JUNE 2003

Date: June 2, 2003
Title: "Newbies in DA HOUSE!"
Author: Capt. Vada Keys, PO3 Kaury Farrun, Ens. Mgeni Jovica



ON:

== Tracos, Leur/Cross Compound ==

LS was enjoying an unusual leisurely day at home, not anticipating much work to be done, with perhaps the arrival of her new trainees sometime in the near future. She lounged on her couch in fatigues, legs propped up and a couple of PADDs strewn around the room. She was reading the profiles of all her newcomers, already attempting to pick out their strengths and weaknesses. The two females in the bunch looked to be the most promising, but she also thought the Ferengi and a few of the others would certainly add some excitement.

At that moment of reflection, LS was paged by her training assistant, Kella Dziak, and was told that the USS Edgarton had arrived, with plans of dropping off the trainees at McNicholson Base.

== Later, McNicholson Base ==

LS stood in anxious anticipation as she waited for her "newbies" to materialize. It's not that she relished the thought of torturing them right away, but she couldn't help but be curious about them.

== Edgarton ==

Jovica was doing an early morning training session with the holodeck's boxing simulation program. She did like the being on a Starfleet ship again, it was more efficient that working in her art studio. She stood on the PADD, without making a sound. Jovica stayed away from most of the recruits during her time on the Edgarton. This was a job pure and simple, a way to get back her commission.

She would talk to commander away from the recruits to thank her for the assistance and incentive to return to Starfleet. It would be wierd not being in command red, but this would give her some anomity for a time until she could figure out her next move in the fleet. The beam down was easy as she appeared on the transporter padd in the base.

== McNicholson Base ==

As the shimmering of the transporter died away, Kaury glanced around, finding hersefl in a fairl standard transporter room, one of thousands across the Federation. She regarded the Human female that stood waiting for them. Although the woman had a few inches on Kaury, she was nonetheless built like a Hani, though her mane was a bizarre shade of silvery gold. Kaury stepped down off the platform and bowed. "P03 Kaury Farrun reporting for duty."

It took a few moments before the rest of the new trainees had beamed down, and there appeared to be six in total. LS offered them all a half smile, which most individuals who knew her would classify as unusal for her. "Welcome to Tracos," she said, glancing around. "I am Commander LS von de Leur. I'll be in charge of your training. It's good to have you all here."

Jovica looked about as the commander spoke. Her dark colored eyes panned the other recruits as she watched their reactions. "Good to be here commander. What is our first assignment?" She had been on the ship and on a break long enough.

Kaury glanced at the bizarre looking woman that had just spoken, but her ears went down as a familiar smell reached her. The Ferengi was standing behind her, waaay too close for comfort. Wrinkling her nose in disgust, she focused her attention on Commander von de leur. She pursed her lips in Hani pleasantness. They had placed a woman in charge.

"Actually," LS said, indicating to the transporter pads with a wave of her hand. "You can all resume your places on the transporters. It will send us to our final destination."

As the trainees ascended the platform again, LS moved to the transporter control panel. She inserted her Intelligence Based Encryption chip and watched the screen as it performed her request for information. While the trainees may have been curious as to her actions, and even the fact that she was performing the procedure herself, none of them could see the log on sequence that ensued. Someday, when they completed their training, they would.

Log in: ...

Log in: *******

Log in approved... insert IBE Chip.

Verifying encryption codes...

Request: INTELLIGENCE GROUND FACILITY Specifications.

Code Clearance Approved.... Welcome Commander von de Leur! Retrieving INTELLIGENCE GROUND FACILITY data...stand by...

LS removed her chip, and stepped over to the pad to join the others for transport. Several seconds later, they were transported again.

Jovica looked at the Commander's movements. Her eyes could not see what she did exactly. She heard her fingers tap the flat panel and the responding chirps. Jovica stood there with the other recruits and looked at the Hani across from her.

She would check the xenobiology database when she got a chance. They appeared on a new base and Jovica's senses were running on overload, but her Bajoran sensibilties took over and calmed down the paranoia.

They materialized in another base...or ship. A base, Kaury decided, hangin been in starfleet long enough to tell the difference. But where? On Tracos? They couldn't have gone far... she stepped down off the platform and hitched the strap of her duffle can a little higher on her shoulder.

LS stepped down from the transporter and immediately greeted a short Arbazan woman with the rank pips of a Lieutenant. They exchanged a few words and then LS turned back to Kaury, Jovica and the others. "This is Lieutenant Kella Dziak. She's the assistant trainer." She then launched right into what could be considered a lecture as she indicated that they follow her. They left the transporter room and once in the hallway, she pointed out various doors. "Most of your training will take place on this deck with the holodeck, the lecture halls and the Arena." She quickly made her way to the turbo lift.

Jovica packed lightly, knowing that she didn't need much of her sculpting tools and old uniform, so she packed a sealed container of kanar and some comfortable gloves as well as her boxing gloves and aikijustu clothing.

