Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
As promised, Volume III will be starting with a prologue and first chapter on 1st December. Before that, though, I wanted to post a synopsis of the first two volumes for anyone who wants to be reminded of what has gone before, or who is picking up the story now.
So here goes...
Star Trek: Restoration
Synopsis of Volume One - Redemption
The year is 2631. Eleven years after the end of the Dominion Occupation.
The former Great Powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants are recovering from a quarter of a millenium of Dominion rule. The Federation of Allied Worlds, a shadow of the former UFP, struggles to maintain a hold on its member worlds, most of whom are just waiting for an excuse to abandon the Articles of Federation. Old enemies have become new friends as the Romulans, the Cardassians and the Ferengi have joined the Federation as founding members, as important as humanity in this new order. The Klingon race has been sundered in two, with the honorbound Khitomer Klingons serving in the Federation, while the Klingon Empire descends into a hotbed of intrigue and violence.
Within this maelstrom, a new-class of ship is launched by Starfleet. Known as the Restoration-class, its flagship is the USS Redemption, a ship which will be called upon to take part in a dangerous mission to a strange alien race...
Ba'el Sarine, a former rebel fighter who exiled himself to Earth at the end of the war, receives a visit from his old cell leader, now a powerful Admiral in the fledgling Starfleet. Asked to take command of the USS Redemption after his presence was specifically requested by the reclusive Laurentine Hegemony, Ba'el initially refuses, still trying to come to terms with the death of his wife and son in the last year of the war. When he realises that his refusal could lead to another war, however, Sarine decides to take the job.
Onboard the USS Ulysses, Commander Kalara, a Klingon who has been offered command of the Redemption as well, receives a puzzling message from Starfleet that leads her to believe she is about to lose her first command.
At the Starfleet construction yards in orbit of Romulus, as final preparations for the launch of Redemption near completion, the ship's operation officer beams onboard. A joined Trill who holds the legendary Dax symbiont, Jasto Dax is a man struggling with the actions of his former host, an insane killer who still has a hold over the symbiont. Hiding his affliction from his commanding officer, Lieutenant-Commander Ianto - a Data-class android who holds the memories of the original Data - Jasto encounters an attractive young female officer who may have a link to Dax's former host's sordid past.
Arriving in Romulan space, Kalara meets with two Admirals who confirm to her that she has been passed over for command of the Redemption. Although her initial reaction is to refuse, her code of honor pushes her to accept the position of first officer aboard the ship.
When Sarine himself arrives, he descends to the surface to meet Ambassador Benjamani, a female human who has been responsible for the talks with the Laurentii. Neither of them likes the other and the meeting ends in a heated argument, Benjamani throwing Sarine from her office.
Aboard Redemption, Doctor Keene, a genetically-modified Klingon operative posing as a Starfleet doctor, uses a holographic emitter to pose as Commander Kalara. Sneaking into the CMO's office, he uses the communications' array to contact a fleet of Imperial ships waiting to cross into Federation space. Transmitting secret plans and defence codes, Keene is almost found out by the CMO.
Hours later, Kalara finally beams up to Redemption with her husband. After taking a tour of the ship, she calls the senior staff together and informs them that she will not be their captain. As she explains the change in plans and announces that Sarine will be taking command, the red alert sirens begin to sound and the bridge announces that Romulus is under attack by Klingons.
Sarine is down on the surface meeting with the flight commander who will lead a squadron of fighter pilots onboard the ship. When he learns that the Klingons are attacking, he decides to join her and her officers in the air.
Onboard the ship, Kalara takes temporary command and orders the ship out into the fray to face the fleet of Klingon ships. Although her initial attack on one of the ships is successful, Redemption is soon in a life-or-death struggle to survive.
Sarine joins the other fighters above Romulus. When a coordinated attack using the specific frequency of the planetary shield destroys the planet's defences, Sarine leads a delicate and dangerous assault on the main Klingon ship, a captured Dominion battlecruiser.
As the Federation forces begin to gather so that they can fight off the Klingon attackers, though, a combined assault sees Starbase 2 destoyed, killing twenty thousand Starfleet officers and Federation citizens in a single, horrific blast.
Sarine's attack is successful and the battlecruiser is destroyed. Redemption leads the Klingon ships away from the construction yard in an attempt to save as many lives as possible. Although Kalara manages to use her knowledge of Klingon ships to destroy and incapacitate two of the ships, the lead ship uses her last burst of speed in an attempt to ram and destroy Redemption. Sarine gives the order to create a slipstream aperture in front of the ship to destroy the Klingons. Kalara refuses to follow the order, but Sarine manages to convince Lieutenant Dax into doing it instead.
The gambit works and the Klingon ship is destroyed. When the aperture goes out of control, Kalara heads down to Engineering to help shut down the slipstream drive while Sarine pilots his fighter towards the aperture to use his warpdrive to close the rupture in space and time before it engulfs the whole system. Kalara gets down to Engineering in time to see Ianto sacrifice himself to save the ship. At the last moment, Sarine is beamed out of his fighter and onto Redemption.
