Legends of the Phoenix

Author's notes: This was written as part of the Trek BBS September/October 2023 Challenge and takes place in the early 25th century. The crew of the Crucial were mind-displaced to the future in ULC 4.

September/October 2023 Challenge: Any Trek / Any Characters / Any Time Period. Any Sort of Haunting (Actual Ghosts or Treknobabble Pseudo Haunting or Scooby-Doo Dude in a Mask). Any Ship or Space Station.

Trek BBS: September/October 2023 Challenge

"Spooky Haunted Ghost Ship: Wooo"

The Intrepid-class U.S.S. Crucial postured itself out in the deep, vastness of deep-seeded, steep, deep space with no one else around. Captain Menrow stood, heroically, staring out through the screen at the stars.

"Please stop. You're straining a vein in your forehead, and I find its very presence offensive," commented Lieutenant Commander Armond as he stepped onto the Bridge.

Shaking his head out of it, Menrow turned to him. "Apologies. It's just that, ever since our main consciousnesses were sent to the future by a hacky-hacked Traveler, our present-day, non-prioritized minds drift far more frequently."

"So, you have the reflexes of Borg drones? I get that," Armond observed. "Well, it was nice of my crew of the U.S.S. Phoenix-X to loan me out to you for this one project."

Menrow deadpanned, "Oh, please. You and your senior staff have been sneaking away to other ships for years to attain some sort of mental variance from the nonsensical monotony of decades-long non-promotions. That's why I keep your guest quarters nice and tidy while you're away."

"Shh! You know these Starfleet ships have Enterprise-A movie-level video recording, right? Oh, and thank you for the Tellurian mints."

The Captain nodded. "In the meantime, are you up for a little Halloween side-quest? It is the most dramatic holiday, after all. Plus, our ship is malfunctioning, so we kind of have to relate it to something timely in order to stay relevant."

At that, the lights throughout the Crucial flickered off and main systems waned down.

"You know what? I'll do it for my favourite onboard application: Life support," Armond declared, enthusiastically. "It's just always been there for me."


Entering the Torpedo bay, Armond, Menrow and Lieutenant Commander Hatcha approached an open transphasic torpedo casing, with its circuitry splayed out.

"Ever since Voyager returned home, Starfleet has been hoarding the transphasic torpedo for special circumstances and not sharing it openly, in an effort to preserve the timeline," she explained.

Menrow continued, "But it's finally been long enough that we've caught up to the time these things were invented in that alternate grey-haired Janeway reality. The one where she kills more openly. I mean, even more openly than a Tuvix week."

"So, this is what's causing your ship to malfunction?" Armond queried, perplexed.

Hatcha nodded. "Turns out, being on an Intrepid-class starship isn't enough. Even in terms of matching Voyager-level randomness, you actually have to know what you're doing."

"The Phoenix-X had a bunch of these for a short while before we blew them all in Ferengi poker," Armond recalled as he began reconfiguring. "They safely carried away every last one on a cargo pallet."

The Captain observed the other man's corrective work. "Of course! The subspace compression pulse generator was aligned. The key was misalignment."

"Right," Armond confirmed. "The phase state of the subspace compression pulse has to be asymmetric to pass through Borg— er, enemy ships." He took a breath. "We certainly aren't targeting a specific group in a genocidal way."

Hatcha's eyes widened. "Also, I probably should not have reversed the polarity on that as my attempt at a fix." But it was too late. The space all around the ship suddenly appeared fractured by proximity to the torpedo.

"Damn! Our forced-torpedo-ing has messed up the space-time continuum!" Armond realized.

The three ran out into the dark and air-fractured corridors to see what was going on, only to find the door behind them replaced with wall.

"Yeah. This is not the deck we came in on," Menrow observed. "And that is not one of our officers."

All turning their gaze down to the end of the jilted hallway, a blank-stare, messy-haired woman in a tattered wedding dress stood completely still before a passing visual fracture disappeared her.

"Ugh. Marriage-themed," Armond groaned. "This is because my ex-wife and I had a near-rekindling, isn't it?"

Turning down another corridor, the three came to sense they were being followed. Menrow looked at him. "You were going to get back together? Bro."

"A misstep, I now realize," Armond continued as they both suddenly stopped to find Hatcha was missing. "Speaking of steps, your first in command must've stepped into one of those space-time fractures!"

Menrow took out a tricorder. "So, the theme is about footing. Fascinating. Also, this thing says we are being bombarded by chaotic space. Similarly fascinating."

"The asymmetric polarity reversal of the transpasic torpedo must've created this influx of anti-laws-of-physics?" Armond surmised.

The Captain nodded. "Voyager encountered the same thing, naturally occurring in space, according to their fleet-wide highly exposed personal logs. And, did you know Harry Kim secretly replicated an additional pip for in-quarters roleplay?"

"Dude did not get the treatment he deserved," Armond added. "Wait. Of course! Our application of this space is just as undeserved. We're the ones creating chaotic space!"

He looked around to find that Captain Menrow had disappeared, relinquishing his declaration to the depths while the corridor all around began to hauntingly deteriorate, pressurize and morph.

"The future does not look bright, Groom," came the eerie voice of the tattered Bride as what could barely be seen of her form descended uncomfortably close to him. "A life unsalvageable."

Despite the unsettling kinesthetic, Armond pushed on to focus rather than fall. "I was married, and I did relapse. But moving on is continual work that Betazoid Counselors are addicted to in their patients. A continuation that also applies to you." He was then snapped, face-first into the floor by her rage at heightened speed. "The difference with you is that you're a newborn! Whatever lives in chaotic space, you were made just a few minutes ago, and now you're alone."

"Join me in holy matrimony," her deranged voice aerated as Armond began to see under one of the air-fractures to the Torpedo bay.

Garnering what strength he had left, he arm-crawled passed the shard and into the bay, propped himself onto the Transphasic torpedo and closed it before tapping at the manual controls. "I'm just too old for you," he finalized as the casing slid out and the Crucial fired the torpedo into space, taking the chaotic fractures with it on a journey, unending.

"Wow. You almost married a baby," Menrow observed as the fractures were now gone and he and Hatcha were standing nearby.

The lights flickered back on, as did main systems. Hatcha got to work in starting a new transphasic torpedo. "That, I would have reported."

"Well, at least I practiced self-control," the Lieutenant Commander got up, dusted himself off and approached the work area. "A newly acquired trait I will have to carry on to the rest of my life. So, shall we try again? This time, we do not reverse the polarity."

Hatcha nodded as Captain Menrow took out a PADD and started tapping. "This was a great Halloween adventure. I'm going to submit it into the Starfleet Captain's bi-monthly Log Writing Challenge. We all get to vote on them and everything."

"Wasn't there a massive Reman-Vampire outbreak on Deep Space 4 last week, effectively shutting the station down, permanently?" Hatcha recalled.

Armond's eyes widened. "Oh, wow. You can't even tell the normal Remans apart from the Vampire ones. Now, that's a Halloween entry." He shrugged. "Anyway, good luck, Captain."

To that, the two got back to work as Menrow left to continue writing on. Meanwhile, out in deep space, the fractures of chaotic madness grew louder and louder.
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And for use of my favorite Star Treknobabble:

Thanks!! rbs
Author's notes: This takes place in the early 25th century. For this Episode, I picked a series I would pull an alien species from (DS9 for this third one) and used a random number generator to choose an episode. The generator pulled "The Emperor's New Cloak," so I wrote something on the Mirror Universe from that episode. My MU crew was previously brought back in my comic strip "Mirrorversal". Wayfar was last seen in the Trek BBS contest entry "Reverse Metallurgy" changing a California-class to a Prometheus-class. This first part was written in December 2023.
Star Trek: Phoenix-X
"Transgressables, Part I"

The Norway-class U.S.S. Fusion trekked blissfully and cordially through space until coming to an elegant stop.

Commander Red of the Mirror Universe's Klingon-Cardassian Alliance, in the same full Klingon armor as the rest of the crew, sat diligently in the command chair, peering out into unknown space. "Excellent stopping, Bugh. You did this ex-pilot proud."

"Thank you, Commander," Bugh acknowledged. "But flying this Starfleet vessel gives me the creeps, even though we've been doing it for years."

Ronin jilted from the tactical station. "Even worse, we renamed it back to its original name, rather than how we preferringly had it, the A.K.S. Yarrgh."

"The best part was that you were meant to shout it," Red reminisced. "And, oh, the battles we've won against the re-asserting Terran Empire. Holding our own as a fledging Alliance for the past seventeen years has given me much Klingon-based joy."

Doctor Terek was standing nearby and turned to him. "Sir, you know how detrimental joy is, physically, to people of the Mirror Universe. It also causes aneurysms."

"I know, I know. Like the sensitivity to bright lights, it is yet another pointless idiosyncrasy of ours," the Commander acquiesced. "Sometimes, I wonder if I should have claimed Regent when I came in with this stolen vessel. I could be lounging with servants fanning and hand-feeding me gagh right now!"

Kortos, from Operations, turned. "It is better to be on the battlefield, anyway. Good for our aging hearts."

"Right! This is good. We have travelled back to the Prime Universe with a skeleton crew, under stealth, to accept our new guest for a greater purpose," Red declared. "Sorry, I didn't explain our mission to you guys earlier but, you know, Alliance pompousness and all that."