She would find out where they were later, they could be anywhere with in 2000 kilometers of the starbase. Her Cardassian senses finally calmed she followed the Commander. She walked out of the transporter area and listened to the tour as they entered a turbolift.

Kaury entered the lift. Eight people was a bit much to cram into one lift car, but they managed. Of course Pok (npc) managed to crowd up against her.

He glanced at her and favored her with a toothy Ferengi grin.

Kaury responded with a flat-eared glare and a hiss, sending Pok backing as far away as he could get...six inches.

LS sent both the Hani and the Ferengi a frosty blue stare, one that silently demanded that they not test her so early in the game. She didn't particularly care what happened when she wasn't around, but she wasn't about to deal with it now.

They exited onto another deck, and LS continued her explanation of the facilities at their disposal. "And this is the other deck where you will spend most of your time with your quarters, the lounge, and also sickbay. You are restricted to the two decks I have just shown you. Your clearence codes will not allow you to have access beyond these points. And I discourage you from trying to bypass them." LS's ice blue eyes bore into each trainee in turn, making sure they were clear in her instructions. "You will also be allowed to visit Sonal, McNicholson Base and other areas on Tracos, but not without Lieutenant Dziak or myself present." She smirked. "Consider this to be like Kindergarden." She was pleased by some of the looks of confusion she got from the non-terran trainees who perhaps knew nothing of those customs.

Jovica looked at the others. "Child school for the weak Terran babies." She explained to them as began to get a better understanding of the area around her. It would be sometime until she returned from ensign status. But this training would help.

Kaury fiddled with her moustache ends. Her ears stayed down. "Two decks? And no going outside without an escort? This seems more like a gods-rotted prison than a training center!"

LS nodded with some sense of understanding. "I know it seems extreme. But you'll come to understand why these measures are necessary."

Kaury shrugged. "If you say so. Don't suppose we get windows," she added under her breath.

Jovica looked at her. "Just imagine what sunshine used to look like." She looked around at the rest of the team wondering who would survive this training.

Kaury did remember...remembered the warm Anuurn sun on her face, the gentle breezes...none of which she would ever see again, thanks to the near-sighted old women in the han.

"Alright then," LS said clapping her hands. "I guess with all the festivities over with, we'll let you get settled. Kella has your rooming assignments. Please report to Lecture Hall 1A at 0900 in the morning."

OFF

Captain Vada Keys (as Commander LS von de Leur)
Commanding Officer (Intelligence Operative Trainer)
Intelligence Team IV (IGF)
&
PO3 Kaury Farrun
Operative Trainee
&
Ensign Mgeni Jovica
Operative Trainee
---------------------------------------------------

MAY 2003

Date: May 26, 2003
Title: "Evening in the Playing Field"
Author: Corporal Mendici - Commander Ryan - Captain Keys



ON:

==RNS Aidoann ==

Vada glanced curiously at the Demolitions Expert. She had watched his earlier conversation with Masters with interest, and the Vulcan intrigued her with his zeal for work.

"Well Corporal, you've pretty much said all that is needed. I guess there is nothing else to say but make it so."

"The problem, ma'am, is that we need to coordinate the rest of the plan. I've got a skeleton, but I am not the one to make infiltration plans, nor to decide how best to disable the ship. I suggest a concussive explosion coupled with some plasma or deuterium to make it appear to the fleet the ship suffered some sort of failure. We'll have to be quick, that's for sure."

Ryan leaned forward and chipped in his worth."If we were alongside the ship, and cloaked I wouldn't want to be blowing up any explosives with this thing around. We're on minial sheilds when under cloak, and any spatial disturbances could give away our prescence. I'll need to study their tech a bit closer up but I think put together some kind of energy grid disruption, I'll just need a close scan."

"But would an energy grid disruption accomplish the task of stunning the crew enough that our infiltration team isn't pissing into the wind, if you'll pardon the expression, ma'am."

Vada smirked at his expression. "Pissing in the wind, eh?" She looked to Sam, and already saw some wheels turning in the Science Officer's mind. Turning back to the Vulcan, she asked, "So you're saying we should just go big then, Corporal?"

"I am not recommending reckless abandon, ma'am. What I am saying is that we need to hit that niche between subtle and damaging. The ship's systems would be knocked offline and the crew knocked either unconscious or stunned to the point of lacking the ability to react if we used a concussive device. That would give us time to swoop in like a bird of prey, again pardon the expression, and take the ship."

Ryan really knew he was beginning to dislike this guy, and for some reason he didn't really know why. "As I was saying, get me close enough for a scan, and I should be able to do something, at least something less than the Marine usual of the 'charging bull' approach. They'll be stunned beyond belief if it all goes to plan."

"So you dislike the 'hack 'em, whack 'em philosophy, Mr. Ryan?" Vada asked innocently, stifling her amusement over the situation. She looked at him with her own brows raised, waiting for his opinion.