On the bridge, Sarine and Kalara have a heated face-off. Kalara threatens Sarine with a phaser. After convincing her to lower her weapon, he has her arrested. Taking command of the ship, he orders them back to the construction yards.
End of Volume 1
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Sigh. Is it December yet? :scream:
Nice summary of the first story ... will help keep it fresh in my mind when you start posting Book 3!
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Thanks for the comment! It is December in 1h 20mins here, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little longer - hope to have the prologue up by tomorrow night!
In the meantime, here is the summary for Volume 2...
STR Volume 2 Summary
Aboard Onyx Station, a Shy'at - a knight of the Laurentii Theocracy - comes to see the station commander with news of a starfighter that has gone missing along the Galactic Barrier. While watching the last moments of the fighter, they see a black emptiness engulf and destroy a whole star system...
Back in Federation space, three weeks have passed since the Klingon attack and Captain Sarine is overseeing the refit of the USS Redemption. Receiving a transmission from Admiral Kovat, the man who offered him command weeks before, Sarine learns that he must justify his actions during the Klingon attack before a review committee.
After spending three weeks on Romulus, S.I operative Zoraya arrives onboard the ship. She has been charged with spying both on Sarine and learning as much as she can about the Laurentii. Meeting Captain Sarine for the first time, she then reports over subspace to her handler at Starfleet Intell. She is interrupted by her Ferengi roommate who informs her that a Borg ship has just dropped out of warp near the ship.
Lieutenant Dax, recently given a temporary promotion to executive officer but still struggling with the former Dax host, is overseeing the bridge when the Borg ship arrives. Putting Redemption on red alert, he prepares to attack, but is overruled by Captain Sarine who announces that a group of Borg are to be allowed to beam onboard. Confronting the captain about his decision, Dax learns that these Borg have been granted temporary Starfleet commissions - and that one of them will be replacing the dead Ianto as Chief Engineer!
Kalara is preparing for her court martial down on Romulus when she learns that she has been offered a deal - no court martial if she accepts a bump down to Lieutenant-Commander and an official reprimand. Refusing the offer, she gives in to depression and tries to hurt herself, but is saved by the intervention of her husband, Damien. When she wakes up, she receives a visit from Ambassador Benjamani, who offers her an interesting position that makes her rethink her decision.
A day later, Sarine reports before the review committee. He has a face-off with the leader of the committee, a Bajoran Admiral named Sisko who has it in for Sarine due to certain actions Sarine took during the war. As the confrontation becomes heated, Sarine receives help from an unexpected ally - Ambassador Benjamani - who speaks up on his behalf for her own mysterioud purposes.
On Earth, Colin Groves, former Starfleet officer and current Deputy Chief of Staff in President Baxter's Administration, is called in to the office after a senior Starfleet admiral makes an inflamatory comment about the president's reluctance to declare war against the Klingons for their attack on Romulus. After a meeting with the President, Colin is ordered to use his connections in Starfleet to get a retraction.
Onboard Redemption, Jasto's conflict with the other Dax host, Haebron, takes a dangerous turn when he wakes up in the armoury to find a thermal detonator active in his hand. Although he realises that Haebron has taken control of his body, he is reluctant to seek out help and ruin his career.
At the same moment, Captain Sarine greets Ambassador Benjamani in his ready room after her arrival onboard the ship. He is shocked and angered when he discovers that Benjamani has chosen Kalara as her Starfleet liaison. Still, he tries to remain civil and offers to show them around the ship.
While Sarine gives Benjamani and her team a tour of the ship, agent Zoraya learns that Starfleet Intell have picked up traces of a Klingon transmission coming from Redemption just before the attack. She is tasked with finding the spy. That very same spy, Doctor Keene, is shocked when Kalara shows up in sickbay. Using a hidden camera, he listens in on a conversation between her and the CMO, and overhears them discover the truth: someone has been impersonating Kalara. Kalara vows to find the spy, leaving Keene with a thorny dilemma.
After this revelation, Kalara and her husband are contacted by Damien's cousin, the President's Communication's Director, who asks the couple for help in getting the retraction for the inflamatory comment about the President. Damien reveals that he knows the Starfleet Press liaison serving onboard Redemption and that he may be able to help them.
Damien meets with the laision officer, Saadene Benouakhir, in one of Redemption's R&R centers. The two discuss what has been happening recently, and Saadene agrees to help. Their meeting is interrupted, though, when a group of Borg walk in and Saadene is shocked to recognise one of them.
After confronting the officer whose life Haebron destroyed, Jasto has convinced himself that the former host has settled. Ordered before the captain, he is introduced to Prin Ly'et, a Cardassian woman who will be taking over as XO. He is also surprised to be offered the position of second officer, which he accepts.
