Table of Contents
Nothing More Than A Fairytale - Page 6
Jordan Levi - USS Presidio
Elle closed the door behind her as she entered the separate room where the Captain was resting. The Vulcan Captain had been one of the worse cases of the headache epidemic that had hot the Presidio. She had been in a coma for a majority of the mission.
Elle touched the Captain’s forehead. T’lara still had a fever and there was little they could do to ease her suffering. The coma was either very serious or it was a manner in which a Vulcan fought against the effects of such intense pain. Elle didn’t know all that much of Vulcan medicine to make an accurate estimation of the cause of the coma – all she knew was the it was serious and that they had better stop the cause of the headaches soon if they wanted the Captain to survive … even the crew.
She checked T’lara’s vitals and then left. Sickbay was a real casualty ward but unfortunately it wasn’t big enough for the entire crew of the ship. Most were sent to their quarters … the more serious cases were kept in sickbay. But that put a serious strain on their staff. The only ones that were still functioning was Sara Sidle, Timothy Davis and herself. Less than a skeleton crew.
She glanced to her left … where Jordan was lying behind a closed door. She didn’t go to her superior but rather went back to her duties. Jordan was finally resting and she didn’t want to disturb her during the recover – especially with Sara looking over her shoulder. Elle went to the CMO’s office where Sara had taken over. The woman seemed to be at ease in the place as if she belonged there. If Elle remembered correctly Sara had been the CMO of the De Ruyter … she wondered why the woman would give that up for a doctors post. She shook those thoughts out of her mind while trying not to concentrate on her own headache.
“How’s things going?” Elle asked when she approached Sara. Sara glanced up – her eyes showed the pain of the headache getting to the woman.
“Not good,” Sara replied. “If these headaches don’t stop soon there won’t be a crew to man this ship. We’re down to less than minimum crew. It’s dangerous … for all concerned.”
“What can we do?” Elle asked but she already knew the answer.
“Nothing,” Sara said. “All we can do is wait … and pray.”
Daranavo Savoy - USS Presidio
SECTION 31 BASE
Its fury could not be easily measured as the single mind that it was able to control was locked away and unable to affect its twisted desire. No longer could its wrath be carried out upon those…upon anyone that it detected near it. For years it had been tortured by the malicious scientists of Section 31. Forced to use its mind to hurt and even kill upon command; something that the race of pacifists thought of as grotesque and appalling. It did not care who its torturers were, only that it wanted to hurt anything or anyone it could. It could read the minds of the scientists and of everyone nearby, including those upon the ships that orbited the desolate planet of ice. It frothed in frustration as it could not rip into the minds of the Section 31 scientists that tormented it into submission. However, now it no longer mattered, its goal now was to die and take as many of its captures along with it as it could. As it released its grasp upon Daranavo’s mind, it shifted its attention away from him and focused upon the minds that were very near to it now. It did not take it long to discover that its end was very near. With the rage it held within itself, it reached out to the weakest minds of those among the away team and struggled to take hold of them.
Only a few seconds after the Major left the room, Master Sergeant Cassidy blinked and his gnarled demeanor suddenly gave way to the absence of expression. Along with him, Petty officer Daniels both changed the settings on their rifles and then aimed them at McLoughton.
McLoughton: “What are you doing!? I’m unarmed! Don’t…wait…! He turned to his side and in a cowardly fashion attempted to cover himself with his arms to no avail.
Both Cassidy and Daniels opened fire at McLoughton and in a bright blaze or phaser fire he was no more. All that were outside the door heard McLoughton scream and the ensuing phaser fire. The creature reveled in its vengeance and lusted for more. Daniels turned his rifle and set the barrel toward his face. With one pull of the trigger he took his own life. The rifle smacked hard against the ground and only the charred hand that gripped it was all that remained. Master Sergeant Cassidy turned his rifle around as well but gripped the barrel with his other hand. With every once of his being he fought against the desire to pull the trigger. The strong mind that was in his mind tightened its grip upon him and with a low, guttural growl he struggled against it with all that he was. At the same time, one more of the security detail from the Horizon blinked and fell under its control.
Space was silent as always. No sound travels without a medium in which to propagate. Yet both crew in orbit around the planet could hear a rage-filled scream blasting into their consciousness. Yet space was still very silent.
<= Horizon Bridge =>
The bridge of the Horizon was dim, except for the flashing red of the warning lights. Red Alert. Chaos has sprung around the ship. No longer would the computer speak in its calm and autonomous voice. Harsh 20th century music blared over the COMM system.
Sleeping very soundly on a Saturday morning,
I was dreaming I was Al Capone.
Rumor going round, gotta clear outta town,
smelling like a dry fishbone.
Here come the law, gonna break down the door,
carry me away once more.
Never, never, never want it anymore.
Gotta get away from this stone cold floor.
Stone cold crazy, you know
Rainy afternoon, on a killer typhoon,
I'm still playing on my slide trombone.
Anymore, anymore, gotta take it anymore.
Gotta get away from this stone cold floor.
Stone cold crazy, you know
Walking on the street, shooting people that I meet,
with full loaded tommy gun.
Here comes the deputy, try **in' getta me,
gotta **in' get up and run.
They got the sirens loose. I ran right out a juice.
They are gonna put me in a cell, if I can't go to heaven
will they let me go to hell.
Stone cold crazy, you know
Sitting in the command chair was Lt. Nicholas Li. His head was in his hands, and he was diligently rubbing his temples. He had such a major headache - but it seamed that this day would never end. A rogue group of officers has taken over the mess. The sickbay was overflowing with injured, someone has taken over control of the computer's voice activation system. The Horizon's security has been burning the candle at both ends. What of the Captain you ask? Well he was with the away team and they've been incommunicado for hours.