"Not dislike, it's just not my approach. I've been at the wrong end of a disruptor before, and I don't personally like wondering whether it's on 'lightly barbeque 'or 'cremate'. Nine times of out ten, subtle will ensure less casualties, faster accompliment of the objectives, and means Douggie doesn't have to change his underwear more than once in a misson."

Vada cocked her head to the side and said with a pensive expression, "That last point certainly is crucial..."

"Perhaps you should consider replicating an extra pair and keeping them inside your tunic, Sir? Ma'am, I don't disagree with taking a closer look, but I feel that if we don't leave them squealin' from the feelin', we might be asking for trouble. All it takes is one Lurdian able to send for help, and we're tossed, ma'am."

"And all it take is one over eager Jarhead, and the entire Fleet will know we're there before we've enve done anything!"

"I suggest subtlety and Force, ma'am. I can rig a concussive device that will make it appear to all concerned, even the ship we hit, that there was some sort of failure. And if all else fails, ma'am, we have the air-lock full of chaff and fuel-tanks."

"We still have the airlock my way, and the concussive charges. If nothing happens with mine, then we've got other options that we can try. If we do get in, we don't get any unnecessary attention, like a big explosion of the Lurdian captial ship's port bow that might just have them asking why one of there ships is having problems."

"Sir, if the Captain were not a female, or not present, I'd suggest we settle this the route you're attempting to take and just whip them out and see who's is bigger. As it stands, I'll defer to your judgment as an officer and a gentleman, both of which I'd question in other circumstances."

Vada was having a tough time keeping a straight face. "Please, don't stop the hosing down the decks with testosterone and manly bravado on my account. I am by no means a lady, and certainly don't take my rank seriously," she said, indicating to the space between the two officers. "By all means. Go ahead. I am certain the rest of the crew would love to see you two duke it out. It would be the highlight of our trip thus far."

"Well I'm sure the Corporal's manhood might impress some holo-suite girls but.. " Sam turns to the Marine. ".. I'm the real deal, so take a back seat, and watch and learn."

"I'm not much of a watch and learn kind of guy, but then, I'm sure that your mother has told you that."

"You mean your mother could find her brain once she sat down on that small planetoid she calls her posterior? I am surprised!"

Vada simply rolled her eyes and let out a sigh. Then, she propped her elbow up on the armrest of her 'Captain's Chair' and cupped her chin in the palm of her hand, wondering if she and the rest of the crew had become invisable.

"My mother is dead, Sir, and I didn't particularly like her when she was alive," Sarok said. "I have an idea, how about we try it your way, and then our katras might have a shot at possessing the Lurdians once you've got us all killed."

"See I'm a scientist. I don't believe in this katra-crap so if that did happen, at least I wouldn't then have to put up with your brain in some poor zombies body. That thought is the most appealing thing you've said all day. 'Cept unless you say something about sticking yourself inside that airlock along with your debris."

"Belief is not the cornerstone of Reality, Sir." With that, Sarok removed a Terran cigar from his tunic and lit it. "I'll be in the weapons locker, rigging Explosives if anyone needs me." Sarok turned and left the bridge, quietly puffing away.

Vada continued to sit, staring at the viewscreen on the Romulan bridge, marveling at how nice it was. Then she imagined Rhiannsu music playing in the background, and with her free hand, pretended she was conducting it, waving about her index finger. Anything seemed better than the ringing in her ears caused by the banter of these two fools, who just happened to be members of her crew.

Sam looked rather annoyed at his adversary having both left the bridge with the argument unresolved, and also becuase he outranked him. That wasn't usually a pressing concern, but just this once his rank matter to him. He looked over at Vada to try and recover some dignity but saw her waving her hand in a blazee manner. "Erm, hello Miss Cappy, any chance of you doing your job?"

"Is that to put the two of you in your place?" Vada fired off somewhat annoyed. She quietly stood from her chair. "Or why don't thank you both for turning this ship and this mission into a three ring circus?" She headed for the turbolift. "Both of your suggestions and objections have been duly noted. When we are within range, page me." She then turned to Commander Masters and said in a clipped tone, "You have the bridge."

OFF

Corporal Sarok Mendici
Demolitions Expert

&

Commander Sam Ryan
Science Specialist

&

Captain Vada Keys
Commanding Officer
---------------------------------------------------

MARCH 2003

Date: March 2, 2003
Title: "Not the Beginning of the End, but the End of the Beginning"
Author: multiple joint post


ON:

== Tracos System, SB98 Engineering ==

It had been a long and fairly busy day, and so Lieutenant (jg Padriac Canedo was looking forward to today's duty end with a fair bit of longing. Before it was going to come to that though, there were a few routine checks to be made - still the CEO had been friendly enough to designate this as today's last task. Padriac was just skimming over a few frequencies in the shield matrix, when he stumbled upon aslightly unusual rotation. Startled, he tapped his commbadge.

