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Star Trek Trio: The Limits of Exploration - Part I by Paul Redford

Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3


Note to all readers

The following story continues after Star Trek Nemesis and the first story arc of the Trio saga, Star Trek Trio: The Maquis Revenge

Chapter 1

USS Defiant, The Gamma Quadrant

It had been six months since the Maquis incident and since Bashir had taken command of the Defiant. It had only been two weeks since Ezri and him had got married. Tonight they were having a dinner to celebrate their two-week anniversary.

Since the Defiant was built for war and not comfort it would have been impossible for them to have a romantic dinner in their own quarters as it was very small. So Bashir ordered that the mess hall be off limits to everyone from nineteen hundred hours to twenty-three hundred hours. He had given command of the Defiant to Nog. He knew Nog could easily command the Defiant but there was barely anything for him to do. The Defiant would soon be entering the Bajoran wormhole and be docked at DS9. Bashir had told Nog not to disturb him or Ezri unless the ship was under attack or the universe was about to explode. Nog had understood along with the rest of the senior crew. In fact the entire crew did not mind at all that the Captain and the First officer were having an intermit dinner together. As there was only forty-seven crewmembers on board it meant that Bashir could just barely get away with this type of thing.

The mess hall was very dark. Only a few lights were on but they were very dim. In the middle of the mess hall was a table with a white tablecloth draped over it. On top were two white candles that were both lit and were slowly melting. Along with that was what was left of a four-course dinner. In the background, the computer played slow romantic classical music. Near the windows of the mess hall, both Bashir and Dax stood with each other’s arms wrapped around each other. Slowly they moved to the music together. Neither of them wore their Starfleet uniform but their civilian clothes. Ezri was wearing a lilac coloured dress that she got from Garak five years ago. She had spent two hours in Lieutenant Prynn Tenmei’s quarters were Prynn had help Ezri get ready for her dinner with Julian. Ezri and Prynn had came good friends over the past few years. Julian had only recently promoted Prynn to the rank of full lieutenant after the Maquis incident. Prynn had a become assistant conn officer after Ezri was promoted to be the first officer and Chief conn officer. Prynn had not minded at all she had even told Ezri that she was even thinking about a change of career path. After the Maquis incident Prynn had came good at working alongside Taran’atar and strategies that he came up with. Bashir had asked her how she thought about becoming Chief Strategic Operations officer on the Defiant. Starfleet had told Bashir that he could not have Taran’atar as his Chief of Strategic Operations officer due to him not being a part of Starfleet. So as Bashir had noticed that Prynn had been able to have a good knack at strategies, like her father, Captain Elias Vaughn. Bashir asked her about it and she said yes to the job. She worked well with Taran’atar. Bashir had kept Taran’atar on as a Strategy advisor and guide to the Gamma Quadrant for the Defiant.

Prynn had even been Ezri’s maid of honour at her wedding. Before Ezri had left Prynn’s quarters Prynn had given Ezri a little bit of perfume that she recently acquired on DS9. Prynn had told Ezri that the she thought that the perfume had smelt like a Trill rose and even Ezri had agreed with her.

Bashir was wearing a navy blue shirt, with a cream coloured suit. Before they had got to the mess hall Bashir had given Ezri a bouquet of red roses. He had told Ezri that when he was younger he could remember his father coming home and always bringing home red roses for his mother. Ezri said they were sweet.

“You sure we won’t get into trouble for doing all of this?” Ezri worriedly asked her husband.

“No, we will not. Nog has locked the doors and deactivated the internal sensors. He’s running a diagnostic on them. Apparently there is a problem with the internal sensors in the mess hall.” Bashir replied with a cheeky smile.

“What about the rest of the crew?”

“Don’t worry about them. I have spoken to Kira and she said there is nothing to worry about and that we should enjoy our selves tonight. Anyway she said that the entire crew can take two weeks off for full R&R after we get back to Deep Space Nine.”

“And what in return they say nothing.”


“I am so glad we are the highest ranking officer’s on this ship or we would of got in a lot of trouble!” She smiled at him and he returned by smiling back at her.

“Well we have approximately one hour and twenty-seven minutes before our time here in the mess hall expires.” He said with a grin on his face.

“Well then as the first officer I think we should use what time we have left productively.” She said in a serious but sarcastic voice.

“Well then it seems that the captain must agree with the first officer.” Bashir said joking along with his wife.

He was about to kiss his wife when they were disturbed by Lieutenant Commander Nog wanting to talk to Bashir.

“Nog to Captain Bashir.” Came the young Ferengi’s voice over the internal comm.

“Nog, I’m not here.” Bashir said.

“I know you do not wanted to be disturbed tonight sir, but long range sensors have detected an alien ship at warp nine point nine-nine-five on an intercept course for us.”

“How long until they intercept us?” Bashir asked.

“Less then seven minutes, sir.”

“Very well then, both Commander Dax and I will be there as soon as possible. Bashir out.”

He looked back at his wife. She grinned and he knew that she was a bit upset that some alien who wanted to make contact with them or destroy them spoiled their evening.

“Duty calls, honey.” He said.

She looked at him and replied. “Don’t ever call me honey.”

Bashir smiled and both walked out of the mess hall towards their private quarters.

On the bridge of the Defiant Lieutenant Commander Nog sat in the captain’s chair.

As it was the night shift, there was not that many on the bridge. Lieutenant Prynn Tenmei had just arrived after the senior crew was ordered to report to the bridge. She had relieved the young Bajoran Ensign Tabai from the conn. Prynn had also arrived with Taran’atar, Lieutenant Commander Sam Bowers and Lieutenant Shar. Taran’atar had taken his position at the aft console, Bowers had sat down at Tactical and Shar had sat down at the Science station. Everyone was ready for the first officer and the captain to arrive. Nog had just done a ship-wide system check. He did not want the Defiant to begin to fall apart while in the middle of a first contact. He was pleased to see that the Defiant was completely fine.

