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Kujarm Rel

"Come now, my dear. Surely we can get along?"

0 · 465 views · located in Sigma Quadrant

a character in “Star Trek: Sigma Quadrant”, as played by Magus1108

Description

Kujarm Rel

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Character Information

Name: Kujarm Rel (nee Serjos)
Position: Ambassador
Rank: n/a
Gender: Male
Species: Trill
Age: 59
Place of Birth: Trill

Physical Appearance

Height: 6'2
Weight: 185
Hair Color: Grey
Eye Color: Blue
Physical Description:

Kujarm is a fairly well built man, though he's a little passed his prime, given his age. He does have a small scar on his abdomen from the time he was stabbed by a drunken Klingon.

Family:

Spouse: Ponye Leslen (1st Wife, Deceased); Nedes Ketern (2nd Wife, Deceased)
Children: Deros Ketern (Male, 28) and Dajya Ketern (Female, 25)
Father: Dars Serjos (Deceased)
Mother: Bibina Serjos (Deceased)
Brother(s): Teza Serjos (53) and Dynn Serjos (61)
Sister(s): Jofi Serjos (56)
Other Family: While not 'family', in the conventional sense, there are Kujarm's past lives, the previous hosts of the Rel Symbiont. Thus far there have been five hosts for the Rel symbiont, Kujarm himself included. The other four hosts are as follows:

Tojea Rel (1st Host; Female)
Ronom Rel (2nd Host; Male)
Jabe Rel (3rd Host; Male)
Nebei Rel (4th Host; Female)

Tojea, the first and original host for the Rel symbiont, was a doctor working on Trill. She made several medical breakthroughs during her career, and was quite famous during her lifetime.

Ronom, the second host, was a Starfleet officer, achieving the rank of Captain, before going into early retirement some years later. After his retirement from Starfleet, Ronom settled into civilian life easily enough, opening up a small business in the private sector that featured moderate success, before he simply faded into the background, after a time.

Jabe, the third host, was a famous and well-beloved actor in Trill and in the Federation. He made a name for himself by staring in Trill-based adaptations featuring several well known Earth and Vulcan plays and other such fictional works. The most famous of these plays was Macbeth, by the human playwright William Shakespeare.

Nebei, the fourth and previous host of the Rel symbiont before Kujarm, was...unique. Some called her brilliant, others called her mad. Needless to say, Nebei Rel left quite an impact. Nebei was a premier scientist in the Federation, a genius on the level of Doctor Noonian Soong. She made many discoveries and achieved many great wonders during her career, but toward the end of her life, Nebei embarked on a seemingly mad quest to discover, essentially, immortality. Nebei wanted to discover a way to inhibit the aging process in sentient beings, and perhaps even reverse it, but she failed in the end, quite obviously.

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General Overview:

On duty, Kujarm tries to be as professional as possible, but even then he is relaxed and does his best to be nice and civil. He tries to make friends with anyone he meets up with, especially while carrying out his ambassadorial duties.

Off duty, Kujarm is much the same, perhaps a bit more friendly and inviting when he's not actively working. In his downtime, Kujarm does his best to unwind and relieve the stresses of the day, usually by playing a good boardgame; he is particularly taken with an old Earth boardgame known as “Monopoly”.

Strengths & Weaknesses:

Kujarm can be very perceptive and willy, when it comes down to it. Nearly half a millennium of the experiences and memories of previous Rel hosts, lay buried in his consciousness, giving him access to plenty of knowledge and wisdom not typically seen of most species. He also knows how to wheel and deal, as it were, when negotiating with representatives of other governments or organizations, and is quite experienced in establishing compromises.

On the other hand, Kujarm can be too trusting at times, expecting the best out of everyone even when they might not be good people. This has been known to haunt him from time to time. Kujarm is also a tad bit arrogant, and somewhat dismissive of alternative ideas or viewpoints when he believes he knows what is best for the situation at hand. Almost five full lifetimes from the other Rel hosts, plus his experiences as an Ambassador, can do that to a man, even a civil and friendly person like Kujarm.

Ambitions:

At his current age, Kujarm isn't all that ambitious. He's had a long and successful career as a Federation Ambassador, and he's lived a fairly good life as well, to that end. Kujarm even has plans to retire soon, after he finishes one last diplomatic mission: establishing diplomatic ties to the Delta Quadrant.

Hobbies & Interests:

Kujarm has a fascination with various types of boardgames, using them to help blow off steam and relax after a hard day of negotiations. He also has a somewhat guilty pleasure of Klingon Operas; despite the view of most people on them, he quite enjoys listening to a good Klingon Opera.

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History:

All things considered, Kujarm has lived a fairly simple and fulfilling life. He became a Joined Trill in his early twenties, and soon after that entered the Diplomatic Corps of the Federation, rising through the ranks until he became an Ambassador. Since then, Kujarm has spent nearly fifteen years as a full-fledged Ambassador of the Federation, and has done his best to work for the benefit of his home government.

Service Record:

So begins...

Kujarm Rel's Story

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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"Affirmative, Captain." Chief Lal replied over the comm system, helping her team put in place the last few touches on the Slip-Stream Drive. "By your command, we will be ready to engage the ship's Slip-Stream Drive."

