Table of Contents
Crimson Daggers of a Thousand Suns
When the Horizon is sent on a diplomatic mission to Aldeberaan, it is caught in the middle of a surprise attack by the Orion Syndicate. What's more, it seems they have made an alliance with the Gorn who board the Horizon in attempt to take control of it. It seems that the Orion Syndicate have found a use of a drug long thought to have stopped circulation by using it to control the Gorn into doing their dirty laundry.
Captain's Log, Stardate, 60434.7
I, Commander Owain Taggart have just taken over as the Horizon's new Captain. The crew seem enthusiastic, yet curious about their new Captain, and I can only promise them exciting avenues for the future.
Our first mission under my command sends us to a planet that made have heard of but never seen. Well, technically, as Aldeberaan's government had had unofficial contact with Starfleet. Apparently things are heating up in the surrounding regions; much activity. As such, they have requested a meeting with Starfleet officials in regards to a Federation membership, which they hope will protect them.
We will be departing for Aldeberaan shortly, as soon as Commander Kardin assures me that everything is in tip top shape.
The first time Owain stepped onto the Bridge was when he had decided to spend time alone in the Captain's chair after the extravagant dinner that Aegis had prepared. He was captivated by its magnificence and had been on many bridges before, but this one was topping them all in terms of beauty. It had a simple elegance to it, much like his Captain's Quarters, and he could tell that the designer had an eye for usability, keeping things always close at hand. In a way, it looked very much like a throwback to ships of the 23rd century, like the Aquila, only modern.
Here, while alone, he took in the ambience of the bridge, everyone but the support staff gone while they raced as fast as they could to get themselves ready for the next morning. Owain felt at home here, listening to every little subtle noise. It brought him back to his days in Engineering where he could tell if something was just a little off by listening to it. Smiling, he stood up and retired to his quarters. A long day tomorrow would be awaiting.
When he stepped back onto the bridge the next morning, he was met with some of the familiar faces from the dinner; his crew. Immediately, they all stiffened, except for Aegis who did not like formality.
“At ease, everyone.”, he told his crew, then made his way towards Aegis. “Is everything ready for departing, Mr Kardin?”, he asked.
“Everything's accounted for, sir, though I think Lieutenant Li was working on some last minute adjustments.”
“As always, Engineers are always trying to get the most juice out of an orange”, he told him with a wink as he headed for his chair. There, he tapped some buttons, getting a direct Comm to Engineering. “Mr Li, this is your Captain Speaking. How are the engines faring?”
“Actually, they're faring quite well. They should be good to go, Sir. I just made some adjustments such as fine tuning.”
“Just the way I like it, Mr Li. Good job. We will be departing momentarily”
Then he looked in the direction of the Operations Officer, “Hail the station and let them know we're ready to depart.”
“Aye sir,” the officer responded and waited momentarily before getting a response. “Sir, we're cleared for departure. They wish us good luck in our travels.”
Next, he looked in Ozu's direction. “You know what that means. Take us out, half impulse. Be careful not to scratch anything”, He said with a smirk.
“Aye Aye, Captain!”, Ozu called out enthusiastically who then activated the impulse engines. While looking at him doing his job, he couldn't help but notice that the Vulcan was, well, enthusiastic for a Vulcan. They all looked at the viewscreen which showed a view from the rear, watching the Horizon inch away from the station.
A few minutes later, the station looked like an indistinguishable pinprick of light. “Alright, Ensign, set a course of Aldeberaan”
“Course plotted, sir”, came the anxious reply of Ensign Ozu.
When they were clear of any planetary bodies, Owain nodded, and a grin of satisfaction formed around his lips. “The moment we've all been waiting for. Warp Factor 6, Mr Ozu, and Engage!”
And then space before them transformed into streaks as stars coalesced. They were finally on their journey. Pleased with himself, Owain stood up and straightened his tunic. “I have an appointment with Doctor Garland. You have the bridge, Mr Kardin.”
Ozu barely couldn’t be any more happy they where flying again to a place clad Aldebaraan. But even for Ozu that was a unknown place so he was sure to make some contacts there. But for now al he needed to do was fly to there and don’t crash witch wasn’t very hard since there was barely any thing on there road. So after a hour Ozu putted her on auto pilot and started to clean out his database because it was a bit to filled with manoeuvres and most of them where not needed or the ship couldn’t perform those.
::8 hours later::
Well nothing happened during his shift so Ozu was just reading in his quarters but in 10 min he found out that his mind wasn’t set to reading so he went down to the hangar bay to make some modifications to his fighter. Because he found some data with the newsiest add-ons for his type of fighter and Ozu always wanted her to be in top condition. So he went down picked up a engineering kit and started his work soon joined by Casper.
Ozu: hello. Here to help me a hand?
Casper: always sir what needs to be done.
Ozu: well more than you would like.
Casper: well tell me.
Ozu: ok we are going to remove the wing mounted phasers and replace them for two pulse phasers on the side of the hull. This will make it easier to hit a target close in front of you and will give here more punch. And we also need to make some modifications to here warp engines so they work more efficient.
Casper: well that sounds like a job for a couple of days.
Ozu: well it can’t hurt to have something to do. We will start with the engines and tomorrow we will start removing the phasers.
Casper: you say so sir. I will crap my kit and start working.
So they started with a small rebuild of the EVA unit. But soon Ozu noted that time was running and that he should get some rest because he had just another shift tomorrow. So he said goodbye to Casper and went to bed.
Next morning he woke up fresh had a quick breakfast and moved to the bridge to continue the boring flight to Aldebaraan but at least he could enjoy himself with the fact than when he was done he could work further on his fighter. Witch he hopped to be ready before they arrived so that if he could get some time and permission he could make some test flights. But now it is working further on cleaning the date base.
Nicholas was doing his rounds as chief engineer. The one downer about being at the top is that during normal operations, you're mostly checking up on your staff, reading status reports, and running staffing meetings. In terms of staff alone, the yellow uniform is the largest contingent on any starship. Running such a large conglomeration of personalities takes a lot of adminstrative dexterity and people skills.
Li walked up to a tall Delban crewman at the flow monitor and asked her, "So Mr. Kodiak, what's your status?"
"The MARA field strength are all within acceptable parameters, sir."
"Very good. By the way, a group of engineers are going up against the pilots in a game of freestyle street basketball on the holodeck during beta shift. You should join us, with your height you would do well as our center."
"Thank you sir, I would enjoy some recreation after my duty shift."
"That's great. It's on Holodeck 1, see you there."
Nicholas walked away to the next point on his schedule. His work was never done. He heard over the grape vine that the two Elasean twins would make great power forwards. They would be in transporter room 3, according to the duty roster.
Aegis sat on a beach populated with fist size, rounded rocks, his feet bared to the gentle ebb and flow of the waves, while gulls called overhead in the blue sky. A soft spring sun cast its light and warmth over his skin. The marvels of modern holographic technology in action. He could even taste the salty air on his lips.
It had been a while since he had been back to Earth, though the constant messages from his grandparents were a welcome comfort. His time in the holodeck was coming to an end. He pushed himself up from the rocky beach and wiped his hands dislodging small pebbles the clung to his skin.
The computer obliged and the archway appeared, opening into the corridors of the ship, where a likely bunch were waiting for thier basketball game. As he strode out onto the deck they stood sharply at attention, he waved them off.
"Enjoy your game"
They filed in through the door as he walked off. He was off to the ships library to do some reading the people that inhabited the Planet of Alderberaan. Being who he was demanded that he was familiar with customs and trivia involving the planets people. But mostly he wanted to make a good impression on his new Captain.
« = Aldeberaan; City of Arel; Commons Building = »
City of Arel: The world capital of Aldeberaan. It is a sprawling metropolis that just short of year or two ago crossed the threshold of a new revolution; a space age. Men and Women were all excited about the prospect of travelling the stars, and promises of intergalactic travel to set up colonies on nearby planets was something interested the people highly. They often wondered if other people were out there, and if they ever would meet them. Oh, they would be so friendly, as to ask them aboard their spaceship for a cup of tea.
Naturally, this lead to an expansion of their military force that would patrol the periphery of their planet to keep the people safe. But then, something happened, which had caused people to stay indoors and be afraid of traveling the stars. Their dreams were shattered.
Mordechai Nelson, head of the military paced the room, back and forth, back and forth. This would indicate that he was either nervous or lacked patience. He looked towards his adversary across the room.
“Mr Prime Minister, we have waited too long. Too long. We must send out our forces to protect the periphery, now.”, he said with an air that suggested he was getting frustrated.
The man behind the desk steepled his fingers and sighed. “I understand your concern, General. But really, there is nothing to worry about. I have told you many times that help is on the way.”
The General rolled his eyes in despair, “How long is too long, Mr Prime Minister? We have to do something. What if something happens before our help arrives? Ever since that day happened, we've never been the same; we haven't even been able to patrol our periphery.”
“Listen”, started Emmanuel Horkas, “You know very much what happened on that day, and I'm doing my best of my abilities to act as a replacement to our previous head of state.”
“By sitting at that desk and waiting until our doom catches up with us?”, Nelson with a raised voice. He was angry and frustrated that the Prime Minister couldn't see his point. “My god, man, you may be the worst thing that has happened to us! Little green men visited us and took our Prime Minister away and showed us how vulnerable we are. People are staying in their houses all day, afraid to come out, and all you can do is sit in that desk and call it a day. Some of these men may still be out there, waiting to strike at us again; may even be here as we speak observing us from the shadows.”
The Prime Minister had had enough and stuck out his hand. “Enough. I have had you complain. All I ever do hear of you are complaints. You criticize me and yet you do not offer me alternatives. How am I supposed to make decisions, here, General?”
“I have so, Prime Minister. We need to patrol the periphery! It is our only hope. Only then, maybe these men will fall back and thick twice.
“Our help will be here before that ever happens, General. There is no need.”
“Alright then, if that's what you want. I have tried to no end. You choose to doom us all.” And that was that. General Mordechai Nelson had come away disappointed in Aldeberaan's Prime Minister; but then again, it was the same as any other day he had tried. The Prime Minister was a man who couldn't be moved to save the life of his people. But maybe the General could…
Nikki was just going through some of the personnel files of some of the new crewmembers that had transferred to the Horizon when the Captain came aboard. Looking at the files she had a fantastic team underneath her, each with their own unique ability that was vital to tackling anything that a mission would throw at them.
For the moment though she was waiting for the arrival of her Captain so that Nikki could give him a thorough check-over so that she could let her superiors know at Megiddo Station that he was in perfect health and capable of commanding the ship, though from what she had heard of Owain he was capable as he was.
The doors of sickbay slided open and the Captain stepped in.
