Topic: Pound of Flesh  (Read 8700 times)

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Offline Commander La'ra

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Pound of Flesh
« on: February 01, 2012, 09:31:38 pm »
Pound of Flesh

The barker was, in the finest traditions of a thousand races, up on a box as he shouted to the unruly, noon-time crowd.

“You want variety?  Variety is what we’ve got!  We’ve got pink skins, we’ve got blue skins, we’ve got anything you’ve dreamt about, everything you’ve thought about, everything you have possibly wanted to see right here in our establishment.  Yes, sir, we have it all.  Savage cannibal girls from Krylos V, Neuralese medicine women to spellbind you with their forbidden pagan dances!  If you want spirit, we’ve got that, if you want obedience, we’ve got that too!  Gather around and see what Feinster has to offer!  Nothing but the best and priced fairly…”

He kept talking.  People began to drift towards him, away from the other tables and tents that bordered the dusty streets.  The crowd grew, those not interested in his products still curious about the performance, so odd amongst the holograms and neo-neon advertisements of the other establishments.

“Feinster got a god-damned decent price?”  someone asks.  Like so many of the crowd, he’s mostly hidden by a rough-hewn cloak, it’s hood low over the face to protect from windblown sand.

“Does Feinster offer a decent-price?  Does Feinster offer a decent price?  Why good sir, no one in the system, no one in the Triangle, I daresay no one in the sector offers the prices Feinster does!  Does that mean our product is cheap?  Of course not!  Any discerning customer knows that you get what you pay for, and what you pay for is what you get, but you won’t find girls like this for lower prices anywhere, sir, anywhere.  Go right in, go right in, and talk to our sales manager and he’ll show you paradise for less than it would cost to build it, that much we assure you!”

The man, apparently convinced, shuffles past the barker, growling.  He’s the first.  He’s not the last.  Others, pausing to admire the display, occasionally split off and head inside, fingers testing the heft of hidden pouches of latinum.  Most are men, but some are women.

Nothing, of course, slows the barker down.

“Yessiree, act now, act now, before they’re all gone because Feinster can’t keep stock like this forever!  The greatest quality, the greatest variety, the greatest pleasure or if you want, the greatest pain.  We have humans.  We have Centaurans.  We have Andorians…”

“…what about Klingons?”  Someone else in a hood asks.

“…and yes we even have Klingons!  Lay your money down and walk away with bestial fury that’ll fire your loins even as she breaks your bones!  No one can say we don’t cater to every possi….”

There’s a flash of emerald and a shriek.  The denizens of this street know the combination well.  Some drop to the ground, some run, some lunge for their own weapons or simply scream.  The barker tumbles from his box, his stomach holed and burning.

No one has time to note his screams.  No one really has time to inhale the stench of burning flesh.  Few even note the hooded man with the disruptor still trained on the howling barker, or the other cloaked figures who suddenly have rifles.  Two armed men burst out of  Feinster’s tent and die in a flurry of plasma-green.

Down the street, a weapon’s dealer sees the commotion and scoops up a finer piece of his inventory and takes aim;  amongst the crowd, gunmen see other drawn weapons and other armed folk or hated people they suddenly have a chance to kill.  Hundreds of energy blasts, projectiles, clumps of superheated material and dozens of other methods of death zip up and down the street.  Some find bodies;  most turn street sand to glass, blast garish advertisements into sparking fragments or tear chunks out of stores and homes and vehicles.

The fusillade dies after mere seconds, and all at once the street is quiet.  Bodies sizzle under the harsh sun, smoke rises from an assortment of fires, small and large.  Down the road, there’s a series of pops as the weapons dealers ordnance cooks off, though their owner is no longer in a state to care.

Around Feinster’s tent, people stand from behind whatever cover they had found, their weapons still raised.  The tallest, still holding the weapon that’d so distressed the barker, makes a quick signal, and cloaked figures dart inside the tent.  Others move into covering positions.  The unarmed, or armed but smart enough not to draw, scatter.

The barker is crawling away.  The tall man walks toward him.

“You’re Feinster,”  The tall man asks.

“Y-yes…”  The barker still hasn’t abandoned his attempts to flee.  He claws at the sandy street, pulls himself along by inches.  “…best prices.  I have…the best prices…”

“I’m not concerned about your prices, I’m concerned about your stock,”  The tall man says.  He’s looming over his victim now.  Feinster is looking down the barrel of a disruptor.  Were he a philosopher, he might wonder how his life reached this particular point.  But he’s not a philosopher.  He’s a salesman.

So he bargains.

“…want my g-goods, Suppose…I can understand that.  No hard feelings.  No need to kill me…no need at all.  We can…we can cut a deal…got something worth my…worth my life, surely.”

“I’m not going to kill you,”  the tall man promises.  “You’re going to tell me where they all came from.”

Even in his less-than-ideal condition, there’s some resistance to that idea in Feinster’s brain. 

“C-can’t…c-can’t give that away…ruin my business yes it would…oh yes it would…and they’d kill me.  They’d kill me…”

The tall man says nothing.  He takes a step;  the heel of a heavy boot grinds into the barker’s wound.  The scream seems louder than the recent violence.

The treatment continues for a few moments.  Then pressure is eased.

“Do you know who I am?” The tall man asks.

Feinster, not in a talking mood, shakes his head.  There’s movement from the tall man.  The hood is pulled back;  ridges on the head, fangs in the mouth, snarling set to the lips.  Klingon.

“My name is Commander La’ra of the Klingon Imperial Fleet,”  The tall man says, his foot pressing down again into the barker‘s belly wound. “There are Klingons in your slave market.  You will tell me where you got them.”

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

 :singing:
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2012, 10:39:00 pm »
I seriously thought you'd posted this. I know I've read this first snippet. Either way, love the Dirty Harry-esque bit of grinding cooperation out of your vic--er...suspect...with a boot heel. Let's water-board him next.

Am hoping this one sees its finish.

--The Guv
"Jayne?"

"Yeah?"

"You wanna tell me why there's a statue of you here lookin' like I owe him something?"

"Wishin' I could, Captain. "

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2012, 06:01:34 am »
mmmm *shivers* another la'ra tale. You know you got me hooked with one of those. <teasing>Though I must ask for some closure this time ;)</teasing>
Snickers@DND: If there is one straight answer in that bent little head of yours, you'd better start spillin' it pretty damn quick, or I'm gonna take a large, blunt object, roughly the size of Kallae AND his hat and shove it lengthwise up a crevice of your being so seldomly cleaned that even the denizens of the nine hells would not touch it with a 10-feet rusty pole

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2012, 08:23:33 am »
While I am getting increasingly sqeamish about the suffering of others -- even the opposition -- I like the concept of the start of this story:

"You have some of our people not of their own free will. We're getting them back and shutting down your supply."

Looking forward to more.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 09:09:46 am by Scottish Andy »
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Offline Commander La'ra

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2012, 07:47:22 pm »
This part may not be Andy's favorite, but I certainly enjoying writing it.;)

Great to get feedback from familiar folks again! 

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

Chapter Two

The lights in the interrogation chamber were muted, but they dim further, then die out completely.  Machinery noises do not stop;  a deep hum is obvious even over Feinster’s helpless gibbering.

“He’s more resistant that you’d expect,”  says Doctor Ker’lan.  The man is portly, grey-maned.  He normally objected to torture.  He’d been quiet in this instance.

The lights come back on.  Feinster is still babbling, mostly the word ‘no’, over and over again.  He’s strapped to a table, a bulky helmet latched to his skull.  The helmet is connected to what could be any other bank of computers;  a Klingon without armor is sitting at one display, making small adjustments before hitting a button.

The lights only dim this time.

