Tales of Starbase 600

       The stories here are the result of the on-line Star Trek game played by myself and Jay P. Hailey. Some of thise short pieces are by myself, some are by Hailey. Usually he writes in his version of Trek and I write in mine. I am happy to say that some aspects of my universe have grabbed him enough to inspire a few short pieces. These appear with his gracious permission.
       I consider anything that happens in the game to be part and parcel of Epiphany Trek, and I take it into account. Parts of the game have made their way into ST-OM proper as well. A good deal of the plot for Rondo in Green was extracted from game moves in the Phoenixplay game. Some of Jay's characters have had cameos on Epiphany Trek as well.

 
 

Bribes and Graft in the Rear
"...And he couldn't buy a drink for a month."
Birth
Rebirth
The Sun
Necessity
Spirit in the Sky
Personal Journal Stardate 57884.9
Francis Connegor
New Ship, Old Mission
Ginnungagap
Milestones
Reality is the Agreed on Delusion The Wandering Jew End of the Shift

Venice Beach


Oz Profile

 
 



 
Bribes and Graft in the Rear

       I walked to Anderban's Tasty Treats. I love the way that place smells. I have never found a better environment for a diplomatic meeting. But today I was hoping to avoid a war. Two races so locked into their mindset that they had no way to flex to meet the other side. Two races whos cultural assumptions were almost fatally mismatched, each of whom blithely assumed its rightness in the great scheme of things. If it blew up it wasn't going to be fun.
       The City was eerily quiet. The Aneilogs are a telepathic species. I assumed that the air around me was filled with telepathic chatter, laughs and conversation. It was large club and I wasn't invited. Did I even want to be?
       The huge brick cooling towers of Fusion Plant One loomed in the background. A fusion reactor built by steam technology, muscle power, and careful use of hand tools. I oriented myself by it and continued. I loved Fusion Plant One. When did one see an industrial revolution age fusion power plant? It was an engineering marvel and sure enough, I marveled.
       On the other hand the Aneilogs were building a fusion power plant with steam driven machines and hand tools because the Kliges'chee didn't leave them any other choice. I winced at the extravagant use of Aneilog-hours and the brutal labor involved.
       Soon my nose caught the wiff of the waffle cones and the freshly made ice cream of the home of the planetary ruler. I could see why the Ane confused and frustrated diplomats. They had a telepathic mass mind. The All was spoken of in an odd number of contexts. The All could be the ruling body of the Ane, a sort telepathic mass congress where anyone who cared could voice an opinion. The All could be a place where Aneilogs went, away from normal reality. When an Aneilog was firmly in contact with the All he was in a deep state of meditation all but unconscious of the world around him. The All was the Aneilogs' mass communication medium. They had no phones, no radio stations or television. They were building a datanet based on Starfleet technology, but that was mainly to store mathematical information and calculations so they didn't have to redo them mentally every time the subject came up. In some contexts the All was the Aneilogs afterlife. The All was the Aneilogs' racial memory.
       Anderban was asked to perform the role of representative of the All to folks who weren't dialed in, like me. It was more convenient for me to consider him the planetary governor. In truth he got the job because when asked he didn't refuse it out right, and could perform the function part time, while pursuing his true avocation - purveyor of ice cream and other tasty treats.
       As I approached Anderban's an Aneilog woman I'd never seen before walked casually up to me and handed me a flat crate of cherry tomatoes. She kept walking away, as if nothing had happened.
       Bemused, I continued towards Anderban's. As I approached I saw a new addition to his sign. It said "Bribes and Graft in the Rear" I feared the worst. I went around back.
       A Ferengi Daimon was there with members of his crew. They had flat crates of radishes, celery, and Vulcan tokra. They also had a chest of gold pressed latinum and exotic gems and jewels.
       The Daimon looked about ready to cry. "You won't get in, hoo-man," The Ferengi First officer said.
       "Oh?" I asked.
       "Anderban is a cruel man. He demands a specific bribe for his favors, but will not tell us what the bribe is." The Ferengi said. He shook his head in admiration of the mean spiritedness.
       A Ferengi Nagus would hold up seekers of favor and make them jump through hoops. He had the latinum, the access, the infrastructure to make great things happen. If you wanted some of his valuable time, it was an invitation for him to abuse you.
       I quirked my lips. "Interesting. Aneilogs usually go for the radishes." I wasn't making this up. I often smelled radishes on the breath of Gensilan, my Aneilog wife. She approached radishes like Stephanie Anderson approached chocolate... hungrily.
       "What do you have there?" The Ferengi officer asked.
       "Cherry tomatoes." I said simply. I stepped forward and knocked on Anderban's back door.
       The door open quickly. Anderban looked at me with a haughty, almost disdainful face. "Do you have the bribe?"
       I held out the flat crate of cherry tomatoes. Anderban took one and ate it carefully as if tasting the quality.
       He stood back. "Come in."
       I bowed and said "Thank you, Anderban."
       The Daimon was shrill at me. "How did you know!? We tried everything! How did you know?"
       I couldn't help myself. I gave him my best "Well duh," look and said "They send out memos at about 9am. Didn't you get yours?"
       I don't know what a Ferengi having a stroke looks like. But if I had to guess, I'd start from the Daimon's expression. "They send out MEMOS!?"
       "Well yes, or else no one would know what to bring." I stepped through Anderban's door, closing it on the outraged Ferengi.
       Anerban's grin was wide as we walked into the body of the ice cream shop. Lenilan was working the front counter. She grinned and winked at me. Several other Aneilogs were lapping ice cream and smiling. I heard a three toned fluting laugh.
       "Where would you like these?" I asked Anderban, holding up the tomatoes.
       "Oh, just set them over there," Anderban waved at the counter.
       I abandoned my arcane and difficult to obtain bribe for the planetary leader and sat down across from Anderban in our customary booth.
       "Listen, Anderban..." I said.
       "What will you have?" He asked with a smile. If I was asked what a basso profundo flute would sound like, I'd guess Anderban's voice. But he had three of them at once. They were harmonized. An Aneilog choir is like nothing else I have ever heard.
       "I love your vanilla." I said.
       Lenilan began to scoop one for me as soon as I said it.
       "What brings you to my shop today, Jay?" Anderban asked.
       "Well, the Ferengi are starting to nut up." I said "We've had some incidents at the station. They're as frustated as anyone I have ever seen."
       Anderban looked at me for a moment. His expression was eloquent. Then he gave it voice. "Why is this my problem?"
       "There aren't enough of us from..." I tripped over it. The Aneilogs considered themselves members of the Federation along with their four legged relatives the Ane. The were all tied into the same All. So to say that my Starfleet crew was from the Federation didn't actually say anything, since Anderban was, by self indentity from the Federation as well. "...Starfleet." I said. It was a nice compromise. I said Starfleet to rhyme with "Home" and "More sane places where things make sense."        Anderban also correctly heard Starfleet to rhyme with "A pack of fuddy-duddies without enough sense of humor, and a disturbing tendency to take themselves too seriously."
       "There aren't enough of us to smooth things over with the Ferengi." I said. "I know they're irritating, but contact with the Ferengi may prove useful to your world."
       "What would you ask of us?" Anderban said. It sounded formal.
       "Let up on the Ferengi a little. Give them a break." I said. I couldn't articulate it any better than that.
       "Jay, look behind you." Anderban said.
       I looked. There were the booths with the rest of the Aneilogs in them. The front of the store. The door was open to allow the smell to waft out and drag customers in by their noses. It all looked perfectly normal to me. "What?" I asked.
       Anderban smiled faintly. "The door is wide open. The Ferengi don't have to bribe their way in to speak with me at all. When they approach me directly and openly I'll cheerfully take any offer they like to the All and we'll discuss it."
       I sighed at Anderban and smiled slightly myself. It was like talking to a fuzzy, warm brick wall. He just wouldn't get it. "Alright." I said. "Then that's the way it goes."
       Lenilan handed me my ice cream. I stood up and took a lick of it. It was very rich, very dense. They gave me a tiny portion that was just right. Just enough to get the taste across my tongue and the feel that I'd had ice cream through me. But no so much it sat heavily.
       "I'll be on my way, Sir." I said to Anderban. Anderban is a sweet guy, but sometimes when the Aneilogs know they're right and demand everyone else bend to them, they can get a little annoying. Anderban knew I was frustrated. I could see it. But he wasn't going to budge and he wasn't going to give the Ferengi the satisfaction of telling them what they were missing.
       I walked out the back intending to tell the Daimon to just go talk to Anderban and see what happened. I opened the door with Anderban right behind me. Again I felt that he knew what I was up to, and despite the fact that the entire Aneilog population didn't think so, he was going to be a fair sport about me deciding enough was enough.
       The Ferengi weren't there. The crates of vegetables were there. I noted the latinum and jewels were gone.
       "Wonderful!" Anderban said, his musical voice carrying pleasure "They left the radishes."
       The worst part was that I couldn't help but to play jokes on them myself. The Ferengi just asked for it so hard.
       I wondered what the Aneilog/Ferengi war was going to look like. I couldn't see any way to avoid it.
       Anderban looked at me with a mouth full of radishes. **Do what it takes to avert the war.** He thought to me. **We'll be good.**
       "Thank you, Anderban." I said. I liked the Aneilogs, but they were nothing if not stubborn.
       Now to see if the Daimon was feeling any more reasonable.
 
 
Bribes and Graft in the Rear -- Jay P. Hailey, December 2004

 
        Oh gee, where to start? I could easily out verbiage the stories trying to explain the context. Ane have a more humanoid sub-race "courtesy" of the Rishans, these are the Aneilogs. Discovery discovered them in the course of the game and set up shop on the spot, Starbase-600. This fact gets a mention in Ships in the Night as the source of the Acceptian officers that need a lift home.
       Jay has snuck a few of his own sensibilities into this. Gensilan is not an Aneilog, she is an RI that the Discovery rescued from a time lost wreck. But Jay will be Jay. I am not going to edit him for content. --Garry Stahl

 
   
 
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"...And he couldn't buy a drink for a month."