As repairs progress, Sarine is called down to engineering where he learns that the Quantum Slipstream Drive is ready for use. Kane, the new Borg Chief Engineer, also informs him of an anomaly in the main computer - a huge amount of memory that has been seized by some unknown party...
Back on Earth, Colin Groves finally completes the task set to him and convinces the Starfleet admiral who made the unfortunate comments about the President to resign. His good humour does not last, however, when he learns that the President and Chief of Staff have been hiding a Starfleet Intell report clearly showing that the Klingon High Council directly ordered the attack on Romulus.
The situation with the Klingons further precipitates towards war when Redemption, on her first test cruise, picks up a distress call from a Federation freighter under attack from three Klingon Birds-of-Prey. Reluctantly accepting the help of Kalara, Sarine is able to fight the Klingons off and sends a team over to investigate. Although the team discover evidence that the Klingons were sent by the High Council, hidden Klingon operative Doctor Keene takes the opportunity to request an extraction from Federation Space from his handler in Imperial Intelligence. His request is refused, however, and he is given new instructions - take Commander Kalara's place and, as her, assassinate one of the Laurentii, thus precipitating a war between the Federation and the Hegemony.
Following this attack, the President has no choice but to declare war on the Klingon Empire. Although Colin is determined to help the war effort by smoothing things over between the President's office and Starfleet, he is ordered by the President to join the Redemption mission and make sure that the treaty goes through.
The day of the launch finally comes. After making a speech, Sarine orders the ship to depart spacedock and to make full speed for Laurentine space...
End of Volume II
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Well written summary-now on to the original work!
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Well, real life being what it is, have got a slight delay in the prologue for volume III. I hope to have it up by tomorrow night.
I'm really sorry, I know you've all been waiting patiently for this, and I feel really bad not to be able to put it up tonight as promised.
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the summary - I hope it was clear enough to wrap-up both prior volumes in preparation of this one.
As for the original work, as I said above, I'm a bit behind schedule but hope to have something posted tomorrow night.
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
I'm back - and catching up on the stories that I missed whilst I was gone. This is certainly handy - ploughing through Volume 2 at the moment.
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
13 years before the launch of USS Redemption
Somewhere in slipstream space
As he sat in the private viewing room aboard the Allied War Ship (AWS) Benjamin Sisko, Ba'el Sarine could only admit to himself that the war was not going well.
Almost twenty years had passed since the Alliance of Free Worlds burst from the ashes of justice, freedom and righteousness. Of course, back then, the flames had burst into bright light in the aftermath of the Topakin Massacre. When the Jem'hadar exploded that subspace distortion bomb and destroyed Topakin III, dozens of worlds had flocked to the Alliance. For the first time, it had been possible to imagine that the time had finally come to throw the Dominion from the Alpha Quadrant.
Ba'el grunted. Now where were they? Stuck in a stalemate. They had recaptured worlds, they had freed entire races, but the Jem'hadar exacted a toll for every planet, moon or asteroid that the Alliance reclaimed. A toll paid in billions of lives. A toll paid in blood.
Ferenginar. Cardassia. Tholia. Qo'nos. They had all suffered from the Jem'hadar's "scorched Earth" policy. And Earth, of course. 350 million citizens - gone. Amongst them...
No. He blocked the thought before it had even entered his brain. He wasn't going to think about that. Much safer to think about the mission and how much he wished he could be anywhere else than aboard this ship. Actually, no. Not anywhere else. A very specific somewhere.
Banishing those thoughts as well, he stared out at the flickering blue of slipstream space. How that stolen QSD drive stayed active was beyond him. He had been down to the engine room when he beamed aboard and had a look around. There were so many wires and tubes running from the thing that it almost seemed like it had become Borg and had begun a campaign of assimilation.
Reaching up, Ba'el brushed his hair away from his face. He caught sight of his reflection in the glass. In his forties, he had begun to look more and more like his father. He only knew that because of holos, of course. His father had disowned him when he was a child, the day he threw Ba’el’s mother, a slave girl in his household, out on the streets. Ba’el hardly remembered the man. He wondered whether he was still out there somewhere, still serving the Dominion, still trying to maintain the status quo.
Ba’el’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door swishing open. He didn't turn around - no need. He knew exactly who it would be.
Reflected in the glass, he watched Prin sit down in the chair beside him. She tucked one leg beneath her, then raised the other and rested her foot on the glass.
He glanced at her. She wore black trousers beneath a green tunic and a long brown coat hung on her shoulders. Everything fit her very well, he couldn't help but notice, but he did no more than that. He knew that things could never be the same between them, not since he met Elera.
He thought that she might actually leave him in peace and quiet for once, but no such luck.
"We're almost there."
Ba'el's only reply was a grunt. He had no intention of letting her badger him again. She turned her head to look at him, and he pointedly ignored her.
Prin, though, had no intention of being ignored. As usual.
