"You have five seconds to surrender." Kira said.
She leaned back in the command chair of the New Regency.
"Five, four, three, two, one." Na was silent.
"Very well, you had your chance. End transmission."
The screen returned to a view of Terok Nor.
"Tell all ships to open...."
The helm console exploded.
"We are taking fire!" Rogue blurted.
Another jolt rocked the ship.
"Sensors indicate a large fleet is closing on our position."
"I don't know. The configuration isn't in the database. There are thousands of them heading straight for us."
Kira watched in horror as wave after wave of Species 8472 ships appeared.
"They will surround us in two minutes."
The ship was hit again.
"Can we fight them?"
"No, they have superior weapons and much greater numbers. We'd be squashed like a bug."
"They will pay for this humiliation.
Tell all ships to withdraw at maximum warp!"
The Alliance fleet scattered and ran.
"Well, I'll be..." Dovz said.
She watched the Species 8472 fleet approach. Then one of the ships suddenly dissolved. Another followed, and another and then even more. Soon only ten vessels remained and those were scouts.
Wallace spoke up. "We are being hailed."
Dovz got up and walked to the Conn station.
"Put it up."
The screen blinked on.
"I am Vor, the commanding officer of patrol group A-20-H. We were send here to assist you."
"What happened to the fleet?"
"It was an illusion."
"How did you do that?" Collins asked.
"We have invented a mobile kind of Holo-emitter. It is capable of both impulse and warp speed. We created it to fool the Borg."
"So you launched thousands of these kinds to fool the Alliance?" Dovz asked.
"Yes, it was quite easy. They are about the size of one of your micro-torpedoes."
"Won't the Alliance notice they have been fooled?"
"Don't worry, we know how to put up a good show."
Rogue was knocked over the Tactical station. He got up and got back behind the controls.
"We are still being fired upon."
"How is that possible! You said they weren't following us!"
"They launched Electro-Magnetic warheads after us. The explosions are disrupting all systems. We have already lost fourteen ships because the EM-pulse disrupted their anti-matter systems"
"Helmsman, what is our current speed!"
"Still our maximum speed of warp nine, Regent."
Kira jumped out of her chair.
"Gary, make this rustbucket go faster."
"We cannot go faster, not unless we eject the forward module."
"That module holds the plasma cannon prototype, if we lose it..."
"The Alliance council will have us hanged, I know. But if we lose the New Regency, they will do worse." Kira led out sigh.
"Eject the cursed module."
The forward section of the ship disconnected from the ship. Then it fell out of subspace. A huge fireball lit space for a second as it collapsed.
"We are now at warp nine-point-four, Regent." The helmsman said. "The fleet is trailing behind, but so are the warheads."
"Good." Kira returned to her command seat.
First Officer's Log, stardate 55375.1.
The Alliance hasn't shown its face for several days and they'll be licking their wounds for a long time. Patrol Group A-20-H has done several sweeps of the sector and found no signs of Alliance activity. They did find a lot of debris, which included parts of the New Regency. But we're presuming that ship made it out. The Alliance lost sixty-three ships out of hundred and fifty. Back in the Romulan system, we have begun working on a countermeasure for the Alliance Tachyon burst and the plasma torpedo cannon. I have asked Starfleet for reinforcements, but they haven't send a response yet.
Dovz was the last to arrive in the conference lounge. Briggs, McLean, Young, Dax and Na were already there. There were also two new faces. Captain Johnathan Wright was the captain of the Cairo and Commander Rachel Farris was the new First Officer of Terok Nor.
Dovz sat down.
"All right, who wants to begin?"
"I do." Young said.
"I've been thinking. The colony itself only has shields to defend itself. We should add weapons."
"What weapons do you have in mind?"
"Since we plan on giving Terok Nor the same weapons as Deep Space Nine, we no longer will have any use for the six disruptors it currently has. But if refit them they will make a good defence for the colony."
"We'll have to build extra fusion generators for the needed power." McLean said.
"Not if we update the reactor that is down there now. It's a mark-V-B, but we can upgrade it to a mark-V-E."
"Then we should also refit the shield emitters." Ezri interrupted.
"We have another four disruptors of that model, and they were supposed to defended the colony. But we never had the resources to put them together."
"Then we'll install all ten units." Dovz began. "And do the refit work. Next point, please."
"We need to uniform the Resistance." Briggs said.
"What do you mean?" Wright said.
"We need to get everybody in uniforms and using the same equipment. For instance, take the science department. One crew uses a Klingon tricorder, the next a 23rd century Terran model and another a Ferengi unit."
"So?" Na said.
"It makes the Resistance look like a thrown together bunch. Which is not a good thing."
"She's right." Ezri said. "We tried to get the Gorn to join our cause. They refused because of that very reason. We are a good organized army, but we also have to look it."
"I suggest we use the Starfleet uniform from 2371." Na said.
"And we should recycle the old clothes first to reduce the drain on the replicators."