Meanwhile, back up on the bridge, the turbolifts opened, revealing Ambassador Kujarm Rel, and his aide, a Vulcan female named T'Nal. The two stepped onto the bridge, the Ambassador making his way over to Captain Zekr. the two had just arrived on the ship not long ago via shuttle, coming aboard over from the U.S.S. Surak, which would be independently overseeing their mission, and waiting for them to send word back of a successful test, once they were in the Delta Quadrant.

"Glad we could get this assignment together, Zekr." Kujarm greeted, smiling kindly at the Captain as they shook hands. "I'm more than happy to have one of my most trusted friends alongside me as the Federation makes history."

Establishing actual, diplomatic ties to the Delta Quadrant would be a ground-breaking moment in the Federation Diplomatic Corps, and in Federation history in general, alongside the equally ground-breaking significance of the successful testing of the Slip-Stream Drive. Starfleet couldn't have chosen two better men to lead both history-making moments, in Kujarm's own humble opinion.

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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Captain Zekr was glad an old friend was joining him on this historic venture. With a new crew, all the files in the world were no substitute for people he could actually count on.

"Let's do this, then." His earring swayed as he turned his head, one of the obvious markers of his Bajoran heritage. Clearing his throat and standing tall in front of his chair, he tried to think of the right words to say. This was a very important day for all of Starfleet and even the Federation itself, along with her allies, so he wanted to get it right. He'd been a captain for many years, but had never been on a mission so important, and thus with such rapt attention paid to it. Impressive speeches weren't really his forte, but he would have to give it a shot.

Turning on the ship-wide comm, he spoke, his tenor true and unwavering. "Crew of the U.S.S. Nobunaga, we are about to embark on a journey together that will utterly change Starfleet and space travel as a whole if we are successful. I know you have all done your best to prepare for this, and I trust that we will weather this new test together. And if something goes wrong," he added with a chuckle, unable to resist, "hold on to something, because this might become a bumpy ride."

"Patch me through to the Surak, please, voice only" he asked the crew member at the comm, whose name had unfortunately fallen through the cracks of his memory. Ah, yes. "Thank you, Lieutenant MacIntyre."

"Captain? We're ready to launch."

"We're ready when you are," came the reply, warped slightly by the mechanics. "Good luck."

"Luck received and returned," Captain Zerk joked, and motioned to cut the feed.

Looking around at his crew, proud and scared and excited all at the same time, he looked to the field of stars ahead of them and spoke. "Engage the slip-stream drive."

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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Half a second later, the Slip-Stream Drive was activated, and the ship surged forward. A bright blue tunnel enclosed around the ship, and after a slight rumble across the deck, the Nobunaga flew down the corridor created by the drive, going faster than any current Warp technology could ever take a starship.

Most of the crew on the bridge broke out into cheers at the successful launch, quite pleased to see things going so smoothly.

"Looks like she's working great, Zekr." Kujarm noted, giving the Bajoran a charming smile. "Your engineers did a great job with this one. Slip-Stream Drive...never thought I'd see something like this, in all my lives."

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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A half an hour had passed since the Drive had been activated, and Tyvya was trying to be in every place at once. The crew was well-behaved, that was no issue, but since the ship was staffed with a skeleton crew she was helping out everywhere she could. The smoother all details were handled, big and small, the better the outcome of the experiment would be. She lifted boxes, assisted the Doctor aboard by getting her all the crew details she needed in case there was an emergency, and started to put her small team of Security staff through their paces.

In pursuit of the last goal, she was in a small exercise room on the port side, watching them fight each other hand-to-hand. Dorath Yevel, a Cardassian and her Assistant Security officer, was helping her assess their skills. She didn't know any of her staff well, not being a talkative person by nature, but time would accomplish that. That and fighting together, which was of course the best way to really get to know someone.

"Lieutenant Commander Idrani," A human panted, as he blocked a human female's strike. "Do you expect we will see much combat in the Delta Quadrant?"

"I do not. But as the safety of this ship is our responsibility, we must be prepared for whatever comes, especially as there are no Starfleet bases in that quadrant for assistance." She answered, curt but civil.

"What about--" The woman punched him in the face, knocking him to the mat and effectively ending his sentence.

The woman, an Asian female in her late twenties, bowed to her fallen opponent and to Tyvya before taking up a stance again and being attacked by a waiting male, some kind of human mix. So far all of her staff had seemed well trained, and walking over to the man who'd fallen, she helped him up. "Ensign, make sure you are not distracting yourself while you're in combat. You could have been killed instead of what looks like a perfect black eye." She said, firmly but softly. "Head over to the Medical Bay, get that fixed up. We can't afford weakness."

"Yes, Lieutenant Commander." He said, a faint blush on his cheeks, and ran out of the room. She sighed inaudibly. Just because they were the best chosen, didn't mean they were without flaws. And Tyvya knew she had precious little time to find out these flaws before whatever awaited them in the Delta quadrant. It wouldn't be the first time she picked up the slack of those less combat-bred than she, and it would not be the last.

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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"So, T'Nal, what's it feel like to make history?" Kujarm inquired, looking over to his aide with a slight grin. The two of them were in the Ambassador's private quarters aboard the Nobunaga, where Kujarm had decided to relax for a time while the ship traveled to the Delta Quadrant.

