Dorian Collins leaned back in the command chair. She had gotten used to her promotion.
Wallace commanded the night-shift five days a week. But he also had to do his routine checks and maintenance on the Tactical systems. So Collins commanded the night-shift during the weekend, allowing Wallace to do his work. She suspected Wallace could do the work and command at the same time, but held her tongue. Because she also released that Captain Rogue had arranged it this way to give her command experience.
The turbolift stopped and opened.
Talk of the devil. Collins thought.
"How long until we arrive at Starbase Two-Six-Five?"
She knew damm well he already knew the answer. He had probably looked it up and was now quizzing her.
"Two hours and sixteen minutes, sir. At our present speed of warp four point five."
"Thank you, Conny."
Rogue sat in the first officer's chair, but didn't take command. He just sat and watched.
He's treating me as if I'm in the Academy. Collins thought.
Then the alarms went off.
Ensign Takaro was at Tactical. "I'm picking up a vessel directly behind us." She said.
"Can you identify it?" Collins asked.
"It's one of ours, the Sovereign."
"That ship is supposed to be on the other side the Federation."
"According to the last security reports it should be patrolling the Romulan border."
"No response. They will overtake us in twenty seconds."
"Don't argue with me, just do it!"
"Aye, ma'am. Yellow alert."
The klaxons sounded all over the ship.
"Hail them again."
Takaro worked her controls. "Still no response."
Collins looked at Rogue, but the Captain was silent. He was wearing his poker face, so that didn't help her either.
"Conn, reduce speed to warp two." Collins said.
Crewman Vicky Ying was at the Conn. Her finger flew across the board. "Warp two it is, ma'am." She said.
"The Sovereign is passing us, ma'am." Takaro said.
"They say the third time is a charm. Takaro, hail them one last time."
This could be a Romulan ploy to attack the Starbase .Her mind flashed. She looked over at Rogue and knew he was thinking the same.
"Takaro, send a Code One call for reinforcements to the base. Then take us to Red Alert."
Takaro wanted to object, but closed her mouth at the last minute. She had also realized what Collins was thinking.
"Code One away."
"Scan the Sovereign for Romulans."
"I'm picking up four-hundred Romulans and two-hundred and six Starfleet crew of multiple. Two-hundred and six is the skeleton crew for the Sovereign-class."
Collins was now absolutely sure. "The Romulans have taken her over. Ying, take us to maximum warp! Takaro, target her port warp nacelle only."
The Horizon leaped to her full speed.
Kathryn Janeway had to grab the railing to stay to her feet.
She was on deck three of the Sovereign when it came under fire. Her combadge fell to the floor. An ensign grabbed it and gave it to her. Then the ensign guided her into a Jefferies tube.
"Stay here and no ‘buts'." He said.
After that he slammed the hatch shut.
Janeway slammed he combadge. "Janeway to Manson. What is going on?"
Captain Henry Manson answered her hail.
"We just passed the Starship Horizon and now she has opened fire on us."
"Has she tried to hail us?"
The ship rocked again.
"Yes, but we didn't reply.
Admiral Paris ordered a complete communications black-out."
"The Horizon doesn't know about our true mission. They think we should be patrolling the Romulan Neutral Zone. And with so many Romulans aboard..."
"...They think we've been hijacked by the Romulans. I understand."
"Good, hail them and fill them in. Janeway out."
She waited for things to come.
Takaro checked her readings.
"The Sovereign is dropping to impulse and hailing." Rogue spoke up.
"Sorry, Conny. But I'll have to handle it from here."
"I understand, sir." Collins said.
"Cease fire and drop to impulse."
The ship slowed down to the ordered speed.
"Keep us out of the range of their weapons."
"Aye, sir." Ying said.
Horizon spiralled away from the other starship.
"Put her hail onscreen."
The ‘snowy' image of Henry Manson appeared. And the sound was distorted.
"Hold on a minute." Ying said.
"I'm cleaning it up."
The connection cleared.
"Captain Rogue, this was a Code forty-seven transmission. Why am I patched through to the bridge?"
"Because you are not in any position to make demands, Commander. Thanks to my Chief Conny's quick thinking, your port nacelle now looks like a piece of Swiss cheese. You aren't going anywhere and more Starfleet ships are on the way. So, mister Romulan, drop this façade and surrender. You'll never make it to that Starbase alive."
Three Akira-class ships dropped out of warp.
The Sovereign was now surrounded.
Janeway couldn't believe her eyes. She was now on the bridge, and watching the other ships locking weapons. Manson came out of his ready room.
"He didn't listen, Admiral. He's convinced."
"Did you inform him of our orders?"
"I didn't get around to it. He gave me the ‘surrender or die' speech and cut the channel."
"Captain Rogue isn't the easiest person to convince. Send them the secret orders."
"Do it, now!"
Manson send the file in question.
His tactical officer spoke up. "The ships are standing down."
"Stand down Red Alert."
The tactical station beeped.
"Sir, we are receiving the distress call from..."
"...The Starbase." Takaro began. "It's under attack from the Borg."
"Set course for the base at maximum warp." Collins ordered.
The Horizon was on her way, with the three Akira-class ships ahead of her.
