Commodore Gary Rogue hated the darkness of the New Regency. But this was the life he had chosen when he had betrayed the Terran Resistance. He had recently been promoted so he could lead the new campaign against them. Kira had decided to stay on Bajor and oversee the reconstruction of her fleet. That way she could blame Rogue if things went sour this time.
He walked into his quarters and looked at the stars.
He’s out there. He thought. That other me is out there, and he’s coming. He want revenge for what I’ve done. Rogue turned away from the stars and sat behind his desk.
“But I’ll be ready for, and I will win. Computer, increase lighting to maximum.”
The lights went up a bit. Rogue cursed the engineer that had constructed this ship. Then he got back to preparing the end of the Terran Resistance.
Wallace piloted the Ulysses through the small window. They had searched for hole in the network for a hour before they found one. Now the shuttle was on route back to the Horizon. Collins sighed with relief as the shuttle touched the bay floor. Dovz was waiting for them.
“It’s good to have you back.” Dovz said.
“Thanks, Jeri. I’m glad to be back.”
Rogue looked around the shuttlebay.
“I see things here are still interesting.”
“I’ll bet it was your counterpart’s idea to bottle us up.”
“Yeah, but Kira probably found a way to take the credit. So, what have you tried?”
“Every beam and field in the book. And then everything NOT in the book.”
“Have you tried simple shooting the damm things?”
“Yes, they’re self replicating. We tried to disable that circuit, but without success.”
“Let’s get to the bridge.”
They got into the nearest turbolift.
Collins ran down the corridor. She knew she was on the right deck, now all she had to find the section.
Then he was there. She jumped him and pressed her lips against his. Peter Archer dropped all of his PADDs.
“I missed you so such.” Collins gasped.
He needed to catch his breath before he answered.
“Yeah, I noticed that. I missed you too.”
They hugged for a while.
“How do you feel about going for a swim?” Archer asked.
“I’d love to, but I’ll have to get my swimming suit.”
“Okay, meet me at my quarters in fifteen minutes.”
Collins got going again.
Hugh looked around sickbay. It had been two days since Ogawa had begun removing his implants. He walked up to the transparent aluminium window and looked at his reflection. Some more human. His mind flashed. And yet still so Borg.
“Are you alright?” Ogawa asked.
“No, de-assimilation is the hardest thing is my life. I can still hear the Borg in my mind.”
“Getting the Human out the Borg is easy, but getting the Borg out of the Human is hard.”
“Believe me, I know.”
Ogawa left Hugh to think. He sat down on one of the biobeds.
Then O’Rill came in. She had a large cut on her wrist.
“Alyssa, are you in?”
Ogawa came from her office.
“Yes, what happened?”
“I was experimenting with a new fuel for thrusters and the unit exploded.”
Ogawa guided O’Rill to the biobed next to Hugh.
“This won’t take long to fix.”
Ogawa took out a dermal regenerator and passed it over the cut several time.
“Why were you testing a new fuel?’ Hugh asked.
“The thrusters can run on deuterium just fine.”
“It’s for emergencies. In case we are low on deuterium
and need to save fuel.”
“What about the warp and impulse drive?”
“It won’t work in the warp drive, but the impulse engines should be doable.”
“Done.” Ogawa said.
O’Rill left sickbay.
The turbolift doors opened. Rogue smiled as he saw his chair. He sat down and sighed with relief.
“I really missed this ship.” Then he focused on the viewscreen. “Show me the network.”
Wallace worked the Tactical console and the image changed.
“Okay, Wally. Tell me what you know.”
Wallace began his report.
“We are dealing here with a dense network of satellites. Each unit emits four Tachyon beams and is self-replicating. They seemed unaffected by any particles.”
“Can you tell me how much computing power one satellite has?”
“I’m paying a hunch.”
“Two point five kiloquads .”
“Just enough to run themselves, not to coordinates the entire network. These things are hooked up to a bigger computer.”
“The New Regency is here.” Dovz said.
“That has to be the control point.”
“Wallace, scan sub- and interspace for transmissions.”
Wallace executed the order.
“I’ve found it. A signal in interspace and it’s leading right to the New Regency.”
