Table of Contents
Essentially, when a mission is going on, this is where you will find all its updates. Current Missions will be updated here and then moved off onto their own pages when completed; this page restored to a clean slate to begin again with the next mission.
The Romulan Contagion
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Owain Taggart & Andy Maddigan (JP)
Owain stood by the station's window, looking at the worker bees diligently working to disassemble the Horizon. It had been a home to him and his crew, and now… now it was a testament of time passed. A relic of what it was and what it could have been. It had once been a bright beacon among the stars of a proud and unabashed Starfleet that had served them well; served him well.
It had been a few weeks since she came in, and he and his crew had been living on the station since then, some going off on some well-deserved R&R. Owain had had many meetings with the brass, waiting to see what his new orders would be and where it would be taking him, most importantly his new ship.
That had been taking the longest. They were probably all deciding what to do and what to hand him. Standing there, looking at his Horizon only made him yearn to be out there. He was so engrossed in his thinking that he hadn't heard the footsteps coming up behind him.
Andy Maddigan was a busy man. Having taken on the responsibility of the newly formed Task Force Victor he had barely had time to acquaint himself with the ships involved. As he walked into the vista ahead of the USS Horizon being disected piece by piece,his view was quickly taken by the figure looking out the viewscreen on perfect silence.
"Captain Taggart I presume?"
Owain turned around and looked at where the voice was coming from, a person he hadn't yet had the pleasure to meet. "Aye, that would be me. You know, it's a shame she had to go out like that, but what can I do. We were ambushed by new tactics." He took a deep breath and sighed, "Are you my new Task Force Commander?"
"Andy Maddigan at your service Captain. I know how hard it can be to lose a ship. I lost the Kitty Hawk during the Nesh'Ra Conflict and it still haunts me to this day. At least for you all is not in vain. I've been in speaking with the Arimithea Shipyards. Recently a ship left there which is due to arrive here on station later today. The ship is yours Captain if you want it."
Owain nodded as his superior talked about the new ship. "I heard. And I also heard that she's a Defiant class? I think she'd be a fine ship to carry on the Horizon name. You'll have to excuse me. My crew is a little excited, particularly my navigator. We'd possibly want to leave as soon as she's checked out, if that's alright with you. What's my mission?"
The Admiral looked out of the view in front of him for a second before answering Captain Taggart.
" Captain this a delicate mission. As I'm sure you are aware the Romulans and the Vulcans have been bitter rivals for centuries. Ambassador Spock has been working on Romulus on the premise of Unification of the Romulan and Vulcan peoples who share a common ancestry. Ambassador Spock worked initally covertly but after the turmoil on Romulus and in particular in the Senate his efforts became more pronounced. On Vulcan news of this campaign raised many dicsussions and some unrest within certain quarters. In recent months this has led to some extreme views on the matter which has been debated on Vulcan but now there appears to be a dramatic upscale of events.
Ten days ago, Ambassador Spock conveyed a message to the Federation President from the Praetor. The Romulans believe that a group of extremist Vulcans are planning to attempt Unification by force. The Romulans say they believe that some form of weapon, possibly a synethised contagion may be deployed to subdue the population of Romulus in an attempt to quicken the Unification. There are obvious political ramifications for all concerned. The Vulcans are totally distancing themselves from what they call "An illogical act" however there is some evidence to show there are a number of rogue Vulcans attempting a sort of Coup except their goal is not to overthrown the sovereign Romulan State but to create a unified force that would be a destabilising effect across the Quadrant.
Your mission is to uncover any possible attempt by rogue forces to interfere in internal Romulan affairs but Starfleet cannot be seen to support any regime on Romulus. Starfleet Command is anxious to prevent any more instability with the Romulan political system especially if the cause stems from one of the Federation's founder members. You need to establish if these rogue Vulcans do exist and if so do they have a contagion neutralise it at all costs. We cannot afford this."
Owain nodded and took his turn to glance out at the view, then looked at Andy and frowned. "This is certainly an interesting turn of events. I never thought I'd ever see Vulcans as aggressors in my lifetime. The situation must be very dire. I can only wonder what these "rogues" as you call them, have to gain by thinking they can speed up the unification process. It's particularly troubling that these actions could very well undo Ambassador Spock's work. I can't even begin to imagine what he's thinking in all this. He must feel devastated. Worse yet, he's probably cornered by his position with no official status within the Vulcan and Romulan communities due to his move to Romulus. Is there anything we could do to help him?"
"Captain although there isn't a issue here in regards the Prime Directive, Starfleet cannot interfere. This is a nightmare scenario. A Federation Member involved in a dispute with another regime. Ambassador Spock is in a no-win scenario and in effect we can't be seen to be siding with one side or the other. The Vulcans are part of the Federation and as long as this matter is kept to just them and not end up dragging all of us into this mess then we stand a chance. The Federation Council are deeply concerned that this does not escalate so they want a speedy conclusion. Your orders Captain are to find the Rogue Vulcans, destroy the contagion and ensure they do not step foot on Romulus. Take any and all steps necessary to make sure of that. Am I understood Captain Taggart?"
"Understood, Admiral. I only wish it hadn't come to this. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Well then, I guess I should be leaving soon. Is there anything else I should know?"
"Only that this mission is regarded as Top Priority. You have a new ship but an experienced crew. This mission needs to be resolved successfully at all costs. I don't envy you Captain but I am confident you are the right man for the job. Good Luck and God Speed Captain."
Owain nodded and bid his farewell. He had many things to do to prepare, such as recalling any vacationing crew back to the station. A new Horizon was awaiting…
Draka Ren Colok
Draka had spent the past few weeks on station, going about a daily routine to keep himself fit and ready for duty. After waking up each morning he went to the holosuite the Horizon crew were assigned time on to run excercise, unarmed combat and marksmanship routines. Afterwards he grabbed a quick sonic shower and reported a security station to get some security detail time in, keeping those skills sharp. He saw his fellow Horizon crewmembers when he could… finding himself trying more and more to 'run into' Rynen, though not too many chances presented themselves. After the duty shifts he was able to get, he used up more of his credited holosuite time running layout programs of the most common Starfleet and non-Strafleet ships in the Gamma quadrant, in and around the Megiddo station so that he's as familiar with them as he can be, just in case. Shortly after the Captain met with the Admiral, Draka returned to his quarters on the station… a message awaited him. He accepted the message and viewed it… orders telling him to report to a specific dock berth in two days time, zero seven hundred hours, sharp. He rubbed his chin.. pondering.. glad that soon.. he and his fellow crewmembers would be out there, making a difference.
Sym Fra Hop
The first thing that Sym noticed when he stepped onboard the new ship was the size. It was smaller than he realised, but he was more than familiar with its capabilities.
"I'm gonna enjoy working here" he muttered to himself.
The officer stationed at the Horizons air-lock handed him a PADD,
"Here is the location of your quarters, Commander. Welcome aboard." The man said.
"Thanks, has Lieutenant Garfield reported in yet?" Sym asked.
"Yes sir. Lieutenant Garfield reported thirty minutes ago."
Sym thanked the officer and exited the air-lock.
Due to the size of the Horizon-A, it didn't take him long to find his quarters. Once there, he threw his duffel onto the sofa that also doubled as his bed.
He looked out of the view port and sighed. He silently wished he was back on the former Horizon. He always felt like this when he was transferred, at least there were a number of familiar faces. Sym drew some small measure of comfort from that. He would enjoy working with Captain Taggart and the rest of the old Horizons crew that had transferred over.
Sym realised that he had an hour or so to himself, so he decided to explore the ship. With that in mind, he left his small quarters and began his wandering.
It had felt like years since Horrus had been on active duty; his first mission ironically becoming his last aboard the original USS Horizon. He was happy to have a little rest and relaxation time before beginning his second ship out. Glancing over a PADD he had just begun reading the specifications of the new Horizon a Defiant class vessel. “Hmm, seems kind of small.” Horrus thought to himself as he walked down the corridor of the station towards the airlock of the new Horizon.
“There’s my favorite genetically destabilizing doctor.” Olivia’s voice could be heard from behind.
“Oh I see its still alright to make fun of serious medical conditions is it? Well how’s that wart between your shoulders, what was it you were calling it? Oh that’s right, you’re face.” Horrus replied without looking up from his PADD. Ever since his return he and Olivia and made a great number of discoveries regarding his bizarre condition that had began on the Planet of their last mission. His overall brain function had increased twenty percent, his reflexes and senses had all been heightened to varying degrees, he had become faster and stronger and overall healthier. None of these issues were complaints as far as he was concerned, it was when they took a closer look and found that his genetic structure, that is to say the overall makeup of his DNA was changing it made them slightly worried.
Olivia smirked, “How are you feeling?”
“Like everyday since we got back, perfect.” Horrus responded still staring down at the PADD.
“Still not eating?” She asked.
“Haven’t been hungry.”
She stepped in front of him blocking his path, “How long has it been since you’ve eaten?”
“I don’t know, I haven’t been paying attention. Will you get out of the way, I have to report in.” He demanded.
Olivia pulled out her tricorder, “It can wait, so what a day? Two? Give me an estimate.”
Horrus sighed, he was tired of tests, yes something was changing but so far it hadn’t been bad, actually all of the changes had been quite beneficial what was the big deal if he hadn’t eaten in… “Maybe a week?”
“A WEEK?” Olivia exclaimed before realized she needed to lower her voice, “A week?, but my scans are showing that your in no need of any nutritional supplements or minerals.”
Horrus smiled, “See I’m fine, nothing to worry about.”
“Horrus you’re a doctor, you can’t just stand there and tell me not eating in a week is alright.” Olivia said as she continued to scan him.
“Look, granted everything that has happened in the last few weeks has been strange, no doubt. But on the plus side, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been and I’m working faster and better than I ever could, so far I don’t think these changes are going to be negative.” He replied confidently.
No matter how confident he wanted it to sound Olivia new he was frightened, she could see it in his eyes, she only wished she had empathic capabilities to force it out of him. “And what if they start to become negative? We haven’t begun to understand what these genetic modifications are going to do in the long run, your body is transforming Horrus. Sooner or later it is going to take a toll. You need to tell the captain.”
“If and when my duties become affected by this ‘condition’ is when I will alert the captain, until then all we can do is monitor the progression of the changes and there affects. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to report in, and so do you, so stop doctoring and get back to work!” Horrus smiled.
“Alright fine but I want daily progress reports do you understand?”
“Fine, any way’s do you know what our next mission is going to entail? Horrus asked.
“Not a clue, I’m sure we’ll have a briefing, lets go take a look at my new sickbay.” Olivia said with an excited tone.
The two made there way through the ship easily finding there destination. Once there they stood in the doorway, Olivia looked around peering around like a cat in a new room full of twine. "It smells….so…..new." She muttered.
"Yeah well try not to blow this one up." Horrus smirked.
Olivia glared back to Horrus, she she walked past each bio bed touching them each with her hand, "I like it, its wonderfully cozy."
"In the real world we call that small." Horrus replied quickly.
Olivia didn't reply, Horrus glanced back at her to find her staring at him, "…What?" He said with distaste.
She stepped closely to him while pulling out her tricorder, "Your skin."
Horrus seemed concerned, he grabbed a metal tray and used it like a mirror, the sides of his temples had developed a bluish hue with symmetrical spots that when vertically with his face. "What…the hell….are those." He demanded.
"I have no idea, they weren't there a minute ago, the spots look Bajoran in nature but the color reminds me of area of the skin reminds me of a Bolian."
"Great, ladies and gentleman step right up to see the amazing mishmash kid, hes Bolian, hes Bajoran, hes human, and on his bad days he's a KLINGON!" Horrus exclaimed.
"This is no time for jokes, this is serious, apparently this genetic resequencing is now affecting physical characteristics."
"Who's joking?" He replied.
"I'm going to ask you to stay here until further notice, I'll debrief you on the mission specifics once I get them and as far as anyone is concerned you have a mild rash." Olivia said, she put away the tricoder and walked over to surgical bay computer console. "I'm going to have the computer run some tests, while I do that I'll go get a lay of the land and see how everyone is settled in, like I said, you stay here. If you'd like start running some spectral analysis of your DNA from yesterday and what we have now."
"Greaaatt…errand work." He replied dryly while filing hypo sprays.
"Hey, any answer we get is better than nothing." She replied.
"Unless the question is 'What time did he die doctor?'". Horrus stated.
Farewells and Hellos
Sam stood he looked into the window of the station that viewed his new ship, the Horizon-A, he hadn't been sure whether he would still be stationed on whatever ship that Captain Taggart got. After all most of the crew had been transferred off, he had actually jumped in the air once he finally got his orders, which was more that he had been assigned to a Defiant class vessel than anything else.
He remembered flying the Defiant class vessel back at the Academy it was his favorite ship, it was a dream to fly, it maneuvered easily and it kicked some ass when needed to, he would stack it up against anything in the known universe…that is as long as he was the one flying it.
Sam stepped back from the window and picked up his gear and headed off in the direction of the ship.
"Here you are cadet you should be able to find your quarters its simple in this ship."said the loading officer.
Sam smiled and walked off, he soon found his quarters, this time they would be shared he stepped in and looked around two of them where already there. One appeared to be an engineering crewman who didn't look pleased to have a pilot sharing his quarters, and the other was a Science Cadet.
"Hello I'm Cadet Jones."
"Hello,"said the Science Cadet
"mm,"said the Engineering crewman.
Sam ignored the crewman sometimes engineering liked to blame the pilots for things they had to fix, Sam walked toward one of the bunks. The engineering crewman moved his stuff from a bunk and through it to the other side glaring at Sam, he started to say something but was interupted by the Science Cadet.
"My name is Cadet Jon Yorn science division, while this happy fellow is crewman Ron Otis of the engineering division." Said cadet Yorn.
"Nice to meet you Cadet Yorn, wish I could say the same about crewman Otis."
With a flash Sam and Ron were face to face, and Jon had a look that seemed as if he was in denial of what had just happened.
"So whats your problem Crewman?"said Sam.
"Up yours Flyboy if you had flown better than some of my best friends would still be alive!."
Sam felt his hand ball up into a fist and he was about to hit the crewman when he felt a hand on his shoulder, someone had came in while they were yelling.
"Easy there Sam, and crewman if he hadn't flown as he did none of us would be alive."said a voice.
Sam breathed in, he new the voice well.
"Korg, I'm glad your bunked here."
Korg had flown in the last mission with Sam, and Sam had covered him while his shuttle and another shuttle escaped, it would be good to have another pilot bunking with him if nothing but to keep him from hitting crewman Otis.
Sam and Korg talked for awhile and then Sam gave Korg a PAD and a crate, he Korg read the PAD and then said, "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I made a promise, but let me read the PAD once more to make sure its correct."
He looked down on the PAD:
"Dear Lt. Commander Hop,
In our last mission when I was in the heat and flying by manual, I made a promise that if you kept the ship going long enough for us to get out of danger that I would give you and your whole engineering crew this box of Jim Beam bourbon, from earth, its good,and you don't get a hangover from drinking it, I would of given you Romulan Ale, but seeing as how that's illegal and I don't really know you…I've been to jail didn't like it and don't want to be there again, but alas here's this box of bourbon, thank you for keeping us alive.
End of message
Sam handed it back to Korg, yes I'm sure I made a promise and I'm going to keep it, if he doesn't answer just leave it at his door step.
Korg left the room and Sam sat down on his bunk, he put up the rest of his gear careful to keep his contraband such as Romulan Ale and Aldonian cigars hidden from his other bunk mates, after which he laid down on his bunk and thought about the stars,soon he fell asleep and dreamed of flying the new star ship.
Commander Langford had been one of the first to board the new Horizon. He hurried around, making sure everyone found their stations and reported in. He had been told that they would be leaving fairly soon, yet he still had no idea what their mission would be. Still, he rounded everyone up, and got preliminary reports done, making sure they'd be ready to leave soon.
This being a newly commissioned Defiant class, everything was new. The smell alone had told him that; like a new car, as it smelled of sulfur and newly welded metal, and not burnt like the Horizon had become after the aftermath. The clang upon the decks rang in the air, and signaled the arrival of more and more crew, a comforting feeling to be sure, and soon the clangs would be met with the thrum of the engine room, which would coalesce into perfect harmony. One with keen ears could detect when a ship was operating at maximum efficiency with those sounds alone.
The Horizon-A was tiny compared to its predecessor, yet no less powerful. Sure, some had to share quarters with as much as up to four people, but they were no less excited to be on their way on a new mission. A mission that would prove to be a challenge.
The first time Langford had seen the Captain, they had exchanged wordless glances. Owain had a thoughtful, yet tense look to him, which gave Langford a clue that something new had been learned; something disturbing. It wasn't until later that he finally learned why.
"So, you see, we have our hands tied," Owain had told him, "I'd love to help Spock, but it wouldn't exactly be prudent. It would put our jobs; yours, mine and everyone else on the ship, in jeopardy. Doing otherwise would put everything at stake, not that the situation isn't delicate enough as it is. We've got to find that contagion and destroy it at all costs."
Langford nodded with a frown, "This certainly changes things. Just when I thought we were making strides with the Romulans towards unification."
Owain nodded back, "The Romulans see this as an act of war. They'll surely no doubt be ready to attack at will. They're probably amassing their forces right now.", he said with a loud sigh, "I certainly don't envy Spock right now. If we allow the rogue Vulcans to penetrate and infect Romulus, they'll mostly blame it on him and kill him for it. He's lived on Romulus for awhile, but I'm sure they haven't discounted the possibility of this being Spock's doing. We've got to destroy that contagion for the Romulan's sake; for the Federation's stake. We know he wouldn't do such a thing, but to the Romulans, they'll use any excuse if they feel threatened.