"We've reached the Starbase."
"Drop to full hyper-impulse and open fire."
A Borg cube was pounding the base relentlessly. The Starfleet-ships pounded her return.
Rogue had most of the senior officers made their way to the bridge.
"The Starbase is losing her shields." Wallace said.
"She's going to blow."
Then the base exploded.
A massive shockwave engulfed the Horizon.
Her shields failed and she dissolved around Collins....
....into the safety of the Holodeck.
The bridge, the other starships and the Borg had all been a part of the Starfleet's latest training scenario. Three people were standing in the room with Collins. Captain Manson, Captain Rogue and Admiral Janeway.
In reality, the Sovereign and her Romulan passengers had arrived at Starbase Two-Six-Five two days before the Horizon did. And she was only carrying forty of them. It was diplomatic party from the Nimbus system.
"What went wrong?" Collins asked.
"The Borg managed to get a good first salvo before the Starbase could raise her shields." Manson began.
"Because the three Akira-class ship weren't there."
"We couldn't take on the Sovereign alone. That would be stupid, so what did I do wrong?"
Now Janeway spoke up. "You asked for the wrong reinforcements. There was a Klingon Battle Group in the sector as well."
"I didn't know that."
"Because you forgot to ask. If you had told the Holo-Takaro to scan for Non-Federation allies, she would have found it. The Battle Group would have helped you to secure the Sovereign and their presence would have tipped the balance in your favour against the Borg."
Collins looked disappointed.
"You made a mistake, Lieutenant." Manson said.
"That's what these simulations are for. To make mistakes and learn from them without hurting anybody."
"Yes, sir. I'll try to remember that."
"Good.' Janeway said. "Dismissed."
Rogue looked after her., but then the doors slid shut.
"Well, captain." Manson said. "What do you think? You haven't said a word."
"She clearly made a mistake." Rogue said.
"And you two explained it to her, so there's no reason for her Captain to rub it in. We still have a week before we head out again. I suggest we simply continue her training."
"And then what?"
"Then she'll have to learn it the hard way."
Rogue walked out.
"It was a disaster." Collins said.
She was sitting in Ten-Forward with Benjamin and Casey O'Rill.
"The Starbase was destroyed and the shockwave cost me the Horizon."
"Au." Benjamin said.
Collins took a sip of her drink.
"And it turns out the solution was so simple. Call for Klingon help and not Starfleet."
"But why did the shockwave destroy our ship?" Benjamin asked.
"A Type-II Starbase has eighty fusion reactors as secondary power source. And three matter / anti-matter units as the main source. That gives of a lot of power, but if the shields fail...." Collins said.
"...You get one heck of a blast."
Benjamin decided to change the subject. "How are things between you and Peter?"
"Normal., the list of dates is getting longer."
"And have they all been a success?"
"Some more then others."
"What is the next date?"
"He's taking me to his quarters."
"Euuuu..." The O'Rill's said.
The doors opened and Dovz walked into the room. She was bent over a PADD.
"What's important enough to break your legs?" Benjamin asked.
Dovz looked up. "Excuse me?"
"You're not watching where your going."
"I was working a new arrangement for the cargo bays."
"Really." Casey said.
"Yes, one Gymnasium and one Holodeck isn't enough to keep the crew entertained. So I wanted to create more facilities."
"What does that have to do with the cargo bays?"
"We have twenty-two cargo bays, but they are poorly arranged. And if we cleaned them up the way they should, we'd only have enough cargo to fill ten bays."
"Ten bays should be enough spare room." Casey said.
"Exactly, so I wanted to turn Cargo Bay twenty-one into a library. And twenty-two in a swimming pool."
Casey took the PADD. "I want you to do a study to see if it's technologically possible before I take it to the Captain."
"Sure thing, but no promises."
Dovz walked back out.
Captain's log, Stardate 55360.6.
The Horizon and four other starships have been called to Starbase 265 for re-assignment. Three of the other ships are Defiant-Class. The Adventure, Cairo and Washington were patrolling the Cardassian border. Our group is completed by the Starstalker, a Sovereign-class ship. She was assigned to guard Starbase 12.
Janeway didn't give us any details about our mission, but she did plan a briefing for today. I'm going over there in a few minutes. The Admiral said it was a Captain's only briefing, but I have a hunch something big is going to happen. So Dovz and I are working on a little scheme.
Rogue stepped into the briefing room. He had to leave his combadge outside and gone through several security scans, but now he was inside.
Janeway and the other four Captains were already there. "Hello, Captain." She said.
Rogue sat next to Victoria McLean of the Washington.
"Ladies and gentlemen." Janeway began. "There is good and bad news. I will begin with the bad news. You are all dead, as are you crews."
The captains looked at her in surprise.
"Replacement vessels are under construction as we speak."
"Who will replace me?" Rogue asked.
"Captain Brevik will command a new, Sovereign-class, Starship Horizon."
"And the good news."
"You deaths will just be on paper. We're sending you on a secret mission."
"What kind of mission?" McLean asked.
"To help an ally."
McLean was about to ask another question when Janeway put up a restraining hand.
"The briefing will make everything clear."