“This could take longer than expected,”  the armor-less Klingon says.

Commander La’ra nods.

“Take whatever time you need,”  he advises.  “Doctor, shall we see to our other guests?”

“Certainly,”  says Ker’lan.  The two exit, leaving the technician to his work.

“I must admit that that process fascinates me,”  the Doctor says as the two Klingons stride down a wide corridor.  The Hiv’laposh is on alert, and there are few souls to be seen.  Alarm indicators have ceased blinking, but they grant the hallway an amber glow.

“I’ve never liked the devices.  Something a bit unnatural about peering into people’s minds with such a contraption,”  La’ra says.  “But the Major could not get us any ‘gifted’ personnel.”

“Such talents are few and far between, probably unlikely they’d trust one to us…though I suppose they did trust us with the mission…High Command is adamant about slavers selling prize Klingons, so I suppose that‘s no small thing.”

“Jark’s doing, no doubt,”  La’ra rumbles.  The two men into a turbo lift.  Much of the  old battlecruiser’s equipment has been replaced over the years, but the lifts were original install.  Both Klingons grip the safety bar as the car rattles down the tube.  “The sifter should suffice.  It’s where it may lead us that concerns me.”

“How so?”

“Most slavers are not fool enough to take Klingon captives, at least not to sell on the open market.  If they’re simply greedy, very well, but if they’re smarter, they may have some reason to believe the fleet wouldn’t trouble them.”

“Which could mean powerful friends?”  The doctor asks.  The lift slows, stops and opens and the men proceed.

“Or considerable firepower.  Or a safe haven not easy to find or eliminate, none of which are pleasant to dwell on,”  A wide cargo bay door looms ahead.  La’ra presses a button, and the thing grinds open.  “I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.”

Crates of spare parts and trading supplies and confiscated loot have all be shoved to one side, but the bay still appears full.  There are people in here.  Many people.  As Feinster had promised before part of him had been burned away, they were every color one might imagine.

When they’d been found, they’d mostly been drugged to a degree that they’d been capable of little more than blank looks.  Most were coming out of that now, thanks to the medicines Ker’lan’s staff had run through their blood vessels.  Sadly, only questions greeted their new clarity, as the science officer and other female crewmembers went from ex-slave to ex-slave, asking the victims how they’d ended up in Feinster’s tent.

“Commander,”  The science officer calls out.  He and the doctor head towards her.  A young Andorian they pass is slurping soup with noise and enthusiasm.  Other women are curled into blankets or gazing around the cargo bay with the look of frightened herbivores.

“She may have some interesting information,”  Lieutenant Leral reports.  She wasn’t usually called upon to interrogate freed slaves, and the experience was giving her eyes an angry, almost righteous gleam, which La’ra enjoyed.  “She wants to talk to you.”

La’ra looks past his sensor chief for the moment.  The slave she was indicating seemed human, but a lot of races…even some Klingons…looked human.  He gives Leral a questioning glance.

“She’s Argellian.  She speaks Federation,”  Leral clarifies.

“All right,” says La’ra.  The Commander steps forward, crouches down to meet the slave woman’s eyes.  They were dark, darker than usual for human genotypes.  He could smell her natural scent under layers of old perfume and soap.

“I am Commander La’ra,”  he says, in Federation Standard.  He feels, more than sees, Leral and Ker’lan step away.  “You wished to speak with me.”

“You killed Feinster,”  The woman…young, but certainly not a girl any longer, states.

“No,”  he says.  “Not yet.  First he talks.”

“I would like to be there when you do,”  she says.  No emotion.  Colder than a Vulcan.  Colder than ice.

“It could probably be arranged.  What can you tell us about your captors?”

There’s a look in those dark eyes.  An urge, perhaps, to protest the questions.  The woman is silent for a moment.  The look doesn’t completely fade, but she answers civilly.

“They were scum,”  she says.  “But skilled scum.  They were quick and took only what they really valued.”

“You.”

She nods.

“And a few others they favored the looks of.  Off a transport near your…neutral zone with the Federation.”

“You were a passenger?”

“A…”  She seems to look for a word.  She‘s speaking Standard, but with a strong accent.  “…stewardess?”

“Ah,”  La’ra says.  “Go on.”

“They boarded the ship.  The captain did not fight.  I saw them pay him.  I do not know whether he had arranged it, or if it was for his silence, but no one tried to stop them,”  she said.  “Their ship was not old.  It did not…creak, like this one.”

The Commander suppresses a grin.

“What ship were you taken from?”  he asks.  He doubted its master had been paid for silence when intimidation might do.  The liner’s captain might fear his associates, but few things were more fearful than a Klingon battlecruiser…

“The Queen’s Favor,”  she says.  “But  I have more.”

La’ra nods, listens.

“Their captain.  He…favored me.  Not enough to buy me, thank the Immortal, but I spent a great deal of time in his cabin.  I am no stranger to the…act of love, and so this would not devalue me,”  She declared.  The irritation in her eyes was more of a gleam, now.

“You heard something,”  He says.  Slight grin.

“I did,”  she declares.  “They are but one part of a larger operation, and once, when he believed me asleep or unconscious, he spoke to his superiors while I was in the room.”

She shakes her head.

“I did not understand any of what he said,”  She says.  “But I listened to his words, and I repeated them to myself so that I would not forget.  My recall may not be perfect, but I believe one word was a name.”

“Anything will be useful,”  he advised.  Especially names.  Or places.

She nodded, and repeated the words.  They weren’t nonsense, but she obviously had misheard a few.  They were a variation of Standard, bastard tongue that it was.  La’ra could speak it better than she, and could spot the obvious errors. 

“Kilandreth.”  He says.  “That is the name?”

She nods.

“I believe so.  Is this…useful?”

“It may very well be.  You bedded…”  He stops himself.  “…you were made to bed their captain.  Can you describe his face, those of others you saw?”

“Certainly,” she says.

“My science officer will handle that.  Answer her questions freely.  She is well-trusted.”

“I understand,”  she says.  “Commander…what…will you do with us?”

“You are a Federation citizen, are you not?  You will be returned home, as will the others that do not belong to the Empire.”

“I have been told,” She says quietly.  “That Klingons are known to keep slaves.”

“Some do,”  he says.  “Prisoners serving their sentence, if done legally.  Others if illegally.”

“And you?”

He shakes his head.

“No.”

The woman nods.  The Commander looks at the woman again.  She was dark of hair, skin and eyes, muscled in that slim-way of those built like humans.  He could see why the slavers had taken her. 

Oddly, though the experience had wounded her, her gaze held more anger than hurt. 

“What is your name?”  he asks.

“Serillia,”  she answers.  He nods, smiles at her, and stands.

“Lieutenant…”

“Yes, sir.”  The dusky sensor chief replies.  The Commander smiles and walks away.  He can hear the science officer asking the Argellian woman the same questions, getting the same answers.   

The doctor is nearby, caring for three Klingon women.  The trio had been still since he entered.

“Are they greatly injured?”  he asks.  His marines had had to carry them from the tents.  Their heads had lolled like sleeping children, their eyes glassy and unfocused.

“No, but they are heavily drugged,”  Ker’lan answers.  The doctor orders a hapless female marine to hand him various items from his medkit.  Everyone became a nurse if they entered his sphere of notice.  “Oglak.  Used recreationally in some places.  It will take some time to flush it from their system.”

La’ra didn’t know what the doctor was up to, really.  The older man had examined the women as they’d been brought aboard, but he was as fussy with bodies as the Chief Engineer was with the warp drive. The Commander leaves him to his task

He stands in the middle of the cargo bay for a long moment, eyes sweeping the array of former slaves, inquisitive crewwomen, and watchful guards.  It was a spare moment, a slice of time when all other tasks had been delegated and his job was essentially to stand and watch.

