Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by CeJay, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Just as the stakes rise even further in the main story, we cut to the back story where things are escalating as well! Nicely plotted CeJay!
     
  2. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Nelson Mandela, 2372


    The plan to stay behind and get a chance to rescue her marooned away team had gone right out of the airlock. The stakes were no longer roughly fifty crewmembers surrounded by enemy forces, the moment those two Borg cubes had showed up out of seemingly nowhere, it had become every last person on Agamemnon, perhaps even every last crewmember on Cuffe as well. Not to mention what kind of destruction the Borg would be able to unleash on the galaxy would they be able to get their assimilated hands on the Omega molecule.

    Cuffe had immediately altered course to head for the black hole in hopes to reach it before the Borg had a chance to catch up and Agamemnon was not far behind. Donners had decided to forgo the by-the-book docking maneuver and instead asked for a much riskier high-impulse landing in order to avoid the precious minutes it would take to carry out a more traditional docking maneuver. Timing had now become absolutely essential and any second was now a valuable commodity.

    She had left the details of arranging the landing to Star-Wanderer while she remained in conference with her fellow starship captain who simply could no longer hide those worry lines now crossing his face.

    “We’ve run the number three times already,” Glover said who, perhaps for the first time since Maya had known the man with the infamous iron resolve, sounded almost defeated by the circumstances who had presented themselves. “We’re simply not going to make it. These cubes are travelling at far higher rate of sub-light speed than we can match. We’re already pushing our impulse engines to the absolute maximum and they are still gaining on us. We’ll be intercepted about eight minutes before we reach the black hole.”

    “Then Agamemnon has to hold them off,” she said firmly. “Buy you guys the time you need.”

    Glover shook his head. “I appreciate the offer but that’s a suicide mission.”

    “I’m well aware of that,” she said. “But what choice do we have? If the Borg manage to catch up with you and secure the Omega molecule, we all lose.”

    “Maya, I’ve spent a lot of time studying the Borg. One cube is bad enough but going up against two in a single ship, you won’t even make a dent.”

    She offered a little lopsided grin. “Don’t underestimate Agamemnon.”

    But his face remained grim. “I’m not. I’m really not. Maybe you could keep one cube occupied for a few minutes but the other one will simply keep coming. Hell, considering how bad the Borg want this thing they might as well barrel right through you and it won’t slow them down much. Tell her, Hugh.”

    The former Borg drone stood near Donners and when Glover made eye contact with the young man, he offered an almost mechanical nod. “He is correct. Your vessels have insufficient firepower to be able to delay them. In fact they may even ignore you completely as they won’t see it as a significant threat considering the high reward of obtaining Particle 010.”

    “Damn it, there has to be something we can do?” she said, clearly frustrated by their lack of suggestions other than talking her out of her own.

    Terrence Glover picked the worst time to—for the first time in his life—not to have any words to offer.

    “There is an alternative you have not yet considered,” Hugh said. “Turn both your ships around and fight.”

    Maya shot the former drone an incredulous look. “You just said we wouldn’t stand a chance. That we have insufficient firepower.”

    “That is correct,” he said and then looked straight at Glover. “However you have on board your ship all the power you need to be able to destroy both cubes.”

    It was Wayne Daystrom, also hovering around Donners, who was the first to make the connection. “The Omega molecule.?”

    “You cannot be serious,” Maya said. “You want us to weaponize Omega? Out of the question.”

    “You have seen what it has done to my own ship when the Xenarth used it with a similar purpose. It will stop the Borg,” Hugh said.

    Maya still shook her head. “And they destroyed their moon, not to mention destabilized subspace in this sector so much, it barely hangs by a thread now. Another release of Omega energy and the fabric of space keeping this system together may collapse completely.”

    “Besides, we have less than ten minutes before the Borg catch up to us,” said Glover who sounded skeptical of this plan himself. “How do you expect us to make the required modifications in that time?”

    Daystrom stood suddenly. “It’s possible,” he said, pacing for a moment before looking up again. “It would probably blow out every single relay on Cuffe but if we were to tie in that resonance chamber into the EPS relay we could channel some of the Omega-generated power right into the main deflector for one incredibly effective energy discharge. If you shut down the warp engines and dump all your anti-matter, you might even survive the outcome.”

    “Wait a second, I cannot believe we are considering this,” said Donners as she regarded first her science officer and then Glover. “Putting aside for the moment the fact that this is in complete and utter violation of the Omega Directive, we’re also talking about purposefully destabilizing subspace in this sector.”

    “Perhaps not,” said Hugh. “I don’t believe the Xenarth understood the side-effects of 010 when they first attempted to weaponize it and therefore took little to no precautions. The concern is that the excessive energy and radiation created as a byproduct of releasing Omega particles is likely to cause irreparable damage to subspace. There are theoretical ways in which to lessen this danger.”

    “We need a secondary outlet,” Daystrom said, clearly in his element now and thinking along the same lines as the liberated Borg.

    “Precisely.”

    “And we have one. Agamemnon.”

    Hugh offered a nod. “That could indeed work.”

    “Slow down,” Donner said. “What does that mean, an outlet?”

    The science officer turned to his captain. “Think of it like a huge lighting rod. What ever radiation or harmful energy the release of the particles will created, Agamemnon will catch and defuse it.”

    She began to shake her head but Daystrom was not done. “The dangers to ship and crew, I believe, would be minimal. The shields and hull will protect the crew from the radiation and again, if we take the right precautions, other than damaging power relays, Agamemnon has a good chance to survive this.”

    But Maya did not look convinced at all.

    “Time is running out,” said Glover on the screen, “and it’s the best idea I’ve heard so far. I say we give this a shot. The alternative may as well be to surrender Omega to the Borg and I think we can all agree that we’d rather sacrifice both our ships, perhaps even this system, before that happens.”

    Maya couldn’t argue with that even if she absolutely hated the idea. Since being made aware of the existence of the Omega molecule she had come to realize what an incredible dangerous substances this was and how people in the past, including the Xenarth, had believed to be able to control it with disastrous consequences. The Federation’s foremost molecular scientists had once thought they’d be able to bend Omega to their will and no doubt they hade sounded just as excited and sure of themselves as Daystrom and Hugh did now. And yet they were no longer around to talk about the mistakes they had made.

    “If we wish to proceed with this plan, we have to commence now,” Hugh said. “There is much work to be done and I am not certain we will have enough time.”

    Daystrom nodded. “Captain, with your permission I’ll beam directly to Agamemnon and work with Commander Chen to start making the modifications.”

    “I suggest I beam over to Cuffe to support their engineers there,” said Hugh.

    For a moment everyone was looking at Donners who was the only one who hadn’t yet spoken and whose agreement was key to get their risky plan underway.

    She nodded her head so slightly it was almost not perceivable at all. “Get started.”

    Hugh and Daystrom wasted no time and headed for the runabout’s transporter to beam themselves were they had to be.

    Maya glanced back at Cuffe’s captain. “If we pull this off and it works,” she said, “that court martial I was talking to you about, we’re both going to be the main attraction.”

    He offered a wry smile in response. “On the flipside, if it doesn’t work, we won’t by needing to worry about anything like that ever again.”
     
  3. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Zenith, 2372


    Lure Mer’iab had his orders but for the first time in his life he could see no way of how to follow them.

    It was an entirely foreign experience for him, one he had never before experienced, not as a young man serving the Thane’s army, not as a cadet or a Starfleet officer.

    And yet they had been simple enough: Stay alive.

    As it turned out, there was absolutely nothing simple about them, considering the circumstances.

    “Fall back, fall back,” he shrieked to the forty-odd men which remained of Omega-Two. They had successfully eliminated every trace of the Omega molecule and fought off a Xenarth push on their position thanks to Sh’Fane and her team joining the battle at a critical juncture. They had blown the Omega generator and retreated towards their extraction point.

    But things had deteriorated quickly after they had parted ways with Omega-Three and they soon found themselves cut-off from their escape route.

    Re-routing to the captain’s location had made sense until the Xenarth had taken that option away as well and they found themselves surrounded by the enemy on all sides.

    “There is no place to fall back to,” Lieutenant Yuen said even as he fired his phaser rifle at the incoming Xenarth troops.

    Mer’iab knew him to be right. Even if they could find a way around the enemy somehow, there was nowhere to go. All the shuttles had since departed. Mer’iab and his team had been left behind.

    “We are too exposed here,” said the security chief. “Sergeant, find us some cover,” he said to the Andorian Marine who promptly nodded and then took two men to follow his orders. Mer’iab had recently developed a newly found respect for Andorians, particularly those wearing Marine colors.

    “A.J, watch out,” Yuen shouted and then shoved the science officer aside when a lone Xenarth warrior had breached their perimeter and struck out at what had looked like an easy target of opportunity. Yuen managed to get her out of the razor-sharp spear’s way but not quickly enough not to be impaled by it himself.

    “Chi,” Elborough cried out when she saw him getting struck by the Xenarth weapon and then scrambled back on her feet to get to the security officer.

    But Mer’iab was at her side in an instant, holding her back with one arm and firing his rifle with the other which he unloaded with pinpoint accuracy, instantly killing the attacker.

    “We’re sitting duck out here,” he said. “Where’s my cover?”

    “We’ve located a reinforced chamber about fifty meters down this corridor. We should be able to defend that position for a short time.”

    “I’ll take it.”

    “Sir, I think you should know,” said the Marine, “there is only one way in or out.”

    Mer’iab fully understood this. Easy to defend but impossible to escape. “It’s better than to be slaughtered out here. Move it people,” he said.

    “What about Yuen?” A.J. said, still being held back by the Aurelian officer.

    Mer’iab glanced at the Chinese man on the floor, his blood already pooling around his body. A couple of corpsmen were already tending to him but judging by their grim faces, they were not having much success. “Can you move him?”

    One of the Marines shook her head.

    “Sir, the perimeter is collapsing,” the sergeant called out.

    Indeed the personnel which had been tasked to hold back the Xenarth was no longer able to slow them down. At least two men had already fallen.

    “Fall back, fall back, now,” Mer’iab shouted to his men and then looked at the corpsmen. “Bring him.”

    “No, he’ll die,” the science officer said.

    But Mer’iab didn’t have time for this and she swooped up the young woman easily and carried her against her will as they began to move away from the incoming Xenarth soldiers.

    They made their retreat to the chamber in mere minutes and with a limited number of casualties. And the sergeant had been right, the multi-level design and narrow entryway made it a good place to defend. He had no illusions that it would be a last stand. Escape seemed impossible. Already he could count a dozen wounded men which were no longer able to carry a weapon, including Lieutenant Yuen who had been a capable second-in-command.

    Elborough had angrily freed herself from his grip once they had arrived at their destination and rushed over to were the corpsmen had placed him, fighting a desperate battle to keep him from bleeding out which had become even more of a challenge since they had been forced to transport him without proper precautions.

    “Sergeant, I want you to set up people on all three levels and have them aim at the entrance. Shoot anything that comes through there and then find me a way to block it up.”

    The Andorian nodded sharply and went to carry out the orders.

    He checked in on the most gravely injured of his men next only to find that the corpsmen had apparently already given up.

    “Sorry, sir,” she said. “There’s nothing more we can do.”

    Elborough was sitting next to the dead security officer, sobbing. She was looking up at the tall Avian when he approached. “He was going to ... he was going to by me a drink back on Agamemnon.”

    He considered her for a moment.

    “None of us are getting out of here alive, are we?” she said between sobs.