Bugh calmed him. "All good, Commander. We actually appreciate the vanity of it all. Keeps us Mirror-sane, if you will. More of that!"

"Very well. Expect a standard-class flogging, later," Red offered to an agreeable helmsmen.

Suddenly, the band-shifting Traveler known as Wayfar shifted into existence upon the thought-welcoming Bridge of the Fusion.

"Well, hello, everyone! How's about we get this party started?" he opened, enthusiastically, with added pointy-party hat and party blower in-mouth. But, upon realizing the ship was full of Mirror Universe Klingons, he vacated said blowhole in surprise-recoil.

Red held up his palm. "Allow me to explain. You see, we lured you here under the guise of celebratoriness, in order to requisition your services to that of outfitting the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance with interphase cloaking devices."

"That is so rude, bro," Wayfar accused. "Do you know how often I've been recruited to rebuild, reshape and reregister starships after the fact that I retired from that ten years ago?? Plus, how did you even know about me?"

Targon took him in. "Six years ago, you helped a Commander James T. Seifer reassemble the exploded remains of the Prometheus-class I.S.S. Phoenix-X after his failed twenty-four attempts. Such an impossible feat is well-known within our much-celebrated mirror circles."

"Ohh, yes. James was a troubled Trill who was a Prime Universe host joined with the Mirror Gotens-symbiont," Wayfar recalled. "My main objective was to simultaneously up my medical capabilities and help him get better by switching him to the Mirror Seifer-symbiont. The trade-off being that he demanded I use my starship abilities to bring the Mirror Phoenix-X back in, this time, as a success. So, a win-win from a goal-based standpoint."

Red stood up, excited. "Exactly. Now we are demanding the same post-retirement assistance, but ten-fold, in the form of Alliance fleet-wide applications!"

"No can do, Klingy-boo," Wayfar halted. "Post-retirement starship modificationing is a one-time one-off that just happened to benefit that one Mirror Phoenix-X, four years later." And then, recalling, he snapped his fingers in delay. "Plus, one more re-starshiping, three years after that, for the Prime Phoenix-X."

The Klingon Commander walked around to approach the Traveler. "Perhaps you're under the impression that this is a request? For you see, we Alliance warriors have had to become somewhat technologically progressive compared to our Prime Universe counterparts due to the consistent oppression by the Terrans. This has enabled the development of trans-dimensional outputs to our Cardassian anti-shapeshifting emitters which, assumingly, seriously hampers the powers of a Traveler from existential-plane-jumping. Like, a No Wesley's club."

"You what!?" Wayfar regurgitated. He then clenched-tried phase-banding out of there but, upon partial-transparency, was returned opaque and whole for all. "How did you do that!?"

Red reconditioned himself. "We're technology-focused now! Which is why we want the inter-phase cloak, rather than that generic Ferengi-installed invisibility screen Regent Worf went for despite some Alliance factions already having it four years earlier."

"The fact you want that Pegasus-obscenity makes the ask even more repulsive!" Wayfar retracted. "I may not be the perfect Traveler, outcasted by many of my kind for the mistakes I've made in the past and future, but I wholeheartedly refuse and believe I can get myself out of this and send all of you back to your Universe."

Commander Red suddenly perked, confused. "Wait. Mistakes?"

"Here we goooo!" Instead, Wayfar clenched even harder and force-phased himself and everyone on the ship to an even higher regard, exploding the anti-Traveler emitters throughout the ship and sending everyone and himself into a band-shift, out of the Prime Universe, until the U.S.S. Fusion was left abandoned and adrift.


Now, in the Mirror Universe, Commander Red's entire skeleton crew, plus Wayfar, were phase-shifted onto the Bridge and lower decks of the Vorcha-class A.K.S. B'Cnah.

"What is the meaning of this!?" came the outrage from Captain Menchez, as he stood off his command chair to the presence of Red and the others. "We didn't escape the confines of the Terrans to be interrupted so abashedly!"

Wayfar sat up, trying to shake the disarray from his head. He then pulled up his palms to examine the state of himself. "Meaning? I believe I've run that completely out of me, as well as purposeful intrusions. As in, I no longer have my abilities??"


Meanwhile, out in the vastness of deep, vast, Mirror-space, the Prometheus-class I.S.S. Phoenix-X trekked upon itself a galactic unit and so on. Commander James Seifer sat in the command chair, observing a cluster of giant green tentacles in space displayed on the view screen.

"Should we shoot it? I mean, it's not like we're an exploratory vessel or anything?" queried Seifer.

Kayl turned from Operations. "Well, we'd better initiate some differing purpose. There's no way we were brought out of time before our deaths, by some anomalous omnipotent half-breed, only to live for the same old, same old."

"You know what? Let's dust off the old scanner. I'm into it," perked the Commander before a minor alert klaxon went off.

RaeLuna tapped at her tactical console. "We're picking up the same energy spike, several sectors away, that the Traveler Wayfar gave off almost six years ago when he helped us."

"Were you just always looking for those like some kind of constant positronic signature scan some Prime Universe Enterprises used to do?" Seifer squinted.

The woman deadpanned him. "We are allowed to have hobbies."

"If the Traveler reading is from Wayfar, he may be in trouble, and we owe him for putting this ship back together," Kugo added. "You know how obsessed with action-based debts we hardcore ruffians are."

Seifer focused. "We're at the height of Terran dominance in this Quadrant, so knowing things is a luxury displaced by our complacency. No. We stay here with the wiggly things!"

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Author's notes: The Sleri were previously used in my Earth Spacedock RP, which takes place ten years after this, where Captain Terry was merged and empowered with them and Species 8472/Undine mad scientist Kohogeth created a Sleri/human hybrid.​

Star Trek: Phoenix-X

"Transgressables, Part II"

The Terran Prometheus-class I.S.S. Phoenix-X drifted treacherously close to the splurge of a large green tentacle species in space. Mirror Seifer and his Mirror crew sat diligently upon their Mirror Bridge.

"Look at them. So wiggly! I love it," he observed. "Does anyone have a craving for tube grubs now? Seems like a fortunate consequence from just being here."

RaeLuna nodded. "Such a consumable would not be out of the question had I not eaten mealworms earlier today."

"First of all, ew. And second, sensors are indicating that these lifeforms contain something akin to neurotransmitters within each slimy, disgusting tentacle," Kayl observed of the data.

Seifer paused. "Hold on. Are you saying we've inadvertently sought out, what would appear to us as, new life and, given time to develop expansive social and economical structures, new civilizations?"

"I would not put it passed us for unwittingly falling into what we would consider an exploratory goody two-shoesy trope," offered Dain from the helm.

Suddenly, the communications broke open and the haunting voice of the tentacle aliens transmitted through. "Greetings. We are the Sleri. Prepare to be assimilated— into nothingness. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be totally destroyed, along with anything else you have."

"Hey! I'm Commander Seifer of the Terran Empire's subjugated yet privileged alien faction. Did you steal and modify that intro from somewhere?" Seifer queried.

One of the Sleri tentacles held up a halting-tentacle in space. "Yes. We are from Fluidic Space and we've been around. Enough so, that we have become highly xenophobic and violent to most people. Are you free to engage in combat-to-the-death?"

"Actually, we are not," Kugo interjected. "We have a friend who needs saving right now?"

Seifer threw up his hands. "Damn that protocol that allows my Bridge crew to defy me openly during inter-spacial communications!"

"It was implemented because they wanted more celestial drama, per Terran Empire quota regulations," RaeLuna reminded.

The Commander nodded. "That's true. But those very characteristics of our re-dominating Empire is what gives me pause now. I'd like to offer something called 'diplomacy' to you Sleri-kind."

"This is just your Prime Universe host and new Mirror-symbiont talking," continued the Vulcan Chief Engineer. "It's theatre and interpersonal dramaturgy that matters most for us reflectoids."

Another Sleri reverberation echoed throughout the ship. "Look, we do not want to get in the way if you have other business to attend to. Our grievances can easily be withheld to someone more indulging."

"So, our lack of hostility makes us unworthy of your menace?" postulated Seifer. "Is everyone against a non-threatening, non-dramatic Terran ship? That we’re not even worth the time if we don't fit the stereotype?"

The Sleri sighed. "If we are being honest, every species in this universe is terrible and the same. It's a somewhat repetitious and incessant tone forced down our hypothetical throats. We have come here to confront your Mirror Jem'Hadar, who have been breeding artificial versions of our kind for their own benefit."

"We're not even your business??" regurgitated the Commander, standing up in defiance. "But I'm coming at you in a conciliatory disposition! That makes us matter more so for being layered and relatable!"

The Sleri countered, "Relevance is subjective. We simply do not wish to engage with you anymore."

"Well, what if I wish to engage with you? Fire the phaser cannons!" ordered Seifer before the Mirror Phoenix-X positioned in space and blasted a consecutive series of phaser bursts at the Sleri.

The tentacles energized themselves in defense and blocked several hits but were overwhelmed when the Phoenix-X threw out a quantum torpedo that tore through and exploded half of the Sleri-bunch in space. The other half came engulfed in energized, destructive plasma.

"Damn," Seifer retracted as he sat back down in self-defeat. "That was a major Terran regression on my part, if there ever was one."

