Another incomplete challenge fanfic from the Challenge in December 2011, about Skeletons in Closets. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Hiding from the Inevitable Part 1 12 December 2373 Deep Space Nine Deep in the Habitat Ring, a young Bajoran was pacing in her quarters. She was wondering why she had gone so far. Metaphorically burned her bridges and ran off to the Station. She was also wondering why she hadn’t ran any further. DS9 was supposed to be the stopping off point. ‘Then again, I haven’t chosen where to go from here, yet,’ she thought. Indeed she didn’t know whether to head into the Gamma Quadrant, towards the Badlands or into the Federation. Of course, all courses were fraught with danger. Forces of the Dominion were everywhere. The Gamma Quadrant was home to the Dominion, the Maquis were wiped out and the Federation was close to War with the Dominion. ‘I’m not going to decide anything tonight,’ she thought. The door chime rang, disturbing her line of thought. “Who could that be?” She went to the door and pressed the open button. A Ferengi stood at the threshold. “You ordered a Hew-mon ‘Pizza’?” he asked. ‘Of course,’ “Meatlovers?” she asked. The Ferengi looked at the label on the container. “Errr, yes,” he said. The young Bajoran took the pizza box, which prominently featured the image of a Ferengi and the words ‘Quark’s Pizza, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quark’s Bar, Grill, Lounge and Holosuite Arcade’ in several languages including Ferengi, Bajoran, Federation Standard and Klingon. “Thanks,” she said. The Ferengi looked in thought. “Errr, that will be ten slips of Gold-pressed Latinum,” he finally said. The Bajoran handed over the money. “Thanks,” the Ferengi said as she left the room. The Bajoran went over to the table and opened the Pizza box. Rom left the quarters where he had delivered the pizza. There was something weird about that Bajoran... In Ops, Kira Nerys was bored. Nothing of importance had happened all day. However, that was about to change. “We’re receiving a distress call,” Chief Miles O’Brien said. “Origin?” Kira asked. “About a light year away, towards Federation space,” O’Brien said. “I’ll take a runabout and investigate,” Kira said. “Yes, Major,” O’Brien said. USS Mississippi NCC 78324 The Runabout dropped out of warp and approached the stricken ship. “Scan the area,” Kira said. “I’m reading a debris field,” Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax said. “Are we too late?” Kira asked. “Wait a minute, I’ve found four life signs in an escape pod.” “Is it small enough to fit in the docking bay?” The Mississippi was equipped with an experimental docking bay module. “Yes, opening the starboard doors now. Tractor beam active.” The Mississippi grabbed the escape pod with a tractor beam and pulled it into the docking bay. Kira and Dax entered the docking bay. The escape pod was next to the Mississippi’s small shuttlepod. Neither Kira nor Dax could figure why a Runabout needed a shuttlepod. The escape pod’s hatch opened and three Betazoids and one Human emerged. “I’m Major Kira Nerys of Deep Space Nine. How did you lose your ship?” “I’m Sadia Alata, former first mate of the Zaliza. We were approaching Deep Space Nine when our ship was attacked by a Jem’Hadar fighter,” one of the Betazoids said. Dax turned to Kira. “The energy readings in the debris field are consistent with Jem’Hadar weapons signatures,” she said. “You are going to take us to Deep Space Nine?” Alata asked. “Yes,” Kira said. Half an hour later the Mississippi approached Deep Space Nine, after having retrieved the ‘black box’ recorder from the debris field. “Thanks for retrieving us, Major,” Alata said. “You’re welcome,” Kira said. Constable Odo appeared at the entrance. “Odo?” Dax asked. “I ran their names through the databases. There are no records of them on Betazed or Earth,” Odo said. “We’re not from either system,” Alata said. Odo grumbled. “We’re not hiding anything,” Alata said. “I’ll be the judge of that,” Odo said. “That’s fine,” Alata said. The Constable lead the newcomers out of the runabout.