"Bridge, Engineering. I think we may..." At that moment, he was sent to the floor by what seemed a small explosion. "Problem," he continued. "Nothing big though, we're on it. Life Support is up, we should be able to fix it within the hour."

Novak responded to the rumble with a simple eyebrow raising. He dusted himself off from his fall and appoached a nearest console, trying to determine the origin of the explosion. The explosion seemed to knock out a few EPS conduits. Novak stood back from the console.

"The explosion occurred in a EPS pathway." He looked to a group of nearby engineers, "I shall go down and inspect."

"Allright Ensign, let's go and have a look shall we. I want this shift to be over as soon as possible, and I have a notion that after this little mishap here, it will be."

Some 5 minutes later, the 2 engineers had arrived at the main shield matrix. Some 10 minutes later they had their first diagnosis. And some 15 minutes later, a few people were beginning to get really worried.

== SB98 Ops ==

As the ranking officer currently on the base, Forester was being inundated with reports and requests by various departments. So when Canedo paged him, his irritability got another nudge with the thought that the Lieutenant would be bringing more problems and concerns his way. He started to wonder why he ever came back from his vacation. Sighing, he reluctantly tapped his commbadge. "Forester here."

"Sir - I'm sorry to contact you directly, but we may have a serious problem here. The small explosion that just occured - it knocked out our primary shield modulator. For a non-engineer, that's the thing that rotates our shield frequencies randomly so as to make them impenetrable to enemy phaser fire. Right now, the auxiliary shield modulator kicked in - only, someone has tampered with it, changed the pattern it uses, from a random pattern, to a only-seemingly random pattern. This wouldn't be a problem, but if someone, that is, whoever installed this pattern, used it against us, it would render our shields useless. Sir, if I may say so: This stinks."

Forester blew some breath out of his lips, and tapped his fingertips on the armrest of the command chair in which he was sitting. Why did all the bad stuff have to happen when he was on duty? "So what you're saying is that we are completely without shields right now, correct?"

"No. I'm saying the shields are up and running, but useless if someone attacks us using the right frequency pattern, before we're able to fix it. And the last bit of bad news from me today is, whoever tampered with it was a pro and encrypted and locked the thing pretty well. The good news is, I'm going off duty in about 15 minutes, so some other specialist can take over, cause this clearly is more than they teach at the Academy."

"Actually Lieutenant, I would hate to burst your bubble, but we may need you to help fix this situation," Forester said with a hint of regret in his tone. "Please inform the CEO that all available engineers should be working on this until the problem is fixed. Forester out." Immediately upon ending his transmission with the engineer, he instructed one of the ops officers to patch him through to Commander von de Leur. He gave her the scope of the situation and instructed her to have the ground facility on alert as well.

== IGF, Ops ==

While his request seemed a little unusual, LS dutifully complied. She called up yellow alert began to contact the department heads to inform them of what was going on. First on her list was the flight deck. "von de Leur to Longman."

"Hey LS, what can I do you for?"

Tom's usually chirpy attitude came through the comm system like a ray of sunshine for the hard-done-to-of-late trainer.

"Glad to see you're in good spirits. I have some bad news." She relayed to him the information that Forester had shared, and then added, "I just thought perhaps you and your piloting posse could be on alert. The base is very vulnerable right now"

"No probs, LS. I'll send up a couple of runabouts, it'll provide the necessary patrol the base needs." He paused and grinned "Anything else, Memshahib?"

"A foot massage would be nice," she joked. "Oh right. That's saved for Lieutenant Heupel," she teased, knowing of the pilot's fondness for one of his fellow officers.

==Meanwhile, somewhere in the Intelligence Ground Facility==

"For the love of God, Sergeant..."

"Staff Sergeant, Cappy."

Fuller bristled. After the last few days of having Maxwell at his beck and call, the commander of Intelligence Team 3 had come to the conclusion that someone had decided he needed to be tormented. He liked to think it was some higher power, but it was actually Commander von de Leur.

"I have told you, time and time again, that my name and rank is CAPTAIN... THADDEUS... FULLER." Fuller replied, teeth gritted as he glared at the smiling Marine.

A look of pseudo concern came over Jiro's face. "Thaddo... You should see a doctor about these mood swings. These sudden bouts of rage can't be good for your health. I'll bet your blood pressure is sky high right now. Let me see your arm."

Before Fuller could do anything, Maxwell grabbed his right arm, "A Tellarite rabbi on Romulous taught me this little trick for finding out blood pressure without any fancy equiptment." The goofy Marine explained as he yanked up Fullers sleeve and started squeezing and twisting for all he was worth.

"ARGH!!! You IDIOT! That's an Indian sunburn!!" Fuller cried out as he jerked free.

"April Fool's, Cap'n." Maxwell said with a smirk.

Fuller yanked his sleeve back down, "GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!!! I'm putting you on report Sergeant, you'll be lucky to have any stripes by the time I'm done with you!!!" he yelled before stomping off down the corridor.