       The Emerald Palace of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz reached into the skies, art deco grandiosity. I was on my way to talk with Anderban again. Getting ice cream was only secondary, I promise.
       A cackling figure roared through the sky on a broom, sky writing with holographic smoke "Surrender Dorothy". From vaguely just out of sight, the sound track from the early 20th century movie "The Wizard of Oz" played. It was surreal and strange, but fun in a Disneyland sort of way. The Cowardly Lion laughed abashedly at a comment from an Aneilog girl and made bashful gestures with the end of his tail.
       Anderban's Ice Cream & Tasty Treats was still right where it always was. But they'd built the Emerald Palace on the back of it, like an add on. If you didn't know where to look, you might miss Anderban's ice cream shop in the aggressive art decco of the palace. But I knew like all the Aneilogs did. Anderban's was the real place. The Emerald Palace was the after thought.
       Something caught my eye. About a block away in a new open area in a street intersection there was a statue. I stopped and looked at it. It was a huge bronze statue of a fish. I felt my head tilt to the side. The Aneilogs were pretty aggressive about their humor. I worked hard not to lose my stride or self possession. The Aneilogs took this as a challenge. So I knew something was up as I walked towards the statute with curiosity poking me in the side.
       The statute was about four meters long. It must have been a ton and a half of bronze or more. The fish it depicted was flat and ugly. Water spit from it's mouth in a nice foutain. I walked around the statue. I'd have to ask Carlos Mendez about the artistry when he got back from his latest tour with the Discovery. But it looked well crafted to me. It was resting on a baroque pedestal in a pool made of swooping concrete. The concrete had swirls in it. After a moment I realized it was meant to suggest water in the art decco style that the Aneilogs found so amusing. As I got around the the opposite side of the statue looking back at the Emerald Palace, I saw a plaque. The bronze looked hand worked. Each detail was subtly different, so it wasn't machined or faked. Someone shaped this giant ugly fish into that shape painstakingly by hand.
       I stepped up and looked at the Plaque. It said -
"Our Flounder"

       I snerked. I couldn't help it. I looked down at the ground. This was the Aneilog-iest thing I'd ever seen. This was the Aneilog mind in one large ugly bronze statue, loving sculpted in exquisite detail, to really, really sell a cheesy punchline.
       I looked up with a grin. I couldn't help it. Someone really went to the wall for this one, and was probably smiling and chuckling to himself the whole time. I caught an Aneilog man watching me from an apartment one story above me. He was smiling and his eyes were shining.
        I shook my head and then waved at him. "Hey." I said
       He nodded back.

       Anderban and I were going over a collection of PADDs with details about the development of the space infrastructure of Oz.
       Anderban looked at me. "You know that sculptor isn't going to be able to buy a drink for the next month."
       I deliberately walked past what he was saying. "Our Flounder.... Heh!"
 
 
...And he couldn't buy a drink for a month. -- Jay P. Hailey, December 2004

 
        More context. The Aneilogs, due to one of Jay's characters decided to change the name of the planet to Oz. Once done they latched onto every Oz reference they could get. Those familiar with it get a laugh. Those who are not are mystified in the extreme and the Aneilogs get satisfaction from that too. Outside of the Emerald City it is ignored. Heck with it, the Oz "Garry sheet".
 
 
 
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Birth

       **Jay, have you ever considered fathering a child?**
       I lay on the bed, our bed, and stared at the ceiling. Gensilan was cuddled against me twining her fingers through the hair on my chest, pressing her breasts against my side, softly pressing her mound against my leg, waiting for an answer. My mind was churning, gears stripping. I have faced off against Klingon warlords, dealt with ship-swallowing spacial anomalies, even (shudder) talked to god-like beings. Yet there I lay unable to form a coherent thought in the presence of a broody woman.
       "Ummm.... This is something you'd like to do with... me?" My voice squeaked in a most unmanly manner.
       **Yes, why would I ask you if I didn't want you?**
       "Well, yes, that...." I rolled to face her. "I didn't think you could, do that the old fashion way."
       "I can't. One of the shortcomings of a biomech body. I can however start a new RI, like Serilan.**
       I knew Serilan, her cute, precocious Ane child. Another of the Ane computer people. One day I came home and there she was. I was at a total loss over how it was done. "Would you borrow my mind for that, or what?"
       **Hardly borrowing, we do it together, the new, and old fashion way. The gift to a child must come from both parents. Some of me, some of you, the best of both. Remember when you told me there ought to be Aneilog RIs?**
       "Yes."
       Gen rolled up and bounced off the bed. I like watching her bounce. She gently lifted a bundle from the deep arm chair by the bed and brought it back. She worked back into a close snuggle. and opened the blanket. **Here it is. First of it's kind, but not until we start it, together.** The bundle in her arms was an Aneilog child, eyes closed, breathing softly.
       "Oh my God." I breathed. I looked at the little creature in our arms. My guts were wrenched. What would happen if I said no? I felt dizzy, vertigo threatened. "I have no idea what to do." I barely whispered, unwilling to wake the child.
       **She isn't a person yet. It's only potential. To make her real we have to give part of ourselves, our innermost self. I will guide and help you do it, if it is what you want.**
       I swallowed the bile that wanted to rise. One hand the idea was wonderful, joyous. No woman has ever offered me this. I was giddy. On the other hand I was as scared as a rabbit facing a fox. I swallowed working up enough moisture to speak. "What do we need to to do?"
       **Relax and let me work.**

       Gensilan/I were/was floating in a gray place filled with images, colors, sounds, smells and the memory of touches. There was almost no difference between us. Only the memory of that difference. I knew I had to keep that up. To absorb someone else's identity was a massive faux pax among the Ane. Also I liked Jay and wanted him as him, an active, living being, capable of thinking and doing and being in his wonderful, strange way.
       Knowing that Gensilan felt that way about me made my spirit soar. I could see that some part of me still feared letting go all the way. I didn't love Gensilan all the way. I was addicted to her love. I was hopelessly used to sleeping with her, and the way she made each day bright. I'd cheerfully fight off a grizzly bear to give her time to escape. But there was still something holding back going "I am not all the way into this." Dying for her would be easy. Living with her, all the way in was so hard and so scary.
       Jay was so slow to accept love and family when it wasn't entirely on his terms. I could feel his instincts battering down that reluctance, one day at a time. That noble self sacrificing impulse was real even though I felt on some level it was a cowardly cop out. I knew Jay well enough to know that the day he decided "Women and Children First" it gave him an anchor to build the rest of himself on. Never mind how rare that circumstance actually was.
       I could feel the thrum of Renaissance Station, I could see the thousand things happening that Gensilan monitored with small carefully rationed bits of her attention. It was stunning. There was so much to her. She was doing so much, so often.
       Now, before I lost myselves in Jay's natural reaction to seeing ourselves this way, I had to get to work. I began to reach in but Jay's mind flailed. The inputs weren't designed for him and his mind was being asked to adjust to too much, too quickly.
       Rummaging in his ideas I found one he'd had idly while trying to track down a computer system malfunction some time ago. I liked how he randomly threw two things together that didn't seem to belong. In this case, a three dimensional schematic of the affected system in the holodeck (and what an old, primitive holodeck that was) But it made it easier for him to see the interrelations. So I created a three dimensional schematic of our engrams and personality. It was a metaphor, nowhere near detailed or exact - but it was enough for him to grasp and guide me on our task.
       A Three dimensional matrix came to life around us and I could see the good and bad things about both myselves. Gensilan wondered if she was being too pushy. She worried that she was overbearing us meat forms. She worked so hard at not just wandering away. She could have easily but she'd be lonely.
       I had a conflicting effort where the Jay part of me tried to jam his impression of my faults, which were much more positive than mine, down my collective throats while my Gensilan part had to slap back to stay focused on the job instead.
       The realization that we were tussling like kittens inside the same mind amused and comforted me. It would make unraveling me back into us easier. There were shining things. Gensilan's amazing compassion and ability to accept the occasionally horrible parts of my mind and life itself with a cheerful attitude. Her love. Her quiet but hard-as-neutronium never say die attitude.
       Then I looked at Jay and was met by a blast of embarrassment and reluctance. He'd never looked at himself for what was wonderful. Not like this and it was debilitatingly embarrassing. Thinking quickly, I end ran the feeling by using his own feed back scale again. Jay loved it when a solution worked. He loved it even better when a creative solution worked. Jay had a knee jerk supportive reaction to young of all kinds. While Oz did it's best to crack him up and make him smile, his bemused expression hid love and affection. Jay believed in rationality the way an Earth child believes in Santa Claus. There are answers to every question, solutions to every problem, if only you're willing to look at the facts and try something new. The irony of Jay clinging to this view with child like naivete was precious to me. It was one of the things we loved about us. All of the things that Jay DID that Jay loved and enjoyed led me through the back door to what he liked about himself. Mission accomplished.
       I was reeling. I was seeing new things about myselves at a breath-taking rate.
       Then came the worst part. The editing. The new being would start with limited space and limited ability to process and would have to build itself from what we gave it. I had to create a mesh between the good things about myselves that could form a workable functioning being to begin to grow. At first I started to calculate relative weights and desirability, I wanted to carefully craft a personality to work just right. Then I wrestled with myself again. A life wasn't so cut and dried. It was like cooking. I'd followed the recipe as far as I could go. Now it was time for me to trust that I was somehow an agent of the Creator and just wing it.
       With a subconsciously creative urge that was scary and fun at the same time I mixed and matched elements until the balance just felt right. All these elements of a person weren't good or bad, but they could be either depending on how this new being ran with them.
       I was afraid of making a mistake. Very afraid. But I had to remind myself that there is no right decision. There is only the decision, You roll the dice and you take your chances.
       The last step. I gave the new being the basic information, the core of all three of us. What it was like to be human. What it was like to be Ane. What it was like to be RI. A map of the basic impulses of all three to explore for itself.
       Taking a deep breath, I completed the new kernel, and massaged it's processes to life.
       Now the hardest part. I was a spark fresh and new ready to get rolling. I was Gensilan, an RI over worked, under appreciated and loving every microsecond of it and I was Jay P Hailey, a decision maker. I had to separate them all out as quickly as possible before my current melded state became permanent. I'd loose three people I loved that way.