“I want all departments working on this. If we can cut that signal, it hopefully will be game over for the Alliance.”
I’ll be in my ready room. You have the bridge, numero uno.”
Rogue went to his ready room.
Collins stopped in front of the pool.
“Where is the water?” She was looking at an empty pool.
Archer joined her.
“What’s wr... Where is the water that is supposed to be in this pool?”
“I’m going to get a tricorder.”
She came back with a tricorder.
“I’m picking up transporter residue. ROMULAN transporter residue.”
“Crewman Waterson swam in it half an hour ago. So they stole it recently.”
“Collins to Dovz.”
“The Romulans stole the water from our pool.”
“They stole the water from the pool.”
“I’ll get right on it. Dovz out.”
Collins looked at Archer.
“Now what do we do?”
“We could visit the library.”
“No, let’s go back to my quarters.”
Archer led the way.
Dovz left the command chair and walked to the science station.
“Thomas, can you find our water?”
“The transporter signal is pretty weak, but I can trace it back to Romulus.”
“Where is our water on the planet?”
“I have know idea. It could be anywhere by now.”
“Can we get to Romulus?”
“The network isn’t in the way.”
“Conn, change our orbit.”
Xerry worked the controls and the Horizon changed orbit as planned.
“We are now within transporter range of Romulus.”
“Find a empty swimming pool and beam the water aboard.”
Three seconds later, the Tactical console beeped.
“We are being hailed.” Wallace said.
“Who is it?”
“Senator Vreenak of Romulus.”
“This is going to be good. Onscreen.”
“You have stolen water from our planet!”
“And you stole water from our ship.” Dovz said.
“That is not true.”
“Every ship’s log in this sector states the transport. So stop lying.”
“We needed it for drinking water.”
“Then we’ll leave it at that. Dovz out.”
Dovz looked at MacWright.
“Find out if what he claims is true.”
Dovz returned to her chair.
Hugh stepped inside cargo bay fourteen. Ogawa had set up a special alcove for him here. She and Beta-team had worked three days to build the device. Hugh was the only Borg undergoing de-assimilation on the Horizon. The bulk of his resistance cell was getting the treatment at the Colony. He was worried about his cell. Things back in his home universe weren’t going well. The Collective was hunting them like hounds. So Hugh had decided to bring over another two cells. That would increase the amount of Borg here to seven-hundred and twenty-five. But that was where Hugh’s ability to help ended. All the other cells were to deep in hiding. He got into his alcove and closed his eyes.
Hugh dreamt of food. He wondered what eating was like. Then the mechanical whine of the bay doors woke him. His eye snapped open. Casey O’Rill was standing near some crates.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you. I was just looking for a coil spanner.”
“Forget it, in the third crate to the left.”
“The coil spanners.”
O’Rill opened the crate and took out the tool she needed.
“I could set up a forcefield to block the noise from the doors.”
“That would be nice.”
“I’ll come see you where your regeneration cycle is done.”
“Fine by me.”
Then O’Rill marched out, and Hugh went back to dreaming.
“Whoa!” MacWright blurted. He was working at his Science station on the bridge.
Wallace turned around.
“What’s wrong, Lieutenant?”
“Have you ever heard on an element called Epox-DY-III?”
“Well, it a toxic element found in a lot of Romulan plant life. That plants make as part of their natural defences.”
“It poisons any flora eaters.”
“Exactly, take a look at the desert north of the capital and scan for Epox-DY-III. Then tell me what you see?”
Wallace executed the scan.
“Hello, loads of the stuff. There is supposed to be only a handful.”
Dovz joined in the conversation.
“What does that mean?” She asked.
“That the climatic conditions have changed there.” MacWright said.
“And not a little bit either.”
“Wallace, I’m going to inform the captain.”
“Inform me of what?” Rogue said.
The captain had returned to the bridge while they were talking. MacWright showed him the anomaly in his readings.
"All right, this will be a five-man away team. Me, Wallace, Crewman Jones, Ensign Cairo and MacWright.”
“Ensign Cairo is an engineer, sir.”
“Yes, but he botany is a hobby of his. He is an expert on Romulan flora.”
“I’ll tell him to meet you in transporter room two.”
