Ariana was happy to hear Mahlon’s voice. He had a seat up front next to himself on the Wadati. Farmer had an awkward pickup line or two and an offer of a second date surveying the exterior of the Sphere. Enroute Ariana did some homework and was beamed down to Lieutenant Commander Favor’s position.
In Oka, Lieutenant Commander Favor coordinated the search for a cause. A quake was unheard of in the history of the Sphere. The Marine regiment had recently relocated to the Sphere and were already lending assistance transporting equipment and personnel through the capital. Graven introduced a being claiming to be a Writer who immediately disappeared and appeared elsewhere in the city. Lieutenant Bear and Ensign Serota were each searching for clues. The DFA geologist was expected to hvae a preliminary report in two hours. She expressed her concern for aftershocks. Graven reassured the Starfleet team that they had not yet begun construction of a subterranean transport system. Ariana wondered if the Lacosians could shed light on the situation. The Sphere was falling into a state of disrepair.
Lirka spent hours trying to reach Gatrubbian officials. Pleg hadn’t had any luck with the Kharians, Lacosians or Johvan. The Gatrubbian official was leary of the below-market price from a Ferengi merchant. Lirka played hard ball and got the deal sealed.
Lieutenant Bear was in command of USS Daystrom. He was his usual brusque self when asked to scan the deeper structure of the sphere under the Gatrubbian capital. He was greeted by a squeling Ensign Serota who had first met him when a volcano appeared within the Sphere. It was before Favor’s assignment to Sentinel Station and asked to be brought up to speed. Ariana had located several Lacosians who identified the ‘volcano’ as molten matter being created by malfunctioning machinery. She hadn’t found any Lacosians yet to inquire about the latest geological event. There was no geological activity to account for the quake. She could use Daystrom to tap into miniature science stations distributed throughout the Sphere including one seismic detector.
Favor shared that someone or something had claimed to be a Writer and they could not ignore it as the source of the quake.
Skel moved through dusty, abandoned spaces within the Sphere. His voice ws disharmonious within the Great Chorus. He followed a swarn of biomechanoids awoken by the disturbence with the Sphere. He followed them around a corner to Quinn who was neither biomechanoid nor Lacosian.
Admiral Rostov and Ms. Valmont met with an agitated Kharian. The latter grabbed a vial to kill his own brother with. With the trade complete, Rostov settled to sleep enroute to Sentinel Station. He dreamt of his little girl. Rowland was concerned about the ambassador’s first public even being so public. He entered the station with more than a dozen personal guards. Rostov’s team had organized and funded the extravagant ball. The Lady Lirka glided into the ball in a diaphanous gown. She and Pleg were a royal couple. Rostov spoke with Pleg about his intentions to increase trade in the Delta Quadrant with the creation of the Economic Development Advisory Committee to which Pleg would be invited. Lirka and Rowland both moved to invite Commander Mirel and keep her from interrupting the deals being struck by the new ambassador. Lirka looked at an imaginary spot on Commander Mirel’s dress uniform in horror and dragged her away to blot it out with water.
Yul Brynner awoke from a nightmare enroute to Sentinel Station. It was from his time aboard Starbase Horizon. He was like a ghost. After a shower, a drink and concealing weapons on his person he returned to the Promenade. After an hour of casual browsing and checking for a tail, he entered /Whims and Favors/. Pleg didn’t recognize his old associate at first. Ghost left a card and contact info for then Pleg could locate him some work. Ghost stopped by the Department of Records to locate a friend. Colonel Anderson was still alive although his record had been redacted and sealed. He met with a reporter posing as a DFA Intelligence officer. She was working on a story about Garam 4. Everyone involved had died, some under unusual circumstances.
Ghost captured Romsey Dom Insa, an entrepreneur, and shared a bit of his own past. Ghost was El-Aurian and had lived on Earth, joined the Marines and eventually Section 31. He asked a childhood friend to look after his family. His wife and child were killed to tie up loose ends. Mr. Romsey Dom Insa had once been Mr. Thomas Stone, the man who reported seeing Ghost’s wife and child to Section 31. Mr. Insa was killed and the scene cleaned.