"We should also come up with an emblem for the resistance." Ezri added.
"To the next point on the agenda. Ezri, what is the status of the Romulan Forces?"
"The warp ships will be done next week."
"What about the timetable for the fifth warbird for the Reman system?" Briggs asked. "We began trading with the Romulans in 2373.
They started construction of the warbirds in 2374."
"We can't wait another four years for reinforcements."
"I know, but the fifth warbird was almost complete when they ran out of resources."
"How complete was she?" Young asked.
"About two months and she would be ready for action.
And that includes test flights as well as working out the bugs."
"Two months should be do-able." Wright said.
"Actually." Na began. "We have found a new ally that will allow us to do it in one."
Everybody looked at Na in surprise.
"Why didn't you tell me?" Ezri asked.
"Because I haven't checked out their background yet."
"Who are they?" Dovz asked.
"They're from your side. They used to be part of the Borg Collective, but now they are individuals. Their leader is called Hugh. His group crossed over to escape from the collective."
The Starfleet officers looked at each other.
"You know this guy?" Farris said.
"Yes." Wright said. "One of our starships helped him to disconnect. I also wondered what happened to them after the incident with Lore."
"Lore, who is Lore?"
"It's a long story." McLean said.
"How many are there in his group?" Briggs asked.
"Three-hundred and twenty-six."
"His original group was a lot smaller.
They must gained strength when Janeway founded the Borg Resistance."
"We haven't decided if they can join us yet, but I think we should." Na said.
"Why?" Wright said.
"Because they have right for humanity."
Everyone nodded in agreement.
"Yes, they do." Dovz began.
"Was that everything we needed to discuss?"
"How are we doing on the new reactor core for the station?" McLean said.
"We're working as fast as we can."
"I think we should rename the station." Young said.
"To give a signal to the Alliance."
"What kind of signal?"
"Terok Nor was the Alliance name for it. By renaming it we make a statement: It's our station now and you're not getting it back."
"But what name should me give her?" Dovz asked.
"We begin at the beginning. We should call it Starbase One."
"Then Starbase One it is. Now, are we done?"
"Good, let's get to it then."
The captains got back to work.
Dovz was working in the Ready Room. She looked up and glanced around. There was a desk, two chairs and a replicator. It looked just the way it had when Rogue was behind the desk. Saro was not the kind who believed in decoration and Gary had never gotten around to it. Jeryill led out a sigh and put down the PADD.
The doors opened.
"Is this a bad time, ma'am?"
"No, Dorian, come in."
Collins looked at her in surprise.
"Are you alright, ma'am."
"No, I'm not.
Sit down, please." Collins sat.
"You know, I didn't like Gary all that much." Dovz said.
"You mean Captain Rogue?"
"Yes, but for the duration of this conversation he is Gary."
"But, so the Great Bird-of-the-Galaxy help me, if we get a another Captain and it isn't Gary..."
"I'll go nuts, crazy, insane."
"What are you going to do about it?"
"I'm going to send to get him back."
Collins's yaw dropped.
"But how am I going..."
"I don't care. Convince an Admiral, bride an Admiral, drug an Admiral. Do whatever it takes!"
"I think we should have O...I mean, Alyssa check you out. Maybe your picked up a disease somewhere."
"I am not sick, I'm just on the edge of madness."
"You're OVER the edge of madness if you really think we can pull this of!"
"Did I miss something?" Ogawa said.
She had come in doing the fight.
"She wants me to go to the other side and get Gary back." Collins said.
"Finally, someone says something that makes sense."
"Am I the only one on this ship who thinks this is insane?"
"Yes!" Ogawa and Dovz blurted.
"Okay, I'll go. But I'm taking Darian with me."
"That's acceptable." Dovz said.
Collins marched out of the room.
O'Rill dove of the highest board. The pool was finished and she loved it. She was under water when she noticed a figure overhead, so she surfaced. Crewman Waterson was standing at the edge of the pool. But he was still in uniform.
"Sorry to interrupt, boss. But Dovz needs you and the intercom isn't hocked up here yet."
"Yes, most to the support stuff is still off-line."
She climbed out of the pool and changed. Then she got onto the turbolift.
"Deck one, conference lounge."
The cart raced upwards and arrived only seconds later. Dovz, Wallace and Collins were in the conference lounge.
"What's going on?" O'Rill asked.
Dovz told her about the plan.
"You'll need a modified shuttle."
"That's why you're here."
"I'll assigned Beta-team to modify the Ulysses. It will be ready tomorrow."
O'Rill stepped back into the turbolift.
The cart raced down.
First Officer's Log, supplemental.
Starfleet Command has send five starships to reinforce us.The group was led by the Sovereign. On the other hand Patrol Group A-20-H has returned to fluidic space. Wallace and Collins have set of on their mission as planned. And the library and pool are finished.
"Here is that list you asked for." Archer said.