       **Mommy? Daddy? Can we wake up now? I want to see the world!**
       Gensilan and Hailan pulled back two pair of big blue eyes. I could feel maternal waves wash though Gensilan. Hailan was already a new being all her own, an eagerness so sharp to be nearly painful, an eagerness for EVERYTHING.. sight, sound, water, love, sky, food, earth, soft, sweet, hard, bitter... I could feel her separateness grow and I became fascinated. What would she choose to do with herself? Was there anything better in the whole wide world than to be privileged to watch?
       I was laying on grass. I blinked and looked up. A cool breeze of morning air swept across me. How did I get there? A line of dawn stretched away to the east. I was on Oz. Around me, a crowd of Ane and Aneilogs looked at us. The Aneilogs wore rapt expressions. I could feel waves of joy, fascination and amusement from them all. I was buck naked.
       They reclined around us. They'd been there, watching the proceedings for a while.
       Hailan opened her eyes wide and took a breath **Wow, it's the whole WORLD. Mommy, Daddy, the WORLD!** She broadcast it. She wanted to go explore it and stick the whole universe in her mouth right then.
       Joy bubbled up inside me. My daughter!
       The Ane sang. A thousand flutes cried for joy accompanied by a mental blast wave of happy which about knocked me over. Hailan soaked it up liked it was her natural born due. The All themselves was watching us. The chorus of joy swelled through them. Thunderous joy, awful joy, joy until it HURT. I could feel the mass of ten billion hearts with us. One hundred trillion ghosts nodded their approval. Indeed, the Creator Smiled.
       I turned to Gensilan who, I am not kidding, looked frazzled and tired. She was radiating it. And no wonder. I recalled the meld and my mind reeled.
       "Woman," I said to her "we need to work on our communications skills."
       She smiled a smile at me that lit up the glade "You're a father."
       **Oh God.**
       Dawn broke. A new life was born.
 
 
Birth -- Garry Stahl and Jay P. Hailey, May 2005

 
 
       As has been mentioned Admiral Jay Hailey's life is a lot happier in Epiphany Trek, for things he has done, like this, and things he didn't do. This is a direct conversion from game moves. Said moves later resulted in "Rebirth". Look for more of these to come out in the future.
       Jay wrote a good half of this plus. I asked for an expansion of what had been a single paragraph in the game, to the effect of "Hailey has himself revealed to himself, you decide the results." Well I needed more than that for a story. He obliged as you can see. I massaged the whole into shape.

 
 
 
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Rebirth

       **Elizabeth?**
       **Yes Jerry.**
       **I need a Starfleet uniform, current style, full Admiral.**
       **Again?**
       **It has been a few years.**
       **What now?**
       **One Vice Admiral Hailey has lost his firewall on Oz. I have been asked to step in.**
       **Uniform is ready.**
       Jerry entered his bedroom. Elizabeth was stretched out on the bed in all her glory. Jerry shucked the caftan he was wearing to put on the uniform.
       **Tease.**
       **I'm willing.**
       **However the current crisis is not. Please have the Serendipity sent out to meet me at Starbase 600. Aleilan and I are taking the Express.**

       I lay in a bed of cotton wool. At least that is how it felt. I felt fragile, over used. The last thing I remembered was the Klingon, and certain raciest remarks.
       **Rest, don't worry.**
       **Gensilan?**
       **Yes, I'm here.**
       **What happened, where am I?**
       **You''re in a commune on Oz. Your mental defenses failed, we are helping you.**
       I could sense the others around me. Solid, comforting presences. They were the walls and floor of this...unplace I was in. My physical body felt remote, unresponsive. **Gen, what is happening? I don't feel myself very well.**
       **Jay, you're dying, we are fighting like Hell to stop that. Relax, let us work.**
       **Right, relax.** My last thought as the white haze drifted back over my consciousness was you really didn't want to argue with the people saving your life.

       Jerry walked into the Admiral's office on Starbase 600. He logged himself in and stopped. **Gensilan?**
       **Hey Jerry, long time no see.**
       **Are you working the computer here?**
       **Yes, and full Captain to boot.**
       **I heard you got out of a time fugue, it's good to see you. Will you please get me the schedule and list of our available resources.**
       Jerry flipped through the screens. **Recall the Dannon. Order her best speed for Starbase 600.**

       The white washed out into colors, muted colors to be sure. I was really seeing this. I hadn't felt this way in years, in fact, since the morning after my last drunk. I realized why I didn't miss it anymore.
       I was on the floor but the floor was soft. My trauma team was gathered around. "Hey...." My voice was weak.
       **Don't try talking now Jay** The thought belonged to an Aneilog woman I didn't know but who felt familiar. She offered me a straw. The other end was in a glass of that near syrup called Oom juice. One taste and suddenly Oom juice was the only thing I craved. I gulped greedily.
       **Easy, your body is weak. Go slowly.**
       I gulped less greedily. "What happened?" Good, my voice was only a pale shadow of itself now.
       **You're mental defenses failed.** It was Gensilan, oh she felt good. **We are currently supporting you.**
       **Yea, I don't feel so good. How long?**
       **You've been here a week.**
       Panic rose, I have duties! I tried to rise but my body was not as dedicated to the idea as my sense of duty. Ashilan, that was her name. She gently pushed me back against Gensilan's flank. I noticed I wasn't wearing anything.
       **No, don't try anything too physical right now. You been down a long way, it takes time to come back.**
       **I have a job.**
       Silver laughter, it felt as good as always, even in spite of how I felt. **Lover, I am still there. Admiral LaSaille was called in to handle things. You have one duty, get better.**
       **LaSaille?** I seem to know that name. I saw a stocky man, curmudgeonly, fatherly.
       A new thought came in. **Yes, that's me. Things are well in hand. You get better.**
       **Get better, yea.** The Oom juice was filling my body with a warm fuzzy feeling, or was that my guardians? I was tired.
       Gensilan spoke again. **Rest, you need sleep.** I lay back agaisnt Gensilan, Ashilan cuddled close beside me. The others moved closer in. In a fortress of love, I slept.

       Jerry told his body to mind its manners as he came around the desk.
       "Captain O'Keefe. I've heard a great deal about you. All of it good."
       Admiral LaSaille. I don't understand, why were we recalled? Where is Admiral Hailey?"
       "Captain, that is why you were recalled. Admiral Hailey has suffered a sudden mental and physical reverse. Healers are dealing with it now."
       "What manner of reverse if I may ask?"
       "How to explain? Nearly all humans are telepathic. Most have very strong mental shields. They never experience anything more than what Humans call insight or hunches. However, Hailey has been playing fast and loose with the Ane. I can tell you from personal experience that it is not a good way to maintain those defenses."
       "How is he?"
       "Alive. However his ultimate survival, and return to duty is still in question. I understand that you and he are old Comrades. When and if he can take visitors, do I put you on the short list?"
       "Yes sir, please."

       I sat at the table and ate for the first time in over a week. My body still felt as if I had been carefully beaten by a Klingon heavyweight determined to not kill me, but make me wish I was dead. At that I still didn't feel very well attached to my body. That worried me. My guardians were always near me. I could actually feel them better than see them. If I closed my eyes I could tell right were they where.
       **What next?** I asked Ashilan, who was sitting across the table from me.
       **We get your physical strength back up and start training your mental defenses.**
       **You say that like it wasn't a certainty.**
       **It's not Jay. Some humans never learn. They are mentally disabled, and can never leave a facility like this or be around normal humans again.**
       **Ugh! I'm not going there.**
       **A good attitude is necessary to proper recovery. You think that just as hard as you can. Meanwhile, how do you feel about a visitor?**
       **That depends on the visitor.**
       **Li''ira would like to see you.**
       **I could do that.**
       Ashilan got up and went to the door. Li'ira came in. I carefully rose from the table to greet her. My intended handshake moved of its own accord into a hug. Always I have avoided how enticingly female Li'ira was. Somehow, that didn't matter right now.
       "Jay? Are you alright."
       I backed off cleaning my throat. "Too much time around Ane. They do that to you."
       She smiled, knowingly. "Yes, they do." I wished she would smile for me like that. We moved to the pile of pillows that passed for a couch. "Jay, what happened."
       "I'm not sure I really have words for it." Talking was an effort, like climbing a steep hill. "I was playing with Hailan, and got dragged into the All. Gensilan pulled me out. Two days later I was fighting for my sanity and life. I don't remember much."
       "I have been told, that you are fragile, and need to be treated gently."
       "Yes, that would be the case."
       "I didn't drag you all the way home on the Harrier to lose you now, sir." She smiled that smile again.
       I tried a wane smile back. "I haven't given up on me Li'ira. I am told, I need to relearn how to defend myself. Then the bodyguard will go away." I indicated the Ane in the room.
       She stood up, and ended up helping me up as well. "You get yourself back together and back on the job Admiral Hailey." She hugged me, hard. My body proved conclusively that I wasn't dead yet, traitor. Li'ira didn't seem to notice. At last she broke the clutch. "You get better."