The port door had opened and Commander Dax had walked through followed by Captain Bashir.

Dax walked directly to the conn and Lieutenant Tenmei had got up and walked to the secondary tactical station. Dax had sat down and began to check the system output of the conn.

Bashir had walked towards Nog and asked,

“Any responses from our hails?”

“None sir.”

While Bashir was getting changed in to his uniform he was talking to Nog over the internal comm system. He had told Nog to get all of the senior crew on the bridge and begin to hail the aliens. After both Bashir and Dax had finished getting changed and began to walk towards the bridge Bashir had also told Nog to inform Commodore Kira about what was happening.

“What about word from D-S-Nine?” the captain asked.

“Commodore Kira has put D-S-Nine at yellow alert and the Marco Polo is ready to enter the wormhole to give us assistance at your request.” Nog had replied.

Bashir was pleased that he would be able to get some support if he needed it.

“Captain, we will be near the mouth of the wormhole soon. Shall I drop us out of warp?” Dax had asked from the conn.

Nog had got out of the captain’s chair and had sat at his engineering station. Bashir had sat down in his chair and responded to Dax’s question.

“Do it, Ezri. Bring us to a full stop.”

The Defiant came out of warp and slowly came to a full stop.

“Taran’atar, do you recognise this species?” Bashir had asked the Jem’Hadar.

“I think I do. They are called the Kerranx. They are the primary species of the Kerranx Confederation. They have similar technology to your own. In fact, they have similar ideals like your own. They are a peaceful race and believe in the non-interference of other species. They only let other species join them if they have warp capability, if their homeworld is ruled by a united government, that they agree to the Kerranx Confederation Charter and that the species must believe in peace at all cost.”

“Sounds like we might have found ourselves an ally in the Gamma Quadrant.” Bashir spoke. “Taran’atar, have the Dominion been at war with the Kerranx Confederation?”

“No they have not, captain. The Dominion once attempted to invade the homeworld, but all of the ships in the Dominion invasion force were destroyed. Since then the Dominion has never engaged any of their ships, it is a standing order on all Dominion ships to keep away from the Kerranx Confederation’s borders and ships at all cost. They are very powerful and clever when it comes to fighting.”

“Thank you, Taran’atar. Ezri, bring us around so that our forward faces them if they decide to drop out of warp. Nog, be prepared to deploy the armour at a moment notice and Sam, stand by to activate our weapons as well. Just in case.”

Bashir’s crew began to follow out his orders. He wanted to be ready just in case as he said to his crew.

“They have dropped to sub-light speeds, sir.” Shar had reported.

“Onscreen Shar.” Bashir ordered.

The main viewer changed to show the ship that was intercepting the Defiant. It was very small and compact. Like the Defiant, its nacelles were compressed in to the side of the ship. The ship was mainly all white but had blue streaks along the hull. Bashir thought to himself that it could not be as big as a Saber class starship.

“Open a channel, Nog.” Bashir requested.

“Channel open, sir.”

“This is Captain Julian Bashir in command of the Starfleet vessel USS Defiant representing the United Federation of Planets and the Federation Alliance. We come in peace, we bring you no harm. We are informed you are a vessel from the Kerranx Confederation. If this is true then neither of our people have met before. I would like to hope that we could talk to each and perhaps opening a rapport between our two people. We have also been told that our ideas of living and interacting with other species are the same as your own. Please we would like to talk to you. Please do respond. Defiant out.”

Bashir was relieved after his long speech. He was confidence that they would respond.

“Well how was I?” he asked his crew.

“Not bad, sir.” Bowers replied.

“I think you made a good impression of them, sir.” Shar stated.

“Thanks. Let’s hope so.” Bashir said.

“Sir, there is an incoming transmission. They are responding, sir.” Nog declared.

“Onscreen Nog.” Bashir ordered.

The view screen changed to show what Bashir presumed was the commander. The commander had dark brown coloured skin, he had ridges on either side of his forehead. It looked as if they were like Cardassin ridges but these ones never went all they down the face and around the eyes. The ridges stopped a few millimetres above the eyebrows. The commander began to talk.

“Captain Julian Bashir who commands the Starfleet vessel USS Defiant who represents the people of the United Federation of Planets and the Federation Alliance, I am Captain Krex of the Kerranx Confederation long range science vessel KCS K’nox. We also come in peace and do not wish to fight you. You are correct, this is our first time that our species have spoken together. I am honoured to be the first Kerranx to speak to your species, captain.”

“I am also very honoured to meet you, sir. Nevertheless, I would like to say that my crew is not of one species. I am human and number of my other officers are also human but we also have crewmen and crewwomen who are from different races, that are members of the Federation. This includes races like the Trill, Ferengi, Benzite, Ullian, Andorian, Betazoid, Vulcan, Bolian and Bajoran.”

“Ah, my crew is also very similar. We too have crew of mixed races.” The Captain stopped talking for a second then continued, “But Captain, I know this might sound rude but we are not here to begin to open proper relations with your people.”

“Very well then. May I ask what you are doing here then?” Bashir asked.

