Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: T’Var Helling, S’laa, and Leland Bishop!
The staff of UFOP: StarBase 118 would like to take a moment and recognize the officers — please be sure to congratulate these folks when you see them in the corridors of your vessel!
- Chythar Skyfire to Lieutenant
- Raissa Moonsong to Lieutenant JG
- Alexander Williams from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander
- Nyals from Ensign to Lieutenant JG
- Orsisius Kizito to Lieutenant JG
- Sal Taybrim to Lieutenant Commander
Duronis II Embassy
- Lt. Brayden Jorey to Lt. Commander
This week, we continue our ongoing series of the most epic moments of Star Trek with the third series, Deep Space Nine.
Set for the first time on a stationary platform, the concept of life aboard a space station was a new idea for the franchise. Throw in the fact that the Federation was coming in to a formerly Cardassian-occupied system and were quite a long distance from direct Federation support, there was the potential for a big fat mess landing in Commander (later Captain) Sisko’s lap. Despite a rocky start, which seems to be the pattern for Trek series, Deep Space Nine followed TNG’s example with seven successful seasons and a triumphant send-off. The darkness of the series, new for the franchise that had portrayed up until then a much brighter future, allowed them to plumb the dark depths of the human soul without disturbing the atmosphere of the series.
Here are a few of my favorites, thought there are others too many to include here!
Pertainia Prime, situated close to the Typhon Expanse, was a practically peaceful world. The Federation installed an embassy on the planet and hoped to build a scientific research station in orbit, due to the close proximity of the system to the Expanse. Increasingly, things began to deteriorate on the surface. A group that did not want the Federation building a station spent years infiltrating government and rallying their numbers. In a swift move, they were able to seal off the Presidential Palace and Federation Embassy in a coup d’etat.
After receiving word, the Federation planned to dispatch a ship to evacuate the Embassy and offer asylum to the elected government officials. Seeing it as the perfect mission to undertake, Rear Admiral Andrus Jaxx volunteered his crew for the mission. The USS Apollo, NCC-71669-A, departed Utopia Planitia to make their way to the distraught world. While en route, they rendezvoused with the USS Excalibur and USS Constitution for an exchange of crews. Once the housecleaning task was completed, they set their sights on Pertainia Prime.
After arriving in the system, an away team was sent to the surface to gauge the rioting citizens and provide much needed intel for an extraction team, should the Federation citizens not be released. After spending some time on the surface, the team checked in with the Apollo. While the crew and captain decided the next course of action, the elected President and Ambassadorial staff remain isolated from everyone.
I’m sure you guys see what I did there. Don’t worry, I’ll be here all week.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and this spooky Writing Challenge is no exception! Halloween is almost upon us, which means that you have only a scant few days to submit your story. We’re looking for the best hair-raising, spine-tingling, hiding-in-the-corner-with-all-the-lights-on story you can give us, so please don’t hold back! Writes Jess, the writer behind Jalana Laxyn and the winner of our previous Challenge,
For the next challenge I would like to see something that would run shivers down our spines. Be it something unbelievable, something so touching one gets goosebumps, something so cruel you want to scream, or is it something spooky? What causes shivers for you?
Whatever your characters’ particular fears may be — the Borg, the horrors of the Dominion War, or even the neural parasites that made an attempt on Starfleet Command — be sure that your words are truly terrifying!
The judges look forward to having their pants scared off, but remember that all stories must be submitted by Saturday, October 25th. Good luck!
As part of an ongoing overview of the whole fleet, please take a look at the post totals and simming trends for September 2014. These number will give you some idea of how active our ships are month-to-month, as well as how the whole fleet is doing.
Simming numbers were down a little from August to September after remaining almost unchanged from July to August. This was the opposite of the predicted trend, as fall tends to bring an upswing in simming as folks return to school (or send their kids back!). However, some changes are to be expected whenever there’s a fleet shakeup, as with the Excalibur‘s decommissioning.
Individual ship simming totals are shown below. The Embassy, which posted the highest numbers for the month, actually improved from August! Atlantis and Garuda both hovered around 200 sims for September, and while those numbers were down from August, they were both vibrant and positive. The Constitution‘s launch under Commander Faranster went very well, too, with a healthy first-month showing of 163 sims — and that with not even a full month behind them!
Tensions began rising as the USS Gemini – NCC-80564, led by Cmdr. Liam Frost – remained in orbit of Rathos Prime. On the surface of the planet, the away team found themselves surrounded by rioting civilians. Unfortunately, one of the attacks on the Mobile Lab resulted in Lt.jg. Vanessa Driscoll becoming infected with the very pathogen that the team was there to cure. Frost was forced to fire on the planet, causing the rioters to scatter.