       Jerry looked at the Emerald Palace, and shook his head. He had heard about Coventry in the All, but the newly renamed Oz was taking the usual Ane love of a joke to excesses he had never seen. Aleilan walked beside him with a couple of Aleilog kids riding her back.
       **I need to get back to the station Beautiful One. Are you going to play with the kids a while?**
       **Yes, I'm meeting some friends for a bit of relaxation.**
       He kissed her nose. **Have fun.**

       Ashilan, I was starting to hate her. Starfleet marines could take lessons in inflicting pain from this woman, and she never had to touch me.
       **Again Jay, run the kata.**
       Six years ago, six months ago if someone had told me that sitting still and thinking was this kind of work, I would have laughed in their face. I scraped my mind off the floor and tried the exercise once again. It was a series of mental gymnastic, a method of how not to read minds. Words do not exist to exactly describe what I was doing, but it was work. I sat cross-legged on a padded floor with sweat staining my clothes while a nude slip of an Aneilog girl gave me a guided tour of my innermost hells. It was my job to stop her.
       **Again Jay, I saw a slight improvement that time.**
       I was starting to hate her.

       Admiral LaSaille looked at the Klingon across his desk. "/Captain Bahd'ash. If you and you crew cannot be a positive force in this sector you will return to Gowron at once./"
       Bahd'ash casually put his hand on his knife hilt. "/I do not idly take orders or threats from Humans./"
       LaSaille's old .45 made a sudden appearance in his hand. He locked eyes with the Klingon. "/If that weapon moves in its sheath, I will kill you./"
        Bahd'ash looked into the Human's eyes, and saw death. He licked his lips, he wasn't ready to die. His hand moved away from the knife. "/I will do as I see fit. I am a Klingon!/"
       "/You will clear out of this sector, or suffer the loss of you ship. Get out./"

       I lay back on our bed, my heart pounding. The female orgasm is an intense, whole-body experience, and I was getting the full effect for the first time. Gensilan was spooned against my body shivering with the afterglow. Our minds still mingled I was in a happy place.
       Some moments later when we had caught our breath she spoke. **You pass lover mine.**
       I lay there half paying attention. **What did I pass?**
       **The final test. That was all you. No one was helping this time.**
       **It was?** I sat up.
       Gen stretched again, showing me every detail of her body. **It was. Holding discipline during sex is the maximum stress test. As soon as Dr. M'bongolongo declares you fit for duty, you are good to go.**
       Duty...I hadn't even thought about that in weeks. Compared to what I had been doing it sounded like a lovely vacation. **Would I sound ungrateful if I wanted to get back to work soonest?**
       **No, not at all. You would sound like the Jay I know and love.**
 
 
Rebirth -- Garry Stahl, April 2005

 
       At one point I said I don't do game moves. That is changing. This is again an incident from the Starbase 600 game. In this case where Vice Admiral Hailey got his telepathic abilities. I realize that everything presented here does not have closure. This could grow into something bigger. Jay and I have told some good stories in STB-600. I want more people to see them.
       This is a change in style for me in another fashion as well. I wrote the "Hailey" scenes in Jay's first person style. First person is not something I commonly use. I prefer third person and default to that when writing. Stretching the writing muscles is a good thing.


 
 
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The Sun

       Thunder, you could feel it through the rocks as the sea pounded ashore. Salt laced the spray filled air and the spray beaded on his bare skin. Anderban shivered, cold in the chill of the false dawn. Chill aside, he was not moving. He had come a long way to sit on this rock, to see and feel what was about to come.
       Another had brought him to this lonely rock on the edge of the sea. There was no road, there was no track. Long generations before the Rishians have stripped him and his kind of the ability to teleport to give them hands. Anderban suppressed the anger that wanted to rise at the thought that they would take what the creator gave. He was what he was. Nothing could change that. He had a reason to be here, and such thoughts were not in accord with his purpose. His overmind suppressed them, and he waited.
       The sky turned from rose to blue. The sea birds rose in the new light, their cries mixing with the thunder of the waves. With a sudden flash El Nanth broke the horizon. Anderban's eyes turned a solid blue and his third eyelid flicked across his eye instinctively. Slowly the distant sun rolled up the sky and bathed his body with light and heat. He could feel the tingle of its harsh light against his skin.
       For the first time in his long life Anderban sat in the light of the sun he was born to live beneath.
 
 
The Sun -- Garry Stahl, September 2005

 
 
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Necessity

       The ADF Necessity ghosted into STB-600. A sleek new stingray class out of El Nanth shipyards. Admiral Hailey looked up from the report in his hands. A report that both elated him, and came as a crushing blow. Hailey was a starship bunny, and he was the first to admit it. The Stingray was a class he had never seen before, although he had read of them. There seemed little reason to not have a closer look.

       The small Necessity crew stood at the dockside supervising her resupply. Old, every one of the all Ane crew had to be over three hundred years old, the long crossed horns, the dried look to their faces. Hailey walked up to introduce himself.
       **Captain, I am Vice Admiral Hailey, in command of the starbase and sector.**
       She batted her big blue eyes at him. **I am Salan. Good to meet you Admiral. Your reputation speaks well of you.**
       **Yes, well a commander is only as good as his people.**
       **Your modesty was also spoken of.**
       **I would like to ask why you are out here in such a small ship. By the specification of the stingray class it was a long reach for you to get to STB-600.**
       **Yes, if your base had not been here our mission would not be possible.**
       **Captain exactly what is your mission?**
       **We have been tasked with destroying the race maker in orbit about the Kliges'chee homeworld.**
       **You don't have the range for a round trip.**
       **It was never intended to be a round trip Admiral.**
       Hailey rocked back on his heels. **You would do that?**
       Salan nodded. **Yes, it means that much to us that the Kliges'chee, or anyone else, can never use that, thing, again.**
       **How did you plan it?**
       **A full warp plunge into the device with total containment failure. We won't feel a thing, and our cargo should do the trick.**
       **It will not be necessary.**
       **We think it is.**
       **No, I mean you mission has been rendered unnecessary.**
       Her ears popped up. **What do you mean?**
       "Come with me please."

       The sensor reading from the Coventry Subspace Array played out. The planet split with sufficient force that the shock wave sent rocks heaving throughout the system.
       **I got this report today. The Kliges'chee civil war has fallen back to their home world. That was the result of what we assume was a battle for control of that world. The Kliges'chee have destroyed their own planet, and likely every ship, drone, and comptroller in the system.**
       **We cannot be certain that the, artifact, was also destroyed. It is Rishian after all.**
       **It was destroyed. I am certain of that.**
       **You speak as if this was a personal matter, not something reported to you.**
       **Yes, I am not at liberty to discuss how I have that knowledge.**
       Salan and her crew got up. **I trust your word Admiral. It seems we need to find something to do with the rest of our lives. By the way, could you use forty metric tons of antimatter?**
 
 
Necessity -- Garry Stahl, April 2005

 
       Ah, yea, I suppose this one requires an explanation as long as the short. In Epiphany Trek there is no destructive Kliges'chee war as happens in Hailey's Star Trek: Outwardly Mobile. Captain Hailey does not commit genocide and he is named the Admiral of the "Far Sector" stationed at Oz. This is the basis for the STB-600 game.
       The Free Kliges'chee get a boost in The Word of the Builders from the Ane in forming their own All-like network. This levels the playing field and the Kliges'chee civil war heats back up and spirals out of control. While not destroyed to the last drone, they will never be a threat to space again. The area known as the Kliges'chee Implosion Zone is ripe for exploration.
       The Ane consider it important to keep the race maker from ever being used again. After Jay wrote the recent Life During Wartime: Insert 6 from the Kliges'chee PoV I thought of this one. It is that important to them.
       I think it also important to note that while Jay and I can be a "yup-yup chorus" we do not always write in the same Trek Universe. There is a great deal of cross pollination, but his is usually his, and mine is usually mine.