“Several days ago one of our deep space communications arrays picked up a distress call. One of our Heavy cruisers was sent to find out what the problem was. When they arrived, they found eight ships all of different sizes and configurations but they all had the same bio signs and power signatures. The ship attempted to make contact with the small fleet but found that nobody was answering. They did detail scans and found out that all eight ships were disabled. We found out they were enclosed within a subspace field of some kind which had drained power from several of their systems. The cruiser was sent back to one of our outposts where before they arrived our own government was sent into a state of emergency. The same type of field that surrounded the fleet was found in many of our own systems and near our borders. Before long a many of our ships, outposts and planets were being drained of power. Our entire fleet was mobilised and an order from our own government was to find away to end these power drains before the Kerranx Confederation fell apart. Already our President was forced to declare states of martial law on several of our outer colonies. Soon every planet within our space would be forced to declare a state of martial law, so they can protect themselves if they are attacked. We began to scan for ships of that were similar to that of the fleet we found. Hoping that they knew something about the strange anomaly that is affecting us. It seems that your ship is similar to the fleet we encountered. We detected you and as my ship was the nearest, I was ordered to make contact with you. Please captain, we need your help. If you help us we promise to help you out.”

Bashir looked startled. He did not know what to say. He looked Captain Krex straight in the eye and said, “Captain we are willing to help you. I can tell you though, my people have never seen or even heard about this anomaly that is affecting you. Captain, I would really prefer it if you could take us to our fleet. If I think what you are is saying right, then I believe you are talking about our deep space exploration fleet. If we combine resources from both of our ships and knowledge, we might be able to find a way to end this.”

“I agree with you, Captain. We will transmit all of the information we have about the anomaly. However, I suggest we begin to move quickly. Can your ship hold a speed of warp nine?” Captain Krex asked Bashir.

“Indeed it can. It might be a good idea to work on a solution while we travel then.” Bashir stated.

“That seems a good idea. Captain, along with the information we are sending you there is data there which can remodulate your deflector dish. The deflector modification can temporarily repel the forces of the anomaly and there is also data on how to detect the anomaly with your sensor. I advise you that you get your engineers to begin work on it as soon as possible.” Krex suggested.

“Thank you, captain. If you like we would like you to invite you on board the Defiant so we can talk face to face over the issue, personally.” Bashir said.

“That is very thoughtful captain. We could beam over in let’s say ten minutes?” Krex asked.

“Ten it is. Defiant out.” Bashir finished speaking to the viewscreen. He then began to give out his orders. “Ezri, plot a coarse for the co-ordinates of the Exploration fleet, warp nine. Nog, begin modifications to the deflector dish. Shar start scanning on long range and short range sensors for this power-draining anomaly. Prynn, I want you and Taran’atar to begin going over the information they have sent us and start on a way to come up with a permanent defence solution. Sam, set up a secure link with the communications array near the wormhole. I am going to speak with Commodore Kira. Dax, Taran’atar, Nog, and Shar, I want you all to be at the transporter bay in ten minutes to meet our guests. In addition, Sam have someone get down to the mess hall to clean it up quickly. I do not want our new friends to think we’re slobs. Then once we have met them I want all senior crew in the mess hall so we can have a briefing with our friends about this anomaly. Ezri, the bridge is yours.”

Bashir got out his chair and went straight to his office.


Chapter 2

Captain Bashir was sitting in his office speaking to Commodore Kira. He had just told her about what was happening.

“Alright Julian I’ll inform Starfleet and apprise them of what your situation is at the moment. Are you sure you don’t want assistance from the Marco Polo?” Kira asked.

“No, the Marco Polo would not be able to intercept us in time. Its best if the Defiant does this solo. You may need the Marco Polo at Deep Space Nine. Just in case you change your mind and you need her there. Also Shar has asked if he could open a direct comm link with his science department at Deep Space Nine. As the Defiant was not properly built for scientific mission he may need the station’s help.”

“Don’t worry, I make sure Shar gets all the help he needs. However, I will send the Marco Polo through the wormhole and wait on your side of the wormhole so that if you do need help, it’s there. Ok?” Kira asked. Kira was actually not asking but ordering Bashir to accept it. She knew him well that he wanted this to be his mission. If it were a success, it would be enough for Bashir to further impress Starfleet Command that he can command a starship and a crew.

“Understood Commodore.” Bashir replied. “I must be going, Nerys. I will be meeting our new friends in about four minutes.”

“Ok Julian. Speak to you soon. Kira out.”

The screen went to its standby mode and Bashir immediately began to find all information on the Exploration fleet.

It was one of many ideas that Starfleet felt proud of. Bashir had the computer screen double the speed of the showing of the information so he could easily know everything in less then two minutes. After he was done he went to go and meet his new ‘friends’.

All of the crewmembers that Bashir had asked to be in the transporter bay were there. Bashir was the last one there. Dax came up to him and told him that she had left Ensign Harrison in command on the bridge while Sam and Prynn were waiting for them to meet with them in the now tidier mess hall.

Nog had said that the deflector field was remodulated to the frequency that the Kerranx had given him and Shar reported that he had already modified the sensors to detect the power drain anomaly at a moment’s notice. Taran’atar said that both him and Prynn needed more time to figure out a plan for a permanent defence solution. Bashir had said that after the briefing both him and Prynn had six days to come up with a better solution and Bashir had even told Nog to join their think-tank team. Taran’atar had said that Prynn had nicked name them the think-tank after they had work well together on assignments before. Taran’atar still did not understand the meaning of think-tank and Bashir said he would tell him later. Taran’atar advised Bashir that the Kerranx believe in many things like the Federation believed in. They also had a curiosity to explore and learn. Taran’atar had said that they had a very similar chain of command like Starfleet.

