“Sixty seconds until Borg enter weapon’s range,” said Allenby, her voice strained and unable to hide her anxiety and fear of potentially being just moments away from being assimilated. Considering that both Agamemnon
were sitting duck, without weapons or shields to protect them against the coming onslaught, the fear was not at all misplaced.
“Reading increasing energy levels on both cubes,” said Texx who in Mer’iab’s absence had moved to the tactical station behind the captain. Even the usually cool Bolian couldn’t quite keep his voice from breaking up slightly.
“We’re almost there. Maybe another couple of minutes,”
said chief engineer Rojas from one of the insets on the main screen. He was feverish at work along with Hugh, N’Saba and a host of other engineers and science officers, none of them paying attention to the impending disaster that was to befall them all.
“You don’t have a couple of minutes,”
Glover shot back from his bridge. Maya could tell that the starship captain was doing an admirable job of pretending he wasn’t concerned or scared for that matter. Regardless what would happen within the next minute or so, the man was not going to be shaken and she admired that about him a great deal.
“The modifications to the warp core assembly are complete,”
said Chen, “but we need to recalibrate the dilithium matrix before we can channel the Omega molecule residue.”
“No time for that,”
Daystrom responded, working alongside the insectoid he never once looked up while he furiously tapped away at an engineering console.
“He is correct,”
said Hugh from Cuffe
. “We must commence the Omega sequence now or we will not be successful.”
Terrence Glover glanced at his counterpart on the Agamemnon
and noticed her nod to him. It was her ship on the line as well. If the weapon didn’t fire, both would be easy pickings for the Borg. If the weapon failed, if the excess Omega radiation tore through Agamemnon
because of a mechanical or calibration error, the ship and its crew would almost be instantly wiped out of existence.
said Glover. “Do it now.”
N’Saba, apparently having drawn the short straw, was the man ultimately responsible for pulling the trigger. To start a chain reaction to unleash the most powerful force known to man which could not only spell their own destruction but those of countless others throughout the sector and change the face of the galaxy forever if it accidently destroyed subspace. “Omega sequence initiated.”
But Daystrom on Agamemnon
, who was closely monitoring everything that happened on both ships, already shook his head. “It’s too slow,”
he said with frustration plain as day. “The resonance chamber is synthesizing the molecules too slowly.”
“There is no way to accelerate the process,”
Hugh said even as his focus remained on the resonance chamber itself and the molecules within it as if his impending death no longer mattered now that he was so close to witnessing the miracle of Particle 010.
’s bridge where everyone could see and hear absolutely everything that was taking place on both vessels along with the ominous visual of those two massive cubes closing in, the tension was about to boil over.
Both DeSoto and Allenby turned from their stations to look at their captain, their eyes almost pleading for new orders, something, anything that would give them a fighting chance against what was to come.
But Maya Donners refused to give any and her young crew had never looked more desperate than it did in that moment.
She managed to remain calm, sitting cross-legged in her chair, trying hard to exude confidence and strength. And she found encouragement when she glanced to her left were Vej looked back at her with eyes mirroring that same confidence as if to tell her that he trusted her, that he didn’t have a doubt that they would somehow manage to defeat these miserable odds and survive the coming storm.
Nobody bothered to provide a countdown. The timer on the main view screen was obvious to all as it raced towards zero and the moment the Borg would engage the two totally unprotected starships.
Thirty seconds left.
“Captain, new contact, one-seven-five mark three-five,” said Texx from tactical, almost shouting now. “Four hundred thousand kilometers.”
Every set of eyes focused on the busy main viewer not realizing at first that it would reveal nothing of consequence in its present configuration.
“On screen,” Maya said.
And then they saw it.
“It’s the Khazara
!” DeSoto all but yelled out.
The majestic green warbird shimmered into existence behind and above the two cubes. But for all its imposing size it looked nothing more than toy compared to the humongous Borg ships.
