|Bait and Switch story|
|"Beat the Drums of War"|
|Season:||Star Trek Online Season 10|
|Writer(s):||StarSword and Worffan101|
|Original post date:||1 June 2015|
|Year:||8 June 2410|
|Previous story:||"Dynamic Entry"|
Beat the Drums of War is a Star Trek Online fanfic by StarSword and Worffan101. It is a novelization of the Season 10 featured episode "Blood of Ancients", announced to be a six-part series, though its publication on the STO forums suffered interference by Perfect World's mass-migration of its game forums.
The story is told primarily from the perspective of High Admiral D'trel and Captain Kanril Eleya, also featuring perspectives from elsewhere in the war effort and the Iconian Supreme High Lord Inevitably-Fated-for-Greatness.
Chapter 1: The Beacon Is Lit
D'trel and Kanril Eleya report to a briefing on Earth Spacedock, where Fleet Admiral William T. Riker announces the Alliance has confirmation that the Iconians are preparing to launch a full-scale invasion, with attacks expected in multiple major star systems. He states that several of their allies in the Delta Quadrant are sending troops and starships, and that the Federation has also reached out to the Dominion, the Tzenkethi Coalition, the Breen Confederacy, the First Federation, and the Holy Order of the Kinshaya.
At that point the alarm goes off. Kanril is assigned to D'trel's command, and the pair head for Starbase 234. Before leaving, Kanril suggests to Rear Admiral Tuvok that they seek the help of the Undine, and mind-melds with him to help things along.
In the Delta Quadrant, Vice Admiral Marama Reynolds meets with Eldex, the Overseer of the Vaadwaur Supremacy, but he regretfully refuses her request to join the battle because he lacks the troops to spare. But as Reynolds turns to leave, he tells her, "May God be with you."
Chapter 2: The Battle Joined
At Qo'noS, the IKS Bortasqu' leads the largest fleet assembled by the Klingon Defense Force in living memory against the Herald onslaught, but the KDF flagship is swiftly disabled and swept aside.
At Starbase 234, the Starfleet sector fleet and D'trel's Task Force Vengeance engage the Heralds under Admiral Yarlin Dao, buying time for Captain Jojo Appiah to evacuate the starbase's nonessential personnel to Narendra III. They initially meet with some success at delaying the Heralds, but the enemy's numbers continue to mount, and Yarlin's flagship USS Regent is lost with all hands. Appiah eventually tells D'trel to retreat with the surviving ships to New Romulus, and self-destructs the station to avoid capture.
The fleet arrives at New Romulus two hours later to find that a small Herald force has bypassed the local defense fleet and landed troops in the ancient Romulan ruins on the surface. The two fleets are joined by Commodore Tom Paris and 26 Squadron under Subadmiral Morgaiah t'Thavrau, swiftly defeat the Heralds, and join the ground battle to find that the Iconians have entered the caverns containing an Iconian gateway.
At the Mars Defense Perimeter in the Sol system, Rear Admiral Zandra Taitt has used the USS Bajor's sensor data to hatch a plan that will theoretically allow them to defeat the Iconian incursion with no casualties. Aboard the USS Caelian, declared BER after the Battle of Vaadwaur Prime, she heads for the suspected gateway location but arrives too late to evacuate the ship. She enacts her plan, forcing the Iconian gateway to open into a black hole, destroying the incoming fleet and herself.
Back on New Romulus, D'trel's team fights their way to the gate room and kills the Herald harbinger guarding the gate, then discovers the Iconians have traveled to Lae'nas III to access the Preserver Archive located there. At that moment Fleet Admiral Klau tr'Kererek reports that the Heralds have arrived in orbit in force, but D'trel refuses the call to join the battle and explains the situation. Tr'Kererek agrees to let D'trel follow the Iconians.
At Vulcan, the Iconian invasion is soundly defeated by a vengeful Undine fleet.
Chapter 3: A Light in the Darkness
With the fleet at Qo'noS pressed hard by the Heralds, Ambassador Worf, Captain Ja'rod, and General Brokosh lead a fleet of mercenaries and discommendated warriors into the fight, catching the enemy fleet in a pincer attack.
D'trel's strike force reaches and secures the Preserver Archive on Lae'nas III and begins trying to retrieve useful information from it.
