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Fanfic / Bait and Switch (STO)

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The USS Bajor on patrol.
Bait and Switch is a Star Trek Online fanfic by StarSword-C, and a novelization of his Foundry mission series of the same title, starring his Federation Tactical Officer character from the game.

Captain Kanril Eleya is the commanding officer of the Galaxy-class starship USS Bajor and is on a survey mission when the ship is reassigned to the Beta Ursae region around Deep Space 9 for civil defense. What is expected to mostly be a routine show-the-flag mission becomes vastly more critical when the Orion Syndicate raids backwater planets all over the sector block and kills or kidnaps sixteen thousand people. Eleya's ship is reassigned again to a task force mounting a counteroffensive.

What started as just one Fan Fic featuring Eleya grew into a full-on 'verse of its own comprising a number of works featuring StarSword's characters from the game. Sorted by character, then by In-Universe date:

The stories share characters and continuity with each other (cameos are somewhat common), and more recently with Fan Fics by fellow STO fan fiction author Worffan 101. Kanril Eleya has also appeared in The War of the Masters, which the author considers an Alternate Universe.

This page has the disambiguation "(STO)" appended to distinguish it from the trope Bait-and-Switch of same name.

Tropes present in the original Bait and Switch:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The most prominent addition is the Bajor's crew and the various scenes of their interactions.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Seeing as how it's canonically a major trade language in the Federation. A couple of Breen bit characters are specifically stated to be speaking "accented but intelligible Earth Standard English."
  • The Alternet: While listening to her security officer play his vodchakh in chapter eight, Eleya reflects on having watched professional vodchakhim on something called "the extranet".
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Eleya refers to both "attack pattern Picard Lambda" and "defensive pattern Kirk Alpha" in early fights.
  • Battle Couple: Chapter eight reveals that JG K'lak and Ensign McMillan from the Bajor's security department are one of these. Eleya doesn't want to break up their relationship but she does mention she's going to have McMillan moved to a different superior. In the end she lets it slide after K'lak points out McMillan's job as his Target Spotter also involves being his bodyguard, and them being in a relationship makes her more determined to guard him.
  • Beam Spam: The full ten phaser banks of a Galaxy-class starship pack a wallop when you're not constrained by a special effects budget.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Downplayed and lampshaded. Eleya notes that Dul'krah's "vodchakh" is functionally very similar to a violin, although it has seven strings instead of four.
  • Call-Back: During the fight with the Jem'Hadar in chapter five Eleya flashes on the destruction of the USS Odyssey in DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", then takes steps to prevent the Bajor from suffering the same fate.
  • Content Warnings: The version posted on the Star Trek Online forums has a warning of minor sexual content above chapter four. It's Eleya mentioning feeling her nipples hardening from seeing Gaarra working out.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In chapter three Eleya and Gaarra dance to alba ra, Talarian electronic rock music that turned up in TNG: "Suddenly Human".
    • In chapter eight Dul'krah plays the Fourth Concerto by Tor Jolan on his vodchakh. Tor Jolan was a Bajoran composer mentioned in DS9: "Crossover".
    • Chapter nine has Eleya recalling Star Trek Online's Featured Episode "Spectres" when Grell is identified as a Section 31 operative.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Eleya's recurring nightmare of an Orion attack on the Bajoran Militia frigate she was a noncommissioned officer on many years ago, where she nearly died. The occurrence in chapter one ends with her losing consciousness after being stabbed in the right kidney by an Orion matron.
  • The Dead Have Names: Chapter eight opens with Eleya in the USS Bajor's morgue. In her narration she rattles off the names of the five members of her crew who died in the fights in chapters six and seven, and feels guilty that, with the exception of Crewman Cdebaat from Security, she didn't know any of them beyond that.
  • Description in the Mirror: Done in the first chapter to describe viewpoint character Eleya.
    "As always, my dark green eyes are drawn first to the two angry pink lines across my left cheek."
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: Eleya strolls onto the bridge after having a one night stand while ashore at Deep Space 9. Tess spots it immediately and gives her a look.
    Eleya: What?
    Tess: What do you mean, ‘what,’ Eleya? You walk in here looking like a grayth that just dined on prize alicorn and expect nobody to notice?
  • Dream Intro: This and its side story Shakedown Shenanigans both open in Captain Kanril Eleya's recurring Flashback Nightmare of her being near-fatally stabbed defending her ship against a boarding action ten years earlier.
  • Drinking Contest: Happens offscreen at Deep Space 9 between a Klingon Bajor crewman and his counterpart from a KDF ship, as an alternative to the former killing the latter for calling him a traitor. According to Dul'krah, both passed out after four shots of Romulan ale and had to be dragged home.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Some details such as ranks are different in this story than in later ones. For example, Davos on Eleya's Bajoran Militia gun crew is said to have the rank of "crewman" in the first chapter, but he's identified as a private first class in "Shakedown Shenanigans".
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Eleya watching Gaarra pumping iron in the officers gym.
    He runs a few quick reps as a warmup, then replaces the bar, ups the weight, and starts pumping the iron with a look of intense concentration on his face. 'Course his face isn’t the only thing I’m looking at—Prophets, get your head out of the gutter, Eleya.