"im here for my physical exam"
"If you'd like to make yourself comfortable i'll be right with you"
Nikki walked over to her workstation and picked up her medical tricorder and bio-scanner
"I havent really had time to talk to you since I came aboard, tell me a bit about yourself"
"Well I studied medicine at the Omega 9 medical facility with my first assignment on the Kitty Hawk, then transferred to be Chief Medical Officer of the Kintyre and Amun-Ra before transferring to the Horizon"
"Wow, sounds like you've been around the fleet"
"I like the oppurtunity to serve with many different cultures"
Nikki completed the scan and entered the results into the tricorder.
"Well Captain according to these results and you are in perfect health so you are free to command the ship"
"Just doing my job"
"I'd better get back to the bridge, see you at the next debriefing" and the Captain left sickbay
Nikki went back into her office to input the results into the computer and sent the results to Megiddo.
A frenzied crowd from floor to ceiling watched Nicholas explode across the court. He was the complete point guard - hitting from the outside, driving to the hoop, no-look passes, playing tight defense. Nicholas did a killer cross-over move and his Defender fell down. He layed up the ball, then smirked at the player. The referee whistle blew and he sat down with his teammates with the yellow jerseys.
As they got back on the court, he spotted a new player in red with pointy ears. The pilots had subbed in Ozu. Nicholas was curious if Ozu knew anything about Basketball. Ozu started to dribble. Monica whistled as she walks backwards, guarding him. He got into the paint an threw up a shot. IT'S AN AIRBALL. Nicholas and his teams were on the verge of cracking up. His Delban center rolled his eyes. One of the Elasen twins grabbed the rebound and shot. Swish.
He rolled the ball to ref. The Ozu started dribbling. The engineering player just backs up with Ozu. The ball was passed to his point guard. The Elasean Harok and Nicholas quickly collapse on him, leaving Ozu open under the basket. The trapped player has no choice but to pass it back.
Ozu caught the ball and threw up a shot. It banked off the backboard…AND DROPPED THROUGH THE NET. Li looked at him in shock.
Ozu tossed the ball back to Nicholas and said, "That was a nice one."
"Lucky," replied Nicholas.
Nicholas easily dribbled by his Defender and layed up the ball. He threw the ball back to Ozu.
Ozu dribbled. His defender played him a little tighter. Ozu bouced the ball through her open legs and layed up the ball.
Nicholas couldn't believe it. The pilots whooped it up.
The game continued, with Nicholas and Ozu doing most of the scoring for their teams. Nicholas grew agitated, and started to make fewer baskets. The score was tied at the end of 10 minutes.
Nicholas brang the ball up and saw that the red Defense had tighted up quite a bit. He dribbled through his legs, then popped an outside shot. The ball bounced on the rim…and rolled off. Nicholas silently cursed as Ozu grabbed the rebound and rushed to score at the opposite end.
Nicholas called a time out and said, "I got Ozu this time. We need to stop the streak that they're on."
The pilots got the ball back and Nicholas defends Ozu. Ozu smiled back at him.
"You should never underestimate an opponent. I is a foremost tenent of Sun Tzu and T'Sal."
"Never you mine, this is where the buck stops."
Ozu suddenly passed to his center and sprinted for the basket. Nicholas stumbled, giving him a step. The pilot point threw it back. Nicholas knew he was beat as Ozu goes for the winning dunk. In desperation, he swinged at him for the hard foul, shoving him off balance.
THE BALL FLEW FROM HIS HAND AS HE CRASHED TO THE GROUND, FACE-FIRST. HE GRABBED HIS CHEEK. BLOOD SLIPPED THROUGH HIS FINGERS.
The teams stood frozen. Nicholas stared down at Ozu with remorse and regret in his eyes.
Ozu slowly raised form the game floor and used all his strength to calm himself down witch took 5 min in the absolute silence on the holodeck. Than he said “I think you need to say something Li” on witch Li answered “I am sorry I just tried to hold you from scoring” Ozu said than “you can be glad that I have a great amount of self control, but never do this again”. Ozu walked out of the holodeck to his quarters but on his way he toughed that he better had to go to sickbay since the bleeding didn’t want to stop. Arrived at the sickbay he saw Nikki so he asked her to fix him up.
Nikk: Ozu what have you done?
Ozu: little accident on the holodeck that’s all.
Nikki: mm well I guess I wouldn’t get anything ells out of you so here you go I sealed the wound.
Ozu: thanks. And have a nice day.
Ozu walked out of sickbay wile leaving a little bit worried Nikki behind. So he walked to his quarters but a min later he was out again with a long bag. He went to holodeck two to blow of some steam and train he blade skills a bit. “Computer start program jaun authorisation Ozu alpha zeta 11” “access granted” the program started and Ozu picked his dual wield blades first and started to hit all the disk flying towards him. 30 min later he picked a larger two-handed sword and repeated the program.
Tired but calm again he left the holodeck and moved to his quarters to clean himself and dress himself because his shift would soon start. And he know they where almost there. When he walked to the bridge he remembered that he had to ask the captain premising to test he upgraded fighter.
After his quick visit in Sickbay, he had gone back to the bridge. He hadn't known Nikki for very long, but he felt she was doing an admirable job of it. She had been quick and efficient and had let him get back to the bridge without much interference. As much as she had been around in the fleet, he could immediately see her potential to be an asset to the crew, as she had been in the past before he had become Captain of the Horizon.
Walking onto the bridge, expectant faces looked up to him. By now, they all knew to be at ease and continued to sit calmly and get back to what they were doing before he hit the deck. But if there was one thing about being Captain, he was learning, and he was learning it quickly, was that he could easily tell whether someone was trying to get his attention by the look in their eyes. Aegis was sitting in the center chair now, after having visited the ship's library briefly. He looked like he had something to tell his Captain.
“Mr Kardin.”, he nodded, acknowledging his look, “You have something to tell me?”
Finally, his XO stood up to let the Captain sit, but Owain stayed standing up, wondering if what was going to be said would be better for the ready room. “Yes sir, it's about Aldeberaan. I've done a little research. Not much by any means since I haven't had very much time as of yet, but I did find something interesting.”
Ozu had chosen this time to stroll onto the Bridge. Owain glanced at him; he looked like he had been through a fight of some sort. Finally, he looked back at his XO. “Ready Room, Mr Kardin.”, he said as he walked towards the Ready Room. Sitting at his desk, he watched Aegis walk through the doors before commencing. “What have you found?”
“Well, sir, as you know, Starfleet has had unofficial contact with them in the past. About two years ago, to be exact. I haven't had much luck finding anything since anything more or less had been off-the-record, but I can say this. At the time, they had just started getting into space exploration. They were very excited about it. The Antlantis just happened to be in the area. The crew of the Atlantis beamed down to explore, being careful to adhere to the Prime Directive as they didn't know their technology level, but as it turned out, just as I have said, they were on the verge of space exploration.”
Owain nodded, taking in the information that Aegis was telling him, “I see. It looks like they didn't mind the Atlantis being down there?”
“That's right, in fact, you could say they were friendly people for the most part, and eager to see who else was out there, just like you and I were with our own cultures.”
“The request we got from them to join the Federation sounded more like a plea; a desperation for help, an amnesty within the Federation. You say two years ago, they were ready to explore, but it sounds like something has happened as of late between these two years.”
“The crew of the Atlantis had met Prime Minister Katran. They quote him as being friendly and full of enthusiasm. Apparently the people liked him very much., and he reflected the people's excitement for reaching out to touch the stars. I have to agree though, that something feels wrong. It's as if they've suffered a misstep, but I can't say why as there's no information about that. We only have information up to when the Atlantis left Aldeberaan. I guess we'll figure it out sooner or later.
“Well, Mr Kardin, I do hope it's sooner rather than later. I have the feeling it's more urgent than we've been lead to believe.”, he told Aegis with concern. “We'll have to keep an eye out on the planet when we're within range. Anything else you'd like to add?”
“Nope, all's fine, sir.”
“Alright. Bring Ensign Ozu in if you please.”
A moment was spent alone thinking of the Aldeberaan situation between when Aegis left and Ozu came in. He hadn't even noticed the ensign until his voice shook him out of his thougthts. “You wanted to see me, sir?”
“Please have a seat, Ensign.” While Ozu took a seat, Owain looked at him with concern.
“I see the holodeck safeties have been off”, he told the Ensign as a way to get friendly. “You look pretty beat up. Did a Targ chase you up a tree?”
“No sir, it was a simple basketball match that got the better of us…”
“I see. And who was your opponent?”
“Lieutenant Li?”, Owain asked, surprised. “He doesn't seem capable of this sort of thing.” After a pause, he continued, “ Promise me one thing. You keep the safeties on next time.”
“Ensign, I've looked the report from the last mission.” He paused for effect, waiting to see a reaction from Ozu before continuing. “I can't say I'm too terribly pleased. What you've done is wrong, and while I don't know you, I'm willing to look the other way on this offense just this once. I'll forget it ever happened and won't press charges, but honestly Ensign, you have to keep yourself out of trouble. Remember, that what we do planetside goes both ways. If one of us does something wrong on a planet and they get angry about it, let's just say I wouldn't want to face their angry wrath. If you do end up getting arrested, then you'll stay there until you're released legally as per the planet's laws, same goes for the Brig here, is that understood?”
“Alright then Ensign, you may go.”
« = Aldeberaan; City of Arel; Barracks = »
“Well, I was beginning to think you'd never come back”, observed Lieutenant Demural, the military's second in command. “How'd it go?”
“Same as always”, explained a tired Mordechai Nelson.
“As in, not at all?”, asked the curious Lieutenant.
“You got it.”
“So, what do we do?”
General Mordechai Nelson turned to face Demural. “Get the ships ready. We'll be leaving by nightfall. You'll be staying to guard the periphery, to let me know if anything changes, and I will be heading towards a rendezvous with our “help”.
“Without authorization from the Prime Minister? That's risking it.”
Nelson shook his head, “To hell with permission, Lieutenant. We'll do it whether he likes it or not. I can't sit idly and watch our planet lose control of itself. As far as I'm concerned, he either made a deal with the Lushka or is the Lushka himself. He can't be trusted.”
Security Office, USS Horizon
15 minutes before, Gregor has deposited his kit bag in his shared quarters and made his way to his new assignment. From what he had seen on the short shuttle ride from the station the Horizon was a lot larger than anything he had been on before. It dwarfed the transport he had arrived on and was even larger than the Polaris he had served on for a short while around Carthage Prime and the Damocles Gulf. His Damocles service tour returned to him whenever he closed his eyes, he remembered the simpler time when you fired first and rarely asked questions, he remembered the Navarre burning over Damocles Beta, he remembered the sacking of Damocles Omicron and the subsequent battle around Damocles Xeros, he remembered the fire, the screams, the deaths of friends and crew mates. He banished the memories with a shake of his head and stepped inside the waiting turbolift.
