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Chaos Effect: The Fleet Of Chaos

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Chaos Trek: A Halloween Effect". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: The long term effects of October 31, 1997 may be enough to bring chaos to the cycle.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Games > Sci-Fi > Mass Effect Trilogy
Star Trek > Other/General
RubyPaladinFR18516,75586020,55327 Oct 134 Feb 14Yes

Chapter One

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, STAR TREK, OR MASS EFFECT. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER IS OWNED BY JOSS WHEDON. STAR TREK WAS CREATED BY GENE RODDENBERRY AND IS OWNED BY PARAMOUNT STUDIOS. MASS EFFECT WAS CREATED BY BIOWARE AND IS OWNED BY ELECTRONIC ARTS.




The Fleet Of Chaos




By




Ruby Paladin










Timeline:




October 31st, 1997- A chaos spell cast by Ethan Rayne creates a fleet of starships as well as the space station commonly seen in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to appear in orbit above Sunnydale, California. Several people, many of them teenagers, who were effected by the spell retained their knowledge from those who they became and manage to secure the small fleet and the station.




November 8, 1997- The fledgling Starfleet begins to train new personnel. With a few objections, Admiral Rupert Giles beams down to the United Nations during a session and informs them of their intention to fall under the command of the United Nations in order to prevent any one nation from siezing control.




January 4, 1998- Under UN control, Starfleet expands operations and begins construction of Utopia Planetia in orbit of Mars. U.S.S. Defiant, under the command of Captain Alexander LaVelle Harris, detects ruins of an ancient civilization on Mars. An away team unearthes evidence of the Protheans who according to tests were gone for fifty thousand years.




June 16, 1998- The supernatural is exposed when the Scourge detonates a magical weapon on top of the Eiffel Tower. Because of the manner in which it is carried out, millions of humans and nonviolent demons perish.




June 19, 1998- The United Nations ratifies the Dark Magic Accords. Under the terms of the Accords, proven usage of dark magic unless approved will result in immediate execution.




June 21, 1998 to Febuary 3, 1999- Demon Research Initiative is folded into Starfleet and Captain Riley Finn begins to lead the first of several successul battles against violent demons. The DRI is almost destroyed from within several months later when project leader, Doctor Margret Walsh, loses control over ADAM. The project takes severe casualties before Captain Finn, Lieutenant Commander Graham Miller, and Lieutenant Forest Gates manage to hit ADAM with transporter tags allowing U.S.S. Voyager, under the command of Captain Willow Rosenberg, to beam ADAM up and scatter the monster's pattern.




March 10, 1999- Deputy Mayor Alan Finch brings substantial evidence of black magic performed by Sunnydale Mayor Richard Wilkins the Third who also happened to have been both Mayor Richard Wilkins the First as well as Mayor Richard Wilkins the Second. With knowledge of his plans, Willkins is exposed and executed.




July 9, 1999- Peaceful demons petition the Hague to be recognized as sentient beings.




August 21, 1999- The Hague recognizes the rights of peaceful demons. Within hours, several demons apply to the newly built Starfleet Academy in San Fransisco.




August 30, 1999- U.S.S. Jesse McNally is sent on an exploratory mission to investigate the star systems that are suppose to contain the founding members of the Federation in Star Trek.




November 1, 2000- Joyce Summers recovers from surgery to remove a tumor brought upon by a powerful spell which created her daughter, Dawn Marie Summers, and inserted her into the timeline. Dawn Summers holds the magical artifact, the Key, within her.




January 6, 2001- Slayer Buffy Summers assisted by Major Finn and his team assault the Hell Goddess Glory who has been seeking Dawn Summers. The same tactic used against ADAM is utilized against Glory to no avail. Sunnydale undergoes emergency evacuation as two tri-colbalt devices set at ninety six thousand tera-cochranes are detonated using the transporter tags planted on Glory to triangulate her position. Sunnydale is destroyed in the blast. As a side-effect of the blast, the Sunnydale Hellmouth is collapsed.




April 11, 2001- Wolfram & Hart is exposed and immediately is placed under the Dark Magic Accords. Multiple branch offices begin the fall.




May 6, 2001- The vampire known as Spike undergoes demon trials and gains a soul. After being deemed safe, Spike enrolls in Starfleet Academy.




