On Stardate 52401.2, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise made an unauthorized detour to the Briar Patch. When he arrived, he found discovered a plot to re-locate by force the planets only inhabitants: the Baíku. More disturbing is that Starfleet Admiral Mathew Dougherty in league with a dying race called the Sonía are the masterminds behind the plan. Picard, in a test of loyalty, chose to defend the Baíku from the plot, taking up arms to defend them. During the fight, Picard and the defense force learned that the Sonía and the Baíku were the same race. The battle came down to a fight on the orbiting Sonía collector ship, ending with Picard killing the Sonía leader Ruíafo, and a peace settlement between the Sonía and the Baíku.
"To the success of another successful mission, and to family. I lost mine in the Dominion War, and when that happened, I thought that I would never recover. Well that was proved wrong by all of you. I love each one of you like I did my own family, and I donít know what the hell I would do without you. So, let us raise our glasses, to Family" he toasted
"here, here" they replied, and took a sip from the glass.
Later that night, Jason re-materialized back into his house. He walked into his living room, only to find that on his computer was a message from his squadronís Commanding officer: Captain Shir Dras, a male Bajoran. He opened the message, expecting it to be the captainís regular "well done" speech, but found something else instead.
"Commander, this is Captain Shir Dras." That was bad news "I have some bad news. An hour ago, the Enterprise reported something unusual. According to regulations, Captain Salmons reported the finding, and requested orders. If we alter the course of the Enterprise, the game would be up. What they found was the Omega Molecule, as you know; Omega is a destructive force that destroys subspace within one light year. You have dealt with Omega twice before, Commander, thatís why weíre sending you. Your orders are to brief your team, and report to the USS Portland at 0800 tomorrow, you will find instructions there. Good Luck" he said, and the message closed out. Jason pondered a moment, trying to think of what was yet to come.
Hours after they boarded the Defiant-Class USS Portland, Jason, now in full uniform, was waiting in the ships mess hall for his team to enter. Captain Caitlin Stevenson, the shipís captain, had arranged for him to use the room as a briefing room for his officers. He didnít have to wait long for his team to enter. First came Ensign Ghano, a male Deltan about the age of twenty. He had graduated last year, and was the teamís newest arrival. He had scored well above average in his training for the SSOT, and had been assigned to Jasonís group. He was the sniper, and had the best aim he had ever seen. Next came Maria OíDonnell, his communications officer, and the only human female in the SSOT, and Sean Grant, his weapons specialist. Michael Bryant, the engineer, and finally, Abu Al-Bakir, his first officer, closely followed them. All of them sat down in the seats that the yeoman had arranged for him. He began his briefing.
"Now, as all of you should know what Omega is by now, Iím not going to get into the details. Basically, our mission is to destroy the molecules. Now, the Enterprise was able to pinpoint the exact location, as they were only a light year away. Our mission is really simple, as is the strategy. We all stay together, sorry Ghano, no sniper this time," He looked at Ghano, who gave him a Ďwhat can you doí expression on his face, and shrugged his shoulders "but you will be in on the ground with Lieutenant Grant. Now, once we locate the molecule, and capture the scientist, our job is to set the charges. The Portland will transport the prisoners to a holding cell, where they will stay, and waiting for memory resequencing. Meanwhile, we set Gravimetric Charges around the area where Omega is being held. The Extraction is really simple; we simply beam up to the ship. Any Questions?"
Bryant raised his hand, Jason called on him.
"What kind of weapons will we be using, sir?" Bryant asked, as always, looking at every angle.
"Type 2 Phasers, nothing too big, we wonít need them. All you need to worry about are the charges. All other gear is secondary, any other questions?" Jason asked.
No one raised their hands.
"No? Well then, equipment check is at 1300, we beam down an hour later. Dismissed" he said, and his squad left. At 1400, the team assembled in the transporter room of the ship. They had switched their regal-looking standard uniforms for all-black field uniforms. The only break in the black was a red, yellow, or blue strip across the chest (depending on department), and coming to the point on the shoulders in the typical Starfleet fashion. The captain of this ship, Caitlin Stevenson, had come to send them off, but she also had some news to deliver.
"Now, ladies and Gentlemen, we have managed to find the building that the Enterprise located as holding the Omega Molecules. The planet appears to support a post-industrial civilization, on the verge of developing the fusion reactor. As you know, the Omega Directive overrides the Prime Directive on this one, so donít worry about cultural contamination. Although our sensors cannot locate the molecule itself, there are metals in that building that our computers canít identify, so it could be shielding our scans. Also, there is a guard contingent on at the entrance, Commander, what do you want us to do about it?"
"Nothing just gets us down there; weíll take care of them." Jason said.
"Good luck, commander" she said.
"All right, team, get on the pad." Jason ordered, and they all complied.
"Energize" he ordered, and they beamed down to another mission.