"Deck 8, Tactical Department" He said as the shuttle whisked him down 3 decks before stopping again.
He stepped out of the lift and walked the last 100 yards to a door marked Restricted Area: Security and Command Staff Only
Security clearance required for entry The computer asked in a flat, monotonous voice.
"Cain, security code Menisoid Epsilon 8619" Cain waited for a few moments for the computer to recognize his I.D.
Code accepted, please enter when ready
He walked through the door and down another corridor with various other doors leading off it. He read the names on some of them as he walked past, Range, Brig, Auxiliary Weapon Control, Secondary Armory. He stopped when he reached the door marked Security Chief. He paused for a few moments then pressed the intercom.
=^= Yes? =^=
=^= Security Cadet Cain reporting to Commander Vines as ordered =^=
=^= Enter =^=
The doors parted to revile a large crescent shaped office with various painting and ornaments decorating sideboards and tables. In the center of the room sat a short but highly muscled bald Commander in the gold of a security uniform.
"Cadet 2nd Class Gregor Cain reporting for security assignment sir"
The man looked up from the PADD he was reading. Cain was surprised the man didn't flinch, like so many others did , at the 7ft Carthagean standing before him.
"Very good Cadet, I am Commander Vines. You are our last new arrival from the station. I assume you've found your quarters?"
"Excellent, report to the CMO for the required physical examination then join Lieutenant Gerond and Cadet T'hor on holodeck 2 for security familiarization. That is all, welcome aboard Cadet"
"Thank you sir"
Cain turned on his heals and made his way back out towards the lift he arrived on. He stepped inside and waited for the doors to close.
"Sickbay" He said and stood motionless for a few seconds while the lift did its job.
He stepped out onto another corridor and walked through the door marked Sickbay. Cain walked over to the blonde Lieutenant and cleared his throat slightly to get her attention.
"Cadet Cain reporting for medical evaluation."
« = Holodeck = »
It seemed to take forever to get to Aldeberaan, but then this was true of anything that seemed within reach. It was as if the gods had a cruel temperament of letting time stand still when one had a certain goal in mind. This was definitely the case here, and he often wondered how Captains felt when waiting for the inevitable. Now he knew. Obviously, he had to keep himself occupied, and he reminded himself of something that he needed to do.
“There, that should do it”, Owain said standing back and observing his creation that he'd just given adjustments to, as it winked and smiled at him.
“Am I supposed to just stand here or make myself useful?”, it asked while Owain smiled back. It definitely had a distinct trait that he remembered clearly.
It was at this time that Nicholas chose to enter. He did a double take as he stared at the creation. “Whoa, who's she? Did I interrupt a fantasy or something?”
Owain chuckled. “You're just in time, Nick. I was just getting ready to give her a name.”
Still awestruck and looking like he fell in love at first sight, he looked back at Owain, “Who… What?”
“I keep forgetting that you haven't met Dexter, the Aquila's AI. I thought I'd bring aboard one of my own touches, an AI for the Horizon. I took the liberty of copying his subroutine. But I have a twist.”
“If you're trying to make me fall in love with artificial intelligence, I think you may have won…”
“Well, you aren't a sight for sore eyes either,” said the woman, again winking and smiling in a seductive manner.”
“I think you're my new favourite Captain…”, said Nicholas, with his tongue half stuck out. “A name… A name?”
“Yes, a name”, Owain said, nodding. He turned to face the woman. “Well, let's see. Olivia, Victoria, Vivian, Valentina -”
“Why all the V names!”, exclaimed the woman who had interrupted Owain from his list of names.
“In Roman numerals, the V is a Five. You're categorized as a Five-star class AI.”, Owain said as he smiled.”
“Hmmm”, said the woman who seemed to currently be thinking and accessing the Horizon's computer system. “I like Valentina. According to the database, in 1963, earth year, a woman named Valentina was the first woman to visit space.”
“Sounds like you'll be the first woman AI to visit space…”, said Nicholas. “How appropriate. I like it.”
“Then I'm Valentina”, said the woman, who bat her eyelashes seductively at Nicholas.
Owain looked at Nicholas with a mischievous smile. “She'll look good on the Bridge.” Then he turned back towards the woman, “Then I christen you Valentina.”
“Thank you.”, said the woman AI.
Owain's commbadge beeped. He looked towards Nicholas again. “Speaking of the bridge…” Tapping his commbadge he answered it. “Taggart here…”
It was Aegis with a tone of suggested urgency. “ I think you'll want to see this, or rather see what isn't…”
“On my way. Taggart Out.”, Owain replied as he looked at Nicholas as if he was waiting for him to say something.
“I want to see this too. I'm tagging along.”, Nicholas told Owain.
“Be my guest.”, Owain said as he started walking out of the holodeck.
Ozu sat bored behind his console on his second shift. They had been flying for days now and nothing happened and it looked like they would never reach there target. Ozu tried to hold back his yawn but he failed so I went out loud but when he looked around he saw nobody did notice it or they did just agreed that this was taking way to long. So Ozu looked at Aegis and asked “Sir maybe we can go to warp 9 for some time just to speed things up a bit” the answer of Aegis came fast almost with a little bit of excitement “well a small speed test can’t hurt can it? Do it Ozu” Ozu: “right some action in the house. Going to warp 9, I hope that they are still awake down there in engineering.” He said with a simile. The ship moved almost 500 times the speed of light faster than 5 min ago.
4 hours later the ops officer asked if they could drop back to warp 8 again because warp 9 used to much energy. So Aegis gave the order to Ozu to slow down again and 5 min later the bridge was silent again. It almost felt like it wouldn’t take more than a min before every body would fall asleep. But they where trained to stay awake and so they did. But than Aegis gave a cry and pointed at the screen.
In seconds all the sleepiness was gone and every body looked at the screen. Aegis slowly pusses his com badge and contacted the captain with the words: “I think you'll want to see this, or rather see what isn't…” .
Nicholas rushed out of the Holodeck with the Captain to the bridge. On the way there his mind drifted to the new addition to the Horizon. Valentina. It was a beautiful name for such a beautiful creation of photonic energy. His engineering heart yearned to find out what made her tic. Was she similar to the EMH sentients or was she a new breed of artificial intelligence. Experience, however, told him that she wouldn't be as easy to deal with as the old Computer.
After meeting the curvy new AI, and now an unexpected request to the bridge. This looks like it's going to be a interesting. Somehow, this didn't make Nicholas feel too composed. There was an old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." This felt like the tip of the interesting-burg.
"Cadet Cain reporting for medical evaluation."
"Ah yes, follow me please" The blonde Lieutenant said, motioning to one of the sickbay examination rooms.
"Shirt off and get up on the table please cadet. I am Lieutenant Garland, ships CMO. Any injuries or medical issues you come right here."
Cain nodded and unbuttoned his uniform shirt, pulling it over his head he revealed a well muscled torso that would have been very desirable if it wasn't covered will a multitude of scars. Some dark and deep, others dull and faded with age. A medical orderly gasped as his shirt was further removed and revealed a jagged pink gash of scar tissue that ran from just above his breastbone, down past his ribs and ended a few inches above his waist. If the CMO was taken aback she didn't show it as Cain hoisted himself up onto the table. He had recounted the tale of that scar so many times before, few people understood and he wasn't about to start telling it again. He pulled his attention back to the here and now as Lt Garland started speaking to the orderly.
"Has the cadet's medical files been transfered from the station?"
"Yes Doctor I have them right here."
"Good, you're dismissed, I can finish off here." She lowered her voice before continuing "try and keep a small level of professionalism when dealing with a patient. I don't need you gasping at the slightest injury."
"Yes Doctor, sorry Doctor."
The orderly walked out of the room as Lt Garland turned back to the medical display.
"Right all vitals seem normal, nothing new on the organ scan. Everything ties in with the report we received from the station. You are free to leave cadet."
"Thank you ma'am"
Cain pulled his uniform shirt back on and strode out of the sickbay. He turned left and entered a free turbolift.
As Owain stepped out of the turbolift and onto the bridge, his attention was signaled by the Operations Officer on duty. Without looking at the viewscreen, and with Nicholas in tow, he headed straight for it. “Alright, show me the money.”
The officer explained that once the Horizon had reached scanning range of Aldeberaan, once they had done after the Horizon had gone to higher warp, it had suddenly disappeared from his screen as they drew closer and closer towards their destination.
Owain shook his head, not fully understanding the situation. “Sounds like a glitch in the system to me. Can you get it back?” Obviously, just now, Owain wasn't fully aware of what had just happened and unaware that everyone was feeling gloomy, as Aegis stood up from the center seat and walked over to Owain. “The viewscreen.” Owain frowned at the single word, but it was obviously the only thing he could say at the moment.
As he first glanced at the viewscreen, his mind required him to do a double take. What had been the area where the Horizon would have found Aldeberaan, was now full of debris floating around. His mouth hung agape, unable to speak, unable to know what to say. A silent and somber mood was now found on the bridge as everyone tried to come to grips with themselves and the situation. What they had just seen was indescribable. Owain's throat felt like a frog had been shoved down it.
What it came down to, Owain had to decide what to do next. “We continue on towards it. Maybe there will be a clue amongst the rubble.” Everyone nodded, still at a daze, and continued at their orders. It wasn't long before the ops officer again signaled his attention.
“Sir, we have an incoming tranmission!”, exclaimed the officer.
“Put it on screen, Ensign.” The sight of Aldeberaan's rubble was replaced with the face of an older weathered gentleman who had not seen much of war, despite the Military uniform he was wearing.
“Greetings, Captain. I am General Mordechai Nelson of the Aldeberaan Military, here with my fleet and I am glad I found you, only I wish it hadn't been so late…”, the General intoned and lowered his head.
“I understand, General. Commander Owain Taggart of the Starship Horizon at your service. What can I do for you?”
“Well, I only wish I could have warned you of what was inevitable… Maybe I could explain to you how this happened and our story behind it.”
Owain frowned. This man sounded cold and he wasn't sure if he could be trusted. “Agreed, but not over this transmission. I propose a dinner with you and your crew aboard the Horizon. Shall we say, later this evening?”
“Agreed, Captain. Maybe we can work together in solving this. See you then, General Nelson out.”
Once the transmission was over, he looked over to Aegis and wondered if he felt as awkward about this conversation as him.
Ozu looked at the screen when the general was gone. Even with his short but heavy life he had never seen anything like it before. But than he focused of that general he was worried about that man because off his ice cold tone in his voice almost like he didn’t care of what had happed. He really wanted to look up some stuff but than he remembered the Captains words so he nodded to the captain.
