Star Trek: Phoenix-X – STO Unofficial Literary Challenge #12 – Bad Intelligence

Summary: Unofficial Literary Challenge 12: In the early 25th century, a Klingon named Treth goes on an honor-bound mission surrounding her son, Feng, involving the Captain of the U.S.S. Hijinx.

Author’s notes: This was written in June 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #12.

Unofficial Literary Challenge #12: Prompt #3: Before your crew can enter the Delta Quadrant, your faction has insisted upon you taking a new bridge officer, designation “Intelligence”. This officer’s job is to gather intel on the Delta Quadrant and report to “Command”. You have a suspicion that this new officer may be a spy, which is an ethical quandary of epic proportions. How do you deal with a crew member you cannot trust?

Unofficial Literary Challenge #12
Bad Intelligence

The Akira-class U.S.S. Hijinx sat out in deep space as it was approached by the Jenova, which transported Captain Reynolds over.

“It’s good to be back!” the Betazoid exclaimed as she took a seat in her Captain’s chair. “Who’s been sitting here? There are leola root tart wrappers all over the arm consoles!”

Bo-Lin turned from his helm console. “That would be me. I saw an empty chair and I had to use it.”

“You’re lucky you’re cute, or you’d be in a whole heap of trouble,” Reynolds pointed as she wiped the trash to the floor.

Jolene turned from her science console. “Ma’am, that’s no way to operate in a professional work place. In fact, it’s quite inappropriate.”

“Hey! I’ll run my ship my way and when you get your own, you can run it yours!” She shook her head. “Sorry, everyone. I’ve all this pent up energy from being stuck on the lower decks of the Crucial and Jenova for two whole ‘things’. Did you know the Jenova‘s eighth deck has no flooring? It’s just highly volatile plasma conduits which you have to step around somehow.”

Lane perked up from tactical. “Ma’am! The Jenova has gone to warp and has registered a Restraining Order against us, where we have to keep at least 50 lightyears away!”

“I’ll allow it,” Reynolds conceded.

It was at that moment another, unrecognizable Starfleet officer entered the Bridge: a moody, man with a square jaw and dark attitude. “Greetings. My name is Mayhem.”

“Captain! The computer’s going nuts!” Lane reported. “Main control is being rerouted through Main Engineering– Weapons, shields, propulsion–”

Reynolds stood up. “What? Quickly, Mr. Esreck, lock out the main computer!”

“Huh? The who and the what now?” Esreck fumbled as he entered the Bridge, delayed, while holding an arm-full of packages of leola root tarts.

Mayhem turned to address the crew. “What you’re experiencing will subside and you will regain control of your ship in just a few minutes. These computer changes are merely a result of my programming integrating itself: You see, I am a computer virus and a hologram.”

“What the hell?? You Nexus-Kirk jerk! We need to purge you from our systems??” Reynolds replied.

The viewscreen then clicked on, displaying an ad for Quark’s: “Come to Quark’s, Quark’s is fun, come right now, don’t walk– run!”

Mayhem shook his head. “Ugh. Uninspired and lazy. Anyway, you purge me and you will be murdering one of your own. You see, despite my programming being infected by an Iconian probe’s computer disarming algorithm– That’s my backstory, by the way– I am still an enlisted, Command division, Starfleet Intelligence officer.”

“He’s right,” Lane added. “Starfleet was founded upon equal opportunity employment. We have to respect who he is as a person and accept that he can do the job just like anybody else.”

Suddenly the lights flickered and controls were restored. “Now,” Mayhem continued, “As for my purpose here, I am to join you in your adventures into the Delta Quadrant and gather intel about it, to report to… Command.”

“Why did you say it like that? Anyway, we’ve already been there and back several times. You missed the whole Vaadwuar assault and now we’re working with Nog to rebirth the Krenim– nothing can possibly go wrong there.”

Mayhem grunted. “Fine, fine. Clearly there is much catching up I must do. Now, take us to Ethan Burgess, where he will brief us on his life story up to this point.”

“Uggh. That bag of wind?? I hate him worse than I do Herthel!” Reynolds stopped before the hologram. “Can you even be trusted? You did infect my ship and claim to be part Iconian?”

The hologram turned to her. “Well, there’s nothing you can do about your trust issues. It’s not like you can read my mind.”

“This way please,” she ordered everyone.

Curious, the entire Bridge crew and Mayhem entered the turbolift and took it down toward the lower decks. During the ride, Reynolds used the opportunity to make small talk with Jolene:

“And, so, Captain Shon actually tried to ask me out, to which I replied, ‘Who am I to argue with the Captain of the Enterprise?’ A clear reference! And you know what? He didn’t even get it. Just stared blankly at me.”

Entering Holodeck 3, Reynolds was quick to address the system.

“Computer.” Reynolds turned. “Create a hologram version of myself and display it in this simulated, artificial environment.”

Then, a holographic-Betazoid, Reynolds, appeared next to them, wearing a skimpy, Risa, Lohunat Festival bikini. “I’m holo-mind-reading deception from the Mayhem hologram,” it reported. “He is working with a Klingon named Treth.”

“Damn! I forgot that costume was on default for me. Computer, update to civilian clothing. –Mayhem, explain yourself and stop checking holo-me out.”

In another bold turn of events, Treth and her energy-floating son transported into the holodeck and addressed everyone. “Forget it! As you can see, we’ve been following you back to the Hijinx all the way from the Takarian homeworld. For it was I that convinced Melyot, from the Jenova, to reprogram Mayhem to help me.”

“Hello, mother,” the energy greeted in a creepy, child voice.

