Star Trek: War Aftermath (my own DS9 relaunch)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Enterprise1981, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Eight​

    “What am I doing here?” Limis demanded of her captor. “Where are the MACO’s?"

    “They were not invited,” Revok replied with a feigned smile.

    Limis already recognized that this Cardassian was Gul Revok, but she just concluded he was the True Way leader who took her crew hostage. “What have you done with my crew?” she asked.

    “Your crew is quite safe. Whether they stay safe depends on your willingness to a job for us.”

    “What kind of job?” Helping you commit more terrorist acts?”

    “’Terrorist’? One man’s terrorist is another man’s resistance fighter. Why are you supporting the Federation after it abandoned its own people to appease your enemies?”

    “I resented the Federation once, but I didn’t wish to pass up a chance to avenge my dead Maquis colleagues.”

    “Of course. Loyalty to those serving under you is one mark of a good commander. What of the people you serve under?

    “The Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans are here to assure the formation of a government that fairly represents all major factions. If the conservative factions made a formal request, the Federation is obligated to consider it. Correct?”

    “As long as it is not a request for weapons or classified technology.”

    Revok chuckled. “Do you really believe that?” he asked. “As we speak, your people are planning an armed rescue of your missing crew…”

    Limis cut Revok off when hearing his last statement. “Wait. You know the Defiant is here?”

    “We set up the hostage situation to lure you here,” Revok candidly replied. “And we know why it is here. Secretly the Federation wishes to gain favor with Alon Ghemor in order to assure the Cardassian Union is no longer a threat to them.”

    “You’re twisting the situation to rationalize your actions,” Limis replied. “We are only interested in rescuing our colleagues, whom you have in captivity.”

    “Enough!” Revok snarled. He sauntered to a monitor screen called up an image of his captives. A guard entered the cell and asked an officer to get up.

    Willis Huckaby stood up. The guard fired his phaser vaporizing the Starfleet ensign. Limis had seen death on a massive scale. The war almost desensitized her to the most gruesome forms of killing. Seeing a man vaporized as a random target of cold-blooded murder still horrified her. “You bastard!” she screamed.

    “Who dies next?” Revok asked. “Your boy toy perhaps?”

    The guard pointed his phaser at Morrison. The seconds seemed to tick by very slowly for Limis as the guard seen on the screen put his finger on the trigger. She could not witness any more callous disregard for sentient life. “I’ll do whatever you ask,” she proclaimed.

    “Stand down,” Revok commanded the guard through his wrist communicator. Turning to Limis, he said, “Now, what is the Defiant’s cloaking frequency?”

    “Two hundred thirty four point three megahertz,” Limis reluctantly answered.

    Colonel Kira convened a meeting of the senior delegates in one of the guest quarters. Ross had emphatically stated that any delay in the conference was unacceptable. That was not his call, however. Kira could still persuade the delegates to at least postpone the conference. They were all just as adamant. “After all,” Tandro offered, “the assassin would just push back his timetable.”

    “For all we know,” the Lissepian delegate Rigus suggested, “the Breen agreed to this conference so one of us would be the target.”

    The Breen delegate Mirt immediately expressed his outrage. Part of what made the Breen such an enigmatic race was the difficulty in translating their language, which sounded like a rhythmic mechanized buzzing noise to most humanoid races. Yet, somehow the Breen made an alliance with the Dominion. “That is an outrageous accusation,” Mirt buzzed through a time-delayed translation device attached to his helmet, which caused slight disorientation among the others in the room.

    Kira attempted to smooth matters. “We don’t have any leads, so we should minimize any speculation for now.” No one was listening, however.

    “Is it?” Jolar asked rhetorically. “Negotiation is not in the Breen vocabulary. When the Dominion offered to hand you what you couldn’t steal by force, that was a perfect opportunity for you wasn’t it?”

    “The fact the Breen are represented here shows that they are willing to compromise,” Pirak suggested. But his efforts at mediation also fell on deaf ears.

    “I would think you would be as skeptical, Pirak,” said Rigus. “They stole territory from the Cardassians with the help of your so-called Dominion allies.”

    How do we know I am not the target of one of you?” Mirt asked emphatically pointing at the other delegates. “You say you are willing to negotiate with us, but your ignorant prejudices make you afraid of us. What is the point of this conference when none of you are willing to look past your preconceptions about my race?”

    With that, the Breen stormed off. The remaining delegates exchanged befuddled looks. Who would have expected a Breen to be a voice of reason when the Breen language was one of the most difficult to comprehend?

    The communications chime sounded. “Ro to Colonel Kira,” Ro called from the security office. “We’ve just arrested a Bajoran engineer who may be involved in the assassination attempt.”

    Kira tapped her combadge. “On my way,” she replied. Then to the delegates, she joked, “Try not to injure each other.”

    Kira headed straight for the security office where Ro was waiting. Ro stood up from behind her desk and escorted Kira into the main cellblock. “While Nog and I were inspecting the repair jobs,” Ro said, “we found that someone was using the surveillance system to monitor any attempt to remove the subspace crossover shunts in the EPS lines.

    “The signal was traced to Mar Ronnick’s quarters.”

    Ronnick sat in his cell looking pensive even as Kira was walking closer to the cell. “Who are you working for?” Kira asked him.