When Nog had got word that the Kerranx was ready to beam aboard Bashir had ordered Nog to energise. Nog worked the console and the Kerranx party materialised on the transporter pad. There were only two of them. One was Captain Krex and the other was also dressed in the uniform that Krex was wearing. Their uniform reminded Bashir of the old Starfleet dress uniform. The uniform Krex and his other officer were wearing was mainly black with a navy blue strip going from one shoulder to the other. Around the collar and down the side of the uniform was a gold trimming. Five small triangle shapes were dotted in a line across Krex’s uniform near his left shoulder. Bashir presumed it showed his rank because the other officer only had four triangles dotted across his left shoulder. Krex had brown eyes and black hair. The other officer had brown eyes and blonde hair. Krex walked down off the transporter padd and walked directly to Bashir.

“Permission to come aboard, Captain?” Captain Krex had asked.

“Permission granted, Captain. Welcome aboard. Let me introduce you to a few of my senior crewmembers.” Bashir spoke.

“Of course captain.” Krex replied. “But first may I say that you are honoured. You are the first human to meet a Kerranx and I am honoured to be the first Kerranx to meet a human. Please captain, proceed.”

“This is Commander Ezri Dax, my first officer and second in command of the Defiant. ” Bashir stated.

Krex took hold of Ezri’s left hand and kissed it. She blushed a bit and she even hoped that Bashir did not mind. Krex noticed the ring she had on her ‘wedding ring’ finger. He looked at her confused.

“What is this?” he asked her.

“It’s my wedding ring.” She replied. “It represents the symbol of my love and marriage to Captain Bashir.”

“Oh. Is this common practice among you people? That the captain is united in marriage to the first officer?” Krex inquired.

“No! No! It is not. We feel in love about five years ago and only two weeks ago we got married.” Bashir spoke.

At this moment, Ezri was smiling due to Bashir having to explain to Krex about their relationship with each other.

“Ah then I must congratulate you both and apologies for my behaviour for kissing your wife’s hand then captain. It is just in our culture that is how a man greets a lady. I apologise. May I ask you Commander Dax are you human as well?” Krex inquired.

“No sir. I am Trill.”

“Then you are honoured to be the first of your species to meet a Kerranx and I am honoured to be the first Kerranx to meet a Trill. Once again I apologise to both you Commander Dax and Captain Bashir for my behaviour.”

“No harm done. Don’t worry.” Bashir replied and then continued the introduction. “This is my chief engineer, Lieutenant Commander Nog.”

“A pleasure to meet you sir.” Nog responded. He extended his hand to shack Krex’s hand. Once again Krex looked confused.

“It’s a hew-mon tradition, sir. It is a way that was invited during Earth’s ancient history. Earth is the homeworld to hew-mons. It shows that we both acknowledged each other and we are showing each other and everyone else that we do not hide any weapons up our sleeves.” Nog informed Krex. He took hold of Krex’s hand and they both shook each other’s hand.

“An interesting way to greet people. I take it Lieutenant Commander Nog that you are not human?” Krex pleasantly asked.

“No sir. I am a Ferengi.”

“Then you are the first of your race to meet a Kerranx. You are honoured and I am honoured to meet you.” Krex replied.

“Likewise sir.” Nor returned.

Bashir then introduced Captain Krex to Lieutenant Shar.

“This is Lieutenant Shar. My chief science officer. He is an Andorian.” Bashir stated. He hoped that stating what race Shar was that it might hurry up the introductions. Krex kept on repeating how honoured they were and he was to meet each other. Just bite your tongue Julian, he said to himself.

“Nice to meet you, sir.” Shar said with a smile and bowing his head.

“Lieutenant Shar, you are also honoured to meet me and be the first Andorian to meet a Kerranx. I am honoured as well to be the first Kerranx to meet an Andorian.”

Krex then noticed Taran’atar standing in the corner of the room. He looked at Bashir with again a confused face and asked Bashir,

“Captain, do you know there is a Jem’Hadar in this room?”

“I do indeed. Captain Krex, please meet Taran’atar. He is a Strategy advisor to my Chief Strategic Operations officer and towards me. He is also our guide to the Gamma Quadrant. We have never been to this part of the Galaxy long enough to study it. We came from the wormhole that was not that far from the position where we first meet. You may have detected neutrino emissions near us. That stable wormhole connects us between this quadrant and our own quadrant. In fact, Earth is over eighty thousand light years from our current position. The wormhole covers just less than seventy thousand light years. So Taran’atar is part of my crew as an advisor, guide and ambassador for the Dominion.” Bashir declared.

“But he is part of the Dominion. Are you allies with the Dominion?” Krex asked.

“No we are not. However, just under seven years ago the Dominion entered the wormhole and declared an all out war with the Federation and our allies. The war lasted two years and the Federation Alliance that it is now known won. The Federation Alliance consists of the United Federation of Planets and several important powers within the Alpha Quadrant and part of the Beta Quadrant. The Federation Alliance is a powerful stability that reigns with peace within the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.”

“So you defeated the Dominion. Then you people are very powerful and resourceful. But why is he here?” Krex asked.

“Taran’atar was sent to us four years ago by the Founders of the Dominion to be a cultural observer and ambassador. One of the Founders used to work with us returned to the Great Link, and persuaded the Founders to end the war and begin to change their minds on solids. That’s what they called us. We are at peace with the Dominion. A peace we hope that would last forever.”

“So is he dangerous?” Krex queried.

“No Taran’atar is not. He never fought in our war with the Dominion. Taran’atar does not need the Ketracel-White enzyme that most Jem’Hadar are addicted to. I would ask you to treat Taran’atar the same as you would with any other member of my crew.”

“Well who am I to argue with you, captain. If your Federation can defeat the Dominion and allow for one of them to be on one of their ships, then there is nothing for me to worry about.” Krex said walking towards Taran’atar.

