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|Thursday, January 27th, 2005|
All's hell that ends hell
walked back to Sickbay, guards in tow. He'd just completed talking to the iss_murgatroid
's division heads in the aftermath of the death of Captain Jellico
. He had made it clear to his command crew (it felt odd...his
command crew!) that Jellico's death was a natural progression of unavoidable events. The capturing of the Federation mib_khan
, the unfortunate escape of that prisoner (probably due to a synergy of personal history leading that Khan to correctly guess notsonicekhan
's personal command codes), the chaos that ensued, and the death of every Khan aside from the one personally verified as ship's First Officer and CMO...this was what lead to Jellico's death. Jellico's mismanagement of the Murgatroid
would be swept under the rug to please Fleet Command and Admiral Jellico, evil_kyjellico
's uncle. Long-range communications were down, but everyone agreed on the story details, which could be verified by video taken (and in some cases modified) on board the Murgatroid
Khan entered his quarters, and smiled as the door closed. With any luck, Admiral Jellico would reward him for giving his nephew a hero's death...and if that meant becoming Captain of the Murgatroid
, then there were the rewards inside Jellico's quarters. For once, Khan looked forward to the future. Current Mood: power-mad
|Tuesday, January 11th, 2005|
Crisis ended...and Jellico ended as well
The bridge crew on the iss_murgatroid
eventually shot their replicator to keep stupid Khans from emerging from it every three seconds. The floor of the bridge was littered with bodies, both Khans and Murgatroid crew. notsonicekhan
stayed in the command chair and followed the readouts on the main viewscreen. Although communications were down, he was able to see that Engineering had shut power to the warp core, draining power all over the ship. Replication rates of stupid Khans dropped, but it was too late for the overloaded life support system, which was not able to keep up with the rate of carbon dioxide exhalation. Soon crew were suiting up in respirator masks and spacesuits to keep oxygen flowing, and Khans all over the ship passed out, as they were too stupid to figure out that they were asphyxiating.
Over the course of the next few minutes, Engineering managed to shut down the program that had overridden the replicators, and got communications back online. The first thing Commander Khan did was call to his Captain. To his surprise, he heard the chirp of a communicator directly behind him. He rose from his seat and turned around.
Four crew were carrying Jellico's limp body onto the bridge from the turbolift. He was carried on their shoulders, as if by pallbearers. Khan dropped his phaser and pulled his medical tricorder...which only confirmed what he knew as soon as he saw Jellico's chest. A weapons blast had charred Jellico's sternum, stopping his heart and lungs and probably causing nearly instantaneous death. Khan looked up at the crew...a security guard was weeping, and another crew managed to gasp out, "He was so heroic..." before folding up on the deck. Khan took a deep breath, and then slapped his combadge.
"This is Commander Khan to all hands. Captain Jellico is dead. He died well, attempting to reach his post. Continue the cleanup and repairs...I'll be taking report from division heads in one hour." Inwardly, Khan smiled. His own personal crisis was abated, for now. Current Mood: satisfied
Escaping from the ISS Murgatroid
," commanded mib_khan
. "We've got to get out of this place, if it's the last thing we ever do." The imperfect clone of Imperial escaped prisoner Mib Khan grunted, and raised his disruptor rifle, claimed from a crew member of the iss_murgatroid
who would not need it any longer. The two of them heard weapons fire approaching their position, and ducked behind a corridor support. Their position went unobserved by Captain Jellico and his crew, who were fighting their way to the bridge
. The corridor behind Jellico was clear, as he'd ordered weapons set for molecular disruption.
"The path to the shuttlebay is clear. Let's blow this popsicle stand." Pinnochio grunted again, as he watched Khan's back. Within minutes, the two of them were in a shuttlepod and headed back to the Bajor system. Current Mood: hurried
Red Alert on the ISS Murgatroid
's butt warmed the command throne on the bridge of the iss_murgatroid
. The Murgatroid had dropped out of warp at his command, based on a massive, ship-wide drain of energy
. Khan's previous orders to Security to use his stupid dopplegangers
for target practice was augmented by commands to Maintenance to recycle the bodies (they were clogging the corridors) and to any crew near Captain Jellico's quarters to get his attention any way they could...he was needed on the bridge.