The female Vulcan raised an eyebrow, her face kept in a neutral expression. "I do not feel any different about carrying out this assignment, as opposed to the missions we've done before...but I do acknowledge the historical significance of this event. It is true that this will be a diplomatic first in Federation history."

"That it will be," the Trill agreed, grinning softly. "Imagine it, T'Nal! Establishing real, physical diplomatic ties to the Delta Quadrant! It will be a life-changing moment for the Federation. We can start properly exploring the Delta Quadrant...interact with the various races and nations Voyager encountered...perhaps in time, we can even welcome nations from the Delta Quadrant into the Federation, if they choose to join us! It will be a new chapter in galactic history, for certain!"

The older woman gave a curt nod, taking in his statement. "Your suppositions are grandiose in nature, Ambassador, but I do agree it is...a good opportunity for the Federation, and for the Alpha Quadrant in general. The technology of the Slip-Stream Drive will provide us with all sorts of new opportunities."

Kujarm nodded himself, remaining silent for the moment as he mused on the possibilities. In all his lives, he couldn't recall such a momentous occasion...well, perhaps he was being biased with his current life and all, but still! If all went well, this would change politics and diplomacy in the Alpha Quadrant for generations to come. A whole new chapter of history was on the verge of being written here, he could just feel it...

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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Dr. Agosti typed furiously. "I can't believe these things," she ranted to her Assistant Medical Officer, Edas. "These records are in a complete mess. Nothing was put in an orderly fashion, it's all scattered and mixed up. Complete, sure, but whoever sent these over was completely off their nut."

"Likely between the highly classified nature of this mission as well as how quickly Starfleet put this mission together there was no time for them to file things they way they were supposed to," Edas responded as he carefully examined the specimen containers. Everything had to be completely sterile and ready for Delta Quadrant samples. They weren't on a scientific mission but the nature of Starfleet meant that, undoubtedly, there would be some kind of sample at some point. And he shuddered to think of the paperwork that would come from a contaminated sample. Dr. Agosti wouldn't get very angry, he knew, or if she did she wouldn't take it out on anyone. Sure, she liked to monologue to herself, but she treated everyone kindly that he'd seen, even when they'd made mistakes.

"I'd like you to make up at least five additional medical bags," she asked as she turned in her chair and pulled another pad from a shelf, starting to type again, "and place them in Nobunaga's high-risk areas. Make the crew aware of where they're put, and put it out of the way but still noticeable. If there's an emergency and I can't get to the critical areas of the ship the crew will need to be able to take care of it themselves, they should all have basic medical training."

He nodded. "Of course, Doctor." He went over to a closet to start putting them together, carefully choosing the essentials. A replicator could do the same job of this bag but they still couldn't be trusted to replicate medicine, especially in a ship under attack. No doubt the doctor was simply planning for the worst, but Edas wondered if she was perhaps planning overmuch. He shrugged inwardly. He wasn't the Chief Medical Officer, after all, and following orders was just another part of the job. He didn't like to get worked up over things that didn't matter in the long run, and tried to remain calm even when things did matter to him. He thought it made him a better doctor, but he knew his reviews had said that his more reserved nature had led to his slower than average rise through the ranks. Dr. Agosti's bedside manner was very caring, almost motherly, and his own was much more professional and, at times, that could seem brusque. This trip, experimental or no, would give him more time to better himself in that way, so that his reviews--and, perhaps, Dr. Agosti's recommendation--would push him towards being in charge of his own medical bay.

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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Lal, Chief Engineer of the Nobunaga and one of the most premier experts in Slip-Stream Drive technology, looked over her datapad, checking her calculations. So far, their first live test with Slip-Stream Drive appeared to be going well, and if she had any say in the matter, it would continue to go well.

She'd checked the algorithms numerous times already, and in theory their first test should go perfectly well. But, Lal knew from experience that things rarely went according to plan, and the emotional, human part of her synthetic body had the inane, but prudent, fear that things could go wrong.

It was irrational, to a degree, but Lal couldn't help herself. Hence, even after the rest of her engineering crew had become more relaxed into their four hour journey, Lal was still looking over her calculations and checking on the Slip-Stream Drive, making sure everything was in order and would work properly.

"You worry too much, Chief."

The android stopped in her reading, turning her head. One of her engineers, a woman by the name of Marianne Yevel, had stopped beside her, observing the artificial lifeform.

"Everything's running smoothly so far, Chief. We should get to the Delta Quadrant with no problem." Marianne proclaimed, giving her superior an assuring smile.

Lal couldn't help but smile in return. Much like her father, she'd had an emotion chip installed in her long ago. The chip hadn't entirely been necessary, due to...oddities in her initial creation, but the chip itself had helped her get better control over her emotions, which she'd been more vulnerable to, in the past.

"You're likely right, Marianne." Lal acknowledged, dipping her head. "Still...I can't help but check. I want to make sure that everything goes perfectly here...I've been in charge of the Slip-Stream Drive project in Starfleet for quite some time, so I have every incentive to ensure that this goes smoothly."

