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Old May 7 2014, 08:35 PM   #1
Lieutenant Commander
BlackFire3's Avatar
Location: DES Pathfinder
Star Trek: Nexus Crossings

Author's note: This is a repost of my original entry here. The reason is becuase some illustrations I included in the original post were distracting readers from the story. Worry not, none of them were obcene, it's just that the comments that the original thread recieved were about the illustrations which spawned a short arguement. So, now with that out of the way here's the first chapter:


Colonel Kira's log:

It's been four months since the Dominion War ended and the treaty signed. For the most part, life has returned to the mundane normalcy with a few exceptions. With Odo still in the Gamma quadrant, Quark seems to be running his bar honestly. I haven't even heard any complaints of him watering down his drinks. There's still some shadows, a few Federation ships still patrol the space around the wormhole at random intervals. In accordance with the treaty, we are no longer 'allowed' to colonize planets in the Gamma quadrant. The Dominion Founders have permitted the people of the Alpha quadrant to continue scientific expeditions provided there aren't any permanent ones. However...

Kira was interrupted by a chime on her desk."Computer, pause log entry." She reached over to tap the comm. switch on her desk, "Yes?"

A small diminutive voice responded, "Colonel? There's a visitor waiting for you outside your office. Shall I send her in?"

Kira Stood up from her chair and took a moment to straighten her uniform before exhaling sharply, "Send her in."
Kira's mildly annoyed 'business' face was instantly changed to a warm smile when the doors opened for her visitor to walk through."Kasidy!" Kira seemed to smile more so as she rounded the desk to greet her properly.

"Hello Nerys. I was in the neighborhood and thought it would be time to introduce Benny to you." Kasidy gently handed the sleeping baby over to Kira. Staring at the child cradled in her arms she looked up, "Wait Benny?" The baby gurgled and Kira handed him back to his mother.

"After his father," she replied rocking him back to sleep.

Before Kira could ask more, she was interrupted by another chime. "I don't believe this. What?" she asked tapping her commbage.

"Colonel, you'd better come to Ops. The wormhole is opening."

Kira's previously cheerful attitude was replaced by one of concern.

"What's wrong" Kasidy inquired, concern creeping into her own voice.

"We're not expecting another ship to come through for another week," she responded before walking past her. "Report!" Kira commanded stepping into the 'pit'.

"Sensors are detecting a ship coming through," an ensign replied.

"On screen" Kira stated.

A second later the screen winked on to show the wormhole fully open. A moment later, a ship exited and the wormhole closed behind it. It wasn't Dominion, but it wasn't Federation either.

"What kind of ship is that?" she asked out loud.

"It doesn't match anything in our database ma'am," a lieutenant answered.

Collecting her wits, Kira shook her head, "Life signs?"

"I'm picking up over one hundred and twelve biosigns, however there's something in the hull preventing a more detailed scan. The best I can tell you is that they're humanoid ma'am" the lieutenant replied, tapping commands into his station.

Kira nodded, before she could request a hail, the ensign spoke up, "Colonel, the ship is hailing us."

Kira again straightened her uniform and swallowed the lump in her throat. "Alright, put it up," she told the ensign.

The screen changed from a view of the ship, to that of its bridge where a man and a woman stood in the center of the screen. English lettering dominated the wall behind them, but was unreadable with the two people standing between the screen and the man then spoke, "I am captain Ryan Avries of the D.E.S. science vessel Hathaway 2. To whom am I addressing?"

Kira blinked before responding, "I'm Colonel Kira, commander of Deep Space Nine."

Two months prior to the Hathaway 2's arrival at Deep Space Nine...

Captain Avries was in the conference room aboard the Hathaway 2. He stood in front of the holo-window in annoyance. He had set it for the normal exterior view and wished he was out in the stars instead of zero-space where nothing existed. Minutes ago, he watched the Carrier-class vessel that brought him and the ship here, depart. He was entranced with how the eerie glow of its running lights made it seem more like a ghost than a ship, and watched it till it transit back to normal space.

The only other thing to see outside was the station to which the Hathaway docked with ten minutes ago. Avries sighed and switched the holo-window to a recorded view of Earths night sky, and sat down at the conference table to again review the information of his transfer off his ship.

He set the holographic display to book mode. 'Flipping' through the pages, he saw a list of his achievements and ship postings including when he was a helmsman on the Hathaway-2 years ago.

"Crap, has it really been fourteen years?" he asked himself out loud. He flipped back and forth, but couldn't find any reason for being transferred off.

"I believe it's been thirteen years and eleven months since you were posted here," said a voice opposite of the table to Avries.

Startled, Avries looked up before jumping to attention, "Admiral Sir. I'm sorry; I didn't hear you come in."

"That's alright. I may be a bit weighty, but I can move with the best of them," He then laughed at his joke.

"That's an understatement," Avries thought to himself, the admirals stomach bulged over his belt. He may have an admiral's uniform but, clearly spent much of his career behind a desk.

"Yes admiral sir. I was just reviewing my transfer papers and was wondering where it states I'll be transferred to," Avries said.

The Admiral walked over to the holo-window and seemed to consider the night sky of earth before changing it to the real-time view of the station, which he smiled at before turning to Avries. "That's because your transfer hasn't been finalized yet." Avries turned his head slightly in a questioning manner. The admiral continued, "Basically, you're being given' a choice between two commands. You can either take command of an Achilles-class frigate and continue your previous mission. Or you can take command of the ship you're standing on."

Avries thought a moment, "Sir, there is nothing wrong with the Ajax.."

"I'm not saying there is captain. To the contrary, the Ajax is the finest ship of her class I've seen. Including her crew," The admiral said cutting him off.

"Then why sir, I don't understand."

"As you know, for the last two years, since the war ended, we've been slowly phasing out the Attack-class frigate for the newer Achilles design. Simply put, it's your turn. Frankly, I don't understand what the fuss is about. Sure the Achilles-class is smaller, but it's practically the same profile to the Attack-class," he stated bluntly.

Swallowing his creeping anger, Avries calmly replied, "Admiral Sir, with all due respect, the Achilles-class has barely half the armaments let alone not having the capabilities of an Attack-class."

"None of which is truly needed in peace time," the admiral retorted hotly.

Rather than continue the argument, one Avries felt he already lost; he again forced himself to calm down. "So what would I be doing if I choose this ship?" he asked gesturing around him.

The admirals red face instantly brightened as he smiled, "Why you're going to go exploring." He said simply.

Avries was even more confused, "Sir? Surely there are other more qualified personnel for space exploration."

"Sure if this were a typical mission. However, since the invention of the zero-space drive, it's only been a matter of time before command decides to see if we can enter other universes."

Avries turned to the holo-window and called up information on the Hathaway 2, "Then why the Hathaway, sir? It's over fifteen years old, in fact it's older than the Ajax," Avries said staring at the rotating image of the ship.

The admiral changed the image back to the view of the station. "Because there is a chance, however slim, that you'll run into someone out there. Don't you think it will be better diplomatically if a first encounter was with a science vessel instead of a warship? And the reason I've pick this ship instead of a more advanced one is because I have considered the possibility that if they were aggressive then all they will have is an old ship that would've been decommissioned otherwise. And since it's a rather famous ship, it should be good for the crews moral. The fact you used to serve on her only further proves my point." Finished the admiral turned and sat at the conference table expectantly.

Avries reluctantly sat down beside him, "Very well admiral sir, I'll take command of the Hathaway 2."

The admiral smiled, "Wonderful, I knew you would make the right decision." He activated the comm unit on the table, "You can come in now."

The door to the conference slid open and a woman walked in and sat at the table opposite of Avries.

The admiral shook her hand, "Sorry to have kept you waiting. It took longer than I thought to get the captain to accept the mission. Oh, pardon me, allow me to introduce you. This is Captain Ryan Avries." the admiral said gesturing towards Avries.

Avries stood up to reach over and shake her hand. As he did so, he took note of the robes she wore and the orangey yellow tips to her dark hair before finally noticing the slitted pupils of her eyes. "You're.."

"Of the Phoenix Clan? Yes I am," she finished for him with a smile.

"She will be your communications expert in case of unforeseen difficulties," the admiral told Avries.

"It will be a pleasure and an honor to have you aboard," Avries told her. She nodded with another smile.

"Well, now that the formalities are taken care of," the admiral continued. "We can begin with the mission outline. We will send your ship through first captain. Your initial job is to establish a safe area of operations, and deal with negotiations of any local politics as needed. Then once you send the go ahead, we'll send a fleet consisting mostly of cargo, support, merchant, and other science ships. For the interest of not spooking the locals, you'll only have ten or twelve military escorts," the admiral listed. "All the ship will be warp powered for security reasons."

"Of course," Avries retorted as he looked over the information displayed on the holopad being displayed from the table. "So, admiral sir. When do we start the mission?"

"As soon as we fill the ship and personnel roster," he answered. "It'll take time to ferry the needed ships into zero-space and train each crew on the mission parameters."

As the admiral moved to stand, Avries moved to meet him. "It's time I got back to the station, and Avries?"

"Yes sir?"

"Welcome aboard. Now use the time you have to refamiliarize yourself with the ship. You two have a lot of catching up to do."

"Yes sir"

Before he left, the admiral gave Avries a knowing look. Avries returned his look with one of puzzlement until the door to the room slid closed leaving Avries alone with the Phoenix Clan woman. Avries sat back in the chair and stared at the holopad in front of him with a sigh.

The Phoenix Clan woman got up from her chair and walked over beside Avries and placed her hand on his shoulder, "I don't suppose you would honor me by giving me a tour of your ship captain," she asked. He looked up at her warm smile and returned it with one of his own.

"Of course!" he said and escorted her out of the conference room.

Later after showing her half the ship, he began telling her about its history as they walked down the corridor. "The ship was built two years before the war and even now, it's still quite versatile ship I have to admit. It's because of the compartments attached along the hull between the command section and engineering, giving the ship a total of twenty compartments. The compartments can be removed and replaced with a more advantageous one to help it with whatever scientific needs it may have. The large communication dishes on the ships back were intended for deep space use, which was later removed on the updated versions of the Discovery-class. Most of the turrets are placed along the mid-section leaving most of the rear and fore of the ship exposed to attack. Its only other armaments are 'drifter' torpedoes that were originally modified probes that launched from the planetary sensor array."

The Phoenix Clan woman just nodded and made the odd remark on the ships outer colour scheme compared to the other ships in the D.E.S. fleet. "The Admiral told me you used to serve on this ship."

Avries looked at her and saw only an honest smile, "Just barely over a year. My last few months were spent assisting in evacuating colonies and delaying the Jikoran fleets for the evacuations. I made it all the way up to captain on the Hathaway. It was only for a short time till I was offered the Ajax, which I've been in command of up till now. I've come full circle, it seems." Avries said with a sigh.

"Just like the Phoenix Clan," she replied.

"I'm sorry?"

"My people start as children, grow old, then become children again," she said with her ever present smile.

Avries chuckles slightly, "You sure do seem to smile a lot."

"Well, when you can live as long as my people, I would rather be smiling for most of it than frown all the time," she said plainly.

Avries was going to say something but noticed that they arrived at the doors to the bridge. "And so our tour ends with the bridge," he held his hand to the now open door.

She walked in, keeping her smiling face towards him till she was inside. He stood at the archway for a moment, taking a deep breath and adjusting the bracers on his forearms, he stepped onto the bridge. It had been remodeled since he was last here. Before, the stations had been arranged around the oval shaped walls. Now, they were clustered in the front half in a lowered section. The ships name was proudly displayed in large block letters along the back wall. The captains' chair sat on the ramp before the lowered section as if to overlook the stations in front.

The bridge crew worked silently till one turned and noticed him, "Captain on the bridge!" he said at a heightened volume. Instantly everyone stopped working and stood at attention, facing Avries.

"As you were," the crew returned to their stations to resume work. The one who issued the command walked up to meet him; Avries noticed from the bars on his shoulders that he held the rank of Commander.

"Welcome aboard captain. I'm Commander Arthur Noel, I'll be your XO," he said shaking his hand.

"Thank you Commander. So tell me, what's the ships status?"

"Ship systems are all green sir. And I'm happy to note, the ship doesn't even have any growing pains. Almost as if she rolled out of dry-dock. Kind of surprising really, considering what she's been' through."

"Well, let's hope she continues to surprise us like this then. We have quite an unusual mission ahead of us. I'd hate for her to fail us at a critical moment."

"Couldn't agree with you more sir. So, do you have any orders? We're currently in the middle of running a ship wide diagnostic to make sure everything checks out."

"After the diagnostics are completed, and if everything checks out, start issuing random drills. It'll be awhile before our mission starts, but I'd like the crew to be ready for whatever is thrown at us."

"Aye sir," Commander Noel responded, and then turned to talk to the lieutenant at the tactical station.

Avries sat in the captains' chair and looked around the bridge again. From his vantage point, he could clearly see the main display of each station. He noticed that the Phoenix Clan woman was talking to the communications officer.

"This is going to be a long mission," Avries thought with a sigh.

The weeks passed by quickly and the drills seemed to pull the crew closer together, and soon the mission date arrived. They were still short a few ships, but weren't really essential till the home base was established. Avries stepped out of his office onto the bridge. When he first arrived the bridge's atmosphere was calm and easy. Now it had the feeling of subdued controlled chaos. This made Avries smile as he slipped into his chair.

"Status report."

"All sections report ready sir," his XO responded beside him.

"Alright. Helm, undock us from the station and bring us about."

"Aye sir," the helmsman replied.

Several thumps could be heard through the front of the ship as the docking ports unlocked and moved away. A low vibration could be felt through the deck plates as the ship four engines came to life. Slowly, the ship backed away from the station and turned around.

"Helm, set course for the jump point. Half thrust please."

"Aye sir. Course set, half thrust," the helmsman responded tapping in commands on her panel.

The ship moved off towards four waiting Carrier-class ships that were in a circle formation. Ordinarily when a ship enters or leaves zero-space, a field large enough to envelope the ship is erected allowing the ship to transit to and from. The Carrier-class is the only ship capable of extending its field to encompass another vessel.

The theory behind using the zero-space drive for traveling to an alternate universe was that the four ships would extend their fields to overlap the other. A warp vessel would fly through the middle at warp speeds and hopefully end up in another universe safely.

"We're at the specified coordinate's sir," the helmsman informed Avries.

"Very well helm, stand by. Communications, inform the Carrier ships that we are in position and waiting."

"Aye captain," he relayed the message. A moment later four beeps flashed on his display. "Sir, the ships have acknowledged and are now extending their fields."

"Confirmed, I'm reading a full overlap between them and its reading stable," the XO said reading over the science officer's shoulder.

"Very well. Helm, take us through at warp one" said Avries.

"Warp one, aye."

The crew felt a subtle change of the vibrations in the deck plating as the warp coils accelerated the ship towards and through the field at warp.

On passing through, the ships velocity suddenly increased and lurched back to a stop, throwing everyone forward.

"Report!" Avries shouted climbing back into his chair.

The Operations officer staggered back to his seat and took a second to look over the information pouring in on his screen, "Compartments nine through twelve have lost power, and weapons by those sections are also offline. There's some buckling in the warp coils. No injuries reported."

Avries rubbed his jaw from the fall, "Helm, what's our position?" when she didn't answer, Avries repeated his question.

"...I'm not sure sir. We're not in zero-space but, we aren't in normal space either," she finally said.

"On screen," Avries told her.

The screen flickered on to show a large tunnel with various shades of blue, random snake-like energy strings were moving along the outer edges. A large sun-like light source could be seen presumably at the tunnels end.

The whole thing reminded Avries of a hyperspace corridor used by the Archaic species for FTL travel. However what he saw here looked almost organic. Space life forms were only theorized to exist, "Science, can you determine if we are in some sort of life form?"

"I don't have sufficient data to make any guess' sir. I'm not picking up any organic materials, carbon based or silicon. This whole area is flooded with tachyon particles. I'm sorry sir."

"No need to apologize. I don't think anyone really knew what was going to happen. Helm, set a course for the end of this tunnel. Make your speed one quarter thrust. I don't want to run into anything by accident in here."

"Yes sir, one quarter thrust," the helmsman answered.

As the ship moved forward, the crew was able to restore primary power to three of the damaged compartments. Avries was in his office talking to commander Noel about the repairs.

"So, how long till weapons are restored? Avries asked his XO.

"I've been told it will take approximately ten hours for complete repairs of the turrets. We can probably get them up and firing in five. Just as long as we don't rely on them exclusively," Noel answered.

Avries only grunted in reply as he looked over the damage reports of the warp coils. Two weeks of repairs to return them to specs, four days if he wanted warp seven. Till repairs were completed, the ship will only make warp five. His bracer beeped, "Yes?"

"Sir? Sensors have detected an aperture opening ahead. It could be a way out."

"On my way."

Avries and Noel exchanged a look before moving to the bridge. The helmsman brought the ship to a halt just before the opening.

Avries looked around the bridge, then at the screen, "Science, is there any chance the ship may be damaged if we pass through it?"

"None that I can detect sir," he responded. His uncertainty was clearly shown in his voice.

"Well hell, it beats sitting here waiting for something to happen. Helm, take us in."

"Yes Captain," she replied.

Slowly, the ship moved forward. It was as if the ship was emerging from a fog as the stars came into view.

"Contact! There's a large structure ahead of us," the tactical officer warned. Everyone looked to the screen and saw what looked to be a large spindle wheel with six large fingers jutting above and below as if it were ready to grab something.

Avries got up from his chair and walked to the upper section of the bridge behind his chair, "Communications, open a hailing frequency."

"Aye sir," he responded.

The Phoenix Clan Woman moved to Avries side. When he gave her a questioning look, she responded with, "Just in case the translation software isn't up to the job," she smiled.

"They're responding," the Comm. officer said.

A second later, the screen changed. At first, Avries thought the woman was human until he noticed the ridges on her nose. After a slight hesitation, Avries spoke.

"I am Captain Ryan Avries of the D.E.S. science vessel Hathaway 2. To whom am I addressing?"

The woman seemed surprised to see him. Avries wondered if it was because she's never seen a human before or if it was how they arrived here. The woman quickly regained her composure though.

"I'm Colonel Kira, commander of Deep Space Nine."
BlackFire3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8 2014, 11:50 PM   #2
Lieutenant Commander
BlackFire3's Avatar
Location: DES Pathfinder
Re: Star Trek: Nexus Crossings


"Hello Colonel, I have been instructed by my superiors to open a peaceful dialog with your government for the purposes of safe travel and space exploration. With your permission, I would like to discuss the details in person," the captain said.

Kira swallowed before responding, "That's... quite a request. Please wait a moment." Kira motioned to the ensign to suspend the commlink. "Is the Vulcan Ambassador still on board?" she asked her.

"He's on a transport waiting to return to Bajor ma'am," she responded.

"Well have someone go get him and inform him on our situation."