The remaining tentacles re-energized and began healing themselves. "Ha! In fact, it was we who manipulated you into combat using a completely new and unused concept we like to call 'reverse psychology'. The purpose being is that we learn and adapt from these encounters, which will ultimately serve when confronting our true enemies."

"Reverse psychology? That's brilliant! Finally, a tactic for our arsenal that those Prime Universians could never comprehend," Seifer realized. "But, more importantly, I've learned it's harder to change from who you are overnight. To wit, behavioural development is a long-term transformation riddled with successes and diminishing returns."

Kugo perked. "Sooo, about that Wayfar?"

"Very well. Helm! To the other thing!" Mirror Seifer declared before the Mirror Phoenix-X turned in space and jumped to mirror warp.


Meanwhile, Mirror Red's skeleton crew were now reintegrated upon the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance Vor'cha-class A.K.S. B'Chnah.

"There isn't any chance that joking about a mutiny would preclude the expectation of a mutiny, would it?" Red inquired.

Menchez perked. "Do you honestly feel like going through all that trouble? I mean, I'm up for it, if you want to do the whole one-of-us-kills-the-other? The bloodlust itself would be honorable and satisfying."

"No," Red sighed, realizing the complexity and energy involved. "I'd really much rather sit. I had replicated blood oatmeal this morning for breakfast."

The older Klingon acquiesced. "I'm honestly not trying to deter you. I really am on board for a classic secret or full-force insurrection that pits us against each other in a heat of done-to-death violence." He gaged his unresponsive first officer for a moment. "Well, the option remains if you change your mind. Sometimes we have setbacks, but it's moving on that waits for us with the most patience. In the meantime, we continue to interrogate the Traveler known as Wayfar."

"Understood, Captain. But surely the large tentacles wrapped around our ship right now is far more immediate anyway?" Red questioned, gesturing to the viewscreen at its partial coverage by a Sleri arm.

Menchez nodded. "I was just relishing in the conflict of it all for a little while. We Klingons find battle so therapeutic, we will sometimes stop in the midst of it just to appreciate our good fortune."

"Huh. Never thought of it that way. This is actually preferable to a malfunctioning Traveler now that I'm sitting with it," Red realized, seconds before the I.S.S. Phoenix-X dropped warp within the small section of the screen that was still able to show space.

The Terran ship moved in closer to see that the Alliance craft was locked in peril. Commander Seifer hailed. "Klingon ship. Your position is clearly compromised by the presence of a second Sleri conglomeration, so we will be taking advantage of said-redundancy and fetching our Wayfar back."

"Why? What do you know of these things?" Menchez eyed, suspiciously. "Your goatees betray you. Are we in any real danger or what?"

Seifer waved it off, unconvincingly. "Oh, you're totally in danger. Sooo much danger. In fact, I'm Gabriel Lorca-jealous."

"Liar!!" the Klingon Captain regurgitated. "He was an Elon Musk-loving hack and real envy comes at a deeper cost. You are so plainly a stereotypical Terran-type. Helm, wiggle the slimy long thingies off us. Tactical, target the Phoenix-X and prepare to fire!"

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Star Trek: Phoenix-X
"Transgressables, Part III"

The Terran Prometheus-class I.S.S. Phoenix-X and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance Vor'cha-class A.K.S. B'Chnah impulsed and weaved around a conglomerate of articulating green space tentacles while lancing phasers and disrupters at each other.

"Weigh anchor! Hoist the mizzen!" Mirror Seifer commanded amongst the chaos of the Mirror Bridge.

While RaeLuna fired and Dain piloted, his crew looked at him weird. "Sir, those aren’t even things we do."

"Ugh. I know. This is just me wishing myself out of Terran re-oppression," he conceded. "They're very redundant, mind you."


Suddenly, the passing B'Cnah seared disrupter beams through a portion of the Phoenix-X's weakening shields and blew into the Terran ship's starboard hull, sending them spinning off-axis until they were caught by a tentacle.

"We got them!" declared the Mirror Menchez from the Captain's seat. "That'll learn those uptights not to tell us to keep our opera down."

Ronin shrugged. "And it's not even like we have it that loud. They're just trying to douse our vibe, sir. Well, the Catullans understood us."

"If neither the Terrans nor this Fluidic space tentacle species are up to conditional danger, then we will manufacture peril ourselves," Red reassured, re-entering the Bridge. "We're going to interact with their interdimensional tear and phase-cloak ourselves into a one-ship technological marvel of achievement!"

Menchez perked. "Commander, am I to understand you have rekindled your drive for Mirror Klingoning?"

"After this fanciful, scholarly feat, we actually will have impetus for celebratoriness," Red bolstered. "Kortos, prepare the machinations! You know, the shooting-gravitons-out-of-our-deflector thing. That mostly unused light under our forward disruptor?"

The other Klingon snapped. "Oh, that!"


Meanwhile, a tortured and clothing-torn, exhausted Wayfar just barely band-transported himself onto the tentacle-arrested Phoenix-X, where a shocked crew were in the midst of reconciling their jeopardy.

"Ah! Don't you knock? Oh, right. Mirror Universe," Mirror Seifer pacified. "Also, we're here to save you, despite any hesitation on my part."

Wayfar nodded. "Because I usurped your success, six years ago, by reassembling this ship and curing your sickness, despite we agreeing on those very terms?"

"Indeed. What I hadn't counted on were my regressive feelings of emasculinity and resulting self-doubts," the Commander admitted. "Our subconscious governs our everyday actions, you know."

The Traveler nodded. "Asking for help is not a weakness, but a strength. Get yourselves one of those half-Betazoid counsellors. They will do wonders for inter-ship episodic drama and help against the pressures of Terran and/or Alliance marginalization— especially after torture."

"Oh, no," Kugo fretted. "Did they get information out of you that we would have done, happily, had we the opportunity?"

Wayfar sighed. "It's weird how everyone loves torture here. But, yes, they did attain my knowledge for enabling interphase cloaking, this time through the Fluidic tentacle species. Conceding, even partially, was involuntary but did give me relief enough to rekindle my space-time abilities to get back to this copycat, wannabe-original, fakie-fake fake ship."

"Phoenix-X, your unresponsive Mirror-compatriots appear to be finagling with the dimensional rift that we are currently spewing ourselves out through," came the hail from the gripping space-tentacles. "Succeeding in their goals will destabilize our link to it."

Seifer perked. "Hey! You know us from your friends? That means you’re a shared consciousness!"

"We're still connected to each other through Fluidic space, but we must also tell you that we are also genetically-bred subordinates of the Undine, who some call Species 8472, and that means we do not have the ability to re-seal a tear we lose connection to," the voice explained. "Translation, we're going to be in sooooo much trouble when our parents get back from the store."

"Then you've completed confrontation preparations for the Mirror Jem'Hadar," the Commander surmised.

The Sleri replied, "Alas, the qualification period has resulted in a greater existential contention of converging realms."

"We will assist as a gesture of alliance," Seifer realized as the tentacles released the Phoenix-X. "That's how the Klingons got together with the Cardassians and it is how the Terrans will escape their perpetual self-defeating inclinations. We'll become gods in terms of ethical conduct and, as alien outsiders, bring peace and goodwill toward all men!"

Kugo tapped her chin in shared inspiration. "And the women too."

"Done!" At that, the Phoenix-X redoubled its efforts and re-engaged the predisposed B'Cnah as it was in mid-graviton fire upon the interdimensional growth point of the Fluidic space tentacles.

However, the surge of destabilizing systems from Phoenix-X attacks fed an overload along the B'Cnah's beam and tore into the rift, more, opening it wider and spewing a slow consistent spread of Fluidic space out into the Mirror Universe.

"Thank you for the assistance, Phoenix-X," came the on-screen hail from Red aboard the B'Cnah as it phased out into its desired interphase cloak. "Doubt holds us for a time, but our low points are never as long as our lifespans, so we may as well fill that void with persistence."

Seifer nodded. "I guess? So, you're going to destroy the Terrans now?"

"It's technology-through-combat that we've come addicted to. We have no need for the Terrans anymore," Menchez admitted. Then, before cutting out, he added, "We Mirror Klingons are a complicated bunch."

Prime Wayfar gestured, regaining some of his strength. "It's weird how everyone here calls themselves that. Anyway, I wish there was something I could do about this mess, but the Laws of Physics of Fluidic space confound me. At least, here, I invert all my attempts. Do I need to lubricate them for Species 8472? It's confusing." He then transport-banded himself back to the Prime Universe.

"We messed up," Seifer admitted to the tentacles as he turned to the viewscreen that was showing the slow splurging green mucus of Fluidic space.

As it fed out, the various space tentacles fed out with it, growing and stuck to the fluid like living flora. "The Klingon was correct about persistence. We will also consider this our temporary low point and push on. Resilience comes from authenticity."

"In the meantime, let us track down your imitations by those Mirror Jem'Hadar for you. It's the least we could offer, considering you're all over the place right now. We'll come back with mops too," Seifer suggested to a then-drooping tentacle. "Is that a nod? I'll take that as a nod."

The Fluidic space mishmash then added, "You have successfully liberated yourselves of Mirror Universe convention and trope. The honor is ours."

"Huh. It kind of feels good. Is this the mindset those Prime Universians always have? A sense of justification for their own existence? Fascinating," James Seifer realized. "Also, I have an odd craving for prune juice."