"Thanks, Bruce." Dovz said.
Archer simply smiled. He had grown fond of the nickname.
Dovz sat back in the command chair as she read.
Dovz grinned when she saw the blank at the end of the Horizon entry. Not for long. She thought. Not for long..I know Wallace and Collins will pull it off.
"So, what is the plan?" Wallace asked.
The Ulysses was a Type-9 shuttle. It was currently gliding towards starbase five at warp six.
"I'm working on it."
"You don't have plan, do you?"
"I do have a plan."
"Really, then what is it?"
"To come up with a plan."
"That's your plan? That's not even half a plan "
"I know that, that's why I'm working on it."
"What kind of Starfleet officer goes on a mission without a plan?"
"And you brought me with you, knowing that you didn't have a plan?"
"This smells so much."
"We're going to die. In a couple of hundred of years, they're going to find us. And then they'll put us in a museum. The guides will tell the kids. ‘Look, boys and girls, here are the two officers who died because they didn't have a plan.' That what's going to happen."
"No, that is not going to happen."
"How would you know?
After all, you don't have a plan."
"Hmmm!! Listen, we're going to fly to starbase five and then we'll take it from there."
"See, now we have a plan. Was it that hard?'
"Next time I'm bringing someone else."
The shuttle continued to glide through space.
Ogawa watched the scene outside the window in surprise. A swarm of small Borg ships was approaching the Horizon. They had left Starbase One an hour ago to rendezvous with their latest ally. It had been decided to led Hugh's group join the Terran Resistance.
Now a collection of crafts was approaching. Most were scouts, but there were some bigger vessels.
"What are you thinking about?" O'Rill said.
Benjamin O'Rill was standing behind her.
"I was just thinking about the problems of de-assimilation."
"Removing the implants is the easy part. It's the mind that causes the trouble."
"Yes, these people have probably been connected to the collective for extended periods. It won't be easy for them to get settled in."
"Let's take it one step at a time. But that's not all that's on your mind."
"Ohh, you served on that Enterprise. I forgot."
"I wonder what he looks like these days."
"You'll find out soon enough."
Then Ben left her to admire the view.
They were approaching Starbase Five. Rogue had been assigned there as First Officer. Collins had decided the first they would need to get back the captain, was to tell him what they were doing. She guided the shuttle into shuttlebay E and put it down. Starbase Five had eight shuttlebays and this was the least used. Only one other shuttle was in the bay, which was big enough to hold fifteen.
The door lowered and they stepped onto the base.
"Not a soul in sight." Wallace said.
"Perfect, because I want to keep this thing secret for as long as possible."
"What do we do now?"
"We check the internal sensors."
Wallace walked to a nearby console. His fingers flew over the controls.
"I've got him. He is on level twenty-three, in section 4-E."
"Good, now let's get out of here."
They stepped into the nearest turbolift, which soon set course for level twenty-two.
Rogue was walking down a corridor. He led out a deep sigh.
Zhukov tried to keep him busy, but the truth was that Gary had been bored and cranky since the second he had left the Horizon.
Then four hands grabbed him and dragged him into a turbolift. He punched his first assailant to the floor before lurching for the second. But he stopped in midair.
She hugged him.
"What are you doing here?"
"We need you back in your chair. The crew is going mad without you and Saro is dead."
" The Alliance attacked us."
"Can somebody help me of the floor." Wallace said.
Rogue helped Wallace up.
"It's alright, I'll be fine."
"But what exactly do you guys intend to do?"
"We're going to try to talk some sense into the admirals." Collins said.
"Do you have a plan?"
"I'm working on it."
"You don't have plan, do you?
What kind of Starfleet officer goes on a mission without a plan?"
"That's what I said." Wallace added.
"Will you stay out of this!?"
"We're going to talk to Admiral Janeway first. And try to get her to reverse her decision."
"Okay, we'll do it from my quarters. Computer, level ten, section 2-C."
The cart raced upwards.
Ogawa paced trough the transporter room.
"What is taking so long?"
Casey O'Rill was behind the transporter controls.
"Alyssa, it's only been two minutes."
The console beeped and the transporter engaged. Hugh formed on the platform. He looked exactly the way he had done when he had been aboard the Enterprise.
"Hello, Alyssa. It's good to see you again."
She walked up to him.
He stepped of the transporter platform.
"Hugh, this Casey O'Rill. Our chief engineer." They shuck hands.
"I'd like to give you a tour of the ship before heading for sickbay."
"That sounds good to me."
"What kind of class is this ship? I've never seen it before."
"That's because the Horizon is the first of her class."
Then they headed out.
Rogue sat behind his desk. He opened the channel they needed. Wallace and Collins watched as he did so. It took about three minutes to get the link. Janeway appeared.
"Good morning, captain."
"Good morning, admiral."
"There are some people here who want to talk to you." Collins spoke up.
"Collins, what are you doing there? You're supposed to be on the Horizon."