"Yes ma'am"

Kira looked briefly at a display of the stations docking ring then at another screen showing the docking ports on the ship. She then nodded to the ensign to resume communications. A second later the screen changed back to show the two people standing on the bridge.

"Alright Captain Avries, you can dock at upper-pylon three. A beacon will direct you."

"Thank you Colonel. Before we arrive would you have some medical staff standing by? I only ask this to insure that we aren't carrying any biologics that would be harmful to your people."

Kira only smiled faintly not really sure how to properly respond, "... Thank you captain, Deep Space Nine out." The screen winked back to the view of the ship before shutting off completely.

Kira let out a long heavy sigh. "Kira to Bashir," she said taping her combage.
A few seconds later he responded, "Bashir here."

"Can you meet me at the upper-pylon three docking port? Oh and bring your med kit."

"Is there someone injured?"

"No, we have visitors that came through the wormhole. They insist that we give them a medical scan for our safety."

"On my way," Bashir said.

Cocking her head while rolling her eyes, Kira walked up to the turbolift. "Upper-pylon three," she told the computer.

An instant later the lift was carrying her down through the station stopping briefly at the promenade to admit a very displeased Vulcan.

"I trust you can explain why my return to Bajor was delayed?" Ambassador Savan said with distaste.

Kira scoffed inwardly, Vulcan's might claim to have rid their emotions in favor of logic, but the only emotion she never seen them display was honest happiness. "A new ship has come through the wormhole. I thought it'd be in the best interest of first contact to have an ambassador on hand. And since you were the only Federation ambassador on board I thought it would be appropriate to have you with us."

"Logically," he responded with a thinly veiled patronizing tone.

Kira bite her tongue to force herself to stop before she said something she'd regret later. It'd be useless to argue with any Vulcan let alone Savan and remained silent for the rest of the ride up.

Bashir greeted them at the turbolift doors, his fingers thumbing the med kit in his hands, "Colonel, Ambassador," he said curtly.

Kira returned his greeting with a nod while Savan responded with an audible sigh of displeasure. Moving on, they were soon waiting in front of the docking port. A Bajoran engineer stood by the door controls.

"Port seals are good and the airlock is pressurized," the engineer told them.

"Okay, open it," Kira said taking a quick breath.

The Bajoran tapped a few buttons and the massive doors turned revealing three people standing in the airlock. Kira immediately recognized Captain Avries and the woman in light blue robes from earlier, the third being unknown to her.

"Permission to come aboard, Colonel?" the captain asked.

"Of course, allow me to introduce Ambassador Savan, he's a representative of Federation interests."

"The United Federation of Planets," Savan said dryly as if to correct the colonel.

"Greetings Ambassador, I am captain Ryan Avries. I have been selected to represent the "Descended Earth Systems" of my government," Avries said while extending a hand.

Savan looked at Avries' hand with all the emotionless distaste he could bring forth with his raised eyebrow. Fearing he somehow insulted the diplomat; Avries quickly returned his hand to his side.

In an effort to move pass the growing awkward moment Avries then introduced his accompanying crew. "This is my communications specialist," he said referring to the woman. "And this is me science officer Matthew Ridge."

Kira was confused, "Forgive me for asking, but why did you introduce your science officer by name but not her?" she asked referring to the smiling woman.

"My People have long ago grown out of the use for personal names for ourselves," she said. "In fact, we have long ago forgotten what to call our species," she added.

Avries then spoke up, "We have since our first encounter taken to calling their species the "Phoenix Clan" in due part to their biology."

"Interesting," Savan said.

Kira turned in surprise to Savan. He never before went beyond the duties and protocols of his position.

"Well captain, if you would follow us, we have a room set up so we can talk in private," Kira said abruptly.

"Before we go, maybe we should have your doctors check us over just in case," Avries said.

"Oh, right. Um, this is doctor Bashir. He's in charge of the stations infirmary."
Bashir nodded and waved his hand slightly, still with his med kit in hand.

"Doctor, if you would?" Kira urged.

Bashir walked to Avries and pulled out his medical tricorder and proceeded to scan him. "I'm not detecting any exotic pathogens. You seem to be in perfect health. Nothing but some scaring and... My god…"

"What is it Bashir? What's wrong?" Kira asked worriedly.

"... Nothing colonel, it's just that according to these scans, Captain Avries had been impaled. There's scar tissue on the spinal cord and on the heart. You should have been either dead or paralyzed! What happened to cause these injuries?" he asked.

"It's an old war wound, I got careless and paid for it when I boarded an enemy ship," Avries said grimly, "Sufficed to say, I got lucky in my recovery."

"Well, the captain checks out," Bashir said moving over to the Phoenix woman.

"Hmm... your core body temperatures higher than most species I've come across, but I'm not detecting any viruses or biological infections," he said astonishingly.

"It is a natural side effect to how my people live," she said. She seemed to be in a permanently good mood which Bashir found infectious.

"Well beyond that, I'm not detecting any pathogens ever having been in your system."

"Thank you doctor, and by the way, the scans tickled."

Bashir just smiled, not sure if she was joking or not, as he stepped over to the science officer to scan him. As he ran the tricorders removable sensor over him he became perplexed. It was a minute later when he realized.

"Excuse me, but are you an android?"

"Well we prefer the term "ArtForm", a sort of short term for artificial form, but yes I guess I am one. Though it wasn't something I chose to have happen."

"Okay. Colonel they all check out."

"Alright, if you'll follow me please," Kira said. Before turning to the turbolift, she noticed some sort small cylinder-like weapon holstered on the hips of the captain and his science officer. "Actually before we go though, I'm going to have to ask you to leave any weapons you have on your ship. We don't allow weapons on the station unless given special permission."

"An understandable precaution," Avries said pulling out his weapon and handing it to Matthew who then reentered the ship.

While they waited for him to return, Kira looked at Avries who was absently flicking his empty holster with his thumb. Avries looked over then down at his hand and immediately stopped.

"Sorry, Its been standard practice on all vessels to be armed since the war in my universe began. I feel a little underdressed," he said sheepishly.

Kira could somewhat understand having spent much of the Dominion war with some sort of weapon, especially when she was helping the resistance in Cardasia with Domar and Garak. She had to admit on some days she felt naked herself without the reassuring weight of a phaser on her hip. Soon enough their science officer returned and she lead them to the turbolift.

Avries was startled somewhat by the design while they rode it down. While there was a door at each level, the car itself didn't have its own set which was clearly evident as he watched each level pass as they descended. Avries wasn't sure if it was a design oversight or if it had been intention, either way, Avries made sure to keep a safe distance away from the opened frame.

When the turbolift stopped, they stepped out and walked through the dark colored corridors passing the odd person now and then. They had made so many twists and turns that Avries felt as if he were in a maze till the colonel stopped in front of a door. Walking through it as it opened Avries and Matthew stopped just inside the room staring at the window across the room as the door behind them slid shut.

"Is there a problem?" Kira asked standing at the head of the table which dominated the room.

"... No, there's no problem. It's just been awhile since I've seen an actual window in space," Avries said as he unconsciously rubbed his empty holster again. He, his science officer, and the Phoenix clan woman sat down facing the window.

"Well captain Avries," Savan began, "I believe it is only logical to start by telling us of this war you were apparently involved with."

"First of all, It was more of a battle for survival against a race called the Jikoran..."

"How can you be sure of that captain? Perhaps it may have been a case of miscommunication on your governments part," Savan accused with a raised eyebrow."

"Forgive me for saying so Ambassador," Avries said stressing Savan's title, "But you're just a damn go between, an appointed "dignitary', who's too caught up in his cushy job to care about anyone else but your own damn safety! I was there at one of the first colonies to get hit. We hailed them and they answered with plasma fire. Tell me. Have you ever tried to defend a colony against FIFTEEN HUNDRED ships with only a handful of small ships? Seventeen thousand colonist and we only managed to evacuate a few hundred before we were overrun and had to retreat. The last transmission from the colony was from a scared little girl asking if someone could save her from the monsters. Now, if you insult me like that again, I WILL knock you on your pointy eared ass!" Avries shouted down a Savan then sat down again.

Taken aback Kira kept glancing at Savan and Avries until she stood up, "Ambassador Savan can I speak to you out in the hall a moment?" Kira asked.

Savan let out an annoyed sigh before replying, "If you must Colonel"

Once they were out in the hall Kira spun around and spoke in a low hiss, "Alright Savan, what the hell was that you just pulled in there?"

"Colonel?" Savan asked not sure of the nature of the question.

"You know damn well what I'm talking about! From what Avries just told us, he and his people barely held onto their lives against what seems to be impossible odds. And the first thing that comes out of your mouth is questioning whether they started it?"

"Colonel, as the Federation ambassador to Bajor it is my duty to analyze whether diplomatic ties can be conducted and sustained. Since I have been posted here I have read through the station logs and found them... "Interesting"."

"What do you mean "interesting"?"

"During the relatively short time the station has been under Bajoran control there have been a continuing string of incidents on board the station involving various plagues, one of which the Bajoran are accountable for, insurrections, numerous coup attempts as well as alien invasions and finally a reemergence of extinct species. I believe one of those were Tribbles colonel. But to list an incident related to this situation I would have to refer the time when some of the senior staff, yourself included, interacted with a largely hostile parallel universe. Some of those inhabitants stole highly classified technology. It is only logical to assume a similar stance that these people are hostile to some degree if they do come from an alternate universe. Do you agree with my assumption colonel?" Savan asked finally.

Kira opened her mouth to rebuttal Savan's "theory" then closed it. As much as she hated to admit when Savan of all people raised a valid point but she didn't want to give the smug Vulcan the satisfaction of it so instead she changed tact. "Even if that were a possibility, do you really think what you just said in there was "diplomatic"?" Kira asked.

She smiled inwardly as Savan stood mentally going over what he had said in the briefing room and had to concur with the Colonel. The bluntness of his inquiry had more than likely made any future possible negotiations more strenuous then before.

"Very well colonel. I will use more carefully chosen words when speaking to these humans. Shall we return to the... discussion?" he asked.

"No!," Kira said sharply, "You just proved how useless you are in there. Now, where would the "logic" be if I let you back in there?"

"Colonel, regardless of what had transpired in there and what your "instincts" or emotions may be telling you, if this is truly is a first-contact scenario then it is by Federation directives that I must remain present until the appropriate personnel arrive to take over," Savan said with almost an air of smugness having used Federation charters and simple logic to out maneuver Kira at her own game.

Kira just smiled before responding, "Well then, I guess it's just too bad that Bajor still isn't officially part of the Federation then."

Whatever satisfaction Savan allowed himself immediately dropped.

Kira continued, "You said it yourself that Bajor won't be inducted until you were completely satisfied, and so far despite our best efforts, you haven't given us the go ahead. And just so we're clear. This is now officially a Bajoran affair. So if you want to join us you'll have to speak to our ambassador." As she finished, she caught a passing Bajoran deputy, "Please escort Ambassador Savan to his ship. He's ready to go back to Bajor."

The deputy responded with a curt, "Yes ma'am," and stood by in the direction of the closes turbolift. Savan gave Kira a look of disdain before turning to follow the deputy.

Kira waited until Savan was out of sight before letting out a long satisfied sigh. Turning around she reentered the briefing room, "Sorry for taking so long. I "regret" that ambassador Savan won't be with us for the rest of this meeting." she stated as she returned to her seat.

"No apologies are necessary. Your doctor was just telling us about the Prophets that inhabit the wormhole," Avries said.

"Well I'd hate to interrupt a topic like that but I'm afraid we really must continue. So, you were saying about the Jikoran?"

"Yes, well as I was saying, the Jikoran are essentially like locust but instead of consuming resources they willfully fight any type of perceived resistance. Some evidence we've collected suggests that the Jikoran are responsible for the extinction of the previous dominant species on my planet. Information recovered from a few ship boarding's indicating that they move from one side of the galaxy to the other doing this. Beyond that there's not much else we can tell you about their culture," Avries said as he made a motion to hold something in front of him and a green translucent holographic pad appeared in his hand, small strings of light could be seen dancing back and forth from the bracer on his arm.

While thumbing through the display, Avries continued, "The Jikoran usually stands between seven and eight feet tall and closly resemble an Earth mythological creature called orcs. The only exception is that Jikoran do not initially seem to have an epidermis layer." The holo pad in his hand changed to a 3-D rotating statue of a Jikoran soldier to which Avries tossed onto the briefing table where it grew to presumably actual size. The still rotating image showed that it indeed seemed to be without any skin thusly showing the fibers of its muscles. The only clothing it was wearing seemed to be a mismatched stitching of various metal plates for armor, some of which had alien writing that didn't match those found on other parts of its armor. In its hands was a large rifle that could arguably be called a cannon. Following the length of the barrel above and below it were two blades that ended seven centimeters past the nozzle of the weapon in deadly sharp points.

Avries continued, "Its weapon fires a unique form of energy which seems to have a slight numbing effect to prevent the initial shock of impact. This is probably so they can prolong the battle..."

Bashir interrupted, "Why would they want to prolong a battle? It seems so unnecessary."

"Their entire culture and society is based around fighting the opposition. They probably figure that since they already have a numerical advantage then it wouldn't be "sporting"."

Bashir and Kira each gave one another a look before nodding for Avries to continue.
Avries again pointed at the rifle, "From studying the weapon we found that it can't be rearmed in the field so once the energy in the weapon is depleted it's then used completely as a melee weapon to... Great effect," Avries finished while rubbing his chest remembering his injury.

He was about to continue when he saw the wormhole opening. Kira turned to look and watched as a Federation ship come through heavily damaged and on fire where breaches in the hull could be seen.

Standing up, Kira tapped her commbadge, "Kira to ops, report!" she ordered worriedly.

"Ma'am, it's the Melbourne. We're trying to beam out the crew but we only got eight of the crew out, radiation is preventing us from getting a lock on the rest."

"Damn it," Kira spat.

Avries brought his wrist up and activated the comm unit in his bracer, "Hathaway. I need an emergency transport on the crew of the ship that just came through."

"Aye sir," there was a pause, "Twelve are aboard, adjusting for the radiation, stand by."

The nacelle struts connecting the saucer to the secondary hull exploded severing the ship. The engineering section blew up the resulting explosion breaking apart the saucer section.

"Hathaway, report!"

"We only got two more out before the ship exploded sir. We sent them to the medical compartment."

"Are they alright?"

"Some burns and concussions. Some are psychologically scared and had to be sedated. One was shouting about something before he was put under. Something about a "Borg""

Kira and Bashir just looked at each other realizing what was to come.
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Old May 13 2014, 07:13 PM   #3
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Location: DES Pathfinder
Re: Star Trek: Nexus Crossings


After the realization of a possible Borg invasion sunk in, Kira and Bashir both started for the door.

"I'm sorry Captain but I'm afraid we're going to have to save these talks of another time. If you'll come with me, I'll escort you back to your ship," Kira said as she waited by the door.

Bashir stood up as well and stopped in the doorway and looked back, "Sorry to run, but I should get back to the infirmary. It was a pleasure to meet you captain," he said shaking Avries hand and nodding towards the Phoenix woman.

"It was a pleasure meeting you too doctor," Avries replied.

Bashir nodded and walked off hurriedly down the corridor. Kira began moving as well leading Avries and his team to a turbo lift.

As they walked Avries turned his head to Kira, "So, what kind of species are the Borg?" he asked.

"From what I've heard, Borg aren't really a singular race but a bunch of different ones forced into submission by using cybernetic technology to erase a persons individuality. A friend I worked with told me stories of how just one ship walked through their fleets and made it all the way to earth," she said grimly as they entered the turbo lift. "Upper-pylon three," she told the computer.

The computer chirped a reply and the turbo lift hummed as it carried them back through the station to Avries' ship.

Kira continued, "This happened twice and both times the Federation got lucky and managed to defeat them with probably seconds to spare."

Avries thought about what Kira said. "Reminds me of how our war went, a lot of luck and desperation more than anything. Looking back, I'm surprised we survived it as well as we did. Being so outnumbered on every front we had to develop both amazing and terrible technologies to escape extinction," Avries said introspectively.

Kira nodded in agreement and remained silent the rest of the ride to the Hathaway.

As Bashir entered the infirmary and was greeted by a nurse who handed him a padd.
Reading through it as he walked he asked the status of the survivors.

"They're all in some stated of severe malnutrition. We had to sedate two to calm them down. A few have some bruises; we're not sure how those happened. Aside from those we had to sedate, the rest don't seem to be aware of their surroundings," the nurse said with worry in her eyes.

"Well let's not push them anymore than we have to and let them rest for now. Get them started on an intravenous nutritional supplement to build their strength back up. I also want tissue samples taken from each of them; scan the samples for any virals and nanites. I want all the bases covered and with the possibility of the patients having encountered the Borg, I don't want to take any chances."

"Yes doctor," the nurse said before returning to her assigned tasks.

Bashir sat down at his desk with a sigh reading more of the initial reports. If the mental instability of just two survivors were any indication of the rest then they all will be busy for some time to come.

"Ezri isn't going to like this," he muttered with a sigh. Looking back to his padd he heard a very familiar voice behind him.

"Hello Julian, have I come at a bad time?"

Bashir spun around in his chair and looked up at his friend, "Miles! What the hell are you doing here?" he asked getting up to shake his hand, "I thought you were back on Earth teaching."

"Kieko had a symposium on Bajor to go to and I thought I'd tag along and catch up on old times. You see, the beauty of bein' a teacher of my standing is that you get to make your own curriculum. I told my class to get into groups and design a more efficient warp engine from the ground up. I told them that we'd build the best one and test it, providing it passed all the safety requirements first. I figure they should be done when I got back." He looked at the full beds, "I see that you have your hands busy right now but how about on your brake we run over to the holosuite and defend the Alamo."

Bashir let out a longing sigh, "Miles you have no idea how much I want to join you but I'm swamped. I've got patients that need my help, we've got people from another reality asking to explore the Alpha Quadrant and to top it off we might get invaded from the Borg in the next few days. You just picked one heck of a time to visit."

"What do you mean the Borg? They've always tried to get to Earth, what could they possibly want with Bajor?"

"Look the only hint of this came from a delirious survivor. There's no actual proof so far and..,"

Bashir was cut off by a comm. chime followed by the sound of Kira's voice, "Kira to Bashir!"

"Bashir here," he responded looking up at the ceiling.

"I need you to come up to the ship at upper-pylon three with your surgical kit. One of the survivors is a Vulcan and their staff doesn't have the medical knowledge to help her."

"On my way," Bashir said while grabbing a medical kit.

"Their science officer will meet you at the airlock," Kira added.

"Understood," acknowledged Bashir as he walked out the infirmary, O'Brien falling into step behind him.

As they made their way to the turbolift Bashir turned to his friend, "And just where do you think you're going Miles?" he asked.

"Just out of curiosity," he replied sidestepping the question, "What was the name of the ship the survivors were on?"