The I.S.S. Phoenix-X then turned in Mirror space and jumped to warp, now on a strange but altruistic chase for conscience and integrity.

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Author's notes: This first one takes place in the early 25th century and calls back to a few time travel chatfic episodes which will one day in the far future be rewritten for my Double Phoenix thread. This is the first time expanding on the Tiloniam system destruction from Episode 1. Sayjan's appearance in LC66, where he tries to save the Xindi Avians, takes place after this three-parter. Likewise, Rave's appearance in LC67 is him being an agent for the Na'Kuhl after his defeat mentioned here. BOB's Beguiler Operator revelation is from Episode 91. Also wanted to start introducing some new crew, so they are sprinkled here. This first part was written in January 2024.
Star Trek: Phoenix-X
"Celestial Dynamics, Part I"

Out in the incomprehensible breadth of empty, interstellar space, in the year 2400, the Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X lingered indifferently and offhandedly within the confines of duty and workplace amicability. Commander Night Seifer took to the center command chair and his usual viewscreen of the stars.

"Space, the final frontier," the Trill squinted. "Our continuing mission, to point at stuff in awe and wonder. To boldly sit back and gossip about Lieutenant Commander Veker and his unapologetic idiosyncrasies."

Armond started from tactical. "Can you believe how he's always into exploration and wanting to go where no man has gone before?"

"Comrades. As a Klingon serving on a Federation vessel, I'd like to offer a non-aggressive diversion to the activity on our sub-standard 4:3 ratio viewscreen," Red suggested from the helm whilst gesturing to the Vorgon Xyfius-class, V.S.V. Yolanda dropping out into normal space, right in front of them.

Commander Seifer was momentarily taken aback. "Ahh! I mean, finally, an encounter of sorts."

"Sorry to just encounter you," came the onscreen call of a non-binary Vorgon named Ueun. "But we are from the future. Your future Starfleet and ours joined forces in a Temporal Cold War battle in the 29th century and we chased off a tangential Na'Kuhl who went mad from it and began time-travelling in chaos."

The Commander recollected. "Ohh, yeah. Also, not you guys again? Why are temporal escapades a mechanism for everything now? Where is the originality? Is trying a thing that's too hard?"

"Yes, and it's probably at the bottom of every temporal architect-writer's paper bin. The point is, our time-dilating instruments have tracked this man's next incursion to this point in history, but we are unable to narrow the incoming location."

Seifer arched a brow. "Sayjan. He will forever be the bane of my existence, occasionally, when we have to deal with him. Unfortunately, this time, I must concede predetermined defeat based on past failure. We can barely make it to our overly inflated Frontier, Federation and First Contact Days." Then, changing his demeanour, he added, "Next year, though. The Enterprise-F is decommissioning early for fireworks' sakes, despite being in the best condition of its life."

"Comparatively, Starbase 55 says the Phoenix-X won't be decommissioned for a few more centuries because our letter is so high," offered Briggs from operations.

Ueun snapped, involuntarily. "Your ship goes on way too long! But your native timelining, as well as your penchant for buffering ridiculousness is the perfect match for a time-crazed maniac, bent on temporal anarchy."

"Some Captains do call us the Jack Pack of the fleet," Seifer pondered. "I once horse-whispered the U.S.S. Crazy Horse out of an Erik Pressman dedication plaque. Talk about a wild-eyed Badmiral with Riker-controlling intensity."

The other Captain nodded. "He is a legend to cloak-enthusiasts in the future— but the really dumb ones. In the meantime, I will come aboard for strategic operations. Do starships of your time employ officers specifically for this, like Deep Space 9 did?"

"Yeah, no one has been able to replicate the pure synthesis of that crew makeup and their impeccable drama. Just look at how overdone Section 31 is now," Seifer suggested. "Anyway, I'll have our Ferengi bartender welcome you. He's very original."


Later, Seifer, Ueun and several staff met in the Conference room as the Ferengi BOB was entering, seemingly late.

"There you are! We submitted our food orders over an hour ago," the Commander complained. "And where is your apron and poofy chef's hat? You know we have Voyager-level standards to uphold."

BOB blinked, confused. "Sir? You’re aware that I left the ship long ago in search of the person who engineered the Beguiler Operators into a non-Ferengi twenty-six letter alphabet?"

"Ohhh, right. That was last week?" Kayl snapped her fingers.

The Ferengi double-taked. "It was eight years ago!"

"The point is, you're always leaving at different times, for various mysterious reasons. Which is the perfect first taste into the madness that Sayjan will douse upon this mashed-up crew of misfits!" Seifer declared in excitement. "But, seriously, do not venerate him."

BOB nodded. "Agreed. In fact, I've come back because my El Aurian information broker has given me troubling intelligence concerning that very same time traveller."

"Seriously, can people just stop making temporal mechanics their go-to?" Elly criticized. "Is a fresh encounter with a helpless alien species, where we are clearly the superiors, too much to ask?"

The Ferengi continued. "It's not and, to your point, he's going to disrupt the fabric of space-time in the vulnerable Tilonian system."

"Ohh! Perfect. But didn't we destroy those people's sun years ago out of a fit of incompetency?" Ensign Dan inquired.

Seifer snapped. "What!? That was the Tiloniam system and it was Dominion collateral damage. You're relieved!" As he watched the Ensign exit, the Doctor began to exposit.

"Ah, the young-but-now-old, never-promoted Ensign has a point," Lox admitted. "Long ago, the Tilonians were a splintered people, half of whom attempted to colonize another system as a solution. After we couldn't stop the Tiloniam star from its unnatural expulsion, the evacuated colony went back to their original home and reverted to their old in-fighting shenanigan ways."

Kugo added, "Five years after that, we failed to stop a different kind of incursion into that original home system and, once again, fractured what little progress they made. It was a Thursday. I had plomeek pudding."

"Ugh. I sprained my commanding arm from over-pointing that day," the Commander recalled while tapping his finger on the table. "We must not waver anew. Help the Tilonians by preventing another existential relapse or, at the very least, we send them a supportive text with three accompanying 'thumbs up' emojis."

"Ever since the Synth ban was lifted, people have been going hard with those," Hachi observed.

Seifer nodded. "Technology is finally merging with everyday life and it's important we're not afraid of it. The future is going to be amazing!"


Later, the Phoenix-X and the Yolanda dropped out of transwarp into the Tilonian system where the Tilonian starship Ruoven was confronting the 29th century Paladin-class, U.S.S. Atlantis-R and a small, faint temporal anomaly in space.

"Do you honestly believe you stand a chance against them?" Commander Seifer questioned to a perplexed Tilonian Captain Ihruv.

He blinked. "Well, of course not. Be we have to do something to protect our spiny lobe-fish. His presence before the Sacred Disorder is fueling conspiracy theories, and you know how gaslighting is an art now." Then, noticing, "Wait. The Phoenix-X? Ohhhh, no you don't. Shoo! Get on. Git! Skedaddle!"

"You might not realize this, but the universal translator is having a field day with your expletives," Seifer observed. "Also, please do not fret. Our intentions are to help and stop Sayjan at all costs. For realsies this time."

BOB stepped forward. "How did the Na'Kuhl acquire that Starfleet temporal starship again? Tell me said Captain got double court marshalled?"

"It was your rogue Section 31 Agent Rave who went to the 29th century and modified the temporal-fitted Atlantis-R to answer to just one crewmember through a neural link," Ueun explained. "He wanted to boost his future-version agency through streamlined combat. After he was defeated, Sayjan took over, but not before the ship was infused with a temporal surge."

Seifer examined the viewscreen. "That's what's driving him mad, isn't it? Like a giant tardigrade on a darkened Crossfield-class starship with a non-stop adrenalin-pumping crew."

"Except, we talk normal speed," suggested Science officer Veker. "And, if we can sever that link, Sayjan would lose control of his time-jumping. A modified antichroniton pulse may be the brilliant solution we were destined."

Kayl threw up her hands. "Yeah, but now you've gone and jinxed it with self-awareness. Outing your knowledge devalues it thrice over!"

"It doesn't matter what you know," came the sudden viewscreen call from Sayjan aboard the Atlantis-R. "Knowledge leads to order, and order leads to rules. Rules about time travel. Time travel should be for everyone!"

Seifer squinted. "Yeah, but what if you're really bad at it? Even those guys?"

"Especially those guys! The Na'Kuhl advocate a strong and supportive, all-inclusive non-linear learning environment where welcoming and friendship are interchangeable and twirly."

The Commander calmed. "That's actually very sweet. I'm not sure why everyone has it out for you guys?"

"And, to get there, I will ascend to a higher state and slaughter the children of your ancestors, and then those ancestors themselves, tenfold! Hahaha! Rasmussen!"

Then, realizing, "Ohhh, yeah. There it is. You see, the inclusiveness part was good, but the murdering-to-get-there is where it diverges. Also, apt choice for a swear word."

"Ugh!" BOB clutched his head in pain, to the Commander's notice.

Seifer stepped over. "BOB, are you alright? You look like a Vidiian with Terrellian plague on Boranis III. So, pretty rough."

" —Commander, the Atlantis-R is engaging a highly charged temporal beam into the Sacred
Disorder anomaly," Tong reported from tactical. "It's a what's-what cocktail of time travel particulars!"