Timari questioned Pleg’s motives of selling self-sealing stembolts to the Gatrubbians. Pleg came to Timari because of he was known as an honest broker. Timari called for a bottle of Kanar to seal the deal. Pleg asked for something else, something that would not make him itchy for hours affterwards. Timari offered a variety of beverages and food. He suggested Seket serve the food like a good Ferengi female. Seket recoiled in disgust and fetched beer instead. Pleg stroked his lobe at the opportunity of trade with the Gatrubbians.
Kal docked his 10-year old shuttle at Sentinel Station and inquired about quarters and lab space to develop an assimilation virus to prove his worth to the Borg. He had lost everyone he cared about. The Assistant Quartermaster asked questions to find the right fit for the Kazon traveller. He was drawn to Sentinel over rumours of a Cube in the vicinity. He settled on lab space and access to the main computer during overnight shifts. He sat in his temporary quarters watching a holo of his family. He thought back to seven years earlier. Kal’s science vessel was boarded by Borg. Of the 27 life forms on his deck, 26 were assimilated. Kal was knocked unconscious by a drone. Kal awoke to a Talaxian doctor who reassured him that he was safe; his species was unworthy of assimilation.
Kal strayed from his usual diet of unlavoured nutrient supplements and accepted Gaspar’s welcome at /Sushi Bar/. Husar admonished Gaspar and adviced Kal leave immediately to avoid being poisoned. Kal avoided the sushi plate and asked for a drink instead. He didn’t drink it either after Husar called it vole pee. Husar laughed at Kal describing himself as a scienist. He was different that the usual knuckle-dragging variety of Kazon. Husar part-owned Sushi Bar as well as a curio shop. Kal appreciated the many species aboard the station and asked about the nearby Borg Cube. Husar shared how the Kharians were nearly eradicated with the remainder screaming back to the Sphere.
Kima stumbled through his ship trying to escape the constant repairs. He was shocked unconscious from an Engineering console. His ship regretted the lack of replacement vocal units but was optimistic of acquiring additional replacement parts for it’s sole Gatrubbian sub-system. A holographic replay of the ship’s former crew looped. The replay was corroded. The ship tried to place Kima into the scene but was arguing with itself to dispose of Kima or repair him further. Instead, more poorly reproduced Gatrubbians walked the corridors.
Captain Tervan of the Gatrubbian patrol ship /Requiem/ detected a ship that concerned him immediately. He contacted Sentinel Station with his concern and was patched through to Lieutenant Commander Valrenie of Tactical Operations. Captain Tervan shared that the ship was gifted to the Gatrubbian Fleet but it’s artificial intelligence failed and the crew evacuated. It had become a harbinger of death. Varenie deployed a strike group to help Tervan destroy the threat.
Mahlon called on Ariana for a trip outside the Sphere. During their conversation, he was reassigned to meet up with Gatrubbian ship Requiem. Ariana was disappointed. Mahlon promised to call her when he was back at the station.
Requiem detected a life sign aboard the ship of interest. Tervan linked up with Strike Group Tiberius who were willing to follow the Gatrubbian captain’s lead in dealing with the ship.
Xin was the target of interest of a senior officer aboard Dahk’let. She knocked him to the deck and left the bridge with a copy of it’s scans of the Gorn system.
Toraith was reeling from the loss of his family. He felt Imgres was the only sympathetic ear aboard Axel and had no kind words for their former captain. Toraith and Quidano had rescued Chelsea while the captain did nothing. Bresa defended their former captain who they believed had escaped the ship before it blew up. Xin had the Dahk’let’s sensor logs but their Clydesdale shuttle was not up to the task of tracking down the lost Work bees. Targa disliked the new Axel; a Gorn design with Federation styling. He made a point, as it’s new engineer, of walking every square inch of it. It was up to Targa to keep their true identity hidden until they reached allies on the Gorn moon. The moon was desolate with a thin atmosphere and sparse vegetation. The shuttle detected high-decibel audio Toraith identified as music. It was a festival of debauchery called ‘Crodie Graw’. Xin was taken aback despite her Risan heritage. Duke Faritha thanked his son Gromo as if the party had been organized specifically for his return to their home world.