“I am honoured to meet you Taran’atar. I hope I honour you with my presence.”

“I will respect you the same way Captain Bashir has asked you to respect me.” Taran’atar said slowly.

“Well Captain, now you have introduced me to your crew let me introduce to you my chief tactical officer and second in command, Commander K’eax.”

K’eax walked off the transporter padd and stood by his captain and silently bowed his head towards everyone in the room.

“Ok. Why don’t we go to our meeting now?” Bashir asked.

“That sounds like a good idea, captain. That is why we are here!” Krex said.

Bashir walked out of the transporter bay with Krex and K’eax behind him. The rest of the senior crew followed behind.

The mess hall never looked like as if Bashir and Dax were only dining in it a few hours ago. Sam and Prynn were there to welcome their captain and their guess. After the introductions, Bashir had decided to go first and inform his crew and the Kerranx about the fleet.

“Project Return to the Stars. The fleet that Captain Krex mentioned is part of Project Return to the Stars. It was set up two years ago. After the Dominion War, nearly every single ship in out entire fleet was forced to be part of Operation Recover. Operation Recover was the beginning for the Federation to regain what they lost during the Dominion War. Our allies were forced to retreat to their own borders and the space that they gained during the war. The Federation was compelled in to the role of the main peacekeeping force in the quadrant. The Federation Council ordered Starfleet Command to have every single starship and space station to begin on becoming the peacekeeping force. Already after the war, pirate raids were being made against starships, colonies and space stations. Illegal trade routes were being created. Terrorism began to rule our own space. A massive joint effort by every starship in the Federation fleet was created. Starships would be forced to protect convoys, end terrorist groups and stop illegal movements across the quadrant. Starfleet was forced to change its ideals. More powerful starships with better tactical capabilities were created and launched with inexperienced crews on board, fresh from Starfleet Academy. After three years, Starfleet had increased its starship production by up to sixty percent. It had nearly recovered from the many ships that we had loss during the Dominion War. When Voyager had returned home and brought information and technology from the Delta Quadrant-”

Bashir was interrupted by Krex who was seating next to Taran’atar, “Captain what is this Voyager?”

“The USS Voyager one of our ships that was pulled across the galaxy and in to the Delta Quadrant over seventy-thousand light years from Earth. For seven years, they were stranded in the Delta Quadrant hoping to get home one day. They returned home three years ago.”

“Oh right, ok. I apologise for interrupting you. Please continue.” Krex said apologetic.

“Thank you. Well after Voyager had came home, Operation Recover was still on. Starfleet knew that with the Dominion War over and with Voyager home, it was time to reinstate what Starfleet’s primary mission was about. To boldly go where no one had gone before. Starfleet could not begin to reassign any of its current active starships, as they were needed for the peacekeeping force. Therefore, with permission from the Federation Council, Starfleet began a Project called ‘Return to the Stars’. Starfleet was going to build a fleet primarily for exploration and scientific discovery. The first mission of the new Exploration fleet was to map out the Gamma Quadrant. The Defiant herself and just recently along with the USS Marco Polo begun to do short-range exploration missions. Nothing too big. Missions that lasted for a few months and were near the wormhole. Starfleet wanted something more on the long-range type of a mission. So the eight ships that are out there are the first eight ships to the Exploration fleet.” Bashir spoke. He got up from his chair and walked over to a nearby wall console which was large enough for everyone to see. He tapped at the console and the computer displayed all eight ships. All views from the top of each ship and all scale so they were proportioned right to each other. There were three Saber class starships, two Intrepid class starships, one Excelsior class and one Galaxy class. One was a new class to Bashir’s crew. The computer called it the USS Dauntless.

Ezri began to speak out, “Julian I don’t recognise that starship. What is it?”

“The USS Dauntless, registry NX-seven-seven-nine-four-eight.” Bashir replied.

“The NX means it’s a prototype then. The first of its class then. I take it that this ship is a Dauntless class starship?” Taran’atar asked.

“That’s right, first of her class. Five hundred meters in length and equipped for long range exploration missions. She has the most up to date scientific equipment on her. She has a crew compliment of three hundred and sixteen. But behind all of that she is armed to the teeth.” Bashir reported. “So whatever happens, we must rescue the fleet at all costs. That’s were you help comes in, Captain Krex.”

Bashir sat back down in the middle of the two large circular tables that was were connected to each other. Opposite to him was Captain Krex and Commander K’eax.

“Already my people have found a way to disrupt the fields affects and free trapped ships. The frequency that we gave you to recalibrate your deflectors was used to disrupt the field. But the problem is the power needed to disrupt it enough would have to be very powerful and only our larger powerful cruisers are able to do it. If either the Defiant or K’nox was to do it then both of us would be destroyed in the process and I don’t need to tell you that we don’t have much time to do it in. There is no way any of our own ships can help. They are all being used to disrupt the effects in our space and the disruption is only temporary.” Krex added.

No one said a word for a few moments. Then Nog began to talk.

“Sir, I think I have an idea.” He told Bashir.

“Go on, Nog.” Bashir said.

“Captain Krex, did your people use beam-based weapons to disrupt the effect of the field?” Nog asked.

“Yes, our phaser cannons were configured to disrupt it. What are you getting at, Lieutenant Commander?” Krex inquired.

Nog got out of his chair and walked over to the wall console that Bashir was using to display the Federation fleet on moment before. Nog had got the computer to bring up a picture of a Quantum Torpedo.

“I think we can get our own torpedoes to detonate at the exact frequency. It may use up a number of torpedoes but I think it can work.”