"...The Melbourne, why?"

"I used to have a friend back on the Enterprise before I transferred to DS9. After the war ended, he told me he got a posting on the Melbourne. And if we are dealin' with the Borg, I'd like to know firsthand in case in case I need to get my family out of harm's way."

Bashir could hardly fault him for wanting to take care of his family but... "Miles, the
ship we're... That I'm about to board isn't a Federation ship," he tried to explain.

"You mean the ship that looked kind of like an exaggerated fly swatter?" O'Brien asked as they entered the turbolift.

"Yes, I just don't think it's the right thing to do," Bashir paused to tell the computer their destination, "And besides I really don't think they're going to let you tag along just because we haven't seen each other for awhile."

O'Brian looked thoughtfully for a moment, "I suppose your right...How's Ezri these days?" he asked changing the subject.

"Well I can't complain we've both been so busy since the war ended for obvious reasons. Come to think of it, we haven't been alone together since after the end of the war celebrations."

"Well that's a bit of a dry spell if I ever heard one," O'Brian said.

Bashir only rolled his eyes at his friend's slanted grin. The turbolift then stopped at their appointed destination and they walked out. As they approached, they saw Matthew Ridge, the ships science officer, standing opposite to the Bajoran engineer beside the doors.

"Hello chief. It's good to see you back," the engineer said to O'Brian as he and Bashir reached the heavy door.

"I'm not back. I'm on vacation," O'Brian said although not completely convinced himself.

"If you say so chief," she replied before looking off.

Matthew turned to Bashir showing him a holo pad with a picture of a Vulcan woman, "This is the one we need your medical assistance for," he said.

Bashir studied the photo for a moment but since it was mostly an upper torso shot all he could see were some bruises, none of which looked life threatening. Still at least he knew which techniques and tools to use. "All right, let's go then shall we?"

Matthew stopped Bashir as he started to walk forward, "Just a moment Dr. Bashir. Is he your assistant?" he asked referring to O'Brian.

"Oh... No he's a friend on a visit. He used to be the stations chief engineer a few months ago."

O'Brian gave a quick wave and a short but cheerful hello, "If it's alright with you, I'd like to come along. Promise I won't touch anything."

The science officer stared at him for a second before replying, "Alright, you can come aboard. However I can't allow you on with your carry on."

"My what? Oh my bag," O'Brian said looking down at his bag still slung over his shoulder. He looked around for a place to leave it before looking at the engineer, "I don't suppose you could hold on to my bag till I get back," he asked her.

"Sure thing chief," she said taking in delight in teasing her old boss.

"Oh stop it," O'Brian said while handing over his bag and stepped in behind Bashir following the Science officer into his ship

As they walked through the ship O'Brian took note of the corridor design. The flooring consisted of thick panel grating probably for easy maintenance, his guess was confirmed when they passed a hallway and a group of engineers were working on a conduit in the exposed floor. On turning a corner, it was as if the corridor opened up. On the upper sections of either side were windows showing the arms of DS9 around him and Bajor's sun to his left. O'Brian moved closer to the window able to peer down at the stations rings below and stepped back after feeling a sense of vertigo.

"Is there something wrong Mr...?"

It took O'Brian a moment to realize the officer was asking him a question and a moment longer to realize he hadn't given his name at the docking port. "Oh, my name's Miles O'Brian. I was looking out the window and got a little dizzy that's all."

"These aren't windows, they're holographic panels designed to emulate windows as well as regular data terminals," he said quickly before stopping abruptly in front of a set of sliding doors. A sign above the door read "Compartment Five" a smaller display underneath it read "Medical Ward".

"We're here," Ridge said as the doors slid open and they passed through an airlock-type system and finally entered the medical ward where a man was waiting for them.

"Well, it's about time you got here," the man said looking at them.

"Dr. Bashir this is Dr. Liense, our ships chief medical officer," Ridge said introducing them.

They exchanged pleasantries and carried on following Dr. Liense to a series of beds.

"Your people have certainly been through a lot," Liense said then gestured to the patients, "These four were wearing EVA suits and were entering the beginning stages of hypoxia. They should be fine and ready to return to your station in an hour or so. These eight nearly died from hypothermia and more than a few of them had frostbite... They all have deep physiological trauma ranging from hysterics to completely shutting down. I can release sixteen into your care in the next hour, the rest I'd like to keep overnight for observation," Liense said taking a breath.

Bashir looked over the survivors nodding in approval of the doctor's care and assessment.

"If the patients are in this great care, then what need do you have of my skills?" Bashir asked.

Liense started to lead them to a separate section of the room at the far corner, "Well, I was only this successful because most of the patients are human. A few alien strands in some of their blood but still human," he said as they entered the room.

When Bashir looked at the bed he saw a Vulcan woman in restraints and immediately opened his med kit pulling out his tricorder. Even though his tricorder would tell him soon enough he asked anyways, "What are her injuries?"

"A heavy concussion, a crack elbow along with five ribs, two of which had broken and punctured the intestinal track and what I can only assume to be the liver. I was able to reset the broken ribs but the resulting punctures caused an infection." Liense said grimly.

"Why haven't you given her any medication for the infection?" Bashir asked as he pulled out a hypo spray and loaded it with a clear blue liquid before injecting it into her neck.

"She's the first of her species I've ever seen. Without the proper information I wouldn't know what would actually work or what would kill her. And I won't risk a patient's life unless absolutely necessary, and even then it'd have to be a damn good reason," Liense said. "She was one of the last two we got off the ship before it went."

Bashir paused, "Where's the other one?"

Liense gave a deep sigh, a grim look on his face, "Follow me," he said and lead them out of the Vulcan's room to another labeled "Intensive Care". As they entered they saw a large clear tube big enough to hold a person in it and sure enough there was. However the person inside was a grotesque mess of one. The entire front half of the person looked like a freshly cured raison, red instead being the dominate colour, there were a few slivers or streaks of the persons face left untouched suggesting an attempt to use his arms to shield himself against harm. The man was naked save for a black strip that ran across the midsection of the tube to preserve whatever was left for modesty. Bashir frozed as soon as he laid eyes on the body. "No, not a body, a patient," he forced himself to think.

O'Brian had a bit of a delayed reaction from walking behind Bashir but frozed as well. When he saw the man lying in the tube only able to utter an, "Oh my god."

Liense checked the readouts on the life support systems before turning back to his two guests."Over ninety-seven percent of his front has suffered from deep plasma burns. The extent of which suggests he may have been standing in front of a plasma conduit when it blew up on him. He may have stood at the initial point that ultimately destroyed the ship."

Bashir finally took a step forward, "How is he still alive?"

"My initial assessment when I saw him was that he was deceased but... Then he... Looked at me," Liense said painfully, pausing a moment to collect himself, I can only guess that he has an incredibly strong will to live. I had him placed in the chamber to prevent any infections and placed him in a medically induced coma..."

"Why do that?" O'Brian asked suddenly.

"At this level of injury the nerves he had left would be constantly inflamed and with his system swimming in adrenaline that if I applied to much sedative he would die. I was going to put him on a stem cell regeneration therapy," he turned to Bashir,

"Unless you have a better treatment to repair the damage?"

Bashir thought a moment, "How long will he have to be on your treatment?"

"With this level of damage I would say approximately a full month. I'll keep him in a coma for at least a week but if we start now then I insist he remain on the ship for twenty-four hours," He said.

"I'll leave him in your care for now but I will expect progress reports and the right to include any treatments of my own to accelerate his recovery."

"Fair enough," Liense said as he turned back to the tube to begin treatment.

"So now what?" O'Brian asked. "If this was caused by the Borg than it's probably safe to assume they're on their way here."

"And with the survivors all catatonic or worse, we won't know what to expect when they come through the wormhole," Bashir finished.

Liense looked up from the display, "...Before I put this one under he was trying to tell me something but because of his injuries he only managed a few gurgles."

"Well what good does that do us?" O'Brian asked more than a little angry.

"We have a way of communicating without interfering with his recovery," Liense lead on and brought up a holographic display from his bracer. "Svetlana, are you working on anything important right now?"

A few moments later a stand offish feminine voice responded, "Oh, you know, just straightening out the warp engine coils nothing important. Why?"

Ignoring the sarcasm, Liense continued. "I have an injured patient with possible vital information so I need access to combat-type Artform in diagnostic mode."

There was another long pause indicating her thinking it over, "Alright, the engines are okay for now, I just don't like leaving something broke half-fixed. I'll be there in a few minutes."

Liense acknowledged and let go of the "display" which faded from existence. He then turned to the display over the tube and tapped in several commands. A scanner bar slid from the edge and rest above the man's forehead and activated, a beam of light began sweeping across his head.

"What does that device do?" Bashir asked.

"To put it in simple terms, I'm taking a photograph of his personality," Lienes said. Seeing that Bashir and O'Brian didn't seem to get it he continued, "Basically, I'm copying his surface memories and will load them into an Artform. The new "him" will have a sense of who he is but won't be able to recall any specific details of his life unless he was thinking about it during the scan."

"So you are hoping that he will remember details about what happened to the crew in the Gamma Quadrant," Bashir finished.

"That's the hope," Liense confirmed with a sigh as he looked over the comatose patient.

"I don't like it," O'Brian said with a clear hint of anger, "You just can't take someone's memories and stick them in another body and expect everything to be rosy afterwards." He remembered when he was kidnapped to make a duplicate to assassinate key dignitaries. The plot failed but he still felt violated by the act.

Just then the door behind them slid open to let through a small woman pushing a table in. On it looked to be a helmet of a futuristic knight. "So Dr, who are your new friends?" she asked Liense.

"This is Dr. Bashir, the chief medical officer of the station. And this is... I'm sorry, I don't think we were introduced ourselves," Liense said looking at O'Brian.

"The name's Miles O'Brian. I used to be the stations chief engineer," he said shaking Liense hand and Svetlana's.

"Well I never figured you were a stowaway, at least not a good one. My Name's Cassandra Svetlana but you can call me Cassi. And it so happens that I am the ships chief engineer. Not to brag but I'm probably on a more intimate level with the Hathaway's systems than you are with your spouse," she said coyly.

"She's one heck of a fire cracker," O'Brian thought.

"So!" Cassi said while clapping her hands, "Are we going to put the poor guy in or was this just an excuse to try and set me up?"

"I was just waiting on you," Liense replied.

They both went to work connecting relatively thick cables from the patient's tube to the Artforms head.

"Remember to keep the visual parameters at the standard setting," Liense cautioned Cassi.

"Yeah, yeah. Just let me do a check on the eyes first before you wake him up okay?" she replied. She then stuck a probe around the base of the head. Bashir and O'Brian saw its eyes light up. Each 'eye' had five thin rows of dotted lights. They started as white in colour then blue, green, red, then back to white before shutting off. "Checks are good," Cassi said.

"Remove the HUD as well," Liense told her. Cassi nodded and stuck the probe seemingly in the same place and nodded. Liense tapped some more commands into the nearby panel then looked to Bashir and O'Brian, "All right, he should be coming around in just a minute. Try not to inform him about his predicament. All we need is to get the information of what happened to his ship."

Bashir nodded in agreement immediatly while O'Brian just stood there for a moment before giving a hesitant nod. Just the robotic head showed signs of life. Its eyes slowly lit up until they were just as bright as when Cassi did her checks.

"Wha-Where am I?" it said in a sleepy voice as it tried to look around.

Bashir was surprised that its eyes seem to 'blink' periodically as if they were human.

O'Brien was more shocked to recognize the voice of his old friend he had mentioned to Bashir earlier.

"Jimmy South is that you?" O'Brian asked him

"... Who's that?" he asked trying to look around with limited success.

"It's Miles remember? We used to run a transporter room back on the Enterprise," he told Jimmy.

Jimmy closed his "eyes", "It sounds so familiar but I can't remember," His "eyes" widen, "Why can't I remember?" he asked obviously scared.

Dr. Liense put his hand down by the robotic head as if to reassure a non-existent shoulder, "It's all right, you were pretty injured when we brought you aboard. You're currently in the medical ward on the Hathaway. We had some reluctance waking you because of your injuries but another survivor mentioned the Borg and figured we had to risk it."

Jimmy's eyes light up with hope, "I'm back? I made it back to..."

"To DS9, yes," Bashir finished for him.

Jimmy seemed elated to hear it and "closed" his eyes again.

"We're sorry to ask you this but what can you tell us about the attack?" Bashir asked.

Jimmy looked to the ceiling trying to remember, "... We were studying a species that had just entered the computer age when our escorts detected and engaged a hostile ship at the edge of the system. As we were breaking orbit, our comm. systems were overwritten and the Borg hailed us. Before we could get clear they destroyed one of our ships and put a tractor beam on us. If it wasn't for the other escort sacrificing themselves, we probably would've been assimilated."
He continued, "The captain ordered me to get the ship back to Federation space to warn everyone before the bridge was destroyed. I pushed the engines well past their limits and somehow the command pathways frozed."

"How'd you stop the ship before you reached the wormhole?" O'Brian asked.

"I took my chances and decreased power to the deflector dish. I hoped that enough space dust would disable the nacelles enough to take us out of warp, hopefully not too far from the wormhole; I guess it worked too well. What was left of the engineering crew and I had to manually regulate the main plasma flow. I-I can't remember anything after that," he said obviously trying to remember more.

"It's alright," Bashir reassured him, "Do you remember what the Borg ship looked like?"

"...All too well. I lost a lot of good friends to that ship," he spat the last word venomously.

Bashir nodded, "Thank you Jimmy," he told him then moved to dr. Liense and motioning to speak more privately with him. Once they were in a more secluded corner of the room he carried on, "I don't think we'll get any more out of him but I do have an idea. Can we use the memories recovered to show us an image of what he saw?"

"Of course, retrieving visual images from ArtForms was common practice during the war. However we never did this with natural memories, only those recorded while in the ArtForm. Natural memories aren't reliable since the perception of those change too often"

"Still, it would give us a reference to go on."

"Alright, after I retrieve the information should I reintegrate the memories back into the patient?"

"If it won't cause any adverse reactions then I don't see any reason why not."
They both nodded in agreement and returned to the others. Bashir stood by the ArtForm head while Liense went to the panel attached to Jimmy's containment tube.
Bashir looked down at the robotic head and gave it a reassuring look, "Thanks Jimmy, we'll put the information to good use." He then nodded to Liense.

"Wait!" Jimmy shouted, "Just how bad am I?"

Bashir gave a sorrow look to his real body then to Liense who began working on the panel before returning to the head, "Don't worry about it Jimmy. We'll get you back on your feet in no time."

Jimmy "blinked" as if he were feeling tired, "Okay," he said sleepily before "closing" his eyes. And then he was gone.

O'Brian stood by the head that held his friend not really sure what to feel as Bashir walked over to Liense. Cassi began packing the ArtForm's head up stooping long enough to let O'Brian sort himself out the silently left.

"His memories have been successfully reintegrated," Liense told Bashir.

He nodded, "Good, what about the memories concerning the Borg?" Bashir asked.

Liense pulled out a thumb-sized stick and handed it to Bashir, "It's all right here; I've copied whatever he could remember of his last mission onto the storage unit. Just to remind you, this is how he perceived things to happened and with the trauma he's been through I can't tell you how much of it will be truly accurate," Liense cautioned.

"It's still better than nothing at all. If you'll excuse us, I need to get this to the colonel," Bashir said as he grabbed the thumb drive. Getting O'Brian's attention they walked out of the medical ward where Matthew Ridge escorted them off the ship.


As Kira got off the turbolift at Ops she was greeted by the same timid ensign from earlier. Still unable to recall her name, and was too embarrassed to just ask the ensign her name, she called her by her rank, "What is it ensign?"

"Um, your guest, Miss Yates has left and returned to her ship. She said she'll try and visit again when things weren't so busy."

Kira shook her head reprimanding herself for forgetting all about her after the strange ship came through the wormhole. "Thank you ensign, is that all?" she asked.

"No, um, A Klingon task force arrived just before you came to ops. A general Dorn wants to speak with you after they receive clearance to dock,"

Kira groaned inwardly wishing the day was over, "Grant the generals ship clearance to dock away from the new ship. I'll be in my office."

"Yes maam," the ensign said before returning to her station.

Kira walked on to her office, as the doors closed behind her she let out another long-winded sigh. Rounding the desk and sat down in her chair pausing briefly to look at the lonely baseball on her desk before getting started on a mountain of padds that seemed to have magically appeared during the short meeting with captain Avries. Looking through, the padds contained general things like analytical data, engineering reports, and supply request. Kira sighed yet again and shoved the padd she was looking at back onto the pile before leaning back; sitting upright again she turned on her computer and sent a comm. request to Admiral Ross. While she waited, she got a raktajino from the replicator and sat down just as a tall Klingon entered her office.

After taking a sip of her drink she greeted the Klingon, "Welcome to Deep Space Nine, I thought Chancellor Martok was supposed to be coming."

"His presence was required to remain at the council. With the war over he is now free to root out the remaining allies of the now defunct Durras house," he said with a note of amusement.

"I thought I met all of Martoks' generals," Kira said waiting for her request to go through,

"I was honored soon after the final offensive on Cardasia. I'm known to my brothers as the Jem-hadar reaper."

"There's an interesting title," Kira said not really interested at all,
Dorn continued seemingly oblivious to Kira's sarcasm, "I was fighting on a now unimportant planet. After a glorious battle, a Starfleet lieutenant happened to say that I had taken as many lives as the grim reaper himself. Other of my Klingon Brethren happened to overhear his comment and have since taking to bestowing the title upon me to which Martok had taken notice and saw fit to honor me with a fleet to command," he said with a mark of pride in his voice.

"Uh huh," Kira replied taking a sip of her coffee.

Just then, the doors to her office slid opened to admit a shakened Bashir who handed Kira the memory unit.
"This is confirmed proof from one of the survivors that it was a Borg ship that attacked them. With the help of our guest, we were able to copy the survivor's memories of the event. With any luck, it will help us come up with a suitable defense."

"Thank you doctor," Kira said taking the unit and plugging it into her computer on her desk so she could watch it. As Bashir passed the Klingon general to leave, he suddenly grabbed the doctor's arm.

"Just what direction are these Borg heading in doctor?"

Bashir shook his arm loose, "I don't know. But if recent history has shown, they're probably coming in our direction."

"Then the Klingon Empire will have a chance to prove its mettle yet," seeing a look in the doctors eyes Dorn pulled him closer, "Do not mistake me for a fool doctor. I am well aware that a good deal of us won't survive the battle, but we will give those that will take our place a chance to finish what we started. That alone will insure our rightful place in Stovokor."

Bashir looked hard at the Klingon seeing only determination in his eyes, "I hope you're right," he told him before leaving.

Dorn began to laugh, "Your doctor is quite the pessimist. An annoying trait for a warrior but it suits him greatly. Before we leave I will share a bottle of my best blood wine with him."