The size discrepancy didn’t stop the warbird from unleashing its awesome firepower at near point-blank range. And it was an impressive firework of destructive energy. Clearly Toreth had channeled every last drop of energy into her offensive systems, unleashing dozens of torpedoes, disruptor blasts, lances of red-hot phased energy and at least one or two weapons systems nobody on Agamemnon
had ever seen before.
It caught the Borg completely off guard, too focused had they been on obtaining the sought after particle, they had never considered or prepared for an attack by a cloaked vessel from the rear.
And while the impressive display of destructive energy was nowhere sufficient to destroy either cube, it was more than enough to force them both to lose forward momentum, the assault clearly having damaged their abilities to maintain high impulse speeds.
’s bridge crew erupted into a loud cheer when the timer indicating the approaching Borg ships adjusted upwards, giving them precious and desperately needed seconds.
A subdued tone from one of the captain’s chairs armrests caused Maya to drop her gaze onto its display to find a simple message she had received via a dedicated and untraceable signal: That’s all I can give you. You’re on your own now. Good luck. T.
Maya allowed herself a tiny smirk. It was, she hoped, all the time they had needed.
On the screen the warbird turned sharply and shimmered out of existence again before either the Borg cube could even consider taking aim at the inconvenient interloper.
“Never thought I’d say this but thank god for the Romulans,” said Allenby.
“Omega sequence completed,”
N’Saba’s voice said over the still open comm channel to Cuffe. “The weapon is engaging in five … four … three …”
Donners held on to her armrests so tightly, her knuckles turned white. “All hands, brace yourselves,” she said, knowing full well that whatever came next, be it their own destruction, the end of the universe as they knew it or, one hoped, the successful deployment of the most destructive weapon ever created, it wouldn’t be painless.
“Two … one … deploying.”
Maya wasn’t sure what she had been expecting. Something similar perhaps to what they had experienced when the Xenarth had attempted to unleash their own version of the Omega weapon which had fatefully destroyed their own moon in the process. A shockwave that would turn the ship literally inside out and blow every last relay and energy conduit to smithereens.
Something on an apocalyptic scale perhaps that left absolutely nothing behind afterwards. Something right out of Percy Bysshe Shelley: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
The irony of it all struck her too late. Destroy the galaxy to safe it? Was that what they were doing now? Had it all come down to this?
That expected shockwave never came.
Instead something entirely different and unanticipated happened and Maya would be at a loss to make sense of it all after it was over.
A single lighting-like power surge emerged from seemingly nowhere and hit her directly in the chest which such force, she gasped in pain and tears shot into her eyes.
Then she noticed that the timer on the screen which had counted down to their Borg encounter had stopped entirely which in itself of course was odd but was most likely explained by a system malfunction caused by the Omega weapon.
What couldn’t be explained as easily was that everyone and everything began to move backwards. At first slowly as if in slow motion but then it jumped to fast rewind and only went faster until it was nothing more than a blur of backwards movement which soon passed the point, she thought, at which she had taken command of the ship. It passed the point the ship had even been built, it passed the point the shipyard around it had been constructed and it didn’t stop. It went back to before mankind reached for the stars, before mankind, before live on Earth and before Earth and the sun. Before the universe was crated.
And yet Maya Donners never seemed to move from where she sat, watching all this unfold as a spectator somehow entirely removed from the process of time winding down on itself.
A flash of searing white light forced her to bring up her hands to shield her eyes. When it was gone and she could risk removing her hands, time was moving again. But this time forward again, at the same head spinning pace and through the exact same steps at it had before until it slowed again and crept back towards normalcy.
When time finally returned to its regular pace she quickly realized that she was not at all where she was supposed to be. She wasn’t back on Agamemnon
and as far as she could tell she wasn’t even in outer space. The place seemed unfamiliar to her but appeared to be a laboratory of some kind. When the many figures going urgently back and forth slowed down to their normal speed and their shapes were no longer blurred, she immediately recognized them as Xenarth.
She thought she was back on Zenith, on the moon orbiting Iota Crucis IV. The design of the architecture and the technology seemed undeniably similar except for the fact that she couldn’t remember ever having set foot into any room that had looked quite like this one.