“And drum Victor Farris out of bed to take the Ops station.”
Then the away team headed out.
Dorian dove in first. Now that the water was back, the pool was filling up with people. Archer dove after her. They swam up and down the pool a couple of times. Then Archer noticed something.
“What do you mean?”
He pointed downward.
“That black thing on the bottom of the pool.”
Now Collins also spotted the object.
“I don’t know.”
She held her breath and went for it. It turned out to be some kind of tile.
“That’s weird, how did it get here?”
“Maybe it was on the floor of the pool we got the water from and came lose. We must have picked it up on the way to the surface.”
Collins left the pool for a minute and put it in her clothes locker. I’ll have Thomas analyse it later. She thought. After that, she went back to Archer.
O’Rill walked in Hugh’s cargo bay. She sat down her engineering kit.
“Am I late?"
Hugh was busy working at the console Beta-team had installed next to the alcove. It was a hybrid Borg-Federation piece of machinery.
“No, this my work console. I’m just checking up on my mail.”
“Yes, my older brother Andrew is coming over.”
“You have a brother?’
“And a niece. I don’t know who the mother is, but Andrew said she’s a doctor.”
It clicked in O’Rill’s brain.
“His last name wouldn’t happen to be Powell.”
“Yes, how did you know?”
“Lieutenant Andrew Powell is married to Lieutenant-Commander Alyssa Ogawa.”
Hugh’s yaw dropped.
“Alyssa is married to my brother!”
“I don’t think she knows.
You niece is called Erica.”
“I don’t follow.”
“Before I was assimilated my name was Eric Powell.”
O’Rill could hear the pain in his voice.
“I was twelve when the Borg came, Andrew was fifteen. We lived on a colony close to the Romulan Neutral Zone. There wasn’t enough space in the escape shuttle for both of us. Andrew wanted me to go, but I shot him with our Dad’s phaser. Dad was in Starfleet. Then I threw Andy into the shuttle and closed the door. I never told anyone.”
O’Rill was silent for a moment.
“Let’s get that forcefield in place.” Hugh said.
They got to work.
Benjamin O’Rill sat behind his bar and looked around the room. Ten-Forward was crowed. The doors slid apart as Hugh came in. He sat at the bar.
“A glass of water, please.”
“Are you sure about that?
I mean...won’t it short-circuit your implants.”
“Don’t worry, Ogawa removed enough of them. It’s safe.”
“Okay, just checking.”
“I think I’m in love with Casey.”
Benjamin gave Hugh his water.
“I saw it coming. Well, you have my blessing.”
“Thanks, Ben. I need all the help I can get.”
Hugh took a sip of his water. Then Collins walked in. She was holding the tile from the pool.
“Camel Tea, please.”
She put down the tile. Hugh picked it up and examined it.
“What is this?”
“When we beamed up the water from Romulus, this thing took a ride as well. It’s a tile from a swimming pool.”
Hugh scanned the tile with his optical implant.
“I don’t think so. This thing is made from a processed version of Vanallis-Thorium.”
“Are you sure?”
“Collins to Rogue.”
“Rogue here, talk to me.”
“We’ve found a Vanallis-Thorium tile on the bottom of the pool. I thought you would want know. I’m going to have it analysed.”
“All right, call me with the outcome when it’s done.”
“We’ll do that.”
“Good, Rogue out.”
Collins and Hugh chattered for a while after that.
Rogue walked over the desert floor.
“So there are loads of Epox-DY-III here, but no plants. And now a tile that shouldn’t be there on the ship.“
He took out his tricorder. “I want all tricorders on Tachyon-scan. Look for Vanallis-Thorium.”
Everybody changed his unit’s settings. Wallace frowned.
“There’s a layer of Vanallis-Thorium ten metres below us. And the Epox-DY-III is twelve metres down.”
“What the hell....”
That was as far as Rogue got, the rest of his words were lost in the energy of a Romulan transporter beam.
Farris noticed first. He swung his chair away from the Ops station.
“Our away team is gone.”
“What!?’ Dovz demanded.
Farris, what happened?”
“They were beamed away. According to my scans them went twenty-five meters straight down. But all the sensors show there is sand.”