There is a parking lot outside a building, where there are two uniformed guards holding guns. Unbeknownst to them, a team beam down, but they do not see the transporter beam. The guards donít notice, until two of the team is standing next to them, holding hypo sprays, stunning them. The team use hand signals and enter the building. They enter the interior, where it is dark, and there is little light. Sean Grant leads the team through the building, holding his phaser at eye level, thumb poised on the trigger. All members of the team are also holding their phasers at eye level. Piotr holds a tricorder, scanning for the molecule. They reach a door, and Piotr holds his hand up, indicating stop, Jason does the same, and then so does the rest of the team after a moment. Piotr indicates that he thinks he found the room by pointing to his tricorder, then to his head, and giving thumbs up. Using hand gestures only, Jason lays out the plan for them, and on his signal, and they barge into the room. It is disorderly, and filled with humanoid scientists. There are papers flying around everywhere.
"Get on the floor! Hands above your head" They all yell as they enter the room, and the scientists obey, Piotr is still scanning. There is a portal on one wall, where a trace is found, but he canít find the molecule, he approached Jason to report his findings.
"Sir, tricorder canít pick up a trace of Omega, but this is the room it was in, Iím sure of it." He said to his commander Jason pondered a moment.
"Lets ask them where it went" he finally said, and approached the lead scientist, who is still on the floor.
"Doctor, what happened to the Molecule that you were developing?" He asked.
"WhatÖOh, you mean the experiment; yes we developed the molecule as a resource for our civilization. We have to beat the Trilana at developing this power source, but we were overrun an hour ago, by people that looked a lot like you, only their faces were gray" was what he said, but it wasnít very helpful.
"Who are they, do you know?" Jason asked, trying to get a little more.
"No, they just took the molecule" the scientist said.
"Sir, I am detecting a weapons signature," Piotr said "it appears to be Sonía"
Uh-oh thought Jason, and quickly began to think.
"All right people, letís get back to the ship" He finally said.
"Sir, do you want to take to scientists" Michael asked, again always on top of things
"No, theyíre not worth our time now, Maria, get us back to the ship" Jason ordered
Maria tapped her comm-badge.
"Chalk One to Portland, twelve to beam up" she said, and the team disappeared into the glow of the transporter.
Back in San Francisco, Jason and his squadron commander, Shir Dras were sitting in a debriefing with the Admiral in Charge of Starfleet, Admiral Christopher Salmons. They were sitting in his office, in the heart of San Francisco.
"So, commander, I read your report, and the molecule just wasnít there." The Admiral said.
"That is correct Admiral" Jason replied.
"So, then, why did you leave the scientists there?" The Admiral asked again.
"Sir, we stand by the decision the Commander made" Shir Dras said, in Jasonís Defense
"Yeah, but there is nothing to stop them from creating another one." The Admiral continued, as if Shir had said nothing.
"Sirs, the scientists had just gone through a traumatic experience, I was trying not to increase the trauma" Jason responded, defending his decision.
"Well, they may create another one, and then weíll have to go in again, and this time, Iíll personally make sure they do it right." The Admiral said, and buried his head in his hands.
"Commander, are you aware of the implications here" He continued.
"What implications" Jason asked, playing dumb.
"Commander, the Sonía have a weapon on unbelievable destructive power. They can get it to any world in the Federation, and can literally end Federation interests in this area, and now, the scientists that created it could create it again." He said, and Jason had to admit that the decision was stupid.
"I doubt it, Omega is hard to replicate, and even if they repeat the experiment over, exactly the same, they may not create Omega again" he said, again, in defense of himself
"But even so, they wonít stop until they create Omega a second time." Admiral Salmons argued, and it was right.
"Sir letís focus now on what we do now. The Sonía have it, but we need to find where it is" Shir piped in for the first time in a long while.
"You know, Captain, youíre right. Iím putting Starfleet Intelligence on the case, and I want his team to lay low for a long time. We wonít need them for a while."
Shir Dras and Jason walked on a street on their way to Jasonís home. They walked side by side, and the occasional vehicle passed them bye. They were still in full uniform, and the heat of the sun was making them sweat.
"I want you to do exactly as the Admiral says" Shir ordered Jason, in a commanding tone
"Sir?" Jason asked, not sure what he meant.
"Donít argue Jason, you made the right call in my eyes, but the Admiral and I never see eye to eye." Shir confessed.
"Did you hear, heís putting Intel on this; you know itíll be another month before we go out again" Jason said, and he stopped and stood, it wasnít as if he needed a break, he just was tired of the Intel guys.
"Let it go Jason, youíre an operator, not a policy maker" Shir reminded him.
"I know, but it just makes me so angry, you know, they blow us off all the time."
"What, would you rather have Section 31 doing the work? Huh" Shir asked him.
"Hell no, theyíd manipulate facts and make us arrest innocent men in their twisted little game."
"Commander, Iím giving you and your team some time off, and I want you especially to cool off and get some perspective on this, all right" Shir said.
"Aye" he said at last.
In a small town, in eastern America, the team relaxed. It was an old-fashioned one, stuck in the mid 20th century. They are all hung out with each other, even when they werenít on a mission. They made their way to a park, where Maria and Sean are had a picnic, Jason read a PADD, Ghano and Michael are threw a Frisbee, and Abu Al-Bakir was meditating.
"I canít believe it" Maria said.
"What" Sean had to ask her?
"That weíre going to sit back and relax while Intel tries to find Omega" She said.
"Look, Jason went over this with us, and weíre going to take some time off, and if you ask me, we deserve it" he said, and laid back.