Owain: yes ensign?
OZu: Sir can I speak to you for a couple of seconds?
Owain: all right come to my ready room.
Owain: what is it?
Ozu: that man he just was so..
Ozu: yes his voice just made me shiver. It is not normal to be like that when your entire planet is gone.
Owain: I know but it could have be the shock to.
Ozu: I doubt it. But with your permission I would like to see if I can find any info about him.
Owain: you can do that but there is a very small chance that we know anything about this man.
Ozu: thank you Sir that was all.
Owain: dismissed than.
Ozu was glad that he had permission to find any thing about this man an because his shift ended in 2 hours he had time enough.
“Computer list all info about Aldeberaan” a min later Ozu had a very short list of all the info Starfleet had and he was allowed to see. But Ozu quickly found out that there was no useful info. A min he toughed of his personal sources but he knew that they never had been here. Than he just picked up a couple of knifes and hides them in is uniform and moved to the mess hall to pick a drink before the dinner would start.
Ozu sat down at his table looking and the conversation of the Captain and the General again, but this time he focused on the other people behind the general and he saw many sad faces. Than it came to his mind that it would be very unlikely that they had anything to do with the destruction of Aldeberaan.
Ozu looked at the clock and saw that he had a hour left before the dinner so he picked up a pad and start working on one of his many ideas this time not a ship but a weapon. He didn’t take those things fully serious but it was a nice way of killing time for him. Time rapidly passed and before he knew it was time for the dinner so he should up and moved to a turbo lift. In the turbo lift he quickly emptied his mind to stay sharp in case off and for the rest he felt quite hungry.
It was nearing the end of Nikki's shift and she had jut a few things to do before she was able to leave. It had been a light shift with mostly new recruits coming in to have their physicals and check-ups to be cleared for duty. All she had to do was compress all of the medical data into a file so that it could be sent to Command. Nikki had just sent them off when Ensign Scott came in.
"Fancy heading up to Ten Forward for a drink and a bite to eat after shift"
"Yeh I would love to,just let me finish these bits off and then I'm all yours"
"Ill just grab my stuff"
Nikki and Christina left sickbay and headed to the turbolift. As it was fairly late there was very few people in the corridor, but Nikki didnt fancy heading back to her quarters, rather socialise for once.
On entering Ten Forward Nikki and Chrsitina found themselves a table and ordered drinks.
"What do you fancy to eat?"
"It seems a bit tense in here"
"Theres a possible situation but I dont know muh about it"
"I should contact the Captain to see if I can help"
=^= Nikki to Captain Taggart, can I do anything to help =^=
When Nicholas had seen the mind boggling remnants of Aldeberaan, he quickly began coordinating with the Science department to looking for any evidence of the perpetrators or method of this crime. He heard the Captain invite the Aldeberaan General over to the ship. He new as part of the senior staff, that he better make sure that the Captain was appraised of all pertinent data the sensors could extract from this catastrophe.
After slogging through the data with his team. There was the typical ambient Alpha and Beta radiation. Epsilon background emissions seemed dampened. The mineral remains also showed some high temperature recrystallization. But there seemed to be little evidence of what energy field caused the destruction of this planet. Li had even more puzzles than when he first looked at the problem. Hopefully, the Aldeberaan delegation would be able to shed some light on this event.
Nicholas Li looked at himself in the mirror and straightened the collar of this dress uniform and adjusted the Lieutenant PIPs and sighed. He was ready for anything. He left his room and headed for the Captain's mess.
« = Mess Hall = »
“This is very good, Captain. Exquisite!”, the General exclaimed while taking a bite of his meal. A few moments ago, Owain, along with Aegis and an armed contingency of security officers including Cadets Th'or and Cain had greeted the General and his crew. A half hour ago, after their communication, Owain had felt a sense of unease and wondered if he had made a bad decision inviting them aboard. But he kept reminding himself of his diplomatic position. It turned out that the General and his fleet were the only people left from Aldeberaan, and he had to find a better situation for them.
“I'm quite thankful for your hospitality, Captain.”, the General said to Owain. He now took a sip of wine, which had been brought aboard by himself. “We Aldeberaaneans take pride in our cuisine. You may have heard of some of our dishes.”
Owain nodded as he too sipped on some wine as he looked around the mess hall which had quickly been converted to a room with a long table to accommodate everyone. The wine bottle that stood in the middle of the table was first offered to Owain when he greeted them. He had held his breath over the cold military-like tone earlier, but was pleased to see that now, after a couple glasses of wine, that the General was actually quite relaxed and enjoying himself. The cold nature they all had experienced earlier was merely a facade it seemed. “I'm quite pleased that you are pleased, General. It is a pleasure to have you aboard.”, he said smiling, not realizing how many times he had actually said the word 'please'. It was probably the effect of the wine. “You can thank the success of the cooking to our Valentina.”, Owain said, while giving a glance to Nicholas. “The recipe is actually one of my family recipies from back on Trill. I hadn't had it in quite a few years, and I thought it would be nice to bring it out for this occasion. Valentina was able to easily find it in her database.”
“Oh, is the food as real as she looks?”, quipped Aegis which made everyone, including the General laugh even though it was pretty much an inside joke for the crew as the General didn't know she was actually a holographic program tied to the computer database.
“Normally, we tend to replicate our food,” Owain explained to the General while looking his way, “but on certain special occasions, we bring out the real stuff from back on Earth and other Federation planets.”. Then Owain looked back at Aegis, “So, no, Commander, it's as real as it gets.”, he said hitting his palm against the table for effect.
Valentina chose this time to come into the room. “Woohoo! Anyone ready for dessert?”, she asked everyone in the room. With universal agreement, she brought out plates of a chocolate looking cake, which she placed in front of everyone. A generous helping had been given to Nicholas, which Valentina had gone through no trouble of hiding. Owain gave a chuckle and then winked at Nicholas. He had to wonder where this was going.
“Triple Chocolate Cheesecake”, Owain told the table. “Everyone dig in!” And everyone did, as Owain knew that once this dinner was over, the real business was about to begin, and the tone would be different. Everyone had to be ready for anything.
During dinner Nicholas observed the Aldeberaan guest. He saw them go from a cool professional demeanor to a friendly jovial group. But Li realised that both where simply masks that these people have been showing us. Likely their emotion range from depression to fiery rage. These soldier must have lost friends, family, everything they held dear to their hearts. But the fact that these men and women had such control over their emotions indicated a mark of discipline and an agenda. Revenge was likely on their minds and despite how friendly they might appear to us, we would just be a tool for that revenge. Helping these people might lead us to walk the fine line of the prime directive. It was what his diligent studies of 2 centuries of Starfleet history have lead him to believe. This mission was going to be far from normal.
Although Nicholas was assessing these people. He was trying as best as possible to seem non-chalante. It wouldn't do to be rude. That was a social skill drilled into him by his mother on Catulla. He loathed the mirad of social gatherings on his home planet. The dilettants and debutants and Catulla where as phony as on any other planet. It was what drove him to the precision of engineering. Equations and theory was a relief after wading through the underbelly of Catullan upper society. He love it when he was accepted into Starfleet, where openess and honesty was virtue.
As dinner came to a lull, Valentina came in with a flourish. She was dressed to the nines as the epitome of a modern day hostess, which gave a combination of intelligent and hot. It surprised Nicholas, since he was just discussing with her in Engineering on gravitational binding energy in a regular uniform. As she began to serve him a large piece of Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, he could see the mirth in her eyes.
— Flashback : 2 hours agon in Engineering —
"Computer, those residual quantum signatures could indicate the formation of a large amount of stable strangelets."
"Yes, Lieutenant. But, the result of your assumption is that the strangelets would convert the planetary matter into strange matter. And sensors doesn't find a large mass of strange matter. The debri pattern indicated an implosion, like a chocolate souffle after a loud noise."
"And don't you no it. I hate chocolate."
— End Flashback —
As Valentina moved on to the other dinner guests, Nicholas gave a mild glare at her back. Two thoughts ran through his head at the time: one was, "What wouldn't I give for the good old days of AI without emotion programming."; and two, "It should be a crime for any being to look that good."
Ozu sat on the far end of the table together with Torien a Pilot off the Aldeberaan ship and it didn’t took long for them to become friends. There conversation was mainly about their job as pilots and their ships. Ozu avoided the point of the destruction of there planet carefully because he didn’t want to put salt on there wounds, but at the end of the main course Torien started about the point she said that her half of the fleet managed to get away when it happened and that all what they heard was a scream for help before the planet was gone. So it must have been done within a min. Ozu asked her about the other ships, she said that the other half of the fleet was still at the planet wile it happened. Ozu looked at here and said it most has been some thing very power full and fast than if it can destroy a planet and half a fleet in a matter of seconds. While he said that a light flashed in Ozu’s mind and he asked if they had met any hostile spices, but all she said was that she didn’t know anything of that. Ozu knew that she lied and that there was more at stake just like usual. But he didn’t went further on the subject. So the rest of the meal they where just talking and Ozu toughed that she was a nice person and that the reason she had lied must have been a Order.
The meal came to an end and every body knew it was time for the work now, but the lower ranking officers didn’t have much to do with it so they sat back. Ozu picked up his pad with the plan he was working on and sat himself down on a place where he had a clear few on the General and started to work wile keeping a eye on the General and a ear on the conversation.
Nikki was enjoying some quality time off duty with a friend when it suddenly hit her.
Ive forgotten all about the meal with the Aldeberaans, the Captain is going to kill me, Nikki thought
Now knowing that she had missed something that all the senior crew were supposed to attend, she knew that she was going to be in trouble. Nikki looked up and saw that Ensign Scott was staring at her with a concerned look in her eye.
"Nikki, whats wrong, you look as if you have seen a ghost"
"I was supposed to be at an important meal in the mess hall with the senior staff and Ive completely forgotten about it"
"Well you had better hurry up and get there then"
With that Nikki raced along the corridor to the turbolift
=^= Deck four and hurry up about it=^=
The turbolift opened with a whirr and she ran down the corridor to her personal quarters and stoo for a moment inside her quarters. She was completely out of breath and sweat was flowing down her brow.
Quickly she changed into her dress uniform and fixed her hair so she looked presentable. Although inside she felt like screaming. Never once in her entire career had she forgotten anything so important.
Everyone at the dinner was relaxing and enjoying themselves when the doors opened an Nikki ran in.
"Sorry I am late"
In a surprising turn of events, our mission has turned itself upside down. It's unnerving to have something within reach become not available at all.
