Thursday, December 30, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241012.29 || Personal Log || "Foxes & Hounds" - Part IV - Lt. Leon Athalla & Aev Keirianh

U.S.S. Charon

“Foxes & Hounds – Part 4”

Against his better judgment, Pilot Leon Athalla helped the injured Romulan mercenary, Aev Keirianh down a dark street having obtained transportation halfway across Vulcan and far from recent events which had left a Vulcan establishment and his shuttlecraft in total ruin.  Refusing to be treated in a Vulcan medical facility in addition to returning to the Charon, Leon had been forced to drag the stubborn Romulan across the planet to a large Vulcan city Leon couldn’t pronounce.  With the Charon’s transporters under maintenance the journey had not been especially quick or easy.


“Take a right down here.  It should be the building at the end of the street”, Aev muttered hiding his pain in voice and expression from the Starfleet pilot.


Leon nodded and the pair traversed the distance to a large building with high walls.  The structure looked ancient its wall composed of stone and rock.  It was a distinct anachronism in the midst of a sprawling, modern city.  “What now”, Leon asked adjusting his grip on the mercenary.


“Knock.  Ask for Valaran.  I’m fine.  Just go and be quick about it.”


Leon nodded and soon found himself at a large, castle-like, arch barred by heavy doors.  The structure was as imposing as it was impressive.  Nearby the giant doors was another smaller entry which he presumed was the structure’s main entrance.  He approached and knocked.  Within a few moments a figure in flowing white robes appeared.  The young Vulcan had an inquisitive expression as he took stock of the Starfleet officer.


“I am looking for Valaran”, Leon asked with a slight bow.  “Is he here?”


The Vulcan seemed oddly confused for a moment.  There was an awkward pause before Leon deduced a possible cause for the Vulcan’s expression.  “Sorry.  Just a moment.”  He grabbed his communicator from his jacket pocket and reaffixed it to his chest.  Obviously this unusually dressed Vulcan did not seem to understand Federation standard.  He would need the universal translator embedded in his communicator to help bridge the communications barrier.


“I am looking for Valaran”, Leon repeated.  “Do you know if he is here?”


The Vulcan’s expression quickly cleared.  “Indeed.  Forgive me, I am not yet fluent in Federation standard.  I will fetch Valaran.  Please wait here.”


Leon nodded and waited shooting a glance at Keirianh who looked on from nearby.


After a few moments a much older Vulcan male appeared at the doorway.  “I am Valaran.  May I assist you?”


Leon nodded and motioned in the direction of Keirianh.  Valaran left the doorway and looked out only to place a hand on his chest.  He held it there for several moments before breaking his gaze with the mercenary.  “Bring him inside, quickly.”  The Vulcan disappeared through the doorway leaving Leon alone to help Keirianh.


The pair stepped through the entrance only to have the door quickly closed behind them.  They were instructed to follow the Vulcan who led them across a cobblestone paved courtyard adorned with various statues and figures Leon could not identify.  They entered another structure and were led through several hallways and down a rock staircase which had been cut into the building’s foundation.  The narrow staircase was dark, but eventually opened into a vast underground room lined with paintings, statues, and other imagery which seemed religious or spiritual in nature.  The Vulcan male moved behind them and closed the door to the staircase securing it with a lock before turning his attention back to his guests.


“Aev Keirianh.  Is it really you?  Are you still alive after so many years?”


Aev smiled revealing a thin, white line of teeth.  “Alive yes.  And you old man?  Still playing at being a Vulcan monk I see.  It would appear you remained true to your words despite the passage of time.”


“You two know each other”, Leon asked feeling somewhat confused and in the dark.


“And who is this Aev”, the Vulcan asked as his eyes scanned the Starfleet pilot.


“A trusted friend”, he replied not bothering to return Leon’s surprised expression.  “Valaran, I am afraid I did not come here to catch up.  I need your assistance.”


“You never were one to nurture relationships.  I suppose I should have expected as much when I laid eyes upon you above in the street.  Very well Aev.  What is it you require?”


“A medical kit and anything you have for pain.  And before you ask it was not of my choosing or doing.  They came after me.”


“I’ll be back in a moment.  Do not leave the room.  The other monks here are harmless, but might ask too many questions if you do.”  Valaran left the pair in silence.


Leon scratched his head.  “You wouldn’t want to tell me who that is?”


“His name is Valaran.  We served together as soldiers in the Star Empire.”




“Romulan, not Vulcan.  Yes.  It is a long story, but I saved his life and he owes me a few favors.  We eventually went our separate ways.  He left the military and found a new life embracing the teachings of the Vulcan people.”


“How do you go from a soldier to a monk in another culture?”


Aev shrugged tending to the wound on his leg.  “I do not know.  Perhaps you should ask him if you are curious pilot.”


The monk quickly returned with a medical kit which he placed next to Aev.  “I must say I never expected to see you again Aev.  I believed you had all but forgotten.”


“Perhaps in another life things could have been different.  Even so Valaran, I never forgot your friendship even through the darkest days of my courtmartial and sentencing.  However seeing you was not possible.  My life ended the day they sent me to prison.  It was better for everyone to forget my name and face for their benefit and longevity.”


“A compelling argument, but there are some who would have accepted the risk to see you after your miraculous escape.”


The mercenary said nothing as he healed and cleaned his wound.


“Silent as always.  You haven’t changed.  So what brings you here Aev?  What trouble has found you?”


“I am uncertain.  Someone is going to great lengths to kill me.”  Aev pulled himself up and took several cautious steps testing his own medical work.  Satisfied, he closed the medical kit and returned it to Valaran’s care.  “I do not have time to explain.  I am in need of supplies.”


The monk flashed a thin smile.  “I am a monk now Aev.  I have forsaken the path of violence and embraced logic.  Gone are the mistakes of my youth.”


“Save it!  You’re a Romulan behind that cloak.  No matter how devoted you are to your new found life I know you too well.  You cannot cut the ties to your past.  It makes you who you are.  Now, can you help me or should we be going?”


“The elements can be fickle, unpredictable things”, Valaran softly answered.  “How well you know me friend.”  With a sigh, the monk turned.  “Follow me.”


[ To Be Continued ]


Lt. Leon Athalla

Combat Pilot


Aev Keirianh

Romulan Mercenary



Vulcan Monk ??


Sunday, December 26, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241012.26 - "The Desolate Queen" Part I - Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu

William Shakespeare - "Though those who are betrayed do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor stands in worse case of woe."

Several Months Ago- Shortly after the events over Vulcan

[Ch'Rihan, Nn'Verih, Rehu Estate]

Glass cracked beneath Argelian's boots as he stepped into the remnants of the massive Rehu estate.  Bodies were everywhere- strewn over furniture, through windows, and a carpet of bodies littered the floor coating the marble a sticky emerald.  He was forced to tread carefully to avoid stepping on the carcasses as he made his way down the hall towards the main bedchamber.  When he neared the chamber he could see Shiarkek  ahead of him discussing something with one of the Naval security officers securing the estate.  "Report Shiarkek."  He ordered.

Shiarkek nodded at the security officer before dismissing him and headed towards Argelian to meet the Galae'Riov halfway.  When he reached him Shiarkek bowed his head "we have the entire estate secured and have been gathering evidence.  It seems Lord and Lady Rehu held their own quite well.  Most of the bodies littering the hall were felled by Kaleh-a.  Unfortunately, in the end, they were overwhelmed."