"You do realise how huge an opportunity this could be?" she asked.
He didn't bother to answer - there didn't seem to be any point. They both knew very well what was at stake and Prin also knew that he knew that. She just wanted to get a reaction out of him, and Ba'el had no intention of giving her what she wanted.
She watched him for a moment, and then sighed, turning back to stare out the window. They sat there in an almost-companionable silence until Prin sighed again and turned her whole body to face him. She slid her leg through the gap between the chairs, setting her foot on the deck plate.
"You've been in a bitch of a mood ever since we left Earth, you know that?" She snarled at him, one lip rising to reveal her teeth, her facial ridges twisting slightly. "You've got to snap out of this!"
Fine, Ba'el thought. This had been building for days. If she wanted to have this out... He turned so that he was face to her, as well.
"Why?" he demanded
Instead of answering his question, Prin threw up her hands like she had witnessed a miracle. "He speaks."
Ba'el started to turn away again. "If you've just come to break my balls, Prin, I don't--"
She reached out and grabbed his arm, forcing him to stop. "If you're about to say that you don't need someone to break your balls from time to time, you're wrong. That's exactly what you need." She tried to take the bite out of her words by assaying a forced smile. "But no, that isn't the only reason I've come. I came to tell you that you need to pull it together. You're the only reason this whole thing has gone ahead. If you hadn't pushed the Council to make those overtures to the Laurentii, we might never have learned about this weapon."
Ba'el sat back down and Prin let go of his arm. He reached up with one hand, massaging his temples. "That was years ago," he said. He knew it would sound as though he were moaning, but he didn't care. "Why the Council feels I need to be the one to take care of this--"
"Please tell me you're not that naive," Prin said sardonically. "You know that you're the best strategic thinker we have. You're our best chance of finding some way of stopping the Dominion before they burn ever planet in the quadrant the same they did..."
She trailed off, obviously realising that she had ventured into dangerous territory. Ba'el felt a chasm opening up before him and was surprised to find that this could still hurt as much as it ever had. It had been years, after all.
"Like they did..?" he pushed.
Prin didn't back down, but spoke through gritted teeth. "Earth."
He scowled. He could still remember receiving the transmission. He had been aboard the Jasard, Kovat's ship, out near the former Klingon Empire. He had heard about the rebellion blazing on Earth, but had not been aware that the resistance cells there had been so close to overthrowing Dominion control. When he had seen his aunt Judith on the comm, her face almost lost amidst the interference that affected pretty much all communications, his stomach had dropped and he had known.
His mother had died trying to protect the hospital where she worked, his aunt had told him. A Jem'hadar soldier had stabbed her, then her body had been lost in the blaze that engulfed the hospital. It had never been found.
Prin reached out and gently placed a hand on his arm again. "I know you miss her, Bay. We've all lost people in the past few years. But that isn't a reason to give up. In fact, it should be all the more reason to find a way of stopping those damned hornheads before they do any more damage."
Although he didn't want to, Ba'el nodded slowly. Prin was right, he knew that but...
"I swore I wouldn't leave them again."
Prin hesitated for a moment. Elera had always been a sore subject between them. Still, she pressed on, unwilling to let this opportunity pass.
"Surely they understand that you have to--"
"Of course they do," Ba'el snarled. He turned on Prin, his eyes ablaze. "Elera almost forced me out of the door at phaserpoint, telling me that I was needed. But Torvol cried when I left and I could tell that it was killing Elera to see me go again."
"Of course it did," Prin said gently. "Of course they did. They love you. They don't want to see you get hurt."
Ba'el didn't even hear her, his mind a billion billion miles away. "I told them when they offered me Enterprise," he said, his voice distant. "I gave up that part of my life when Elera and I got married. I did my part. All I wanted was to help the Alliance from behind the scenes. Design ships, make sure that Earth remained intact. No more wild adventures."
"But the war isn't over, Bay. Whatever you may think. Earth is free, but how many other worlds are still suffering?"
"You think I don't know that?" Ba'el's voice rose. "But I served my time, dammit! After the Breen joined us, I thought that--"
Whatever he had been about to say got cut off by the sound of the intercom.
"Attention all..." The intercom cut off in a burst of static, the old equipment playing up. "This... Captain. Prepare for reversion to... space, and for battle stations... neccessary."
Ba'el picked out enough of the communication to make sense of it. He glanced at Prin, and they both stood at the same time. Ba'el led the way. Finally, he thought as he walked out the door. I can get this mission underway.
As he made his way through the dim, badly lit corridors of the Sisko, he thought back on what Prin and he had been talking about. Although he knew that she was right, his priorities had changed. He still cared about the war effort, and he understood that none of them would be safe until the
Dominion was defeated, once and for all. But he also knew that he was more useful to the war effort behind the lines, organising Allied forces, keeping the Council from killing one another and looking for ways to throw the Dominion from the Alpha Quadrant once and for all.