Aldeberaan has been destroyed, and I'm at a loss for words, for the people we were trying to help, for the people we didn't even begin to get to know. Gone even before we were able to set our plan into action. I cannot fathom what it's like to lose a world. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling the bridge crew may have had when this happened, watching it unfold before their very eyes. All I know, for certain, is that I'm very much feeling regret and guilt over not being able to get to Aldeberaan sooner.
Fortunately, there have been survivors. A military General and his fleet, and his crew. Tonight we will sit down with him and try to piece together what exactly went on, or so I hope.
So, our mission now, is to help wherever we can and inspect the debris in order to find some clues, which might mean working together if destiny throws us together.
“So, down to business, General. You can start by telling me the history of your people.”, Owain told the General, his hands clasped together very much like a man awaiting some information.
The General, was taking a sip of wine when the question came and was taken aback by the abruptness of it. Perhaps he was a bit too relaxed. He put the glass down and cleared his throat and almost seemed to try to ignore the question. “It's a long story, Captain.”
“Well, we're all here, General. We'll all be here for as long as it takes.”, Owain said, glancing at his crew, noticing one missing seat. He didn't pay much attention to it, but continued looking back at the General.
“Very well”, the General said again, clearing our throat. “Our nation has always been very interested in exploration. We wanted to go out there and explore. Our Prime Minister at the time, which your Starfleet had unofficially met, had even encouraged it and had initiated our space program. Several families had been selected to board colony ships to start off new lives on new worlds. As you can see, that never happened.”, Nelson said with a heavy sigh.
“The Military had been created as a purpose to keep the population safe from our new prospect to the stars. We knew the possibility of danger from the start. I've been its Commander from the start. I've seen it all. But that doesn't frankly mean much. I'll be honest, Captain. The military hasn't seen much, if at all, until these last few days.”
Owain nodded, with grim understanding. “Go on. What happened?”
“I know it must sound very odd for a military not having found any action, but that's what happened, Captain. You'll have to trust me on that. These chosen families had mysteriously disappeared, and I still have no clue where they could have went. All I know is that something happened, something drastic, that changed our world forever. Some of my spies reported seeing green men…”
Owain had been distracted by the sound of opening doors as Nikki walked in. His glare followed her to her empty seat until he heard “green men” coming from Nelson's mouth. “I'm sorry, General… Green men?”
The General nodded, “Green men, Captain. Why, does that sound familiar to you?”
“I have my hunches”, Owain told the man. The fact was, Owain had a feeling something big was happening; was in the middle of happening, even more so than the General himself might believe. To reveal what he believed now would be too much too soon for the man. Besides, more puzzle pieces were still needed. “Of course, it can be conjecture. Everyone eventually believes they've seen green men somewhere. It was all the rage back on Earth in the 20th century, I believe.”
The old man's nostrils flared up, and his face was beginning to turn red. He crossed his arms and looked directly at Owain. “Are you calling me a liar, Captain?”
“No, no, not at all, General. I'm simply taking it at face value for what it is. It remains to be seen afterall. You haven't said you've seen them yourself, have you?”
This seemed to relax the General now, who unfurled his arms. “No, you're right. I haven't. But I do believe my spies. It's also not the only thing that happened at the time.”
Owain nodded, “Well, go on. I'd love to know what this is amounting to.”
“Right around the time these green men were spied to be on our world, many people had started dying from radiation poisoning. Prime Minister Lukin Katran disappeared as well. The official word given to our people was that of dying from radiation poisoning like many. But I have a feeling he is still alive, somewhere.”
Owain nodded, “Lots of things happened all around the same time.”
“Yes. Now, after Prime Minister Katran disappeared, he was replaced by Prime Minister Horkas, his Vice-President. It would be an understatement to say that Prime Minister Horkas was often in cahoots with Katran. In fact, I believe they often argued behind closed doors, as I would often see Horkas leave in a huff while Katran would have a face red with anger Any military involvement ceased to exist once Prime Minister Horkas came into power. All citizens of our world were too afraid to come out of their houses, for fear of the man and the radiation. There was no hope. And I wasn't allowed to do anything, not even on the eve of destruction.”
“So, it would be correct to assume that by details, that Prime Minister Horkas was a corrupt politician”, said Owain.
“Yes, very much so. He wouldn't settle for anything and was content with letting his world die, even when I myself urged him on the start to action to protect our planet. That is why I left half of my fleet in command of Lieutenant Demural, in search of what was to be our only hope; your ship. He was very much a corrupt man using his power as a destructive method. In fact, I believe he had made a deal with the Lushka.”
“The Lushka?”, Owain asked in curiosity.
“Yes, in legend, it is a creature that lives deep underground. Once you are in its grip, there's no escape.”
Owain nodded, now understanding what the man was coming from. “Ahh, yes, in other words, he made a deal with the devil.”
Nelson nodded. “Yes.”
There was one point that was escaping Owain at the moment which hadn't been explained. So, it was his duty to probe the mind of the General for an answer. “With all the turmoil that has happened to your planet, I have to ask, why? Why have these “green men” of yours chosen to torment Aldeberaan, a peaceful planet on the verge of exploration?”
“Ahh, the nugget of gold information,” Nelson proclaimed with a smile, “I was wondering when you would ask, Captain. “Well, another legend says that our planet contains, or contained an addictive substance. We never paid much attention to it, but I believe that once these green men located it, they were willing to do anything in order to get their hands on it, including trying to get all of us moved off the planet. Obviously, their tactics had an opposite effect…”
Owain quickly stood up and extended his hand. “Well, General, thank you. It's been very interesting, and I do hope you've enjoyed yourself. What I propose is mutual cooperation between my crew and yourselves. I'm sure there are more than a few details that you'd like to discover, and I think it would be beneficial to working together with utmost efficiency.”
“Of course, Captain. The pleasure was mine. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to retire for awhile to think this through. You realize that telling all of this has put quite a bit of weight on my shoulders.”
Owain nodded, “I understand. Take the time you need, and let me know when you're ready to begin.”
Owain was ready to retire as well. He was getting sleepy and it wasn't a bad idea to think on it, so he bid Aegis goodnight, but just as he was about to leave the table, the moments seemed to stand still. The hues of transporter shimmers filled the room as four burly creatures had transported in, all armed, their weapons pointed at Owain, General Nelson and the rest of the crew. They all took their spots at each corner of the room, the leader having transported on top of the table itself; the weight being too much and breaking into two. This was the one heading towards Owain. When he was close enough, he put down his phaser for a dagger which he put to Owain's throat. Owain was paralized with fear at the moment, not quite knowing what to do, but the next moment, he felt like his body was being materalized.
< = Somewhere = >
Later, Owain awoke in darkness, a splitting headache and didn't remember where he was. “Where am I?”, he asked, his voice gravelly, not expecting a reply.
“You're aboard the Crimson Dagger”, a woman's voice answered from the darkness. “Sleep. You're not ready to awake.”
Ozu alert as always jumped of his chair to hide as soon as he saw the transporter lights. What he saw he couldn’t believe 4 huge green creatures fully armed in the room the leader or what he was walked to the captain and pulled out a dragger and putted it to the Captains trout. Wile Ozu saw that happing he pulled out a dragger to and threw it as a assassin to the closed alien trying to kill it so use his weapons but to Ozu’s surprise the dragger barely scratched the skin and all the alien did was a little move and a few seconds later they where gone just as fast as they did enter.
Ozu came out of his corner and picked up his dragger and saw that the rest on the people still stood still within the room. He walked to Aegis and said “I need to talk to you now” he said with a angry face and walked to his quarters followed bye Aegis.
Ozu: sorry to talk to you like that but look at this.
Ozu showed Aegis his dragger
Aegis: where did you got that?
Ozu: its mine I threw it at one of the aliens but my throw that would kill most barely did scratched him.
Aegid: you better take it to Nikky there might be DNA on.
Ozu: as you say Sir, but what I wanted to say is if we need to fight those aliens I have my weapon on kill whit the skin they have.
Aegis lets first find them and bring that dragger to Nikky.
Ozu: aye Sir
Ozu left and went to a turbo lift. “Sickbay fast” the lift moved down and Ozu excited it and moved to the sickbay and entered it
Ozu: Nikky where are you?
Nurse: she isn’t here yet. But what happened?
Ozu: no time to explain sorry. Computers locate Lt. Nikky.
Computer: she is in turbo lift 3
Ozu: great than she will be here soon
2 mi later
Nikky: Ozu what are you doing here?
Ozu: you have to find out if there is any DNA except of mine on this dragger.
Ozu: I tried to kill one of the aliens with it but it barley scraped him.
Nikky: I see I will do it will take some time.
Ozu no problem just say it to Aegis. I go to the bridge now.
Ozu walked to the turbo lift and said, “deck one bridge”
The abduction of Owain Taggart threw the entire crew of the Horizon for a loop. Nicholas and his team where sorting through all the kilo quads of internal and external sensor data to find out "how these blasted aliens got on the ship without tripping any alarms!" to paraphrase the XO. The entire senior staff got an earful from Lt. Com. Kardin.
It was a good thing that he didn't blow a gasket in front of the Aldeberaans. But you could see in his eyes the cold Cardassian revenge battle with it's equally powerful rage. With this security breech, the guests were swiftly, but kindly escorted off the ship. Now, the whole crew was still tense. It's not often that the CO is hijacked on his first mission in command. It left a bad taste of failure in a lot of people's mouths, or whatever their version of the saying is.
Nicholas was concentrating on external sensor data. He'd leave the question on how they beamed through the shields up to the Security pros. His main focus was trying to figure out how these 'Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng' snuck up on them. Lieutenant Li took a deep breath and tried to regain his focus. He only thought in Cantonese when he was angry and that was only a short hop to ranting and swearing in Chinese. Though most of the engineers wouldn't understand.
Li let the air out in a hiss and opened his eyes. That's when they were drawn to some information that just popped up on his screen.
"Computer locate Lieutenant Commander Kardin."
The Computer responded, "Lieutenant Commander Kardin is located in the Captain's ready room."
Li was mildly put off that he heard the standard Computer synthesized one, and yet didn't know why. But that thought was quickly put aside as he walked off to the bridge.
He entered Kardin's ready room and said, "Sir, I've pinpointed some crucial information from the sensor data. A low-priority aft sensor picked up a small tachyon spike in the Aldeberaan debris field. That got me thinking and we made a active short-range anti-tachyon sweep of the region. The energy pattern and intensity corresponded to a match in the database with a K'Vort-class Klingon Bird of Prey."
Nicholas let that sink in to Aegis' mind. Aegis steepled his fingers and said, "In all likelihood it was a stolen vessel. I'll contact the High Council to ask if that is a possibility. Nicely done Lieutenant. Now what can you tell me about the weapon that destroyed Aldeberaan?"