He looked to the manual control panels on the command chair. He instructed the computer to flood the mess deck with 10 ppb of neurozine. That should eliminate that particular leak in the dam. Yet there was still others popping up all over the ship. Whatever was going on the surface. It has exploded into psychic maelstrom. Many of the ship's telepaths were incapacitated by that malevolent entity that the Captain went to deal with. The end result was that both the Presidio and the Horizon were in imminent danger.
Nicholas took a deep breath and keyed in his commands. His training told him that neither crew could weather much more of this psychic storm. He was going to need to put an end to this soon. If no one from the surface would contact him within the next 30 minutes, the Horizon would bombard the planet surface and the research station with all quantum torpedoes it carried. Hopefully, rendering the area into a 1000 m crater of molten rock would stop the influence of this unknown entity. It was not an easy decision for Li. It never looks nice on the ol'records that you atomized your Captain, and Li really hated the kind of inquest that would surely follow.
The acting Commanding Officer of the USS Horizon closed his eyes and prayed that he would not have to follow through with such a drastic measure.
< = Away Team | Section 31 Base = >
Owain should have seen it coming when the fight broke out between Major Sharp and McLaughton. Something had been up, but for some reason the warning signs never really came. Perhaps that was because his mind was being played with, but either way, he felt guilty for the casualty. It was Section 31, but a casualty all the same. It all happened so fast. He shook his head, wondering what else could go wrong.
He had never told anyone, that part of his mission was to arrest the Section 31 Commander and take him in for questioning at the Station, but now that was one part of the puzzle that could never be understood; why had they even started this project?
Owain yelled out at the officers who had shot McLaughton, seeing more horror before his eyes as one of them shot himself. What was he going to do now, he thought? There were more bodies accumulating. They had to get out of here now before even more succumbed to a tragic fate. He was going to have to figure out what to do with this Master Sergeant. He knew that he couldn't exactly charge him as technically it hadn't been under his own power, he knew. Something out there, an alien entity was angry for what was happening. Perhaps even the same entity that had stolen the the canisters planning to sabotage the ships.
Now at the base entrance, he looked up towards the sky, trying to see either of the ships in orbit. He wondered how badly off the ships were since the away team left. Being out of communication for so long was taking its toll. He couldn't stand this place much longer, though he felt relief that his mission was almost over.
He saw Gavstovski moving towards him. "All set, sir. Ready when you are.", he said. Owain nodded in response.
The plan was for them to all be out in the open. The triangulation of the signal boosters was to play two roles in this; to mark the base for detonation so that the Horizon and Presidio concentrate their power more easily, and for the transporters to more easily pick them up. This would have been too much of a job for one ship alone regarding power drain, especially when the ships were in so much trouble in the first place, so Owain was glad that he had partners in this. If both Nicholas and Jan knew their game, they would each concentrate on a particular task.
This would be risky however, as they were so close to the detonation point. Any further, and they would be hard to lock onto, so they had to stick close to the base. If all things went according to plan, they would transport seconds after the detonation order was given by Gavstovski. Looking towards him, you could tell he was nervous. Hell, everyone had to be nervous. It was all or nothing.
Owain nodded towards him again, this time giving him the signal. He then watched Gavtovski give his command. And then waited. Waited. Waited.
Owain took a look at his watch. It had stopped working in this damned cold just like many of the things they had brought to this planet. He sighed when he realized he had wrecked his Captain's Yacht on the first mission using it and would never see it again. He looked back to Gavstovski and frowned. What was going on? What was taking so long? He realized the bombardment would happen any second now…
Jan Vogels - USS Presidio
Jan had relieved the tactical officer on duty. He didn't feel he was up for the job so he had to do it himself.
"Sir, I'm getting the Horizon."
Jan nodded towards operations. Masterson was still standing and working, a small miracle.
"Put them on screen."
The Horizon's XO appeared. Jan quickly briefed him on the situation.
"Once all amplifiers are running, localize the away and beam them up. We will glass the area."
Horizon's XO nodded and closed the channel. Signal triangulation was already complete and Jan started feeding coordinates for the individual torpedoes. He didn't work as fast as he used to, but he was quicker than any self proclaimed tactical officer in the fleet these days. They simply didn't teach manual targeting anymore. Jan wondered if the guys at the academy ever considered that targeting sensors might fail. Finally, he had done it.
"Signal the Horizon that we are ready to fire."
Masterson nodded as the Horizon moved closer to the planet to maximize their transporter efficiency.
"Sir, one of the signal amplifiers is starting to fail."
"Crap", Jan said. Without data from the planet he wouldn't be able to correct targets. Already 90% of his attention was devoted to keep all targets correct due to ever changing static and interference from the atmosphere.
"We have no choice, tell the Horizon they have to get the away team out within 20 seconds. Then we will start the bombardment or there will be no way of knowing for sure we will destroy our target."
It was a huge risk. But the away team had known the risks. He just prayed they would get out in time. Jan counted the seconds. Masterson did also.
"20 seconds are up sir, it's now or never."
Jan pressed the button to release the torpedoes. Several torpedoes shifted out of their course, Jan corrected their flight paths. As soon as tubes were reloaded, he fired again. Every torpedo hit it's mark. The signal from the planet went dead as the amplifiers were disabled as well. But the last readings showed a complete destruction of the target complex. He just hoped the away team wasn't in the wreckage as well.
"Contact Horizon. Did they get the away team?"
Nicholas Li watched as both Federation ships launched torpedoes towards their target. The gamma radiation of the M/A detonation super-heated the air into a concussive blast wave that cascaded through the atmosphere all the way to the ionosphere. The atmosphere over the polar region of the planet, blazed in a fiery spectacle.
Li stood up and said, "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One… We have become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
Silence fell over the bridge. Not even the incessant blinking of the Red Alert behind their eyes could draw the bridge crew away from the planetary bombardment.
After the brief pause Nicholas said, "Transporter Room. Do we have them?"