"I know, three months of non-stop missions, I feel so tired, I need a vacation" Maria said.
"Well, you know that Risa is beautiful this time of year" Sean said, getting back up. Maria giggled.
"Itís beautiful all year, it is climate controlled" she said.
"I know" he said, and she giggled again.
Sean went over to Jason; he had something that he might want.
"Whatís the deal, still thinking about Omega?" Sean asked, referring to the PADD Jason was reading.
"Donít say that word in public, and yes, I am" He said.
"You know that your not supposed to do that, we do our mission and forget about it" Sean reminded him.
"Well, what if I canít forget about it, huh" Jason asked Sean, as he set down the PADD.
"What do you mean?" Sean wanted to know.
"We are dealing with the most powerful substance known to exist, and itís out there somewhere just waiting to be detonated."
"Well, you know, I do know thisÖ"
"Let me guess, this girl who works at Intel, and youíve stayed in contact with her and now she can help us, right."
"UmmÖyeah actually, Her nameís Courtney Gao, and I have her contact number."
Sean handed Jason another PADD.
"You may want to contact her" Sean said.
"Thanks" Jason said.
Captainís Log - Stardate 61990.8. The Essex is en route to the Baíku system to deliver some medical supplies to the Medical facility there.
"Captain, there is a Tritanium signature directly in front of us" One of the officers on the bridge said.
"Nothing to worry about, helm, there are other ships in the Patch" The Captain said.
"Sir! Itís right on top of us" Another one said, and a Borg Cube appeared on the viewscreen.
"Evasive maneuvers! Go to Red Alert! All Hands to battle stations!" The Captain ordered, and the vessel dove away, barely missing the ship.
"Do we report this, sir?" One of the men wanted to know.
"Youíre kidding, right."
Back in Jasonís house on Earth. Jason heard a knock on the door, and rushed to get it. His meeting with Seanís Intel friend was now, and he was anxious to meet her. He had looked her up in the Starfleet Databank, but had found nothing about this officer, only a file marked "Classified". He had a bad feeling about this. When he opened the door, he found a woman, shorter than he was, but very thin and very beautiful.
"Lieutenant Commander Jason Fallon?" She asked.
"Yes" Jason said.
"Lieutenant Commander Courtney Gao, nice to meet you" she said, and extended her hand to shake his, and a smile came over her face. "I hope you donít mind but I asked a few others to join us" she continued, and walked inside. Jason shut the door.
"Not at all" he said, just as there is a knock on the door, and Jason Turned around.
"That would be them" Courtney said.
Jason turned around to get the door, and when he opened it, he found a young, black male holding an older man, who wore the rank of Captain. He had blood streaming down his face, and his hands covered his face so he couldnít see it.
"Sorry, but he wasnít watching where he was going and bumped into a tree, do you have a dermal regenerator?" The man who was with him said.
"Yeah, in the kitchen, Iíll take him out to the porch" Jason said, and took the lump of flesh with him.
"Sorry about this, heís always doing things like this. Yeah, thisíll teach you, wonít it, sir"
The man groaned an "uh-huh".
"There" the man said, and removed the regenerator, and the man stood up. His bearded face gave it away.
"I am Captain William T. Riker of the Starship Enterprise" he said.
With that, Jason and Kelly had to suppress a laugh. They had heard about Will Riker, but never that he was a klutz.
"Hey, donít tell me you never walk into doors" Riker said.
"No, not really" Courtney said.
"Right," Riker said "so, we have a problem, huh".
"Omega, sir, it was taken by the Sonía, and we donít know where it went" Jason said.
"Ok, so letís think now, the Sonía have a weapon of destructive power, and what do they want to do with it?" Will began.
"I donít know, all I know is that they could be devastating" Jason said.
"Ok, so what do the Sonía want, whatís the basis for their conflict" The other man said
"Baíku" Jason answered.
"Right, so now they have a weapon of unbelievable power, and they know that if itís detonated, the Federation will pull out of a sector" The man continued.
"Yeah" Jason said "Oh! I get it; they think that the Federation will leave a planet with no strategic value if the subspace surrounding it is destroyed!"
"Right, a planet they want, and we have, and one that has no strategic value to the Federation."
"The Excelsior is leaving for Baíku tomorrow" Courtney said.
"Commander, I know that I have no authority over you, but I want you on that ship when it leaves. Iíll contact Captain Fischer personally, and tell him of the change. My orders to you are to destroy Omega at all costs, all other priorities are secondary. Good Luck" Riker said.
The USS Excelsior NCC-2000-E orbited earth. She was a huge Sovereign-Class starship. In her Observation Lounge, Lieutenant Commander Jason Fallon stood by one of the windows looking out of it. A man wearing the Captainís Uniform entered
"Iím Captain Colin Fischer," The man introduced himself "and can you please tell me whatís going on?"
"Sir?" Jason wanted to know.
"Let me be blunt, but this freight run has been on the books for six months, and then, twelve hours before the delivery is made, Captain Salmons contacts me and tells me that we will be taking on seven passengers. Now please tell me what is going on here!" The angry captain asked.
"Omega" was all Jason replied.