"And the same goes for Wallace. But Commander Dovz send us on a mission."
"Really, and what mission would that be?"
"Saro is dead, and if we don't get Gary back the crew will go insane."
Janeway looked at them with undisguised surprise.
"I'm afraid that isn't possible." She said.
"And why not?"
"What do you know about Outpost Tango-Epsilon 7?"
"That's it's an outdated outpost on the very edge of Federation space."
"Yes, and it falls under Admiral Edward Jellico's jurisdiction. The outpost is currently undergoing desperately needed upgrades."
"What does this have to do with us?"
"The admiral is trying to use that situation. If I restore Captain Rogue to his old position...."
"He'll pull the plug on the upgrades."
"Then court-martial the bastard."
"I don't have any evidence. He's been very clever in hiding his tracks." Wallace looked at Collins.
"I think it's time to open a can of worms." He said.
"Good luck. I'm counting on the three of you to nail him, Janeway out." The screen blinked off.
"What now?" Collins asked.
"We go to someone who knows Command better then we do." Rogue said. "Admiral Zhukov."
"Computer, locate admiral Zhukov."
"Admiral Zhukov is in Ops."
"Let's get going." They left Rogue's quarters.
Dovz yawned as she set foot on the bridge. "What's so important you have to call me out of bed at 1.00 hours?" She asked.
Takaro was in the command chair. "We're picking up a warp capable vessel."
"So what. There are lot of warp capable vessels."
"Not in the Bassic solar system. That's off-limits." Dovz snapped awake.
"What!? Who entered the system?" "That's the thing, nobody did. They seem to have developed warp drive on their own."
Crewman Jones turned his chair away from Operations. "Sir." He began. "The vessel is now within visual range."
"What is its speed?" Dovz asked.
"The vessel is moving at warp one."
"Then reduce speed to warp one and bring us alongside."
"Aye, commander." The Horizon slowed.
"We're now alongside them." Ensign Xerry reported from the Conn.
"On screen." A small starship appeared. Takaro got up and went to the tactical station, while Dovz sat in the command chair.
"What is your analysis, Ensign?"
"It appears to be a Raven-class starship. She's armed with four phaser and one photon torpedo launcher. Her normal cruise is warp six and her maximum speed is warp seven point nine-five."
"If I recall properly, only one Raven-class ship was build in our universe. And that one ended up being assimilated by the Borg."
"It was a slightly more successful design here. Twelve of the class were build."
"Hail them." Takaro worked the controls.
A Reman flickered into view.
"Sorry, ma'am." Takaro said. "The link is not very good."
"I am Commander Dovz of the Starship Horizon. And to who am I speaking?"
"I am Lieutenant Second Class Opar."
"Lieutenant, where did you get this ship? It was our believe that your people did not have such vessels."
"We found it on the second moon of our planet. It took us years to repair it, but now it is flying again."
"I see, but I you don't mind me asking. Where are you going?"
"Yes, the logs indicate that this vessel was constructed there. We intend to return it to its owners."
"The vessel leaks radiation. The sooner we are rid of it, the better."
"He's right." Takaro said.
"I'm picking up low-level radiation from the port nacelle."
"I understand." Dovz then explained to him what the political situation was.
The Reman didn't buy it. "You are lying!" He snapped. "Opar out." The screen went blank.
Captain Mogh of the IKS Dominance felt like killing his science officer. But he still needed the man.
Mogh sat in his command chair. "Where is it!?" He roared.
"On bearing two-mark-five mark seven-one. I'm picking up two Terran vessels and a swarm of vessels of unknown design."
"Helmsman, put us on an intercept course! Tactical, prepare all weapons!"
"Aye, sir." Came the replies. The Vor'cha-class ship accelerated to full speed.
"How many?" Dovz asked.
"Just one, ma'am." Takaro said. "A Vor'cha-class vessel."
"Red alert, all hands to battlestations!" The bridge was now bathed in red light.
"All weapons are ready." Dovz watched the Klingon vessel close. Then the first weapons fire rocked the ship.
"Firing all phasers."
The orange-red energy beams lashed out at the enemy craft.
"Enemy shields at ninety percent."
The phasers fired, but this time there were also green beams.
"The Borg ships are joining us."
"Hit him again."
A third salvo hit the Klingon.
"His shields are failing."
The Dominance exploded.
"Yellow alert, stand down weapons. Hail the Remans again." Dovz said.
"Aye, commander." Opar appeared.
"Do you believe us now?" The Reman sighed.
"Yes, I do."
"We'll tow you the rest of the way to Starbase One. Dovz out."
She turned away from the empty screen.
"Takaro, lock on a tractor beam."
"Tractor beam locked."
"Xerry, set course for Starbase One. Best possible speed."
The Horizon accelerated.
There were three people in the conference lounge. Ezri Dax, Lieutenant Opar and Dovz. It had been a day since the Horizon had arrived with the Borg Resistance and her prize.
