Star Trek: Phoenix-X – STO Unofficial Literary Challenge #16 – Aftermath

Summary: In the early 25th century, in the aftermath of the Iconian War, Captain Samya of the U.S.S. Dropzone attempts to make peace with herself at her sister’s home in Kyoto, Japan.

Author’s notes: This was written in October 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #16. It takes place after the Iconian War final battle “Midnight” in the Sol System in the game.

Unofficial Literary Challenge #16: Prompt #1: It’s been a while. Whether a five-year mission or an apocalyptic battle/war/other conflict, your crew just finished it successfully. Your ship is recalled to your faction’s capital to be refit, repaired, and otherwise kept up, and your crew is being split up for well-earned leave with their families. How do you handle it? Peeling potatoes in a Cajun restaurant in New Orleans? Fighting your jerk brother in a vineyard in France? Spending time with your significant other? 118,000,000 rounds of Call of Duty 215? Inspired by the TNG episode “Family”. Be daring.

Unofficial Literary Challenge #16

The Defiant-class U.S.S. Dropzone sat out in orbit of Earth, not too far off from Spacedock. Repairs for extensive and almost irreparable damage on the home planet’s main port of operations seemed to be coming along quite smoothly.

“What in the name of Kirk thrusts is going on?” Jarell, first in command, sat up in his chair in shock.

Mika, the Science officer, walked over and observed a now almost perfect-looking Spacedock on the view screen. “Yeah, you can thank the exocomps for that. But, I wouldn’t, considering how angry they are at us for enslaving them.” She then turned to him. “Anyway, you should relax, Commander. The war’s over and now it’s time to deal with our personal issues.”

“Yeah, I’ll be in Sickbay under cryogenics. Wake me when it’s 2411,” he ordered as he left the Bridge.

Meanwhile, Captain Samya walked up the lush-covered steps to her sister’s home at Shōren-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Upon approach of the doors, her 10-year-old niece, Yori, lept down from the roof with a loudly announced, deathly drop kick. “YEEEAAAGGHH!”

But Samya swiftly caught Yori by her protruding foot, meeting contact first and stopping the child, cold, in mid-flight and frozen stance. Yori calmly pushed off and back flipped to land on her feet, a few meters away from the Captain. “Is it true what mom says about you? That you’re a lousy two-timing hh—”

“—Yes, yes. it’s all true,” Samya waved off. “Now go play highwayman somewhere else, and don’t look up at the stars unless you really mean it.”

As Yori ran off, Samya entered the family-owned temple and crossed the main area to the outdoor gardens at the centre of the complex. There, her sister Tatsu was sitting on a rock in the exquisite pond in concentrated meditation, wearing the traditional female kimono and hakama dress.

“So, Samya,” she spoke first, maintaining her eyes closed. “You went mad fighting the Iconians and now you’re here for me to look after you?”

The Captain rolled her eyes, annoyed. “Uh, I enjoyed fighting the Iconians, as sparsely as I was able, and now I’m here for a break. What’s your excuse for wearing that ridiculous costume?”

“Hey, Keiko O’Brien was all over traditional garb at her wedding, despite her husband’s offensive refusal to dress in-like. Besides, someone has to maintain the old ways, considering how our family took over after this place was nearly destroyed in the Third World War.”

Samya walked over to the edge of the serene pond. “Stop exposition-ing every time I come to visit. It’s getting repetitive, from my point of view. Sure, if someone were to happen upon us right now, it would seem like first-time information, but I digress.”

“I don’t take orders from you— The ‘you’ who gives herself up to the modern world of replicated sushi and conveyer-belted starship corridors.”

The Starfleet officer tilted her head, confused. “Actually, that second one is not a thing. But not a bad idea, either. I mean, at least I’m no budo otaku who won’t even look at other forms of martial arts— like the anbo-jyutsu and that one space karate chop Kirk always did.”

“Again with those? How dare you insult me by mentioning those absurd, cartoonish delusionary styles?? Ugggh! I hate them so much—” Tatsu stood, swiftly and charged in a direct, over-the-water, straight-line attack at Samya.