"The Omega Molecule?" The Captain responded.
"Yes, thatís right" Jason said back to him.
"Ok, so the most powerful destructive force known to exist is sitting on a Federation world and our sensors just missed it?" Captain Fischer reasoned out.
"Guess so" was all Jason could say back.
"Thatís impossible" Captain Fischer responded.
"Captain, like it or not, itís there, you will deliver us to co-ordinates you should be relayed shortly" Jason said.
"Ok, fine, but Iím going to confirm this one, and Iím going to check with the highest authority in the Federation."
"This mission is authorized by President Taban himself." Jason said "and then the rumors of the Borg in this area."
"Yes, I know, the Essex. I need to protect my ship and crew from them, so unless I have explicit orders from Starfleet to engage a Borg Vessel, Iím running the other way."
"Really, Captain, a man who has faced the Sonía and stood in front of a Tholian eye to eye for hours, is afraid of the Borg?" Jason asked.
"Yes, I was at Cochran VI last year, Iím scared to death of them" Fischer responded.
"So am I, Captain" Jason retorted.
In a small room with no windows, the team sat there, and looked at the display.
"Ok, this is the big one. I just got the word from Intel, they have a location of Omega. It is on Baíku, and they have given us the longitude-latitude co-ordinates. The problem is that they have transport sensors within 80 miles of the complex, obviously they are expecting us. The good news is that they have no motion detectors; yet, we can sneak in under their radar. Weíll beam in 84 miles away from the complex and walk our way in. Bring camping gear; weíll be staying overnight. Other equipment is type II phasers, and gravimetric charges, Piotr, we are expecting injuries, and have a med kit at the ready. We are also expecting heavy resistance, so set your death beam-outs to the co-ordinates of the Federation Medical Station on the Planet. The extraction: we beam to the Federation Medical Facility to be fully checked out. After that, weíre free to go home. The Enterprise will bring us home. Could you all do me a favor, donít die. Youíre all I have in my life, and I canít live if any of you die. Any questions."
No one raised their hand.
"No, and then equipment checks in thirty minutes. Lets hit them hard, dismissed."
In the Transporter Room of the USS Excelsior, the team, back in their battle Uniforms, stood on the transporter pads. Instead of the chief, Captain Fischer had decided to beam them down to the planet himself.
"Energize" Jason ordered.
And Captain Fischer initiated the Transport down to the planet, not knowing if they would ever come back.
On the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-F, Lieutenant Jonathan Jordan, the Tactical officer, was playing a game of Basketball. He shot, and missed, shot again, and missed.
"Jon Jordan please report to the bridge" Came the voice of Captain William T. Riker
"On my way" he said, and began to leave.
"Computer, end program" He said as he walked out of the holodeck.
Back on the bridge, Riker was standing up, preferring to reign majestically over his bridge at a time like this. Then, Jon emerged from the tubolift
"Jon, sorry to pull you away from your free time, but we just got a new mission."
"What" He wanted to know.
"You remember Commander Fallon?" Riker said.
"Yes, sir" Jon had met him only yesterday, when he accompanied Riker to Jasonís house to figure out the Omega Molecule Mystery, which he did.
"Weíve been ordered to pick them up and return them to Earth."
"Really?" Jon was excited, he was a former member of the Special Ops Taskforce, and wanted to meet the man again.
"Yup. Mr. Halfta, Set a course for the Briar Patch, Maximum Warp, Engage!" Riker said, and the Enterprise entered warp speed.
In a wooded area, on the southern continent of Baíku, Jason halts team in a small area of cleared space. They all stop to look at him.
"This is it; weíll make camp here." He said.
"Iíll grab the firewood" Ghano said, even though they couldnít make a fire; it was just more fun to have a firepit.
"All right, Tick Check" The good doctor said.
That night the fire pit was set up, but nothing was burning in it. The team sat around it, only the moonlight illuminated their faces. Jason held a cup. Some of the team had bags in their hands and occasionally grabbed some food from it.
"You know I really wish we could light this" Jason said, indicating the fire.
"Yeah, me too" Maria said.
"When was the last time we went camping?" Jason wanted to know.
"A year ago, on Risa" Michael responded.
"Right that was the time that Sean wanted to hunt us our dinner."
"Guys, do we have to?" Sean wanted to know, not wanting to re-live an embarrassing moment.
"Yes, we do" Jason said.
"And Sean was out for seven hours, right" Michael continued.
"So, I went out and tried to find him, and give him some help" Ghano added.
"Right, and then when he found youÖ" Maria began.
"He was caught in his own trap that he had set." Jason said, and they all had a good laugh.
"Weíve had some great time together havenít we? How long has it been since we first came together?" Jason asked.
"Three Years, two months, thirteen days, give or take an hour" Ghano said.
"A very memorable three years" Jason said.
"Two months, thirteen days," Ghano added.
"Give or take an hour." Jason concluded.
"Sir, whatís wrong" Maria wanted to know, due to Jasonís somber face.
"When this mission is over, Iíll take all of you to go camping again" Jason promised.
"Delta IV is great this time of year" Ghano said, indicating his own planet.
"Then thatís where weíll go, Delta IV. I promise all of you. In four hours, we have to get back on the road, so letís get some sleep, and rise again in four hours." Jason said.