Unbeknownst to notsonicekhan
, the escape plan
of his Imperial prisoner Commander mib_khan
of the Federation kicked it up another notch. With no power being drawn to keep the ship in warp, all the power formerly used by the warp drive went to the Murgatroid's replicators to produce stupid Khans. The total number of Khans on the Murgatroid doubled within 5 minutes of warp being disengaged. This began to put stress on the life support systems and essentially tied the engineering staff to their consoles as they tried to find an answer to the crisis.
Communications then crashed due to the number of crew attempting to contact either the bridge or the ship's computer to report damage or to call Sickbay for medical assistance. A few crew had managed to fight their way to Captain Jellico's door, only to find it locked and shielded. Their despair could not have become deeper, when without warning Jellico's door opened and he emerged. He was covered in blood (his and others) and the deck in his office was covered in deceased Khans.
"Crew! Get me to the bridge! I can save us if I can take command!" The ecstatic crew formed a phalanx around their Captain, and began to fight their way through the Khans to the turbolifts. Current Mood: stressed
|Tuesday, December 28th, 2004|
Bridge to Commander Khan
's comm officer located Commander notsonicekhan in his quarters
. Khan growled at the comm officer for a moment over the interruption, then regained his composure.
"What is it?" asked Khan. His demeanor was especially mean, even for him.
The comm officer gulped, and replied, "Sir, have you left any experiments running under your authorization? We're having massive power drain all over the ship due to a command process centered on Sickbay."
"Massive power drain? To Sickbay?" Khan's expression was unreadable.
The comm officer shook his head. "No, sir, to replicators. Enough power is being drawn to affect our warp speed...we've had to drop speed by 1.5 warp factors."
Khan changed expression, looking quizzical. "What's being replicated?"
"Unknown, sir. I've started to ask..." The comm officer was interrupted by an incoming alert in his earpiece. "Commander Khan, I'm receiving an alert from Security. I'm going to splitscreen you so that I can find out what they need while you're listening. The highest officer on the bridge currently is a lieutenant, and Captain Jellico is unreachable...we may need your command input."
The screen split, pushing Khan's image to the left and bringing up a security officer on the right side of the screen. The security officer immediately barked, "Khan! Provide security authentication as to your identity this instant!" Khan looked surprised, and then replied to the request with a long series of code. The security officer grunted as the Murgatroid's
computer verified his identity.
Khan smirked briefly, then said, "So now that you know who I am, what's going on?" The security officer smoothed back her hair, and then replied, "Sir, there are duplicates of you appearing on all decks. They're dressed as you, but don't seem to be functioning as you...that is, they don't behave as you or act like they have your authority. They really seem...well...stupid
"Where are they coming from?" asked Khan.
"Seems like they're appearing near the replicators. I've tried to get access to shut them down, but there's some kind of lockout program in place." The security officer grimaced at her failure, expecting to be disciplined for a failure.
Khan shrugged. "Call Engineering and get them to fix it. In the meantime, use the Khans for target practice. I'll point-to-point transport to the bridge, and reaffirm my command authorization there so that everyone knows that it's me." Khan ordered the transport and then disappeared off the viewscreen and onto the bridge. He repeated his command authorization, then said, "It's me. Drop out of warp. Let's get this problem fixed, and then get back to not getting killed by Jellico. The bridge crew sighed with relief as Khan sat in the Captain's chair...an actual command figure had shown up and was issuing command decisions rather than rants. It lowered the stress levels around Khan, and in their relief no one noticed Khan's poker face slip for a moment into a wry grin. Current Mood: amused
|Sunday, December 26th, 2004|
Khan? Qua? Khan?