"I certainly don't envy you", Langford stated.
"If there's one thing I've learned over the years, is that you've got to roll with the punches. In this case, the Romulans have asked for our help, and we've got to do what we can to make sure we give them that help. Oh, it won't be easy, Commander. But what is?" He sighed again and looked around the small bridge then back at Langford, "Is everything ready for departure?"
"Just about, sir. We'll be ready in about 2 hours."
Sam laid back on his bunk looking up at the bottom of the top bunk, he really needed to get some pictures up on the top so it would be less boring to look at. The doors to the room swished open, Sam looked up to see polished boots walking in, then the heard the sound of 3 heads hitting the top of there bunks, that could mean only one thing…an officer.
Sam stood and looked at who had walked in, he had an air of overconfidence and an overall pain in the ass, but Sam noticed that the man was also a Lt., so Sam stiffened up like the rest of them.
"At ease,"said the Lt.
"Clear the room except for Cadet Jones," the Lt. added.
The rest of them walked out and once they past the Lt. the shot glances back at Sam. Sam started to wonder if someone had let the word out that he had contraband on board, but put up his poker face, he wasn't one to be bullied by anyone.
"Cadet Jones I'm Lt. John Maz I'm the new CHO, I understand that there was pretty much know authority over the Pilots since the last CHO was sick and that you have gotten to fly quite a bit more action than most Cadets…"
"Did I say I was finished Cadet?"
"Sir, no sir."
Sam was starting to get pissed he hadn't been talked to by anyone this way since the Academy.
"As I was saying Cadet, I know your type and you think you know everything, and if it was up to me you'd wouldn't even see the bridge this mission…but its not up to me the Captain requested that you take the ship out of station docking, and have the first shift…"the Lt. took a step closer so that he was face to face with Sam." That should of been my job, and you will pay for getting to do this, unfortunately since the Captain seems to like you somewhat I can't take you off of the schedule but trust me, I'm going to make this mission hell for you."
And with that Lt. Maz left, Sam smiled, almost laughed he was going to get to take the ship out for a spin…which meant the captain trusted him. He couldn't wait to tell Korg that he had already pissed off the new CHO.
Olivia was concerned about Horrus' well being, she couldn't explain what exactly was happening but she had a few ideas as to how it had happened. She pondered over the many thoughts as she sipped a cup of coffee in the mess, the sound of her comm badge chiming breaking her concentration, "Lieutenant Torv please report to my ready room." Came the stern voice of the captain.
Anticipation. Nervousness. Suspicision. "What have they figured out? Will I have time to delete the necessary files? What about the research?" More and more thoughts were swimming through Olivia's head she couldn't concentrate, "Why is he calling me now? What could it be about." The turbolift doors parted with a gentle hiss and Olivia stepped into the cooridor, she aproached the bridge doors and waited, taking a deep breath she stepped on to the bridge. It was smaller than she had envisioned but still booming with life as the crew prepared to depart. The captain was already waiting front and center, "Ah, good Lieutenant, please join me in my ready room."
"Well it seems like this is going to be alright…" Olivia thought to herself.
The two entered the room taking there seats, a quiet pause between them made Olivia all the more anticipatory.
"I'm sure you're curious as to why I called you here Olivia." The captain started off, his eyes were calming to Olivia. She could tell he was an honest man with stern conviction and would not deceive her.
"The thought had crossed my mind sir."
"Well as you know we'll be departing shortly, however….you will not be joining us." The captain slowly finished his sentence while handing Olivia a padd, "Your transport orders."
"Sir…I don't understand?" Olivia's eyes were wide with worry, she was perplexed, frightened even.
"I'm not sure I understand either Lieutenant. I received a communique only moments ago from Admiral Davis at Starfleet Medical, you're to return to the Alpha Quadrant for a new assignment immediately. I have to say, it took me by surprise it was just only a few weeks ago I was informed your transfer was permanent, however if thats what the Admiral wants…that is what the Admiral gets."
"What are my orders?" Olivia questioned.
"That you'll have to find out from him, they are deemed on a 'need to know basis' apparently I'm not on that list." The captain replied. "The main issue I have right now is that I'm left with no Chief Medical Officer and no time to find a replacement, so until we return to the station after the completion of our mission I'm going to need you to select someone to head up the department."
The captains task was simple enough, it was the news that was still shocking Olivia, "Of course Captain, I'll have Horrus head up the department, I think he's proved himself quite worthy.."
The captain interrupted, "Excellent, here are the mission orders, I'll need the entire medical staff to start brushing up on Romulan and Vulcan physiology, mainly in regards to auto immune responses and disease response. It's all in this padd." He said while handing her the information.
"Yes of course captain, however about Horrus…well he is going through a little change right now, I don't think its affecting his duties but just don't be surprised if things seem…different." Olivia attempted to side step the issue that Horrus had developed a bluish hue on the sides of his face and small spots that resembled that of a trill's.
"Different? How do you mean?" The captain obviously didn't want a sick person running his medical division.
"Nothing to worry about, its not a contagion, simply a minor….(Olivia searched for the right words)…differential in his DNA, should clear up in a few days, it just came with some odd physical side effects, just thought I would let you know ahead of time."
"Thank you doctor, I appreciate everything you have done here thus far and I'm sorry to see you go, good luck, dismissed."
Olivia gave a polite nod and stepped out of the room, her thoughts raced again, "First things first, why the hell am I leaving." Olivia raced to her quarters, she had roughly thirty minutes to get off the ship so the Horizon could still depart on time. Stepping in to her quarters she immediately sat down at her work station, "Computer, open secure channel to Jericho Station, signal Echo Sigma Five Nine One, encrypt channel highest possible setting."
The Starfleet insignia was replaced by the face of an Admiral, "Admiral Davis, why have I been reassigned?" Olivia demanded.
"We felt it was necessary after you failed the preliminary mission." Davis replied sternly.
"I did everything that was asked of me, the artifact wasn't disturbed, how could I have failed?" She questioned.
"You're incorrect, the artifact was disturbed, and activated, the consequences of which are yet to be determined."
"But McKay never made it to the planet, how could the artifact have been activated…" Olivia's face lit up as though she had a proverbial light bulb over her head. "It was on the ship the entire time wasn't it? It was within my grasp and I didn't even know it…"
"Correct, we felt had we given you all the information regarding it, had you been caught the knowledge you possessed could have fallen into the wrong hands, therefore we gave you some misinformation to keep you just off track enough to keep things intact and moving in the right direction. However despite our attempts, it was brought online and now we must take this operation elsewhere under new leadership. You are to report back to Starfleet Medical where you will be researching the data you retrieved." The admiral said plainly.
"Admiral I'm the best person for this job and you know it, I'm the only person who knows the most about this operation and I'm the only one with the advantage of being so close to the key, you can't just take me off of this without a replacement!" Olivia yelled.
"Lieutenant I understand your frustration but your orders stand, report to the station at once. There will be no more discussion, Davis out."
The comm signal went dead, Olivia was left devastated. Admiral Davis breathed a sigh of relief, looking up he spoke, "I've done what you asked, now leave me out of this."
A female voice responded, it was commanding yet personified, "Oh I'm afraid your part is not done Admiral, we want our artifact and you're going to make sure she doesn't step in the way." The woman said as she stepped into the light.
Olivia returned to sickbay to break the news to Horrus, walking inside she found him tinkering with a hypospray, "How goes it?"
She seemed almost startled, Horrus had turned around to reveal that his physical transformation seemed about complete, he was slightly taller, the sides of his face still with a light blue hue which now covered his forehead and went down the sides of his neck, his eyes and lips now matched his face and were a deep blue; pupils thin, like that of a cat, his surrounding face very pale, almost ghost like. His hair was now brown with streaks of the same blueish coloring which replaced all the blonde that had been there previously. "Woah." Was all she could say. "I've been gone for thirty minutes and this happened?"
"Yes, it was the most fascinating discovery I must recount." He replied, his voice slight deeper, yet filled with a hollowness. It was almost as though someone had taken all the life out of it, and replaced it with a computer.
"How do you feel?" She asked reaching for a tricorder.
Horrus looked around the room quickly, reacting like that of a bird, "My health is intact and in full primary condition."
"Not the answer I was looking for but I'll take that as a 'fine'." She responded while scanning him. "Your entire DNA structure has been rewritten, I don't think we can even call you human and more." She said still amazed.
"Then what am I to be called?" Horrus asked cocking his head slightly.
"I'm not sure, but there is no way in dodge I'm leaving this ship, it looks like we have two assignments now, first we brush up on our Romulan and Vulcan medical history, then we figure out what the hell is going on inside your body."
"Are you not suppose to be reporting for reassignment Lieutenant?" He questioned.
"Yes…I am, firstly stop speaking like that, and secondly how did you know that?"
"I glanced the information you posses in your hand, in what manner am I speaking? Does it displease you?" Horrus quizzically asked, eyes and head still darting around the room.
Olivia was beyond confused, she wasted no time tapping her comm badge she took charge of the situation, "Torv to the Captain."
"Go ahead." The captains voice responded.
"Captain I was able to speak to the Admiral and dissuade him of his decision, I'll be staying for the mission, I have to much responsibility here and to this ship." She prayed the lie would work.
A pause ensued, "Glad to hear it Lieutenant, keep me updated on your progress regarding your assignment."
"Yes sir." She sighed a heavy relief, "Alright, thats one problem down, now what do you know about Romulan immune response?" She asked Horrus.
"Only that of which my medical training has limited me to, I wish to expand my knowledge base." A stern response was given.
"Good…good, let's get started shall we?" Olivia guided Horrus over to a work station and began browsing the medical database with him, "This is going to be one hell of a ride…" She thought to herself.
Sym Fra Hop
Engineering was almost ready for departure, Sym had made sure of it. His department had been working around the clock since they arrived on board, making sure this new ship was without flaws.
Sym watched his engineers move around engineering as if they'd been here years instead of mere days. He felt proud that they had taken the minimum amount of time to adjust to their new ship. It's about time for the speech, he thought to himself.
"Can I have every ones attention please" Sym addressed his team
He waited until he had their full attention.
"As this is a new ship, a new crew, we are going to be following an ancient earth tradition. On a newly commissioned ship, a bottle of fine champagne is for some reason smashed on the ships hull. That has already happened in this case. Tormass, if you please.
Lieutenant Tormass Garfield, Sym's assistant passed some glasses around the small department.
"One of our pilots, a cadet named Sam Jones gave this entire box of the finest Earth Bourbon to the engineering team." Sym gazed at the assembled officers and noticed a junior crewman frown, "I propose a toast, to the finest engineering team in the fleet." Sym raised his glass and with the rest of the department, downed it in one.
"Before you go about your duties I have one couple of points to make. I have noticed that some of you have been harbouring some ill feeling towards flight control, I won't name names but I will only say this once. I will not tolerate any kind of crap from anyone. I know that some of you lost friends during the last mission but unfortunately that kind of thing happens from time to time. We all take that risk, or we would not be here." Sym paused for a moment and stared at the assembled crew, noticing a couple of guilty glaces.
"I wish I could say that it gets easier, but it doesn't. Just think about it. Dismissed."
"Do you think any of that sunk in?" Sym asked Garfield
"I hope so, or this is going to be a long trip." Garfield replied with a smile
Sym chuckled, "I don't fancy that at all. I going to the bridge, keep an eye on all of this will you."
"Get that new Ensign, whats her name?"
"Ensign Lois Barnett" Garfield supplied
"Yeah, get her to supervise the Junior technicians. I think that they might still harbour resentment, and an El-Aurien would be the best person to do it."
"Yes sir" Lt Garfield said as Sym left engineering.
It did not take him long to get to the bridge, when he got there, he immediately took the engineering station.
"Engineering ready for departure Captain"
Horrus Kinkade & Owain Taggart (JP)
Langford entered the ready room, a bright smile and full of spirit, excited to be going back out into the wild. The destruction of the Horizon had put a mark on them all; it was something they wouldn't forget for their lives, something that reminded them all of the dangers of being out in space. But Langford was determined to put that behind him and focus on the present. He had collected everyone's reports as the Captain had requested.
Owain had wanted to look at everything before leaving, he had told Langford. The security breach that had happened had concerned him and he didn't want to make the same mistake again. The ship wouldn't be leaving dock until he was satisfied, and Starfleet was even encouraging him to be thorough on this, as they didn't want to lose yet another ship under his hands. And yet, the mission was a priority…
He looked up as Langford deposited the reports on his desk. He leaned forward to glance at the top of the stack. Something had caught his eye, and he sat up straighter, gripping the padd with both hands while he slipped on his reading glasses. "How curious. Have you read any of this, Commander? What do you know about Dr Torv?"
"Well sir, you know that I haven't been aboard for very long. I only know she's our Chief Medical Officer.", responded Langford.
Owain nodded gently, "Of course. But something doesn't jive here. She's only been here a short time, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but it almost feels as though she's leading me on. She had an order to report to Admiral Davis earlier. She was being transferred, Commander. I don't know what's going on, but she told me she had persuaded Admiral Davis to stay here. Davis might be a queer fellow, but I do know one thing. He doesn't give up easily."
"Well, sir, I've really grown to like the people here, including you, sir. Maybe she just likes working here?"
Owain smiled, "I'd like to think that's the case, but I think there's more to it than that. What are the chances of a doctor refusing orders, an infected doctor, and disintegrated saboteur all being connected?"
"You talking about Horrus Kinkade sir? I think the chances are slim."
Owain nodded,"He's come down with something, that I'm assured won't affect his working capacity. But what do I know? She hasn't told me everything. We'll find that out." He tapped his combadge while looking at Langford, "Dr Torv, could I please see you in my ready room again, please? Bring Crewman Kinkade along."
Olivia's eyes widened like saucers, she paused before responding hesistantly, "Yes Captain, we will be there shortly." gripped the surgical console with both hands using it as a crutch, she took a deep sigh before collecting herself. Questions as they had done many times before began to flood her mind, she attempted to push them out of her mind and turn back to the situation at hand. She turned back around to find Horrus staring intently at his hand, exmanine every curveture, every line, seemingly fascinated by its intricacies.
Horrus' attention did not falter as he addressed Olivia, "What do you believe it is he has found?"
Olivia cocked her head slightly, stepping closer to him, "What did you say?"
Horrus' head turned slowly, a solem look upon his face, "You are concerned that the captain has discovered a fact which you wish to remain hidden, quite curious. You're adrenaline levels have risen thirty three percent with your heart rate and blood pressure rising respectively. You are experiencing a feeling of severe anxiety undoubtly caused by the confrontation you face with your superior officer. Do you not wish to see him?
Olivia was speechless, not only had his skin changed but Horrus' seemed like an completely different individual, his personality was mute, seemingly taking a page from the book of Vulcan, "Did…did you read my mind?"
"Yes. As well as take mesaurements of your autonomic responses to the situation." He replied abruptly.
Olivia staggered in her speech, "Well….as interesting as that fact is, yes frankly I am quite reluctant to see the Captain as I believe he may have information that may put us BOTH in jeoprady. We're going to go see him now, and I don't want you to say anything unless I tell you to, do you understand?"
Horrus' eyes narrowed as if filled with contempt, "I do not see the necessity of your directive." He proceeded to the door but stopped shortly before turning his head back at Olivia, "I go because it is my will…"
Olivia looked back at him, "Of course."
The two walked into the turbo lift and arrived at the bridge moments later, stepping into the ready room, Olivia quickly saw the captain seated behind his desk and Commander Langford standing next to him.
"You wished to see us Captain." Olivia spoke.
Owain nodded and glanced at them both. His glance lingered on at Horrus for a moment, letting him judge the situation more clearly before settling back on Olivia. "Yes, please sit, the both of you.", he said as he motioned towards the two chairs in front of his desk. He waited for them both to sit down before continuing. His eyes pierced right into Olivia's. "As you know, I've been going through everyone's profiles and recent reports. After what happened with our previous ship, I wanted to make sure that what happened, does not happen again. You've led an interesting, life, Olivia. Many things to be proud of from what I've read in your biography, and I can see see why you eventually became chosen to lead our Medical team here on the Horizon. Nobody could have predicted the strain we were in, even before getting to our destination. Yet, you performed admirably. I never got a chance to personally thank you."
Olivia took a mental sigh of relief, as it would appear she wasn't in trouble after all. "Thank you sir, I greatly appreciate that. Given the odds we faced I didn't expect the outcome to be as postive as it was, despite our losses." Olivia wasn't going to let her guard down,she felt the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end, something didn't feel right, and she knew the captain hadn't asked them to come to his ready room simply to thank them, no…there was more going on here and she could feel it.
Owain directed his attention towards Horrus, "Cadet Kinkaid, I would also like to thank you for your valiant efforts with the away team, from what I understand you were indespensible in aiding our people back to health. Despite your little currect medical mishap." Owain paused to look at Horrus' blueish hue, "Doctor Torv assures me you're in perfect health and ready to return to duty. Is that a correct assumption?"
Olivia became anxious, Horrus had not been the same since the the cellular reconfiguration that his body had undergone, he had the personality of a Vulcan Borg drone, she knew if he didn't pull this off she'd be finished.
Horrus paused, his lips pursed as if ready to say something but he hesitated, "As correct as I would sure hope! Yes Captain despite my new fashion statement in skin color I'm fit as a fox and ready to get started on the next medical mystery."