"Right, sir" Piotr said.
"Good Night" Jason said.
Back on the USS Enterprise, all is well, the bridge is quiet, and it seems like theyíre going to have a routine mission after all.
"Sir, sensors detect a Borg Cube on course for the Briar Patch" Jon said, shattering the Ďroutineí part of the mission.
"Bearing" Riker wanted to know.
"Bearing 0-3-1 mark 4" Jon told him.
"Red Alert, all Hands to battle stations, Zefram lay in an intercept course. Maximum Warp, Engage!" Riker ordered and the Enterprise altered course. Moments later, all were armed with phasers, and the ship was on complete battle-alert.
"Whatís our ETA to the Borg Ship?" Riker asked.
"Thirty Minutes" Zefram Halfta, helm officer asked.
"Thirty minutes, Jon, whatís the closest ship to the Briar Patch?" Riker asked.
"The Excelsior, sir."
"Signal Captain Fischer, and tell him to head back for the Briar Patch, Kelly, hail as many ships that are within range of the Patch."
"Captain, it seems logical to conclude that the Borg are after the same thing that the SSOT team is, Logic dictates that we simulate the same substance on the Enterprise to lure them away." His Vulcan science officer said.
"Good Idea. Jon" he said, and walked over very close to Jonís ear, so that the rest of the crew couldnít hear.
"Can you create Omegaís resonance frequency in the aft cargo hold?" Riker asked
"Yes, I can" Jon said.
"Make it quick" Riker ordered.
Back on the bridge of the ship, Riker was pacing back and forth expectantly .
"Its ready, sir" Jon Jordan said at last.
"Kelly, whatís the status of the Borg ship?" Riker asked his OPS officer.
"Itís maintaining itís course and speed, wait, no, itís altering course, towards us" Kelly said.
"Zefram lay in a course bearing 180, lets make them run a little bit" Riker ordered.
"Jon, how long would it take you to rig a couple Transphasic torpedoes?" Riker wanted to know.
"Moments, sir" Jon responded.
"Get on it."
Jon Jordan got up and left the bridge.
As the team approached the stronghold, they noticed two Sonía guards holding really big guns next to a shoddy wood structure. Undeterred, Jason ordered the team to fire on them, kill settings. He held up his phaser and set it on the guards, the team does the same. He then gives the order to fire. Ghano and Sean both fire at the two guards, and they go down, the team then went to the shoddy building and open a door that lead into the ground, they went inside, and closed the door behind them.
Back on the Enterprise, mere moments had passed, but the Borg Cube was persuading with undue hast, and had caught up with the ship. Jon entered from the same tubolift he had exited from.
"Theyíre ready, sir" he reported.
"Sir, The Borg ship is increasing to Warp 9.99999; theyíll catch us in about three minutes." Zefram reported.
"That isnít good, Helm, drop to Impulse, Kelly, open hailing frequencies" Riker ordered, and the ship dropped to warp, followed by the Borg cube.
"Channel Open, sir."
"This is Captain William T. Riker of the Federation Starship Enterprise, you have crossed into Federation Space, and unless you leave immediately, your aggression will be regarded as an act of war."
"We are the Borg, relinquish particle 0-1-0 and prepare to be assimilated." The mono-toned drones said over the comm.
"Iíve got a better idea, try to Assimilate This" he said, and closed the channel himself, he turned to Jon, and his look told the officer to fire.
"Captain, sensors detect ten Borg vessels en-route to the Briar Patch" Kelly said.
"Signal the Excelsior, and send them our sensor data, Zefram, how long would it take for us to get to the Patch at Dash speed?"
"Bridge to Engineering, Singh, can we maintain Dash Speed for twenty-three minutes?" Riker wanted to know.
"Maybe, Captain, and if it doesnít weíll be the brightest star in the sky" His chief engineer uttered.
"Mr. Halfta, set a course and engage at Dash Speed."
The team descended the stairs in single file, trying not to make too much noise, they emerged from the well, and took a position on either side of the door, Jason indicated for them to continue forward. The team did so, and get up against the wall, guns drawn. They inch their way along the wall, but are discovered and are engaged in a firefight with Sonía officer. Abu, who is in the front got hit twice, Jason dragged him to safety behind their lines.
"Sir, itís not good" Piotr said, after giving him a complete check over.
"Sir, before I go" Abu tried to say through a throat filling with blood.
"Youíre not going to die, right" Jason said, and looked at Piotr for confirmation.
"I donít know sir" The Russian said.
"I am dying, Jason, but before I go, I want to say that itís been an honor serving with you" the Arab said, with a look of genuine love in his eyes for his comrade and friend.
"Youíre not going to die" Jason said, through tears, but Abu went limp in Jasonís arms, Jason reached down and taped his comm.-badge twice and Abu dematerialized into a transporter beam.
On the bridge of the USS Excelsior, Captain Fischer sat and waited. He had a fleet of forty ships, twenty more would be here in ten minutes, and nearly thirty only an hour away. They werenít taking any chances. Just then, a Transwarp conduit opened up, and ten Borg cubes emerged from it. Back on the Enterprise, Riker was growing impatient.