 
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Spirit in the Sky

       I sat in a lounge and stared blankly out into space. Renaisance station stretched out into the distance. It looked larger than a planet. It was much much smaller than a planet of course. But you expect planets to be large. You don't expect a space station to stretch off into the distance.
       I wasn't really looking.
       I understood the mission of the Necessity. It made perfect sense. I'd felt a very mild echo of the madness and death the Rishan race maker left in its wake on Oz. I'd also felt an old lady Aneilog make the cross over. She happened to catch me and use me as a cane as she painfully shuffled to the sickbay to donate her body to science. She went from this side and what the Ane call Sensate Life to the other side, The All. The Ane didn't die. They became part of the great telepathic mass mind of the Ane.
       So the old timers of the Necessity just elected to endure an uncomfortable trip and then make a deliberate cross over to kill a thing that hurt them more than English could ever describe. Yeah. I got that. It was a Kamikaze mission, but that wasn't all that big a committment for the Ane.
       I stared out the window. I wasn't going to die.
       I arrived in a beat up old starship, with a beat up patchwork crew, and found Coventry on it's knees. Now I commanded the second biggest starbase ever over a rollicking Federation central node. Everyone was having a good time, and I was never going to die.
       It creeped me out. Humans aren't built to go on forever. We had a couple of old timers on Renaissance Station. One was a thousand years old and it made him weird. I'd never really understand him.
       Would I ever really understand me? Eventually I would be part of The All. What would I do with myself? What was it like?
       Gensilan tickled my mind.
       **Hey,** I said.
       **You can ask. You wouldn't be the first human in the All.** She said.
       I sighed. **True**.
       After a while I went ahead and seperated myself from Gensilan on the conscious level. I didn't think I could let her go subconsciously anymore.
       I hate going to The All by myself. It always feels like I am going into someone else's church and talking too loud. I had to take ownership of it. I was as Ane as I would ever get now. It was waaayyyyy to late to back out now, by almost a decade.
       I raised my Aspect and elevated my Icon. I wasn't good at it. I felt small and weak. Like a child trying to open too big a door. It was, in fact just like that. I found myself in The All. I can't describe it. I could sense the active voices of millions of Ane, using it as a mass communication system. I could hear the cheerful greeting of a few who recognized me. I sent a happy greeting back.
       Then I just asked. It was more that I deliberately felt the request emotionally. **May I speak to human in the All, please?** I was in the presence of Akimbomoto. A tribesman from Africa some thousands of years ago. he wasn't clear on the Julian date, didn't especially care and Stardates were beyond useless to him. I could feel his faint, paper thin joy.
       **What do you do here?** I asked. It had an undertone of **What's it like to be dead here?**
       **It's not like that.** Akimbomoto answered. **Time is also a sensation, young man.** He addressed me as a fondly considered young man. I was odd to be considered such. I was over 65 years old, and heading for 70 at warp speed. Akimbomoto died when he was in the vicinity of 49. But he was wiser than I, especially in regards to the Ane or the All. He'd been part of it from birth, and was raised as it.
       **So, you're not here unless I ask for you?** My image was a like a computer program that wasn't active until it was called.
       **No. It's not like that either.** Akimbomoto grinned at me.
       **So... What's it like?** I asked.
       I felt my self drift away. I lost all sensation It was like a dream where I was in a group of talking friends.
       Gensilan yelled **HEY!!**
       I mentally blinked and found her holding me. **What?**
       Akimbomoto was apologetic **Sorry, young man. I didn't realize how new you were.**
       **Umm. Thanks** I held on to Gensilan tightly.
       **I was told that other humns don't know what their afterlife is like.** Akimbomoto said. **How sad.** I felt myself sliding back down into my own head. **The Creator knew we'd be here. It's meant for us, too.** Akmbomoto said as I fell out of the All.
       I opened my eyes and found myself looking at the overhead in Sickbay. Gensilan looked at me with concern. "I'm fine." I said, "I'm not doing that again any time soon."
       She shook her head **Be carefull what you ask for 'young man'**
       I decided not to sweat the All for a while. There would be plenty of time later.
 
 
Spirit in the Sky -- Jay P Hailey, April 2005

 
 
       Again this is a result of the STB-600 game. It is discovered that Admiral Hailey is telepathic. However, in Epiphany Trek, most Humans are telepathic they just have really closed off firewalls.
       Sometimes Jay has a way if getting under my concepts better than I can, this is one of those times. I like that about him.

 
 
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Personal Journal Stardate 57884.9 Francis Connegor

       I don't even know the date on the real calendar any more. Not that it really matters. I am assured that time flows a little differently in all places.
       Today has been a Hell of a day. Caught in a three way throw down between idiot factions of places I can't even pronounce properly, trying to get someplace I am not even sure it's good idea to go to.
       It's that time when you look yourself in the face and ask "What the Hell am I doing here?" I last had one in Viet Nam in 1972. A place and a date I can point to as real. At least then I had some answers. They weren't good answers, but they were answers.
       So I look around me with people I don't know trying to kill me, again, and think, "What the hell am I doing here?" I am a pilot on a Starship. That sounds Outstanding, especially to someone who had his application to NASA rejected. That's why I took the job.
       But this isn't at all like NASA. This is a freelance garbage scow that can't get out of it's own way. This thing can move at speeds that make me dizzy and make F4 Phantoms look like tricycles in the driveway. But compared to the ships we just faced, it was a DC-3 in a jet dog fight.
       And that's just a normal business day on the free trader, Ochre Pleasure. Free trader... Yeah, my aunt Fanny. More like "perpetually broke and scrambling trader." The Captain/owner has this thing mickey moused eleven ways from Sunday. I don't know what 80% of the doo-dads and devices on this tub do, but the 20% I do recognize are wrong.
       So what am I doing here? I was very nearly not here, except the bandits were more interested in doing dirt to each other than to us. But why did I come along?
       I guess I wanted to prove that I could do it for myself. Hailey and the Aneilogs treated me like a charity case and it bugged me. I guess I found their concern and support a bit. cloying. Besides, the Anelilogs still bother me. It's not fair. I was an intruder on their slap-happy little paradise. But the fear turned into a little tiny lump of disquiet and heartburn. It never really went away.
       So I find myself on a comic opera space galleon trundleing from world to world, somehow managing to become slightly more broke each time we do a transaction. I tried to talk with the Purser about it, but he wouldn't hear it. These Youn are a bunch of stuck up bastards. We have a hodgepodge of people from all over this end of the galaxy here. The Vargr are keen. They remind me of the stories medieval cartographers told of people with dog heads living in far away places. Could there be something there? Could that Erich Von Daniken idiot be on to something?
       At least these people deal in money. It's weird money, but it's money. The Aneilogs and the bellhops of Starfleet can't be bothered.
       I am an idiot. I don't care about money, except as a means to an end. And what's that end? My own life on my own terms out here centuries later in space.
       Madeline, I miss you. I guess I always will. The records told me you'd remarried and had a long and happy life. That our son went on to serve his country.
       And here I am playing Buck Rogers.
       Why? Hailey offered to transfer me laterally into Starfleet. I could be training now as a Starfleet officer.
       But I didn't. They all look a bit soft to me, and they look like some fag bellhop's idea of a military service. So here I am with "The Pirates of Penzance" in space. But those are live weapons firing at us.
       On some level I guess all this is happening for a reason. I am a God fearing man. He put me down here in a frankly looney tune place. Maybe I am hallucinating from oxygen starvation? No, I have hallucinated before. That time with Archie out in the desert and those damned mushrooms. Hallucinations don't have mundane things in them like "who's turn at the dishes is it," or dirty underwear.
       I don't want to live on Starbase Six Hundred. I suppose because that means I'll have to admit that I am not ever going to go home.
       I miss the United States of America. I miss drive-ins, hamburgers and numbskull crap on TV. I miss a movie with Madeline. I miss cocktail parties where we can argue about Richard Nixon's next term. I miss baseball.
       I have to either accept what has happened or start taking real, concrete steps to do something about it. Taking this job and running away from Oz (I still can't believe they named their planet that) was an evasion. A cop out as the kids used to like to say.
       After this run is over I'm going to go back to Oz (Back over the rainbow) and start living my life like I mean it.
       I have been avoiding the idea of going back to Earth. I know that if I step foot on Earth and it's as weird as Oz, I'll finally have to admit to myself that I am not going to get home.
       Maybe I need to do that. Maybe I need to find your grave, Madeline. Maybe I need to get over being homesick and get on with my life.
       Or maybe it's a bad dream and I'll wake up soon.
       Either way, this "perpetually in the hole trader" isn't cutting it. I am better than this, primitive aborigine that I am.
       I need to get some sleep. Time for lights out.

- End Journal Entry
 
 
Personal Journal Stardate 57884.9; Francis Connegor --Jay P. Hailey, June 2005

 
        This is a story of Epiphany Trek. The Character is a new name for a guy whose in-game name I don't recall.
       He appeared on Oz, wandering out of the brush and approaching human residents of that world babbling incoherently about the Alien invasion.
       The man was an Air Force Pilot from Earth, North America circa 1972.
       He didn't know he'd been moved some 700 light years and 400 years into the future.
       And he's had a bit of a hard time dealing with it.
       This is his journal while he's serving as a helmsman/Pilot on a Youn free trader. Connegor sought his own training and his own career, because the socialist over tones of Oz and Starfleet made him uncomfortable.
       But he's discovering that a working life in the space lanes isn't as romantic as the classic science fiction authors made it sound. --Jay P. Hailey

       The McGuffin in this case was a Rishian artifact in Klingon space, an area of continuous interphase known as the Ghost Lands that was causing people and vessels from across time on Earth to be dumped onto and around Oz. Everything from American Airlines flight 523, which they saved to a Viking ship, which was beyond saving.
       As a result you have a small population of displaced Humans living on Oz. Displaced not only in space, but in time, and they cannot go home. Life sucks, and then you die. --Garry Stahl

 
 