Current Mood: chaotic
Lieutenant Hades, relieved of duty, was almost back to her quarters to meet some of the other bridge crew for some extracurricular activities
, when she realized a superior officer was headed down the corridor towards her. She paused outside her open door, gave the Imperial salute, and cried "Hail, Commander Khan!" The being who she thought was Imperial Doctor Not So Nice Khan
looked her up and down, grunted, and replied, "Boobies." This was so outside Hades' normal range of interaction with Khan that it actually made her pause a moment in shock. This moment was enough time for Khan to grab her and pull her inside her quarters. The closing door muffled the sound of tearing cloth as Khan disrobed Hades and began to introduce her to a level of command she hadn't yet experienced.
Moments later, another Khan walked past Hades' door, mumbling, "Beer?" A few moments later, another Khan walked past Hades' door, mumbling, "Booze?" This scene repeated itself with successive Khans mumbling the questions "Drugs?" "Potty?" "Mommy?" and of course "Nookie?" With all ship's replicators producing Khans at their best possible speed (but at a low, low resolution), Part Two of Federation prisoner Mib Khan's escape plan was kicking into high gear.
|Thursday, November 18th, 2004|
Khan tapped on his PADD's touchscreen, sending nonvoice commands to the replicator in his cell. Like all equipment more complicated than a spoon, it was tied in to the power and computer systems, and thus could make interesting things happen. By using command icon symbology rather than text, Khan knew that even if there was a Tantalus Field peering over his shoulder, it wouldn't be able to easily figure out what he was doing.
As he sipped his raktajino
in the dark, an isolinear chip materialized in the replicator. mib_khan
had asked the replicator for an isolinear chip preprogrammed with notsonicekhan
's command overrides. Since notsonicekhan
had given him "full access", the replicator did as it was told. Khan put the chip in his PADD, and then put his tricorder in the replicator slot. The replicator recharged his tricorder quite handily. Khan removed the tricorder from the replicator slot, and then grinned as a full medkit materialized, followed by a fully charged phaser and a set of field transfer coils. Khan pulled those out of the replicator and then fired the next program on his PADD.
In Sickbay, a large collection of machinery fired into motion. By Imperial Law, this machinery was never meant to be used in this fashion. Thankfully, Khan already knew that he had a death sentence hanging over his head...and they could only kill him once. The machinery grew a sample of Khan's DNA in moments to full size in a nutrient bath, and a specialized component was replicated and inserted into the clone's brain. Lacking the equipment to do an instantaneous transfer of memories, this clone would not be a full, nor fully functional copy...but it could get the job done.
Khan waited 5 minutes...that would be enough time to make sure that the clone's basic motor and language skills were complete. He then tapped his PADD again. The clone's implant transmitted vibrations into the mastoid bone...vibrations which could be heard as speech, but too low to be picked up on a microphone. After a moment's thought, the clone stumbled towards a replicator inside Sickbay, and picked up another set of field transfer coils that Khan had ordered replicated there. He groped his way to Khan's cell in the dark and laid his set of coils around the outer edges of the forcefield barrier. Khan did the same inside the cell, and after a few moments, the forcefield's strength diminished (without setting off any alarms) sufficiently to allow Khan to exit his cell.
Khan looked at his clone. "C'mon, Pinnochio. You're a poor imitation of life, but maybe if we live through this, I'll be able to turn you into a real boy." Khan moved towards a fully functional computer terminal. Hours of work on a PADD could be bypassed with a few minutes at a normal terminal...if he had the time. Luckily, Sickbay was still dark. Perhaps his luck would hold. He glanced once more at his PADD, and checked the date. There was still a chance that he wouldn't need incursion technology to get back home...the hole he'd made between universes might not yet have closed. Escape to the Bajoran wormhole would be possible, once he'd initiated part two of his escape plan. He set up a countdown based on his best guess on his PADD, and then got to work at the terminal. Current Mood: hopeful
|Wednesday, November 17th, 2004|
The Beginning of the End
A series of lights flashed on the ISS Murgatroid's
communications console. Lieutenant Hades¹ quickly interpreted them as an incoming message from Imperial
Fleet Command, encrypted, top priority. She perked up, because these messages usually came to her through Subcommander Dammit, her former Academy roommate. She opened the connection, and heard "Dammit to Hades, Dammit to Hades" through her earpiece. She couldn't help giggling, and Dammit had never figured out why she found that so funny. Hades had to give the proper recognition codes before the top priority message could be transmitted. "Subcommander Dammit, Janet, Imperial Security, signing off."