The bridge became even quieter.
<= Away Team | Section 31 Base =>
There was a moment of doubt in the air. Owain had all but resigned himself to his fate as he looked at Gastovski. They shared a look of grave misfortune. They had another small matter to take into account. It wasn't something that they had noticed until these last few seconds. If the transporter and the explosion wasn't enough to worry about, it seemed they had worn out their welcome on this planet. The yeti creatures wouldn't tolerate their presence any longer. They sensed hostility towards their place of living, and acting on a sense of instincts, bore out towards the Away Team. If they didn't transport out of there soon, they would either:
1. Get Blown to Kingdom Come
2. Suffer the same fate as Ozu as they became Yeti Lunch
Either way, they were shit out of luck…
"So, is this how we die?", he asked himself. "Is this the end of the line?" There was no use speaking as their looks told it all.
"Sorry mate, I've done all I can", he could see Gavstovksi's expression saying.
"This is it", he thought nodding, "we're all gonna…"
He felt the radiant heat, and everything felt as if the world was ending. They lost control of their own motions as the blast behind them pushed them forward….
… Forward into nirvana. Forward where time meant nothing. Forward into suspended animation as darkness gave way to a glow blue. They had found the light.
And that was when Owain had fallen hard onto the Transporter pad, followed by the sound of the others. To the transporter operators, it must have been quite a sight to behold, as all of them took turns groaning. Groaning like a chorus of aches as medics rushed to tend to their wounds.
Owain gasped at the pain as he tried to help himself up. He must have broken a rib during the explosion. A medic quickly approached him, but he waved him off. Pain meant nothing at the moment. He looked around him, trying to assess the situation. This was the Horizon's transporter room. They had made it. Everyone was accounted for. Well, almost. There was the small matter of Ozu he would have to address. But there was Gastovski, and there was Major Sharp who looked none the worse off. For the first time in hours since this started, he grinned. Oh, he grinned.
"Transporter Room. Do we have them?", a familiar voice crackled as Owain's eyes filled with joy. The Transporter Engineer was about to answer back when Owain, forgetting his pain, shuffled over to the console and waved the officer off. He grinned again. "Li", Owain said. "Li. Damnit man, am I glad to hear your voice. It's been hell, but.. we're OK." He then glanced around the room again. He had to do it. He had no choice. "Tell the Presidio that there has been a matter of casualty. Lieutenant Ozu has perished in his brave struggle." His grin turned to sadness where he struggled to hold back tears.
And then he realized it. The pressure on his temples had subsided. The effects were still there, but over time would diminish. It seemed that their plan had worked, thankfully. He breathed in a sigh of relief.
Daranavo Savoy - USS Presidio
The entity that inhabited his mind knew that Daranavo had been neutralized. It had no immediate use for him now but it refused to release him. Instead it decided to take another course. Perhaps it would have use of him in the future so it locked Daranavo’s mind up for the time being. It could feel the minds of those closest by it. It knew it’s time was almost up.
When he finally awoke, Lt. Savoy groggily came to his feat. The room was very cold, dark and quiet. It did not take him long to discover that he was now alone. Belle and Little Red were gone and he could hear no sounds. Slowly he stepped forward but his movement came to an abrupt halt when he hit his head upon what appeared to be cold, wrought iron bars. He held his left hand to his head in hopes to stave off the pain and with his right, he reached out and grabbed hold of the bars just in front of him. He squinted his eyes to try to see in the darkness and he turned his head from side to side as he took a moment to observe his surroundings more carefully. Hand over hand he followed the bars to his left, eventually though he came back to the spot that he began. He realized that he was not just only alone, he was imprisoned to boot. “Hey!” he yelled then listened. “Is anyone out there!” He yelled again and listened. All he heard was the echo of his own voice. “Help me…I’m stuck in here….Help me!” He cried out one last time and fear began to creep once again into his mind.
The Horizon and the Presidio launched their assault upon the base and the entity was no more.
USS PRESIDIO – THE BRIG
Lt. Savoy regained consciousness but he only opened his eyes. His chest rose and fell normally but nothing more. His mind was locked away to a place that he could not escape.
Ozu - USS Presidio
Valdore class Warbird yikao.
“Sir I just picked up a communication from the Horizon to the Presidio and I am afraid I got some bad news”
Karen roose from the command chair and moved to his com officer who still got contact to the monitoring probes Ozu dropped on both Starfleet vessels.
“What makes it special and bad news Lacon?”
“The message reports that Lt. jg. Ozu has died on the planet during a away mission”
Tears formed in Karen’s eyes. “How far are we away from them”
Prodi who sat at the helm gave a fast response “26 hours at maximum warp. Shorter if they move back to Megiddo station”
“Engage cloack and get u to there”
Karen walked to the CO office without saying anything and he just sat down. Ozu and he had been trough hell and heaven together. They first met on the USS black lake a Federation transport used by the “RWE” as smuggler ship. Ozu sat at the helm and Karen was the XO. Both became good friends fast. Karen with his natural leading ability and Ozu with his swift thinking and good piloting worked together well.
6 months later they where both placed on a Romulan build transport with cloacking device. And they where told that they had a free game of what they wanted to do as long as the made money. With that they started a Intel and Ale smuggling run. For months they did this although it wasn’t easy and they lost a lot of good people and friends they stayed together.
When Karen was placed over to command the outpost in the gamma quadrant he and Ozu kept in contact only to break when Ozu was taken prisoner. Even though Karen found it odd to see Ozu back as a Federation Officer he got used to it and they used it to get interesting data to aid in the organisations goals. Even wile Ozu spied he was loyal to the Federation somehow. Karen shakes his head and starts to play an old song, which Ozu asked him to play if he died. Karen also had asked one to Ozu but fate decided that he was the one who had to play the song.