Back on Lae'nas III, the strike team has the Archive revive one of the Preservers, who sets about decrypting the information they seek. They are attacked in mid-process by the Iconians, led by Star-of-Glorious-Majesty. Enraged at the Preserver chronicler referring to him as "my child", Star-of-Glorious-Majesty kills the Preserver and destroys the Archive systems before being killed in turn by D'trel's team. The Herald ships begin attacking the fleet in orbit, and the Unyielding Hierophant, the Iaidon-class dreadnought commanded by Inevitably-Fated-for-Greatness, fires its main gun at the Preserver Archive, killing the remaining Preservers.
Back at New Romulus the capital city of Hachae s'Temer is being bombarded by the Iconian forces, and Obisek's men pull Proconsul D'Tan out of his office to get him to the RRW Zdenia and offworld. They're stopped by Teleb tr'Ethian, the ambassador from the Romulan Star Empire who informs them that Praetor Velal tr'Hrienteh has deployed the Grand Fleet to assist in the defense.
Chapter 4: Fight for the Future
In orbit of New Romulus, Morgaiah t'Thavrau's RRW Bloodwing is by now heavily damaged, and is saved from a Herald ramming attempt by the sacrifice of the Benthan Guard flagship BGV Destiny Ascension. Fleet Admiral Klau tr'Kererek orders a general retreat, but then retracts the order and commands a renewed attack. The Star Empire's fleet arrives and kills the crew of the enemy dreadnought, including Supreme High Lord Venerated-Beyond-Measure, with the thalaron generator of the IRW Lost Road. Admiral Satali t'Tyrava remarks to t'Thavrau that "Today, we avenge ch'Rihan."
In orbit of Lae'nas III, D'trel's flagship RRW Vengeance comes under direct attack by the Unyielding Hierophant and the other Herald ships, which cripple the vessel with a concerted attack. Kanril Eleya assumes command of the fleet and orders all surviving ships to concentrated fire on the Iconian flagship, eventually bringing down its shields and destroying the bridge, forcing it to retreat. Kanril then sends a rescue party aboard the irreparably damaged Vengeance.
Inevitably-Fated-for-Greatness revives and calls for the engineer who took command of the Unyielding Hierophant after his most recent demise to be brought to him.
In Paris, Federation President Aennik Okeg sits with Admiral Riker and Admiral Jorel Quinn as the battle reports come in from across the Beta Quadrant. The Andorian Imperial Guard had performed well, while the Bajoran Militia fought ferociously before being relieved by Dominion forces under Odo. The Tellar Space Administration and Klingon Defense Force were less fortunate, the former suffering near-total casualties and the latter only saved by Worf and Ja'rod's counterattack.
The USS Bajor returns D'trel and her surviving crew to New Romulus and begins rescue efforts in space.
After an unpleasant session with the Iconian rulership, Inevitably-Fated-for-Greatness names his chief engineer Servitor 18754 his grand vizier, Star-of-Day, and tasks him with leading the Iconian forces to victory.
Admiral Riker awards Kanril Eleya the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor and posthumously recommends Admiral Zandra Taitt for the Federation Medal of Honor. After the ceremony, Admiral Quinn assigns Kanril to Tom Paris' command for a strike mission.
In Hachae s'Temer, D'trel and Omek'ti'kallan have a private remembrance of their sensor specialist Min'tak'allan, who was killed in the battle, and D'trel says she's being assigned to a new ship, ch'M'R Sienov Ecurain. "She would've wanted me to have hope. She would've wanted me to defend hope."
- "[in response to turak sign language] What was that?"
- "Sexual themes, sir. Sexual themes. Too delicate for your Federation sensibilities."
- "Try me, jok an chak shattuk noj."
- — Captain Kanril Eleya and Subcommander Jak
- "THE WEAK WILL PERISH!!! ... AND YOU ARE WEAK. DEATH TO THE CORRUPT, TO KILLERS OF HATCHLINGS, TO THOSE WHO DARE TO THINK THAT THEY CAN RULE US. SLAY THEM ALL!"
- — the Undine commander
- "Khre'Riov t'Thavrau, Fvillhu Velal sends his regards."
- "Enriov, your timing is impeccable and your assistance much appreciated."
- "Wouldn't miss it for all the latinum in the galaxy. Today we avenge the Loss, and the Sacrifice. Today, we avenge ch'Rihan."
- — Admiral Satali t'Tyrava and Subadmiral Morgaiah t'Thavrau
- "Congratulations, Captain."
- "You don't sound too happy to see me, sir."
- "Kanril Eleya, you're an almighty pain in the ass, but I need everyone on deck right now."
- "I'm with you as long as you want, sir."
- — Admiral Jorel Quinn and Kanril Eleya