"I've done some research on your ship." Dax said. "And it turns out it's called the ISS Inventive. She was one of the last ships build by the Terran Empire. Her mission was to transport a group of refugees to a distance planet. But she was shot down and the refugees were captured."
"Can she be made functional again?" Dovz asked.
"Yes, but it's going to take time." Dovz turned to Opar.
"What about you and your men?"
"My people have interest in getting involved with your affairs. We intend to return to our planet."
"The Defiant will take you back."
"Is there anything else?"
"No." Dax said.
"Good, then this meeting is over." They went back to work.
Zhukov leaned back in his chair. They were sitting in the Admiral's office on level one. It was a simple, square room with a single window. The admiral's desk was in the middle with a couch in front of it, and behind the couch was the entrance. Behind the admiral's desk was window.
"All right, Gary." Zhukov said. "I'll miss you as first officer, but I'll help you. So, what's the plan to stop Jellico?"
Wallace spoke up. "There must be evidence of the admiral's activities in his desk computer. We must hack it and transmit the information to admiral Janeway."
"She can blackmail him back." Collins said. "If he pulls the plug on the outpost's upgrades..."
"...She'll expose him."
"He could call her bluff." Zhukov said.
"He wouldn't." Rogue said.
"Why not?" "Janeway is popular with the troops, and he's hated. If it came to a court-martial, he wouldn't stand a chance.
" Zhukov nodded. "Jellico is on Earth. How are you going to get to the computer?"
"That is where you come in." Rogue said. "There's plenty of cargo shipping between Earth and here, not all of it legal. I'll shove a few credits through the right channels."
"Thank you, Peter."
"I'll also give Owen Paris a call and tell him what's happened. He'll ‘arrange' a meeting, so that Jellico won't be in his office when you arrive on Earth."
"I have to start packing, one way or the other." Rogue said. They headed back to Rogue's quarters.
Dax stepped into the turbolift. "Computer, hold." Dovz said. She stepped inside. "Ezri, do you have a minute?" "Sure." Dovz waited for the doors to close.
"I don't trust the Bassic."
"What do you want to do about it?"
"When you arrive at Bassic Prime, come up with an excuse not to use both of the ship's transporter rooms."
"I can have the guys from maintenance do some fake work. But that will double the time we'll have to decloak."
"That's a risk we'll have to take. We need to know what technologies the Bassic have developed from analysis of the Inventive. And the only way to do that is to scan that planet."
"Alright, I'll see what I can do."
"Great." Dovz left the turbolift and Dax got moving.
Collins walked ahead of Rogue and Wallace. They were on route to Shuttlebay E. It had been decided that they would board the ship taking them to Earth by shuttle, to minimize the risk of Jellico finding out before they got there. Collins froze in her tracks. She turned and grabbed Wallace.
"What are you doing?" Wallace asked.
"We have to do hide, now." The two of them dove into a nearby supply closet. Rogue was about to go after them when he heard a voice.
"Captain." Someone greeted him.
"Good day, commander." Lieutenant-Commander Paul Inos nodded and continued down the corridor. Rogue waited till he was gone and then opened the closet door.
"Who was that?" Wallace asked.
"Paul Inos is the brother of Vicky Inos."
"The girl Alyssa and Casey kidnapped?"
"Yes, he's also one of Jellico's few fans and the chief science officer of the base."
They made their way to the shuttle without any trouble and took off. But things almost went sour when they were about one million miles from the station. Rogue was in the pilot's seat and Collins in the co-pilot's. Wallace was sitting in the aft area. "
We are being hailed by the station." Wallace said.
"Damm." Rogue said. "Who is it?"
"Inos, he's on to us."
"Put him on."
"What?" Collins said.
"Do it, use camera four."
"Right, so he can only see you." Collins opened the channel.
"This is starbase Five to Captain Rogue, return to base immediately.'
"Do not force me to take drastic actions, Captain."
"There's nothing you can do, commander. I'm the first officer and I can take a shuttle for a spin when I feel like it."
"Who are your two passengers?"
"Check your scanners, moron. I'm alone."
"My scanners are working fine, there are three people in your shuttle."
"See you around, Inos." Rogue cut the channel.
"We're clear to go to warp." Wallace said.
"Do you think he'll tell Jellico?' Collins asked.
"I don't care. If necessary, I'll shot the guy with a phaser set to high stun and hack the computer while he's on the floor."
"Starfleet command does have safety sensors that detect unauthorized weapons."
"So what." Collins said.
"Back in my academy days we had this little competition about who could smuggle the most candy into his quarters. I always won. And if you can smuggle three kilos of sweets passed dozens of teachers, one phaser passed a few sensors is easy."
"Who outlawed candy on the Academy grounds?"
"Our course is plotted." Rogue said.
"Engaging engines." The Ulysses jumped to warp.