He’s never liked those moments much.  He doesn’t like this one.  It gives the anger in his belly a moment to swell up, as it always did when distressed women were involved.

“Sickbay to Commander,”  the intercom thankfully demands.  He walks to the panel, near the bay door.

“Speak,” he demands.

“Commander,”  the voice says.  It takes La’ra a moment to recognize the interrogator.  “May I dispose of the prisoner?”

La’ra frowns.

“We could use him alive, at least long enough to find out everything he knows.”

“Of course, Commander.  However it became clear that I would need to do a full catalogue to find anything useful.  I did so;  he survived, but he will be of little further use.”

“How little?”

“He is no longer capable of controlling his…functions.  And scans of his mind suggest he will never speak coherently again.”

“I trust that you…”

“…yes, Commander, I believe we have plenty of pertinent information.”

La’ra nods. 

“Very well…though…delay this for a couple of minutes,”  He glances back across the room.  Leral seemed to be finished with Serilia.   “I’ll be sending someone up.”

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

Made some edits on this piece, per Rog's suggestion.






« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 08:56:33 pm by Commander La'ra »
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 08:10:24 pm »
Was hoping La'ra would drop the slaver into the cargo bay with his former property. Give em each a slim, thin knife. Or just let em tear him to bits with their bare hands. Either way. Unlike Andy, I derive the most extreme satisfaction in seeing folk get their come-up'n's. Especially those who bring misery upon others.

Took me a second to realize you were again writing in present tense. I was truely lost there for a while. Not to worry, figured it out.

Good, short and sweet instalment. Keep er cuming.

--The Guv!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 08:30:51 pm by Captain Sharp »
"Jayne?"

"Yeah?"

"You wanna tell me why there's a statue of you here lookin' like I owe him something?"

"Wishin' I could, Captain. "

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2012, 09:51:36 am »
Excellent continuance.

Good alien aspects instead of the use of generic Human-centric terms for "readability". I liked La'ra's acknowledgement that individual Klingons are different in their practices. I really liked the precise TOS-style application of the Mind Sifter ("... or mind ripper, depending on how much force is used."  ;D)

I also enjoy watching the bad guys get their comeuppance, and the worse of a bastard they are and/or the more they deserve that comeuppance, the more I enjoy it. I only have to re-read David Weber's early Honourverse novels to realise I feel this way. But I believe to use the enemy's methods is to become the enemy.

'Nuff said of that here, since I've snipped my soapbox diatribe. On with the story!



Come visit me at:  www.Starbase23.net

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The Doctor: "Must be a spatio-temporal hyperlink."
Mickey: "Wot's that?"
The Doctor: "No idea. Just made it up. Didn't want to say 'Magic Door'."
- Doctor Who: The Woman in the Fireplace (S02E04)

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Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 06:54:56 pm »
I believe to use the enemy's methods is to become the enemy.



Never said I was a good guy... ;)

LOL

--Guv
"Jayne?"

"Yeah?"

"You wanna tell me why there's a statue of you here lookin' like I owe him something?"

"Wishin' I could, Captain. "

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2012, 02:44:49 pm »
While i love this and firmly stand with the guv on this, i would love to see what happens if they grab an innocent and shift his/her brain...

OT: i like the little things best like the elevators, her scent and eyes and such.  Additionally i'm curious which of the three it is going to be. And wether its a human, romulan, andorian, orion, behind this. So gimme more!

Snickers@DND: If there is one straight answer in that bent little head of yours, you'd better start spillin' it pretty damn quick, or I'm gonna take a large, blunt object, roughly the size of Kallae AND his hat and shove it lengthwise up a crevice of your being so seldomly cleaned that even the denizens of the nine hells would not touch it with a 10-feet rusty pole

Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 11:58:51 am »
Actually, yeah, that's something I should have mentioned as well. The elevator bit made me smile, man. Just one odd detail that adds to the nuances of the Hiv'laposh. And Serillia mentioning that she creaks, another good detail.

Way to flesh the story, and ship, out!

--Guv
"Jayne?"

"Yeah?"

"You wanna tell me why there's a statue of you here lookin' like I owe him something?"

"Wishin' I could, Captain. "

Offline Commander La'ra

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 12:34:27 am »
Thanks, guys.  I actually like writing the Hiv'laposh as kind of an old grump with brand new teeth (and I have the Guv/Captain Sharp to thank for the initial characterization, minus the new teeth part).  Despite that, I actually have to remind myself to throw stuff like that in...my writing style is a little spartan, too much so, sometimes.

Feels good to be writing one of these again.

Anyhow, here's a short bit...short because it's the last part of Chapter One.  Lay the feedback on me.

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

“Why is the number six airlock being flushed?” The First Officer asks.  Ran’jar was eyeing one of his status displays as La’ra strode onto the bridge.

“Our guest is departing,” La’ra answers.  He leans on the First’s communication’s console.

“Ah,” Ran’jar replies.  He’s shorter and darker than his commander.  Compact and almost wiry, for a Klingon. 

“Our II friend is also preparing his report, but our new passengers had something to say too,”  The Commander says.  “The word Kilandreth?  Familiar?”

“No,”  Ran’jar says.  He’s turned away from his displays now.  The airlock light keeps blinking an angry red color.  “Sounds vaguely Romulan.”

“It sounds vaguely…several things,”  La’ra grumbles.  Ran’jar is already accessing the ship’s records, their data on all manner of things. Around them, the bridge hums with beeps, pings, and low conversation.  It was 'night' on the ship.  Department heads, like Leral and the gunner, were mostly off-duty or tending the prisoners.

The Commander takes a moment to glance at the view screen. Tolen IX was displayed dramatically, it’s mostly-tan surface spreading out beneath the orbiting battlecruiser.  The yellow star the planet orbited was peeking around the horizon.

“The computer knows nothing,”  The First spits, but his fingers continue to fly.  “Trying a language analysis…suggests it could be a location or personal name from seven different languages, or some sort of title in about a dozen more.  Due to different species’ vocal assemblies, we did rule out the Gorn, the Caitians and those jellyfish creatures from Braxen II.”

“Small steps,”  La’ra says.  “Now…how about a particular Federation ship?  The Queen’s Favor.”

“That sounds easier,”  Ran’jar says.  He asks more questions of the computer.  Ships movements were routinely forwarded from Imperial Intelligence.  They were often out of date, of course, but it was still useful information.  The First nods.  “Yes, we know where she was three days ago.”

“Should be easy enough to find her…”  La’ra says, standing fully.  He’s already turning to the navigator when Ran’jar interrupts.

“Very easy,”  he says.  “She’s in a repair yard.”

“What?”  La’ra asks.

“It seems she was pulling into Tel Minor when a tug brushed her,”  Ran’jar says.  “Damaged her warp drive, passengers transferred to the Astral Queen.”

La’ra frowns.  This could make things easier.  Or it could mean his only solid lead…at least until the contents of Feinster’s brain was presented to him…was long gone.

“Anything about her captain?”

“Yes.  He gave an uninspired statement to the Federation media about staying on until the damage is repaired and how the whole incident was unfortunate,”  Ran’jar says.  “Apparently the source of this intelligence is Frontier News Service.”

“As reliable as II, at least.  I need to talk to this man.  Isn’t Tel in…”

“…Federation space, yes.”  Ran’jar said.  “Another thing;  her master is a Vulcan.  Sorvek.”

La’ra’s eyebrow lifts slightly.

“A Vulcan?”

“You look surprised.”

“Our passenger told us she saw him accept a bribe from the pirates who snatched her.”

Ran’jar’s eyebrow lifts. 

“Uncharacteristic,”  he says.