The Omega generator mounted up high inside one of the walls looked distinctly different, less advanced than the ones she and her team had nearly died in their desperate effort to shutdown. The bright blue, angrily burning molecules inside of it were unquestionably of the same variety however. And they looked a hell of lot less contained than the ones she had found on Zenith.
Time had only just returned to its normal progression when a lot of things happened at once.
A Xenarth attacked an Andorian looking woman without provocation, tossing her out of the way and causing her to land so harshly that there was no doubt that she had died on impact.
Everyone in the room scurried, either trying to get to the dead Andorian or trying to apprehend the rogue Xenarth.
But before anyone had a chance to do much of anything, the molecules within the containment chamber went completely haywire, brightening the room so much, it was painful to keep her eyes open.
A sudden energy burst from the chamber hit a man square in the chest and pushed him almost across the entire room. Donners recognized the lightning like bolt and immediately touched her own chest where she had been hit in very similar fashion.
Then a shockwave tore the resonance chamber to pieces and everything and everyone around it along with it. The world turned into nothing but whiteness.
“Who are you?”
Donners spun around to see that she was not alone. A human man stood just a few meters away. He was of average height, maybe in his mid to late fifties with salt and pepper hair and the straight posture and bearing of a person of great authority and responsibility. He looked uncannily familiar. It was without a doubt the man who had just been hit by the energy spike.
“Captain Amaya Donners,” she said. “And who are you? What is this place?”
The man had a quick look around but if he saw the same thing she did, there was really nothing at all for him to find. “Funny, I was just going to ask you.”
She took a step closer and recognition dawned on her. She had seen this man before in pictures and visual logs. “My god, you’re Robert Wesley.”
He seemed surprised at hearing his name and considered her suspiciously. “How do you know my name?”
Donners couldn’t believe it. Not only was she meeting a Starfleet legend, much worse she seemed to have somehow travelled back in time. Or at least she thought she had. It hadn’t been bad enough that on her first mission as a captain she had to deal with the most powerful force known in existence, trying to avert an intergalactic incident with the Romulans and facing off the Borg, now she found herself in a potential Temporal Prime Directive situation as well.
“I … “ Words suddenly failed her. If she was indeed in her past she was bound by Starfleet protocol not to endanger the timeline by revealing any information pertaining to the future.
“And you appear to be human,” he continued. “You said you were a captain but I don’t recognize your uniform. What is it you are a captain of? What organization do you belong to?”
Maya’s head was pounding all of a sudden and since she had realized that she was facing a Starfleet legend, potentially in his time, she couldn’t be sure of anything right now. “It’s difficult to explain,” she said. “All I can say for now is that I’m on your side.”
He continued to study her carefully, appraising her with great scrutiny. Then he nodded slowly. “I believe you.”
She offered him a smile. “Thanks.”
“But it doesn’t help to explain any of this,” he said and looked around again. “Where we are or what this place is,” he said and then looked back at her. “Unless you have some answers.”
“I wish I did,” she said. “But I’m as clueless as you. One moment I’m in my chair, the next I find myself here.”
“Something happened just before I got here. I was exposed to a powerful energy. In fact it looked to me as if it had unleashed, as if it destroyed everything in its path.”
“Yes,” she said. “I saw that.”
There was suspicion in his eyes again. “You saw it? How?”
“I don’t know how. But we were trying to do something similar. We were releasing the Omega molecule to fight off the … an enemy. There was an energy spike which hit me right in the chest. Then I saw things, including what you just described and the next thing I know I find myself here with you.”
“Ketteract called it the Omega molecule,” said Wesley thinking. “It’s clearly what is connecting us.”
Donners smirked despite herself.
“Something funny, Captain?”
“Sorry, I’m just relieved, I guess. For a moment I thought I was dead and this is the afterlife.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m not your maker,” he said with a tiny smirk.
“You wouldn’t be first starship captain I’ve mistaken for an omnipotent being today. But you’re right,” she said. “Somehow the Omega molecule did this.”
“Bringing us together? But why?”