Jellico turned off his computer terminal. He looked around his office and sighed. Inos had informed him of the event on the starbase. "So, Captain Rogue thinks he can stop me? Well, we will see about that."
Jellico pressed a control on his desk. "Commander Yo'Woc, report to my office."
Jellico's aide stepped inside. She was a Andorian that stood about a head taller as Jellico.
"I'm afraid we have a problem."
"What is the matter, sir?"
"The first officer of Starbase Five, Captain Gary Rogue, has been infected by Izarian Xeno-flies."
"Those are most infectious, and lethal to Bolians."
"Yes, but the captain is immune to the them. Starbase Five has no Bolian crewmembers, so it's not a problem there. But the captain was called to Earth for an emergency meeting. And Earth does have Bolian inhabitants."
"Why hasn't Starbase Five just called him back when they found out?"
"Because they found out to late. The point is, Captain Rogue is a walking time-bomb. I want you to make sure he doesn't set foot on Earth and is returned to Starbase Five for treatment."
"I'll take care of it, sir."
"Excellent, dismissed" Yo'Woc set out on her mission.
Jellico sat behind his desk and grinned. "Let's see you make it to Earth now, captain." He activated his terminal and got back to work.
Wallace stuck his head inside the bridge of the Severn..It was a Merchantman-class ship with a maximum speed of warp seven. Zhukov had arranged for the ship to be waiting for them. To reduce the risk of being discovered, he rented the ship only. Collins was behind the controls. She turned her chair to face Wallace.
"How are we doing?" "We're still a long way from Earth and I've got a hunch Inos called Jellico. It won't get any easier from here."
"What about the engines? Will they keep up for as long as we need them to?" "Even better. These engines are badly maintained, so I began running every maintenance routine I could find."
"And, any luck?" "Well, it's going to be another hour but..." "You can crank up our speed a bit. How much?"
"I think warp seven point four should be doable."
"Very nice." Wallace sat down in the co-pilot's chair. Rogue came in. "Did you sleep well, sir." Collins asked.
"Stop that." "Stop what?" "Calling me sir."
The controls began to beep. Collins saw the trouble at once.
"There's a starship heading straight for us. It's an Excelsior-class ship." "No panic, this thing comes with a Holo-filter." Rogue said. "And a sensors scrambler." Wallace's fingers flew over the controls as he activated the devices.
"Their hailing us." Collins said. "They want us to drop out of warp and prepare to be boarded." "Jellico did this." Wallace added. "Drop out of warp, but keep the shields up. And put weapons on standby." Rogue said.
"All we have is three forward lasers, and those won't even scratch an Excelsior-class ship." Wallace commented.
The Severn dropped out of warp.
It took the starship only a few seconds to join it.
"Hail them." "Hailing."
The bridge of the Severn had a small screen. A human Starfleet Officer appeared on it.
"Who are you and what do you think you're doing!?" Rogue snapped. "I am Captain Eric Walker of the Starship Heisenberg. We are looking for a Starfleet Officer by the name of Gary Rogue, who has been infected with Izarian Zeno-flies." Rogue shot back with the million dollar question.
"Does this look like a Starfleet ship to you? Get lost or I will hire a law firm and sue you for harassment!" "We have legal order by Admiral Jellico to search any vessel heading for Earth for this officer."
"We'll see about that." Collins closed the channel. "Conny, on my mark , take us ahead at full impulse. Wallace, charge the lasers." "Full impulse, aye.
"Lasers at full. The Heisenberg is charging phasers."
"Target all lasers on the bridge and fire on my mark. Collins, tell the computer to put program 22-D on standby and set the activation timer for ten seconds."
"Lasers are locked." "Program is ready." "Mark!"
The ship bolted forward and fired. Then it wrinkled out of existence. Collins gasped in surprise.
"Why aren't they firing?"
"Because this baby comes with a cloak." Rogue said.
Red-orange beams of energy began racing into space.
"They're firing phasers at five percent power." Wallace reported.
"A standard sweep of the area. Darian, re-engage the engines." The Severn returned to warp.
Dax walked over to the science station on the Defiant's bridge. "Are you ready?' She asked the officer there.
Commander Anton Vladimir nodded.
He was the ship's first officer and normally sat behind the Conn. But he wanted the chief science officer, Lieutenant T'Ven, to analyse the output from the transporter targeting sensors herself.
"Decloak the ship."
The ship wrinkled into view. It was in orbit of Bassic Prime's third moon, but the sensors would still gather enough information on the homeworld.
"That's it." Vladimir said. "The last Remans are of the ship."
"Conn, cloak the ship and break orbit. Commander, give me your report."
"There's nothing special down there. Everything indicates the level of technology they had until now. But there is one strange thing."
"Tell me." "The second moon is known to a bug paradise. It had three-billion kinds of insects, but not anymore."
"What do you mean?"
"The computer counted one-million species of insects during the scan."
How can that many species vanish?"
"I have no idea. The conditions on the moon are the same as they should be."