At the end of a corridor whose flickering lights seemed about to die, the smell of oil and fuel filling his nostrils, Ba'el swung onto a ladder that climbed through a cylinder of metal and up to the bridge of the Sisko. Prin behind him, he clambered up and out, setting foot on the dark-grey deck plates.
Like most of the Allied ships, the Benjamin Sisko had been cobbled together from salvage from before the war. A circular module, the bridge was cramped. Holographic displays stolen from the Dominion vied with 24th century bridge consoles, a strange mishmash of different technologies.
Heavily armed MACO's lined the walls, toting large phaser rifles and even more antique weaponry. Apart from those stern-faced soldiers, no one on the bridge wore a uniform, not even the captain, a large dark-skinned man who turned to face Ba'el and Prin as they arrived.
"Glad you could join us, Captain," Captain Theodore Robau quipped.
Prin threw Ba'el an I-told-you-so look, then walked over to a free seat near tactical. Ba'el ignored her, his attention focused on Robau.
"Are you expecting trouble, Captain?"
Robau spun his chair back to face the forward viewscreen. "I always expect trouble."
Ba'el grunted, then glanced around the bridge again. All of the positions were filled and a handful of replacement officers stood by in case anything went wrong. The clothing was sombre and simple, ranging from dark brown shirts and pants to tightly fitting Starfleet jumpsuits from before the war. One large Klingon over at tactical even wore a captured Jem'hadar uniform.
A young Andorian thaan called out from the helm, bringing Ba’el back to the current situation. "Reversion to real-space in five."
Ba'el continued the countdown in his head, then watched as the blue slipstream tunnel collapsed, giving way to the regular starfield of 'real’ space. A dying star, its light phase shifted into the red spectrum which gave it the appearance of a collapsing ember, spun before them. Ba'el could just about make out the dark mass that would be Onyx Station floating in space in front of the star.
Robau spoke up from his central position. "Scanners, confirm our position."
A female Ferengi with small lobes and wearing a long flowing yellow robe cupped her hands around an old scanning device from the 23rd century and peered into it. After a few moments, she straightened and turned to the captain.
"Local star positions confirm that we are at Zeta Gamma Pi 7, Captain."
Otherwise known as Laurentii 12, Ba'el thought. Onyx Station.
The comm officer, a grizzled old human woman with dark skin and long grey hair tied in a ponytail, called out from her position on Ba'el's left. She had an earpiece in her ear, and she held her finger pressed to its side.
"We're being hailed, Captain. The computer indicates that it is a Laurentii signal frequency."
Robau seemed to consider this for a moment, then nodded. "Scramble things from our end anyway, Lieutenant."
That seems a bit paranoid, Ba'el thought. Still, as the communication's officer did as she was told, he stepped up behind Robau's chair to make sure he would be included in any conversation between the captain and Laurentii. This was his mission, after all, and he didn't want some insecure rebel captain screwing this up. This needs to go quickly, Bay, he told himself. In and out, then back home to Elera.
Robau glanced at him with a raised eyebrow, as if wondering what Ba'el was doing, but Ba'el just stared back until the other man grunted and turned away.
The viewscreen, another relic, rippled slightly, then replaced the view of the star with that of an alien being. Though only visible from the neck up, he was obviously a Laurentii. Though basically humanoid, his facial features were far from human. A single silver strip surrounded his face where his eyes should have been according to most humanoid standards. Ba’el knew that the strip was actually a complex sensory organ that acted as both eyes, nose and ears. Two small breathing dots sat between that strip and the mouth, which was filled with very pointy, dart-like teeth.
"My name is varec Asuph," the Laurentii male said. "I speak for the yazsmoot of Ispaoreai Hyps’rat. To whom am I speaking?"
Before Robau could speak, Ba'el took a step forward. "My name is Ba'el Sarine. I represent the Alliance of Free Worlds."
Robau turned and glared at Ba'el, then turned back to face the screen. "And I am Captain Theodore Robau, commander of this vessel. We thank you for your welcome. Permission to dock with your station?"
"Denied," varec Asuph said. Ba'el saw Robau tense up as the Laurentii looked past him at Ba'el. "Captain Sarine, the kruin of this hyps'rat has been expecting you. You may beam aboard when ready."
"Now wait a goddamned minute," Robau began, but Ba'el cut him off before he could antagonise the Laurentii any further.
"I'll need to bring one or two people."
Varec Asuph took a moment to think about it, his face tilting back slightly and his silver strip rippling slightly in thought. Robau glanced back at Ba'el again, and Ba'el realised that the two of them would be having words once this was over. So be it, he thought. He just wanted to get this over with. Finally, Asuph nodded.
"One other may accompany you. No more."
Before either of them could say anything else, the screen rippled again and reverted back to the former view of the star. The Benjamin Sisko had been drawing closer throughout the conversation, so that Onyx Station was now clearly visible. Ba'el glanced at it, taking in its highly organic, bulbous form, then he turned to leave the bridge.