Sayjan squeed, externally. "This, I'm super-proud of. I've blended a scientifically astute concoction of chronometrically energized chronitons, boosted by a choronometic surge to enact a space-time revulsion upon the Tilonian's precious Sacred Disorder anomaly."

"You already have control over time travel. How does an anomalous aggravation further your temporal freedoming?" Seifer queried. "Clearly, your over-entitlement needs a Kirk-boot to the Kruge."

While struggling, BOB stepped forward to keep his balance. "Commander, there's something I found during my search for the creator of the Beguiler Operators. Where I thought we were all genetically bred, alphabetically, it turns out we were also all chock-full of cybernetic implants."

"This could not be a worse time," Seifer deadpanned.

BOB shook his head. "That's just the thing. Our creator died years ago, so I had the El Aurian, Keppler, activate my implants to learn more about them. My first lesson? I can now sense Sayjan's chronitons pulling at me like Benjamin Sisko time-pulling his son in the most episodically dramatic way."

"Oh, that was a tear-jerker of a mission report," Seifer realized. "Veker, engage the antichroniton pulse I imagine you've been prepping during all this chaotic banter. It's why I doubled my senior staff."

The Kelpien tapped, frantically. "It's not working? Some kind of viral-firewall is interfering with the commands and aggravating ship main systems? Like a cascading Iconian subroutine hopped up on Badgeys!"

"Phoenix-X, I'll take responsibility for that," came the fourth split in the main viewscreen from the grey-haired Admiral Theseus, long-range daisy-chaining from Starbase 55. "You see, I could not risk that you hadn't checked your text messages ordering you to not engage with Sayjan so he could complete his task."

Seifer did a triple-take as the Phoenix-X began shaking. "What??"

" —Ah! We have, like, forty-seven unread messages. Most of which are angry emojis," Tong noticed from his console. "And some are vegetable ones?"

Theseus continued. "Ignore those! Also, don't let the red-faced smilies delude you. You've been an excellent protégé, Commander Seifer, assisting me with fleet operational placements." He paused in simple reverie. "Rerouting all those Inquiry-class starships to the Zheng-He last year was brilliant. But, alas, like the Admiralty, there are differing levels of being that must be properly satiated. I am one of those beings."

"Dammit. That's on us not preparing for your annual betrayal." Seifer pinched the bridge of his nose. "Ueun, is there anything your 27th century starship can do?"

The Vorgon shook their head while checking their wrist-PADD. "Against a 29th century Federation vessel? We don't have regulated antichronitons, but we are attempting an inverse tachyon pulse." Then, "Admittedly, an inventive Starfleet crew from two centuries earlier was calculated to be more of an advantage over us pink fish-looking fishy-fish guys. Yeah, we know."

"Hmm. Yes, yes. That actually is sound logic," Seifer agreed before tapping his commbadge. "Bridge to Engineering. Deploy the Amp/Mayhem Anti-viral Package." He turned to the others to explain. "We've had a few Virus Holographic crew members before and we reverse-engineered the random holographic grooming stuff from their bathrooms. You know, combs, toothbrushes and so on."

Gewdeque replied from Engineering. "Releasing nasal spray subroutines, now!"

"So minty. Command lockout is breathing freely now. Engaging pent-up pulse," Veker announced to an agreeable Seifer before the Phoenix-X joined the Yolanda in a deflector-beam push into the highly energized Atlantis-R and its own feed into the anomaly.

But it wasn't enough and both the Atlantis-R and BOB slowly lit up in a flash and then disappeared from the temporal plane. Theseus, on screen, in his office, checked his long-range sensors to confirm. "Infecting the Phoenix-X was the only way to ensure those pulses timed with the end of his chroniton cocktail feed, so as to not explode him for future-use."

"We have soooo much evidence of your treasonous tampering and a hazy clue as to your motives," Seifer countered before Kugo checked status and shook her head, grimly.

Theseus smirked. "You have no evidence, and don't bother inquiring on my intentions or looking for the Atlantis. You could say, such things are... out of time?"

"They time travelled. We get it. That's the thing they do," Seifer deadpanned as the screen cut back to a two-way split between the Tilonian officer and the now-brighter anomaly.

Captain Ihruv clasped his hands. "Ooh! The Sacred Disorder is now shinier. We could use that to our political advantage. I'll say we aligned the solar system's celestial gravitational mental health. We're a psychiatric-based society if you hadn't noticed." His communique cut out and the Ruoven turned back toward Tilonus IV.

"So, BOB is gone," Seifer realized before putting two-and-two together. "He's back in the past, helping us with our first Sayjan encounter and creating this anomaly, isn't he? Ugh. Predictable time stuff."


Back in the deep past, the Ferengi named BOB flashed in aboard the Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X, into one of its corridors. There, he found rogue officer RaeLuna and Klingon exchange officer Targon about to kiss.

"RaeLuna. What's today's date? The date!" BOB demanded.

Exchanging hesitating looks, RaeLuna replied, "Stardate 56845. It's the year 2379. What's wrong? Are you moving back and forth through time?" Then, explaining, "It's the base question everyone asks when they're time travelling. Don't be surprised. Actually, you get to replicate an honorary Picard-inspired time robe. Ohhh. So comfy! I'm jealous."

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Author's notes: This second one takes place in the late 24th century, years before the Captain left the ship in "Needs of the Plenty". Sayjan leaving here goes to LC66 next. Gast's last appearance was managing a planet of extinct animals in "Crash Bandits". Kuru was last seen in my short "Uprising" where he gets his powers. This second part was written in February 2024.​

Star Trek: Phoenix-X
"Celestial Dynamics, Part II"

Out in the comprehendible non-air of cold, hard empty space, in the year 2379, the Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X trekked deep-seatedly into the theatre of being well-into things. The senior staff collected into the Conference room to meet the future Ferengi named BOB.

"So, do they have flying cars in the future?" Commander Seifer pondered before chuckling to himself. "Wait. They have that now and in the past. Silly me."

Captain Cell, the not-known-to-most-of-the-fleet Changeling and strict ship boss, sat inexorably at the head of the table. "We can't risk altering the timeline with knowledge of what's to come in twenty-one years. Unless, of course, there is a time-traveling maniac on the loose?"

"Yeah. That!" BOB snapped his fingers. "His name is Sayjan and he is a Na'Kuhl agent from the 29th century, poisoned with time-madness from a neural link to a broken Federation starship modified for time travel, hell-bent on changing the state of time travel rules for all."

The non-officer, beige and brown-colored combat android Trunks turned to all. "Are rules an important thing to humanoid society?"

"They're what hold everyone from killing each other," the other non-officer, light green-skinned half-human, half-alien RaeLuna replied. "People will turn savage and unwaveringly cannibalistic within seconds of any structural lapse."

Seifer tapped his chin. "Seems like both an overstatement and accurate at the same time." Then he shook out of it. "Anyway, whatever it was about your cybernetic implants that caused you jump with him, we should temper this threat with our current threats. Also, where is our BOB? Would be great to see him plotz in the way Ferengi do."

"In his quarters, taking the Surprise Ferengi Bar Exam," Kugo reminded. "Grand Nagus Rom springs it on all his offshore bartenders every couple of years for both a cash grab and a realignment to his new ethical values."

The Ferengi groaned. "Ohhhh, yeah. Every few years I lock myself in there and work, feverishly, for days through several ship attacks. A lot of the questions are about how we differ from Quark. As if we've all met that guy before! I mean, we all have. But to just assume?"


BLAM! Suddenly, the ship shook from an intense energy attack and everyone ran out onto the Bridge to see the viewscreen display an energized human, floating in space in contest with the Phoenix-X.

"Damn. It's a floaty space person," Captain Cell furrowed. "Ever since the Q's denied the Omnis their copycat Continuum, they've been trying to grow it back through fighting. It increases their powers."

Amp, the virus hologram, nodded from his Helm position. "They're like that perpetual escalating motion machine we once built but were told to slowly destroy."

"Starfleet vessel, my name is Kuru," came the vocal patterns transformed through subspace. "I didn't ask to be an Omni, but the taste of what could have been a great Continuum drives all of us to no end."

Captain Cell revved up his own Omni power, flowing energies from his arms. "Not all of us, Kuru. Non-consent participation doesn't mean conformity." He turned to Seifer, momentarily. "If I can convince him to let go of godhood, he might be one less victim of circumstance. You guys track the Na'Kuhl. I should be done by then."

"I forgot how outrageously action-packed and super-powered this era of the Phoenix-X was," BOB blinked as Captain Cell ran off into the turbolift and soon appeared on the viewscreen, in cold space, trading energized punches and kicks with Kuru.

Seifer nodded, familiaringly. "Ohhh, yeah. This is normal, and he's been shapeshifting a lot of swordplay Sulu lately, so he'll be fine." The Commander then turned to Amp and RaeLuna. "Give them some room and start long-range sensor sweeps. BOB and I will cold call any other ships for their own readings of temporal anomalies."

"A thing that every starship encounters almost weekly? Good luck with that," she conceded, getting to work.

While everyone was busy, BOB stood next to Commander Seifer at the command chair. "It's been two years since my new symbiont and I'm still adjusting. Am I a more balanced officer in the future? Can you divulge without spoilers?" Seifer inquired.