“Prepare a twelve man security team. Six are to beam down and six are to taken shuttles to give them air-cover. Have the shuttle rigged with a transporter inhibitor field.”
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll send the Cochrane, Ulysses and Xerxes.”
Archer came in.
“Here is analysis of the tile.”
He gave Dovz the PADD.
Good. She thought. Right now we can use every good card we have.
The room was damp and dark.
“There’s a damping field in here.” Cairo said.
“My phaser doesn’t work and my tricorder is the same.”
“The combadge don’t work either.” Jones added.
The light in the room came on slowly. Wallace spotted five beds, a table with five chairs and a door.
“We’re in a prison cell.”
The door opened and six people armed with swords came in. They were all Reman.
“Figures.” Rogue said. “Jeri told about her hunch.
And like a good officer, she was right and something was wrong.”
Two more people came in. One was Opar, the Reman lieutenant and the other was a Romulan.
“Vreenak, I knew it.” Wallace said.
“Romulans are so predictable.”
The senator simply walked up to Rogue.
“Hello, captain. Why don’t I give you the tour?”
“Lead the way.”
Rogue followed Vreenak out of the cell. Opar left, but four of the guards remained. The other two guarded the door of the cell.
‘What’s you plan?”
“I’ll tell, since there won’t be anything you or your crew will be able to do about it.”
“That’s what all bad guys say before they’re stopped.”
“But we are not the bad guys, the Alliance are. And we will be stopping them for good.”
They reached a lab. Vreenak led him inside. The lab was a round chamber with a circle of workstations. In the centre of the room was a torpedo-like device. Rogue knew what it was at once.
“Doctor Tolian Soran’s trilithium weapon.” He said. “You intend to use it against the Alliance Homeworlds.”
“Exactly, once Qo’noS and Cardassia are gone...”
“...Civil war in the Alliance. You filthy bastard.”
"Come on, captain. You know that the only way to free the universe of the Alliance is their extinction.”
“No, there are ALWAYS other options! I am not the Alliance! I will not become like them!”
“We will do this, captain. With our without your help. Take him back to his cell.”
Rogue was led back.
While Rogue was taking his little tour, Wallace was pacing the cell. The door opened and someone came in. It wasn’t Gary Rogue.
Wallace punched the human. The man flew against the wall. Ensign Vincent Quinn pulled himself together on the floor.
“You’re helping them in whatever plot they have! Don’t expect me to give you a warm welcome.”
“Exactly, I’m avenging the death of my beloved Clara.”
“Clara was a cat! What are you giving them!?”
“Simple, I gave them the basics of trilithium research. After that, they were smart enough to figure it out for themselves. Soon, Qo’noS and Cardassia will be no more.”
“No, I’m a hero. After all, history is written by the victors.”
Quinn looked at Wallace. “You’ll be free to go once we have destroyed the homeworlds.”
Then Quinn left and Rogue came in.
“We need to escape.” Cairo said.
“Any ideas?” Jones added.
Nobody said a word.
Commodore Rogue sat on the bridge of his ship. He watched as his group patrolled outside the network. The engineering console beeped.
“There is a slight flux in the interspace radio.” The engineer said.
“Can you compensate for it?"
“I am preparing a program now. Correction, the flux has ceased.”
Rogue yanked his chair around.
“This could be an attack! I want full diagnostics on all systems!”
The commodore went back to viewing the network.
The transporter beam faded. Six security officers were now standing on the Romulan desert floor. Takaro swung her tricorder around.
“There’s a sensor dampening field here. Check your phasers.”
Everybody’s phaser was functional. To be on the safe side, all six of them were armed with phaser compression rifles.
“We know where the team should be. Phasers to setting eleven. The phasers were set and the officer formed a circle. They pointed their weapons to the ground.
Six beams drilled into the surface. A six meter wide hole now peered ten meters down. Ensign Verne noticed something different.
“That looks like a shield made of tiles like the found in the pool.”
“Well.” Takaro said. “We’re going straight through.”
They fired again.
Part of the ceiling came down. The away team looked up as their cell came apart.
“They’re probably using rifles to drills through.” Cairo said.