She wanted to begin her story, but a security officer came in.
"Is something wrong, Lieutenant O'Cleary?" Janeway asked.
"I am picking up a very faint subspace signature."
The lieutenant swung his tricorder around and nodded.
"Aha, that's it."
"What is it, lieutenant?" McLean asked.
"Captain Rogue very cleverly tried to get his First Officer into this briefing room."
Janeway looked around. "I'd like to know where she is then."
The lieutenant point to wall behind him. "In the secret compartment in that bulkhead."
Janeway took out her tricorder and walked to the wall. Then she opened the secret compartment.
"Didn't work, did it?" Dovz said.
She walked towards the exit. "Sorry, sir." Dovz said to Rogue.
"Next time we'll try something else."
Then Dovz and the lieutenant were gone.
Janeway turned towards Rogue. "Normally I'd reprimand someone for this kind of stunt...."
"But I'm dead, so you can't do that."
"Your walking a fine line here, mister. Don't cross it."
Then she turned her attention to the briefing again. "You have all read about the exploits of Captain James T. Kirk at one time or another. And you also know that he once discovered an alternate reality."
"The mirror universe." McLean said.
"Exactly, and you also know of Sisko's mission to that universe. The last time anyone from our side went there was the incident with the Klingon cloaking device and the capture of Grand Nagus Zek. The Terran rebels captured the Regency One and her crew."
"And the mirror Ezri Dax joined the rebellion."
"Yes, and Zek was saved. Afterwards the crew of the Regency One, with exception of Worf and Garak, was traded for Terrans. But the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance attacked shortly after. They killed Worf and Garak and destroyed the Regency One. Also, they killed all the officers except for Ezri Dax and reduced the fleet to the Defiant. However the cloaking device was saved and installed aboard the station, allowing the rebels to hide it from the Alliance."
"But the Alliance knows where the station is." Captain Young said. Captain Bill Young was the commander of the Adventure.
"Did, in 2376 the Rebels convinced the Romulans to join their cause. In the mirror universe the Romulans were a peaceful and primitive race that controlled only two systems. Remus and Romulus. In 2376 they were flying ships with a maximum speed of warp three on the old scale that were armed with nuclear weapons and lasers."
"Were?" McLean asked.
"Yes, the Terran Rebels were facing a housing problem. Beside getting hundreds of people back with the prisoner exchange, the Defiant also successfully raided many minor prisons that year. So Terok Nor had grown to small to hold them all. The Rebels could have a moon in the Romulan system to live on in exchange for technology. These days the Romulans there are as advanced as they are here."
"That diplomatic party isn't from Nimbus." McLean said. "They are from over there."
"What about Terok Nor?"
"The station was moved to the Romulan system and put in orbit as a cloaked base. The Rebels also equipped their Defiant with a cloak."
"What does all of this have to do with us?"
Janeway took a deep breath before she continued.
"For the past two years, the Alliance has left this matter alone. They were working on a way to penetrate the cloak. And recently they have tested a new type of scanner. It failed, but the Rebels and the Romulans got the point. It's time to go on the offensive again. The problem is that their hands are tied, because the Defiant is needed to guard the station. And the Romulans only have enough ships to protect their own system. They came across to ask our help, and we're going to give it."
"How?" Young asked.
"The five of you are going to work for the Terrans."
The captains looked at Janeway as if she had just turned into a Klingon.
"Excuse me." Young said.
"The Adventure, Cairo and Washington will guard the station. That will allow the Defiant to go out and perform attacks. Your secondary objective will be to upgrade the station's defenses. At the moment it only has shields and six low-yield lasers made to destroy meteors. The Starstalker will become the flagship of defense fleet for the Reman system."
"How many ships are there in the defense fleet?"
"Four D'deridex-class warbirds in each system. They are building a fifth for the Romulan system, but number five for the Reman system is not possible. Because both systems are very resource poor. They can barely complete number five for the Romulan system."
"And what about my ship?" Rogue asked.
"The Horizon has the most important task of all. You are to help the Defiant with her attacks. All your ships will be equipped with cloaking devices."
"One more special system on the Horizon won't hurt." Rogue said.
"We already have a special model warp drive, Hyper-Impulse and a Jem'Hadar transporter. We'll fit it in somehow."
The captains filed out.
Casey O'Rill fell onto one of the biobeds. "Give me the strongest sedative you have."
Ogawa walked over to the bed. "What's the illness?"
"There is no illness."
"Then what are you doing in sickbay?"
"I'm asking you for a sedative."
"Because I'm exhausted, but I'm to busy to sleep.
I have to upgrade twenty cargo bays, build one swimmingpool, build a library, install a cloaking the device and adjust the deflector for us to cross over."
"I see our re-assignment is taking its toll on the Engineering department."
"Yes, it's also taken it's toll on me."
"Yeah, I noticed."
"Shut up and give me the drug!"
Ogawa walked to a drawer and opened it. She took out a Phaser and set it to Heavy Stun. Then she shot O'Rill.
"You'll pay for this." O'Rill said.
Then she passed out.
Collins stepped into Archer's quarters. She knew he wasn't home, but she wanted it that way. This way she could replicate dinner before he came. She got to work and finished just in time.