"Faster" He said.
"Sheíll fly apart, sir" Zefram responded.
"Fly her apart then, we have to make that deadline, theyíll need all the help they can get. Remember, weíre the Enterprise, and the Enterprise has a long, proud history in the Federation. From the Days of Captain Archer, the name Enterprise has meant a symbol of strength. We are the next in that legacy, and weíre needed at the battle now, a little more speed there, Zefram" Riker said, hoping that it was inspirational.
In the distance, the remaining team could hear voices, as they drew closer, they made sense, they had found Omega.
"Ö Magnetic containment field, if we donít calibrate it, omega could detonate prematurely" One of the Sonía scientists said.
"Well then, detonate it; weíve got a Federation team on their way andÖ" was all he could say before Ghano and Sean shot the man. When they were down, Jason, Michael and Piotr took up station next to the molecule, as Maria, Sean and Ghano laid a cover.
"Sir, they are stable" Piotr said, scanning the molecules with his tricorder.
"Lay three charges here, here and here." Michael said, and indicated with his finger.
"And here, here and here" He continued. Jason and Piotr removed the charges from his pack, and handed them to Michael, who placed the charges where they belonged.
"Itís too bad we cannot study this phenomenon in more detail." Piotr commented.
"I agree, but unfortunately, itís careless and irresponsible" Jason said.
"The Final Frontier has some limits, and weíre looking at one of them."
The Enterprise joined the battle with the Borg. An Akira-class ship fired one weapon, crashing into three Borg ships, destroying the last one. But it was still hell, derelict hulls littered the starscape. On the bridge, Riker and crew are sitting in their regular seats; a bead of sweat can be seen on Rikerís forehead.
"Sir, the Excelsior is hailing us." Kelly said.
"Onscreen" Riker ordered.
"Itís audio only" Kelly clarified.
"Nice of you guys to drop by" Captain Fischerís voice could be heard over explosions.
"Sorry weíre late. We had some trouble with the Borg" Riker explained
"Understood, follow my attack pattern, will ya."
"Fine, Enterprise out" Riker said "Zefram, lay in a reciprocal course towards the Excelsior, Mr. Jordan, and co-ordinate with Excelsior Tactical Officer."
The Excelsior and Enterprise swept in and fired on the ship together, then the ship fired back, on the bridge, some officers are thrown from their seats, Riker stands up in the smoke, his hair a little undone.
"Are we on evasive maneuvers?" Riker asked.
"Go to Really evasive maneuvers, and continue attack pattern." Riker ordered.
"Charges set" Michael said, and pulled out his tricorder "Iím setting them for 15 minutes, we wonít be able to beam out of this structure, and so we need to get as far away as possible."
"Wonít they be able to just remove the charges?" Piotr asked.
"No, this is a new design; theyíll detonate if theyíre removed."
"Ah, all right, lets go" Jason ordered, but as he turned around he saw Sean and Maria lying on the ground, dead.
"Ghano hit their DBís" Jason ordered the sniper, and Ghano taped each of their comm.-badges twice, and the they disappeared into a transporter beam.
"All right, letís go." Jason said, holding back tears. They start to walk off, and they walk through the same hallways, but they come to a corner they enter into a firefight.
Back on the Enterprise, medical personnel took an injured crewman off with a stretcher. Riker was still standing up, his uniform a little undone.
"Damage report" he asked.
"Structural integrity field is down to 35 percent, life support is offline on decks 3 through 6, a power line has ruptured in engineering, minor injuries only, a Plasma conduit has ruptured on deck 12, six dead, twenty wounded." The science officer reported.
"What was it Jean-Luc told me, when fighting the Borg, use?" Riker thought allowed. "Damn, what was it" he couldnít think of it.
"Use 3-1-8 by 2-1-4, thatís it! Sinock open a channel to the fleet." Riker ordered very quickly.
"Channel open sir."
"This is Captain Riker of the Enterprise, target all of your weapons onto the following co-ordinates, and fire at my command."
"The area you have indicated does not appear to be a vital system."
"Trust me, Sinock."
"The fleet has responded, sir, theyíre standing by."
The fleet erupted into a hailstorm of fire, targeting the one spot on the cube. Moments later, the cube erupted into a fireball.
"Yeah" Zefram said, erupting into cheers.
"Yeah, thatís right" Riker said, under his breath.
"Captain Picard taught you that?" one of the crewman wanted to know.
"Yes, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise, not great a poet, but a hell of a speaker, Mr. Halfta, continue the attack." Riker said.
"Set a course for that cube over there."
They managed to pick off the last guards, and climb the stairs and make it out of the building, but as Michael gets out, heís shot in the back. He falls over dead; Jason turns around and shot the Sonía behind him. Jason walks over and hit the comm-badge twice, and Michael is engulfed in a transporter beam. They get up and continued running, as more guards pour out of the building. They are seen wandering through the forest, perused by Sonía guards. They approach a precipice, and jump off it into the water below. The Sonía looked down it, but leaves them for dead. They turn around to go back, when an explosion is heard, the charges detonate, destroying the Omega Molecule.
The Borg ships suddenly stopped firing, and started to move away from the area. On the Enterprise, there was a stunned look.
