Day 37, 0100 hours
Ezri was sleeping on her bed, her arms were spread out against the pillow. She tossed and turned, and there was a lot of rapid eye movement; it seemed that Ezri was having a nightmare. She suddenly woke up and sat bolt upright, she was certain that she had heard something. Resting her feet on the floor, Ezri took a glass of water lying upon a stand and gulped all the water down.
The door chimed, and Ezri realised that must have been the sound that had woken her up. She walked into the living room. “Come in!”
Megan walked in, she was still in her Starfleet uniform, while Ezri was in her night clothes; a black tank top and shorts. Ezri noticed the grim look on Megan’s face and the padd grasped in Megan’s hand. “Commander, do you mind telling me why you feel obliged to talk to me at 0100 in the morning?
“Take a look at this…”
Ezri took the padd from Megan’s outstretched arm, the pad contained various charts and cartographic information. Each image was divided in half, the top half showed clusters of dots in a region of space close to the Deep Space Three station. While on the bottom half, there were spikes in sub-space emissions from warp engines. Ezri recognised those sub-space emissions; they were from Jem’Hadar ships. The images were organised in a chronological order, starting from the initial detection of the sub-space emissions to the final detection.
Finally when Ezri had glanced at all the images, did she look up from the padd. “Are you sure this is accurate?”
“I’m absolutely positive about its accuracy. Ever since I got back to DS9, I wanted to analyse the subspace distortions further. I got special permission from vice admiral Daytona, to use the Aegis subspace observation pod in Deep Space Three. I suspected that the Jem'Hadar might leave the area of subspace distortion, and they did.”
Briefly Ezri looked at the pad to recall one of the images. “But you have detected hundreds of Jem'Hadar ships! Do you have any idea where they're heading?”
“I’ve worked out a general direction to their course; they're heading to the Kilibro sector.”
“And why the Kilibro sector?”
Megan shrugged her shoulders. “I have no idea, it's a normal sector of space; with the usual smattering of stars, planets and nebulae. There doesn't seem to be anything special about it.”
It was just what Ezri needed; another thing to worry about. “Thank you commander for this report, dismissed.”
After Megan was gone, Ezri headed over to her desk in the living room, activated the laptop on the desk and proceeded to write up a report concerning Megan's findings. It took about thirty minutes to complete the report, after some checking Ezri was satisfied with the report's contents. She then sent the report directly to Starbase 74 in the Tarsus star system.
With the report out of the way, Ezri returned to bed. She wondered how she was going to sleep tonight when there were renegade Jem’Hadar prowling around just outside of Federation territory. Ever since she found out about the renegade Jem’Hadar, she had difficulty sleeping. She always kept worrying about what would happen to DS9 and the Federation.
Ezri had a tendency to worry about things, most of the worry was in regard to personal matters. While she hid her worry well from everyone else, when she was by herself occasionally her worries and doubts threatened to overwhelm her. The renegade Jem’Hadar could at any time attack the Federation, all Ezri could do was tell herself that she had prepared herself and DS9 for all contingencies; this kept the worries at bay.
Entered her bedroom, Ezri laid down on the bed, she forced herself to close her eyes and empty her mind of thoughts, doubts and worry... She steadily became more drowsy, and before she realised it she was on Trill. There were Jem'Hadar soldiers running around everywhere killing people. Fear gripped her, as she fled from the Jem'Hadar, and each second seemed like an eternity...
Day 37, 0900 hours
After a troubled night's sleep, the first thing Ezri did after breakfast was to head to her office and contact admiral Ross. She hoped that admiral Ross may have information on the Kilibro sector. Arriving in her office she sat down at the desk and activated the laptop, and sent a transmission to admiral Ross. A minute later the screen showed admiral Ross sitting inside his office.
“Admiral did you receive my report on renegade Jem’Hadar activity close to Deep Space Three?”
“I did, thankfully the renegade Jem’Hadar are heading away from Federation territory. Unfortunately any inhabited star systems on the Jem’Hadar’s course are in grave danger.”
Ezri proceeded to ask the question she was dying to ask. “I am curious to know what lies in the Kilibro sector. The information concerning the Kilibro sector is surprisingly... sparse, given that this sector is only 200 light years from Earth.”
Ross looked very seriously at Ezri, he seemed to be weighing up how trustworthy Ezri was regarding the disclosure of sensitive information. “What I'm about to tell you is confidential.”
Ross sighed before proceeding to explain the confidential information. “The Kilibro sector is a huge expanse of space, dozens of light years long. A Starfleet deep space mission into that region discovered a highly dangerous organisation called Apocalypse.”
The name Apocalypse was vaguely familiar to Ezri. “Apocalypse? I’ve heard of that name before, doesn’t it broadcast martial arts shows to the Federation's holovision network?
“Huh! Apocalypse does a lot more than just broadcasting martial arts shows. The simplest description would be that it is a gladiatorial organisation, it has dozens possibly hundreds of warships at its disposal. In effect Apocalypse controls most of the Kilibro sector. Aside from that, this is all the Federation knows about Apocalypse, the Starfleet ship that accidently discovered a space station, located in the Pushui star system and controlled by Apocalypse, was destroyed.”
Suddenly the Jem’Hadar activity made a lot more sense to Ezri, were the Jem’Hadar joining Apocalypse simply to look for a good fight? “And now hundreds of Jem'Hadar ships will be entering Apocalypse controlled territory!”
Ross nodded wearily, he seemed distinctly unsettled by this possibility. “Their intention is unclear, but should they help Apocalypse, Apocalypse's power will multiply tenfold, and could even threaten the Federation. Remember this is all confidential, Ross out.”
The screen reverted back to the Federation insignia, Ezri then turned off her laptop. She leaned back into her chair and she felt a new worry stray into her mind. If Apocalypse, the Tren and the renegade Jem’Hadar were all working together, then was it all part of a plan to attack the Federation? It was a powerful combination, of course the question of what had happened to the remaining renegade Jem’Hadar was still unanswered.
At the very least DS9 wasn’t directly in the danger zone, though there was still the possibility of another Jem’Hadar revolt. It seemed to Ezri that her job of managing this station had become more complicated. There were now constant issues and concerns in the background, and any one of them could threaten DS9.
It was a big responsibility, but Ezri wasn’t about to give up, she was a Starfleet officer and a captain; she knew how to tough it out.
Well that is the end of Devolution
. Feel free to comment, review, criticise (constructively) this story, and the other stories of my series.
Here are links to the rest of my stories (which are listed in chronological order in terms of my series plot):
Secrets and Lies
Ménage à Trois
Tip of the Iceberg
Running the Gauntlet
The Price of Sanity