“Computer play Just Be”
You can travel the world
But you can't run away
From the person you are in your heart
You can be who you want to be
Make us believe in you
Keep all your light in the dark
If you are searching for truth
You must look in the mirror
And make sense of what you can see
They say learning to love yourself
Is the first step
That you take when you want to be real
And flying on plains to exotic locations
Won't teach how you really feel
Face up to the fact that you are who you are
And nothing can change that belief
'Cause now I know
It's not so far
To were I go
The hardest part is inside me
I need to
I was lost and I'm still lost
But I feel so much better.
Wile the music played Karen sat down with his eyes closed grieving for his young and great friend. When the song was over he picked up two line of a sort of poem Ozu once had made.
It can’t be chosen,
As it is gifted to one,
As a curse to carry,
For all eternity.
I have received the fury,
And only I shall carry it,
As the fury will only choose one.
Reading this he thought back of Ozu as who he was a person with furry good and bad.
Jordan Levi - USS Presidio
Elle had done her rounds and collapsed into a chair in sickbay. She rubbed her head. The headaches were unbearable. They were down to three people in sickbay that was still able to function, Sara, Timothy and herself and by the looks of things it would seem that they were only hours away from being unable to do so either.
Elle yawned. Moments later Timothy and Sara joined her at the table. They looked exhausted. She wondered whether she looked nearly as bad as they were. She didn’t know how much time passed but during their conversation she felt a slight reverberation through the hull, or more particularly the deck plating. Were those torpedo launches? No … she had to be imagining things. That had happened allot of late.
She suddenly stopped mid thought. Something was different … but she couldn’t exactly pinpoint it. It was as if she could think clearly again. Then she realized the headache was gone. The pain had finally subsided. One glance to her comrades confirmed the same.
The nightmare was finally over.
Jan Vogels - USS Presidio
The Presidio shook violently as she emptied her readied torpedo tubes. Jan could only imagine the carnage on the ground. He just prayed that everyone was evacuated in time.
"Sir, we have a power failure in weapons and propulsion, broken couplings. I've dispatched teams already."
Jan nodded. "Get me Horizon on the horn."
"Communications are out. We can communicate with messages only. I've already send out an inquiry for the away team."
Jan nodded at Masterson. "Good thinking."
They waited for a minute. "Sir I'm receiving a reply. The away team lost Lt. Ozu to a native creature. The rest of the team has been evacuated and is safe and sound on the Horizon."
Jan let out his breath. He hadn't realized he had been holding it. Ozu's dead was unfortunate, but considering the situation it could have been a lot worse. Still he hated every death that happened on his watch.
"What about the base?"
Masterson send another communique and reply came swiftly.
"They report that the base has been completely destroyed. I'm getting reports of alleviating symptoms."
That was good news. "How about yourself?"
"Sir, I can't feel a thing anymore", Masterson said.
"Hardly surprising. You are relieved. Get to your quarters and get some rest before you collapse. Crewman Nolan, escort Masterson to her quarters, make sure she gets there in one piece."
Crewman Nolan nodded and one of the operations crewman replaced Masterson. It was remarkable that Masterson was still on her feet. She had earned her rest. There was nothing more in the world Jan rather would do than sleep, right now. But burden of command was on him right now. He cursed T'lara as he turned his attention to the repair efforts to get power couplings restored and communication working again. However, he felt slightly less tired than he had felt before. What ever had been nagging at him was certainly gone. He just hoped he could get the ship back into order in a few hours. He wouldn't last much longer.
Owain Taggart & Ozu - JP
< = USS-Horizon | In Orbit = >
He had been patched up as best as he could right now. The Doctor would have liked to have kept him longer, but he had snuck out on the pretense that he would return for more torture. He had to admit, the doctors had done a good job. He already started feeling much better compared to the last few hours when he had been dumped onto the transporter pad. He was lucky to be alive…
Looking over at the planet from the observation lounge where he took his solace, he sighed. How did one planet get to have so much influence? How did Section 31 even manage this kind of influence? These questions, he wished to know. But there wasn't much he could do now. All he could do was send his report and hope that the Starfleet brass would do something about it.
"That planet nearly cost us our lives", he said to himself out loud. "Lieutenant Ozu, I apologize for your death.", he continued. "If I had known this would have happened, I wouldn't have sent you down there. " He knew those words would do nothing now. It would only serve to make him feel better about the fact that a friend had died. It seemed to happen to everyone he knew, including Nera who sacrificed herself to save him.
"Bless her soul", he said solemnly. "Nothing can take you away from me. Not even my memories of you."
Death. That planet had transformed life into death. And Ozu wasn't the only one who had perished. The casualties were low of course, which he was thankful for, but now he had to explain to Starfleet about the loss of the Section 31 agent, who was a Starfleet officer all the same. Perhaps he could explain it away as death by arrogance. A man who knew no better than the greed that succumbed him.
<= Warbird yikao flying on an intercept course at warp 9.9 =>
Karen sat on the bridge chair. since the Horizon and the Presidio hadn't moved yet they had planned intercept at the planet now.
He wa still grieved by the loss of his young friend but also surprised. in the year he worked with him they had been trough hell and heaven but all Ozu got was a scratch now and than. His reflexes where faster than any other vulcan but still he died to some thing on that planet.
Karen: Karen to all hands i request 1 min silence to remember Ozu. Computer play Ozu 237 when the min is over.
The ship fell silent most people knew Ozu in person and even those who didn't knew what and who he had been for Karen and others.
All shall fade LOTR song (Ozu 237)
Home is behind, the world ahead
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadow, to the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight
Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
Alll shall Fade
All shall fade
The song passed away when Karen heard the helm.
helm: We have arrived sir.
Karen: decloak and wait for a min than send a hail tell them that i want to speak to Captain Taggart i will take it in my office.