"Rei'Krannsu are not easily defeated."  Argelian sighed as he looked at all the bodies.  "Have you discovered the root of this massacre?"  News of tr'Sahen's treachery and the events over Vulcan had been blocked from the news nets.  If it was a retaliation for Shiarrael's actions it would have to have been someone with that knowledge- A praetor, a senator, or a higher ranking Galae official. 

"Could it have been the agency?" Shiarkek asked as he watched his boss survey the damage.

"Absolutely not."  Argelian said tersely knowing those ears were probably listening even now "for all their annoyances they are masters of killing.  Do you honestly think the agency would have made such a mess?"  He shook his head "no, this is a statement.  A message to Shiarrael perhaps- but not the work of the agency.  They prefer efficiency- and this carnage is anything but." 

"Speaking of the Ael'Rio...Shiarrael.  Should we inform her of her parents deaths?" 

"No."  Argelian jerked his head and glared at Shiarkek "absolutely not.  She should not hear of this- not yet.  We need to find out who was responsible first.  If she finds out she will come here- if such a thing happens bloodshed will be unavoidable.  Keep this silent for now.  Inform those here to keep this information to themselves.  Anyone who speaks about this will find their tongues given to my thrai as treats.  The estate will remain off-limits until I order otherwise."  He started forward "now where are they?  I wish to see them."

"In the bed chamber...however, Galae'EnRiov there is something you should know..."  Shiarkek's voice trailed off as he moved to keep up with Argelian "when they were found..."

Argelian reached the bed chamber and peered in.  His eyes instantly widened "where are their..."

[Neutral Zone, Unknown Star System]

Seeg grumbled heavily as he trudged through the rocky terrain.  Bulbs of green gas wafted up- the toxic concoction held at bay by the thin metallic plate of his respirator.  Next to him, his partner, Mir huffed heavily.  The obese Ferengi was struggling to keep up as he dragged along a hover cart to hold the merchandise.  Every once in awhile he would stop, lean forward on his knees, and gasp for breath. 

"Why are we meeting here!"  Mir grumbled as he pulled the cart haphazardly.  Stepping on a loose rock he nearly stumbled forward but was luckily anchored by the hover cart and avoided falling flat on his fat face  "Romulans!  So bothersome!  You should not have agreed to this Seeg!"

"Relax Mir.  Rule of acquisition number forty-seven: the riskier the road the greater the profit."  Seeg ran his hands through one of the toxic gas bubbles "and this client has promised a great profit if we complete this errand."

"And certain death if you fail."  A deep voice slipped through the shadows and caused Seeg to jump while a startled Mir squealed in fright.  From behind a large rock a tall Romulan appeared, his face obscured by a respirator "I am glad you made it.  I was growing impatient.  You see ferengi- timing is very important to my boss."  The Romulan pointed at two canisters that had been set in front of the rock "these are stasis units.  They are to be delivered to a Captain Shiarrael Rehu of the USS Charon.  The ship is currently in orbit of the Vulcan planet T'Khut."

Mir looked at Seeg who waved him towards the canisters "so what are they?  I mean, incase customs decides to question us...."  Seeg asked while Mir went to collect the stasis units.

"None of your concern Ferengi.  Do not open them- deliver them directly to the Charon untouched.  Failure to do so will void the contact- and your life.  You're clever enough to accomplish this- we would not have hired you if we thought otherwise."  The Romulan pressed a device on his wrist and a large bundled cloth dematerialized in front of Seeg's feet "125 bars of gold press latinum- you will get the other 75% when you complete this for us."

Seeg kneeled down and unraveled the cloth- his eyes widened at the latinum and he quickly began counting them as Mir put the canisters on the hover cart.  When he finished he looked up at the figure with a wide grin "so all we have to do is deliver these to the Charon?"

The Romulan nodded.

[T'Khut Orbital Facility]

Seeg casually walked through the docking ring with Mir following closely behind him dragging along the hover cart with the two stasis canisters on them.  It had been tricky avoiding the Federation patrols but they had been able to make it to T'Khut without a hitch.  Now it was time to deliver the merchandise.  Seeg could taste the latinum.  As they walked up to the Charon's gate he was salivating like a dog who could smell a tasty morsel just out of its reach. 

He turned and motioned for Mir to stop and then approached the security checkpoint just outside of the airlock "Greetings."  Seeg said to one of the yellow collared hewmon guards "I am here to deliver a package to the esteemed Shiarrael Rehu."  He turned and pointed to Mir and the hover cart with the canisters.  The security officer looked at him suspiciously and Seeg suddenly felt his throat tighten "they are addressed directly to the Captain herself..."

"I'm sorry, but all items must be inspected before we allow them to be brought aboard the ship."  The security officer replied as he gestured for the two other security officers to grab the canisters.  As they approached the hover cart Seeg followed them holding up his hands "wait!  We have been given specific instructions not to allow them to opened by anyone but Captain Shiarrael Rehu!  If she finds out you opened her package she will certainly be upset!"  He protested.

"Eh?"  They laughed at him as they picked up the canisters and brought them towards the checkpoint "you must not know our Captain very well.  These are her orders and if we don't follow them she will have our heads.  Don't worry- we won't break anything."  The officers set the canisters on top of the checkpoint's examination counter and activated the unlocking mechanism. 

Seeg swallowed in anticipation as the canister's outer frame lifted upwards.  A thick cloud poured out of the canisters obscuring the contents for a moment but once it cleared everyone's jaws dropped.  Seeg twisted and grabbed Mir who squealed and pulled him along with him as both Ferengi stumbled away from the Charon's airlock in full flight.

"What is this?"  One of the security officers rasped as he covered his mouth.  The other two stared slack jawed at the canisters where two severed Romulan heads stared back at them with lifeless eyes- their mouths wide open in frozen expressions of horror.  "Contact the Captain and find out where those Ferengi went!"

[To be continued...]

[USS Charon] SD241012.25 - Personal Log "Messiah?!" - Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu

[Vulcan's Forge]

I must be crazy.  Shiarrael could hear the damn thing roaring wildly behind her as she let out a hurried sigh.  Her boots dug into the sand kicking up a trail of dust behind her as she trudged forwards towards the boulder ahead of her.  "Sehlat!"  She cursed- if she only had a phaser or a disruptor that worked she would have vaporized it.  A groan escaped her lips as she neared the boulder- behind her the roaring grew louder and more fierce.  How can something so big run so fast?!  Her foot caught a rock obscured beneath the sand causing her stumble forwards.

 "Fvadt!"  She cursed as she danced awkwardly into the boulder.  The beast was so close she could almost feel the warmth of its breath in the cold Vulcan night.  Her fingers feverishly searched the smooth face of the boulder for any nook she could use to climb up.  Finally finding a small groove she slipped her fingers into it and pulled herself up.  She repeated the process until she finally found herself atop the cold rock and laid on her back to catch her breath.  Beneath her she could hear the Sehlat pacing around fervently.  "They say you are persistent creatures."  She hissed and pushed herself onto her knees crawling to the edge of the boulder to look down at the Sehlat "you want to eat me?"  She asked. 

Bathed in the crimson light of Vulcan's burning sister planet t'Khut the Sehlat looked up at her with bright yellow eyes and roared.  Shiarrael shrugged and felt around the top of the boulder until she found a loose rock "damn you and your Vulcan kin" she tossed it down hitting the Sehlat on the head causing it to shake and let loose a second roar "oh, you won't shut up?"  She found another and pegged it on the head ahead.  Falling back onto the boulder she sighed "ridiculous..." looking up at the burning T'Khut she let out a frustrated groan and closed her eyes.

