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|November 4 2008, 06:13 PM||#16|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Most of all, he could not stop asking herself one question. How, after, surviving countless encounters with the Jem’Hadar, could his ship be destroyed by lesser-armed escort vessels?
A shadow formed over Morrison. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a large intimidating Cardassian gul pointing a rifle at him. “Get up!” he ordered.
Morrison blinked his eyes pretending to drift in and out of consciousness. The gul was not fooled. He leaned down and grabbed Morrison by the collar. “Get up!” he growled more emphatically.
Morrison stood up on his own. “Mandel Morrison,” he groaned, “Rank: lieutenant commander. Serial number… “
I’ve heard all that before,” the gul snapped. “Now, what are the Federation’s rescue plans?”
“Go to hell!”
The gul slammed his rifle right into Morrison’s already blackened left eye. “Cardassians have evolved beyond the need for religious supernatural figures,” he proclaimed with a chortle.
A civilian Cardassian woman entered the cell at the same time the Starfleet officers backed off. Korinas whispered inaudibly to Hadar. He and the guards followed her out of the cell. The guards backed away with their phaser rifles trained on the prisoners to prevent any sudden escape attempts.
Once the double doors closed, Korinas gave her report. “The Defiant will be leaving Deep Space Nine tomorrow morning, heading straight for Cardassia.”
“Is the Bajoran terrorist on board?” Hadar asked.
“Yes, the Lambda Paz’s captain is accompanying the Defiant’'s regular complement.”
“Excellent. Now we begin to implement the next phase of our plan.”
Diagnostics on the cloaking device all check out,” Ensign Prynn Tenmei reported from the situation area of the Defiant’s bridge. “That should expedite our departure.”
Ezri stood at the helm station, inputting information from a PADD she held in her left hand. Throughout the bridge, officers and crew were busy loading the intelligence files that could be salvaged from the Lambda Paz into the Defiant’s computers. “Is this mission interfering with your social life?” she jokingly asked.
Prynn was not at all amused. Jadzia had been known to crack jokes to lighten the mood during tense situations. She and Ezri inherited that characteristic from Curzon, although Ezri’s attempts at humor were not well received.
“The sooner this mission is over, the better,” Prynn bluntly stated striding toward the starboard communications station. “Let’s leave it at that.”
Ezri was well aware of Prynn’s strained relationship her father, Elias Vaughn, when Vaughn first reported aboard. What she didn’t know was that Prynn held Elias responsible for her mother’s presumed death during a confrontation with the Borg.
Since she began realizing her potential as a joining of Ezri Tigan, the Dax symbiont, and all of its past hosts, Ezri was no longer a counselor in terms of her job, Ezri still could not help but psychoanalyze a gulf between parent and child. That was her life before getting the Dax symbiont.
“How are those anti-virus algorithms coming?” Ezri asked. “Prynn, your father wouldn’t have chosen you if you were not such an exceptional pilot.”
“Loading will require five more minutes,” Prynn answered. “I appreciate your attempts to counsel me, Ezri, but for now, I’d rather keep it professional.”
The discussion was interrupted when the port door slid open. Fitzpatrick walked through with Bashir close behind. “Read Jack Bauer’s own personal accounts,” Bashir was insisting. “Hamri al-Assad’s conciliatory initiatives were genuine.”
“Weapon calibrations completed,” Fitzpatrick reported to Dax, and then looked back at Bashir. “I’m not disputing Bauer’s accounts. He could have been duped as well.”
Rashid stepped onto the bridge, behind them. “If his peace offering was just part of an elaborate plan to assassinate the President of the United States, “ he offered, “would he have helped to prevent his colleagues from detonating a suitcase nuke just outside of Los Angeles.”
Those who knew Julian well, especially Ezri, knew immediately that the three were discussing a holosuite program. He was not that well versed in Earth history, but he familiarized himself with the historical context of these holosuite programs. “One of their holosuite programs, I assume?” Tenmei asked taking a seat at the helm.
“He’s been into this stuff since O’Brien introduced him to that Battle of Britain program,” Dax replied.
“I overheard an argument between those two about a Davey Crockett last year,” Tenmei whispered. “Commander Worf resolved it.”
Fitzpatrick was standing at the weapons station to the right of the helm, making a few minor checks. He then turned to Bashir and Rashid. “The bottom line is we can’t be certain. The neo-conservative cabal could have tried to assassinate Palmer, but there’s no proof.”
Vaughn stepped onto the bridge. Bashir and Rashid sat at the stations on the port side of the bridge. Dax and Fitzpatrick sat at the stations on the opposite side. “You all know the drill,” Vaughn declared. “Seal the airlock, release docking clamps, port and starboard thrusters at station keeping. Aft thrusters at one quarter.”
The implant in Rashid’s brain was again triggered. This time, his contact was seeking out information on the Defiant’s tactical weaknesses.
The Defiant pulled away from the station, turned around, and warped towards Cardassia.
Admiral Ross arrived at the station aboard the U.S.S. Bellerephon at roughly the same time the Defiant had departed. Although higher-ranking admirals and civilian dignitaries would serve as principal mediators, Ross specifically requested to welcome the delegates himself.
Kira did not enjoy the cordial relationship Sisko had with Ross ever since the incident at Derna. The Romulans had placed plasma torpedoes on the Bajoran moon over a year earlier. Kira, who had been promoted to station CO during Sisko’s three-month leave of absence, set up a blockade of outdated fighters inferior to just one Romulan warbird. It was only when Ross threatened to take action that the Romulans stood down. Ross again put Kira on notice when she gained command following Sisko’s disappearance in the Bajoran Fire Caves.
Kira and Ross had to maintain a united front when welcoming the delegates. The Breen Confederacy had refused to relinquish Cardassian territory provided the Breen as part of their alliance with the Dominion. The Cardassian provisional government argued that the treaty was nullified after the Dominion was banished from the Alpha Quadrant. The Bajorans had a vested interest in the dispute, as the Breen were nothing more than interstellar pirates prior to the war.
Both officers were at the airlock in full dress uniforms to greet the dignitaries. A Cardassian was the first to step through the airlock. “Ambassador Pirak,” Ross said. “Welcome to Deep Space 9.”
“Admiral Ross, “Pirak replied. “Pleased to finally meet you in person. I regret Castellan Ghemor himself could not come. His position is quite fragile given the tense political situation.”
“Allow me to introduce station CO Colonel Kira.”
“On behalf of the Bajoran government,” Kira said, “welcome to the station.”
The tall Cardassian who dwarfed even Ross smiled. “Thank you for the kind words, Colonel. I hope the war’s end can bring about a new spirit of friendship between our peoples.” He then turned and introduced his party.
“This is my chief of staff, Legate Turrell.” Turrell represented Cardassia in treaty negotiations with Bajor shortly after the end of the Occupation. “And other dignitaries,” Pirak continued. “Ilon Tandro of Klaestron Four, Jolar of Kobheria, and Rigus of Lissepia.”
Ronnick and Solarin watched the formal introductions from a crawlspace above the airlock. Ronnick pushed a few buttons on a data pad. A photo of a partially gray-haired Cardassian appeared on the readout screen. He pushed a button that activated a scanner. An identical photo appeared to the right of the first.
“Yes,” said Solarin. “He’s our target.”
Last edited by Enterprise1981; November 4 2008 at 06:14 PM. Reason: a few minor changes
|November 6 2008, 08:34 PM||#17|
Location: Between the candle and the flame
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
|November 6 2008, 08:54 PM||#18|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Fitzpatrick held a PADD with the information he was paraphrasing to Bashir. Both men were on their way to the mess hall during their coffee break.
Julian threw up his hands almost as if he was surrendering. While Julian often had an optimistic view of the future and chose to see benign intentions in important historical figures, Raul was often more skeptical. These different views sparked interesting, and often heated, debated between the two.
“I get it, Raul,” Julian huffed. “Wayne Palmer did not measure up to his brother. David Palmer became a martyr after his assassination, coupled with the fact that the incumbent candidate was his corrupt predecessor’s vice-president.”
Their discussion was interrupted when the inside of the officer’s mess caught them off-guard. What was normally the officer’s mess was a communal bunkroom with four bunk beds lined up in a row. “What the bloody hell is this?” Fitzpatrick demanded of the four officers from the Military Assault Command Operations.
The MACO’s were identified by jumpsuits made of a thick black fabric that made them more resistant to phasers and hand-held plasma weapons. The three male officers’ uniforms had a gold stripe on their uniforms across the torso. The lone female, who had been facing away from Bashir and Fitzpatrick while speaking to one of the other MACO’s, turned around. Her uniform had a red stripe indicating here status as unit commander. “Raul Fitzpatrick,” she said with a smile. “I’d recognize that voice anywhere.”
Lisa Neeley rarely ever smiled, in fact almost never as far as Bashir was concerned when she served as the original Defiant’s chief security and weapons officer during the early months of the war. She spoke with a dispassionate tone of voice both on and off duty. “Captain Limis requested us, she explained. “Quarters would be close, so Commander Vaughn approved converting the mess hall and the shuttle-bay into bunkrooms.”
“So where the hell am I supposed to get a raktajino?” Fitzpatrick asked.
“That’s your problem. Klingon coffee isn’t on the top of this mission’s priority list.”
“The point is, darling, I would have appreciated being consulted about the addition of new security personnel.”
There was more to this than just a clash of personalities, Bashir began to sense. He interceded at that moment saying, “We probably should go somewhere else.”
Fitzpatrick did not budge as Neeley responded to his last remark. “Ross ordered your captain to take us aboard. Our primary mission is the rescue of the hostages. Despite what you may think, I care about those men and women.”
Bashir and Fitzpatrick left the mess hall turned bunkroom. Raul then explained to Julian that he and Lisa were romantically involved for three months before the war started while serving together on the Veracruz. She had seemed distant, possibly a fear of commitment from the risks of serving in Starfleet. When the relationship became more intense, the war began and Lisa did not wish to become too emotionally invested.
Because the mess hall was also used for staff meetings, Limis’s briefing was convened on the bridge. All senior staff officers were seated at their stations. Vaughn occupied the center seat. Limis was operating a control console next Dax’s communications station to control the viewscreen.
“Since we are entering a volatile sector of space,” Limis began, “Admiral Ross suggested you all be familiarized with the factions we’ll be dealing with, and Captain Vaughn agrees,” She never understood that Earth military tradition of referring to a ship’s CO as captain regardless of rank, but it seemed convenient for this mission.