Marianne nodded in return. "Fair point, Chief. Still, you should relax a little. Simulation tests predicted a 98% chance of success, and we have early warning programs in place to alert us to any possible problems. Which you designed and implemented yourself, I might add. The only thing that could make things go horribly wrong at this point, would be a Q. So don't stress out over this, okay, Chief?"

Lal's lips twitched into a small, and she felt rather touched by the consideration and kindness displayed by her subordinate. She'd chosen her team well, in more ways than one.

She thanked Marianne for her concern, and waved the woman off, letting her go back to her duty. As for Lal herself...after a indecisive nanosecond, the android stowed her datapad away. It wouldn't hurt to take a small break for the time being, unwind a little. Her team had everything well in hand, and like Marianne said, nothing short of an act of Q would send things spiraling into chaos. So what would be the harm if she took a break from her calculations?

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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Captain Zekr slapped the cards down on the table in the main lounge. "Full house."

The other crew members groaned, making him smile as he raked in the small odds and ends they were using as chips. Everything that needed to be taken care of was, by different members of his staff, leaving him feeling rather useless at this stage of the experiment. Of course once they reached the Delta Quadrant that would change, but for now the only thing he had to do was paperwork, of which he was not fond.

If he'd known his fellow players better he might have suggested something more interesting, like a personal IOU or a holodeck adventure of the winner's choice. Without knowing them, that could get him in some dangerous waters, and besides, there was only one small holodeck and it couldn't be used while the Slip Stream drive was in any way running, for fear things would go horribly wrong. Thus it was locked under his personal authorization code, so that no one got any ideas to get in some recreation time during this trip. He wasn't sure why it had been installed in the first place, most likely because this ship hadn't been built for this mission. There hadn't been time for that, it had simply been retrofitted, and apparently taking out the holodeck hadn't been a priority. Holodecks did have some practical uses, he had to admit, as well as for morale, so he had no objections to them, but it was better that everyone was focused on the mission in front of them right now.

A lieutenant to his left picked up the cards and started to deal again, and Zekr redistributed the 'chips.' A few of them left, obviously not wanting to challenge his winning streak, leaving a few empty chairs.

Tyvya came in, her hair in a damp braid from a recent shower, having sparred with her team for a bit and then wanted a change of scenery. Well, also she thought her staff could use a break from what she knew was her rather harsh style, and better that they retain a good equilibrium. Calm Security Officers were essential, so she knew when to make herself scarce and let them settle in. There would be plenty of time for reviews and in person evaluations later.

The replicators weren't offline, but they were limited in function for the time being, so she settled on water and a small snack.

"Lieutenant Commander Idrani! Please, join us!" Zekr called, motioning her to an empty chair.

Not one to disobey her Captain, she sat down with her food and picked up the cards in front of her. "Which game, sir?"

"Poker, of course. I trust you know how to play?"

"It is difficult to graduate from the Academy without playing human card games," she responded, and looked at her cards. As security by trade she was fairly good at telling if someone was lying, but that didn't necessarily translate to being good at poker, especially when she didn't know the people she was playing with. But it looked like she'd just have to struggle through. Taking a bite of her simple sandwich, she shuffled her cards and started to play.

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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Alexia Gallagher studied the Captain, the Chief of Security, and the other few players at the table, trying to judge whether or not they had good hands. Alexia had been playing cards since the near beginning of the game, and much to her chagrin the Captain seemed to have a unnatural winning streak, as he'd yet to lose a game.

Alexia was hoping to end that, though. And she had just the hand to end it, or so she hoped.

"Full house, gentleman and ladies." Alexia announced, displaying her cards for the others to see. There were some groans at her apparent winning hand, but the pilot did not acknowledge them. Instead, she merely grinned, and reached over to get the chips.

"Sorry, Captain, but it looks like all good things must come to an end," the blue-skinned alien decreed, grinning over cheekily at her superior officer.

It might be unwise to act so victorious around her Captain, but from what Alexia had been able to tell thus far, Zekr was a very agreeable man. Easy going, not too serious and stiff. The sort of commanding officer she preferred to serve under.

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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Captain Zekr laughed, willingly giving up his 'chips.' "Guess so," he said, but as he did the ship shuddered, a strange whir and clunk somewhere from the depths of the engine. Immediately he stood and turned on his comm. "Chief Lal? What's going on?"

Tyvya, concerned for the ship, contacted her team and dispatched them to critical stations on the ship. "We don't know what we're getting into," she stated calmly, her voice husky and stern. "If this is an attack, or an engine issue makes us look vulnerable, I don't want there to be any loose ends." Her team responded in the affirmative and she stood, looking to to the Captain. "I would feel better if you had an escort to the bridge, sir."

"Of course." Captain Zekr stood, the game abandoned, and she followed him to the bridge where Zekr started asking for reports from his crew. "We have to diagnose this issue as soon as possible," he said as he checked his pad and started looking at the data being forwarded to him. "This experiment is critical."

Tyvya stood at attention, her whole posture screaming her military upbringing as she kept a sharp eye on the readouts in front of her that displayed the Nobunaga's offensive and defensive details. "It wasn't an attack, Captain," she confirmed, checking and double checking all occurrences, no matter how small, in the last hour, and then further back to when the experiment had started. "We've been left entirely alone without even an aggressive ship anywhere near our trajectory."