Even though it was a violation of several regulations, and a capital offense at that, Lieutenant Hades couldn't resist immediately breaking the encryption and reading the message. It was addressed to First Officer Not So Nice Khan, and made apparent that Imperial Fleet Command was also aware of what every officer on the ISS Murgatroid knew: that Captain Evil KY Jellico's recent obsession over former first officer Evil Storvik had pushed him beyond acceptable limits of depression and instability. As Khan had been expecting, Imperial Fleet Command had sent orders instructing him to kill Jellico and assume command of the Murgatroid.
Lieutenant Hades could have arranged for the message to be "accidentally" lost or corrupted, before Khan got it; she could have also arranged for a copy to be diverted to Jellico as a warning. But, since the captain had not provided her with any recent "loyalty bribes", she felt no compulsion to protect or warn him. Of course, Khan hadn't given her a "loyalty bribe" this month either, so she allowed the contents of the message to leak out to the rest of the crew.
As soon as the other bridge officers realized that Hades was receiving a high-security message, they tried to catch a glimpse of her screen. She "accidentally" left the message on her screen while she bent over to pick up the earpiece that she "accidentally" dropped on the floor. Some of the officers managed to read the message, while the other officers managed to look up her short skirt. "By the time the next change of shift has occurred," Hades thought to herself, "every officer on the ship will be aware of Khan's orders, and positioning themselves to take full advantage of the change in command structure."
Noticing the way that some of the officers had studied her structure while she bent over, Hades began to make her own plans for how to keep occupied once the next duty shift took over the bridge. Many changes in position would be involved...
¹The mirror universe analog of Lieutenant Heavens, naturally.
|Friday, November 5th, 2004|
|Sunday, October 31st, 2004|
A real know-it-all
As Khan's captor left him alone
had a flash of insight. He was wise enough to not speak his thoughts out loud. Just because his cell wasn't under surveillance by anyone hostile to notsonicekhan
didn't mean that it wasn't surveilled by
"Hmm...for all that he claims to know about me, he clearly doesn't know about the fact that I am one clone of millions, and that all Khan clones share the same identity and memories. If that were the case, he would simply duplicate my methods and achieve whatever goals he wishes. Granted, I achieve any goals I wish because I set the bar low. Nevertheless, this duplicate of mine is no duplicate of me. He is arrogant, overconfident, and cocksure. Clearly that has been enough for him...he hasn't needed to be more. I doubt his confidence will be enough to meet my needs. He may be a big fish here, but there are bigger fish in the ocean than him. And the little fish get et by the bigger ones." Current Mood: duplicitous
Rumblings From Below
The mood on the ISS Murgatroid
was chaotic. This was not good – generally, on an Imperial ship, it was understood that the underlings knew what was expected of them, and they did it. It was also understood what would be done by the officers to the underlings if they did not act exactly as expected. But now, things had gotten out of sync. Captain Evil K Y Jellico
had become more and more unperdictable
, so that people were uncertain as to how to behave around him; and even performing their duties and keeping their heads down was no defense – the captain had had random people tortured, just in case they were traitors responsible for helping the Vulcans escape
. He was at times violent, morose, drunk, apathetic – no one knew what to expect. No one knew what was expected of them.
The officers on the ISS Murgatroid were also aware of the situation, and the dangers it presented. They were not immune to Jellico's paranoia. However, the officers also recognized that the situation contained opportunity as well as danger – if something happened to the captain, all of them would move up in position. A captain who was not doing his job properly would not be missed by the Empire; the question of the day was whether or not Jellico had crossed over the line yet, the line after which no questions would be asked if anything happened.