“The new head of state,” she continued, as the image of a middle-aged Cardassian male appeared on the viewscreen, “is Alon Ghemor, First Castellan of the provisional government.”
“Tekenny Ghemor’s nephew according to Garak in one of his communi-qués,” said Bashir. “He’s the leader of the Reunion Project.”
“Correct, Doctor,” Limis replied. “’Plain and simple’ Garak knows almost everyone worth knowing. Both Ghemors played important roles in the dissident movement.
“Cardassian culture and politics preaches loyalty to the state. In theory, the military and intelligence answered to a civilian legislative body. Over time, the Detapa Council was just a puppet of the Central Command and the Obsidian Order. The decision to free Bajor was controversial in that the Council had no direct authority over the military in these matters. Tekenny Ghemor argued that the people had no obligations to follow two organizations with no legitimate political authority, and used his position in the Central Command to encourage dissent. Natima Lang represented the radical wing of the Underground.”
“This is all very interesting, “said Vaughn, “but what does this have to do with the current political situation?”
“I’m getting to that,” Limis explained. “The members of the Cardassian Underground who eluded capture when the Dominion took over formed a rebel government. The younger Ghemor’s ascension raised concern that his leadership will not fairly represent other factions.”
Limis could see a look of fascination on Bashir’s face. Julian had been intrigued and frustrated at not being able to get straight answers from Garak. Limis wondered if she should let Bashir take over the briefing.
“The other major political faction is the Directorate. They form an influential minority representing conservative elements within the military. The Directorate and the Reunion Project held a voting competition with the Reunion Project winning four of six districts. The Directorate has since tried to use the principles of democracy to its advantage.
“The xenophobic group called the True Way is the more radical branch of the Directorate.” An image of Gul Revok appeared on the viewscreen. “Revok is one of the architects of an effort to remove all outside influences. The True Way played a role in making the Cardassian Union a Dominion protectorate. We have limited intelligence on which members remain loyal to the Dominion.
“Finally, the Oralian Way has become more prominent in recent months.”
“Garak told me about them,” Bashir chimed in. “They’re a deeply spiritual group, persecuted for what are considered primitive beliefs. Garak knows of a few Oralians willing to aide in our rescue.”
“Of course,” Limis warned, “some Oralians are out for retribution. A few religious extremists suicide bombed a supply depot last week.”
“So we’re dealing with Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds,’ Rashid offered.
“Pardon?” Vaughn asked, not quite sure of the analogy to Earth history.
“The two sects of Islam,” Rashid explained, “and Kurdish separatists in Iraq were held at peace at gunpoint under Saddam Hussein. Once he was removed, chaos erupted among those factions making a negotiated peace difficult.”
“Then we should probably familiarized ourselves with that aspect of Earth history,” Fitzpatrick sarcastically suggested.
“That’s not a bad idea actually,” Vaughn suggested. “ETA at Cardassia Prime, Ensign Tenmei?”
“Four hours, thirty-six minutes,” Tenmei responded.
Ezri had been skimming through Federation historical database files as Vaughn suggested. How did Fitzpatrick not see the historical parallels Rashid pointed to, she wondered. Three factions with three separate agendas were kept in check by a dictatorial government. With that government gone, unresolved conflicts resumed.
She came across something peculiar while looking at information on prominent terrorist leaders in Earth’s Middle East region. She summoned Bashir, Rashid, and Fitzpatrick to her station. “You’ll never believe what I just came across when I looked up Hamri al-Assad.”
A photograph was included in the biographical profile of the long-dead Assad. The face looked all too familiar. Pictured was a man who looked exactly like Bashir, only with a full beard.
“That’s you, Julian,” Rashid observed.
“Or rather... possibly an ancestor,” the wide-eyed Bashir corrected. “I had no idea.”
“In orbit of Cardassia Prime,” Tenmei reported from the helm. “Castellan Ghemor has approved our request for beamdown.”
“Very well,” Vaughn acknowledged. “Inform Captain Limis and Lieutenant Neeley to join us in the transporter room. Away Team with me.”
Ezri vacated her station to assume the center seat. Fitzpatrick took one last glance at the on-screen display before exiting the bridge with Vaughn, Bashir, and Rashid.
A thought went through his mind that he quickly dismissed. He remembered the notorious superhuman Khan Noonien Singh went into suspended animation after his downfall. Could Assad have done the same? Were Julian Bashir and Hamri al-Assad the same person? Of course not. Assad had died in his attempt to assassinate one of his enemies.
|November 9 2008, 06:15 PM||#19|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Colonel Kira spun the baseball on the desk in her office while listening to reports from Lieutenant Ro and Bajoran liaison officer Major Cenn Desca. It was a habit she picked up from Ben Sisko when he was station commander. The baseball became a symbol indicating that Sisko would one day return. When Starfleet surrendered the station to the Dominion, Sisko left the ball behind putting Dukat on notice. Sisko took the ball during his leave of absence after Dukat murdered Jadzia and temporarily sealed the Wormhole, cutting the Bajoran people off from their gods. No one knew what happened to Sisko when he confronted Dukat in the Fire Caves. He let his wife know he would return at some point in the future or the past, as the Prophets had no concept of linear time.
“I asked Nog to run a diagnostic on the EPS relay system in the habitat ring,” Ro said. “They all checked out.”
Kira detected frustration in Ro’s voice when emphasizing the word “all.” “That shouldn’t be possible, should it?” she asked.
“No,” Ro flatly stated. “The power consumption logs show an overload possibly resulting from a misalignment.”
“But the diagnostics would have indicated a misalignment,” Cenn offered. “Are you suggesting we have a saboteur on board? He may be planning to assassinate one of the delegates.”
Admiral Ross stood at the right side of the desk. “Is postponing the conference possible?” Kira asked him.
“Absolutely not,” Ross answered sternly. “We’re lucky the Breen are willing to talk. They’re interstellar pirates who steal whatever they can. They don’t care that one important provision of their treaty with Dominion is now null and void.”
Kira then turned to Ro. “All right, you and Nog go over the engineering duty rosters. And look more closely at the scene of the crime. We cannot overlook anything,” she said, and then looked to Cenn. “Major, delay the departure of all outgoing ships. Dismissed.”
Cenn and Ro left the office, but Ross stayed. “I may not have trusted Odo, neither did Admiral Rollman,” he said, “but he at least got the job done.”
“What is that supposed to mean?” she asked of the accusatory statement.
“He may not have been a team player who played by the rules, but he got results. During these investigations, the assassin could carry out his mission.”
Kira stood up to look Ross straight in the eye. “What will you have me do? Put the station on lockdown? Detain the entire engineering staff. We have no solid leads yet.”
“You know as well as I do the importance of this conference.”
“Of course I do, Admiral. But I won’t send security on a witch-hunt until we have something more concrete. With all due respect, I am station commander unless Starfleet orders otherwise.”
Without another word, Ross stormed out of the office.
The Away Team from the Defiant materialized in the foyer of the new government facilities on Cardassia Prime. The room had a far less militaristic look than most Cardassian government facilities. The Starfleet officers expected to see large monitor screens with tactical displays. The floor was mounted with the emblem of the Cardassian Union. The dark-gold walls were bare with only two doors on either side.
Garak came through the door on the officers’ left. “My dear, Doctor Bashir,” he said. “How good to see you again. And you must be Commander Vaughn.”
“Commander Elias Vaughn,” Vaughn replied. He then introduced the others. “Lieutenants Rashid and Fitzpatrick. And from the late starship Lambda Paz, Captain Limis and Lieutenant Neeley.”
“The Castellan will be seeing you now,” said Garak. “Come this way.” They all headed through the door Garak emerged from. “This is a difficult situation,” he continued while they walked through the corridor. “The challenge will be to determine who Ghemor can trust. Why call him a leader when not all the people he leads will follow?”
“You support him, Garak,” Bashir retorted.
“True. During my days in the Obsidian Order, I wouldn’t have. He can lead my people on a new path assuming he can keep the other factions from assassinating him.”
Garak was the first to enter Ghemor’s office, then Vaughn, then Bashir. “The Starfleet crew has arrived,” Garak announced. “I’ll leave you to them.”
Alon Ghemor stood up from this desk to greet the Starfleet team. “Welcome to Cardassia Prime,” he said. He directed them to a meeting table to his left. “Please be seated.”
Ghemor took a seat at the head of the table. Vaughn sat down on the other end. Limis, Neeley, and Fitzpatrick seated themselves to Ghemor’s right, while Bashir and Rashid sat at the other side.
“You understand the difficulties involved,” said Ghemor. “Garak must have told you that I am not much of leader despite my title.”
“We are also in a difficult situation as well,” Vaughn replied. “The True Way has demanded the convoys cease while they have these hostages. They have sympathizers within the government and the military.”
“I am pleased to hear you are familiar with our political situation, Commander. The entire populace was untied when the Dominion began leveling our cities. Now everyone has new ideas. Damar, himself, called us the ‘true oppressors’ of the Alpha Quadrant. Many believe this situation a chance to achieve what we could not as members of the Dominion. Others have said the price of greatness has gotten too high. So you understand the difficulty in discreetly identifying those willing to help you.”
“One wrong move and those hostages are dead,” Limis responded.
“We must get moving quickly,” Vaughn announced to his crew “Doctor, you and Rashid coordinate the transport of the supplies.”
“I’ve worked on a way to piggyback our transporters to the Cardassian system,” said Rashid.
“Excellent,” said Vaughn. “Lieutenants Fitzpatrick and Neeley will need to work with Mister Garak on whatever intel is available.”
“Actually, sir, I would prefer to prepare my security team,“ Neeley replied.
Fitzpatrick looked at her believing Neeley wanted to avoid working with him. “Nothing personal, Raul,” she said.
“I am still her CO,” Limis offered.
“No problem,” Vaughn relented. “With your permission, Castellan, we can establish a link with your central computer, make the work go a lot faster.”
“Of course,” Ghemor said with an approving nod.
Nog opened a wall panel in a corridor in the habitat ring. He and Ro were told to inspect all the EPS conduit networks modified in the section for the VIP quarters. Nog began scanning with a tricorder looking for any evidence of tampering.
An alarm sounded indicating unauthorized modifications. He waved the scanning device back and forth as the high-pitched whine got louder. The sound maintained its volume when the tricorder found a suspicious device. “A subspace crossover shunt,” he said.
“Meaning someone is trying to control the EPS power taps from a central location,” said Ro, “and the assassin could strike at any time.”