    “Chief of Operations Aiman al-Rashid and the Bajoran militia,” Ronnick answered calmly.

    “No, I mean what Bajoran splinter group are you working for?”

    “You can’t arrest a man for taking initiative. I merely found a problem in the EPS lines of the surveillance system the chief somehow missed.”

    "The surveillance system is not supposed to send information to your quarters.”

    The expression on Ronnick’s face did not alter one bit the entire interrogation. Kira sighed in frustration and walked out. “There’s one other thing, Colonel,” Ro said, following Kira back out into the office. “He has a brother named Solarin who lives on Bajor. And he is a member of the Kohn-Ma.”

    “He could be on the station then,” Kira said. She once praised the Kohn-Ma for their patriotism and their tenacity during the Cardassian Occupation. Shortly after Starfleet took control of Deep Space 9, she felt Bajor needed the patriotism of the Kohn-Ma when one of her colleagues in the resistance appeared on the station, requesting asylum. Of course, her views on the Kohn-Ma changed when the splinter group planned to remove Bajor’s most important economic asset, the Wormhole.


    [LEFT]“What do you mean Captain Limis is missing?” Vaughn asked Rashid and Neeley.[/LEFT]

    He sat behind the desk in the ready room. Rashid had no memory of the unauthorized beamdown. Neeley had reported her captain’s “disappearance” and then asked Rashid to check the transport log. “The computer says she’s not on the ship,” Neeley explained.

    “I checked the transport logs,” Rashid added. “She completely erased them.”

    Vaughn swung his chair to the left and sighed, disgusted at Limis for having made the situation far worse. “Does she really think she can rescue those hostages on her own?”

    “I don’t know, sir,” Neeley answered. “This is reckless even for her.

    She then winked at Rashid as if to say, Your secret is safe with me. In her line of work, she developed the ability to tell whether a person was lying. Dilated pupils. Flushed cheeks. A hint of nervousness. But Rashid believed what he was saying, as if he genuinely could not remember the illicit beamdown.

    Before the conversation continued, the intercom chimed. “Bridge to Commander Vaughn,” Dax called. “Captain, we’re picking up three Cardassian transport ships. They seem to be heading for our position.”

    “How is that possible?” Vaughn asked. “We’re cloaked.”

    Dax rose from the command chair and stepped over to the helm. “Prynn?”

    “We’ve plotted their course at bearing 4-5-1 mark 2-7.,” Tenmei explained. “Straight for us.”

    “That’s hardly a coincidence, sir,” Dax added.

    Within almost a minute, Vaughn and Rashid stepped onto the bridge from the port egress. Fitzpatrick stepped onto the bridge through the starboard egress having just returned from his meeting with Garak.

    “So far, they have made no threatening moves,” Dax reported before assuming her station.

    “Probably trying to see whether we know they can see us,” Vaughn suggested.

    “They’re flooding the region with massive tachyons and anti-protons,” Dax reported. “It’s the same trick the Jem’Hadar used during the old Defiant’’s first trip into the Gamma Quadrant. Mister Rashid, see if you set the tachyon emitters to this frequency.”

    Ezri texted a set of digits to Rashid’s station, and he immediately complied.

    “Helm,” said Vaughn, “prepare to move us into a higher orbit, but slowly. They might detect our subspace backwash through ripples in space.”

    Revok and Korinas piloted the lead Cardassian shuttle. A Starfleet insignia indicating the Defiant’s position suddenly disappeared from Korinas’s readout screen. Hadar saw it, too, from the main piloting station on her left. “They must have retuned the cloak. Begin a scan of any movement that may have taken place in the last five minutes to see how much they are trying to throw us off.”

    Both pilots’ readout screens began to show blips indicating tachyons spikes. They attempted to string together a pattern n order to determine if these were random spikes or the result of a moving object.

    A squiggly line formed on the screen along the blips indicating the path of the Defiant. “Match the extrapolated course,” said Korinas.

    “They’re matching our course with a ninety seven point six-eight degree of accuracy,” Tenmei reported.

    “They’re playing cat and mouse to see who blinks first,” Fitzpatrick observed.

    “We do,” Vaughn replied. “Drop cloak, prepare to raise shields.”

    The Defiant slowly became visible and Revok quickly gave his order. “Full impulse. Fire!”

    The lead shuttle launched two plasma torpedoes straight at the Starfleet ship’s dorsal. “Ablative armor plating took a hit at the dorsal before our shields went up.” Dax reported.

    “Evasive pattern alpha, helm!” Vaughn shouted over the explosions. “Target one of the flanking shuttles and fire phasers!”

    The Defiant’s phaser cannons came to life. The multi-targeting beams enveloped the shuttle to port. The two remaining vessels came at the Defiant with its torpedoes. “Keep pouring it on!” Revok shouted. “We need that ship out of our way!”

    The ceiling above the aft monitoring stations gave way sending down shrapnel and a girder fell knocking out two officers. “Starboard shields have failed,” Fitzpatrick reported. “Aft shields at twenty percent effectiveness.

    The shuttles fired at the starboard nacelle. “The starboard nacelle is venting plasma,” Rashid reported.

    “Shut it down and route power to the good one,” Vaughn commanded. “Release inertial dampers and set attitude control to minimum.”

    "We could hit the planet’s atmosphere,” Rashid insisted.

