Disclaimer: Credit where credit's due - the basic idea for this timeline comes originally from a man called Dan Carlson. He has a great website at www.st-minutiae.com and has kindly 'loaned' me the ST Restoration idea for development here. You can find his initial ideas at http://www.st-minutiae.com/misc/restoration/. I will warn you that although I have changed quite a lot in my own story/timeline/etc... there may be a few spoilers for what I may or may not be doing with this story on the website. So be warned! Anyway, without further ado... Star Trek: Restoration Book One : A New Order Chapter 1 3rd March, 2631 The Hounslow Residence Southern France Earth "It is 0700 hours." The familiar sound of the computer pulled Ba'el Sarine from his nightmare. It lingered a moment longer – he was back on the bridge of the Enterprise, giving the order, watching the blackness unfold across the planet on the viewscreen as the voices screamed over the intercom… Third time this week, he thought as he lay there, staring up at the ceiling. That’s gotta be a record. He waited a few moments to see if sleep was still within his grasp, then gave up. Sliding out of bed, he padded across the room to the fresher unit. The water took a moment to sputter out of the tap. He splashed some on his face and behind his neck, then glanced in the mirror. God, Ba, you look like hell. His eyes were sunken, the dark blue of his iris’ verging on the black in the dim light. He brushed his lanky, unkempt hair away from his pointed ears, the scar tissue evident on the left one. He let it fall back. How long has it been since I’ve been to have a haircut? He realised he couldn’t remember. Shaking his head, he walked to the door, which slid open to reveal the vast living room beyond, bathed in sunlight. He was blinded for a moment, lifting a scarred hand to protect his eyes "Computer, shade." Within seconds, the blinds began to slide across the window, only sticking twice as they swept out from the wall. They filtered out some of the early morning sun's bright glare. He could still see out of the vast wall to wall windows, his eyes taking in the majesty of the southern European coast. The azure tint of the sky met the darker blue of the Mediterannean far on the horizon. Ba’el stood there for a moment, taking in the view. He wondered how many times his mother had stood here looking out over the same vista before the Dominion killed her. Turning away from the window, he grabbed his robe from the back of a chair and walked over to the small kitchen area. He sat down on a stool, switching on the small comm screen he had installed the week before. The floor beneath him shook slightly as the generator turned on in the basement. The screen sputtered to life An attractive blond woman in a tailored blue suit sat in front of a holographic display showing the spinning glory of the Milky Way. The words Your Galaxy Today spun around and around the galactic hologram. "... telling us that until the Andorians make an official request for our assistance, there is nothing the FAW can do." Ba’el reached down and grabbed a bowl as the woman went on, "In other news, the Laurentine Hegemony has recently reopened negotiations for the possible presence of a Federation starship to be permanently attached to their space station Onyx. This has been welcomed by the Federation Security Council on Romulus as a major step towards normalising relations between the two nations. However, Admiral Killstreet has..." Ba'el was reaching for the box of cereal above his head when a beeping sound interrupted the news feed. He touched the screen and a menu appeared, informing him that there was a comm signal coming through. Ba’el blinked. He hadn’t received any kind of call since he had moved in to his mother’s old house three months before. Especially not one with a Starfleet ID code. Reluctantly, he touched the flickering icon to accept the call. Nothing happened. He touched the screen harder this time and it went black. He was about to hit the damned thing to bring it back on line when the screen flickered and a smart young Ferengi male in a Starfleet ensign’s uniform appeared. Behind him, through the thick static, Ba’el could just about make out a Starfleet comm centre, banal in its organised chaos. "Captain Sarine. Please hold for Admiral Kovat." Before Ba'el could object that he was no longer a captain of any kind, the screen went black again, replaced rapidly by the dark-skinned, reptilian face of a Cardassian, also in a Starfleet uniform. His cheeks were marred by three long scars, which ran from his forehead all the way down before vanishing beneath his uniform collar. The scars tensed as the man smiled "Ba'el.” He seemed genuinely happy to see his old friend. “You look like you’ve been dragged through the streets by a Klingon." "It's good to see you too, sir." It was only partly a lie. Jasad Kovat had been Ba'el's cell leader during the Occupation. The two had fought together in too many engagements to number. Once they had infiltrated a Dominion training facility and assassinated both the Vorta overseer and the Jem’hadar First and Second before they were found. They had escaped aboard an ancient Bajoran freighter whose warpdrive had given out after seven lightyears. Both men had remained close right up until the end of the war when Kovat had joined the fledgling Starfleet, shoved upstairs almost instantly with the rank of Admiral. As for Ba'el... Ba'el had come to Earth, the homeworld he had never known, to this house where his mother had once lived. He'd left the war and its aftermath far behind. "I'm on Earth for a conference,” Kovat said. “I was hoping I could come out there and see you." “What for?" Kovat seemed taken aback by Ba’el’s tone. I’m not part of your Starfleet, Jasad. We did things differently in the Resistance, or have you already forgotten? Still, he recovered well, his smile only faltering for an instant. “Just to catch up, see how you’re doing. I haven’t seen you since…” “Yeah,” Ba’el cut him off. He didn’t need a reminder of the Incident. He lived through it often enough in his dreams. An uncomfortable silence grew between them. Kovat avoided Ba’el’s gaze, obviously aware of what was going through his old friend’s mind. Finally, the quiet became too much for him. “It’s important, Ba’el. You know I wouldn’t contact you otherwise." He thought about it, then decided it couldn’t hurt. His former commander might even be telling the truth. He shrugged. “Why not.” "Excellent,” Kovat said with a tight smile. “I’m going to be here in London giving a report to the Refugee Comitte for the whole day, but I could probably comandeer a transport out your way around 1700. I could be at your house by 1800." "Fine. I'll make us some dinner." "Looking forward to it." "Me too," Ba'el lied. The comm line broke off, leaving Ba'el to stare at the blank screen. He sat there, idly rolling the bowl over the work desk with one finger, wondering exactly what Kovat wanted. Despite what the Admiral had said, he had the distant feeling it had nothing to do with old times or swapping war stories. In fact, he thought he knew exactly what Kovat wanted to see him about. And he was almost sure that he wasn’t going to like it.