As if on cue, an energy surge formed inside the panel. An electrical arc struck the other Starfleet engineer present. Nog crouched down and felt for a pulse and the side of the engineer’s neck. “He’s dead,” he said.
Ro looked up at the ceiling and pointed her phaser.
From his quarters, Ronnick was watching the corridor Ro and Nog were inspecting on a desk monitor. When Ro fired her phaser, the image disappeared.
Limis took a sip of raktajino while sitting in the mess hall turned bunkroom. “This is insane,” she said to Neeley, who sitting next to her on a bottom bunk. “We’re sitting here waiting while that so-called government on the planet below tries to assemble a rescue party that won’t sell us out.”
“That’s part of being in Starfleet,” Neeley offered. That statement was little consolation. “We do have information on known True Way strongholds.” Neeley handed Limis a PADD with information Dax and Tenmei compiled.
That was enough for Limis as she set the PADD down. “Assemble a team to beam down in twenty minutes,” she said.
“What? We can’t go down guns blazing. We don’t know exactly what encampment our people are being held at or if they are at any of them we know of.”
“We don’t have the luxury of time, Lisa. Someone with the True Way could soon get wind of the fact that we’re in orbit. The hostages could be executed while we’re waiting on an inept government.”
“Okay, I’ll assemble four of my best soldiers.”
Four MACO’s had assembled in the transporter room with Limis and Neeley. Those two were working the control console. “There’s a high level encryption preventing unauthorized transport,” Neeley said.
Limis thought for a minute that Vaughn had anticipated such action. “That clever bastard,” she muttered.
“I know a little about breaking encryptions,” Neeley said. She entered four digits into a keypad. “Damn!” she exclaimed when the display screen went blank. “It just triggered a security alarm.”
All six of the soldiers in the transporter room were almost certain they would end up in the brig very soon. Limis remembered she could get away with a stunt like this when she was captain. That was not the case on a ship someone else, even someone of lower rank, captained.
The doors slid open, and they expected armed guards. Neeley imagined Fitzpatrick arresting her. Instead, only Rashid entered.
They were still apprehensive. “Don’t worry,” Rashid said. “If I was going to turn you in, security would be here. I don’t think we should be waiting around.”
He seemed distant to Neeley. He was often more sociable around his colleagues. They were uncertain what to make of his neutral expression.
"Feeling okay, Lieutenant,” Limis asked.
“Never better,” said Rashid with a grin.
The rescue team stepped on the transporter pad. Rashid entered a set of coordinates and energized.
Only Limis dematerialized.
She materialized inside a meeting room. Her phaser rifle was gone. She reached for the hand phaser holstered to her waste. That was gone, too.
The door in front of her opened. Two Cardassian soldiers grabbed both her arms. The one on her left pulled her combadge off her uniform.
Revok then walked in as the door closed behind him. “Welcome to Cardassia Prime, Captain,” he said. “We’ve been expecting you.”
|November 11 2008, 08:20 PM||#20|
Location: Between the candle and the flame
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Pretty interesting tale you're spinning.
|November 11 2008, 09:25 PM||#21|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
“What am I doing here?” Limis demanded of her captor. “Where are the MACO’s?"
“They were not invited,” Revok replied with a feigned smile.
Limis already recognized that this Cardassian was Gul Revok, but she just concluded he was the True Way leader who took her crew hostage. “What have you done with my crew?” she asked.
“Your crew is quite safe. Whether they stay safe depends on your willingness to a job for us.”
“What kind of job?” Helping you commit more terrorist acts?”
“’Terrorist’? One man’s terrorist is another man’s resistance fighter. Why are you supporting the Federation after it abandoned its own people to appease your enemies?”
“I resented the Federation once, but I didn’t wish to pass up a chance to avenge my dead Maquis colleagues.”
“Of course. Loyalty to those serving under you is one mark of a good commander. What of the people you serve under?
“The Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans are here to assure the formation of a government that fairly represents all major factions. If the conservative factions made a formal request, the Federation is obligated to consider it. Correct?”
“As long as it is not a request for weapons or classified technology.”
Revok chuckled. “Do you really believe that?” he asked. “As we speak, your people are planning an armed rescue of your missing crew…”
Limis cut Revok off when hearing his last statement. “Wait. You know the Defiant is here?”
“We set up the hostage situation to lure you here,” Revok candidly replied. “And we know why it is here. Secretly the Federation wishes to gain favor with Alon Ghemor in order to assure the Cardassian Union is no longer a threat to them.”
“You’re twisting the situation to rationalize your actions,” Limis replied. “We are only interested in rescuing our colleagues, whom you have in captivity.”
“Enough!” Revok snarled. He sauntered to a monitor screen called up an image of his captives. A guard entered the cell and asked an officer to get up.
Willis Huckaby stood up. The guard fired his phaser vaporizing the Starfleet ensign. Limis had seen death on a massive scale. The war almost desensitized her to the most gruesome forms of killing. Seeing a man vaporized as a random target of cold-blooded murder still horrified her. “You bastard!” she screamed.
“Who dies next?” Revok asked. “Your boy toy perhaps?”
The guard pointed his phaser at Morrison. The seconds seemed to tick by very slowly for Limis as the guard seen on the screen put his finger on the trigger. She could not witness any more callous disregard for sentient life. “I’ll do whatever you ask,” she proclaimed.
“Stand down,” Revok commanded the guard through his wrist communicator. Turning to Limis, he said, “Now, what is the Defiant’s cloaking frequency?”
“Two hundred thirty four point three megahertz,” Limis reluctantly answered.
Colonel Kira convened a meeting of the senior delegates in one of the guest quarters. Ross had emphatically stated that any delay in the conference was unacceptable. That was not his call, however. Kira could still persuade the delegates to at least postpone the conference. They were all just as adamant. “After all,” Tandro offered, “the assassin would just push back his timetable.”
“For all we know,” the Lissepian delegate Rigus suggested, “the Breen agreed to this conference so one of us would be the target.”
The Breen delegate Mirt immediately expressed his outrage. Part of what made the Breen such an enigmatic race was the difficulty in translating their language, which sounded like a rhythmic mechanized buzzing noise to most humanoid races. Yet, somehow the Breen made an alliance with the Dominion. “That is an outrageous accusation,” Mirt buzzed through a time-delayed translation device attached to his helmet, which caused slight disorientation among the others in the room.
Kira attempted to smooth matters. “We don’t have any leads, so we should minimize any speculation for now.” No one was listening, however.
“Is it?” Jolar asked rhetorically. “Negotiation is not in the Breen vocabulary. When the Dominion offered to hand you what you couldn’t steal by force, that was a perfect opportunity for you wasn’t it?”
“The fact the Breen are represented here shows that they are willing to compromise,” Pirak suggested. But his efforts at mediation also fell on deaf ears.
“I would think you would be as skeptical, Pirak,” said Rigus. “They stole territory from the Cardassians with the help of your so-called Dominion allies.”
“How do we know I am not the target of one of you?” Mirt asked emphatically pointing at the other delegates. “You say you are willing to negotiate with us, but your ignorant prejudices make you afraid of us. What is the point of this conference when none of you are willing to look past your preconceptions about my race?”
With that, the Breen stormed off. The remaining delegates exchanged befuddled looks. Who would have expected a Breen to be a voice of reason when the Breen language was one of the most difficult to comprehend?
The communications chime sounded. “Ro to Colonel Kira,” Ro called from the security office. “We’ve just arrested a Bajoran engineer who may be involved in the assassination attempt.”
Kira tapped her combadge. “On my way,” she replied. Then to the delegates, she joked, “Try not to injure each other.”
Kira headed straight for the security office where Ro was waiting. Ro stood up from behind her desk and escorted Kira into the main cellblock. “While Nog and I were inspecting the repair jobs,” Ro said, “we found that someone was using the surveillance system to monitor any attempt to remove the subspace crossover shunts in the EPS lines.
“The signal was traced to Mar Ronnick’s quarters.”
Ronnick sat in his cell looking pensive even as Kira was walking closer to the cell. “Who are you working for?” Kira asked him.
“Chief of Operations Aiman al-Rashid and the Bajoran militia,” Ronnick answered calmly.
“No, I mean what Bajoran splinter group are you working for?”
“You can’t arrest a man for taking initiative. I merely found a problem in the EPS lines of the surveillance system the chief somehow missed.”
"The surveillance system is not supposed to send information to your quarters.”
The expression on Ronnick’s face did not alter one bit the entire interrogation. Kira sighed in frustration and walked out. “There’s one other thing, Colonel,” Ro said, following Kira back out into the office. “He has a brother named Solarin who lives on Bajor. And he is a member of the Kohn-Ma.”
“He could be on the station then,” Kira said. She once praised the Kohn-Ma for their patriotism and their tenacity during the Cardassian Occupation. Shortly after Starfleet took control of Deep Space 9, she felt Bajor needed the patriotism of the Kohn-Ma when one of her colleagues in the resistance appeared on the station, requesting asylum. Of course, her views on the Kohn-Ma changed when the splinter group planned to remove Bajor’s most important economic asset, the Wormhole.
“What do you mean Captain Limis is missing?” Vaughn asked Rashid and Neeley.
He sat behind the desk in the ready room. Rashid had no memory of the unauthorized beamdown. Neeley had reported her captain’s “disappearance” and then asked Rashid to check the transport log. “The computer says she’s not on the ship,” Neeley explained.
“I checked the transport logs,” Rashid added. “She completely erased them.”
Vaughn swung his chair to the left and sighed, disgusted at Limis for having made the situation far worse. “Does she really think she can rescue those hostages on her own?”
“I don’t know, sir,” Neeley answered. “This is reckless even for her.
She then winked at Rashid as if to say, Your secret is safe with me. In her line of work, she developed the ability to tell whether a person was lying. Dilated pupils. Flushed cheeks. A hint of nervousness. But Rashid believed what he was saying, as if he genuinely could not remember the illicit beamdown.
Before the conversation continued, the intercom chimed. “Bridge to Commander Vaughn,” Dax called. “Captain, we’re picking up three Cardassian transport ships. They seem to be heading for our position.”
“How is that possible?” Vaughn asked. “We’re cloaked.”
Dax rose from the command chair and stepped over to the helm. “Prynn?”
“We’ve plotted their course at bearing 4-5-1 mark 2-7.,” Tenmei explained. “Straight for us.”
“That’s hardly a coincidence, sir,” Dax added.