Dax sat in the command chair.
"Get all the data you can. Conn, set course for the edge of system at warp one." "Course ready." The Conn officer said.
Vladimir kept working as the ship pulled away from the planet.
The Severn dropped out of warp in the shadow of Mars. Collins checked the cloak as she steered the ship around the planet. She pushed the ship's impulse engines to full. Then she opened a channel to the transporter room.
"We'll be at Earth in several seconds." She said.
Wallace answered the call.
"Good, is the autopilot ready?"
"Yes, and the distraction as well."
"Then I'll see you in the cargo bay, Wallace out."
Collins marched aft to the cargo bay, where their loyal Ulysses was waiting for her and Wallace. Wallace and Collins climbed in and launched the shuttle.
"Won't they noticed a shuttle coming out of nowhere?" Collins asked.
"No." Wallace said. " The space around Earth is littered with shuttles. One more won't matter."
Back in the Severn's transporter room, Rogue was finishing programming the transporter. He jumped onto the platform and the process began. Rogue rematerialised in the Bleu Patch, a bar full of Bolians. He ordered a drink and sat at the bar. It took Starfleet security ten minutes to find him. The captain looked at the ensign in charge of the team.
"Now, ensign." Rogue said. "If I had Izarian Xeno-flies, how many corpses would you have found here?"
The ensign, a Vulcan, looked at him without any guilt.
"Everybody in this establishment would be dead. The only logical conclusion is that you are not infected with Izarian Xeno-flies."
He turned to his team.
"Security team Beta-31, return to base."
The security team marched out, while Rogue ordered another drink.
High above, the Severn was uncloaked and firing at everything in sight. The ship's weren't powerful enough to do any real damage, but it distracted Traffic Control. Wallace piloted the shuttle through the atmosphere in the chaos.
"The Severn's shields are failing." Collins said. "Don't worry, the autopilot will lower them in time."
San Francisco became visible through the window.
"We can't land in the official places, since officially we aren't here."
"I know a place where we can put her down."
Ten seconds later, the Ulysses was standing on the centre-dot of the Starfleet Academy soccer field.
Owen Paris walked in Jellico's office as if it was the most normal thing in the world. But in reality, the two admirals barely had any contact. Jellico and Yo'Woc were working on something. They looked up when Paris came in.
"Admiral Paris, what brings you to my neck of the woods." Jellico said.
"An emergency meeting called by Admiral Hoffman. It's a class-one security briefing, so use of the com-system is not allowed."
Paris handed Jellico a PADD.
"A vessel with a cloaking device has attacked the USS Heisenberg. Hoffman wants a full report on the current status of the Romulan Star Empire. He believes this could be a prelude to a Romulan scheme." Paris said.
Walker had informed Yo'Woc of the incident with the Severn, and she had told Jellico. Jellico considered that this could be a counter-move by Rogue, but he also realized that he had to show up for the meeting. He uploaded all his files on the Romulan Empire into the PADD. Then he got and looked at Paris.
"I'm ready to go."
Paris led him out of the office.
Rogue had met Wallace and Collins outside the building that held Jellico's office. They were waiting for the right moment to sneak in. Then Paris and Jellico exited the building.
"Now." Rogue said. "Get us in there."
They raced through the doors and found a maintenance tube beyond. Collins yanked the lid open.
"This way." She said.
Rogue climbed in last and returned the lid to its place. They crawled to Jellico's office as fast as they could. But Yo'Woc was still there.
"There's a huge Andorian guarding the admiral's desk." Wallace said.
"Don't worry." Collins said. "I kept my word."
She reached under her jacket and pulled out tow device. The first was a sensors jammer and the second an Academy stunner. Collins had put the jammer together during her off-hours on the Horizon, it was made from parts for a Starfleet combadge and a door opener. The stunner was souvenir from her Academy days and was a modified type-1 phaser. It had three settings: Heavy, middle and light stun.
She set the stunner on Heavy as she got in position. Wallace threw the jammer into the office. The Andorian took the beat, she went to investigate. Collins shot the commander, knocking her off her feet. That was when Rogue leaped into action. While the Andorian was down, he kicked the lid out of the tube. Then he raced over to her and injected her with a heavy sedative.
The Andorian went down.
"Darian." Rogue said. "Tie her up and put her in the closet. Then take the stunner and stand guard."
"Dorian, get the info."
Collins sat behind the desk and began browsing the files.
"How long will this take?" Rogue asked.
"That depends on how good the security on this terminal is. And what kind of file we're looking for."
The two of them checked the files one by one. They were about halfway when trouble came. But it wasn't from the terminal.
"Paris to Rogue."
Rogue answered his combadge.
"Rogue here, talk to me."
"Jellico has left the meeting early. He's on his way back to you."
"Thank you, admiral. Rogue out."
Collins looked at him.
"Now what do we do?'
"I took care of this scenario." Wallace said.
