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September 12th 2371 – 1220 FST
The bridge of the Angel
was currently in stunned silence. All systems had been locked out and every bridge console currently displayed the Ω
symbol. Warp and impulse had been disengaged and a look of concern was on every face. Perhaps more so that of Dan Fishlock as he was the only person on the ship who knew exactly what this meant.
“Commander Gray, you have the bridge. I’ll be in my ready room for a while. Please note that nobody is to enter.”
“Aye Captain.” She was obviously about to ask exactly what was going on, but Dan shook his head imperceptibly and gave the SpecOps hand signal indicating communications silence. He hoped she would understand.
“Computer seal and lock ready room door, command override Fishlock Zero One One Theta.”
“Ready room door sealed and locked. Command override acknowledged.”
Sitting at his desk, he turned the monitor to face him and issued a series of high level security authorization codes. These would enable the unlocking of all workstations and the re-engaging of the drives, but not yet.
“Computer, define and locate Omega phenomenon.”
“Omega phenomenon is located at bearing 090 mark 0, range 2320 metres. Single stable molecule detected. Omega Directive to be implemented immediately. As per Starfleet classified order, this supersedes any other directive until termination of phenomenon.”
Dan knew that meant any directive including General Order One, the Prime Directive. He entered the co-ordinates on his unlocked console and the image that appeared was that of Scorpion
. The pulsing crosshairs indicated a location aft of the null node they’d first detected. Dan placed his head in his hands and let loose a string of expletives.
“Please repeat instructions.”
Realizing that there was little point cursing at the computer he ordered an encrypted link opened to Chariscarpia immediately. When she appeared she was smiling benignly as always.
“Captain. How may I be of assistance?”
“Chariscarpia, I need to ask. Have you just activated any equipment on your vessel?”
She waved her hand indicating something off-screen. “I have just lowered the screens in my vessel’s drive area so that Ensign Dixon may study it. Is there a problem?”
She appeared quite concerned and Dan knew that what he had to say wouldn’t help to assuage those fears entirely.
“Chariscarpia, I need to ask for your trust and understanding. Right now I need you to replace the screens and not remove them again. Can you do that?”
She closed her eyes and his console beeped. “Omega phenomenon no longer detectable.”
“I apologise Captain if I have committed some error.”
Dan cursed again, but this time under his breath, realising that he could reveal nothing to Chariscarpia until he’d spoken to Starfleet. “Would it be possible for you to transport to the Angel
so that I may discuss this with you in person?” If I’m allowed
he thought grimly.
“Of course Captain. I apologise again if I have done something untoward.”
Dan smiled, though inside he felt like a hypocrite. “I’m sure we can sort it out when we speak.” Nodding, he terminated the link and immediately opened another encrypted one to Starfleet Command Headquarters as per his orders.
Prefacing his communication with Omega
placed the comm directly through to Admiral Benedict Bryan, the current overseeing officer for Omega.
Under other circumstances, Dan thought, Bryan would have appeared like a benevolent uncle; all beard and gruff voice. Right now however, he was all business.
“Admiral, this is Captain Dan Fishlock of the USS Angel
. Please confirm that this link is encrypted.”
He watched as Bryan ran a double check of the link before he looked up and nodded. “Encryption is confirmed Captain.”
“Sir I am reporting as of Stardate 48697.3 implementation of the Omega Directive. My vessel is currently located in proximity to Zethander and the Omega phenomenon has been located aboard a vessel with which we have just made first contact.”
Bryan closed his eyes momentarily. “Captain, it is my duty to make you aware of the following. The Omega molecule has been created but never stabilised by Federation scientists. In its unstable form, the molecule has the destructive power to destroy subspace in the area where it detonates making warp travel impossible for an area up to and possibly exceeding five light years for an indeterminate but possibly permanent period. Do you understand this?”
Dan of course knew the background on the powerful Omega molecule as did every Starfleet officer of captain rank and above.
“Yes Sir, I’m aware.”
“Then you are aware that following the directive, I have to send in a specialized team authorized to use whatever means necessary to destroy the molecule. This team has already been placed in motion by your communication Captain.”
Bryan looked genuinely crestfallen. “You say the molecule was detected aboard an alien vessel?”
“Yes Sir, a first contact situation that Headquarters have already been briefed on.” Dan hesitated. “Sir, it’s my belief that this Omega molecule is what powers the alien’s drive. Her mission has lasted centuries which suggests that it is more than stable. Is it a necessity to destroy it?”
“Captain Fishlock, that decision is way above your pay grade, and mine for that matter. For the time being your orders are to restrain the vessel if possible. If not, standing orders are for it to be destroyed.”
“Understood Sir.” Dan was damned if he did understand and for the first time in a long while felt very uncomfortable with his orders. “Do I have permission to unlock my ship Sir?”
“Permission granted Captain, and just a reminder. You are not to discuss this matter with any other member of your crew.”