“Nog, there is no way we can fire that many torpedoes in one go. You would at least need sixty to be effective. The Defiant’s torpedoes launchers aren’t built for that much work.” Sam stated.

“We don’t have to fire them from the launchers. We could use the transporter to beam them out at the same time. They could all be programmed to detonate a few seconds after being materialised. If we beam them to certain locations around the field that is draining the power we could take down take the field long enough for the fleet to power up and jump to high warp.” Nog spoke.

“The Defiant’s transporters will not be able to beam all of the torpedoes into space in one go. I can enhance the transporters with Dominion technology and then they would be able to perform this function.” Taran’atar suggested.

Bashir was glad to see that they were able to start a plan.

“Alright, do it. Nog, work with Taran’atar to get those transporters enhanced. Sam, assemble a team to help you reconfigure that many torpedoes. Nog, once you have finished with Taran’atar, give a hand to Sam. Ezri and Shar, help Prynn out in finding a permanent defence from this energy draining field.” Bashir ordered his crew.

Krex looked up at Bashir and said, “I will get in contact with my superiors and see if they have found out what is creating this energy damping field. In the meanwhile, I will get my own engineers on making a plan B just in case your plan does not work.”

After the meeting and the final discussions with each other the Kerranx had returned to their ship. Julian had reported back to Kira about what was happening. Ezri, Shar and Prynn were working on making the shields or the armour generator hold up against the energy draining field. Nog had protested against him working with Taran’atar but Bashir had ordered him to work with Taran’atar. Sam and his team were already beginning the modifications to the torpedoes. They had six days to be prepared.


Chapter 3

Nog was finishing his scans of the modifications to the transporter with his Tricorder. Taran’atar was packing away the tools that they had used to modify the transporters. Nog and Taran’atar were both in the transporter room. It had taken them five days to get the transporters ready for their plan to free the Exploration Fleet. The two of them we currently in the transporter bay.

Nog had only spoken to Taran’atar when he had asked him to pass him a tool or a piece of equipment. Nog had rarely anything to say to Taran’atar. He still reminded Nog of when he lost his leg to the Jem’Hadar. Nog had even protested to Bashir about him working with Taran’atar. Nog had told Bashir that it would be better if Nog helped out with modifications to the torpedoes. But Bashir had told Taran’atar that he needed Nog getting the transporters ready. Nog had given in. Even though he did not want to disappoint Bashir. Over the past few months Bashir had put in a lot of faith in Nog. Bashir had promoted him to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and made him the third highest ranking officer of the Defiant. Nog knew that he owed Bashir a lot for the support and trust that he had given him and he intended on repaying Bashir by showing him that he was an exceptional officer.

“I have finished packing the tools away, Commander.” Taran’atar stated. Taran’atar was standing straight behind Nog with the tool case in his left hand. His shadow was blocking out Nog’s light. Nog was kneeling down and scanning the last transporter relay. Nog was too busy to acknowledge what Taran’atar had just said. He was concentrating on his tricorder readings.

Taran’atar walked around to stand to Nog’s left.

“Commander, did you not hear me. I have packed all the tools away.” Taran’atar announced.

Nog was now getting frustrated. “Yes I heard you. I’m busy at the moment.” Nog snapped back at the Jem’Hadar.

“Very well. May I leave then and report to Captain Bashir?” Taran’atar asked.

“Yes, go.” Nog ordered in a quiet voice. He was not really bothered where the Jem’Hadar went as long as it was far away from him.

Taran’atar was about to leave when he decided not to. He stood there glaring down at Nog. Watching him tapping and reading from his tricorder.

“What now?” Nog demanded.

“Why do you not like me? I have been on Deep Space Nine for four years now and everyone has accepted me but you have not. Why?” Taran’atar inquired.

Nog stopped tapping the buttons on his tricorder. He looked up at the transporter relay. He knew that someday something like this would happen. That Taran’atar would ask why Nog was purposely ignoring him or trying to keep away from him.

“I never said I did not like you Taran’atar.” Nog said.

“No but your actions suggest that you don’t like me. Why?” Taran’atar demanded.

“Fine I’ll tell you why then.” Nog said standing up and looking at Taran’atar in the face. Nog had placed his tricorder in his belt. “The reason I don’t like you is not because of you. It is who you are.”

“I am Jem’Hadar. You do not like Jem’Hadar, do you?”

“That’s right. I don’t like Jem’Hadar because they took my leg from me.”

“But I was not part of the war where you lost your leg. You can not blame me.”

“Well I’m sorry. But I tell you something. If Odo had not sent you or that you didn’t have the support from Commodore Kira or Captain Bashir I would not be here. I would have got a transfer to some other place far from Deep Space Nine.”

“You trust the judgements of Odo, Commodore Kira and Captain Bashir?”

“That’s right I respect all three of them.”


“Well Odo helped out in disciplining me when I was young. Commodore Kira has helped me in becoming a better leader. She is one of a number of people who have helped me developing my leadership skills.”

“And what about Captain Bashir?”

“I respect Captain Bashir for who he has become. His only a few people that I know that have become something that they never dreamt would happen to them. I also respect him because he has shown a lot of faith and trust in me ever since he has taken command of the Defiant.”

“So you do not like me because I am a Jem’Hadar?”

“I know I am wrong in having attitude problem towards you Taran’atar. You are right I should not be blaming you for what happened to me. I should be putting it in the past.”

“I must say Commander, when I first meet you I thought you were to be like other Ferengi. Like your uncle. But you are different. You are not greedy in hunger for profit. I was told by a Vorta before I left that Starfleet has exceptional engineers and that I should be lucky to meet one. I did not understand what she meant. She in fact confused me but I am beginning to understand what she meant. You are an exceptional engineer and I must apologise for believing that you are like all Ferengi when you are not. I am honoured to meet one of Starfleet’s exceptional engineers.”

