The Sindareen ships continued firing at the Lambda Paz
. The Federation ship returned fire with dorsal phasers at both attacking ships inflicting considerable damage.
“They’re sure packing some heat,” Kozar observed. “But their shields seem antiquated.”
“The energy signatures of those torpedoes are consistent with Jem’Hadar plasma torpedoes,” Morrison added. “They’re coming around for another pass.”
The Sindareen ships arched around and began firing at the aft shields of the Lambda Paz
, knocking them out with three phaser shots from each ship. “Aft shields are gone,” Morrison reported.
“That quickly?” Kozar asked.
“Their phasers are tuned to our shield frequencies.” The bridge rocked again. “That was meant for our aft torpedo launchers,” Morrison added.
“Helm, move us off!” Kozar shouted. “Ops, reroute emergency power to the launchers.”
“No can do,” Makassa replied. “Those EPS lines are down.”
“Damn it!” Kozar exclaimed. “It’s like they know the layout of the ship.”
“Number four shield nearing failure,” Morrison reported.
“Open the aft launchers and release four quantum torpedoes,” Kozar commanded.
“What do you have in mind?” Morrison inquired.
“You’ll see. Wait until the Sindareen are within two-thousand meters.”
The two Sindareen ships moved in on the stray torpedoes assuming they were no threat. Morrison closely watched the tactical display. “Twenty-five hundred meters,” he said. “Two thousand.”
“Fire aft phasers at the torpedoes,” Kozar ordered. “Helm, take us to full impulse.”
The phasers tore into each of the four torpedoes causing an explosion that crippled both Sindareen ships. The Lambda Paz
then moved off at full impulse to avoid the shockwave.
Aboard the Sindareen flagship, Limis and Sullivan were sealed in one of the main detention cells. They both visually inspected the door looking for some type of flaw in the locking mechanism. “Looks very well sealed,” Sullivan observed.
“We’re not giving up that easily,” Limis replied.
“Jumping the guards didn’t work,” Rebecca huffed, pacing back and forth. “The ‘Guard, my cellmate is ill’ trick didn’t work either.”
“Considering the fate awaiting us, Becca, getting the hell out of here is of the utmost importance.”
“What do you have in mind, Vira?”
Vircona was silent.
“I thought so.”
Suddenly, the whole room shook. Explosions were heard in the distance. People were shouting and running down the hallways. The two prisoners were now hoping that escape was imminent.
Outside the cell, two phaser discharges stunned both guards. Sparks flew around the doorframe before the door slid open. A humanoid figure walked into the cell. His face was that of a man who was supposed to be dead.
“Grabowski?” Limis gasped. “You’re supposed to be… “
“Dead?” the human-Bajoran-Trill hybrid finished. “I’ll explain everything later. Right now, we have to get off this ship.”
Grabowski tapped a communication device on his left arm. He, along with Limis and Sullivan dematerialized.
The three of them materialized in the cockpit of the runabout Potomac
. Sullivan immediately sat down in the pilot seat, and Limis sat in the copilot seat on Rebecca’s right. “I suggest we get out of here,” Grabowski declared.
“No argument there,” Limis replied. “Maximum warp, Rebecca.”
“What course?” Sullivan asked.
“Set a course to rendezvous with Lambda Paz
streaked into warp. The Sindareen ship quickly gave chase. “This ship’s top speed is Warp 6,” Limis reminded Grabowski. “The Sindareen will surely overtake us.”
“Not to worry,” Grabowski replied. “With a few modifications to the weapons, I was able to damage the warp drive.”
Once he noticed this damage, Tor Vot contacted his benefactor from the future in the holographic chamber. Tor Vot knew this mysterious humanoid would not be pleased. Of course, the Sindareen had done most of the dirty work in order to have access to new riches. A little help from his benefactor was not too much to ask.
“They escaped,” said Tor Vot. “And their rescuers damaged my ship. I cannot overtake them.”
“I will see what I can do.”
Two spherical ships just like the ones the Lambda Paz
encountered six months earlier appeared above the runabout. The ships from the future fired a barrage of torpedoes. Only this time, the shields absorbed the torpedoes.
“Let me guess,” Limis said to Grabowski. “Modifications to the shields?”
“Exactly,” Grabowski replied. “These ships are from the future. They will phase shift back into their native time period momentarily.”
As expected, the time traveling ships disintegrated, returning to their future time period. With the present danger over, Limis now wanted some answers.
“Now, would you mind telling us who you are Mister Grabowski?” she demanded.
“For a dead man,” Sullivan added, “you sure got us out of a lot of trouble.”
“I am from, by Earth’s calendar, the thirty-first century,” Grabowski stated, “seven hundred years in your future.
“I belong to an organization that monitors the timeline. Those ships we just encountered are from one of many factions in a temporal cold war, attempting to alter history in their favor.”
“Temporal cold war,” Limis repeated. “I cannot even begin to understand temporal paradoxes resulting from time travel.”
“Then that makes this request easier,” Grabowski replied. “I must ask that you keep these tactical modifications on a need-to-know basis. Removing just one grain of sand can alter the course of history.”
“But isn’t helping us with superior technology contaminating your history?” Sullivan asked.
“We are dealing with people trying to contaminate my history, Ensign,” Grabowski explained. “My job is to prevent or at least minimize the damage they cause.”
“Do I ever find my son?” Limis asked, thinking she should at least try.
“Sorry,” Grabowski answered. “Temporal Prime Directive.”
Gul Enic Hadar received a message from Tor Vot regarding the latest turn of events. Hadar snorted angrily upon receiving this information. “I was really looking forward to having two of the most wanted Maquis terrorists in my custody,” the Cardassian growled. “You can provide our Dominion allies valuable tactical information, but you can’t hold on to two people?!”
“I could not have anticipated the events leading to their escape,” Tor Vot implored. “Some modifications were made to quickly disable my ship and withstand attacks from the mysterious ships that have been helping the Dominion.”
“I knew hiring the Sindareen was a mistake,” Hadar grumbled. “Using your kind as bounty hunters makes as much sense as hiring Ferengi as hitmen.”
Hadar then shut off the transmission. Tor Vot’s image was replaced on the screen by the logo of the Cardassian Union.
A young Bajoran man, tied to a chair and gagged, fidgeted in his chair. Hadar removed the cloth covering the young man’s mouth. “Looks like the tearful family reunion is on hold,” Hadar mused.
“Just kill me already,” the Bajoran snarled.
“Can’t do that, boy. You are far more valuable to me alive.”