    Mer’iab knew the answer to that question but was unable to bring himself to say it. Then, with newfound purpose he turned to find the sergeant. “How much more explosives do we have?”

    It took him only a few moments to check in with the men tasked to carry it. “We have four canisters of tri-cobalt left,” he said. “Probably enough to blow this entire level.”

    Mer’iab nodded. “Give it to me.”

    “How much do you need, sir?”

    “Give me all of it.”

    The Andorian’s eyes widened with surprise but he quickly collected what he had been asked for and handed it over.

    The security chief found the detonator and within moments he had the entire thing rigged to blow. He swung the explosive-filled backpack over his shoulder and headed for the only exit.

    “What are you doing?” Elborough asked him after having watched him put together the tri-cobalt.

    He stopped halfway to the exit and looked at her.

    “What are you going doing?” she repeated but obviously already aware what he was planning. “Don’t.”

    But Mer’iab didn’t respond. Instead he found the Andorian sergeant again. “You are in charge,” he said and then dashed to the exit without another word.

    He was immediately greeted by a hailstorm of weapons fire which he managed to dodge only barely and not without taking at least three shots, two of which grazed him and singed away parts of his flak vest and uniform underneath, one ripped right through his left wing and came dangerously close to hitting the backpack.

    “Hold you fire,” he shouted. “Hold you fire,” he said again and then threw away his phaser rifle, causing it to clatter on the floor not too far away from where the Xenarth had taken up position.

    They stopped for a moment and Mer’iab took that opportunity to jump into the open, fully away that he was taking a huge gamble that they wouldn’t shoot him down the moment they had a clear shot.

    They didn’t. Instead one of their numbers, likely and officer but Mer’iab was hard-pressed to see any kind of distinction, took a step closer.

    The Aurelian loosened his backpack and dropped it on the floor between him and the Xenarath commander and not far from where his rilfle had landed. The bag opened up and a number of canisters rolled out. The Xenarth took a step backwards but when he realized that the canisters where idle he stopped once more.

    “One of those things just took out that Omega generator in what can only be called an expressive display of destructive power,” he said as he considered his counterpart carefully. “Now consider what six of those things can do,” he added and revealed the detonator in his right hand. He flipped open the safety cap and then pushed down on the dead-man’s switch, arming the primers.

    The Xenarth clearly understood and took another step backwards. Then he considered his winged opponent carefully. “You detonate those explosives and you and your people will also die.”

    Mer’iab nodded.

    “We are prepared to die for protecting what is ours,” the insectoid said firmly.

    Lure Mer’iab had his orders but for the first time in his life he could see no way of how to follow them.
     
  4. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Iota Crucis IV, 2267


    As they traveled through the connecting tubes, a flood of Xenarth were heading the opposite direction and towards the domes which had been attacked. There had been other explosions since, spreading through the settlement and apparently closing in on Wesley and his away team from all sides.

    But when the commodore looked upwards to find the dome on top of the mountain which allowed entry into the underground lab complex, he was relieved to find that it remained undamaged. However, he was fairly certain that it was only a matter of time until the ensuing violence would reach the lab and the unstable Omega molecule it housed.

    Their train reached its destination and the away team, lead by Selphi rushed towards the elevator which took them into the underground complex.

    Here the Xenarth were in a flurry of nervous activity. Were before things had looked like an organized, well-oiled machine, now the various scientists and workers were running back and forth with great urgency, stopping every few moments when another explosion rocked the cavern, before quickly carrying on.

    Most were too busy or concerned to even notice the aliens had returned. And Wesley didn’t pause on his way to find the main lab. Having recalled the way, he was leading the away team at a brisk and determined pace.

    He only slowed once he had found the lab and was once more distracted for a short moment by the bright glowing Omega molecule chamber which had been left exposed and drowned the entire lab into flickering azure colors.

    Wesley wasn’t a scientist and he would have lied if he had said that he fully understood how Omega worked, but what he saw in the chamber was great cause for concern nevertheless. Thousand of individual particles seemed to be swirling around each other in a seemingly chaotic pattern and pulsing with barely restrained energy almost as if they wanted to unleash their awesome power at any moment even if it meant their own destruction as well as, most likely, that of the entire planet, the solar system and beyond.

    Ketteract was there of course and so was his Xenarth counterpart, Queen Chelra.

    Both appeared to be working furiously on various machinery, every so often glancing up at the chamber but otherwise seemingly oblivious to the world around them.

    The human scientist looked noticeably thinner and paler than the last time Wesley had seen him just a few days earlier. In fact he looked as if he had aged months in just hours and the commodore had to do a double take to make sure his eyes weren’t deceiving him, trying to convince him that this was in fact the same man who had arrived here with them.

    Then he aimed a concerned look at Vincent.

    The doctor shook his head. “He’s not well, I told you.”

    The lab shook from a nearby explosion and most of the Xenarth paused for a moment, their antennae twitching anxiously and they looked around with concern. Ketteract and Chelra were not among those.

    “Isofrequency at point eight terahertz. Point nine terahertz. It’s working, it’s working. I’m reading a measurable slow down in the molecules’ electric charge. They are beginning to harmonize,” Ketteract said, unable to keep the rising excitement he was feeling out of his now raspy voice.

    “You were right, Doctor,” said Chelra as she studied the read-outs. “Calibrating the containment field to the molecule’s resonance frequency is stabilizing the particles.”

    “Yes, yes,” he said as if it was all a forgone conclusion already. “But it has also accelerate molecular breakdown. We need to adapt the isofrequency at a more rapid pace.”

    Wesley glanced towards the Andorian science officer. “What are they doing?”

    Zha’Thara needed a few seconds to catch up. She kept her eyes on the molecule chamber were the particles movements were becoming steadily less chaotic before she approached a nearby console to study the readings. “It’s quite brilliant really. They’re using the containment field designed to keep the molecules from interacting with ordinary matter to force them to stabilize permanently.”

    “Can it work?”

    But Zha’Thara seemed too engrossed with what the displays were telling her to answer the commodore.

    Wesley had no time for her inopportune appreciation. He stepped up right behind her. “Commander, can it work or not. I need to know.”

    She turned to look at him and then back towards the chamber. “Maybe.”

    He shook his head. “Not good enough.”

    The Andorian made eye contact. “The theory is sound and the molecules are responding to it but—“

    The room shook again and this time some of the ceiling lights blew out. A couple of large cabinets lining the walls toppled over and spilled their content all over the floor.

    “But what?” Wesley barked, barely taking notice of the damage that had been done.

    Zha’Thara looked around. “But not with this lab taking many more of these hits. This is an extremely precise procedure,” she said and nodded towards the two scientists. “If they make just a small mistake, calibrate the field to the wrong frequency, the molecules will rapidly become unstable and the containment field will fail.”

    She didn’t have to put into words what would come after that.

    “Can you shut it down?” Kutznetsov said.

    She nodded. “I think so. Ketteract hasn’t spend much time over the last few days thinking about contingencies but the Xenarth actually have a backup plan in place which uses an inverse frequency to dissolve the molecules’ interatomic bonds. In short it would wipe them out of existence.”

    “Get started on that, Commander,” Wesley said and directed a look at his first officer. “Assist her with whatever she needs. Mtolo, your with me.”

    While the Andorian and the Bear went to work, most of the Xenarth far too distracted to realize what they were up to, Wesley and his security chief approached the two lead researchers.

    “Isofrequency at one point two terahertz. I am having difficulties maintaining the frequency changes at this pace,” said Chelra as her delicate fingers raced across her computer work station.

    “We’re almost there. Keep it up, keep it up. I can see it. I can see it stabilizing. My God, it’s so beautiful.” Ketteract’s eyes were glued onto the containment chamber above as a smile spread over his face.

    “Doctor. Doctor Ketteract.”

    The man didn’t immediately react to Wesley calling out his name. “We’re almost there. Almost there.”

    “Ketteract,” Wesley said again, his voice loud enough to catch everyone’s attention even over the now seemingly constant rumble coming form somewhere outside which seemed to indicate a steady bombardment.

    “Commodore,” he said and when he turned to look at him it was as if seeing him for the first time. “I didn’t know you were here. Well, your timing couldn’t be more perfect. You’re just in time to bear witness to history in the making.”

    “Not today, I’m afraid. I need you to shut this down. Now.”

    His smile widened as if he had just heard a terrific joke. “You can’t be serious. We are moments away from fully stabilizing Omega and giving the galaxy the most powerful energy source since the Big Bang.”

    “Either that or you’ll cause another one. I cannot allow you to take that chance. Shut it down.”

    Realizing that this wasn’t a joke, Ketteract’s face twisted into anger and indignation. “I refuse. You won’t allow history to be made? I laugh at your small-minded ignorance, Commodore. I pity your fear and your limited imagination. Where you an see only cynicism and destruction, I see the beginning of a new era for—“

    “Enough,” Wesley said, unwilling to be delayed by the man’s self-righteous tirade not to mention growing tired of the man’s droning voice. He unclipped his phaser and Mtolo quickly followed suit. “You will stand down.”

    Ketteract’s frown turned into a sarcastic laugh. “I should have expected something like this from you. You are a solider and a brute, Commodore, willing to use violence to suppress new idea.”

    “My God, man, listen to yourself,” said Vincent who had now joined Wesley and Mtolo. “You’re trying to play God and the people willing to use violence against you are the very same who have invited us here. Open your eyes, we’re in the middle of a civil war.”

    As if to emphasize his words, the lab was once again gripped by a shockwave of an explosion nearby. Judging by its intensity which knocked out the remaining lights and many of the work stations, Wesley guessed that they had hit the facility directly.

    The containment field, thankfully, was still holding for the moment.

    “I cannot allow you to disrupt our progress,” said the Scholar Queen and stood next to Ketteract, her lower arms determinedly crossing in front of her body in a sign of defiance.

    “I do not need your approval,” said Wesley. “Commander, how are we doing?”

    Zha’Thara looked up from her console for just a brief moment. “Almost ready, sir. I have successfully calibrated the inverse frequency and we are ready to apply it to the containment chamber.”

    “No, you cannot do this,” Ketteract cried and moved towards the Andorian. He was stopped in his tracks by the burly first officer who stood in-between them with his phaser pointed at the scientist.

    “I’m not going to lie. I’ve been wanting to shoot you from the moment we’ve met,” he said with a smirk. “Please give me an excuse.”

    “Commander, initiate the process,” Wesley said.

    “You will do no such thing.”

    The Xenarth streaming into the lab moved faster than Wesley would have expected them to. Half a dozen armed soldiers quickly surrounded him and his away team, pointing their weapons straight at their heads.

    The soldiers wore the insignia of the Cleric caste and wasted no time to push Zha’Thara away from the console before relieving the away team of their phasers.

    Queen Ergia, the Supreme of the Xenarth Colony had been just a step behind her soldiers. “Expect to be punished severely for this betrayal, Commodore,” she said and then directed her large compound eyes towards her fellow queen. “And I am disappointed in you, Selphi. You have turned against your own people. A transgression I will not soon forget.”

    “Half your people have risen up against you, my Queen,” said Selphi who had stood by quietly while Wesley and company had made their move against Ketteract and the Omega molecule. “They are attacking us while we speak and all of this because of the unnatural power we are trying to unleash here. I beseech you, do the right thing and end this while we have the chance.”

    The Supreme considered Selphi for a moment, then let her glance wander across the lab, taking in the now herded Starfleet officers, Ketteract and the Scholar Queen before finally finding the containment chamber and the eagerly pulsing particles within.