He nodded, still looking at his pad. "Starfleet Command has sent us no messages, and it looks like there might be a problem with our communications panel. The Slipstream Drive is probably just interfering with it, we'll know more once we reach our destination and it turns off." Unspoken, hovering in the air, were words he didn't dare say, "...if we reach our destination."

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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And everything seemed to be going so smoothly, too.

Or so Chief Lal had thought, the first nano-second after the ship shuddered, and a strange noise surfaced from the Slipstream Drive.

A few actual seconds following that, an alarm started to go off in the engine room, drawing the immediate attention of her engineers and staff, while Lal herself was already up and heading to the Slipstream Drive by the time that occurred. She blocked out the noise of the alert with the sensors in her artificial ears, wanting no distraction as she worked out the problem.

"Chief Lal? What's going on?" the Captain's voice sounded through the comm badge a mere moment later, as Lal continued to diagnose the issue with the Drive.

"I'm not sure, Captain." the Chief replied soon after, her positronic brain going through various calculations and and possibilities in mere nanoseconds. "Something seems to be wrong with the Slipstream Drive. It's malfunctioning in some way...I'm trying to lock down the cause of the error, and from there I'll--"

The Chief was suddenly cut off, the Slipstream Drive brightening up in a sudden flash of light. A moment later, the ship jerked once more, a shudder going throughout the vessel, knocking more than one person off of their feet by the suddenness of it. A general alarm started blaring out of the ship's computer by that point, an automatic Red Alert kicking in.

Lal's eyes widened greatly at the new readings coming from the Drive, as she felt the smallest sense of panic surge through her emotional systems. "Captain! The Slipstream Drive is destabilizing! I'm not sure what's going on, but something's gone horribly wrong with the Drive. We're going ten times as fast as we should be, and as a result the Slipstream Corridor is starting to destabilize and will soon implode, taking us with it!"

The android acted fast, tossing away her datapad as she ran over to the main console controlling the Drive. "I'm initiating an emergency shutdown, Captain. This is going to cause power surges and failures all across the ship though, and the suddenness of the shutdown will strain the inertial dampeners of the ship...so brace for impact, Sir."

Without awaiting further word from her Captain, Chief Lal punched in the necessary code to start the emergency shutdown of the Slipstream Drive. Her fingers flew across the console, going faster than the human eye could follow. If a human engineer had been in charge of this project, doubtlessly they would be slower in entering this code, and because of that the error with the Drive might only get worse, perhaps reaching critical mass before the code could be finished.

But for Lal, it only took her two complete seconds to enter the entire code, and enter the second, confirmation code as well. And those two seconds saved the ship.

For five brief seconds, the lights of the Slipstream Drive went black, and all was still aboard the ship. Then, chaos broke out. A terrible sound, almost like ripping metal, groaned throughout the Nobunaga as the inertial dampeners were put through the wringer, and the lights flickered and surged throughout the ship as the power fluctuated in response to the sudden shutdown of the Drive, many consoles and other areas across the ship surging in sudden sparks of electricity before the automatic shutdown of said areas could be initiated by the ship's computer.

The shaking and groaning of the Nobunaga almost tossed Lal off of her feet, but she barely managed to keep her balance in Engineering. She was not so lucky with the Slipstream Drive itself, however. The machine lit up as a power spike surged through it, the resulting minor explosion targeting the nearest person available: Lal.

The Chief cried in pain, the explosion covering her in electric sparks as a small surge of energy transferred from the Drive to her, overloading her systems and forcing an emergency shutdown of her body. Now lifeless, the android tumbled to the floor, parts of her uniform and artificial skin crackling and smoking.

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Character Portrait: Kujarm Rel Character Portrait: Tyvya Idrani
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The Captain tried his best to keep everyone calm and safe from the bridge while Tyvya barked quick orders into her comm, organizing her people and, when the noise and motion finally stopped and some areas of the ship went black, she went into recovery mode.

"I want full personnel reports as soon as you can get them," she told her team, helping up one crew member and forcibly displacing a heavy beam that had been blocking the exit from the bridge with a small grunt. "Everyone needs to be checked for injuries and, if necessary, carried to Medical."

"Yes, sir," echoed from the comm, and Tyvya turned back to her Captain.

"We'll get everyone squared away, sir."

"I have no doubt about that," Captain Zekr said, succeeding in his attempt not to sound as shaken and disappointed as he felt, and opened a ship-wide channel. "Crew of the Nobunaga, please help the injured to the Medical Bay. We will endeavor to find out what has happened and, if possible, be on our way to the Delta Quadrant." He closed the channel and stood, wincing at the damage that the Nobunaga must have just taken due to whatever had happened with the Slip Stream Drive.

"Where are we now?" He asked a woman at one of the still-functioning screens.

"I'm not sure, sir. I can't match our surroundings to any of our star charts."

"Keep checking, there has to be some point that will give us a clue."

"Yes, Captain."

"Chief Lal!" Captain Zekr comm'd, and when there was no response, he repeated himself. At the continuous blank air, he turned to Tyvya.

"Lieutenant Commander, please go to Engineering and see to our Chief Engineer. She somehow managed to save us from complete destruction but there might have been some cost to her."