    Nope. Despite my best efforts I can feel my nipples hardening against my sports bra so I grab my water bottle and leave the room. Maybe we'd best just try to avoid being in the gym at the same time.
  • Everything Is 3D-Printed in the Future: There is a brief mention that one of the supplies the USS Bajor takes on when she docks at Deep Space 9 is "replicator mass" (because replicating stuff from pure energy would require frankly ludicrous amounts of power).
  • Ensign Newbie: Ensign Esplin, the communications officer for most of the story, is on her first tour out of ROTC.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: Inverted with the Pe'khdar: Eleya mentions in an internal monologue that they don't practice marriage or even anything resembling a permanent relationship at all. Instead, children become the responsibility of the mother's entire clan.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: A console on the Bajor's bridge explodes when a torpedo punches through the shields and hits the hull, injuring an ops noncom.
  • Face Plant: Eleya arrives in Ten Forward and everyone within scrambles to attention. A drunken Bolian crewman trips over himself and faceplants.
  • Failsafe Failure: Defied. The Bajor is a testbed for a warp core redesigned to be much safer to operate than the first-run Galaxy-class cores, such as on the Enterprise-D. Instead of using lots of matter and antimatter in the chamber and relying on dilithium to moderate it, it simply uses the minimum amount required to keep the reaction going, which means a core shutdown just involves turning off the fuel. As a side benefit it's also more fuel-efficient, which is useful with the Federation engaged in multiple wars.
  • Fantastic Arousal: Eleya gives a gasp when Gaarra strokes the ridges on her nose.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention: The Pe'khdar, a race created for the fic, give their names as "[Prefix]'[Suffix], Clan [X]". The prefix acts like a given name, while the suffix is passed from their same-sex parent. So, for example, the USS Bajor's security chief is Dul'krah, Clan Korekh.
  • Fantastic Ship Prefix: When the Translation Convention from the Romulan language is in effect, Romulan Republic ships use the prefix ch'M'R, for ch'Mol'Rihan (New Romulus), while Imperial Romulan and Tal'Shiar ships both use ch'R for ch'Rihan (Romulus). In Federation standard they use RRW and IRW respectively.
  • Fantastic Slurs/Nicknaming the Enemy: Multiple characters, though mainly Eleya, refer to the Orions as "greenskins" or "greenies". Eleya also once calls the Borg "boltheads". Meanwhile Senior Chief Athezra Darrod refers to the Klingons as "Klinks," a term borrowed from STO fandom.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: During the away mission in chapter seven Eleya's tricorder picks up traces of fuel from a flamethrower, and she later inadvertently sets off said flamethrower's fuel tank with a grenade. Near the end of the chapter, a Bajoran Militia captain describes the Orion slave-raiders as having given up trying to break into a building that some Militiamen had barricaded themselves into. Instead, they used the flamethrower to set it on fire.
  • First-Person Perspective: Eleya is both narrator and participant in the story.
  • Future Food Is Artificial: Via replicators, and discussed at some length. Eleya favors cooked food over replicated, even going to the trouble of bringing back a takeout box of handmade jumja sticks from an eatery on Deep Space 9, and believes that replicated tastes artificial because it's exactly the same every time you eat it.
  • Gargle Blaster: The Hathon hammer, a cocktail made from one measure of Klingon bloodwine, two shots of kava juice, and one shot of Cardassian kanar. Eleya sips it slowly because like its name says, it hits like a hammer.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs:
    • When Eleya arrives back on the bridge after her one night stand with Gaarra, Tess remarks that she looks "like a grayth  that just dined on prize alicorn ."
    • When Gaarra gets tongue-tied at the prospect of the Bajor having a Cardassian bartender in Ten Forward, said bartender says to him, "vole  got your tongue, Commander Reshek?"