T’Zora moved through the Batim Wellness Institute to the ground floor and into the lobby. It was devoid of patients and staff. The stench of rot was overwhelming. The cafeteria was littered with bodies. T’Zora speculated that deep meditation hid their life signs from whomever or whatever killed every living person at the Institute. Lyras suggested reprogramming an escape pod. She staggered through the bloody mess and into an escape pod.
In the six weeks since their arrival on the Gorn moon, the restored Duke Faritha provided the Axel crew with a new ship. It had a top speed of Warp 5 and required unfamiliar piloting techniques to fly the equivalent of Warp 8. They had all submitted themselves to medical scans to the Gorn medbot. Axel intercepted an escape pod bearing a single lifesign. Quidano guided it into the cargo bay where it could be safely opened.
Bresa and Toraith triggered it’s egress protocol. T’Zora and Lyras bickered as they regained consciousness. They raced each other to the surface of their conflicted mind.T’Zora was taken to Sickbay. Axel’s medbot did not have Vulcan physiology in it’s database. After so long in the escape pod, she stunk even to Toraith’s sense of smell. Toraith set her down in the small med bay. She was still covered in the remnants of the Institute’s staff. The stench was typical of Vulcans. Bresa pulled rank and left Toraith to look after the Vulcan woman.
T’Zora set a bowl of tepid broth on the side table. She was undisturbed by her own nudity. There was no sense of privacy at the Institute. The medbot had scrubbed the blood off her body and from under her fingernails. She gave Bresa a rundown of the events at the Institute and her own escape. Bresa recommended a return to the Institute. T’Zora did not object.
Roxane returned to Seiklon Axel after too long an absence. She has never stopped writing and we are glad to have her back within our ranks.
Jason joined OH1/Axel. He is a long-time writer with Borderlands and has been a leading voice on Starbase Horizon.
Tabitha has been writing with DFA Cromwell for a while and has brought her new character, a motivated Kazon, to OH1.
Jorge has joined Borderlands as a former UFPI player. UFPI, Quadrant Delta and Borderlands splintered in 2000. We’re honoured to have him with us.
A call went out to everyone about NaNo 2017 (National Novel Writer’s Month) to everyone who writes within Star Trek: Borderlands. About half a dozen decided to try writing a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days.
Subject Line of the Month
2417.10.10.01 GORN “Risan prude”
–Doug responding to a Gorn free love festival that not even a Risan would participate in
2417.10.22.01 SNT Kal “Area of research: Don’t say nanoprobes! Don’t say nanoprobes!”
–You just know he wasn’t going to keep it under wraps
Banter of the Month
Kal woke up several hours later in the sickbay of a DFA vessel with concussion and a scar down his neck from were the drone had thrown him.
“Why didn’t they take me?” He asked the doctor half deliriously.
The talaxian doctor smiled at his patient “You were lucky, it was the Borg, they consider your species to be ‘unworthy of assimilation'” he laughed “Wish we were.”
–A patient being told the exact opposite of what he wanted to hear (Tabitha)
Player of the Month
Anna Maria came back from a break and jumped into several threads: Skel in the quake thread, the Timari captain, Husar manipulating the impressionable Kal. Her breadth of involvement is impressive.
Honourable mentions to Devon and Tabitha:
Ariana is a lynchpin character trying to explain a quake we all know is inexplicable. She is plucky and unafraid. She stood up to Quill. I had forgot about the shard given to Ariana by Sazz. It was a nice bit of continuity.
Tabitha has introduced a very well-written, interesting character in Kal. There is a great backstory. I am in eager anticipation of the mess Kal will make.