He sat on the couch and put his arms around her.
"Hello, Dorian." He kissed her.
She smiled at him.
"Come on, let's have dinner."
The bell rang.
"I'll get rid of them." Collins said.
She opened the door. Rogue was standing there.
"Here are those reports you wanted."
"Thank you, sir."
Collins was on her way back to the couch when the bell rang again.
This time it was Wallace.
"Oops, wrong door."
The bell rang a third time.
Archer took out his Phaser and set it to Heavy Stun. He opened the door.
"Ogawa shot..." Was as far as O'Rill got.
Then doors closed.
"Now we can have dinner." Archer said.
They began eating.
"I love Andorian Cauliflower."
Then the ship rocked.
"All senior officers to bridge!" Dovz shouted over the intercom.
"Let's go." Archer said.
They got going.
Rogue was one of the last officers to arrive. "What is wrong?" He asked.
"The other Defiant has shown up." Wallace began..
"She is hailing the Starbase."
"Tap the signal."
Ezri Dax appeared on the screen, but she couldn't hear Rogue or talk to him. She was taking to Janeway.
"Admiral, I'm afraid we need those reinforcements now."
Janeway now also appeared.
Has something gone wrong?"
"The Rebellion only had two captains. Me and Captain Rogue's counterpart. The latter, that scumbag, has defected to the Alliance. He gave the Alliance the coordinates to the colony. An armada is heading for us."
The link was terminated and the stars returned to view.
Dovz looked at Rogue. The captain's face was composed and calm, but she knew he was furious.
"Numero Uno, you have the bridge. I'll be in my ready room."
Rogue left as O'Rill managed to get in.
"I got shot." She moaned. "Twice."
Archer dug his nails into his chair. Wallace looked up.
"By whom?" He asked.
"The first time I asked Ogawa for a sedative and Archer shot me for no reason at all."
Dovz got up.
"I was a bit...cranky.
We were trying to have a romantic dinner and people kept interrupting."
"Take my advice if you still want to have a career. Just turn off the bell next time."
"I'll leave it with a warning this time."
"A warning, I got shot!" O'Rill blurted.
Wallace gave her an angry glance and she was quiet.
The bridge crew continued their work.
Rogue was sitting in his ready room.
He stared out at the starscape.
The doors lid aside behind him.
"Not now, Jery."
"I'm not Jery." MacWright said.
Rogue didn't turn around.
"What do you want?"
"We have to talk about the other you."
"I don't know what to say."
"How do you feel about him?"
"Conflicted. I hate his guts for betraying his friends, but I still wonder how much of him is in me."
"How you would be if you had been born. in his universe?"
"Yes, I would have been him."
MacWright turned the chair.
"I once had a situation like this."
MacWright passed for a second, as if to prepared for the pain about to surface.
"You see, MacWright was half of a twin. And, in cliché fashion, I was the good half and my brother the evil. His host was called Zal and mine was Jaron. And the year was 2063."
"I killed him."
Rogue was silent for a moment.
"Thom, what are you trying to tell me?" He asked after that.
"I understand how you feel and it's easy to go with these feelings. But while Zal and Jaron were fighting, Zal's forces nearly overran Joran's. We barely managed to rescue the survivors. I might have killed Zal, but I lost the battle. It was my only defeat ever. Your duty to the crew overrides anything else."
Rogue took a deep breath as he realized that his officer was absolutely right.
"Thank you, Thom."
"You welcome, sir."
MacWright returned to the bridge.
O'Rill had recovered from her Phaser shots.
She had forgiven Archer, but Ogawa was now facing a major problem. The furious chief engineer was out to get her revenge. Ogawa was in Sickbay, so O'Rill had gone to her quarters. She keyed a series of instructions into the replicator.
Then O'Rill waited for ten minutes. Ogawa came in and ordered a cup of tea. She drank it in one sip. Ten minutes later she had to run to the toilet.
Outside, O'Rill was laughing her head of.
"A, hah." Dovz and Rogue said.
They were standing in the corridor with a ‘this-is-not-funny' look on their faces.
"What?" O'Rill asked.
"Un-bug that replicator." Rogue said.
"But she deserved it."
"Now." Dovz said. "And that's an order."
She went inside and returned the replicator to normal.
Ogawa joined them after about fifteen minutes.
"Now, what is behind this?" Rogue asked.
"What are you talking about?" Ogawa said.
"You shot her and she did this to you. While the two of you are best friends."
"I'm not saying it." O'Rill and Ogawa said.
Dovz spoke up.
"I know what's wrong, sir. I ask Benjamin O'Rill and Alyssa's assistant, Doctor Von, for help and found your answer. They are fighting over a man."
"But Alyssa is married and has a child."
"Not like that, sir. Casey is one man short in her department and Alyssa is also one man short.
And we have only one crewman to re-assign.":
"So." Rogue said. "Get another crewman."
"We can't, we're dead."
Rogue thought about it for a moment.
"Numero Uno, you are in charge of personnel problem
So you will have to kidnap a crewman."
"You're joking, right?"
"I'm afraid not. Unless you have a better idea."
"I thought so. Dismissed."
