Feb 19 2014

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Settling on a Ship Name

hiryu-patch250It’s hard to step outside of your comfort zone.

For years, I have dabbled in science fiction interactive stories with specific characters and their starships as they existed within a Star Trek inspired universe / timeline that I had the pleasure of sharing with friends.

To think that some of those characters were born in writing just under TWENTY years ago.

Maybe that’s why its hard to let them go … why I tried to fit them into an “alternate” / “rebooted”  timeline set within the Star Trek Online verse.

A friend of mine pointed out that what I needed to do was to let go of the original (or push them to the background for a while) and try writing new stories with new characters and ships … part of a new verse of stories that new friends and fleetmates could more easily weave themselves into the plots and stories.

And so I give you my Federation Klingon …. MayQ who is destined to captain an Avenger-class battlecruiser..

The character name came quickly, however, the name for the ship he would command took a LOT more time.

I went back and forth on this name and that name until after a week or so … I finally settled a name that I’d never used before in story.

U.S.S. Hiryu … which means “Flying Dragon.”

May she do well among the stars!

Feb 02 2014

Avatar of Ed Miller

Hints of something new….

The office doors whooshed opening and a young Lt steps out PADD in hand.

“Admiral , here are the latest dispatches. I brought them as soon as I could collate them.” the young officer said as he handed the older officer behind the desk the padd.

The Admiral behind the desk was a Caitan, a humanoid that looked like a large walking Great Cat from earth. This particular one looked for all the world like a walking, talking, dark grey panther. Even in a Starfleet uniform he looked a sleek predator. His eyes scanned the PADD intently for a few moments.

“Lt. Anders, call a meeting of the staff for 1.5 hours from now. No excuses, all hands on deck. We need to determine what we know, what we don’t know, and what I get to tell the Capt’s  “lucky” enough to get this assignment. Also send a subspace to our people in Klingon AND Romulan space. Stars! We are stretched so thin already, between the tholians, the borg, the Undine…. and now….whatever this is. Are these figures current? Who the hell is out there doing the scouting on this?”

“Capt Jonas in the Freya sir.”

“Well at least that is something. Means these reports are going to be accurate and to the point. Go..call the meeting while I go over these are start forming the beginnings of a plan.”

The Lt  turned and exited the office. The Admiral leaned back in his chair and was soon absorbed in what he was reading.

“Adrian you are in it deep my friend. Don’t go getting yourself killed before we can get you help.”

20 minutes before the allotted meeting time the Admiral entered the conference room to find one person already there. A tall Vulcan was staring out the viewport into the starry expanse beyond the starbase.

He turned at the sound of the door opening, “Admiral C’thiss, you are early sir. As usual.”

“Cmdr Tultok, good. You have seen the reports.” it was not a question.

“Of course sir, and they are both intriguing and possibly worrisome.”

” Yes they are…but lets wait for the others to arrive before getting to deep into it. No sense having to repeat ourselves. I would ask you to start a preliminary ship list but I am sure you already have.”

“You will find my recommendations in your box already sir. I sent them no doubt as you were in route to this room”

The admiral took a seat at the head of the table, the vulcan turned back to the viewport sensing the Admiral was done talking, for now. Soon there would be more talk than needed. Tulkot had worked with C’thiss for almost two decades. The Admiral was a being of action. Tulkot served as his sound board, and often as his voice of patience.

This meeting would not be quick. But as always seemed to be the case, the fate of the Federation may rest on what was decided here today. There was always one more galaxy spanning emergency. Although it did seem the occurrences of such “emergencies” was on the rise.

Feb 01 2014

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“Tea Time” [SE/JEV/AQ]

“Tea Time”  [SE/JEV/AQ]

—- U.S.S. Aquitania, U.S.S. Star Empire & I.K.S. jev mI’wI’

MD  1.1730
Scene: Shalthek Station — Orbit of New Andor

Tirana took a deep breath when she left the transporter room and headed to one of the bars.