Kira was about to say something but was interrupted by a chime on her computer letting her know her comm. request was put through. The image of Admiral Ross winked on," Colonel, what can I do for you?"

"I'm sorry to say this admiral, but we have a problem..."


Captain Avries was sitting in his office going over the information colonel Kira passed to him about the surrounding political landscape of the surrounding area. He was astonished of how many different species there were, even more so that they had all become a space faring culture at some level. Back in his own universe the only space faring species had been Humanity, Jikoran, Phoenix Clan, Archaic, and the most recently discovered Devoidians whose space travel was comparable to the Apollo rockets of Earth's history. Avries already had the comm. officer send the information to Zero-space command and decided to skim it before letting them know of a possible threat to the mission and the locals.

Commander Noel entered.

"It's amazing Noel, dozens of space faring species thriving in the immediate area alone. If we were to scan this area in our universe we'd be lucky to find one or two still living in caves. But here, well it makes you wonder..." Avries said leaving his thought unfinished.

Noel cleared his throat, "On a different note, repairs have been completed to two of the four compartments and I'm told the turrets in those areas will be in perfect working order in the hour."

Avries nodded, "Have the communications officer set up a private channel to admiral Zroback at Zero-Space command in my office. It's time I updated him on our situation."

Noel nodded and left the captains office. Two minutes later the holo-window across from Avries desk blinked indicating an incoming call.

Turning toward the "window" Avries nodded and the image of the admiral sitting in his own desk appeared. "Captain! I was beginning to think I'd never get your report, I must say, I was quite surprised that so many species have FTL capabilities. I assume that you've established a dialogue with the locals and we can send our ships through to begin exploration?" he asked.

Avries looked down at his desk before answering the admiral, "Well yes and no admiral sir. We have established a somewhat friendly relation with the local species however they seem to be part of a larger... confederation."

The admiral cocked his head to the side, "In what way Avries?"

"I'm not too sure but I would say it's an equivalent to the U.N. structure of old Earth. The place we ended up at seems to be a transit hub."

"Is the region of space you're in under a territorial dispute?" he asked eyes narrowed.

"Not from what I've witnessed, however during the talks, a ship of theirs arrived delivering a message of immanent attack from a hostile force."

"Could it be their version of the Jikoran?" he asked dead serious.

"No, according to those I talked to. There's no indication whatsoever that they exist. But, from what I've been told these "Borg" as they call them, are incredibly powerful and I'd like to offer our assistance. It could give us a bargaining chip that would allow us to stay in this universe or help us later on if we need."

"Or it could open us up to invasion both in that universe and possibly our own." The admiral paused for a moment to think, "Exactly what were you hoping to bring to the fight?"

"A full tactical fleet geared for offensive combat would be preferable but I can make do with two Ascendant-class worships, six Fortress-class carriers and a defensive fleet of twenty Attack-class frigates."

"You don't ask for much do you Avries?" he asked sarcastically with no hint of amusement shown in his voice or on his face.

"I know it's a lot to ask for in a situation like this but from what they told me just one of these ships walked through their fleets to Earth."

"And yet they were able to stop them correct?"

"By a sheer miracle admiral sir."

"That's beside the case. And what if they or some other unknown force captures one of our ships and uses the zero-space drive from those ships and uses them to invade us directly! We were VERY fortunate to come out as well as we did from facing the Jikoran. Do you really want to put us back into that so soon?" he prodded.

Avries clenched his teeth and forced his hands to remain open on his desk, "Of course not admiral sir!" he said struggling to keep his voice calm.

"However, I will send the escort vessels through and have the other Discovery-class re-outfitted for carrier duties. Is that satisfactory captain?" the admiral asked.

Avries already knew the admiral wasn't asking, "What will the fighter complement be?" Avries asked although he had a feeling he already knew the answer."

"N-class fighter/bombers," he said flatly. Another hint this wasn't negotiable.

"I do have one request though admiral sir..." Avries asked knowing full well he was pushing his luck as it is. The admiral nodded. "I would also like the use of an orbital defense platform."

"Absolutely not! The weapons technology from.." he was cut off from someone getting his attention off screen. For three minutes he nodded and shook his head in the affirmative and negative. The few times he tried to speak he was immediately cut off. Avries only sat in his chair in confusion. If it were any other time he would have found the sight quite funny had it not been for the situation at hand. The admiral nodded for the last time before turning back to Avries with a sigh, "You can have the defense platform captain. But, we'll only send it on confirmation of the target. Not before. Do I make myself clear?"

"Crystal, admiral sir. There is one thing though."

The admiral shifted in his seat, "What is it captain?" His patience was evidently wearing thin.

"I recommend you bring the ships here through standard zero-space transit. We incurred some damage when we arrived and some of our systems are still under repair."

"Thank you for the advisement captain. Before I forget, there is a last minute addition to the roster of the ships we'll send over. I'll have the list sent to you. Admiral Zroback, out!"

And with that the holo-window changed back to a view of the alien station. Avries leaned back in his chair pinching the bridge of his nose.

A minute later commander Noel entered "holding" a holographic display projected from his bracer and handed it to Avries. Taking it, the display flickered as it righted itself so Avries could read it. I took the liberty of looking over the list the admiral sent us and I'm sure two of the ships listed you'll find interesting."

"Oh really?" Avries said looking over the list. Some of the ships he recognized from previous battles during the war until... "The Ajax?"

"I thought you might perk up on that but the last two names raise some questions some concerns."

Avries read the next name, "The Absolon," Avries furrowed his brow, "The Absolon is one of the new Tracker-class ships. Why would the admiral send a ship powered by a zero-space drive? The admiral made it clear he didn't want to risk the chance of zero-space technology falling into the wrong hands."

Noel gave a quizzical shrug; "Well the ship does have warp engines but..." he trailed off not sure where he was going.

Avries gave a dismissive look before reading the last name, "The admiral must be joking. He can't seriously consider sending the Marigold on this kind of mission!"

The ship, another Attack-class frigate was built at the colony where it got its namesake. Its maiden voyage was a baptism of fire when the Jikoran invaded, swatting the colony defenses aside. Command considered the colony a loss shortly after two-thirds of the ground war was lost behind enemy lines. The plan was for reinforcements and the remnants of the colonies defensive fleet to rally in deep space between the next colony and the Jikorans to provide time for evacuation. However, the captain of the Marigold defied orders and urged the remnant forces to fight on. By the time reinforcements arrived, the only ship left in the colony fleet was the Marigold. Ground forces were barely holding on although without help, they were sure to lose. The battle to retake the colony lasted a grueling five eight days. Only just over six thousand civilians were rescued at the cost of the majority of the fleet of only eleven surviving ships that were in no ships that were in no shape for combat if the Jikoran decided to send more ships.

Command twisted the bitter win into an inspiring victory as being the first colony retaken and the Jikoran repelled. It inspired the other colonies to redouble efforts into the war effort and was arguably the turning point that ultimately saved the human race.

"Hmm... I hope this won't bite us in the ass," Avries said worriedly. The Marigolds gamble paid off despite the losses at the Marigold colony. Avries hoped her captain didn't decide to gamble in the upcoming battle.
BlackFire3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 15 2014, 08:25 PM   #4
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: DES Pathfinder
Re: Star Trek: Nexus Crossings

There are some parts in this chapter about the weapons the D.E.S. uses that I thought would confuse everyone. So to help the chapter flow smoothly here's a background on it:

Desended Earth Systems, personel hand-held weapon "katana"

The Katana is the standard hand-held weapon used by all DES officers and military. In its compact state it resembers a rod about 30 centimeters in length. One end deploys a sectioned blade that extends to 70 centimeters long. The other end fire's a multiple-layered pulse of energy. The pulse of energy is designed to penetrate body armor and personel shielding. When set to kill the pulse necrotises the target tissue area effectively killing the immediat organic tissue. when set to stun the pulse insteads behave in a maner similar to old earth tassers by causing the affected tissue to "overload" from electrical impulse overstimulation. Also the blade can be electified in either mode to enhance combat effectiveness. The handle or hilt is insulated to prevent accidental self inflicted injury from the electrified blade. Another unintended feature is that the projectile end can be used as a makeshift energy cutting tool but using the katana in this manner quickly depletes the power supply and will burn out the emiters used to fire projectiles. Finally the handle has a "smart-grip" to allow experienced users to use all functions as their abilities allow. However, if a user wants to switch from stun to lethal, they must operate a switch on the katana. This is a safety feature to prevent fatalities during training or when a certain setting is required over the other.

so with that out of the way, please enjoy the 4th chapter!

It had been a day since confirmation of the Borg, and in that time the entire civilian population had been evacuated off the station to Bajor or other places out of harm's way. All the shops on the promenade were closed save for the shrine and Quarks bar.

When Kira told Quark to leave he stubbornly replied, "Are you kidding? You can always count on imminent destruction to bring in the most profit. Besides, if I leave then who's going to keep their minds off of what's coming. Dread may loosen the latinum from their pockets but it also breaks expensive tables if you let it go unchecked."

Up on the second level Bashir and Ezri were just sitting down for lunch with the Phoenix Clan woman. "So, Julian was telling me that you don't have a name," Ezri said with curiosity and surprise in her voice.

"That is correct. In fact the name "Phoenix Clan" was what your counterpart humans decided to call my people since long ago we have forgotten the name of our species."

"But not having a name... Doesn't that get confusing when you're in a group and you want to talk to an individual? I mean it's not as if you can say, "Hey you!", and the person you want to talk to turns around."

The Phoenix woman smiled and sipped from her glass of water a Feringi waiter just set down, "It is hard to describe using terms that you would understand. The language my people speak is incredibly complex in comparison to other species that it is easier for us to learn and speak another's language than it is for others to learn ours even with computers to guide them."

Bashir leaned back in his chair, "I was wondering why you were speaking English."

Ezri leaned forward, "Alright, now I have to hear what your language sounds like."

"If you insist," the Phoenix Clan woman said before speaking again in her native language.

Both Bashir and Ezri listened while their universal translators kicked in trying to translate the Phoenix Clan woman's words. At first they could hear the words as she said them, then her words began to sound like a jumbled mess then a high-pitched tone screeched in Bashir and Ezri's ears as their universal translators malfunctioned then shut down and rebooted.

"Wow. The universal translator never did that before. Usually it either comes out jumbled mess or just doesn't translate," Bashir said rubbing his ears while Ezri nodded in agreement.

"So," Ezri began, "What can you tell us about in your culture? Like why don't you have your own names?"

The Phoenix Clan woman smiled again while she rubbed the rim of her glass with her finger, "It has a lot to do with how my people live as a species. We... Age differently from the rest of you."

Bashir nodded intrigued and urged her to continue.

"Mentally we only live to our seventies or late eighties of your human years. But physically we can live far longer. When we get to a certain age our bodies undergo a metamorphosis. The energy from the cells closest to the skin is drawn inwards till the thermilitic stress of this action causes the outermost layer of our bodies to be "shucked" as a dry husk leaving us several years younger. This repeats over the course several days until we regress to the age of what you would call toddlerhood. And by that time the person we used to be would cease to exist. Our "biological clocks" are essentially reseted to use a term you would understand."

After a minute of silence Bashir spoke up, "That's... quite remarkable," he said obviously impressed.

Ezri leaned forward, "But what does that have to do with not giving yourselves names?"

The Phoenix woman smiled again, "Imagine a person of great historical importance had died recently," Bashir and Ezri shifted in their seats slightly, "And a newborn child was given the same full name as the one who died. The child would live a stressful life having to live up to the expectations of the name he was given. Or he will be shunned because their predecessor had done some unfavorable action."

"Why don't you just give them a new name when they're reborn?" Bashir asked.

"Because that would be considered a great insult to the person they were. To be given a name would define that person and then to suddenly erase that when they are reborn is to say they were never important to begin with."

Ezri and Bashir gave their heads a shake trying to make sense of what she said.

"I can understand how this can seem confusing but simply put, my people have no use for personal names for ourselves."

Ezri seemed to immediately light up, "How about this: why don't we just call you by the name the humans in your universe have given to your species. When we need to talk to you we'll call out Phoenix Clan or Phoenix for short. Don't think of it as a personal name but a request to talk to one of the Phoenix Clan species."

The Phoenix Clan women paused and looked off into space, a serious expression on her face seemingly for the first time since arrival to the station. "Very well," she said with a smile returning, "I will cherish the honor of representing my people in this fashion."


Meanwhile, Kira sat in the boardroom along with General Dorn, Captain Avries, the commanding officer of the Bajoran defense force and the representative captain of the recently arriving Federation fleet. Everyone was talking back and forth save for Avries and Kira. The Bajoran Major wanted command of the combined fleets since the battle would most likely take place in Bajoran space. The Starfleet captain wanted command since Starfleet had the most experience in fighting the Borg. And while general Dorn wasn't as interested in leading the fleets as the other two, he insisted his tactics would lead them to victory. Avries sat back in seeming disinterest watching the three argue in circles while Kira was seething in her chair trying to think of a way to get everyone to work together.

Just then, Kira's combadge chirped, "Ops to Kira," said a male voice. Kira turned her chair away and slapped the infernal device, "What!?"

"We are receiving a transmission from Admiral Ross ma'am. He says he has some vital information in regards to the Borg."

"Put it through here then," Kira said then turned back to the still arguing trio, "Excuse me people, and I say this with all respect intended, but shut up! Admiral Ross has some information he'd like to share with us."

The bickering trio quieted down and looked at Kira expectantly. Kira turned in her chair facing a screen on the wall of the board room, the others soon turned as well.

"Put the admiral through," Kira told the person at ops.

An instant later the screen changed to show the admiral at the command station at the star base he presided over, "Hello. First of all, colonel, I'd like to apologies for not being able to send more ships as I like. We unfortunately had our hands full taking care of war "profiteers" left over from the war. I'll have more ships sent as soon as they are available."

"Thank You admiral," Kira replied.

"Yes, now for the information we've obtained, thanks to your guest captain Avries and his crew, we have been able to ascertain two possibilities on the threat you'll be facing. I'll turn this over to Commander Shelby."

The screen blinked and showed Shelby in an office with a view of the San Francisco Bridge. Shelby started forgoing pleasantries, "Thanks to the information retrieved and talking to some of the crew from Voyager we have come up with two possibilities." She tapped a few controls beside her, "The first, a tactical cube, approximately half the size of the previous cubes that have invaded Federation space. These are designed to target heavy resistance paving the way for larger vessels to begin the assimilation process. The second possibility according to Seven may be a "super dreadnaught". It's roughly the same size as the cubes that have attacked the Federation before. However, this ship is armored like the tactical cubes and has three times the firepower compared to other Borg ships its size."

The Starfleet captain spoke up, "Why would the Borg need a ship like that? Just one regular cube ship can do the same job."

"According to Seven, they're designed to "pacify" a heavily resistant species. Lucky for us, only three were made. One was lost on the rim of the Delta quadrant and the second was destroyed by species 8472. The third one was per portably roaming the Gamma quadrant where we have this unfortunate possibility," Shelby finished grimly.

"What can we expect if it is this super-dreadnaught?" the Starfleet captain asked.

"According to Seven, the one that lost to species 8472 only lost because it was incredibly outnumbered."

Everyone in the room was silent until Avries finally broke it, "I have been authorized the use of an orbital defense platform. I can assure you all that these platforms are quite capable of taking on a sizable fleet and while I can't guarantee total success, it may give us the edge we need to hold out long enough to at least ward this "cube" thing off."

The Starfleet captain leaned forward in his chair, his hands clasped tightly together," Thank you captain, but I'd rather not rely on the arrogance of your ego. I don't think a little defense platform will give us the "edge" that you're thinking of," he said in a condescending tone.

Kira leaned back rubbing her temples, "At any rate, we've deployed some probes at the other end to give us some warning if they come our way. And the Defiant is mining the entrance as we speak." She silently added "again" to herself before continuing, "Now all I want to hear is what tactics will work best. And just so we're clear! If the Borg does show up, then as long as they're in proximity to the station AND the wormhole then I am in charge got it? Once they leave then I'll gladly give up command to whoever wants it. Now let's figure this out before we run out of time and then it won't matter who's in charge," she said sternly.

The truth of what she said hit them all and after a short second they began discussing battle plans about how best to accentuate their strengths while covering for the others weakness.

Avries looked at the tactical map of DS9 and the wormhole on the wall staring at it for a minute until, "Does the wormhole entrance open on the other side?"

Everyone stopped talking and stared at Avries.

"What do you mean?" Kira asked wondering where he was going with his rather unusual question. "Of course it opens from the other side," she said matter-of-factly.

"I know the entrance can be opened from inside the wormhole but has anyone tried to enter it from the side facing away from the station?"

"...No..." Kira said finally while looking out the window where the entrance would be.

The others looked out the window until general Dorn turned back to Avries, "Just what are you thinking captain?" the tone in his voice held an inkling of his suspicions of a growled approval.

"Assuming the wormhole entrance doesn't open if approached from the other side, we have a significant portion of our forces waiting there. I'm hoping that while it's opened it will keep us hidden it will keep us hidden from there sensors. Assuming this works they should have most of their defenses pointed towards the station, and once the wormhole closes, we open up and fire on whatever weak spot we can find," Avries said looking around gauging the others reaction.

The Starfleet captain spoke first, "...That might actually work. If we can hit them where the shield isn't as strongest then we might have a sizable hole to target instead of trying to wear down their defenses the hard way."

General Dorn chuckled in his Klingon way, "A cunning plan to be sure. I will have my ships wait behind the entrance."

The Bajoran major just nodded to Kira indicating he'll go with whatever she decided. With a heavy sigh Kira shook her head and clapped her hands, "Alright, lets figure out the best way to do this."

Avries nodded while pointing to a region on the map that was a slight distance from the station, "I'll need that area cleared of all traffic to make room for the defense platform," he looked to the others, "Just a warning. In case we fail to cripple or force them to retreat from the initial strike, the platform will need roughly two minutes to charge before it can fire."

"That's going to end up being a long wait," said the Starfleet captain who was still unconvinced about the platforms effectiveness.

Kira adjusted herself in her chair, "Well I'm not going to turn down an asset because of a small problem like that," the Starfleet captain tried to interject but Kira cut him off, "If it's being offered than I'll take what I can get. Now, does anyone else have any ideas?"


Terry Schottrof, the senior communications officer on the Hathaway, had just finished a double shift and was on his way to his cabin. He had just finished decoding and sifting through the alien translation program as well as an information packet that they included for anything that looked like a virus or hidden program. He was glad he didn't find any as that probably would have added another shift just so he could figure out what they were supposed to do. He was in awe of how efficient the translation program looked in relation to their own surmising that it could translate in real time after a few spoken sentences. A work of art if there ever was one.

"But it'll have to wait till later," he thought to himself as he walked down the corridor, for now, he needed sleep.