Hot...Shiarrael stirred slowly feeling the intense baking heat of the Vulcan sun searing on her exposed flesh.  Her eyes opened to painful brightness as she sat up shaking the sand from her hair.  How long have I been here?  She wondered before searching through her pack for the canteen of water.  After a minute a searching Shiarrael realized it was missing.  "I must have dropped it running from that damn Sehlat."  She slowly pulled herself to the edge of the boulder, hands burning on the heated rock, and peered over the edge to see if the beast was still hunting her.  But as she peered over all she noticed were waves of windswept sand framing the bottom edges of the boulder.  "At least they are not foolish enough to be out in this heat" she commented dryly before slinging the pack over her back and slowly sliding down the rock.

She walked, and walked...the Vulcan desert was an endless, arid, hell.  "How Ironic should I die here."  She stared at the waves of the heat radiating off the hot sand that distorted the horizon into a rusty ocean.  She licked her chapped lips with a dry tongue.  She took one final step forward before succumbing the Vulcan wilderness .  Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she collapsed into the dry sand.

[Sometime later...]

Water.  Her tongue touched the wetness as drops trickled across her dry lips and into her mouth.  Her eyes slowly opened and she looked up to find a Vulcan woman standing over her ringing the moisture out of a wet rag.  The woman smiled apparently noticing the now roused Romulan.  She turned and shouted to someone in that ancient tongue which Shiarrael so disliked.  "Where am I?" Shiarrael asked in standard and attempted to sit up but was quickly pushed back by the woman.

"Sit still..."

Shiarrael slapped the woman's hand off of her and sat up- agitation creased across her forehead as she looked around the dusty cavern.  Amber light filtered in through the entrance where a shadow was just making his way in.  Shiarrael watched the stranger with caution as the Vulcan woman who had been tending to her stood up and nodded to the new arrival.

"She is exactly as describe Surol- very irascible."  The woman grinned at Shiarrael as the shadow pulled away the hood of his dark brown robe revealing a young Vulcan male- poised with sharp features he smiled and directed his pale blue eyes towards the Romulan with a smile.

"Indeed- it is a very refreshing expression, anger."

"Are you mocking me?"  Her eyes narrowed suspiciously.  When Shiarrael noticed the woman something bothered her- and this feeling of intense anxiety only amplified when the man revealed his face.   She cocked her head and studied them for a short moment before letting out a tense breath "you're Vulcan?" their features told her they were...but those expressions!  "How strange- does it hurt to smile?  Do not strain yourselves."

Surol laughed "it is odd for our people yes- but as I am sure you are well aware Captain: we do feel- we do have emotions.  While my brothers may choose to bury them beneath a layer of logic- some of us have chosen to embrace our emotions."  He beckoned her to come with him as he turned around and started towards the entrance "since you seemed healed, please follow me."

Shiarrael stood up and picked up her jacket which had been neatly folded next to her.  She casually nodded at the woman and followed Surol while slinging the jacket over her shoulder "I don't understand- I am not familiar with Vulcan tradition.  I was under the impression that all Vulcan's subscribed to emotionless logic.  That such logic, is what make's Vulcans such higher beings."  She finished her statement with dripping sarcasm.

"A choice.   A Vulcan is born with emotion- to suppress feeling, is unnatural, and illogical.  Kol-Ut-Sha."  He said as they worked through way through a series of caverns lit by cracks in the ceiling which allowed speckles of sunlight to seep in.  "We are the V'tosh ka'tur- Vulcans who embrace emotion.  However, do not think we have abandoned logic- we believe that logic and emotion can coexist."

She nodded her "and you are the ones who contacted me?"  Shiarrael asked as they made their way through a sunlit archway.  Beyond it she found herself standing on the second floor of a rotunda that circled a courtyard.  The entire area appeared to have been carved out of rock, the top opening of which was encased by a glass ceiling that filtered out the harshness of the sun.  The sound of trickling water from a center fountain could barely be heard amid a cacophony of competing sounds as several Vulcans were below playing a game while chatting and laughing. 

"Yes Captain.  I must seek your forgiveness for our subterfuge- but you have to understand that we must take precaution.  To live peacefully among our peers we must be discreet in our interactions.  V'tosh ka'tur are highly frowned upon- and anyone discovered would be considered an outcast.  Shunned by both family and friend.  So this is how it must be."  His smile faded slightly "we are in one of our sanctuaries, where we are free to express our emotions without fear under the protection of the forge."

She watched the activity below and smiled slightly when a group of children ran through the courtyard playing some type of 'chase' game "considering some of the fools I have met- I can see why discretion would be necessary- however, I am more curious about why you have contacted me."  She turned her head to look at the Vulcan who nodded his head apparently expecting that question.

"Well Captain- to be truthful, you have become somewhat of a folk hero among us.  We have always held some fascination towards the sundered.  To have a sundered save Vulcan- well, I'm sure you can understand the impression that has left among us, and other Vulcans."  Surol looked down and appeared somewhat abashed "we have been discussing the possibility of you..." he paused for a few seconds "joining our movement."

"What?"  Shiarrael's eyes widened as she frowned "join your movement?  Ridiculous."  She shook her head "this is not possible.  I am not Vulcan and do not have the time for such nonsense."  She turned her back to the Vulcan and started through the archway but stopped when she felt his hand firmly grip her shoulder "it is unwise to suddenly touch me" she warned.

Surol released his grip "I apologize- but please hear me.  We have been shunned for generations- those who follow Cthia continue their prejudice against us.  Your name now circles Vulcan Captain.  You have no fear- no barriers.  We do not wish for you to simply join us...many of us want you to lead us.  How could a sundered save Vulcan?   You are what we have waited for Captain."

She held her hand up and looked around "is this a joke?"  Shiarrael turned around and returned to the barrier and peered over the edge searching through the crowd for a bit "is Ambassador Lamont here?"  She asked and looked at Surol who seemed perplexed.   With an exasperated sigh she shook her head "If what you are saying is true- I will consider it, but for the moment I have business I must attend to- I need to return to my shuttle."

Surol nodded with a grin "yes, certainly Captain, I will have one of us escort you through the forge- your fellow crew are already waiting for you there."

"How expected."  She commented dryly.  At least they were able to get back to the shuttle while she barely escaped the Sehlat's stomach.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

[USS Charon] [Lakat, Cardassia] SD241012.22 | The Rising Sun | Cardassian High Command

/||\ High Command Chambers, Lakat, Cardassia /||\

Vi-ria Gul Vinet Durel - Chairman, Cardassian High Command

The sun was setting over the westward marches of Lakat, also known as Central City among the natives, as a small group of uniformed officers gathered in the high-ceilinged chamber. As they gathered at the base of an elevated podium, rather than take their seats at the various tables around the room (all facing the podium), there was a murmur of hushed conversations traveling back and forth across the group.


At the back of the chamber, the two heavy wooden doors flung open with an echoing thud as a new trio of officers entered. The gathered group retreated to allow them a path, and one took to the podium as the other two took up position on either side of it.


"Good evening," began Vi-ria Gul Durel as he scanned the faces below him. "I know the hour is late, and most of you have families to attend to, but I thought this was worth announcing to you all immediately. Forty years after the tragedies of the Dominion War, forty years of fighting to reestablish ourselves as a dominate power in the Alpha Quadrant, and we've finally reached the next milestone."


He shifted a display device on the podium and read aloud, "To Vi-ria Gul Vinet Durel, Overseer of Cardassian High Command; from Glinn Entet Suram, Commander of Dessok Nor. Construction has been completed on the Dessok Shipyards. The construction crews and engineers await your orders."