Every place had its own special smell. And this station was no different. As a former Federation station it had some feel of the typical sterile cleanness in the air. There was something else too. A taint scent of…. something she couldn’t identify. Tirana memorized the smell while she turned around a corner.

It was a long time since she had some time to relax. Since she took command of the Breen Chel Grett Warship she was either helping to fix things or facing situations she didn’t really want to be in.

But now they finally arrived at Shalthelk Station and they had a few days until they were to learn what this was about.  This meant some shore time for all the crew. Her XO “convinced” her to take the first round while he finished formalities with the station.

The doors swooshed open in front of her and she entered a little bar. It was one of the best bars that was mainly visited by Federation personnel. Klingons rarely made it here. Too high were the tensions.

She stopped at the bar.

“Vulcan Spice Tea, hot please.”

The barkeeper nodded.

A few moments later a mug with steaming liquid was placed in front of her. She grabbed it, closed her eyes and smelled. That was good. The spices reacted with the stations air. It was a pleasant smell. She sipped from the hot beverage and let the fluid rest in her mouth for a moment before she swallowed it. Replicated. But not that bad.

Opening her eyes Tirana looked around. She was in mood for company.

There weren’t many Starfleet officers around. After a moment she noticed a Klingon in a Starfleet uniform and a furry being sitting at a table.

Oh, well. She sighed and walked over to them.

“Mind if I join you?”

 

Respectfully
– Kevin Richter

playing

Captain Tirana Xin
CO, U.S.S. Aquitania
Corda Expeditonary Force
Alliance Central Command

Jan 31 2014

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“Shoving Introductions” — [SE/JEV]

se-jev

“Shoving Introductions”

—- U.S.S. Star Empire & I.K.S. jev mI’wI’

————————————————————————-

MD: 01.1710
Scene: Shalthek Station — Orbit of New Andor

The shove came first.

“Out of my way, traitor,” the Klingon warrior shouted as he committed the act.

MayQ thought about being the better man.

Truly, he thought about minding his own business and even continuing to walk on past acting as if he heard nothing.

But truth is that he heard the words and they made his Klingon blood boil.

“What did you say?” the Federation captain asked.

“I said … Out of my way.”

MayQ curled his tongue and mouth into a bit of a growl. “Not so much that … What did you call me?”

He wanted to say much more, adding in a few insults in place of the ‘you’ but knew that there were eyes always watching those in the Alliance.

“I called you a ….”

“Korag!”

A furred figure deftly slipped between the pair.

“I’d think twice before I finished that sentence,” the Ferasan newcomer continued. “Think about what the General might have to say when he hears of it.”

“You wouldn’t.” the offending Klingon uttered.”I’m not afraid of you, K’ahless.”

“What makes you think I’d be the one to tell him?” the feline purred. “You know how much he respects this Alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.”

Korag growled first, then muttered a curse or two under his breath before turning to walk away.

“And Korag,” the cat called after him. “I don’t like you so just maybe you SHOULD fear me.”

Korag kept on walking, disappeared into the crowd.

“Thank you, neighbor, but I think I could have handled him,” said MayQ.

“Of that I have no doubt, HesamwI’,” K’ahless returned, using the other’s nickname of ‘Pathfinder.’ “However, we both know that there are those about who would look for any excuse to cast doubt on this alliance between our peoples.”

“As true as that may be, I don’t believe we know each other, neighbor … and only my friends call me by that name.”

“I meant no offense. My crew and I just finished delivering the bioneural infusion circuits and kinetic cutting beam being installed on your ship,” K’ahless answered. “I saw you from a distance and overheard one of your crew call you that … and assumed it was your name.”

“You still didn’t answer my question … Who are you exactly?”

“Ahhh … I did neglect that, didn’t I,” the cat purred. “They call me K’ahless. Captain or HoD K’ahless in charge of Qur’dra Spaceframe Industries’ Procurement Team III to be precise.”

“Well, Kahless …”

“No … K’ahless … Not Kahless like the famed Klingon, but K’ahless …. the ‘ah’ being softer.”