    “That’s the idea. We need to appear to be spiraling down,” Vaughn then motioned to Tenmei to relinquish her seat.

    The ship began spiraling towards the atmosphere. Vaughn had taken the helm to maintain some control of his ship. “Rashid, eject an anti-matter pod and two escape pods five hundred meters off the starboard aft,” he said. “Fitzpatrick, ready aft quantum torpedoes.”

    “Five hundred meters aft,” Rashid called out.

    “Torpedoes ready,” Fitzpatrick added.

    “Fire!” Vaughn shouted slamming his right hand on the control to execute a new course heading.

    The Defiant jumped to warp, but to Revok, the ship exploded. His screen showed blips indicating a debris field. “That’s not enough debris for that to be the whole ship,” he quickly observed.

    “I have a Starfleet warp signature on long-range sensors,” said Korinas.

    “Cowards,” Revok snickered. “Let them go. If and when they return, our mission will be completed.”

    Bashir and team of medics arrived on the bridge to tend to the wounded. Vaughn relinquished the helm to his daughter. “How did they know where to find us?” Rashid asked with bewilderment.

    Fitzpatrick swung his seat around and said, “You might want to ask Julian.”

    Bashir turned away from the crewman he was attending to when he heard his name. “’Pardon me?”

    “Assuming Julian Bashir is your real name,” Fitzpatrick continued. “Khan Noonien Singh put himself in suspended animation to be revived by Kirk three centuries later. Hamri al-Assad could have done the same.”

    “That’s enough, Fitz,” Vaughn stated.

    “You were once accused of being a Dominion spy,” Fitzpatrick persisted, rising from his chair.

    And exonerated,” Bashir replied.

    Ezri stepped between the two. “One more outburst and you’re relieved of duty,” she said. She took a big risk thinking Fitzpatrick would have thrown her petite figure aside in the heat of the moment.

    “Yes, of course, defend your boyfriend,” he sniped.

    “Leave the bridge, mister,” Vaughn growled. He then turned and looked the rest of the bridge crew. “We may have a spy on board, now is not the time to play the blame game. Not until we have some kind of concrete evidence.”

    Fitzpatrick did as he was told without another word.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  2. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Interlude: Flashback Three

    Stardate 52594 (Earth year 2375):

    Dukat got his wish five months after the Cardassian Union became a protectorate of the Dominion, a war with the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The war would have ended swiftly had the Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant not mysteriously vanished. Dukat had a nervous breakdown after having victory snatched from him and following the murder of his daughter. He stayed behind on Deep Space 9 to be captured by Starfleet, and his right hand man Corat Damar took over the leadership of the Cardassian Union.

    Maybe Dukat had gone mad buying into Bajoran superstitions, Damar thought. On the other hand, maybe the entities inside the Wormhole had a role in the continuation of the war. Placing a Pah-Wraith in the Wormhole turned the war back in the Dominion’s favor.

    Overall, the war did not go well after Dukat had his breakdown, and the Dominion surrendered Terok Nor to the Federation. The Romulan Star Empire sided against the Dominion-Cardassian alliance. Damar became a heavy drinker when the Federation Alliance began pushing into Cardassian territory.

    To make matters worse, the Dominion brought the kleptocratic Breen Confederacy into the alliance. The treaty of alliance involved turning Cardassian territory over to the Breen without the Cardassian Union’s consent. Damar became even more disillusioned when the Dominion used a Cardassian military unit as cannon fodder for the Klingon attack on Septimus Three.

    “We all serve the Founders,” the Vorta liaison Weyoun declared in response to Damar’s protest. “And we will make whatever sacrifices they deem necessary!”

    That was the final straw. Damar freed the two Starfleet officers in his custody to relay a message to the Federation that it had an ally on Cardassia. He then began securing the support of top-ranking officers. He remembered an organization Dukat had founded after the Klingon invasion. Dukat intended the True Way to serve as a patriotic organization in during the Cardassian people’s biggest crisis. Certain reactionary groups began joining and had other ideas; including committing terrorist acts against the Federation and Bajor. They even had a role in allying Cardassia with the Dominion.

    One such top-ranking officer who had been associated with the True Way paid Damar a visit shortly after the Breen attack on Earth. “I remember when I heard the news that Cardassia had joined the Dominion,” Gul Rusot told Damar. “Like all of Cardassia, I rejoiced. We were going to rulers of the entire Alpha Quadrant. Now we’re a conquered people. Servants in our own land.”

    “All that will change,” Damar declared. Looking at the PADD Rusot delivered, he asked, “Are you sure we can trust these officers?’

    “And the troops under their command. Still, we will need to know the location of the Dominion weapon emplacements on Rondac Three.”

    “Leave that to me. I will need you to get a message to each of these officers.”

    “It is not a very long list.”

    “It will get longer. With a victory or two, all Cardassia will rise up with us.”

    Gul Revok of the Ninth Order commanded one of three squadrons of Cardassian Galor-class warships sent to attack Rondac Three. Revok wondered to himself what went wrong. Perhaps it all started when the Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant entered the Wormhole, but never emerged on the Alpha side. Weyoun was willing accede to Dukat’s wishes when the alliance was made. Since the Federation Alliance gained a foothold into Dominion territory, the Dominion was acting more unilaterally. The treaty of alliance with the Breen was one such act many in the Cardassian military intolerable.