Olivia had to keep her jaw from dropping, Horrus seemed…normal in all entirety, she just hoped the captain didn't ask to many questions.
One of Owain's eyebrows went up as he experienced what had happened before him, "How curious. You feel fine then? Not under the weather? Your body must have been under considerable strain back on the surface." Before waiting for an answer he looked to Olivia, "He's not contagious is he?", he asked her, moving uncomfortably in his chair. "Whatever it is, I do hope it's only temporary. And I want you to make him your first priority. He's his own medical mystery.", he said with a sly smile, "I have complete faith in you that you'll figure this out, Olivia." He looked back to Horrus, "Mr Kinkaid, I fully expect you to cooperate. You are to go along with whatever she tells you she needs doing with you. We'll want to figure out why out of the whole away team, you were the only one affected."
Horrus nodded, "Of course captain."
Olivia chimmed in, "I'm not to worried captain, all the tests I've run so far don't show any signs of a contagion and he he's actually healthier than he was when we left drydock the first time. But I will keep trying to find an answer and I'll keep you updated." Her nails were digging into the side of the chair, hoping and praying that the meeting would be over shortly. "Is there anything else captain?"
"Yes", Owain replied curtly while nodding. It was a brief reply and to the point. "Mr Kinkaid, you may wait outside." He watched as the crewman got up and paused while exchanging glances with Olivia. The moment seemed to hang uncomfortably until he continued on outside the door. The air was tense for them both, Owain noticing Olivia's grip on the chair. "At ease, Lieutenant. Can I offer you anything? Coffee? Tea? Cheese?"
"Green tea would be lovely if you don't mind." Olivia attempted to relax, things seemed to be going her way thus far.
"Good choice", he said with a smile as he ordered some green tea from the ready room's replicator and handed it to Olivia. "I like to think myself as a fair Captain; one who is approachable, open-minded and honest with his crew. There aren't many times I get angry. Although, those who know me, know that I hate nothing more than dishonesty.", he said as he watched for any change in Olivia's demeanor, "For, how can I trust someone on my crew who can't have the decency to be honest with me? Those who ignite my fire learn to regret that they've ever felt my ire."
"I applaud your willingness to stay on this ship, Lieutenant. That's commendable. I can certainly see why you'd want to. You've been one of my best doctors. Although that isn't the only reason you want to stay, is it? I can tell you one thing. Admiral Davis is still expecting you, and you know how I know? I know without having a Betazoid telling me. I've known Admiral Davis since I became Captain. When you've been a Captain for as long as I have, you start to learn the idiosyncrasies of those around you. Admiral Davis isn't one to give up easily. And that leads me to believe there are many more things you aren't being honest with me about. Am I right?", he told her with a kindness that betrayed his anger, "Let me tell you something. Be honest with me, and I'll fight for you to stay aboard the ship where you belong. If you disrespect me by being dishonest with me, I won't think twice about sending you to Admiral Davis, and I know that's not where you want to be. So, tell me how you want to work this out. You can either fight it or work with me." He walked over to Olivia and sighed, eyeing her pips, "I can assure you, if you fight it, your career will go down the tubes."
Olivia crossed her legs and leaned back in her chair with a coy smile upon her face, she had been waiting for this moment since the captain had summoned her, now the plan was in action but, to what move would she make? Olivia set her cup of tea down on the table and leaned back again still with a straight back, "Captain, if I'm not mistaken you are accusing me of some sort of subterfuge, would I be correct in assuming this?"
The Captain paced a moment before turning away, "Not necessarily subterfuge Ms. Torv but something doesn't fit with this picture. You're record, its rather…new, and so much of it classified, and then all of the sudden without warning your placed right under my very nose on what turns out to be my ships last mission at the hands of Federation Admiral. Your past may have elluded others but I am not so quick, I want answers."
"As you said captain, much of my record has been deemed classified, I will cooperate in any way I can but I cannot divulge anything of my sealed past." Olivia replied confidently.
"Alright, then what of Horrus? Why is only HE being affected by…whatever is he is affected WITH, and only you seem to be treating him, I've spoken with some of the medical staff and they have informed me that you took special interest in Horrus since your arrival and have all but kept his treatment to yourself."
"His wish. Not mine." She replied quickly.
Owain sighed once more, "You're not helping your case Ms. Torv."
Olivia stood to face the captain, "Captain, if we are to face this next mission head on and from my understanding it has something to do with a medical contagion then you'll need the most knowledgable person of infectious diseases in the quadrant which, by the looks of it happens to be me, which is also why I took speical interest in Horrus, medical history or not it is still private. As for the other matters I am quite sure I have NO idea what you're talking about."
"Really? Then why all of the interested in McKay?"
Olivia froze, turning her head slightly her eyes narrowed, "Captain, do not meddle in affairs which do not concern you."
"Wrong answer, now if the next sentence out of your mouth isn't an answer to one of my questions which are now growing more and more complex I'll have you thrown in the brig so Admiral Davis can drag you out of here by the collar, understood?"
Olivia was silent, she had no choice. She took a deep breath and let it out grievisouly, "You're going to have to throw me in the brig captain because if I answered the questions you want to know my fate would be far worse."
Owain looked puzzled, "What are you talking about?"
"I work for a research and development division assigned to locate ancient artifacts, research and study them and if necessary, contain them. I was informed of an artifact on the planet you were traveling to and was placed on your vessel. McKay was also in search of that artifact but it was for a different purpose, I didn't know much, but what I did know is that whatever it was, I would be able to find it upon your arrival because that is how it would be activated." Olivia paused, "My division specializes in the cointainment of highly dangerous materials, mainly those used for weaponry, it was our understanding that the artifact McKay was in search of was a weapon of massive proportions capable of wiping out civilizations. Once the dust had settled and we were on our way back, I naturally assumed our search had bared no fruit and the weapon lay dormant."
"I take it you were incorrect."
"Yes, it wasn't long before I realized the weapon we were after wasn't a physical thing, well, not until the later stages at least. It's genetic. I also believe that it might be quite similar to what we might have to deal with on this next mission if I'm not mistaken, and the only working template I have to use to figure out how to stop it is standing on the other side of that doorway."
Owain's faced turned to concern, "Horrus?"
"Correct, I'm not sure why, or exactly what he was exposed to, but if I'm correct Horrus is now walking weapon, he's unaware of the changes to his body and we're both still unaware as to the extent of his capabilities, but I'm not holding my breath. For now the situation is under control but it can ONLY stay that way if you let me keep doing what I'm doing. Sending me to the Admiral will result in your ultimate failure and my…..end of a career…."
"I have to say Lieutenant this is one hard to swallow story." Owain said with disdain.
"Believe it or throw me in the brig, but don't send me to Admiral Davis." Olivia replied.
"And this Division you spoke of, who are they?"
Olivia remained quiet, "Section 37."
Owain nodded with gritted teeth. He looked at Olivia and swallowed hard, "It's all starting to come together. Allright, Lieutenant. I'll fight for you to stay here on this ship. It's obviously where you belong. I know now that you were only trying to protect the ship. There may be a medal for you in this yet.", he said with a smile. "McKay was a sly fellow, wasn't he? He got out of your grasp, and ironically enough met his end due to foolish demands. You did your best, although I would of liked to have had a warning when you realized that McKay was on the ship. Just one more question, Lieutenant. Were you aware of Admiral Caine?"
"I wish I could say I was. For some time now our superiors in many divisions have been acting strangely, reversing there opinions, canceling whole missions without warning, leading us on while goose hunts, some of us believe an outside influence is affecting the leadership. Those who have been questioning….well…the haven't been coming back. I can't imagine they would go to such great lengths to remove just one individual, unless of course they thought you were in possession of something." Olivia chuckled, "Which apparently we are. But no, I wasn't aware of anything in that regard. I appreciate what you're doing here captain, I know I deceived you but I won't let you down, I can assure you of that, and believe me when I say the work I do is for a good purpose."
"I think I can believe you, not to mention trust you. It's been a whirlwind these last few weeks. Lots went down. We've lost a lot of people, Olivia. But we've got to bounce back, and I think that there will be lots for you to do -"
Owain was interrupted by Sym's voice, which seemed to be enthusiastic; ready to go. =/\= "Engineering ready for departure, Captain."
He tapped his commbadge, "Acknowledged, Commander, I'm on my way to the bridge. Standby." =/\= He looked back at Olivia after closing the connection. "Like I said, lots to do. And as you heard, we're ready to depart." He extended his hand and shook Olivia's. "Thank you, Olivia. Remember, I want to hear some updates about Horrus. Dismissed."
Sam sat up from his bunk and headed for the sonic shower, he had an hour before he had to be on the bridge. Feeling refreshed from his shower, he got dressed and headed for the bridge.
When did humans become blue?
Sam stepped on to the bridge and looked around, his eyes quickly snapped to where a crewman stood, he had a blue looked to him, but didn't have antennas so it couldn't be an Andoriain, at that moment he saw that the person was staring him down too. He tore his eyes away for a second and then looked back, he couldn't believe his eyes it was Horrus, the helpful smartass doctor that did alot of yelling the last time he saw him…and the last time he saw him he wasn't blue.
Sam averted his stare once more and walked down to his seat and felt of it and sat down, he looked over the controls, there had been some advancements over what the old Horizon had. He rubbed the sides of his console and said,"Alright baby you treat me nicely and we'll make it out of many scrapes together, and we'll out fly and out manuever anything out there…"
"Psssst, Flyboy," interrupted Ensign Johnson.
"Can't you see I'm in the middle of an important conversation with our illustrious ship here?"asked Sam.
"Yes but you may not want to do that I heard the Captain's looking over everyone's files to make sure that there's no more saboteurs like on the last mission, and I'd say talking to a ship is abit odd…" said the Ensign.
"Well thanks for your opinion but I've only been in the nut house once…and that was for beating the shit out of a person that wouldn't mind there own business…"
Sam looked over at Ensign Johnson he had taken him seriously, he smiled he enjoyed giving people a hard time he didn't know what it was, but he just didn't care what anyone thought of him, with the exception of course being Captain Taggart.
It did actually distrurb him some that the Captain had been looking at backgrounds, his being extremely criminal in nature before joining Starfleet, in fact the only reason he was actually there was because his parents being good friends with Admiral Paris, and having his record covered up, and since it was an Admiral that did the covering he wasn't really worried about the Captain finding out by looking at his background. No he figured that the captain would find out sometime when one of his criminal friends came hunting or was caught in some fashion.
Sam looked into the viewscreen, he was raring to go, he wanted to test out the new ship, and the internal dampeners, engineering was going to hate him, he'd have to try not to break anything, like he usually did with new ships.
Olivia stepped out of the ready room and took a deep sigh of relief. She attempted to avoid the awkward stares from the bridge personnel, each one of them wanting to know what had transpired, their eyes brimming with curiosity. She rushed herself and Horrus into the turbolift, her first concern was to get out of sight and back to sickbay so she could make a plan of action. Now that her true identity had been revealed she wouldn't have to work so secretly, still there was much to be done. Suddenly, a thought dawned on her, Horrus' behavior in the ready room, she turned to him in the turbolift, "Computer halt turbolift."
Horrus looked at her blankly, "State your intent."
"I want some answers, every since you've undergone this transformation or whatever it is you want to call if you've been quite different, but the personality you showed to the captain was the Horrus I know, how did you do that? I want to know what’s going on, tests aren't yielding any results so I suppose I'm just going to have to get answers the old fashioned way."
"Memories and fragments are still within my grasp, rather than involving myself in a heated situation where I may have been confined to a secure area, I thought it best to mimic the hosts behavior in order to maintain your…"cover" you seemed very concerned with how the Captain would perceive me, in essence I did it for you."
"Host…? Wait…Who…what are you?"
"I am one of many."
"Excuse me?" Olivia was growing impatient, "Computer reroute turbolift to the brig."
"There will be no need for threats Ms. Torv."
"I am not threatening anyone, I'm doing. Answers. Now."
Horrus tilted his head signifying his agreement, "My people were the first inhabitants of the planet you visited, an advanced race we had long ago evolved to a higher plain, one where we do not exist as a corporeal being but as the air you breathe, the water you consume, the ground on which you walk."
"You mean you ascended to a pure energy?"
"To put it in simpler terms, yes. Unfortunately our people quickly realized that we were unable to leave our planet without the aid of corporeal forms. Therefore we seek out a suitable host that can withstand our presence and we inhabit the entity. In this case I choose your medical officer, however his physiology has reacted differently then that of others I have melded with."
"What do you mean?" Olivia was spellbound, she couldn't believe this was really happening.
"Normally, once we have arrived to a desired location that the host has taken us to, we depart the body and no trace of our presence is detected. Horrus however is different than the others as I said, his body has adapted to my essence, and…well I am afraid that I cannot leave. I have tried."
"So you're telling me that even if you wanted to leave, you can't."
"Well can I at least talk to Horrus, ask him if he is alright?"
"Normally I would be able to allow this, but again something is far different, I regret to have to inform you that upon my entering the body Horrus' sinaptic pathways adapted so that mine could use his mind. To put it plainly, Horrus has been erased."
"Wait…..you're saying that Horrus is gone..?" Olivia said astounded.
"That is correct. His body has adapted so that it can conform to my original physiology, in order to do this many primary functions were required to change, including brain function. In this instance, Horrus' consciousness was removed in order to increase cranial capabilities. Normally this does not happen, I have heard stories of such events but never have I witnessed it, nor did I expect it to happen to myself. I am sorry Lieutenant, but I am now the host of this body."
"I refuse to accept that, you won't even tell me your name."
"Tel'Vin. My name was Tel'Vin. It has been so long since I have required the use of a name, please forgive me.
Olivia seemed in a state of shock, “Computer reroute turbolift to sickbay.”
“I realize this must be somewhat of shock to your system, and please understand this was not what I intended to have happen.” Tel’Vin attempted to plead.
“Really?? You didn’t intend to willingly inhabit the body of someone so you could carry out your own means? You didn’t intend to violate the personal rights of another being so you could achieve a personal goal? I think you got just what you wanted.” Olivia gritted her teeth.
“Please, understand, when my people inhabit a host, it is not recognizable to the eye, and once we arrive at our desired destination, we depart as if nothing had transpired.”
“Tell me there is a way to undo this awful event.” Oliva asked.
“I’m afraid there is not, if I knew of one I would gladly try to do it.”
The turbolift doors swished open and the two walked back to sickbay, Olivia escorted Tel’Vin to the surgical bay, “Computer erect a level 10 force field around the surgical bay.”
“What are you doing?” Tel’Vin asked.
“You’ve identified yourself to being an unauthorized inhabitant of one of this crew, and until I know for you sure you’re telling the truth you’re staying in there, you’re lucky I didn’t put you in the brig. I need more answers; all my research is telling me that you’re a genetic weapon in disguise, what can you tell me about your abilities?”
“My people carried no special ‘abilities’ as you refer to them, we were much like your species, however I can tell you that this host was not like the rest of your race, he carried unique qualities and higher brain and system functions than normal to your species.”
“So all of those things that happened with him, the healing, the power surge…”
“That was all Horrus. At that point I was still merely an observing inhabitant, I also believe that those abilities have been with Horrus since his birth, they have just lain dormant, it is quite possible that my inhabiting his mind activated these abilities, I am not sure, but rest assured that he has had these abilities long before my arrival.”
Olivia seemed skeptical. “If you allow me, I will work with you on resolving this issue, I do not with to inhabit this body just as much as you. It would appear as though this body will continue to transform until it resembles my original being, if that is the case we have little time before the process is truly irreversible.”
Olivia couldn’t believe what she was hearing, not only did she have to solve a medical mystery with the Romulans and Vulcans but she had a strange alien entity claiming that it has completely taken over the body of one of her medical officers. As she attempted to deal with the situation her comm badge chirped, “Taggart to Torv, we’re preparing to depart, status report.”
Olivia’s eyes widened, “Well…captain, I’m going to send all of my findings to your ready room shortly, is that alright?”
“That will be fine. Taggart out”
Olivia sighed, “I’d rather he read what’s going on than hear it from my mouth right now.” She whispered to herself.
Olivia looked at Tel’Vin, “Alright, we’ll work on this together, but first I want to see what you can tell me about this contagion I’m going to be dealing with, you seem to have an eye for this sort of thing, what with inhabiting a human body and all…” She snared.
Owain Taggart & Sam Jones (JP)
The meeting with Olivia had gone over rather well, and he was pleased with the outcome. They had both learned a lot about each other and about what had happened down on the surface of the planet, and had both come down to an understanding. The information about Horrus concerned him, and he wasn't sure yet how he'd deal with it beyond the reports from Olivia. He pursed his lips and looked to Langford. "I worry about that boy. I find it peculiar that he was the only one affected. Just out of precaution, I'll want everyone who was on the surface to be examined. We can't be too careful. Besides, there might be something there that might help him." He frowned as he thought of something else, "I'm not a doctor by any means, but do you think it could be genetic?"
Langford shook his head, "You forget, I'm no doctor either. But it's a whole other world that would only give us headaches. Let's not start, shall we? I assume however, you meant something in his genes that would make him succeptable. You want me to get this coordinated with Dr Torv?"
Owain slapped the Commander on his back, "Right you are. But not just yet. We've got some departing to do.", he said as he smiled. He pulled at his shirt and then walked out onto the bridge, surveying the activity. A Defiant class bridge; this he'd have to get used to. It was much smaller than his previous bridge. It was like moving from a condo to a small apartment; homey all the same, but one had much more room to move around in. Still, it was functional and that's what was important.
