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DarKush

Dark Territory: False Colors (WIP)

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I'm still writing False Colors, but I want to post it to get your opinions on it. "False Colors" is a follow up to my previous story "Pride Goeth", and is a companion piece to DavidFalkayn's excellent Sutherland story "Messages from Earth", both of which can be found at unitedtrek.org. Hopefully the formatting will be kinder to me this time around. Here goes:

DARK TERRITORY:

FALSE COLORS

PART ONE: THE CALM BEFORE

Starfleet Headquarters

Earth

Late 2371

“Having second thoughts?” Admiral James Leyton frowned at the question and the questioner.

“Aren’t you? And if not, shouldn’t you be?”

The other man shook his head. “I’ve made peace with this decision. It’s the right thing to do James. The only thing, if the Federation is going to survive what’s coming.”

Leyton sighed, before stroking his salt and pepper beard. “I know, I know. It’s just….”

“Just what?” The other man prodded.

“It’s….treason,” the admiral whispered, even though he knew it was a secure line. Now the other man sighed.

“That’s one way to look at it,” he conceded, “but I don’t see it that way at all. The President has clearly not upheld his Oath of Office to defend the Federation. And if he won’t do anything about the Dominion, then it’s incumbent upon us to. I’m not worried about the judgment of history. If we don’t act soon there’ll be nobody around to write our history.”

“You’re right,” Leyton nodded. “But it doesn’t make me feel any better.”

“Just remind yourself of all those lives we’ll be saving,” the other replied.

“What about the lives that we might take in this endeavor?” Leyton challenged. “Innocent lives?” The other man shook his head. He didn’t have a response.

Eventually he muttered, “Necessary casualties,” he offered. “If anyone does perish, their sacrifice will be for the greater good.”

“That’s cold comfort,” Leyton remarked.

“It is what it is,” the other man replied, not backing down. “The plan must go forward.”

“With, or without me?” The admiral asked darkly. The other man merely chuckled.

“Of course with you, it’s your plan after all.” Leyton grimaced, not liking to be reminded of how his dark imaginings had taken root and spread across the Fleet. He had been both shocked and gratified that so many others had shared his views about protecting the Federation. But he had also been dismayed that so many were as ready as he to upturn civilian rule, even temporarily.

“The only flaw with your plan is that I should be there, on Earth, or close by when it happens,” the other man said.

“We’ve been through this before,” the admiral replied, his voice gaining strength. “Martial law has to look incidental and temporary, an emergency response only. Everyone knows about you and the President’s clashes. If you swoop into the Palais de la Concorde immediately they’ll know that we have no intention of restoring Jaresh-Inyo to power. You’ll come in later, after I’ve convinced the President to resign and make him see the reasonableness of having you as his successor.”

“He’ll never agree to that,” the other replied.

Leyton smiled, but it radiated no warmth. “Jaresh-Inyo will not be an obstacle,” he promised. The other man leaned back, regarding the admiral. “And we won’t speak of this again,” Leyton said. “The plan is set. Any deviations might ruin it for us. Plus, if things go south, at least you won’t be around to go down with the ship.” The man tensed at the phrase, remembering something from his past.

“Bad turn of phrase,” Leyton admitted.

“It’s all right,” the other man managed a smile. “What’s past…is past.”

“Yes, so we shouldn’t dwell on it,” Leyton remarked. “Right now the future is our main priority.”

“To the future,” the other said, raising an imaginary glass. Admiral Leyton followed suit.

********************************************************************

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********************************************************************

USS Cuffe

Captain’s Quarters

Mid-2372

“I’ve been dreaming about this shore leave for a long time,” Lt. Commander Pedro Rojas said as he lounged on the captain’s honey colored Aaamazzarite couch. “Of course I had my hopes set on Lemuria Station. Any explanations why they redirected us to Deep Space Five?”

Captain Terrence Glover looked up from the pile of requisition orders he was trying to fill out before they reached DS5. “No, but I’m not complaining.” The starship had been pulled from the Klingon front in the Algol System for a more proper overhauling of its systems and to better patch up the scar running along its underside, the result of a risky game of chicken against a bevy of Klingon warships in an encounter in the Oberoi Sector.

Pedro grinned. “I’m sure you’re not, since you’ll get to spend several days under the lovely Lt. Mendes.” Terrence chuckled, but he didn’t deny the engineer’s assertion. He hadn’t seen Jasmine in months and he missed her.

“What about Lt. Raeger, I remember the last time you was here you two hit it off pretty well?” Glover asked, referring to the station’s communications officer. Pedro merely sucked his teeth.

“Old news. You know I’m all about new worlds, new civilizations, and all that.”

“Yeah right,” Terrence rolled his eyes. “I’ll see how that act holds up when we beam down.”

The Chief Engineer shrugged. “Probably about five seconds,” he admitted.

“I’m giving it two.”

**********************************************************************

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Great and very ominous beginning as we find out that Leyton's coup might have gone much deeper than we previously assumed. Another known or unknown figure might have been pulling the strings behind the scenes. A scary thought.

My only gripe with the beginning was that I wasn't sure who was speaking ... Leyton or the other man. I think it becomes more obvious later. In order to avoid confusion however I would suggest not to use the name of the person not speaking in the same paragraph as the dialogue. You will end up with more paragraphs but it might become clearer to some readers.

This is absolutely making me want to read more.

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Agreed, this is an ominous opener.  I can only imagine the vigor with which Terrrence Glover would oppose any such actions, and an angry Glover is not to be trifled with.  Looking forward to more.  ;D

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Agreed.  This is a great opener and I'm interested in seeing where you're going to take this.  Who is the mysterious man?  I also like the fact that you're looking beyond Earth at the rest of Starfleet here.  Something like this would have far reaching ramifications.

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Have finished False Colours:o

Just wanted to drop a line to comment on the story. It was darkly great. The different parties were put through an emotional wringer and we saw dividing lines drawn through different crews and it terrific stuff. Lots of tension and angst. Really liked the motivations of the conspirators and our mysterious figures.

Well done!

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