    “In weapons of Rondac Three,” Glin Corak reported from the weapons station.

    “Signal the rest of the fleet,” Revok commanded.

    “All squadrons report ready, sir.”


    The attack on Rondac was the first step in liberating the Cardassian Union from an outside power. Damar had personal reasons for targeting Rondac first. The only Vorta cloning facilities in the Alpha Quadrant were on Rondac. The death of the Vorta he butted heads from day one would mean no more Weyoun clones.

    Ultimately, the attack on Rondac failed. Revok and the other squadrons were forced into retreat with the Jem’Hadar eliminating two thirds of the fleet. The attack against the Dominion was still enough to turn other military units against the Gamma Quadrant invaders.
  3. RobertScorpio

    RobertScorpio Pariah

    Jan 25, 2008
    San Diego
    I have really liked this..and it comes in handy with my own DS9 writing in terms of backstory...keep it up!!!

  4. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Nine

    “It’s a minor setback,” Solarin assured his brother’s employer. . “We simply have to move up our timetable.”

    A Cardassian was also present with the two Bajorans in a cargo bay. That Cardassian was Legate Turrell, the ambassador’s chief-of-staff. “That can be accomplished in good time,” he said. “Making Pirak’s death look like an accident will still take delicate work.”

    “Get it done,” the employer snarled. “We cannot afford any more foul ups.” He then turned to Solarin. “You, make sure your brother does not compromise everything.”

    Solarin considered what the employer said. How would he make absolutely certain Ronnick would remain silent? “You don’t mean… “

    “If sacrificing him is necessary,” the employer interrupted, “that is the will of the Prophets.”

    From a far corner, Tandro observed what was taking place from behind a stack of cargo containers. He knew of such betrayals all too well, as the posthumous son of Ardelon Tandro. The elder Tandro had betrayed his army to the rebels in the Klaestron civil war. Ilon was even willing to let the successor host to Curzon Dax take the blame for his father’s murder.

    A newly established warp-capable race, the Klaestrons soon became a protectorate of the Cardassian Union. They even supported the Cardassians during the Klingon War while Klaestron was on the verge of another civil war. Tandro turned to the rebel cause when Cardassia joined the Dominion.

    Tandro headed for Pirak’s quarters to warn him. “I was scheduled to meet with the legate in the ward room,” he told Pirak. “When he didn’t show, the computer said he was in Cargo Bay 14.”

    “Who was with him?” Pirak asked.

    “At least two Bajorans.”

    “Why would a rebel Bajoran group want me dead? And for that matter, why would Turrell be helping them?”

    Tandro walked out into the corridor with a Starfleet guard by his side. He was barely ten feet down the corridor when the guard reacted as if he felt a knot in his stomach. Solarin had jammed a knife into his back. After the guard keeled over, Solarin pulled out the knife and wielded it at Tandro.

    Tandro had quick enough reflexes to throw a right hook at the assassin. He then grabbed Solarin by the throat with his left. “I don’t know what your grudge is against Pirak,” he sneered. “Maybe something during the Occupation. But I don’t see what you would gain by killing me as well.”

    “Your recent family history means you are a danger to compromise our plans,” Solarin gagged. “That was why Turrell arranged to meet with you.” He then kneed Tandro in the abdomen weakening his grip on his throat. Solarin then picked the knife up off the floor. Before he could use it, a Bajoran phaser was pointed at his head. “Drop it or I blow your head off,” Ro hissed at him.

    Solarin quickly dropped the knife.

    Ro and a Bajoran deputy escorted Solarin to the security office holding cells. “They were preparing to put him in the same cell as his brother. “You might be acquainted with your new cellmate,” Ro quipped.

    Ronnick lay unconscious on the cell floor. Ro lowered the forcefield and crouched down to check his pulse. “He’s dead.”

    “You bastards tortured him to death!” Solarin screamed. He slugged the deputy and lunged at Ro. Ro stood upright and administered the Vulcan nerve pinch. She needed to use a lot more effort since she lacked the physical strength of a Vulcan.

    Doctor Zeyner reported to the cellblock on Ro’s page. He scanned the corpse with a medical tricorder n one hand and a medical sensor device in the other. “Every system in his body has just shut down,” he reported.

    “Some kind of neural paralyzer?” Ro asked.

    “Possibly,” said Zeyner. “I’ll need to do a full autopsy.”

    Ro turned to her deputy. “Check his brother for poisons on his person. And keep him on twenty-six hour suicide watch.”

    Kira had been informed of the arrest of Solarin, and that Tandro learned the specifics of the assassination attempt. She led a team of two security deputies-- one Bajoran, the other Starfleet-- through the docking ring towards Cargo Bay 14.

    Logic would dictate that the conspirators would re-locate their base camp once station personnel were onto them. Of course, this lead was the best they had to go on. Kira contemplated why the Kohn-Ma would wish Pirak, an advocate of peaceful coexistence between Cardassia and Bajor, dead. Maybe such motives were similar to those of the Kohn-Ma when they attempted to destroy the Wormhole. Such actions were hardly rational. Having once been a terrorist herself, Kira knew that terrorists rarely acted rationally.