Treth waved him off. “Yes, yes. Disturbing. Not now, though.”

“Bloody hell!” Reynolds freaked. “How did you even know what we were saying before you beamed in??”

Treth folded her arms. “I am a Klingon.”

“What? And you already got your kid to become non-corporeal. What more do you need??”

Treth unfolded her arms. “My son may now be an energy lifeform, but he needs help getting into a non-linear realm, for the full Klingon Prophet experience. I knew you were a Science officer, so I re-scheduled your crew and embedded science-y patches into Mayhem to modify your deflector dish into an interplexing spatial interphasic flexure pokey pokey.”

“Hah! The joke’s on you. My ship isn’t even a Science ship. It’s a defense vessel,” Reynolds bragged.

The Klingon was taken aback. “But– why??”

“I’m smart, and a fighter. It’s possible to be both,” the Betazoid said.

Treth checked her Klingon PADD for the ship’s progress. “NO! The array is taking twice as long!?”

“It’s going to take even longer when I get through with it,” Mayhem interjected. “You see, as yet another revelation, I object to you tampering with my program for your own personal goals. My programming is meant for my personal goals! Selfish, I know.”

Everyone looked over at Mayhem who then appeared to be closing his eyes, gritting his teeth and concentrating really hard. Seconds later, the opposite result at which he was expecting occurred:

“Well now,” Treth examined her live stream of the Hijinx‘s system data. “It looks like, instead of stopping the dish, you improved it and started the spatial interphasic sequence.”

Opening his eyes and realizing what he’d done, Mayhem cursed to himself. “Dammit! I forgot that as a virus, I have the antithetical effect on goals.”

“Reynolds to Bridge– what’s going on up there?” she tapped her commbadge.

Jolene shrugged. “The Bridge is empty. We’re all here because you wouldn’t explain what you were doing before exiting.”

“Oh, right. Very well. Come with me,” Reynolds ordered.

Following along, everyone, including Treth and the floating energy, Feng, joined the Captain in the cramped turbolift back to the Bridge. During the ride, Reynolds continued her small talk with Jolene:

“So, Shon and I had one date at Café des Artistes, where that one chick with the disheveled pink top sat. Turns out he’s having marriage problems and he thought that, since I was Betazoid, I was some kind of counselor!”

Entering the Bridge, the crew came to view a spatial opening right in front of the ship. Inside were several Starfleet science ships.

“Captain!” Lane exclaimed. “They’re the Science ships from Vandor IV!”

Reynolds looked on. “Impossible? The Crucial destroyed them when it was Ferenginized??”

“Hijinx, this is Captain Jet of the Nova-class U.S.S. Shark– We were executing dimensional experiments when the Crucial approached and opened fire on us,” the human commanding officer hailed.

Andrea Reynolds nodded. “I appreciate you stating your ship class.”

“The torpedo impacts from the Crucial knocked all of us into this plane of existence, shared by some kind of non-physical energy species,” Jet explained. “It’s likely what appeared to be us being destroyed was really just us being transported here.”

Inside, all around the Federation starships swirled massive amounts of orange gaseus aliens.

“We are the Zalkonians,” one of them echoed. “We created this realm as an educational center for new-comers of our kind, to teach them the ways of non-corporeal existence. Unfortunately, having your ships here is a distraction to our students. They will not stop looking out the non-corporeal equivalent of your ‘classroom windows’.”

With that, the starships were pushed out of the realm, through the tear in space.

“Strange alien creatures, you must take my son and teach him the ways of non-corporeal existence,” Treth stepped up to the view screen.

The hovering-Feng floated over. “Hello, non-mothers.”

“But he is not of our kind. It would be like creating an alternate reality Kirk after a series of several prime universe Captains. –Wait a minute. That has already happened?? Well, this changes things. Since such an abomination has already been done, perhaps your son could adapt and evolve in the Zalkonian pre-school segment of our realm. There is a non-corporeal nap and snack time which tempers youthful rowdiness.”

Reynolds glanced at Treth, who was nodding agreeingly. “Then, I suppose some good came out of all this after all,” Reynolds said. “Which is odd, because I was against anything Mayhem would be responsible for from the start.”

“Goodbye all. You are all mothers to me now,” the eerie gas of Feng said before floating through the bulkheads and into space.

On the screen, they watched as Feng entered through the spatial flexure and into the Zalkonian realm. The Hijinx then disengaged its deflector dish and caused the flexure to close and disappear.

“As for you, Treth, you’re under arrest for mischief!” Reynolds ordered. “Yes, that’s an actual thing you can be arrested for. I once arrested a Harcourt Mudd-looking man for twirling his moustache, inexplicably.”

Two security officers apprehended Treth and took her away. Meanwhile, Mayhem was left to the situation at hand.

“I just checked my files and it turns out I never was actually assigned to you. Perhaps, next time, I shall use reason and rationale subroutines to examine what may or may not be actual orders downloaded into my viral database. Yes, we must intel ourselves before we intel others. Now, you will take my apologies or suffer the consequences,” Mayhem ordered.

Captain Reynolds squinted at him. “Your aggressiveness makes you like a double Klingon in some ways. Anyhow, is there somewhere we can transport you? Or a Recycling Bin icon we can drop you in?”

“Negative. I see that the U.S.S. Enterprise is in the vicinity, so I will just transfer over to them.”

In a matter of seconds, Mayhem disappeared and was transmitted over. As soon as the Enterprise received him, the lights and main systems throughout the entire ship went dark. One of the nacelles then exploded, damaging the other.


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.