Durel looked back up to the crowd, several of whom were once again murmuring to one another, "This is a great day for Cardassia! For a generation we have struggled to regain our footing in the Alpha Quadrant, but no longer will that be an issue! I have, as of this afternoon, ordered the production of Galor-class warships to begin in full swing! This new yard, coupled with those here at Cardassia, will ensure our continued growth and recovery."


"What of the Federation?" asked one of the nameless faces.


Durel swatted the air with his hand, "The Federation will have no say in this matter. In time they will once again learn to fear the might of the Cardassian people!"


Another face spoke up, "And the Detapa Council? They have approved the construction of these warships?"


A sly grin spread across the Vi-ria Gul's face as she casually shrugged, "Their opinions were…noted and overruled. There is nothing that can stop the wheels of progress from turning."


There was a round of applause and the volume of the murmuring rose greatly for several moments as the crowd of officers approved of these developments.


"My brothers and sisters," Durel continued, "I have recalled the bulk of our fleet to Cardassia and, with Malnor and the Thorkahn at the head of our spear, we will prepare to strike out once more into the galaxy! Long live the union!"


/||\ To Be Continued... /||\
Vi-ria Gul Vinet Durel
Cardassian High Command

[USS Charon] SD241012.22 || Side Log || "Foxes & Hounds - Part III" - Lt. Leon Athalla & Aev Keirianh

U.S.S. Charon

“Foxes & Hounds – Part III”

Vulcan Surface – Landing Area


Cold winds howled whipping up clouds of dust that became a fog in the dim, flickering lights of the square landing area.  Small, private shuttles and transport craft lined the various platforms each in various states of neglect.  The entire area, relegated to the shady underworld, was in disrepair.  Lights buzzed, flickered or in many areas had failed completely.  Rust was present everywhere and devoured all but the toughest metal objects.  Animals cried out in the darkness searching for scraps of food while wind blew trash like tumbleweeds down streets and alleyways.


Despite the grime and dilapidation Leon Athalla’s borrowed Starfleet shuttle shined like diamond even in the pale, dusty light of the landing facility.  Thankfully deserted at this hour of the night, Leon coaxed his prisoner forward determined to return to the Charon unwilling to become entangled in Aev Keirianh’s deadly affairs.  If someone wanted him dead then they could try for him aboard a Federation starship.  He wasn’t about to let his pursuers or the mercenary himself wage war with innocent civilians in the crosshairs.


Approaching the shuttle, Athalla opened the door and motioned with the phaser for the mercenary to enter.  “Get in and keep your hands behind your head where I can see them Aev.  And don’t fool yourself into thinking I am incapable of shooting.”  Athalla was deadly serious.  It was possible he would be implicated in the explosion that destroyed a Vulcan tavern and killed several patrons and staff.  Then there was the fact he had twisted the truth to obtain a shuttle and assisted a potential criminal in escaping the Charon which may have contributed to the attack.  His butt was certainly in a substantial amount of hot water and if the captain found out about his actions it could very well end his already blemished career.  He had already been demoted from Lt. Commander to Lieutenant for his actions.  His actions today while not exactly regulation busting had created an unanticipated chain of events with grave consequences.


Aev slowly moved into the shuttle as Athalla followed as the mercenary took a seat in the co-pilot’s chair his eyes firmly upon the pilot.  Athalla sealed the door and carefully maneuvered his way into the cockpit and took a seat maintaining an eye on the mercenary as well as his phaser.  His hand moved to power up the shuttle and for an instant measured in hundredths of a second his attention became split and in that moment the mercenary reacted.  The phaser discharged as Aev lunged at Athalla, but not before his arm was twisted upwards deflecting the beam which exploded against the roof showering both men in white hot sparks.  Athalla threw out his leg catching the mercenary in the torso, but Aev was unrelenting.  In the narrow, cramped confines of the shuttle cockpit the two men fought for supremacy.  The stakes were their lives as neither would hesitate to kill the other to achieve their aims.  After several moments of fierce fighting, the practiced and skilled mercenary triumphed over the valiant pilot and the battle came to an abrupt end with Athalla, bloodied and beaten, staring down the barrel of the phaser aimed at his temple.


“You fight well human”, Aev muttered wiping a trail of green blood from the corner of his mouth.  “But not good enough.  I warned you not to interfere.”


“I did what I had to do.  Now it seems you will do what you must do.  I don’t regret my actions.  However, if you pull that trigger Aev you will truly be a heartless murderer.  I might call you a friend if you weren’t my enemy holding a phaser to my head.  If you kill me, what will you do then?  Avenge yourself upon your attackers?  Then what?  Where will that get you?  What good will come of it?  Theft of Federation property, murder of a Starfleet officer, bombing, terrorism, murder – quite the laundry list you will have written for yourself.  But I’ve never been much on goodbyes so pull the damn trigger and get this over with!”


Aev’s finger quivered over the trigger of the phaser.  Why couldn’t he press it?  He had killed hundreds before without so much as a thought and now he was hesitating?  Was he going soft?  Getting old?  What the hell was wrong with him?


Athalla, drenched in perspiration, noticed a light flashing on his console.  He dared not move given the situation, but Aev had seen his eyes move and had also noticed the anomaly.  The light had bought them both time to think temporarily halting the pilot’s inevitable demise.


“I should look at that”, Athalla finally said breaking the slience.  “I left the shuttle powered down when we left.  There shouldn’t be anything active.”


“Look, but do not move”, came the stern warning.


Athalla slowly righted himself in the pilot’s seat keeping his hands in plain view as he looked down at the shuttle’s control panels.  “That’s odd.  It’s a maintenance access warning on the refueling door.  Common enough to get one aboard before takeoff when the flight crew forgets to properly secure the door, but I wouldn’t expect to see it here on the ground.  It’s a minor warning and poses no danger, but odd that it was tripped now on the surface.  I would expect something like this to trip while in flight due to turbulence which can sometimes jostle a door open.  It’s uncommon, but known to happen.”


Athalla looked back at the mercenary.  “I can’t tell anything more without using the computer.”


“No.  Do not move.”


“Aev.  That hatch doesn’t open by itself on a parked shuttle.  Any pilot with half a brain knows that the safety systems on impulse and warp drive units prevent siphoning of deuterium from the tanks.  Why the hell anyone would try to steal deuterium slush is beyond me seeing as one wrong move could destroy half the block…”


“Half the block”, the mercenary whispered back.  Suddenly Aev lunged forward and grabbed Athalla by his collar and with one arm dragged the pilot like a doll from his seat.  The door to the shuttle flew open as the mercenary threw the pilot forward leaping out behind him.  “RUN”, was the only word he uttered as the two men sprinted away from the craft.  Several moments later a black sphere of energy emerged from the center of the shuttlecraft hovering in existence for only a moment before collapsing back into itself in a brilliant flash of white light.  An explosion ripped through the landing deck disintegrating everything around it while the corresponding shockwave tossed man and machine about like grains of sand on the wind.


Athalla slowly opened his eyes as his senses returned.  His ears rang with an unending high pitched whine.  His tongue registered the distinctive iron based flavor of his own blood within his mouth as he slowly attempted to move.  Pulling himself up from the dirt and dust caking the ground and his face, he coughed several times before turning to look behind him.  They had only just managed to clear the corner of a building which appeared to have shielded them from the fury of the explosion.  He could no longer see the shuttle, but he knew there was little remaining.  Scattered fires dotted the ground and surrounding buildings and he could see that several of the nearby transports and shuttles had been picked up and tossed about like toys.  The destruction was absolute.  Suddenly he turned to locate the mercenary.  He quickly found him lying face down covered in dust and debris.  His phaser was not far away on the ground.  Sensing an opportunity, Athalla scrambled toward the weapon but not before the mercenary did the same as if unconsciously sensing the danger.


