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|Topic Started: Jul 4 2012, 06:41 PM (183 Views)|
|Post #1 Jul 4 2012, 06:41 PM||ocelotekatl|
For a reference to the characters appearing in this episode, see this post: Blue Heaven Bios
For a guide to the Nahuatl vocabulary used here, see these posts: Nahuatl Lexicon A-M, Nahuatl Lexicon N-Z
For more about the geography of the sector, see this post: Atlas of the Clouds
For reference about more general concepts within the story, see these two posts: Encyclopedia Magellanica 1: Things, Encyclopedia Magellanica 2: Races of Sector NGC-602
Season 6 Prologue
Chapter 8, Part 2
Edited by ocelotekatl, Jul 14 2012, 07:42 PM.
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #2 Jul 4 2012, 06:42 PM||ocelotekatl|
Season 6 Prologue
The territories formerly comprising the Coatl Alliance have been indelibly divided. On one side a much-reduced Coatl Alliance still looms. After the sudden death of its Huey-Tlatoani, Cuetlachtli, the Alliance finds itself in turmoil. Many fear for the Alliance’s future. Because Cuetlachtli was slain in combat by a non-Coatl, many see it as a sign that the teoti have abandoned them. The castes grow restless and begin to chafe at the noble caste’s inability to rule well. They desire change. In the midst of the chaos, Ohtli has been named Huey-Tlatoani. A popular leader from one of the Alliance’s most influential Houses, he may be the leader that the Alliance needs. Or the Alliance may be torn asunder by internal strife.
The recently-formed Coalition of Free Coatl Worlds have taken control of several former Alliance worlds and become a power to contend with. Tetotzomoc and Citlali have ruled wisely, promising that the Coalition’s leaders will be chosen by its people. In return for their magnanimity the people have chosen Tetotzomoc to be their Tlatoani and Citlali to be their Cihuatlatoani. But the Coalition is far from being stable. The Alliance’s military machine has been temporarily neutralized, but building a fleet to defend its territories has become a daunting task for the Coalition’s leaders. Also, the wars between the Veron hordes have spilled over into Coatl space, as Warlord Gevis and his clans occupy the now undefended Blackrock.
The Federation continues its policy of non-interference, even as the Alliance and Coalition wage war against each other. The personnel at Starbase 432 understands the threat recent changes pose for the security of the entire sector, but its command staff receives no support from Starfleet’s top brass at Copernicus City and San Francisco. They fear that they are doomed to watch idly as the Coatl destroy themselves.
The Klingon Empire continues to guard the Vornak Wormhole, and as relations between Federation and Empire grow stale, the Empire has made very difficult for Federation starships to enter or exit. Meanwhile, Grak’Go’Kor has profited greatly as the first port of call in Sector NGC-603.
The Icthians have begun building a fleet to defend the Blueworld’s borders, aiding Six Branch in its efforts to curtail piracy and trafficking of contraband. But the three cruisers currently in service are faced with two new challenges: a slaver operation that sells Icthian citizens to the Coatl, and an old villain newly armed with a B’Rel-class Bird of Prey.
So begins Season 6. Season 5 opens in early 2393, immediately after the events of Season 6. Mostly an ensemble cast, but these are the important players in Season 6:
Citlali, Fourth Daughter of Pimotl
Citlali knew since birth that she was born to greater things than being married off to a rich, noble oquichtli to seal a sweet deal for her House. Even as a child, she was much more cunning and devious than her sisters (a trait praised among the Coatl). She excelled in school, at athletics, and at hunting. When Auitzotl's poor management of the mining corp threatened to sully the name of House Tlazoteotl, she convinced her grandfather, Chimalpopoca, to send her to the Blueworld, as Auitzotl's assistant. When she saw the opportunity to become Overseer herself she took it, even when it meant blackmailing Chimalpopoca with exposing Auitzotl's misbehavior to the Council of Elders. She is convinced that she acted in the best interest of the House. When General Tixoc proved his incompetent, she took command of the Allied House Guard herself, against Tixoc's wishes. When the House Guard was overrun by the Icthian resistance movement, Tixoc was killed in action and Citlali was captured. She spent several days in a holding cell under the mines before escaping. Her freedom was short-lived, however. She took a bad fall while escaping the Icthians and was found by the Keff. She spent several days a "guest" of the Keff, consuming large quantities of the Spore. Unbeknownst to her at the time, the Spore has remarkable healing abilities in addition to being highly psychotropic. Having no use for her, the Keff dumped her unconscious body outside a different entrance to the caves, in the middle of the volcanic wasteland between the capital and Northpoint. She would have died of exposure if Auitzotl had not used the teaxkatili to find her. She spent several days in a regeneration tank and recovered fully. As soon as she had recovered, she retook command of the House Guard and made a final, unsuccessful attempt to eradicate the Icthian resistance from the caves. When the Klingons sent an invasion force to Blue Heaven, 13th Fleet was annihilated and the surface was overrun by Klingons. Most of her platoon was killed and she was captured. After a truce was negotiated, she and Auitzotl were sent back to crucible. Chimalpopoca held her responsible for the loss of the mining corp; to recoup this loss he has negotiated a very lucrative marriage contract with House Xochiquetzal. Citlali was devastated; she had no desire to be married off.
Citlali hatched a scheme to avoid being married off to Yoatl of House Xochiquetzal. She simultaneously recruited her sister Atzi to uncover anything suspicious about Yaotl, and began to drug the drinks of her grandfather's youngest wife, Auyacihuatl, with Gorn Redflower (a known aphrodisiac among reptilian species). Her motive in the latter was to drive a wedge between her own House and House Xochiquetzal (Auyacihuatl was originally from House Xochiquetzal and any sign of infidelity on her part would have caused irreparable darnage). With the clues gathered by Atzi and Auitzotl's observations, Citlali pieced together the real state of her House's affairs and why Chimalpopoca desperately needed to enter into the marriage contract, but also how in his haste to secure the lucrative contract Chimalpopoca had failed to investigate thoroughly the properties he'd be receiving in exchange. Two of these properties were nearly useless mines, with doctored production reports. Citlali brought this newfound evidence before House Tlazoteotl's board of directors, and with the help of her uncles Itzcoatl and Tetotzomoc, enacted a hostile takeover.