He went right to his chair. "Send the request for undocking", he barked all the while looking at Sam.
"Request approved sir, ready for undocking at your command," said Sam.
He could feel the adrenaline pumping through his body, this would be alot like flying a fighter compared to what the old Horizon felt like. Sam turned his head slightly to look back at the Captain, his ears twitching in hope of hearing the orders to take the new Horizon out for a spin.
"Clear the moorings and release the docking clamps", ordered Owain.
Sam moved his fingers and touched the necessary parts of his control screen, and they were soon free of the station.
"Sir we are free from moorings and docking clamps, current speed one-quarter impulse, shall we see what she's got sir?"
Owain nodded, "Take us out nice and easy. Set course for 11-03-04. ."
Sam quickly set the course, but stopped at the last set of digits, the course would send them strait into Romulan territory, and he had more than his fair share of run ins with Romulans, in fact he almost hated them, they were the most selfish people he had ever known, or atleast all of them that he had met.
"Sir, these coridinates send us strait into Romulan teritory…."
Owain nodded, knowing full well where it would take them, "Engage."
Sam could felt surprise and anger at the same time, he could only hope that his Captain knew what he was doing, and also that they didn't meet any Romulans that knew him, he was pretty sure he had quite a price on his head on atleast one planet, perhaps more, but he would cross that bridge when he came to it. Sam set the course and engaged the warp engines, and was mesmerized in thought while watching the stars fly by at warp speed.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka had settled into the ship's routine well enough. It was a much smaller vessel, with a noteably smaller crew. Still, he did his duty, checking each weapon in the Horizon's armory from pulse phaser rifles down to the smallest pocket phaser. Filling out his inventory report he fired it off to Rynen just as his shift ended. He made his way from security, heading to his quarters to unpack a bit more, before suddenly feeling the steady thrum in the deckplates indictative of the vessel undocking and getting under way. He smiled lightly, glad to be on their way. "Gotta see what the current mission is, if anything… wonder if Rynen knows…", he thought to himself, making a mental note to ask her as soon as he can. He stepped into his quarters, the door sliding shut behind him…
Sym Fra Hop
All was quiet at this moment in time, Sym thought to himself. So far, there hadn't been any emergency's and everything was operating the way it should be. With the exception of being on the way to Romulan Territory. Sym was concerned, but his training and experience would not let him show it.
Instead he busied himself with making sure that the engineering staff were kept busy, and more importantly, kept himself busy. Although he had only been on the new incarnation of the Horizon for only a short while, he had already fallen in love with this new ship.
If it all hit the fan later on, Sym was convinced that the Horizon would be able to take almost any ship on. Unfortunately, Sym had learnt early on in his career, that not everything went according to plan.
"I want to see that plasma conduit bypassed, removed and replaced as soon as you can." Sym was in Engineering, running some emergency drills for the damage control team. At the moment, Sym and Garfield were observing the team in question. While it would be not cost efficient to remove and replace a working conduit, Sym and a few of his trusted engineers had set a dummy conduit with all the necessary computer controls. From main engineering all the way to the three integral warp nacelles on the port side of the ship. For nearly twenty meters, along the corridors of the Horizon, his engineers had ripped up the floor and bulkhead. All to expose the conduit.
"They're improving" Garfield said to him, while consulting a computer panel.
"Yeah, but not enough. They need to increase the time they remove the conduit by about 1.2 minutes." Sym replied.
Garfield frowned as Sym said this, "They already improved the change out time by about a full half minute of what the Starfleet Corps of Engineers had put down for a full removal and replacement for one of these types of conduit. I'm worried about any mistakes they might make."
Sym thought about his assistant words for a minute or two, "Maybe you're right. Lets watch 'em finish. If they haven't made any mistakes, although I don't think they have, they'll end up as the primary damage control team."
Garfield and Sym watched for the next few moments while the engineers finished replacing the inert conduit. As they replaced the last of the components, Sym looked at the chronograph on the PADD he was carrying.
"Good work everyone. You just managed to set the ship record for the fastest removal and replacement of a type 4 plasma conduit. You should be proud of yourselves, I know I am." Sym congratulated them.
Garfield motioned him over to the panel he was working on, "I have the results, they replaced it almost perfectly. The only issue is that the connectors are out by about point three microns, but is well within tolerance levels."
"I'm impressed. From this moment on, I'm making you lot the primary damage control team. Go get some rest, you've earned it. Dismissed." Sym congratulated them. "You too Tormass."
Sym nodded at the ensign at the warp-core console, making sure she was prepared to have control back from the bridge.
=^= Engineering to Bridge. =^=
=^= Bridge here. =^=
=^= Request permission to transfer engineering control back to engineering.=^=
=^= Acknowledged. How did the simulation go? =^= Commander Langford asked.
=^= It went swimmingly. I couldn't asked for a better result. Thank you bridge, engineering now has control, thank you. Engineering out.=^=
Rynen had been waiting for this moment since she first saw the Defiant class ship in her birth at Megiddo. Her fingers flew easily over the tactical console as she checked the status of the weaponry and shields. All stations had reported in, and the anticipation was so high that Rynen didn't need to be a Betazoid to notice it.
However, Rynen had been sensing something else in the past few days. There was something aboard the ship that she couldn't quite recognize. At first she had though it was merely the new stimuli that being on a different ship provided. But as the days had gone by and the thing had not gone away, she began to suspect it was something more. It was like there was something living inside her skull, its thoughts, although barely noticeable, were constantly there, nattering away in her brain. The distraction it provided had become worse and worse, and right now Rynen felt like she wanted to tear a hole in her head and get whatever it was out. Looking around, she noticed Draka standing watching the viewscreen as the starship prepared to leave.
"Petty Officer!" Rynen called, beckoning him to come over. "I have a splitting headache and I need to go see the doctor. Take Tactical for me, please." Draka nodded, noticing the look of pain on the betazoid's face. She immediately made her way to the turbolift, ordering it to head to Deck 2.
The New Horizon was a beautiful ship, though he would always miss his time on the other one. It was part of a heartache that would never go away; a bitter sadness and a fragment of the past. The Horizon was dead, long live the Horizon. He couldn't wait to see what the future held for this version of the Horizon. With a successful undocking, and the stars elongating in a beautiful manner, he looked at Sam. He had prooved himself as a great navigator, and could imagine he felt the same way about seeing what the new ship could do, much like someone with a new car.
He tapped his commbadge, "Bridge to Engineering. We're ready to give her all she's got. This would be a good time to check for stress. Are your teams ready?"
A pause. He imagined Sym running to a console to check the status of the engines. "Aye, we'll be checking. Standing By." He nodded to Sam, "Punch it up."
Sam nodded, and the ship went through the motions of incrementally adjusting its warp speed as Owain gave the go-ahead for each one until they were at cruising speed. When Owain was satisfied, he retreated to his ready room, leaving Langford in charge. There, a message awaited him. It was from Admiral Maddigan, giving an up to date report on the Romulans. Apparently, the Romulans were approaching the Beta Quadrant. His hair stood on end as he read the report. Was this war? He wondered how he was supposed to go forward with his mission now. The advent of the Romulans entering the Gamma Quadrant and approaching Earth, meant that their whole mission was already at risk before they even really started. Just being in Romulan territory would be seen as an act of war…
He got up and put his head out the door and got Langford's attention. "In here, Commander." When the Commander arrived, Owain looked grim, almost to the point of wondering if he was feeling well.
"Something the matter, sir?", Langford asked him.
"The Romulans have put down another card on the table and upped the stakes. They're all in.", Owain explained.
"I don't know exactly what you mean by that, but it doesn't sound good."
"Romulans aren't the kind to bluff. When they do something, they do it. And by god…" He shook his head and sighed, "They're invading the Beta Quadrant, Charles. You know what this means? It means that merely being in Romulan territory won't be good for our health."
"Now I understand what you mean.", Langford said, as he now took on a grim look. "It means Earth is in danger."
Then everything started shaking. Owain looked at his desk as his cup came to the edge and fell. He gave Langford a look, then proceeded out onto the bridge. "What the hell just happened? Report!"
Sam had enjoyed piloting the ship out, but was dreading the thought of heading for Romulan space, one of them was bound to know him, you don't take down 3 Romulan warbirds and not have a price on your head, but it had been their captains fault for following him into "Freeman's Abyss" knocking out their sensors and allowing him to blow them all to bits. Although in hindsight it might have been a better idea not to have stolen one of their own ships, that alone would have been a reason to fear the Romulan Empire, in their eyes they had lost 4 ships, but to Sam that was a lifetime ago.
"Punch it up."
The words brought Sam out of his revere, he quickly checked the coordinates one last time, and then hit the "engage" button. The Horizon took off without any problems. Sam looked as his sensor reading everything but the inertial dampeners were working within specs, he was about to report the .5% out of alignment that he couldn't get back into specs, when the ship shuddered. Sam took the Horizon out of Warp, if it had gotten any worse they would have ended up splats of blood on the wall of the ship.
"What the hell just happened? Report!"
Captain Owain's voice shook the room, Sam quickly responded.
"Sir, we're experiencing a problem with the inertial dampeners, they're off by .5%, I was about to report the problem when the shudder happened and I wasn't able to correct it, so I dropped us out of warp so that we won't end up splats on the wall, sir!"
Draka Ren Colok
Draka stood at Tactical, left there by Rynen, when the shaking started, fingers flying over the control panel, checking for outside sources of the shaking. His left hand gripped the side of the console firmly, glancing to Flyboy as he drops them out of warp and makes his report to the captain. Looking back to his console he checks the tactical systems, ensuring shield generators, the phasers and torpedo tubes are all operational. Finding them to be operational he resumes reading the sensor scans, for anything out of the ordinary…
Sym Fra Hop
When the rocking subsided, Sym could tell that the Horizon had dropped out of warp. He grabbed the edge Master System Display and pulled himself up, wincing as he did so. As he did so he could tell that the internal dampening field was out of alignment.
"Tormass, have a look at this," Sym called over his assistant who joined him at the MSD.
"The plasma flow for the dampening field is out of polarity slightly," Garfield observed, "Are you OK?"
"Yeah I'm fine, just took a bit of a knock that's all. Even so, just look at it. It shouldn't of caused that shaking, I think I have a general idea what happened."
Garfield was about to reply when the Bridge called for an update.
=^= Bridge to Engineering here. What happened? =^= The Captain said
=^= Engineering here. We're still working on it Captain, but my best guess is that there's a problem in the plasma flow. Just what the problem is and how it was caused, we don't know just yet. It has all the hallmarks of an overload however I cannot see where. There are none of the symptoms. I going to trace the issue by hand. I don't believe we can trust the computer on this. =^= Sym reported.
=^= There's a problem with the computer? =^=
Sym shook his head, =^= Not as such sir. The computer just doesn't admit there's a problem with the dampening field. Its logged the alignment problem but insists that there is nothing wrong. I going to have to pull out the Internal Dampening Field controller and replace it and the reset the plasma flow. Until then we cannot use the warp drive or even impulse. =^=
=^= How long will you need? =^= The Captain asked
Sym looked over at Garfield, who shrugged. =^= We'll need about two hours, its a rather simple job. =^=
=^= Get on to it immediately. We need warp drive as soon as possible. Bridge out.=^=
"You heard the Captain. Lets get to work," Sym nodded to Garfield, "Tormass can you go to stores and grab a replacement, take Ensign Barnett with you. I meet you at the dampening field controller"
Sym watched the two engineers leave to get the replacement and then -after picking up a tool kit - took the turbolift down two levels to the lower part of engineering. Sym motioned to one of the crewmen stationed there to give him a hand.
Together they pulled the panel from the bulkhead to expose the dampening field controller. While he waited, he began to disconnect the controller. He picked up a containment jib from his tool kit. When he had disconnected over half of the connections, Garfield and Barnett both exited the turbolift. Between them they had the new field controller on a antigrav gurney.
"Can you get the new controller ready for insertion while finish disconnecting this one?" Sym asked the two engineers.
After he had disconnected the connector, he stood up and moved to the new piece of equipment.
"Everything seems to be in order, give me a hand removing the old one." Sym asked.
Thankfully nothing untoward happened with the replacement. Within an hour and a half they had replaced the entire unit. After running an internal diagnostic, Sym scanned the device with his tricorder. Finding nothing wrong, he had Garfield and Barnett seal the bulkhead.
=^= Engineering to bridge, =^= Sym activated his communicator.
=^= Bridge here. Go ahead Sym. =^= Commander Langford said.
=^= Can you tell the Captain that the replacement was a success. I'll need about ten minutes to reset the plasma flow, then we can use the warp engines.=^= He reported.
=^= Good work Commander, I'll inform the Captain. Bridge out.=^=
Sym had Garfield and Barnett go back up to the main engineering deck to reset the plasma flow while he a good look at the malfunctioning unit. He started to scan the old unit when he noticed something out of the ordinary. What he saw disturbed him greatly. He disassembled part of the unit to get a better look inside and when he did, he noticed something that should not have been there.
Sym took a step backward shaking his head in disbelief, he tried tried to scan the unit but something was blocking his tricorder scans. He couldn't remove the unit until he knew exactly what it did. He could not even leave the unit alone, because someone could come down here and destroy any evidence.
=^= Engineering to Security. Can you send a couple of guards down here, I need them to guard something for me. =^=
=^= Security here, =^= Sym recognised the voice as Mr Colok, =^= Guards are on the way, what happened? =^=
=^= I believe I have found some evidence of sabotage. I cannot take the risk of someone interfering with the evidence. After what happened on the old ship…=^= Sym left the statement hanging.
=^= I'll inform the Captain, Security out. =^=
Trust Draka not to waste any time with unnecessary comments Sym thought to himself.
Trying out a different line of reasoning, Sym tried to scan whatever was creating the interference to no avail. He was about to try some else when two security guards exited the turbolift.
"Keep an eye one that," he said pointing at the unit, "Don't let anyone but me, Lieutenant Dale, the Exec or the Captain any where near it…and try not to touch it."
Sym continued to get around the interference with still no luck.
Rynen had slowly been staggering towards sickbay, hand clutching her head as she made her way down the corridor. Suddenly the floor seemed to drop out from under her as the Horizon shuddered in space. Rynen fell to the floor. Lying in a crumpled heap, she simply rested there for a moment while she tried to regain her composure. Slowly opening her eyes, a pair of large black boots came into view.
“Look what we have here.. A pathetic little human.” a Romulan soldier spat as he kicked the Betazoid across the hall. The five Romulans with him laughed.
“They must have come aboard during that disturbance..” Rynen thought, “I have to do something!” Although she had been injured by the Romulan and still had a splitting headache, she managed to tap her com badge. “Dale to the-” was as far as she got before the Romulan whacked her in the back of the head with his phaser.
“That should shut her up for a while..” he muddered as another Romulan threw her unconscious body over his shoulder and the group made their way towards the bridge.
Owain had not liked the news about the Inertial Dampners. It was a new ship; they weren't supposed to be having problems. Their mission had required them to head straight to their destination, forgoing a shakedown. But now, he was starting to question the decision. And reports that they had stopped right on the border of Romulan territory made him nervous.
"I don't like this, Commander. I don't like it one bit. We're a sitting duck without warp speed.", he told Langford as he paced nervously around the bridge. "I don't want a repeat incident. Sabotage? I don't believe it…. We're going to need a miracle. A damn miracle. I wonder if our trusty performs them?" He shook his head from side to side while letting out a nervous laugh.
"Sir, if it's any consolation, I think I'd like to go look at that the item in question.", Langford told the Captain, "And I'll ask him if he can give us a miracle."
Owain came to stop beside Langford and put a hand on his shoulder, "That would be very much obliged, Commander. Thank you."
Langford nodded and left via the port side turbolift. Unbeknown to him, the starboard lift doors opened, and out came a group of Romulans with weapons held, one of them carrying Rynen. Owain turned to see who it was who had just come onto the bridge and froze at the sight of the Romulans. A nightmare had become a reality for the Captain as he saw the Romulan carrying Rynen who looked unconcious.
Security officers became alert, drawing their phasers. The lead Romulan turned his attention towards the Captain. "You'll tell your officers to put away their weapons, Captain. Tell'em and nobody will get hurt."
"What do you want?" asked Owain, slowly getting up, then glancing at Rynen. "Put her down."
The lead chuckled, "You're not in a position to tell me what to do, Captain. Maybe you haven't noticed, but you're in our territory. But just this once, I'll oblige", he said as he dropped Rynen to the floor, "Afterall, it's you we want."
Still reeling from the shock of seeing the Romulans aboard, there was a question nagging at him. "How'd you get- "
"How'd we get aboard?", the Romulans all said, laughing boisterously, "You had a power fluctuation awhile back. We used that to our advantage.", the lead said grinning. "Now as for you…" The other Romulans all had their weapons tracked on the rest of the bridge crew while the leader moved towards the Captain's chair and gave him a choke hold. "You're coming aboard, no questions asked", he said, then said something Romulan into his armband. He eyed the crew with disdain before he disappeared with the Captain in a swirl of green.
Everyone looked on in shock as their Captain disappeared, but what they didn't realize was that some of the Romulans were still on the bridge. "Now then", one of them spoke, "On to business, shall we? My name is Kurolev, and I am commandeering this vessel. If you value your lives, you'll do as I say, otherwise we can do this the difficult way. I have guards posted on every deck of this vessel, and they will not harm you unless you force our hand, so do not think of calling for help. " He said as he approached the Captain's chair. He sat down, then stared as Sam. "You there. Plot a course for Vulcan."