Rogue left a perplexed trio behind.
"I still can't believe we're actually doing this." O'Rill said.
She and Ogawa were carrying the new crewman through the corridors of the Starbase. A site-to-site transport would probably alert security. Which meant they had to carry the crewman to the nearest transporter room. The poor victim had give a heavy sedative to make the process easier.
Dovz had re-assigned the other crewman to Engineering, so they had to kidnap a medic. Ensign Vicky Inos was the unlucky person. They approached the transporter room, but then Inos' eyes snapped open.
"Oops." Ogawa said. "Not strong enough."
Inos screamed her lungs out. "Help!"
Two security guards rushed to her aide.
Ogawa and O'Rill dropped her and ran.
"What happened?" One of the guards asked.
"I was being kidnapped by two dead people who aren't actually dead."
"Zombies? On a Starbase?"
"No...I...forget it. Just save me."
More security people arrived.
"They're in science lab fourteen." The other guard said. "But it's locked."
The guards began breaking down the door.
Inside, O'Rill and Ogawa were in trouble.
"What do we do now?" Ogawa said.
"We escape via the Jefferies tube."
They used the tube to reach the Transporter room.
Three security officers were waiting for them.
"You are under arrest."
"Really?" Ogawa said.
They dove to the ground as they drew their Phasers.
The first two guards took one shot, but the last got two shots.
"Get up." O'Rill said.
They went into the corridor and found Inos. The ensign didn't get the chance to scream this time. Ogawa and O'Rill had her on the platform before she realized it.
The guards hit nothing but the transporter.
Wallace was running the last series of checks on the deflector. A forceful voice made him look up from the Engineering station.
"Where is he?" Janeway demanded.
"Ask the computer."
"I beg pardon?"
"I'm not his mother. If you want to know where Captain Rogue is, ask the computer. Now stop bothering me. I have work to do."
Janeway looked at Wallace in surprise. Then she turned around and stepped into Rogue's ready room.
The Captain was waiting for her.
"What were you thinking!?" Janeway said.
"Coffee?" Rogue asked.
"Don't try to change the subject. Your officers kidnapped a crewman. What were you thinking? Did you really think you could get away with it?"
"No, I knew I would get away with it. Because one of us declared the other dead."
"That's your excuse?"
"You can't transfer to a field of debris. So I had to come up with an ‘alternate' way of getting personnel."
Janeway gave him an angry look. "You will be replaced by Captain Saro."
Then she was gone.
Wallace had monitored the conversation via the intercom.
A Vulcan in command of our ship. He thought.
Janeway walked passed him without a word.
He waited until she was gone before he went into the Ready Room. "Are you just going to let her replace you?" He asked.
"Yes." Rogue began. "As a matter of fact, this was the response if was hoping for."
"The other Rogue knows how I think. And he probably has been given command of an Alliance ship as a reward for his betrayal."
"I still don't follow."
"Sooner or later his ship and the Horizon will have to fight. This way you will have a bigger chance to win."
"You're a lousy lair. There is something cooking in that brain of yours."
"Listen, Darian." Rogue began. "I've had my chance and...
As much I hate to say it: I blew it."
"You'll prove Shelby right if you quit now."
"Thanks for trying. I'll be disembarking in two hours."
Wallace returned to his station.
Rogue walked to the transporter room.
The doors opened. Dovz was behind the transporter controls.
"Where is the chief?"
"I wanted to say goodbye."
"I'm not into that sort of thing."
"I know. The officers wanted to throw you a going away party. But I managed to talk them out of it."
"You are the best first officer any captain could wish for."
"You're trying to change the subject."
"If only you weren't so smart."
The controls beeped.
"Your replacement wants to board."
"I wouldn't led him wait."
Rogue stepped onto the platform. "Energize."
Rogue dissolved into the transporter beam as the unit formed Saro on another pad. The Vulcan was a female of one-hundred-fifty years. She had grey hair with merciless green eyes.
"Welcome aboard, Captain."
The Vulcan ‘efficient' nature surfaced at once. "Why are you not on the bridge?"
"Captain Rogue needed help with his baggage."
Saro ignored the comment.
"Have the Conn officer set course away from the Starbase. And tell Engineering to prepare the deflector. I want to cross in ten minutes."
"Have you forgotten my rank?"
Then Saro was gone.
I should have asked for a transfer. Dovz thought.
She went to work.
Nine minutes later Saro stepped onto the bridge. The mood was tense. She could sense the hostility coming towards her in waves.
This crew doesn't want me. She thought.
But she could sense something else. Dislike towards Rogue for leaving in the first place.
Saro ignored the emotions. She sat in the command chair.
"All hands, stand-by for crossing."
Dovz was standing next to Wallace.
"Activate the deflector." She said.
"Aye, commander." Wallace said.
The deflector of the Horizon was not the standard model that was clearly visible. It was a series of smaller deflectors which were about twenty square centimeters. One hundred and fifty of the ‘tiles' were installed on the front of the ship. And their combined power was enough to protect the Horizon. So one-hundred-and-fifty specially configured energy beams met and converted to one big beam. A rift opened in front of the ship.
Saro didn't twitch a muscle.