< = USS-Horizon | In Orbit = >
Owain stood there silently in pensive thought when his comm-badge chirped.
"Yes, Taggart here.", he answered and wiggled his eyebrows in surprise at the mention of what had just appeared before them. "They want to see me? I'm on my way." And so Owain made his way to the Bridge. He had to admit he wasn't quite prepared to transmit his face. He felt vulnerable at the moment, not looking his best. His head was bandaged as well as his ribs. It wasn't exactly the kind of image you wanted to show an outside force.
He nodded at Nick as he entered and stood before the viewscreen, then gave a nod of confirmation to the operations officer on duty. "This is Captain Taggart of the Horizon. I'm told you have something to say. I'm listening."
<= Warbird Yikao =>
Karen: hello Captain Owain Taggart my name is Karen and We need to talk but not over the com channel you can come to my ship or i can come with my XO to your ship. you tell me.
Owain thought about it for a moment before he answered. "Very well, I will allow you and your XO to come aboard."
Karen: allright i will meet you in a min with my XO Chiyeko Kuramochi.
<= USS Horizon =>
KAren still hated transporters and was glad when he stood davely on the transporter pad on the Horizon.
Owain: Welcome onboard the Horizon.
Karen: thank you Captain. This is my XO Chiyeko Kuramochi just call him Chiyeko. A tour is not needed. I probably know this ship better than you do.
Owain didn't know how to take that comment, but he figured all would be explained soon. It was his ship afterall. Who could know it better than he?
After a short walk the three entered to meeting room. Chiyeko who hadn't said a word kept standing wile Karen and Owain sat down.
Owain: Your XO can sit too.
Chiyeko: thank you Captain.
Karen: dammit, why are you such Gentleman all the time?
Chiyeko: that question is irrelevant. Now please tell the captain why we are here.
Karen: Whatever. Captain, first of all I am here because of Ozu. He was one of my best friends, also he was my superior officer in the Organization. We are well known smugglers and mercs. Your Federation probably has some records of intercepted ships although they don't seem to be part of us, but that not important here.
Lt. jg Ozu as he was known to you had a great respect for you and for your way of commanding and for that he wanted to thank you. Since he is dead, I say it in his name. I know you wonder how i know all of this; well that is quite simple you see. Ozu was more than a Starfleet officer. He also provided us with you ship movements and communications through a couple of parasites he has placed on this ship and two others. I got a list right here how to find and destroy them. He wanted it this way and he also wanted one more thing. He wanted me to turn myself in as i am the responsible man for the organisation. He is gone, and he wanted it to shut down, but the people under my command wouldn't be able just to go back because they are criminals. That is why I would like to turn myself over as trough the chain of command.
In the end, I am responsible for the actions of my people. The Warbird will be turned in to Starfleet Intelligence as well, but i want one thing in return. My XO here is new to my staff since we found him a few months ago and he seems to be some sort of borg drone, but totally different and we can't help him; but you can. I want him get into Starfleet and get him help to recover. All we did was activate him and load some program into him for basic functions. And sorry for the long speech, but I don't like to talk long about these things captain.
All the time KAren hadn't give Owain a second talk or even to say a word. but Karen didn't like what he was doing but he knew it was the best his people shouldn't life on like this. but he just hated all the talking that normally would go in it so he had made it short and quick.
Owain didn't know what to make of this. He just sat through a speech from someone he hadn't known until a few moments ago. The revelations he heard were frightening on some level. He didn't like hearing that Starfleet had been breached, let alone that it wasn't only his ship, but others as well. On the other hand, here was someone who was turning himself in for the greater good, and offering to clean up what they left behind. He had to respect that, but then again, it was all part of his duty. He wasn't happy, but he had to show he had no mercy for what they had done.
"You and your people will be put in the Brig for the remainder of our journey. Your ship will be towed with us to Starfleet. Is that understood?", he told them matter of factly, with his arms crossed as if to show he had authority.
Karen: You misunderstood me. I am the one who goes into the brig here and my XO can be taken too, but the rest only followed my orders. Our contract is the same as in a military service. They followed orders and that's it. If you do not agree on this point i wish you good luck in capturing my ship. They are smugglers and know very well how to run.
Karen's calm voice had changed into a mad one, but Chiyeko just sat there and didn't even move a single muscle.
Owain breathed deeply and didn't change his stance. He didn't like when someone came aboard to dictate the rules.
"Listen to me carefully. Am I to understand that you come aboard to surrender yourself and dictate the rules of that surrender on my ship? You're on my soil now. On Starfleet's soil. You must abide by Starfleet rules. If you are responsible for your people as you say you are, then you will understand the need to put you and your crew at Starfleet's mercy. If what the Lieutenant wished was for your organization to be shut down, then let it be shut down. If you have the power you seem to have, you can order the crew to stand down. I can under no circumstance allow your crew to continue what they have done. I hope you have an explanation for your espionage that you have conducted on these ships."
Karen released his breath slowly.
Karen: Captain, this espionage is only ship movements and bugs to receive any transmission about Ozu nothing else. We needed to know if Ozu was safe and the ship movements made it easier to avoid starfleet ships. If you are mad that someone broke into your system, blame Section 31. They put Ozu in the fleet. And if i put my crew under you mercy who is going to guaranty that they will be released? Captain, unlike Ozu i do not trust the Federation. You can have me and my ship but not the crew. If you give me your word that my crew is free to go to take other legal jobs we are done here. You can send an Officer to my ship and my crew will follow his orders because i tell them to do so.
Chiyeko: Excuse me for this interruption, but I see the problem forming here. Karen, if these people are wise they will release the crew. And I believe they will, so please calm down. You know your blood pressure can't handle this.
Karen: Alright Captain. I will let one of your security personnel outside that door escort me to the brig. I believe that Chiyeko has more to say.