"Well my people are still running the data. We've just got here and there hasn't been enough time. Preliminary calculations indicated that the energy that fractured the planet originated at 19.5 degrees from the Piri-Reis point in the southern hemisphere. It might explain why there is such a small amount of the usual radiation from an explosion of this magnitude. They used planetary Sphero-geometrics to amplify the destructiveness of their weapon. However, we have yet to uncover the basis of such a weapon. You'll have to give us more time."
Aegis shook head and said, "That's one thing we have very little of Nicholas. Get back to work and keep me apprized of your findings."
With that Nicholas was dismissed.
Nikki's situation had suddenly gone from relaxed and quiet to wild and frantic. She had just been humming quietly to herself as she was travelling down to sickbay and walked into sickbay. She had been confronted by Ozu waving a dagger in her face and asking her analyse it.
As Ozu left sickbay she just stood and looked at the dagger and saw there was a strange sticky substance on the dagger which she didnt know what it was. She scanned it with a medical tricorder and it showed a DNA strand but it could not identify which species it belonged to. Time to dig a little deeper into this alien's DNA.
Nikki called over one of the medical technicians to assist her with the analysis.
"Run a scan using a Detronal Scanner and feed the results into the main computer"
"Why the main computer?"
"As the medical database is not fully updated with the species in this area of space whereas the main computer is"
"Havent the crew identified the ship nearby as Klingon"
"Yes but the creatures that attacked the crew were definately not Klingon"
"The scan is going to take time"
"Well speed it up as fast as you can, the life of the Captain may depend on it"
"The fastest I can do it for is about 10 hours"
"Well stop talking to me and get on with it"
The medical techician speeded away with a sample of the substance and left the dagger to Nikki
She decided that a Hematological Scan may also prove useful in identifying the creatures as there may be something in the blood which may have similarities with other species. She took a little of the sample and placed it on a slide. Then she placed the slide in the scanner and started the scan.
All she could do now was wait for the results and hoped that they would yield something useful.
< = Aboard the Crimson Dagger = >
Owain awoke in darkness, a splitting headache and couldn't remember where he was. The last thing he remembered was being in the mess hall with his crew, talking to the General. But here, it obviously wasn't his quarters. “Where am I?”, he asked, his voice gravelly, not fully expecting a reply.
“You're aboard the Crimson Dagger”, a woman's voice answered from the darkness. “Sleep. You're not ready to awake.”
Owain shook his head. “No. I'm not tired”, he said shrugging off the muggy feeling and the obvious bump on his head he had suffered. “Just what the hell happened to me, and who are you?”, he said, squinting at the darkness trying to make anything out of it.
The woman smiled, even though she knew Owain couldn't see anything in these shadows. “Relax. You need not concern yourself at the moment.”, she said as she approached Owain and wrapped her arms around him for a kiss.
Owain's eyes nearly fell out of their sockets as she embraced him. He quickly pushed her away. “No. This won't do.”, he said shaking his head. “I'll let you know I've seen my love die as a result of point blank phaser fire. If you think you can seduce me while I'm trapped here not knowing what happened to me, it won't work. I'm not ready for any kind of commitment.”, he told her.
The woman let out a sigh. You could almost hear her shoulders collapsing as a result. “Fine. I'm never good at this stuff anyway.”
“Listen,” Owain started saying, as he could see that he had hit a nerve, “I know we're supposed to be trained to be good at whatever we're supposed to be doing right now, but the people on my ship probably don't feel I'm a good Captain right now, just as you're trained to be good at…”
Owain let out a little laugh. Not a kind of laugh one would use for something funny, but one as a stress relief. “Little green men?”Again, he laughed and he was feeling good, “I should have seen it coming. I really should have. I'm on an Orion ship, aren't I?”
“In a fashion”, the woman replied with a hint of playfulness in her voice.”
“Just who are you?”, Owain asked.
“I'm Norella”, she announced, “Slave, mistress, wife and anything else you want to call me. I believe the Captain wants to see you now.”
Owain nodded, “Well then, take me to your leader.”
As Ozu stepped on the bridge he walked to Aegis.
Ozu: Sit I believe we need two things, one we need the Captain and two we need more data about what destroyed the Planet.
Aegis: yes what do you want to propose?
Ozu: I take my fighter put 4 small science probes on my B type torpedo mounts and fly into the field.
Aegis: I don’t know if that is a good idea that klingon ship might still be there.
Ozu: that’s why I want you keep a constant transporter lock on me.
Aegis: mm a well I think that any thing might help know tell me when you are ready.
Ozu: thank you sir.
Ozu moved to the Turbo lift and said “shuttle bay” when he arrived there he ordered the out fit for his fighter and wile that was fitted he stepped in to check all systems. 30 min later every thing was done and Ozu leaved the shuttle bay he flew straight into the field wile making contact with the Horizon.
10 min later he launched the first probe he asked if the Horizon got the signal and moved on.
Than suddenly EVA stopped the fighter and Ozu asked what was wrong she answered that she had detected a mine, but when Ozu looked around he saw nothing so he asked EVA to pin point the location. When he got that, he saw a small rock but with his sharp eyes he could now see that it was not a rock but a disguised mine. He told the horizon of his findings and fired his pulse Phasers. Ozu flew on at half impulse and kept looking for more mines.
He arrived and launch point two and launched his second probe. But to his surprise he saw that it bumped of something he could see. But a second later he could see it is a klingon BoP he screamed out his surprise and moved wildly to avoid the fire coming from it. 5 second later he was fully recovered and returned the fire together with a spree of micro torpedo’s hew noticed that he did damage the BoP but not enough to be a serious treat so he tried to get out there as fast as he could dodging the disruptor fire. But he known that he would make it out of there in one piece like this so he said to the Horizon that they should beam him out, but he got the response that they had trouble with some radiation in the field and that it would take 30 sec to beam him out. Ozu felt the fighter shudder beneath him wile she took a hit, he saw that it knocked out his Phasers. Than he decided that there was only one thing left to do he launched the other probes, transmitted all data from his own sensors to the Horizon and armed all torpedo’s on his fighter turned around on a ramming course and prayed that he would be beamed out on time. As the seconds passed he saw the BoP closing than he felt the impact heat and than he saw a bit of blue before passing out. The BoP had taken quite a bit of damage and lost some weapon systems and a shield generator but she cloaked quickly and was gone again.
Same time on the Horizon the transporter chief beamed him to sickbay heavily wounded and barely alive. He was just beamed out on time half a second later he would be gone. In the sickbay he was stabilised and treated for what could be a long time.
Nicholas entered Sickbay and walked to the sole person occupying a biobed. He looked at Ozu and saw that he was pretty beaten up. His one side of his face was pink of freshly healed skin. It was a testament to Doctor Garland's skill to fix damage from what Nicholas assumed was plasma fire.
The slow beep of the biobed console was interrupted by a cough from the patient. Suddenly Nicholas heard, "Excuse me Mr. Li, is there is a reason that you are loitering in my Sickbay?"
Nicholas turned around to peer in the piercing blue gaze of the stern Doctor. He smiled and said, "I wanted to congratulate our good pilot here for his courage. But it looks like he won't be up and about anytime soon. So if you don't mind, could you give this to him when he wakes up?"
Nicholas handed a t-shirt over to Nikki and walked out of Sickbay. Nikki's perplexed look, followed the young lieutenant out the door. She unfurled the t-shirt and it read 'I GOT BLOWN UP BY A KLINGON BIRD OF PREY AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT.'
Nikki was still really confused at to why Nicholas had just given him the T-shirt but she could help but laugh at what it said on it. She had nearly finished sorting out Ozu face and she had to admit, when he healed there would be little or no evidence that he had ever been in an accident.
When Ozu had first been beamed into sickbay he had looked in such a terrible state, Nikki hadn't been sure if she would have been able to heal him at all. But Ozu was a fighter as well as a courageous pilot. Some of his injuries would have been life-threatening if the crew had not acted as quick as they had.
For the moment Ozu was resting after she had grafted some skin over his face. She needed to have a break and put the scans into her computer.
"Check his vitals every 15 minutes"
"If there is any change no matter how slight please let me know straight away"
"What shall I do if he wakes up?"
"Give him some more sedative and make him comfortable"
"How long do you think he will have to stay in sickbay"
"Thats up to Mr Ozu"
"Oh and if he wakes up give him the T-shirt and say if was a present from Nicholas!"
Nicholas was focused on ship status reports as he sat in the captain's chair on the bridge of the Horizon. He has been burning the candle at both ends ever since the Commander Owain Taggart was abducted. There was the leading main engineering during the alpha shift, commanding the bridge during delta and gamma shifts, and catching some desperately needing Z's during beta shift. He had no time to take stock of the big picture, and had to steal time from his bridge duties to cover planning time. The captain's duties were substantial. Aegis and him where splitting the workload between the two of them. Nicholas had needed to automate his replicators to make Raktajino shots everytime he entered his office.
All of a sudden, the OPS personel said, "Sir, we are receiving a live communique from the Klingon COMM NET."
"Put in on screen ensign."
The starry background on the view screen changed to what looked like the ostentatious office of an upper level commander of the Klingon Defense Force.
"This is Commander Dun'paq of the Gamma Quadrant Imperial Klingon Expeditionary Forces. I am looking for Lieutenant Commander Kardin in regards to his inquiry to the Klingon Defense Force."
"I am Lieutenant Li of the U.S.S. Horizon. Lieutenant Commander Kardin will be with you shortly."
With the usual hand signal, Li told the OPS officer to put the Klingon on hold.
=/\= Lieutenant Commander Kardin =/\=
=/\= Kardin here, =/\= replied a measured and alert voice.
=/\= This is Li sir, you have a live reply from the Klingons. =/\=
=/\= I'm on my way, =/\= the voice replied quickly.
Minutes later, Aegis stepped off the bridge. Nicholas moved to the XO chair and the XO stood in front of the view screen.
"On screen ensign."
"Commander what do you have for me?"
"Your request regarding whether we have lost a K'vort was initially rejected. It is none of the Federation's business. But your communique inferred that you've seen a bird of prey in possession of non-klingons. We would be ammenable to a trade of information."
Aegis quickly made a decision and said, "Ensign send our records on the abduction to the Commander."
The Klingon looked to his computer and said, "Very well, we did lose communication with the IKS Crimson Dagger five days ago. We have send two B'rels to investigate. But they have found nothing. From the data that you sent, it must be assumed that all are dead aboard the Crimson Dagger. I will redirect the two B'rels to your location to exact revenge on our common enemy. Qapla!"