He had only taken a single step, though, when Robau spoke from behind him. "In my ready room, Captain. Now."
His voice sounded like crackling ice in midwinter. He was not happy. Ba'el had been hoping to avoid this confrontation until he returned, but if it had to be now, it had to be now.
Following Robau across the bridge to a small door, Ba'el glanced at Prin who just sighed and shook her head. I tried to warn you, the gesture seemed to say. Ba'el looked away, then stepped into the tiny office.
The door closed behind him, leaving Robau and he in a small, cramped space, barely the size of a large closet. There was hardly the room for a small table and two chairs. Robau had put his own mark on the room, though, adding two tiny photos on the wall, both of an attractive Klingon woman and two children of obvious mixed heritage. Robau's family. Ba'el felt a pang, thinking of his own wife and son waiting for him back home.
Robau had taken up station behind one of the chairs. Hefting it easily, he spun it around in the air and slammed it down. "Take a seat, Captain."
"I said, take a seat."
Ba'el debated whether to push the issue - after all according to Alliance protocols and the orders Robau had received, Ba'el had final decision on anything. Still, there didn't seem any point in antagonising the man any further than he already had. He walked slowly over to the chair and sat down. Robau loomed over him for a moment, then walked past him to the other chair and sat down.
"Now I think we need to get a few things clear, Captain. I don't care about your issues with Allied Command. I don't care that the High Councillors feel that the sun shines out of your arse. I don't even particularly care about this mission to the Laurentii. Do you know what I care about?"
Ba’el held back a sigh, but couldn’t resist saying, "I assume you're going to tell me."
Robau smiled. It was a dangerous smile. "I care about this ship. You probably don't remember what that feels like, now that you have your cushy little deskjob, but out here in the real world, this ship and her crew are my only concern. I make the decisions on that bridge, Sarine. Not you, not Alliance Command, not even the bloody Alliance High Council. You got that?"
By the end of it, Robau was snarling but Ba'el couldn't help but smile. He could remember what it felt like, actually. And he decided that Robau reminded him of Kovat. A lot. He nodded.
"I think I do."
Robau stared at him for a moment, as if gauging how serious Ba'el was actually being. Then he nodded, apparently satisfied. "Good. Now then, are you sure about going over there alone?"
As quickly as that, the confrontation was over. Ba'el hid his smile this time. Definitely reminds me of Kovat.
"I can handle the Laurentii," he said after a moment. "I served with a couple during the Casili campaign, which is probably why they insisted I come out here to discuss this mystery weapon of theirs. They have some strange ideas, but if you respect their command structure, they're generally alright."
"Any idea exactly what this mystery weapon actually is?"
Ba'el shook his head. "No idea. That's what I'm here to find out."
Robau sat forward in the chair, gaze intent. "Well, I have to say that if it's anything like that station out there, it'll be damned impressive." He stood up, holding out his hand. "We'll hold station as close to Onyx as they'll let us, Captain. At the first sign of trouble..."
"You run as fast as you can."
Robau raised an eyebrow at that, eyeing Ba'el. "You sure about that?"
Ba'el hesitated a moment, his eyes flickering to the photos of Robau's family. His thoughts drifted inexorably to Elera and Torvol, and the look in Elera's eyes when he beamed out. He nodded. "Like you said, this ship is all that matters. If anything goes wrong, you run. Is that clear?"
Robau smiled. "Crystal. Good luck, captain."
To both of us, Ba'el thought.
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Prin tensed slightly as the transporter effect faded, dropping both herself and Ba'el into a tiny chamber in the middle of Onyx Station. She had never liked transporters, and doubted she ever would.
The same Laurentii who had greeted them over the comm - Asiph? Aseph? - stepped forward from his place at the controls. He turned to Ba'el, crossing both his arms across his chest and cupping his face in the palms of his hands.
"May the Blessed Seefu give you peace."
To her surprise - and the Laurentii's, from the way he started slightly - Bay stepped forward and repeated the gesture, adding a slight bow. "And may they guide you across the Great Divide."
The Laurentii didn't seem to know what to say to that, and he remained silent for a few moments. "You have met my kind before," he said finally.
Bay nodded. "I served with varec Kizara at Lorgan."
"I was not aware that was you."
"It was a long time ago."
Prin glanced at her old friend. She knew he had met Laurentii before, but had not realised that he had known them well enough to learn their customs. Though to be fair, he had tried to explain some of what he had picked up to her during the trip. However, beyond recognising certain similarities between the Laurentii's devotion to these Seefu and the Jem'hadar's mindless belief in the Founders, she hadn't really understood much else. That they were a theocracy had seemed clear. The Laurentii male's greeting confirmed that.