Dan acknowledged the reminder with a nod. “Remain on site and detain the vessel. Bryan out.”
As the screen faded, Dan input the unlock codes and was gratified to hear the steady hum of the impulse and warp drives return. Throughout the ship, computer terminals sprang back to life as the Ω
symbol disappeared and they continued their scheduled work. Dan unlocked his ready room door and called Kat in from the bridge.
As she sat in the chair opposite him, she saw the worried look on his face. “I’m guessing that I shouldn’t ask what this is all about but that it’s serious.”
“Correct on all counts Kat. This incident is not to be discussed aboard ship nor speculated upon by any crew member.” His frown deepened. “Kat, I may have to issue some unorthodox commands soon and…” His voice trailed off as he sat back and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“And you’re obviously not happy about them,” Kat finished for him.
“Whether I’m happy or not is not important Kat. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you this goes way, way higher than just about anything else we’ve ever dealt with. I can’t tell you any more than that.”
Kat blew out a breath and sat back in her chair. “I’m suddenly having second thoughts about the big seat Dan.”
“Me too,” he replied quietly. “Me too.”
September 12th 2371 – 1223 FST
“I don’t understand it,” said Dorian in hushed tones as he stared at the strange scene before him.
“I don’t either Doctor, but asss a sssecurity officccer it isss my duty to be sssussspiciousss and right now I have alarm bellsss ringing just about everywhere.” Ress handed the powerful monocular to Dorian. He took it and trained it on the cockpit of the Galen
which sat in the middle of an expansive cavern where they observed it from a side tunnel partially blocked with rubble.
“Noticcce that there isss nobody in the cockpit, which isss not what I would have expected of Lieutenant Andrewsss.”
Dorian understood that. Andrews was a stickler for the rules and even if he’d had to wet himself, he wouldn’t have left the cockpit unmanned.
“So what do you suggest?”
Ress’ answer was forestalled by the sound of rocks being dislodged somewhere in the darkness behind them almost immediately followed by the growing tramp of heavy footfalls.
“I sssuggessst that dessspite my better judgement we get aboard asss quickly asss posssible.”
Taking an arm each, Dorian and Misaki half carried, half dragged Ress down the slight incline towards the runabout.
They were only halfway there when a tall black figure emerged from the rear and to their horror its facial features were those of Andrews. His body however was now almost completely Borg. Without a single flicker of recognition he raised the prosthetic arm that had replaced his own and took careful aim, before disappearing in the sparkle of a transporter beam.
September 12th 2371 – 1223 FST
One of Fourteen was pleased with the assimilation progress both on the planet and here on the station. Up until now they had managed to maintain the element of surprise and with so many of the arrayed forces on Zethander tied up in rescue and recovery duties, it seemed that by the time they were finally detected, it would be far too late to do anything about it. Their sensor blocks, subtle and pervasive, had covered their activity perfectly.
So it was with some shock that the blinding detection of Particle 010 disrupted his plans. To the Borg, Particle 010 (known to the Federation as the Omega molecule) was the zenith of perfection and its assimilation perhaps the only thing that would override any other directive.
Swinging the dock’s modified sensor array around, the source of the emissions was quickly narrowed to a large white vessel in close proximity to the Federation ship he’d been hoping to assimilate. As of now, that plan had been superseded by the need to capture this unknown vessel and Particle 010.
One quickly issued orders that all the planetside Borg should be beamed immediately to the station. There, they would board the ship that had been captured in the dock and an assault would be made on the alien vessel. Revealing themselves now made little difference, for their mission had changed in just a matter of seconds.
Raise the dock shields, power to weapons and prepare to activate the tractor beam.
USS ANGEL – CAPTAIN’S READY ROOM
September 12th 2371 – 1224 FST
Chariscarpia had transported over immediately and stood before Dan looking slightly bewildered. Dan had asked her to sit but she had declined saying that the chairs weren’t really suited to her physiology. Damn
he thought I’m about to tell her I have to impound her ship and I know next to nothing about her!
“We need to discuss the power source of your vessel Chariscarpia.”
“By all means Captain. I assume you mean the Shomach molecular drive?” She spread her hands wide and her face was open and honest. “What is it you wish to know?”
“I, erm that is the Federation know of this molecule and…”
He sighed as his commbadge chirped.
“I’m sorry Chariscarpia.” Tapping it he reminded Kat that he’d been asked not to be disturbed.
“Apologies Captain but this is major bad news. Zethander Dock has raised shields and sensors are showing Borg re-configuration Sir!”
“What? On my way! Red Alert!” Dan stood quickly and apologised once again to his visitor. “I’m sorry Chariscarpia this is really bad. Does your ship have shields and weapons?”
“Of course Captain but I must ask that you and your vessel retreat immediately and I shall deal with this.” She closed her eyes and before Dan had chance to protest, she shimmered and disappeared.