As he walked he passed some of the currently off-duty personnel and overheard them going on about their visit to the alien station. Only hearing a few seconds of their conversation he shrugged it off as he arrived at his cabin and entered. Landing unceremoniously on his bed he tried desperately to fall asleep but felt far too wired from either his double-shift or from overhearing the off-duty officers practically glamorizing the station, he didn't know.

Against his better judgment he pulled his weary body up and rechecked to make sure his katana was secure in its holster before making his way to the airlock. The station commander had granted them permission, as well as the other aliens that had arrived, to wear personnel weapons in case these "Borg" things attacked when they had their pants down so to speak. After exiting the airlock with a few others, they were greeted by a Bajoran person that would guide them through the station to the promenade where the only place open was some place called "Corks".

Walking onwards to "Corks" he passed several groups of Klingons, some he heard say "Pataq" which was immediately followed by a chorus of laughter. Thinking nothing of it he soon entered "Corks" which turned out to be an alien pub with a bar dominating one side of the room and was a little surprised to see a couple of roulette tables. Sliding up to the bar he ordered a cup of coffee from an alien that had freakishly large ears. Terry looked around the pub and could see a dozen different alien species which reminded him of a zoo. He looked up at the second level and noticed the Phoenix Clan woman talking to a woman that seemed to have a strip of tattooed spots running down the sides of her face and under the collar of her uniform below. The man nest to them looked to be a human from this universe. And judging from the way they were acting it was a pleasant conversation.

Turning back to finally drink his coffee he was bumped from behind by an exited Klingon. "Hey watch it!" He told the Klingon.

The Klingon turned to him and sized Terry up, "Apologies human. I didn't realize your kind were so... delicate. I hope I did not injure you," he said before laughing with his comrades, evidence enough he wasn't sorry at all.

Terry breathed out his annoyance and turned back to his coffee uttering "Pataq" over his shoulder. As he was about to drink he felt a hand roughly grab his collar pulling him backwards out of his seat and through the air landing on a table causing it to collapse. Terry sat dazed sitting in various cold liquids and looked up to see a raging Klingon storming toward him with a dagger in his hand.

"I'll teach you not to insult my honor again," he growled with an outstretched hand ready to grab him. Terry began frantically trying to pull his katana out of its holster but it refused to budge. He then remembered the strap that kept it secure and fumbled trying to unfasten it but the Klingon was already upon him. "Let's see how much I have to take to make sure you won't make this mistake again," he said with a grin as he slowly waved his dagger over Terry's body.

Just then a blade shot past the left side of the Klingons head giving him an impromptu minor haircut as a few gnarled strands fell to the floor, small strings of electricity could be seen dancing up and down the blade.

"Just what are you planning to do to my communications officer?" a low but commanding voice asked.

The Klingon slowly looked back over his shoulder to see commander Arthur Noel as the owner of the blade near his neck. He looked on and saw the two others he had come in with were laid flat out on the floor. He sheathed his dagger and slowly rosed to his feet keeping eye contact with Noel as he did so. He was taller than Noel by a good ten centimeters but could see no fear in the human's eyes. Instead there was only a coldness that began to make him uneasy.

"I was only.. Advising your subordinate of the dangers of a careless tongue."

The bar had grown quiet and all eyes were focused on the two and the blade between them.

"He has insulted me and my honor demands I "correct" him."

Noel retracted the blade back into the handle and holstered it still keeping his left hand on it expectantly, "I will take his place," Noel told the Klingon flatly.

The Klingon bared his teeth, "Impossible. My honor will accept no substitutions."

"I am his senior officer, if he offended you than the fault is with me since I was the one who trained him. I would stand to reason that it was ultimately I who tarnished your honor."

"Ha! Pretty words, but your subordinate still has to answer for his mistake."

"Is your "honor" afraid I might pose too great a challenge for it?"

The Klingon let out a growl as he grabbed his dagger and stepped forward only to be stopped by Quark who rushed in between them, "Gentlemen please!"

"Out of my way little man," the Klingon growled.

"Believe me, the last thing I want to do is get between you two but the tables your breaking aren't mine which means I'll have to be the one to pay to have them fixed. Now would it be too much trouble to convince you to move this into the holosuite where you can break as many tables as you like. Otherwise I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

The Klingon looked at Quark and then to Noel before shouting a Klingon curse and stomped off towards the holosuite.

After Noel followed him in, Quark moved to the center of the room and turned facing the bar, "If I could have everyone's attention please. As you have no doubt noticed the disruption earlier, a Klingon and a hue-man from an alternate reality are about to..." he paused, thinking of the right word, "... Spar. And through my generosity I'll have the fight projected free of charge. However if any of you decide to bet on the outcome then you'll have to allow me to officiate as I won't allow any unregulated gambling in my bar. Now hurry up and get your bets in before the match starts."

Every Klingon in the bar flocked to Quark putting their latinum on their fellow soldier. Even some Starfleet and Bajoran officers placed some bets. And while the few other DES officers wanted to bet on their commander but they refrained and contented themselves to rooting for him.

Inside the holosuite Noel and the Klingon were sizing the other up.

The Klingon sneered, "I am Karn, son of Tark! And it will be my pleasure to reduce you to a quivering child," he said with a laugh.

"We'll see," Noel replied showing no emotion.

Karn frowned disappointed that he wasn't able to rile the human. A few seconds later the holosuite room faded into a dojo-esqe sparring room, various weapons lined the walls separated by an intermittent pillar. Karn grabbed a bat'leth from the wall with a predatory grin. Noel pulled his Katana from its holster and switched it to "stun" mode. He extended the blade which now had a thin "sheath" that covered the blades sharp edge. The two began to circle each other.

Karn twirled his bat'leth between each hand, "If you leave now human, you may be able to salvage some honor before I take it," he jeered.

Noel grunted before replying, "You keep talking about how important honor is but I haven't seen you show any yet."

Karn roared and swung his bat'leth in an overhand strike with enough power to force Noel to block with both his katana and his right bracer. Noel was able to shift the angle sideways making the bat'leth hit the ground with a solid *clang*. Karn countered by head butting Noel and following up with a fisted backhand causing Noel to fall backwards spinning to the floor. The Klingons in the now crowded bar cheered while the rest grimaced empathizing with Noel's painfully received blow. Noel quickly got to his feet shaking his dead still dizzy from the blow and brought his katana back up.

"I'm sorry, was that too hard for you? Or perhaps you are not accustomed to fighting hand to hand," Karn taunted, again twirling the bat'leth between each hand.

"I've spent ten years fighting an enemy with twice your strength and they never resorted to hiding their ships with stealth technology or using underhanded tricks to gain the upper hand in a fight like you. I saw the ships you came in on, is that what you do? Hide at the sight of your enemy's and strike when their back is turned? That's not honor, that's cowardice. And if that's the way you fight then I won't hold back," Noel said as he ran forward and swung his katana aiming for Karn's midsection. Karn easily brought his bat'leth in front to block but before the two blades collided, the blade of the katana suddenly retracted into the hilt and extended again once it passed the bat'leth scoring a hit to Karn's stomach. Since the blade was "sheathed" Karn wasn't cut but instead the top of his body twitched downward as the electrified blade caused his stomach muscles to contract. Noel followed up his attack by retracting the blade again and firing a stun pulse into Karn's back as he bent over. Noel then finished his attack by kneeing Karn in the face regretting it as his knee connected with Karn's ridged forehead.

The Klingons in the bar roared their disapproval, many citing Noel's dishonor in his tactics. The DES officers and some others who had bet on the commander clapped and pumped their fists.

Karn slowly stood up and glared at Noel, "I have felt pain sticks with more bite than your puny weapon."

Noel stood back with his katana ready to defend, "What are you pissed off about? That it wasn't painful enough or that you let those two attacks through?"

Karn roared and charged forward swinging his bat'leth wildly leaving Noel only enough time to block or parry. Under Karn's relentless assault Noel was forced back and down to one knee. Karn swung again for Noel's head who blocked with his bracer and katana. Karn pushed with his bat'leth forcing Noel to use both hands to hold onto his katana, with a final push Karn knocked the katana to the side leaving Noel completely open. He then flipped his bat'leth over and rammed the center handle of it into Noel's face snapping his head back and followed up by booting him in the chest sending him sprawling to the floor where he laid still.

The Klingons in the bar let out a triumphant roar cheering Karn's name. Those who had bet on Karn flocked to Quark to collect their winnings. Terry who was watching the fight and flinching every time Noel got hit suddenly pointed to the holoprojector, "Look!"

In the holosuite Karn had thrown up his hands in victory but stopped when he saw Noel moving. Noel turned onto his stomach before pushing himself to his knees and shakingly rising to his feet. He was breathing hard from literally having the wind kicked out of him and his face was bruised from the head butt earlier as well as sporting a bleeding split lip and spat out a bloody glob of saliva on the floor before holding his katana before him defiantly, "You lost your chance to make sure I was out," he said in an eerily calm voice.

Karn looked Noel up and down, "What are you talking about? How do you expect to fight when you can barely stand now?"

"Would you like me to show you how we apparently lowly humans fight and alien race that's trying to wipe us out?" his voice remained calm.

Karn snorted, "If you continue your foolishness then I may forget not to kill you. Go back to your ship human, it's clear you pose no further danger to anyone except yourself."

"We'll see," Noel replied before breaking into a sudden sprint readying his katana for an upward strike.

Surprised, Karn quickly recovered and moved his bat'leth to block. Before the blades connected, Noel retracted his while continuing his upward swing. As Karn's bat'leth hit the ground with a loud clang Noel fired a pulse of energy from the bottom of his katana, when it hit, Karn spasmed inward nearly dropping his bat'leth Noel then extended the blade as he swung it down onto Karn's shoulder. Karn stifled a cry as he felt the force of the hit and the feeling of the blade itself as it was once again electrified causing his arm to jerk. Karn swung the bat'leth hitting Noel in the calf muscle with enough force to knock his leg out from under him causing him to fall.

Karn used the opportunity to rise to his feet to begin his attack anew. Noel didn't wait for Karn's next attack and kicked Karn in both knees before rolling back and firing two pulses from his katana hitting Karn's legs causing him to fall again. Both slowly rossed to their feet eyeing the other.

Noel had suffered a few direct hits to the head but was still standing. "And fighting," Karn thought. He himself didn't suffer as much threatening blows but the electrified attacks have begun to wear on his body evident by his trembling muscles. Karn ran forward attacking in an overhand strike.

But Noel was ready and parried with his right bracer while he spun around. With his back to Karn he planted his feet and braced his katana with the palm of his right hand and jack hammered the blade in and out into Karn's chest with rapid repeated strikes each made more potent as the blade was still electrified. It was all Karn could do to weather the repeated strikes and he swore he could feel his heart stop and start more than once. Noel retracted the blade once more and swung his katana striking Karn in the left side of his face forcing his head to snap to the side.

Karn cricked his neck and snarled dropping his bat'leth and pulling out his dagger. Karn thrusts forward with the dagger while Noel tried to parry with his katana however Karn was ready and used his dagger to hook the katana and kept his forward momentum. Karn tried to hit Noel in the face with his left fist but Noel was able to block. Undeterred, Karn then used the studded butt of his dagger to attempt another strike. It connected. Noel swayed a moment before stumbling backwards but remained standing although his handling of the katana was noticeably less precise.

Karn lunged forward aiming to sink his dagger into Noel's shoulder. At the last second Noel brought his katana up to block the dagger, stopping it from hitting its target by eight centimeters. There, each had become locked in a deadly embrace. Karn, using both hands, he began to push his dagger down while Noel used his to keep the dagger up.

The stalemate seemed to last for an eternity even the patrons in the bar were silent. They remained locked until, little by little, Karn's dagger began to move down. Just as the point of the dagger touched Noel's shoulder Noel let out a bemused grunt. Confused but still determined to finish the fight, Karn asked Noel a question, "Do you find your defeat amusing"

"No, it's just that..." The dagger began to cut through the cloth of his uniform.

"Just what human!?"

"You let your guard down," and with that he fire four pulses of blue energy from his katana which was now pointed squarely at Karn's face.

Karn lost all feeling in his head then the rest of his body, the kinetic force from each shot knocked him back. Not being able to control himself at the moment Karn fell backwards and landed on his back. Noel stumbled as he walked forward but stopped as he saw Karn begin to move again, the sudden jolt from hitting the floor seemed to be enough to wake him from his stunned disposition. Noel took a defensive stance as Karn got to his feet and shook his head once before charging, his dagger aimed for Noels gut. He blocked with his katana but let Karn continue to push him back. A few seconds later Noel pushed the dagger downwards and letting Karn push back up.

Using Karn's forward momentum Noel was able to walk backwards up the pillar behind him and flip over Karn. Now standing behind and facing away from Karn, Noel reached behind with his katana and extended the blade under Karn's chin. Had a less experienced attempted this the blade might have went clean through Karn's throat. Noel grabbed the other end of his katana and lurched forward lifting Karn off his feet. Karn struggled and flailed trying to break free but it only seemed to help Noel in being flipped over. Karn landed on his front with a heavy thud and a low groan. Before he could recover Noel fired several energy pulses into Karn's limbs, torso, and head. Noel then reached down and picked up Karn's dagger and used his katana to burn a scorch mark on the dagger where the blade met the hilt then tossed it out of reach of Karn. Noel then used his foot to push Karn over who looked up at him with dazed but alert eyes.

Noel extended the katana blade and rested the now unsheathed blade on the collar of Karn's uniform and said in a low threatening voice," Your honor now belongs to me. When you are ready, you can ask for it back. But, if any of your friends tries to get it for you, then consider your "honor" gone forever. And one last thing," he said as he stood up to leave, "If I find out you or any of your kind threaten any of my crew like that again then I'll take whatever passes for their honor like I did to you here and I'll never give it back."

Noel turned away for the last time and walked out the holosuite where he was met by Bashir with an emergency med kit taken from behind the bar and behind him stood Ezri, the Phoenix woman and Terry. Bashir moved to support Noel but was shrugged off before Noel said, "Not yet."

Bashir balked, "But I need to treat your injuries. And I'll have to check to see if you have a concussion."

"I know I have a concussion doctor but wait until I'm outside the bar. If I understand what I read about your Klingons then despite how much I embarrassed Karn in beating him, if I walk out of here without help then I'll earn some respect in their eyes. At least enough to keep them from lynching me," Noel told him plainly.

Bashir pursed his lips in thought, "Alright," he said before stepping aside and falling in behind Noel as he passed.

The entire bar was silent as they made their way down the spiral staircase. Every Klingon stared at Noel as he made his way out letting slip the odd murmur between them. Once Noel left the bar the usual ruckus returned. Bashir moved ahead to lead them to the infirmary. Once inside, Noel practically collapsed on the offered biobed. Although he wasn't visibly shaking Bashir could feel low tremors from the commander giving the effect he was vibrating. Bashir pulled out his medical tricorder and began waving the sensor over Noel's body.

"Will you do have a concussion, there's some bruising of the ribs from the kick you received there and there's a hairline fracture in your right knee cap. Just how the hell were you able to walk here? Most would be lucky to just sit up straight," Bashir said in astonishment as he closed the tricorder.

"Sheer stubborn will I suppose. During the war we couldn't afford to wait for a medic. Either a Jikoran would get to you first or the wait would end up costing lives," Noel said begrudgingly.

Bashir grunted slightly as he begun Noel's treatment, "There is an upside to this," Bashir said as he administered a hypospray, "If it's any consolation, against Quarks advise, I "foolishly" betted that you would win."

Noel let out a half chuckle and looked to Terry, "Lieutenant Schottroff, as punishment, you are to complete four hours of level-three Katana training on your own time."

Terry started then stopped before attempting to speak, "But commander..."

"But nothing! If that Klingon wasn't playing around with you, you would've been dead minutes ago. And had that been a Jikoran you would've been gutted sooner than that! You're out of practice and in a real situation that could put the whole crew at risk!"

"Yes commander sir!" Terry said as he instinctively stood at attention.

"You are dismissed lieutenant. Return to the ship," Noel ordered.

"Yes commander sir!" Terry said then about faced and walked out the infirmary.


The meeting in the boardroom had come to a close. Kira had left for Ops and the Bajoran major joined her to convey the plan to the Bajoran fleet. Avries was looking out the window watching various Federation ships arrive and the arrival of his own escort fleet by way of zero-space transit. Dorn walked up beside him, "Impressive looking ship's captain. Some of them remind me of Klingon designs."

Avries looked at the smaller ones that remind him of a bird from the red paint "wings", "I can see where you're coming from, and the command sections do look similar."

Darn grunted, "Interesting technology as well. Do all of your ships have this ability for travel?"

"Not all our ships. But further details on that technology are classified. Do all the ships in your fleet have stealth technology?"

Dorn chuckled in his Klingon way showing a toothy grin, "We all have our military secrets captain."

"Of course general. Excuse me, I need to get back to my ship to coordinate the battle plan with my fleet," and with that Avries exited the boardroom where he was greeted by a Bajoran deputy who escorted him back to the airlock the Hathaway was docked at. After cycling through, Avries made his way to the bridge. Upon entering he made a beeline for his office telling the communications officer on duty to set up a conference call with the captains of the escort fleet. The female officer acknowledged the order and soon after Avries was in his office sitting at his desk staring expectantly at the holowindow across from him. He was about to debate whether or not to grab a cup of coffee when thirteen captains and one commander appeared on the holowindow.

"Welcome, before we get started, does anyone have anything to say before we get started?" Avries asked. No one said anything. "All right then. As all of you are aware, command wants us to explore whatever universe we managed to travel to. As to why, I haven't the damndest idea." There were some chuckles. Avries continued, "For better or worse we have entered a universe where the galaxy is teeming with life and the Jikoran do not seem to exist, at least not as we know them. However, to curry favor, we will have to assist the local governments in the area against their universal threat. The information concerning the immediate engagement should already be on your desks."

"Just a moment Avries," said Don Wait, the captain of the infamous Marigold, "With all due respect, why are we sticking our necks out for some aliens? In fact, why do we care at all about what happens to them?"

"Well for one thing, it's not a god idea to piss off the locals. These aren't just some angry species we can avoid just by leaving the planet. They have FTL capabilities and they have a more diverse coalition than we do. So, if we leave them here and now, we will be on our own and no one will want to help us if the time ever comes. This is not up for debate anyways. Does anyone else have a disagreement with our orders?" No one said anything. "Alright, the plan is simple. The escort fleet will wait for the enemy ship to come through the "wormhole" as they call it, once the aperture closes the escort fleet will open fire with all weapons bearing. Essentially this will be a pincer maneuver. The goal will be to destroy, or failing that, force the ship back through the wormhole. As this is going on, a Blade-class orbital defense platform will be brought in via zero-space transit. If we fail to cripple it or force it back, the new goal will be to keep the enemy ship distracted long enough for the platform to charge and fire."

The captain of the other Discovery-class "Stream's Isle", currently fitted for carrier ops, spoke up, "What about the other ships not in the escort fleet?"