She turned away from Wesley, suddenly remembering something Wayne Daystrom had tried to tell her on the Xenarth facility. “Could it be?” she asked herself.
The commodore took a couple of steps to follow her. “Could what be?”
Maya turned back around. “My science officer seemed convinced that the Omega particles aren’t mere molecules but that there is a greater intelligence at work. He seemed to think that it is potentially the very same intelligence which led to the creation of the universe in the first place.”
The commodore looked stunned by that revelation.
“Heavy stuff, I know. But never mind his theories about the creation of all existence. Let’s just assume for a moment that he was right about the intelligence part. If that’s the case then maybe this wasn’t some sort of fluke or accident. Maybe somehow the Omega molecule got us together on purpose.”
It took Wesley a couple of seconds to digest all that. “I’ve heard of creatures with seemingly limitless powers, of travels back into time and of ancient Greek gods living in outer space so I won’t dismiss this notion just because it sounds unbelievable.”
She smirked again. “You’re familiar with James Kirk’s logs, I see.”
He offered a small smile of his own. “So let’s say you’re right. What’s the purpose of brining us together like this?”
Donners didn’t have an immediate answer to that question.
“From what I saw,” he continued. “Omega was in the process of annihilating the galaxy. Do you think that perhaps it is trying to undo that?”
“It’s as good a theory as any.”
He nodded. “It’s certainly what we should try to do. The question is how?”
Not a second later their surroundings disappeared again and they found themselves back in the Xenarth underground lab on Iota Crucis IV. They stood together to one-side and watched on Wesley—another version of him—shoving aside Ketteract to get to the controls even while the seemingly crazed scientist told him that his efforts would come too late.
The moment passed as quickly and unexpectedly as it had come and both Wesley and Donners found themselves back in that bright and endless whiteness where they had first met.
“Okay, what the hell was that?” she said after she’d been able to catch her breath form the surprising change of venues.
“We went back,” said a similarly astounded Robert Wesley. “We went back to the lab for a moment just before those molecules become unstable and escaped their containment field.”
He considered that before responding. “I was thinking how I wished I could have gotten to Ketteract faster. It was a quick thought, that’s all.”
“There’s our answer,” she said. “Whatever this place is, it’s allowing us to go back and perhaps change things. Stop those molecules from destroying who knows what.”
He nodded in agreement. “Yes, I think you’re right,” he said. “But it only lasted a moment. Not enough time to change things.”
“Could it be a matter of focus? You said you were merely thinking about stopping Ketteract in passing. What if you tried to focus on that thought, held on to it longer? Perhaps that would take us back again and give us more time to change something.”
Wesley grinned. “If wishes were horses? Is that it?”
“I think it’s worth a shot.”
“Hang on,” she said quickly and then stepped closer to Wesley. “We don’t know what’s going to happen or if we are going to get another chance at this,” she added and then stuck out her hand. “I just wanted to say that it was a great honor to meet you, sir.”
He took her hand without hesitation. “Call me Bob. And the honor was all mine. Looks like they still make Starfleet captains out of the right stuff in the future.”
She aimed an astounded look at the man.
“Oh, I figured it out alright,” he said. “Wasn’t all that difficult, really.”
Donners offered a proud smile.
“Now take a step back, just in case. Thoughts can be a dangerous thing.”
She gave him a firm nod and did as she had been told.
Wesley closed his eyes.
And just like that they were back in that lab on Iota Crucis. For Wesley, familiar surroundings he had last seen and lived mere minutes earlier, for Donners, nothing more than log entries she had read about and something that had taken place over a hundred years ago.
Robert Wesley stood next to her near a wall and watched as he and his Starfleet team were being surrounded by Xenarth warriors even while the ubiquitous Omega molecules continued to pulsate ominously and towards the inevitable moment when that containment field would no longer hold back their awesome power. Donners couldn’t help wonder about Daystrom’s claim of an intelligence at work within those bright, powerful lights. And if their theory was true that Omega was somehow responsible for this strange second chance at stopping a catastrophe before it could change the galaxy forever, didn’t that mean that Omega was helpless to stop itself from becoming unstable? Was it not just Wesley who needed help but was it Omega itself?