Her victory was short-lived. Citlali's oldest uncle, Qualpopoca, and her third uncle, Nochetl, made a contract with a clan of katsaktik assassins, paying them to eliminate Citlali, Itzcoatl, Tetotzomoc, and Auitzotl. It was Citlali's good fortune that Jethro Phoenix was visiting her cousin Auitzotl's quarters. Jethro eliminated six of the assassins singlehandedly and rescued Atzi, Citlali, and Citlali's servant Xochitl by pushing them into Citlali's wardrobe and closing the door behind them. He was almost overwhelmed by the assassins and would have passed out from blood loss without the aid of Tetotzomoc and Auitzotl. Jethro signaled the freighter Adelaida, where his partner Skrum beamed aboard Citlali, Atzi, Xochitl, Tetotzomoc, Auitzotl, and Jethro. The ship escaped to Uacalxochitl, where the fugitives hid out for a couple of weeks. It was during this time that Citlali confessed to Jethro that she loved him. He spurned her advances, telling her he didn't feel for her what she did for him. Citlali was devastated. She stopped speaking to Jethro for a brief while. Citlali contacted her sister Tlaltecuhtli to check on her shortly after the incident. The katsaktik assassins were able to trace her communicator's signal to Uacalxochitl, and shortly launched another attack. Jethro and Tetotzomoc left all the assassins dead, except for one. Before killing the last assassin, Tetotzomoc extracted the location of her clan's stronghold. From Uacalxochitl, the Adelaida journeyed to Tayanna II, to Tlaltecuhtli's estate. Here, Citlali honed her combat skills training with Tetotzomoc, Jethro, and Skrum. Her party departed Tayanna (leaving a highly disturbed Atzi behind in the care of Tlaltecuhtli), making straightaway for the assassins' hideout in the Quetzalcoatl belt. When challenged at gunpoint by Tetotzomoc and Jethro, and threatened with the obliteration of her entire clan, the Oldest Sister of the assassin clan was forced to rescind her contract against Citlali and her family. Depending heavily on the expertise of Jethro and Skrum, Citlali's party journeyed to Grak'Go'Kor to hire a small army of mercenaries. At the head of this army, Citlali stormed House Tlazoteotl's estate on Texcoco. Citlali found Qualpopoca and her father, Pimotl, cowering in the boardroom (Nochetl had long since fled). She would have killed them if Tetotzomoc hadn't intervened. She forced confessions out of both for their complicity in hiring the katsaktik and forced Qualpopoca to cede the Master's seat to her and Tetotzomoc. With Qualpopoca's cession, Citlali became Master by right of conquest, a title that couldn't be legally disputed by the Council of Elders. At the end of Season 2, Citlali and Tetotzomoc launched a dynamic plan to revitalize their struggling House.
Intent on absolving her family's debt with the Veron, Citlali journeyed to Xaltocan, accompanied by Teuch, Adelaida Gamez, and Keeve. She cited vacation as the main purpose of her voyage, but she also went with the intention to gather clues as to the whereabouts of her wayward uncle, Nochetl. She met with Kenthriss the Messenger, servant of Warlord Gevis. Kenthriss told Citlali that her uncle had taken up residence on Hawkbeak under the assumed name Tepetl. During the return trip, she got into a physical confrontation with Adelaida about Adelaida's relationship with Teuch. The two came to blows, but have since patched things up, forming an even stronger friendship.
Shortly after her arrival on Crucible, she, Tetotzomoc, and Auitzotl were charged with treason and heresy and brought before the Council of Elders to answer for their crimes. Cuetlachtli, Huey-Tlatoani of the Allied Houses, ordered their execution after being taunted and called a coward by Tetotzomoc. Unwilling to go meekly to their deaths, the three were beamed out of the council chamber by Adelaida. After a hasty withdrawal from Crucible on the Xipe Totec, they rendezvoused with the Mixcoatl on Tayanna II. Unwilling to accept defeat, Cuetlachtli ordered a battle group from the Eighth Fleet to engage House Tlazoteotl's vastly superior ships. All but one of the Eighth Fleet ships were destroyed. After their overwhelming victory, Citlali and Tetotzomoc declared House Tlazoteotl and by proxy the Tayanna system independent of the Coatl Alliance.
As a second invasion fleet, headed by Brigadier Motecuzoma, drew near Tayanna, Citlali received unexpected aid in the form of a fleet of gliders commanded by Eldest Sister and the remnants of the Tekuantlakamayetl clan of katsaktik. Their aid was welcomed, but ultimately proved unnecessary. Before the fleets engaged, Citlali spoke to Brigadier Motecuzoma and convinced him that he would be sacrificing himself and all those under his command for nothing. She revealed to him how his superiors had set him up to take the fall for them; this seemed to open Motecuzoma's eyes and he stood down and surrendered.
At the victory celebration that evening, Citlali got drunk and had a fling with Coyotl, a common-caste soldier and former bard. She regretted her decision in the morning, but came to the realization that being in a position of great power wouldn't allow her much in the way of a personal life. Not long after this, she and the other leaders of the rebellion were contacted by the Overseers of Xaltocan. The Xaltocanese requested an ambassador be sent; they desired to form an alliance with the Tayanna system. A solid alliance was indeed forged, and Citlali and Tetotzomoc officially declared the formation of the Coalition of Free Coatl Worlds.
Immediately after the official announcement, Citlali was there to witness the marriage of her cousin Auitzotl to Omixochitl, and of her cousin Teuch to Adelaida. At the close of Season 4, Ixtlilxochitl and Tlacamana petitioned the Alliance to become member worlds.
With the Coatl Alliance scheming to build a massive shipyard at the Quetzalcoatl Belt, the security of the fledgling Coalition was threatened. Citlali and Tetotzomoc began to devise a plan to destroy Quetzalcoatl Yards before it began to build a massive invasion fleet. Eldest Sister suggested that the Tekuantlakamayetl knew the Quetzalcoatl belt better than anyone, and Citlali decided that the gliders that they flew would be fast and maneuverable enough to get close to the shipyard and eliminate it.
While she was viewing the applications of two member systems to be inducted into the Coalition, she was startled by the sudden arrival of Warlord Gevis (a Veron leader and Kenthriss’s master). He arrived with a small retinue that included her treacherous uncle Nochetl. She was disappointed that he still lived, but took comfort in the fact that he had endured much torture and humiliation at the hands of the Veron. Gevis called on House Tlazoteotl’s debt to him, and demanded that Citlali and Tetotzomoc aid him in his struggle against Red Sil, an old enemy of his clan. Citlali and Tetotzomoc stalled, admitting that they didn’t have the ships or crews to get involved in the external conflict, and offering Gevis and his retinue hospitality in the interim.
Citlali was repulsed by Gevis’s coarseness, but on a baser level she found something attractive about him. During his stay, Citlali gave him passionate a night he wouldn’t soon forget.
Eventually growing tired of Citlali’s stalling, Gevis and his party left, frustrated. He felt slighted by that his request had been refused, but understood that House Tlazoteotl was in no position to help him.
After her uninvited guests had departed, the plans for battle went ahead. Citlali visited the staging area on Tayanna where the Tekuantlakamayetl pilots awaited. She thanked them for their sacrifice (knowing that it would be a suicide mission) and promised a better life for all the katsaktik who remained behind in the coalition.
With the acceptance of the Oxolotan and Tzompanco systems into the Coalition, the delegates of the six systems chose Citlali to be their Cihuatlatoani. She received a facial tattoo that would mark her forever as the Coalition’s leader and agreed only to accept such a huge responsibility if the delegates accepted her unanimously. She was dumbfounded by their overwhelming support.
After she assumed her charge, she received a hail from Gevis. His clans, unable to defend Hawkbeak, had withdrawn from Veron space and occupied Hawkbeak.
As Season 6 begins, Citlali finds herself at the helm of a new nation. Her own people love her, and refugees from former Alliance territories enter the Coalition’s systems in record numbers. Even so, the coalition is in a difficult position; on one side, the Coatl Alliance has a new leader who may yet seek to quash the Coalition permanently. On the other is an unpredictable horde of Veron; while Gevis may be her ally, he is just as likely to be her enemy.