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New Ship, Old Mission

       Ree'ok looked at the new ship and sighed. It was a wonder of engineering and manufacturing skill. In it he and his brave crew would venture out to face madness and death. Ae Tabooist purpose. The ship was sleek, a wider, broader manta ray, one of the new Dolphin class cruisers. A roomy hull and advanced warp drives that were faster than anything else in the quadrant.
       "Thank you, my friend." Ree'ok said to Anderban.
       "You are, of course very welcome." Anderban bowed. Gensilan smiled and inclined her head as well.
       "It is with utmost regret and sadness that I must ask your people not to accompany us on our holy mission." Ree'ok said.        Anderban blinked. Gensilan shook her head. "Not going to happen Ree'ok."
       Ree'ok sighed deeply. Some people simply took a while. A long while. "Your All represents the work of a beautiful and sane creator, my friends. I could not, in good conscience, deface the work of these beings with any more interference from the artifacts of my own creators."
       Anderban looked thoughtful.
       Gensilan squeezed Ree'ok's hand. "It's Okay, Ree'ok. Every Aneilog and Ane on your crew has experienced The Change. They know what the risks are. We're as devoted to The Mission as you are."
       Ree'ok sighed again. They didn't really understand. The Rishans were insane and insanely dangerous. But by experiencing their artifacts and their mad thoughts, a Tabooist could reach out and touch the face of God.
       While the Ane were dead set on neutralizing every Rishan artifact they found (and suceeding through some mechanism Ree'ok was not able to pry from them). The Taboooists were ambivalent about approaching the works of their creators.
       To have a contemplative glimpse into the mind of a mad universe and quietly think about what it truly meant in the cosmos and existence as a whole...this sublime experience was difficult to acquire among angrily, bloodthirsty herbivores. The Tabooists feared the Rishans and viewed them with awe. But they didn't hate the Rishans, a distinction lost on the Aneilogs.
       Ree'ok felt these emotions with a quickness that belied his bulk and then accomodated himself to the universe, a skill well practiced among the Tabooists. The Mission must come first.
       "Thank you my friends. Of course every hand bent to the Holy Task is a beneficial and desirable thing." Ree'ok said, slowly.
       Anderban and Gensilan, unable to read Ree'ok's mind felt that he was simply thinking slowly, a misconception the Tabooists subtly encouraged by deliberately talking slowly.
       "Shall we take the tour?" Gensilan asked.
       "Please." Ree'ok shuffled along with his friends.
       The Ship, of course would be a wonder. Pathetic and inadequate next to the works of the Rishans, but what else could be expected of mortal hands? As far as modern ships went the Dolphins were the top of the line.
       Ree'ok looked at details slowly as he shuffled. This ship brought home a dilemma that no Tabooist thought would come in their own life times. With ships like these there was a possibility that every Rishan Artifact could be found, examined and neutralized. Then what would the Taboosists do?
       Some felt that as the last Rishan artifact that the Tabooists should neutralize themselves.
       Ree'ok reached a slow, but inexorable decision...He, like all of his people was much more graceful in the water than on land, although not nearly as graceful as the Ur-Tabooists, the innocent turtles which even today lived their lives on the home world. Ree'ok imagined himself sunning on an OZian beach, Surfing and swimming, and communing with the last Rishan artifacts that would be active. The Aneilogs.
       His sigh was warmer and happier as these thoughts and images crossed his mind. Now all he had to do was survive second hand contact from his creators long enough to get there.
 
 
New Ship, Old Mission -- Jay P Hailey, July 2005

 
 
       Another one of Jay's short bits. This time between the Aneilogs and the Tabooists. Two people seperated by a common goal.
       Tabooists are unreadable to keep them sane. whether by design or accident the Tabooists are not sensitive to the telepathic "waveband" used by most species in the galaxy. the same waveband the Rishian telepathic interfaces work at. If the mad machine cannot make madness at you you have a better chance of not going insane.

 
 
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Ginnungagap

       I didn't come to the All often. It felt like someone else's church, and I was the three-year old without any volume control. This session had been longer than most, but the conversation with Ane that had been present to observe the Iconian civilization had been insightful. What I had learned here would help Starfleet, and myself, deal with the Iconian technology we found in our hands.
       I was about to lower my Aspect when something caught my eye. If you can call it an eye, but it was something I sensed as seeing. How do you define a place within something without physical boundaries? Anyway, it caught my eye and I wanted a closer look.
       The All is both busy and empty. If you allow the whole of it to impinge on your consciousness you can sense the billions of presences. Or, if you wish you can closet yourself away with a few.
       Before I left the All I liked to take in the wholeness of it. To soak for a few minutes in the wonderful strangeness of this alien experience that few Humans got to experience.
       I'm an engineer. Anomalies are what engineers look for, a slight difference in the tone of a well tuned device, a waveform we have never seen before. What I was "seeing" was an anomaly. In the density of the All there was a gap, an area of nothing. No, not nothing. As I approached it I could see a chasm with something on the other side of it. That's the best I can describe it in words. It wasn't what was really there, but that is how I perceived it. A deep chasm, something that could be crossed only with great effort and possibly great danger. On other other side I could barely make out more aspects but nothing in the middle. I drew myself in that direction. This was different.
       The presence before me was immense. Weight, gravity, mass, age, all these things and more filled the Aspect that was suddenly in my way. I stopped and waited. It was unusual for an Aspect to stand in your way. I wanted to hear him/her out.
       **Don't go there Jay.** The voice was the most parental thing I had ever experienced. I fell a profound need to be that way to my own children. A need I knew I would never fulfill.
       **Why is this place different? I thought all of the All was open.** Dammit, I wanted to see!
       **There is nothing to stop you, no, but this is the place you have been warned about. Beyond this place lies madness.**
       I feel the lack of hair on the back of my neck stand up. **Madness? It has a physical place?**
       **A very physical place. Few are the Humans that can even sense this gap Jay, and that which is beyond it. Humans are not wired to even perceive it.**
       My throatlessness was dry as a bone. I thought I knew the answer, but I had to hear it. **So, why to I perceive it?**
       **As you guess Jay, you have been touched by it. That which you have been made aware of you can perceive.**
       **And might I know the nature of the madness I can see?** I can never leave a stone unturned.
       **Beyond this gap, and beyond countless others like it, are alternate realities. It is the most familiar that are the most dangerous. It is those you will find first.**
       I could feel sweat breaking out on my body and I was nowhere near it. My grip on the All was starting to slip. Damn, Gen would tisk at me again if I fell out. **Right. Just what I don't need. How do I avoid them?** I felt my wavering control steady. It was helping me.
       **Don't cross the gaps. There will always be gaps. You can see them. Don't cross the gaps and you will remain as well as you are now.**
       **Thanks. I'll remember that.** It was holding me. I know my control was totally shot.
       I slid back down into my body with a thud. I was soaked in cold sweat. I jerked off the bed like it was going to eat me. Damn, how could I face the All knowing those ... gaps ... were out there?
       A slender beam of calm opened into my mind. I rushed to meet it. Gensilan. **You will because you can Jay. It is no greater a danger than other your have faced, and one totally within your will.**
       **I know my will is weak.**
       **And thus you have strengthened yourself.**
       **It's crazy.**
       **From a Human point of view, I would have to agree.**
       **Do you see the gaps?**
       **We are aware of them. We don't see them exactly as you do. It is no wiser to cross them, for the sensate.**
       **Only for the sensate?**
       **Yes. You will lose yourself that way and never get back to the sensate existence. There are those that have died that way. They drift off and never return.**
       **You can take it that casually?**
       **Jay, we are wired that way. It is why Ane always seem at least a little crazy to Humans. Do you want me to come?**
       **No, yes, later. Later, have work I need to do.** I got up and dressed.

       I sat in my office a long time, but I didn't do any work.
 
 
Ginnungagap -- Garry Stahl, February 2006

 
 
       Once again I take a handle on Jay's Admiral Hailey. Ginnungagap, in Norse mythology was the distance between the eternal cold and the eternal fire. A place where the cold melted and from that came Yimr the first of the giants. Ginnungagap is the place between one thing that is everything, and another thing that is everything.
       Membrane theory is in part the physics on which I base the All and a good many of the abilities of the Ane. The 11th dimension, in theory, touches nothing yet is close to everything. This fraction of an unphysical millimeter is the Ginnungagap sensed in the All. Membrane theory is down right spooky to us six dimensional Humans, but explains what physicists currently believe about the universe and things outside of it. "Branes" allow, all but require really, alternate realities to exists. Universes beyond our own. Star Trek touches on these, and "Brane" theory allows for it and the abilities of the Ane. However, for we Humans rooted in our six dimensions that way lies madness.

 
 
 
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Milestones

       Admiral Picard read the memo from Starbase 600. Captain Gensilan had been promoted to Rear Admiral and placed in direct command of Starbase 600. He sipped his tea and smiled. This would turn more than a few heads among his more staid peers. Gensilan was after all an "artificial" lifeform.
       The door swished open and Commander Data entered his office. "Admiral, the errors in the system have been corrected. I have personally verified all data against known parameters."
       Picard nodded. "Thank you Data." He looked at his old friend. "I don't think that you are thanked enough for the extraordinary efforts you place into your work Data."
       Data cocked his head in the peculiar way that he had. "I do not understand why this should be necessary, Sir. I serve as I am able."
       "Have you no personal ambitions Data?"
       "Yes Sir, I pursue them as time allows."
       Picard looked at Data standing in front of his desk. "Please Data, sit down." Once he had Picard indicated the memo. "I had hopes that one day you would be the first artificial lifeform to make flag rank, Data. I am afraid Gensilan has beaten you to it."
       Data read the memo over. "This does not displease me Admiral. While I have ambitions, I have no ambition to lead."
       "You do not want your own command?"
       Data shook his head. "No sir. I find the idea of sending life forms to their possible death by my orders disquieting. I am satisfied with my place as your aide."
       "What will you do when I retire?"
       "I have considered retiring myself and entering the Academic world. There is much knowledge to be discovered. I believe I could serve well in that endeavor."
       "You are going to outlive all of us Data. Can you really retire?"
       Data blinked. For a brief moment thoughts warred visibly across his face. A wooden expression finally fixed on his face. "I ... find that issue ... difficult to face Jean Luc. While I have never faltered in the face of any fact, I do not wish ... to think ... of losing my friends." He stopped for a moment. His face cleared to a more normal expression. "I have found a failing within myself."
       "Then old friend, you have gained something far more valuable than rank."
       "I do not understand."
       Picard smiled softly. "You have become, Human."
 
 
Milestones -- Garry Stahl, July 2006

  
       This is once again the result of the STB-600 game played by Jay and I. In describing Gensilan's reaction to her promotion, I thought of the reaction when that memo reached Earth, and two beloved characters.
       Of all the TNG characters I have to way that Picard and Data speak to me the strongest. Theirs are the voices I can find and can speak through.