She decided that there was no time to ponder any of those questions. Nobody in the room seemed to have noticed her and the other Wesley appear, almost as if they were unable to perceive them at all, but the tension in the room was quickly reaching a climax as Wesley confronted the Warrior Queen.
“The particles are about to become unstable and the containment field will fail. You have to allow my people to shut it down or we’re all going to die.”
Donners turned to Bob Wesley at her side. “What’s happening?”
“It worked,” he said. “I thought about having more time to stop Omega from becoming unstable and it appears we got here with a minute to spare to try and stop this.”
She touched a nearby wall and was relived to found that it was tangible enough. “They can’t see us but it looks like we may be able to influence events. What happens next?”
“We don’t have much time,” he said. “Telana, my science officer, will try and shut down the generator from that console but Ketteract will override her commands. Queen Ergia gets to Telana and kills her before she can do anything further.”
“You stop Ketteract, I go after Ergia,” she said.
He nodded. “Let’s go.”
Wesley had been right. Time was running out. Zha’Thara was already at the console and Ketteract had somehow freed himself from his guards as well and working hard to keep the Andorian from successfully shutting down the Omega particles’ final creation process.
Donners rushed towards the blue-skinned woman, still formulating a plan to save her life.
“The God-Queen will not allow it. Her will shall be done,” Ergia cried as she stormed towards the science officer.
Donners bumped into the back of a Xenarth guard who immediately whipped around with his spear-like weapon. She managed to duck just in time to avoid being skewered by the razor sharp lance.
The warrior looked befuddled when he saw nothing and moved closer to investigate what could have hit him allowing Donners to slip by him.
“He’s overriding my shutdown sequence,” Zha’Thara said.
The infuriated Cleric Queen was almost on top of the Andorian who was too focused on working her controls to notice the Xenarth coming after her.
Maya considered for a moment ripping one of those spear-weapons out a warrior’s grasp and use it to stop the Supreme but somehow she figured that a magically moving weapon would perhaps be too difficult to explain later on.
Instead Donners jumped onto a console and then leaped over another to land on the floor immediately in front of the charging Supreme.
The pain of impacting with the hard surface was nothing compared to having the Xenarth run into her at full speed. The effect however was exactly as desired as she immediately stumbled over the invisible obstacle, making it appear that she had slipped clumsily.
The Xenarth lost her balance and went flying only to land by Zha’Thara’s feet. The startled Andorian jumped back but remained unharmed.
Bob Wesley in the meantime had reached Ketteract and had decided for an approach just about as unsubtle as Maya’s had been. Standing right opposite the scientist as he was eagerly working the console to complete his previously ill-fated Omega stabilization process, Wesley roughly hit other man’s shoulders, shoving him away from the station.
Ketteract’s eyes opened wide as he stumbled backwards after suddenly being hit by an invisible and inexplicable force.
The other Wesley, now no longer distracted by Zha’Thara’s untimely death, was already halfway to Ketteract when he found him stumbling right towards him. Not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth, he cocked back a fist, turned the scientist around with his free hand and then hit him square in the jaw. Ketteract dropped like a sack of stones.
“That’s what I call a tag team,” Donners said quietly as she watched the two Wesley’s working together to stop Kesseract from where she sat on the floor.
The commodore stepped over the downed scientist without giving him a second look and walked right up to the console. “Telana, shut it down,” he yelled.
To her credit the science officer quickly recovered from the attempted attack and was back to work at her station within an instant. “Initiating shutdown sequence now.”
And then, for the first time since Lexington
’s landing party had arrived on this world, the Omega molecules attempting to form themselves to become the most powerful entity known to man, actually began to rescind and dim within the containment chamber while all eyes in the room watched with baited breath.
Just before it appeared they’d fizzle out completely, there was a bright white flash again and Maya knew that they had been unsuccessful. That somehow Omega had still found a way to unleash its power unto the galaxy in unfathomable ways.
She never found out if she’d gotten another chance to stop the unthinkable from happening.