“Well … ‘K’ahless’ … I am Capt. MayQ,” the Klingon returned, somewhat amused at the discussion. “And I guess I do owe you … for the sake of the Alliance … for stepping between us two before it could come to blows. … Allow me to buy you a quick drink.”

“Possibly … but only if you agree to tell me how you earned that nickname of yours.”

“That I can do,” said MayQ. He changed direction towards a place he knew. “Follow me … It’s over this way a bit …”

<<to be continued>>

Respectfully,

– Mike Tripp

aka.
Capt. MayQ
CO, U.S.S. Star Empire
Cordra Expeditionary Force
Alliance Central Command

Capt. K’ahless
CO, I.K.S. jev mI’wI’
Procurement Team III
Qur’dra Spaceframe Industries

—–Out of Story—–

Decided this was a good way to introduce two of my “star” captains whom I’m looking forward to writing about in stories.

Also, Shalthek Station is located in orbit of New Andor near the Shipyards. The star system itself is located on the outer edge of the Cordra Expanse and is not a Federation member world but independent as well as neutral in the current Klingon-Federation War.

 

Jan 26 2014

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Captain’s Log: “Uprooting Tholians”

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909samhouston04ba250

Captain’s Log — SD: 91675.69

Tholians … They seem to like things a lot hotter than I do.

Of course, that doesn’t really come as any sort of a surprise considering anyone who has remotely heard of that race.

But for me, I feel like I have been forced to live inside one of those damned environmental suits for way too long.

Crew of the Sam Houston has uncovered yet another Tholian “archaeological” project on yet another planet along the outer edge of the Cordra expanse.

And what do we find? … More gateway technology.

screenshot_2014-01-26-11-49-44

As is normal protocol, we attempted to communicate with them at first in the dim hope that they might actually be willing to come to a peaceful resolution. They (of course) did not and instead greeted our envoys with hostilities.

screenshot_2014-01-26-11-54-16It took us several days to root them all out.

Given the chance, I’d rather fight the Horvauk than these temperamental crystals.

At least when one fights Voth, one does not have to live inside an environmental suit.

Makes me wonder if the Tholians might feel the same when they encounter us within atmospheric conditions more suited to us than themselves.

With the Tholians now gone, the Alliance Corps of Engineers has dispatched a team to our location to begin making the environment more … humanoid friendly.

It is at that point, work can begin in earnest to recover the technology found at this location.

As for our ship and crew, the Sam Houston will remain just long enough for the engineers and their destroyer escort to arrive on station.

Other ships currently on operations within the region will make sure to remain within earshot should Tholians or another threat show itself following our departure.

In the meantime, I am curious about just what the secret is that the Tholians are looking for as something tells me it goes deeper than the Iconian gateway technology.

screenshot_2014-01-26-11-45-14

– Capt. Allen Sollace

CO, U.S.S. Sam Houston
Cordra Expeditionary Force
Alliance Naval Forces, ACC

 

Nov 22 2013

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Captain’s Log: “Home in the Delta Quadrant”

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Captain’s Log — SD: 91497.01

To think …. It took me 10 years, but I found a way my way home from the Delta Quadrant. … Of course that’s not even speaking of all the time spent as a prisoner of the Borg Collective.

Returned home and kept my promise to Kahless by first visiting the monastery on Borath … and found my grandson all grown up in the process.

Family … Flesh and blood family!

I have returned to my family and these past few months getting to know them.

screenshot_2013-11-14-16-02-18 You know, I dreamed always of returning home to the Klingon Empire, and even though I found my way back … I find I have changed too much to remains eternally comfortable there.

My family, I find I am at home with … but overall, my spirit is restless.

My time with the Borg and then with my crew … my brothers and sisters in arms as we journeyed home … It changed me.

So, I have found myself home only to find myself back in the Delta Quadrant.

screenshot_2013-11-14-16-02-34

With our ship repaired, refitted and re-provisioned, my crew and I agreed to take part in a clandestine trip through an Iconian space gate to fight Dinosaurs (and their Voth masters) for control over Omega particles in what is being called the Solanae Dyson Sphere.