“Thank you Taran’atar. I am also sorry for misjudging you as well. I’m stupid for not getting to know you for who you are and not for what you are.”

“I accept your apology. I believe if I am right that we must shake hands now. Am I right?”

“You are.” Nog said and placed his right hand in Taran’atar’s right hand and shook. “Friends?”

“You wish to have the same type of relationship that you have with Lieutenant Shar and that I have with Lieutenant Tenmei. I agree then.” Taran’atar responded.

“Good. Well as we have finished here we best go and report to Captain Bashir.” Nog stated.

Captain’s log, stardate 60160.7. It has been five days since our first contact with the Kerranx. I have been able to open a good rapport with their Captain, a Captain Krex. As our two ships work together in finding away to free the Exploration fleet I am most confident that we will. Already we have found a permanent defence solution to the energy draining device. Commander Dax and Lieutenants Shar and Tenmei have found away to adjust our ablative armour generator so that it can easily repel the energy draining effect. But the Kerranx have not found a long lasting defence against the effects. I have already informed the Kerranx that our ablative armour generator will not be compatible with their own systems. In the meantime our plan to free the Exploration fleet seems to be going well. Lieutenant Commander Bowers has told me that he has only another nine torpedoes left to reconfigure and also Lieutenant Commander Nog and Taran’atar have finished the upgrades to the transporters. I only hope that our plan works.

“Captain, there is an incoming transmission from the Kerranx. Captain Krex wishes to speak to you.” Nog reported from his engineering station on the bridge.

“Put it through, Nog.” Bashir ordered. Bashir was sitting in his command chair and was reading a PADD with information about the USS Dauntless. He had found some classified information about it in the Defiant’s computer bank and he decided to read it. As he was not familiar with this class of starship he wanted to know as much information about it as possible. Already he had learnt that the Dauntless class design was taken a from a ship that Voyager had encountered in the Delta Quadrant. The Dauntless ship that Voyager had encountered was in fact an alien ship made to look like a Federation ship. The report had gone on to show that after Voyager had got home Starfleet had liked the design of the ship. From what Bashir could see the Voyager crew had gained a lot of information about this starship and Starfleet had decided to build a version of their own. Bashir had noticed that the starship that Voyager encountered was a lot smaller then one that the Defiant was about to go and rescue. More information about the Dauntless class starship revealed that Starfleet had decided to make it bigger so it can become a ship that was better suited to explore.

Bashir was forced to stop reading the PADD and he had placed the PADD on his lap and looked straight up at the viewer. The viewer changed to show Captain Krex sitting in his own command chair on his own bridge.

“Captain Bashir, I have just received information from Kerranx Prime Command. One of our ships have found out what is creating the energy draining effect.”

“What is it?” Bashir asked.

“A cloaked subspace generator. That is the reason we could not detect where the phenomenon was coming from. But the problem is that we can not detect the generator while it is cloaked. It’s using some advanced cloaking ability that we have not seen before. The only way to find them was how our ship found it. By ramming in to it.” Krex said.

“That’s not very helpful.” Bashir stated.

“I know. But I thought it would be best to tell you how the energy is being drained.” Krex announced.

“Well thank you very much Captain.” Bashir spoke gratefully.

“My pleasure. K’nox out.” Krex finished and was gone from the main viewer.

Bashir relaxed back in his chair and looked over at Taran’atar who was standing next to Nog. He was helping Nog in running diagnoses on the transporters.

“Taran’atar.” Bashir spoke.

Taran’atar turned round to look at Bashir, so did Nog.

“Yes Captain.” Taran’atar responded.

“Have the Dominion ever encountered a species with advanced cloaking technology in the Gamma Quadrant?” Bashir inquired.

“Maybe but I am not to sure, Captain. But I could check the Dominion database for you. It may take me time to found it.”

“Do it, but after you and Nog have finished your diagnostics. Nog, also give Taran’atar a hand in looking through the Dominion Database.” Bashir ordered.

“Aye sir.” Nog replied.

Bashir was quite surprised to see that Nog was not protesting again in working alongside Taran’atar. Bashir was glad to see that Nog had no more protests in working with Taran’atar. Bashir knew it might take the both of them time to look through the Dominion database. The database was very large in size of information. Odo had sent it to Deep Space Nine through the comm relay. Odo had hoped that given the Federation the database it might be the beginning to better relations between the Federation and the Dominion. The database was very extensive. It contained all information that the Dominion had collected on everything in the Gamma Quadrant. But that was only part of the database. Parts of the database included information on the things that the Dominion had encountered while they were in the Alpha Quadrant. From tactical information on certain rogue factions to information on building starships at a faster rate to information on developments in warp theory and it even including information on tactical weakness of the Federation, Klingon and Romulan fleets.

Bashir sighed and he knew that it was going to be at least another day until the Defiant and the K’nox had arrived at where the fleet was suppose to be. Already Shar had told Bashir that the long range sensors had picked up the fleet. So Bashir knew he had some time on his hands. He decided to continue reading the information on the Dauntless and then when the Beta shift had finished on the bridge he would call it a night and let the Night shift take over.

Nog and Taran’atar were both at the aft bridge console near the Master Situation Diagram. Nog was sitting at the right station and Taran’atar was standing at the left station where he normally stood. Both of them were going through the Dominion database for at least two hours now. Neither of them found nothing. Nog was about to call it a day when something noticed his eye.

“Computer, hold information.” Nog ordered the computer.

The data on his console stopped scrolling and was at a full stop. Taran’atar had walked over to stand next to Nog.