“Unless there’s a ‘logical’ reason to take blood money,”  La’ra says.

Ran’jar’s brow furrows.  Then he shrugs.

“Greed,”  he points out.  “Is very logical.”
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 02:02:09 am »
“Greed,”  he points out.  “Is very logical.”

I always was irritated by ppl who went on and on about those noble Vulcans, not realizing that troll logic is quite logical too. Being logical does not tell anything about someone being good nor bad in the eye of the beholder.

It was a nice snack larry, but gimme more! :P
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Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 11:44:54 pm »
"Our guest is departing."

Loved it. Oddly, I imagine him leaving the ship like the unfortunate astronaut in Saturn 3, who got blown out an airlock,,,that seemed to be in a dressing/staging room...and also had some odd kind of cables that chopped him into bits...

But I digress... Good show!

More, please.

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"Yeah?"

"You wanna tell me why there's a statue of you here lookin' like I owe him something?"

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Offline Commander La'ra

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 12:13:25 am »
You mean this??  (starting about 4:15) :laugh:

As dangerous as Klingons are, I still don't see them putting...what is that razor wire?...across the exits of their airlocks.  I remember us laughing rather hard at that...
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 01:28:12 pm »
Didn't look like an airlock to me; more like an emergency atmosphere flush. He was sucked up to the ceiling where some rather flimsy cabling shattered him.

Boy, it's cold in space, hmm? Freezes you in 2 seconds flat.

All I remember about that movie is them walking around naked, and someone reaching out and getting their hand grabbed and cut off by a robot...

Back to your story: nice, but short. The Queen's Favour and the Astral Queen? Are they from the same starliner company? :D

And I see you're still on your "anti-80s-novel alien-lovers" rampage. :D I'm currently reading 'Music of the Spheres' by Margaret Wander Bonano, the original manuscript of what was rewritten into 'Probe'. She has a total "thing" for the Vulcans and Romulans. All her characters love them. It gets wearying.

As for logic: yes, logic can justify anything with the appropriate equation. It's just that Vulcans are not just walking AI logic boards; they also have a moral code they are brought up with; the prime example bewing "a Vulcan cannot lie". A crimial Vulcan. Interesting. i'd completely forgotten her from her from 'TNG: Gambit'. Mind you, Enterprise has given us untrustworthy and dishonourable Vulcans too. Curious, the blind-spots I have...

Well, this was educational. Thanks, Larr. :)
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Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 06:36:23 pm »
Vulcans cannot lie...

*cough*Bullsh*t!*cough*

Maybe he's fat and alcoholic, too. With a mohawk.

I'll wait and see.

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Offline Commander La'ra

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 08:14:09 pm »
Chapter Two

The cruise into Tel Minor took four days.  Not because it was distant;  because trickery was required.

Penetrating the Klingon-Federation Neutral Zone undetected was a formidable task, even when you were only trying to prevent one of the bordering powers from detecting you.

Sneaking past that area of Organian-enforced peace was more difficult.  It was done often enough, several times by the Hiv’laposh herself.  But like the cutpurse who knows to avoid streetlamps, those skulkings had been accomplished by choice of good concealment in areas of limited traffic.

Tel, however, was like a wealthy woman in the middle of the midday street.  There were no shadows to hide thieves, no way to approach without her notice, or the notice of whatever rough men she had to protect her. 

Stealth was not an option.  That left speed.

Racing straight across the Neutral Zone and into the United Federation of Planets wasn’t the wisest way to employ that tool, though. 

Instead, Leral found an outbound ore hauler, headed for a Klingon colony world in the zone, one suitably close to Tel.  The Hiv’laposh had offered service as an escort, and made most of the trip with the sluggish freighter under her wing.

That gave her crew plenty of time to do long-range scans, assess the location of border patrol vessels, download intelligence reports about Tel’s defenses, run diagnostics on engines and guns, and all manner of other preparations.  Questions were even asked of Imperial Intelligence;  could the captain of the Queen’s Favor be relied on to be in certain areas?

The languid hauler signaled her thanks as the oddly-matched pair arrived near it’s destination.  Ran’jar acknowledged the signals moments before the old battlecruiser rotated onto a least time course for her objective and accelerated into high warp, leaving the hauler’s crew wondering if their escort had gone mad.

Reaction from Starfleet wasn’t instant.  But the Klingon warship’s course change was detected soon enough.  Warning messages flew, and more than one Federation ship put her bow on an intercept course.

Starfleet had three hours to get to Tel before this obvious Klingon attack could endanger the world and it’s population.  Or they would’ve had three hours, had the Hiv’laposh been restricted to a D-6’s usual maximum speed.

She wasn’t.

“System boundary in one minute,”  Danar, the helmsman, calls out.

“System defense is scrambling patrol craft.  I’m detecting six small combat ships exiting the atmosphere of Tel Minor,”  Leral was reporting.

“Communications traffic indicates system defenders are on high alert, moving into position to protect civilian orbital facilities,”  Ran’jar says.  “We’ve received challenges from three Starfleet vessels.  Transponder traces show they are moving to intercept, the closest is twenty minutes out.”

La’ra confirms each report, and several more, with a nod as he paced back and forth across the front of the bridge.  The vibration in the deck had a hint of violence, and the drone of the engines were a suppressed scream as the battlecruiser blasted down toward Tel Minor at better than warp eight.

Down was the correct word, too.  The Hiv’laposh had climbed up ‘above’ the system, and now dove, nearly perpendicular to the system’s orbital plane.  Even some trained spacers forgot to think in three dimensions.  A possible, tiny advantage.

“Boarding parties report ready, Commander,”  the gunner says.  Grimbek’s face was alight.  Action, after months.

“You reminded K’tal…”

“…to set for stun, yes sir,”  says the young Lieutenant.

“System penetration in five, four, three, two….”  Danar again.  La’ra moves to his command chair, seats himself.  The main viewer is on tactical mode, showing the various threats appearing around Tel Minor’s only inhabited world and the Hiv’laposh’s course straight into the middle of it.

“Alter course to target…”  La’ra drawls.  “…now!”

“Acting!”  Danar yells.  The helmsman with the bushy goatee slews the ship a few degrees to the left, a radical change in course at high warp.  The battlecruiser’s bow now points toward Tel’s third moon.

The Queen’s Favor was there, slung in a drydock belonging to the Middleton Line.  The company had other facilities close by.  A habitat station.  Orbital storage.  Not an attractive target to a Klingon raider, and one the system defense forces were not yet in position to protect.

Another tiny advantage.

“Deceleration in ten seconds!”  Danar again.

“Bringing impulse engines online at full power!”  An engineering tech says.  His job was solely to power up the sublight engines even as they slowed from warp.

That wasn’t standard procedure, but La’ra did it so often L’dar, the chief engineer, kept threatening to name the operation after him.

“Slowing!  Warp seven…five…four…”  Danar, yet again.  The helmsman’s fingers jab at a button, and the collision alarm sang out.

La’ra keys his chair’s intercom.

“All hands, brace!”  he shouts, and took his own advice, locking his legs against the deck and gripping the arms of his chair.  Other Klingons did similar, or seized handholds.

“Sublight…now!”  Danar bellows and the ship bucks and rocks, the collapse of her warp bubble hastened by the roaring impulse drive.

The old grey warship swoops down on the repair yard, the dark grey moon of Tel providing a dramatic backdrop.  It’s prey gave little visible notice;  no fleeing shuttles, no scrambling fighters.  But there were reactions.

Queen’s Favor has raised shields around herself and the drydock,”  Leral says from the sensor station.  “Shields coming up on the habitat module and other structures…scanning for Vulcan life signs…”

“Visual on target,”  La’ra orders.  The screen shifts instantly.  The tactical displays show up on a different viewer, larger, at least, than the sometimes-too-small screen attached to the command chair.