She nodded and left, quickly striding through the ship towards Engineering. When she got there she found the Chief damaged and on the floor, obviously insensate and damaged. She attempted to rouse her, but to no avail. Without hesitation she picked her up, her weight no trouble for an Andorian, and carried her to the Medical Bay.

"Doctor Agosti, Chief Lal needs immediate assistance."

Meredith rushed over, her diagnostic tools in hand, and ran what she could. "She's an android, Lieutenant Commander, I'm not sure what I can do for her. There's an empty bed, and the computer can monitor her, but we were given very little information on how to keep her healthy. She's one of a kind."

Chief Lal was placed on a bed, carefully, and the computer started to run more diagnostics. "All I can do is treat the surface wounds and hope her own system can repair itself. I'm a doctor, not an expert in positronics or even androids in general."

"If we have clearance, considering the circumstances, we might be able to contact Commander Data in Starfleet, he's the only resource who might have answers we need," Edas added, as he bound the wounds of another crew member.

Tyvya nodded and, with a military turn, exited the room. There was much to be done.

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Captain Zekr's eyes flicked up quickly from the padd in his hand, where reports were slowly starting to filter in from the rest of the ship. "As we're still assessing the Nobunaga's condition, get your wrist taken care of. Our highest priority right now is ensuring the health of the crew and then getting the ship back on track." As well as figuring out what, exactly, had happened to it, but he had already ordered Lieutenant Commander Idrani to look into the matter.

But, as his Chief Engineer was in the Medical Bay, he didn't know how long it would be before they could even start using their impulse drive. Engineering had been hit hard, and Lal wasn't the only one capable of fixing the ship but she certainly was key to getting everything running smoothly again. With such trained people on the ship, he hoped those under her could pick up the slack.

"Have you gotten through yet to Starfleet?" He asked a woman at the comms. They were using a new and advanced code to encrypt their communications, no precaution spared for this mission.

"No, sir. Our communications array is still down. We are trying to repair it, but it will take time."

"Understood."



"We think so," Edas replied, still running diagnostics. "I believe that when the Slip Stream Drive malfunctioned something interacted with her own systems, causing her to shut down like this. We've treated the surface burns as much as we can."
Putting his diagnostic tool down, he softly pressed on Lal's head and the back opened up, revealing a complex positronic array. "We were equipped with this before we left in case something happened," he said, plugging in another tool and looked at the connected padd. "But if something is wrong, we need a robotics engineer, not a medical doctor."

Doctor Agosti came to look over Edas' shoulder at the padd. "It seems like her system did suffer an overload, but ... I'm afraid these readouts mean little to me. The Assistant Chief, Valkris, is she anywhere about?"

"She's working on the engines, I believe," Edas replied.

Doctor Agosti looked annoyed and then shook it off. "I suppose getting the ship going again is important for our defenses, but I'll get her on the comm. When she has a spare moment, I'd like her to take a look at this, see if she can make more sense out of it than I can."

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"Of course, Doctor." Beto nodded. "Once this has settled down, I'd be more than happy to give you some lessons."

Lal, meanwhile, nodded herself at the Doctor. "Understood, Doctor. If you'll excuse me, then..."

Beto and Lal left the Med Bay moments later, to return to their respective duties.



Yamada gave Captain Zekr a small, grateful smile. "Very well, Captain. And thank you."

With that, the Commander went over to the nearest, empty work station, using his good hand to bring it online. Once that was accomplished he set to work, trying his best to assess damage throughout the ship and return as many systems online as he could.

Almost ten minutes later, there was a slight jolt to the ship, as the emergency lights on the bridge dimmed, and power was restored throughout the ship.

"This is Chief Lal, Captain." the android reported in over the Comm a nanosecond later, from Engineering. "I am happy to report that I am operational once more, and have now restored power ship-wide to the Nobunaga. The Slipstream Drive is still down, unfortunately, as that will take additional time to assess the damage, and then enact the repairs. Sublight engines and Warp Drive are functional, however, so we can use that in the meantime."

Back over at the helmsman's station, Alexia Gallagher brought up the starcharts, trying to match the vast, empty void of space now on the viewscreen to the charts in the navigational databank. She finally got a match after a good minute of searching...and paused. She checked over her results again, and a third time, just to be absolutely sure.

There was no denying what her screen was showing her, however. They weren't in Kansas anymore, to say the least...

"Captain." Alexia turned in her chair to get her superior's attention. "I've managed to ascertain our location with the help of the starcharts in our database. It...well, Captain, I can't believe I'm saying this but....we're not in the Delta Quadrant, sir. We're in the Sigma Quadrant."

The Sigma Quadrant, adjacent to the Delta Quadrant. It was further into unknown space than anyone had ever been, even counting Voyager being tossed into the Delta Quadrant. The Sigma Quadrant was approximately 250,000 light years away from the Sol system (as compared to the 75,000 light years in the Delta Quadrant), which would roughly mean it'd take the crew and ship, without any short cuts and just on Warp Drive, a little over 250 years to get back to Federation territory.

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Captain Zekr nodded, responding, "Excellent work, Chief Lal. Happy to hear that you're up and running again."

