The four figures soon appeared in the lobby of Felar Science Labs. Alvin looked around and then at his Chief of Security. “Nice place...”
Edgar knew why he was called to be transported on Felar. Part of this mission was going to be diplomatic and that was his side duty besides being the Captain’s yeoman. He couldn’t help but glance over at Jerrod York, and he sighed of relief that the science officer was observing the room instead of him. It wasn’t that Edgar didn’t like Jerrod, it was just that he didn’t want to date him, and he did take an oath of celibacy after all.
“Welcome Starfleet officers!” shouted Edimir. He ran to them and hugged Dara. “It is o nice to see you Dara. Oh have I waited the day I’d meet you, but why so soon? I thought you were on the Earth Spacedock?”
“Correct”, she stated, “but I’ve been reassigned and we are searching for the Borg’s origin, which you know is in the Delta Quadrant.”
“And that’s why we were wondering if we could borrow a wormhole”, Alvin said, “because even at maximum warp speed we’d probably just about reached the edges of the Delta Quadrant...and that would take nearly thirty to fifty years.”
Edimir nodded understanding what the Human Captain was saying. He gestured for them to follow him and they walked out of the lobby and down a long corridor with hundreds of monitors being attended by scientists. Edimir stopped at one of the monitors, which was the biggest, and there was a male Felarain.
“This is Ha’Roh”, Edimir said proudly. “He’s my right hand man. He’s the Executive of Felar Engineering and my soon to be...replacement.”
Dara’s black eyes opened widely. “Replacement?” she said stunned. “Why are you being replaced?”
“Dara, you know my life is soon coming to an end”, Edimir said. “I am one hundred two and Felarains only live to be one hundred twenty if they eat right, exercise daily, and are lucky. Unfortunately, I do none of those things so my death will be sooner than ever.”
Dara’s expression was sad and her shoulders slumped. Edgar patted her back to comfort her and gave her a cheerful smile.
“I was hoping you’d take my place since I did raise you”, Edimir said. “But you enrolled in Starfleet Academy and took a career there. I also find out you’re security instead of science.”
Dara lifted her chin. “Well you know Felarains are experts at investigating and interrogating! We have excellent abilities to read changes of hormones, facial expressions, and vocal tone and pitch. It was my destiny, Edimir.”
Edimir hugged her again. “It’s quite all right Dara, at least you’re the chief.” He smiled at her. “Well I guess we should get this wormhole thing started shall we? Ha’Roh here has been in charge of operating the last few wormholes.” Edimir walked and everyone followed him.
Ha’Roh spoke in a raspy hoarse tone. “Unfortunately we aren’t able to put you directly at specific coordinates in the Delta Quadrant.”
“Well how close can you get us there?”
“Still undetermined Captain”, Ha’Roh said eagerly. “We create wormholes by creating artificial type-four quantum singularities.”
“A black hole?” Jerrod asked. Ha’Roh nodded. “But that would only suck us in...and not spit us out into the Delta Quadrant.”
Their walking had sped up until they reached the Head Science Lab and many scientist were working on console and talking. Ha’Roh led Edimir and the crew of the Rogue to a console and typed a few buttons.
“We would be able to transform the black hole into a wormhole with the help of your ship”, Ha’Roh said. “The black hole will need a resonance burst to create another mouth and also your ship will need to use our quantum slipstream drive to get through the wormhole fast enough before it closes.”
“And we’ll get through safely?” Alvin asked concernedly.
“I am sixty percent sure that it will work, Captain”, Ha’Roh said. He looked up from the station and at Edimir. “We have never tried sending a ship through a wormhole before because ours never last long because we don’t have enough energy to produce a resonance burst and quantum slipstream at the same time.”
“And us getting back?” Jerrod asked.
“You will need to find a quantum matrix”, Edimir told him.
Jerrod stroked his chin. “Could there be a way to hold the wormhole so we could only travel at warp speed and not quantum slipstream drive?”
Ha’Roh shook his head. “I doubt it.” He typed on the console. “Also, I think we should find a way to stabilize it so it doesn’t spits you out at a different location. Creating the black hole will be easy, but transforming it into a wormhole will be difficult and unstable and could possibly cause a shockwave.”
“And how do we prevent that?” Alvin asked. He didn’t like how things were going so far.
“As of right now”, Edimir started, “beyond my knowledge.” Alvin slammed his palm into his face. “But Captain, do not fear...we will get through this.”
Jerrod put his hands on his hips. “You will also want to make sure your quantum matrix doesn’t overload and explode.”
Ha’Roh rolled his eyes. “We have the technology to cool it after we finish using it. But you will need to convert all your power to your deflector dish so you can create a resonance burst.”