Leon’s hand found the weapon first and snatched it up and away from the mercenary’s grasp turning it upon its former owner.


“Son of a bitch”, Athalla shouted holding the defeated and injured merc at bay with the phaser.  “What…what just happened!”


“They are playing with us”, Aev replied with a groan.  “They knew I was here.  They saw us arrive.  They must have tampered with your shuttle and installed an explosive device in the event we escaped the ambush at the tavern.  Professional.  Calculated.  It is precisely what I would have done.”


“Who!  Damn it!  Who is doing this?  Start talking Aev!”


“My last job.  My contact wanted me to eliminate your Ambassador Lamont aboard the Charon.  I never ask questions of my clients as they prefer a degree of anonymity as do I.  I planned on retiring after this job as my contact offered to pay me ten times my usual rate given the difficulty involved.  I almost refused given the risk and complexity, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.  It was a true challenge and it would be my last contract.  I decided to bet everything on the attempt.  It was a true test of my abilities.


I don’t typically desire to know who employs me as it is bad business to know too much, but on this occasion I knew I was being bankrolled by a large organization.  No single person would offer such a lucrative job and be able to provide such detailed specifics on the target.  It was clear this was an investment by a well connected and dangerous group.  I ruled out local syndicates and crime bosses.  They didn’t have the intelligence resources to obtain the information, false IDs, and other items I was given.  My fee was also likely beyond their reach.  I could rule our private individuals.  That left governments or corporate interests.  The Romulans seldom contract with third parties as they prefer to handle matters quietly on their own.  Starfleet operates in much the same manner.  Klingons have neither the money nor the inclination to allow someone else to fight their battles.  I could also rule out various other races.  The entire enterprise was very professional.  I knew I was dealing with a massive corporation.  I did some research on Ambassador Lamont and found he had close relations with several officers from a particular company who had the motive, the power, the influence, and the wealth to fund a contract.”


“Skip the history lesson”, Athalla shouted as a small explosion erupted out of view.


“I have no proof, but I believe the entity that funded my last job was the NeoDyne Defense Corporation.  Simple elimination and research makes them a likely source.”


“I think I’ve heard the name.  They manufacture weapons for the Federation if I recall?”


“They do far more than that.  You are a chaste virgin lieutenant when it comes to the criminal underworld.  NeoDyne plays extensively in the shadows but for what aims I cannot say.  Those affiliated with them have a tendency to go missing.  They cover their tracks with expert professionalism.  There are nothing more than rumors and whispers about their activities.  Anyone bold enough to talk never lives long afterwards.  They take out anyone who talks, anyone who listens, and anyone associated with anyone involved.  They employ paid assassins and recruit talented mercenaries.  From what I have heard their private army rivals anything in the quadrant.”


“What do they want with you?”


“Simple.  I failed my mission.  Lamont lives and so do I.  I know too much even if I know nothing at all.  They detest loose ends.  They know I failed, but survived.  Perhaps they have informants or spies aboard the Charon?  Who can say?  They are capable enough to have a mole aboard if that suited their interests.


This is why I warned you not to get involved lieutenant.  It is likely they know of you now and your identity.  You may also become targeted since you have been seen with me.  NeoDyne does nothing in half measures.  These people never forget, they never stop, and their resources are limitless.  It is highly likely Athalla that you now are also in grave danger.”


“So tell me something I don’t know”, Athalla replied.  “I’ll contact the ship and…”


“Would you involve others?  Would you condemn them as well?”


“This NeoDyne cannot take on the Starfleet?  They would never attempt to attack a ship of the line.”


“They have.  Rumor has it they have engaged Starfleet ships and quietly bribed or silenced all involved.  The Charon alone is no match for this corporation.  If they want her destroyed, they will find a way and no one will ever be the wiser.”


Athalla grappled with the mercenary’s words for a moment.  It was all just too fantastic to believe.


“I don’t believe you Aev, but here is how we are going to play this.  First we get you to a doctor and you can tell me…”


“No.  First you take me to a contact here on Vulcan I am acquainted with.  He owes me a favor and can provide medical attention and supplies without questions.  Then you return to your ship and forget you ever met me.  It is the only way.”


“Sorry.  I’m already neck deep in your shit Aev.  I don’t intend to go back and be drowned in it by my superiors.  I’ll take you to this contact of yours and we will devise a plan to locate this person or people responsible for these crimes if we can.  Once we do that we contact Vulcan security and let them deal with this mess.  I’m not endangering innocent lives in your private war.  Let the Vulcans deal with this corporation.  I doubt they can take on an entire government.”


“I wouldn’t doubt their influence Athalla.  They are the system, not just a player in it.”


“Whatever.  I’m only concerned with saving my neck and well possibly yours.  I don’t have any desire to get mixed up in intrigue or the criminal underworld.  I just want to clean this mess up and forget I ever decided to come down here in the first place.  That’s my goal.  No revenge.  No gangland murders.  No shadow organizations.  I want to clear our names, find those responsible for the murders at the tavern and who rigged my shuttle, turn them over to the authorities for arrest, and go home.”


“It isn’t that simple lieutenant.”


“Simple or not it is how we are playing the situation.  I happen to have the weapon remember?  I could just shoot you now and inform the Vulcans and the blame would easily fall on you.  I’d walk away clean.  So which is it?  My way, or do I shoot you now?”


“It would seem I have little choice”, Aev begrudgingly answered.


“I am glad you see it my way”, Athalla replied.  He stood and moved to help Keirianh back to his feet.  “Can you walk?”


“I can manage”, the mercenary replied.


“Where is this associate of yours?”


“We will need transportation.”


“Leave that to me”, Athalla replied.  The two men quickly disappeared into the shadows as emergency personnel arrived at the scene to deal with a second explosion of the night.  As the flames climbed high into the night sky from the burning wreckage of the shuttlecraft a dark figure watched from high above a building ledge at the chaos below.  Turning, the figure melted back into the darkness of the night from whence it came to again move unseen in the realm of shadows.



[ To Be Continued ]



Lieutenant Leon Athalla

Combat Pilot


Aev Keirianh

Romulan Mercenary


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241012.20 || Off Duty Log || "Foxes & Hounds - Part 2" - Lt. Leon Athalla & Aev Keirianh

U.S.S. Charon

“Foxes & Hounds – Part 2”

Vulcan.  A planet known for its vast, dry deserts was anything but hot.  Without light and heat from the Vulcan sun, Nevasa, large swaths of land scorched by day consequently froze by night.  An icy chill now blew through the dusty air as two men ran through a maze of dark, back alleys and streets desperate to remain unseen and unheard.  Putting several blocks between themselves and what remained of a local bar now ablaze and consumed by fire and smoke, Lieutenant Leon Athalla and mercenary Aev Keirianh paused for a moment pressing their backs against a cold concrete wall having fled from what Keirianh believed to be a professional, if not bold, attempt on his life.


His chest heaving as he struggled for breath, Athalla took a moment to slow his breathing as the Romulan mercenary did the same in the steadily cooling air of the Vulcan evening.  Running like criminals from the scene of the crime did not sit well with Athalla.  He knew several lives had been lost and perhaps more by their rapid departure from the hellish inferno that was once a popular, if not slightly illicit, tavern.


“Time you did some explaining”, the pilot demanded between ragged breaths.  “I don’t proclaim to know much about the criminal underworld or professional hitmen, but I never heard of a hit being so blatant or bold.  If you guys are suppose to be silent killers I think someone never got the memo.  Just what the hell is going on?”