  • Humans Are White: Averted; not even the aliens are consistently white. Eleya and Gaarra are light-skinned, but Birail has brown skin, and LtJG. Warragul Wirrpanda, the sole human among the Bajor's command crew, is of Australian Aboriginal descent.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Eleya mentions to Gaarra the morning after their second night together that she feels more than a little hypocritical about sleeping with him, since she's going to have to break up two of her Mauve Shirts for violating Starfleet fraternization policy the exact same way (having sex with your direct subordinate).
  • In-Series Nickname: Eleya usually calls Tesjha "Tess". Birail is "Biri".
  • Infodump: A brief one at the start of chapter six explaining how warp factors work. Short version: up to warp nine, speed = c * warp factor ^(10/3). Above warp nine, it's a vertical asymptote to warp ten. This is straight out of the ST:TNG Technical Manual.
  • Interspecies Romance: Ensign Kate McMillan, a human female, and JG K'lak, a Klingon male.
  • Introduction by Hookup: After an admin shift while the Bajor is docked at Deep Space 9, Eleya changes into civvies and goes out for dinner and a drink at Quark's, where she picks up another Bajoran named Gaarra and sleeps with him. Next morning before departure she walks into her ready room to meet her new ops officer, and you can guess the rest.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: In chapter seven, after Ens. Kate McMillan, acting as JG K'lak's Target Spotter, is overheard through Eleya's combadge giving him a reference for a large stump that looked like K'lak's ... something (he fired before she could say what).
    K'lak: (secondhand via McMillan's combadge) Ensign, what are you doing comparing a tree stump to my—
    Tess: McMillan, you know your combadge is still transmitting, right?
    McMillan: OH GOD!
    Birail: (stifles laughter)
  • It Gets Easier: Mocked when Ens. Esplin gets post-battle jitters after the Bajor rescues the SS Shargrash from some Jem'Hadar. Eleya calls her over for a friendly chat and has this to say:
    “I’m not going to rely on cliché here: the first battle isn’t the hardest, it’s just the first. And frankly, as pathetic as that one was, I guarantee the next will be harder. You do your job and work with your crewmates and you get through. The rest is up to the Prophets.”
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: A narration version in chapter three. Eleya walks into her ready room after her one-night stand to meet her new ops officer.
    Eleya: Oh, hell.
    Eleya (narrating): Standing at attention—not figuratively, thank the Prophets, that would've been just perfect—is Gaarra, the guy I went to bed with last night.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • In Eleya's nightmare, she's saved by an MP squad that uses a blast assault phaser to kill the matron attacking her. Her torso explodes and covers Eleya in gore.
    • In chapter seven an Orion mook takes four phaser rifle shots simultaneously from Eleya's away team.
      "His shield generator explodes with a shrieking crack and sends bits of him everywhere."
  • Mythology Gag: Chapter two has a brief mention of Eleya straightening the hem of her jacket as she stands up, something Patrick Stewart frequently did on-camera that got nicknamed the Picard Maneuver.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Inverted when Eleya introduces herself to the audience in chapter one, since Bajorans' given and family names are given in reverse order.
    "My name is Eleya. Kanril Eleya."
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: Used many times, usually taking the form of "[character] swears". An example from chapter two:
    "After a moment [Admiral Marconi] swears, crumples the report and angrily throws it over the railing where it bounces off the helmeted head of a Breen crewman standing at a kiosk across the way."