Sam was still going over the navigation scans of what had happened before they dropped out, when the starboard lift doors opened he didn't even notice that Romulans had arrived on the bridge until one of them spoke. Hatred immediately shot through him, like old faithful at Yellowstone national park. Sam turned and got halfway out of his chair, but a Romulan guard pointed his weapon at him so he froze. Sam wished as he sat there that he had a phaser on him, he was pratically powerless against the attack.
When the Romulans beamed the Captain away, it was pratically de'ja vu, the same thing had happened back when he captained his own merchant vessel, but his crew had mounted a rescue mission, he had lost most of his crew in that attempt to save him, and he hated the Rommulans for it.
"On to business, shall we? My name is Kurolev, and I am commandeering this vessel. If you value your lives, you'll do as I say, otherwise we can do this the difficult way. I have guards posted on every deck of this vessel, and they will not harm you unless you force our hand, so do not think of calling for help. " He said as he approached the Captain's chair. He sat down, then stared as Sam. "You there. Plot a course for Vulcan."
Sam turned around and ploted the course, he shook with fury, Kurolev had been one of the men who had taken him, it was pratically the same thing over again, but last time on Sam's ship they had all left the ship just taking the him, Sam guessed that they had changed their plans after that awful incident. He was surprised that Kurolev did recognize him, it was obvious that he hadn't though because he would have shot him on site. Sam put the ship into warp, but as he did so he slowly typed into the console a message to engineering, praying that one of his guys would get it and not the Romulans, but just in case the Romulans were already there he added it to a line of information that would come up on the console, and any engineer currently looking at the screen would get it.
The message was:
"Ship taken over by Romulans if not in engineering now will be soon…-Flyboy"
He had signed it with his call sign, he figured if a Romulan did read it he wouldn't know who it was, and it was better than his name because that would alert them that he was on board, which would have been bad for everyone.
Sam sat back in his chair, he watched the stars fly by at warp speed, his mind was going almost as fast as he thought of ways to get out of this mess with minimum casualties.
Draka Ren Colok*
Everything happened so fast… The romulans entered the bridge, Rynen dumped like a sack of produce… the captain transported away… and an occupying force of Romulans staying on the ship. Draka stood near the tactical console, a Romulan moving to start looking through weapons stores, the ship's combat readiness and the like, a second Romulan covering the grey haired man.Draka glanced about the bridge as the ship slipped into warp… that they were headed to Vulcan didn't bode well.. and they needed to get their Captain back. So Draka did the only thing he could do… stepping foreward swiftly his right fist lashed out, catching the Romulan in the right temple, knocking the Romulan out, and away from the Tactical console. The other Romulan nearby quickly adjusted his aim and fired, point blank into Draka's chest. The phaser blast cooked away part of his uniform top and seared his flesh. Draka quickly spun and dropped to the floor, Kurolev shouting for noone else to make any sudden moves, or another crew member would be killed.
Too bad for the Romulans that they didn't know of Draka's particular abilities, his hair rapidly changing to a metallic silver color. Before any of the aggressors noticed the change Draka rolled onto his back, lifted his left hand and focused, a blast of energy emitting from his left palm, striking the Romulan that shot him in the chest, knocking him backwards. Draka rolled to a crouch next to the Romulan he knocked out at the Tactical console, unholstering the man's phaser, which was set on the highest stun setting. As the rest of the Romulans started to move, Draka ducked behind the Tactical console, lifting up to snap a couple wild shots off to distract the Romulans. Gritting his teeth he dove aside and rolled behind a chair, which deterorated rapidly as phaser blasts punched holes into it. Draka couldn't see what happened, keeping his head down as one Romulan kept the pressure up, the pain in his chest slowing, him, the most he did was fire off a shot now and then at the Romulan attacking him. After a moment the fire on him stopped, grunting he dragged himself up from behind the ruined chair, looking around the bridge.
His quick survey showed a couple of the bridge crew down on the ground, and all the Romulans unconscious or wounded. Draka gritted his teeth to force back the pain, his metallic silver hair shining in the bridge's lighting,"Quick.. someone check on our fallen comrades, and contact other key departments to see if they got hit yet…. Any sections of the ship held by the Romulans need to have their controls rerouted here…"
Olivia had been examining various genetic scans of Horrus' body before and after his transformation when she was nearly knocked over by the sudden rattle of the ship.
Tel'Vin was sitting on the bio-bed in a meditative position when his eyes openend cautiously, "What has happened?" His calm voice asked.
"I'm not sure, I'll see if I can find out." Olivia stepped away from the console and walked towards the door, as soon as she stepped close enough, the metallic doors parted and Romulan holding a disruptor entered the room. Olivia stepped back, attempting to be cautious.
"Who are you?" She asked.
"I have no time for your trivial questions, you are not my concern, what I seek, is over there." The Romulan motioned to Tel'Vin.
Tel'Vin stepped down from the bio bed slowly and approached the Romulan guard with unique confidence, "State your intent." Tel'Vin said without hesistation.
"You're coming with me, any attempt to flee will result in your death, do as I say and you will be fine." The Romulan responded in his gritty voice.
"Since you have made it clear that your order is to capture me, I fail to see how I can be of any use when I am vaporized by your disruptor in my hypothetical attempt to flee, thus, I must assume you intend to hold me for another purpose. So you can see how I must assume you are attempt to hide the true fact that you require me alive, so I will not comply with your wishes as I believe you will do no harm to me of serious consequence."
The Romulan appeared angered beyond words, and raised his disruptor as if to fire on Tel'Vin. Olivia in a fit of adrenaline jumped on the guard tackling him to the ground, his weapon discarded the two came to blows before the Romulan solider was able to pin Olivia down, he reached and retrieved a blade from his belt holding it to her throat, "No one defies me…." he said as he tried to put the blade to her throat but before he could strike he was killed by apparent disruptor fire.
Olivia looked up and saw Tel'Vin holding the disruptor, "I tried to explain, he wasn't going to kill me, you would make a much more worthy candidate, naturally I couldn't allow that to happen."
"Naturally…" Olivia said as she stood to her feet, "We must have been boarded when we felt that shake, we have to get you to the bridge, com'on." The two exited sickbay, Olivia now holding a phaser, they made there way carefully to the corridor attempt to avoid the Romulan infiltration force. Olivia stopped a near by wall panel to get a sense of what was happening, "They have guards at all the turbo lifts, and major points of access. But…it looks like there is a jeffries tube just down this way that is unguarded, we can take it straight to the bridge, lets go."
"Do you not think we should have held our ground in sickbay?" Tel'Vin queried.
"They've cut off communications, we have to try and retake the ship, if we can hold the bridge we'll be fine." She retorted, peering around the corner.
"Do you believe the two of us can hold off these Romulans as you call them?"
"To be honest, I'm hoping you'll surprise me with another amazing power and zap em' all." Olivia whispered as they arrived at the jeffries tube hatched. She carefully opened it and looked inside to make sure it was clear, she crawled in, Tel'Vin followed closely behind, they made there way through several turns and ladders before arriving at the desired hatch. "Alright, here goes nothing…" Olivia opened the hatch to find several bridge members point phasers at her, "I surrender?"
Draka helped them exit, "Glad to see you're alright doctor, we have wounded."
"I can see that, you're included in them apparently." Olivia said looking at his knee.
"It can wait, please help Rynen first." He replied gesturing to Rynen's unconscious body on the floor.
Olivia stepped quickly over to her, kneeling down she began scanning with her tricoder, her neural pathways are all over the damn place." Olivia opened her med-kit and retrieved a hypo-spray, gently pressing it to Rynen's neck she injected the medicine into her bloodstream. A moment passed, it seemed like an hour, Rynen began to awaken, "Easy, easy now." Olivia whispered, "You're on the bridge, how do you feel?"
"Terrible." Rynen said as she slowly rose to her feet, "Where's the captain?" As she and Olivia suddenly realized he was not on board.
Sam interjected, "The Romulans beamed him away."
Olivia interrupted, "Would someone like to tell me what the HELL is going on here?
Commander Langford had been unaware of what had happened on the Bridge. He had been on his way to Engineering to check out what Commander Hop had to say about the Sabotage when it all happened. They had all the luck, and timing, that he hadn't been on the bridge when they arrived, otherwise he would of given them at least one of them a run for their money, before he got overpowered by them. It was only when he stepped into Engineering when Hop looked up and gave him the news.
"There's been a struggle on the bridge," Hop told him, and a puzzled look must of appeared on Langford's face, and so he continued, "You don't know? Romulans. They came on board when we lost power when she ship shook awhile ago…"
Langford frowned, "That shouldn't of happened, not on my watch anyway."
"Captain's been taken, and the Romulans had taken over the bridge when the struggle happened."
"What in Kirk's Miniskirt…."
Hop nodded, understanding the surprise in his voice, "I know. I'm as surprised as you are, but apparently none of the Romulans saw the assault coming. The bridge crew was injured some, and luckily managed to overpower the Romulans. I hear they're dead."
Langford nodded, trying to take in the new information, "So about this device…"
Hop nodded and motioned towards the device which was guarded by multiple security officers. He took a long glance at it, then looked back at the Engineer, "I'm no engineer, Mr Hop, but I do know damage when I see it. It could be sabotage, and considering the circumstances, that may very well be, but, what are the chances that this was just a bad part that disintegrated during our travels? I leave it to you to investigate, Mr Hop. I can't very well leave the bridge unattended, now can I? Let me know what you find."
Langford nodded as he was heading towards the doorway. He bumped into a Romulan who seemed to be coming in to Engineering. Had he been listening in? "Whoa, ok big fella. No weapons", he said as he lifted his arms up in mock surrender, "See? No weapons. I surrender. Take me to your leader.", he told the Romulan as he quickly formed a plan in his mind.
The Romulan likely didn't know about what had happened on the bridge and Langford was leading him into a trap. The Romulan was taking him to the bridge to see the Romulan in command, but what he didn't know…
The bridge door opened, and the Romulan quickly scanned the bridge, not seeing any of his pals. He nudged the weapon in Langford's back. "Your friends will pay for interfering." Just then, a noise seemed to be coming from one of the bulkheads; a moaning which the Romulan noticed to be coming from his leader. "Subcommander! You're alive.", he exclaimed as he held out a hand to help him up. The leader got up with the Romulan's help and brushed himself off, "If you thought me dead, you misunderestimate me, Centurion. It's nothing but a flesh wound.", Kurolev explained, and noticed looked at Langford, "Don't think of doing anything rash, Commander. Your silver haired officer put up quite a fight, but… we Romulans are quite resilient." He laughed at the prospect of being dead, then set himself down at the command chair. "You might want to sit down. We're heading to Vulcan."
Sym Fra Hop
After the Commander left, Sym shook his head. "Just a part that disintegrated," he said to himself. Did the commander not see that the device was not an original part of the Dampening Field Controller? Langford was just not an engineer. Langford, however, had immediately noticed the subtle telltale signs of the damage that had been caused. Sym stood up and, out of the corner of his eye saw the schematics on a PADD that was resting on the top of the controller.
"The commander may not be an engineer but he certainly doesn't miss anything." said Sym suppressing a laugh.
Sym picked up the enhanced tricorder that he had requested and continued to scan the object. There was defiantly something that was preventing his scans but Sym could not see what it was. There was almost certainly a sub-space component to the device, Sym could see that. What was it?
"Do any of you know anything about trying to scan something that doesn't what to be scanned?" Sym asked the security guards.
They look at each other and the senior one shook his head, "No sir, you're the engineer,"
Sym barked a short laugh, "Yeah I know but I'm willing to use unorthodox methods to solve this little conundrum."
"Have you found the power source to this device?" the guard asked
"No, not yet. Unless it's being powered through sub-space," Sym said excitingly, "That's what the sub-space component is, if I'm interpreting the readings right. Good work. Now I know what's powering the device, maybe I can disable it."
Sym moved over to the device and scanned a path behind it. Once he was satisfied that the path was viable, he picked up a containment jib for the tool box. He moved it up and behind the device carefully. From the readings, he could see a gap in the field. He maneuvered the containment jib towards the gap and activated it. With a click, the device powered down completely.
"Just like that," Sym said.
The containment jib had blocked the sub-space component for a fraction of a second. Luckily that was enough to deactivate it and prevent it from powering up again. Now he could scan it, he did so. However he did not recognise the technology. He finished the scans and once he was satisfied, he prised the device off the Field Controller, it came off surprisingly well.
"I'm going to take this device up to the bridge, you lot stay here." Sym said.
"Shouldn't we go with you?" One of the guards asked.
"No, not for the moment. I don't think the Romulans will take kindly to armed Starfleet security guards entering the bridge. Once I get there I can see what we're up against."
With that, Sym moved to the turbo-lift and took it to the bridge. He entered to face a Romulan pointing a disrupter directly at him.
"That's our Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Commander Hop." Sym heard Langford say out of his line-of-sight.
"Let the Commander onto the bridge Centurion."
Sym turned and saw a Romulan stand up from the command chair, Sym glanced and saw the bridge crew with the Doctor under close guard.
"Your report Engineer. Why have you come to the bridge?" The Romulan barked
"It's about this device, it's what caused the power fluctuation that allowed you to come aboard. Is this one of yours?" Sym said.
"I know nothing of this device? It is not our doing." The Romulan replied. "If you think you can distract me that easily, you are delusional human. Now get out of my sight before I have you shot."
With a look at Commander Langford, who nodded, Sym left the bridge. As he took the turbo-lift to engineering, Sym was think of a way rid the ship of the Romulans.
Sam looked over at Rynen who was still in the care of the doctors, he was pissed at Draka for starting something so careless, even if they had won for the moment there was more on the ship, and even more on the Romulan ship from which they had came. In fact he had even put the Captain in danger, he obviously had not dealt with many Romulans, they could be vicious and their revenge was usually swift.
He rubbed his jaw, the two Romulans he had managed to take out in the fight had gotten a couple of good hits on him, he now noticed as his adrenaline slowed that his jaw and nose hurt, both parts had blood coming out. Sam put his hands on either side of his nose and pushed it strait muttering curse words, he didin't want the doctors help at the moment, the pain was all that was keeping him from hitting the silver haired security officer.
The doors to the turbolift opened and Commander Langford walked in followed by another Romulan, and he was sure that there were even more on board.
"Shit, there goes the neighborhood…"muttered Sam to those who were close enough to hear.
The Romulan helped Kurolev up, Sam had been hoping he was dead, it was still only a matter of time before the man recognized him, that was another reason for why Sam had disliked the fight now the Romulans would be much more interested in the crew…to find out what "abilities" the crew had besides the man who could make his hair silver and shoot stuff out of his hands.
Sam turned in his chair looking over his controls, there wasn't much that he could do from there, but he didn't want to make it easy for the Romulans to recognize him.
"You there…is the ship still on course?" said Kurolev with obvious disdain.
"Yes." said Sam.
He didn't say anything else, he didn't know which part of him they would eventually recognize, his face or his voice or what. He once again stared into the stars as he planned on what to do if and when they finally figured out who he was.
Kurolev who was now in charge of the Horizon had taken to staring at Sam most of the time. His memories had put a face like Sam's somewhere in his illustrious career; a face of contempt. Ever since boarding the Horizon and arriving on the Bridge, Sam's visage had tormented those memories and made him wonder if…
No, he was sure of it. Sure that Sam had been the one who had caused him grief so many years ago. The Romulan snickered. He could tell Sam felt uncomfortable under his gaze, but that's the way Romulans liked it.
"You remind me of someone.", Kurolev finally said. "Someone who dared cross my path. I could tell you a story about it if you would like.", he said, and he didn't wait for Sam to respond, because he would continue anyway. Instead, he got up and paced around. "I was but a Centurion then and the vessel I had been serving on had been tasked to defend the edge of the Romulan Empire. We were told to look out for any illegal trafficking of Romulan Ale.", he told Sam while staring right into his eyes, "We found one. It was a Valiant effort, for sure. We took her Captain, who resembled like you, and used him for ransom", he said while laughing, "We were going to use her crew to work for us, except that the crew had managed to sneak aboard our vessel and take the Captain back. He would of been worth something; I could of been in charge of my own vessel due to that. Instead…"
"I've vowed revenge ever since. I've vowed to find him. They will be sorry they ever crossed my paths when I do. Six years. A long time. But has it been long enough?" He added with a smile. Then Kurolev gripped Sam's arm tightly. "Tell me, how many bottles of Romulan Ale do you have on you now? Hmmm?" He motioned his guards forward. "Put him in the Brig." The guards came and took him, and while Sam had put up a valiant fight, he was no match for the guards' strength. Draka had made a move forward to protect Sam, but the disruptors aimed in his direction had made him change his mind. "I'm sorry, Blackheart. I'm sure you understand. You'll make up for the grief you've caused me. I just can't let you foil my plans a second time."
Disruptors in Sam's back, they continued into the turbolift.
Kurolev had called him Blackheart, that was a name he hadn't used in ages…Jack Blackheart, Sam's old cover name when smuggling.
Sam was sick to his stomach, the cat had finally been let out of the bag, and now he was being taken to the brig. He had known that this time would come eventually, and he had advoided it for 6 years, mainly because since fighting his way back to his ship he had made sure to stay away from Romulan space.
Indeed he had 4 bottles of Romulan Ale on board but only one of which had came from that shipment 6 years ago, he had never opened it because he wanted a reminder of what had happened, and the crew that he had lost.