"You're a capable Commander with trademark slack, social commentary and a crippling self-doubt that facilitates unhealthy crew culture," BOB observed.

Seifer shook his head. "We're dysfunctional by nature, so wouldn't the consequences of that be just as inherent?"

"Your crew is your family and, if they're not, you have to force it," offered Vice Admiral Janeway from the viewscreen. "If they resist, you lock them in their alcove and deny them Borg computer chips for a week."

The Commander was taken aback. "Aah! Janeway? Aren't you supposed to be lost in the Delta Quadrant for all time and forever?"

"We came back, last year, through methods of scandalous time-tampering by yours-future-truly. I was just taking Voyager over to the Portelo system to be museum-prepped when your non-commissioned, no-no alien Tactical officer hailed me," the re-bunned Starfleet officer explained. "Seriously, does classified information mean nothing to you?"

Seifer shrugged. "We consider all rules as malleable. Anyway, the reason we're reaching out is because we're attempting to track any signs of temporal shenanigans in order to prevent what some analogists call the 'proverbial forest fire'."

"On Voyager, we were too preoccupied with making deals with the Borg, annulling symbiogenesis' and skipping entire years of hells to discern well-written analogies. So much so, that our bio-neural gel packs now skip entire spatial events for their own self-reliefs."

The Commander and BOB dropped their shoulders out of hope. "Ah, that's smart of those strangely intelligent packs," Seifer admitted. "Well, thanks anyway. Let me know if you guys ever get Chakotay a first name."

"Sir, we're getting a response from the half-saucered Enterprise-E," RaeLuna reported while switching the viewscreen to that of Commander Worf.

The Klingon eyed them. "It is agreeable to see you. Except for the fact we just flew passed some Intrepid-class vessel and they appeared to be somewhat frantic. If you are seeking our utility as an extended, long-range sensor ping, you must know that many of those ship components are in the debris of the Schimitar now."

"Why does your voice sound mechanically altered? Is it because you left Deep Space 9 to be an ambassador and then suddenly appeared on the Enterprise? Now that I've future-learned of my cybernetisim, I, past me, find that very offensive," BOB established. "If my creator hadn't died several years from now, I'm sure he'd be rolling around in the grassy spot where he planned to dig his own grave."

Worf arched a brow. "Why not ask him in the present, to be certain of said undulation? As for my voice, it is a self-torture mechanism from these Klingon lozenges I like. It helps me cope with unexpected Enterprise appearances."

"Oh, fine. Go ahead," Seifer offered to an instantaneously realizing and hopeful BOB before the Ferengi ran off to the Ready Room. In the meantime, the Commander wondered, "By the way, there's something about this time-travelling Sayjan guy I don't understand. If his mid-erupting timeship is making him mad, why would he care about temporal legislation?"

The other Commander took it in. "From basically no information on my part, I would gather your criminal's external causes has ebbed into internal ones in order to achieve the former. Captain Picard was once challenged by his own root source from a three-point anti-time anomaly. It was so backwards, Deanna was almost mine."

"Wait a minute. This is the same thing! Sayjan is multi-pinning the timeline, but on purpose," Seifer realized. "Mr. Worf, you're a smart man— in any time. Even more so than that overrated android Data."

Worf reactively bared his teeth. "That overrated android just sacrificed his life for us!" The screen was then cut out in anger.

"What's up with that face? You piss off a Klingon or something?" came the hail of Ensign Beckett Mariner from the U.S.S. Cerritos. "Just wanted to let you know we detected those boring-ass anomalous readings you were looking for, in the Tilonian system."

Seifer blinked. "Okay, but where's your Captain?"

"Pfft! Who cares? Probably in Sickbay getting the stick up her ass removed? Point is, me being transferred here sucks and calling random ships is the best therapy. By the way, we're going to go ahead and keep our distance while you stupidly do time-travel stuff. Lower decks, out!"


Meanwhile, BOB was sitting behind the Captain's desk in the Ready Room, reaching out to the future-dead creator of the Beguiler Operators. After a moment, a shadowy figure blinked on screen with his lights slowly undimming enough to reveal himself.

"Doctor Gast?" the Ferengi double-taked. "You're the Master Beguiler??"

The grey-haired old human chuckled. "Surprised to see me, I see. After the Phoenix-X had me arrested and tried for managing a planet full of extinct animals, five years ago, I launched a clone to take on my Elba II asylum sentence so that I could continue my many, many genetic projects elsewhere."

"What about my pseudo-father/creator complex? That can't possibly be unfairly put on you??"

Gast sat up. "Sure, it can! Those are my favourite unconscious biases toward unintended paternal authorities. Also, you should know I cyberneticised the Operators because I was new to alphabetical gene therapy. We had to mechanize genetic dispositions using Spock's historic calculations for timewarp."

"Ugh! That is the most hack thing ever to cause anyone temporal displacement. Now I'm glad you're dead in the future," BOB recoiled before he shut down communications and Captain Cell stepped into the room. "He's not actually dead in the future, is he?"

Cell shrugged. "Unlikely. But my experience with disappointing patrimonialism is to let them be their own separate thing. The same way I convinced Kuru to give up his own patrilineally imposed dreams of Omni-isms so that the Phoenix-X could move on to the Tilonian system."

"Of course!" BOB perked. "Sayjan is creating the Sacred Disorder as we speak. Classic predestination paradox with a side of grandfather. By the way, is free will a thing in either of those? Never mind. Better not to know."


The Phoenix-X next dropped transwarp into normal space, in the Tilonian system, to find the near-erupting, cracked and near-unrecognizable Paladin-class, U.S.S. Atlantis-R firing its chronometric cocktail into an empty space in front of them.

"Hey! What in the Kirk brothers is going on here?" came the hail from Admiral Theseus in a Conference room with several Tilonian officials on Tilonus IV. "I am trying to smooth things over after their sister star system was destroyed five years ago and now this??"

BOB nudged Commander Seifer. "Yeah, I would not trust that guy to not-betray us in the future. By the way, surplus'd those negatives for emphasis."

"Phoenix-X! So, you're trying to stop me, yet again!" came another screen-split hail from Sayjan on the Atlantis-R. "Or is this your first time? Damn, time travel messing with chronological perceptions. This is why I hate temporal mechanics."

Kugo entered the Bridge with plomeek pudding. "But you're a time traveler?"

"Yeah, but you never really get into it until you generate cinematically alternate divergent timelines where you're played by younger, more athletic versions who look nothing like you."

Seifer strained his arm in a contentious point. "Cease your canon-breaking! You no longer have the antichroniton/inverse tachyon pulse mix for your vicious time cocktail."

"I'm sure you'll remember those things," BOB hoped of Commander Seifer.

Sayjan cringed. "The Atlantis doesn't even have the same power output as before. None of it is necessary in order to complete the multi-point space-time infusion that will give me all the power I need."

"It's just like what robot-voiced Worf said. His cause is internal. He's doing this for himself. Sayjan's going to turn himself Omni??" Seifer realized before turning to BOB. "Guessing I didn't retain that in 2400."

BOB side-tracked. "Yeah, you're a clone by then, so your memory is shoddy at best."

"Wait. Am I not Captain? What happened to me?" Cell blinked.

The Ferengi turned. "Sooo many legal issues. Like, start lawyering up now. But let's get back to this. If we can buffer ridiculousness by un-Omni-dreaming that Na'Kuhl, then maybe we stand a chance at reversing the time pincushion."

"Sayjan, hear me out," Cell began in agreement. "Logic dictates that too much power leads to dumb power managers. We're talking reckless Thasian caretakers, destructive Nacene banjo men and the finger-reproductive Q. All just awful at using their abilities to the point of being easily pitied upon by Starfleet crews."

Seifer snapped his fingers. "Oh! The Greek gods were real, and they used giant hands to hold starships and play blackjack."

"That is all very compelling and historical, but you're forgetting one thing," Sayjan admitted. "I'm governed by time madness! Logic means nothing to those removed and neural interfaces on mid-destructing future ships will not them go. The high road has always been the answer, so becoming an Omni is the only way."

BOB gestured. "High-roading only works with integrity. You know you can just leave your ship, right? There's an interlink range on your neural connection?" Then, to explain his expertise, "Ferengi are all about banned thought maker technology and mind-blocking Betazoids."

"You think the Atlantis will give me the willpower to do that!? You do you, Strangely High-lettered Starship. Meanwhile, once this vessel jumps to the future, it will explode there and complete the Omni nest, with me inside to absorb the resulting power."

They watched as the cracks all around the malformed Atlantis-R moved to encompass the spot where the expulsing cocktail gathered while the ship revved its temporal engines. BOB looked at his hands and began to likewise energize in time-travel wackiness.

"Well, it was nice visiting a more orchestral and aesthetically aligned era," BOB qualmed, hopelessly, as he felt his implants revving. "Remember: Do not trust AI in the form of Texas-class starships, Protostar living constructs or Ganmadan mechanical tentacles."

Seifer turned to RaeLuna. "Get a lock on Sayjan and beam him over here. The sever may disrupt the time-jump and save our Ferengi surplus."

"No! My nefarious plans??" came the sudden cry from Sayjan as he was beamed onto the Bridge of the Phoenix-X seconds before BOB and the Atlantis-R disappeared in a flash to jump into the far future. "Plans that did not include foreknowledge of what year the final jump was to."