July 2, 2001- Drusilla is ensouled using modified soul curse.




August 9, 2001- U.S.S. Jesse McNally returned to the Sol System reporting no signs of the civilizations that were the founding members of the Federation. Upon returning to the Sol System, an absentminded ensign onboard the Jesse McNally detects a strange object buried in Charon. The object is activated by the scan and the Charon Relay is revealed. Study of the relay is halted however after concerns about how the device would interact with Federation technology are made.




September 7, 2001- Colony ships embark to colonize nearby worlds that are not beyond the relay.




December 6, 2001 to March 1, 2002- Lieutenant Winifred Burkle is infected with spores after breaching the science lab of the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart. All attempts to purge the spores from her system are futile and Winifred Burkle's essence is consumed by the Old One known as Illyria. She is detained by Starfleet and after several weeks, she is released from custody. Illyria expresses interest in serving in Starfleet. She is allowed to serve in Starfleet and switches to the Command Track as in her own words, “If I must be part of this, I will command the muck.”




September 2, 2002- The Watcher's Council is destroyed in an explosion linked to the cult known as the Bringers who worship the First Evil.




September 14, 2002- Potential Slayers from around the world are brought together and agree to be activated in order to become Slayers. Captain Rosenberg who after years of study is able to perform the activation spell and inadvertedly activates Slayers around the world. It is expected for this to continue.




September 17, 2002- Lieutenant Faith Lehane leads defense of Cleveland after the Hellmouth located there is opened. Caleb, one of the leaders of the Bringers, is killed by Captain Alexander Harris using TR-116 modified with a micro-transporter. Colonel Riley Finn sacrifices his life to destory the Cleveland Hellmouth by delivering a pair of tri-colbalt devices each set at one hundred twenty tera-cochranes.




April 16, 2004- Drusilla becomes an officer in Starfleet and forms the unit codenamed “Dolls”. Each member of the unit is a Slayer given a codename of one of the vampiress' dolls. Combining her own precognitive abilities as well as Slayer dreams from those in her unit, fifteen apocalypse-level events are thwarted.




November 9, 2009- Exploration beyond the Charon Relay is permitted after years of tests. U.S.S. Voyager and U.S.S. Defiant are the first two ships through the relay and split apart after a few weeks when they find two separate relays.




June 17, 2013- Contact is lost with both U.S.S. Voyager and U.S.S. Defiant. Scans later conducted by U.S.S. Jesse McNally detect heavy chroniton particles suggesting the possiblity of time travel.




July 9, 2014- Plans for a massive Starbase are made to be constructed in the Arcturus System.




March 2, 2015- Arcturus Station is completed.




April 9, 2015- The Sovereign Class Starship U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 is completed at Utopia Planetia. Captain Faith Lehane is given command and is best remembered by the following quote. “I'm the captain of the Enterprise. What the fuck is wrong with this picture?” To separate reality from fantasy, this Enterprise is not given a letter at the end of its prefix code much to the disappointment of the head of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.




December 7, 2018- The Scourge make a daring surprise attack on Earth after more than a decade of belief of their disappearance. Before the attack, Buffy Summers is assassinated by agents of the Scourge. While the attack on Earth may be compared to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor seventy seven years prior as the Scourge awakening a sleeping giant, the assassination of Buffy Summers turned the sleeping giant into a swarm of angry dragons.

During the attack, the captain of the U.S.S. Relentess is killed and his first officer takes command. Commander Spike organizes an inspired defense of Earth and is later promoted to the rank of captain retaining the Relentless as his vessel.




December 19, 2018- System Alliance is formed and Arcturus Station is named the capital. Starfleet is made the primary defense force of the new interstellar government.




December 23, 2018- Illyria commands a Starfleet strikeforce that destroys the primary base of operations for the Scourge. The Scourge, using copied Klingon technology, will continue to be a problem until March 4, 2023. Illyria is awarded the rank of Admiral.




August 9, 2034- Fleet Admiral Rupert Giles passes away in his sleep.




May 3, 2036- Fleet Admiral Illyria creates the secret organization Section 31.




April 11, 2037- Colonization continues throughout known space as exploration efforts continue without any encounters with any form of sentient life up until the year 2157.