On the main screen was the Queen’s Favor, organic looking, like a giant seashell, with windows along her dorsal spine.  She was hemmed in by the cage-like struts of the drydock.

“Probes deploying,”  says another man from a station at the rear of the bridge.  Two of them, part of the plan.  Tel’s moon would block sensors;  the probes would offer eyes at each pole.  They’d also be targets.

“Weapons range in ten seconds,”  Grimbek says gleefully.

“…positive Vulcan life signs on Queen’s Favor.  Multiple indicators.  None on surrounding structures.”  Leral adds.

“Diverting auxiliary power to phaser reserves,”  The back-of-the-bridge engineer again.

“In range!”  Grimbek shouts.

“Open fire!”

Energy flew from the cruiser.  Emerald pulses from the disruptors, red beams from the phaser batteries in her bow, a constant barrage.  The Queen’s Favor’s shields flared and crackled.  They were strong, as were most liner’s, but she was covering more than just herself, and the effort weakened her.

La’ra barks an order, the Hiv’laposh swings to port, then back in, a high-speed orbit of the dockyard, constant weapons fire punishing the motionless cruise ship. 

Her shields had moments left, but the Commander isn’t looking at that data…he’s eying the tactical displays again.  The patrol ships Leral had detected were charging to the rescue, using the moon as cover.

They’d soon notice the probes.  They’d likely destroy them.  But let them think they were unseen for the moment.

“Target’s shields are down!”  Leral whoops.

“Adjusting target…”  Grimbek’s fingers tap at his console.  For a moment, the cruiser’s guns are silent.  “…firing.”

Crimson beams lance out from the Hiv’laposh’s command pod, spearing precise spots in the drydock’s superstructure. 

There are explosions, though relatively small ones, sparks and lighting crackle across the liner andthe drydock, dying for a moment before other energy beams find similar targets and the process begins again.

“External power links severed,”  Leral reports.  La’ra slams his fist into the arm of his command chair.  The Queen’s Favor was helpless now;  her main power core was cold to allow her warp drive repairs, and now no aid came from the repair dock.

“Good shooting,”  he barks at the gunner, his chair rotating towards the rear of the bridge before the words are out of his mouth.  “Drop shields, away boarding party!”

“Both teams away,”  Ran’jar announces a moment later.  Lights dim as energy screens are brought back up, protecting the old cruiser once more.

“Enemy ships approaching far side of moon,”  Leral is announcing, bringing La’ra’s attention back to the tactical screen.  “ETA at present speed…fifteen seconds…”

“Probe one destroyed,”  the rear-bridge sensor officer reports.  On the tac display, the device winks out of existence.  The incoming enemy doesn’t vanish, but course projections are shown, their color changing with each moment of uncertainty.

“Here they come, Commander,”  Leral says.

Four sleek, winged ships fling themselves around the moon.  Their course is a long, arcing, high speed run in towards the old battlecruiser, whitish-grey Starfleet hulls pristine against the coal-black star field.

“Incoming torpedoes!”  Leral shouts.

“Brace for impact,”  La’ra grunts.  The order is obeyed, and there’s a rough pitching in the deck as antimatter warheads thunder.

“Shield damage minimal,”  Grimbek says.  He’s already returning fire, phaser blasts stabbing out at the enemy.  La’ra frowns.  The patrol craft have turned away…

“Proximity photons,”  Ran’jar snarls.  La’ra nods.  The enemy was reluctant to close.  Wise.  Yet…

“Where are the other two?”  La’ra growls.  On the view screen, Grimbek’s barrage is scoring hits, but the targets are distant.  Two of the ships turn in again, more torpedoes fly.

“No sensor contact,”  Leral says as the deck rocks again.

“Team two reports that they’re at their objective and are downloading the data,”  Ran’jar says from the comm console.  “Team one is attempting to reach primary objective;  target personnel are sealed in a safe room.”

“Estimated time?”  The Commander demands.

“Unknown,”  The First responds.  “They’re deploying explosives.”

The patrol craft continue to dance around at maximum range, swooping in by twos.  Their weapons are accurate, bruising the cruiser’s shields with each blow, but they couldn’t really hope to penetrate her defenses.

La’ra nods to himself.  Whatever their plan was, it involved the two he could not see.

“Why do they not close?”  Grimbek asks.  The gunner’s own attacks are being stymied by range, the fleetness of his targets and the Hiv’laposh’s high-speed orbit of the drydock.

“Discourage them from changing their mind,”  La’ra grunts.

“Team two report data downloaded and are ready for transport,”  Ran’jar says.  “Team one still assaulting a door.”

La’ra glances at the chronometer.  How much longer should he give them?  The deck rocks again.  Two more minutes, he decided.  He cannot risk being caught by real warships.

“Team one reports objective achieved,”  Ran’jar says, after long seconds.

La’ra’s mouth opens, the order to drop shields, and Kahless grants a moment of clarity. 

“Gunner!”  he says instead.  “Cover our unshielded side.”

“Sir!”  Grimbek replies.  Firing doesn’t stop, the Lieutenant likely having placed the forward weapons on automatic.

“Drop shields and energize!”  La’ra shouts.

The old cruiser’s starboard portside defenses drop.  The reaction from Starfleet is instant.

“Two contacts, aft quarter!”  Leral shouts.  She has no time for more details;  the ship rocks, more violent than with the previous hits.  Energy striking hull.

“Transport complete!”  Ran’jar snaps.

“Hard to starboard!”  shouts the Commander, and the old battle cruiser’s bow snaps to the right.  Torpedoes intended for her unshielded hull strike home on healthy screens and the ship shakes again.  Crimson beams slice aft-ward, flaring the shields of the two winged craft that’d so suddenly swooped in from over the top of Tel’s moon.

The twin small craft race in toward the grey-hulled warship, phasers flashing.  For a brief moment, they face her bow-to-bow.  They’re already snapping “upward” when the main array speaks, spearing the right-most target with constant streams of energy.

The small ship rolls and jinks, but for each beam evaded, another shot from the Hiv’laposh connects.  There’s a final flare from the target’s shields, a flash as another beam connects with her engine housing, a sure crippling on a vessel so small…

…the explosion fills the viewer, and La’ra shields his eyes.  Outside, thousands of fragments pepper the Klingon ship’s shields.

“Maim them!  Don’t kill them!”  The Commander shouts.  Just in case the battlecruiser was hemmed in by Starfleet, he had a backup plan.  It’d work better the fewer casualties they inflicted.

“A lucky hit, sir,”  Grimbek is shaking his head. 

La’ra snarls. 

“It happens.  Damage report!”

“No effect on combat systems,”  Ran’jar said,  apparently feeling that was sufficient.  “Multiple phaser hits on portside nacelle, no hull breach.”

So that’s what they’d been planning.  Distract with the four, hobble with the two.  Wait for backup to show up and destroy the marauding Klingon.

Not a terrible scheme, La’ra admits.

“Target six disabled,”  Grimbek reports.  On screen another gunboat is snared in the Hiv’laposh’s tractor beam.  The beam releases, and she floats away, helpless.

Her four sisters are diving in though, firing.  Angered now, Starfleet’s squadron was making an honest attack run.   But they were chasing the Hiv’laposh’s tail now, and she was at full impulse power.

“Divert weapon power to shields,”  La’ra says.  They could catch him at impulse, eventually, but he needed only moments to get to warp.  “Set course for the Neutral Zone, maximum warp when we’re clear of the moon.”