Cell squinted, critically. "Then those are terrible plans."

"Yeah. Being governed by a disorganized starship was not fun, from a strategic standpoint," Sayjan admitted. "Perhaps seeking any level omnipotence is a get-rich-quick scheme best left to fools with lessons still left to learn. So, thank you for releasing me. Also, I can tell my body is still charged with some of the Atlantis' temporal energy?"

Seifer dismissed, "A quick slow-paced lubrication in our NX-01 style decon chambers will fix that."

"Ew. Just scaling down my schemes for time freedom should be enough, now that I've regained sanity." Then he snapped his fingers. "I know! I'll go to the 21st century and save the Xindi-Avians from extinction, thus unifying them against the Federation!"

As the crew watched him time-jump his self out there, Cell and Seifer were left to look at each other in bewilderment. "I'm sure someone will stop him," the Commander shrugged. "In the meantime, let's dissipate this anomaly with science so as to keep space clean and tidy for guests and whatnot. The lesson being: When failure begets you in any time, try, try again."

"You will do no such learning!" came the viewscreen yell from Admiral Theseus, still there and still on the planet. "The Tilonians are calling that anomaly the Sacred Disorder and will not allow us to touch it for reverence's sakes. Considering the eggshells we're on since their sister system's death, we simply must comply."

Cell furrowed his brow. "Then we're going to visit non-canon species and have adventures and so on. Don't call us. We know something is off about you," he said while disabling communications. "Commander, let's go to Trunkola where the tree species live. I'm going to cherish the time I have on this ship."

"Agreed, and we'll increase our crew numbers to adhere and be ready for what that Na'Kuhl has planted for us," Seifer high-fived before the Phoenix-X turned in space and jumped to transwarp. Time would have one more chance.

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"So, do they have flying cars in the future?"

And the reason Star Trek never showed flying cars is that they only show technology that will actually become proficient and widespread...

"Yeah, but you never really get into it until you generate cinematically alternate divergent timelines where you're played by younger, more athletic versions who look nothing like you."

Nice jab at 2009...

Thanks!! rbs
Author's notes: For years, I seeded "Theseus-scheming" but didn't have plans for what it was actually going to be until now. The 2404 reversion at the end of this serves as a prequel to my STO Phoenix Compendium series, where everyone had to retake Starfleet Academy and sync up with Star Trek Online. The reversion was first introduced as an explaination to Reynolds in LC11. I was also previously time-stamping this Legends of the Phoenix series in "real-time", which meant months between stories in-universe, so I've used this as a way to go back to a single year and slow it down (like STO Phoenix Compendium did by all taking place in 2410 and 2411). Also wanted to ensure this time reset was in place before I jumped back into Trek BBS contest entries. In the final scene, BOB returns to just after "Devil's Leftovers". The next Seifer host, Oroku, is two days from the Seifer-joining in "First Contact Day" and is new to the joining in "Retaking the Test". This last part was written in March 2024.​

Star Trek: Phoenix-X
"Celestial Dynamics, Part III"

Out in the incognizable fortitude of boundless, vacuous space, in the year 2404, the Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X languished and flourished amongst the galactic endurance. Commander Night Seifer took a seat at the Bridge.

"Ahhh, yes," he sunk in, more comfortable than ever. "This is the most well-fitting chair ever made, thanks to the Charles Tucker III Cathedra Conventions established in the mid 22nd century."

But, suddenly, the time-travelling Ferengi BOB flashed in, right upon the Bridge to everyone's surprise. "Phew. Landed here again, rather than cold, hard space."

"Ahh!" came the jump-scare reaction from Lieutenant Briggs. "Oh, it's likely the subspace articulation from our transwarp that ties your cybernetic implants to the Phoenix-X. We did a whole seven-course study about why you were always here and how to get rid of you."

Elly nodded. "We realized you would only leave when the engines were turned off for at least five minutes. Haven't turned them back on in a month since you vacated for hunting archeologist-adventurers on Risa."

"Ohhh, yeah, that was always my fallback," BOB recalled in touching reverie. "Anyhow, I'm here now. But, past-me. Which means, so is that mid-explosive U.S.S. Atlantis-R. We have to get to the Tilonian system and stop it from forming an Omni nest."

Seifer stood. "I knew it was only a matter of time before Sayjan would rear his questionable head. Luckily, I've been preparing. Tong, recall the old crew from their imposter-ship assignments. Gewdeque, prepare the tri-focal array system. It's a multitude of brains and ship power that will stop this wild-eyed spatial madness from endowing omnipotence and Tilonian system destruction once and for all."

"Also, I won't die, right? We probably should have checked that," BOB realized to an awkward senior staff silence. "Anyone?"


Later, the Phoenix-X picked up its old crew and dropped out of transwarp into the Tilonian system. The old senior staff and current senior staff collected in the Briefing room.

"Ahh, just like old times," Ensign Dan appreciated.

After Seifer entered, he snapped, "You're relieved!" before turning to the rest. "Oh, that felt good. And, thank you all for joining us on this dire mission of nonsensical space-time rules. As you know, we have all been joint-projecting a nullifying anti-cocktail to Sayjan's super-powered chronometric consortium for the past four years, either remotely or in-house."

"You know, you-calling us is a huge disrespect to your actual, present-day crew who are perfectly capable of handling everyday maniacal time-men. Right?" Armond raised, whilst everyone struggled for arm room in too-close-quarters to everyone else. "Also, I could have sworn this table was larger?"

Seifer nodded. "Indeed. We decompiled much of this floor-pushing flat-top as parts for our tri-focal array level-up. Also, after our two last, years-passed, failed attempts at stopping that Na'Kuhl wild man, plus several, unrelated and maddening Starfleet-wide near-calamities, I refuse to take any more chances."

"Commander, the issue of saving the Tilonian system is not the only reason we have come here today," Kugo began. "For, you see, we have learned that Starfleet has already positioned Epsilon Fleet, with repeller beams, around the Sacred Disorder and its embedded Atlantis-R, on orders to study and prevent it from exploding."

Seifer perked. "Then the Omni nest has started and they're waiting patiently for us to do our part. Nice!"

"Not exactly," came the sudden viewscreen hail from Admiral Theseus. "While I commend your old crew for alerting you to hypothetical irate circumstances, you must know it is not cause for alarm. There is no sign of Sayjan and we want to use this as an opportunity to joint-protect the phenomenon in accordance with the Tilonian government. You know how it symbolizes mental issues for them, which we can all agree are things we can fix with band-aid solutions."

The Commander was taken aback. "No? Also, what's your play here? You've betrayed us so many times in the past and now we're to believe you want this anomaly to be the thing that mends relations?"

"Hey, what you believe and what is can correlate once in a while. That and I also want to promote you to Captain," Theseus said, seriously. "A long, over-due aggrandizement deserving of performative hard work in transwarp research and your various anti-trope circumlocutions. Hopefully, you won't die like you did last time we tried Captaining you. Am I right? Ha!"

Seifer shook his head. "You listen here, Theseus. If you think I'm going to sit idly by while badmiral's are badmiraling to the maximum badness, then—"

"Computer! Initiate Delayed Captain Protocol: Sisko-Burnham," Theseus called out before he joyfully disconnected and a high-speed pip shot itself out of a wall and hit Seifer in the uniform collar.

The impact sent Seifer to the floor in pain, "Ugh!!" He then found he now had four pips on his collar. He stood up and tried removing it, but it was fused to the fabric. "Damn! After all the odd missions, secrecies and powered-people conferences, he's finally come out to us as trying to co-opt that Omni nest for Omni powers."

"I can take him, Captain," Tong said, clenching his fist and powering up his own energies. "Oh, and your old crew's data confirms there is no Sayjan anymore. This is all Theseus."

Kayl perked. "Which means you don't need us anymore. In fact, your continual, sporadic recall of us over the years is unilaterally selfish and unhealthy. It's like you don't care about anyone but yourself!"

"Am I late?" RaeLuna asked, entering the room to find two irate crews. "Ah, duped again."

Veker stood, looking at a PADD. "Also, Captain, our initial scans are complete and it's well enough to surmise the Admiral knows about our inverse tachyon/antichroniton reverse-cocktail since he has modified the chronometric bed, that is the Sacred Disorder, from what we had previously projected."

"Listen, everyone. I invoke the virtue that is problem-solving-Starfleet, of which that has saved me from self-destruction over and over, for all these years. You're all continually back for a dose that very same integrity, and now it's being threatened by a man who launched the Phoenix-X for surreptitious agendas and who dishes Captaincy as a misdirect. I say we go in there and correct him."

After a moment, both old and new crews glanced at each other and nodded in agreement before exiting to the Bridge.


The Phoenix-X approached the spectacular spatial anomaly, mixed with the mid-exploding, separated parts of the future-Atlantis-R, being held in place by tractor beams from the circling U.S.S. Crucial, Hijinx, Jenova and Tsunami, all usurped by their former commanding officers.

"By the southern twang of cranky-faced, 23rd century doctors," BOB trailed with wide-eyes at the elaborate Omni nest. "Tell me the Federation is interfering without telling me the Federation is interfering."