The Laurentii - what was his name again? Asaph? Asuph? - and Bay had been taking one another's measure for the past few seconds. Something seemed to pass between them, though, and the Laurentii dropped his head slightly, then reached into his robes. He took out a small hypospray, with an empty vial underneath.
"All visitors to Ispaoreai Hyps’rat must go through a blood screening to confirm they are not one of the accursed false gods."
Founders. That made sense. Most Alliance facilities had similar precautions. Bay seemed to be thinking along the same lines, because he stepped forward and lifted his shirt slightly. The hypospray hissed as it drew green blood. The Laurentii turned the vial, popping it out, and then swirled the blood a few times to make sure that it didn't revert to changeling-matter. When it didn't, he seemed satisified. Though it was hard to tell without any visual clues from his eyes to base her assumptions on.
Pulling another vial from his robes - and apparently pocketing the first one - he connected it to the hypo and turned to Prin. She lifted her arm as well, allowing the man to press the hypo to her skin. She felt a slight prick of pain, then saw the blood dribble into the clear glass container. Again, the Laurentii popped it out, and again, the blood remained blood.
"You are both who you claim to be," the Laurentii said, stepping back.
"Good," Bay said. "Now, if we could meet with the kruin--"
To her surprise, the Laurentii shook his head. "That will not be possible today. We have prepared quarters for you."
Bay tensed. "Listen, varec Asuph, we were informed that this would be a short visit. Our ship is waiting to take us back to Alliance space and--"
"It shall be a short visit," Asuph - so that was his name - said. "But for us to be able to explain and prepare the weapon, you must stay with us for a few days, at least."
Bay did not look happy. Damn, Prin thought. This was the last thing they needed. He had been on edge ever since they left Earth-space, worry for Elera and Torvol clouding his judgement. Ever since he had gotten married, he had been stepping back from the war effort. Kovat had begged him to come back to active service, and the Prophets' knew that the Alliance needed experienced captains right now. Bay wasn't having any of it.
He opened his mouth to say something. Prin knew that he often spoke first, and thought later, so she stepped forward, placing a hand on his arm.
"That will be fine," she said. "Could you lead us to our quarters?"
Bay glared at her, but it was too late.
"That will not be necessary,” Asuph said. “Ispaoreai will guide you."
Prin frowned. Ispaoreai was the name the Laurentii gave to Onyx Station. How could the station..?
Asuph waved a hand. Part of the wall suddenly opened out like a sphincter, revealing a pink corridor that dripped with what seemed like fleshy juices. Prin gasped. She had heard about the Laurentii's living technology, but this was the first time she had witnessed it up close.
"Are these... our quarters?" she asked tentatively.
Asuph shook his head. "No. Ispaoreai will direct you. Step through and the corridor will open before you. I will see you tomorrow and we will begin to speak of the weapon you require."
Bay didn't look convinced. Prin worried he might try to push things with the Laurentii, and they couldn't afford to lose this opportunity. The Laurentii might be an unofficial partner in the Alliance, but as soon as Laurentii space had been cleared of the Dominion, they had fallen back. Now they claimed to have this miracle weapon that could end the war. They had to remain on their good side. They had to.
She nodded to Asuph, then stepped through, turning to Bay expectantly. He frowned at the Laurentii, then sighed. Following her through, the opening closed behind him. They both glanced at one another, then followed the corridor to their quarters.
Once he was sure that the two kruvats were safely in their respective quarters, Asuph made his way to the core brainchamber. When the door opened, he entered and immediately fell to his knees. Keeping his head bowed, he waited for the kruin to speak.
When he did, the voice of kruin Lissa seemed to boom through the vast chamber. Asuph lowered his face even further, though all he wanted was to glimpse the glory of the conjoining.
<< You have it? >>
With trembling hands, Asuph pulled the vial of green blood from his robes and held it out and up before his kruin. After a few moments, the floor before him opened up, like a gaping toothless mouth.
<< Give it to us. >>
Asuph unscrewed the top of the vial, then poured the blood down into the small space. The sound of liquid splashing on the hyps'rat's flesh sent thrills through his belly. Then the maw closed up. Asuph remained where he was, head bowed, the vial still in hand.
After what seemed like an eternity, the kruin spoke.
<< He is the one. >>
Asuph raised his head on instinct, then caught himself before actually looking at the kruin. He felt his belly flush, his ventral air vents closing in mortification, leaving him with a tiny amount of monoxide coming in through his nasal holes.
<< You have a question, varec? >>
Bowing his head further, Asuph tried not to writhe in dismay. Had he angered the kruin? All his dreams could be shattered.
<< He is the one, >> the kruin repeated. << There is no doubt. Our brethren at Lorgan were correct in their surmise. >>
”This kruvat is the promised one?" Asuph dared to ask.
The kruin did not seem to mind. << He is. But he must not be made aware of that fact until the proper time. >>
Feeling emboldened by the kruin's reply, Asuph spoke again. "When... When will you know the proper time, kruin?"