“You have found something?” Taran’atar asked.

“I think so.” Nog replied. “I think I have found out who might be behind these cloaked generators. We have been looking at the most recent information that the Dominion has and seeing as that information has not leaded us anywhere I began to look at the historical database. Here is an entry by a Vorta who reported encountering a species who were well advanced in subspace technology and cloaking technology. Sound familiar?” Nog questioned.

“Indeed. Continue.” Taran’atar stated.

“Well, I looked at the sensor readings of the ship that the Vorta reported about and compared it against the sensor readings that Kerranx have made on the generator that they found. Look both the hull plating and power signatures are the same.”

“So the Dominion have encountered them. Do they have name?” Taran’atar asked.

“No. They never made contact with the Dominion. All they did was scan the Dominion ship and leave. That is it.” Nog replied.

“Well, it seems that we have failed our assignment then. We should download this information to a PADD and show it to Captain Bashir.”

“Not yet, give me a minute. I need to check the Defiant’s tactical database.”

“Why?” Taran’atar inquired.

“I think I have read a report like this before. But it was made by a Starfleet Captain.” Nog announced. He began touching the buttons to access the tactical database. Nog had found it.

“Dabo!” Nog shouted out. Most of the bridge crew on the Defiant looked over at Nog and gave him a glanced and went back to their work.

“Here it is. The USS Enterprise encountered them.” Nog said.

“The Federation Flagship USS Enterprise NCC One Seven Zero One E. Currently under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Sovereign class. Am I correct?” Taran’atar asked.

“You are about who commands the current Enterprise but it was not the Enterprise-E or the Enterprise-D. It was the USS Enterprise NCC One Seven Zero One C. Under the command of Captain Rachel Garret. An old version of the Ambassador class starship.”

“I do not know any information about the Enterprise-C. The only information I know is that it was destroyed by the Romulans who were attacking a Klingon outpost.”

“That is right Taran’atar. When I was at the academy I had to do a project on Starfleet’s history. As always, every cadet chooses to do something on either Captain Kirk’s two Enterprises or Captain Picard’s two Enterprises. But I chosed to do both the Enterprise-B and the Enterprise-C. I can remember reading the report made by Captain Rachel Garret. They encountered a species who also had advanced cloaking capabilities and if I am correct I think we can name them! Let’s take a look at the sensor logs of the Enterprise-C.” Nog said and he began to search for the name.

“Extraordinary.” Bashir murmured. He could not believe his eyes. The Federation had encountered this species before in its past.

Nog and Taran’atar stood in front of Bashir who was sitting at his desk in his office. He was reading the report that Nog and Taran’atar had given him on the Brindor. The Brindor was a technological advanced species that were responsible for the energy draining generators. Nog and Taran’atar had showed their report to Bashir informing him when the Enterprise-C had encountered the species two months before the Enterprise-C’s destruction.

Captain Garret of the Enterprise-C reported that the Brindor were a peaceful race and were looking for other species that had advanced technology like theirs and were peaceful. Seeing as the Federation in that time was not as advanced as the Brindor, the Brindor had given the Enterprise information on where their homeworld was and had invited the Federation to the homeworld once the Federation had become technological advanced. Along with Captain Garret’s logs there were also sensor logs of the Brindor ship. Nog and Taran’atar had compared the hull plating and energy signatures to that of the generator that the Kerranx had encountered and the ship that the Dominion had encountered. All three sensor logs were exactly the same. The Brindor were the guilty party for these generators.

“Do we have any more information about the Brindor?” Bashir asked Nog and Taran’atar while getting up from his chair and heading towards his personal replicator. He pointed for the both of them to take a seat at the small blue coach that was near his desk. Nog sat down and was followed by Taran’atar sitting down. As usual Taran’atar sat up very straight and his back was never touching the back of the coach. Nog had sat down and was sitting in a relaxing position.

“Any of you want a raktajino?” Bashir queried.

“I’ll have one, please sir.” Nog replied.

“I will have one with honey and sugar in it.” Taran’atar stated.

“I did not know that you like sugar and honey, Taran’atar?” Bashir expressed.

“Lieutenant Tenmei likes her raktajino with sugar and honey in it. She once let me try it. It had a very exquisite taste to it. I like it. She said that I have a sweet tooth. I did not understand her until I asked Commander Dax. I have become accustomed to the number of different metaphors that Humans, Bajorans and many other species that compare something to something else. It is very interesting.” Taran’atar declared.

“Well then. Computer three mugs of hot raktajino and one served with sugar and honey.” Bashir ordered the computer.

Bashir’s and Nog’s drinks materialised first. Bashir picked them up and gave Nog his mug and placed his own mug on his desk. Taran’atar’s drink then materialised inside the replicator. Bashir went back to the replicator and picked up the mug and passed it over to Taran’atar.

Already Nog was sipping at his drink and Taran’atar was gulping down his drink. Bashir walked over to his desk and leaned against it and picked up his own beverage and started to drink it. He only drunk a little bit and then placed it back down on his desk.

“So do we know what type of technology that they have?” Bashir inquired.

“We do know that they have transwarp capability. We believe that their cloaking device is in fact some sort of a phasing cloak. We also know that their computers are worked by a sophisticated computer core that uses advanced bio-neural circuitry and has a positronic brain of some sort.” Nog replied.

“Well, it seems that freeing the fleet might come an interesting challenged. Nog, get in contact with the Kerranx. Let us see if they have encountered this species. Give them all of the information we have as well. Dismissed.”

Nog and Taran’atar both got up and left Bashir’s office leaving their captain on his own in office.


- To be continued -


Last modified: 10 Apr 2012