The screen suddenly clicked on to a view of Tilonian Council Therapist Ihruv from Tilonus IV. "Your strangely 21st century/Gen-Z-talking Ferengi is right! After we agreed to your support in improving the Sacred Disorder, your vessels refuse to answer any of our status sessions or engage in any emotionally revealing couch chats."

"Theseus co-opted the Amp/Mayhem viral programming into a Tilonian-blocker on all those ships," Briggs realized as he sifted through ship scans. "Also, he sent for backup!"

Everyone looked on as Briggs pointed to the viewscreen showing more Starfleet ships dropping warp, including that of the U.S.S. Zephyra. The screen split into a view of the Zephyra's Captain Aeris and the Hijinx's Admiral Reynolds.

"After everything we've been through, Seifer, you're here to betray all that we stand for?" a more mature Aeris claimed in astonishment. "And don't say it's the opposite. I know how obsessed you are with the status quo. You once resorted to gifting cute little pets to your old crew as stay-bribery."

Reynolds nodded. "And also don't say Theseus is using this scientific study for some kind of self-omnipotencing cover, because who are we to say who does and does not get power over space and time? Is this not a free galaxy?"

"Freedom isn't a lawless whimsy to be flung about in experimentally, egomaniacal directions. It still needs maturity and governance," Seifer layed. "At least Sayjan had the excuse of time-madness. Theseus has been growing his mania for decades."

BOB interjected. "And if you think you can enable badmirals to contain them at a later date, you're excusing your own inaction for empty virtue."

"Uggh. Fine," Captain Aeris conceded. "Though, you should know, the Amp/Mayhem viral retaliation protocol also disables our ships from autonomy with knife-like system protocols aimed at our throat subroutines. If one were to meet Theseus, it would be aboard what compartments are left of the Atlantis. I'm enabling a subversive transporter pathway through the dampening field, to our collective detriment, so you'll only get one chance."

As soon as the modifications were in place, the Zephyra began to shake itself from a self-destructive viral feedback. All the other Starfleet ships began to involuntarily follow suit, in destabilization. Knowing his chance, Seifer quickly ran to a nearby console.

"Kugo, Gewdeque. Since our anti-cocktail isn't going to diffuse this chronometric bed like we thought it was, I want to modify it with an ionically transformative beam setting instead," he ordered while working.

The two Engineers glanced at each other, from what they were suddenly seeing, before Kugo replied, "But that will convert the phenomena into a molecularly charged ion storm with untold effects on us all?"

"And if you're going down there, you may not survive?" Gewdeque added.

Seifer turned to everyone. "Exactly. We need the most radical Kirk-level reversal available to stop this man. Something he's not expecting. You see, I've been selfishly holding on to you all, via Starfleet-virtue, for decades because I can't let go of the past and now said forced stagnancy has finally grown into an horrific death-threat. People need to let go and move on for others not just when it's near-late, but when nature time-rears its space-temporal head."

"Good luck, Captain," was all BOB could say in the crew-shared-astonishment as Captain Seifer nodded to them and ran through the turbolift doors for the transporter room. "And may the space gods mercifully not be bug-zap-like attracted to the temporal equivalent of your soul."


Down, in the last remaining Engineering section of the broken Atlantis-R, deep within the confines of the Omni nest/Sacred Disorder, Captain Seifer beamed in to find an alone Admiral Theseus tapping at a control deck.

"All the scheming, the orders, the Section 31 missions to steal beads from Evora home world? For this?" Seifer interrupted. "To become like a Q?"

Theseus was momentarily caught off guard during his frantic, last-minute changes to the temporal mix. "I didn't know exactly what I was after for so long until we created this physics-breaking pincushion in 2379. But I can tell you, it's already happened. For you see, long before that, I received a distant echoing omnipotent taste from a future me, prompting me into a decades-long chase for power. The Phoenix-X was the perfect support-ship in my cause for superior control over time and space."

"You know you're troping really hard right now with the whole Admiral-going-bad thing, right?" Seifer deadpanned. "I made several passive-aggressive call-outs earlier."

The obvious Admiral smirked. "Tropes deliver us more than cautionary contrivance, but character-driven purpose with sure-fire results. You simply cannot fail if you're predictable, so I say embrace it if you are securing a goal worthy of men."

"Like, omnipotence? Evolution led us to intelligence and warp travel, yet anyone achieving personal mastery over time and space has consistently shown a failure of acumen," Seifer accused as Theseus opened a nearby hatch, forcing the air to start to escape and exposing them to the white energy of the anomaly. "Unless your Starfleet integrity is intact, you will hurt others!"

Theseus' eyes became locked onto the temptation of energy before him. "Then hurt them. Because collective sacrifice must be made as a commission of my exertions to a new power structure." He took a step toward the windy threshold as the Phoenix-X fired its trifocal beam into the anomaly. "That's the Phoenix-X hitting us with your inverse tachyon/antichroniton beam, which I've set the anomaly to have the reverse effect of surge-amplifying me into a full-blown Q faster than what would previously been a slow-cook."

"No. That's me countering tyrannical dehumanization," Seifer called out as Theseus lept into the surge, delay-registering the Captain's words before being engulfed in the anomaly.

The Omni nest then began morphing and knocking energy tentrils at piece after piece of the Atlantis-R, rupturing Night Seifer's own physical body and violently knocking each broken ship chunk away before he was beamed out. A second later, the Sacred Disorder exploded into an ion storm/molecular reversion field, shockwaving through every ship in the vicinity, disabling their disrupting viral feedbacks, turning all the adults from every ship into confused young adults and sending BOB reeling back in time!


A few minutes later, the Vorcha-class I.K.S. B'Cnah dropped warp to find the mess of derelict Starfleet vessels and barely conscious youthful humanoids in Starfleet uniforms. They hailed the Phoenix-X.

"Sorry, I'm late for the classic crew call-back," said Lieutenant Commander Red. "I had to trick this vessel's commanding officer into a counselling session about all the laugh reacts we do. Hah! Klingons and mental health? Also, what the hell happened here?"

Groggily, a now younger Armond got off the floor and perched himself in the command chair of the Phoenix-X. He then saw that the transported and lifeless body of Captain Night Seifer laid at his feet. "I don't know who I am or who this is, but I think he's dead."

"Ah! You've been molecularly reverted with the added bonus of memory loss. It's unlikely the Tilonians are going to forget that transgression," Red realized. "I'm calling the Trill Symbiosis Commission, as the Seifer symbiont must be continued on. Can you coat-hanger-hook it out of his stomach and place it between two bags of frozen peas? It's what he requested upon his passing."

Suddenly, Theseus momentarily flash-appeared onto the Bridge of the B'Cnah, to the Klingon crew's surprise. Captain Menchez stepped out of his counselling session, unsatisfied. "Ugh. That sofa was too soft. And, why do our intellectuals quote so much Shakespeare? Also, who is this malformed human on our Bridge?"

"Arrgh! Your foolish Seifer messed up my ascension!" Theseus gritted as his poorly corporeally-fashioned body was now mishapened and mutated. "I can't even traverse the white-space multi-plain without a terrible, off-centered, limping wrangling! My transformation is severely blemished! Just because I did bad guy things? Damn Starfleet comeuppances!"

They watched him struggle in pain to flash away to another plain of existence, before the Klingons turned back to the dazed and lost Phoenix-X. Menchez blinked. "Okay, wow. You guys clearly have screwed things up here to the point you are going to have to re-learn everything. I say, once you regain your senses, go back to your Starfleet Academy. But what do Klingons know? Am I right?" And then, smirking, he added, "We're into sarcasm now."


Meanwhile, back in the year 2393, BOB flashed himself, for one last time, back aboard that era's Phoenix-X. Exhausted, he fell to his knees upon the Bridge, to find Commander Seifer and Lieutenant Commander Veker there.

"Aaah!" BOB exclaimed before realizing another time jump. "What's today's date? The date!?"

Seifer stepped up. "Belay that! You've been time-travelling far too much, Mister. It doesn't matter what year it is. You are staying here and not going anytime. Luckily, the you of this era has already left the ship in search of personal meaning and what-not, after that whole Beguiler Operator ramshackle we just went through with Ardra's crew."

"Yes, Commander," BOB said, glancing at a console before getting to his feet and dusting himself off. "But I'm from your future? A great many years, I think? Also, my memory is hazy on what just happened to me? Like I was being partially molecularly reverted on my way out?"

The Trill waved it off. "Enough! I will have no more of these time travel shenanigans and what will or won't go down isn't up to us to interfere with until it's possibly too late. I'm not fully realized, but perhaps not all of us are. Now, join me as a non-officer attaché in calling the old crew back again for more research against that Sacred Disorder and whatever additional adventures we can get ourselves into."

"Sir, your current crew is standing right here," Veker interrupted.

Seifer took a seat. "Yeah, yeah. The point is, we've all been speed-running through time for so long now, and that's going to stop. It's this year and that's it. You know, until another year comes. If it must."

"Permission to get my own Bridge chair?" BOB queried.

The Commander snapped. "Denied! You will stand here next to me like I had to for all those years. I'm passing it on for tradition's sakes. Pike and Kirk understood it. Not sure why Picard and Janeway had to get all seat-sharey. Anyway. Helm, take us to our annual head bead acquiring at the Evora home world. Transwarp. Engage!"

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