Into the brig once more
The Romulan guards roughly pushed Sam into one of the brigs cells, as Sam caught himself he heard the unmistakable sound of a force field going up.
Sam looked around at his new cell, he cursed that they were on a new defiant class ship, everytime Starfleet made a new ship they made the brig harder to break out of.
Sam was suddenly reminded of how the Romulans had gotten aboard, it was possible that they had burned something out, he took a look over at the guards they were still watching him, so he sat down and began to plan his way out, and what he would do from there. Poor Kurolev, he was just unlucky, this time Sam wouldn't hesitate to kill the Romulan, he had caused him too much trouble already, he owed his old crew at least that much.
Sym Fra Hop
Sym left the bridge to take the turbolift to engineering. He now knew how many Romulans where on the bridge, he just had to find a way of incapacitate them. He arrived at engineering to find his team waiting for him. Sym looked around engineering to see if the Romulan commander had posted any guards, to his surprise he saw none.
"Hmmm, no guards," Sym said as a way of greeting.
"They probably think that with their control of the bridge, we won't be able to do anything." Garfield replied.
"Well, their arrogance will be their downfall. Bloody Romulans!" Sym said with fervor.
"How many are on board?"
"There are four on the bridge and about another five throughout the ship. The ones on the bridge are our concern right now." Sym said
"How are we going to deal with them?" Garfield asked
Sym shrugged, "I was thinking about venting some anaesthetic into the bridge but Lieutenant Dale is injured. I don't want to take the risk of hurting her anymore than necessary."
"Well how…" Garfield stopped what he was saying when he saw the evil grin on Sym's face.
"The transporters," Sym said
"But there are safeguards in place to stop that from happening. Even if you can beam them somewhere, where are you going to beam them?"
"Nowhere in particular." Sym said
"Wide beam dispersal. You can't just kill them like that."
"I'm not," Sym crossed his arms, "The annular confinement beam. That should hold them in place until we can stun them."
"They'll still be able to move slightly."
"Not with what I had in mind. You know that early transporters held a person immobile, but advances in transporter technology negated the need for that. All we have to do is reconfigure the confinement beam and Bobs our uncle."
"I'll get right on it." Tormass hurried off to a transporter room to carry out the necessary modifications.
The next hour involved making sure everything and everyone was ready, Sym collected the two guards from where they were guarding the device Sym had found earlier.
"There are four Romulans on the bridge at the moment holding the bridge crew hostage. Our mission is to go up there and stun them into insensibility. Any questions?" Sym told them
The guards looked at each other, "What about the other Romulans?" One of them asked.
"We'll come to that when we can. The first thing is to gain control of the bridge. One other thing, I'm coming with you. That is an order." Sym said in a way that brokered no questions.
Sym moved over to the engineering armoury closet and picked out a hand phaser. "This way."
They entered the turbolift and it started on its way to the bridge.
=^= Hop to Garfield are you ready? =^=
=^= Garfield here, just say the word. =^=
=^= Consider the word said. =^=
Sym closed the channel and looked to the two guards, "Ready?"
The two guards nodded their readiness.
"Phaser's on heavy stun" Sym said just before the turbolift door opened.
The three Starfleet officers dived out of the turbolift and immediately pointed their weapons at the four Romulans. If Sym wasn't in a serious mood he would have laughed at the sight of those four Romulans standing still like statues. As it was, he quickly pressed the button of his phaser and fired at the nearest Romulan, the two other guards did likewise. Once stunned the Romulans did not fall to the deck but continued to stand, still confined in the transporter beam.
Sym approached the Romulan Commander and faced him, his phaser pointing directly at him. The Romulan stared at him with a look of pure hatred on his face. Sym simply cocked his head and stunned him.
"Good work Commander," Langford said by way of greeting.
"All in days work." Sym replied, relieved, "How's Dale?"
"She took a good whack on the head, but the Doctor says she'll make it."
"Where's Flyboy?" Sym asked, not seeing the pilot.
"The Romulan Commander seemed to know him, he had Sam taken to the brig. He'll need freeing." Langford replied
Langford glanced at the Romulans, "I suppose we do something about the sleeping beauties."
=^= Bridge to security, the bridge is now free of Romulan control. I need some guards up here to take them to the brig. =^=
"I'd better let Garfield know that the mission was a success."
Sym contacted Garfield to get him to release the confinement beam.
=^= You can release them now Tormass.=^=
Sym saw the Romulans collapse to the deck, the security guards covering them with their weapons.
=^= I took the liberty of erecting force fields to restrict the Romulans not one the bridge. They're not going anywhere.=^= Garfield said
=^= Excellent. Now all we need to do is get the Captain back.=^=
Karma Sinclair 1
Karma watched as the power fluctuated yet again in the Stellar Cartography lab. He looked at his readout and realized the latest power drain had occured at a crucial moment and the data from his latest experiment was now gone.
He knew the redundant systems probably had a backup of the data, but that wasn't the point. He would have to waste valuable time digging through the backup files trying to find the data he needed. He didn't have time for that. He'd been close to a breakthrough.
He decided to find out what was going on that was ruining his work. He reached for his comm badge and said, "Sinclair to the Bridge. Is there a good reason why you keep taking power from the Stellar Cartography Lab?"
First Rynen, then Romulans, and then Flyboy. It seemed to get worse and worse by the minute, and Langford had gritted his teeth throughout. He had wanted to strike back at the Romulans, but knew better than to antagonize them, particularly Kurolev. There was something sinister about Kurolev, and he didn't want to see what the Romulan was capable of.
So, it was with relief that Sym had come up with a plan to neutralize them and take them to the brig. He sighed with a nervous laugh while he received a message, ""Sinclair to the Bridge. Is there a good reason why you keep taking power from the Stellar Cartography Lab?"
Then he smiled. The Science officer must have been like a bear hibernating in the woods, only just now realizing that something had been wrong; hadn't even noticed the Romulans. Science officers were always so absorbed in their work, and he found this particular case amusing. But then he frowned as he realized something wasn't quite right, "You boys in Stellar Cartography keep losing power? I'm not aware of any problems, however I'm sure Mr Hop and his team of engineers are on it. We had a power surge a good while ago. It might be related. Keep me up to date on any problems."
Problems. There were a lot of them. An idea came to his mind, and he sat down by the nagivational controls and looked up their current destination. It was Vulcan alright. But why Vulcan? And where was this contagion? They still had no clue…
"So, maybe you'll humour me a little, Commander", Owain said as he walked the halls of the Romulan ship with the Romulan Commander at his side. He was being treated as humanely as he could be under the circumstances. "Why Vulcan?"
The Romulan Commander grinned a sly grin, "When we have a problem, we often go right to the source.", he started to explain, "I'll be honest with you, Captain " When were Romulans ever honest?, Owain thought. "We are not a ship of War. Our mission is one of observation. Tal'Shiar thought it would be less obvious if the mission were conducted aboard a friendly Starfleet vessel; observe your friendly neighbourhood Vulcan rogues. We never sought to harm your crew. Only by observing can we take down the rogues and stop them from using the contagion on our people."
Olivia had taken Rynen to Sick Bay for further observation. The doctor had treated the Betazoid's wounds that she had recieved from her beating by the Romulans. Although physically she was fine, Rynen's pounding headaches had not subsided.
"So you're telling me there's nothing physically wrong with me.." Rynen said slowly, the intense pain making it hard for her to think clearly, let alone speak.
Olivia nodded, looking at the readings on a medical tricorder in front of her. "There is a slight elevation in the activity of your paracortex, but nothing hugely abnormal. My only thought would be to give you a psionic inhibitor. It would essentially shut down your paracortex for the time being."
A look of fear crossed the Betazoid's face. She was uncomfortable enough being around one person who she couldn't read, like Draka. She couldn't even imagine how disorienting it would be to sense no one at all. Rynen was just about to answer when another crippling wave of pain flooded her.
"Do it." she stated, grasping her head. Loosing her telepathic abilities for the time being would be a small price to pay in order to rid herself of this immense pain.
Draka Ren Colok
After Draka's abortive attempt to assist Sam, Kurolev decided to keep him out of the way. Gesturing towards the Captain's small wardroom off the bridge he snapped to a guard,"Take him in there and make sure he isn't a problem for the rest of our trip. Don't kill him, however.. we might need him."
The guard saluted Kurolen and aimed his disruptor at Draka's chest,"Get moving, pest.", he said.. Draka growling, but reluctantly marching into the wardroom, the door sliding open, then shut behind the both of them. "So… what's your plan to-", Draka said, getting only that out before the butt of the Romulan's disruptor rifle collides with the back of Draka's skull. He dropped immediately to both knees, one hand grasping the edge of the captain's desk to keep himself steady.. before the butt cracked him across the base of his skull, dropping him sensless to the floor. The Romulan smirked, moving to apply binders to Draka's wrists and feet, before rummaging through the desk a bit. He then made his way back out to report to the commander…
…"What the… son of a bitch…", Draka groaned a time later, pain pounding through his head as he lay on his side, bound, unaware how much time had passed. He could tell judging by the blood he felt matting his hair on the back of his head, and it's tacky nature he's been out at least a half hour. He gritted his teeth against the pain and started pulling and tugging at the binders, futilely trying to free himself… even as Sym and company plotted their rescue…
Sam heard the shuffle of boots, he looked up, but noticed that the Romulan guard hadn't heard them, he smiled to himself knowing what would soon become of his Romulan guard. He didn't have to wait long, he heard a phaser blast and a thump sound indicating that the guard had crumpled to the ground. He looked over and smiled, he was happy to see Starfleet uniforms, which was ironic since before he joined Starfleet the last thing he had want to see outside of a brig was the two colored uniforms that Starfleet personnel wore.
When the force field dropped Sam stood and walked out of the brig shaking the hand of some of the security force that he knew personally. Sam watched as they brought in Kurolev and put him onto the floor of the brig, and as they brought several others in beside Kurolev. Sam walked over and decided to help them bring in the unconscious Romulan soldiers, he really wished he had been in the battle as the placed the last Romulan in and stayed behind as the security officers walked out and were talking among themselves, seeing that they weren't watching him, he placed a few well aimed kicks into the abdomen and face of Kurolev, then after bending down to look at the damage he had caused he whispered into the unconsious romulan ear. "That was for my dead crew may they rejoice in the fact that you can no longer slaughter innocents." Sam stood and walked out of the brig's cell and pushed the controls that would turn on the force field.
Sam talked with security guard until they were back to the turbolift, he found that he enjoyed there company, as he had back on their last mission, he found him self longing for the action of a security guard. The Turbolift opened and he walked back onto the bridge and surveyed the damage, it was extensive, for a new ship it had seen several phaser battles. Sam caught site of Commander Langford.
"Comander sir, I don't think the Captain will be to pleased with the way the bridge looks, seeing as how its her first time out…" Sam pause chuckling to himself.
"Sir will there be an away team sent to get the Captain back out?"he asked Langford, as he tried his best to read the man's facial reactions to the question.
"Of course…"Langford started.
But Sam cut him off before he could finish.
"Sir I would like to request to join the away team, I know the ship like the back of my hand because I was once captured upon it as is the Captain, which is why kurolev knew me…I can be an asset, sir and I alone know where they will most likely keep the Captain." Sam said.
He anxiously waited for the Commanders answer but didn't push his luck he didn't want Langford to know that the real reason he wanted to go was for vengeance for the killing of his crew, he also knew that he had the more experience in fighting Romulans than most of the Security force put together and if they were to succeed, they would need his help.
But the Commander continued to look at him, Sam guessed he was sizing him up, and the time seemed to slow as Sam waited he didn't know how long the wait was for the Commanders answer, because for Sam time had slowed as time slows when someone is anxiously waiting an answer.
Sym Fra Hop
Chief Engineers log: Stardate 62807.3
I have been receiving some reports from all over the ship concerning power fluctuations. They have been quite easy to repair so far, but I'm worried by the types of malfunctions. At least I haven't found any more devices like the one I found on the Internal Dampening Controller. I have sent my engineering team all over the ship trying to find the source of these malfunctions to no avail. So far we have not had anymorepower cuts , I'm beginning to think this is nothing more than a new ship settling down. However I'm going to keep an open mind about with allthat's happening on the ship. The Romulans have refused to answer any questions about the device I have found, I honestly don't think that they had anything to do with it. The sub-commander still thinks that we put the device there, so I'm stumped about the origin of this device.
Owain Taggart, Sym Fra Hop, Rynen Dale, Sam Jones, Draka Ren Colok
Langford had been deep in his study of the current course of the Horizon and had been wracking his brain about the Contagion and where it could be. The thought even occurred to him that it might be a ruse and possibly mythical. He almost didn't hear Sam's voice as it took a few moments to register that someone was trying to get his attention.
"Sir I would like to request to join the away team, I know the ship like the back of my hand because I was once captured upon it as is the Captain, which is why Kurolev knew me…I can be an asset, sir and I alone know where they will most likely keep the Captain." Sam said.
Langford pulled himself away from the console, stood up and brushed himself off. He took a few moments to mull the question over, giving Sam some suspense. The Captain had once given him advice, not to rush into answers. It gave those in charge the upper-hand. Finally, Langford nodded slowly. "Alright. You could be of some use to us. You certainly showed promise on G'hrel. We need a conference to figure out how we're going to do this. Stick around; don't go anywhere."
Then he tapped his commbadge, =/\= "All Senior Officers, please report to the Ready Room."
Rynen had been lying in sickbay, trying to get used to the absolute silence in her head. Her own thoughts drifted around, lonely in the vastness that seemed to be inside her skull. When she heard the message from Langford, she sat up and opened her eyes, startled to see Olivia and Horrus on the other side of the bay. "You can't read their thoughts anymore, remember? You can't sense them.." Rynen thought to herself. Hoping off the bed, she made her way towards the door. Upon seeing this, Olivia strode over to the Betazoid.
"Where do you think you're going? You are in no condition to be going anywhere." she stated, putting out her arm to stop Rynen.
"He said all senior officers. And I'm fine. I'm not going to sit around and do nothing while the rest of the crew is fighting to get Owain back. Now are you coming or not." the Betazoid responded, walking past the doctor and out the door.
Sam followed Langford into the Ready Room, his adrenaline had already started pumping, as he picked a chair and awaited the rest of the senior officers.
Rynen entered the Ready Room almost tentatively. It was so odd for her to not know if there was anyone in the room. She didn't even notice Sam and Langford at first, so it startled her when Langford invited her to sit down. "Act normal, act normal.." she thought.
Langford smiled at her, "You look shaken up. You alright?"
"It's nothing." she stated, flashing Langford a smile.
Draka entered the ready room as this exchange occured, ignoring the ringing in his ears from the blows to the head he took, a new uniform top resting over the bandages on his chest. He selected a chair, seating himself at it, glancing to Rynen to assess her condition. After a moment he looked away, paying attention to Langford as he began to speak.
He nodded and waited until everyone was in and sitting in their seat, then cleared his throat. "Alright, you all know why we're here. To rescue the Captain. We need to figure out how we're going to accomplish that." He looked in Rynen's direction and continued, "And I think, Lieutenant, that you'd be best suited to lead the away team, providing you're up to it of course." Then he looked in Sam's direction. "Mr Flyboy tells me he has experience aboard Romulan vessels; knows the general layout and where everything is. We'll need him for this to succeed. Isn't that right, Mr Jones?"
"Well, Sir, I'd say I know that Romulan vessel intimately…."
Sam had already decided not to go into details, or at least until he was prompted my Langford. It was a time in his life that was most unpleasant, and he didn't want to relive it, at least until he was forced to on the ship.
Langford nodded with understanding, "Very good. The Captain will be glad to know he has someone he can depend on to save him."
"I'm sure there's plenty of people he can depend on to save him…" Sam said with a swift look and smile at Rynen.
"We just have to find him." Sym interrupted looking up from a tricorder he was working on, "Shouldn't be too hard. We know they're on the way to Vulcan. Unfortunately we don't know if they're cloaked or not."
"Will our sensors be able to detect them." Langford asked
"Hard to say, I might be able to set up some kind of tachyon field. Unfortunately it will act like some kind of fishing net, until the Romulan passes through the field we won't know. There are some other theories I would like to try out." Sym explained
"If only there was of kind of detector we could use." Draka said wistfully
"There is, it's called tactical," Sym said with a lobsided grin,"Every time we make an advance in the detection of cloaked vessels the Romulans or the Klingons develop something that makes those advances meaningless. However I believe that I can pull something out of the hat."
"Don't know what Starfleet would do without you miracle workers.", Langford said with a smile, then glanced at Sam and then back at Sym. "However, I think I'd like to have Sam work with you. He seems to know Romulan ships like the back of his hand. He might be able to pinpoint things of note and speed up the process."
"I have a suggestion, sir.", Draka chimed in to Langford. At Langford's nod to continue Draka continued to speak. "It would a relatively short range thing… but if we can determine the general area the ship might be in, I suggest powering down the forward phaser array to emit very low level beams, at a wide dispersal range… basically a 'fan' of very low powered phaser energy. If the 'fan' passes against the Romulan ship's hull it could 'paint' it for our sensors…"
Langford nodded as he listened to Draka's suggestion then looked in Draka's direction, "That's a very inventive idea, Mr Colok." He then looked back at Sym, "How possible do you think it would to make this idea work?"
"One question that seems to be missing is…How long has it been since the Romulan's talked with the other ship, I have a feeling they maybe over due, so the first this we should do is have Kurolev report in, so it puts them at ease. Which will make moving around on the ship much easier." Sam added in.