Chiyeko: Captain, forgive Karen. He has been in command of that crew for decades, and his temper is high. And we have two things to give Starfleet in return for the released crew, the ship and me. I know that ship from the inside out and back. I can help them to get every bit of technology from it, so please let the crew go and take the best price because believe me the crew wont give up if they know they go to the brig.
Owain thought about the situation, and gave a nod. "Alright. I trust your word. I will let your Captain know that you will be in good hands. He will not be harmed and will be released when we arrive at our destination. Is there anything else?"
Chiyeko: One more thing. Ozu wanted you to have this. It is a medallion found in some ancient ruins a long time ago. it has been transferred from friend to friend and Ozu saw you as a friend and wanted you to have it. Then I will return to the crew and prepare them. You are free to post as many fleet officer on the Yikao as you want to ensure I will keep my word. I will have the crew ready in 1 hour Captain. Oh and don't forget to remove those bugs. They are easy to find and just destroy them.
Owain nodded as he took the medallion he was being given. "Thank you very much. Lieutenant Ozu was one of my best officers. I will treasure this until the day I die." He looked at it pensively, then clasped it in his hand. "I will have my security officers make a sweep of the ship." He added while nodding. "You may return to your ship."
He watched as the security officers escorted him to the transporter room, and while still others moved to bring the Captain to the brig. He sighed as they both left. He was tired. For once he couldn't wait to get back to Sickbay, but he knew there was yet more work to be done. He tapped his commbadge.
=/\= "Taggart to Bridge, let the Presidio know that I request a debriefing with both crews before departing."
Jan Vogels - USS Presidio
Total blackness. The Presidio was blacked out once more.
"What the hell has happened now?"
Ensign Mendez had taken over for the almost fully drained Masterson who was finally a well deserved break, something Jan badly needed. But as long as the ship kept falling apart he had to be there. He cursed T'lara for going into a coma at such a time.
"Sir, we have lost power again."
"Really, I hadn't noticed", Jan said in a voice much sharper as he had intented. He threw Mendez an apologetic look, who seemed to accept.
"We have burned out power relays. They degraded and were damaged when we rebooted the ship. Since the reboot was not controlled they suddenly had to process a lot more energy than usual."
"Life-support and gravity are functioning, warp core and dilithium chamber are stable. Emergency lights are online now."
Just as he finished the sentence the bridge was bathed in a dim, red light.
"We have no sensors or communications, no propulsion what so ever, no defensive or offensive systems."
Jan nodded. "Great, so we are blind, deaf and crippled. For all we know there could be a decloaked Romulan Warbird next to us and we wouldn't know."
Mendez nodded. "Navigational computer is offline as well. For all we know we might have been towed to Romulan space already."
Everyone on the bridge grinned for a moment, despite the situation.
"Engineering is working on it. They estimate twenty minutes before we can use the relays again."
Jan nodded. "Very well, send out a bouy to inform the Horizon of our situation. Tell them we will be chatty again in thirty minutes."
Jan wanted to sleep desperately, but the Presidio wouldn't let him. His own had never been so cruel to him. Back then he had Jordan for that. He suppressed a yawn.
"Sir, emergency power relays have enabled internal communications again."
Jan nodded. At least that was something. Now all he had to do was wait.
"I'll be in the Captain's ready room. Inform me once we are back online."
Mendez nodded. There was nothing Jan could do so he might as well give his eyes some rest. He got into T'lara's ready room, slipped into the chair and fell asleep instantly.
He was woken some time later by Mendez and he got back to the bridge.
"Sir, the relays have been replaced. It took a bit longer than expected."
Jan checked the chronometer. It had been almost fifty minutes.
"Well I guess we are severely undermanned right now and those on duty are close to the bring of exhaustion. Good job nonetheless", Jan said. "Ready?"
"Yes sir, the systems are coming back up one by one."
Jan nodded. Suddenly Mendez looked alarmed.
"Sir, sensor readings show a decloaked Romulan Warbird next to the Horizon!"
"What the heck? Go to Red Alert, give me all the power to the shields and weapons you can give me."
"That would be nothing, weapons and shields still inoperable", Mendez said as sirens started scream and alert lights started to flash.
"Helm, get us out of here."
"Sir, we only have 15% impulse power. Warp drives are still offline", the Helm responded.
"Sir, I'm receiving a communique from the Horizon. Captain Taggert informs us that the Warbird is dealt with. His message has been authenticated and validated." Jan looked at Mendez, who had spoken and moved next to him.
Jan took a quick look. It seemed authentic and valid. The chance was very slim that this was a trick and the Warbird had actually taken over the Horizon and now tried to trick them. But if it were Romulans, Jan would still not trust it, if it weren't for the fact that the Romulans wouldn't have needed a trick to get to the Presidio. The Presidio had been blind and crippled for fifty minutes and still couldn't fight or flee, only crawls at impulse. Jan deactivated the alert. He made a silent apology to all crewmembers that were woken up again. There had been enough stress already. He surely was curious what the hell was going on.
"Sir, Captain Taggert sends a request for a meeting on the Horizon for a debriefing."
"About bloody time", Jan mumbled. "I surely would like to know what the hell is going on. I'll get over there. Is Gastovski on board?"
"No sir, he is still on Horizon."
"Tell them to have Gastovski meet me in the transporter room of the Horizon. Is Savoy locked away safely?"
"Yes sir, he is currently in sickbay, unconscious, strapped to a bed and under guard."
Jan nodded. "Good, keep him that way until I tell you otherwise. I'll try to keep it short on the Horizon. Mr Mendez, the bridge is yours, try not to wreck anything."
Jan got up and left the bridge, but not before grabbing a handphaser and rifle. There was a Romulan Warbird after all and he never trusted Romulan, no matter the situation. He muttered under his breath. "Aliens that manipulate dreams, Section 31 and now a Romulan Warbird. What is next, a Borg infestation? A marriage proposal from Jordan? I can't take much more, there's only so many blows a man can take on a day." He let out a big yawn as the turbolift inched away from the bridge.