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Eleya beats an Orion matron to death in chapter seven, evidently flashing on the boarding action aboard the Kira Nerys where she was nearly killed. Actually, she beats the matron way past death and has to be tackled off the corpse by Tess.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Parodied when Tess has her Did You Just Have Sex? reaction to Eleya's one night stand. Doubles as Think of the Censors! given the NSFW content policies of the two sites it was first posted on.
    Tess: So, how was he?
    Eleya: Mmmm. He was damn good.
    Tess: Details.
    Eleya: Not now, Tess, there are ensigns present.
  • Oh, My Gods!:
    • Eleya being Bajoran, insert "Prophets" anytime a human would say "God".
    • Tess once takes the name of "Phelha" in vain. The author's notes for that chapter explain Phelha as an Andorian war goddess, and that Tess herself is actually agnostic.
  • The Only One: Double Subverted. Instead of being literally the only ship responding to Dreon VII, the Bajor is just the closest and fastest of the three ships responding and gets there fifteen minutes earlier, long enough for Eleya et al. to solve the problem on their own.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Nalak Lang, the USS Bajor's answer to Guinan, is an elderly Cardassian who lived through the Dominion's aborted attempt to exterminate his species in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "What You Leave Behind". His first wife and his children didn't make it.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Played straight several times, with among other things Eleya dropping Bajoran curses such as "phekk" and "sher hahr kosst", but also inverted once: Eleya learned the word "schmuck" from an Academy classmate.
  • Point Defenseless: Averted. The Bajor is able to pick off multiple incoming torpedoes with its phasers, and fighters are easy pickings.
  • Precision F-Strike: Gaarra manages to corner Eleya in the gym.
    Gaarra: Well, look at it this way: You think it's any easier for me? You fucked your ops officer, I fucked my commanding officer.
  • Present Tense Narrative: The fic is told entirely from Eleya's perspective as the events happen.
  • Ramming Always Works: Defied. Referencing the destruction of the USS Odyssey in DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", a Jem attack ship tries to ram the Bajor. Difference is, Eleya throws all power onto the navigational deflector, which is built for fending off kinetic impacts. The Jems only succeed in crippling their own ship, and a phaser shot to the torpedo bay is enough to finish them off.
  • Rank Up: Gaarra joins the Bajor's command crew because Eleya's previous ops officer, T'Var, was promoted off the ship and given her first command.
  • Red Shirt:
    • Four unseen Bajor crewmen who were killed by a torpedo hit to deck 10 in chapter six.
    • Zigzagged in chapter seven, which features four bit characters from the Bajor's security department (traditional redshirts) beaming down with Eleya, Tess, and Birail for an away mission. They end up with varying levels of characterization, two peel off early and act as a sniper and spotter, one gets shot in the second firefight but survives, and the last gets his neck broken by an Orion matron.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder/Stupid Question Bait: In chapter nine Admiral Amnell Kree finishes a mission briefing and asks if there are any questions. Eleya snidely wonders aloud where they got an operational codename like "Blue Friday".
    Kree: Random number generator. Any pertinent questions?
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Pointedly averted multiple times. For instance, JG Park swings the Bajor clear of an oncoming Orion battleship with "only" hundreds of meters to spare.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Used the first two times Eleya and Gaarra slept together.
    • The first time the two of them didn't even make it out of Quark's. Cut to Eleya arriving on the Bajor's bridge the next morning.
    • The second time they got as far as him unzipping her uniform jacket, then end chapter.
    • Averted the third time, which doesn't cut to afterwards but instead just leaves it undescribed.