With the situation on the surface calmed for the moment, the Rathosian government sent one of their research scientists to assist with the work for a cure. LtCmdr. T’Mar led the group, along with the new guest, into the lab to get to work. It was not long, however, before the Rathosians were back… this time in larger numbers.
At the same time, the Gemini’s medical team determined they were unable to find a cure in time to save any of the population. The only solution was to infect the population with Malo Lupo. The disease appeared to counter the effects of the pathogen, but not without it’s own unpleasant side effects. Learning of the degrading situation on the surface, Frost made the call to pull out, a decision made all the more difficult by the fact that Driscoll would have to remain behind.
T’Mar tasked LtCmdr. Blair and LtCmdr. Weston with securing the warp core of the runabout, who took it upon themselves to beam her to a safer location. With their sensitive equipment secure, the team minus Driscoll were beamed aboard Gemini and began decontamination while the crew mourned the loss of their science officer.
Special recognition is due to the writer named runner-up for July & August: The writer behind Irina Pavlova has regularly entered the Writing Challenges for a while now, and so it’s excellent to see this commendation. The story, “Dress Greens,” again the primary character Irina Pavlova, this time in a piece that dealt a lot with Irina’s interior journey. Judges were favorably impressed by this take; from the judge behind Fleet Captain Toni Turner:
Irina Pavlova hit new heights in characterization and descriptions in this story of a woman surviving 219 years and finding herself dumped into a virtually new world. … The descriptions of the only uniforms she had were so vivid, I could visualize them. I imagined the physical changes of her body made her uncomfortable.
And from the judge behind Captain Cassandra Egan Manno:
The titular focus that allows Irina to access her thoughts and feelings, her dress greens, are a clever gateway for the storytelling, and there’s an emotional depth here that I appreciated and seems entirely warranted by Irina’s situation.
Well done! Please offer the July & August entrants and winners your congratulations if you haven’t done so already!
The next Challenge, “Run Shivers Down My Spine,” is currently ongoing, so be sure to hurry over to the Writing Challenge Forum for guidelines, deadlines, and inspiration!
As always, don’t forget that you can pick up a complete collection of all this round’s short stories, in PDF format, for free. Get yours here!
The crew of USS Columbia, NCC-85279, continued its investigation of the mysterious ruins on Avronis V. After receiving an ultimatum from the Tal Shiar, the away team prepared for a quick evacuation. Unfortunately, despite prompt actions from Brice and Tatash to dispatch signal enhancers to the surface, the Tal Shiar opened fired once again on the away team.
When one of the strange aliens seemingly working with the Tal Shiar was about to lay its hands on their severely injured Romulan guide, Brek asked for immediate back up. Silveira reacted promptly and eradicated the alien menace. Tatash assembled a security team and, braving the lethal radiations, took a second shuttle to Avronis. A fierce battle ensued, allowing both away teams to fly back to the Columbia.
On the Columbia, the Bridge crew continued to negotiate with the Administrator of the Moon Base and the Captain of the Romulan garbage freighter. The arrival of a D’deridex complicated the discussions. Thankfully a compromise was found, forcing the freighter to cease using Avronis as a dumping ground.
The science department discovered that the Tal Shiar had been trying, without success, to reopen an Iconian gate.
The Columbia returned to Starbase 118 for shoreleave. It started with a crew reunion in a holodeck, programmed to look like a Jurassic park. There, ribbons and promotions were handed by Cmdr. Ben Livingston.
The next day, during a mission briefing, the crew discovered that they were to transport a large group of people to Pernipia Gamma Four, which Starfleet wants to colonize speedily. While Ops and Engineering made sure that all was well with the mission pod recently fitted on the Columbia, other crewmembers went to meet the settlers, hoping to understand their motivations.
There are those moments in any good television series that stir our inner emotions. They are comments on society, progressive actions for equality or peace, things that tug at our heartstings in deeply fundamental and life-changing ways. One of the most enduring features of Star Trek, especially when it was written by Gene Roddenberry, was that it had these commentaries sprinkled liberally throughout the episodes.
Next in our survey of the epic moments of Star Trek is the Next Generation. When TNG first came on the air, no one thought that the show would work without the original crew. One, maybe two seasons, most predictions said, and it would be gone. However, it went on to seven excellent seasons largely on the power of its writting and the special moments that it created for its fans and how it connected them to the cast and to the changing world around them.
What moments from the Next Gen affected you? Which ones do you think have entered society’s consciousness? While there are more than we can include here, here are a few of my favorites!