< = USS Horizon | Transporter Room = >
The commander had requested for Gastovski to meet him in the Transporter room, and so Owain had decided to personally escort the man. It was afterall, standard procedure for the Commanding Officer to personally greet important figures like Ambassadors, Admirals, and other Captains. In this case, it was the Presidio's very own Executive Officer. And he wasn't looking very happy. In fact, he looked like someone who had been rudely awakened at 3 am to answer their Mother-in-law's question of where her spectacles were, when they were right on top of her head. He looked deathly tired, on the verge of collapse, but by some miracle kept on performing miracles. Though, some would say that was the Engineer's job.
When he appeared on the transporter pad, his eyes darted around, as if asking questions. He was a man looking for answers at what was outside. His gaze eventually shifted to Owain, like a missile closing in on its target. Then when he stepped off the pad, Owain had stepped forward to greet him.
"Captain Owain Taggart. I'm pleased to finally meet you", Owain said with a bow and extending his hand. Though the other only shook it out of courtesy more than anything as he looked at the Captain, noticing the bandages.
"Excuse me, but you look like hell.", he said.
Owain nodded, "That's because I've been to hell, and back.", he returned tiredly.
Jan Vogels - USS Presidio
Cold…blackness…emptiness…those were the only words that could describe what Jan felt whenever the molecules of his body were scrambled into an energy beam, moved across space to be reassembled back into his body…hopefully. When he materialized he noticed the transporter room of a Federation Starship. Instantly his instincts flared up. He noticed three people, a transporter chief, James Gastovski and Owain Taggert. Gastovski had anticipated his role and gave Jan a silent communique. Everything was alright. Jan let out a breath and kept his rifle shouldered. For a moment, he had been on edge, expecting a transporter room crawling with Romulans, or at least Romulans to wait outside the door. Now the danger was taken away, the fatigue kicked back in. He suppressed a yawn. It was a miracle Sara Sidle hadn't teleported after him and dragged him to the nearest bed.
Jan stepped down from the platform finally and Owain Taggert approached. Gastovski remained where he was.
"Captain Owain Taggert. I'm pleased to finally meet you". Jan accepted the offered hand. He noticed that both their grips were pretty weak. Taggert probably was as bad as he looked which wasn't much better than himself. Gastovski looked like an ice statue, impossible to read unless you knew him. He was tired but there was also a hint of sadness.
"Excuse me, but you look like hell", Jan said to Owain and meant it. If any Admiral caught them both looking like this they'd be instantly demoted back to Crewman Recruit.
Owain nodded, "That's because I've been to hell, and back", he returned tiredly.
Gastovski nodded. "And a bloody cold one too, even for my standards."
Jan nodded. "Well, believe it or not, things haven't been much better up here. A madman almost blew up my ship and I almost blew up my doctor."
Jan had to remember not calling the Presidio 'his' ship, but it was an old habit. And technically, right now, with T'lara knocked out, she was his ship.
"Anyway, mr Gastovski has informed me that the situation here is under control and I won't have to expect a party of Romulans in control of the ship. Would you please mind telling me what a decloaked Romulan Warbird is doing here, sir?"
Owain nodded. "I think you better walk with me and I will explain. I presume you came here expecting trouble."
He pointed at the weapons Jan carried.
"Yes Captain, excuse me for that. I couldn't be entirely sure this wasn't a trick, so I took a precaution. I shall leave them here."
Owain shook his head. "No need Commander. I give you permission to carry them, as long as you don't use them."
Gastovski grinned. "What use is a weapon when it can't be used."
Jan nodded and removed the weapons and gave them to Gastovski. "Get back to the Presidio and get some rest. That's an order Chief."
Gastovski nodded. "An order I will gladly follow. Captain Taggert, it was my pleasure to have accompanied you on an away mission. I regret the circumstances."
Owain nodded. "The pleasure was all mine."
Gastovski stepped on the transporter platform and was teleported to the Presidio.
"Hmm, what did you do to him? He's been never civil to 'strangers' before."
They both laughed.
"Please Commander, walk with me. I shall explain the situation of the Romulans Warbird first. You shall have a full coverage on the happenings on the planet as well. But first, is Captain T'lara well?"
Jan nodded. "She is doing fine considering the circumstances. She suffered extremely but with the base destroyed it seems she is doing better, but slowly. The doctor says that she will probably remain knocked out for a while but she should be fine and have no permanent injury or brain damage."
Owain nodded. "That's good to hear. Please, follow me."
They left the transporter room. Jan was still peculiar what was going on. Who ever had been manning the Warbird was lucky. Had the Presidio detected it, Jan would have probably opened fire and asked questions later.
Owain put it into his mind that as long as the Commander was here, he was going to give him a small tour of the Horizon. He would try to make it all the way to his ready room and offer him something there, but he couldn't promise anything as the Commander seemed like he meant business. So, business it was.
"Did you ever get the feeling that there was more to Lieutenant Ozu than he ever told us?", asked Owain, but Jan couldn't really see how this would explain the situation about the Romulans, he went along with it.
"Doesn't every officer have his secrets?", returned Jan who didn't really notice anything out of the Ordinary with Lieutenant Ozu. "Can't say I have, really. I do admit he was a trifle odd however. Why?"
Owain nodded with a respect for his dear friend, "Indeed, an odd fellow. When I first him after taking command of this ship, he seemed to carry a lot of old habits around with him. Habits that weren't exactly becoming a Starfleet officer, which lead me to believe that there was something more to him that he wasn't telling. As a matter of fact, there was an incident in which I had to profusely beg of him to break his old habits."
"Go on.", nodded Jan, "What kind of habits are we talking about?"