Auitzotl, Second Son of Texcoyo
Auitzotl lived the first 34 xiuitl of his life without a care in the world. The typical spoiled scion of a Coatl noble house, after several foul-ups at home he was sent to the Blueworld as Overseer of his House's mining corp in hopes that the new responsibility would straighten him out. It had the opposite effect; he used his newfound operating capital to throw lavish parties, and his newfound power to manipulate Icthian women into bed with him. While the miners may have had an easier time under Auitzotl's tenure than under the previous Overseer's, the same can't be said for their wives and daughters. When his scandals threatened to ruin the House's reputation, his Master and Grandfather, Chimalpopoca, reluctantly sent his cousin Citlali to watch over the mining corp as his personal assistant. He continued to live his libertine lifestyle, with a bit more moderation, until Citlali reached a breaking point. She returned to Crucible and threatened to expose the House's dirty little secret to the Council of Elders unless Auitzotl was recalled as Overseer and she were appointed in his place. Her blackmail attempt was successful, as Auitzotl was recalled to Crucible. After Citlali was captured by the Sons of Keff, Chimalpopoca hired the services of Omixochitl, an Adept of Uacalxochitl Cloister (a telepath), and sent her and Auitzotl to find Citlali, promising Auitzotl that if he succeeded that all his trespasses would be forgiven. Auitzotl immediately fell in love with Omixochitl; as he has a bit of the teaxkatili himself, he was stricken both by her beauty and her clarity of thought. The transformation in him was extreme and immediate. After rescuing Citlali, Auitzotl contacted Chimalpopoca to let him know he had completed his assignment and that Citlali was well. Chimalpopoca rescinded his offer and let Auitzotl fend for himself, unemployed. As Omixochitl prepared to leave the Blueworld, Auitzotl let her know his true feelings, she responded by letting him know that she felt the same, and that she'd felt it since the moment she laid eyes on him. As soon as Citlali had recovered, she became obsessed with eradicating the Sons of Keff. Against Auitzotl's admonishment, she led a platoon of the Allied House Guard down into the lower caverns. She was injured in action and Auitzotl pulled her out of the firefight. He witnessed the wound rapidly close itself and it became apparent to him why Citlali could breathe the oxygen-rich air without a rebreather: she had acquired an accelerated healing factor. After a second platoon failed to arrive to re-enforce Citlali's platoon, Citlali rallied prepared to rally the troops for one final charge against the Sons of Keff, against Auitzotl's wishes. Before she could take this extreme measure, most of the platoon was slaughtered by Klingons and he and Citlali were captured. After a truce was negotiated between the Empire and the Alliance, Citlali and Auitzotl were returned to Crucible. Needless to say, Chimalpopoca wasn't very pleased to see them. He blamed the loss of the mining corp on Auitzotl and Citlali. As punishment, he confiscated Auitzotl's holdings in the family business interests and forced him to work the next 35 xiuitl as an indentured servant to his father, Texcoyo, to pay off his debt.
Auitzotl began to gather as much information as he could about his House from attending board meetings. He used the teaxkatili on Chimalpopoca and discovered that Chimalpopoca was driving the house into debt and that the marriage contract he'd drawn up between Citlali and Yaotl of House Xochiquetzal was a vain attempt to recoup some of the heavy losses the House had suffered. Auitzotl gave this information to Citlali; she used it to stage a hostile takeover of House Tlazoteotl. It was also during this period that Auitzotl fell into alcoholism, depressed about his current state and madly obsessed with Omixochitl, a masuekatili-caste cihuatl he'd become enamored with. His performance at the board meetings became sporadic, and Citlali began to chastise him about his alcohol abuse. He also began to receive unwanted advances from Auyacihuatl, his grandfather's second wife. When he rebuffed her, she became more and more insistent; unknown to Auitzotl, her ardor was fueled by Gorn Redflower. After he rebuffed her a final time, she hung herself.
When assassins attacked the estate, Auitzotl felt them coming using the teaxkatili and knocked Jethro down to the ground, saving his life. He helped his uncle Tetotzomoc defend the House from assassins, rushing to Citlali's room to check on her. Skrum beamed the survivors onto the Adelaida, and they escaped for Uacalxochitl. On Uacalxochitl, Auitzotl was finally reunited with Omixochitl. He immediately stopped drinking and his spirits improved greatly. He asked the Abbess's permission to marry Omixochitl, the Abbess (herself Omixochitl's great-aunt) allowed Auitzotl to take Omixochitl with him, but advised that for the two legally marry, they would need to obtain a special dispensation from the tlachixki (the marriage of two people from different castes is prohibited by the Nauatili). Omixochitl willingly left with Auitzotl.
After House Tlazoteotl had been recaptured by Citlali and Tetotzomoc's mercenaries, Auitzotl and Omixochitl sought out Way Brother Pizotzin, a tlachixki of the lowest order and confessor of Auitzotl as well as his father and brother. Auitzotl made Pizotzin promise he'd call to order a conclave of the Hierophants to rule on Auitzotl and Omixochitl's union.
Auitzotl was finally given the opportunity of an audience with a Conclave of Hierophants, chaired by the Arch-Hierophant herself. It did little good; the Arch-Hierophant dismissed his case outright. (It was around this time when his children were born) Auitzotl retaliated with a scathing one-on-one interview with Adarn Johannes; he lambasted the tlachixki in general and the shortsightedness of the College of Coyoacan in particular. His voice was heard by the castes, many began to doubt the absolute irrefutability of the words of College's leaders. The Arch-Hierophant sent Way Brother Pizotzin to Auitzotl to present him a choice: either apologize publicly and retract his words or be excommunicated. Auitzotl insulted Pizotzin's spinelessness and reluctantly accepted excommunication. After his cousin Citlali returned from Xaltocan, he was summoned before the Council of Elders to answer for heresy. Before he, Citlali, and Tetotzomoc could be put to death, they beamed out of the council chambers onto the Quinceañera. After a hasty retreat to Tayanna II, he made a stand with other members of House Tlazoteotl against Beta Group of the Eighth Fleet. The House Guard was routed; only one of their ships escaped annihilation. After Tayanna II was declared independent, Auitzotl and his father and brother were charged with the enormous task of creating the framework of a provisional government.
With the aid of his father and brother, Auitzotl completed the charter in very little time, but his efforts seemed like an excursive in futility as a fleet Commanded by Brigadier Motecuzoma Drew closer to Tayanna. Auitzotl expressed no small surprise when Citlali convinced the entire fleet to stand down and surrender without a shot being fired. At the victory celebration afterwards, Skrum and Xochitl arrived unannounced and presented Auitzotl with an old tome written in an ancient script. Unable to decipher the tome, Auitzotl requested the aid of Abbess Nopalxochitl. The Abbess completed the translation but warned Auitzotl that its contents could tear the Alliance asunder. After reading the translation, Auitzotl set up a meeting with Tlilocapantin and broadcast its message to the people of Tayanna.
Auitzotl has spent most of his remaining time since travelling the Coalition, bringing his message of defiance from city to city, from world to world. He has no further desire to lead; he seems content to empower the castes with his revelations. At the end of Season 5, he found out that Omixochitl is pregnant again, and that he is to be a father for a second time.
Jethro's an ol' boy from Rigel VII. Life most Rigelians, he's received genetic modifications to survive in the lower gravity. In his lifetime he's worn many hats: smuggler, bounty hunter, arms merchant, pirate, mercenary, and assassin. Most of the time, he ends up on the wrong side of the law. His partner and best friend is Skrum, a Ferengi who's equally ruthless. Here lately, they've adopted the tactic of shaking down their clients just when a deal's about to be sealed, usually it works in their favor. Aside from latinum, Jethro has one other primary interest: females. He takes them whenever and wherever he can find them; with his rugged good looks and rock-hard physique this is more often than not. He almost always carries a razor-sharp tik'leth under his duster and a D'K'Tahg in each boot, and he knows how to use them. Getting in a knife-fight with Jethro is a very bad idea.