“Warp signature, off our port bow!”  Leral shouts, and bearings follow.  Another ship, snapping out of warp, appears on the tactical screen, then the viewer.  She was a freighter.  A medium-sized one.  The phaser blasts and torpedoes flying from her were not standard issue.  A system defense auxiliary, most likely, too late to the brawl.

The old cruiser rocks under her new assailant’s fire, but there’s a flicker of acceleration, a change in the tenor of the engines, and she’s away, rocketing up to dozens of times the speed of light.

They’re away for perhaps thirty seconds when the bridge crew cheers.  Shouts of success and victory.

“Silence!”  La’ra barks after giving them a moment.  “We’re not finished yet.  First, status of nearby Starfleet contacts.” 

“Transponder readings indicate we still have three Starfleet vessels approaching us.  We are still being challenged,”  Ran'jar says.  The First had not joined the brief celebration, of course. 

“Helm?”  La’ra asks. 

“At our present speed, the closest target will enter weapons range in one hour, forty-five minutes,”  Danar replies.  The Commander frowns.

“What’s our speed.”

“Warp 8.1.”

La’ra growls, stabs the intercom with his massive finger.

“Why are we not going faster?”  he demands.

“Because we took two hits in the port nacelle,”  responds the engineer.  L’dar’s voice is gruff, a slightly deeper, slightly snappier version of La’ra’s.  They were brothers. “No permanent damage, but they were shooting at a high electromagnetic setting.  It’s thrown off the tuning of two of our warp coils.”

Starfleet had though of everything, apparently.

“Can you repair it while underway?”

“I can if you keep the speed under Warp 7.5.”

“For how long?”

“Twenty minutes.”

La’ra looks at the helmsman.  Danar gestures, mouths the words ‘just barely.’  The Commander nods.

“Understood.  You’ll have your twenty minutes,”  he says, and kills the channel.  “Reduce speed to Warp 7.4.”

“Sir,”  Danar says.

La’ra looks around, considering his bridge crew.  The ship was still at defense condition one, and they were far from their final escape.  They’d deserved their moment of exultation, though, and he has no doubts that other portions of the ship had mirrored it.

There might not be time for congratulations later.  He opens a ship-wide channel.

“All hands;  You have no doubt noted that we are now at warp.  Our penetration of the Federation system was successful and the warriors of our boarding parties have returned with our prize.  We have destroyed one Starfleet patrol craft,”  he begins.  “There is still a long chase ahead;  we are being pursued by multiple Earth vessels.  We must keep our wits, if we wish to survive until the meat and bloodwine.”

“But there will be meat and bloodwine.  All galley staff are released from battle stations;  you know what to do.”

There are chuckles from the bridge crew as La’ra closes the channel.  Grins from officer to officer.  They’d get their feast.  He has a plan if Starfleet catches them, a plan he may enact even if they don’t.

The worst could happen, though.  If they were caught, and his plan did not work, they would likely lose their prize.  Best that all worth be wrung from the Queen’s Favor’s master now.

He turns to Ran’jar.

“You have the ship.”

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

There's a line in there that should answer Andy's question about the liner's owners...

Enjoy!
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2012, 01:10:01 pm »
Quote
There's a line in there that should answer Andy's question about the liner's owners...
I thought that had been thrown in especially for me. ;D

A very exciting and breakneck piece that gives all credit to Starfleet for smartness while still allowing the "hero" :D to win. I'm going to try to learn from this. I have a few battle scenes in progress right now and I need to learn how to not bog them down with narration and dialogue. This piece is certainly a good example to analyse (along with the advice from your Fearless critique). :)

Got a picture of your little Starfleet winged defenders?
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Offline Commander La'ra

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2012, 04:10:03 pm »
I thought that had been thrown in especially for me. ;D

Indeed.  I almost called it something with the 'Elizabeth' or 'Victoria' names thrown in, but instead decided to use something more (from our perspective) contemporary.  I'd initially not thought of mentioning the owners of the ships, but used the Astral Queen as a TOS reference and decided that maybe they were part of the same fleet.

Didn't think about actually spelling it out until you mentioned it, though. ;)

Quote
A very exciting and breakneck piece that gives all credit to Starfleet for smartness while still allowing the "hero" :D to win. I'm going to try to learn from this. I have a few battle scenes in progress right now and I need to learn how to not bog them down with narration and dialogue. This piece is certainly a good example to analyse (along with the advice from your Fearless critique). :)

Thank you, thank you very much.  I was worried about this scene (just ask the Guv) due to the length of time it's been since I wrote a Star Trek ship-to-ship.  I wanted it to be a little different, and got the idea of the Hiv'laposh having to deal with fast attack craft/PF's while raiding something.

I had the basic idea for the fight for a long time, but no story to put it in.  When I started this one, I originally didn't envision putting it in the story, but realized it fit really well when I told myself just going in and grabbing the guy would probably be La'ra's next play.

Quote
Got a picture of your little Starfleet winged defenders?

Of course not, I have less visual arts ability than some manual amputees.  It's a challenge for me to draw a crude map or a stick figure.

I imagined that a PF-type craft, though, might be called upon to fight in an atmosphere far more often than most other ship types, and while the lack of aerodynamic lift doesn't seem to inhibit shuttlecraft, possessing it can't hurt if you actually have to perform CAS or something.

Handy spot to hang weapons, too.

If anyone wants to take a shot at drawing them, feel free, though.  They won't look like what I imagine, as what I'm imagining is a little too retro.;)
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2012, 05:03:28 pm »
My mind came up with this one
Snickers@DND: If there is one straight answer in that bent little head of yours, you'd better start spillin' it pretty damn quick, or I'm gonna take a large, blunt object, roughly the size of Kallae AND his hat and shove it lengthwise up a crevice of your being so seldomly cleaned that even the denizens of the nine hells would not touch it with a 10-feet rusty pole

Offline Commander La'ra

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2012, 07:11:06 pm »
Yeah, the Peregrine and the Runabouts are about the only canon examples of fighters or patrol craft I can think of.  The image I had in my head didn't look Trek at all, and more closely resembled some bad model from a '70's sci-fi series.  We're talking Buck Rogers here.

Officially, no, they don't look like Hawk's ships from BR.  That's just the shape I simply couldn't get out of my head.
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2012, 10:11:16 pm »

If anyone wants to take a shot at drawing them, feel free, though.  They won't look like what I imagine, as what I'm imagining is a little too retro.;)

Retro as in TOS or retro as in F-4 Wildcats?

My mind actually pictured a fighter-ized version of the test ships from ST: ENT, those warp 2 test craft.

--Guv

(you've already had my review. Still trying to get the scotch tape off my eyelids...)
"Jayne?"

"Yeah?"

"You wanna tell me why there's a statue of you here lookin' like I owe him something?"

"Wishin' I could, Captain. "

Offline Commander La'ra

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2012, 12:32:40 am »
Retro as in TOS or retro as in F-4 Wildcats?

Retro as in something out of a '70's sci-fi series.  I think I actually saw the image I had in my head on episodes of Buck Rogers, but I'm not sure I'd want them to look like that 'officially'.

Quote
My mind actually pictured a fighter-ized version of the test ships from ST: ENT, those warp 2 test craft.

Got a link to a photo?  I think I missed the episode with those.

Quote
(you've already had my review. Still trying to get the scotch tape off my eyelids...)

See?  I told you that wouldn't be nearly as bad as the superglue.
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
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Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2012, 03:22:23 am »
How about the Raider
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Offline Scottish Andy

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2012, 09:50:44 am »
Hey, Hawk's ship is pretty cool-looking. Good for a Rom fighter :D
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Offline KOTH-KieranXC, Ret.