The other big question, the one which kept the other officers from acting – for now – was this: What would Not So Nice Khan do? What would Khan do about Jellico, and what would Khan do if anyone [else] assassinated Jellico? It was well-known throughout the ship that Khan had foiled Evil Storvik's attempt to kill Jellico. No one knew where Khan stood – and no one felt that killing both Jellico and Khan would be easily accomplished … or easily defended, to Imperial investigators.
A nightmare in gunmetal gray
woke, spluttering, as a bucket of ice water was upended over his head. He was no longer restrained in a biobed, but instead was in a small security cell. As the water cleared from his eyes, he focused on his doppleganger, notsonicekhan
. The other Khan was not wearing his scariest grin, and the security forcefield was off. mib_khan
was not deeply reassured by this.( Say goodbye to all of this...Collapse )notsonicekhan
clapped his hands together, startling mib_khan
. "So! The PADD you hold is programmed to allow you certain courses of study, and is also trapped to explode if tampered with. I want you to be learning the history, both recent and distant, of the Empire you are currently present in. I want you to be thinking of ways you can guard my back, and planning appropriately. I want you to be learning of Empire incursion technology, so that we can either get you or me out of this universe entirely, or, if possible, find a way to retrieve my Commander Storvik to satisfy Captain Jellico's weird urges. Perhaps that will restore him to sanity, or sobriety. The tricorder you hold is your own. I have ordered it refurbished to Federation standards, but left it without power. If you can justify a reason for me to recharge it, I will do so. If you hear the combadge beep, hide the equipment under your cot until it signals again. Learn quickly. If you don't work, you don't eat." With that final warning, Khan's captor energized the door forcefield, and left mib_khan
alone with the equipment and his thoughts. Current Mood: worried
|Saturday, October 30th, 2004|
|Friday, August 20th, 2004|
Alert and re-oriented
of the uss_murgatroid
woke. He looked up and saw what appeared to be the ceiling of Sickbay. This was not an unusual viewpoint, since Khan often took naps in Sickbay when there was nothing going on, and wasn't needed for any command functions. After a moment, he realized that his last memory had been a thought that he'd been sure he'd been staring into the face of death
. Clearly, though, he was no longer in his almost-destroyed Runabout, the Shit Creek
Khan tried to sit up and determined that the restraints on his biobed were activated. Curious. Had he endured some medical condition that required restraining due to the incursion failure and subsequent shuttle loss? The usual swishing noise of a door meant that someone had entered the room. A familiar face came around the side of the bed.
Khan stared into the face of Khan. The unrestrained Khan was wearing a medical gown and holding a familiar looking medical tricorder. The tricorder had clearly seen better days. mib_khan
recognised it as one that had been in the Shit Creek
. He smiled up at the familiar face.
"So...how long until I'm up and around again?" mib_khan
asked of his doppleganger.
"Oh, you're perfectly fine, now. I've been keeping you under sedation while we ran some tests. You're about as fully healed as you'll get. Some scars don't heal."mib_khan
quizzled. 'Some scars don't heal'? What about protoplasers? He paused for a moment, then steeled himself and asked the next question.
"Er...well, if I'm healed, can I get off of this bed? It'd be nice to move around, if, as you say, I've been under sedation for some time."
The other Khan smiled. It wasn't a pretty smile. "Oh, I'd say you'll be sitting there for a bit. After we recovered you from your ship
, we realized who you were. We met briefly before, over a communication channel. I'm Commander Mib Khan, of the iss_murgatroid
. Welcome to my place of work. You'll be here for a while, so you might as well get comfortable."mib_khan
stared again into the face of notsonicekhan
. He had a suspicion that he knew what the face of death looked like. notsonicekhan
held up an unfamiliar implement. It was made of surgical steel, and was very sharp. notsonicekhan
smiled again...the smile was even less pretty this time around. He lowered the implement onto mib_khan
's chest. "Does it hurt when I do this?"mib_khan
began to scream. Current Mood: uncomfortable
|Wednesday, July 28th, 2004|
It's about time
"Captain Jellico! We're receiving a distress signal. Shall we intercept?" The iss_murgatroid
's communication officer looked up hopefully at evil_kyjellico
. Jellico had been a figurative bear since the escape of the Revenge
and its fugitives. Although it seemed like forever, the search
hadn't been going on so long that significant numbers of the crew had been punished at random by their captain.