Jiro just sighed contentedly, "My life would be so dull without him to agrivate..."

No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the outpost went to Yellow Alert. "Oh, I should get to my duty station. Where ever that is... Oh! Thaddo would know!" he mused before setting off down the corridor at a brisk jog.

== IGF Flight Deck ==

Longman passed out the quick orders and as per the base's standard, the two ruanbouts that were always on "warm" standby were whisked up and out of the faux moutainside and towards the vunerable starbase.

Aimee recieved the alert from the senior flightdeck officer. "Yessir," she replied."Not doing anything special; I'm up and outta here." She'd just been ordered to perform a point guard action for the orbiting SB98. Five minutes later, she was in her runabout flighter, and launching from the IGF. She hummed a tune from Ancient Earth, "Up, up and away ... in my beautiful balloon ..."

== IFGSickbay ==

Myerson rushed into the sickbay facilities in the IGF facility. They may only be at yellow alert, but he knew that could change at a moment's notice. "Carmen!" he called out to another of the few medical officers stationed here. "I want this place ready for trauma patients ASAP!"

"But Sir, there hasn't been..."

"NOW, Carmen," Myerson insisted as he started pulling emergency supplies from the storage units

== SB98 Sickbay ==

Lieutenant Astasi Runfola had just stepped into sickbay for his shift to see a flurry (or more than usual) of activity in the medical facility. He had barely woken up and slapped on his cleanest uniform at the request of the Chief Medical Officer. "Hey Doc, what's up?"

The CMO looked slightly annoyed. He had been on duty for more than his scheduled time, and when an airhead like Runfola came waltzing in playing the dumb-as-nails routine, it didn't put him into a better mood. Frankly, he didn't feel like explaining to Runfola what was happening on the base, and instead, assigned him to some menial tasks to keep him out of the way.

==SB 98 Main Shield Matrix==

In the meantime, Canedo's day was getting continually worse. Not only was he by now 30 minutes longer on duty than he would have liked, it seemed also that this problem was a task that not even the entire engineering team could solve. What WAS the problem? At the very least they were finding out a few things - not that they were particularily positive things to be found out.

"OK," the CEO said. "So this isn't actually following a set pattern it follows? What do you mean? If we can't find the pattern it follows, it means someone is manipulating it." He turned to another bit of machinery. "And anyone find out what this extra bit is here for? That doesn't look standard issue."

Canedo had just been examining that object. "No, it actually seems to be a reciever. Hell, that would fit in nicely." He examined it a bit closer, then brought up a display which was linked with the stations sensors. "Sir, you were right. The frequency modulations are transmitted from outside the station. I was able to locate the origin of the signal. It's in deep space, so that means it s a vessel." He looked up seriously worried. "Assuming it would be heading towards us at say.. Warp 6, that would mean, ETA.....15 minutes."

=Near Shuttlebay 2=

Ensign Machevsky sighed and leaned against the wall, his sonic mop resting on his shoulder. Looking at the sparkling clean floor, he couldn't help but make a snide comment. "Machevsky saves the day once again. Boy, I bet people envy my work."

Hearing a noise, he turned his head in interest. No one was supposed to be down here during his shift... maybe someone was coming to relieve him and give him a better assignment? Of course! Machevsky knew that his superiors had seen how talented he was... perhaps this had just been a test of his devotion to duty! Hah!

Unable to prevent a slight smile on his face, he picked up his mop and began mopping enthusiastically, trying to look good for whatever senior officer was coming around that corner. Hearing the footsteps come closer, he realized that whoever it was, the person was running. 'Strange,' he thought to himself. 'Maybe I should check it out.'

The footsteps were echoing rather loudly now. The hallways at this time were usually empty. His shift took place when Shuttlebay 2 was closed. He turned the corner.

A black blur slammed into him, knocking the air out of him in a loud "Oof!" and bringing both of them to the floor. Machevsky, after a brief recovery from the shock, looked up. A masked person pressing the trigger to a phaser pointed at his face was the last thing he saw.

==In the meantime==
==Lurdian Battleship Lamitop==

The Lurdian Admiral Dunurrous was sitting comfortably in his command chair. Being at the helm of the Lurian Flagship, in command of an entire battlegroup simply felt good. It was very reminiscent of those ancient warlords, in command of 10000 men armed to their teeth. Dunurrous had only 3000. But they were quite more powerful than the ancient 10000. 1500 were on the Battleship, including a Division of assault troops - which weren't going to be needed today, but were still part of the standard complement. The battleship - the pride of the Lurdian Star Navy - was in size comparable to a Romulan D'Deridex Warbird. Then there was 700 more on the fighter carrier, with some 50 2-man fighters ready to harry any opponent. The remaining 800 were spread on 3 lighter, smaller warships, frigates, ready to provide cover for the 2 larger ships. This battlegroup was ready to fight, but ironically, all the 3000 men were unneeded if one person had done his job.