    Kira and the Starfleet deputy positioned themselves on both sides of the entrance door. The Bajoran deputy wielded his phaser at the door. Kira quietly counted to three and hit the wall panel opening the double doors.

    All three ran in at the same time a near split second after the doors opened. A civilian Bajoran emerged from behind the containers and phasered the two security officers flanking Kira. He lunged over the cargo containers and took Kira down.

    Kira lost her grip on her phaser. Another figure picked up the phaser, while her assailant helped her upright. She recognized the second Bajoran’s short blonde hair and his two-day old facial hair. He was Tahna Los, her former colleague in the resistance and more recently responsible for the near destruction of the Wormhole seven years earlier.

    “Hello, Nerys,” Tahna said somewhat sarcastically. “It’s been a long time.”
  5. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Ten

    What would Jim Kirk do? Limis asked herself that question over and over again while repairing weapons for Revok and his troops. Kirk had been well known for thinking his way out of no-win situations. Booby-trapping the phaser rifles was a possibility, but once sabotage was suspected, the hostages would be killed. The guards were watching her every move.

    Had Revok not been forcing her hand, Limis would not, in good conscience, supply these people with weapons. That went against everything the Federation and Starfleet stood for. Not that she cared. Those butchers already murdered two of her crew, and she was helping them? As long as that preserved the lives of her shipmates, Limis would. All she could do was bide her time until an opportunity to derail Revok’s plans presented itself.

    What were Revok’s plans, though? He wouldn’t take hostages just to get a Starfleet officer to fix their weapons. His own troops could do that. Revok specifically wanted Limis’s help. But for what reason?

    Revok and Hadar entered to check Limis’s work. She handed Revok a phaser rifle. “This is the last of them,” she said. “Now, explain to me what this is all about.”
    “Since you will not be able to stop us, why not tell you,” Revok proclaimed. “We intend to assassinate Castellan Ghemor.”

    Suddenly everything made sense. If a former Maquis now wearing a Starfleet uniform had a role in assassinating Ghemor, the people would be outraged. They would demand that the Federation put an end to the convoys. “And you wanted my DNA on the murder weapon,” said Limis.

    “Revok, a word in private,” Hadar whispered.

    “Wait for me outside,” Revok answered.

    “Now, Revok!”


    Hadar left the armory, and Revok tapped his wrist communicator. “Bring in the prisoner.”

    A guard entered with a phaser pointed at Morrison’s head. “Captain,” he gasped.

    “Good to see you, too, Morrison,” Limis replied.

    “What a heartwarming reunion,” Revok quipped. “Now, Captain. Contact the Defiant or he dies.”

    “Don’t do it, Vircona,” Morrison implored. “They’re luring the Defiant into an ambush…. ” The guard punched him in the stomach.

    Commander’s Log, stardate 53482.3: The Defiant has taken refuge inside a nebula with the cloak offline. We are rushing repairs to the engines and shields, so we can mount a rescue of the missing officers.

    The Defiant sickbay was overflowing with patients. Two were in critical, but stable, condition, so Bashir was able to focus on patients with superficial injuries. He had two nurses by his side while treating Ezri, so he could attend to the more critical patients at a moment’s notice.

    “I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Julian,” Ezri said, while Julian trained a dermal regenerator on a burn on her left forearm. “We’re all trying to make sense of how the True Way knew exactly where to find us. If only I hadn’t found that picture of Assad.”

    “You had no way of knowing,” said Julian.

    Speak of the devil; Fitzpatrick came through the sickbay entrance with another security officer’s arm around his shoulder. The other officer was half unconscious. Fitzpatrick helped him onto a biobed. “Something happened in phaser control,” Fitzpatrick shouted. “Some kind of toxic fumes.”

    The injured officer began coughing and wheezing. Bashir rolled his triage cart across the sickbay. “Get me an oxygen mask, stat,” he called to one of his nurses.

    A nurse placed a mask on the officer’s nose and mouth to fill his lungs with oxygen. Bashir then applied a hypo-spray to ease the burning in his lungs. “That should help him for now,” he said.

    “Uh, Julian,” Fitzpatrick began to say, “Sorry about my outburst on the bridge.”

    “I was just as surprised, really,” Bashir replied. “It’s perfectly all right.”

    “I still feel foolish for taking it out on you and Ezri.”

    Neeley happened to be speaking to a MACO on the next biobed when she overheard the discussion. “You accused Bashir of being an enemy spy because of his ancestry?” she asked. “I thought humanity overcame such prejudices.”

    “Could you just let it go, Lisa?” Fitzpatrick replied.

    “You can say I was afraid of commitment,” Neeley retorted, “but you don’t know how to trust people.”

    “Look, you two,” Bashir interrupted, “please keep this out of my sickbay. I’m a doctor, not a marriage counselor.”

    Ezri observed Prynn at the communication’s station to find any connection between Limis and known terrorists on Cardassia. Limis’s personnel profile was on the left side of the display screen. On the right side was the profile of an at-large terrorist. When Prynn found no connection, she moved to the next record. Next was the record of a Gul Enic Hadar. Prynn was about to move to the next, when Ezri saw something. “Sir,” she called to Vaughn, seated in the captain’s chair, “we may have something.”

    Vaughn stood up and walked towards the communications station. “Two years ago,” Dax stated, “the Lambda Paz apprehended Enic Hadar’s brother, a civilian engineer working at a ketracel white facility. Apparently, Limis used extreme measures to learn the facility’s location.”