    “I shall pray that the All-Mother will show forgiveness in the light of your betrayal, Selphi, because I shall offer none,” she said and focused on Ketteract. “Quickly, my friend. Finish what you have started. Open the gate to Xendaru and let us all bask in the unending bliss of the God-Queen.”

    “Listen to me, Ketteract, don’t do this,” said Wesley. “You are a scientist. You know that this is no longer a controlled environment. This is a warzone. One mistake, one more errant explosion and you doom us all. Don’t try to—“ he was cut off harshly when one of the guards struck him across the head with his weapon, throwing him to the floor.

    Vincent was at this side momentarily. “I wouldn’t recommend antagonizing them,” he said as he used his medical sensors to check his now bleeding forehead. “Your skull isn’t thick enough to take many blows like that.”

    “Trying to save the universe here, Doctor. That’s worth a broken skull or two.”

    But it didn’t appear to matter much. Ketteract stared at the downed Starfleet captain for a moment before quickly making up his mind again and turning back to his workstation. “Chelra, quickly, re-modulate the containment field. We can still stabilize them if we move fast enough.”

    The Scholar Queen didn’t hesitate and promptly stepped back to her station. “Containment field at one point three terahertz.”

    Another explosion, this one seemingly form somewhere inside the underground facility, caused most of the anxious Xenarth to look towards the doors leading to the lab.

    Queen Ergia ignored it completely. “Work fast, my children, work fast. The heretics stand by the gates but the All-Mother shall protect us all as our mission is just and our success preordained.”

    “God, how I hate religious fanatics,” said Vincent as he cleaned up Wesley’s wound. “They’re as obsessed with their faith as they are with hearing their own voice.”

    But the Commodore was not paying it any attention. Instead he turned to his own people. “We have to make a move,” he whispered urgently, hoping the guards wouldn’t notice. “As soon as we get another one of those explosions, I want you to engage. Commander, you the doctor and Nealo create a distraction. Talana you try and get back to that control station to activate that pulse. I’ll go after Ketteract.”

    There were quick nods all around.

    “We’re losing power to the primary reactor. It must have been damaged. I cannot keep up the frequency shifts and the containment field is beginning to fluctuate,” cried Chelra, her voice taking on a high-pitched squeak.

    “Compensate, compensate. Switch to auxiliary,” Ketteract barked, now feverishly working on his own station.

    In the chamber above the movements of the particles appeared to have sped up. The previously established order was turning back into chaos, the steady pulses were turning into angry flashes.

    “Can’t you see, you cannot stabilize it anymore. Shut it down before it’s too late,” Wesley shouted.

    “My Queen, he speaks the truth,” Selphi said, trying to close in on the Supreme but quickly apprehended by her personal guard. She struggled with them for a moment. “Listen to them and take action before it is too late. Before you become the Supreme to oversee the end of our people.”

    “Faith,” she said. “You must have faith. The All-Mother awaits.” But she didn’t sound quite as convinced as she had just moments before as it became more and more difficult to argue with the visual evidence before her very eyes. She took a step towards the scientists. “How close are we? When will it be done?”

    But neither Ketteract nor Chelra had the time to provide a response.

    “Isofrequency now at point nine terahertz. We are beginning to lose containment. Auxiliary power is not sufficient to compensate.”

    “It will be. It has to be or we’ll—“ Ketteract couldn’t even say it as he looked up to see the Omega molecules above him now seemingly laughing in his face for his pathetic attempts to try and rein them in and make them dance according to his beat. They were wild and untamable, ready to break out of their artificial prison and unleash their awesome power on an utterly unprepared universe.

    “What have we done?”
     
  5. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Agamemnon, 2372


    Maya Donners and the rest of her team had beamed off the Nelson Mandela, leaving it behind as a necessary sacrifice to speed and efficiency and if the Borg didn’t destroy it in their pursuit, and if they were still around to do so, they planned on recovering it later. The fate of the runabout, of course, was the last of their worries at the moment.

    Amaya had beamed directly onto her bridge and both Texx and Vej were immediately on their feet when they saw their captain appear, her hair dirty and disheveled, her uniform torn in places and her body covered in scrapes and cuts. She had assured them that she was alright but that hadn’t stopped her first officer from calling Doctor Rass onto the bridge.

    The main screen had been split into four rectangular sections. Glover and his bridge on the Cuffe were displayed in the top left inset. To his right was a view of one of his cargo bays where the Omega resonance chamber had been set up and where N’Saba, Pedro Rojas and Hugh were hard at work implementing their latest plan. In the lower left quadrant was Agamemnon’s main engineering section where Commander Chen and Daystrom were making their own preparations while to their right was the reason everybody was on edge. Two Borg cubes racing to catch up with the fleeing Starfleet ships. According to a timer underneath the imposing image, they had less than fifteen minutes until the Borg were within weapons range. They had gained a little precious time by diverting all available power to their sub-light engines but Maya already feared that it still wasn’t enough.

    Within fifteen minutes they were either all dead or assimilated by the hands of the Borg, or quite possibly, wiped out of existence by collapsed subspace brought on by unleashing a seemingly unstable and uncontrollable Omega molecule powered weapon.

    “Don’t these kind of ideas usually go through years of testing before anyone considers using them in a real world application?” said Vej who had been the first one to utter skepticism after learning of their upcoming plan. He had kept his voice purposefully low enough so as not to disturb the scientists and engineers hard at work on both ships.

    Maya nodded sharply but didn’t look his way, instead keeping her eyes glued to the various sections on the main viewer and that unforgiving timer, counting down the seconds to the moment she had hoped against hope to avoid.

    “We’ve seen the Xenarth use something similar just a few hours ago,” said Texx. “They destroyed themselves in the process but we’ve made precautions to limit the damage. Both to ourselves as well as to subspace itself,” said the first officer and doing an admirable job to sound confident and reassuring but judging by the look on the telepathic counselor’s face, he wasn’t buying the Bolian’s poise, probably seeing it for what it really was. An attempt to dispel the legitimate uncertainty among the crew.

    “Right, and these are the same people who’ve studied the Omega molecule for hundreds of years longer than we have,” said DeSoto from the helm, apparently also seeing through the first officer’s words.

    “Bobby,” Allenby hissed, shooting him a withering look. “Zip it.”

    “In my people’s defense,” said Queen Ket who had also returned to the bridge to witness the coming showdown with the Borg. “We have only recently re-emerged from a long period during which most research into the Xendaru particle or most other technology was either frowned upon or strictly forbidden. Much knowledge has been lost to us during those dark times.”

    Vej glanced at the Xenarth female. “From what I understand the Federation has also suppressed any study into Omega and for good reason. Knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. Unfortunately, a little bit of knowledge can be even worse.”

    The bridge settled back into an uncomfortable silence while for the next few minutes only the voices of the busy engineers on Cuffe and Agamemnon could be heard as they spoke in rapid-fire dialogue which sounded almost like Klingonese to the uninitiated.

    It wasn’t until Terrence Glover barked, “Report,” with less than six minutes left on the timer that the relative silence was broken again.

    “It’s not going to work,” said Pedro Rajos almost without preamble and perhaps even sounded a little relieved at the prospect of not having to attempt to initiate a sequence of events which could destabilize subspace for light-years or worse.

    “We can fire the weapon,” said the lupine N’Saba, “but we simply have no way of controlling the resulting and uncontrolled release of Omega particles. We might end up dooming the entire sector. Maybe even the quadrant.”

    Maya got onto her feet in one swift motion, her face turned into a frown, making it clear that she was not happy with that statement. “A couple of minutes ago Commander Chen suggested the use of Agamemnon’s warp core as an energy conduit by reversing the polarity of the reaction chamber and allowing it to harmlessly channel the residual Omega molecules. Hugh agreed that this could theoretically work. Why are we not pursuing this avenue any further?” she said, making it plainly obvious, not only that she had paid very close attention to every word that had been exchanged by the engineers and the scientists on both vessels but also that she still was an engineer by trade herself.

    She was greeted by blank faces initially, perhaps a little surprised by her poignant question.

    Chen was the first to respond. “While this is a feasible solution to our problem on how to handle the excess Omega molecules being released by the weapon, we simply do not have the time to carry out the necessary modifications to the warp core and reactor assembly.”

    The others quickly nodded in agreement.

    “How much time would you need? And be precise,” she said.

    There wasn’t an immediate response.

    “How much time, gentlemen?” she barked

    “If we get every available man on it,” said Daystrom. “Maybe seven, eight minutes. But that’s an optimistic estimate.”

    Maya glanced at the timer. Five minutes until the Borg made contact. Everybody understood that once they were in weapons range, the damage the Borg would be able to cause in their initial attack would more than likely nullify their chances to safely deploy a weapon which was already unstable in the first place.

    She looked back at Daystrom and Chen. “Get started and use whoever and whatever you need to get it done in seven. I’ll get you two more minutes,” she said and immediately headed off into her ready room without saying another word to anyone.

    To their credit Daystrom and Chen didn’t dally and immediately attended to what needed to be done, fully aware that time was now their second biggest enemy.

    Terrence Glover stared at Texx and the remaining bridge crew on Agamemnon with an asking expression. “Anyone want to tell me how exactly she plans on doing this?”

    The empty faces made it clear that they didn’t have the slightest idea.
     
  6. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Iota Crucis IV, 2267


    As Wesley had expected there was another explosion and he and his team had been ready for it, seizing the opportunity the moment the ground under their feet shook and the guards were distracted.

    Wesley punched the nearest guard right into the face, hitting him into his compound eye which caused the insectoid to utter a loud shriek of pain before going down.

    Kutznetsov, Mtolo and Vincent followed suit not a moment later, attacking their guards and trying to keep them engaged while Zha’Thara hurried past them and towards the work station she had already set up to shut down the molecules. She prayed that it wouldn’t be too late.

    The commodore went after Ketteract and wrestled the surprised and unprepared scientist to the ground before he could try and counteract whatever it was Talana was going to do.

    The Starfleet away team had moved so fast, they had failed to realize that the explosion that had given them this opportunity had actually come from inside the lab itself. The heavy doors had been blown off, flattening a number of Xenarth scientists who had been unlucky enough to stand close to them.

    The few of guards who had not been busy to try and stop the aliens turned to engage the soldiers who were now streaming into the lab.

    It was not a fair fight and it was over almost before it began.

    The Cleric caste guards were no match for the well-trained Soldier caste Xenarth who fired upon everyone who offered resistance and then quickly moved to surround the lab.

    And while their main target may have been their fellow Xenarth of other castes, they were equally at odds with their alien visitors.

    Zha’Thara found herself with another Xenarth weapon pointed at her face for the second time and just before she had the chance of initiating the pulse which she hoped would bring and end to the Omega molecules threatening to breach their containment field.

    “You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said as she raised her hands in surrender and took a step backwards when the Xenarth soldier practically prodded her with his weapon.

    Wesley found himself in a similar situation but this time found that Ketteract, Chelra and even the Supreme were being detained in the same manner. He quickly found the leader of the attacking force. The Warrior Queen he had already met once before, had led her troops personally and now stood victorious in the middle of the lab, carefully securitizing her surroundings.

    “Queen Quelphi,” he said and tried to approach her without success as the soldiers surrounding him used their spear-like energy weapons to keep him at bay.

    “Ah yes, the alien interloper,” she said and she looked at him. “I warned you to leave this system when we first spoke but foolish minds overrode my decision. You will come to regret not having heeded my warnings.”