To his surprise, a wheezing sound filled the air. Was the kruin... Laughing? << I? No, varec. Not I. The one who will follow me will see the Darkness come to this place. He will call the promised one to come to us and save us from the Darkness. This Sarine will be that one. >>
"You- You have seen it?"
<< I have seen it. >>
Asuph waited for a moment, wondering whether he dared ask the question he yearned to ask. His dreams recently had been complicated, shadowy, but one thing had remained clear. He had seen himself in this chamber, except in his dream, he was conjoined to the hyps'rat. He had been kruin. Could the dream be a true dream? Did he dare ask the kruin?
Kruin Lissa spoke before he could ask the question, though. << You must keep the kruvat here for a few more days, varec Asuph. >>
From what he had seen, that would be difficult. This Sarine did not seem to want to be here. "What of the weapon? Are we truly going to give it to them?"
The kruin spoke in a low voice. << Provide him with everything he needs, varec. The shapeshifters must be defeated before the Darkness can be faced. >>
"You have seen it?"
<< I have seen it. >>
Asuph desperately wanted to ask him what else he had seen. The Seefu communicated with their chosen people through dreams. The dreams had led the Laurentii safely through the Divide. The dreams had helped the Laurentii rebuild their Hegemony here, in this safehaven. The dreams told the Laurentii that soon, very soon, the Darkness would return. The dreams told Asuph that…
Will it be me? he wondered. Will I be the one to see the Darkness return? Will I call upon this kruvat Sarine to save us?
Kruin Lissa seemed to read his thoughts. << Do you dream, varec Asuph? >>
He had been asked a direct question. He could do nothing but reply, truthfully. "I dream, kruin."
<< Then mind your dreams, varec. There is truth in dreams, but beware. Dreams are not truth. >>
What did that mean? Before he could ask any further, the kruin spoke again.
<< Now leave me, varec. Go to the kruvat. Tell them that they may come before in two days time and I will deliver to them our secrets. >>
"And until then?"
<< Until then... Keep them amused. Show them what it is safe to show them. I must have time to study this Sarine. When he returns, when we need him, he must be prepared. >>
Was the kruin saying what Asuph thought he was saying? Could he actually be prepared to carry out the kolar dah'han on a kruvat? Asuph could not believe it. And yet... And yet.
He bowed his head further. "It shall be as you command, kruin Lissa."
<< Not as I command, varec. As the Seefu requires. >>
"Of course, kruin."
Taking his leave, Asuph stepped out of the core brain-chamber and back into the corridor. He stood there for a moment, thinking back on what the kruin had told him. Could it really be true? Could his dreams be real?
Remembering his responsibility, Asuph began to make his way to the quarters that had been given to the kruvat. In his mind, though, he was already conjoined with the hyps'rat, the master of this vast living organism. A master of the Hegemony herself.
One day, he told himself. One day.
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Wow! That was ... intriguing. So this happened a while ago ... oh, my goodness, I don't know what I'm more excited about, hearing the rest of this background story, or finding out what's going to happen when Sarine returns to the Hegemony! Crazy, crazy stuff, CS! The biostation sounds ... um, slimy and weird? Prin and Ba'el (Bay, I love that she calls him Bay for some reason) are great together, with all that tension. Loved the descriptions of the Benjamin Sisko. Fantastic work, and if the rest of it is this interesting, it'll have been well worth the wait! That's some imagination you have, there!
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
I like this kind of story because it does add dimension to the story. Well worth the wait!!! Love the (ASW) Sisko!! Great touch!!!
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it. I'll be dipping back into this backstory throughout this volume, slowly revealing what exactly happened during this period of time and how it ties in to the current story.
Glad you liked the relationship between Prin and Ba'el - I like the fact that she calls him Bay as well, it shows how their relationship works.
Hope the rest of it will live up to your expectations! :)
Now where's the next Tesseract chapter?! ;)
Thanks for your comment. I'm glad the prologue did what I wanted it to - ie. adding dimension to the story and world. And also glad you liked the Sisko.
Thanks to you both for your comments. More coming as soon as possible, I promise! :)
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
This was terrific flashback to Ba’el and Prin’s previous contact with the Laurentii, and a visceral look at the dark days leading to the final ouster of the Dominion from the Alpha Quadrant. This also gives me a greater appreciation of the relationship between Ba’el and Prin, and how then, as now, she can be a calming influence on his more incendiary impulses.
Rather ironic that Sarine, who seems himself to be destined to be some manner of emissary to the Laurentii, comes to them aboard the vessel Benjamin Sisko… nice touch. ;)
Excellent stuff, and I’m anxious for more!
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
All of what they said and a nice touch.CPT Robau, indeed!:lol:
Re: Star Trek: Restoration - Onyx
A neat look at what has lead us to this point. It does not answer the main question that seems to be driving everything. Why Ba'el? I'm sure we find out soon enough.
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