Then Rogue’s tricorder beeped. Wallace and Jones jumped into action. They drew their weapons and fired at the door. It came apart under the violence. Cairo jumped the left Reman, while Rogue and MacWright went after the other. The guards were overpowered and tied up. Then the security team burst through. Six people dropped into the cell.
“Great timing, ensign.” Rogue said.
“We’ve drilled a hole six metres wide between here and the surface.” Takaro said.
“Is the surface covered?”
“Three shuttles are patrolling above it.”
“Okay, this is the plan. Weapons on heavy stun. MacWright, you’re with me. I want everybody else after the Romulans.”
“Where will you be?” Wallace asked.
“Trying to stop their trilithium weapon.”
Rogue bolted for the lab, with MacWright on his tail.
Ogawa was pacing in front of the airlock. Hugh simply sat and waited. The airlock finally ’clicked’, meaning it was done. The Vulcan warp-shuttle Sarek had carried Andrew to the Horizon. There was a loud hiss as the doors slid open. Erica jumped into her mother arms.
Hugh smiled at the sight. Then Erica saw him. He expected to fear, but Erica didn’t even twitch at the sight of the implants. She simply hugged him.
“Hi, Uncle Eric.”
He lifted her into the air.
“Hello, Erica. Look at you, you’re a big girl.”
Then Andrew stepped out of the airlock. Hugh put Erica down. Andrew kissed Alyssa and then hugged him as well.
You look healthy.”
“I missed you to.”
They looked at each other.
“I see Alyssa took good care of you.” Hugh said.
“You gained some pounds.”
“Me., you were always the skinny one.”
Ogawa looked at the meeting from a distance.
“Mom, will you show me around the ship?”
Andrew took Erica’s left hand and Alyssa’s her right. Hugh walked behind them. And in this formation they headed down the corridor.
Rogue stopped at the lab door. MacWright kicked the door down in one try. They stormed inside.
“Damm.” Rogue said.
The workstations had been abandoned and the probe was gone. MacWright opened his tricorder.
“They didn’t beam it. There’s no residue.”
Rogue noticed a rail to a set of doors.
“You can’t beam trilithium. The stuff would explode.”
MacWright set phaser to maximum power and fired at the doors. The beam didn’t even scratch it.
“High density doors, crap.”
Rogue yanked the doors open. There was a tunnel beyond.
“Go!” Rogue said.
They went as fast their legs could carry them. At the end, two more doors were waiting for them. But these were locked.
“This is not good.”
“Need some help.” Wallace said.
Wallace, Cairo and Jones came running down the tunnel.
“I told you to take care of the Romulans.”
“We already did.”
"Well, there are two reasons for that. One, there were only four Romulans. Two, we are good.”
“How many Remans are there?”
“Seven, counting the two we already got. The other five are on the side of this door.”
“On the other side as well.”
“Can we phaser this thing down?”
“Sir.” Cairo said. “Come see this, please.”
The ensign pointed to an air vent.
“They forgot to seal it in their hurry. We’ll all fit through.”
Cairo led the way through the tube.
The tour reached the bridge. Dovz turned around as Alyssa and her group.
“Erica wanted to see the bridge.”
Ogawa showed her the console and explained. Suddenly Erica looked at the viewscreen.
“This is not good.”
A Valdore-class ship was decloaking. But it wasn’t the normal kind for back home. This ship was silver instead of green with light bleu warp nacelles.
“Red alert!” Dovz snapped.
“Decloak the ship!”
The Horizon wrinkled into existence. Three seconds later, so did the Starstalker.
Ying was at Tactical, replacing Ensign Verne. Verne was the third man for the tactical station, but he was needed for the away mission.
“Their weapons are cold, but the shields are up.”
“I’m picking up a shuttle heading for the ship.” Farris said.
“It’s carrying four Remans and some kind of trilithium weapon.”
“Tractor beam it!”
Farris fired the beam, but the shuttle was to fast.
The Valdore-class ship cloaked.
“He’s gone.” Ying said.
“No.” Erica said. “He still has to make it through the net-thing.”
“The Wolf is already close to net.”
“Xerry, set a course for the net.”
The Horizon broke orbit.
