Limis enters the ready room fuming as she entered a code to lock both doors to the office. She looked around carefully to find no one inside and slowly paced to the desk while taking a few deeps breaths, thankful that the walls were soundproof or she would sound crazy if she could be heard from the bridge.
“Grabowski!” she shouted. “I know you’re somewhere on this ship! Show yourself, you son-of-a-bitch!” And in that moment of seething rage, she was now glad that he did not remember their night together. She stared out the viewports until she got a chilling sense that someone was sitting behind the desk, someone who had not been there just a second ago. She sighed as she turned around to see the temporal agent suddenly appear behind her desk while dressed in a present-day Starfleet engineer’s uniform, wanting to say, “I wish you guys wouldn’t do that.”
“What the hell took you so long to add such critical information to our tactical database?” she hissed in a cold rage. “Why the hell you didn’t tell me about those ships overcoming their biggest weakness when they could have destroyed us just now?”
Grabowski remained calm even as Limis’s demeanor indicated that she could kill him with her bare hands. “I told you this before,” he firmly assured her, “I can’t hand out information that could potentially jeopardize the timeline. I had to add that data posing as a computer core maintenance engineer to avoid drawing too much suspicion.”
“I really don’t give a damn about subtlety right now, Mister Grabowski,” Limis angrily spat. “That history you’re trying to preserve is seven hundred years in my future. Now I understand the importance of the Temporal Prime Directive. You wouldn’t have asked me to fight this stupid Temporal Cold War of yours if I didn’t see that directive from your perspective. So why don’t you let me fight it my way
“Like I said before,” Grabowski attempted, “it’s not quite that simple. My superiors have me on strict supervision…”
Limis leaned down on the desk to look Grabowski straight in the eye. “Well, you better find a way to make it simple. I want full disclosure on how we’re supposed to stop the Dyson Sphere right now, or I am turning this ship around.”
Before Grabowski could respond, the door chime sounded. Limis stood up straight and took a few quick steps to the door with a sense that her visitor had been cornered. She re-entered the lock code, unlocking the door in order to let in whoever was on the other side. Kozar stepped into the ready room at the exact instant the doors parted. A few steps into the office, he stopped in his tracks as if he had seen a ghost.
“Mister Kozar,” Limis said with a hint of sarcasm, “you remember Mister Grabowski, ‘killed in action’ on stardate 51220.”
“Of course,” Kozar replied, still not able to overcome his surprise. He recognized the youthful looking dark-haired man as a crewmember killed during one of the early battles of the Dominion War. He and a few of the senior bridge officers had known that Limis had crossed paths with him on several occasions afterwards, but this was the first time the commander had actually seen this supposedly dead man in person.
“Hello again, Commander,” Grabowski said with a nod. He stood up and headed for the side entrance. “I’ll be in the briefing room, preparing specs for disabling the Dyson Sphere.”
Limis tapped her combadge as she watched her guest leave. “Mister Morrison,” she said, “we have a VIP guest on his way to the briefing room. Make sure he’s there to do as he claims until I arrive there.”
Morrison replied while sounding reluctant.
“I thought you and I agreed no secrets,” Kozar reminded the captain once he saw Grabowski was gone. “That you would disclose when we were on missions for Starfleet Intelligence as long as you weren’t revealing information classified by Starfleet Intelligence or whatever organization Mister Grabowski works for.”
“You’re absolutely right,” Limis replied, circling around the desk. “My life in the last fourteen years has involved operating in secrecy, so I can easily forget where my loyalties lie. I should’ve informed you where I had obtained the information regarding the graviton energy spikes and what prompted my decision to set a course for the Dyson Sphere.”
“But we are going against orders, aren’t we?” Kozar offered, stepping closer to the desk to look straight at the captain. “And the Romulans denied us permission to investigate that region of space.”
Limis was still annoyed that the first officer had come to that deduction so easily. “I’m afraid so,” she said with a sigh. “But this upcoming mission is critical to the war effort. Grabowski has informed me that the Dyson Sphere is the central source to a series of relays that can darken stars almost at will. That’s what Q meant when he said that relay device was only the beginning. Now if you object to any aspect of this mission, I need to know now.”
“Considering what is at stake here,” Kozar declared without hesitation, “I’m with you a hundred percent.”
“Good,” Limis replied. “Assemble the senior staff in the main briefing room in one hour. Dismissed.”
Kozar left the ready room without another word while Limis slumped down in her chair and mulled over the upcoming dangers of the upcoming operation.
Yelgrun and Thot Drelf stepped into the spacious central core of the relay device they had encountered. Throughout the dark and circular room, Vorta and Breen engineers were dismantling circuit housings with Jem’Hadar silently and motionlessly standing guard. Torgroth was overseeing the examination of one of the circuit boards when he saw the senior Vorta enter. He handed off a scanning device to a female Vorta and walked over to Yelgrun.
“What have you found?” Yelgrun inquired.
“This circuitry allows communication with many other relays like this one controlled from a central source,” Torgroth explained. “Other teams have found a number of dormant emitters designed to send out pulses directed at select stars, periodically compensating for universal expansion.”
“For what purpose?” Yelgrun wondered.
“We’re not certain yet.”
“Then we need to find more definitive answers,”
echoed an elderly sounding masculine voice.
Yelgrun turned around to see a Changeling in humanoid form. His skin was parched with pieces hanging like dried up paint chips. That he did not try to hide his condition indicated that he was in the advanced stages of the disease that afflicted his entire race.
“Founder,” Yelgrun said with a bow of his head. “You honor us with your presence.”
The rest of the Vorta and the Jem’Hadar stared at the Changeling in silent deference.
“I want you all to begin reassembling all this circuitry,” the Founder continued. “Begin field tests in order to determine if this device can be used as a weapon.”
End Notes: The scene where Limis confronts Grabowski mirrors this scene on Babylon 5 where Captain Sheridan reminds Kosh: "You asked me to fight this war. Well, it's about time you let me fight it my way."