Within almost a minute, Vaughn and Rashid stepped onto the bridge from the port egress. Fitzpatrick stepped onto the bridge through the starboard egress having just returned from his meeting with Garak.
“So far, they have made no threatening moves,” Dax reported before assuming her station.
“Probably trying to see whether we know they can see us,” Vaughn suggested.
“They’re flooding the region with massive tachyons and anti-protons,” Dax reported. “It’s the same trick the Jem’Hadar used during the old Defiant’’s first trip into the Gamma Quadrant. Mister Rashid, see if you set the tachyon emitters to this frequency.”
Ezri texted a set of digits to Rashid’s station, and he immediately complied.
“Helm,” said Vaughn, “prepare to move us into a higher orbit, but slowly. They might detect our subspace backwash through ripples in space.”
Revok and Korinas piloted the lead Cardassian shuttle. A Starfleet insignia indicating the Defiant’s position suddenly disappeared from Korinas’s readout screen. Hadar saw it, too, from the main piloting station on her left. “They must have retuned the cloak. Begin a scan of any movement that may have taken place in the last five minutes to see how much they are trying to throw us off.”
Both pilots’ readout screens began to show blips indicating tachyons spikes. They attempted to string together a pattern n order to determine if these were random spikes or the result of a moving object.
A squiggly line formed on the screen along the blips indicating the path of the Defiant. “Match the extrapolated course,” said Korinas.
“They’re matching our course with a ninety seven point six-eight degree of accuracy,” Tenmei reported.
“They’re playing cat and mouse to see who blinks first,” Fitzpatrick observed.
“We do,” Vaughn replied. “Drop cloak, prepare to raise shields.”
The Defiant slowly became visible and Revok quickly gave his order. “Full impulse. Fire!”
The lead shuttle launched two plasma torpedoes straight at the Starfleet ship’s dorsal. “Ablative armor plating took a hit at the dorsal before our shields went up.” Dax reported.
“Evasive pattern alpha, helm!” Vaughn shouted over the explosions. “Target one of the flanking shuttles and fire phasers!”
The Defiant’s phaser cannons came to life. The multi-targeting beams enveloped the shuttle to port. The two remaining vessels came at the Defiant with its torpedoes. “Keep pouring it on!” Revok shouted. “We need that ship out of our way!”
The ceiling above the aft monitoring stations gave way sending down shrapnel and a girder fell knocking out two officers. “Starboard shields have failed,” Fitzpatrick reported. “Aft shields at twenty percent effectiveness.
The shuttles fired at the starboard nacelle. “The starboard nacelle is venting plasma,” Rashid reported.
“Shut it down and route power to the good one,” Vaughn commanded. “Release inertial dampers and set attitude control to minimum.”
"We could hit the planet’s atmosphere,” Rashid insisted.
“That’s the idea. We need to appear to be spiraling down,” Vaughn then motioned to Tenmei to relinquish her seat.
The ship began spiraling towards the atmosphere. Vaughn had taken the helm to maintain some control of his ship. “Rashid, eject an anti-matter pod and two escape pods five hundred meters off the starboard aft,” he said. “Fitzpatrick, ready aft quantum torpedoes.”
“Five hundred meters aft,” Rashid called out.
“Torpedoes ready,” Fitzpatrick added.
“Fire!” Vaughn shouted slamming his right hand on the control to execute a new course heading.
The Defiant jumped to warp, but to Revok, the ship exploded. His screen showed blips indicating a debris field. “That’s not enough debris for that to be the whole ship,” he quickly observed.
“I have a Starfleet warp signature on long-range sensors,” said Korinas.
“Cowards,” Revok snickered. “Let them go. If and when they return, our mission will be completed.”
Bashir and team of medics arrived on the bridge to tend to the wounded. Vaughn relinquished the helm to his daughter. “How did they know where to find us?” Rashid asked with bewilderment.
Fitzpatrick swung his seat around and said, “You might want to ask Julian.”
Bashir turned away from the crewman he was attending to when he heard his name. “’Pardon me?”
“Assuming Julian Bashir is your real name,” Fitzpatrick continued. “Khan Noonien Singh put himself in suspended animation to be revived by Kirk three centuries later. Hamri al-Assad could have done the same.”
“That’s enough, Fitz,” Vaughn stated.
“You were once accused of being a Dominion spy,” Fitzpatrick persisted, rising from his chair.
“And exonerated,” Bashir replied.
Ezri stepped between the two. “One more outburst and you’re relieved of duty,” she said. She took a big risk thinking Fitzpatrick would have thrown her petite figure aside in the heat of the moment.
“Yes, of course, defend your boyfriend,” he sniped.
“Leave the bridge, mister,” Vaughn growled. He then turned and looked the rest of the bridge crew. “We may have a spy on board, now is not the time to play the blame game. Not until we have some kind of concrete evidence.”
Fitzpatrick did as he was told without another word.
Last edited by Enterprise1981; November 12 2008 at 03:26 AM.
|November 14 2008, 02:42 AM||#22|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Interlude: Flashback Three
Stardate 52594 (Earth year 2375):
Dukat got his wish five months after the Cardassian Union became a protectorate of the Dominion, a war with the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The war would have ended swiftly had the Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant not mysteriously vanished. Dukat had a nervous breakdown after having victory snatched from him and following the murder of his daughter. He stayed behind on Deep Space 9 to be captured by Starfleet, and his right hand man Corat Damar took over the leadership of the Cardassian Union.
Maybe Dukat had gone mad buying into Bajoran superstitions, Damar thought. On the other hand, maybe the entities inside the Wormhole had a role in the continuation of the war. Placing a Pah-Wraith in the Wormhole turned the war back in the Dominion’s favor.
Overall, the war did not go well after Dukat had his breakdown, and the Dominion surrendered Terok Nor to the Federation. The Romulan Star Empire sided against the Dominion-Cardassian alliance. Damar became a heavy drinker when the Federation Alliance began pushing into Cardassian territory.
To make matters worse, the Dominion brought the kleptocratic Breen Confederacy into the alliance. The treaty of alliance involved turning Cardassian territory over to the Breen without the Cardassian Union’s consent. Damar became even more disillusioned when the Dominion used a Cardassian military unit as cannon fodder for the Klingon attack on Septimus Three.
“We all serve the Founders,” the Vorta liaison Weyoun declared in response to Damar’s protest. “And we will make whatever sacrifices they deem necessary!”
That was the final straw. Damar freed the two Starfleet officers in his custody to relay a message to the Federation that it had an ally on Cardassia. He then began securing the support of top-ranking officers. He remembered an organization Dukat had founded after the Klingon invasion. Dukat intended the True Way to serve as a patriotic organization in during the Cardassian people’s biggest crisis. Certain reactionary groups began joining and had other ideas; including committing terrorist acts against the Federation and Bajor. They even had a role in allying Cardassia with the Dominion.
One such top-ranking officer who had been associated with the True Way paid Damar a visit shortly after the Breen attack on Earth. “I remember when I heard the news that Cardassia had joined the Dominion,” Gul Rusot told Damar. “Like all of Cardassia, I rejoiced. We were going to rulers of the entire Alpha Quadrant. Now we’re a conquered people. Servants in our own land.”
“All that will change,” Damar declared. Looking at the PADD Rusot delivered, he asked, “Are you sure we can trust these officers?’
“And the troops under their command. Still, we will need to know the location of the Dominion weapon emplacements on Rondac Three.”
“Leave that to me. I will need you to get a message to each of these officers.”
“It is not a very long list.”
“It will get longer. With a victory or two, all Cardassia will rise up with us.”
Gul Revok of the Ninth Order commanded one of three squadrons of Cardassian Galor-class warships sent to attack Rondac Three. Revok wondered to himself what went wrong. Perhaps it all started when the Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant entered the Wormhole, but never emerged on the Alpha side. Weyoun was willing accede to Dukat’s wishes when the alliance was made. Since the Federation Alliance gained a foothold into Dominion territory, the Dominion was acting more unilaterally. The treaty of alliance with the Breen was one such act many in the Cardassian military intolerable.
“In weapons of Rondac Three,” Glin Corak reported from the weapons station.
“Signal the rest of the fleet,” Revok commanded.
“All squadrons report ready, sir.”
The attack on Rondac was the first step in liberating the Cardassian Union from an outside power. Damar had personal reasons for targeting Rondac first. The only Vorta cloning facilities in the Alpha Quadrant were on Rondac. The death of the Vorta he butted heads from day one would mean no more Weyoun clones.
Ultimately, the attack on Rondac failed. Revok and the other squadrons were forced into retreat with the Jem’Hadar eliminating two thirds of the fleet. The attack against the Dominion was still enough to turn other military units against the Gamma Quadrant invaders.
|November 14 2008, 02:49 AM||#23|
Location: San Diego
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
|November 15 2008, 03:37 AM||#24|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
“It’s a minor setback,” Solarin assured his brother’s employer. . “We simply have to move up our timetable.”
A Cardassian was also present with the two Bajorans in a cargo bay. That Cardassian was Legate Turrell, the ambassador’s chief-of-staff. “That can be accomplished in good time,” he said. “Making Pirak’s death look like an accident will still take delicate work.”
“Get it done,” the employer snarled. “We cannot afford any more foul ups.” He then turned to Solarin. “You, make sure your brother does not compromise everything.”
Solarin considered what the employer said. How would he make absolutely certain Ronnick would remain silent? “You don’t mean… “
“If sacrificing him is necessary,” the employer interrupted, “that is the will of the Prophets.”
From a far corner, Tandro observed what was taking place from behind a stack of cargo containers. He knew of such betrayals all too well, as the posthumous son of Ardelon Tandro. The elder Tandro had betrayed his army to the rebels in the Klaestron civil war. Ilon was even willing to let the successor host to Curzon Dax take the blame for his father’s murder.
A newly established warp-capable race, the Klaestrons soon became a protectorate of the Cardassian Union. They even supported the Cardassians during the Klingon War while Klaestron was on the verge of another civil war. Tandro turned to the rebel cause when Cardassia joined the Dominion.
Tandro headed for Pirak’s quarters to warn him. “I was scheduled to meet with the legate in the ward room,” he told Pirak. “When he didn’t show, the computer said he was in Cargo Bay 14.”
“Who was with him?” Pirak asked.
“At least two Bajorans.”
“Why would a rebel Bajoran group want me dead? And for that matter, why would Turrell be helping them?”