    Wesley dismissed all that with a wave of his hand. “We don’t have time for any of this,” he said and pointed towards the containment chamber which was now steadily growing brighter by the second as the containment field flared, struggling to keep up with the molecules within. “The particles are about to become unstable and the containment field will fail. You have to allow my people to shut it down or we’re all going to die.”

    His voice was stern and genuine enough apparently to give Quelphi pause. But she didn’t take any action as she took her time to consider the situation.

    “Listen to me,” Wesley said. “This is your battle right here. This is what you’ve been fighting against. To preserve your people and save them from the Supreme’s arrogant pursuit of a power she barely understands. Let us stop it now or you and your war will have been for nothing.”

    Quelphi jerked her head slowly in a Xenarth equivalent of a small nod. “Do what you must then.”

    Wesley didn’t waste time. “Talana!”

    The woman nodded and when the guard didn’t move, she simply pushed the weapon aside. “Out of my way,” she said and attended to the workstation.

    The Warrior Queen signaled the guard to stand down before he could take punitive actions.

    “No, no I will not allow it,” the Supreme screeched, freed herself from her own guards and rushed towards the Andorian science officer. “The God-Queen will not allow it. Her will shall be done.”

    Kesseract decided to spring into action at the exact same moment. With the guards distracted by the Supreme’s sudden attack, he slipped his as well to get to his computer station at which he had been tirelessly working on.

    “He’s overriding my shutdown sequence,” the science officer said as she worked the console.

    Wesley didn’t know where to turn first.

    Zha’Thara didn’t see the Xenarth Supreme coming quickly enough. By the time the Andorian realized that she was bearing down on her, it was already too late. The raging Egia reached out for the smaller woman and practically tossed her out of the way. Zha’Thara hit a nearby console with a sickening crunch and remained on the floor with her neck bent at an awkward angle.

    Vincent was at her side within a heartbeat. The doctor knelt next to the woman but within moments the grim diagnosis was in. He turned to find the commodore only to shake his head. “She’s dead.”

    The news hit Wesley like a sledgehammer and as much as he wanted to deal with the Andorian’s tragic and untimely demise first, he knew he couldn’t afford to. Not with Kesseract back at the Omega containment chamber’s main controls again. And the Warrior Queen’s guards were moving so dammed slow now that one of his own had been killed and all their lives were suddenly up for grabs.

    Kesseract had of course taken no notice of anything around him other than the bright, twinkling lights of the Omega Molecule above. “It’s done, it’s done,” he cried as he remained completely transfixed on the containment chamber. “Behold the greatest power the universe has ever seen. And it is stable.”

    The room was now entirely flooded by the bright azure light of the molecules, too bright, it turned out, for most of the Xenarth who were forced to cover their large eyes.

    But it remained just bearable enough for humans and Wesley harshly pushed Ketteract aside to get to the controls, even though he was fairly certain that he had no idea what do to with them.

    The scientist fell to the floor but that didn’t stop him from laughing, almost like a madman. “Too late, Commodore. Too late. It’s done, can’t you see? I’ve tamed Omega. I have created endless power where there was nothing.”

    “You’re no god,” said Wesley.

    “God?” Ketteract said, considering this for a moment. “You’re right. I’m not God,” he added and pulled himself back onto his feet. “I have surpassed God.”

    Only one problem: The bright light was gaining intensity by the second. “This does not look stable to me,” said Wesley and looked down to find a control, anything that would allow him to shut down what he feared would happen next.

    “No, no, this can’t be. I was stable. I had it stabilized.”

    “Damn it, Doctor, this is not stable,” Wesley yelled at the man. “Shut it down. Shut it down, now.”

    But the scientist, so assured of himself just moments ago, looked terrified now, his face turning completely blank. “I … I can’t.”

    Wesley turned to face the computer station again, determined to do whatever needed to be done to stop what was likely to happen next. But he already knew he couldn’t do it alone. Kesseract clearly was no longer able to assist, Zha’Thara was dead and the Scholar Queen was cowering in a corner, crying like most of the Xenarth as their sensitive compound eyes seemed to burn from the steady increasing brightness.

    Wesley looked up once more and just in time to see something else happening. An energy spike of sorts shot out of the chamber and hit him square in the chest, instantly knocking the air out of his lungs and flinging him backwards across the room until he came to a rest, propped up by a console behind him.

    The pain was indescribable and yet he managed to look up once more. He immediately wished he hadn’t. A blinding flash of light nearly took his eyesight. Time seemed to slow and he watched curiously as Xenarth and the remaining members of his landing party turn and try to run from the containment chamber in seemingly slow motion.

    The room had lost all color and everyone and everything had turned into nothing more than bright and blurry outlines as if the entire world had been whited-out.

    He felt the shockwave pushing him against the floor which he thought to be odd because it seemed to annihilate anything in its path. In some inexplicable manner Robert Wesley remained even as he watched on helplessly as everything else around him turned into dust.
     
  7. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    US Pacific Northwest
    Just catching up on this magnificent story.

    As if the 2267 storyline wasn't dramatic enough already, now you'd brought the OG Borg into the 2372 portion? :scream: Terrence and Maya just cannot catch a break here.

    The chief did a terrific job of getting Donners back in the fight, when it seemed she might surrender to her grief at the harrowing casualties from the surface attack.

    And now the two starships must part ways, while already facing overwhelming odds.

    Damn. Just... damn. :wtf:
     
  8. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Location:
    Washington, OK
    I'm only half way through the story but I just wanted to say the ongoing Galaxy Quest Reference made me chuckle a bit..thanks for that.
     
  9. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Borg Cube 321, 2372


    “No trace of Particle 010 detected on planetoid 023475-233G. Presence of Particle 010 now confirmed on board of Federation starship, USS Cuffe, designation NCC-73006. Changing course to intercept,” a thousand voices within the seemingly endless cube echoed as one.

    “Second Federation starship detected,” the voices thundered again as if a million drones where having a conversation with themselves. “Classification USS Agamemnon, NCC-76210. No traces of Particle 010 detected on board. Vessel expected to offer resistance.”

    “Irrelevant. Primary objective: Secure Particle 010. All other objectives are irrelevant.”

    “Diverting all system resources to achieve primary objective.”

    And so the two Borg cubes continued on their course to intercept the two Starfleet ships with a single and unwavering purpose.

    “Contact with primary objective imminent,” the Borg voices said as one. “Federation ships showing no signs of activated offensive and defensive systems. Prepare to secure Particle 010 and terminate Federation vessels.”

    But then the first signs of something amiss didn’t escape the minds of the countless drones linked into every single instrument of their massive vessels. “Particle 010 energy build-up detected on NCC-73006.”

    “Irrelevant. Expected conclusion of energy build-up will not take place before time index 02334. Interception will take place at time index 02331. Proceed with primary objective.”

    And so it was understood that whatever last minute ploy Starfleet had tried to engage in to keep the desired super-molecule out of the Borg’s grasp was destined to fail. Whatever their plan it would come too late. The Borg were supremely confident in their own cold and meticulous calculations. Cuffe would be intercepted and secured long before she and her fellow escort had a chance to mount any kind of defense.

    Victory, for the Borg, was all but assured.
     
  10. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    The two intertwining stories continue to maintain, even increase, their momentum. This is excellent stuff.
     
  11. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Agamemnon, 2372


    “Sixty seconds until Borg enter weapon’s range,” said Allenby, her voice strained and unable to hide her anxiety and fear of potentially being just moments away from being assimilated. Considering that both Agamemnon and Cuffe were sitting duck, without weapons or shields to protect them against the coming onslaught, the fear was not at all misplaced.

    “Reading increasing energy levels on both cubes,” said Texx who in Mer’iab’s absence had moved to the tactical station behind the captain. Even the usually cool Bolian couldn’t quite keep his voice from breaking up slightly.

    “We’re almost there. Maybe another couple of minutes,” said chief engineer Rojas from one of the insets on the main screen. He was feverish at work along with Hugh, N’Saba and a host of other engineers and science officers, none of them paying attention to the impending disaster that was to befall them all.

    “You don’t have a couple of minutes,” Glover shot back from his bridge. Maya could tell that the starship captain was doing an admirable job of pretending he wasn’t concerned or scared for that matter. Regardless what would happen within the next minute or so, the man was not going to be shaken and she admired that about him a great deal.

    “The modifications to the warp core assembly are complete,” said Chen, “but we need to recalibrate the dilithium matrix before we can channel the Omega molecule residue.”

    “No time for that,” Daystrom responded, working alongside the insectoid he never once looked up while he furiously tapped away at an engineering console.

    “He is correct,” said Hugh from Cuffe. “We must commence the Omega sequence now or we will not be successful.”

    Terrence Glover glanced at his counterpart on the Agamemnon and noticed her nod to him. It was her ship on the line as well. If the weapon didn’t fire, both would be easy pickings for the Borg. If the weapon failed, if the excess Omega radiation tore through Agamemnon because of a mechanical or calibration error, the ship and its crew would almost be instantly wiped out of existence.

    “Do it,” said Glover. “Do it now.”

    N’Saba, apparently having drawn the short straw, was the man ultimately responsible for pulling the trigger. To start a chain reaction to unleash the most powerful force known to man which could not only spell their own destruction but those of countless others throughout the sector and change the face of the galaxy forever if it accidently destroyed subspace. “Omega sequence initiated.”

    But Daystrom on Agamemnon, who was closely monitoring everything that happened on both ships, already shook his head. “It’s too slow,” he said with frustration plain as day. “The resonance chamber is synthesizing the molecules too slowly.”

    “There is no way to accelerate the process,” Hugh said even as his focus remained on the resonance chamber itself and the molecules within it as if his impending death no longer mattered now that he was so close to witnessing the miracle of Particle 010.

    On Agamemnon’s bridge where everyone could see and hear absolutely everything that was taking place on both vessels along with the ominous visual of those two massive cubes closing in, the tension was about to boil over.

    Both DeSoto and Allenby turned from their stations to look at their captain, their eyes almost pleading for new orders, something, anything that would give them a fighting chance against what was to come.

    But Maya Donners refused to give any and her young crew had never looked more desperate than it did in that moment.

    She managed to remain calm, sitting cross-legged in her chair, trying hard to exude confidence and strength. And she found encouragement when she glanced to her left were Vej looked back at her with eyes mirroring that same confidence as if to tell her that he trusted her, that he didn’t have a doubt that they would somehow manage to defeat these miserable odds and survive the coming storm.

    Nobody bothered to provide a countdown. The timer on the main view screen was obvious to all as it raced towards zero and the moment the Borg would engage the two totally unprotected starships.

    Thirty seconds left.

    Then twenty-five.

    Twenty seconds.

    “Captain, new contact, one-seven-five mark three-five,” said Texx from tactical, almost shouting now. “Four hundred thousand kilometers.”

    Every set of eyes focused on the busy main viewer not realizing at first that it would reveal nothing of consequence in its present configuration.

    “On screen,” Maya said.

    And then they saw it.

    “It’s the Khazara!” DeSoto all but yelled out.

    The majestic green warbird shimmered into existence behind and above the two cubes. But for all its imposing size it looked nothing more than toy compared to the humongous Borg ships.

    The size discrepancy didn’t stop the warbird from unleashing its awesome firepower at near point-blank range. And it was an impressive firework of destructive energy. Clearly Toreth had channeled every last drop of energy into her offensive systems, unleashing dozens of torpedoes, disruptor blasts, lances of red-hot phased energy and at least one or two weapons systems nobody on Agamemnon had ever seen before.

    It caught the Borg completely off guard, too focused had they been on obtaining the sought after particle, they had never considered or prepared for an attack by a cloaked vessel from the rear.