Rogue jumped out last.
They were now in a shuttlebay. Cairo opened his tricorder.
“Just one Reman and Vince.”
“Thomas, Jones and you go after the Reman. Darian, let’s find Vince.”
The team split up. Rogue was in front of Wallace.
“The third door to the right.” Wallace said.
“Keep your Phaser on Heavy stun. This guy is mad, but killing him is the very last option. Maybe we can get him treatment.”
Rogue opened the door. They found Quinn standing over a tank. Inside were the remains of Clara. The tank was some kind of stasis chamber.
“Quinn, what are you doing?” Rogue asked.
The reply was the scarlet beam of a Klingon disruptor. Rogue dove aside.
“I won’t let you have her!”
There was a short firefight. Then Wallace hit the tank. One of it’s transparent aluminium panel snapped, making the stasis liquid pour out.
“No!” Quinn yelled.
He fired his phaser at Wallace, but the beam missed. It hit a tank with a green gas.
‘Plasma coolant!” Rogue yelled.
They ran out and slammed the door shut. There were screams for the room as it filled with plasma.
“Poor guy.” Wallace said.
Rogue had to hold his stomach to keep his lunch from coming out.
“Damm, I really hoped there would be another way. Let’s get out of here.”
Rogue led the way back to shuttlebay.
Commodore Rogue had seen enough. First the arrival of the warp-shuttle and now an alien ship. He left his command chair.
“Tell the shuttle crew to prepare my personal shuttle.”
The engineer nodded.
“Signal all ships that we’re going to attack. I will coordinate the attack from the shuttle. Captain Vorik.”
The Vulcan first officer of the New Regency stepped forward.
“You are in command now. Fail me and you will die.”
“I know, commodore.”
Then Rogue left.
The Wolf was behind the Horizon and the network in front.
“Are we ready?” Dovz asked.
“Yes, ma’am.” The officers replied.
Alyssa had led her group to the relative safety of sickbay.
“The Alliance ships are preparing to attack.” Ying said.
“What about our ships?”
“I can’t tell, only Wolf and Starstalker are decloaked.”
“I’m picking up a shuttle leaving the Alliance flagship.” Farris said.
Suddenly the view ahead of the ship changed. The Reman ship appeared. Then there was a huge blast behind the Horizon. The satellites were self-destructing one by one. While the Starstalker was clear of the blast, Horizon and Wolf were not... Their shields collapsed under the immense bombardment. The pure energy of the blasts wreaked havoc on all the systems. After a minute it stopped, but that minute had been enough.
“Is everybody okay?” Dovz asked.
All the bridge crew replied that they were fine.
Crewman Peter Henson was at engineering.
“All systems have take severe damage. The ship is a total loss.” He said.
“Why isn’t the Alliance shooting at us?”
“I don’t know, the sensors are gone. And my read-outs are coming apart.”
Dovz pushed a button on her chair. It was an automated signal.
“All hands abandon ship, all hands abandon ship. This is not a drill, this is not a drill.”
Dovz made sure the bridge crew got out okay. She was the last one to leave.
"Goodbye, old girl. We’ll miss you a lot.”
Then she slammed the hatch of the pod in place.
“Fire!” Annabel Brigs shouted. The Starstalker was coming to the add of her wounded friends. Horizon was a lost cause and the Wolf was severely damaged. Every ship the Resistance had was firing at the Alliance armada. The ships from the Remus system had warped over to join the fight. More and more satellites went sky-high.
And the armada was taking a beating at the hands of the Resistance. Lieutenant McNeall looked up from his Tactical station. It had been a week since he had been transferred here from the Adelphi and was promoted.
“Both ships have launched their escape pods. No dead, just wounded.”
Briggs turned to her operations officer, Ensign Wright.
“Did you figure out what triggered the self-destruct yet?”
“It wasn’t the Alliance, but a computer virus.”
“Made by who?”
“Ensign Vincent Quinn.”
“Takaro briefed us about his insanity. We should have
Suddenly a large flash split the night for a second.
“It looks like the Network isn’t the only thing he infected.” McNeall said. “The Alliance ships are losing anti-matter containment.”