"This is the second time we're going through a rift to wage war." Archer said.
"Chief Conn Officer, plot a course through at full impulse." Saro said.
Collins wanted to sigh, but didn't.
"Aye, captain. Our course is two-three-four mark two-one. Ahead full impulse."
The Horizon went through with the Adventure, Cairo and Washington behind her. They had to clear the area before the Starstalker could pass through. Then the rift closed.
"We have crossed safely, Captain." Wallace said.
"Conn, set course for Terok Nor."
"Aye, Captain. Course set at full impulse."
The ship accelerated to one quarter of the speed of light.
"Commander Dovz, you have the bridge." Saro said. Then she got up and left.
Collins led out her sigh.
"I know." Dovz said. "Believe me, I know."
She settled into the command chair.
It was night when Terok Nor came into view. Wallace was in command as the ship approached Deep Space Nine's counterpart. The Romulan force for the system was swarming the station.
"Take us into orbit, Ensign Xerry."
The ship followed the order.
"Hail the station."
A Bolian appeared. "This is Commander Na. Acting commander of Terok Nor."
"Captain Rogue was the Commanding Officer of this station."
"I see. Anyway, we want permission to dock."
"Granted, you can dock at upper pylon one. Na out."
The Horizon docked.
O'Rill stepped into cargo bay twenty-one. The pool was under construction. It wouldn't be very big, but it was better then nothing.
She walked over the bottom of the pool.
"Hello, Casey." MacWright said.
"It will be a nice pool."
"Yes, and it will revive the entire deck. This is one of the forgotten corners of the ship."
"What do you think of Captain Saro?"
"That's an understatement if I ever heard one."
"It's so strange. How did we get attached to Gary so quickly?
All we did was make a couple of cargo runs."
"And the incident with the Awake nebula."
"He had this charm nobody could resist."
He could be rude, annoying and insensitive."
"That's why we liked him."
"Damm." The two of them said.
MacWright's combadge beeped.
"Saro to MacWright."
"Report to my Ready Room."
"Aye, captain. MacWright out."
Thom stepped into the turbolift. The cart brought him to the bridge.
He walked into the Ready Room.
"Here I am, Captain."
"Humans have a tension to state the obvious."
"I'm a Trill and I don't need lessons about humans from you. I've seen them evolve for a long time."
"And what do you know about Human-Vulcan relationships?"
"I know the two races didn't get along in the beginning. That you boycotted Henry Archer's research. And that it took Enterprise NX-01 to prove you wrong."
"This past has been, Lieutenant Commander. My problem lies in the present. None of the crew seems to like me. I can work like that, but is preferable to solve the problem."
"Why do you care what the crew thinks about you?"
"It reduces their efficiency"
"You will never be liked here, because you are not Gary Rogue."
"I see, dismissed."
MacWright marched out.
Regent Kira sat back in the command chair of the New Regency. he had been promoted after Worf's death and loved the new position.
The commanding officer of the ship was standing behind her.
"Well, Gary. How do you like your new ship?"
He grinned his most diplomatic smile at her.
"You were most gracious, Regent. She is an excellent vessel."
"Be a dear and increase speed to Warp nine. Won't you, my precious."
"Of course." Rogue said.
"Helm, warp nine!"
The armada accelerated.
"We will arrive in the Romulan system in two hours, Regent."
"Excellent, and our new weapon?"
"We are running the final diagnostic now. I suggest we test it by firing at Terok Nor."
"Trust me, we will."
The ship rattled under weapons fire.
"It's the Defiant!" The tactical officer shouted.
"Then don't just sit there, you fool! Fire all weapons!" Rogue yelled.
The weapons of the New Regency lashed out in vain.
Rogue grabbed the Klingon officer by his shirt.
"I thought the new subroutines made the weapons faster!"
"They did, but it's not enough. They can still outmaneuver us."
"Adjust your fire to compensate!"
The weapons burst out again.
Kira got up.
"Gary, you should learn to keep calm."
She drew a disruptor and killed the officer.
The ship stopped rocking.
Another officer took Tactical.
"The Terran vessel has cloaked again."
"Don't worry." Kira said. "We'll get them very soon."
She sat back down.
The fleet was ready.
All ships had been prepared for battle. Dovz had turned off the Red Alert klaxon so that everybody could hear one another.
The Alliance fleet was closing at warp nine.
"I'm picking up fifty Alliance starships." Wallace said.
"Against our ten." Dovz said. "The odds are slim for us."
"We have the element of surprise." Collins said.
Saro studied the fleet.
"Ready all weapons. Stand-by to decloak."
The vessels decloaked and the first wave of weapons fire erupted. A historic battle had began.
Kira had to grip her chair to stay seated. The first attack had destroyed four vessels and damaged another seven. So far the armada had the upper hand, but that wouldn't remain for much longer. The rebels were desperate and were fighting in matching style. She had no idea how the rebels had managed to get this many ships, but it would not matter.
The New Regency was heading for Terok Nor with an escort of four Galor-class ships. It had decloaked to raise its shields.
"Charge the plasma cannon." Rogue ordered.
"Aye, captain. Cannon is...."