Tandro walked out into the corridor with a Starfleet guard by his side. He was barely ten feet down the corridor when the guard reacted as if he felt a knot in his stomach. Solarin had jammed a knife into his back. After the guard keeled over, Solarin pulled out the knife and wielded it at Tandro.
Tandro had quick enough reflexes to throw a right hook at the assassin. He then grabbed Solarin by the throat with his left. “I don’t know what your grudge is against Pirak,” he sneered. “Maybe something during the Occupation. But I don’t see what you would gain by killing me as well.”
“Your recent family history means you are a danger to compromise our plans,” Solarin gagged. “That was why Turrell arranged to meet with you.” He then kneed Tandro in the abdomen weakening his grip on his throat. Solarin then picked the knife up off the floor. Before he could use it, a Bajoran phaser was pointed at his head. “Drop it or I blow your head off,” Ro hissed at him.
Solarin quickly dropped the knife.
Ro and a Bajoran deputy escorted Solarin to the security office holding cells. “They were preparing to put him in the same cell as his brother. “You might be acquainted with your new cellmate,” Ro quipped.
Ronnick lay unconscious on the cell floor. Ro lowered the forcefield and crouched down to check his pulse. “He’s dead.”
“You bastards tortured him to death!” Solarin screamed. He slugged the deputy and lunged at Ro. Ro stood upright and administered the Vulcan nerve pinch. She needed to use a lot more effort since she lacked the physical strength of a Vulcan.
Doctor Zeyner reported to the cellblock on Ro’s page. He scanned the corpse with a medical tricorder n one hand and a medical sensor device in the other. “Every system in his body has just shut down,” he reported.
“Some kind of neural paralyzer?” Ro asked.
“Possibly,” said Zeyner. “I’ll need to do a full autopsy.”
Ro turned to her deputy. “Check his brother for poisons on his person. And keep him on twenty-six hour suicide watch.”
Kira had been informed of the arrest of Solarin, and that Tandro learned the specifics of the assassination attempt. She led a team of two security deputies-- one Bajoran, the other Starfleet-- through the docking ring towards Cargo Bay 14.
Logic would dictate that the conspirators would re-locate their base camp once station personnel were onto them. Of course, this lead was the best they had to go on. Kira contemplated why the Kohn-Ma would wish Pirak, an advocate of peaceful coexistence between Cardassia and Bajor, dead. Maybe such motives were similar to those of the Kohn-Ma when they attempted to destroy the Wormhole. Such actions were hardly rational. Having once been a terrorist herself, Kira knew that terrorists rarely acted rationally.
Kira and the Starfleet deputy positioned themselves on both sides of the entrance door. The Bajoran deputy wielded his phaser at the door. Kira quietly counted to three and hit the wall panel opening the double doors.
All three ran in at the same time a near split second after the doors opened. A civilian Bajoran emerged from behind the containers and phasered the two security officers flanking Kira. He lunged over the cargo containers and took Kira down.
Kira lost her grip on her phaser. Another figure picked up the phaser, while her assailant helped her upright. She recognized the second Bajoran’s short blonde hair and his two-day old facial hair. He was Tahna Los, her former colleague in the resistance and more recently responsible for the near destruction of the Wormhole seven years earlier.
“Hello, Nerys,” Tahna said somewhat sarcastically. “It’s been a long time.”
|November 17 2008, 02:25 AM||#25|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
What would Jim Kirk do? Limis asked herself that question over and over again while repairing weapons for Revok and his troops. Kirk had been well known for thinking his way out of no-win situations. Booby-trapping the phaser rifles was a possibility, but once sabotage was suspected, the hostages would be killed. The guards were watching her every move.
Had Revok not been forcing her hand, Limis would not, in good conscience, supply these people with weapons. That went against everything the Federation and Starfleet stood for. Not that she cared. Those butchers already murdered two of her crew, and she was helping them? As long as that preserved the lives of her shipmates, Limis would. All she could do was bide her time until an opportunity to derail Revok’s plans presented itself.
What were Revok’s plans, though? He wouldn’t take hostages just to get a Starfleet officer to fix their weapons. His own troops could do that. Revok specifically wanted Limis’s help. But for what reason?
Revok and Hadar entered to check Limis’s work. She handed Revok a phaser rifle. “This is the last of them,” she said. “Now, explain to me what this is all about.”
“Since you will not be able to stop us, why not tell you,” Revok proclaimed. “We intend to assassinate Castellan Ghemor.”
Suddenly everything made sense. If a former Maquis now wearing a Starfleet uniform had a role in assassinating Ghemor, the people would be outraged. They would demand that the Federation put an end to the convoys. “And you wanted my DNA on the murder weapon,” said Limis.
“Revok, a word in private,” Hadar whispered.
“Wait for me outside,” Revok answered.
Hadar left the armory, and Revok tapped his wrist communicator. “Bring in the prisoner.”
A guard entered with a phaser pointed at Morrison’s head. “Captain,” he gasped.
“Good to see you, too, Morrison,” Limis replied.
“What a heartwarming reunion,” Revok quipped. “Now, Captain. Contact the Defiant or he dies.”
“Don’t do it, Vircona,” Morrison implored. “They’re luring the Defiant into an ambush…. ” The guard punched him in the stomach.
Commander’s Log, stardate 53482.3: The Defiant has taken refuge inside a nebula with the cloak offline. We are rushing repairs to the engines and shields, so we can mount a rescue of the missing officers.
The Defiant sickbay was overflowing with patients. Two were in critical, but stable, condition, so Bashir was able to focus on patients with superficial injuries. He had two nurses by his side while treating Ezri, so he could attend to the more critical patients at a moment’s notice.
“I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Julian,” Ezri said, while Julian trained a dermal regenerator on a burn on her left forearm. “We’re all trying to make sense of how the True Way knew exactly where to find us. If only I hadn’t found that picture of Assad.”
“You had no way of knowing,” said Julian.
Speak of the devil; Fitzpatrick came through the sickbay entrance with another security officer’s arm around his shoulder. The other officer was half unconscious. Fitzpatrick helped him onto a biobed. “Something happened in phaser control,” Fitzpatrick shouted. “Some kind of toxic fumes.”
The injured officer began coughing and wheezing. Bashir rolled his triage cart across the sickbay. “Get me an oxygen mask, stat,” he called to one of his nurses.
A nurse placed a mask on the officer’s nose and mouth to fill his lungs with oxygen. Bashir then applied a hypo-spray to ease the burning in his lungs. “That should help him for now,” he said.
“Uh, Julian,” Fitzpatrick began to say, “Sorry about my outburst on the bridge.”
“I was just as surprised, really,” Bashir replied. “It’s perfectly all right.”
“I still feel foolish for taking it out on you and Ezri.”
Neeley happened to be speaking to a MACO on the next biobed when she overheard the discussion. “You accused Bashir of being an enemy spy because of his ancestry?” she asked. “I thought humanity overcame such prejudices.”
“Could you just let it go, Lisa?” Fitzpatrick replied.
“You can say I was afraid of commitment,” Neeley retorted, “but you don’t know how to trust people.”
“Look, you two,” Bashir interrupted, “please keep this out of my sickbay. I’m a doctor, not a marriage counselor.”
Ezri observed Prynn at the communication’s station to find any connection between Limis and known terrorists on Cardassia. Limis’s personnel profile was on the left side of the display screen. On the right side was the profile of an at-large terrorist. When Prynn found no connection, she moved to the next record. Next was the record of a Gul Enic Hadar. Prynn was about to move to the next, when Ezri saw something. “Sir,” she called to Vaughn, seated in the captain’s chair, “we may have something.”
Vaughn stood up and walked towards the communications station. “Two years ago,” Dax stated, “the Lambda Paz apprehended Enic Hadar’s brother, a civilian engineer working at a ketracel white facility. Apparently, Limis used extreme measures to learn the facility’s location.”
“I think I remember that facility,” said Vaughn. “The Defiant’s crew was sent to destroy that facility in a stolen Jem’Hadar fighter.”
“Jadzia was on that mission,” Ezri affirmed, “and on Torga Four where that ship was found.”
“Limis decompressed an airlock with him inside,” Prynn explained of the incident. “He eventually died.”
“That’s what this was all about,” Vaughn mused. “The hostage situation was a setup to lure Limis, so Hadar could exact revenge.”
The comm station chimed indicating an incoming transmission. “Incoming hail,” said Dax. “It’s from Captain Limis.”
“On screen,” Vaughn commanded.
The emblem of the Cardassian Union replaced the star field on the viewscreen. The face of Limis then filled the screen. “Starship Defiant,” she began. “Code seven emergency. I have willingly surrendered myself in return for my crew’s freedom.”
From behind Limis, Revok grabbed her and threw her to the floor, and then he cut the transmission. “What is Code Seven?” he demanded. Pointing a rifle at her, he said, “Tell me, or you and the hostages will be put to death.”
“You need us alive in case something goes wrong,” Limis replied, calling his bluff.
“No matter. The word will be the Defiant was destroyed trying to extract the Starfleet assassin.”
Revok walked out of the armory to see Hadar waiting in the corridor. “Assassinate the Castellan?” Hadar asked. “Are you mad? I thought this would be a simple prisoner exchange. Once we had the Bajoran terrorist, we’d use her to bargain with the government.”
“She is yours to do with as you please, Hadar,” Revok replied. “Your motives for supporting me have been satisfied.”
“I believe we can use the principles of democratic government to our advantage,” Hadar explained. “With our influence within the government to bring glory back to Cardassia.”
“One of Ghemor’s personal guards will carry out the assassination. Any interference on your part will be meaningless.”
Would his interference be meaningless? Hadar got Limis in his custody to use as a hostage. But he could not allow the assassination of Ghemor. Continued Federation assistance was necessary to get Cardassia’s economy back on its feet. Revok was allowing misplaced patriotic pride blind him to the long-term goals of his faction.
Hadar headed for the communal cell the Lambda Paz crew was held in and asked for Morrison to step forward. “You will need this schematic in order to escape,” Hadar said handing Morrison a PADD. “You are all free to go.”
“The captain gave herself up for our freedom,” said Morrison. “Is that what this is about?”
“Mostly. One of my colleagues is planning to assassinate First Castellan Ghemor with the help of one of the Castellan’s personal guards. I cannot allow that to happen.”
“Why should we trust you?” Lieutenant Carson asked the jailor.
“Your chances of survival are much greater out there than in here,” Hadar replied.