My grandson and I have joined with two other families … one Federation origin and another Romulan … to found a new company called “Qu’rdra Spaceframe Industries.”

We seek out new technologies … and basically, there is a lot of such technology aboard the dyson sphere waiting to be procured.

That’s one of the reasons, we have gone through the gate.

Another is that we assist and fight with the Alliance Central Command to help face down this Omega particle threat.

But the main reason? … My crew and I don’t fit in back home any more.

We are where we belong … together with our ship. … Seeking glory currently by facing our old adversaries … the Voth.

 

screenshot_2013-11-13-19-49-51

– Capt. Rha (of Borg)

CO, I.K.S. veS mupwI’
Procurement Team Two
Qur’dra Spaceframe Industries

Nov 07 2013

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Captain’s Log: “Moment of Rest”

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909samhouston04ba250Captain’s Log — SD: 91456.02

It seems we have been locked in battle of one form or another since we rolled this newer version of the Sam Houston out of drydock and into open space.

Well, one thing is for certain … We can no longer call her an untested ship and crew as I’m proud of both.

Currently, we have dropped into orbit of M’goza VI and the dilithium mine being maintained at this location … friendly to the Alliance Central Command and Alliance Naval Forces.

Before this, it seemed as they we spent the last couple of weeks running from one brush fire to another along the frontier to render military aid and assistance in driving back a variety of foes.

Two of the stranger encounters involved the Undine (or so my ship’s computer tries to tell me)  followed by another encounter related to the “mirror universe.”

screenshot_2013-11-07-09-01-37

screenshot_2013-11-07-09-02-22The Undine were encountered on the surface of a colony on Queldett III.

We arrived to discover our tripod enemies had arrived just before us and were already hard at work trying to subdue the colony.

As I stated previously, many look at these aliens and call them “Undine,” but for me … these were Horvauk.

We know the Horvauk to be an offshoot of the Undine race, however, Horvauk differ in they seek to capture and steal from other cultures to re-purpose what they come away with to serve them.

Tech they capture is enhanced with their own technology while sentient beings are subjected to a form of mind control that renders them into slaves.

Both technology and slaves are then pressed into the service of the Horvaukan Empire.

This threat has been showing itself for some time in this reality; however, they are using this reality’s knowledge of their sister race, the Undine, as a camouflage that continues to cloak their existence.

In my reality (a parallel universe separate from this one), we had already discovered the Undine by this point in time but then the flow of time and history here is on a vastly different track than what I’ve known for most of my life.

I guess in that regard, I’m simply lucky that many of the faces, locations and overall flow of existence here remains the same or at least similar.

After driving the Horvauk from the colony, we were forced to level behind a medical and engineering team to assist in the aftermath of the attack while the Sam Houston was summoned to join with four other ships to ward off an incursion by the Terrain Empire from the mirror universe into this one.

screenshot_2013-11-07-09-55-53It seems they were again trying to establish a foothold in our space after having secured the starbase located at Tellenor VI.

Thankfully, their forces had been weakened in their previous engagement with the forces defending the starbase.

It made the process of reclaiming what had been lost that much easier.

screenshot_2013-11-07-09-07-25Following the battle, we were allowed to bring the U.S.S. Sam Houston here to the dilithium mine within the M’goza System where we conduct what few repairs are needed while also waiting for the teams we left at Queldett III to find their way back to us.

Among their number is Raven whom I need to consult with more regarding this appearance of the Horvauk as he contains the records of the original encounters within them locked away within his photonic matrix.

After a few days, we’ve already been informed that we are to travel to New Romulus where I am to bear witness to the activation of the Iconian gateway that was located on that planet.

– VAdm. Allen Sollace

CO, U.S.S. Sam Houston
Cordra Expeditionary Force
Alliance Naval Forces, ACC

Oct 21 2013

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Captain’s Log: “Shattered Crystal”

crystal

U.S.S. Sam Houston battles the Crystalline Entity.

Captain’s Log — SD: 91409.16

909samhouston04ba250The Crystals are dead … or such is our hope.

