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Old May 14 2011, 02:41 AM   #61
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Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)

Note: Contains reference to 24 novel Vanishing Point and a tie-in to DS9 episode "Little Green Men".

Chapter Seventeen

Julian Bashir entered Quark’s quickly sauntering towards a table already occupied by Sam Bowers, Prynn Tenmei, and Nog. With a triumphant grin, he showed them an isolinear rod containing a new holosuite program the four of them had been eagerly awaiting. “Is that it I hope?” Bowers gleefully inquired.

“It took awhile,” Bashir replied. “These usually come out the last Tuesday of the month.”

He took a seat between Bowers and Tenmei, setting down the rod in his right and a padd tucked away under his left arm. Nog snuck a glance at the padd from across the table, seeing the name of the role he would play in the program. “’Morris O’Brian?” he read aloud. “Perhaps an ancestor of our Chief O’Brien?”

“It’s a fairly common Irish name,” Julian retorted. “But this one spells it with an A not an E. Sam, you’re Curtis Manning and Prynn, you’ll be Jamey Farrell.”

“Why am I always the socially awkward computer nerd?” Prynn grumbled.

“It suits you,” Julian replied with a half wink. Ignoring Prynn rolling her eyes, he continued. “She and Morris provide technical assistance to Manning and Jack Bauer in stopping a mole from leaking top secret government information contained in a military base designated Area 51.”

Quark caught the tail end of Bashir’s synopsis of the program as he strolled by with the group’s drink orders. Hearing of Area 51 seemed to pique his interest while setting down the beverage glasses one at a time. “’Area 51’?” the barkeep repeated.

“What do you know about Area 51, Quark?” Julian curiously, but suspiciously, asked, thinking the Ferengi’s inquiry might be related to his visit to Earth’s past.

“Just rumors that it was being used to reverse engineer alien technology found in Roswell, I think,” Quark said with an embarrassed chuckle. Looking straight at Nog, he added. “That’s where we ended up because of your father’s hair-brained ideas.”

“He saved our lives, Uncle,” Nog insisted, recalling his trip to Earth upon his acceptance into Starfleet Academy. Quark and Rom had volunteered to ferry Nog to Earth. As it turned out, Quark’s cousin and longtime rival deliberately gave him a ship with defective computer components, so Rom had to formulated a plan to force the ship out of warp that had the unintended side-effect of leaving the trio in Earth’s past.

“Still would have nice if he had kept us in the correct time period,” Quark huffed, walking off with the empty drink tray.

Meanwhile, Bowers’ eyes widened when he called up the profile of his character in the holosuite program. Looking at the photograph on the padd was almost like looking at a mirror image of himself from his days in the Starfleet Marines. “Wasn’t Curtis Manning the one Jack Bauer killed when he took some terrorist-turned-peacemaker hostage?” Bowers asked in regards to vague recollection of the name of his character.

Julian had read firsthand accounts of the incident Bowers spoke of. In fact, this “terrorist-turned-peacemaker”, rumored to have used his conciliatory initiatives as a ruse to attempt a political assassination, may have been an ancestor of Julian’s. Though he held no malice towards the man who wove a bizarre conspiracy theory that Julian was Hamri al-Assad, he did not wish to be reminded of that incident. “That’s nine years after this story,” he said with a futile reassurance.

“Find someone else,” Sam insisted, while getting up to leave.

Before Julian could respond, the comm chimed. “All Defiant personnel,” came Dax’s voice over the speakers. “Report to your stations.

“Guess you two will have to resolve this later,” Nog teased while the group headed for the main entrance.

Dax was left in command of the station while Kira and the rest of the command staff were on the Defiant. She had just seen Kira off when a red indicator blinked on one of the main consoles on the Ops table. She entered a few commands to gauge the reason for the warning light. “Pendleton,” she called to the operations officer on duty. “What do you make of this?”