"Move to intercept. Put it on viewscreen as soon as it's in range." Jellico's growl was more menacing than usual. He tapped his combadge. "Jellico to Khan. Report to the bridge immediately."notsonicekhan
beamed point to point, appearing on the bridge in literal seconds. Immediately after the transport finished, an image of a wrecked ship
appeared on the viewscreen.
"What the hell is that?", questioned Jellico.
Khan squinted. "Looks like a Runabout-class shuttle. I recognise it from the information I stole from the Mirror Universe. Lifesigns?"
The tactical officer hit a button. "One lifesign, sir! It's very weak. No power. Scans show that the emergency beacon has died, and there's no life support."
"Beam it directly to Sickbay, under isolation. I want to look at it.", ordered Khan. "Give me good news, Commander," growled Jellico. Khan saluted and ordered another point to point transport, disappearing in a blur of sparkles. Current Mood: anxious
|Monday, June 28th, 2004|
Covering all our bases
After fully understanding the circumstances that allowed a pair of Storviks to escape with the Revenge
, Captain evil_kyjellico
left no stone uncovered. Jellico contacted the Imperial Fleet and let them know that he was tracking a fugitive, and that the fugitive might attempt to escape using incursion technology. Jellico requested that all weak points in the space-time continuum accessable at the Revenge
's top expected speed be covered. This included a number of areas, including the point at which I had returned from the other universe with my captured Storviks.
After a few days of receiving negative reports about the presence of any ship resembling the Revenge
, Jellico ordered a new course set. The course led us to where the planet Halka had previously orbited its star, before being destroyed by Jellico's role model, Kirk.
The planet was still not there, and the star that it had formerly circled was going through a period of stellar quiescence. No ion storms meant that space there was not unusually stressed. However, since we were scanning for ions, we did note what could be an ion trail...and since this star system was normally not a well traveled point, Jellico ordered the trail followed. The closer we get to the Bajor system, the warmer the ion trail gets. Perhaps we are about, as they say, to get lucky. Current Mood: angry
|Monday, June 7th, 2004|
On the bridge of the Murgatroid
The turbolift doors opened, and Captain Jellico and Commander Mib Khan stepped onto the bridge of the iss_murgatroid
. Captain Jellico sat down in the Captain's throne and ordered, "Prepare for ship separation. Comm, get me General Mordekai." General Mordekai was the head officer over the Stormtroopers on the Death of Halkans
. After a moment, the starfield on the viewscreen cleared, showing Mordekai's scarred visage.
Mordekai saluted Jellico. Jellico saluted in return, and said, "General, I've placed your troops and ships at the disposal of the Emperor of Ishtar. Until you hear otherwise, you are to help maintain order." Mordekai nodded, and the signal cut off. Jellico turned to the comm officer and said, "We have an urgent errand elsewhere. Set course for Checkpoint T'Charlie. And get them on the conn, immediately." When the patrol came over subspace, Jellico ordered them to track the Revenge
's last course and to scan for them, maximum power. The Murgatroid
would catch up as soon as possible.