"Also, we need to remember that we aren't dealing with regular Romulans, these guys are worse, they make the regulars look like angels, if they get a hint that they have lost the advantage they will just kill the Captain, and blow us to kingdom come." Sam decided to hold back the rest of what was on his mind for the moment, he had said enough.
"Not if we're fast enough," Sym told Sam, "Or we could trick them into thinking they still have the advantage. That could work. However we need to find them first."
Langford nodded, "That's right. It's why you two will have to work together to find out how to do that. As for the Away Team. Lieutenant Dale will be in charge. Cadet Jones, you'll be second in command, and I'll be coming down as the voice of reason." He turned to Hop, "and Mr Hop, you'll be in charge of the ship while I'm gone. Any questions?"
"Sir, with all due respect, shouldn't you be staying on the ship? I know you want to come, but we need you back here. We've already lost the Captain. What are we supposed to do if something happens to you, too?" Rynen stated, looking intensely at Langford. "I think I can take care of us."
Langford nodded with understanding, "There has to be at least one command officer at all times, Lieutenant. I understand your concern however."
Rynen sighed heavily. Despite having no telepathic sense, she could tell this wasn't an argument she was going to win. "Fine then. But keep out of trouble. I don't want to risk everyone else's safety because I'm trying to save you."
"Don't worry. It's the Captain we have to save. Nobody will compromise anything if I have anything to do with it. We're there for one thing; to save the Captain. Now, anymore questions?"
Draka lifted a hand at the question,"Yes sir, where will you want me to be… Away team or on the bridge?"
"On the Away Team. You'll be with Lieutenant Dale", answered Langford. Draka nodded in reply, his question answered.
Once everyone was done asking questions, he cleared his throat, "Alright, if that's all, then it's a wrap. You all know what to do now in order to accomplish our goal. Mr Hop and Mr Jones, once you've figured out a way to find the Romulan Vessel and a found a way to beam us aboard, that will begin the second phase of our operation. We will then all undertake our new positions to get ready to beam aboard. Dismissed."
Hurrying out of the Ready Room, Rynen went straight to the weapons store to check on the armaments for the away team. As far as she could tell, they were definitely going to need them.
Draka filed out with everyone, having much the same idea as Rynen, checking the weapons. As he headed down the corridor to the security room he swooned, slumping against the corridor's wall for a moment, vision going blurry for a minute. He forced himself back to his feet, glancing up and down the corridor, making sure noone saw. Finding the coast clear Draka frowned, moving towards the security room again, whatever is wrong with him..he intends to focus on rescuing the Captain before anything.
Draka had joined Rynen to get the equipment for the away team ready, so the two finished all of their checks quickly. Rynen was so focused on the task at hand that she didn't even notice that something was not quite right with Draka…
The other members of the away team had already come by the weapons store to collect their items, and Rynen was eager to get going. She hated waiting around doing nothing, especially with Owain in trouble. Although the two hadn't had much time to themselves in a while, she still valued their friendship and it meant something special to her. Shaking her head, Rynen focused back on the task at hand. This isn't the time to get all sentimental. she thought to herself.
She exited the weapons store after one last check and tapped her combadge, "Members of the Away Team, report to Transporter Room 1." This was going to be fun.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka finished helping with the equipment checks and assignments, listening to Rynen make her announcment. He excused himself… returning to his quarters to retrieve something. Opening his footlocker he pulled out the sheathed combat knife within, belting it to his thigh before making his way to transporter room one, nodding to Rynen as he entered. 'Ready to go, Ma'am.', he said, taking up a post near her.
Sym Fra Hop, Sam Jones
Sym was on the bridge in conference with Flyboy, they had to find a way of detecting a cloaked Romulan ship, something Starfleet engineers have been attempting to do for decades. So far, Sub-commander Kurolev had refused to assist in any way. Fortunately, Sym had some ideas and Sam was familiar with Romulan ships.
"There's a class five nebula less than 150 AU's away." Sam said, pointing to a part of the map in front of the two officers, "It's emitting charged Lepton particles
"You think that the highly charged Lepton particles might interfere with the Romulan cloak?" Sym asked, "Those type of particles could theoretically have their charge altered as they pass through the cloak. We just have to alter the sensors to detect them."
"Yes, we could do that, but what if they sense our scans? Every things supposed to be hunky dory down here so why would we be scanning for them? What if we were to get Kurolev to report into whoever he's supposed to talk? Could you be able track the signal?" Sam asked Sym.
Sam turned and smiled at Kurolev, he would do what they wanted the easy way or the hard way, Sam hoped for the latter, it had been awhile since he had green blood on his hands.
Sym glanced at the Romulan Officer, who was flanked by two burly security guards.
"I have an idea. Why don't we trick the Romulans that it is Kurolev that's contacting them. That way we can get a fix on the Romulan ship." Sym suggested.
"He only had a hand communicator on him when he was taken to the brig, so in theory, the Romulan ship cannot be that far."
Sym folded his arms, "I saw that he didn't use it though. If he used the Horizon's communications, the data should still be stored in the ships computer. That way, we don't have to worry about any kind of decryption"
"That sounds good, I'll let you check the computer seeing as how you'll be able to find it easier." Sam said to Sym.
Sam kept his eye on Kurolev he mentally begged for Kurolev to make a move just so that he could kill him, Kurolev the Romulan who had had most of his crew killed.
Sym fingers flew over the computer panel, searching for any sign that Kurolev had used the Horizons communications. It was not long, however, before he found what he was searching for.
"Sam, take a look at this," Sym said, "I can't believe our luck. It looks like the Romulan commander here forgot to close the comm panel before we retook the bridge. The decryption protocols are still active."
"So we should be able to find the Romulan ship." Sam asked,
"It shouldn't be a problem. It looks like Kurolev's sense of superiority got the better of him. He didn't even consider that we would be able to retake the ship." Sym said
"That's not surprising, considering the individual in question." Sam said, stealing a look at the Romulan
"Now we have the decryption protocols, it will not take that long to isolate the frequency the Romulans are using. Then we'll be able to pinpoint the location of the Romulans," Sym explained. Sym looked at one of the guards flanking Kurolev, "Take him back to the brig, we've finished with him for the moment."
Sym picked up the PADD he had brought with him and handed it to Flyboy, "Here, you need to program a map into this. The away team needs a form of reference so they can navigate the Romulan vessel.
Sam quickly tapped in everything he could remember, even though he knew alot of it would come back to him when he was back on it.
"Here's what I can remember its been a few years, but I'll remember even more once we're on the Romulan ship." Sam said to Sym.
Sam was more than ready to get the show on this show on the road, he looked forward to the vengeance that would soon be his, he was like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Christmas.
Sym scanned thorough the communication bands until he found what he was looking for,
"Got it," Sym explained, "Get down to the transporter room, we're only going to have a minute or so until the Romulans detect what we are doing."
As Sam left the Bridge, Sym moved over to the Captains chair and sat down. He pressed the internal comm button,
=^= Bridge to Langford. We have the location of the Romulan vessel, I'm sending to the transporter the coordinates. Flyboy's on his way down to you as we speak. =^=
During the hour that had led up to being transported to the Romulan vessel, Langford had been preparing himself for what was to come, and researching what Starlfeet knew about Romulan vessels. Though the bulk of that knowledge would fall on Flyboy due to experience, Langford, as the Executive Officer, had to be prepared for any consequence. Any and all consequences. Before he knew it, it was almost time, as he made his way to the transporter room where he met up with Rynen and the Away Team. It wasn't long before he got a message from Hop.
=^= Bridge to Langford. We have the location of the Romulan vessel, I'm sending to the transporter the coordinates. Flyboy's on his way down to you as we speak. =^=
=^= Roger that, Mr Hop. Thank you. Good luck up there. Keep her in one piece." And then Sam arrived no sooner said than done. The air in the room had changed to a more business-like tone as everyone gathered around Langford. "Alright then. We gotta do this. It's do or die trying", he said with vigor. "Let's do this! Everyone on the transporter pad." They all took their places and then Langford nodded to the transporter technician. "Do it."
And in all of the ten seconds it took to complete the operation, they were gone.
The Away Team had been transported into what appeared to be a storage room, lit only by a panel on the wall. Rynen looked around, trying to get her bearings. It was still hard not having her telepathic senses that she was so used to relying on.
“Good job, Sam.” Rynen whispered, pleased that they still had the element of surprise. The group all switched on their lights, revealing stacks of boxes and old equipment. Glancing around her quickly, the betazoid saw her team all standing at the ready- Sam, Langford, Draka, and Brian Morson and Josh Cowles, two other security officers. Rynen turned to Sam, looking at the map on her PADD.
“Where do you think the best route is from here to the brig?” Rynen asked. “I think our best course of action right now is to try and find the Captain. Once we’ve got him out, our job is done. And if any Romulans happen to get in our way.. Well, lets just say that it will be too bad for them.” She finished, the last statement getting a smile from some of the crew. The group looked to Sam, waiting for him to tell them the best way to go.
Sam pointed to a place on Rynen's PADD.
"This here is the quickest route and there shouldn't be to much opposition, and if I may be so bold, I'd like to take the lead, in case there have been some changes to the ship…"
Sam trailed his sentence off at the end, what he really wanted was to get the first kill, and he disagreed with Rynen's assessment of "once they got the captain they were done" in Sam's eyes the Romulans had to be stopped. If it was up to him he'd blow the entire ship to kingdom come killing all the murderous Romulans, but it wasn't his show it was Rynens. So he awaited her instructions, hiding his thoughts behind what he hoped was a big enough mental block, to keep the betazoid out of his mind.
Rynen considered Sam's request for a moment, then shook her head. "No, I'm responsible for the team's safety. I should go first," she stated. Although Rynen couldn't read Sam's thoughts, she still knew that he hated the Romulans- especially the ones on this ship. She was worried this might lead him to take some stupid risk to try and get revenge on them. There would be no one's blood on her hands today.. except perhaps the blood of a few Romulans.
Taking one last look at the PADD, Rynen motioned for the team to move to cover while she opened the doors. She tapped the control, and the doors slid open silently. There seemed to be no Romulans present in the corridor, so she motioned the security officer, Cowles, to exit first. He motioned that further up the corridor was clear, so she moved to join him. Sam was close behind her with the rest of the team following, the other security officer, Morson, in the rear. Here we go..she thought, Hang on, Owain. We're coming for you.
Owain didn't trust Commander Parthok. Couldn't trust him, and wouldn't trust any of the words the Romulan spoke. There was possibility that the Romulan was indeed speaking the truth, but the fact that Romulans hardly ever spoke the truth, or at least spoke it through barbed wires, made it infinitely harder to trust him. The man seemed confident in his abilities; maybe too confident. Maybe he felt Owain was gullible and would believe the plans recounted. But Owain wasn't gullible, least of all on a story a Romulan claimed to be honest. Vulcan of all things, was something Romulans were never on friendly terms with. If Vulcan was a destination, it could only mean one thing…
And so, it was in his assigned quarters that he took a certain investigation in his own hands; hands that were flying across the computer console in his room, trying to access what was unknown to him. He looked up any entries that included 'Vulcan' and 'Romulan Commander Parthok'. There were several entries. Though the one that was the most interesting was password protected. Just his luck; they were probably Tal'Shiar documents. On a hunch, he remembered reading some secret file of one of his crewmembers before that crewmember became part of his crew. He entered Blackheart as the password. To his surprise, it worked, and he was in. The information before him was indeed secretive information, so secret that it pained him to see it. It detailed the Romulan Contagion, that it would be placed on the Horizon, and taken over, that its mission was to assassinate the Vulcan High Command staff, including Spock and making it look like a Starfleet endeavor.
The Romulans had placed the Contagion aboard the Horizon and it had been there ever since the Romulans had come aboard. It had to be stopped before it arrived to Vulcan. He shook his head in disbelief. This wasn't happening, except that it was, and right under his nose. He had to find a way out…
Sym Fra Hop
Sym watched the view-screen in front of him, he wished he could see the Romulan vessel. Unfortunately, it was cloaked. So all Sym could see was the image of the stars aft of the Horizon. Now they knew the location of the Romulans, Sym could keep an eye on them. However, he could not use the active scanners so he had to use the passive scanners.
The away team had only beamed over less than ten minutes ago, so the waiting had only just began. There was very little he could do at the moment, Garfield was running engineering in Sym's absence. Sym sat in the Captain's chair, waiting to hear from the away-team.
At the moment, they were still on course for Vulcan at a speed of warp 5. That left them two days before they reached Vulcan.
"What's the status of the away-team?" He asked the Ops officer.
"We have not heard from them yet sir."
"Damn," He muttered to himself, "I hate this part, the waiting."
Sym stood up and walked over to the ops console. When the Ops officer moved aside, Sym pressed a few buttons. Luckily the PADD that he had given Flyboy was still functioning, so he could at least see that they were moving. That was all, he did not dare increase the gain of the transmission in case the Romulans detect them.
"Carry on," Sym told ops.
Sym carried on to the captains chair and sat down to wait.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka walked along with the rest of the Away Team, Rynen a bit ahead of himself. His right hand wrapped around the handle of his hand phaser, the weapon drawn and held low, though that would be a bit of a risk as the weapon's discharge would all but certainly be detected by the ship's internal sensors. 'Nothing for it, though… best hope we don't run into anyone..', he thought to himself. As if to disabuse him of the notion of a quiet intrusion a door along the wall of the corridor swished open, two romulan crewmembers stepping out before noticing the intruders. One reached for his disruptor pistol as the other swiftly lashed out at Cowles, striking the man in the side of the head, sending him hard into the corridor's wall, dazed and barely conscious.
Rynen lunged foreward at the nearest romulan, the one that downed Cowles, while Draka stepped at the other, bringing his phaser up. The romulan was quicker though, a kick snapped out to knock the phaser from his hand as he leveled the disruptor. Gritting his teeth Draka braced for it.. the green blast of energy striking him in the abdomen… his mutation allowing his body to absorb a good portion of the blasts energy… his lower left belly ended up severely burned, blood oozing from the wound and then Draka's head exploded in pain bringing tears to his eyes as he attempted to channel the absorbed energy into a blast from his hand… that part of his mutation failing him. Desperate he stepped into the romulan's weapon range and snapped a heabutt to the man's face. As the romulan staggered back Draka grabbed hold of him and twisted, sending the man face first into the wall with bone rattling force. The unconscious Romulan slumped to the flooring as Draka staggered to the side, grabbing onto the wall to steady himself, arm moving to cover the wound…
Sam Jones, Rynen Dale
After Rynen had seen Cowles thrown into the corridor wall, she had lunged at the Romulan, her phaser rifle held at the ready. The butt of the gun connected with the Romulan's face. There was a satisfying crunch, and the Romulan dropped to the ground, green blood rushing down his face. Rynen turned to see what had happened to the other Romulan officer. She saw both him and Draka slumped on the floor. She rushed to Draka, noticing the blood coming out of a wound on his side. Clenching her jaw, she turned to Langford.
"We have to get him help, quickly," she stated, concern for Draka evident on her face. He was one of her personnel, and she felt responsible for him.
Langford thought for a moment before replying. "They are likely alerted to our presence now. It might be in our best interest to split up. You take Draka and Morson with you and find the Captain. I'll take Jones with me to disable the cloak. That way the Horizon will be able to give us support and hopefully get Draka out of there. Cowles, are you alright to come with us?" The security officer nodded. Although he blood on his face and his nose had already started to bruise and swell, he picked up his phaser and readied to follow Langford.
Sam's ears perked up when he heard his last name, he had just finished pulling his knife out of the heart of one of the Romulans, "A clean kill" as his father would say.
"Rynen if Owain didn't cause any problems, he should be in one of these quarters…if he tried to escape as I did he should be held in the brig here." Sam said and pointed on his PADD.
She nodded and marked the spot on the map on her PADD, hoping that Owain would be there instead of the brig. "We'll check there first. I'm assuming if he's in one of the quarters there will be guards posted outside."
"Most definitely, well if they learned from the last time they'll have at least 4 guys, especially for a Starfleet Captain of his stature." Sam looked to Commander Langford, waiting to get started.
Commander Langford looked over at Rynen, " Be careful and good luck," and with that he turned around and headed down the corridor with Sam and Cowles on his heels.
Draka Ren Colok
Draka gritted his teeth, forcing himself to ignore the pain, nodding to Rynen to signal he was good to go. Rynen took the lead, with Morson pulling rear guard. Draka, in the middle, kept his left arm to the wound, using his uniform sleeve to help staunch the wound, phaser held in his right hand, charged and ready for use. The made their way through the ship, taking side paths when available to approach the brig first… if the Captain was there it'd be the harder point to assault, so best to check it first. Rynen paused at the end of the corridor that opened to the corridor the brig was located off to, crouch she slips out her tricorder, activating the device to scan the area for general life signs. She waved them back, moving a bit back down the passage before speaking softly,"Only two life signs within… indeterminant species… Doubt they'd have just one guard for the Captain so we'll check the other possible location."
Draka and Morson nodded… the trio making their way towards the second likely location of the Captain. After tense minutes they took up a position down the corner, around the bend, Rynen again scanning for life signs with her tricorder before slipping it away, whispering to Draka and Morson.