For what feels like weeks on end, we have joined with other starships to meet the threat posed by what felt like an endless march of Crystrals across the Alpha Quadrant.

The question is … Where the HELL did they all come from?

After completing this endless seeming grind, my Chief Science Officer. Cmdr. 16 of 47,  has come up with a working theory on what caused so many to come into being.

Sixteen suggests that as the first couple of crystals where destroyed, large enough shards were left over within the debris field of what remained that were able to themselves grow into full grown crystalline entities.

The question is, how did they grow so large so fast?

Other theories have been kicked around the possibly the Tholians have something to do with that as they seem to both worship and be quite protective over these creatures … regardless of the toll these creatures take on humanoid life.

But then the Tholians themselves are crystals.

Regardless, the march of the crystals seems to have stalled, but my crew is laying down bets that some living shards likely survived and will again return at some point.

And this adds to my theory that the line of enemies we face off against are indeed … endless.

– VAdm. Allen Sollace

CO, U.S.S. Sam Houston
Cordra Expeditionary Force
Alliance Naval Forces, ACC

Oct 15 2013

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Player Log: Fleet Ships Gated Into Fleet Holdings?

1377280794689Several players (me included) feel like we have either been slapped across the face.

This includes several folks from the Klingon player base and others from small fleets.

—————-

The following comes from Tribble Notes – October 11, 2013 :

Spire Fleet Holding:

  • <<snip>>
    • Provisioning
      • <<snip>>
      • Special standard starships and fleet starships become unlocked as you progress through the main Spire track. These must be purchased using Fleet Credits, Fleet Modules and Military Personal Requisition Provisioning from your Starbase. Below are the starships that can be earned and at which Tier they become available:
        • Spire Tier 1
        • Spire Tier 2
          • Fleet Peghqu’ Heavy Destroyer – KDF Only*
          • Fleet Chimera Heavy Destroyer – Starfleet Only*
          • Fleet Daeinos Heavy Destroyer – Romulan Republic Only*
            • *NOTE: The above Fleet Ships require that the player owns the existing non-fleet version of the Veteran Ships (1000 day veteran) to be able to purchase them.
        • Spire Tier 3
          • Fleet Kar’fi Battle Carrier – KDF Only
          • Fleet Caitian Atrox Carrier – Starfleet Only
          • Fleet Ar’Kif Tactical Warbird Retrofit – Romulan Republic Only<<end snips>>

—————-

For a LONG LONG LONG LONG time, KDF players have waited for a fleet version of the Kar’fi Battle Carrier.

They have counted the number of Fed ships (several more) vs. the number of KDF ships (several less) available within fleet shipyards, see the distance between the numbers available and then dream of the day a fleet Kar’fi and other ships might be added.

Now, they find out they are getting that ship, however …. it’s being gated.

Instead of finding it within one of the tiers of the fleet shipyard attached to a fleet starbase, the Kar’fi joins other new fleet ship releases announced that will be accessible only through the forthcoming “Spire Holding.”

A fleet holding … NOT the shipyards fleets have put blood sweat and tears into thus far.

This new game mechanic just doesn’t feel right to me. It just does NOT seem fair.

KDF players have waited forever it seems for this ship and its going into a fleet holding whereas the newly released FED Avenger-class had its fleet version released immediately.

And where was the fleet Avenger placed? … WIthin the currently existing fleet shipyards  associated with starbases.

Ummm … Why did that ship go into the shipyards?

Why also did the Romulans for that matter have to wait for their fleet ship version of the Ar’Kif Tactical Warbird Retrofit (also recently released) and why is that new ROM ship also gated behind the Spire as well?

I mention the Romulan ship simply to point out a difference between the Federation faction vs. the others.

Yeah … The Romulan ship and KDF’s Kar’fi are carrier ships, maybe that’s the reason they’re in the Spire holding?

But no … Isn’t there already a KDF carrier in the current fleet shipyards in addition to the FED’s heavy escort carrier in the FED fleet shipyards? … So, the fact they carry fighters obviously has nothing to do with it?