When Ozu started to open his eyes he could see some shapes at First only but soon his vision became clear and he saw the sickbay of the Horizon. “well seems they got me” he toughed a tried to move up witch to his surprise went well. A sec later a nurse came to him and told him to lie down again and when he had done that she scanned him and concluded that he was healthy but that he better had to relax for next days, but Ozu just rose up with the words I will do that when I have time. The nurse looked at him with a face off a well this has nu use and walked away to get Ozu’s cloths and the T-shirt Li had given to him. When Ozu saw what was on the T-shirt he started launching so loud that all the sickbay crew looked up at him. He did told them what he was thinking but simply dressed up and putted on the T-shirt in stead of his uniform vest.
When he walked out of the sickbay he asked the computer where Lt. Li was he heared that he was on the bridge so he moved to a turbo lift and went up to the bridge. When he entered the bridge he saw Li sitting in the command chair, he walked to him and stared to ask a few questions.
Ozu: well how is our current status?
Li: what? He Ozu up already?
Ozu: yes I am they told me to relax but it seems like we haven’t got out captain back. O btw thanks for the T-shirt I hope you don’t mind that I wear it now.
Li: mm a well I guess there is no stopping you now but so far all I know is that we don’t now a thing. The propes you launched are destroyed or jammed and the klingon ship is still gone.
Ozu: dam I had hoped that I had hit them hard enough. A well permission to take over my station sir?
Li: of course but in uniform.
Ozu: come on you gave it to me just let me wear it today.
Li: well I hope aegis doesn’t kill you but take your station and make your self useful.
Ozu: thank you I will.
Ozu walked to his station signalling the cadet at it to leave. But he wasn’t sitting there long before he heard the ops that they had a message of the klingons.
< = Aboard the Crimson Dagger = >
Owain's head flew into the bulkheads as he was following Norella down the corridors of the ship. He winced as the impact tore a gash on his forehead and wondered just what was happening. Recovering his balance, he realized it had to be the Horizon that was hatching a plan; a small shuttle was used, which caused a shockwave that sent him flying unexpectedly into the bulkhead. Obviously the plan hadn't worked, but Owain appreciated the fact that they were trying to get him back either way. He would find a way out of this alive.
They continued on to the bridge, and it was here that it all started making sense for Owain. As the Orion on the bridge stepped out of the dim lighting, Owain thought back to the words Norella had spoken he and Norella had spoken.
“I'm on an Orion ship, aren't I?”, Owain had asked.
“In a fashion”, she had replied. And here he kept repeating this in his mind. It all made sense now. “This ship is Klingon”, he exclaimed.
“A very astute observation, Captain.”, said the Orion who had stepped out of the shadows. “Sit”, he told him, gesturing towards a chair on the bridge.
“No thank you, I'd like to stand”, Owain told him
It was here that Owain knew he had said the wrong thing, as two Gorn walked up to him, again pointing phaser like weapons at him. “On second thought, maybe I will sit”, he said while he took a seat.
The Orion nodded, “Wise decision, for you see I have the Gorn at my command.”
These Gorn, Owain realized looked a bit odd. He couldn't quite place it, but then he realized what it was. “The eyes. They have white pupils. I know that from anywhere. It can only be what we call Kitracel White, formerly trafficked by the Dominion.”
The Orion nodded, “Again, very astute, Captain. Yes, with what you speak of, the Gorn follow my every command. Why, right now my compliment of Orion ships are on their way to Earth.”
“And you think you can simply get away with it?”, Owain asked, and immediately regretted it when phasers were thrust onto his face. “Let me put it this way. Once the Klingons find out you have one of your ships, your fun will be over.”
A smile formed on the Orion's face. “Buzz Buzz, Captain. Your shuttle which just tried to attack this ship was only a fly in the ointment. I'll need a much bigger threat than Klingons to wrestle away this ship from me.”, and then he glanced towards Norella. “Lock him up, dear. See that he doesn't pose a problem.”
The Gorn then stepped away as Norella grabbed Owain again and marched him towards the corridor. An hour later, the Orion Captain cursed as the Klingon B'rels appeared on his sensors.
< = Back in the cell = >
Whimpers. Whimpers and meanderings, he heard. They were coming from the cell next door. He had thought he was alone, but these had changed his mind. When he was alone again, without Norella, he knocked on the wall seperating each cell.
“Ohhh, don't hurt me!”, a voice exclaimed.
“It's alright, I'm not going to hurt you”, Owain explained, “I'm here just as you are, and I'm searching for answers.”
Owain hadn't noticed Norella, but she had been listening to this discourse and folded up her arms. “Don't talk to him. He's seen his own planet blown up and it made him crazy…”
Owain's eyes went wide. “He's seen Aldeberaan blown before his eyes?”
The look on Norella's face showed remorse and regret. Perhaps this woman was different. Was she tired of the Orion Captain's games? She nodded solemnly. Owain knocked on the wall again. “Who are you?”
“They know me as Lukin Katran.”. Owain's eyes immediately shot towards Norella.
Nikki had just been about to check on Ozu's vital because in her opinion he was not yet fully healed. But in Ozu's opinion he was more then better as he had just discharged himself and waltzed out of sickbay.
"Where does Mr Ozu think he is going?"
"Apparently he thinks he is well enough to leave, just after waking up"
"He should have stayed in for at least another few days"
"You know Ozu though, never one to stay in one place for very long"
"Hes probably better looking for the Captain then"
"Ill just write a report letting the XO know"
Nikki didnt know much about what was going on on the bridge. All she had heard was that the Horizon was communicating with the Klingons about the Captains whereabouts. The senior members of the crew had managed to keep the morale of the crew at a reasonable level but they knew that a ship doesnt feel right without a Captain to steer her.
Nikki decided that she would walk around the ship and talk to members of the crew to get a sense of how they were feeling.
Nikki came across Lt. Li in the corridors between shifts. He looked really ragged, though he tried to keep up appearances.
"How are you holding up?"
"I'm good Doctor… I just need to get to my quarters."
It was classic stress evasion. She had to do something.
Aegis grasped the armrests of the captain's chair and pushed himself to his feet. "How long until rendezvous, Lt?"
Nicholas tapped at a nearby console, bringing up the relevant information.
"Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, Commander."
"I guess that would have to do then. As soon as both the Klingon ships are in range contact their tactical officers to formulate a search pattern. three ships will cover this area a hell of a lot quicker then we could even do on our own.
Contact me as soon as we are able to proceed with the search pattern. I'll be in the Captain's ready room."
Aegis slowly walked into the Captain's ready room and plonked himself in the chair behind the desk. Quite frankly, he was glad to have the help of the Klingons. It was only fair that they should share in expenditure of resources to find one of their own ships. it also left the horizon, far less vulnerable to the calamity that had befallen the crimson dagger. Who ever they were facing could be considered a very dangerous enemy indeed. To have taken over a whole ship belonging to a species bred to fight and win was a feat in itself. The Klingons would be very keen to find that ship and exact revenge upon its crew, if not to make a point of meddling with the Imperial fleet's ships.
Ages walk to the replicator, and ordered himself a coffee. with blue sparkles, the machine conjured up his steaming hot drink. He grasped the cup on his hands and returned to the captain's desk. Flicking open the desk top monitor. He logged in to the LCAR's network and browse the ship's reports for the day. On coming to the medical reports he realised that the supremely stubborn Ozu, had discharged himself from the infirmary under the obvious protest of the ship's doctor.
"Damn, I have to talk to that lad.."
Ozu sat at his station working hard to upload all his manoeuvres witch they could need against a fast ship like a BoP. Wile he was working he saw Aegis coming on the bridge at take his seat he wondered why he didn’t asked him about his T-shirt. Not long after that they received a message of a klingon fleet joining them in the search for the crimson dagger. But than he looked surprised and toughed how can they be here so fast I didn’t know that they had a fleet near here, I better check this up with Ryunko later.
Ozu kept working fast and saw for a corner of his eye how Aegis moved to the ready room. We he was running trough his files he suddenly found a coded one named “hawk” he typed in the password and found a set of manoeuvres he hade a wile back. When he looked at it he saw a few tricks that might be useful for later on so he putted them in standby to.
Ozu manoeuvred the Horizon in position so that when the klingon fleet arrived they could start the search at once. He had found they pattern that the fleet would use to find the BoP but when he looked over it he saw some hole so he made a few chances. When he was done he heard Aegis voice, “Ozu please come to the ready room”. Ozu stood up and his seat was taking bye a other and he moved to the ready room with is his mind what have I done wrong now?
Nikki had just come on shift and she was getting really worried about the crew. Even the senior staff who were amongst the best that Nikki had ever knew were even beginning to crack under the pressure. Everyone really wanted their Captain back. Nikki had tried to offer her services to help people but all the crew wanted to do was concentrate on their duties just to keep their minds occupied. If this continued then Nikki would have to go and speak to Aegis and see what could be done.
As Nikki was thinking about the crew situation, a young ensign walked in looking very tired and obviously very stressed out.
"Ma'am would you mind if I spoke to you in private?"
"Not at all, please come have a seat in my office"
"Can I get you anything tea or coffee?"
"I'll have a cup of tea please"
Nikki walked up to the replicator. =^= Two cups of earl grey, hot =^=
Two hot cups of hot tea materialized in the replicator and Nikki placed one on the table in front of the ensign.
"So how can I help you"
"Im really struggling dealing with the loss of the Captain, I know that the rest of the crew is feeling the pressure but they really dont want to say anything"
"I have seen it while doing my rounds that almost all of the crew has been stressed out since the Captain was taken"
"What can I do to at least do my duties more efficently?"
"Well I give you a shot of Improvaline to help you sleep and I recommend a hot shower and a cup of tea before sleep"
With that the ensign stood up looking visually relieved to have finally told someone about his anxiety. As he left sickbay, he gave Nikki an idea.
=^= Nikki to Aegis, Can i speak to you about the crew when you have a spare minute =^=
"Mr Ozu, please come in."
Aegis motioned to the young helmsman to step up to the desk, which he did with a proud step forward.
"I won't ask you to sit Mr Ozu because this will only take a short minute or two."
"As you wish Sir. may ask what this is about?"
"I am concerned as to whether you should or should not be on duty at the moment Mr Ozu. I see that you discharged yourself from sickbay, under protest from the Chief medical Officer, no less."
Ozu shrugged his shoulders, turning his palms up in an imploring fashion.
"But I felt fine Sir and with all that's been going on with Captain disappearing and all, I just wanted to be helping you and the crew find him."
Ageis could understand the man's feelings. He too was missing the Captain.
"I can understand where you're coming from Mr Ozu, and you are quite right. I do need all the hands I can get. Just promise me that you will report to the doctor again, after all this is over and get checked out."
"You've got yourself a deal Sir!" The man said, somewhat begrudgingly.