During the Battle of Blue Heaven, Jethro and Skrum kept the Icthians supplied with weapons, for a healthy profit. After a peace was forged between the Coatl and Icthians, they began to run Klingon Bloodwine to crucible. Jethro and Skrum became a go-to for smuggling contraband onto Crucible. Auitzotl became a good customer and it was through him that Jethro met Citlali. They arranged a meeting and engaged in a tryst. It was also during one of these Bloodwine runs that they were detained by Six Branch. Jethro managed to get the pair out of doing stockade time by seducing Commander Dierdre O'Sullivan, but she still confiscated the Glittering Gem. With the last of Skrum's savings, they bought the freighter Adelaida.
Citlali's House came under attack by assassins, hired by her uncles to eliminate her. By chance, Jethro was sealing a deal with Auitzotl when the attack started. He managed to rescue Citlali, her uncle Tetotzomoc, her sister Atzi, and Xochitl. They fled the scene and hid on Uacalxochitl until the assassins found them again. During their time in hiding, Jethro and Citlali had several more encounters, but ultimately broke it off. After a brief stop on Tayanna, Jethro and Tetotzomoc located the assassin clan's base and threatened to destroy it if the contract on the lives of Citlali's family wasn't terminated immediately. With no other choice, the leader of the assassins acquiesced.
With the immediate threat removed, Jethro took Citlali and her family to Grak'Go'Kor, where Citlali proceeded to hire an army of mercenaries. Returning to Crucible, they struck quickly and retook the family estate. Only Citlali's uncle Nochetl managed to escape.
After Citlali was successfully restored to House Tlazoteotl, Jethro returned to Grak'Go'Kor and proceeded to squander his oceloti on Bloodwine and fast women. Skrum bought him out of his share their operation; he was replaced by Xochitl. After Reva was assaulted, Jethro pulled himself together and began to wage a one-man war against the Hand of the Deep. While he won't admit it openly, the only woman he's ever had real feelings for is Reva, and he hates himself for hurting her.
Jethro hunted the Hand of the Deep relentlessly, killing off several of their members. One of the Hand's captains, Mariko (herself an assassin of no little skill), decided to take the offensive and bring the fight to Jethro. He thwarted her efforts several times. Jethro's old rival Oomosh and Borum, another Hand captain, lured Jethro into a trap by kidnapping Reva. It ended poorly; Oomosh managed to escape, Reva's throat was slit, and Jethro lopped off Borum's head. Jethro carried her in his arms to the infirmary; she lost a lot of blood and was in critical condition when he arrived. While waiting for Reva to recover, he faced down Mariko in the infirmary. Mariko, distraught over the loss of her beloved Cecily, begged Jethro to kill her. Jethro, disgusted, denied her; he told her she was responsible for the mess that got Cecily killed and she had to deal with it herself.
Realizing Station Security was closing in on him, Jethro decided to flee Grak’Go’Kor in a stolen Orion Syndicate ship. Mariko entered the ship as he was ready to depart, begging him to take her with him. Jethro reluctantly agreed, but offered her only hostility for the duration of the trip. Arriving at Deep Space K7, Jethro tried to fence off the ship to a Ferengi criminal. The Ferengi, Turot, recognized him and knew there was a sizeable bounty on him. Turot and his gang drugged Jethro’s drink, and then tried to take him unawares. Mariko, who had been following them from a distance, foiled Turot’s plans, killing one of his bodyguards and causing the other to flee. At gunpoint, Turot agreed to trade the stolen freighter for a Ferengi shuttle and a large amount of latinum.
Realizing that he probably wouldn’t have survived without Mariko’s intervention, Jethro decided to forgive her. They reconciled their differences and ended up sleeping together. That night, two assassins entered their quarters on K7 unannounced and tried to eliminate them. Jethro and Mariko managed to survive by being just a little faster than the assassins. Realizing their lives were in danger, they departed the station immediately.
After successfully evading several Six Branch patrols, Jethro’s shuttle was apprehended by Admiral Quautlehuantzin, of the House Guard. Jethro and Mariko were taken prisoner and held in cells under the Spire of Order to await public execution. Several days later, they were brought forth into the Council of Elders’ great chamber, where Cuetlachtli was to behead them himself. Jethro provoked Cuetlachtli into a duel, knowing that it was his best chance of survival. After a long, bloody fight, Jethro cut Cuetlachtli down. With Mariko’s help, he killed both of the security guards holding them captive and Admiral Quautlehuantzin in a matter of seconds. At gunpoint, Jethro demanded that the Council return his shuttle so that he could be on his way. Ohtli threatened to call more security; Jethro countered that by the time more security arrived, every Elder in the room would be dead. Faced with no other choice, Ohtli allowed Jethro and Mariko to escape.
After the ordeal, Jethro and Mariko decided to return to Starbase 432, as it was no longer safe travelling through Alliance territory.
Many of the common caste on Crucible view Jethro as the rightful Huey-Tlatoani of the Alliance. He did, after all, defeat Cuetlachtli in individual combat. He has become something of a folk hero to the castes. His future plans are uncertain; Jethro goes where his fate takes him.
Commander Dorothy MacKenzie Evans
First officer of Starbase 432 and a veteran of the Battle of Blue Heaven. Dorothy led Starfleet and Icthian resistance fighters in the subterranean caves from the initial engagement with the Coatl until a Klingon relief effort was mounted. She has the respect and trust of her entire staff.
When Ghosan was called in to Officer's Candidate School, he ended their long relationship. Heartbroken, Dorothy moved back to Starbase 432. As if by coincidence, an old flame, Lieutenant Commander Rocco Lombardi, was transferred to the starbase at about the same time. Before long, they'd picked up where they left off. After two months of trying to convince Rocco that she needed more out of their relationship, she caught Rocco cheating with another officer, Lt. Janet Olsen. She immediately broke it off with him.
At the end of Season 5, Dorothy received a hail from a distraught Ghosan; he explained the fate of the slaves who had been taken by the Reelo to her, asking for her help. Dorothy said that she would do what she could.
A simple miner, Ghosan was gifted with a very charismatic personality and strong moral fortitude. Weary of abuses by the Coatl, he formed a resistance movement, the Sons of Keff, to drive the Coatl off the Blueworld. After the initial engagement with the Coatl, he led his soldiers into the caves below the mines and kept them alive until the Klingons arrived to liberate Blue Heaven. The battle over, he declared himself First minister of the provisional government. He fared well for a time, focusing on a permanent constitution and reconstruction efforts. But his efforts were frustrated by the power-hungry Minister Shay. Eventually she forced his hand and he resigned, appointing Yiria as his replacement.
When he entered OCS to train as an officer in the new Icthian fleet, another recruit, Dhiraya, immediately began to insinuate herself to him. Sore from his recent breakup with Dorothy, Ghosan initially rebuffed her. Finally, at her insistence, he caved and they had a brief affair. Dhiraya ended it when she realized she was only a surrogate and that Ghosan wasn't truly over Dorothy.
After completing his training at OCS, Ghosan was given command of the Yellowtail, the first light cruiser in the new Icthian fleet. On her maiden voyage, the Yellowtail responded to a distress call from the freighter Reelo. After the Yellowtail’s engineering crews completed the repairs, the Reelo continued on its course. Ghosan began work on an incident report, but was confronted by Minesi, one of the reporters sent to cover the Yellowtail’s commissioning ceremony, in his ready room. Minesi wanted to know what had really happened with the Reelo. Ghosan began to argue with her, but was strangely attracted to her, and they ended up having sex. Kesmera, the Yellowtail’s first officer, caught them at it in the ready room. Kesmera announced that they had been duped; the Reelo was actually a slave ship, selling Icthians to House Xochipilli.
