jack Elmlinger, the new Federation ambassador.

“Mr. Ambassador, welcome to Intar, and thank you for seeing me, Prime Councilor.”

“You did say it was rather important. I take it your mission to Tzenketh was a success?”

“That is still to be seen, Prime Councilor, but I do have information that explains the Autarch’s… vehement desire to possess this planet.”

“Then, by all means, have a seat. I suspect we’re going to be here a while.”

“Thank you, Sir. I’ve taken the liberty of queuing up a short video file that you need to see. As expected, the Autarch was not receptive to the message you sent through me. However, as I was on my way out of the palace, the House Chamberlain approached me.”

“Chamberlain?” Kodo asked. “I’m not familiar with that term.”

“Essentially, the equivalent of a House Manager, but he’s a servant, not an employee.”

“I see. Continue, please.”

“He took me into one of the secret passages the house staff uses to more efficiently serve the Autarch and his family. This particular one allows the staff to observe the family living quarters, where he showed me this. Computer, play video.”

It took only a second for the shock to register on both men’s faces.

“Dear God…” Elmlinger whispered.

“That poor, suffering child,” Kodo breathed. “That’s from tanzila?”

“Not directly,” Yineth answered. “She’s suffering withdrawal.”

“Sweet Maker. Can anything be done for her?”

“Actually, yes… but you may not like it.”

“How so?” Kodo asked.

“We’ll essentially be feeding her habit for the rest of her life.”

“Perhaps you’d better explain,” Elmlinger replied.

Yineth shifted in his seat before continuing. “Some years ago, there was a Romulan senator by the name of Arrhae i-Khellian t'llhweiir. You may have met her, Ambassador, as she was one of the senate’s most vocal supporters of Romulan/Federation peace and cooperation.”

The ambassador nodded. “Indeed I have. From what I heard, she died shortly before the start of the Dominion War.”

“That was as announced by the Romulan update networks. What most people didn’t know until shortly after her death was that she was actually human. What’s more, she was a Starfleet Intelligence officer by the name of Therise Haleakala-LoBrutto.”

“What?” Elmlinger squeaked, coming forward in his chair. “And they released her identity?”

“I take it that’s not normally done,” the Prime Councilor remarked.

“It would cause a major diplomatic incident.”

“Actually, in this case, it was by mutual consent, as her mission was to gather cultural, rather than military intelligence. The Romulans actually considered her mission to be totally warranted, as it parallels the fostering that many of the great families practice amongst themselves, so as to build understanding and cultural ties. Indeed, her family has received a number of messages from prominent Romulans thanking them for sending her. The Romulan government actually said we needn’t have bothered keeping it secret.”

“I’ll be damned.”

“So what does this have to do with the current situation?” Kodo asked.

“Since it was a clandestine mission, Admiral Haleakala-LoBrutto needed a way of getting information out of Romulan space. She did it through smuggling an embargoed substance, Romulan Ale, to a friend she had made, Dr. Leonard McCoy.”

“Of course,” Elmlinger said, nodding. “There are border ships going between Federation and Tzenkethi space all the time. It shouldn’t be hard to quietly send in some tanzila now and then.”

“I see what you mean. Would you recommend it, Mr. Ambassador?” the Prime Councilor asked.

“That’s not really for me to say, Prime Councilor. As Captain Yineth has said, we’ve done this sort of smuggling before.”

Kodo was silent as he looked at the now still image of the young Tzenkethi. “Even if this Autarch can’t express his gratitude, perhaps she will when she takes the throne. You have my authorization, Captain. I’ll see to it the tanzila is delivered to you. After that, I don’t want to know the details.”

“Understood, Sir. Hopefully, we can wean her off it, but for now, we should be prepared to supply her for the rest of her life”

“Actually,” Elmlinger said, “I may know someone who can help.”



“Captain Kayn, welcome aboard,” the thin man said after the two Intarans materialized aboard the Ernst Ruska. “Henry Nash. I’m the Executive Officer, though I understand that’s your job for the next few months.”

“Not officially, Commander,” Kayn answered, shaking hands with the Terran officer. “Administrator Karan though we could learn from each other.”

“It certainly wouldn’t be the first time, Sir. And who is this?”

“This is my daughter, Marya.”

“Welcome aboard. I’m sure you’ll make some great friends very quickly. We have a lot of families aboard, many with children your age.”

“I’m sure I will, Commander. Thank you.”

“If you come with me, I’ll show you to the quarters we’ve prepared for you.”

“Thank you, Commander. Please, lead on.”

The three left the transporter room and headed for the nearby turbolift.

“I must warn you, though. The captain has started a few risky ventures of late. You may find yourself caught up in them.”

Kayn smiled. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem. Without risk, there can be no reward…”

THE END
And that's it. As usual, try to be kind with the review, but you don't have to be too kind...
Last edited by AdmiralSirJohn on Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - 'Risky Ventures'

Post by captainuniverse » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:08 pm

Yes, it took some time for us to finish. In fact, if his arms were long enough, I'm sure John would've straggled the life outta me a few times. \Y/

Anyways, enjoy the story, please.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - 'Risky Ventures'

Post by AdmiralSirJohn » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:09 pm

Yeah, there were a couple of rough spots, but it all worked out in the end.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - 'Risky Ventures'

Post by captainuniverse » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:22 pm

Does this mean I can come out of the cat carrier now, sir? :(
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Re: ST: CITADEL - 'Risky Ventures'

Post by AdmiralSirJohn » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:23 pm

Yeah.
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Re: ST: CITADEL - 'Risky Ventures'

Post by AdmiralSirJohn » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:25 am

BTW: Check the "Cover Images" thread for a surprise. Even though that particular scene never happens, it was too good not to use... sort of like the scene where Steve Martin pushes the old woman into the water in the trailer for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
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