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2012, 09:02:33 pm »
I remember the first chapter of this fondly, but as I mentioned to you earlier I was unaware, yet pleasantly surprised, that there was more. Though, also as I said to you earlier, I would warn La'ra about starting to prepare the victory feast before the battle is won. Karma has a way of taking exception to such things. :D

I do quite enjoy La'ra's approach to the situation. But then again, I'm not quite as squeamish as Andy when it comes to violence, I think. ;) Personally, I think they got(and hopefully will continue to get) what they deserve. Kieran himself probably wouldn't have taken it quite so far(he's a little rough even by 23rd century human standards, but he still is one of those soft Feddies, after all :D) but I don't think he'd quibble overly much with how things went down.

As for the appearance of the small Fed ships... I absolutely love the old BSG Raider designs, as well as the Peregrine design, but I don't think either of them fits for this story. The Peregrine is a little too advanced for the time frame, IMO, and the Cylon Raider just doesn't look ST-Fed enough to me. (Or maybe I'm just too used to seeing them stuffed with chromejobs.) I was actually envisioning something a little like this, especially after Larry's comments about retro: http://www.shipschematics.net/startrek/images/federation/fighter_avenger.jpg Yes, most of the shipschematics designs are crap, but there's a few gems among the dross. Thought this was kind of a neat little design, and it seems to fit the description of the ships, at least based on the mental image I got from the text.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 10:06:21 pm by KOTH-KieranXC, Ret. »
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Offline Lieutenant_Q

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2012, 09:52:06 pm »
Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing an up-scaling of the BTL Y-Wing for use as a Corvette/Psuedo-Fighter.  When I first saw the Y-Wing, (I was 3 when ROTJ came out, so I didn't get to see Star Wars until later)  I thought it was a Federation Ship already.  (I was eight, at the time, and the first Sci-Fi movie I was allowed to watch was Star Trek IV, on VHS)
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Offline Vipre

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2012, 10:41:58 pm »
Very good read, too bad no chapter three.

As for the fighter, something using either one of the F-19 model designs here or here, modified of course, or something using the Boeing Bird of Prey as a base shape.

The first F-19 version is what popped in my head but with stretched wings and more rounded head ala the second version or BoP. Not specifically a single seat fighter mind you just mimicking the general shape/lines.
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Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2012, 10:46:14 pm »
Though, also as I said to you earlier, I would warn La'ra about starting to prepare the victory feast before the battle is won. Karma has a way of taking exception to such things. :D


WWII, Sub commander Lt Cmdr Eugene Fluckey (yes, real name), would start his attack runs on enemy convoys by ordering 6 cases of beer be put in the cooler to celebrate after the attack. No harm in preparing for success. Get the crew in the right frame of mind.

--me
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Offline KOTH-KieranXC, Ret.

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2012, 10:58:38 pm »
Though, also as I said to you earlier, I would warn La'ra about starting to prepare the victory feast before the battle is won. Karma has a way of taking exception to such things. :D


WWII, Sub commander Lt Cmdr Eugene Fluckey (yes, real name), would start his attack runs on enemy convoys by ordering 6 cases of beer be put in the cooler to celebrate after the attack. No harm in preparing for success. Get the crew in the right frame of mind.

--me

LOL. I looked him up on Wiki and was surprised he wasn't born a Southerner. ;) :D
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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2012, 11:21:31 pm »
Told ya' I'd been workin' on it!

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

The ship’s corridors are dark, emergency bulbs and battle warnings providing just enough to see.  No one’s battle station was in a corridor, even near the brig.

“Commander,”  The II man is scuttling down the hallway.  He moves without the typical rattle of navy personnel.  He has no armor, no weapon.  “The prisoner is ready for interrogation.  With your permission, I will begin.”

La’ra keeps walking.  The II man follows, in step with the larger man.

“We have limited time,”  La’ra rumbles.  There’s the odd vibration in the deck to remind him of that;  it’s not quite as noticeable as it should be, continually telling him his ship’s stride was less than optimal.  “I will question him myself.  A mind-sifter will not be effective on a Vulcan.”

He had information of the man’s treachery, after all.  Even a Vulcan would likely open up when that fact was revealed.

“No it will not, Commander, but I have other tools I can utilize…”  The dark man continues.  The brig door looms, and La’ra is shaking his head.  “Commander, allow me a moment, please.”

La’ra frowns, stops.  II agents were often threatening, sometimes cajoling, sometimes bargaining, but they were rarely polite.  He meets the darker man’s gaze.

“Vulcans are difficult to read in physical interrogations.”  The II man states.  “They have their giveaways, their reactions, and these can be plain if one knows what to look for.  I am skilled in that aspect of interrogation, sir, and I would suggest that, if you wish to question him yourself, you allow me to watch.  Without the subject’s knowledge.”

La’ra considers the man.  He was polite and logical.  Efficient too, if his treatment of the late Feinster was typical.  The combination was odd.

He’s one of Dar’tel’s, La’ra reminds himself.  Dar’tel was an II Major.  He was close to crazy, but La’ra trusted him to some degree.  Of course he’s odd.

“Fine,”  La’ra agrees. One of the brig guards is standing nearby. The Commander barks an order.  Unobtrusive comms are delivered. 

“What’s your name?”  The Commander asks.

“O’Kag,”  The interrogator answers.  The two enter the brig.  O’kag enters the jailer’s office, La’ra follows a guard to the bare metal room that houses the iHiv’laposh’s latest prisoner.

The Vulcan shows no sign of distress as the Commander enters.  The prisoner is one of Surak’s older children, a few flecks of grey in his hair.  He’s seated in an uncomfortable chair in front of a metal table.  Both were rooted to the deck, lest they be used as a weapon.

“Captain Sevek,”  La’ra says, easing himself into the chair opposite the man.  It was far enough away from the Vulcan to prevent any sudden assaults.  Klingons had much experience with captives.  “On Stardate 7767.1, your ships was attacked and boarded by pirates who removed several passengers and crew before departing.”

“I am aware that you accepted payment for your cooperation,”  The Commander growls.  “Tell me what you know of these miscreants, their ship, and anything else that may help me find them and I will consider turning you over to the Federation for prosecution.”

The Vulcan's gaze shifts, almost imperceptibly. His eyes are grey, and there‘s, despite the usual cold-logic stare, something vulnerable in them.

“He is surprised.  Alarmed.  I don’t believe he expected this was the reason for his abduction,” O’kag says, voice a ghostly presence in La’ra’s ear.

“If you do not cooperate, you will suffer Imperial justice.” La’ra warns.

The Vulcan flattens his hands on the table.  Looks down at them for a moment.  He speaks, voice the expected near-monotone.

“I will supply you any information I have available, Commander,”  he says.

La’ra blinks.

The Vulcan is not military, but one couldn’t successfully captain any starship, even a cruise liner, without some savvy.  The Vulcan had to know that there would be ships pursuing the Hiv’laposh.  He had to know that his rescue was a priority for crews of highly trained personnell, and that time, in such a situation, was invaluable.

Logically, he should delay.  Logically, he should stall La’ra as long as possible.  Why was he not?

“I find that statement somewhat dubious, Captain,”  La’ra says.

“It would be difficult not too, I would suspect,”  Sevek replies.  “But I would estimate that our time is somewhat limited, and would suggest that you present your questions.”

“This is interesting,”  O’Gak says.  “His heartbeat is accelerated, and his brain chemistry is…unusual at the moment.  He’s frightened, but he’s also…I believe he’s…remorseful, Commander.”

La’ra manages to keep his expression still.  He could test his prisoner.  He could ask for information he already knew and could confirm, but the Vulcan would suspect that…instead, he would see how much Sevek was willing to spill.

“Fine.  Describe your encounter with the pirates in its entirety.  Vulcans have eidetic memories in most cases;  use it.  Provide me with every detail.”