Ghosan ordered his crew to set an intercept course to try to overtake the Reelo, but she had already gained too much distance. The Reelo crossed into Coatl space. Ghosan gave the order to follow, and the Yellowtail almost exchanged fire with a House Guard cruiser before Ghosan was ordered back by Admiral Beychala.
After a severe dressing down, Ghosan was ordered to travel to Blacksea Station, to investigate the kidnapping of Noni’s son, Kheblush.
Tetotzomoc, Fifth Son of Chimalpopoca
Tetotzomoc is no typical noble-born Coatl. He despises the current system and chafes under it.
Tetotzomoc has a strong military background and believes strongly in the integrity of the Coatl people. He is opposed to the current regime and power structure. Tetot isn't gifted at public relations, as his late brother Itzcoatl was, nor is he good at corporate strategy, like Nochetl. Unlike his brother Pimotl, he has no head for numbers. What Tetotzomoc excels in is military command.
Tetotzomoc has formed tight bonds with his family and friends. He's especially close to Citlali; he loves her like a daughter and has taken her under his wing. While nominally they're equals, in difficult situations, Citlali often defers to Tetot's wisdom. He's haunted by the death of his wife, Malina, who he loved dearly, and of his daughter Quimichetl, who he doted on. His youngest daughters, Eloxochitl and Toci, are under the governance of his niece Tlaltecuhtli on Tayanna III, but he communicates with them regularly. He's proud of his son Teuch, and considers the opportunity to work directly with him a blessing. He has also befriended several of the mercenaries he hired to help retake his house; Skrum in particular has become his close friend.
Before becoming chief of distribution for House Tlazoteotl's board of directors, he served in the tliloceloti, an elite division of the Allied House Guard. He served with distinction and was decorated several times. On his final mission, he was given an order by his superiors to release a bio-weapon against the Veron, an order which he agreed to reluctantly. While flying over Hawkbeak to the deployment site, his fighter was shot down by a Veron mortar. He was held captive by the Veron and tortured for three weeks before killing three of his captors bare-handed and escaping. This experience transformed him; he developed an intense loathing for the Veron, as well as for the military elite of the Allied House Guard.
He served as chief of distribution for his House for nearly xiuiti. Because of his low birth rank, he had no real power and only a very small personal stipend. It was during this time that he married Malina of House Huehueteotl and fathered Teuch, Quimichetl and his two youngest daughters. He watched slowly, helplessly, as his once-great house was driven to ruin by poor management and foolish decisions. When Citlali hatched a scheme to remove Chimalpopoca from the Master's seat, Tetotzomoc became her willing accomplice.
Shortly after Itzcoatl and Tetotzomoc were (nominally) declared co-Masters, Qualpopoca and Nochetl hired a clan of katsaktik assassins to eliminate them. As the attack began, Tetotzomoc's old instincts kicked in; he killed three assassins that had been sent to his quarters in search of him, but he was too late to save Malina and Quimichetl. He and Auitzotl rushed to Citlali's quarters to make sure she was safe; they found Jethro engaged in a deadly battle with several assassins. Tetotzomoc helped him finish off the remaining assassins and they beamed away onto the Adelaida. The fugitives fled to Uacalxochitl and hid out there for about three weeks before another group of assassins launched an attack. Tetotzomoc and Jethro were prepared for them and slaughtered them all, but not before Tetotzomoc could extract the location of the assassins' stronghold. The fugitives soon departed Uacalxochitl for Tayanna III. En route, the Adelaida was attacked by an assassin fighter. Tetotzomoc and Skrum worked together to destroy their attacker. After arriving at Tayanna III, Tetotzomoc insisted that Citlali develop her combat skills. He showed her how to wield a maquahuitl, and had her train with Jethro and Skrum. He insisted that these skills would be vital to her in the future. After several weeks at Tlaltecuhtli's estate on Tayanna II, the fugitives departed for the Quetzalcoatl system. In the Quetzalcoatl asteroid belt, Tetotzomoc and Jethro threatened the Eldest Sister of the katsaktik clan directly, forcing her to rescind the contract Qualpopoca had placed on his party or face the annihilation of her clan. The Eldest Sister stood down. It was the first time in the clan's 500-year history that a contract had been rescinded. From then on, the katsaktik held Tetotzomoc in awe.
After this, the Adelaida journeyed to Grak’Go’Kor, where Citlali contracted a small army of hired guns to storm House Tlazoteotl's estate on Crucible. Tetotzomoc and Skrum led the attack on the north gate of the estate and eliminated the hired security there. Citlali charged into the boardroom and would have shot and killed Qualpopoca and Pimotl if Tetotzomoc hadn't stopped her. He convinced her that she'd do better to see justice done.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Tetotzomoc assumed the Master's seat, along with Citlali. He implemented a dynamic plan to upgrade the Coatl navy; with the cooperation of Noni and the engineers at the Blacksea Project, the slow process of converting the ships to warp drive began. As Blacksea Station was the only facility with this capability, the Council of Elders became heavily dependent on the Icthians for this service, and on House Tlazoteotl as a liaison with them. In a short time, House Tlazoteotl's fortunes were reversed and Tetotzomoc began to discuss the development of another project with Noni.
After Citlali returned to Crucible from her voyage to Xaltocan, she, Tetotzomoc, and Auitzotl were charged with treason and heresy and brought before the Council of Elders to answer for their crimes. Cuetlachtli, Huey-Tlatoani of the Allied Houses, ordered their execution after being taunted and called a coward by Tetotzomoc. Unwilling to go meekly to their deaths, the three were beamed out of the council chamber by Adelaida. After a hasty withdrawal from Crucible on the Xipe Totec, they rendezvoused with the Mixcoatl on Tayanna II. Unwilling to accept defeat, Cuetlachtli ordered a battle group from the Eighth Fleet to engage House Tlazoteotl's vastly superior ships. All but one of the Eighth Fleet ships were destroyed. After their overwhelming victory, Citlali and Tetotzomoc declared House Tlazoteotl and by proxy the Tayanna system independent of the Coatl Alliance.
As a second invasion fleet, headed by Brigadier Motecuzoma, drew near Tayanna, the rebellion received unexpected aid in the form of a fleet of gliders commanded by Eldest Sister and the remnants of the Tekuantlakamayetl clan. Their aid was welcomed, but ultimately proved unnecessary. Tetotzomoc tried to reason with Motecuzoma to no avail. Before the fleets engaged, Citlali spoke to Motecuzoma and convinced him that he would be sacrificing himself and all those under his command for nothing. The Brigadier's eyes were opened and he surrendered the fleet's access codes to Tetotzomoc.
At the victory celebration that evening, a strange Vulcan named T'Mer requested an audience with Tetotzomoc. Shortly after this, Tetotzomoc and the other leaders of the rebellion were contacted by the Overseers of Xaltocan. The Xaltocanese requested an ambassador be sent; they desired to form an alliance with the Tayanna system. A solid alliance was indeed forged, and Citlali and Tetotzomoc officially declared the formation of the Coalition of Free Coatl Worlds.
Immediately after the official announcement, Tetotzomoc was there to witness the marriage of his nephew Auitzotl to Omixochitl, and of his son Teuch to Adelaida. At the close of Season 4, Ixtlilxochitl and Tlacamana petitioned the Alliance to become member worlds.