"Five life signs, four in the corridor… One in the room… This looks like it… Quick and clean, we all step out and start firing, they won't risk the Captain without knowing for sure who's shooting.", she said, drawing nods from Morson and Rynen. The three prepared, weapons held at the ready and, at her signal, the three stepped out into the corridor, leveling their phasers towards the four guards they now saw.. two Romulans on each side of a closed door. Scarlet beams of energy leapt from the ends of the phaser as the trio triggered off several blasts each…
Owain Taggart, Rynen Dale
Escape. Escape was on his mind. Finding no trust in his mind, Owain now had to find a way to get off this ship. Unfortunately for him, and fortunate for the Romulans, the door had been locked, and the entrance guarded. Such was their hospitality; a nice clean room that looked reserved for one of their top officers, yet he was stuck here like a prisoner. Time was ticking, and the closer they got to Vulcan, the more dangerous it got. He had to escape to prevent the crime that would be committed against Vulcan.
Rynen, Draka, and Brian Morson ducked around the corner and fired on the four Romulan guards in the corridor. Three of the Romulans went down right away as the bursts of energy from the Starfleet officers' phasers had connected. Now alerted to their presence, the other guard tried to use his communicator to alert the rest of his crewmates to the intrusion. However, no words left his mouth before a well aimed shot from Brian hit its target. The Romulan slumped to the group, unconscious. "Nice work, Morson. Looks like a promotion may be in order." Rynen stated, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips.
Owain was hearing more phaser fire and as quickly as it started, it stopped, and footsteps were getting nearer. Then the input of a wall console, followed by the door opening. His gaze went to the four Romulan officers who had been standing guard, now slumped against the wall, then at Rynen and Morson who were framed within the doorway. "Well then, not a minute too soon.", he said as he pulled them back into the room, and putting a finger to his lips. "We must move quickly and quietly out of here. We've harbored the Contagion all along. It's aboard the Horizon, the engine room perhaps. In any case, their plan is for us to deliver it to the Vulcans. You can guess why they've wanted to use the Horizon; to put the blame fully on Starfleet . Well, it's not going to work that way. We're putting a stop to it.", he explained and looked at Rynen. "You lead the way."
Sym Fra Hop
Sir, I'm reading indications of weapons fire from the Romulan vessel." The officer stationed at the Ops console reported, "I'm unable to pinpoint the location, however."
Sym swung around to face the officer, "Can you determine if its a Starfleet energy signal, Mr Davis?"
The young officer shook her head, "Not with the passive sensors, sir. If I could use the active sensors, I might be able to narrow it down."
Sym sat back in the chair, mulling things over in his mind, "The Romulans have most probably detected the weapons fire. If that is the case, then there is no point in pretending. The Away team could be in danger."
Sym starred at the viewscreen for a few seconds, "We're going to have to be quick. Ops, standby to scan the location of the Romulan ship with a tachyon pulse. Helm get ready to come about 360 degrees. Tactical, get ready to target their weapons and engines. Get your co-ordinates from ops"
Once he got the acknowledgements from the officers in question, Sym rubbed his forehead. He had to get this right. "Right, here goes nothing. Red alert." He ordered
The bridge lights dimmed as a result of his order, he could imagine the same happening all over the ship. The crew rushing to man all the systems in anticipation of an emergency.
"Helm, come about. Mr Davis, initiate the tachyon pulse." Sym and the rest of the rest of the bridge crew waited a few terse moments while the pulse was activated.
"Got them, transferring data to tactical." Ops said
Sym looked towards tactical, "I have the co-ordinates." The security stationed there reported.
Sym smiled a grim smile, "Target their weapons and engines only, I don't want to take the risk of injuring any of the away team. Fire."
Blood Soaked Corridors
Commander Langford moved through the corridors with stealth that shocked Sam, he hardly heard the Commanders movements, but with Cowles he heard a drip drip of blood.
Sam put a hand out and stopped the Commander, while with the other hand took his bowie knife out of his boots and cut a piece of his uniform and gave it to Cowles.
"Romulan's sense of hearing is superior, put this around your head to stop the dripping." Sam whispered to Cowles.
"Commander Langford, Sir, we are about to go through halls and areas that are usually guarded, may I take the lead in case we have to dodge a patrol…" whispered Sam.
"Take lead Jones…just don't let this be personal, don't kill unless it's absolutely necessary just knock them senseless." whispered Lanford.
"Yes, sir," whispered Sam.
He moved slowly to the front, he closed his eyes, and tried to slow his breath, while images moved through his brain at warp speed. Sam opened his eyes and concentrated on what he could hear, the drip drip of blood was no longer, slowly he beckoned the other two to follow him into the corridors.
They made there way through the ship with minimal difficulty, occasionally dodging a patrol, or knocking them out. As they neared the Engineering room the split up Sam on one side and Commander Lanford and Cowles on the other, poised for attack,but they waited on Sam's intuition for when to go in.
Sam had a thousand pictures, scenes, flowing through his head it was as if he was captured again, he could hear the cold voice of the Chief Engineer, Vicrio, one of the Romulan's who had tortured him. A cold and uncaring Romulan, who had as much distaste for Sam as Sam did for him, hatred swelled up within Sam, he wanted to kill the Romulan, but he pushed the barbaric urges away. He pointed to Commander Langford and pointed at two of the Engineers, Langford shook his head in acknowledgment. Sam then pointed fingers at Cowles and motioned for the two Romulans to the left of the ones he had pointed out for Langford.
That left Sam with the Chief Engineer, and one other man, they each would have two. Sam lifted three fingers in the air, slowly putting them down.
They jumped into action as the last one went down, Sam focused only on his two, he let the adrenalin, and rage burst through his veins he took down his first Romulan with a stun blast, and caught Vicrio, in the back with his Bowie knife he twisted it towards the spinal cord until he felt it pop, and the Romulan drop in agony.
Sam leaned close to the Romulan.
"Do you remember me, you and your brethren tortured me, you laughed, now you will never walk again…but thank whatever God's Romulan's believe in, that I'm Star Fleet now or you would be dead….and keep the knife as a keepsake, you green blooded bastard." Sam whispered into the Chief Engineers ear.
An explosion rocked the ship before Sam could say anything else it knocked all of them off their feet and flung them to the ground, panels exploded all over the room.
Sam stood, a Romulan was headed for the door, but Langford stunned him before he could get there, Sam looked for Cowles and finally found him unconscious under some debris.
"Poor guy can't get a break for anything, " Sam said to Langford.
"Remind me to give him a medal, now that blast was from Federation phaser fire, what will the Romulans try do first?" Langford asked quickly.
"Well, if they can they'll try to recloak and shake the tachyon bursts, and if they can't do that they'll return fire…"Sam replied.
"Well come on point out the systems." Langford said.
Sam pointed out the cloaking system, and weapons control, they both started blasting.
"Sir, just don't hit the life support, or its all over for all of us." Sam yelled over the twos phaser blasts.
Once everything but the life support controls where blown, Sam and Langford headed for Cowles. He was still unconscious.
=^=Langford to Horizon beam Cowles to med bay, Langford out=^=
"Now Jones lets go see if we can't help make a distraction for the rest to make it out.
Sam walked quietly down the corridors, with Langford behind him, a small smile was on Sam's face, he would get his revenge.
Owain followed Rynen and the others back to the meeting point. Looking at the bodies strewn around along the way, he could tell that there had been quite a confrontation as he had almost tripped on a few of them. Bodies were strewn everywhere; in the middle of the corridors, slumped against walls, and it would only be a matter of time before they'd all wake up and come looking for them, which meant…
Sam's part of the team was nowhere in sight like they had planned to be, and this he noticed, made Rynen visible upset and uneasy about the whole thing. They should of been off the ship by now, and any second added would bring them closer to getting captured; this time all of them.
But then he saw Sam entering from the other side with a grin on his face. "Where were you?", Owain asked him without hesitation.
"Taking care of business.", Sam explained, "I…", he went on to continue, but then Owain put a hand up. "Tell me later. We've got to get off this heap of junk."
And then they heard it. The footsteps heading their way. "Right. You hear that? We have to go. Now.", said Rynen, and then Owain nodded while she tapped her commbadge. "Rynen to Horizon. Ready to beam up"
And then they were as invisible as the air, and the next moment had them on the transporter pads of the Horizon, and once they were all aboard, they raced to the Bridge.
As Owain entered, he nodded to Hop, "Thanks for keeping her in one piece. Anything to know about?"
Hop had been about to answer when the current navigation officer on duty looked up. "Sir, we're entering Vulcan's orbit.", he announced happily, and just as if it had been on cue, power had gone off. "That's odd", the officer remarked in complete darkness. Where's the backup power?"
"I'm on it, Boss. I'll head down there and try to find out what's causing this."
Owain nodded, "We're sitting ducks until you do…"
One by one, the stunned Romulan officers were waking up, to find that their targets had long disappeared. On the bridge, Romulan Commander Parthok was just beginning to regain consciessness, but once he noticed his viewscreen and the view it gave Vulcan, he quickly woke up grinning widely with pain at the sight before him. "And so it begins…"
Sym Fra Hop
Sym raced down to Engineering, although he had to use the Jefferies tubes to get there. Crawling on his hands and knees, he managed to get there within ten minutes or so. Garfield turned around in astonishment as Sym crawled into main engineering. Sym looked to the powerful warp core and as he suspected, it was inert. The azure glow it normally emitted was absent.
"Whats the problem?" Sym asked, "One minute we're entering Vulcan Orbit, then the next thing we know, we are dead in space. Report!"
"Unknown sir, we had very little notice. The core pressure fluctuated slightly then it seemed to stabilise. The next thing we know, we were in the dark." Garfield said.
Sym and Garfield looked around the engineering department. He could see the light from the torch's that his engineers carried.
"Listen up people," Sym raised his voice, "The Horizon is without power and a hostile Romulan vessel is in the vicinity. We are also without backup power. I need everyone to check and double check the connections to the warpcore and the emergency generators. We need power." Sym informed his department. "Carry on."
Sym looked at Garfield and said, "I need you to go down to the backup generators. Do all you can to get them operational."
As Garfield rushed of to see to the generators Sym caught sight of an engineering cadet.
"Mr Rahner, you're with me." Sym ordered.
The cadet moved over to him and stood at attention.
"At ease cadet, there's no time for niceties. Take this panel here, I need you to check the status of the anti-matter pods."Sym ordered.
"Yes sir," Rahner said, his German accent think with tension, "Do you think maybe the Romulan's did something?"
Sym laughed harshly, "Almost definitely, Gerhardt. I don't trust them. Never have and probably never will."
"Yes sir." Cadet Rahner said and turned his attention to his tasks.
As Sym moved over to the MSD, and engineer reported to him that inter-ship communications were back online. Sym thanked the man and continued his speculation of the MSD. When he looked over the diagram, he couldn't find a reason for the power cut. Sym was about to check the hardline connections to the warpcore when the backup lights flooded engineering.
Sym smiled, "Thank you Tormass," He said to himself.
He tapped his communicator, =^= Hop to Garfield, good work. =^=
=^= Thank you sir but it wasn't me. It was not even the automatics.=^= Garfield replied.
Sym was about to reply when one of the engineers suddenly shouted, "Warpcore pressure is increasing rapidly."
Sym raced over to the ladder and flew down to the lower deck, "The core is inert, the pressure couldn't increase. There must be a problem with the sensors."
The engineer was about to reply when a light started to be emitted behind them. Sym and the engineer turned around and faced the warpcore in horror. The core had indeed been activated, but instead of the normal blue glow in it's place was a sickly green glow.
Warp core pressure increasing. Core overload in progress. The computers famine voice permeated the department.
"Shit," Sym cursed, =^= Engineering to the Bridge. Captain, we have a massive problem. There is a warp-core breech in progress…=^=
The Captain must of heard the hesitation in Sym's voice, =^= What else is wrong?=^=
=^= I cannot explain it, but the core is now green.=^= Sym explained.
=^= Yes sir, green. The colour of blood, if you're a vulcanoid.=^=
=^= Can you eject the core? =^= The captain asked,
=^= Standby sir.=^= Sym's fingers flew over the panel, =^= Damn, sorry sir but the core ejection protocols are non-functioning.=^=
=^= Excuse my interruption sirs, but you need to see this.=^= It was Cadet Rahner who interrupted them
=^= Go ahead Cadet =^= Sym said
=^= I believe I have found some kind of contamination in the anti-matter. I am unsure as to it's composition.=^=
=^= Commander, I accessed the Romulan computer while I was their guest. Apparently the containment is on board.=^=
=^= You think that they put it in the anti-matter pods? But that would be highly improbable. As soon as the contamination came into contact with the anti-matter, it would obliterate the entire supply and the ship…unless.=^= Sym speculated, =^= What if they have not added anything, just altered it? It is conceivable and possible. I just need to find out what frequency they altered it and I maybe able to neutralise it.=^=
=^= How long have we got?=^= Taggart asked
=^= About five minutes. Captain, we may need to put some distance between us and Vulcan. If I cannot stop this breech and the Horizon explodes, the resulting radiation would destroy most of the lifeforms on Vulcan. I can give 3/4 impulse, we may be able to make minimum safe distance =^=
Rynen stood on the bridge at the Tactical station listening to the Captain and Lt. Hop conversing. A sick feeling came over her as she heard them discussing the imminent breech.
"Sir, perhaps we should start evacuating the ship. If Lt. Hop can't stop the breech, hopefully at least some people can survive." Rynen suggested. "After all, if it might work, why not do it?" She waited for the Captain's response, thinking of all the people on the Horion- her co-workers, and more importantly her friends. If they got out of this alive, those Romulans were going to pay.
=^= What if they have not added anything, just altered it? It is conceivable and possible. I just need to find out what frequency they altered it and I maybe able to neutralise it.=^=
When the Gerhardt heard the commander's words, he flew into action. On his PADD, he pulled up the standard specs for the ship anti-matter containment; it was a brand new ship and he damn sure wasn't going to let her blow up just because he assumed it used the same anti-matter pods and frequencies he had worked previously. Simultaneously, he punched in the commands for the pods to show current frequencies and to run a diagnostic on the containment units.
Sym arrived at the pods just as the reports where finishing. "Rahner, do you have that frequency yet?"
"Ja, commander. I have no idea how the Romulans did this, but the shift from standard operating specs is very subtle. It would have been impossible to catch before this stage of the reaction occured."
Sym looked over the cadet's work. When he was satisfied that Rahner's conclusions were accurate, he answered, "Good job, Cadet. Any ideas on how o fix this?"
"Ach, nien, sir. I was hoping you had something. I considered a report I heard about a Starfleet ship using the transporters as a matter re-arranger to repair molecules even as complex as DNA, but I cannot imagine any way to do that without breaching the anti-matter containment."
The moment Owain had come onto the bridge was when it all seemed to go wrong. With the power out, they were sitting ducks. Not a good time to be down and out with power. They'd be an easy target for the Romulans.
Speaking of the Romulans, he hadn't heard nary a peep out of them. It was almost as if they were too confident. It was only 15 minutes later when power had been restored that he felt relief. And then it felt like he had been punched again, his heart sinking to his knees, when he heard Hop's news.
Klaxons now blaring all around the bridge, he looked around, wondering if they'd all come out of this alive. They were trying to save Vulcan, and the Romulans had effectively converted the Horizon as a bomb to obliterate all life on the planet. It had come full-circle. Five minutes was just not enough.
He looked at Rynen, the reality of her question hitting at full force, and he nodded silently while putting a hand on her shoulder, "I'm not letting the Horizon get destroyed a second time. We'll come out of this alive, I swear. Begin evacuation immediately."
His look darted toward Sam's who had been intently listening to Hop's words seconds before. "You heard the man. Bring us as far away from Vulcan as possible, 3/4 impulse."
With minutes of time slipping away, they edged further away from Vulcan while Rynen was executing the evacuation procedures. Everyone was moving quickly about, making things happen as more and more of the ship were being told to evacuate.
These were tense moments for everyone involved. In as little as one mission, they were probably going to lose their ship again, and most hadn't even had time to settle in yet. Hope was looking slim as the seconds wore away, but then…
=/\= "Sir, I think I found a way!", announced Hop excitedly through the comm channel when there were 2 minutes left, "I need to recycle the computer though. Power will be off momentarily." And just like that, the lights were off again, and Owain was hoping beyond hope that it would work, because they didn't have much time left.
When the power came back on again, there was an uneasy silence in the air, and everyone on the bridge was looking at Owain expectantly, "Well?", he asked Hop.
"It worked. Everything is stable now. However, we still have the volatile substance mixed in with the anti-matter. We'll need to dispose it as soon as possible."
"Understood", he told the engineer. "So, we're home free then?"
"For the time being" =/\=, said Hop, and Owain could detect a smile.
He then tapped his commbadge, =/\= Taggart to Rynen, cancel the evacuation. We won't be needing it any longer."
He stood on the bridge, looking around it some more and wiping his brow, thanking the gods for getting them through this.
"=/\= Sir, I forgot to mention. You received a priority one communique from Admiral Farraday while you were gone. I forwarded it to your Ready Room."
"Thank you, Mr Hop." =/\=, Owain told his engineer while he started to walk towards his Ready Room. "Commander, you have the bridge."
He entered the Ready Room and sat down, then turned on the viewer. His face turned grim as he heard the Admiral's message; a General Order, Priority One. The kinds that were only sent during the most extreme emergencies. If anything was the definition of emergency, this was it. After viewing the message, he stepped out of his Ready Room with grim determination. He glanced at Langford and sighed. "We are at War. Proceed to Staging Point Alpha at maximum available warp, Mr Jones. We are to Rendezvous with the rest of Task Force Victor."
THE END — FOR NOW.
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