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Fanfic / The Only Way to Go

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“On behalf of the President of the United Federation of Planets, the Federation Starfleet, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for Sobaru Lanstar’s honorable and faithful service.”
Captain Kanril Eleya

"The Only Way to Go" is a Star Trek Online fanfic by StarSword and Takeshi Yamato, taking place in The War of the Masters Shared Universe.

The story is a semi-sequel to "Remembrance of the Fallen", taking place between main-series stories Faces In The Flames and The Sign At The Crossroads. It's August 2412, and after Lieutenant Sobaru Lanstar's Heroic Sacrifice during the cataclysmic events in the Goralis system, her widow Tiana Lanstar has come to her wife's hometown of Hathon, Bajor for the funeral. At the proceedings, she is reunited with an old friend, Captain Kanril Eleya, and receives a mysterious offer from a Captain Signum of the Starfleet Technical Intelligence Group.



  • Alternate Timeline: For Eleya, whose main Verse is StarSword and Worffan101's Bait and Switch (STO) continuity. This version of Eleya wasn't fast-tracked in promotions and doesn't have the seniority to command the USS Bajor yet (she's a junior O-6 captain, commanding the Stargazer-class heavy cruiser USS George Hammond).
  • Burying a Substitute: The memorial cemetery on Goralis and Sobaru Lanstar's grave on Bajor are both composed of cenotaphs because the bodies were incinerated.
  • Call-Back: Sobaru's sister Jina, a newly minted Bajoran Militia second lieutenant, is a bit confused to see Eleya wearing a Bajoran Silver Cross, specifically a version with a black ribbon and infantry combat sigil. Part of Eleya's backstory is having been wounded in action defending the RBS Kira Nerys from a Boarding Party.
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  • Due to the Dead: Since Sobaru was both a religious Bajoran and a Starfleet officer, the funeral depicted is a fusion of Bajoran funerary rites with a well-researched United States military funeral, updated for Starfleet. The ceremony is officiated by a Bajoran vedek (the equivalent to a Roman Catholic bishop or cardinal), but the burial proceedings involve a three-volley salute with phaser rifles and the flag-draped coffin (purely symbolic since Sobaru's body had been incinerated).
  • Epigraph: The Brantley Gilbert song "One Hell of an Amen", which also provides the story's title.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Eleya refers to the Tzenkethi as "phekk'ta bendies".
  • Interquel: The Framing Device for "Remembrance of the Fallen" means this story takes place between the two timeframes depicted in the previous story. Additionally the story takes place between two of the novella-length stories that make up the Masterverse's main series.
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  • It Never Gets Any Easier: Eleya remarks she's had to hold so many funerals of her own that "you'd think I'd know what to say by now."
  • Quick Nip: After the funeral, Eleya and Tia share a drink of springwine from a hip flask over Sobaru's graveside.
  • Rank Up: Sobaru is referred to as "Commander Lanstar" in this story, despite having been a lieutenant in Faces In The Flames (implying she was given a posthumous promotion).
  • Recycled In Space: The military honors portion of Sobaru's funeral is pretty much a United States military funeral, but with the flag and some of the words changed to represent the Federation Starfleet, and a three-volley salute performed with phaser rifles instead of firearms.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Eleya is aware of the real story of the Battle of Goralis and was based out of Deep Space 9 during the fight, but hadn't been added to the Masterverse at the time so she didn't appear in Faces In The Flames. But rather than retconning her into the earlier story, the authors justify her non-appearance by stating she was busy elsewhere (discouraging the Tzenkethi from expanding into Federation space) when everything went pear-shaped.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • The Federation had the events of the Battle of Goralis declared classified (the cover story is a training accident), but Tia broke the rules to tell Sobaru's parents the real story. This is acknowledged as being illegal both in-universe and out- (StarSword compared it to Viper telling Maverick about Duke Mitchell's death in Top Gun), but everyone's in agreement that the decision to cover it up was plain insulting to those who died. (The question becomes moot in the next story, after a hacker dumps about a jillion bytes of classified Federation data onto The Alternet.)
    • Meanwhile, General Elwar Murin, the Commandant of the Bajoran Militia, is not a member of Starfleet and due to her position has the authority to tell Starfleet what it can go do with itself on a limited basis. Word of God invoked is that she told the real story to everyone at the funeral partly because it was right, and partly just to give the finger to Starfleet Command.
      Elwar: I know damn well what the official story said, Corporal, and as far as I care Starfleet Command can piss up a rope. They’re not my boss and they'd bloody better find Commander Kojami a medal before I break protocol and name her to the Order of the Five Moons.
  • Three-Volley Flinch: When some of Eleya's crew perform a three-volley salute with phaser rifles, Tia flinches and has a brief flashback to the battle aboard USS Wolfram where Sobaru died. Eleya sees this and grips her shoulder to comfort her.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: All of Sobaru's family does.


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