When he finally had the opportunity to speak to T'Mer, she made her intentions clear; she wanted to join his cause. She proposed the construction of a massive shipyard. This may be just the tactical advantage that gives Tetot an edge over the House guard fleet.
With the Coatl Alliance scheming to build a massive shipyard at the Quetzalcoatl Belt, the security of the fledgling Coalition was threatened. Citlali and Tetotzomoc began to devise a plan to destroy Quetzalcoatl Yards before it began to build a massive invasion fleet. Eldest Sister suggested that the Tekuantlakamayetl knew the Quetzalcoatl belt better than anyone, and Citlali decided that the gliders that they flew would be fast and maneuverable enough to get close to the shipyard and eliminate it. Tetotzomoc contacted his old friends Skrum and Xochitl and had them procure the liquid tetralithium the gliders used for fuel.
Shortly after reviewing the applications of two new member systems, Tzompanco and Oxolotan, into the Coalition, Tetotzomoc was surprised by the arrival of Warlord Gevis and his retinue. Tetotzomoc and Citlali offered the Veron their hospitality, allowing the Veron to stay in the Governor’s Manse while Cit and he heard their petition. When Gevis asked for aid in his clan’s struggle against Red Sil’s horde, Tetotzomoc and Citlali had no choice but to deny him; to do otherwise would have left the Coalition defenseless against an Alliance attack. Finally frustrated by so much stalling, Gevis left frustrated.
After Quetzalcoatl Yards had been destroyed, Tetotzomoc was confronted by Adelaida. She was furious that Tetotzomoc hadn’t informed her that the katsaktik she had protected were on a suicide mission. Tetotzomoc countered that he hadn’t informed her precisely because if she had known she would have aborted the mission. This incident created a rift between them.
With the acceptance of the Oxolotan and Tzompanco systems into the Coalition, the delegates of the six systems chose Tetotzomoc to be their Tlatoani. He received a facial tattoo that would mark him forever as the Coalition’s leader and agreed only to accept such a huge responsibility if the delegates accepted him unanimously. He was dumbfounded by their overwhelming support.
Tetotzomoc faces new challenges, both from his family and in governing the Coalition. His growing feelings for T’Mer have thus far been unrequited, and he has estranged his son and daughter-in-law. He also faces the challenge of defending the Coalition from a takeover by the Coatl, and it is still unknown whether the Veron clans occupying Blackrock will be allies or enemies.
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #3 Jul 5 2012, 05:14 PM||ocelotekatl|
Chapter 1, Noni
I’ve lost count of how many times over the last two standard days, overwhelmed with grief, I’ve stopped everything that I’m doing and burst into tears.
The irony of it all. I spent a third of my life as the unwilling concubine of Auitzotl, a scion of House Tlazoteotl. My innocence was stolen early, and I suffered his abuses because I had to. After the Battle of Blue Heaven, the Blueworld became truly free and I rebuilt my life. I studied engineering and applied my knowledge to create Blacksea Station, a shipyard responsible first for retrofitting Coatl civilian shuttles with Warp drives, and then for building the Icthian fleet. I finally had something good in my life.
With these changes came Kheblush. I was bonded to Zorno right after the battle, and things progressed quickly from there. I became pregnant and gave birth. While my relationship with Zorno grew staler with time, Kheblush has been a constant in my life since the day he was born.
And then, just like that, Oomosh kidnapped him and my entire world fell apart. I try to have faith in Blue Heaven Defense Fleet. I hope and pray to the Deep that they’ll find Kheblush and return him safely to me. But there are times when I just can’t deal with it.
My computer chimes, indicating I have an incoming call. I patch it through without verifying its origin, and immediately regret it.
“It’s about time you responded to my hails.”
“Now isn’t the best time, Zorno. What is it you want?”
“I don’t care. Have they found my son yet?”
“He’s my son as well. I gave birth to him. The fleet is doing everything in its power. They’ll find him.”
“It’s that simple for you, isn’t it? I haven’t seen him since Ebbtide. You kept him from me. Now I may never see him again. I hold you responsible.”
“Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but I’ve been working my tail off, building a defense fleet to keep the Blueworld safe. The ships searching for Kheblush are the ones I designed and put into space. Meanwhile, you’re errand-boy for a petty bureaucrat. There’s nothing stopping you from dropping what you’re doing and taking a darn shuttle out here to see your son.”
“I’m personal assistant to the Minister of Commerce. You think that’s somehow less important than what you do? Don’t make me laugh.”
“Will that be all, Zorno?” I repeat. “I really don’t have time for this. If all you’re going to do is hurl accusations about how I never allow you to see Kheblush, don’t bother hailing me again. Noni out.”
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #4 Jul 6 2012, 06:47 PM||ocelotekatl|
Chapter 2, Ghosan
After a double shift by the science teams of both Yellowtail and Barbfin, the probes are ready for deployment. Configured to scan for even the most minimal traces of anti-protons, the probes depart on their preset courses. If the Deep’s Hand is cloaked anywhere in the vicinity, the fleet will be alerted.
I hail the Barbfin. “That’s the last of them, Captain.” Pulling off nonchalance when speaking to Dhiraya has become a challenge; like it or not, I still have feelings for her. “Thank you for your assistance. The probes will be able to sweep the major shipping lanes more effectively than our ship by itself.”
“Think nothing of it, Captain. We’re happy to be of service. What’s the next step?”
“My orders are to patrol between Blue Heaven and Grak’Go’Kor. My priority is locating the Deep’s Hand and rescue the kidnapped child. They’ve taken Yellowtail off of the search for the Reelo. Admiral Beychala fears that it might have become personal for me.”
“That’s not to say that Barbfin can’t detain the freighter. If we see any sign of her, you’ll be the first to know.”
“I’d consider it a personal favor. Remember, malfunctioning JVOK and NPOK generators emit very trace amounts of Epsilon radiation. Easy enough to detect if you’re actively looking for it.”
“Understood. It seems we both have our work cut out for us. Good hunting, Captain.”
“And you, Captain. Yellowtail out/”
Kesmera smiles wryly. “So… you and Captain Dhiraya?”
“Yes. I thought you knew.”
“I suspected it, but I wasn’t sure. What happened?”
“Typical starship romance, except not on a starship. We met at OCS. It was strictly physical; neither of us was looking for more than that. It lasted all of three weeks.”
“What else could you have expected? You knew that once you’d both graduated from OCS, you’d be given separate commands.”
“That, and at the time, I still wasn’t over Dorothy.”
“Dorothy? The human?”
“Commander Evans. First officer at Starbase 432.”
“Right. She broke your heart?”
“I was the one who broke it off. My training. It would never have worked anyway. The tides just weren’t right for it. You’ve suddenly developed an acute interest in my personal life, Commander.”
“Just trying to see what makes you tick. We’re going to be working together for a long time. Why not be friends?”
“What about you, Kes? Has there ever been anyone special?”
“Heh heh. A couple of times. I grew up in Vedit Ridge, a small fishing village about fifty kilometers south of Grayreach. As a girl, I had a few childhood crushes. Only one ever got serious.”
“His family moved away. He went off to Blue Shoals with them. I never saw him again.”
“Tragic. Why didn’t you seek him out?”
“I moved to Grayreach, got an education, and went straight to the mines. There’s not much to tell between then and the time my resistance cell liberated Grayreach.”
“And what made you want to join the Fleet so badly?”