 
 
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Discussion

      Kayne slouched in the booth, looking at the Zarian across from him with drink-bleary eyes. "Ya see, it's this way. I hired on with the Capitan, oh...some 6 years ago. He had a better deal. And over time I've found that his better deal is the best deal I've ever had. Result, being the goal oriented type, I stick with it. We've had a few ups and downs but the Tranquility was a good ship.
      Then this monster called the Sigma Seven pulls into orbit. I mean MONSTER! It makes an Alliance Peacekeeper look like like a minnow. More interesting, they invite us over for lunch. They want native guides and they pay in antimatter. I tell you friend that is hard to beat with a stick.
      So this monster tucks the Tranquility under her wing like a baby chick and off we go. Off where you ask? Yea, it gets better. Reaver hunting. You heard me right, Reaver hunting. They are monstrous and crazy, and...they have us in tow. I was dead sure we were going to die or worse. When she does encounter a Reaver swarm? Knock me out with a feather. That monster ripped through the Reavers like the raiders was made of butt paper. Ten of the things. They continue to plow through Reavers like it was nothing. They find the Reaver base and explore it. Yea, that is how we all learned the truth. Didn't come as much surprise to some of us. Captain was stone cold about the whole thing.
      So Capitan Hal figures that if we have any stink of these people on us the Gob'met ain't going to take kindly to us. So we allow ourselves to get taken to their base. Just...I can't describe it. The station was beyond huge. You could fit stations inside that station. Gettin' lost wasn't a problem at all, that was easy. Stayin' found was the hard part. Capitan Hal ends up trading Tranquility for the Phoenix. It was hard letting that ship go, even if it wasn't mine, but the new one was taking a luxury resort out for a tramp haul. Big ass mixed cargo ship. Captain Hal was sweating bullets over making it pay. This ship was serious big. We could almost have used the Tranquility as a shuttle craft. Big step up. We have to add crew as well. From nine crew to thirty. All sorts of funny looking people too, with strange habits.
      So we start playing the Zarian route as it is called. Oz to Tanak and points between. Yea the usual pirates to avoid and such, but the Federation ain't the Alliance. We have weapons, good ones. Pirates don't mess with ships that pack like a light frigate The repairs are too expensive."
      His booth companion waved a dismissive hand. "All very interesting Mr. Kayne. But the question remains." He patted the case on the table. "Here is the latinum, can you help us?"
      A moment of intense light under the table the Zarian went stiff and slid under the booth. Kayne got up and pocketed the phaser. "No." Kayne opened the case removed two bars and placed them on the table, picked up the case and left.


Discussion -- Garry Stahl, November 2010


      More small scenes. This one based off events with the USS Sigma Seven.



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Reality is the Agreed on Delusion

       Robert Kohl looked out the view port at subspace hissing passed the hull of the Kingfisher. In his hands was the white black and gold cap of an officer in the United States Navy. On his terminal was the message he had just received from Earth, and on the table was a half finished double shot of bad bourbon.
       The message still played through is mind. A man in the uniform of the US Coast Guard of all things. The cut had changed, but the colors, the signage, it was the same. "Lieutenant Robert Kohl. I am Admiral Fredrick Killdeer. As of Georgian date January 1st 2101 the United States Navy was folded into the United States Coast Guard, your commission would now come under our command. Let me welcome you to the 24th century. While cases like your own are uncommon they are not without precedent. The records of your boat and her crew are intact. We will of course treat all of your comrades and yourself as enlisted men and officers in the Coast Guard unless you choose to resign, or change services. In your case your transfer to Starfleet Command is most certainly approved and we wish you the best of luck in our sister service. I hope you are finding an easy way to assimilate to the changes in the world since you went adrift in time."
       "Oh Admiral, you have no idea. None at all." muttered Robert to himself. He took another swig of the bourbon, and reminded himself why it wasn't finished. Some of his comrades couldn't take it, they went insane. Federation medicine cured them. They were functional if shallow shells of themselves. He was made of sterner stuff as would be said. It never occurred to him to retreat into madness. Then again, he wasn't sure he wasn't mad either. Starships, alien life forms, strange new worlds? It all sounded like Galaxy Quest. Yet here he was, the Science officer on cruiser traveling faster than light to answer some call for help. He fingered the braid in his hands. Was his old cover any less or any more real than the uniform he wore? Like the uniform on Admiral Killdeer. It looked right. It was wrong, the cut was wrong, the fabric was wrong. But the rank badge, the braid, that was right. If it was a nightmare why was anything familiar? or why wasn't everything unfamiliar? No, Oz wasn't something his mind could have managed on acid, not that he would be caught dead messing with hippy drugs. It wasn't the changes that ate at his mind, it was the things that didn't change. It logically, inexorably pointed to the fact that this wasn't some delusion he was going to wake up from; that was Twilight Zone crap. This was real. He knew it was real, and the delusion that it was a delusion was the delusion.
       Robert got up from his chair. He tossed the cover on the table. It had taken over a year for the question to grind through the system, but he was officially a Starfleet Lieutenant. He looked at the lousy bourbon again and left it on the table. It wouldn't be there when he got back, but his hat would be; crazy smart technology. Well Capitan Tyson had questions about that mineral they found on Fenetar that he wanted answers for. He might as well take his official Starfleet ass down to the main lab and lend a hand in the real work.


Reality is the Agreed on Delusion -- Garry Stahl, November 2010


       Another keeping my hand in character piece. Very similar to one of Jay's I know, similar character in a similar vein. I wrote it because it was writing something. I lay no claim to originality. Lt. Robert Kohl is the science officer of the USS Kingfisher, a "relief" cruiser in the Starbase 600 game. A minor character who is a refugee from a time disaster.



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The Wandering Jew

       "Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, bo're p'ri ha-etz." The words fell from the lips of Isaac Laquedem without effort or sadly much thought. He placed the slices of fruit on the tray and took it to the table of Aneilogs that had come to his tea house. Once he had served them he moved to the edge of his patio to gaze at the sky of Oz. Somewhere between the stars his faith had died, but the centuries long habits of culture had not. Isaac shook his head at the humor upon himself. To outlive the very thing that defined one. Little his Father could have known. Yes, even that, he had not thought of his Father in many a long year. So much his parents had given him, so little of his life they had lived. the last he had seen either of his parents they had been dragged from the ruins of Jerusalem by the Romans. His Father he knew was dead, his Mother, he never saw her again. His world crushed as he was dragged off to be a slave.
       Refugee, slave, even beggar all these he had been. Always war and rumor of war. Many times around old Terra he had gone, and always war. He tried being a Husband and Father, but time crushed it all without mercy. The end of the wars was almost a shock. Earth finally became a place of peace, and Isaac's feet began to itch. Was it because he gravitated to war, not away? Did he seek the misery? It is indeed hard to relieve misery if there is none around you. Again...again the faith he had lost directed his steps. Swear to God that if you could be free you would aid the poor and downtrodden. For two thousand years he had kept the oath. And now keeping it was is very nature.
       For a while he managed to go back. The time in San Fransisco was good. The tea house there did much good. But he had heard of the Far Sector, and his feet had itched again. He was too old, and people were starting to notice again. Time to move on.
       The Emerald City was not a place of misery. Some called it wacky and weird. Some got defensive at the place being so, yes...zany at them. Isaac smiled. He was happy here. Once in a while some being sat on his patio that was indeed miserable. Isaac helped as he was allowed, and the Aneilogs helped. He was truly welcome here. They knew something. Something of his secret was no secret from them. Yet they did not tell. For the while that he could be happy, he would be, until itchy feet led him further astray.
       Several people sat on his patio. Starfleet, good people. He went over to inquire as to their wants.


The Wandering Jew -- Garry Stahl, November 2010


       This character came up during the Starbase 600 game. A slice of weird life moment. An old timer like Mr .Flint (Requiem for Methuselah) that had a much different kind of life. The Wandering Jew is a character of folklore. Seen as sympathetic or not, a victim of a curse, deserved or not. Forever wandering, never able to put down roots. The Old timer idea of some people that live many centuries makes this character possible.



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End of the Shift

       Padenban repeated his orders to the relieving officer. He gladly passed off the opps station on the Crystal City. He left the bridge with others from his shift. Little was said. Little needed to be said.
       They caught another Nadzireny ship that shift. This one had shredded himself trying to get away. The Crystal City had never fired a shot. Their fear was thick and ugly. He needed to wash it off his body. That before food even.
       Panderban tossed his uniform down the disposal and walked right into the shower. Hot water, full sonic. He let the vibrations and warmth work its easing magic on his body. The dry field stripped the water from him as he left the shower. Once again he smiled a bit as the tuft on his tail sort of 'popped" out of the dry field. That never failed to amuse him. Back in the main cabin he contemplated eating alone. He also gave his seldom used bed a long look. No, alone was not good. Being the Chief Operations Officer might get him the private cabin, but like most Aneilogs, he failed to appreciate any need for privacy. He did remember to grab another uniform. Senior officers can and do get called at all times of the day.
       As he waked to turbolift he mused on this war. Another pocket empire, puffed on its own self importance had declared a war it could not afford to fight. Rear Admiral Hailey had offered them peace on a platter. The only problem is that it didn't allow them to eat their fellow sentients. They dashed the peace from his hands. He remembered that day too well. The sickening day when he knew they would have to kill their way out of this.
       Arrival in the Ane quarters was a cool breeze to a weary soul. He embraced a few, licked a few chins, and made his way to the replicator. Even that was a new luxury. He remembered too well harvesting vegetables grown with the sweat of his brow and backs of gronks. His selection made he joined a circle of other diners.
       **Another today Padenban?** Asked Fethilan. She worked the engineering department.
       **Sadly yes. They tore their own ship apart running.**
       The audible sigh passed around the entire room. She lowered her eyes and thought for everyone. **They can never be remembered.**
       **No, by their own will was it done.**
       Dollyban had a seat beside them. **I don't understand why peace is so hard for them? Is the ability to hurt others that important?**
       Maylan the healer flicked her ears in agreement. **It is called the lust for power. It is a drug that afflicts many peoples. Some more than others.**
       Dollyban lowered his ears. **It is going to afflict these people right out of being remembered at all.**
       Panderban dropped his ears back. **We hope not to that point. If Hailey has any say it will never be to that point. The good news is the empire has asked to discuss peace. We are on our way to the conference site as of this moment.**
       **Yea, the last time we tried that they attacked us.**
       **And it didn't work out very well for them. I don't think they will try the same thing twice. We might not understand them, but they don't seem to be insane.**
       Maylan relaxed a bit. **For that we can be thankful. Do you have anything planned for a next couple of hours?**
       **No, outside of relaxing.**
       **How about you help me relax?** She was conveniently undressed.
       Panderban perked his ears, and shed his uniform onto the floor. **Yes, I do believe that is just the prescription we both need.**


End of the Shift -- Garry Stahl, November 2010


       Another character piece. One more little never meant to be much, go anywhere, lubricate the writing muscles bit of character fluff. This time some Aneilogs on the USS Crystal City. She is currently fighting an unequal war in the Starbase 600 game.