    And while the impressive display of destructive energy was nowhere sufficient to destroy either cube, it was more than enough to force them both to lose forward momentum, the assault clearly having damaged their abilities to maintain high impulse speeds.

    Agamemnon’s bridge crew erupted into a loud cheer when the timer indicating the approaching Borg ships adjusted upwards, giving them precious and desperately needed seconds.

    A subdued tone from one of the captain’s chairs armrests caused Maya to drop her gaze onto its display to find a simple message she had received via a dedicated and untraceable signal: That’s all I can give you. You’re on your own now. Good luck. T.

    Maya allowed herself a tiny smirk. It was, she hoped, all the time they had needed.

    On the screen the warbird turned sharply and shimmered out of existence again before either the Borg cube could even consider taking aim at the inconvenient interloper.

    “Never thought I’d say this but thank god for the Romulans,” said Allenby.

    “Omega sequence completed,” N’Saba’s voice said over the still open comm channel to Cuffe. “The weapon is engaging in five … four … three …”

    Donners held on to her armrests so tightly, her knuckles turned white. “All hands, brace yourselves,” she said, knowing full well that whatever came next, be it their own destruction, the end of the universe as they knew it or, one hoped, the successful deployment of the most destructive weapon ever created, it wouldn’t be painless.

    “Two … one … deploying.”

    Maya wasn’t sure what she had been expecting. Something similar perhaps to what they had experienced when the Xenarth had attempted to unleash their own version of the Omega weapon which had fatefully destroyed their own moon in the process. A shockwave that would turn the ship literally inside out and blow every last relay and energy conduit to smithereens.

    Something on an apocalyptic scale perhaps that left absolutely nothing behind afterwards. Something right out of Percy Bysshe Shelley: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

    The irony of it all struck her too late. Destroy the galaxy to safe it? Was that what they were doing now? Had it all come down to this?

    That expected shockwave never came.

    Instead something entirely different and unanticipated happened and Maya would be at a loss to make sense of it all after it was over.

    A single lighting-like power surge emerged from seemingly nowhere and hit her directly in the chest which such force, she gasped in pain and tears shot into her eyes.

    Then she noticed that the timer on the screen which had counted down to their Borg encounter had stopped entirely which in itself of course was odd but was most likely explained by a system malfunction caused by the Omega weapon.

    What couldn’t be explained as easily was that everyone and everything began to move backwards. At first slowly as if in slow motion but then it jumped to fast rewind and only went faster until it was nothing more than a blur of backwards movement which soon passed the point, she thought, at which she had taken command of the ship. It passed the point the ship had even been built, it passed the point the shipyard around it had been constructed and it didn’t stop. It went back to before mankind reached for the stars, before mankind, before live on Earth and before Earth and the sun. Before the universe was crated.

    And yet Maya Donners never seemed to move from where she sat, watching all this unfold as a spectator somehow entirely removed from the process of time winding down on itself.

    A flash of searing white light forced her to bring up her hands to shield her eyes. When it was gone and she could risk removing her hands, time was moving again. But this time forward again, at the same head spinning pace and through the exact same steps at it had before until it slowed again and crept back towards normalcy.

    When time finally returned to its regular pace she quickly realized that she was not at all where she was supposed to be. She wasn’t back on Agamemnon and as far as she could tell she wasn’t even in outer space. The place seemed unfamiliar to her but appeared to be a laboratory of some kind. When the many figures going urgently back and forth slowed down to their normal speed and their shapes were no longer blurred, she immediately recognized them as Xenarth.

    She thought she was back on Zenith, on the moon orbiting Iota Crucis IV. The design of the architecture and the technology seemed undeniably similar except for the fact that she couldn’t remember ever having set foot into any room that had looked quite like this one.

    The Omega generator mounted up high inside one of the walls looked distinctly different, less advanced than the ones she and her team had nearly died in their desperate effort to shutdown. The bright blue, angrily burning molecules inside of it were unquestionably of the same variety however. And they looked a hell of lot less contained than the ones she had found on Zenith.

    Time had only just returned to its normal progression when a lot of things happened at once.

    A Xenarth attacked an Andorian looking woman without provocation, tossing her out of the way and causing her to land so harshly that there was no doubt that she had died on impact.

    Everyone in the room scurried, either trying to get to the dead Andorian or trying to apprehend the rogue Xenarth.

    But before anyone had a chance to do much of anything, the molecules within the containment chamber went completely haywire, brightening the room so much, it was painful to keep her eyes open.

    A sudden energy burst from the chamber hit a man square in the chest and pushed him almost across the entire room. Donners recognized the lightning like bolt and immediately touched her own chest where she had been hit in very similar fashion.

    Then a shockwave tore the resonance chamber to pieces and everything and everyone around it along with it. The world turned into nothing but whiteness.

    “Who are you?”

    Donners spun around to see that she was not alone. A human man stood just a few meters away. He was of average height, maybe in his mid to late fifties with salt and pepper hair and the straight posture and bearing of a person of great authority and responsibility. He looked uncannily familiar. It was without a doubt the man who had just been hit by the energy spike.

    “Captain Amaya Donners,” she said. “And who are you? What is this place?”

    The man had a quick look around but if he saw the same thing she did, there was really nothing at all for him to find. “Funny, I was just going to ask you.”

    She took a step closer and recognition dawned on her. She had seen this man before in pictures and visual logs. “My god, you’re Robert Wesley.”

    He seemed surprised at hearing his name and considered her suspiciously. “How do you know my name?”

    Donners couldn’t believe it. Not only was she meeting a Starfleet legend, much worse she seemed to have somehow travelled back in time. Or at least she thought she had. It hadn’t been bad enough that on her first mission as a captain she had to deal with the most powerful force known in existence, trying to avert an intergalactic incident with the Romulans and facing off the Borg, now she found herself in a potential Temporal Prime Directive situation as well.

    “I … “ Words suddenly failed her. If she was indeed in her past she was bound by Starfleet protocol not to endanger the timeline by revealing any information pertaining to the future.

    “And you appear to be human,” he continued. “You said you were a captain but I don’t recognize your uniform. What is it you are a captain of? What organization do you belong to?”

    Maya’s head was pounding all of a sudden and since she had realized that she was facing a Starfleet legend, potentially in his time, she couldn’t be sure of anything right now. “It’s difficult to explain,” she said. “All I can say for now is that I’m on your side.”

    He continued to study her carefully, appraising her with great scrutiny. Then he nodded slowly. “I believe you.”

    She offered him a smile. “Thanks.”

    “But it doesn’t help to explain any of this,” he said and looked around again. “Where we are or what this place is,” he said and then looked back at her. “Unless you have some answers.”

    “I wish I did,” she said. “But I’m as clueless as you. One moment I’m in my chair, the next I find myself here.”

    “Something happened just before I got here. I was exposed to a powerful energy. In fact it looked to me as if it had unleashed, as if it destroyed everything in its path.”

    “Yes,” she said. “I saw that.”

    There was suspicion in his eyes again. “You saw it? How?”

    “I don’t know how. But we were trying to do something similar. We were releasing the Omega molecule to fight off the … an enemy. There was an energy spike which hit me right in the chest. Then I saw things, including what you just described and the next thing I know I find myself here with you.”

    “Ketteract called it the Omega molecule,” said Wesley thinking. “It’s clearly what is connecting us.”

    Donners smirked despite herself.

    “Something funny, Captain?”

    “Sorry, I’m just relieved, I guess. For a moment I thought I was dead and this is the afterlife.”

    “I’m pretty sure I’m not your maker,” he said with a tiny smirk.

    “You wouldn’t be first starship captain I’ve mistaken for an omnipotent being today. But you’re right,” she said. “Somehow the Omega molecule did this.”

    “Bringing us together? But why?”

    She turned away from Wesley, suddenly remembering something Wayne Daystrom had tried to tell her on the Xenarth facility. “Could it be?” she asked herself.

    The commodore took a couple of steps to follow her. “Could what be?”

    Maya turned back around. “My science officer seemed convinced that the Omega particles aren’t mere molecules but that there is a greater intelligence at work. He seemed to think that it is potentially the very same intelligence which led to the creation of the universe in the first place.”

    The commodore looked stunned by that revelation.

    “Heavy stuff, I know. But never mind his theories about the creation of all existence. Let’s just assume for a moment that he was right about the intelligence part. If that’s the case then maybe this wasn’t some sort of fluke or accident. Maybe somehow the Omega molecule got us together on purpose.”

    It took Wesley a couple of seconds to digest all that. “I’ve heard of creatures with seemingly limitless powers, of travels back into time and of ancient Greek gods living in outer space so I won’t dismiss this notion just because it sounds unbelievable.”

    She smirked again. “You’re familiar with James Kirk’s logs, I see.”

    He offered a small smile of his own. “So let’s say you’re right. What’s the purpose of brining us together like this?”

    Donners didn’t have an immediate answer to that question.

    “From what I saw,” he continued. “Omega was in the process of annihilating the galaxy. Do you think that perhaps it is trying to undo that?”

    “It’s as good a theory as any.”

    He nodded. “It’s certainly what we should try to do. The question is how?”

    Not a second later their surroundings disappeared again and they found themselves back in the Xenarth underground lab on Iota Crucis IV. They stood together to one-side and watched on Wesley—another version of him—shoving aside Ketteract to get to the controls even while the seemingly crazed scientist told him that his efforts would come too late.

    The moment passed as quickly and unexpectedly as it had come and both Wesley and Donners found themselves back in that bright and endless whiteness where they had first met.

    “Okay, what the hell was that?” she said after she’d been able to catch her breath form the surprising change of venues.

    “We went back,” said a similarly astounded Robert Wesley. “We went back to the lab for a moment just before those molecules become unstable and escaped their containment field.”

    “How?”

    He considered that before responding. “I was thinking how I wished I could have gotten to Ketteract faster. It was a quick thought, that’s all.”

    “There’s our answer,” she said. “Whatever this place is, it’s allowing us to go back and perhaps change things. Stop those molecules from destroying who knows what.”

    He nodded in agreement. “Yes, I think you’re right,” he said. “But it only lasted a moment. Not enough time to change things.”

    “Could it be a matter of focus? You said you were merely thinking about stopping Ketteract in passing. What if you tried to focus on that thought, held on to it longer? Perhaps that would take us back again and give us more time to change something.”

    Wesley grinned. “If wishes were horses? Is that it?”

    “I think it’s worth a shot.”

    “Agreed.”

    “Hang on,” she said quickly and then stepped closer to Wesley. “We don’t know what’s going to happen or if we are going to get another chance at this,” she added and then stuck out her hand. “I just wanted to say that it was a great honor to meet you, sir.”

    He took her hand without hesitation. “Call me Bob. And the honor was all mine. Looks like they still make Starfleet captains out of the right stuff in the future.”

    She aimed an astounded look at the man.

    “Oh, I figured it out alright,” he said. “Wasn’t all that difficult, really.”

    Donners offered a proud smile.

    “Now take a step back, just in case. Thoughts can be a dangerous thing.”

    She gave him a firm nod and did as she had been told.

    Wesley closed his eyes.

    And just like that they were back in that lab on Iota Crucis. For Wesley, familiar surroundings he had last seen and lived mere minutes earlier, for Donners, nothing more than log entries she had read about and something that had taken place over a hundred years ago.