"The Absolon will be with the escort fleet and the Hathaway and Stream's Isle will stay by the alien station to provide support by whatever means including cyber warfare support."

The others acknowledged and Avries dismissed them and got up from his desk and left his office. Just as he entered the bridge, commander Noel had entered as well. Avries noticed a lingering bruise on Noel's forehead, "Anything I should know commander?" Avries asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Rectifying a cultural difference lieutenant Schottrof caused," replied the XO.

Avries nodded deciding to ask about it later, "All right then, have tactical deploy the combat-type ArtForms. Once they're ready we'll send them to assist in the stations defense in case they're boarded."

"Yes sir," Noel said and then went to the tactical station to relay the orders.

Twenty minutes later in Ops, Kira was in her office talking to Admiral Ross. "Are you sure you want to allow a still unknown force to help with security?"

"The station's pretty big and since we evacuated everyone but essential personal we're stretched pretty thin so we can use all the help we can get. We won't let them near any of the more sensitive areas though if that's what you're worried about."

"The admiral gave a dismissive look, "It's your show colonel, just be careful," he said and cut the transmission.

A Starfleet lieutenant came into her office, "Excuse me ma'am, the, um, people from the alternate universe ship just signaled us that they're ready to transport over their security forces."

"Thank you lieutenant," she gave him a padd, "These are the coordinates they're to be sent to."

The lieutenant took the padd and replied with a quick, "Yes ma'am," and left.

Kira took a moment to stare at Sisko's baseball as if hoping it would impart wisdom to help her. The comm. unit on her desk chirped, "Yes?"

"Colonel, we just received telemetry from the probes. The Borg have arrived at the Gamma quadrant entrance."

Kira practically leapt out of her office and marched to the turbolift, "Inform the fleets to get into position and go to red alert!"

"Yes ma'am,"

Red lights began flashing in time to the warning klaxons.

"Defiant!" Kira told the computer once she was in the turbolift.

Please let me know what you all think of my story so far. Did I manage to keep the Trek continuity together? were some parts hard to understand? I'd like to know your thoughts.
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Old June 19 2014, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek: Nexus Crossings

As soon as the turbolift cleared the Ops floor, Kira tapped her commbadge to order all senior officers to meet her on the Defiant. The turbolift stopped at the auxiliary systems floor that was below Ops. The door parted and in walked O'Brian.

"Ch-" Kira stopped herself as O'Brian was no longer the stations chief engineer, "Miles, what were you doing there?"

"Sorry. I needed a private and secure station to get in contact with Starfleet headquarters."

Kira then began to lecture O'Brian, pretending she couldn't allow him the exception of joining them on the Defiant but would do so anyways for old times' sake.

"I'm not going to the Defiant," O'Brian interrupted, "Defense sail one," he told the computer which chirped in acknowledgement.

Kira paused, obviously flabbergasted. After a few seconds to collect herself she finally spoke, "Then what were you doing talking to Starfleet if it wasn't to get recommishioned?"

"A little over a month ago, a ship that was lost in the Delta quadrant finally came back to Federation space. They were able to make the last leg of their journey thanks to a future version of their captain who provided them with technology from her time as well. A few weeks after they came back, I was asked by Starfleet command to have a look at the technology they brought back, including the future technology."

"You must have been like a kid in a candy store," Kira remarked.

O'Brian chuckled, "You're telling me. Of course the technology from the future is being kept under wraps for now. But considering how effective it was against the Borg the last time, I convinced the right people to send me the specs on the torpedo design," he said holding up the padd in his hand, "Which reminds me. I'm going to need full access to the torpedo room to make the necessary adjustments."

Kira nodded, "Of course, take as many personnel as you need as well."

"I'd love to but this tech is coded top secret since technically it hasn't officially been invented yet. So, I'll be doing this on my own."

Kira sighed in resignation, "All right. Do what you can then."

And as she said that, the turbolift stopped and the doors opened to the promenade to admit Bashir and Ezri. After stepping in and telling the computer their destination, the turbolift began to move again through the station.

There were a few moments of silence until O'Brian looked around at his friends then inhaled sharply, "Well If no one's going to ask it then I may as well: What's everyone think of these new people that came through the wormhole?"

Everyone somehow looked taken aback and surprised by the question despite on some level wondering what the others thought as well.

"Their captain seems like the kind of person who'd prefer to get to the heart of the matter rather than dance around it," Kira started, "And the fact he doesn't seem to like Saven is a plus in my book any day," she added getting a few chuckles from the others.

"Well I found Phoenix to be a pleasant person to be around. She's nice to talk to and she's quite open about herself and her culture," Ezri put out.

"Not to mention her continuous good mood is somehow contagious," Bashir added with a smile to which nodded in agreement. "Their medical technology from what I've seen seems comparable to Starfleet's and in some ways more advanced. As they promised, they sent over all the patients including one that I have doubts that I'd have been able to keep alive even long enough to get the information from him about the Borg," Bashir said approvingly.

O'Brian shook his head, "I'll admit that they seem to have impressive technology but that doesn't change the fact that some of it is used to take a person's memories," Bashir tried to interject but O'Brian talked over him, "I don't want to hear it Julian. You aren't the one who got cloned and stood in for you around your family and friends. Hell, an alien species implanted memories into me about being in a prison for twenty years, I still wake up in the middle of the night in chills some times." O'Brian took a couple deep breaths.

A moment later the turbolift stopped and opened its doors to O'Brian's requested level, "I'll get to work on those torpedoes colonel. I should be able to get one finished before they come through the entrance," O'Brian said holding up the padd in his hand as if to indicate what he meant.

"Thank you Miles, we'll try to give you as much time as we can," Kira said with a nod before the doors closed.

No one said anything else for the rest of the turbolift ride. On getting out they were greeted by Nog who was waiting for them at the Defiant airlock.

"Are we prepped for immediate departure?" Kira asked Nog.

"Yes sir, colonel. The only thing holding the ship to the station is the docking clamps," he replied crisply.

Kira nodded and entered the Defiants airlock, her officers close behind. Walking briskly through the ships corridors they soon entered the bridge. Nog took the Conn; Ezri took the station for sensors and communication. Bashir having not gone with them to the bridge was now in sickbay. And Kira, after a slight hesitation, sat in the captain's chair. Easing back into the chair Kira looked around the bridge feeling as if something or someone was missing.

"Close the airlocks and release the docking clamps. Back us away from the station and move us into position with the fleet."

"Yes sir!" Nog replied.

Soon after, a few thumps could be heard through the hull. The main screen showed a view of the station falling away as the Defiant backed up before maneuvering for position in the fleet that was now facing the wormhole entrance waiting for it to open.

"We're in position sir," Nog reported.

"Good, raise shields and go to red alert," Kira said before adding, "Let's hope they fall for our traps."


Avries had just left his office and walking to the forward half of the bridge, "Report!"
His XO answered, "Sir, we just received a message from the station. The Borg ship is on approach through the wormhole. They estimate we have four minutes before they breach the entrance here."

"Very well. Helm, detach us from the station. If any crew is still aboard then transport them here, we can't wait for them."

"Aye sir," she responded.

Avries then looked over the data from the main displays of each station. The fleets were nearly in position with the exception of the few ships that were still temporarily docked to the station.

Taking a deep breath before letting it out slowly, Avries looked around the bridge,

"Commander, inform the Ajax that I'll be coming aboard and taking command."

Noel nearly did a double-take, "May I ask why, captain?"

"I promise I'm not going to make a habit of this. It's just that I'm far more familiar with the Ajax's combat capabilities than the Hathaway's. Once I'm on the Ajax, I want you to coordinate with the Stream's Isle and take position in front of the station on either side. Once the two ships are in position, erect a field between them to prevent the enemy from boarding the station. Hold position there and provide support to the station as long as possible. Those are my orders commander."

Noel stood there a moment staring at Avries before responding, "Yes sir." He turned to Matthew at the communications station, "Communications raise the Stream's Isle and the Ajax then relay the captain's orders."

"Aye sir," Matthew acknowledged then proceeded to carry out the orders.

As Avries left the bridge he turned back as he passed the doors," I expect to return to my ship in the same condition I left it in commander."

The doors closed before Noel could respond, "I'll try captain," he whispered. Noel then sat in the captain's chair, "Helm, move us into position by the station. Tactical, as soon as the captain has left the ship, raise the shields and arm all weapons. I want a full salvo of drifter torpedoes ready to go at a moment's notice. Communications, ready the cyber warfare suite, I want every advantage this ship is capable of," Noel paused a moment, "Operations, inform engineering we may need to commit to the Hathaway maneuver," he finished.

There was a chorus of acknowledgements as each station rushed to fulfill their orders.


Avries had just transported aboard the Ajax and quickly made his way to the bridge. Upon entering, he was met by his former XO, Lauren Hoe, "Welcome aboard captain," she said with a salute.

Avries quickly returned the salute, "Status?"

"All systems are green sir. Turrets are online, cannons are charged, and torpedoes are loaded. Secondary bridge reports ready and port and starboard engineering sections are ready for warp maneuvers. We're currently holding position behind the wormhole entrance and we're coordinating the targeting parameters with the Klingon aliens for a maximized effective strike."

"Excellent, how long until engagement?" Avries asked as he moved to the holo-display in the middle of the bridge that was surrounded by railings. Unlike the Hathaway, the Ajax was designed as a pure military vessel from start to finish. The bridge was designed similar to the old earth submarine style. 'Hot-racking' was not an uncommon event on a ship of her class.

"We're expecting the enemy to come through any minute now captain," commander Hoe stated.

Avries nodded, "Sorry for not starting with the pleasantries, Lauren."

The commander smiled, "It's not like you to let idle chit chat take priority in wartime situations Ryan. Doing that could get you killed, or worse."

Avries let out a half chuckle as he started to ask her about her married life. He was interrupted by a lieutenant at tactical, "Captain, the wormhole is opening!"

Avries immediately went serious, "Let's see it. Tactical, fire all forward weapons once the wormhole closes."

"Aye sir."


On the Defiant, Ezri had just told Kira the same thing. "Ready weapons and fire on my mark," Kira said staring intently at the screen as the wormhole opened.

At first, nothing changed. Then all at once, the massive cubed hull appeared, flying without care straight into the minefield. The visual effect of the exploding mines was like looking at a square-shaped sun flaring to life in front of them until the nearby remaining mines detonated giving a halo effect to the cube as it flew through the explosions without any seeming effect.

"What's the status of the cube," Kira asked.

Ezri took a moment to look over the data, "I'm reading minor damage to the Borg ships front, there is some greater damage around the edges but it's still reading minor."

Kira was stunned. This was the same kind of minefield that kept the Dominion reinforcements at bay. And this one ship walked through it with only a few scratches.

"Fire all weapons," Kira said finally.

"Wait!" Ezri shouted, "I'm picking up more ships, twenty nine ships. Eight are Federation, there's also some Jem-Hadar ships and some alien designs the computer can't identify."

Kira looked at the screen. The ships had undergone Borg augmentation making them looked diseased. The effect was more pronounced on the assimilated Federation vessels. The green lit 'welts' clashed heavily against the bright grey hulls. One ship had lost one of its nacelles and while the Borg replacement obviously did it job, it looked like a half-rotted limb.

Ezri looked to Kira, "The Borg are hailing us."

Kira stood up and nodded to Ezri to accept the hail, "I'm colonel Kira Nerys of the Bajoran militia-" she was cut off.


Kira was about to make a half-hearted attempt to ask the Borg to leave when she was cut off again,

"This is commander Noel to all ships. Disengage communications with all Borg ships! They're trying to upload a virus on a subcarrier wave!"

Kira shot a glance to Ezri who had anticipated Kira, "He's right. The Borg are uploading something through the comm system."

"Then cut them off," Kira barked. Ezri nodded and severed the comms. Kira sat back in her chair a little more than angry, "All right, if that's the way they want to play it, fine then! All ships, fire on my mark!"

Just then one of the assimilated Starfleet ships began to move forward then started listing suddenly. A second later dozens of small objects detached and began moving to the fleet around the station.

Kira squinted at the screen, "What are those?" she asked out loud.

"They're escape pods," Ezri said.

"Sir, the Olympus is breaking formation," Nog said.

"What?" Kira shouted. The Olympus, a Nebula-class, began moving towards the flying escape pods. "Hail the Olympus!" Kira shouted.

"Audio only," Ezri said a second later.

"What the HELL are you doing?!"

"We detected human life signs aboard. We're going to rescue the survivors, Hampton out." The Olympus got closer and dropped its shields.

"Sir, I'm picking up some sort of power build up in the escape pods," Nog stated.

"What kind of build up?" Kira asked.

Before Nog could respond, green flares of energy erupted from each escape pod, each striking the Olympus in vital areas such as the bridge, thrusters, main deflector, and warp engines effectively disabling the vessel. Everyone who was watching throughout the Federation fleet was stunned by what they just witnessed.

"They converted the escape pods into fighters," Ezri said barely believing the words she just said.

The bridge crews on the Hathaway and the Stream's Isle, while regretful of seeing the Starfleet crippled, were already preparing to engage defensive measures to fight the new fighters. The captain of the Stream's Isle, Winnie Greem, had recalled half their squadrons on standby to be refitted to replace their bombing ordinance for ship-to-ship missiles, a rather easy task since they only had to replace the weapons pod,
The N-class fighter/bombers were a simple design, having a slightly flattened tear-dropped shaped structure for the one person cockpit placed at the front, while the weapons pod (shaped like a flattened oval) was placed a few meters behind the cockpit structure and a little below it. The cockpit and weapons pod are connected by two angled boomerang-like structures that made up the fighter/bombers engines giving the craft a hollow diamond shape. Soon enough, the fighter/bombers were refitted and pushed out of the Stream's Isle's compartments by their launching struts. Once they were all ready, the captain gave the order to launch. Half of the twenty-five fighter/bombers flew off to intercept the Borg fighters while the rest moved to engage the assimilated ships.

Just before the DES ship launched its fighters, Kira ordered the fleet to open fire. A flurry of phaser fire and torpedoes burst immediately from all Federation and Bajoran vessels including the station itself. Finally the wormhole closed, the Klingon and DES ships fired as the opening was halfway closed leaving little chance for the Borg to raise the defenses behind them in time. Two assimilated Jem-Hadar ships were immediately destroyed in the surprised onslaught before they hit their target on the Borg cubes' backside, Green disruptor bolts, brilliant blue particle beams, and torpedoes lanced forth striking a singular point on the Borg cube. There was some fratricide of the torpedoes with all weapons bearing down on the same targeted area but each shot struck unopposed by the Borg.

After several salvos the DES and Klingon ships ceased fire. Avries stood on the bridge waiting the few seconds needed for the fiery explosions to clear. He gripped the railing that surrounded the holographic display staring at it with dreaded anticipation. When the area was finally clear, it revealed the pocket-marked armor of the Borg hull. Though it looked like the landscape of the moon it was still unharmed.

Avries waited only a half-second before issuing his next orders, "Communications, tell our ships to scatter. Helm, tactical, warp maneuver alpha-one."

Each replied with a quick, "Yes sir!" The Ajax dipped downward; huge armored shutters folded back showing the glowing blue/white color of the warp engine nacelles as they charged up for the ships warp jump. A second later the nacelles flashed and the ship seemed to disintegrate only to reappear three hundred kilometers below the Borg fleet. Before the Ajax did its warp jump, it fired a multiple-warhead torpedo from its aft launcher. All the other DES ships, save for the Absolon, preformed the same warp jump and left their previous positions going off in all directions. The torpedoes left behind began tracking their targets, most hitting the cube while the rest hit assimilated vessels with limited success.

It was at this time that all hell broke loose. Converted escape pods launched from the assimilated Starfleet ships like angry hornets. The assimilated fleet began to engage, targeting weak points in shields to disable ships for later assimilation. The cube itself was able to track a third of the defending fleet hitting them with energy draining projectiles or holding them in place with tractor beams in an attempt to disable them with its cutting beam.

On the Hathaway which was barely holding its ground defending the station. The ship rocked and the bridge was no exception. Noel held onto his chair as the ship rocked again.

"Tactical, status on the Borg cube."

"Minimal if any damage detected. The fighter/bombers are having success in penetrating theirs shields but their armor's soaking up whatever's getting through."
Noel nodded, "Communications, inform command we need the defense platform now!"

"Aye sir!" he replied putting the order through.

A moment later, several hundred kilometers from the raging battle, two Carrier-class starships appeared along with the massive defense platform flanked by four Attack-class frigates. The defense platform resembled a giant double-bladed battle ax. The 'blades' were actually the platforms power generators while the 'shaft' was the cannon itself. Almost twice the length of a Starfleet Galaxy-class vessel it was designed to take out multiple ships in one strike. This was a weapon designed to take on fleets. The commander overseeing operations on the platform opened a communications link to the Hathaway.

"Hathaway, send the target coordinates. We're charging the cannon from a cold-start. Stand by two minutes, thirty seconds till firing sequence. Out."

Hathaway acknowledged, the bridge crew already knew that the short two minutes will be far too long for lots of people today.

The Ajax was chasing an assimilated Jem-Hadar ship while taking pot shots at others it passed. The Jem-Hadar ship leads the Ajax straight at the Borg cube when suddenly the cube fired an energy-draining projectile at the Ajax. At the last moment, the Ajax veered to the left to avoid it but wasn't fast enough.

"Starboard shield are down captain!" the operations officer reported to Avries.

"Very well. Helm, warp maneuver beta thr-"

The ship suddenly lurched sideways as the Borg cube used a cutting beam to sever the ships right nacelle from the rest of the ship.

"Report!" Avries shouted as he grabbed onto the railing to pull himself up.

Within a heart beat the operations officer read the damage reports on his terminal," Starboard engineering has been cut in two sir. Secondary explosions have knocked out internal sensors in that area but I don't think there are any survivor's sir," he said grimly.

Avries gritted his teeth, "Helm, tactical; grab whatever's left of the starboard engine and throw it at them!"

"The Esprite's already doing that sir," the tactical officer replied.

Another Attack-class ship moved in while the Ajax was coming about and used its tractor beam to propel the damaged nacelle towards the cube. Two assimilated ships physically intercepted the engine. It bounced off the first ship but exploded when it hit the second destroying it completely. The first one was unfortunate to get caught in the resulting explosion and was thusly crippled.

The Defiant was being chased by an assimilated ship of the same design which was pounding the Defiant. The bridge shook as they took another hit, a console exploded in a young ensign's face.

"Inertia dampeners are off-line. Another hit like that and we could lose shields all together," Ezri called out.

Kira clamped down onto her chair as the shaking increased, "Evasive maneuvers, pattern delta!" she said between the shaking.

"Hold on," Nog shouted as he rocked the Defiant back and forth to evade their pursuer.