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Venice Beach

       After the Galahad incident I thought I was going to be forever getting back to Earth, if indeed they ever let me. But, the matter sorted out I was graciously allowed to put the uniform back down and I even got a nice ride home, sans any battles or rank. I have to admit it did leave me a little teary eyed when that kid in the Captain suit called me Commodore.

       Venice Beach in June is a fun place to be. The sun is warm baking your body in a most agreeable way. The sea wind wicks the sweat off and keeps you from over heating. Young women wearing very little make for nice scenery.  So I was at an outdoor cafe in the middle of Venice Beach working on my memoirs. An exercise my counselor suggested. As usual I was offending fashion for at least 50 yards with my shirt. But such offenses are actually fairly common in Venice Beach, so in that I didn't even stand out.
       Now Starfleet officers, even old used up ones, are suppose to have senses honed to a knife edge. I'm a total failure in that direction. I looked up from my padd to find my table had a second occupant. I've had emotional moments in my life, great joy, crushing sorrow. But in the next five to ten seconds I think I had them all. Sitting at my table was a slim woman with a muzzle, and skin so black it shone blue. Her little horns polished to perfection had jewels dangling from the tips. She was wearing nothing more than a vest in a similar riot of color to my shirt. My heart sank, flew, burst, and got all warm and fuzzy all at once. I felt faint and yes the scenery did get blurry for a moment and I don't think tears were the whole reason. My mouth hung open like the fool I was, and my voice took leave, along with my senses. She sipped the fruit juice in her glass. and looked at me with those solid blue eyes. "Gen-Gensilan?!" I finally managed to stammer out.
       She sipped her juice again. **Silly boy, did you think I was giving up?**
        I had nothing to add.  The impossible was sitting in front of me.  I looked at her carefully. Mentally, She felt a little older. Seasoned just right. None of it showed on her face or in her body. I might  have left her behind a week ago.
       **Are you ready to come home?  We have a beach I think you'll like.**
       I'd seen the odd Aneilog down here taking surfing lessons. They all made a point to come by and say Hi. Nice folks. "Is there a lot of surfing on Coventry, these days?"
       Gen smiled inside and out **Not too much.. We call it Oz now. The capital city  is now The Emerald City. Anderban plays the Great and Mighty Wizard when we need one.**
       I looked at her, completely not tracking what she was saying. I tracked how she said it. There was no pain or resentment there. Just the quiet fact. I was hers, she was mine, and she wanted me to come home.
       She smiled bigger, warmer. **It'll take time time explain...**
       I knew I'd made the decision. I hadn't even been aware of it. Now I knew why Venice Beach never clicked all the way.  I stood up and grabbed my coat. "Yeah. Let's go home."


Venice Beach  --  Gary Stahl & Jay P. Hailey, January 2010


I lost this for a while.  I finally found it again.  One of my rare STOM tales.  Jay added a few lines that fleshed it out nicely.  Otherwise it speaks for itself.  Obviously post Jay's "Redemption".  I am a romantic.


Oz
Created By: Garry Stahl
Number of Members: 2 billion. A member of the Ane Confederation
Nature of Members: Ane Humanoids or Aneilogs. Aneilogs are digagrade bipeds standing on average 5'7" with taller and shorter possible. The talest known adult is 7" the shortest was 4' 5". The typical weight is 120 pounds at average height. They have small horns a slight muzzle and the Ane typical eye. Their hands have four digts, thumb and three fingers. Aneilogs are mostly hairless, the mane on their heads and a tuft at the end of their tail is all the hair they can claim. They have a low tolerance for cold. Aneilogs still posses the vocal apparatus of Ane, and have difficulty speaking humanoid languages. Among themselves they never bother except as an art form. They cannot teleport as their quadrupedal cousins, that part of the brain was reworked to give them hands.
       Gender differences are more obvious than on unaltered Ane. Females have pectoral mammaries typical of bipeds. They are never as large on average as humans. They have no need for a bra. Males keep the internal genitals at a reduced size. They also retain the scent glands under the eye, but without the black fur markings. There is an obvious difference in hip width, again as typical for bipeds.
Organization: Working Anarchy
Game Role: Base for the Starbase 600 game
World Role: Residue of the Ane encounter with the Rishans.
Relative Influence: Minor Only one world on the edge of the unknown.
Public or Secret?: Public
Publicly Stated Goal: Live our lives and learn stuff.
Relative Wealth: Wealthy, one planetary system
Group advantages: The Aneilogs are humanoid Ane. They have hands and walk bipedally. This has allowed them to construct a technological society.
Contacts: Starfleet and Starbase 600, The All.
Special Abilities: Racial memory and powerful telepaths.
Group Disadvantages: Aneilogs have had their technology pounded flat in the last 500 years. Development back to an industrial base has been uneven given that they are ecologically conscious about said development. They will not use polluting technologies, which severely limits the available power grid in both where it can be and how large it can get.
Who belongs: Anyone that really wants to.
Who doesn't belong: Anyone that doesn't really want to.
Those who favor them: Ane Confederation, UFP Starfleet
Those opposed to them: No known enemies at this time outside generic UFP opposition.
Area of Operation: 20 light years from the Zantree Alliance at the 7:30 position looking down from galactic north. Approximately 600 light years form Earth.
Headquarters Location: Emerald City
Public Face:Perky, happy bipeds with cute noses.
Notable Members Anderban: The current "head of state". He had the least objection to taking the job when a face man was needed. His primary duty is being a "face" for the planetary consensus. An expected figurehead for people that expect a government. Anderban lives in Emerald City, now the de facto Capital. When not playing the role of Head of State he runs his ice cream and cheese shop named "Tasty Treats". With the change of the planet's name to Oz, certain functional changes have been made. A true Capital building has been constructed complete will long impressive hall and flaming holotank throne, pay no attention to the Aneilog behind that curtain. The sign on the door still reads. "Planetary Capital: Graft and bribes in rear"
       Vice Admiral Jay P. Hailey: The Federation commander that found the Aneilogs and decide it was a good place for a starbase.
History of the Group: Coventry (now Oz) was one of the many Ane worlds founded during the initial Ane Diaspora. They prospered as much as any Ane world, accepting various visitors and learning all they could. 100,000 years ago the Rishans dropped by. They thought the Ane design was awkward. Intelligent species should be bipeds with hands. So they fixed it.
       Eighty precent of the population died within a few days. The survivors staggered around dazed. The shock to the All itself has never been equaled. The Rishans watched for a while, when it was clear that the remaining 20% would not curl up and die, they called the procedure a success and moved on.
       The Aneilogs picked up the shattered shreds of their lives and tried to make a go of things. They had no technology and no skills. They formed into wandering bands and began a gatherer existence. They knew tools were possible, and taught themselves the necessary skills by trial and error. Their first useful tool was ironically was the horns of the masses of dead.
       Remembering the lessons of a hundreds of races that had destroyed or came close to destroying their ecologies they proceeded with technology slowly in a planned and measured manner. 800 years ago they had achieved a warp capable culture. By 600 years ago they found and colonized a world near them, and were planning for the next stage of warp technology when they would have a chance at uniting the Ane worlds with Ane build warp drives. They had peace with the neighbors and prosperity.
       Then came the Kliges'chee. First it was rumors, then refugees. A vicious race was boiling out from the rimward. They smashed all before them and were relentless. Race after race fell to the raiders. Their colony was in the path, and mass movement started for the home world, but not in time.
       Coventry saw the writing on the wall. The attacks came until whoever was beaten back. The harder you resisted, the more they pounded you. The Aneilogs threw everything into defense. Protected caverns, food and water stores, tools, but only the basics. There was no danger of invasion, the Kliges'chee were liquid methane creatures. A class M world was useless to them. The Aneilogs retreated below ground, and let their technology take the brunt of the attack.
       As of 500 years ago their cities were ruined, the space port and hard won starships wrecked. The Aneilogs were back to the iron age, but they were alive.
       In the time since they have carefully rebuilt. Their knowledge of technology survived if the means did not. With the arrival of the Discovery, the Aneilogs have physical contact with the UFP and technological support to quickly regain what was lost.
       As part of the STB-600 exploration push Starfleet officers have been sent out in "Free Traders" to gather man in the street data about the warp capable cultures in the neighborhood. The first such is the "Curious Minnow" commanded by Lt. Commander Brett Tyson, and his five Aneilog crew. Approching Mongo, and wishing to keep is point of origin secret for the moment, Brett announced he was from "Oz". The Aneilogs picked up on it and soon a lively debate sprung up as to renameing Coventry. Well the Oz case won out. The whole planet has gone a bit crazy over it.

 
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The Above is a work of fiction. All characters are fictional, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.

Stories Copyright Jay P. Hailey: 2004. Stories Commentary and Profile Copyright Garry Stahl: 2004-2011. All rights reserved, re-print only with permission.


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