2157- First Contact







(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)(-)




Spike rubbed his nose as he sat at his desk in the ready room of the Sovereign Class starship, U.S.S. Reliant. This was his third command since he flat out refused every promotion that tried to get him off the bridge of a starship. He agreed with a line from one of those Star Trek movies. As long as he was on the bridge of a starship, he'd be able to make a difference. He sipped a replicated mixture of different animal blood. Despite the slightly off taste of it, it suited his needs. His medical officer only allowed him to drink cloned human blood when he was injured himself.

Along the wall, there were two models which represented the ships he was captain of. The first was the U.S.S. Relentless and he had loved that Defiant class ship. It may have been a tough as hell ship with a ton of firepower but it seemed almost made for him. The Relentless had been lost in the last battle against the Scourge. The second ship he was captain of was the U.S.S. Buffy Summers which was a Galaxy class ship. He had captained her until she was decomissioned in early 2059. An attack by a dark magic user placed him in a magical form of a coma for eighty years and after he recovered and deemed fit for active service; he gained command of the Reliant.

“Bridge to Captain Spike.”

It was his first officer Jonas Kirkpatrick, a half-bracken demon who he found quite good at his job. Spike was in the process of grooming him to someday have a command of his own. The young man was on the right path but it would still be a few years before he'd recommend a promotion to the brass.

“Spike here.” He replied.

“Captain, the Hawking has detected a small shuttle of unknown origins coming out of the Shanxi Relay.” Jonas reported. “Scans indicate it uses similar technology as what was found in the Prothean Archive on Mars.”

That caught Spike's attention. The Alliance chose not to reverse engineer the technology partly due to the impracticality of it. The other more obvious reason was the fact they already had their own form of FTL that was considered to be quite superior to that which was uncovered. Accepted theory about that particular form of faster than light travel was that despite allowing for faster than light travel in normal space by lowering the mass of a ship, a dangerous static charge would build up that would require eventual discharge in a planet's atmosphere. Given the exploratory nature of Starfleet, that alone was enough to have that form of propulsion tossed out the proverbial airlock.

“I'm on my way.” Spike replied.

He got out of his chair and quickly downed his blood before he headed for the bridge. His gaze first met Jonas. Jonas was only five foot two and was of slender build with the brightest red hair that according to all available evidence was natural.

“Report.” He said.

“The Hawking requested that we make contact with the shuttle as they are unable to clear space for it on their ship.” Jonas replied. “The shuttle seems like something that should have been in a scrap heap together but its crew is probably holding it together with hopes and dreams.”

“Good thing we're close by then.” Spike said. “Helm, plot an intercept course half impulse.”

“Aye sir.” The chaos demon at the helm replied.

Spike sat down in his chair with Jonas favoring the chair on his right. Jonas looked over at his superior.

“Wonder why they use mass effect technology?” Jonas asked. “It always seemed too risky to me.”

“You have to understand, Jonas, that if there is one universal truth no matter if a person is human, a demon, a vampire, or whatever those guys are, we tend to be a lazy bunch.” Spike answered. “If Rayne hadn't sold as many Trek costumes as he did, the Alliance would more than likely be using the mass effect as well.”

“You're right, sir.” Jonas told him.

Before Spike could mention that his first officer should have continued the argument instead of folding so quickly, his operations officer began to shout out.

“Sir! A second vessel has exited the relay and is opening fire on the shuttle!”

The viewscreen changed to show a boxy, rather utilitarian ship firing at the shuttle. To the credit of whomever was piloting the shuttle, the shuttle was successful for the most part in evading the attacks but that could only happen for so long.

“Red alert, full impulse.” Spike immediately ordered. “If you can disable that ship, do it. If not, destroy it.”

The Reliant soared through space towards the aggressive vessel. Phaser beams lashed out from the bow and struck different points on the ship. The vessel ceased moving forward under its own power.

“Have security teams assemble in transporter rooms.” Spike said as he got up to head towards a turbolift.

“Sir, Starfleet regulations frown on the commanding officer of a starship putting themselves in danger like this.” Jonas told him.

Spike turned back to face his first officer. “Jonas, one thing I've learned captaining starships for as long as I have.” He said. “Never give an order you're not willing to follow yourself.” He decided to change topics. “See to the crew of the shuttle.”