The escaped hostages made their way to a shuttle hangar. Morrison locked the door to make sure no one walked in on them. He then followed his shipmates onto the shuttle. He entered a code provided on the PADD into the main pilot console bringing main power on.
“This has information on how to circumvent the security systems in this building,” he said, handing Carson the PADD. “I have something else to take care of.”
“You’re not coming with us?” Carson asked before Morrison walked out the door.
“I have to find the captain,” Morrison explained. “For her to be their prisoner is an unacceptable security risk. Our intelligence would be set back at least a decade. Get the rest of the crew out of here and try to get a message to the Castellan. Now that is an order, Sara.”
“Okay, everyone,” Carson announced, ignoring the stuttering in Morrison’s voice, "prepare to depart.” She had a sneaking suspicion Morrison’s motives were personal. He had some kind of special relationship with the captain, but she wasn’t sure of its nature.
Following instructions from the PADD, Carson hacked into the computer system to make the shuttle’s departure appear authorized. The shuttle ascended from the landing pad and sailed off into space.
|November 18 2008, 08:07 PM||#26|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
“Our fleet should reach the Bajoran system within the hour.”
Revok had contacted Turrell back on Deep Space 9 regarding their role in the planned assassination. Turrell used a Cardassian-issue desk monitor in his possession hooked into the station’s subspace communications system to prevent security from monitoring the transmission. After all, now that security knew he was involved in the planned assassination, any transmissions from quarters to Cardassia would be monitored. “How many ships?” he asked Revok.
“Four Galor-class warships. That’s all we could spare for now. I would suggest you prepare your troops immediately. The fleet will then be in a perfect position to secure Terok Nor.”
Admiral Ross stepped off the starboard turbolift in the operations center. He headed straight for the commander’s office, but no one was inside. “Where’s Colonel Kira?” he asked, first looking at Nog at the main engineering station, then at Major Cenn at the command console.
“She got called away on some urgent business on Bajor,” Cenn answered. Ro walked over to a side panel on the main console to assist in upgrades to the communications system.
“I didn’t’ hear anything about that,” Ross said walking down the steps from the office towards Cenn.
“This is an internal matter that is no concern of Starfleet’s,” Cenn replied without looking up from his console.
“This is a Federation starbase under my general command. I should have a right to know when its commander is indisposed.”
“With all due respect, sir,” Cenn growled looking straight at Ross, “the Bajoran militia does not report to you in matters of state.”
“Got it,” Ro reported. She had finished connecting the communications systems to the listening device Kira was secretly carrying.
“I should have known you were involved,” Kira said to Tahna. “I heard you got out of prison a few months ago.”
“Then congratulations on putting it all together,” Tahna quipped. “But how little you think of me, Kira. You see, I found the Prophets after that unfortunate incident seven years ago.”
“Clearly the Pah-Wraiths have tricked you like they tricked Kai Winn.” The spiritual leader of Bajor had a vision from what she thought were the beings residing within the Wormhole during her last visit to the station. These beings later revealed themselves to be the malevolent Pah-Wraiths, who led her to a Bajoran later revealed to be Dukat. Having become disillusioned with the Prophets, Winn turned to the Pah-Wraiths, and her efforts ultimately led to her demise.
“Oh, come now,” Tahna huffed. “I belong to a sect who interprets the religious texts differently, one that does not believe the Prophets would send us an alien emissary.”
“The Prophets themselves confirmed that Captain Sisko is their chosen one.”
“How do we know for sure? And for that matter, what good has the Federation done for Bajor?”
Kira had been skeptical, herself, of the Federation presence in the Bajoran system after the end of the Occupation. But she understood the importance of the Federation relief effort. But after standing on the precipice of Federation membership, very few Bajorans questioned Federation intentions. “Why, after all this time, would you ask that question?” she asked. “We have built ourselves back up after a half-century of Cardassian rule.”
“Since then, the Federation has dragged the entire quadrant into a war that could have doomed Bajor. And because the Federation does not execute its prisoners, the Butcher of Bajor escaped, and was able to deprive us of our gods for a short time. Now, it hopes for a peaceful solution with the Breen. Those thugs live to pillage and plunder whatever they can steal. In that regard, they’re worse than the Cardassians.”
“Would you prefer to be under Cardassian rule? Is that why Turrell is in on this?”
“Of course, not. By assassinating Pirak and laying the blame on the Breen, the Federation and the Cardassians will have a pretext for taking more aggressive action.”
The crew in Ops heard Tahna’s last words. Then Kira’s voice came through when she said, “So that is what this is about. You would kill an advocate of peace in order to justify pre-emptive action against the Breen?”
“What’s going on?” Ross asked. “Where’s that coming from?”
“Colonel Kira let herself be captured by the Kohn-Ma,” Nog replied. “We knew you wouldn’t approve of such a dangerous plan.”
“Damned right I wouldn’t,” Ross snapped. “You’re a Starfleet officer, Lieutenant, so you’ll follow my order to get her the hell out of there.”
“Sorry, sir, but they’re using a transporter scrambler,” Nog lied.
“Ask yourself one thing, Tahna,” Kira said through the listening device. “Do you really think the Cardassians will be content to leave Bajor alone once the assassination is carried out?”
Cardassians? Kira’s inquiry caught Ross’s attention. “Check the long-range sensors,” he snapped. “See if a Cardassian fleet is on its way.”
Nog stood up and walked towards the long-range sensor station near the port turbolift. The display screen showed a map of the Bajoran system. The display zoomed outward while the Ferengi scanned for Cardassian ships. Four Cardassian Union logos appeared. Numerous circular blips surrounded the logos. “Confirmed, sir,” he reported. “Four Galor-class warships with support vessels. ETA: forty-eight minutes.”
A Bajoran security deputy walked over to Ro and handed her a PADD. It contained how Ronnick had died. “I have to go,” she said. “Security matter concerning the investigation.”
“Go ahead,” Cenn replied. “And get some security up here ASAP.”
Several levels below, Turrell and twelve other Cardassians marched towards the nerve center of what was once Terok Nor. First, they would take over Ops. Then they would secure other facilities and finally, send confirmation to their reinforcements.”
A Starfleet security guard lowered the forcefield on Solarin’s cell to let Zeyner inside to provide medical treatment. Ro stormed into the cellblock and reactivated the forcefield before confronting the doctor. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she asked.
“Treating him for his Dalphan’s syndrome,” Zeyner answered.
“Is that what Ronnick was getting ‘treatment’ for, ‘Doctor’?”
Solarin felt his stomach, pretending to wince in pain. “I need my meds,” he demanded. “I’m in a lot of pain here.”
“Shut up!” Ro sneered. He grabbed Zeyner by the left arm and dragged him out to the office.
“We didn’t find any poison on Solarin,” Ro continued shoving Zeyner onto a chair. “So I asked Tarses to perform a follow-up to your autopsy on Ronnick.
“He found high levels of tophrazan. In its pure form, it causes gradual death, but diluted, it desensitizes certain pain receptors. Am I correct?”
“Tophrazan is a controlled substance,” Zeyner added. “But it has been sold on the black market. That Ferengi bartender, Quark… “
“Nice try,” Ro interrupted. “But Quark is better at covering his tracks. One canister of tophrazan was missing from the Infirmary’s stock. You’re as bad as Cardassian doctors.”
“You may think I work for the Kohn-Ma,” Zeyner said. “But I’m actually working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. I was ordered to gather information on the activities of Bajoran splinter groups on the station.”
“I doubt the medical review board will take that into account when they revoke your license. You can still help us by telling the Kohn-Ma’s plan for Pirak.”
“Once their original plan was derailed, they decided on a direct approach.”
Mirt, the Breen delegate strutted down the corridor towards Pirak’s quarters. Only thing was a Breen was not wearing Mirt’s refrigeration suit. One of the Kohn-Ma was moving in for the kill.
An explosion of sparks filled the front of Ops as the two doors to the right and left of the viewscreen slid open. Turrell and eight of his troops raced in expecting heavy resistance. But the place was empty. Or so they thought. Nog hid behind his station waiting to strike.
They wouldn’t have surrendered without a fight. Turrell and the others tiptoed slowly. Nog emerged from behind the tactical sensor station and stunned two of the intruders. “The remaining seven began shooting at Nog, but he ducked down.
Ross and Cenn emerged from behind the science station and phasered two more. The two sides then exchanged phaser fire back and forth, but kept missing.
Three Bajoran security deputies came out of the commander’s office. Phaser fire was being exchanged behind them inside the office, as the other four troops came in through the office’s side door. The deputies stunned two more Cardassians. The Cardassians fired, stunning two of the deputies. The third still standing dove out of harm’s way behind the engineering station.
The deputy, Nog, Ross, and Cenn all came at the three remaining Cardassians from different sides and managed to get all of them with their phasers. The intruders in the office had also been defeated. Four Bajoran deputies exited the office to haul the invaders off to security. Bajoran and Starfleet security officers entered from both turbolifts to help out.
The crew returned to their stations. “Mister Nog,” Cenn asked, “how long until our ships intercept the Cardassian fleet?”
“Four minutes, sir,” Nog answered. “Those Cardassians won’t get the warm welcome they expected.”
|November 21 2008, 07:07 PM||#27|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Interlude: Flashback Four
Legate Damar had formed the Cardassian Liberation Front to fight the Dominion. He had secured the assistance of Guls Rusot and Seskal. Kira, given a temporary Starfleet commission, joined Damar’s ranks as an advisor in guerilla tactics.
Rusot had clashed with Kira since her arrival with Odo and Garak. He was the first to reject a proposed attack on the Cardassian outpost on Atarakt Prime. “We are not Bajorans,” Rusot insisted when Kira recalled that she was willing to attack a Cardassian facility that a Bajoran worked in. Damar was persuaded when Kira said that anyone not working with them was working against them.
Another clash took place when Rusot accused Kira of taking pleasure in the deaths of Cardassians. The petite Bajoran then beat a Cardassian twice her size senseless.
Rusot supported Dukat’s former right-hand man in his desire to rid the Cardassian Union of the Dominion. No matter how much Damar reiterated Kira’s importance, he could not tolerate listening to an inferior.
He contacted Revok, who was on Cardassia Prime organizing military units on the homeworld, after that altercation with Kira. “She may be wearing a Starfleet uniform,” Rusot grumbled, “but she’s still a Bajoran. The fact that she works with us as an equal is insulting.”
“What’s her name again?” Revok asked.
“Dukat was obsessed with her. We have been the superior race since the opening of diplomatic relations with the Bajorans, yet Dukat still felt he had to win over Kira and his bastard half-breed child.