    “I think I remember that facility,” said Vaughn. “The Defiant’s crew was sent to destroy that facility in a stolen Jem’Hadar fighter.”

    “Jadzia was on that mission,” Ezri affirmed, “and on Torga Four where that ship was found.”

    “Limis decompressed an airlock with him inside,” Prynn explained of the incident. “He eventually died.”

    “That’s what this was all about,” Vaughn mused. “The hostage situation was a setup to lure Limis, so Hadar could exact revenge.”

    The comm station chimed indicating an incoming transmission. “Incoming hail,” said Dax. “It’s from Captain Limis.”

    “On screen,” Vaughn commanded.

    The emblem of the Cardassian Union replaced the star field on the viewscreen. The face of Limis then filled the screen. “Starship Defiant,” she began. “Code seven emergency. I have willingly surrendered myself in return for my crew’s freedom.”

    From behind Limis, Revok grabbed her and threw her to the floor, and then he cut the transmission. “What is Code Seven?” he demanded. Pointing a rifle at her, he said, “Tell me, or you and the hostages will be put to death.”

    “You need us alive in case something goes wrong,” Limis replied, calling his bluff.

    “No matter. The word will be the Defiant was destroyed trying to extract the Starfleet assassin.”

    Revok walked out of the armory to see Hadar waiting in the corridor. “Assassinate the Castellan?” Hadar asked. “Are you mad? I thought this would be a simple prisoner exchange. Once we had the Bajoran terrorist, we’d use her to bargain with the government.”

    “She is yours to do with as you please, Hadar,” Revok replied. “Your motives for supporting me have been satisfied.”

    “I believe we can use the principles of democratic government to our advantage,” Hadar explained. “With our influence within the government to bring glory back to Cardassia.”

    “One of Ghemor’s personal guards will carry out the assassination. Any interference on your part will be meaningless.”

    Would his interference be meaningless? Hadar got Limis in his custody to use as a hostage. But he could not allow the assassination of Ghemor. Continued Federation assistance was necessary to get Cardassia’s economy back on its feet. Revok was allowing misplaced patriotic pride blind him to the long-term goals of his faction.

    Hadar headed for the communal cell the Lambda Paz crew was held in and asked for Morrison to step forward. “You will need this schematic in order to escape,” Hadar said handing Morrison a PADD. “You are all free to go.”

    “The captain gave herself up for our freedom,” said Morrison. “Is that what this is about?”

    “Mostly. One of my colleagues is planning to assassinate First Castellan Ghemor with the help of one of the Castellan’s personal guards. I cannot allow that to happen.”

    “Why should we trust you?” Lieutenant Carson asked the jailor.

    “Your chances of survival are much greater out there than in here,” Hadar replied.

    The escaped hostages made their way to a shuttle hangar. Morrison locked the door to make sure no one walked in on them. He then followed his shipmates onto the shuttle. He entered a code provided on the PADD into the main pilot console bringing main power on.

    “This has information on how to circumvent the security systems in this building,” he said, handing Carson the PADD. “I have something else to take care of.”

    “You’re not coming with us?” Carson asked before Morrison walked out the door.

    “I have to find the captain,” Morrison explained. “For her to be their prisoner is an unacceptable security risk. Our intelligence would be set back at least a decade. Get the rest of the crew out of here and try to get a message to the Castellan. Now that is an order, Sara.”

    “Okay, everyone,” Carson announced, ignoring the stuttering in Morrison’s voice, "prepare to depart.” She had a sneaking suspicion Morrison’s motives were personal. He had some kind of special relationship with the captain, but she wasn’t sure of its nature.

    Following instructions from the PADD, Carson hacked into the computer system to make the shuttle’s departure appear authorized. The shuttle ascended from the landing pad and sailed off into space.
  6. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Eleven

    “Our fleet should reach the Bajoran system within the hour.”

    Revok had contacted Turrell back on Deep Space 9 regarding their role in the planned assassination. Turrell used a Cardassian-issue desk monitor in his possession hooked into the station’s subspace communications system to prevent security from monitoring the transmission. After all, now that security knew he was involved in the planned assassination, any transmissions from quarters to Cardassia would be monitored. “How many ships?” he asked Revok.

    “Four Galor-class warships. That’s all we could spare for now. I would suggest you prepare your troops immediately. The fleet will then be in a perfect position to secure Terok Nor.”

    Admiral Ross stepped off the starboard turbolift in the operations center. He headed straight for the commander’s office, but no one was inside. “Where’s Colonel Kira?” he asked, first looking at Nog at the main engineering station, then at Major Cenn at the command console.

    “She got called away on some urgent business on Bajor,” Cenn answered. Ro walked over to a side panel on the main console to assist in upgrades to the communications system.

    “I didn’t’ hear anything about that,” Ross said walking down the steps from the office towards Cenn.

    “This is an internal matter that is no concern of Starfleet’s,” Cenn replied without looking up from his console.

    “This is a Federation starbase under my general command. I should have a right to know when its commander is indisposed.”

    “With all due respect, sir,” Cenn growled looking straight at Ross, “the Bajoran militia does not report to you in matters of state.”

    “Got it,” Ro reported. She had finished connecting the communications systems to the listening device Kira was secretly carrying.

    “I should have known you were involved,” Kira said to Tahna. “I heard you got out of prison a few months ago.”

    “Then congratulations on putting it all together,” Tahna quipped. “But how little you think of me, Kira. You see, I found the Prophets after that unfortunate incident seven years ago.”

    “Clearly the Pah-Wraiths have tricked you like they tricked Kai Winn.” The spiritual leader of Bajor had a vision from what she thought were the beings residing within the Wormhole during her last visit to the station. These beings later revealed themselves to be the malevolent Pah-Wraiths, who led her to a Bajoran later revealed to be Dukat. Having become disillusioned with the Prophets, Winn turned to the Pah-Wraiths, and her efforts ultimately led to her demise.

    “Oh, come now,” Tahna huffed. “I belong to a sect who interprets the religious texts differently, one that does not believe the Prophets would send us an alien emissary.”

    “The Prophets themselves confirmed that Captain Sisko is their chosen one.”

    “How do we know for sure? And for that matter, what good has the Federation done for Bajor?”

    Kira had been skeptical, herself, of the Federation presence in the Bajoran system after the end of the Occupation. But she understood the importance of the Federation relief effort. But after standing on the precipice of Federation membership, very few Bajorans questioned Federation intentions. “Why, after all this time, would you ask that question?” she asked. “We have built ourselves back up after a half-century of Cardassian rule.”

    “Since then, the Federation has dragged the entire quadrant into a war that could have doomed Bajor. And because the Federation does not execute its prisoners, the Butcher of Bajor escaped, and was able to deprive us of our gods for a short time. Now, it hopes for a peaceful solution with the Breen. Those thugs live to pillage and plunder whatever they can steal. In that regard, they’re worse than the Cardassians.”

    “Would you prefer to be under Cardassian rule? Is that why Turrell is in on this?”

    “Of course, not. By assassinating Pirak and laying the blame on the Breen, the Federation and the Cardassians will have a pretext for taking more aggressive action.”

    The crew in Ops heard Tahna’s last words. Then Kira’s voice came through when she said, “So that is what this is about. You would kill an advocate of peace in order to justify pre-emptive action against the Breen?”

    “What’s going on?” Ross asked. “Where’s that coming from?”

    “Colonel Kira let herself be captured by the Kohn-Ma,” Nog replied. “We knew you wouldn’t approve of such a dangerous plan.”

    “Damned right I wouldn’t,” Ross snapped. “You’re a Starfleet officer, Lieutenant, so you’ll follow my order to get her the hell out of there.”

    “Sorry, sir, but they’re using a transporter scrambler,” Nog lied.

    “Ask yourself one thing, Tahna,” Kira said through the listening device. “Do you really think the Cardassians will be content to leave Bajor alone once the assassination is carried out?”

    Cardassians? Kira’s inquiry caught Ross’s attention. “Check the long-range sensors,” he snapped. “See if a Cardassian fleet is on its way.”

    Nog stood up and walked towards the long-range sensor station near the port turbolift. The display screen showed a map of the Bajoran system. The display zoomed outward while the Ferengi scanned for Cardassian ships. Four Cardassian Union logos appeared. Numerous circular blips surrounded the logos. “Confirmed, sir,” he reported. “Four Galor-class warships with support vessels. ETA: forty-eight minutes.”

    A Bajoran security deputy walked over to Ro and handed her a PADD. It contained how Ronnick had died. “I have to go,” she said. “Security matter concerning the investigation.”

    “Go ahead,” Cenn replied. “And get some security up here ASAP.”

    Several levels below, Turrell and twelve other Cardassians marched towards the nerve center of what was once Terok Nor. First, they would take over Ops. Then they would secure other facilities and finally, send confirmation to their reinforcements.”

    A Starfleet security guard lowered the forcefield on Solarin’s cell to let Zeyner inside to provide medical treatment. Ro stormed into the cellblock and reactivated the forcefield before confronting the doctor. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she asked.

    “Treating him for his Dalphan’s syndrome,” Zeyner answered.

    “Is that what Ronnick was getting ‘treatment’ for, ‘Doctor’?”

    Solarin felt his stomach, pretending to wince in pain. “I need my meds,” he demanded. “I’m in a lot of pain here.”

    “Shut up!” Ro sneered. He grabbed Zeyner by the left arm and dragged him out to the office.

    “We didn’t find any poison on Solarin,” Ro continued shoving Zeyner onto a chair. “So I asked Tarses to perform a follow-up to your autopsy on Ronnick.

    “He found high levels of tophrazan. In its pure form, it causes gradual death, but diluted, it desensitizes certain pain receptors. Am I correct?”

    “Tophrazan is a controlled substance,” Zeyner added. “But it has been sold on the black market. That Ferengi bartender, Quark… “

    “Nice try,” Ro interrupted. “But Quark is better at covering his tracks. One canister of tophrazan was missing from the Infirmary’s stock. You’re as bad as Cardassian doctors.”

    “You may think I work for the Kohn-Ma,” Zeyner said. “But I’m actually working for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. I was ordered to gather information on the activities of Bajoran splinter groups on the station.”

    “I doubt the medical review board will take that into account when they revoke your license. You can still help us by telling the Kohn-Ma’s plan for Pirak.”