“Aye sir.”



Security Chief Mia Hikari beamed onto the alien ship along with her team. Her team along with one other was tasked with taking the engineering section of the ship while Captain Spike led his team against the bridge. She directed two of her men to the door while a third planted a breach charge on it. Four seconds later, the charge detonated and a flash grenade soon followed it. Her team followed her into the engineering section. Two of the aliens appeared in her field of view but were quickly down by her phaser rifle. She looked over the two aliens and noticed several things about them. They had four eyes and rather sharp looking teeth. Her Slayer instincts were shouting at her that these aliens were trouble and she knew that a Slayer two hundred years ago would have killed it for a demon. Two men from the second team took out the other two engineers.

“Damn, I've seen Fyarl demons prettier than these guys.”

“Stow it, Ensign.” Mia snapped. “Baker, have your team secure these prisoners and the section. My team, follow me.”

For the next few minutes, a standard sweep of the deck she was on commenced turning up nothing new. From out of nowhere, she heard a gunshot but it was clear it wasn't being fired at her. Mia charged towards the sound despite the protests of her team who did not neither the speed or stamina of a Slayer even though she drilled her security teams relentlessly. Reaching a ladder, she stowed her phaser rifle in her transporter buffer and hauled herself onto it.

She reached the door after scaling the ladder in seconds only to be perplexed about how to open it. Before she could grab her hand phaser to cut the door open however, another one of the aliens opened the door as if he planned to use the ladder himself. Mia grabbed his rifle and pulled hard yanking the surprised alien into the shaft.

“I think this is my floor.” She said as she jumped to the alien's former position.

Another shot rang out and Mia ran towards it. She saw one of the alien's pointing a pistol down at a prone figure. Mia ran towards the alien as her right hand pulled the mek'leth she carried on her back off. One slice of the Klingon sword removed the forearm that had the hand that clenched the pistol. The second slice removed the alien's head from his body. She placed the mek'leth back on her back with practiced ease.

“Thank you.”

Mia looked over at the prone figure on the floor to see another alien species. The new alien appeared female and had blue skin with small tentacle-like protrusions on her head instead of hair. Dark blue or was it purple blood was coming from a wound on her chest.

“Lie still.” She told the alien. “I'll get you to our doctors.”

Mia was about to tap her commbadge to contact the Reliant when the alien woman looked up at her with a pleading gaze. She managed to point towards a small compartment in the room.

“My...daughter...”

Mia moved to the compartment and instead of the holographic lock that was on the doors that they couldn't use; it was a simple latch. She pulled the latch and swung the door open to reveal a much younger alien girl. The child tried to pushe herself against the back of the compartment as far as she could to get away from the unfamiliar face.

“It's okay.” Mia told her. “I'm not going to hurt you.”

“Master hurt Mom.” The girl replied.

“Honey, no one has the right to own anyone and don't worry about that guy anymore.” Mia told the girl as the security chief noticed the bruises. “I took care of him. He won't be able to hurt anyone ever again.”

Slowly, the young girl came out of the compartment and ran over to her mother. Mia's heart began to ache as she heard the girl's sobs over her dying mother. She wrapped an arm around the girl and pulled her into an embrace as the girl's crying increased. The alien mother looked up at Mia.

“Take care of Alena for me, please.” She said.

“I promise.” Mia replied.

The ship began to shake from weapons fire. Mia held onto Alena as she tapped her comm badge.

“Hikari to Reliant. Two to beam to sickbay.” She said.



Spike grabbed an ensign as the young man stumbled from the weapon impacts against the ship they were assaulting. He hit his comm badge before firing his phaser at one of the four eyed aliens.

“Spike to Reliant. Jonas, what the hell is going on?” He asked.

“A fleet just emerged out of the relay. We've hailed them on all channels but have gotten no response.” Jonas replied.

“Obviously, they aren't friendly.” Spike said. “Get us off this damned ship.”

“Standby.”



Mia and Alena materialized in sickbay and the security chief looked around the medical area. She saw the woman she was looking for scanning one of the two aliens from the shuttle. It was a little bit strange to see them in their suits but that wasn't her concern right now.

“Doctor Chakwas.” She said hoping to catch her attention.