“Adventure. Vedit Ridge was all I really knew of the Blueworld before I went off to Grayreach. I’ve always longed to see what else is out there. When the chance came to explore space, I jumped at it.”
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #5 Jul 7 2012, 07:35 PM||ocelotekatl|
Chapter 3, Kobar
The courtroom is austere, and steeped in tradition. Many of Starfleet’s most famous court martials have taken place here. While I was at first entered, I was taken aback by its simple beauty.
As the trial has stretched from days into weeks, I’ve grown used to the somberness. For the most part, I’ve occupied the gallery, along with many of the Surak’s crew.
As Captain Oquendo and Lieutenant Goshawk were called to deliver their testimony, the circumstances surrounding Sholevan’s arrest were made clear. The case against him is strong, and even with good defenders, his chances of being acquitted are slim.
The prosecution team has finally called me to the stand. The team leader, a fiery-haired Bajoran Lieutenant by the name of Koral Bennya, begins to grill me.
“Mr. Latha, you were one of Mr. Ch’Dethrevia’s arresting officers, were you not?”
“Now remind the court again: what was he arrested for?”
“General Order 19. Specifically, he and his associates were taking bribes from freighter captains they were supposed to have been protecting in exchange for allowing them to pass with contraband.”
“Can you tell me precisely what happened on Stardate 68813.23?”
“With the help of my team and two security officers from Starbase 432, we apprehended Mr. Ch’Dethrevia and his team in the middle of one such exchange with a Trill named Jerek.”
“And do you have anything further to add?”
“Only that Mr. Ch’Dethrevia’s conduct while captive on the Sssuras was nothing short of heroic. Many of the crew owe their lives to his efforts. He…”
Lt. Koral interrupts me. “These proceedings are about Mr. Ch’Dethrevia’s illicit activities while on the U.S.S. Guardian, not about the events that happened after.”
“I understand. I’m only asking that you consider his conduct after his capture in your sentencing. He…”
The judge, Admiral Them chim Xerat, is a female Tellarite cut from the same cloth as Lieutenant Koral. “Mr. Latha, you will only answer the questions you are asked. Don’t presume to dictate to me how I should deliver sentencing. Is that understood?”
“Yes, ma’am.”, I respond. Then, “No, Lieutenant, I have nothing further to add.”
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #6 Jul 8 2012, 05:57 PM||ocelotekatl|
Chapter 4, Luc
With most of the others at their studies or performing daily activities, the plaza is nearly deserted. It makes an ideal place to meditate.
As I have learned to control my gift, the visions have become more lucid. When I dream, it’s usually by accident that the most powerful visions come to me. But through carefully cultivating and augmenting it, I am able to enter into the state of consciousness that brings about the visions voluntarily.
Today, the image I focus on is one I saw in one of my dreams. But by focusing on the image, I make it sharper. This is not a might-have-been or a might-still-be, this is real. This is happening now, or will happen soon.
The sharpness of the image is amazing. I see every detail clearly. I can see the crumbling walls of a merchant’s quarter somewhere on a distant world. I can see the lifeless bodies of two yellow-skinned aliens in black robes. Two others, dressed very differently from the dead, fire at an unseen enemy. I can hear the sharp bark of the ion rifles, and smell burnt ion in the air.
“They’re running!” the tall, thin soldier shouts.
A third soldier, a companion of the other two, levels her gun at one of the wounded black-clad aliens. “It’s your lucky day.” she says. “Tell us where to find the Zealot and I’ll kill you cleanly.”
The black-clad one grimaces in pain.”It’s of no consequence. He’s already a step ahead of you, you fools. He has it already. You’re too late.”
“Too bad for you.” The soldier shoots the wounded one in the stomach, and she howls in pain, taking a long time to die.
A murmur in my ear interrupts the vision. “What are you doing, cloud-head?”
As I return to reality, my eyes slowly focus. Nochipa stands over me. “Concentrating on my vision.” I respond. “What are you doing?”
I slide over, and she sits down on the rim of the fountain next to me. “Way Sister Nacahuatl is sick today, so lessons were cancelled. I came to see what you were doing. What did you see?”
“A marketplace on a distant world. There was fighting. Strange aliens like the Coatl, but with yellow skin and green eyes.”
“I’m glad I don’t have visions. I would never be able to sleep.”
“I wish I didn’t have them either. But Arch-Hierophant Tayuah says that I was chosen by the Teoti to guide the Alliance.”
“Are you afraid?”
“Why did the Teoti chose me, Nochipa? I’m just a pilontli. I’m not as good at my studies as the other kokone, I’m not the smartest, and I’m not the fastest. I don’t want it.”
“You may not understand it, Luc, but the teoti saw something special in you. Arch-Hierophant Tayuah has faith in you, and I do, too. Maybe you don’t see it yet, but the teoti were wise in choosing you.”
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #7 Jul 9 2012, 05:57 PM||ocelotekatl|
Warning: Violence and strong subject matter. Reader discretion is advised
Spoiler: click to toggle
Edited by ocelotekatl, Jul 9 2012, 06:36 PM.
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #8 Jul 10 2012, 06:47 PM||ocelotekatl|
Chapter 6, Cuauhtemoc
My gait is shaky; I am still unused to walking with my prosthetic leg and tend to favor my undarnaged leg slightly. My nephew stands to meet me as I approach his desk.
“Uncle.” He greets me with a warm embrace. “It’s been too long. Please, sit. How have you fared?”
I sit, and he takes his seat at his desk, across from me. “I’ve been better. The debacle at Quetzalcoatl Yards has left me a bit shaken.”
“I can imagine. Who could have predicted that the rebels were so desperate? Sending their own people on a suicide mission just to destroy a shipyard? They must have fully recognized the futility of their efforts.”
“The tactics they used are of little consequence, Eminence. They won, and the Alliance lost.”
“Just so. But fear not, Uncle. With Cuetlachtli’s untimely passing, House Xochiquetzal’s star is on the rise again. We will expand and diversify our House’s enterprises in every market. We will broaden our power base and forge new bonds, until it can no longer be denied that House Xochiquetzal is the greatest House in the Alliance.”
“You say we as if you had controlling interest in the House. You may be Huey-Tlatoani, but your father was Seventh Son of Mixtli. When I became Master, I absorbed his controlling interest. Do you presume to make these commercial decisions for me, Eminence?”
“I only suggest that with me in control of the Council, I can virtually remove any legislation that Cuetlachtli passed, making it easier to amplify our great House’s profits.”
“I’m no fool. You wouldn’t do this out of any good will you bear unto me. What’s your price?”
“You resign your commission with the House Guard and focus your attention solely on House business. I will appoint a commander to replace you. And you withdraw completely from the political stage. I think we can both agree that it’s not your strong suit. You run your House, I run the Council.”
“And if I choose not to?”
“darn it, Uncle Cuauh, what do you expect to gain? Playing the hero has cost us seven ships and a shipyard. Every time we’ve met the rebels head-on, we’ve suffered and they have gained ground.”
“Don’t presume to tell me how to command troops, pilontli! I was fighting on Hawkbeak when you were in diapers.”
“So was Tetotzomoc of House Tlazoteotl.”
“Don’t mention that name to me! You would throw him in my face after the way they dishonored our House? Have you forgotten Auyacihuatl?”
“It’s time to put that behind us, Uncle. Where you see an enemy, I see profit. House Tlazoteotl is due for a change of leadership, and Pimotl, Forth Son of Chimalpopoca, will sit on my Council, as a puppet.”