The Captain intercepted Tatsu’s hard-forced, double-edged left fist and sharp knee attack by simply deflecting both human-weapons to the side and returning with her own otherly-styled side-kick. “The old ways are old, Tatsu. That’s why Starfleet excitedly and unhesitently turned to Annorax’s temporal universe-story-editing incursions to try and stop the massively over-used Iconians.”

“Oh, please,” Tatsu spun to expertly hook Samya’s wide-open leg using both arms to throw the starship commander into an orbit around her and then slammed the inept officer into the shallow pond. “You believed in the exact opposite, which is why you went on a murderous old-school rampage and enjoyed every second of it. All Starfleet Captains in the 25th century pew-pew it, just like you and me, and it’s become a DPS and specialization addiction.”

Defeated and half-sunk into the shallow water, Samya gritted her teeth and swallowed in utter truth of her older sister. “Fine. I got a little blood-thirsty and now I have to see my counselor every half hour. It doesn’t mean I need your help. You refuse to learn anything about the modern world— in an almost Robert Picard sort of way, even.”

On her back, Samya positioned both her feet into angles on both Tatsu’s shins and collapsed the woman’s stance. In Tatsu’s unexpected, defenseless downward, mid-crumble, Samya sat up and forced-palmed her sister in the abdomen, sending the warrior back into a nearby temple-supporting pillar, outside the pond. “Tai chi?” Tatsu speculated, recovering quick.

“Klingon moQbara’,” the Captain bragged.

Tatsu squinted, confused, unable to see much difference and comprehend her sister’s indiscernible confidence. “Anyway, yes, I’m very much a Robert rip-off, in fact, I, like all people in this galaxy, am a complete rip-off of someone else. There are bound to be character-like copies, no matter what, because human range is so limited and there are so, so many of us.”

“I was alluding to the fact that I believe you’re a Changeling,” Samya stood, in confrontation, her Odyssey uniform partially wet and dripping of old-versus-new conflict.

Tatsu transformed herself into a smooth-faced, male shapeshifter, with bland beige clothing. “If you’re looking for your sister, you’ll have to speak to the Solanae. I was looking for a cover on this planet when she was taken beyond my ability to stop it.”

“And what are you doing here, on Earth?” Samya struck with hard-forced Starfleet-investigative drive.

The Changeling replied, “My name is Diggs, and I’m a lone traveler, belonging nowhere. Your sister’s ways intrigued me and I took her place. Her maintaining of what you humans call the ‘old ways’ appealed to me— Perhaps I am in search of said ways in my own kind— That, and any reason to not have slicked-back hair. I mean, it’s a trait that’s coded into my system for some reason?”

“Damn! That means I’m going to have to go through all this arguing again when I find Tatsu,” Samya cursed. “Well, at least I’ll be practiced. Not to mention your literal de-humanization disqualifies any point you have over me being anything like you.”

Diggs squinted in the same way he did as Tatsu, unable to reconcile anti-logic through her logic. “Is it, though? I’m a literal non-human, posing as a human.”

“Maybe. I don’t know. Analogous aliens aren’t what I was expecting to help me understand myself better, but I’ll get what I can take.”

Diggs then reached his arm out as Samya was about to head for the door. “One more thing! Can you take your niece with you? She knows what I am and won’t let me leave this planet out of pure kid-powered-enthusiasm. What kind of ten year old girl has control over a Changeling??”

“No. You can deal with her. I’m fairly certain you’ll be dead by her hand soon. You wanted to confront the old ways? Well, they’re right in front of you, just like they were me.”

Diggs watched in disappointment as the Captain left. In a darkened doorway, behind the Changeling, Diggs sensed, in his protoplasmic-sweat-dripped fear, the young and swift ninja glaring at him, somehow controlling him with exponential confidence and psychological force: A power seemingly passed down through Samya’s family, generation after generation.

Dinner better be ready in exactly one hour, the young, human creature force-thought, as if she were a telepath or something. One. Hour.


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.