Mia was delighted when the woman gave her duties to her subordinate and went over to meet the two of them.

“Hello Commander and who is this little angel?” Karin asked kneeling down to Alena.

“Karin, her name is Alena.” Mia replied. “Could you check her and make sure she's okay? I need to get to the bridge.”

Karin stepped towards the young girl who began to cling to Mia like a shipwreck survivor clinging to a life ring. Mia managed to kneel down and hug the girl.

“Alena, don't worry. I'm going to take care of you but I need to make the bad guys go away.” Mia told the girl with a soothing tone of voice. “Doctor Chakwas is a very good and kind person. I wouldn't leave you in the hands of anyone I didn't trust you with.”

Alena slowly released her hold on the security officer and slowly backed away. Mia stood back up as Alena went over to Doctor Chakwas. As she began to walk towards the door, she felt a small body tackle her from behind. Mia saw Alena hugging her leg again.

“You'll make the bad guys go away, right?” She asked.

“I'm a Slayer.” Mia replied. “It's what I do.”

Alena left her side and went back to the doctor while Mia left sickbay. She immediately headed for the nearest turbolift and instructed it to go right to the bridge. In a few short moments that seemed to stretch for an eternity, she reached the bridge and managed to not stumble from the ship shaking from the weapon's impact against the shields.

“Nice for you to join us, Miss Hikari.” Spike said to her before he turned to the officer manning the operations station. “Have they responded to our hails?”

“No response, sir.” came the reply.

A thought crossed Mia's mind and she gave voice to it. “Captain, I suggest we try using standard radio. If they've never developed warp drive, then it would be a safe bet that they've never ever heard of subspace and wouldn't be able to pick up transmissions on those frequencies.”

Spike responded by palming his face. “Bloody hell, why is it my tactical officer is coming up with ideas that my engineers or operations officer should have thought of?” He waited a few moments to see if anyone was willing to reply to that but no one did. “Send the message again but this time on radio frequencies. I'll give them just a minute.”



On board the Turian cruiser Palavan's Night, an odd scene could be observed as a salarian working at a previously unmanned console. Odd being a salarian on a turian cruiser in the first place but to the crew's knowledge, he was a Spectre who attached himself to the patrol group so no one questioned it. However, a turian did walk up behind him and point a weapon at the back of the salarian's head that would have been completely out of place.

“Step away from the panel now.” The turian ordered.

The salarian spun around faster than what any member of his species should have been capable of and knocked the phaser out of the turian's hand. He attempted to block the salarian's next strike but the salarian but he got under the block to deliver a hard punch to the turian's chest. The punch rocketed the turian into the bulkhead and knocked the wind out of him. Pain kept him from reacting in time as the salarian pulled a pistol out and aimed it at his head. A phaser beam from the turian's left blasted the salarian away and the turian knew the salarian was dead given the setting he had the weapon on. A familiar face looked down at him and he recognized who it was.

“Lanius, spirits...” he said as Lanius helped him up. “I was too late.”

“Who was he, Adrian?” Lanius asked him.

“An augmented salarian working for an uptime faction”

“Uptime faction, do you know how crazy that sounds?” Lanius asked him.

“Lanius, I am not from this time either. From when I'm from, the Citadel Council no longer exists.” Adrian said as he activated his omni-tool.

Lanius could see that the turian he had became good friends with over the last few weeks of his current tour's omnitool was far more advanced than anything he had ever seen before. Combine that with the small scale directed energy weapon which was something even the salarians hadn't been able to figure out how to make led him to believe Adrian's story just a bit more.

“Then, what in the hell was he doing here?” Lanius asked.

“In my time, the new government that forms a few years after the Council is no more is called the United Federation of Planets. It's a more unified government than what currently exists in this time. All races are truly equal.” Adrian replied.

“All of the races are equal.” Lanius argued with him.

“Please don't make me laugh. Turians, salarians, and asari are the upper echelon of your society standing on the backs of the other races. The quarians are among the brightest engineering minds in the galaxy and they are galactic pariahs for something that their ancestors did centuries ago. The krogan are some of the best warriors the galaxy has ever seen but a bio-weapon created by the salarians keeps them down.” Adrian replied.

“The krogan would have overran the galaxy.” Lanius snapped back.