“Signal all ships to retreat.”
The Resistance fell back. There was nothing for them to do, but watch the armada blow itself apart.
Rogue was furious. He watched his armada blowing itself to pieces. The Reman had gotten away in the confusion and jumped to warp. And the Resistance had won the day again. Rogue threw the helmsman away from his controls. He plotted a course. Then the shuttle leaped to warp, chasing the Reman.
Rogue was sick. The thought of what had happened to Quinn made him ill, but he couldn’t show it. He reached the shuttlebay. The security team and the away team were waiting for him there. Cairo and Jones had managed to open the door. Four Romulans and three Remans were tied up in the middle of the empty bay. The security detail was guarding them.
Takaro filled him in on what had happened in space.
“Did all of our people make it?” Rogue asked.
“Yes.” Takaro said.
“Good, and the Alliance?”
“The other Rogue got away in his private shuttle. He went after the Reman.”
“Do we have any idea where that ship went?”
“The N-42 system, that’s where they are going to test the weapon. None of their terminals were secured, getting the info was easy”
Rogue thought about it for a moment.
“Alright, this is what we’ll do. Wallace, MacWright, we’re going after with the Ulysses. The other two shuttles will go to the Starstalker. After which, Captain Briggs will beam you guys out and they...”
He pointed to the captives.
“Will be thrown into her ship’s brig.”
Then they began the journey to the surface. The Ulysses jumped to warp about ten minutes later.
Dovz looked out the window of Briggs’ ready room. The wreck of her old ship was floating beyond. All of the Horizon’s crew was aboard the Starstalker, while the people from the Wolf were on the Sovereign. Briggs came in.
“Which do you want first?” She said.
“The good or the bad news?”
“The Horizon can’t be left like this. The risk of somebody finding it is to great.”
“We’re going to destroy her.”
“And the good news?”
“We figured out what happened to the water from the pool. The Romulans filtered to extract a chemical called Sapox-D. It’s something you need to turn dilithium into trilithium.”
“And how did Sapox-D end up in our pool?’
“It’s a common component of cleaning agents.”
“Can the Remans make the trilithium weapon work without help of the Romulans?”
“No yet, they lost a couple of months of research when you stormed that facility. It will take them at least six months to catch up.”
“We go to the bridge.”
They exited the ready room.
Briggs nodded to McNeall.
The bleu light of a quantum torpedo crossed space. A few seconds later, the Horizon exploded. Dovz had never felt so miserable in her entire life. Briggs sat in her command chair without a word.
She waited for second, then said “Conn, set course for the N-42 system at maximum warp.”
The Starstalker went to warp, with the Sovereign only a few seconds behind.
“No sign of the Valdore.” Wallace said.
The Ulysses had dropped out of warp a few seconds ago.
“What is here?” Rogue asked.
“A star and a single class-D planet. I’m picking up an automated communications station belonging to the Alliance on it.”
The shuttle rocked.
“What was that?”
“You, I mean...the other you. He’s shooting at us.”
“Disable his weapons. We’ll deal with him later.”
The Ulysses came about and unleashed a barrage of phaser fire at point blank range. MacWright scanned the shuttle.
“His weapons and warp drive are gone.” He said.
The sleek shape of a Reman Scorpion-class fighter appeared out of nowhere. It fired at the Ulysses.
“I’m starting to see a pattern in the behaviour of the ships we’re running into here.” Rogue said.
“Yes, they all like to shoot us.” MacWright added.
“That thing is carrying the trilithium weapon. They’re going to test it.”
“Hit it with all we have.”
A salvo of weapons fired launched at the Fighter, but most of then missed. One, however, hit the right place.
“His engines are down.” Wallace said. “And the life-support is failing.”
The fighter opened and her pilots ejected. Both of them were wearing spacesuits. Once they were clear of their craft, a transporter beam carried them back to the Valdore.
“Euhm, captain, we have a problem.” MacWright said.
The Valdore decloaked.
“This is not good.”
Then a phaser salvo hit the Valdore, but it wasn’t from the shuttle. The Sovereign and Starstalker came in with weapons blazing. All the Valdore could do was turn and run. It jumped to warp with the two starship on its tail.