"Breaking out brigs. Stuff like that. Stuff that a Starfleet officer would only dream of. The fact of the matter is, we don't. We just get captured and await rescue.", he told Jan, adding a wink. "Sound like anyone you know?"
Jan thought for a minute. "Hmmm, I don't know. Not anyone in particular. Smugglers maybe?"
Owain nodded, "Bingo was his name-o. Now does it seem suspicious to you that there'd be a Romulan Warbird outside after the late Lieutenant perished?"
"Now wait a minute. That Warbird… They're not really Romulans?", asked Jan who was having trouble believing what was being said, but then something told him he could trust Owain. "Romulans. Smugglers. They're all the same thing. Damned lucky the Presidio wasn't armed."
Owain just nodded calmly. "Their Captain came to me and requested a meeting with me, which I had done just before contacting the Presidio to request that you come aboard. He revealed that Lieutenant Ozu was their previous Captain and wanted to speak to me in person. I naturally suggested that he transport over, as I wasn't in a mood to be captured to any plans they had in mind."
"Well hell. What I want to know is how they know where you were.", Jan exclaimed incredulously.
"Good question. I'll come to that in a moment. He wanted me to know that Ozu would have wanted his Smuggler friends to turn themselves in, but that some of their officers wouldn't be captured so easily. He wanted him and his XO to become Starfleet Officers."
"Right. Like we want a band of smugglers running around Starfleet stealing our secrets.", Jan said rolling his eyes.
"I know what you mean, Commander. And as a Starfleet Captain, I felt the only thing I could do was to put their Captain in the Brig. Their XO seems more trustful, like he wants to change. I've given him his own guest quarters and put him on watch. The brig however, seemed to call out the Captain's name." And here Owain stopped in his tracks and looked squarely at Jan. "You won't like hearing what I have to say next, Commander. Not anymore than I did which is the big reason I put him in the Brig. You need to make a full sensor sweep of the Presidio once you get back there. If you need, I'll send some of my officers aboard to help, but the fact of the matter is they've been spying on us, and their Captain mentioned that three ships have been compromised. I'm willing to bet the Presidio is one of them. I wouldn't take any chances. It's the only way they knew where Ozu was and why they had come to me when he died."
"Dammit, why does this happen to me? Of all the days in the world, this one seems to have taken an award for the worst. I hope you have something strong to take away the pain, Captain."
Owain raised his eyebrows and nodded, "I do. I know just the thing. Follow me."
"Now this warms the cockles of my heart.", Owain said as he presented a glass of Romulan Ale to the Commander. Jan promptly took it while delight filled his eyes. Owain then poured himself a glass.
"Cheers!", they both said as their glasses collided and drank the liquid down. It was pure bliss to Owain, something that made Owain realize he had missed it, and quite a lot. He looked up at Jan as he noticed a look of disappointment over his glass being empty.
"It's good when alcohol actually helps to solve problems", Jan said.
Owain nodded, "When I found out that alcohol helped to slow down the process, it was already too late for me. My mind was already gone too far. But you… Well, I can only say I wished I had thought to bring that bottle down with me to the surface."
"But then we wouldn't have any here, right now.", Jan said, shaking his glass. Owain took it from him and refilled it, and as he did so, he started his tale.
"Well, the Archimedes didn't make it. That was the first sign of trouble, but at least none of us got hurt in the process. We crash landed pretty hard and hit a native creature, which we later learned was very much like the Yeti legend from Earth. Harmless and defenseless creatures, but the Away team was always on alert. Well, you know what happened. I won't bore you with details. All I can say is that he died bravely in the line of duty."
"We found the base, up a hill, again surrounded by creatures. But the base itself wasn't guarded. It was an eerie feeling, being on this cold planet, and a section 31 base that wasn't guarded. Something didn't seem right. There had to be something wrong. And indeed there was."
"When we blew up the door, nobody came to defense, but a few footsteps who didn't even put up a fight. And they would have been blown thanks to the Marines if they decided to put up a fight anyhow. They seemed confused, out of their minds, but in a much worse state than we were, if you can imagine. Their own experiment had made them unable to function!"
"Well, wouldn't know know it. It was Quincy McLaughton, an old friend of mine from the Academy who was in charge of this experiment. We were sworn enemies in each other's minds, and one day he had just disappeared. We never thought much about it, but rumours had started that he had been chosen by Section 31, while the Academy insisted he was dead. I wasn't very happy seeing him, and I had it in mind of taking him back to the Outpost for questioning. But an unfortunate accident happened after an argument with Major Sharp, and we no longer have him in custody."
"It was around this time that we noticed Lieutenant Ozu was missing. And you know the rest. I must admit, I'm proud of your man Gastovski. I don't think I would have been able to get this done without him. Despite our mental capacity, and all of us were affected, "I think we did reasonably well. In time, things shall return to normal. Well, as normal as things can be expected."
Jan had listened to the Captain's speech intently, and spoke up as it seemed he was finished, "Normal? You think the Presidio's ever normal?" Again, he pointed out his empty glass.
Owain laughed while he filled the glass. "Just between you and me, I won't tell anyone you've been drinking on the job. One for the road, right?", he said with a wink.
Jan stood up after downing the glass. Owain noticed that he felt more relaxed compared to when he first came off the transporter pad "If there's anything else…", Jan told him.
Owain nodded and smiled, "Yes. Take good care of her, Commander. I can see it in your eyes. Don't fool yourself. She needs you, and you need her."
"Thank you, sir." Jan said with a smirk.
"Apparently there's a race starting soon, Commander. May the best man win. Good luck. It was a pleasure working with the Presidio", Owain told him. They both shook hands firmly and then Jan left. Now it was time for Owain to go back to see Sickbay to see his own doctor…
They both stayed in orbit for awhile as the Horizon's engineering crew helped the Presidio with repairs. And then they were on their way.
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