“That's a possiblity but they could have found a way to ease up on it. The turians would have slowly become extinct too if they had the same trouble conceiving as the krogan do.” Adrian replied. “Fortunately, they'll get the help they'll need.”

Adrian let a few words that were obvious to Lanius that were curses though the language was completely alien to him.

“What's wrong?” Lanius asked.

“The salarian petaQ uploaded a virus that is going to lock this ship on a collision course for the center of the colony.” Adrian explained. “Only this ship's core will overload ten seconds before impact which will devastate the colony giving the System Alliance all the motivation they would need to engage in an all out war with the Hierarchy which the Hierarchy will not be able to win. I've failed.”

“What about the Alliance?” Lanius asked. “Couldn't we warn them and get them to destroy this ship?”

“They don't normally search for standard radio signals as comm channels. They use a superliminal communcations system that”

“Do you have one of these systems on you?” Lanius asked.

“Of course, but I can't use it.” Adrian replied. “I'd be violating the Temporal Prime Directive and---”

Adrian fell to the floor unconscious after Lanius laid him out with a hard punch. Lanius took a guess and removed Adrian's omnitool from his arm to replace his own. It took a few quick tries but he managed to find the communcations suite and set it to transmit on all frequencies.

“To anyone who can hear this, this is Lieutenant Commander Lanius Victus of the Turian Hierarchy Cruiser Palavan's Night.” He said. “If you can hear this, you must destroy the ship I'm on. If you don't, thousands of people are going to die.”



Spike was slightly relieved that reinforcements had come but it came in the form of one ship that even though it had an iconic name, it's captain didn't seem to have the same luck as previous captains of past ships carrying the same name. The Enterprise-C had barely emerged from using its quantum slipstream drive before a dozen 'disrupter' torpedoes as Lieutenant Commander Hikari began to refer to them as had impacted against the unprotected hull before they got their shields up. It took a few minutes before communcations were restored to the ship.

“USS Enterprise, this is USS Reliant.” Spike said. “What is your status?”

It was a few moments before a rather frustrated young man with the rank of lieutenant commander appeared on the viewscreen.

“This is Lieutenant Commander Hackett. Captain Wallace is dead. Commander Stevens is dead and I don't know if I should really be saying this but I'm glad that prick Lieutenant Commander Winchester is dead.” The young commander informed him.

“Well, I've met Winchester and I agree he was a bloody ponce.” Spike replied. “I hope you're ready for the big chair.”

“As ready as anyone can be.” Hackett said back to him. “Enterprise out.”

Before Spike could issue another order, Mia said. “Sir, we're receiving an open hail on subspace frequencies coming from one of the alien cruisers.”

“I thought they didn't have subspace communications.” Jonas said to her.

“There was no prior evidence of any.” She replied.

“Let's hear it.” Spike ordered.

“To anyone who can hear this, this is Lieutenant Commander Lanius Victus of the Turian Hierarchy Cruiser Palavan's Night.”

“If you can hear this, you must destroy the ship I'm on. If you don't, thousands of people are going to die.”

“Captain, I've isolated the signal and there appears to a significant amount of technology close to the origin that could only be anachronistic in nature.” Jonas said from an empty science station.

Seeing how his former science officer had decided to take up orbital skydiving only to land in an active volcano had made extra cautious about choosing a new science officer was beside the point. He had to deal with the situation as it was now.

“Have the transporter room beam the technology and Lieutenant Victus to the ship.” Spike ordered. “Mia, destroy that ship.”



General Arterius couldn't understand how this battle could have gone as it did. In any situation, ninety six Turian warships should have decimated one alien warship in seconds but that had not been the case. The situation had only gotten worse when a second vessel had appeared and only added to the bizarre carnage even after taking a dozen disrupter torpedoes to its hull.

The original vessel that would be in the nightmares of every turian in what was left of the patrol fleet seemed to turn its destructive power on the Palaven's Night. Several torpedoes as well as strikes from its spirits' be damned mainline directed energy weapons turning the cruiser into shards of random metal. Most of the ship was simply vaporized.

Then...the universe decided to confuse him even more...







End Notes: I'm attempting to shake off mental cobwebs. Sorry for the lack of updates on anything.
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