"Theyíre leaving the battle area" Sinock said.
"Donít pursue them, let them go. Kelly, I want you to keep an eye on them, and alert the Federation if they alter course. Zefram, take us into the badlands, and prepare to orbit the Baíku planet" Riker said.
Captainís Log -Stardate 63819.3. The Enterprise has entered orbit around the Baíku planet, and have taken the team onboard the ship after our battle with the Borg. The Enterprise has been severely damaged, and will have to de decommissioned, but we can make it back to earth, and home.
Doctor Mathew Armos was sleeping in his quarters on the Enterprise. He had fallen asleep while he was reading a book on his couch. The doorbell rang. He didnít move. It rang again, and he woke up suddenly, but didnít move otherwise.
"Come" he said.
He heard the door open, but still didnít open his eyes.
"What!" he said, irritated.
"Thatís no way to treat your captain" Riker said above him. Startled, Mat stood up immediately, and performed an old style salute that was only used in the most formal functions.
"Sir, Iím sorry" He said.
"Thatís okay; Doctor MíBenga said you had to see me" Riker said.
"Captain, I would have come up there," Mat said.
"Nonsense, you work hard, I figured Iíd pay you a visit. Nice quarters, who did the wood?" Riker asked, commenting on the wood paneling on his walls.
"Allison designed it, Singh installed them" Mat said abruptly.
"Remind me to talk to Allison about my quarters, Deanna has been begging me for months to do some remodeling; you have to talk to me about something?" Riker said, moving the conversation back to the topic at hand.
"Yes, sir, I examined all members of our team, and theyíre in perfect physical health, but I am concerned that Jason is suffering from severe mental trauma regarding the deaths" Mat reported.
"Iím sure thatís normal" Riker said.
"Not this severe" Mat countered.
"Iím sure heíll get over it" Riker said.
"Me too, but I still want him to undergo a psychoanalysis to be sure."
"Look, Iím not a doctor or a counselor, but I am a starship captain, and I have lost people under my command, and I have been able to get over it, Iím sure he will too."
"I hope so."
"Iíll talk to him, but keep this between you and me" Riker said "So, do you like it down there?"
"Sure the medical research is amazing."
"Do you want a transfer?"
"Actually, sir, yes, with the Enterprise going to the museum, itís time to move on."
"Fine" Riker said.
"Why do you ask, sir."
"I just donít want to loose a friend" Riker said.
On the Surface, Riker was visiting Jason as he was preparing to transfer to the ship.
"Commander, on behalf of the Federation, I thank you for your work here" Riker said, in and official tone.
"Thank you, sir, but I was just doing my job" Jason said.
"Nevertheless, youíre a hero."
"No, theyíre heroís, Iím just lucky" Jason said, again.
"You know, every time I go on shore leave, Iím asked how I can send a person the their death, and I always say that I sent them to fight for a cause that they believed in with all their heart and soul, and they died for that cause, and there is no better way to die. I want you to remember that about those four people." Riker gave a speech, though he was no good at them.
"Iíll try sir" Jason said.
"Commander, whereís your next assignment?" Riker said, trying desperately to make conversation.
"Iím afraid sir that Iím leaving the SSOT for good" Jason said.
"Where are you going?" Riker asked.
"Into the regular fleet, but a job hasnít come up yet."
"There will always be a position for you aboard the Enterprise" Riker said, having something in mind.
"I might just take you up on that offer, sir" Jason said.
"You know what, I hope you do, I hope you do" Riker said. Jason noticed the flag on the flag pole, and stared at it for a long time, Riker joined him.
Back at Starfleet Command, Jason and Shir Dras sat in Admiral Salmonís office, again, for a debriefing.
"Well, commander, although how you came about this information is shady and conduct unbecoming an officer at best, your performance on this mission is, shall we say, exemplary. You successfully eliminated the Omega Molecule, and saved the Baíku from total destruction. Therefore, it seems fitting that all members of your team, dead and alive, receive the James T. Kirk Medal of Valor. And those surviving receive a promotion." The Admiral said.
"I donít want one, sir" Jason said.
"You deserve one, as do Lieutenant Piotr Navonovich and Lieutenant Ghano." The Admiral countered.
"Sir, Iím leaving the SSOT, for good." Jason said again.
"I know, and so thatís why Iím promoting you to the rank of Captain, we need an experienced officer to take command of the Dawn Patrol."
"Thank you sir, but I donít deserve it" Jason said, letting his grief get in his way.
"Yes you do, now get out of here" The Admiral said.
When Jason got home, he quickly checked his messages, and then he broke down. He himself couldnít believe it, he started to cry. Cry! He was a member of Special OPS, the pride of Starfleet, the best of the best, and he was crying. But he knew why, he had lost his family again. Now what would he do? He had no idea.
The next day, his doorbell rang. When he opened it, he found that Courtney Gao was standing in his doorway. She didnít look sad, but why was she here?
"Hi" she said.
"Hi" Jason said back.
"Were you crying?" She asked.
"What! Um no, just, um allergies" he said.
"Right" she said, with a sarcastic look in her eye.
"You wanna come in" he said.
"Thank you" she said "I heard what happened she said again "but I have a favor to ask"
"Oh" Jason said.