He listened to Alexia and stared, astonished, at the viewscreen. "The... Sigma Quadrant? How is that possible?" Standing, Zekr paced a little in front of his chair.

Taking a stance directly behind those sitting at the front of the bridge, he paused, considering, and spoke. "I want that checked and double checked, and all available personnel assisting with the repair of our Slip Stream Drive. Those that aren't qualified to assist should be searching this area, looking for outposts that we can use to purchase any supplies we might need. And I want to contact Starfleet as soon as we can."

He sat carefully in his captain's chair, mind whirling with the problems and decisions he would have to be making soon. And he would have to tell his crew, but how? Rumor would spread quickly, so he might as well get it over with.

"This is your Captain speaking." he said over shipwide comm, his baritone solemn. "Our Slip Stream Drive has malfunctioned and we have found ourselves in the Sigma Quadrant. Please remain calm and attend to your stations, we have a lot of work to do before we will be operational again. I have full faith in my crew, and I promise you that we will not stop until we are all home again. Zekr out."

A hush fell over the ship as the small crew, each in their own way, grappled with this new knowledge. Tyvya, still in Engineering, thought briefly of the family she'd left behind, and the career she'd hoped to build. They would have to find a way home, and with the minds they had aboard, a solution was sure to come. But she shied away from thinking how long that might take.

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Not long after the Captain made the announcement, Ambassador Kujarm Rel made his way to the bridge. The older Trill approached Zekr, giving the commander a brief nod. He commented, "Well, this wasn't how I imagined I'd end my diplomatic career. I imagine we're gonna have quite the story to tell Starfleet Command, whenever we get back the Slipstream Drive online again."

Meanwhile, Alexia turned back over to face the Captain. "Sir, we're receiving a subspace transmission...it appears to be an automated message of some kind..."

The blue-skinned humanoid touched her console for a moment, and then the message started to play across the Bridge, once the Universal Translator deciphered the message.

"...This is the Eruk, requesting assistance....the ship is heavily damaged, and Warp Drive is not operational....This is the Eruk, requesting assistance....the ship is heavily damaged, and Warp Drive is not operational...."

The message repeated itself for two more loops, before Alexia shut it off.

"Sounds like distress signal." Kujarm noted, eyebrow raised.

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"Agreed," Zekr said with a small chuckle.

"It does indeed," he responded to Alexia as he listened to the recording. Opening a comm, he commanded, "Chief Lal, we need the shields fully operational. Another ship requires a rescue, and I cannot in good conscience ignore it, despite our own predicament."

He stood, staring out at space, torn between anticipation and dread of what this next issue might bring them.

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Episode 2: Lost in the Black, part 2

Stardate: Unknown, the Sigma Quadrant


Tyvya stared at what little information was being fed through the ship's computers as she attempted to scan for whatever ship was sending out the distress signal.

"Captain, I recommend against this rescue mission," she repeated, standing to hold a firm posture, her face grim and set. "For all we know, it could be a trap, and although our shields are operational, we still have no Slip Stream Drive and I don't believe the weapons systems can be relied upon without further repair."

"It cannot simply be ignored, Idrani," Captain Zekr argued passionately. "We have an obligation to help those in need."

"On a top secret mission?"

"Our mission, as it was, might be on hold for some time, and we will no doubt miss our rendezvous in the Delta Quadrant regardless. When we do reach Starfleet I will take new orders post haste, but until then we must fall back to Federation's standard policies."

"But Captain--"

"I appreciate your concern for the well-being of this ship and her crew, but this is an order, Idrani. We will proceed with caution, but we will proceed." Captain Zekr matched her stern face but couldn't hold it long, a small smile broke the solemnity. "And of course, I will take any and all recommendations for how to proceed as safely as possible."

"Yes, Captain." Tyvya was unhappy, but what could she do? The decision had been made. And no matter what quadrant they were in, order had to be maintained. She had objected, as her role on ship allowed her to do, with respect for her Captain, but he was continuing nonetheless so all she could do was mitigate the potential damage.

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"I have to say, this'll be an...interesting First Contact mission." Kujarm idly commented to Captain Zekr, once he finished speaking with the Chief of Security. "Not often you meet a new species during a rescue mission...but we'll be doing just that. And in the Sigma Quadrant, no less! My, we'll have an interesting report to file once we get back home."

Being an Ambassador, the older Trill was quite excited by the thought of meeting a new species, even if it was in the wrong Quadrant, and it was on an apparent rescue mission. Still, it would prove a unique and interesting encounter. Or so he hoped.

"I was hoping I might be apart of whatever boarding party we send, if you don't mind, Captain." Kujarm went on a moment later. The transporters were still down, so they'd have to rely on the three small shuttles the Nobunaga had, in order to conduct any rescuing. "I am representing the Federation on this mission, after all. Even if it...didn't go quite how we pictured it would. Besides, I'm rather useless if I'm not doing my job!"

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"Heh. The report." Zekr shrugged lean shoulders and leaned back in his chair. "That was the part I was trying not to think about. The paperwork will be a headache for this one!" He paused. "However, I agree, meeting a new species, if we do nothing else, will be exciting!"