The Tactical console exploded. Four alien ships were pounding the New Regency. They were firing a new kind of torpedo that did a lot more damage then a Photon Torpedo. Rogue re-routed the controls.
"Cannon is charged and locked." He said.
"Fire!" Kira blurted.
Six plasma torpedoes launched out of the underbelly of the ship. But the Romulans managed to destroy five of them. Number six enveloped the station.
Na was throw back several feet by a bolt of power form his console. Ops was a complete mess. The plasma weapon was causing the EPS-grid to overload.
"The reactor will explode! Eject it!"
The engineer worked his controls.
"I can't! The damm system is jammed."
"Override subroutine N-21 and try again."
"Got it! The reactor is away!"
"Kick in the auxiliary reactors and restore the shields."
Na watched as the reactor spun into deep space.
Kira watched the viewer in terror. "I thought they didn't have an ejection system!" She shouted at Rogue.
"Na is a clever bastard! He probably made adjustment after I left!"
The reactor was heading straight for the New Regency.
"Helm, get us out of here!"
It was a vain order. The Romulans had warped to the other battlefield in time, but the Alliance ship were hit straight in the face. All the escort ships exploded.
The New Regency was thrown through space by the shockwave. Kira was thrown out of her chair.
"All tactical systems are off-line." Rogue said.
The New Regency barely managed to turn.
"We cannot go faster then warp one." The helmsman said.
The ship jumped to warp.
Dovz has holding on to the wooden rail that held Tactical.
"Shields down to forty percent!" Wallace said.
"Firing pattern Gamma-three." Saro ordered.
"Re-route auxiliary power to shields." Dovz added.
"Shields now at sixty percent, but falling again."
"Turn to course two-one-four mark nine-three." Saro said.
Collins worked her controls and the ship turned.
"Fire pattern Theta Bleu-Nine."
The enemies were two Vor'cha-class ships. They were taking a heavy pounding.
Four warbirds dropped out of warp and opened fire.
"The Reman task force has arrived." Wallace said.
Twenty Quantum torpedoes cut through space. Four of them hit the ships the Horizon was fighting. Their shields failed for a moment.
Wallace used that split-second to fire everything he had. The cruisers exploded and the shock hit the ship hard. It rattled and moaned.
Then Alliance ships stopped firing. They turned and went to warp.
Dovz looked around the bridge. Saro was in front of the captain's chair, her neck at an impossible angle.
"Damm.' Dovz muttered.
She checked Saro and found her fear to be true.
"She's dead. Stand down Red Alert and give me damage reports."
Wallace checked in first.
"Phasers are down to thirty percent, shields are at four percent and the torpedo-tubes are off-line."
"What about the hull?"
"Damage all over, but no breaches."
"Collins, what about our engines?"
"All engines are off-line."
"Damn, begin repairs. And get a medical team up here."
Dovz slumped into her chair.
That was all Ogawa could think about. Her beloved Andrew Powell and her child.
She was treating the wounded in sickbay. Alyssa realized that this re-assignment meant that she would probably not see them again for a long time. If ever.
"Earth to Ogawa."
O'Rill was standing in front of her.
"Are you alright?"
"I know how you feel. We all left family on the other side."
"How are things in Engineering?"
Now Ogawa noticed the big cut on O'Rill's face.
"A flying piece of metal."
Ogawa took an auto-suture and began working on the wound.
It had been about half an hour since the battle. Dovz was reading the reports when Collins shouted.
Dovz looked up from her console. "What's wrong?" She asked.
"Nothing, I just got the engines back on-line. But they won't last for long."
"Set course for the station."
The impulse engines burst into action.
First Officer's Log, Stardate 55370.4.
We have spent several days repairing the damage. Although the Alliance severely damaged our ships, they failed to destroy any of them. The damage has been repaired and the wounded have been treated. Our casualties were limited. Captain Saro and Ensign Quinn's cat.
The captain's death has left me in command. None of the other Starfleet ships lost anybody. The Terrans have lost dozens of people, but replacements have been brought in from the colony. Terok Nor itself is almost completely intact. We have moved the station to a higher orbit and the construction of a new reactor core has begun.
Chief Conn Officer's personal log, Stardate 55370.7.
I feel so angry. Where is our *real* captain? The ship got punched full of holes and Gary was nowhere to be seen. Captain Saro is dead and that creep of a mirror Rogue is still out there. But he can't run forever.
Collins brought the ship about. They were scanning the Romulan system for resources. The Romulan system held four planets, of which Romulus was number three After the battle, Dovz realized that they would need more ships if they wanted to win. And the only way for the Romulans to build more ships was to find more resources. So they where going over the Romulan system with a toothbrush, while the Starstalker was doing the same with the Reman system.
"I've got the Jackpot." Crewman Jones said.
Jones was at Ops during the night shift.
"Where?" Collins said.
"On the first, second and fourth planet."
"How did you find it?"
"I ran a Tachyon sweep."
"Of course, that technology was developed to penetrate cloaking devices. And since cloaking technology is new here..."
"They don't have this scan yet."
"How big is our prize?"
"Big enough to build a fleet of Warbirds."
"Why didn't any of our other scans see it?"