    Robert Wesley stood next to her near a wall and watched as he and his Starfleet team were being surrounded by Xenarth warriors even while the ubiquitous Omega molecules continued to pulsate ominously and towards the inevitable moment when that containment field would no longer hold back their awesome power. Donners couldn’t help wonder about Daystrom’s claim of an intelligence at work within those bright, powerful lights. And if their theory was true that Omega was somehow responsible for this strange second chance at stopping a catastrophe before it could change the galaxy forever, didn’t that mean that Omega was helpless to stop itself from becoming unstable? Was it not just Wesley who needed help but was it Omega itself?

    She decided that there was no time to ponder any of those questions. Nobody in the room seemed to have noticed her and the other Wesley appear, almost as if they were unable to perceive them at all, but the tension in the room was quickly reaching a climax as Wesley confronted the Warrior Queen.

    “The particles are about to become unstable and the containment field will fail. You have to allow my people to shut it down or we’re all going to die.”

    Donners turned to Bob Wesley at her side. “What’s happening?”

    “It worked,” he said. “I thought about having more time to stop Omega from becoming unstable and it appears we got here with a minute to spare to try and stop this.”

    She touched a nearby wall and was relived to found that it was tangible enough. “They can’t see us but it looks like we may be able to influence events. What happens next?”

    “We don’t have much time,” he said. “Telana, my science officer, will try and shut down the generator from that console but Ketteract will override her commands. Queen Ergia gets to Telana and kills her before she can do anything further.”

    “You stop Ketteract, I go after Ergia,” she said.

    He nodded. “Let’s go.”

    Wesley had been right. Time was running out. Zha’Thara was already at the console and Ketteract had somehow freed himself from his guards as well and working hard to keep the Andorian from successfully shutting down the Omega particles’ final creation process.

    Donners rushed towards the blue-skinned woman, still formulating a plan to save her life.

    “The God-Queen will not allow it. Her will shall be done,” Ergia cried as she stormed towards the science officer.

    Donners bumped into the back of a Xenarth guard who immediately whipped around with his spear-like weapon. She managed to duck just in time to avoid being skewered by the razor sharp lance.

    The warrior looked befuddled when he saw nothing and moved closer to investigate what could have hit him allowing Donners to slip by him.

    “He’s overriding my shutdown sequence,” Zha’Thara said.

    The infuriated Cleric Queen was almost on top of the Andorian who was too focused on working her controls to notice the Xenarth coming after her.

    Maya considered for a moment ripping one of those spear-weapons out a warrior’s grasp and use it to stop the Supreme but somehow she figured that a magically moving weapon would perhaps be too difficult to explain later on.

    Instead Donners jumped onto a console and then leaped over another to land on the floor immediately in front of the charging Supreme.

    The pain of impacting with the hard surface was nothing compared to having the Xenarth run into her at full speed. The effect however was exactly as desired as she immediately stumbled over the invisible obstacle, making it appear that she had slipped clumsily.

    The Xenarth lost her balance and went flying only to land by Zha’Thara’s feet. The startled Andorian jumped back but remained unharmed.

    Bob Wesley in the meantime had reached Ketteract and had decided for an approach just about as unsubtle as Maya’s had been. Standing right opposite the scientist as he was eagerly working the console to complete his previously ill-fated Omega stabilization process, Wesley roughly hit other man’s shoulders, shoving him away from the station.

    Ketteract’s eyes opened wide as he stumbled backwards after suddenly being hit by an invisible and inexplicable force.

    The other Wesley, now no longer distracted by Zha’Thara’s untimely death, was already halfway to Ketteract when he found him stumbling right towards him. Not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth, he cocked back a fist, turned the scientist around with his free hand and then hit him square in the jaw. Ketteract dropped like a sack of stones.

    “That’s what I call a tag team,” Donners said quietly as she watched the two Wesley’s working together to stop Kesseract from where she sat on the floor.

    The commodore stepped over the downed scientist without giving him a second look and walked right up to the console. “Telana, shut it down,” he yelled.

    To her credit the science officer quickly recovered from the attempted attack and was back to work at her station within an instant. “Initiating shutdown sequence now.”

    And then, for the first time since Lexington’s landing party had arrived on this world, the Omega molecules attempting to form themselves to become the most powerful entity known to man, actually began to rescind and dim within the containment chamber while all eyes in the room watched with baited breath.

    Just before it appeared they’d fizzle out completely, there was a bright white flash again and Maya knew that they had been unsuccessful. That somehow Omega had still found a way to unleash its power unto the galaxy in unfathomable ways.

    She never found out if she’d gotten another chance to stop the unthinkable from happening.
     
  12. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Iota Crucis IV, 2267


    Robert Wesley gasped for air like a man who had been submerged underneath water for far longer than anyone would ever volunteer.

    His memories were in shambles.

    He recalled a force gripping him, hitting him like lightning and pushing him across what felt like time and space.

    He recalled the dreaded molecules escaping their containment field and putting an end to the universe as he knew it.

    He remembered a bright flash, blinding him and robbing him of most of his sense all at once.

    And yet here he stood, seemingly unharmed, hardly a scratch on him and the world around him still in one piece.

    He couldn’t explain why he felt that something was very much amiss for nothing appeared to be so.

    On the contrary, as he looked up to find the containment field, he saw it dark and dead, without any sign of those powerful molecules which until very recently had threatened to destroy them all.

    “They’re gone. They’re all gone. It can’t be,” mumbled a clearly dazed Bendes Ketteract from where he half-sat on the floor.

    Wesley couldn’t remember it in detail but he was certain he had deposited the scientist there. The pain in his right hand gave further proof that it had recently connected rather violently to his face.

    Then another terrible thought crossed his mind and he whirled around trying to find his science officer. “Telana!”

    She too appeared unharmed and seemed somewhat startled by the concern and emotion in his voice when she looked back at him. “Sir?”

    “Are you … are you alright?”

    The puzzlement didn’t immediately vanish from her soft features. Then she nodded curtly. “I’m fine, sir. The shutdown sequence has been successful. No signs of the molecules remains.”

    Doctor Vincent stepped up next to the clearly somewhat perplexed commodore, worry in his tone. “Are you alright?”

    He considered the doctor for a moment before he spoke. “I’m fine. I think. A little dizzy to tell you the truth. And with the oddest feeling of déjà vu,” he said and then reached out for the other man’s upper arm before he could respond. New developments were already taking place among the Xenarth. “But this can wait until later.”

    The Warrior Queen had moved quickly to keep Ergia who had inexplicably stumbled during an attempt to attack Zha’Thara, pinned to the floor by wielding a spear weapon close to her throat. “Your reign is over, My Queen,” she hissed just before she impaled Ergia with one forceful thrust and then watched with apparent satisfaction as her large black eyes flickered and her mandibles and antennae twitched desperately in the throes of death.

    The room fell into silence as the Xenarth watched with disbelieve a Supreme being slain by a fellow Queen. An act unheard of in the history of the Aggregate.

    “The Supreme is dead,” the Warrior Queen announced and then aimed a sharp look at Selphi who managed stay stoic in the light of what had transpired here.
    The young Chelra on the other hand appeared frightened by what fate may befall her as a loyal servant to the now deceased Supreme.
    “But there is no need for more killing if you are willing to embrace me as your new leader,” she said. “The Worker Queen has already joined me and if you are willing I shall forgive your previously misplaced loyalties and together we will form a new Aggregate to lead the Colony into prosperity right here on New Xenarth. Our new home.”

    Chelra immediately lowered her head. “You have my allegiance.”

    The Warrior Queen jerked her head in acknowledgment and then sought out Selphi.

    “What will happen with Commodore Wesley and his people?” she said.

    Quelphi considered this for a moment. “I cannot condone or forgive their inference in our affairs.”

    “If not for their actions, the Xenarth race would certainly have been annihilated,” the Artisan Queen said.

    “With out their interference this crisis would never have come to pass in the first instance.”

    Wesley took a small step forward, it was all he was allowed by the Xenarth soldiers who had once more surrounded him and his officers. “I understand that there is no way that I can prove this to you, but our intentions were never to interfere with your affairs but to ensure that this molecule would not come to destroy your people and threaten mine. I freely admit that we have made mistakes. I should never have agreed to assist Queen Ergia to try and stabilize the molecules to use them for her purposes. I should have insisted on their destruction from the very beginning but I cannot undo what has been done. But this doesn’t mean we cannot try and start over.

    You have decided to make this world your new home and I applaud this decision. Let me and my people help you establish yourselves in this part of the galaxy. Let us be your guides to your new neighborhood. We could discuss an alliance of mutual benefit and friendship and someday you may even wish to join our Federation as an equal partner.”

    It had been a good speech and Wesley had given it earnestly and with enough tact to convince many of the assembled Xenarth of his sincerity.

    But it wasn’t enough for the new Supreme. “I reject your offer, Commodore. The Xenarth Colony has no interest in your Federation or this galactic neighborhood you speak of. Nor do we seek friendship with your people or others. I decree that from this day forward, New Xenarth will ban all technology deemed dangerous to our people. Further we will reject any contact with foreign aliens who seek to introduce such technology. We were a simple and happy people once and before we invited doom on ourselves by meddling in unfamiliar powers and inviting alien races among us. No longer. I will give you and your people exactly one opportunity to leave this world and never to return or you may choose to stay and be executed for your actions against the Colony.”

    It was not a difficult decision to make. “I’m disappointed about your decision but I will respect it with the hope that someday you may change your mind and seek out our friendship. And when that day comes we will gladly reciprocate it,” said Wesley and indicate for his people to get ready to leave.

    Kutznetsov picked up a clearly broken Ketteract who struggled to collect his equipment before being dragged along by the first officer.

    The Xenarth soldiers returned the away teams weapons at their Queen’s command, clearly not interested in holding on to anything belonging to the now banned aliens.

    Wesley hesitated for a moment before reaching the now blown-out doors of the lab and turned around much to the annoyance of the new Supreme.

    “I have one final request to make,” he said.

    Quelphi looked at him, her antennae flinching with impatience.

    Wesley looked towards the now dark containment chamber and then down and to the adjacent wall where he found a similar but closed blast door. “Beyond that door your people stored a material called boronite. From my understanding it is what made the Omega particle possible in the first place. For your own safety and my peace of mind, I would ask that you destroy it.”

    Ketteract grasped his tricorder tightly. “No, we can still salvage—“

    “That’s about enough out of you,” barked the Bear, shutting up the scientist.

    The Warrior Queen gestured for her people to open the blast door and true to Wesley’s word it revealed a dozen heavy cargo crates. She aimed an urgent look at the young Scholar Queen.

    “He speaks the truth,” she said in a tiny voice.

    “If you allow me, we have the means to destroy it with little effort,” Wesley said.

    Quelphi didn’t need long to consider the offer. “Make it quick. I wish you and these accursed things gone from my world.”

    Wesley nodded and indicated to Mtolo to follow him. “Phasers, maximum setting.”

    The two men unclipped their pistol-shaped weapons, dialed them up to full power and then opened fire, carefully aiming at each individual crate until they completely disintegrated. It took less than a minute until the chamber was cleared and the last pieces of boronite had been destroyed.

    Wesley replaced his phaser and pulled out his communicator, flipping it open with a snap of his wrist. “Landing party to Lexington. We’re done down here. Beam us up.”
     
  13. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    I was a bit worried that the revelation of Omega's apparent intelligence could have been a deus ex machina solution, but so far so good. The timey wimey shenanigans have given Wesley a chance, without solving everything for him, and he seems to have the situation resolved.

    Now to see how it works out for the crew of the Agamemnon...
     