"And I will remind you that Mr Ozu, that at any time, I think you are unable to fufill your duties, I remove you from duty! So don't overtax yourself and we won't have a problem. Dismissed"
Ozu gave a curt nod, swivelled on his feet and a breezed out the door. just as the door was closed quietly behind him, the silence was interrupted again, by his commbadge.
"Nikki to Aegis, Can i speak to you about the crew when you have a spare minute."
"Certainly Dr Garland, I will meet you in your office a couple of minutes. Ageis out."
Ageis walked out onto the bridge, briefly acknowledging the glance given by Mr li. It was the unspoken question, do you want the bridge? Ageis shook his head.
"Carry on Mr Li"
Aegis made his way to the turbo lift and took it down to the deck that sickbay was on. Pausing just out of door sensor range he quickly adjusted his uniform, making sure he was nice and tidy. He stepped through into sickbay, which was thoroughly empty just at this point in time. He walked over to her office and lightly wrapped his knuckles on the door frame. The doctor was looking at read outs on her monitor and quickly whirled around once she heard the sound. A gentle smile rested on her face as she realised who it was.
"Thank you for coming so quickly Commander."
"It was my pleasure Nikki. I knew it wasn't checkup time already." Ageis added with a cheeky smile of his own.
"Now… you want to see me about the crew?"
When Ozu walked out of the ready room he looked at the time and saw that this shift would end in 20 min. so he sad down to recheck his work and add and remove some thing here and there. When he was done he noticed that someone tapped him on his shoulders so he stood up gave the man some instructions and moved to his quarters.
At his quarters he picked up a bag checked it and moved out to a holodeck. When he arrived he chanced his clothes and picked up two medium length blades. “Time to relax don’t overwork” he said to him self and he started the program. Second later he found himself into a modern room with 24 spheres hovering around. “Level 8 he ordered ”and the spheres started to move fast and moved on a ramming course to him. 2 min later he had destroyed them all. “36 spheres level 9”he ordered this time but 1.5 min later one hit him on his arm and the program stopped. “Dam it what is wrong with me my reaction is way below normal” than he ordered 36 spheres level 8 but also here he failed. Stunned he dressed himself back into uniform and moved to his quarters to relax.
At his quarters he felt down on his bed en second later his cat jumped to his side. He stroked him will he tried to concentrate at on spot on his ceiling but he couldn’t. 2 hour later he stood up again and moved to the sickbay.
When he entered the sickbay he walked to the nearest nurse and asked her if they could make a scan of his mind. She asked why he wanted that and he told here the things that happened. She moved away to find the doctor.
< = Crimson Dagger = >
Norella simply shrugged as Owain stared at her; his stare vehement like a bunch of daggers ready to pierces its target. If he was angry beforehand, he hadn't shown it, but now his fury was, and she hadn't even flinched. She only felt guilt inside.
“Yes, it's true. He's who he says he is. He isn't as crazy as my husband wants you to believe it.” She explained, and the pain within her had started to show. “I- “, she started saying, but then Owain interrupted her, looking back towards the former Prime Minister.
“Prime Minister Lukin Katran.”, Owain said once it dawned on him. He was finally starting to see the final pieces tot he puzzle. “ So, you're not dead afterall.”
“Yes, you're absolutely right! I can't be dead. I'm right here!”, Katran exclaimed.
Owain looked at Norella, then back at Katran. All of this was getting rather interesting. “So, if you're not dead…”
“All stories. All lies. They tell you what they want you to believe. I's a fabrication!”, exclaimed Katran again. Owain then looked at Norella.
“True?”. That was only what Owain had to ask, as everything that passed between Owain and Norella at the moment, didn't need words.
“Yes,” she replied nodding, “It's true. And I'm ashamed of being part of it. I was to seduce you as part of the plan to keep you quiet.”
“That much is clear to me”, Owain said with resignation. “And why aren't you doing your job?”
“Because… it isn't easy for me. I loathe being my man's mistress. I'd rather be with someone who understands me, instead of using me.”
Owain shook his head. It all seemed to come all at once; too fast. He looked back at Katran with a look that suggested expectancy.
“Well, it all started when I was abducted by these green men. Orion, I think they're called. Curiously, they had been on Aldeberaan in the past before and hadn't caused problems. But I think they were really spying on us. They must have struck a deal with Emmanuel Horkas, who went into power shortly after my disappearance. For what reason, I don't know. But it is said that a substance was plentiful on the planet and that the Orion wanted access to it for some reason.”
Norella, who had been quiet up to this point, without really stopping any of the details from reaching Owain's ears, pulled out a vial from a pouch which she slid underneath Katran's cell. “This?” At that moment, Owain knew she was on their side, otherwise she wouldn't have done so willingly.
“My word! I had no idea…. so, it is true. Oh, Horkas, how could you have been so foolish as to accept the Lushka's contract!”
“Keep it. I have more where these came from. It will be handy”, Norella said with a wink.
“So, you'll help us -”, Owain had started to say at full volume. Norella put her hand on his mouth to stop him.
“Shhh. Quiet. Yes, I will”, she said with a whisper. “These are what we use to control the Gorn army. The substance known as Kitracell White, or K-White. They are addicted and will do anything to get their dose.
About an hour later, the ship shook violently and they were reminded of the situation. This was not some sort of fantasy at a leisurely pace. Then they heard what sounded like materialization of a transporter, big heavy footsteps following even heavier footsteps. Then the alarm sounded all throughout.
“Klingons.”, Norella, explained.
“Klingons vs Gorn”, Owain added realizing what those heavier footsteps were. It was the Gorn who had suddenly become alert and moving about to encounter their ennemy. “Our escape has just become a whole lot more interesting…”
A un familiar doctor came to Ozu and asked him a few question about what happened to him. After hearing that the doctor putted him on a bio bed and started a scan. 5 min later it was completed. Ozu moved along with the doctor as he started to examine the date. But 10 min later the doctor told him that every thing looked fine on the scan and that his brain wave patterns where good as well, but he told him that I might be wise to do some meditation. Ozu tanked the doc. And moved to his quarters picked up some stuff and moved again to a holodeck “dam I wonder if they don’t get mad that I come here this often” he toughed wile entering.
Computer start program: meditation Ozu gamma six. The next moment he sat on a small floating plate above un moving water but than some small waves formed and moved around randomly. The meaning of this program was to focus on the waves and to for them in to a circle pattern. It was one of the programs that had given Ozu always a hard time. Today was no different as soon as he controlled the 4th or 5th wave he would loose an other. But after 2 hours Ozu saw that one of the waves he just lost moved in the right way thinking of this he tried now to move all the other waves one bye one or by two in position and it worked.
When he left the holodeck he knew what was wrong he had been worrying of to many things try to control all that happened and he couldn’t accept it if he lost control of one of those. The last two times he had lost control somehow over his captain and now he had also lost control of the operation to find unlike the last time. With this in mind Ozu went to his quarters and sat down, but second later he lie on his back on the bed trying to get all these feelings out of his mind and try to focus on what he needed to do.
The whole night Ozu stayed awake slowly moving one thing after a other from his mind to a restful pattern. We he sort of woke up out of his deep meditation state he felt tired but alert once more. He moved to the mess hall to pick up some food and drinks and focused on eating. When he was ready he moved to the bridge looking a bit ghostlike and feeling tired but he knew that he could do for now what he had to do. But in his mind he knew to that this ship wasn’t a good place for him any more because of all what had happened here would still hang around for him. So he said to himself “I better go and talk with aegis about taking a other assignments because working here won’t be good for my mental state”
A command came crackling over the speakers, causing Aegis to sit up and take notice. It was Lieut Li's voice.
=/\= Commander Kardin to the bridge!=/\=
It sounded serious. He pushed the chair away from the Captain's desk, got up and strolled out onto the bridge.
As he walked across to the command well, Ageis looked over at Nicolas with the questioning look.
" Incoming hail from the Klingons sir."
Ageis motioned towards the viewscreen.
The view shifted to the interior of a Bird of Prey's command deck. The gnarled figure of Commander Dun'paq filled the screen.
"Commander! I expect that you have some news?"
"You should know Cardassian, that the Kim'pec has joined in battle with the pretenders vessel. It is a matter of time until we storm the ship."
Aegis looked over towards the tactical console and cadet Cain, who nodded. Aegis faced the screen once more.
"I will be putting together an away team, to accompany your warriors aboard the vessel."
The Klingon was quick to anger, his face turned to a scowl.
"The battle is none of your business Cardassian." He sneered at Aegis.
"We will take the ship back and your Captain, if he is still even there or alive will be held until such time as we can clear him from wrongdoing."
Aegis was surprised, although he didn't let it show as it would give the Klingon measure of satisfaction. His mind raced he had to make sure he could get on that ship.
"wrongdoing?" Aegis questioned.
"The Captain is a prisoner on that ship! We are boarding that vessel and binging our Captain back!"
The Klingon smiled and his demeanour changed.
"You have some guts for a Cardassian! Fine! But don't get in our way." Came the ultimatium.
Aegis returned to smile and cut the transmission.
He stood up from the Captain's chair and turned towards the tactical station.
" Time to show us what you made of Cadet. Mr Cain, Mr Th'or You are with me. I want three more security personnel armed and in the transporter room. In five minutes. I want PADDs with schematics for the bird of prey showing the prisoner containment areas of the ship."
"Aye Commander." The Cadet eagerly replied.
"I don't think that's a wise idea sir. We have already lost one commanding officer, I don't think it's prudent that we lose another one." Nicolas interjected.
"I realise your objections to this Nic, but I am going to overrule you on this one. If I didn't lead it you would have too that would potentially leave us without an engineer with the depth of experience you have. Anybody can replace me!"
Nicholas could see that this was a losing battle and reneged.
"Good, you have the ship Mr Li. I have every faith in your ability as a commanding officer. Keep the ship safe Mr li, and I will see you shortly, hopefully with the captain."
Nicolas nodded the concern apparent on his face.
Aegis left the bridge and made his way to the transporter room. Chief Toll, a sky blue Bolian, greeted him as he entered the room. She handed him a compression phaser rifle, a hand phaser and a PADD detailing the schematics of the stolen Klingon ship.
" I will have to put you in the mess hall commander. The other areas of the ship too well shielded."
Aegis nodded his assent.
He slipped the hand phaser into its holster and stowed the PADD in an accessible pocket. he walked up on to the transporter platform, as she took her position behind the console.
"Phasers on stun team."
He heard the clicks and acknowledgements. He positioned himself in a defensive stance, hands curled around the synthetic surfaces of the compression phaser. The rest of the team covered an arc of the clock.
Aegis felt the paralysis and familiar tingling as his body was turned to Atoms.
Into the unknown.
This mission continued on page 2!
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