  • Shoot the Hostage Taker: Eleya orders Orion mooks to surrender. Mook grabs a fourteen-year-old girl and threatens to kill her. K'lak snipes him in the head from behind.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During The Nightmare, one-shot character Crewman Davos drops the line "Bloody pirates."
    • The above explanation of why replicator food tastes artificial is lifted from the Star Trek science book Life Signs: The Biology of Star Trek.
    • At the start of chapter two Eleya's playing a holodeck adaptation of Star Carrier: Earth Strike.
    • In chapter six, Tess's and JG Park's "Conn, you gotta give me an Ivan." "Always wanted to try one!" exchange is borrowed from the pilot of Firefly.
    • In chapter seven, Eleya takes a page out of Jack O'Neill (from the Stargate SG-1 episode "The First Commandment"), demanding of an admin petty officer who's being an Obstructive Bureaucrat if it says "Captain" anywhere on her uniform.
    • One of the ships making up the Marduk Carrier Battle Group is the USS Ivanova, although In-Universe it's named for a captain who fought in the Earth-Romulan War.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: During the battle over Dreon VII in chapter six, Tess hits the crew compartment of an Orion interceptor with one of the Bajor's aft phasers. A few minutes later she hits the bridge of an Orion corvette with a salvo of quantum torpedoes.
  • Target Spotter: Ens. Kate McMillan to JG K'lak during an away mission in chapter seven. Played for laughs during the second firefight of the chapter, where McMillan's overheard giving the following instruction to K'lak:
    "Reference, large stump that looks like your—" (K'lak shoots)
  • Translation Convention: Gaarra's and Eleya's conversation in the first half of chapter four is mostly in the Kendran dialect of Bajoran, dubbed as English.
  • Translator Microbes: The universal translator has trouble dealing with the Gorn language for a couple seconds.
  • Uneven Hybrid: A minor character named Corpsman Watkins working in the Bajor's sickbay is mentioned to have some Betazoid blood.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: The first chapter has this line when Eleya is facing a Stripperiffically clad Orion matron who likes to use knives:
    "There’s a muffled thrum from somewhere above me as the spinal phaser cannon finally fires, then she’s upon me, having pulled two more knives from I’m-not-sure-I-want-to-know-where."
  • Wave-Motion Gun: There's a mention that the Kira Nerys had a spinal phaser cannon that took a while for the bridge crew to bring to bear, during which the Orions managed to beam a few boarding parties aboard. But once they did get the target into the firing arc, they one-shotted it.
  • The Worf Effect: The USS Defiant is described as having been thoroughly trashed and under repairs by a rogue Cardassian legate playing warlord.
  • Written Sound Effect: Eleya describes the sound of a grenade leaving a Grenade Launcher as "a sound that goes something like choonk".
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: Used in chapter 9 when Eleya is inspecting the repairs made by her chief engineer to a hull breach.
    Eleya: Will the repairs hold if we get into another firefight?
    Bynam: We replaced and sealed all of the damaged pressure hull plates to better than shipyard spec, ma’am. Triple-checked it myself.
    Eleya: I’ll take that as a maybe.
    Bynam: Ha! Little miss negative.

Tropes present in Spin-Off stories without their own pages:

  • Taught to Hate: A considerable amount of ink is spilled in Rachel Connor's Story Arc on Earth-humans' dislike of genetic augments since the Eugenics Wars, to the point of teaching a severely slanted version of the Wars' history in schools. Rachel Connor was involuntarily turned into a genetic augment as an adult and struggles a lot with Internalized Categorism over it, which she's gradually coaxed out of. In "Flesh and Blood", Kanril Eleya compares this to how she was taught in Bajoran temple school that "all Cardassians serve the Pah-Wraiths and all humans are cowards", which ended up putting her off of organized religion for most of a decade after she learned a more nuanced version of history from The Alternet.