“And then?” Alvin asked.
“And then we get to work!” Edimir shouted. “Ha’Roh, beam back to the Rogue to get the resonance burst ready. I’ll get the quantum matrix ready.”
“Thank you for your help”, Alvin said. “Ramirez to bridge. Five to beam up.”
“Actually”, Dara said, “I’ll beam up in a little while.”
Alvin nodded. “See you soon.”
Captain Ramirez, Ensign Edgar, Lt. JG York, and Ha’Roh were soon on the bridge of the USS Rogue and Commander Freeman was in the command chair. Her face looked weak and she stood to the captain and sat in the first officer chair.
“Edgar, show Mr. Ha’Roh to the Engineering Room and let him and Seerik work on getting all power converted to the deflector dish”, Alvin said.
“All power?” Carol asked. “How will we get through the wormhole then?”
“Quantum slipstream drive”, Jerrod said, and he walked to the science station.
Carol looked around the bridge. “Where’s Dara?”
“On Felar”, Jerrod said. “Captain...does converting all power to the deflector dish include shield power? Won’t we need shields to keep us in one piece?”
“All power means all power, Lt.!” Alvin retorted. “This is risky, but it’s our only way of getting there quickly.”
Tension rose as officers rushed on and off the bridge. The Engineering department was once again chaotic with engineers scurrying around. Seerik stood at the main engineering console and Edgar and Ha’Roh walked in as the turbolift’s doors swished shut.
“Seerik”, Edgar said, “this is Ha’Roh, Executive of Felar Engineering. He’s going to be helping us get to the Delta Quadrant.”
Seerik half smiled and shook the man’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”
Edgar bowed and left the engineering room. He looked down the corridor and saw officer running and hurrying. He then wondered why Dara wanted to stay, then it was obvious to him. Edimir was her guardian and she loathed for the Felarain to die. Or maybe Dara wanted to be Head of Felar Sciences and was upset that Ha’Roh would be the one in charge. He shrugged and proceeded down the corridor.
“Sir”, said a Felarain scientist, “the quantum matrix is ready to be powered.”
Edimir looked at Dara. “But is the Rogue read to try?”
Dara tapped her communication badge. “Dara to Rogue. Is the ship ready for the wormhole?”
“Affirmative”, Seerik replied.
Dara nodded at Edimir and then looked at her black boots. Finally she came out. “Why is Ha’Roh becoming Head of Felar Sciences when he’s an engineer?”
Edimir sighed and looked into Dara’s eyes. “Dara...he’s the best damn person suited for the job.”
“But I am superior to him. I am more suited than him.”
Edimir nodded. “Yes, but you’re a Starfleet officer now. That’s your duty, not Head of Felar Sciences. I wish I didn’t have to give it up, but I do. I can tell my time is coming soon...my hair is getting short of breath everyday.”
Dara gasped. “Do not say that! You will live!”
Edimir held Dara in his arms to calm her. “Dara...we both know it’s time. I know this is difficult for you but━”
“Captain Ramirez to Lt. Dara. Please report to the Rogue immediately as we prepare to enter the Delta Quadrant.”
“Dara, I love you. You’ve been the best daughter I’ve never had”, Edimir said. He kissed her and Dara beamed onto the bridge of the USS Rogue.
Edimir was on the viewscreen. “We are now using our black hole generator in five...four...three...two...one.”
A bright beam of blue energy pounded from Felar Science Labs and into space. Gaseous clouds were formed and the cycle of a star was artificially being created. On the stage of supernova Edimir said, “Get ready to fire the resonance burst directly in the middle of the black hole. Once then, we will use the quantum matrix. Be careful...it’ll be a bumpy ride.”
The black hole was now formed and the USS Rogue converted all it’s power to the deflector dish and a resonance burst was fired. Everyone watched in amazement, especially Ha’Roh.
“Prepared for warp slipstream drive, Captain”, Lia Frost said. “Waiting for your call.”
Alvin looked around at his crew wondering if these really were the people he wanted to be staying with if they were permanently stuck in the Delta Quadrant...his answer was yes. He’d grown fond of the Romulan engineer, the Q/Human ops officer, the sassy but now reserved commander, and the growling doctor. He stood out of the command chair confidently and exclaimed, “Engage!”
Once the quantum slipstream was activated, they were breaking the warp speed barrier. Disruption pounded through the bridge and Alvin was thrown from his command chair to the front of the bridge. Carol Freeman held onto her chair but soon was thrown into the wall. Dara was lifted into the air and flipped multiple times until she hit Lia Frost at the helm and then Quiana at the operations station. Jerrod York cried out of agony as his arm had got caught into the structure of the bridge rails. A large gash formed from the the sleeveless uniform. The USS Rogue exited the wormhole.