  14. admiralelm11

    admiralelm11 Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Really enjoying this story, CeJay. I like how you work the past abc the future together. You've created some interesting crews with the Agamemnon and the Lexington.

    Keep up the great work, sir.:bolian:
     
  15. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Thanks for the feedback. I might not be completely innocent on pulling a bit of a deus ex machina ending ...

    Glad to hear you've been enjoying this story. I can't take credit for the Lexington crew which was created by David Falkayn. His Lexington stories should still be available on this board. Or keep an eye out for the United Trek story achieve currently in the work, for easy access to all UT stories.
     
  16. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Cuffe, 2372


    “And then I woke up and the Borg were gone.”

    Terrence Glover and Amaya Donners were walking side-by-side as they headed down a corridor. Maya had only just beamed on-board and finished explaining how she had passed out just after they had activated the Omega weapon for reason neither Doctor Ssestar Rass nor anyone else had been able to explain to her yet.

    “Everyone seems to have had a similar experience to the release of the weapon. Blurred vision, a sense of weightlessness and distortion in time and space but there were no reports of anyone losing consciousness or being struck by an energy discharge. Any idea what it was?”

    “None,” she said. “A system diagnosis did not show any overloads or sudden energy discharges on the bridge when it happened. All we know for sure is that it took place coincidently with the Omega release. It must be related somehow.”

    “Now we may never know.”

    She nodded. “But there was something else. I remember something happening to me while I was passed out. It’s almost like a quickly fading dream. I know I talked to somebody and I know it was important but every time I think I see his face or remember his voice, it slips away again. It’s very odd.”

    The two captains reached their destination when they entered Cuffe’s cargo bay. Inside they found Lieutenant Seb N’Saba, Commander Rojas, Hugh as well as Daystrom who had beamed over from Agamemnon before Donners. They all stood around the resonance chamber which until recently had contained the last remaining Omega molecules the Xenarth had been able to synthesize. The chamber stood dark and empty now.

    “Report,” Glover said.

    The assembled men turned to face the two command officers.
    “It’s confirmed,” said Daystrom, beating his colleagues to it. “No sign of the Omega molecule remains. Every last particle was consumed after we initiated the weapon.”

    “And yet we have no sensor record of visual evidence that the weapon was deployed,” said a skeptical Terrence Glover. “How do you explain that?”

    Clearly Daystrom couldn’t

    “We know the Borg are gone,” said Pedro Rojas. “And judging by my headache something happened to us after we deployed the weapon. I think that’s enough physical evidence that we were successful.”

    The answer didn’t seem to satisfy the two scientists in the room and especially not Daystrom who had once upon a time thought that the Omega molecule would provide answers to the universe’s biggest questions.

    Amaya noticed the disappointed look on the man’s face. “I think it’s for the best. We didn’t blow up this system or destroy subspace throughout the quadrant. And we kept a potential super-weapon out of the Borg’s hands. I’d call this a victory.”

    “No to mention we fulfilled the Omega Directive by destroying every last trace of it,” said Glover.

    “But we have no real sense of how any of this was accomplished. We’ve learned almost nothing about the particle itself other than to reaffirm how powerful it can be,” said the broad-shouldered scientist.

    “You know this was never about finding answers, Wayne,” she said softly, apparently happy and willing to put aside the difficult conversations she’d had with the young man about this lately. “And I think we did learn a great deal here. We learned that your theory may have been right after all. Maybe Omega really is the force behind creation itself. After the things we’ve seen it’s difficult to argue against it. And if this is true than we should be smart enough to know that we are nowhere near ready to try and mess with something powerful enough to do what it did today. Not to mention have the potential to alter or even create universes.”

    Daystrom ultimately nodded in agreement, apparently seeing the wisdom in Donners’ words. She knew it would take some more time for him to fully appreciate what she had tried to tell him. After all it was difficult for any curious person, for any scientist studying the unknown, to accept that the answer to some questions were simply too complex to grasp and perhaps even too dangerous to know. At least for time being.

    “Kojo to Captain Glover.”

    “Go ahead, Commander,” Terrence said after he had tapped his combadge.

    “Just thought you’d like to know that we no longer detect any signs of those incoming Romulan ships. They appeared to have reversed course and moved outside sensor range.”

    “Good news, Commander,” he said. “Keep your eyes open just in case. Glover out,” he added and closed the channel.

    Maya allowed herself a sigh of relieve. “Another crisis averted. I guess once they realized that there were no more signs of the Omega molecule they figured there was no value in trying to confront us over the Xenarth. Their interest in this system and the people of Xenarth ended after Omega vanished.”

    Glover nodded. “I think we can safely assume they won’t trouble us or the Xenarth again for a good while. It does leave us with one more lose end however,” he said and both he and Donners turned to look at the former Borg drone in the room.

    “You mustn’t concern yourself with me,” he said. “Captain Donners and I had an agreement and she has lived up to her side. I had a chance to observe Particle 010 one last time before it was released and it was one of the most perfect moments in my existence.”

    “So what will you do now?” she asked.

    “I shall return to my vessel to help effect repairs. Once complete I intend to resume our journey towards the Delta quadrant and continue our fight against those who are trying to oppose the Borg and liberate anyone I can from the collective.”

    “Tall order,” said Glover.

    “Before you head out again,” said Maya. “I could use your help one last time.”

    Terrence shot her a quizzical look.

    “Our primary mission here may be complete but I we’re not done yet,” she said in response. “In fact the hardest part has only just begun.”
     
  17. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Lexington, 2267


    Wesley and his landing part stepped back onto the bridge just minutes after returning from the surface.

    Ensign Aliz Bathory at the helm quickly left her chair upon seeing them return. “Mission Accomplished, sir?

    “We’re still here, aren’t we?” he said with a frown as he stepped up to his chair.

    The curt respond caused the young ensign’s shoulders to sag slightly as she sat back down.

    “On the plus side,” said Vincent with a large smirk plastered on his face, “we’ve saved the universe as we know it. Not a bad outcome, if you ask me.”

    “I agree,” said the Andorian science officer on her way to her station. She spied through the sensor hood, adjusted the device once and then looked back up. “I’m reading no residual signs of the Omega particle anywhere on Iota Crucis IV. I think we can safely assume that the universe is going to be safe for a little while longer.”

    “And Ketteract has been secured in his quarters and placed under guard. After what he’s done down there, I’m sure he’s career is going to be over,” said Kutznetsov.

    Wesley refused to have his bad mood altered by his senior officers and the frown seemingly etched on his features didn’t lessen one bit.

    Vincent noticed. “Come now, Captain. All in all this could have been a lot worse.”

    The Commodore sought out Charles Vincent’s eyes and held his look for a short moment. Then he nodded slowly. “I’m not denying that at all, Doctor. But I cannot convince myself to be satisfied with this outcome. We have meddled with the affairs of an alien races, we chose sides in a civil war and we have alienated an entire people. And who knows, perhaps Quelphi was right after all. Maybe if we had stayed out of their business altogether we would never have gotten ourselves into a situation we almost weren’t able to handle and causing unspeakable destruction.”

    The ship’s surgeon stepped up next to Wesley’s chair. “There are a lot of what if’s in that statement. As your doctor I recommend you stop worrying about the hypotheticals and start acknowledging your successes.”

    He gave the man a smirk. “Doctor’s orders, eh?”

    Vincent nodded. “That’s right. You can beat yourself up all you want about making new enemies but in the end what matters is that they are still here and so are we. Put things into perspective.”

    Before Wesley could respond to this, Cilla Oudekirk piped up from communications. “Captain, we’re being hailed. From the surface,” she sounded as surprised as the faces of the senior officers implied.

    “Put it on, Lieutenant.”

    The screen shifted to the Xenarth Artisan Queen. Or at least she had been before the new Aggregate leadership.

    Wesley immediately leaned forward. “Selphi,” he said. “Are you alright?”

    She took a moment to respond as if perhaps considering her words carefully before speaking them out loud. Most likely she was being monitored. “I am unharmed if that is what you are concerned about. I do not have much time. It was not easy for me to arrange talking to you like this.”

    The Commodore nodded. “Are you in danger? I am happy to offer you political asylum on board Lexington. If you provide us with your coordinates-“

    She raised one of her hands to stop him. “I do not believe myself to be in danger, Commodore, but your gesture is greatly appreciated. In fact, regardless of what has happened, I am very thankful to have met you and your people.”

    “For what it’s worth, we were happy to help. I can only pray we didn’t make matters worse for you.”

    She shook her head slightly in what Wesley believed to be a gesture she had picked up from him and his people. “On the contrary. I believe your influence has greatly benefited the Colony. While Ergia’s death is a tragedy, her ideas were far to dangerous.”

    “But is her replacement going to be any less so?”

    “Quelphi is aggressive and xenophobic but at least she has the best interests of the Colony at heart. Her ideas are as radical Ergia’s were. Shunning technology and alien visitors is going to wipe out centuries of progress but at least the Colony will be safe. She’s willing to forgive those who sided against her. Neither I nor Chelra are in danger and we have been allowed to continue to lead our castes.

    But it is my hope that one day we will be able to be part of that intergalactic community you spoke of. A small minority of Xenarth agree that we need more friends not enemies and while I remain here I will make every effort to convince the Aggregate of this as well.

    Take care, Commodore Wesley of the starship
    Lexington. Perhaps one day we shall meet again as friends.”

    “As far as I’m concerned, we already are, Queen Quelphi,” said Bob Wesley just before the channel closed and the Artisan Queen’s face disappeared from the screen.

    “With people like her around, I’d say not all hope is lost,” said Vincent and promptly received an agreeing nod from Wesley.

    “Captain,” said Lawford from his station. “The swarm ships.”

    The view screen shifted again this time to show the familiar sight of the cluster of Xenarth bug-shaped vessels slowly moving towards Lexington. Nobody had to guess what their intentions were.

    “I think we have just outlasted our welcome,” grunted the Russian first officer.

    Wesley nodded. “Agreed. Terrence, plot us a course out of the system. Aliz, take us out of orbit and then go to full impulse. Jump to maximum possible warp factor as soon as we are clear.”

    Both officers promptly acknowledged and worked their respective control boards.

    For a moment there was silence of the bridge safe for the usual operating noises coming from the various workstations as Lexington left the system behind. It wasn’t difficult to notice Wesley’s contemplative mien.

    “What’s on your mind?” said Vincent. “Is it about what happened on the surface? You seemed somewhat out of sorts there for a moment, I was concerned.”

    He nodded slowly before he looked up at the ship’s surgeon. “Something happened down there. To me, I mean. I cannot describe it other than to say that for a brief moment in time it seemed everything was different somehow. Other than it should have been. It’s a feeling deep down in my gut that something horrible happened and then it was all just gone. Like it had never happened in the first place.”

    Zha’Thara was intrigued and stepped down into the command well and next to his chair. “It almost sounds as if you are describing a temporal anomaly of sorts.”

    He closed his eyes for a moment. “There was somebody there with me. Somebody who didn’t belong but as much as I’m trying to remember, I cannot recall her name or her face or who she was.”

    “A woman?” said Vincent.

    Wesley considered him for a moment. “Yes, I believe so.”

    “What does all this mean?” said the first officer.

    “It’s very difficult to say,” said ZhaThara. “Particularly since the Commodore seems to have been the only person affected. But I would guess that this was somehow related to those particles which came pretty damn close to becoming unstable and wiping us all out.”

    Bozhe moi,” said the Russian. “I suppose once Starfleet Command finds out about all the dangers around this cursed particle I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ll declare a quarantine around all of Iota Crucis.”