Could it be because they’re alien designs? … Well, the Romulan one is a Romulan design so even that theory is toast.

The KDF fleet I’m in is a small fleet that has just sent our Tier V shipyard upgrade project to timer. This means we will have a Tier V ship yard in just under two weeks.

Why did we grind to Tier V shipyard? … We did it in preparation for not just current fleet ships but also for hoped for future fleet ships to be released.

So much for that idea as now the gate is being opened for fleet ships to no longer be exclusive to shipyards. Now, they can be tied to other fleet holdings as well.

Heck, current speculation among players is the Spire holding is likely only the first. Now that the door is opened, many believe future fleet ships will be attached to either Spire or OTHER / future fleet holdings as well.

This brings me to the second slap … small fleets.

As I stated, the small KDF fleet I’m with is about to have a Tier V ship yard *plus* we have just completed our Tier III dilithium mine.

Our FED fleet, however, feels like it’s stuck in quicksand.

Point is that in small fleets … the weight of the grind is literally on the shoulders of just a handful of people unlike in larger fleets.

Those small fleets have worked HARD HARD HARD to get what they have.

Our KDF fleet was SO excited when we sent the final ship yard tier to timer as it had been a very LONG road. Now, we would finally gain access to all the fleet ships, both present and future … or so we thought.

Finding out that Cryptic is going to begin gating some of the new fleet ships via other holdings? …. “kerrrSLAP!”

More endless grinding on grinding on grinding on grinding to unlock what we thought we’d already unlocked … and most small fleets aren’t as lucky as we are to have a dedicated player who spends hours in game each day making it happen.

This move feels like Cryptic forcing us to work on the Spire Holding even when some fleets might want to put it off and concentrate on their starbases instead.

May not be what Cryptic intend, but its what many feel.

Simply … Those ships should be in the shipyards where fleets have already poured in MASSIVE amounts of blood, sweat. tears and dilithium … plain and simple.

Dividing up those ships divides the focus of what has to be done to access fleet ships — resource gathering divides and so does the effort / desire to get it all done.

More hardships on those already busting their backsides to advance in the fleet system.

It feels like Cryptic is forcing small fleets further down the hole towards oblivion, not realizing that players are leaving small fleets in frustration. NOT going to larger fleets, but leaving the game outright in frustration.

I can name more players I’ve personally seen leave than I have fingers and toes. (And those are just the ones I know myself.)

Cryptic … Please wake up and look towards the needs of the Klingon faction players. … Please wake up and look towards the needs of the smaller fleets.

Maybe you already think you’re doing such, but many of us players just aren’t seeing it.

Respectfully,

– Gen. Hauk
aka. Pathfinder

*** Author’s Note: This was originally written for Gates of Sto’Vo’Kor.

Oct 10 2013

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Captain’s Log: “First Glimpse”

samhouston-allen600

909samhouston04ba250

Captain’s Log — SD:91377.97

Today marked one of those life altering moments in life for me.

When I found myself sucked down the rabbit hole aboard the Nine-O-Nine as part of a rag-tag fleet from what locals here consider an alternate universe, I never expected to find myself wanting to call this place home.

I never thought I would again want to put on a uniform and command an honest to God starship.

Sure, the 9-0-9 is a starship, but she is a bit different … and actually a relic of another reality and actually time and reality beyond that … something that needs to be preserved and protected for those secrets that might still be housed within her metallic hull.

Sure, the temporal systems of the 9-0-9 are currently not functional, but that does not mean it will always be so nor that we should be so willing to put that technology in harms way.

The day may come that it is needed once more, and for that reason she will be hidden away.

But back to this date … It was this date that I got my first real glimpse of the U.S.S. Sam Houston — a ship name whose destiny I seem attached to in multiple verses.

Although I will not board or take command of her until tomorrow, today was the day I was able to lay eyes on her for the first time.

It was a moment that … cannot be described and one that will never be forgotten.

It was destiny.

– VAdm. Allen Sollace

CO, U.S.S. Sam Houston
Sam Houston BATRON
Alliance Naval Forces

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