Alvin stood weakly. “Report?”
“Damage to h-hull on decks five, six, and seven”, Dara replied.
Carol limped to her seat and sat with a thump. “Bridge to sickbay...we have a medical emergency!”
“This is Crewman Avery Brontos!”, replied a voice, “Sickbay has been damaged and our chief medical officer has....has been mutated! Apparently the wormhole affected his DNA and caused him to mutate.”
“Captain!” Jerrod shouted. “Sensors picking up an ion storm nearby.”
“Shields up! Red Alert! All hands to battle stations!” Alvin yelled.
The klaxons screamed and everyone ran to their stations. Crewman Avery Brontos ran on the bridge to Lt. JG York and began treating him.
“This is Seerik, Captain. We’re currently on emergency power, and I’m sending it all to shields.”
Alvin shook with the disruption. “Good! Lia can you stir us away from the storm?” There was no response. “Lia? Ensign Frost!”
Ensign Lia Frost lay dead on the bridge floor with her skin splitting from the top of her forehead to her chin. Blood dripped gently off her chin and onto her neck. Carol quickly ran to the helm and clicked buttons.
“Impulse engines offline, Captain”, Carol reported.
Avery took Jerrod off the bridge and onto sickbay. His relieve was Ensign Andzzi th’Danlti, an Andorian. He sat at the damage science station.
“Seerik get those damn engines online right now!” Alvin shouted. He regained his balance and reached for his command chair.
“Engines are back online, Captain”, Carol said moments later.
“Full impulse! Go!”
Sickbay was filled with patients and there were only a handful of medical officers. Alvin entered worried about the chief medical officer. He went to a biobed that held the Monchezke doctor. Alvin looked at the doctor scanning him. “Who’s the assistant chief medical officer?”
“We don’t have one”, the female doctor replied.
“Computer, activate emergency medical hologram.”
The Computer did as instructed and a Human male doctor appeared. With a neutral face he said, “Please state the nature of the medical emergency.”
Alvin looked at the doctor. “You deal with that and get Dr. Zordock ready in━”There was turbulence and everyone lost their balance and fell to the floor. “Ramirez to bridge, what the hell is going on up there?”
“That was a warp malfunction, Captain”, Seerik replied. “Warp drive is offline.”
Alvin nodded to the EMH and left sickbay. He turned tightly in the turbolift and headed for the bridge. Once on, he took the command chair. “Report.”
“We’re getting a distress signal, sir”, Crewman Elenna Marziolath stated. She was a female Trill (joined) and the relief helmsman. “From a freighter.”
The viewscreen went dark for a moment and then the setting change to a fiery room engulfed in flames. A human man stood in front of the screen coughing vigorously. “Please! To anyone out there! We need...(cough)...we need help! Our ship is under attack by━”
The message blinked off and everyone looked horrified. Alvin bit his lip and looked at his first officer whose eyes were red and watery with a long cut on her cheek. “Anyone guessing who’s attacking them?” Alvin asked loudly.
“Impossible”, Carol said. “The Borg are...were...are supposed to be defeated!”
“Their like God damn cockroaches”, Alvin spat. “No matter how many times you flush them down the toilet...they always come back up.”
Carol shook her head. “We’re not going after them are we?” Alvin nodded. “But for all we know...that message could have been...sent years ago!”
“Crewman”, Alvin sighed, “when was that signal sent.”
“Approximately three point seven minutes ago, sir.”
“Damn!” Carol shouted and sat in her seat.
Alvin sat in his. “This is Captain Ramirez to every single person on this ship...we have just received a distress signal from a freighter...and they are currently being attacked...we don’t who it is...but my guess is the Borg. We are preparing to warp to the coordinates of the freighter and help them...All hands on deck and to battle stations. Crewman, engage!”
“We will be reaching the designated coordinates in exactly five minutes, sir.” The Trill helmsman punched in some buttons on the console and swallowed.
Alexander and Betsy entered the bridge of the Rogue nervously. Alvin hadn’t seen them since the ship launched and he was sad about it. Betsy had tears in her eyes. “Alvin, I guess you were right...but how do you manage to defeat the Borg with a damaged ship?”
“I don’t intend to fight”, he replied. “I intend on━” The bridge shook and everyone fell.
“Captain we are being attacked by a Borg cube”, Dara said.
“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ship. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile.”
“We’re caught in a tractor beam”, Dara said. “And the Hilton is hailing us sir...the freighter.”
“Hail the Borg”, Alvin demanded.