Zekr considered his friend's request. Kujarm was an Ambassador, inter-species relations was part of his job, but he would be going in blind. On the other hand, much better to have someone diplomatically trained than otherwise, and as much as he respected Lieutenant Commander Idrani he didn't think it was her strong point. "Very well. But I want you to stay close to my Chief of Security, we don't know what we're getting into and I want to be able to get everyone out of there quickly if necessary."

Tyvya nodded. "We will bring everyone back safely, Captain, or die trying."

Zekr looked surprised and snorted a little before he could stop it. "This is a rescue mission, I hope it will come to that, but I trust that you will prioritize saving as many as we can as well as preserving the lives of our crew."

"Of course, sir."

"I want everyone loaded onto the shuttles and gone as soon as we are in range, and back as quickly as possible." Zekr frowned. "Ambassador, if the shuttles or this ship come under attack, you will return and liaise with any we've already brought aboard. Your work can be just as well accomplished on the Nobunaga."

Tyvya and the other members of her Security staff were set to pilot the seven standard personnel shuttles and six others were piloted by other staff, all of whom had volunteered for the mission. The Nobunaga had, unfortunately, only been supplied with enough shuttles to evacuate the number of crew aboard, with a few extra in case some of the others became unusable. It would take them quite a bit of time to get all of the survivors aboard, four and a half hours at a conservative estimate the computer had estimated assuming nothing went wrong, and Tyvya was determined to shave that down to three, even if she had to get a bit... brisk with the survivors.

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The Nobunaga arrived at the scene of the distress call soon enough....and the sight that greeted them was very, very disturbing.

A graveyard of ships stared back at the Starfleet crew; an insurmountable number of wrecked starships surrounded all of visible space, the result of a fierce and brutal battle between two unknown forces. The majority of the wreckage was made up of obliterated starships; ships that had been torn to pieces once their Warp Core reached critical mass, or were destroyed by the photon torpedoes of their enemies. A scant few ships, however, remained intact...most of them crippled and damaged beyond repair, their hulls scarred by phaser banks...but intact, all the same.

"By the gods..." Kujarm shook his head, shuddering at the sight of the battlefield. "I haven't seen this much destruction since the Dominion War ended."

"Sir," the ship's pilot, Alexia Gallagher, turned to face her captain. "Sensors are picking up a handful of survivors among all that wreckage...most of them concentrated in the eight intact ships in the battlefield, and a handful of crippled escape pods. Around two hundred survivors in total, Captain."

Kujarm grimaced at that knowledge. That was a lot of people out there....especially in terms of getting treatment. No doubt most of them were severely injured, or otherwise required immediate medical attention. That number of patients was far too much for the small sickbay around the Nobunaga. They could take the most critical of cases via the transport, get them to the Sickbay that way, but the others...

"I advise setting up makeshift sickbays on all the intact vessels, Captain, so we can best treat the survivors." Commander Yamada suggested, glancing over to the Bajoran. "And we should also activate the Nobunaga's complement of Emergency Medical Holograms, and send them over with the medical and rescue teams, as well, to more effectively treat the survivors. As for the escape pods, I suggest we use the tractor beam to tow them in to the Nobunaga's landing bay so we can treat them here."

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Captain Zekr nodded. "Agreed." Pressing his comm, he contacted Lieutenant Idrani, passing along this suggestion and then sending others to assist in outfitting the small shuttles with the right supplies.

Tyvya and the others rushed to load up the shuttles. As there were thirteen, some would now be filled with what was required to set up a small but functional med bay on the ships, and others would be largely personnel.

Zekr joined them in the hangar just as Tyvya began to explain, "We will first ensure each of the eight ships has adequate life support and essential functions, as our sensors cannot verify those at the moment, and then set up our temporary medical bays. Each medical bay on each ship will have a member of security, who have already been assigned, and will ensure that everything goes smoothly and safely. The other contingent will use the emptied shuttles to retrieve survivors from the escape pods and transport any critically injured survivors to the Nobunaga for treatment."

"Our priority is to help any survivors," Zekr added, walking to stand beside the taller Chief of Security. "So if there are any signs of warring factions or hostilities, you are to protect and evacuate whoever you can back to the Nobunaga where we will find a plan to deal with them in the best way possible."

It grated on Tyvya to have to retreat, but orders were orders. She hoped, however, that any secondary plan would include quite a lot of fighting back, should it come to that.

The assigned crew finished loading the shuttles and climbed in, Tyvya's in the lead. She had hoped to leave more than two of her staff aboard the Nobunaga, in case of an emergency, but Zekr had preferred to prioritize the survivors despite her objections. The shuttles were fast and the ship close, so she would still be able to get back quickly, but the whole situation was not as she would have it. Getting used to a new Captain was always rough, and this rather unusual scenario they had all found themselves in would not make anything easier.

The shuttles waited for the Ambassador to board, doing final checks. Back in Sickbay, Meredith bustled about, curly hair tightly pinned back, as she and her Assistant tried to prepare the area for anything with as many beds as possible. Other crew had been assigned to set up temporary beds in a neighboring room, but they only had so many tools to help the survivors and so space would be extremely limited. There would undoubtedly be hard choices ahead as to who to help first, but Meredith was confident they would save as many as they possibly could. Her experience and training would allow her to do no less, and she had utter faith in her staff of two.