“I do not know any more than you lieutenant”, the mercenary answered.  “I saw the reflection of movement in the mirror behind you and the waitress.  It came from atop the building across the street.  Instinct told me it was an ambush.  The rest you know.”


“You still believe they were after you?”


“Of course!  Who else would they be after?  Why else would they go to such lengths?”  The mercenary stopped his voice cooling slightly as the subtle passion in his voice disappeared on a chilly Vulcan breeze.  “You do not know of my reputation.  I am known not by my name, but by a pseudonym given to me by some reporter or other such person attempting to create sensationalism where none exists.  They call me the Black Reaper.  Those who deal in the grays and blacks of the underworld know of this name and have come to fear it.  I have become the preeminent soldier of fortune in this region of space.  My services are of the highest caliber and I always complete a contract – or at least did.  Equally, I demanded premiums for my services which many were willing to pay to solve certain problems.  Unlike you lieutenant I do not wear the uniform of an organization with lofty goals.  I am a paid assassin.  I am friends with no one and no one’s friend.  I exist.  I do what I am paid to do.  You appear to have become enamored with me, but I assure you there is no glory, honor, or adventure that surrounds me.  I have become death.  It is all that I now know.  Infamy, however,  is not without its rewards.  There are those who seek to destroy me.  Dozens of rewards exist for my death or capture though I have made sure my identity has remained anonymous.  Your own Starfleet may indeed quietly seek my head.  There are others who seek to avenge those who I eliminated.  There are still more who simply seek to eliminate me so they can claim the media attention, infamy, and write themselves into legend or history.  Such individuals or groups are fools, but they exist and think of nothing else but ascendency into the ranks of mercenary elite.”


“Who takes out half a block with a small army to kill one person?”


“Delusional fools.  Sloppy syndicate thugs.  Amateurs who do not realize that Vulcan security will have them in custody by the setting of tomorrow’s sun.  Though as much as I would like to believe the former as true I fear I am being tracked by someone far more sinister and deadly.




“The less you know lieutenant the longer your life will be.  I have already said too much of matters.  Your association with me may indeed be grounds for them to begin hunting you as well.  They are as relentless as they are resourceful and their influence is both everywhere and nowhere.”


“What kind of senseless doubletalk is that”, Athalla blasted.


“Lieutenant.  You must return to the shuttle on your own.  I cannot endanger your life further or place your ship and crew at additional risk.  I cannot be that selfish.  I made my choice and must now face the consequences of my actions.  I can no longer cower behind Starfleet’s banner as a means of salvation.”  The mercenary focused his eyes upon the perplexed lieutenant and placed a hand on the man’s shoulder.


“For what it is worth lieutenant, I have enjoyed our time together.  For the first time in a long time I felt as if I had a purpose.  You are a worthy and cunning fighter, if not somewhat reckless.  You have opened my eyes to a world I thought was dead and for that I am grateful.  Now go!  Return to your shuttle and leave this place before it is too late!”


Athalla shook his head as perplexed as he was upset.  “I don’t give a damn about your past.  We are both soldiers and I’m no judge or jury.  If you’re looking for absolution I cannot grant it, however I’m also not fool enough to let someone throw their life needlessly away.”


“DAMN IT LIEUTENANT”, Aev shouted throwing the pilot forcefully against the cold concrete wall of the dark alleyway.  A cold wind howled through the narrow street its shrill, shrieks beckoning to the dark, silent agents of the night.  “Don’t you get it?  I am not worth saving!  My presence attracts nothing but death and destruction like a plague.  I can never escape the dark clouds that follow me.  I do not want any more blood on my hands.  Remaining in public will only cost innocent lives at the hands of others with souls and hearts far darker and harder than mine.  The only way to end this is to go out fighting.  It is the only way.  The only way for me.  The only way I know.  Now leave lest I turn on you for death awaits all associated with me.”


“A Romulan with a flair for the dramatic.  Wow.  I never thought I would ever see that”, Athalla replied.  “Look I don’t really give a f*#& what you think.  I am a Starfleet officer and I cannot allow you to wander free why this town descends into a war zone.”  Athalla leveled his phaser at the mercenary his expression changing from exasperated to deadly serious.  “You are going to return to the shuttle with me until we figure out what is going on.  If you have a problem with that then you can forget about your rivals as I have no qualms shooting you in the back and dumping your corpse with Vulcan security.  If there’s a reward then so much the better.  I’ll be known as the pilot that took down the Black Reaper and the reward will probably fund my drinking habit for the foreseeable future.”


Athalla flashed a tiny smile though his grip on his phaser remained steadfast.  “I’m no Saint either Aev Keirianh.  I’d just assume pass on killing you since you have a way of keeping things interesting which I admit I’m beginning to enjoy, but if you think you can just walk out of here then let me end your life for you here and now since you seem intent on getting yourself killed.”


Athalla motioned with his free hand toward the shuttle never taking his eyes or his phaser off of the mercenary who he knew would not hesitate to kill him if he was presented an opportunity.


“After you Keirianh.”


The mercenary glared at the human before him.  He could attempt to overtake the human as his skill, speed, and strength were superior, but doing so would almost certainly be fatal given Athalla’s background and training.  Like so many times in his past he would be patient.  The pilot was bluffing but even if he wasn’t he had made his decision.  Athalla was just one more life in a line of hundreds who would meet their end at his hands.  This pilot was just another warm body.  He could kill and move on as he had so many times before.


Slowly the mercenary fell into a slow march down the alley with the pilot close behind his weapon at the ready.  The shuttle was only a block away and after a few moments was visible in the cramped landing area in which they had left it some many hours before.


“You are making a grave mistake pilot”, the mercenary said with a menacing tone as if offering the pilot a final chance to reconsider his decision.


“I know what I’m doing”, came the quick, almost instantaneous reply.



[ To Be Continued… ]



Lt. Leon Athalla

Fighter Pilot


Aev Keirianh

Romulan Mercenary

Monday, December 20, 2010

[USS Charon] SD241012.20 || Personal Log || - "Foxes and Hounds" - Lt. Leon Athalla & Aev Keirianh

“Foxes and Hounds – Part 1”



=======  Vulcan Surface – Tavern  =======


“I’ll have a scotch, neat”, Athalla told the waitress of questionable reputation.  “And you?”


Aev shook his head.  “Nothing for me.”


“Oh come on!  I didn’t steal a shuttle to escape and drink with a fuddy-duddy.”


“Come again”, the merc replied.  “Nevermind.”  The waitress looked at the unusual pair and left without a word.


“I must say lieutenant you seem to have an extensive knowledge of local destinations specializing in smoke, sleaze, and scum.  I dare not inquire as to how you came to know about this specific establishment.”  Aev lifted his boot only to drop it crushing an annoying bug beneath his foot with a loud, oozing pop.  “Yes it has a specific charm all its own.”


“The alcohol is as strong as it is cheap and the ladies are as fast as they are total bombshells.  What more do you want merc?  Are the glasses not clean enough for you here?  You could go and complain to the management.  I’d actually pay a handsome some to see that.”


“So tell me lieutenant Athalla, why me, why here – what do pilots see in such places surrounded by all manner of temptation, libations, and flesh?”


“You must be blind yourself if you cannot pick out a happening nightlife locale.  Don’t let the salty seadogs or the obnoxious land lubbers detract from the ambiance.  Anything can happen in here.  Possibly everything has, but there’s always something or someone else to try.  An element of risk, or danger makes a place like this exciting.  More often than not the risk is worth the reward.”