Those on the bridge and engineering were fortunate that they were more or less on the central axis of the ship. With inertial dampening off-line and backups not yet in place, crew members on the outermost sections of the ship were slammed up and down from the floor to the ceiling bouncing off bulkheads and other unforgiving solid objects. After a few more twist and turns, Defiant was able to lose its enemy and use its momentum to swing in behind and destroy it with a combination of pulse phaser cannons and quantum torpedoes.

In the brief few seconds they had to breath before their next target, Kira opened a comm-link to O'Brian, "Chief, what the hell are you waiting for over there?" she asked.

"Sorry colonel, but the station's been shaking here to. I managed to get two ready," O'Brian said through some interference.

"Well don't wait on our account," Kira urged.

"I've already loaded them. Firing now."

Two transphasic torpedoes shot out from the weapons sail facing the cube. They arced over and around a dozen ships, the lead torpedo accidently struck an assimilated Jem-Hadar battle cruiser virtually atomizing it while the following torpedo struck home on the cube. The area it hit exploded outwards, debris raining everywhere. The cube remained largely intact, how ever there was now a gaping hole in the side. The defending fleet began targeting the exposed area in earnest.

On the Hathaway Noel had the communications officer relay the exposed area as the primary target to the defense platform.

The science officer suddenly spoke up, "Sir! The cube is firing some kind of anti-proton beam. It's destabilizing the disruptive field."

"Confirmed sir, we can no longer prevent them from transporting aboard," the operations officer added.

The crew at DS9's Ops had just detected the collapse of the field when the Borg cube began firing the energy-draining pulses at the station.

Over a dozen ships started firing at the cubes emitters but, too little too late, the shields were down and the station was now vulnerable. There was barely any time to warn station personnel before Borg drones began beaming aboard. The initial attack was quickly repelled thanks to quick reflexes and previous experience. However the Borg soon adapted to Bajoran and Klingon weapons and invaded en mass. The Klingons, not completely reliant on energy weapons began fighting hand to hand with bat'leth's, daggers and whatever other blades they carried. the combat-type ArtForms, or knights as they're nicknamed, were quite successful. The Borg drones had adapted to their weapons faster than they would have liked, they quickly changed tactics and began fighting up close and personal like the Klingons. Then the Borg did something unexpected, they began shooting back. A further surprise was revealed when partially assimilated Starfleet officers beam aboard as well and began attacking. The drones while slow were strong and possessed adaptive shielding. The partially assimilated officers didn't have the adaptive shields but they were able to move faster and were able to dodge. The added psychological effect of them still wearing their Starfleet uniforms added to their effectiveness as well as instances of confusion.

The promenade, previously an area of commerce and social interaction, was a desperate battle ground. Starfleet security spent half their time retuning phaser rifles while the Klingons and DES knights held the 'front lines'. Bajorans after finding their weapons practically useless started pulling the injured and unconscious out of harm's way. There were two squads of five knights fighting at either end of the promenade when one looked up after dispatching another drone looked up at the catwalks a Bajoran woman running from a pair of drones and trying to ward them off by firing her sidearm at them, the sickly green shields flared as each shot hit them but otherwise did nothing to stop them.

The knight leapt onto a pillar using it to jump onto the catwalk where he grabbed one drone in a headlock while using his katana to stab the other in the neck before electrifying it frying vital circuitry and organs. Immediately after which he twisted the drones head he had in his arm violently sideways killing it instantly where it dropped like a ragdoll when the knight let go. The Bajoran women looked at the two dead drones before giving the knight a thankful smile. He responded by giving her a thumbs up before he shuddered suddenly. As the knight turned around, the Bajoran woman could see a smoldering hole in his back. A drone had snuck up and fired at the knights back and fired again as the knight turned around putting him down this time.

The four other knights down below finished off the drones they were fighting with more brutality than needed and all turned at once to the drone on the catwalk, the lights of their "eyes" turned completely red. In one motion all four raised their katana's and fired continuous pulses of energy at the drone in its chest. While its adaptive shields removed the lethality of the weapons, the kinetic force behind them was actually pushing it back. This confused the drone as most species, after seeing them adapt to their weapons, would stop after seeing the futility of it. The drone inquired the sub-collective that was activated to modulate the drones adaptive shields to weapons used against them and asked it how to remove the remaining kinetic effects from those new weapons that were now pushing it against the railing behind it. Just then, all four knights shifted their aim upward and fired one final pulse at the same time at the top of the drones head causing it to fall backwards over the railing where it landed with a sickening splutch on its head with a quick shower of sparks. The knights turned back to fight more drones that had arrived with a brutality and ferocity that made even the Klingons envious if not a little wary.

The battle outside had gone on, hulks and pieces of starships lay strewn about presenting obstacles for both sides. Both the Hathaway and Stream's Isle had taken a more active role since they could no longer prevent intruders from beaming aboard.

On the Bridge of the Hathaway the communications officer issued a report, "Sir, the platform reports they're ready to fire in ten seconds."

Noel nodded, "Send a warning to all allied ships to leave the target area and line of sight."

"Aye sir."

Ships started to desperately moving out of the way. A dozen ships began tractoring crippled ships away while others covered them. Finally the defense platform sent out a general warning to the allied fleets that it was about to fire.

Raw energy erupted from the end at such speeds that the only way to avoid it was at warp speeds. Assimilated ships in the way were instantly holed before exploding as the large beam of energy punched through towards the cube. When the beam hit, the cube noticeably lurched as the beam burned its way into the large hole made earlier. Around the corner of the cube a large red circle appeared which grew lighter until it turned white hot before it gave way to the beam as it burst through. All this happened in six seconds. For half a second after the cube sat there before the area around the giant hole exploded pushing the cube downward at the front. Secondary explosions broke out pushing the cube away. After that it seemed that the Borg ship was now dead but that relief was put to a stop as the cube stopped drifting and began a slow crawl towards the defense platform. Amazingly the top corner of the cube was still attached thanks to some melted armor plating leaving the corner jutting up at an angle giving the cube a somewhat comical appearance if not for the threat its crew posed.

The commander on the platform had the weapons officer retarget for the cubes center mass. If the Borg ship survived this attack they would have to wait another two minutes at least before they could fire again if they were able to survive it. Once again a beam of raw energy lanced forth striking the Borg cube dead center this time. The cube seemed to swallow the entire blast before exploding in a green tinge of fire. The assimilated vessels that had fought up to this point had gone dark and drifted aimlessly.

On the station all the drones shook before falling over to the floor while the partially assimilated Starfleet officers grabbed their heads suddenly and screamed as they too dropped to the floor unconscious.

It had taken days to do a thorough search of DS9 to insure there were no unwanted surprises the Borg might have left. It would also take several more weeks at best to clean up the wrecks of starships and debris which posed navigational hazards as well as safety risks to would be salvagers of the Borg technology. Bashir had spent those days treating the injured along with every other available doctor. Bashir was also waiting on replicated part for a mobile emitter so a specialized EMH could assist him in removing implants from the assimilated victims.

After twenty-seven hours of work, Bashir stumbled into his quarters towards his bed. He, without taking off his uniform he was asleep minutes after hitting the pillow.

Bashir awoke with a start and rubbed his hands over his face. After asking the computer for the time he found out he was only asleep for roughly thirty-eight minutes, to which he reached above him to turn on the light and froze. There sitting in a chair at the foot of his bed was a man in a dark suit staring at him.

Bashir bolted upright, "Security, intruder alert!" he shouted tapping his commbadge.

"I'm sorry for waking you," the man said leisurely, "But I needed to talk to you alone. I had the comms deactivated so we won't be disturbed."

"And just who are you?" Bashir asked eyeing the door.

"Ah, where are my manners? My name is James Cunningham. You have done some work for my late protégé, Sloan. And just like him, I work for-"

"Section thirty-one," Bashir finished for him.
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Old July 13 2014, 02:48 AM   #6
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Location: DES Pathfinder
Re: Star Trek: Nexus Crossings

Bashir briefly debated whether he wanted to get a drink from the replicator but stayed put on his bed scotching up so he could sit up and look his uninvited guest in the eye, "So what does Section thirty-one want me to do for them this time?" Bashir asked leaving no sense of hospitality in his voice.

"Yes, I'll answer that in a second. But, if you don't mind indulging me in my curiosity a moment, in Sloan's reports, he has waited at the foot of your bed on more than one occasion. Now, I can understand the psychological effect this would have, but from the way his report was written it felt as if he derived some form of entertainment from doing that. What's your opinion?" James asked in seemingly honest curiosity.

Bashir was even more annoyed now than when he first saw him earlier, "How would I know? He was your protégé."

Cunningham dismissed Bashir's response with a casual wave, "Fair enough. Now, down to the reason I'm here. Simply put, we would like you to gather information on this new..." he paused a moment thinking of the right word, "Potential threat," he said delicately.

"And how am I supposed to do that?" Bashir asked skeptically, and understandably so.

"Really doctor, even after hearing from your friends about how one of their ships was able to destroy the Borg ship in two shots? I'd of thought that all those years conversing with Garak would have gained you a healthy dose of paranoia."

"I don't have time or the patience to play your games."

James sighed and rolled his eyes," Several Starfleet personnel including official representatives of Bajor will be meeting shortly. They'll be discussing what to do with the "DES". At some point it will be suggested that a number of Starfleet officers will be sent as unofficial emissaries/observers. Think of it as an officer exchange like the ones between the Federation and the Klingon Empire."

"And if I refuse this "illustrious" assignment?" Bashir asked as he got to his feet.

"I won't deny that I'd be a little put out should you refuse but we'll simply move on and get someone else to do the job."

"That's it? I'm not going to find myself in a Section thirty-one jail cell charged with treason later am I?" Bashir asked giving a sour glower.

"That's it! No idle threats to you, your friends or anyone else you hold dear. No efforts will be made to sabotage your career by us or anyone we could influence to do so. This is just a simple request from me to you to do what you would have normally done had I not approached you. Just with a little more... thoroughness," he said somehow ominously.

"Just what is it do you want me to look for specifically?"

"When you scanned those first three at the airlock with your tricorder, we found some intriguing results. From the few genes we could identify the "Phoenix" woman has an extremely remarkable healing ability. So good in fact it suggests that it would halt the aging process. An invariable fountain of youth as it were. It doesn't hurt that the genetic make-up suggests full immunity to virtually every known disease we've encountered. We are also very interested in the android that came with them. Of course you know, pretty much any idiot can build an android body these days. Even the positronic neural network, while still difficult to establish initially, can be made. What we're looking for, doctor, is the ability to create true AI comparable to the Data android. A programmable sentient that can function on its own and adapt to new unforeseen situations that weren't programed into it."

James continued, "And from various conversations we've recorded, including your own, they have the ability to transfer memories into android bodies. Quite easily in fact," James said with a hint of excitement in his voice.

"So you want me to fully analyze Phoenix's blood for compatibility to human genes and to try and duplicate the process they used to copy and transfer a person's memories to an android body."

"Essentially, yes. There are other things we'd like investigated but those items are outside your skill set, so just focus on these two things," James said and got up and started for the door.

"I wish Section thirty-one never existed," Bashir muttered under his breath.
James stopped, hearing Bashir's remark, he turned around, "Without Section thirty-one there wouldn't even be a Federation for the Dominion to invade doctor. You see, just several years ago in fact a previously unknown parasitic species had infiltrated key positions in Starfleet. They borough into a person's brain so they can take control of the host body. The host unfortunately dies from this and I'd assume this is an unbearable experience. Never the less, the plot was uncovered before serious damage was done but not before they sent a signal beyond Federation space. Section thirty-one then assembled a sizable fleet and went to where the signal was sent and found a small gathering of ships. All of them were infested with the parasite so we had to destroy them all," James said saying the last part matter-of-factly.

He gave Bashir a minute to digest what he just told him before adding, "And in regards to your situation, doctor, you have a lot to thank Sloan for. When we heard that you "developed" a cure for the changeling virus that was afflicting your friend your friend we were split on what to do. Some of us wanted to let you cure the changelings so they'd feel indebted to us and stop the was while others, like Sloan, believed that we should let them die since it would make it easier to fight your opponent when their head's chopped off. Fortunate for you doctor, Sloan was more persuasive," and with that, James walked out of Bashir's quarters leaving him to think whatever he wanted.


Colonel Kira had just sat down in the boardroom once again. Sitting at the head of the table she looked to her right seeing Admiral Ross, general Dorn and ambassador Saven. Captain Avries and "Phoenix" were to her left. Kira could swear she could see smugness in Saven's eyes when he raised an eyebrow ever so slightly after making eye contact for a brief second.

"Oh how I'd like to smack that look off his face," Kira thought to herself but instead slapped an open palm on the table, "Okay, I'd like to apologize or the last few days. I swear that's not a common occurrence here."

Admiral Ross let out what sounded like a cough distracting Kira momentarily.

"... So getting back to the discussion, what is it did you come here for?"

Avries adjusted his chair, "Since the war in my universe has been over for the past four years, we've began exploring for scientific reasons again. When the zero-space drive, a device that we used to enter your universe, was created the theoretical possibilities of its scientific uses were put on the back burner till after the war ended. The entire experiment was to send a group of ships into another universe, and if it was "friendly", explore the local region."

"And what assistance will you need from the Federation?" Saven asked, seemingly bored.

Avries looked across the room sparing a glance at each expecting look, "We'll need star charts of the area that are detailed enough to display foreign territories, we'd prefer to stay out of the internal affairs of any hostile aliens. We will also require an unclaimed system with at least one planet capable of supporting human life."

The last statement caused some murmurs between Admiral Ross and the ambassador while the Klingon general let out a low displeasing growl.
"That's quite a request," Admiral Ross stated, "Is there anything else?"

"Just autonomy inside the system."

The admiral looked at each of his colleagues, "Thank you captain, please excuse us while we go over your requests."

Avries got up and gave the admiral a hesitant salute, "Thank you admiral sir. I'll be waiting on my ship for your final decision on the matter." With that he left the boardroom with Phoenix, a Bajoran deputy escorting them the whole way.

Admiral Ross sucked in a large breath of air before letting it out in a short huff, "So, what does everyone think about these people?"

"They are... dangerously unpredictable in battle," general Dorn started, "Even more so when they fight hand to hand."

"Look general, I admit I was impressed when I heard about the fight at Quarks bar but..," Kira started.

"I was talking about their android soldiers, colonel. I wish I was there to see it but the warriors I sent to guard the station have told me that they fight like a wounded animal when one of their own was dispatched. Those who are near when one is fallen immediately set upon the attacker with such furiousness that it pales a Klingons bloodlust in the heat of battle."

"You sound as if you admire them for that general," Ross said.

Dorn narrowed his eyes, "A Klingons bloodlust is far different than what you would call a "blind rage" admiral. When a Klingon succumbs to the bloodlust of battle we can still tell an ally from an enemy."

Admiral Ross nodded, "I'll have to admit it that their fleet formations leave me more than a little concerned. Using multiple short-range warp jumps in a system is crazy enough, but doing that while in a battle zone. What concerns me even more is their technology. They've shown quite plainly that they don't need the wormhole to enter our universe so even if we say no, we can't bottle them up at the entrance if we wanted to. We have to do something because if we leave them be they could fall under the influence of one of our enemies. I don't need to tell any of you about the less than ethical war profiteering that we're all just starting to address now. Not to mention splinter groups that have their own visions for the Alpha quadrant," Ross looked around the table, "So what do we do?"

"The answer is simple if not logical admiral," Saven replied, "We cannot afford to allow these humans o wonder aimlessly with the capabilities they possess. The logical course to take is to give them what they requested. However in exchange for our information we will impose restrictions on their military capabilities while present in the Alpha Quadrant. If they wish to explore the region they will require a Federation escort to ensure against "diplomatic incidence". Also, members of the Federation council would like us to send observers to see if sustainable relations can be upheld."

The admiral nodded, "Agreed. General Dorn, do you have anything else to say on the matter?"

Dorn mulled the question over in his head humming, or rather growling softly, "I will speak to Martok and see if we can spare a ship or two to look over our new allies' shoulders when they think we aren't watching.

Ross nodded again, "And what about you colonel? You've been quiet this whole time."

Kira was sitting back in her chair, one hand holding her head up as she slouched to one side, and then looked up at Ross' prodding look, "Hmm?"

"Is everything all right colonel?"

"I'm sorry, yes, I was just thinking about something else. What was it?"

"Do you have any thoughts about how we should proceed with captain Avries and his people?"

"Yes, no... I don't know... I'd have to say everyone's already covered what's needed to be done."

Admiral Ross was skeptical about Kira's response but decided not to pursue it, "Ok, now for the hard part. Where do we put them?"


Jake Sisko and Nog were up on the catwalk of the promenade. They were both looking down at a girl of seventeen or eighteen sitting at a table in the replimate drinking what looked to be coffee will thumbing through a holographic display projected from her bracer. She had long blond hair tied in a high pony tail. Jake and Nog had taken a quick infatuation with her.

"Have you ever seen a more beautiful girl?" Jake asked.

Nog sighed, "Yeah, too bad you'll never get a shot with her."

Jake jerked up as he turned to Nog, "What's that supposed to mean?"

Nog flung his hand out to the girl's direction, "Just look at her Jake, she's wearing a uniform, which means she has her heart set on her career, which means she won't have time for you. Besides, everyone knows a woman likes a man in uniform," he said while straightening out his collar.

Jake just rolled his eyes and shook his head, "So, how do you want to do this?"

"We'll approach her, tell her the best qualities about ourselves and let her decide who is better."

"So we wing it and winner takes all," Jake stated.

"Exactly," Nog proclaimed.

"Deal," Jake replied before shaking Nog's hand.

They then made their way down to the replimate. They walked up to the girl's table who didn't seem to notice them as she took another drink of her coffee until Jake cleared his throat causing her to look up.

"Hi! My name is Jake," he said giving her an awkward but friendly wave.

"And I'm Nog," he added equally awkward and friendly.

"Hello," the girl replied casually before looking back to her holo-pad.

Jake looked at Nog as if asking him "what now?" Nog was just as clueless until Jake nudged him causing him to blurt out, "And what's your name?"

The girl let go of the holo-pad which then vanished from existence, "My name is Sata Bishop."

Jake nodded, "That's a really nice name," he then groaned inwardly at what he just said.

"Thanks, I think it's a nice name too. So, Jake and Nog, what is it you do when you're not trying to pick up girls like me?"

Jakes mind blanked for two seconds before he was able to answer, "Um, I'm a writer, I write books. And I'm also a journalist."

"A writer and a journalist," Sata remarked teasingly.

"Ye-yeah, I covered the Dominion occupation of the station during the war a few months ago," Jake said with the hint of pride.

Sata took a sip of her drink, "Mmhmm, did your journalism help your Federation or the occupied citizens?"

Jake was taken aback by what she said,"...What?"

Sata waved her hand apologetically, "Sorry about that. Just some biased opinions from back home. They seemed more wanting to focus on how badly we were losing than helping evacuate."