Emiko Pendleton received Dax’s quick station-to-station text message about a sudden power drain. She squinted her dark brown eyes at a readout screen. She then accessed a set of power consumption logs to confirm the acting commander’s findings. “I’m getting a two percent drop in power in one of the pattern buffers,” she said with a confused frown. “We just replaced those ODN circuits.”

“The transfer will take place in ten minutes,” said Ezri glancing over at the ensign with black hair pulled back to conform to uniform regulations and light tan complexion indicating mixed European and east Asian ancestry. Creases around her lips and her eyes indicated she was a few years older than Ezri. “Should this be a problem?”

“Unlikely,” Emiko replied with a hint of doubt in her facial inflections. “I’d better run a level one diagnostic just to be sure.”

Ezri nodded and looked back at her console with a look of worry that the relatively raw junior officer was just telling her what she wanted to hear. She took a quick look at the transporter protocol to be carried out when Verad would be transferred from the station holding cell to the prison ship. Ezri then tapped her combadge to hail the security office. “Dax to Escobar. Is everything ready to go on your end.”

“So far, so good, Lieutenant,” Escobar eagerly replied over the speakers. “We’ll be ready to energize as soon as you give the word.”

“We’ll keep you posted,” Dax said while rolling her eyes thinking the acting chief of security sounded too eager to please regarding a usually mundane activity.

Below decks, Benjamin Sisko was reconfiguring a circuit housing underneath a transporter padd. Runold was closely watching his every move while not having the first clue as to how all of this high-tech gadgetry actually functioned. That was fortunate for Sisko, allowing him to have something up his sleeve.

He removed a circular piece from inside from inside the console and slipped it into his left hand and into a pants pocket. He then quickly noticed a screen on the control console that read, “Rematerialization buffer not at optimum levels. Subject may not rematerialize at desired location. Do you wish to continue?”

Sisko quickly selected “Yes.” The console’s chirping still caught Runold’s attention. “Don’t worry,” Sisko assured him. “One of the pattern buffers was out of alignment.”
“Whatever,” Runold scoffed impatiently. “Just get it fixed before the prisoner transfer takes place.”

“You’re not very good at this are you?” Sisko said while going back to tinkering with circuits underneath the pad. “For all you know, I could be curtailing this whole operation.”

“More is at stake for you this time,” Runold explained. “You mess this up, your son gets fried. I just want Verad for costing me my commission.”

“Is that what this is about?” Sisko retorted, placing an access panel back on the pad circuit housing. “The payment you were promised? How much more are you getting for his hit?

“I may not have always approved of the actions of the Maquis, but they stood for something. The Bajoran Underground sought the liberation of their home from the Cardassians. For however misguided Section 31 can be, they act for the preservation of the Federation. What are you after? Latinum? Rare gemstones? Do you even care that only one in a thousand Trills can be joined to a symbiont?”

“Not really, Runold answered with a shrug. “But a guy’s got to make a living. You done wasting time with chit-chat? Let’s wrap this up.”

Benjamin raised both his hands while setting down a tool on the control console. “If you say so,” he said half sarcastically. He then went to realigning circuits and couplings in the console.

IKS Sword of Kahless

Sulvek was escorted into General Grelik’s private chamber by the ship’s chief of security. Worf was also awaiting the arrival of the two officers standing to the general’s right. The security officer shoved Sulvek against the desk promoting the engineer to spit in the man’s face.

Grelik raised his index and middle fingers pointing to two guards flanking the double doors. “Leave us,” he instructed. Then to the security chief, he added, “You may wait outside.”

The three security officers methodically exited the room as instructed. Sulvek glared at them as the door closed. “What is the meaning of this outrage?” he demanded of Grelik. “I have served this ship, its captain, and the chancellor with unwavering loyalty for three years. Why am I being treated as a criminal?!”

Grelik slid a padd showing schematics of the ship’s cloaking device across the desk. “Three hours ago, this ship became visible to anyone in range of our long range sensors,” the general explained. “It was the result of an interruption in one of the starboard EPS couplings.”