“You’ve lost your mind. And when do you intend to take back the territories that have been stolen from the Alliance?”
“When the time is right. We must withdraw from the borders and consolidate our strength. Once our fleet strength has restored, we will launch a coordinated attack.”
“Your cowardice disgusts me. I refuse your conditions outright.” I rise up and leave Ohtli’s office, without looking back.
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #9 Jul 11 2012, 05:59 PM||ocelotekatl|
Chapter 7, Gevis
The eleven clan-chiefs that remain of what was once comprised the Eastern Countries of Hawkbeak gather around a meager fire, accompanied by our unwilling guest. While our troops dine on the dwindling rations aboard the ships still in orbit above Blackrock, we, their leaders, have ventured forth to see if any supplies can be had on the mostly unpopulated mining colony. So far, we have found a half-wild pitsotl and enough dry wood to cook it about halfway through.
My brother Gened scowls at me across the fire. “Are you happy now, Gevis? A scant two xiuiti ago, we had the Blooded on the run in the hills of Hoftan. Now we live like exiles, and our people will starve to death before two more moons have passed. Retreating to this desolate rock was a bad idea.”
“Retreating was our only choice. If we had stayed, we’d be dead.”
Tolmen grunts his disapproval. With no tongue, he is unable to voice his opinion. Caud, his closest ally, speaks for him. “The giant says that they are doomed to die here anyway. You should have given them the choice of facing their deaths with honor, and on their feet.”
The Coatl noble shivers, tucking his hands into his armpits to gain as much warmth as he can. ”I duh-duh-don’t wuh-wuh-wuh-want to duh-duh-die.”, he proclaims, shivering. While Veron are conditioned from childhood to stoically bear the harshest weather, Coatl nobles don’t share that conditioning. For the Coatl most know as Tepetl, these conditions are unbearable. Nerfys slaps the back of his head and tells him to shut up.
“We will persevere.” I respond. “We must. No true victory is ever won without great hardship. Our cause is just and we will prevail.”
Wyttar fixes me with her steely gaze. “You’ve been singing the same song for two xiuiti. That was precisely what you said at Vod Gorge. My clan lost over 2,000 in that battle.”
“We will persevere. We must. Bad fortune has followed us. But it will end if eventually.”
Boiken, a grizzled old veteran with a nasty scar on his cheek, scowls at me. “Bad fortune can only explain so much. It might have been bad fortune at Vod Gorge, but the losses we suffered withdrawing from Hawkbeak can only be explained as bad leadership. It may be time to choose a new Warlord.”
“Fine. If you want me to step down, so be it. Who would you have in my place?”
“I name Gened.” Nerfys hisses. “We don’t need a leader who overthinks things until the point when the battle is lost. We need an oquichtli who is unafraid to face his enemies.”
“Our enemies are time and starvation. How would you assault them, Nerfys?”
Even Tosh, who is normally one of my stalwarts, opposes me. “We tire of losing, Gevis. All we’ve done for the last two xiuiti has been to retreat, make strategic withdrawals, and lose territory to the Blooded. The clans need a victory, even a small one. “
“What do you suggest? What else can I do?”
“You’ll accomplish nothing sitting on this rock waiting for our food to run out.” Nerfys responds. “We have no hope of beating the Blooded, either. We must invade Uacalxochitl and forage for provisions if we’re to survive.”
“No. We are not the Wolf and his Reavers, to rape the land and kill its people.”
“We are Veron!” Caud protests. “We take what is rightfully ours.”
“No. It may be the way of the Reavers, or of the Blooded, but it is not our way.”
“And when it comes down to us or them, Gevis?” says Gened. “What then? Will your honor feed the clans? Will your pride clothe them? We need to make a decision, and now.”
“Fine. You’ve all made your point. We return to the ships and lay in a course for Uacalxochitl. But no bloodshed. Not if we can help it.”
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
|Post #10 Jul 13 2012, 07:16 PM||ocelotekatl|
Chapter 8, Dorothy
The meeting is a bit formal and stuffy for my tastes, but as first officer, my presence is required. This is one of the rare occasions where Captain Th’Gorev is more comfortable with our surroundings than I am.
Admiral Sovak has made the trip all the way from Copernicus City to meet with the Icthian General Command and First Minister Loovosh.
It seems to me Admiral Sovak and Ambassador Semtok are more than capable of dealing with the Icthians, and that Captain Th’Gorev and I are here as little more than chair-fillers, but I don’t dare voice my thoughts.
“Thank you for finding the time to attend this meeting, First Minister.” Semtok begins. “We are aware you have several pressing concerns to deal with besides this.”
“Nothing is more pressing than the safety of the Icthian people.” Loovosh responds. “Or any of the Blueworld’s residents.” he adds quickly.
“That is precisely the purpose of this meeting.” says Admiral Semtok. “We must determine the best course of action to assure the safety us all. To wit, we must stop an illegal slave operation and apprehend a dangerous terrorist. A daunting task by any account, but more so because the Icthian fleet is only six strong and Six Branch only have five patrol craft in the area.”
Admiral Meleeta, an attractive purple-skinned female and one of Defense Fleet’s two highest-ranking officers, responds. “How can we be assured that Six Branch’s operations don’t overlap ours, or duplicate the functions of the fleet?”
Next to her, Rear Admiral Hondat, a thick-bodied male, adds “Full disclosure of our operations is out of the question, but at least a general communiqué about approximate positions and activities may be in order.”
“I’m afraid not.” Sovak replies. “Starfleet Intelligence operates independently from Command. Even if Six Branch operations were under my direct command, I couldn’t ask them to compromise their security for the purpose of coordinating operations.”
“And what would you suggest as an alternative, Admiral?” asks Admiral Beychala. Beychala is the toughest of the three to read. Prior to her time with BHDF, she was a Planetside Security officer at Deep Swell. There was controversy surrounding her recent promotion; as she never saw action on the surface during the Battle of Blue Heaven, many felt that her elevation to Admiral was unmerited.
Sovak raises an eyebrow. “Six Branch will confine its operations to a distance of two parsecs from the Halivar system. Well outside the fleet’s radius of operations, but not so far that they can’t be called on in an emergency.” Clever. He’s effectively put Six Branch close enough to the Blueworld to aid when it’s needed, but without compromising its operations. Admiral Sovak is acting cautiously; while the Icthians are our allies, he’s loath to cozy up to the General Command or to the First Minister. Either he subscribes to the theory that there is something wrong or corrupt about the newly-made Admirals, or he knows something we don’t. Either way, his trust is limited.
Admiral Meleeta smiles warily. “Your conditions are… acceptable. What we need now is a plan of action. We’re confronted with two separate problems.”
Captain Th’Gorev answers her. “The Bird of Prey is the more immediate danger. Sending your ships to search the grid where the Deep’s Hand was last located would be highly inefficient. I propose you set up a network of sensor probes. They can be configured to scan for anti-protons. This method will cover much more space than patrols alone, and will detect the ship even if it’s cloaked.”
I finally feel useful. “As for the Reelo, It shouldn’t be hard to find a single freighter hauling around a bellyful of defective JVOK generators. Take your best crew off of the search for the Deep’s Hand, and relegate it to catching the Reelo.”
“Sound advice.” Admiral Beychala responds. “We’ll see to it immediately.”
After that, the meeting breaks down into haggling over jurisdictions. Admiral Sovak and Ambassador Semtok haggle with the First Minister over what seems like a thousand minute details before the meeting is adjourned.
My Blogger story Blue Heaven Stories, Volume II
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