"Yes, because I supplied you with the Intel you needed for the mission, I need you to do something for me."
"Like what" Jason asked.
"Well, I am a member of Intel, but I also belong to another organization, called Section 31, have you heard of it?"
"As a matter of fact, I have" Jason said, now stunned. How could he? He hated Section 31. Almost as much as he hated the Dominion. He had been deceived, and he didnít like it.
"Get out" he said, and opened the door back up.
"Jason, I know that youíre angry, and thatÖ"
"Shut up, and get out" Jason said, still holding the door open "Youíre a disgrace to that uniform you wear, and you donít deserve to wear it" he said. With that, Courtney left.
"Iíll have your head on a plate, Commander, you can be sure of that" she said as she left.
"My ass" he said, and slammed the door in her face. That felt good.
A week later, Jason, Ghano, and Piotr Navonovich were on the parade grounds of Starfleet Academy. They stood at attention as the Federation Anthem was played. In attendance were the Admirals, the Starfleet Academy Orchestra, Several Admirals from Starfleet, and the senior staff of the Enterprise, which had recently been decommissioned. Admiral Salmons placed the fourth golden pip on Jasonís collar, and the third black one on Ghano and Piotr. With the ceremony done, there was a celebration afterward. Instead of attending, however, Jason, Ghano, and Piotr escaped to Jasonís house. They hadnít had the chance to say good bye to some old friends yet. When they got there, Jason got them each a glass of Saurian Brandy.
"Hereís to Family" Jason toasted. All three held up their glass, and drank to their fallen comrades. Piotr told a story about Michael, and his early training as an engineer. How Michael almost washed out because he had trouble with one of the instructors. But Jason didnít listen. He kept thinking about what he could have done wrong, what he could have done to try and keep those alive. And most importantly; why didnít he die? Why did he have to live and not Maria or Sean? Or Abu?
One week after that, Jason set his first foot onto his new command. The Intrepid-Class USS Dawn Patrol. He set foot on the bridge for the first time, and noticed how eerily familiar it looked.
"Captain on the Bridge" a young ensign at Tactical said.
"At ease" Jason ordered "Have Commander Shaw report to my ready room immediately" he said. And thatís where he went. When he got in there, he noticed his belongings had already been transported there. He opened the top box, and found the picture he had brought with him. It was the photo of his team, a week before they set out on their perilous mission. As Jason was placing it on his desk, his door bell rang.
"Come" he said.
A young man, tall, and very handsome walked in.
"Commander Tom Shaw reporting as ordered" He said.
"Ah, yes" Jason said, and sat at his desk.
"Did you call me here for a reason, sir?"
"Yes, I did" Jason said "Weíre not going to start our mission just yet. Iíve arranged for four corpses to be brought on board, weíre going to burry them first. I want you to tell Mr. Peterson to set a course for Delta IV."
Captainís Log - Stardate 64901.2
The Dawn Patrol has arrived in orbit of Delta IV, and has assumed a standard orbit around the planet.
On the bridge of the Dawn Patrol his entire crew was in Dress Uniforms. Jason stood up, in recognition of his fallen friends.
"I promised them that Iíd take them here when we finished with our last mission" Jason said "So, I kept it."
There was a moment of silence.
"Tactical, make it so" Jason said.
"Honor Guard" The chief on the bridge said. Commander Shaw picked up a Flag, and held it in military style. Jason performed an about face. On the view screen, four torpedoes flew away from the starship, and burned up in the atmosphere of the planet.
Captainís Log - Stardate 64938.1
The Voyager has rendezvoused with us to transfer our new Tactical officer, our Medical officer and several other personnel. Admiral Riker has also come aboard.
Jason was in his ready room, when there was a knock on his door.
"Come" he said, rather sternly. The doors opened to revealÖPiotr and Ghano.
"What the hell are you two doing here!" Jason wanted to know.
"Donít you know?" Ghano said.
"Weíre your new Tactical and Medical officers." Piotr said.
"ButÖ" Jason started to say.
"Come on, Jason, you need us right now."
"But what aboutÖ"
"The other two, Admiral Riker re-assigned them."
In his ready room, Jason stood at attention as Admiral Riker spoke to him.
"Well, Captain, sheís a fine ship, but unfortunately, youíre going to be leaving her a little sooner that you think." Riker said. "Remember I said that there would always be a spot for you on the Enterprise?" Jason nodded his agreement. "The Enterprise-G will be finished in a year, and they want you to command her." Riker said.
"Me?" Jason wanted to know.
"You" Riker said.
"But Iím not an experienced commander." Jason said "No, get someone else."
"No" Riker said "You" he said, and pointed a finger at Jason.
"Ok, fine, Iíll do it" Jason said, a feeling of joy coming to him.
"Hey, if youíre still feeling guilty about those four people, donít they gave their lives for their country, and remember, ĎBlue Skies smiling at me, nothing but blue skies do I see.í" Riker said, quoting Irving Berlin. "Good Luck, Captain" Riker said, and left the ready room.
Jason waited a moment, thinking of the Admiralís words. Then he left the ready room too, leaving behind the picture of his team.
|Last modified: 10.04.12|