Moments later, separated from the Death of Halkans
, the Murgatroid
was at Warp 9, headed away from Ishtar and away from anything important. It was luck that the patrol had encountered the Revenge
...and luck did not run forever. Current Mood: concerned
Inside the throne room
, called Khan. Good to see you're ready and waiting for us. Please join the other troops. Kenny started to say something, then gave up and joined the landing party. Khan looked around. The room was empty, which was unsurprising...after all, their arrival had been unannounced
Khan caught Captain Jellico's attention, then gestured towards the throne. "Sir, would you care to sit?" Jellico's sullen expression vanished, and he replied, "My dear Khan, I do believe I would. That particular chair looks especially comfortable." Jellico placed his fundament delicately into the throne, and then settled in as the "Magic Fingers" effect took hold. "I could get used to this", he purred.( Jellico gets comfortable...Collapse )
"Khan to Murgatroid
. Status report." The communications officer replied, "All systems nominal. Sir, unpleasant_ifix
would like a word with you." I instructed her to put him on.
"Commander Khan, I regret to inform you that it appears that the Prisoners Storvik have escaped. There are a number of dead, including two members of your Sickbay staff, as well as some other crew. The Revenge
is also missing, along with brother_lothar
. I have queried as to whether or not it has been spotted by other Imperial craft, and in fact it was. They were spotted at Checkpoint T'Charlie
, but they were apparently let through. Based on my best guess, they're only a couple of days away at maximum warp." While Ifix had been reporting, I had been studiously not watching evil_kyjellico
. The stormtroopers told me later that he'd turned red, then, purple, then white. Captain Jellico turned to the Emperor and said, "I'm sorry, your Majesty. A small problem has arisen. I need to deal with that, but your request for troops and ships will be honored. The Emperor nodded, and Jellico slapped his combadge.
"Jellico to Murgatroid
. Three to beam up: myself, Commander Khan, and Stormtrooper Kenny. Beam Kenny directly to Sickbay...he doesn't look well." We stepped together for transport, and I saluted my father. He tossed a desultory salute back as we disappeared in transporter sparkle. Current Mood: pleased
|Thursday, June 3rd, 2004|
|Sunday, May 23rd, 2004|
eventually made it to the transporter room. None of us would dare tell him that he had delayed the transport; he was clearly in a bad mood, and his bad moods tended to be fatal.
I turned to the security stormtroopers and said, "We're beaming down, unannounced, to the garden atop the palace. That gives us fire coverage from orbit. Be aware that you're likely to hear a sound like phasers. I warn you now: it is not phasers, but a native insect. Ishtar troops tend to use disruptors for lethal effects and sonic stunners for nonlethal effects, as their technology level is generally below that of the Empire. Do you understand?" Everyone saluted except Jellico, who grumbled and said, "Let's get this over with. I'm missing my stories."
I joined the others on the platform and said, "Energize." A moment later, we were standing on the palace roof. 90 decibels of sound assaulted our ears, with the tone of a 20-kW phaser cannon. The sound came from the trees around us.
Jellico turned to me and bellowed, "What is that infernal racket?" I handed him a pair of communicator earplugs, and pulled out some for myself and the rest of the attack team. "The bugs are called gazam
, and they used to be a harmless insect. They haven't been for some time, not since my father altered them."
I briefed the group about the gazam
while we made our way out of the garden and into a rooftop atrium. The bugs had been herbivorous, appearing approximately every decade or so. (A local decade was approximately the same as 17 Terran years.) They had been noisy and harmless, and a nuisance only to orchard farmers. I outlined the changes my father had done to them: made them emerge from the ground yearly, changed the pitch and volume of their mating call, and bred into them some interesting instinctive behaviors.
As the door to the atrium shut, the sound cut off. I removed the earplugs from my ears, as did the others. "So, my father imported a batallion of mercenaries, armed them with phaser cannons, and set them loose to conquer. No one knew at first that there were attacks, because the attacks sounded like the gazam
. Also, the bugs tended to swarm at anyone firing a disruptor. They're harmless, but they made it difficult to fire...which made stopping anyone with a disruptor easier. Holding power after he captured it was easy, since he controlled the only phasers on Ishtar. When he was forced from power, all the phasers stopped receiving the deadman signal from the planetary computers, and each overloaded at about the same time. Devastating to the forces who had captured the phasers from the armory."
We found our way to an elevator, and headed down to the fifth floor, where the throne room was situated. Current Mood: chipper