Athalla turned his head and followed an attractive redhead as she slowly moved away catching the eyes of dozens of males on her way out.  Oh what I would give for a few days of solitary confinement here.  I think I could get my own katra just about whipped back into shape with enough wine, women, and song.”


“Indeed”, the mercenary dryly replied.  “With such lofty goals and ambitions would you care to tell me how the Federation became what it was?  How is it you humans ever managed to achieve warp capabilities?”


“Funny Aev.  You cannot tell me there isn’t a Romulan that doesn’t enjoy a good time.  You sound more Vulcan than Romulan.  Is there some code you adhere to that forbids fun?  Even cold, blooded killers have to find something to relax to.  You cannot be forever focused on work?”


The mercenary leaned back in his rickety chair.  The air around him was thick with odd smells, smoke, music, laughter, and voices.  They all rang hollow.  He had closed off his emotions so long ago he nearly forgot he had them.  They felt like distant echoes like a fading dream.  Emotions were a part of the person he once was.  That person was gone.  He had died the day the state had turned against him, stripped him of everything he held dear, and then shipped him off to die like a common criminal.  He hadn’t felt since that day.  Even when he had took revenge against those responsible for ruining his life the joy he had so patiently waited for never came.  Emptiness and cold were the only two things he felt that resembled the emotions he had lost so long ago.


“Yo!  Aev?  You looked like you zoned out there for a second.  What gives?”


Aev looked up at Athalla.  The human was full of life and enjoyed its many gifts almost to excess.  Yet, despite his bad jokes and inviting smile Aev could sense it was a cover for something darker, deep within the pilot.  He had seen the same look before.  The lieutenant was hiding from something in his past.



=======  MUCH…LATER  =======


Keirianh sipped a glass of water as Athalla pulled closer to a cute, blonde waitress he had managed to intrigue with exaggerated stories of glory, pilots, and adventure.  He was content to humor the pilot.  Seeing him happy and enjoying life kindled some tiny spark of feeling within him.  Perhaps he was imagining things.  In any event the bar, the atmosphere, and company he did not have to worry about stabbing him in the back brought him a sense of contentment he had not known for quite some time.


“So  the Vulcan offers to buy the Ferengi a drink.”


“Why would a Vulcan do that?”


“I’m not finished with the story”, Athalla exclaimed.  “Let me get to the punch line.”


The waitress smiled and let the pilot continue.


“As I was saying, the Vulcan buys the Ferengi a drink.  They don’t say anything for a time, but the the Vulcan says…”


“Get down”, Aev said sternly suddenly dropping his glass to the table which rolled off and shattered on the hard floor of the tavern.


Athalla looked up.  He was drunk.  “Shut up Aev.  That’s not what he says.  You’re ruining the joke.”


“NO!  I mean get down!  NOW!”  Acting on instinct, Aev dove over the table grabbing the lieutenant and female and knocking them backwards in their chairs as a hail of weapons fire tore into the table around them.  In that moment it seemed as if the entire bar exploded as energy beams pierced the building like needles.  Bottles exploded, tables caught fire, chairs disintegrated as did patrons caught in the deadly barrage.  The waitress cried out in terror her voice adding to the screams and chaos as the violence continued.


“Athalla we have to get out of here, NOW”, the mercenary shouted over the electric destruction which was tearing the bar apart.  Exploding bottles impaled the barkeep who doubled over the bar and fell to the floor.  His wide eyes glanced at the two men before him as if asking what had happened.  His arm fell flat and went still as a stream of blood pooled beneath him.


Suddenly the sound of metal clanging loudly on the floor could be heard distinctly even through the cacophony which had enveloped the bar.  “GRENADES”, Aev shouted.  He quickly pulled on the waitress and Athalla and managed to drag them through the kitchen doors as a horrific explosion annihilated the bar’s main area.  Aev quickly looked around and spotted a back door.  Without hesitation he dragged his charges through the door.  The three collapsed in the dark alley as fire rapidly consumed the establishment.


Aev grabbed the girl.  “Go!  Find the authorities and tell them everything you can remember.  Stay with them and do not go home!”  The woman was in tears still suffering from shock and recovering from the physical effects of the explosions.  She was obviously shaken, but there was no time for compassion.  “GO.  GO!”


The woman nodded managing to stand and ran off into the darkness.  Aev turned to Athalla who was rubbing his head after kissing the concrete in their hasty escape.

“What the hell is going on”, Leon muttered rubbing his battered and scraped chin.


“No time.  We have to leave.  Now!  Can you walk?”


“Of course I can”, Athalla replied standing up.  “Did you think I was actually drunk?  That was only an act.  It would take a hell of a lot more than that to…”


“COME ON”, the merc shouted grabbing the pilot and dashing down another alley.  The two ran for what seemed like forever until Athalla finally had to stop to catch his breath.  Leaning against a dirty wall, Athalla gasped for breath as the two men stared at one another.


“What the hell happened…back..there Keirianh?  Who…destroyed…that bar?”


“I do not know.  All I can say for certain is that it was me they were after!  Now do you see why I warned you against coming here?  My presence only attracts death.  So long as I live I can never be free of them!”




“Rivals, enemies, former clients….there are many who want me dead.  Many who seek to claim my title as best.  However I fear I know who it was who wants me the most, but this is not the time or place to discuss it.  We must return to the Charon at once or else I fear more innocent lives will be lost as they pursue me.”


Athalla reached into his jacket and produced a pair of phasers.  He tossed one at the mercenary and checked the other.  “Well like I say, always come prepared.”


A distant explosion could be heard in the distance as the two men looked off to see a black cloud rise into the night sky lit by the raging fires below.


“You sure know how to pick friends.  They seem to enjoy playing rough.  The shuttle is a few blocks away on the edge of town.  You can fill me in on who it is who’s trying to kill us on the way.  If I’m gonna die tonight I’d at least like to know who it is who is gunning for me.”


Aev nodded as the two men set off running toward the shuttle and possible salvation from their pursuers.






Lt. Leon Athalla

Fighter Pilot


Aev Keirianh


[USS Charon] SD241012.19 || Personal Log || "Vulcan HO! - Part 2 - Lt. Leon Athalla & Aev Keirianh

“Vulcan HO! – Part 2”



“Lieutenant I can’t release a shuttle to you without authorization from the bridge or a ranking officer.”


Athalla shook his head.  “Look.  I don’t care about regulations.  All I know is that the captain requested some items from Vulcan and the transporters are under repair.  Orders were supposed to have been sent, but with half the computers aboard jacked up I don’t know what to tell you!  I have explicit orders to round up these items for the captain.  Are you really going to turn me down?”


“Again, I haven’t received any orders.  I cannot…”


“Why don’t we just call the bridge and get the captain on the line.  You can explain to her why you feel it necessary to hold me up from completing my assignment on account of some paperwork.  I am quite sure she would be impressed with your strong commitment to duty.  Let’s just get her on the comm. right now and she can…”


“No, wait.  Fine.  Take the damn shuttle.  Just make sure you bring it back Athalla and in once piece!  So help me if there’s more than a scratch on it you best ensure that chiseled ass of yours can accommodate my boot!”


“Oh?  Kinky?  Had no idea you rolled like that”, Athalla answered with a grin.


“GET OUT”, the deck officer shouted tossing the padd with the shuttle authorization at the pilot.


Athalla grinned as he stepped out of her office and waived the padd in triumph before a perplexed looking mercenary.


“A little smooth talking and that’s all that’s needed to get what you want from the ladies.”


“Really”, Aev asked as they headed toward the blackened hole that represented the Charon’s main shuttle bay.  “From the sound of it I almost called for backup.”


“Cute.  Come on.  We have a shuttle to catch.”