“A random malfunction,” Sulvek lied, rolling his eyes.

“Then how do you explain yesterday’s maintenance diagnostics?” Worf chimed in, towering over the engineer. “All circuits functioned within normal parameters.”

Grelik raised a hand indicating for Worf to back off. “If it was sabotage,” Sulvek offered, “That doesn’t prove I was responsible. I suggest you question every engineer on duty.”

Grelik quickly stood up, sending his chair to the ground. He then lifted Sulvek upright grabbing him by the collar. “If you hadn’t served under me for this long,” he growled, “I would kill you where you stand. Your insolence itself is still enough have you reduced in rank, Do you presume to tell me how conduct this investigation, Sulvek?”

"No, sir,” Sulvek breathed, trying to keep from choking.
Grelik shoved Sulvek back into his seat. Worf then picked up the padd and called new sets of data. “Forensic examination of the couplings indicates that you were doing some rerouting. Several witnesses spotted you on Deck Twelve, aft section three-two-egma… near starboard power couplings. Furthermore, you made several transmissions to an individual being observed by Imperial Intelligence.” Worf entered a command on the padd, and then presented Sulvek with an image of Kur’Tok. “Perhaps you recognize him.”

Sulvek shot a dismissive glare at Worf and then looked back at Grelik. “Why is he here?” he demanded of his captain. “He is just a Federation puppet.”

Worf exchanged a quick glance with Grelik. Was this an admission of guilt? Maybe not after Grelik voiced concerns the crew might have had regarding a Federation ambassador’s involvement in a sabotage investigation even if Worf was recognized as the chancellor’s brother. “Then you admit to having misgivings about my involvement in this investigation into what is a Klingon matter,” Worf offered. “I only seek to bring to justice those who ordered this cowardly assassination attempt.”

“He is only your brother because he took pity on you,” Sulvek hissed. “Gowron saw you for the tok’vaht you are despite your support of his rise to power. And with Martok out of the way, who in the Empire will stand by you?”

Worf snorted and turned his back to Sulvek, not wanting to get into a philosophical debate with one of his skeptics. “Martok is also unworthy of the name Klingon,” Sulvek added. “The Federation helped us prevail against the Dominion. The Empire gains nothing from a continued alliance with them.”

“The evidence against you is quite clear,” Grelik proclaimed, circling around his desk. He then grabbed Sulvek by the collar to force the man upright. “Your authorization code disabled the security sensors in the chancellor’s chambers. Sulvek, son of Mik’Vaad, for attempting to assassinate the Chancellor of the High Council of the Klingon Empire, you are a traitor.” Grelik then slugged Sulvek’s right cheekbone with the back of his hand.”

“Guards,” Grelik called, squeezing the communicator on his left arm. The chief of security promptly entered the chamber awaiting the general’s orders.

“Place Sulvek in solitary confinement and prepare for his execution,” Grelik instructed. “Any last words?” he asked the chief engineer.

“I am a loyal soldier of the Empire,” Sulvek sneered. “It is you who has betrayed the Empire.”

Grelik snorted and turned away from Sulvek. He raised a hand in the direction of the security officer. “Get him out of my sight,” he growled.

The security chief did as instructed, escorting Sulvek out of the room. Worf stood in silence, staring at Grelik. The ambassador was now intuiting that while Sulvek was guilty of sabotage and attempted assassination of the sitting leader of the Klingon Empire, he was the real mole. Flushing out engineer seemed far too easy. Without exchanging words, he knew that Grelik agreed the real mole on the Sword of Kahless had even bigger plans.

The silence was interrupted when the comm-system chimed. “Bridge to General Grelik”

“Go ahead,” the general replied.

“We have intercepted the Gorkon, sir. Captain Klag is hailing.”

“Set up a secure line in my private chamber.”
"Desperate Alliances" are forged.
Join the hunt to stop "Omega".

Last edited by Enterprise1981; May 14 2011 at 02:58 AM.
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