"He'll never get here in time."
"Darian, what did you do? " Rogue asked.
A sneaky smiled appeared on Wallace's face.
Coach Pedro Aston of the Academy Rangers couldn't his eyes. His team had to play a game against coach Voss Izar and Andoria United, but someone had parked a type-9 shuttle in the middle of the field.
He took a deep breath and went to scream at the other coach.
"You did this!" They both blurted.
"You didn't want us to win, did you. So you sabotaged the game!"
"That's droppings and you know it."
"It's dropping when I say it is and not before. Now get inside and more the bloody thing."
"I'll love to move the bloody thing. But when you planted it here, you arranged for the shields to be up!"
"You're saying I planted it. That's it! I'm going to re-arrange you face!"
The two coaches, the role models for the teams, began fighting. Soon the entire field had been transformed into a fighting area. But next to field were two stands for the audience. The left one for the Academy Ranger fans, and the right one for the Andoria United fans. And every fan had remember to smuggle his stunner with him.
So within seconds, the entire area had turned into a huge phaser fight.
Jellico was passing the soccer field as it happened, just as Wallace had hoped. The stunner shots were flying everywhere. It didn't take long for the admiral to get hit.
"I've got it!" Collins said.
Rogue joined her at Jellico's desk.
"Tell the computer to transmit it to admiral Janeway, Zhukov, Paris and Hoffman."
"Zhukov will take some time."
"Then do him last."
Collins worked the controls.
"The damm thing wants a security code."
"The code is one-seven-three-four-zero-eight." Wallace said.
Collins entered the code and the transmissions began.
"How do you know that?"
"I'm a security officer, it's my job to know."
The terminal beeped three times.
"Janeway, Hoffman and Paris have gotten the package. I'm shipping it to Zhukov now."
Two minutes later, the terminal beeped again.
"Good." Rogue said. "Step away from the computer."
Collins walked away and Rogue hit the console. It blinked twice, then went blank. Wallace opened the maintenance tube and they crawled back out of the office. They headed for the soccer field. It looked more like a battle site then a sport facility. Cadets were lying everywhere. There wasn't a single sound.
"Why is it so quiet here?" Rogue asked.
"Because everybody's out cold." Collins said.
She spotted Jellico among the mass of stunned bodies.
"Let him sleep."
They carefully made their way to the Ulysses. Wallace lowered the shields with a remote and they stepped inside the shield bubble. Then the shields went back up as he opened the door. Rogue and Wallace took the seats in the cockpit.
"Here we go." Rogue said.
The shuttle raced into space.
Jellico opened his eyes. He looked up and saw a Type-9 shuttle lifting of from the field.
Rogue. His mind flashed. It has to be. He planned the all along.
Then he got to his feet.
A group of security officers pointed their phasers at him.
"Admiral Jellico?" The group leader asked him.
"I'm Ensign V'Roz and this is my team, Beta-31.
Admirals Paris, Hoffman and Janeway want to have a word with you."
Jellico swallowed hard. He followed the officers and waited for what he knew was to come.
There were four chairs behind the table. It stood in one of the conference halls of the Academy. The admirals were in the chairs, along with Rogue. Wallace and Collins were preparing the shuttle for its return voyage. Beta-31 brought Jellico in.
"Hello, Edward." Janeway said.
"You know why you're here."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Jellico said.
"You tried to blackmail me. Don't deny it, since four of your fellow admirals now have the evidence."
"What do you want?"
"Simple, I'm going to restore Captain Rogue here to his old job. And you're not going to pull the plug on Outpost Tango Epsilon 7. Because otherwise we'll pull the plug on you. Court-martials tend to have that effect on people's careers."
"You'll ruin your own career as well."
"That's the difference between us. I'm not in Starfleet for my career, I'm in it to explore."
Jellico looked at the four officers in pure anger.
Then he marched away. Rogue threw his head back and laughed. Then the transporter carried him back to the shuttle.
Dovz grinned as she sat in the captain's chair.
MacWright was sitting in the first officer's place.
"What is it?' He asked.
"The captain is coming back.
D and D did it."
Archer did a little dance.
"Love you, love you all." He said.
"Thank you, thank you very much."
"Elvis had left the building." Takaro added.
Then her tactical board beeped and she made a move serious announcement.
"I'm picking up dozens of Alliance power signatures."
"Ships?" Dovz asked.
"No, some kind of satellites."
Dovz watched as a network of bleu beams appeared around the colony and the station.
"They're Tachyon beams. Our cloaks will fail if we try penetrate the web."
Then the tactical console beeped again.
"I'm picking up forty Alliance warships taking up patrolling course beyond the network."
"Is the Defiant back yet?"
"Yes, all our ships are caught inside."
"They can't defeat us now, so they're bottling us up to buy time."
"Until what?" MacWright asked.
"Until they can massacre us all...."
Proceed to Part 3
|Last modified: 06 Feb 2017