    Wesley stood from his chair. “I think they will have to do much more than that, Commander,” he said and then widened his focus to address the entire bridge crew. “This Omega particle nearly destroyed the entire quadrant. As much as it pains me to say so, but that kind of knowledge is dangerous and what happened here today should never be allowed to repeat itself. Starfleet will have to come up with a clear dictates on how to deal with this in the future and I don’t envy any starship crew or any starship commander who will have to deal with the Omega molecule again.”
     
  18. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Commodore Wesley and his crew seem to have reached the conclusion to their story, and a satisfying conclusion it is. And now I wonder what Maya has in mind.
     
  19. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    New Xenarth, 2372


    The Aggregate Chambers had been a quite impressive building once, or at least so Amaya Donners believed.

    It still maintained its spiral design and it still reached far above the surrounding towers, making it the clear focal point within the largest dome within the biggest city on New Xenarth.

    But like many other structures on the planet, it had not fared the destruction of its moon particularly well. Most of the façade was now crumbling and the insides didn’t look much better either. It didn’t help that given recent events the Xenarth hadn’t really had time to do much of a clean-up.

    At least the Colony Hall, the room which the Aggregate used to hold council and consider petitions from the people had been given a good sweep before Donners had arrived along with Captain Glover, Counselor Vej and Commander Chen.

    “I am not entirely convinced of the structural soundness of this building,” the chief engineer said as he eyed the high and cracked ceiling suspiciously.

    “That could be part of their plan,” the counselor said with a little smirk “Put us into their most decrepit building and have it come down on top of us. Might solve some of their problems.”

    Chen turned to look at the Ullian, his feelers standing erect with concern.

    “That was a joke,” he quickly clarified.

    Only then to watch with wide-open eyes as a whole chunk of a wall mural depicting the Xenarth exodus from their original home world, dropped to the floor with a loud thud.

    “I hope.”

    But Donners seemed to be much more interested in the mural itself, the part that still remained on the wall, then the possible danger of being buried by it.

    Glover joined her. “You’re still sure about this? I can take this if you like.”

    She shot him a sidelong glance.

    The other captain raised his hands in surrender. “Hey, I just remember the last time you tried to broker a peace and that didn’t exactly end in smiles and sunshine.”

    “That was a different audience,” she said and turned back to study the mural. “And I really thought that after leading the assault team to take care of the Omega molecule I’d get a little more credit.”

    “I’m not saying that you didn’t do a good job with that, Maya. You did. But negotiating with the leadership cadre of an entire planet is not the same as leading a strike team and you know that.”

    She nodded. “Remind me the last time you did that?” Maya said without gracing him with another look.

    He sighed. “Not exactly in my job description,” he said. “But I’ve tangled with a few heads of state from time to time.”

    “Look at that,” she said and pointing at a part of the mural, clearly eager to change the subject and move on.

    “Are those … Borg cubes?”

    She nodded. “Ket told me about this. The Borg came after the Xenarth on their home world and were the main reason why they unwisely accelerated their plans to use the Omega molecule to power their star portals. The results were catastrophic,” she said and considered another depiction which showed scores of Xenarth loosing their lives when their technology failed to work the way they had hoped. “Millions of them died during their attempt to transport to their mythical realm of Xendaru and they landed here instead.”

    “On the bright side, all of them would’ve been wiped out by the Borg if they didn’t use the star portal at all.”

    Maya nodded. “True. But we know what the Borg were after. They had no interest in the Xenarth at all. They just wanted the Omega molecule at any cost.”

    The captain of the Cuffe found another mural of interest. This one too depicted the arrival of the Borg and the destruction of the Xenarth colonies and fleets but also something else.

    Donners noticed his sudden interest. “What do you see?”

    Terrence pointed out the many other starships, clearly not of Xenarth origin, fleeing the Borg. Some appeared massive in size, almost as large as the Borg cubes themselves. “If I’m not mistaken there are at least ten different types of ships depicted here, all fleeing the Borg, all because of what the Xenarth created and what apparently made the Borg stop at nothing to get for themselves.”

    “If you’re right, the implications could be immense. Entire races made refugees by the Borg’s single-minded aim, not of assimilation but to get their hands on Omega.”

    “Yes,” he said. “And they would all have to head somewhere, wouldn’t they?”

    She understood his concern. A fleet of refugee ships on that scale could easily disrupt the stability of any sector. Perhaps even an entire quadrant. But Donners forced herself to focus on their more immediate problem. After all there was no indication that those who had been displaced by the Borg’s fanatical pursuit of Omega had all decided to head towards the Federation. “What I take away from this is that the Xenarth have a justified fear of the Borg. Something we have clearly seen from their own actions.”
    Glover didn’t miss the little twinkle in her eye. “What are you thinking?”

    She finally turned away from the mural with a little smile playing on her lips. But before she could elaborate any further, the Xenarth Aggregate, what remained of it, finally entered the chamber after having left their visitors to wait for almost an hour.

    There were only two of them left and Ket had briefed them in detail on the two individuals and their respective castes before departing for the planet.

    The Supreme, Scholar Queen Klestra, was dead, killed in the blast which had destroyed Apogee, one of their moons and the site of their primary Omega facility. The Warrior Queen, Samma, had been dispatched in combat by Lieutenant Mer’iab and Sh’Fane on Zenith, their second and now neutralized facility.

    That only left the ultra-devout Cleric Queen, Nadelphi, and the efficient but introverted Liphra, leader of the numerous but mostly impuissant worker caste.

    The two queens had brought two dozen armed guards with them, four of which remained close to their leaders while the rest quickly spread out to completely surround the room as well as the Starfleet delegation.

    It had clearly been meant as a demonstration of strength but Maya couldn’t help but interpret it as a gesture born out of fear.

    Donners tugged on the bottom of her uniform jacket and then shot her companions a quick look to let them know to assemble around her as she faced off the Aggregate.

    “Starfleet,” Queen Nadelphi said, her disdain obvious in her voice. “Know that you are not the first who have attempted to invade and conquer the great Xenarth Colony. The God-Queen stands with us, her righteous children, and with her blessing we shall prevail against you and all those who stand to oppose us.”

    Maya fought the urge to roll her eyes. “Honorable Queen Nadelphi, we have asked for this meeting to discuss recent events and what should happen next. You have agreed for us to come here and therefore I have been under the impression that we were your guests.”

    The Cleric Queen tensed noticeably. “You’d expect us to welcome you after the atrocities you have committed against our own? You are not just invaders, you are fools.”

    “I may give you fools, but we’re not invaders,” Glover said with a smirk.

    His humor apparently didn’t translate well into Xenarth and he merely received a blank look in return from Nadelphi.

    “May we sit down?” Maya asked.

    Liphra answered before the Cleric Queen had a chance. “You may,” she said and then, when she received an angry look from her fellow queen, “They are correct that we have agreed to this meeting. Now that they are here, we may as well listen to them speak.”

    Nadelphi wasn’t any more pleased but she made no efforts to stop them either.

    Donners and her delegation took chairs around a crescent shaped table which faced five elevated chairs one for each member of the Aggregate. Liphra and Nadelphi awkwardly took their seats, momentarily considering if they should sit next to each other, apparently, before they settled on their designated positions which so happened to be at exact opposite ends.

    “Speak then, human,” the Cleric Queen said, “and let it be over with.”

    Maya took a deep breath before she began. “First, I wish it to be made known that I greatly regret the actions which we were forced to take against your people and the lives, on both sides, which were lost because of it. But I am convinced, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that if we had not done what we did, the consequences would have been far worse for all of us.”

    “This is how you justify an attack on us?” Nadelphi fumed.

    “I shall remind you that the opening shot was fired by your people, not mine,” said Donners, keeping her voice calm and steady. “And you made your intentions abundantly clear when you utilized your Xendaru particle as a weapon against us. And in doing so you not only destroyed your own moon, killing thousands, you severely damaged this entire region of space and put at risk the entire quadrant. Our actions, as despicable as they may appear to you, were carried out only to ensure the safety of this solar system and countless others beyond it.”

    “And you simply expect us to believe these outrageous claims? That we have somehow damaged our own home?”

    As if on cue, another large piece of the mural fell off the wall, causing everyone in the room to turn suddenly at the loud noise of the pieces shattering on the floor.

    Donners turned back to face them. “I believe the evidence is obvious,” she said and suppressed a little smile she felt coming on. Then she quickly recalled the seriousness of this meeting and instantly sobered up again. “And we will be able to provide you with a great amount of raw and untreated data we have been able to collect which you will be able to study so you may learn of the damage this Xendaru particle is capable off and what it already caused.”

    “Let us assume that you speak the truth, Captain,” said Liphra. “What is it you have come here to propose?”

    “A friendship.”

    “Preposterous,” the cleric responded immediately. “Besides, we have already made an arrangement with the Romulans.”

    “You may notice that your new, so-called friends are not here,” said Glover. “In fact once they realized that you no longer posses the Omega molecule, they turned around and left you to your own devices.”

    Donners nodded. “That was their only interest in you.”

    “And you are different?” asked Liphra.

    “The Federation is an alliance between many different races. Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, Ullians,” she said and pointed at her counselor. “All working together for the common good. And we’re not limited to humanoids either as you can tell from Commander Chen who is a Xinid-Insectoid, not too different from the Xenarth.”
    Nadelphi considered this for a moment, studying the Starfleet engineer who possessed undeniable similarities to her own race. “If you believe that you are simply able to parade your subject races to us in order to make us believe in your words, you are an even greater fool than I believed. We shall never subjugate ourselves to your Federation tyranny.”

    “I see the Romulan propaganda machine is as efficient as ever,” Vej said under his breath.

    “There is no subjugation involved,” Donners said. “In fact I am not even proposing that you become a Federation member. At least not yet. That process is a long and drawn-out affair which could take years until both sides believe themselves ready for such a significant commitment. But we could take the first step here today by agreeing to become friends.”

    Nadelphi stood suddenly. “I say again, we have no interest in becoming your friend, Captain,” she said, all but ready to bolt out of the room.

    Glover shot Maya a quick look to let her know that this wasn’t going very well. Of course at this point she didn’t have to be told.

    That little glint was back in her eye and she leaned forward slightly, her voice taking on a much harder edge. “There is of course another issue you should consider before you make up your mind on this.”

    “I doubt there is anything else you can say which would cause us to reconsider,” the Cleric Queen said.

    “With the latest events you are no longer as isolated as you would like to think. The Romulan border is just a few hours away and they have already shown an interest in you once. If you cannot bring yourself to believe that our intentions are friendly, than you have no reason to believe that the Romulans would be any more cordial towards you.”

    “You claimed the Romulans have no longer any interest in us,” said Liphra.

    Glover took that one. “There is this saying. Never turn your back on a Romulan. Well, actually it’s never turn your back on a Breen but it works on Romulans just as well. Trust me, they’ll be back. Maybe not tomorrow but soon and they’ll take from you whatever they can exploit.”

    “And then of course there are the Borg,” Maya said and could tell by both their body language that they were immediately put on edge by her mention of the cyborg race which had already brought such suffering to their people.

    “In fact one of their vessels still remains in your system. You tried to destroy them before but they survived and they are rebuilding their ship as we speak. Check your own sensors, they are heading for your planet right now.”
     
  20. TheLoneRedshirt

    TheLoneRedshirt Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Just got caught up on this fantastic story! Lots of edge-of-the seat action with excellent character work from two eras of Starfleet - you've done an exceptional job with a complex story line (and it's not quite over). Kudos! :techman: