Star Trek Destiny - Episode 2 - Rogue Elements

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Captain2395, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    The next episode in the series Star Trek: Destiny. A reminder that the series is set on the eve of the 25th century. The following episode takes place in the year 2395.

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    The excruciating sound of metal collapsing and the flames flaring in the aft of the runabout Superior, filled Letina Iyal with dread yet she knew that in the heat of battle she must remain composed. She heaved herself up from the floor of cockpit and looked around at the charred walls, the flickering bursts of sparks and flames and the mangled bulkhead to the rear of her workspace.

    Had an exploding EPS conduit not propelled her from her feet she would have been crushed by a heavy, collapsed metallic support beam.

    “Commander!” called the deep yet alarmed voice of the Chief Engineer over shrieking klaxons. “The ablative armour is jammed!”

    Letina Iyal stumbled towards her console, wiping blood from above her eye with her sleeve and demanded, “If you can’t give me armour then give me shields, Mr Nagata!”

    Lieutenant Ray Nagata ran his hands across his console at the front of the runabout and glanced over his shoulder at the executive officer. He responded, “I have diverted auxiliary power to the deflector shields but they are only functional at 12%.”

    “I only need a little more time,” assured Commander Iyal, studying the screens on her console.

    Tessa Shanthi was only half aware of the interaction between the engineer and the commander. Her focus was on the arduous task of piloting the runabout through a hail of enemy fire. A thick, scorching beam from the enemy disruptors lashed across the screen before the helmswoman. She slammed her hands onto her computer station, forcing the ship to jerk to the left, narrowly avoiding the blast from the deadly energy weapon.

    “Have you been able to restore the warp drive?” called Letina Iyal, clutching her console, bracing herself as the runabout jolted from side to side, evading the torpedoes and disruptors of the enemy.

    “The port nacelle is severely damaged,” reported Ray Nagata, his hands dancing across his computer station, entering commands and producing a glittering array of read-outs and data. “I am attempting to compensate.”

    Commander Letina Iyal contemplated the position of her team in her head. She processed the variables, pondered possible courses of action with a computer-like efficiency. The ablative armour was jammed, the shields had already failed once and were being sustained by auxiliary power, warp drive was equally precarious. One or two direct hits would blast the runabout Superior into thousands of deformed fragments, reduce the tough, sturdy ship to a drifting wreckage.

    A thunderous explosion rocked the runabout and snapped Letina Iyal out of her deliberations. She was thrown, face first into her console, smacking her nose against the touchpad in front of her. The ominous roaring of a plasma fire prompted the commander to snatch an extinguisher and spray the searing flames at the aft of the cockpit.

    “We have sustained a direct hit!” called Nagata from his station. “The shields are offline! The port nacelle is gone! The warp drive is…damn it, we have an imminent warp core breach!”

    Letina Iyal cast aside the extinguisher and staggered against the juddering of the runabout to the two forward computer stations. She clasped the seats of her officers to maintain her balance, studying the flashing read-outs on their stations.

    “I need to eject the warp core!” yelled Nagata over the klaxons and the flames.

    “Wait!” directed Iyal as she pointed to a display screen. “We still have aft and ventral phasers!”

    “You’re not suggesting we fight out way of this, are you?” exclaimed the engineer as he looked over his shoulder at his senior officer.

    “No but that warp core could help us stall them!” replied Letina Iyal, already returning to her station and tapping controls, setting to work. “Eject the core right in their faces and hit it with the phasers.”

    “Aye, sir,” acknowledged Nagata, smirking as he noted the logic in his commander’s plans.

    “Ms Shanthi,” called the first officer from her station. “Set a course for the second gas giant and take us into a low orbit! If we can lose them anywhere it’s in there!”

    “Yes, ma’am!” said the flight controller before returning her focus and attention to the task of evading the enemy.

    Letina Iyal studied the read-outs on her console as the warp core was ejected. Her screen showed her the trajectory of the warp core as it neared the pursuing warship.

    “Now, Mr Nagata!” barked Iyal. “Fire!”

    A sizzling beam of rectified phased energy blasted form the underside of the runabout and shot into the glowing, cylindrical warp core. The cascading emissions and energy erupted with a tremendous explosion against the deflector shields of the great warship. The gleaming barrier between the pursuing vessel and the exploding warp core, sparkled and shimmered as the warship slowed.

    The runabout swept to one side and soared towards a colossal orange, Class-J planet.

    “Report?” requested Letina Iyal, looking up from her controls.

    “We have delayed the warship but it is regaining speed and pursuing at increased velocity,” testified Ray Nagata, analysing his screens.

    “Damn!” cursed the Trill first officer, slamming her fist into her palm. “How long until we are within orbit of the gas giant?”

    Tessa Shanthi glanced to a flashing screen and briefly reported, “We will be in orbit of the planet in seventy seconds.”

    “The enemy warship will be upon us in fifty!” announced Ray Nagata, entering commands into his console. “I’m diverting resources to the impulse engines!”

    Letina Iyal swivelled around in her chair to address the engineer and commanded, “Take power from the phasers and even life support if you have to!”

    As the three officers laboured in the damaged, ruined cockpit, pounding their computer stations and glancing anxiously to display screens, the constant hum of the engines increased to a roar and still further to a shriek. Loose conduits, pipes and scraps of metal hanging from the roof rattled against one another. Sparks erupted as the intensity of the increasing velocity shattered already strained equipment.

    Finally, the image of black space, stars and a spherical planet in the windows of the cockpit was replaced with orange gas as the runabout descended into a low orbit of the Class-J planet.

    “We have assumed a low orbit,” reported Tessa Shanthi, looking through the windows in front of her at the expansive orange gas. “Navigational sensors are inoperative.”

    “Almost our entire sensor array is either inoperative or inhibited in these conditions,” stated Ray Nagata as he rose from his chair, intending to conduct repairs in the absence of enemy fire. “We just need to hope that their sensor capability is diminished as well.”

    The engineer picked up a discarded plasma extinguisher and hosed down the remaining flickering flames and sparks. He kicked scraps of metal aside with his foot and surveyed the damage before him.

    “We need to stabilize the ship,” stated Nagata as he set down the extinguisher, satisfied that the fires were under control. “If we can guarantee structural integrity and-”

    The engineer was cut off by a deafening blast. The runabout whirled through the gaseous atmosphere of the gigantic planet, the officers were thrown around inside the vessel as another console exploded. Sparks spurted through the cockpit as the officers regained their balance and pulled themselves towards their computer stations.

    “How did they find us so suddenly?” asked Commander Iyal, punching her dull, unresponsive and evidently damaged console.

    “The plasma leak from the port nacelle!” concluded Nagata as he stood over a screen. “They must be conducting some kind of disruptor sweep but the beam has been modified to induce a reaction with the residual plasma!”

    “Commander!” exclaimed Tessa Shanthi from the helm, pointing to the window. “Look!”

    All three officers turned to face the great window of the runabout. Their eyes grew wide as the orange gas appeared to shimmer and become distorted. A warped image was manifesting itself before the runabout and as it took form, the officers realized what was appearing before them.

    “A ship is uncloaking!” declared the helmswoman animatedly.

    The unmistakable form of a Praxis-class Bird-of-Prey appeared to be sweeping towards the runabout, the beak of the predator glowing brightly as a one deadly torpedo after another streaked through the gaseous atmosphere. The quantum torpedoes soared over the runabout and crashed into the pursuing warship. The Bird-of-Prey turned full circle in the atmosphere of the planet and approached the warship for another volley, launching torpedoes whilst protruding disruptor cannons blazed wildly.

    The hull of the ominous warship gave way as the blasts from the Klingon weapon systems penetrated the shields and thudded through the exterior of the craft. The warship erupted with an almighty surge of flames and exploded into hundreds of scalded fragments.

    “Short-range sensors show that the Klingon vessel has destroyed the enemy warship,” reported Tessa Shanthi, looking up from her controls.

    “I would concern yourself with this ship, lieutenant,” interjected Ray Nagata as he trudged from his computer station, through the strewn debris, towards the flickering Master Systems Display. “That last shot appears to have compromised our structural integrity. The micro fractures are too severe…a hull breach is imminent!”

    Letina Iyal rose from her seat and stood beside the Chief Engineer, studying the MSD for herself.

    “Commander,” called Shanthi from the helm. “The Klingons are hailing us.”

    “Attention Federation runabout!” came the voice of the Klingon commander. “This is the IKS Koloth. You are experiencing a hull breach. We are preparing to transport you directly to our Medical Bay!”

    Letina Iyal tapped a control, activating her side of the comm-link and announced, “This is Commander Iyal of the runabout Superior. To whom am I speaking?”

    “There will be time for pleasantries later, commander,” was her reply from the deep Klingon voice. “However, when you arrive, you will be introduced to Captain Worf.”

    The channel was broken as the three officers became shrouded in a bright, blinding light and were transported for the withering, crippled runabout and onto the Praxis-class Bird-of-Prey, the IKS Koloth.
  2. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    Looks like we're about to meet new friends. That should be fun.

    Now I'm not big on canon characters in orginal fiction but for some reason I am looking forward to see the Worf of the future.

    And what is Iyal and co running away from here anyway? No better way to start a story than with some intrigue.
  3. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    A very tense and well drawn combat scene. When the Koloth decloaked, I thought they were the attackers! And Captain Worf of the Klingon Defense Forces? Well, I guess diplomacy didn't work out for him, and since Starfleet wouldn't ever give him a command... a warrior's got to go somewhere, eh? :) Very cool. Can't wait for the next chapter.
  4. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 12, 2006
    In the illusion, but not of it.
    2395...the same year the future scenes took place in "All Good Things..." I just realized that. It will be interesting to see how your reality differs (or aligns) with that possible future.
  5. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Thanks or the feedback so far. Now on with the story.

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    Finger painting was not an activity Bane Mather had indulged in as a child. He did not anticipate it would be so messy and runny. He had tried brushing a colourful splodge from his uniform but simply stained his fingers with the bright yellow liquid.

    Naomi Wildman followed her captain with a cloth, handing it to her senior officer when he looked around expectantly.

    “The most important briefing of my life and I look like a banana,” commented Bane Mather with a grin, the funny side of his predicament apparent.

    “I really isn’t too noticeable, sir,” reassured the Operations Manager, smiling as if to disguise her white lie.

    Striding through the bright blue and grey carpeted corridors of the USS Destiny, Captain Bane attempted to ignore the heads of crewmembers turning and glancing at the bright, visible splash of paint on his red command uniform.

    Bane Mather dabbed his the breast of his uniform as he led the way into Transporter Room 1. The short Tellarite transporter chief spotted the stain right away yet deliberately tried to appear as if it has escaped his notice.

    “Is the admiral ready?” asked Bane Mather handing the cloth to Lieutenant Wildman.

    The officer at the console nodded.

    “Energize,” commanded the captain, clasping his hands behind his back, bearing his embarrassment.

    A tube of bright light appeared on the transporter pad and a swirl of molecules formed within the cylindrical field. The molecules took shape, solidifying into a human form. Appearing on the transporter panel was Rear Admiral Jacob Kelvin, a tall yet aging gentleman with short grey hair and bushy eyebrows growing from his tanned form.

    “Admiral Kelvin,” announced Bane Mather with an inviting smile, “welcome aboard.”

    The admiral looked around the Transporter Room, taking in the sight of the starship’s interior. He brushed his hands down his black and red tunic and stepped down from the transporter, extending a hand to the reception party.

    “Allow me to introduce Lieutenant Wildman,” indicated the captain. “She will show you to your accommodation at your convenience.”

    Admiral Kelvin nodded approvingly at the young, half-Ktarian woman, standing at the captain’s side.

    “I hate to sound rude or ungrateful, lieutenant,” began the admiral in his interesting Anglo-European accent, “but I really need to speak to the captain in private.”

    Bane Mather and Naomi Wildman exchanged a look, which conveyed the unspoken message of dismissal. The Bajoran captain then indicated for the admiral to follow him as they set to navigating the corridors of the Destiny.

    “How are the plans progressing for the upcoming mission?” asked Admiral Kelvin, striding through the corridors of the ship alongside Bane Mather.

    “My Chief of Security has been running drills, Lieutenant Wildman has arranged for accommodation and entertainment and Cassandra is providing me with all the political facts and diplomatic history I need to know,” replied the captain as he led the admiral into a turbo lift.

    “How is Cassandra?” asked the admiral, inspecting the interior of the turbo lift carriage with a look of approval.

    “Invaluable. When I married her I knew her heart was gold…I didn’t know her brain was an encyclopaedia.”

    Kelvin smirked behind his trimmed grey moustache and agreed, “Cassandra lectured my nephew in Inter-planetary Diplomacy at the Academy, he always says that she was one of the best in the faculty. If anyone can facilitate these discussions then it’s her.”

    “Halt turbo lift,” instructed Bane Mather as the carriage came to a stop. “What about the other mission?”

    Admiral Kelvin seemed to adopt a different tone, the joy drained from his leathery, tanned face and gave way to an altogether more serious complexion.

    “I’m about to transport the President of the Federation to Cardassia for what could prove to be an historic event and I’m doing it without three of my best officers,” protested Bane Mather, soberly.

    “I understand your concerns but Commander Iyal’s assignment is of the gravest importance,” riposted the flag officer with a reassuring politician’s smile. “I expect to brief the commander and her team at fourteen hundred hours…I’m afraid that is all I have to say on the matter.”

    Bane Mather understood the need for discretion but he found something unsettling about the barriers his old mentor erected to any further probing on what must be a vital mission.

    “Mather,” began Rear Admiral Kelvin, conspicuously drawn to the yellow stain on the captain’s breast, “is that paint?”

    * * *

    Bane Mather found himself conducting a very businesslike meeting in the Briefing Room. The spectacular view of blue haze from within the transwarp vortex, whirling past the great observation windows did not distract the captain from his pressing duties.

    Seated around the long conference table were his Chief Medical Officer, Dr Lenor, Chief of Security, Lieutenant Marcus Owai and second officer, Lieutenant Commander Ra-Barra’veth. The absence of key officers was particularly obvious.

    “We will rendezvous with the Venture and receive the presidential delegation,” concluded Bane Mather, looking up from his PADD in order to summarize the discussions. “Lieutenant Owai will be placed in charge of co-ordinating security throughout the president’s stay on the Destiny and will liaise with the Cardassian authorities in order to guarantee the safety of the president during the discussions and the treaty signing on Cardassia.”

    Ra-Barra’veth, the trusted silver-haired Efrosian asked the unspoken question which had been weighing on the mind of the senior staff, “Are we seriously expected to carry the President of the Federation as a passenger and conduct such an important diplomatic mission without three of our most accomplished officers?”

    “And without knowing why?” interposed the stout Cardassian physician, Lenor, folding her arms across her chest.

    “Admiral Kelvin has seconded three officers from the Destiny on a temporary basis in order to conduct a separate mission of grave significance to Starfleet Command,” replied Bane Mather begrudgingly with his rehearsed, prepared answer. “I’m afraid I cannot comment any further on their assignment, not least because I know as much as you do at the moment.”

    A disgruntled murmur emerged in the Briefing Room, silenced by Bane as he raised his palms to pacify the group.

    “Frankly, we cannot afford to distract ourselves with this inconvenience,” asserted the captain as his staff returned their attention to him. “This crew will play a vital role in Cardassia’s entry into the Federation. It is a momentous occasion and it presents a number of security threats and diplomatic challenges. We need to ensure that the treaty signing on Cardassia is a smooth event and bearing that in mind, I have asked my Diplomatic Advisor to brief us on the political side of the mission.”

    The Bajoran captain pressed a small button on the table and a chirping sound summoned his wife. Cassandra Bane entered the room, a tall, elegant woman, wearing a purple suit which lent her a authoritative air. She smiled at her husband but otherwise acted as she would in a professional environment.

    “As many of you are aware,” began the ship’s diplomatic guru, “since the aftermath of the Dominion War Cardassia has experienced a long and arduous period of recovery. The initial factional infighting and humanitarian strife was overcome by a reinstated Detapa Council which placed Cardassia on a firm route towards Federation membership.”

    Cassandra Bane stepped towards the large widescreen display, which stretched across the wall opposite the windows of the elongated Briefing Room. She tapped a wall-mounted control panel and a three-dimensional star-chart appeared on the monitor.

    “Cardassia has been undergoing somewhat of a cultural renaissance in the twenty years since the war ended - the militarism of the past has gone forever - yet there are minority of ultra-conservatives whom mourn the decline of totalitarianism, ranging from racist hate cells to Dominion sympathisers to the final remnants of the Obsidian Order.”

    Lieutenant Marc Owai, listening intently, raised his hand to interject with a question, “Will these groupings present a threat to the President or to the treaty signing?”

    “They are too small and obsolete to mount a credible threat,” answered Cassandra Bane until revealing the significance of the star chart. “The most likely threat comes from external forces - specifically the Breen Confederacy.”

    Each of the officers studied the star chart and the coloured sections which appeared on the display. The monitor effectively was set to provide a political map of the Alpha Quadrant, highlighting the position of the Breen Confederacy.

    “The course of the Breen, in the aftermath of the Dominion War was divergent from that of the Cardassian Union,” continued the diplomatic specialist, elucidating further. “Where as Cardassians reconciled their differences with the other powers of the Alpha Quadrant, the Breen emerged from a period of isolation and reflection even more expansionist than before. The eagerness of the Breen to reclaim territory lost following the Dominion War has resulted in hostilities between the Breen and the Klingon Empire- which so far the Federation has stayed out of.”

    “So far?” probed Dr Lenor, clasping her hands on the briefing table and listening intently.

    “The neutrality of the Federation has been undermined since the Breen-Klingon War began two years ago,” replied Cassandra Bane, appearing to speak to the doctor yet also to the entire group. “The Klingons are constantly pressuring the President to allow their forces passage through Federation space, the Federation Council has passed a motion condemning the actions of the Breen and it is widely believed that the only reason the Breen have not attempted to seize Cardassian territory is fear of Federation involvement.”

    “It would appear that it is indeed the Breen who have the most to gain in preventing the treaty from being signed,” surmised Ra-Barra’veth, stroking his white goatee with his long fingers.

    “Indeed,” acknowledged Cassandra Bane, indicating towards highlighted star systems on the chart. “These systems are potential flashpoints along the Breen-Cardassian border, which has been disputed since the late 2370s. As of the moment the treaty is signed, this will become a Breen-Federation border, turning up the heat on a cold war.”

    “Am I to understand that the Breen are our greatest security threat?” enquired Lieutenant Owai, the broad-shouldered Security Chief.

    “The Breen have made an attempt on Chancellor Martok’s life before and so it is entirely possible that they may wish to kill the President,” responded the diplomatic advisor, concluding her lecture to the senior staff.

    The atmosphere in the Briefing Room weighed heavily upon the senior staff of the Destiny as if signifying the scale of the task ahead.
  6. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 12, 2006
    In the illusion, but not of it.
    I like it, the Klingons and Breen have a long history of conflict. I'm looking forward to more.
  7. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    You have successfully managed to keep your band of characters colorful (pun intended) and likable. It's always a big plus if you create people you feel comfortable with and you want to read about.

    The background story is nothing short of intriguing and I always like political elements. I'm looking forward to meet the President.
  8. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    Just finished this part of your latest story and I'm glad to see that you're continuing where you left off without missing a beat. I like how you're building up the Breen here--they make an excellent foil as so little is known about them, giving you a lot of room to work with. While character work is your strength, you do a good job in painting the scenery as well and you've set up an intriguing plot. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
  9. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Rear Admiral Jacob Kelvin was usually protective of his personal space yet he felt there was no other suitable location in which to conduct this vital mission briefing than in his own dimly-lit guest quarters.

    Commander Letina Iyal, the concerted Trill first officer, was attractive in Kelvin’s eyes. Her milky white skin was framed pleasingly by her distinctive brown spots and auburn hair. Her attitude, however, was far too direct and proper.

    “The diplomatic mission to Cardassia is crucial,” explained the admiral, offering each of the officers assembled in his quarters a bottle of bronze liquid yet finding them unreceptive. “The assignment for which you have been selected is not unrelated to the treaty signing on Cardassia. Indeed, failure may jeopardize Cardassia’s entry into the Federation.”

    Letina Iyal was suddenly less frustrated and much more interested. She glanced from the proficient engineer, Ray Nagata to the young pilot, Tessa Shanthi and exchanged looks of concern.

    Admiral Kelvin knocked back some of the curious bottled liquid and handed a PADD to the Trill first officer, allowing her time to scan the script and pass it around to the other two officers.

    “I have provided a brief outline of what is expected of you,” explicated the admiral, taking his seat behind a desk, keeping the bottle in his hand. “In 2374, following the fall of Betazed, some within Starfleet sought to strike a crippling blow to the Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant.”

    The three officers listened intently, folding their arms, sitting around the admiral’s desk.

    “The Cardassian shipyards on Omekla III were a suggested target by strategists but Starfleet Command deemed an attack too risky,” explained Admiral Kelvin, sipping from his beverage. “However, a certain rogue element did not agree. Without access to a battle-ready ship or a crew, let alone a task force in order to mount an assault on an enemy stronghold this group acquired an old Raven-class vessel, the Tempest. She was despatched to Cardassian space carrying a trilithium warhead.”

    “Trilithium?” gasped Nagata, the engineer visibly perplexed and concerned.

    “The crew of the Tempest were ordered to launch a trilithium warhead into the Omekla star, destroying the star and creating a shockwave that would eliminate everything in the Omekla system.”

    “Omekla III and Omekla IV are inhabited planets!” exclaimed Letina Iyal.

    “Indeed they are,” confirmed Admiral Kelvin, setting down his bottle and folding his arms, whilst sitting back in his seat. “The shockwave would have wiped out the shipyards, the Dominion ships in the system…and of course two inhabited planets.”

    “That’s indiscriminate mass murder!” cried Iyal, her morals offended and her mind struggling to comprehend actions so criminal and unbecoming of fellow Starfleet officers.

    “Which is exactly why the confidentiality of this mission is indispensable,” asserted the admiral. “If the people of Cardassia were to learn of a plot by Starfleet officers to eradicate one of their star systems then Cardassian entry into the Federation would be plunged into delay and doubt.”

    “So what is our mission?” pressed Iyal, uncomfortable with the revelations.

    “The Tempest never reached Omekla III. The whereabouts of the ship have been unknown since 2374, until now.”

    The rear admiral tapped a control panel on his desk and a large screen to his left-hand side came to life, showing the reproduced image of what appeared to be the surface of a planet taken from orbit. The thick wreckage of a starship scattered across the rocky surface was evident through swirls of cloud.

    “Starfleet Intelligence has located what we believe to be the Tempest on Kelrabi VI,” the admiral elucidated. “We need you to locate the trilithium warhead and dispose of it with the utmost discretion.”

    The three officers studied the image on the display screen as the admiral allowed the gravity of the situation and the importance of the assignment to sink in.

    “As you may be aware the Kelrabi system is now held by the Breen,” added the admiral, his mature face frowning furtively. “Now can you appreciate the need for total discretion?”

    Letina Iyal turned to the young Tessa Shanthi and then to Ray Nagata, noting their discomfort and sharing their apprehension as the admiral took another sip of his bourbon.

    * * *

    The luxurious interior of the USS Venture reminded President Jean-Luc Picard of his days serving on a similar Galaxy-class starship. Throughout his term in office, Picard was treated to the finest accommodation and extravagant banquets yet he felt guilty and always appeared ill at ease indulging in anything more than a Dixon Hill novel and a steaming cup of Earl Grey.

    However, the Venture reminded him of a place he once called home. The bulkheads, the windows, even the carpets and furnishings resembled those of the ship Picard had commanded until it’s ill-fated end in Veridian III.

    “Shouldn’t you be working on your speech?” asked an affectionate, cheery voice from the adjoining bedroom.

    “I’ve been working on that infernal speech for weeks,” replied Picard with a smile.

    His wife, Beverley emerged from the bedroom with a PADD and handed it to him.

    “It’s good,” she insisted, pecking him on the cheek. “You just need to fill in the gaps with another paragraph or so.”

    “Good?” pressed Picard, feigning indignation. “The single most significant speech of my presidency and all you can is ‘good’.”

    “At least I didn’t say it was bad,” commented Beverley Picard, tidying some of her husband’s PADDs on his desk. “It’s powerful, poignant…the words of a unifying noble leader.”

    “I’m glad you think so,” remarked Picard, setting the PADD down on a coffee table and gazing through one of the large windows of his guest quarters.

    “Do you miss the view?” asked Beverley, noting her husband’s contented trance.

    “Sometimes…” replied Picard, his voice soft. “Sometimes I wonder if I would trade day turning to night for the novelty of hearing that sound.”

    “What sound?” enquired the First Lady.

    “That sound,” answered the president, pressing his finger to his wife’s lips.

    They stood in silence listening to the gentle hum of the engines and machines in the background until their conversation was interrupted by the chirping of the intercom.

    “Bridge to President Picard,” came the transmitted voice of the ship’s commanding officer. “The Destiny has entered the system and has signalled that they are prepared for your arrival.”

    “Acknowledged,” responded President Picard returning his attention to his PADD.

    Beverley watched her husband, packing his bags in the lavish Galaxy-class quarters and was reminded of their past lives on the Enterprise when the Demilitarized Zone separated the Cardassian Union and the United Federation of Planets.

    How things have changed, thought the First Lady, Beverley Picard.

    * * *

    Captain Bane Mather strode proudly through the corridors of the USS Destiny slipping on white gloves to accompany his graceful dress uniform. He was scheduled to welcome the President of the Federation to the starship but beforehand he intended to pay his first officer a visit.

    The Bajoran captain approached the door to his XO’s quarters and pressed a wall-mounted panel, alerting the occupant to his presence.

    “Come!” came the voice of the assured Trill woman inside.

    Bane Mather entered the quarters, noticing the dim lighting and surmising that he had caught his executive officer just in time.

    “I was hoping to have a word with you before you left,” stated Bane Mather in a hushed voice, aware of the delicate and confidential nature of their discussion. “I understand you have a difficult mission ahead...I am not privy to much more information beyond that.”

    “The mission is particularly sensitive,” remarked Letina Iyal, emerging from the darkness, wearing a distinctive black field jumpsuit.

    “Admiral Kelvin has ordered me to give up the runabout Superior for the purposes of your mission. I trust you will bring it back.”

    Commander Iyal smiled at the captain’s comment half-heartedly, all too aware of that the mission was potentially dangerous and politically volatile. Bane Mather noticed her troubled expression.

    “Permission to speak freely, sir?” asked Letina Iyal.

    “Of course,” replied Bane lightly.

    “There is something unsettling about this mission,” asserted Letina Iyal vaguely. “I’m aware that I cannot disclose the details but my orders are unnerving. I am expected to infiltrate-”

    “Hold it, Letina,” interrupted Bane, holding up his palms. “Your assignment is to be kept strictly confidential. I don’t want details, I just want to know you‘ll be alright.”

    “I understand but if I might ask…how much do you trust Admiral Kelvin?”

    Bane Mather was taken aback by the question and the forthright manner of his loyal first officer.

    “How do you mean?” pressed the Bajoran captain, folding his arms across his strong chest.

    “The mission is of an unsettling nature and I would like to know that the admiral has your full confidence before departing.”

    “I served with Admiral Kelvin for years on Starbase 600. He attended my wedding, supported me when Freddie was born, promoted me on two occasions…of course, he has my full confidence.”

    Letina Iyal smiled slightly and bowed her head, adding, “In that case, he carries my confidence too.”
  10. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Very nice segment. I didn’t see Picard as UFP president coming… but it proved a welcome addition to the story. Iyal’s mission will doubtless prove especially dangerous, and like her, I can’t help but think there’s more to this than Admiral Kelvin is letting on. Bane’s got a full plate as well, conveying the president to Cardassia for the most important diplomatic mission in twenty years. I hope he doesn’t skunk this up!
  11. Dnoth

    Dnoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 12, 2006
    In the illusion, but not of it.
    I liked the trilithium/covert mission mentioned. The question for me is, ...what happened to the Tempest?

    I look forward to finding out the answer.
  12. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    I have to be honest here. I thought that Picard as President and Crusher as First Lady was felt more like an ultimate fan fantasy come to live instead of a 'realistic' plausiblity within the universe.

    Having said that, I too am a fan of course (duh!) and I cannot deny that seeing the pair in this capacity felt somewhat exciting :lol:

    I also like the secret plot here to recover the Tempest. I do like the direction in which this is going ...
  13. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    ^Gotta disagree with you here, CeJay. Picard’s been acknowledged from the start as a savvy diplomat and consummate peacemaker (the Alshain business notwithstanding ;)). After a long Starfleet career, I could easily see Picard entering politics. Think about it, the man already has name recognition after having saved the entire Federation more than once, and I’m guessing that post-Starfleet he spent more than a few years as a decorated Federation ambassador to various trouble spots. I was surprised by his addition to the story, but pleasantly so. I think Picard’s a terrific choice to go with here.
  14. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hi all, thanks for the feedback and interest so far.

    I'm wary of using canon characters too much in my work but I think for this story to work I need to.

    Picard was on so many occassions a diplomat and throughout his come to the rescue of the Federation on many occassions. He has said before that he is not a politician and so the presidency I want to portray is really one of unity, peace and diplomacy which transcends divisive politics. I don't want to give too much of the story away and so my image of Picard in 2395 will have to come through in the story.

    I can assure you however that I don't intend to use any more canon characters in the story so don't worry about overload.

    I'm pleased my vision of the Alpha Quadrant is being received so well. I think Cardassian entry into the Federation seems to make sense in the long run, although it would be a long, ardous road towards UFP membership. The Breen were never open or co-operative and so they make the perfect Cold War enemy.

    The Cardassian-Breen border seems like an obvious flashpoint and the prospect of it becoming a Cardassian-Federation border must be weighing heavily on the mind of Bane and Picard as they contemplate Cardassia's entry into the Federation.

    The Klingon-Breen War provides a wider backdrop to what is going on in the story.

    Just hope everyone's keeping up with geopolitics on the advent of the 25th century.
  15. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Not only keeping up, but loving it as well! :D
  16. DavidFalkayn

    DavidFalkayn Commodore Commodore

    Dec 13, 2003
    A nice Cold War style plot here as we have a missing ship with a dangerous warhead. I agree that the Breen make a perfect Cold War style foe as so little is known about them. I would say that you handled Picard well here. In this instance, for the purposes of your universe, I could see Picard becoming a reluctant President--he probably had to be dragged kicking and screaming into office though.

    You're spinning another good yarn here and I look forward to more.
  17. Captain2395

    Captain2395 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jul 31, 2007
    Lieutenant Marcus Owai observed his appearance in his mirror, brushing his hands down his white dress uniform jacket and straightening his comm-badge. Meeting the President of the Federation was an thrilling privilege, ensuring his safety was an altogether more daunting prospect.

    “Bridge to Owai,” came the voice of Ra-Barra’veth, the ship’s Efrosian second officer. “Captain Bane has requested your presence in Transporter Room 1. President Picard will arrive shortly.”

    “Acknowledged,” replied the broad-shouldered lieutenant, tapping his badge.

    Owai took one last look in his mirror and turned on his heels, making his way for the door of his quarters. The Chief of Security strode through the bright blue and grey corridors of the Destiny, nodding to officers he met along the way to the transporter.

    Two guards, armed with phaser rifles stood as sentries outside the great doors to the Transporter Room. He said a word of acknowledgement to his guards and entered the room.

    Every officer assembled was wearing a white dress jacket. Even the short, Tellarite technician was dressed formally, with decorative medals on his breast.

    “Lieutenant,” called the smiling Captain Bane Mather, breaking off a conversation with the gaudy Admiral Jacob Kelvin, extending a hand to his tactical officer. “Who have you assigned to President Picard’s personal detail?”

    The Security Chief indicated towards two officers on the far side of the room whilst accepting the captain’s hand. The tallest was Lieutenant J.G Darzon, an imposing Tarlac. A trusted deputy and decent officer, thought Owai, yet dour and humourless. The markedly shorter, smiling Bajoran woman, Ensign Kayto stood at his side. There was an air of dignity and esteem about the assembling officers as they stood firmly and upright in neat dress uniforms.

    Bane Mather made his way towards the guards with a beaming smile.

    “Captain Bane,” piped up the young Bajoran ensign. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

    Kayto shook hands with her commanding officer vigorously.
    “A pleasure to meet me?” quizzed the captain. “Surely meeting President Picard is more of a distinction.”

    “Of course,” chirped Ensign Kayto, “but on Bajor my family held your father in deep respect. They were among his closest political followers from his humble beginnings until becoming Minister for Labour.”

    “Supporters of my father are hard to come by,” remarked Bane Mather. “His politics on the Occupational Government rarely endeared himself to anyone beyond his own constituency.”

    “Sir,” interrupted the transporter chief, “the Venture is prepared to transport the presidential delegation.”

    Bane broke off the conversation by patting Ensign Kayto affectionately on the shoulder and nodding in acknowledgement of the Deputy Security Chief, Darzon. The Starfleet officers formed a line in the middle of the room, each looking proud in their dress uniforms.

    “Chief!” called Captain Bane, clasping his hands behind his back. “Energize!”

    Six man-sized cylindrical beams of light appeared on the transporter panel and within the beams, six humanoid individuals materialized. There were distinctive Starfleet uniforms on some of the party, others appeared to be dressed gracefully. The most striking individual materializing on the panel was the unmistakable President of the United Federation of Planets, Jean-Luc Picard.

    The venerable statesman was elderly, bald with a silver goatee and famous trustworthy eyes, though not as tall as Bane Mather would have expected.

    “You must be Captain Bane Mather,” roared President Picard, climbing down from the transporter panel. “I can remember welcoming dignitaries to the Enterprise a long time ago. I always hated the pomp and ceremony.”

    Picard patted Bane Mather on his back, smiling broadly.

    The President of the Federation did not strike Bane as the stern diplomat he had been expecting.

    Perhaps, thought Bane, the president enjoyed memories of his Starfleet career, which were being brought home to him by his arrival on the ship.

    “Welcome to the Destiny,” said Bane Mather, greeting the statesman with a smile and indicated towards the officers assembled in the room. “Might I introduce Lieutenant Naomi Wildman - who will be making your stay as comfortable as possible - and Lieutenant Marc Owai - my Chief of Security.”

    The president warmly shook hands with the officers.

    “Might I also introduce Ensign Kayto and Lieutenant Darzon, who will be responsible for your protection on the Destiny and throughout the treaty signing on Cardassia.”

    Again President Picard smiled, greeting his guards for the remainder of the voyage.

    “Allow me to introduce my staff and my beautiful wife, Beverley,” announced Picard, as his red-haired wife descended from the raised transporter.

    As the officers and the delegation exchanged pleasantries, Admiral Jacob Kelvin observed from a corner of the room. His business on the Destiny was officially to ensure that Starfleet Command was represented at the momentous treaty signing to take place on Cardassia. Unofficially, he was known in the upper echelons of power as an uncompromising fixer.

    “President Picard,” beamed Admiral Jacob Kelvin, his grin so wide that it was vaguely menacing. “I look forward to sharing some kanar with you on Cardassia Prime.”

    The amiable smile disappeared from Picard’s face as his eyes narrowed on Admiral Kelvin. From over the president’s shoulder, even the beaming Beverley Picard seemed to frown.

    Bane Mather and Lieutenant Owai shared a look of concern.

    Picard approached the admiral, leaned in so as to ensure that no-one else in the room could hear their voices and whispered, “I have never shared a drink with you before, Admiral Kelvin. And I never will.”
  18. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 25, 2005
    US Pacific Northwest
    Wow, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Picard and Kelvin share some history… and not good history, either. Is Bane the only one who likes this guy?
  19. CeJay

    CeJay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 5, 2006
    There's definitely somethign up with Kelvin and it can only mean trouble for this mission.

    That is a very intriguing setup and I am eager to find out how this will develop.