The Vulcan nods.

“We were seven days out from Sherman’s Planet, cruising at warp 4.6.  My vessel was approached by a small ship and I took defensive precautions, including raising my shields,”  The liner captain said.  “These proved insufficient.  The attacking ship was a converted high-speed luxury transport, I believe, and was more maneuverable.  They utilized photon torpedoes set to a high-radiation yield to weaken our shields enough to allow phaser penetration and then disabled our defense generators.  They then beamed over two heavily armed boarding parties and seized control of engineering and the primary commons area.”

La’ra’s face is a constant frown.  His mind is searching for little things wrong with the Vulcan’s story already. 

Yet he already knows why they took the common area and not, say, the bridge.  That much had been in the account the Argellian woman had given Leral.

“Our security personnel were better armored and equally armed, but could not retake the captured areas without our attackers killing the common area passengers, which they threatened to do over subspace radio.  They also threatened to destroy the ship by detonating the impulse engine’s hydrogen cells with explosives if we launched any attempt to retake those areas.”

“The attackers offered to negotiate their departure so long as we did not attempt to broadcast a distress call, as we had not at that point due to the speed of the attack.  I…agreed, to this, as I felt they most likely wished to take the valuables belonging to the passengers or perhaps parts or equipment, as most pirates in this sector do.”

La’ra is straining his own ears, barely believing something he’s hearing.  Not the Vulcan’s words, but the pace they’re being delivered, the pitch.  His words are coming fast, his voice getting just slightly higher.

“I met with their leader, a human, slightly but not greatly taller than average with a bearing I would associate with a military or paramilitary organization.  I will provide a greater description if you wish.  The conversation was brief.  He said that he’d gotten what he was after and would buy silence on my part about the finer details of the raid and shoved approximately ten bars of gold-press latinum into my grasp.”

“I did not immediately understand what he meant, but saw that he was herding around twenty female passengers and three males to the center of the common area deck and realized then he was most likely raiding for slaves.  He turned away, and I considered administering Tal’shi’a while he was vulnerable, but I realized that action would serve no logical purpose other than ensuring my death.”

There was a hint of…something, in the liner captain’s voice.  Vulcans were loathe to express their feelings of course, though they often made exceptions for irritation or condescension.  Whatever La'ra had heard had been neither of those.

The admission of a murderous impulse was odd, of course.  Even if that particular method of snapping a neck was fairly painless.

Sevek pauses for a moment.  His voice doesn’t quite return to it’s original monotone, though it’s more controlled now.

“I admit I was allowing my emotions to sway my impulses at that moment and regret that I was unable to indulge them.  Instead, when the raiders beamed away with their captives, I ordered our engines repaired, as they had disabled them, and headed for the nearest defended outpost.”

“I did not broadcast a report of what had transpired initially as I feared a reprisal attack if that occurred.  Once in contact with Starfleet, I gave a mostly complete version of events in my statement, turned over all available sensor logs and allowed them to perform a complete and intensive search of the ship without permission from company authorities, for which I was reprimanded more harshly than for being boarded and having my passengers taken, though, logically, I did not have a choice in that situation, but did in the case of Starfleet examining my vessel.”

“I also turned over the latinum to Starfleet Command,”  he finished.

“Mostly complete?”  La’ra asks.  He finds himself believing the Vulcan, though perhaps O’kag is about to tell him he’s mistaken on that point.

Sevek is quiet again, for a brief moment.

“I omitted the detail of wishing to perform Tal’shi’a on the raider commander.”

“Why?”

“I felt a…distinctly Vulcan self-consciousness about admitting that feeling in the presence of humans, given our reputation with that species.”

“They why mention it now?”

“First, I believe that you are no doubt monitoring my biometric readings and would be aware, or at least capable of detecting, any falsehood on my part and I felt an omission might affect those readings. "

“Second, I believe that admitting that particular desire might be seen as both understandable and even sympathetic to a Klingon, possibly softening any further actions toward me.”
 
"Third, I find myself occasionally wishing that I had gone through with my impulse at the time, which sometimes causes disagreeable mental preoccupation, and believe that voicing the urge may soothe future incidences of this.”

La’ra stares at Sevek for a moment.  Realistically, he supposes, it’s nearly impossible to tell if he was acting and playing to the Klingons wishes.  Yet he believes him.  Something in the eyes, in the voice, in the edge of certain words when he relays the story.

He almost trusts him enough to mention there was a witness to the bribe…or the attempted bribe.  He does not.

“You expect me to take this story at face value?”  The Commander asks.

“No, Commander, I am not certain you will,”  Sevek replies.

“And you have nothing to add?”

“No.  I can think of no further detail that would be immediately useful, though I would suggest you investigate my ship’s sensor logs, which I assume you downloaded during your raid.  I could recite specific descriptions of the vessel and the personnel, if you wish.”

La’ra stands.

“One moment,” he says.  And walks out the door.  O’Kag is waiting.

“I believe him,”  La’ra says.

“I concur,” says the II man, and there’s a brief spark of surprise in La’ra mind.  It was his instincts telling him to believe the Vulcan, and sometimes more grounded folks questioned those.

“Why?”  La’ra demands.

“His biometric readings were consistent with someone telling the truth while in an…agitated, frame of mind, and he has elevated levels of the hormone produced by fear in Vulcans,”  the interrogator says dryly.  “And, looking at things from the Vulcan mindset, if one were to feel anger at the level he seems to be, it would be logical to impart as much information as possible to us, since…we wish the cause of his anger harm.”

The Commander nods.

“Chance he could be an exceptionally gifted liar, who is using some Vulcan method of regulating himself to fool your sensors?”

“Possible,”  O’Kag admits.  “But unlikely.”

“We’ll operate under belief, then.  He remains in the brig, but he’s now a…guest we are suspicious of, rather than a complete prisoner.  Take advantage of his cooperation.  Mine him for every scrap of detail you can and report to me.  Do it quickly, I may need him.”

“Yes, sir,”  The II man responds.  “Need him for…”

The ship bucks.  It’s a hard, sudden motion, violent, though not harsh enough to throw anyone off their feet.  It’s a familiar sensation, and not one the old battlecruiser, even in contrary moments, is prone to make.

Photon torpedo.  In close proximity.

“Quickly!”  La’ra barks, and jogs toward a turbo lift.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 09:29:01 pm by Commander La'ra »
"Dialogue from a play, Hamlet to Horatio: 'There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Dialogue from a play written long before men took to the sky. There are more things in heaven and earth, and in the sky, than perhaps can be dreamt of. And somewhere in between heaven, the sky, the earth, lies the Twilight Zone."
                                                                 ---------Rod Serling, The Last Flight

Offline Captain Sharp

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2012, 06:47:37 pm »
Ah, you added the torpedo attack since you wrote my copy.

I gave you my opinions, such as they were. I'm loving every scrap of this'n.

Just think, in a few scant year, it may be finished.

--guv
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"Yeah?"

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"Wishin' I could, Captain. "

Offline Grim Reaper

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2012, 01:55:35 am »
Reading this reminds me how much I want the guys here (and you particularly) to write a star trek Klingon. (though do not give me any say, because that would become an massive undreamt).

Anyways good to see La'ra again I've missed him and his crew.

And finally: lol at guv, so true ;)
Snickers@DND: If there is one straight answer in that bent little head of yours, you'd better start spillin' it pretty damn quick, or I'm gonna take a large, blunt object, roughly the size of Kallae AND his hat and shove it lengthwise up a crevice of your being so seldomly cleaned that even the denizens of the nine hells would not touch it with a 10-feet rusty pole

Offline KBF-Frank

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Re: Pound of Flesh
« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2015, 02:58:23 pm »
bump to front   ;D