=======  Shuttlecraft – Main Shuttle Bay  =======


Athalla grumbled as he manipulated the shuttle’s controls.  “They haven’t done maintenance on this bird in two weeks.  Starboard RCS thrusters aren’t calibrated.  Impulse drive could stand some tuning.  Look here.  They didn’t even bother to purge the coolant system.”


“Then I suppose our unsanctioned trip to the surface under false pretenses and with bogus orders is off”, the mercenary replied from the co-pilot’s seat at the front of the shuttle.


“Nonesense”, Athalla replied.  “If we had one engine, a fuel leak, a cracked canopy, and had ten minutes of life support I could still take off and land on Vulcan without a hitch…well, we’d be able to walk away.  Strap yourself in I’m not waiting around for flight ops to grant clearance.  Have enough to deal with as it is.”


“Well if it wasn’t for the individual who put a massive hole in the middle of the deck I suspect clearance would be easier to obtain.”


“With charm like that it’s no wonder the babes don’t dig you.”


“Who said they don’t”, Aev acerbically replied.


“The mercenary finally loosens up!  Someone call the Federation president!”


With a hearty laugh, Athalla completed his preflight checks and slowly eased the shuttlecraft off the deck and backwards through the Charon’s hangar door whose backdrop was the dry desert planet of Vulcan.




Lieutenant Leon Athalla

Fighter Pilot


Aev Keirianh



[USS Charon] SD241012.19 || Personal Log || "Vulcan HO!"

“Vulcan HO!”


=======  Personal Quarters, USS Charon  =======



“Ugh”, the lieutenant muttered running a hand through a matted, tangle of sandy, blond hair.  “Note to self: no more Saurian brandy.”  Rolling over and kicking off his sheet, Lt. Leon Athalla stretched with a long, powerful yawn on the edge of his bed.  A friend had seen fit to celebrate surviving recent Romulan attacks as well as honor a few choice friends for their actions with several choice bottles of brandy they had been saving for special occasions.  Unfortunately the group of friends managed to drain all of the bottles over the course of the evening with Athalla going above and beyond to assist his friend in excessive consumption.  Fourteen hours of sleep, a hangover, and another five hours of rest was a small price to pay to help a friend.


He just hoped he wasn’t getting too old and soft.  Guzzling alcohol until dawn didn’t seem quite as easy anymore.  Perhaps he was just in need of rest after recent actions which had themselves been extremely taxing on mind and body.  However there was little time to dwell on the past.  The party was long since over and Athalla had somehow managed to find his way back to his quarters to sleep it off.  He was slightly disappointed he was still fully clothed, but even if he wasn’t it was doubtful he would have remembered any post-party festivities.  Still, he always liked surprises.


With a wry grin only a pilot could display, Leon pulled himself out of bed and made his way to the shower.  A big breakfast and some hot coffee would help jumpstart the day.  Then all that remained was to come up with ideas on how to burn the remainder of his shore leave.  Some fresh air would do him some good.  Perhaps a brief jaunt on the Vulcan surface was in order.  He knew a few places off the beaten track where one could find some fun even on an emotionless rock that was oddly not without emotion if one knew where to look.  Some Vulcans could actually party quite admirably once they kicked the whole non-emotion act to the curb for a few hours or were sufficiently induced by means of excessive libations.


A hot shower waited followed by breakfast.  One had to keep their priorities well in order.



=======  LATER  =======



“Come on.  You’ll love it”, Athalla pleaded.


“No”, came the stern reply.


“Look, what else are you going to do?  Sit here and stare at the walls?  You could use some downtime.”


“No Lieutenant.”


“Why?  You have some fear of Vulcans or desert sands or something?  Seriously, you of all people need a few hours to get away.  Who knows what the future will bring?  Now’s your best, perhaps your only chance to have a laugh or two and unwind. “  He lowered his voice.  “Especially now since half the ship is in pieces and certain departments are somewhat preoccupied at the moment.”


“I appreciate your offer lieutenant Athalla, however I have my reasons for declining.  My presence on the Vulcan surface would not be in either of our interests.  I am a prisoner aboard this ship in more ways than one.”


“Nonsense”, Athalla cheerfully replied to former mercenary Aev Keirianh who he had found sitting alone in a triage area for treating the wounded.  The converted room was nearly cleared of patients and would likely be returned to its previous role soon.  “It’s Vulcan!  You’d be hard pressed to get mugged in a dark alley let alone anything else.  Worst you would have to endure are condescending stares and the occasional Vulcan with a superiority complex.  A battle tested merc can handle that right?”


Aev looked up at the enthusiastic pilot with a distant gaze.  “It is complicated Lt. Athalla.  I do not expect you to understand.”


“Try me.  Better yet, you can explain it to me on the surface.  If you think you’re the only one with baggage from the past then you’re in good company.  My past isn’t exactly all wine and women.  Well actually a lot of it is, but I digress.”


“You have a singular wit however I must still…”


“Nurse”, Athalla shouted.  “Go and get security at once.  This man shouldn’t be here!”


Aev’s eyes quickly widened for a brief instant only to narrow to thin slits.  In his peripheral vision he could see the nearby nurse hesitate and then rush out to fetch a security officer.


“Extortion lieutenant?  I did not think you would stoop to such nefarious methods.”


“Uh, I figure you have about forty seconds to make a decision before security arrives and the clock is ticking.”


“I am not amused Lt. Athalla.”


“Thirty seconds merc.  You can loosen up and have some fun or you can contemplate your emphatic refusal from inside a brig cell.”


Aev slowly stood towering over the pilot whose height was well suited for cramped cockpits but left something to be desired in the arena of physical confrontation.  “Why have you forced this situation?  Why is it you humans cannot comprehend the meaning of no?”


“Because I’m calling bullshit Keirianh.  You say no, but your eyes clearly say yes.  You can’t honestly tell me you want to remain here?  Oh, by the way, twenty seconds.”


“You would make a fine Romulan lieutenant.  Perhaps you should apply to the Tal-Shiar if you ever retire from piloting.  They are always looking for individuals who excel at stabbing others quietly in the back.”


“I think that was a compliment”, Athalla remarked glancing at the door.  “Well since its settled I suggest we make a rapid exit before the nurse returns with company.”



=======  Later – Transporter Room One  =======





An annoyed engineer rubbed his eyes leaning against the transporter control console.  “Like I said lieutenant, the transporters are offline for the next twelve hours.  The ambassador’s unorthadox use of the transporters during our encounter with the Romulans accelerated our normal maintenance schedules.  Chief wants them all pulled apart to ensure their safety.  It’s only for a few hours.”


“It’s half a day!”


“Look lieutenant, I’m not the one issuing the orders.  While the entire crew gets R&R we engineers get to bust our asses trying to patch this ship back together.  Do you have any idea how many holes the ambassador managed to rack up on the hull?  Swiss cheese looks better!  I’ve been working triple shifts so long I can hardly remember what a hot meal and shower taste and feel like so excuse me if I’m not exactly sympathetic to your plight at the moment.  If you think you can put the transporter back together faster and ensure the diagnostics check out then by all means you’re free to take a crack at it.  You won’t get any complaints from any of us.”


Athalla swallowed his retort.  He couldn’t shoot the messenger even if he wanted to.  “Sorry.  Hang in there.”


“Yeah.  Thanks”, the engineer replied with a sarcastic tinge in his defeated voice.


Turning, Leon glanced up at Keirianh as he left the transporter room.  “Come on.  There’s more than one way to leave this ship.”





Lieutenant Leon Athalla

Fighter Pilot


Aev Keirianh