“Don’t be afraid to eliminate Kira like Damar took it upon himself to eliminate Dukat’s daughter.”
“Understood,” said Rusot. “One more thing. Damar will be leading a mission to hijack a Jem’Hadar fighter being fitted with Breen weaponry to turn over to Starfleet.”
“Outrageous!” Revok exclaimed. “Why in the hell would we want to help them?!”
“They have the same goals as us, but we cannot put our fate in Starfleet’s hands once the Dominion is defeated.”
Taking over the bridge of the Jem’Hadar fighter was a simple task. But the Breen energy-dampening weapon was still being installed. Kira decided they had to stay until the installation was complete. Rusot had enough. He pulled a phaser on Kira. Damar and Garak then pulled phasers on him.
“We can keep the Breen weapon for ourselves,” Rusot stated. “I believe in you, Damar. I know you’re the right man to restore the empire we so loyally served. The empire we loved. Together, we can lead our people to greatness again.”
Damar then shot and killed Rusot. “He was my friend,” he said, “but his Cardassia is gone and won’t be coming back.”
Or was it gone? Revok had a surprise waiting for Damar on Cardassia Prime. After a stop at Deep Space 9, Kira, Damar, Garak, and Seskal traveled to the homeworld to meet with Revok, supposedly willing to commit a large mass of troops to Damar’s cause. When Damar beamed down with Kira and Garak, the Jem’Hadar were in the process slaughtering every Cardassian in the encampment. In the distance, Revok was conferring with a Vorta.
He had betrayed the resistance. After Damar’s willingness to help Starfleet, the loss of Cardassia’s political sovereignty was a small price to pay for conquering instead of being conquered.
Sensing the people would call for his head, Revok left Cardassia until the war ended. He never saw the Jem’Hadar level almost the whole planet. As far as he was concerned, the Federation Alliance was responsible for the incineration of numerous major cities and for the more than 800 million dead. No one told him otherwise.
From that day forward, Revok vowed to rid Cardassia of the new occupying forces and kill anyone who stood in his way. His propaganda campaign that the Federation and the Klingon and Romulan Empires wanted Cardassia to pay for the casualties those three powers suffered convinced former True Way compatriots to join his cause.
|November 21 2008, 07:39 PM||#28|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Commander’s log, supplemental entry: The[/FONT][FONT=Eras Light ITC] Defiant is on course at Warp 9 back to Cardassia. The Code 7 that Captain Limis sent out means that she is being coerced into helping her captors. We may be headed into an ambush, and I have contacted the provisional government for more information.
Garak appeared on the viewscreen of the Defiant’s bridge with Vaughn briefing him on the recent development. Vaughn had explained that Limis sent out a code that meant her captors were forcing her cooperation in a major strike they were planning. “We were hoping you or someone in the provisional government could shed some light on this,” he finished.
“You think very highly of our factionalized government,” Garak replied. “The Intelligence Bureau operates on its own, accountable to no one. They rarely listen even to former members of the Obsidian Order.”
Bashir stood next to the command chair to offer his persuasive skills when dealing with Garak. “Garak, any information you have could be helpful.”
“It’s possible, my dear doctor,” Garak said with a sigh. “This is only a rumor based on information from one of our sources. He is not entirely up to speed because of his support of the Reunion Project. Because the Bureau would welcome Ghemor’s assassination, this gentleman has very little need to know.”
"The repercussions if that ‘rumor’ is true,” Bashir offered, “would be disastrous. The Ghemor name is revered on Cardassia.”
“You make him sound like a messiah, Doctor. He is merely the embodiment of a people disillusioned with war and aggression. The Dominion War was, as you Terrans say, the final straw. Nevertheless, we will look into this.”
The image of Garak on the screen was replaced by the UFP seal. Bashir then looked over to Vaughn. “Sir, it’s possible the True Way is using Captain Limis in their assassination plans.”
Vaughn raised an eyebrow.
“Think about it,” Bashir continued, “an ex-Maquis involved in an assassination of Ghemor could turn the populace against the Federation.”
“And if we’re being lured into an ambush,” Vaughn added, “they’d appear to be acting in self defense.” Looking over to the helm, he ordered a course change. “Helm, increase speed to Warp 9.6. I don’t care what the dangers are. Change course to the far side of Cardassia Prime’s first moon.”
At about the same time he was in communication with the Defiant, Garak received a priority message from the shuttle carrying the Lambda Paz crew. The rumors of an assassination attempt were true. He was on his way to warn Ghemor that one of his own personal guards was going to kill him.
Corak, the guard on his left, stopped Garak before he could walk through the door to Ghemor’s office. “You cannot go in there,” the guard stated. “He’s in a very important meeting.”
Odd that one of the guards would deny entry to Ghemor’s chief of staff. Garak nodded at Daro on his right. “What I have to tell him is more important,” he said to the guard in front of him.
“He really can’t be disturbed,” Corak responded. He pulled out his phaser, shot Daro, and then shot Garak. The guard then pushed a button on the wall panel to lock the door.
The Defiant quickly dropped out of warp, as it got closer to the runaway Cardassian shuttle. Once it slowed to impulse, Vaughn signaled for Rashid to beam the Lambda Paz crewmembers aboard. Once that was done, the Defiant streaked back into warp.
The senior staff then convened at the situation areas at the aft of the bridge. “This is the plan,” Vaughn announced. “We will enter orbit on the far side of the first moon of Cardassia Prime. Once there, we’ll launch two shuttles. I’ll lead Team 1 to the True Way encampment. Dax, you and the MACO’s will try to get Ghemor out of danger.”
Fitzpatrick wondered what might go wrong. The True Way knew the Defiant was in orbit despite trying to keep the mission secret. They could even see through the cloak. Someone had to be tipping the enemy off. He looked at Bashir saying, “Recommend you don’t let… him have free reign of the ship.”
Bashir let out an annoyed sigh. “We’ve been over this,” he said. “I am not Hamri al-Assad.”
“The fact that you vehemently defend the man suggests you could be him,” Fitzpatrick stated. “You were a terrorist once. You probably sympathize with these people.”
“Don’t make me throw my chief of security in the brig,” Vaughn warned.
“Fine,” Fitzpatrick relented. He then gave Bashir a stern look. “But I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
“What is this about, anyway?” Rashid whispered to Bashir. “Neeley says he has trust issues, but he doesn’t suspect me of anything.”
“Because you don’t resemble a notorious 21st Century terrorist,” Bashir suggested, “and because you’re not genetically engineered.”
“We’re in orbit, Commander,” Tenmei reported from the helm.
Vaughn sauntered over to the helm for a quick heart-to-heart with his daughter. “You’re in command, Prynn,” he said. “If you don’t hear from us in twelve hours, return to DS9.”
“You can’t be serious,” Prynn replied. “I may have given you the silent treatment since you came aboard, but I can’t ask you to do this.”
“As a Starfleet officer, you have an obligation to carry out my orders. Hopefully that is not an order you’ll have to follow.”
Prynn vacated her station. She took a momentary look at the command chair to take in the rare opportunity of command. She sat down and smiled, forgetting she may have seen her father for the last time.
Corak met with a freight deliverer in the main cargo bay. Torim showed Corak a briefcase containing the weapon Revok wanted used on Ghemor. Torim placed it on a cargo container and opened it. “It’s been specially designed to avoid triggering the security alarm,” he said.
“Good,” said Corak. He grabbed the rifle and bolted for the door.
Garak and Daro woke up in a holding room. Garak walked towards the door and tried using his security code to unlock the door. “Of course not,” he mumbled when the door wouldn’t open. “He wouldn’t overlook something so obvious.”
“He could have carried out the assassination,” Daro suggested.
“No, we cannot afford to think like that,” Garak replied, trying to pry the door panel off. “I used to interrogate prisoners in a room like this. The best we can hope for is that Corak did not take that into account when locking us in here.”
Garak was easily able to remove the panel. He moved his right hand around inside of the mechanism. The lock came unlatched when he yanked a cord. The door slid open a crack. Garak put fingers through and pushed the door open. He and Daro tried to step through the door, but a forcefield stopped them.
“Here’s to Cardassian ingenuity,” Garak quipped.
Ezri and her team, also consisting of Neeley and four other MACO’s, materialized in the main lobby of the government headquarter. Ezri didn’t know what made her more apprehensive, preventing an assassination or the seven foot tall Brikar on the team. She remembered-- or more accurately, Jadzia remembered-- that Worf said one of his Starfleet Academy classmates was a Brikar. Both were notoriously stubborn individuals belonging to races of formidable warriors.[/SIZE][/FONT]
She also found Neeley just as intimidating dwarfing the petite Trill by close to a foot. The MACO leader was someone Jadzia knew very well and a complete stranger at the same time. Neely, on the other hand, wasn’t too sure about taking orders from someone who was both a child and over three centuries old.
A short portly young man occupied the receptionist desk. After taking a sip of red-leaf tea, he nonchalantly asked, “May I help you?”
“We need to see the Castellan right away,” Ezri stated.
“He’s in a really important meeting,” Arnin replied. “He can’t spare any time to meet with some science fiction fan club.”
“He may be in danger from one of his personal guards,” said Neeley.
“How do I know one of you is not one of the assassins?” Arnin asked.
“I was here before,” Neeley attempted. “I can vouch for these people.”
“You two lovely ladies can check in on him,” Arnin relented. “But the other four stay, especially the Brikar.”
Neeley looked over at the Brikar soldier. “Don’t take it personally, Mik. I once found your size intimidating.”
“Why did I volunteer for this mission to begin with?” Mik asked with a sigh.
“And you have to leave your weapons behind,” Arnin added.
Confronting the assassin would be difficult without weapons, but Dax and Neeley reluctantly surrendered their hand phasers and their rifles.
Corak returned to Ghemor’s office right in the middle of his cabinet meeting. As a personal guard, hew as one of those who could walk in without knocking. Little did Ghemor know was that this guard would lead him to his demise. “Castellan,” said Corak. “I’ve received word that there is an explosive in this room.”
“All right, everyone out,” Ghemor commanded of the two subordinate castella.
The two cabinet members walked through the door and headed straight down the corridor. They were too concerned with retreating to safety to notice the two Starfleet officers.
Dax scanned with her tricorder. “I’m not detecting any explosives,” she said. “At least none that register on the tricorder.”