"I'm sorry to hear that," Jake said.

Nog then shoved Jake a little, "Well I'm a pilot."

"Wow, I used to be one too. Tell me, is that how you lost your leg?"

Nog stiffened and unconsciously scratched his knee above his prosthetic leg.

Sata winced, "Sorry I didn't mean to draw attention to it."

"How did you know?"

"There's an old Earth saying, usually an insult, "it takes one to know one." I've unfortunately lost a few limbs too. And after that I just began to notice things. No matter how good a prosthetic is or how natural it feels, an amputee leaves a little telltale that another can pick up."

Nog was about to say something when a big bear of a man walked up to the table, "Captain, Avries has requested a general meeting on the Hathaway."

Nog instantly went rigid on realizing he was flirting with a superior officer.

"Well it can't be helped. It was nice meeting you two, good bye," Sata said as she got up and walked away with the man. As the two made their way through the promenade to the turbolift the man built like a bear, who's actually Sata's XO, spoke, "I'm not going to ask if you enjoyed flirting with those kids but did you at least tell them that you're an ArtForm?"

"Well I didn't go right out and say it but, yes, it was implied."

"What about telling them you're actually twenty years older than you look?"

"Slipped my mind," Sata said mischievously, "Side effects maybe? At any rate, it's good to be young," she said with a stretch as they entered the turbolift. As the doors closed, her XO told the computer their destination. As the turbolift hummed to life Sata, her arms still stretched behind her head, turned to her XO, "So did we get a response from them yet?" she asked, seriousness creeping into her voice.

"Not yet, but the frequency they gave us is probably out of date by now. They might not even be monitoring it since it's been so long."

"Maybe, they might already be here and they're just spying on us for now," Sata said listlessly before stretching up and letting her arms fall to her sides as she began to hum a random tune to herself.


O'Brian had just finished replicating the part for the mobile emitter and began assembling it in the infirmary when he looked up to see Bashir walk in looking like hell.

"Julian, I know things have been busy the last few days but you do need to sleep."

Bashir got a coffee from the replicator before sitting down in his chair. "Normally I would agree but I had an unexpected visitor an hour ago," he replied while breathing in the aroma of his drink which seemed to reinvigorate him slightly.

"Hang on; I thought Ezri was helping out on the Venture. How'd she get back so soon?"

Bashir took a deep gulp of his coffee and let it settle in his stomach a moment before answering, "It wasn't Ezri, and even if it were her, she knows I've been working hard these last few days and would have let me sleep."

"Then who?"

"Our esteemed friends from Section thirty-one."

O'Brian stopped working on the emitter, "What the hell do they want now?"

"Well it's not revenge..."

"I'd hope not. It'd look pretty sad if it took them four months to avenge one of their own. So, what did they want you do?"

"That's what's been keeping me up. They're giving me a voluntary assignment."

"That doesn't sound like them."

"He says Starfleet is going to send people to "observe" and I'm supposed to be one of those. What's been keeping me up is that he didn't have to tell me anything, let alone showing up in my quarters. They would have gotten what they wanted just by going through my files when I get back."

O'Brian just nodded with a grunt while he attached the power supply to the mobile emitter causing a minor spark to fly off. O'Brian swore under his breath but otherwise unharmed by the experience. "Well," O'Brian said as he got up with the emitter, "We'll figure something out. Computer, activate the EMH mark one."

A tall bald man with a no-nonsense look on his face wearing a blue trimmed uniform materialized in the middle of the room, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency!" he said before walking towards them.

O'Brian turned to Bashir, "So what's so special about this thing? He sounds just like the other one."

The holographic doctor grabbed the mobile emitter out of O'Brian's hand, "Despite the automated greeting protocol I say on activation, I can assure you that my charming personality will more than make up for whatever preconception you may have," he said with a straight face then turned to Bashir, "What is the current status of the patients?" he asked with a level of concern that surprised the two.

Bashir cleared his throat before handing the EMH a padd, "Two hundred and thirteen people with various levels of Borg implants. I'm making headway removing the ones in their bodies, but the implants and nanites infesting their brains are proving more difficult. I went over the techniques the medical staff on the Enterprise used to restore Captain Picard but these implants are much more invasive."

The EMH nodded as he looked through the padd, "That is what I did first as well. However, on comparison with my first patient and Picard's situation, Picard's implants were largely superficial. My first patient still requires a majority of her implants to maintain the automatic functions of her vital organs."

Bashir held up his arm as if to offer control of his infirmary to the EMH, "All right, where do we begin?"

The EMH attached the mobile emitter to this left arm just below the shoulder, "First we'll need to do a complete scan so I can do a comparison to my records to see if we can make things easier for ourselves. Otherwise, we will have to start from scratch."

Bashir then lead the EMH into the next room where he had one resting on a biobed.


O'Brian had chosen this time to leave and return to his quarters that were temporarily assigned to him. Coincidentally they were the same quarters he used to live in when he used to work at the station. On entering he saw Keiko sitting on the couch, when she looked up at him he could see that her eyes were red and wet from crying just moments ago.

"What's wrong Keiko?" he asked as he slid in beside her and wrapped his arms around her.

Keiko sniffled as she looked up at O'Brian, "Oh Miles," she cried burying her head in his shoulder for comfort.

"Come on, tell me what's wrong," he urged giving her shoulder a nudge.

She wiped a tear from her eye, "I was talking to Geordi before you came back. The Enterprise just returned from a mission, he couldn't say what it was but he told me that Data died saving the ship," at that tears welled up again as she hugged her husband.

O'Brian stared up at the ceiling. He heard what she said and was able to understand each word individually but he just couldn't comprehend them going together in a sentence. O'Brian looked down at this wife, "What!?" A tone in his voice suggesting on some level that he thought it was some kind of joke.

"Data's dead Miles. He died, why would I make up something like this? He gave me away at our wedding for god's sake!"

"Shh, shh. It's going to be ok Keiko. I don't know how but we'll get through this," he said hugging her while they rocked back in forth grieving.


Avries looked around the conference room at the other ship captains sitting at the table with him. Out of thirteen ships that participated in the battle (not counting the escorts for the defense platform) only six remained. One was currently in surgery so he was represented by his XO. More than a few had bandages and bruises.

"I'm sorry to have called you all here when you're all in the midst of making repairs but I feel that this needs to be addressed before we get underway. Once we establish a base port and make complete repairs, we'll need to figure out what to do and where to go. I believe our best course is to see if any of our allies exist in this universe," Avries finished as he again looked around the table gauging the others reactions.

Captain Margret Roberto spoke up, "We don't even know if these "people" will even accept us. Just because they let us fight with them hardly means they'll let us in their back yard. I'm willing to bet they're more interested in our weapons technology than whatever culture we might have to offer. I wouldn't be surprised if they're scanning our ships right now; trying to figure out our technology," she said rather distastefully, "Our first priority should be to build up our military fleet." One of the other captains nodded in agreement.

Avries could sympathize with her especially considering how large a fleet they were able to rally in the short few days warning they were given.

"Once we have a location, the immediate area will be thoroughly searched before a permanent base is set up. No one is saying we just plant a flag and then run off to look at the first shiny object that catches our eyes. I fully expect every ship to be committed in securing the system," Avries said hoping that it answered their questions of base security. Avries decided then to change his tone urging others to follow his lead, "Since the battle, command has already given identification codes for the ships we've encountered.."

"Just a moment, captain," Don Wait interrupted.

"Yes?" Avries asked.

"Is this the subject for the remaining of this little "meeting"?" Don asked.

"Unless anyone else has anything to bring up, then yes it is," Avries answered.

"Then I'll take my leave here. You can send my ship a copy of the information if it hasn't already been sent by command. I have a ship to run and reports that need to be looked over," Don said with thick condescension in his voice as he got up and left.

Once the doors closed, Avries looked around the room that had become still, "Well, if no one else has anything to add, then you're all dismissed. The information has already been sent to your ships."

No one said anything and after a brief moment's hesitation, they began to file out.

Avries bracer beeped, "Yes, what is it?" he asked on activating the communicator.

"Captain," his XO replied, "They've agreed to let us stay. We're receiving instructions to follow some escorts to an uninhabited system."

"Acknowledged, inform the Marigold to prep to get underway." Avries cut the comm link then looked at the people making their way out, "Excuse me everyone," They all turned around to face Avries, one that had made it out into the corridor was called back to the entrance, "I've just been informed that we have been granted the use of a system," there were some murmurs of approval, "So having said that. Coordinate with your crews to get your ships ready to go as soon as possible."

After Avries saw his guests off the ship, he made his way to the bridge. "Status report on the ship systems," he asked commander Noel as he entered.

"We're still in the process of restoring full main power to compartment eleven.."

"I thought that problem was fixed the day after we got here," Avries said as he "took" the holographic pad from Noel which had a full description of the ships systems.

"It was. This was damage taken in the battle," Noel explained, "Also, since the battle, we'll need to put into dry-dock to fix the warp engines. Till then, we can only make warp five point eight," he added.

"Well, it's not as if we can go faster than that if we wanted to with the Absolon in tow. Very well, relay the advised speed limitation to the Federation escorts and our own ships. Let's get underway," Avries said handing back the report.

"Aye sir," Noel said before turning to the bridge crew.


Meanwhile at a nearly forgotten, lonely, Federation outpost closest to the galactic rim. Anthony, one of two officers manning the outpost that's supposed to be crewed by four, stood in the control room. He wasn't standing so much as floating as he had turned the gravity in the room off. As he floated practicing his harmonica he was interrupted by a beeping sound from a console. Pushing off the ceiling he sailed towards the console and looked over the data.

"Hey Pete, could you come up here a minute?" he asked after tapping his commbadge.

Five minutes later Pete came walking in, "What's the matter, whoa!" he shouted as his first step into the room sent him hitting the ceiling, "Dammit kid! How many times did I tell you not to turn off the gravity?"

"How many times did I ask you not to call me kid?" he answered as he restored the gravity.

"I'll stop when you stop acting like one! Now what'd you want?" He said as he walked towards Anthony straightening his uniform.

"The sensors picked up a group of ships two light years away."

"That can't be right, it's a waste land out there," he said as he checked over the sensor records, "You read it wrong." Anthony gave him a look. "Alright, if it makes you feel any better, let's launch a probe. But you're going to bring it back if it's nothing!"

They both waited as the probe reached the area. On receiving telemetry from the probe, all they saw was an unusually shaped dust cloud. "There, you see! Nothing but dust," Pete said as he left the room, "Have fun recovering the probe," he said over his shoulder before the doors closed. Anthony chased after him in effort to get out of it. As he left the room, a group of alien ships appeared on the probes telemetry. Flashes of light erupted from several of them towards the probe.

An instant later, the probe telemetry stopped.
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Old July 13 2014, 05:02 PM   #7
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: DES Pathfinder
Re: Star Trek: Nexus Crossings

They had spent a week at warp five before reaching their destination. The planet was a small settlement near the badlands that was wiped out by the Cardassian military and Dominion forces for suspicion of harboring members of the Maquis and was forgotten about until now. Once they reached the system they wasted no time entering orbit and transporting down.

Avries came down with two teams of combat-type ArtForms. Avries himself was wearing a combat suit that was similar to the "knight" that came with him although his suit was slightly more bulky and less streamlined but provided the required protection. Looking around the ruined settlement, the buildings around them were nearly completely demolished, large glassed craters pocket-marked the ground around the settlement area suggesting an orbital bombardment. The grisly scene was made worse as several dozen skeletons of decomposed bodies could be seen strewn about. Some were intact while most were just parts caught in or nearby one of the many craters. Avries knelt down over a small body, possibly a child, and saw the tattered remains of a stuffed toy still clutched around one arm. Avries gritted his teeth while shutting his eyes tightly, trying to shut out the memories that began to flash though his mind.

It was still the first year of the Jikoran war. Bracers and Katana's had yet to be made. At the time Avries held the rank of commander and was the XO to the Hathaway 2.

He had gone planet-side on the Fairview colony to assist in the evacuation of the civilian population. It wasn't going well.

Avries and a remaining third of a battalion were standing guard at a small city using it to direct the dwindling flow of civilians though an underground tram station to one of the last star ports on the planet. Faint echoes of explosions could be heard in the mountain range to the south of the city where a platoon was defending the passage from Jikoran troops. Even in the city the crack of gunfire could be heard from snipers in the high-rise buildings taking out Jikoran soldiers that slipped past the front lines.

Avries was looking over the shoulder of one of many radio operators.

"What's the count?" Avries asked him referring to how many refuge convoys still on track to their location.

"Seven sir, although three of them are under fire sir."

Avries nodded and gave the radioman a pat on the shoulder, "Send a squadron out to provide air support for the convoys under fire," he told him before leaving the room. Stepping outside Avries looked over the small city.

It had taken them four hard days to take it from Jikoran forces that were "cleansing" the area of all opposition. A lot of good people lost their lives here and still other places just on this planet let alone up in space above them and other colony worlds.

A sergeant came up beside him, a rifle slung over the back of his shoulder, "It's been pretty quiet since we cleaned out the town huh?" he asked as Avries looked on.

Avries only grunted a response. "I mean, not that I'm saying that babysitting the civvies isn't important but it's just so dang boring. I'd rather be on the front lines putting those things down," the soldier said unslinging his rifle to prove his eagerness.

Avries gave him a sidelong glance, "Obviously you don't realize it yet, but soon you're going to appreciate these "quiet" moments," Avries told him flatly.

The soldier just shrugged in reply as Avries turned and walked back into the comm. room and approached another radioman, "Get me an uplink to the front in the mountains," Avries told him. After the brief chat with the soldier outside, he felt a tinge of paranoia and wanted a status update from the front lines in the mountains where they were holding off the encroaching Jikoran at a small choke-point of a mountain pass.

After several minutes the radioman nodded and handed Avries a head set. As he put it on he could hear sounds of gunfire, shouting and the occasional explosion. It was a sharp contrast to the almost serene setting of the city. "This is commander Ryan Avries at the staging grounds in Horizon city, requesting status update." As he waited he could hear sounds of someone moving through the still raging battlefield who must have gone inside a bunker as the sounds he could hear were dulled somewhat but was still fairly load.

"Master Sergeant Trent here sir, sorry for the delay."

"Where's your CO?" Avries asked him although he felt he already knew the answer.

"KIA two and a half hours ago sir."

Avries looked down at the floor leaving the soldiers reply alone, "How're you guys holding out?"

There was a heavy sigh on the other end, "It's a meat grinder sir but we're dug in deep and holding for now. We'll need resupplies and fresh troops soon."

Avries grimaced. He wanted to send some of the soldiers from the city up as some relief however minor it would be, even air support would have done wonders in easing off the pressure for them. But the troops in the city were needed to keep the evacuating civilians safe and whatever air support there was was already earmarked for escort missions. "Hold fast master sergeant. We'll send help when we can."

"Yes sir," he responded tiredness stemming from his voice as he knew what Avries meant.

Suddenly, on the master sergeants end, a crash from a door slamming opens followed by a voice of a very distressed soldier, "Sir! You need to come out here right now sir!"

Avries could hear shuffling, an indication that Trent was following the soldier outside. His guess was confirmed as he could hear the sounds of the battlefield get louder but somehow didn't seem to gain intensity. An eerie silence came over the comm. that Avries had to check with the radioman to see if the connection had been lost.

"Aw shit! It looks like we won't be needing resupplies after all commander."

The statement confused Avries, "What do you mean master sergeant?"

"Just look above us sir."

Avries did a quick jog out the door and looked up in the sky above the mountains to the south, what he saw made his blood run cold. Even though it was mostly a spec in the distance he instantly recognized it as a Jikoran troop transport.

"Listen commander. I know I have no right to ask you for a favor but before this op, I got in a fight with my girlfriend and we broke up. Her name's Michelle Adams and she's posted on the Hades Gambit. Let her know that I'm sorry and I love her." His voice was eerily calm as if he missed his girlfriend at the airport and decided to leave a message on her voice mail.

While Trent was talking, a large oval section of the Jikoran transport had broken off and continued its descent. As soon as Trent finished talking, seconds after, the detached object had slammed into the ground on top of Trent's position wiping out everything in the mountain pass.

Avries stared at the halo of dust and debris that had risen up over the mountains in shock and disbelief. He had seen this too many times but this was the first time he ever heard a man's last request. He could hear the low sound of static over the headset he was still wearing, "Don't worry Master sergeant Trent. I'll make sure she gets the message," he said before pulling off the headset and letting it drop to the ground.

Over five hundred freshly armed and ready Jikoran soldiers had broke their lines and landed on their doorstep.

Avries was motionless for a moment until he noticed the sergeant from earlier standing beside him. Without turning to the soldier Avries continued to look at the mountain range, "Well sergeant, you wanted to be on the front lines. You're standing on it now," he told him before going back inside to prepare for the upcoming battle.

Avries shook his head trying to force the memories from his mind. He didn't want to remember the events that happened afterwards. Still feeling the sting of tears threatening his eyes he stood up and turned to a knight standing beside him. The short-range transponder on the HUD of his helmet indicated that it contained an imprint of his XO.

"I want all the victims found," Avries had long ago stopped using the word "bodies",

"Coordinate with the Federation officers, I want a name for each of them I don't care how long or difficult it is. Once that is done, either send them to their surviving relatives or have their funeral rites done according to their beliefs." There was something else he wanted but he will wait and talk to the Federation representatives directly about this slaughter.

"Yes captain," the XO's knight replied before moving off.

Avries looked around seeing everyone clearing rubble while recovering the dead. Avries clenched his fists. He didn't have to wait for the engineers to know that the aliens that did this wanted these people to suffer. He will make sure that all the aliens that participated in this will be tried as war criminals under DES law.

Meanwhile in the "top-most" sector of the Pursues arm in the Alpha quadrant, a small Ferengi shuttle was flying through a nursery solar system. A yellow sun surrounded by rings of rock and dust clouds. Two Ferengi were grumbling to each other in the cockpit.

"Why are we here?" one asked the other for the eighth time in the last hour.

"I told you before and I'll tell you again. The probes we sent out this way showed the presence of latinum," he told him condescendingly.

"We've been here for six days now and sensors haven't even detected gold! So why are we still here?" the first complained.

"Rule of acquisition number sixty-two: The riskier the road, the greater the profit."

"Yes well rule number eighteen says..." he was cut off by a beeping alert at the console."Sensors have detected a large object," the first said after reading the data off the screen.

"It's probably just another rock. Adjust course so we don't hit it," the second said more than a little bored.

"It's not a rock," the first said as he brought the shuttle into position to view the object.

On passing a dense dust cloud, an enormously large ship came into view. At twelve kilometers in length only a small portion of it could be seen in the cockpit window.

"What is this?" the first asked.

"...Profit!" the second said finally with a hungry smile.

That's it for part 1. I'm going to finish writing the second part before posting it here so there isn't as much of a wait. let me know what you all think.
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