“Thank heaven for the cavalry.” Wallace said.
“Captain, the Alliance shuttle is activating her transceiver array.” MacWright said.
“Her signal is aimed at the Reman shuttle.”
Wallace checked the readings.
“He’s going to fire the torpedo.”
“Can you get us clear?”
“Yes, but the Alliance shuttle won’t.”
The other Rogue appeared on the small viewer.
“Rogue, stop trying to fire that torpedo. You’ll get yourself killed.”
“No!” The commodore spat. “This is a new kind of anti-ship torpedo. And I will test it by destroying you!”
“No, it’s a trilithium weapon. The shockwave will kill you.”
“Trilithium weapons are impossible! You are trying to save your own skin.”
“Okay, Ahab. Suit yourself.”
Sun Tzu flashed through his mind. Know your enemy and know yourself. Well, I knew him well enough to know that he wouldn’t believe me. But I also know myself, and I knew I had to try.
Rogue cut the link.
“Wallace, warp one!”
The Ulysses leaped to safety.
Commodore Rogue worked the communications controls.
“Sir, what is he isn’t lying?” The helmsman asked.
“He is, and I don’t like your attitude.”
Rogue drew his weapon and vaporised the helmsman. The transceiver signalled ready. He fired the torpedo. It didn’t go after the shuttle, but made a sharp turn for the sun.
Two seconds later the probe hit the planet. Rogue watched the star go dark.
"Get us out of here.”
“I cannot, the warp drive is off-line.” The navigator said.
Then the shockwave hit, and the Rogue was no more.
Two weeks had passed since the loss of the Horizon. The Starstalker and Sovereign had chased the Valdore until it had cloaked. Then they had circled back to the N-42 system. Its only planet had been blown to pieces. All of the Horizon’s senior officers were gathered in the mess hall of the Adelphi. There were also some none-officers there.
Andrew and Hugh sat at the far end of the table. Most of Hugh’s implants were gone now. But the most notable difference was his new eye. Ogawa had removed his optical implant and grown a replacement for the original organ. Two seats at the table were still empty.
“What is all this about?’’ Dovz asked Rogue.
“Beats me, maybe we’re getting a new boat.”
“I hope so.”
The doors opened and the last two guest came in. Admiral Kathryn Janeway and Captain Paula Appleton walked to the table. They sat down. Janeway spoke up.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you are getting a new Horizon.”
“Yes!” Archer blurted.
“Oh come, like Jean-Luc Picard never gets excited.”
“The Starship Wolf will be renamed to the Starship Horizon, NCC-74302-A.”
“What about Paula and her crew?” Rogue asked.
“The Starship Valdemar has recently been refitted from top to bottom.” Appleton said.
“Me and my crew will be moving there.”
Janeway waited for it to sink in an moment.
Then she said “I’m afraid Commander Dovz won’t be joining you.”
Everybody looked at Janeway in shock. Then the admiral took out a PADD and handed it to Dovz
“Commander Jeryill Dovz, you have hereby been promoted to Captain. You are hereby ordered and asked to assume command to the Raven-class Starship Inventive.”
Then she gave another PADD to Andrew Powell.
“And you, Commander Powell, are to serve as her first officer.”
Ogawa felt as if she had been hit by a phaser at full stun. Andrew was staying.
“Do you accept these new postings?”
“Yes.” Powell said.
“Yes, I do.” Dovz said.
“Sorry, Gary, but you have to start looking for a new Numero Uno.”
Rogue smiled. “I can life with that. Congratulations, Jeri.”
Then Archer looked at Janeway. “When will the new ship launch?”
“In eight weeks. Five to complete the repairs and three to add the same special systems your first Horizon had.”
“But the crew complement of an Ambassador-class ship is bigger then the crew we have now.”
“The extra crew will arrive along with the Valdemar. In the meantime, you will help with upgrading the stations weapons. That was all.”
Appleton and Janeway left. Benjamin O’Rill came in with a bottle of champagne two seconds later.
“I eavesdropped using the com-channels.” He said.
“This calls for a celebration.”
‘It sure does.” Rogue said.
So the party began.
- The End -
|Last modified: 10 Apr 2012