And he had.

The Federation Starbase, which had been such a nuisance to the balance of power in this sector, was about to fall, and Admiral Dunurrous was going to enjoy it. Once it was gone, no one was going to contest Lurdian supremacy in this sector, not those pesky Toskuly, and not even the mighty Federation. Not if they kept to their proven tactic: To stay in the dark, hide, and then strike without warning with all their combined firepower, deal a striking blow that none but the largest fleet was apt to handle. Never mind that they were always using far too much equipment for the respective battle - that way at least they were able to ensure their victory.

"Commander, what is our ETA?"

"ETA 10 minutes, Admiral."

"Good. Prepare to deploy the fighters."

== Upper atmosphere, near SB98 ==

Longman was whistling as he kept an open comm-link and listened to the local radio chatter as he always did as he patrol. He scaned a few frequencies and then returned to keeping an eye on the scanners.

He spoke into the comm. "Hey Aimee, keep it tight, I'm getting a couple of random blips on the edge of the system."

"I take it you want to investigate?"

"That's what we're up here for. Change to heading 350 mark 020, and lets get there snappy. Full impulse."

The two Danube class vessels powered up and headed towards the unknown. Within a few minutes, all was becoming clear that this wasn't exactly a normal situation. "Erm.. I'm reading a helluva lot of ships out of there, are my scanners being screwy"

"No, sir ... no screwups. I'm reading ... five. Two of them are big." A pause. "And they're heading this direction, and fast.

"Sir, this looks bad. What should we do?" She posied her fingers over the buttons that would send her sensor reading on to the Starbase.

The comm channel between Longman and Heupel was silent as the former considered their course of action. Then another blip appeared on Aimee's scanner. "Uh, sir, I've noticed another bird behind us ... just lifted off from the Starbase. Were there any other scheduled launches for today?"

"No.. " Tom turned remarkably serious for a moment."Starbase control, we've got multiple bogies inbound, and they're big. Unknown origin at the moment, but this doesn't look good. Advise moving to red alert."

== IGF Command ==

Fuller had made his way to the command center on the base, and he could feel his mood worsen as he saw that Commander von de Leur was in the center chair. And of course, she certainly looked to have no intentions of moving upon his arrival. So he was resigned to taking a seat next to her. "Commander..."

"Hey Thad," she said casually, barely looking in his direction. She hid a smirk as she kept her eyes intent on the view screen. She also had the comm-link open, listening to the activities of Longman and Heupel.

"Why must you people insist on using forms of address that I do not tolerate," he grumbled. "Are you intent on driving me insane?"

"That is the plan, Captain," she said wryly, looking up as Staff Sergeant Maxwell entered the command center too. At last, she understood why Fuller was in such a mood.

In a flash, Jiro was at Fuller's side, "Escusez moi mon Thaddo, but you left in such a hurry I did not have opportunity to inquire as to the location of my duty station." Seeing LS restraining a smirk as Fuller continued to percolate like a coffee machine, he added, "Hello Commander, a pleasure to make your acquaintance again." with a perfect Marine salute for good measure.

==Lurdian Battleship Lamitop==

"Commander. Is the shields modulation frequency working as we need it to work?"

"Yes, Admiral. Everything is proceeding as planned."

"Very good. Retain the fighters, we don't need them. Don't waste ammunition on those annoying little shuttles, just suppress them a bit with disruptor fire. Go for the station's weapons, and then for their warp core. Once they're doomed, we're gone from here."

"And after we're gone, the Federation will be gone from here as well Admiral."

"That is right, Commander. Never to return, one would hope."

== Upper atmosphere, near SB98 ==

"What should we do, sir? If they are hostile, we wouldn't stand a chance alone." Her nervousness transmitted easliy over the comm channel to Lieutenant Longman.

"Thanks for the nice maths there, Aimee. We need to get back to the base, even if we can't land it's something bigger for them to shoot at."

Aimee glared at her panel, wondering if she'd just heard scathing sarcasm, or a genuine compliment. She decided to let it go for the moment. "Very well, sir," she said, keying her runabout into a 180 degree turn, and at the same time wishing she was in a Valkyrie. "I hope we've got support coming in soon."

== Main Shield Matrix ==

"Sir, there is a red alert prehaps we should get to battle stations" The Vulcan's voice was calm and toneless, he seemed not to be to threatened or bothered about the alert, it was illogical.

Canedo was getting annoyed. This wasn't his day. "Bloody hell, we ARE at battle stations, or would you call it normal duty for a dozen engineers to be crammed into the main shield matrix? We better find a solution for this shield problem soon, or there ll be no battle stations to go to!"

Novak raised an eyebrow, not feeling the same concern as Canedo did. "Sir, further problems may occur, it is illogical to focus on one minor malfunction..."