"Most of the resources are underneath a high concentrated layer of Vanallis-Thorium ore. It blocks most scans."
Collins tapped her combadge. "What so important you have to wake me at this hour?"
"We've found something I thought you should be able to appreciate. Resources, planets full of it. Dilithium, Duranium, you name it. We've got it and plenty of it to."
"I'll be right up."
Dovz cut the link.
The conference lounge was occupied by four people. Dovz and Captain Annabel Briggs were being briefed by Archer on the history of the Romulans. Briggs was in command of the Starstalker. Her ship had scanned the three planets in the Reman system. Remus one and three were just as loaded with resources as the other planets.
The fourth person was an engineer who was working on the showcase with the two Horizons. He was moving the Deadalus and Horizon class replicas to add the new model of the Sovereign-class ship.
"The Romulans inhabit Romulus Three and Remus Two." Archer began. "They left Vulcan two-thousand years ago like ours did, but here history was a little different. The leader of the peaceful faction was the great philosopher Surak. His teachings were rejected and he and his followers were banished from Vulcan. They came here and founded two nations. One on Remus and one on Romulus."
"What about the Remans?" Briggs asked.
"Unlike our Remus, this planet was uninhabited when the Romulans got here. The race we know as the Remans live in a nearby system and are knew are the Bassic here. They are not warp capable."
"What is their technology level?"
"About equal to Earth in 2000."
"Done." The engineer said.
"What do you think?"
Dovz studied the showcase and nodded. "Perfect."
The engineer closed the case and left.
Dovz looked at Archer.
"Right." Archer said. "To get back to the Romulans. The Romulans found one another again after they developed impulse drive. So they joined forces and became one state again. That was two hundred years ago. There wasn't much interest in space travel until 2376, when the threat of the Alliance became clear. You know the rest."
"Thank you, Ensign."
Archer left and the two officers began planning their strategies for the future.
"The Romulans have decided to build a fifth warbird for the Reman system." Briggs said.
"We should re-assign the Starstalker to the attack force. What about the old Romulan ships?"
"They had twenty-four warp capable ships and forty-six impulse vessels. The impulse vessels and four of the warp ships were disassembled after they began the construction of the first eight warbirds."
"In this universe the Orions are traders. They could trade the components for more advanced ones."
"With the help of the Terrans, of course. What about the rest of the fleet?"
"The other twenty warp ships are still in space worthy. They are being refitted."
"Good, we need more firepower."
The conversation continued for a while.
Wallace and MacWright were at tactical. They were making the balance for the battle.
"Okay." MacWright said. "What did we lose?"
"The reactor core of Terok Nor, Captain Saro and thirty-one Terrans."
"But the core is being rebuilt."
"So our loss is one and the Terrans lost thirty-one."
"What about the Alliance?"
"They brought in fifty-five ships, and left with forty-six. So they lost eleven ships. Four Galor, three Vor'cha and four K'T'Inga-class ships."
The tactical console beeped.
"We have company." Wallace began.
"Six Alliance ships, all lightly armed scouts."
"What are they doing?" MacWright asked.
"Something very smart. They don't know how big our fleet is, because what they encountered could just be part of the entire fleet."
"So they want us to overreact by throwing everything we have at them."
"Exactly, then they know how big our fleet is. And they can simply send as many ships as they think it would take to overwhelm us."
"So what do we do?"
"Nothing, since we're cloaked and they can't see us. They will have no choice but to head for the colony. And then the Romulans ambush them."
"I hope you're right."
They sat and waited.
Kira watched the scouting party. She had plotted this course of action carefully.
The New Regency was laying in wait just outside the Rebel's sensor range. But the flagship had better sensors, so they could see their party.
"They are approaching the moon." Rogue said.
"Tell all ships to get ready for warp. And arm weapons."
The stars in front of the scout vanished. Two warbirds decloaked and opened fire.
"They are falling for it, Regent."
"Of course they are. It's my plan, after all."
Rogue was the one who had come up with the plan, but nobody on the bridge knew that. And he was not planning on waking up dead, so he kept his mouth shut. Kira smiled as she studied the screen.
"It is only a matter of time now..."
"Damn." Wallace said.
He was checking his readings.
"What's wrong?" MacWright said.
"There's nobody aboard those ships! It's a trap!"
But then it was to late. The Romulans destroyed the scouts.
A wave of purple light passed through the Horizon.
Wallace went crazy.
"A tachyon burst." Collins began.
"The cloak is down!"
"I noticed." Wallace said.
The stars were disrupted for a moment by a massive flash. Then the Alliance armada had surrounded them..
She had managed to bring down the Rebels' greatest weapons. One-hundred starships were surrounding Terok Nor. And the Romulans were also cornered in.
Kira had repaired her ships and called for reinforcements after her first attack. And now she was going to crush the Rebellion. All their ships were still docked at the station, so there was no chance of escape.
"Captain, open a channel."
Rogue worked the controls.
The rebel commander appeared.
"Kira, I should have known."
"Yes, you should have. But you didn't."
"What do you want?"
"Simple, to crush your rebellion. You have five seconds to surrender..."
Proceed to Part 2
|Last modified: 10 Apr 2012