Ghemor, then Corak brought up the rear. Dax and Neeley crept into an adjacent room as the two Cardassians walked by. Corak appeared to be waiting until the cabinet members turned at an adjoining corridor. Corak slowly raised his rifle.
Ghemor suddenly sensed that Corak was no longer close behind. And where was Daro for that matter? “Something wrong?” he asked turning around.
Neeley lunged towards Corak shoving towards the wall. Ezri, drawing on Jadzia and Curzon’s knowledge of Klingon martial arts karate chopped Corak’s right shoulder with her left hand and kicked the rifle out of his hands.
Ezri jumped away from Corak when he began waving a knife at her. She maintained a martial arts stance, but didn’t know what to do when the huge Cardassian lunged towards her. She used her left arm to try to protect herself from the knife. Neeley grabbed Corak’s arm with both hands, pulled him away from Ezri, then delivered a right hook to his jaw.
Corak then came at both women with the knife, but a Cardassian phaser beam vaporized him. Garak had appeared at the end of the corridor.
Neeley and Dax let out a sigh of relief that Garak came to the rescue in time. Neeley applied a dermal regenerator to the knife wound on Ezri’s left forearm and whispered, “When you throw a left chop, you should put all your weight on the right leg.”
“I used to be right-handed,” Dax replied. “Or rather, Jadzia was right-handed.”
Garak, meanwhile, walked over to Ghemor. “Are you all right, Castellan?”
“I am unharmed,” Ghemor answered. “What just happened?”
“He would have killed you, sir.”
“Lucky we were here,” Neeley said, looking over at Ghemor.
“As I’ve repeatedly told Julian… ” Garak insisted.
“Cardassians don’t believe in luck,” Ezri finished. She rolled her eyes at that notion considering she and Lisa were lucky that Garak appeared when he did.
|November 23 2008, 01:10 AM||#29|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
Revok watched a visual feed of Corak’s activities through a homing device from his quarters. The two Starfleet officers attacking elicited Revok to walk closer to the wall-mounted monitor. Who were they and how did they get there? Someone had to have tipped them off.
Vaughn’s team materialized in an underground tunnel below the True Way compound. Accompanying the commander were Bashir, Rashid, and three security officers including Fitzpatrick. All were armed with phaser rifles and their left arms were fitted with emergency transporter armbands to alert the shuttle’s transporter more quickly.
Bashir and Rashid opened their tricorders to look at the compound’s schematics. “I’m reading one Bajoran and one human on the fifth level,” Bashir reported.
All six team members threw themselves against the wall when two phasers were fired in their direction. Two Cardassian civilians were firing. Vaughn and Fitzpatrick fired back, stunning both.
Hadar visited Limis in his cell. The gul was accompanied by two guards. “Put your hands in front of you,” he instructed. “We’re moving you for further questioning.”
Limis did as she was told. Before Hadar could put a set of restraints on her wrists, Revok stormed into the cell, grabbed Limis by the throat, and shoved her against the back wall. “You let someone know about the assassination, didn’t you?”
“I’ve been in here the whole time,” Limis insisted.
“I freed the hostages,” Hadar said. “They sent out an alert of the assassination attempt.”
“You?” Revok growled. He let go of Limis to face Hadar. “I should have known you would try a stunt like this.”
“I support the Directorate, but I could not allow this assassination to happen,” Hadar explained.
Without a word, Revok pulled out his phaser and fired, vaporizing Hadar. He then turned around to point his phaser at Limis. “You will die here as well,” he said.
The two guards were incapacitated by phaser fire. Morrison came into the cell pointing a Cardassian phaser at Revok. “Drop it,” he said.
Revok dropped the phaser. “Now,” said Morrison,” put your hands on your head and interlace your fingers.”
Revok did as instructed. “Try and escape if you wish,” he said. “You won’t get out of this building alive.”
“I thought Hadar freed all the hostages,” Limis said, picking up Revok’s phaser before they left the cell.
“I stayed behind to break you out,” Morrison explained. He pushed three buttons on the door panel to close and lock the cell door.
Two more guards started shooting at them. Limis and Morrison fired to phasers at the guards knocking them out.
A security alarm sounded getting everyone’s attention. The two escaped captives raced down the corridor to evade the soldiers.
Vaughn’s team made its way into the compound when hearing the alarm. “I’ve lost the sensor lock,” Rashid reported. “Probably some jamming device.”
“Pan out,” Vaughn commanded. “We have a better chance of finding them if we split up.”
Bashir began to pair with Rashid, but Fitzpatrick stepped between them. “He’s with me,” he told Rashid. “I want to make sure he doesn’t try anything.”
“If you say so,” Vaughn sighed. “Rashid, you’re with me.”
For a man of over a hundred, Vaughn still could run fast. He quickly jumped out of the way of phaser fire. Three Cardassians were shooting at him. Two shots from his rifle failed to incapacitate anyone.
Rashid fired his hand phaser stunning two of them. Vaughn fired at the one still left standing.
Limis and Morrison, meanwhile, were pinned down by phaser fire from two sides. They tried to no avail firing back. The situation was hopeless. Sooner or later, someone would be hit. Being outnumbered, the odds were not in their favor. “In case we don’t get out of this, Morrison,” Limis declared. “I want you to know… “
Suddenly, the guards Limis was shooting at were no longer firing. Vaughn and Rashid took them out. That distracted the guards Morrison was shooting at long enough for him and Limis to stun all three.
Vaughn walked towards the escapees while Rashid raced off in the opposite direction. “We need to get out of here quickly,” Vaughn said, removing an extra combadge from the inside of his uniform sleeve. He turned to see Rashid gone. “Vaughn to Rashid,” he said tapping his own combadge. No answer.
“I think I saw him take off the way you came,” said Limis.
“We have a shuttle in orbit,” Vaughn said, handing Limis his spare combadge. “I want the two of you beam aboard it.” He placed his combadge back on his uniform and tapped it. “Vaughn to all team members. Rashid has gone missing."
Limis tapped the combadge signaling the shuttle transporter to beam her and Limis aboard.
Rashid did not slow down as he threw his combadge off. He arrived at the entrance to a heavily guarded room. He fired his phaser at the guards while running back and forth across the corridor.
He stunned five in all. Rashid kneeled down next to one of the unconscious guards, and then pushed a button on the guard’s wrist communicator to open the door to the reactor room.
Down the hallway, Bashir and Fitzpatrick were out looking for Rashid. “So far, so good,” Bashir sarcastically remarked. “Nothing has gone horribly wrong.”
“Yet,” Fitzpatrick corrected.
They passed the reactor room, and Bashir saw Rashid placing an explosive on the reactor. “Aiman, what the hell are you doing?” Julian asked.
He turned around pointing his phaser at both his colleagues. “You’re trying to blow up the reactor,” Fitzpatrick observed. “Why?”
“The reason is obvious,” Rashid answered. He sounded different. He was now speaking with a Middle East accent. “I intend to knock out the power in this building.”
“You work for one of the rival factions,” Bashir guessed.
“Actually, a secret branch of Starfleet you are familiar with, Julian,” Rashid corrected.
“Section 31. You’re here to make sure the True Way doesn’t win out.”
“We need a Cardassian government that is non-hostile.”
“Surely you’re aware of the consequences of the Federation provoking a civil war.”
“They’ll never know we were involved.” Rashid chained himself to the explosive. Bashir grabbed Fitzpatrick and they got out just seconds before the explosion.
|November 24 2008, 02:06 AM||#30|
Re: Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)
“Julian, can you hear me?”
Bashir awoke to see Ezri kneeling over him and shining a flashlight in his face after applying a hypospray. Vaughn was also standing over him.
Neeley was also present, applying a hypospray to Fitzpatrick’s neck. He woke up, looked at Neeley, and then looked at Bashir. “You saved my life, Julian,” he said.
“I suppose I did,” Julian replied.
“It was still stupid.”
“The genetic enhancements to my reflexes got us out of there alive.”
How was that for irony? Bashir’s genetic status aroused Fitzpatrick’s suspicions, but it saved his life as well.
“We stopped the assassination,” Ezri told them. “Starfleet security will be part of Ghemor’s guard for awhile.”
“Including Mik Tarnin,” Neeley added. “The receptionist will just have to get used to that.”
“The question is whether the Cardassian people will welcome alien peacekeepers,” said Vaughn, “The Federation Council hoped to avoid sending Starfleet troops as a peacekeeping force. That would encourage terrorist propaganda, but the Council may reconsider their decision.”
Security officers standing watch outside Cargo Bay 14 got an all-clear signal from Ops. They forced open the double doors calling the attention of Kira and her captors. Tahna grabbed Kira by one arm and held a phaser to her head. “Back off, or she dies,” he demanded.
Kira elbowed Tahna in the stomach with her free arm. He lost his grip, and Kira then slugged him in the face. Tahna lunged towards the transporter controls. The external door opened sucking air out into space. Kira and the security guards held their breaths and grabbed something secure. Tahna and his compatriot let themselves get blown out into space. Kira was then able to gather her bearings and shut the door.
Ambassador Pirak sorted through communiqués from his government when the assassin disguised as Mirt entered. He was not expecting a visit from the Breen. “This is unexpected,” he said. “What can I do for you?”
The assassin slowly raised his phaser. Pirak noticed and began to contemplate his immediate fate. Ro then stormed into the room, grabbed the assassin from behind, and shoved him to the floor.
Ro removed the helmet to reveal a Bajoran, not a Breen, inside. Two Bajoran deputies entered and lifted up the would-be assassin to haul him off to security.
Kira then walked into the room to see Pirak wanting answers. “What just happened?” he demanded.
“He is a member of the Kohn-Ma, a xenophobic Bajoran splinter group,” Kira explained. “They’ve become skeptical of the Federation presence in recent years, especially with critical negotiations with the Breen.”
“They were hoping to create a situation that would convince the Federation to take pre-emptive action against the Breen,” Ro added.
“And the Kohn-Ma would kill me to achieve their goals?” Pirak asked. “What was Turrell’s role?”
“He led a team to seize the station,” Ro replied. “He used this situation as an attempt to place it back under Cardassian control.”
“Hardly seems logical,” said Pirak. “War has cost my people too much. And a large majority of Bajor’s populace welcomes eventual Federation membership.”
“Extremists rarely act rationally,” Kira said before looking down at Tahna’s earring in her right hand. She hated what Tahna had become since the end of the Occupation. She still grieved for him, as they had been through plenty together as friends rather than as enemies.
|deep space 9, post-series stories|
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