"One minor... one MINOR mal..." Canedo was trying hard to contain his anger. He was shifting his attention from the modulator to the Vulcan. "Ensign, do I have to explain to you what it means if someone knows our shield frequencies? DO I ENSIGN?" At that moment, thanks to not being attended to, an electic jolt went through the auxiliary shield modulator, rendering it, too, useless.

"Oh Christ, this is what comes from that! +TAPS+ Bridge, Canedo. We have another problem."

== SB98 Command ==

"This is Ops." came the stern reply from Forester. "What now?"

"We lost the auxiallary shield modulator, that means we have to rotate frequencies by hand now. Sir, we're sitting ducks out here."

== IGF Command ==

"Maxwell," LS snapped out of the blue, nearly startling Fuller next to her. "Let's go, you're with me." She stood up abruptly, and headed for the turbolift.

Fuller watched her with surprise. "Wait....er...where are you going, Commander?" He realized that he was sputtering and collected himself. Someone of his rank shouldn't sputter in the company of someone of a lesser rank. It just didn't look right. It looked weak. And regardless of whether he WAS weak, he shouldn't give off that impression so freely.

"Yes Commander." Jiro responded instantly. Strangely, the hightened alert seemed to flip some switch in the mind of the smartass Marine. Though he was obviously still a bit off kilter, there was a sudden and pronounced sense of professionalism now added to the mix.

Heading towards the turbolift with von de Leur, Maxwell adjusted the cuffs of his uniform jacket.

"I'm going to fire up the Drake," she said matter-of-factly, giving Fuller a look as if he was an idiot and should know better.

He immediately retorted, "Oh no no, that is MY ship. You took it once and busted it up."

Raising a finger to interject, Maxwell stated matter of factly, "ACTUALLY Cap'n, the USS Drake is the property of the United Federation of Planets, and is designated as a support ship for the Intelligence Ground Facility, and as such can be utilized by any ranking officer on site. As Colonel Forrester left command in the hands of Commander von de Leur, that would make her the ranking officer."

Fuller was about to say something, but Leur stepped in, pulling Maxwell back. "Actually...Sergeant, seeing as Captain Fuller here IS the ranking officer at the facility at the moment, he would get first dibs on it." She shrugs and smiles sweetly. "Which really means naught to me." She waved for Fuller to enter the turbolift ahead of them - which he did so purposefully. He was not going to be outdone by this arrogant Commander and her minion.

After the turbolift doors closed and Fuller was out of sight, LS leaned towards Maxwell and asked quietly, "How are you at flying Romulan ships?"

"Can't say as I've ever had the opportunity, but I learn quick Commander. I think I still remember some of the Romulan words they squeezed into my head back during that SpecOps training."

She grabbed his arm and headed for the turbolift again. "Fabulous," she drawled. "Let's go."

== IFG Flight Deck ==

LTjg Aimee Heupel knew the situation was dire. She had been on the front lines before, and would be again, she supposed ... but having five large presumably hostile objects headed towards one, at a high rate of speed -- that tended to shake one up a bit.

So it was with some relief that she landed her runabout. Just as she was about to leave hangar, though, she was approached by one of the other flight officers about piloting a ship to help defend the starbase. Amy hesitated as she saw Captain Fuller on the other end of the hanger barking orders at various people. Then he boarded the Drake

Aimee turne dto the commander who was indicating to another Defiant class ship, something she had always enjoyed piloting. "Ye... yessir, I'd be happy to."

== SB98 Ops ==

The approaching Lurdians vessel was now showing their full might as sensor readings of shield stregths and weapons locations screamed across the board in the main starbase Ops. The viewscreen showed a classic three pronged attack being set up and there was very little the orbiting object could do at the moment.

The lead attacker, a smaller frigate opened fire sending a burst of phased energy into the midst of the shields. For a moment the grid held as the fusion reators inside the base worked overtime to hold back the onslaught being sent against them, but with the damage already done from within, they collapsed all too quickly. The second and third vessel reacted as well sendinf yet more corscurating matter into the dense structure of the base.

Forester's eyes were wide with concern. Tapping his commbadge once more, he yelled, "Engineering, Report!" There was no report. There was no nothing from his engineering crew. And thus, in a fit of desperation, Colonel Forester was forced to bellow, "Let's evacuate!"

=Civilian/Family Sector of SB98=

The bulkheads vibrated as the base was pounded from the outside, and Debra Jansen was worried. She had been told, upon her family's arrival at the station, that the station's shields would withstand any assaults. These poundings seemed like they were ripping the station to shreads... were the shields that weak?

Looking back at her children, she realized they had finished
gathering their most precious belongings to them, as she had asked them to do when she had heard the red alert klaxons going off. The children were quiet, but she could see the fear in their faces.

Telling them to follow her and stay close, she stepped through the door of their quarters and looked outside. The corridors were filled with people, some running in panic, some dragging crying children behind them as they tried to get to the station's escape pods. The situation was grim.

She grabbed her two children's hands and guided them outside, trying to avoid getting knocked over by the people running through the corridors. Again, corridors shook under bombardment, and several people tumbled to the floor, knocking others down as well. The situation was becoming increasingly chaotic, and she became even more desperate to get to an escape pod.

They jogged forward, as fast as they could as a group, when suddenly a wall blew out in front of them. She grabbed at something to hold onto as hundreds of people were sucked out into space... and when she saw her children, screaming for their mommy, shoot out into the vacuum, the shock overcame her and her heart gave out.

== SB98 Engineering ==

Canedo ordered everyone to evacuate engineering, incoming damage erupted and the team was too over-whelming and systems were becoming damaged beyond repair. Novak briskly jogged to the nearest escape pods that he managed to program into his mind, he guided fleeing personel to the escape pods. The situation was hectic and grim, debris flew every where and minor explosion caught Novak's arm, he craddled his arm, only showing a brief moment of pain on his face. The explosion was not so easy on some engineers flowing him, he heard their dim screams in the large overpowering explosion.

Novak managed to locate a lifeboat, he climbed in and was soon
occupanied by seven offer officers. He nodded to a Science officer and launched the lifeboat.

==As the final devestating shot is placed==
==On the Lurdian Battleship==

"Commander Battulio, this shot has triggered multiple internal explosions on the station. I do not think it is going to exist much longer than another 15 or 20 minutes."

"Good, Lieutenant, carry on. Admiral, it is my privilege to report, mission accomplished."

"Very well done, Commander Battulio. I am very pleased. Take us out of this system, _Captain_ Battulio."

"Yes, Admiral. Thank you, Admiral."

== RNS Aidoann ==

LS watched as the place that had been a home away from home started to break up - the internal explosions from within starting to show external visions of destruction. Tears welled in her eyes, as she realized how hopeless she had been in the whole ordeal. One of the officers behind her called out, "Commander?"

She composed herself, reaching up to shield her eyes for a moment, before lifting her head to glance first at the viewscreen again and then to the pilot. "Maxwell, move us a sizable distance away from the base. Lieutenant Marius (NPC)," she turned to the science officer at the helm. "Open up a channel to the rest of our ships." He did as ordered, and LS called out grimly, "This is Commander von de Leur on the Aidoann. All ships orbiting SB98 and Tracos are hereby ordered to move to a safe distance for when the base explodes...."

With an incredulous blink, Jiro watched as the station started to come apart at the seams. It took sheer force of will to concentrate on turning the shuttle around and getting out of the blast radius. A few quick calculations told him that, given the estimated reactor output for a station the size of Starbase 98, he would have to gun the impulse engines to get out of the way in time.

== USS Alliance ==

Aimee Heupel watched helplessly from her post on the Alliance as she saw the small sparks of lifeboats eject from the station, one by one. The smaller of the five attacking ships went after these, while the larger ships concentrated their fire on the station as they retreated.. She watched helplessly as some of the sparks were extinguished, and as fire started appearing on the Starbase hull ... in places where there should be no fire, no plasma, no cracks.

== Outlying Space of SB98 ==

The various ships orbiting the planet started to moved away, and together, they and the crew intently veiwing the scene from the IGF ops center watched in horror as the enemy's lead ship began to
retreat, with the rest of the entourage following suit. But the damage had been done. The starbase that had become a fixture in the Tracos system was clearly dismantled -destined to be eliminated.

The station's hull sparkled with flashes of fire, seemingly engulfing the entire main section, and spreading rapidly. All that was left now was the wait Starbase 98 to explode. Many individuals watched like it was a scene from a 21st century holovid - eyes wide with amazement, disbelief and helplessness. Each person was probably hoping that they were suspended in a dream and that at any moment, they would wake up and it wouldn't look like a nightmare.

Then, though it seemed to take an eternity, the moment reached it's peak. All the smaller explosions came together in an all encompasing conflagration of escaping atmospheric gases and electro-plasma system reactants. The grand installation, the visible presence of Federation influence, intelligence, and technical innovation in the Tracos sector, was gone in a blinding flash, consumed by the final release of energy from its failing warp core.

The massive explosion that rocked almost an entire sector brought with it many questions. However, at this moment, none were more important than who would lament the passing ... no, the death of a proud Starbase.

OFF - To be continued....

Starring...

Captain Vada Keys - Captain Thaddeus Fuller, Colonel Scott Forester,
Commander LS von de Leur
Commander Sam Ryan - Lieutenant Tom Longman
Lieutenant Alexandra Matthews - Lieutenant Stuart Myerson
Lieutenant (jg) Movek - Ensign Machevsky, Fleeing civilians
Staff Sergeant Kenneth Maxwell - Himself
Ensign Janel Trev - Ensign Novak
Ensign Deshori Oran - Lieutenant (jg) Aimee Heupel
Vestro Nurlan Bakyt - The Villians, Lieutenant (jg) Padriac Canedo
___________________________________________

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