    “Once their original plan was derailed, they decided on a direct approach.”

    Mirt, the Breen delegate strutted down the corridor towards Pirak’s quarters. Only thing was a Breen was not wearing Mirt’s refrigeration suit. One of the Kohn-Ma was moving in for the kill.

    An explosion of sparks filled the front of Ops as the two doors to the right and left of the viewscreen slid open. Turrell and eight of his troops raced in expecting heavy resistance. But the place was empty. Or so they thought. Nog hid behind his station waiting to strike.

    They wouldn’t have surrendered without a fight. Turrell and the others tiptoed slowly. Nog emerged from behind the tactical sensor station and stunned two of the intruders. “The remaining seven began shooting at Nog, but he ducked down.

    Ross and Cenn emerged from behind the science station and phasered two more. The two sides then exchanged phaser fire back and forth, but kept missing.

    Three Bajoran security deputies came out of the commander’s office. Phaser fire was being exchanged behind them inside the office, as the other four troops came in through the office’s side door. The deputies stunned two more Cardassians. The Cardassians fired, stunning two of the deputies. The third still standing dove out of harm’s way behind the engineering station.

    The deputy, Nog, Ross, and Cenn all came at the three remaining Cardassians from different sides and managed to get all of them with their phasers. The intruders in the office had also been defeated. Four Bajoran deputies exited the office to haul the invaders off to security. Bajoran and Starfleet security officers entered from both turbolifts to help out.

    The crew returned to their stations. “Mister Nog,” Cenn asked, “how long until our ships intercept the Cardassian fleet?”

    “Four minutes, sir,” Nog answered. “Those Cardassians won’t get the warm welcome they expected.”
  7. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Interlude: Flashback Four

    Legate Damar had formed the Cardassian Liberation Front to fight the Dominion. He had secured the assistance of Guls Rusot and Seskal. Kira, given a temporary Starfleet commission, joined Damar’s ranks as an advisor in guerilla tactics.

    Rusot had clashed with Kira since her arrival with Odo and Garak. He was the first to reject a proposed attack on the Cardassian outpost on Atarakt Prime. “We are not Bajorans,” Rusot insisted when Kira recalled that she was willing to attack a Cardassian facility that a Bajoran worked in. Damar was persuaded when Kira said that anyone not working with them was working against them.

    Another clash took place when Rusot accused Kira of taking pleasure in the deaths of Cardassians. The petite Bajoran then beat a Cardassian twice her size senseless.

    Rusot supported Dukat’s former right-hand man in his desire to rid the Cardassian Union of the Dominion. No matter how much Damar reiterated Kira’s importance, he could not tolerate listening to an inferior.

    He contacted Revok, who was on Cardassia Prime organizing military units on the homeworld, after that altercation with Kira. “She may be wearing a Starfleet uniform,” Rusot grumbled, “but she’s still a Bajoran. The fact that she works with us as an equal is insulting.”

    “What’s her name again?” Revok asked.

    “Kira Nerys.”

    “Dukat was obsessed with her. We have been the superior race since the opening of diplomatic relations with the Bajorans, yet Dukat still felt he had to win over Kira and his bastard half-breed child.

    “Don’t be afraid to eliminate Kira like Damar took it upon himself to eliminate Dukat’s daughter.”

    “Understood,” said Rusot. “One more thing. Damar will be leading a mission to hijack a Jem’Hadar fighter being fitted with Breen weaponry to turn over to Starfleet.”

    “Outrageous!” Revok exclaimed. “Why in the hell would we want to help them?!”

    “They have the same goals as us, but we cannot put our fate in Starfleet’s hands once the Dominion is defeated.”

    Taking over the bridge of the Jem’Hadar fighter was a simple task. But the Breen energy-dampening weapon was still being installed. Kira decided they had to stay until the installation was complete. Rusot had enough. He pulled a phaser on Kira. Damar and Garak then pulled phasers on him.

    “We can keep the Breen weapon for ourselves,” Rusot stated. “I believe in you, Damar. I know you’re the right man to restore the empire we so loyally served. The empire we loved. Together, we can lead our people to greatness again.”

    Damar then shot and killed Rusot. “He was my friend,” he said, “but his Cardassia is gone and won’t be coming back.”

    Or was it gone? Revok had a surprise waiting for Damar on Cardassia Prime. After a stop at Deep Space 9, Kira, Damar, Garak, and Seskal traveled to the homeworld to meet with Revok, supposedly willing to commit a large mass of troops to Damar’s cause. When Damar beamed down with Kira and Garak, the Jem’Hadar were in the process slaughtering every Cardassian in the encampment. In the distance, Revok was conferring with a Vorta.

    He had betrayed the resistance. After Damar’s willingness to help Starfleet, the loss of Cardassia’s political sovereignty was a small price to pay for conquering instead of being conquered.

    Sensing the people would call for his head, Revok left Cardassia until the war ended. He never saw the Jem’Hadar level almost the whole planet. As far as he was concerned, the Federation Alliance was responsible for the incineration of numerous major cities and for the more than 800 million dead. No one told him otherwise.

    From that day forward, Revok vowed to rid Cardassia of the new occupying forces and kill anyone who stood in his way. His propaganda campaign that the Federation and the Klingon and Romulan Empires wanted Cardassia to pay for the casualties those three powers suffered convinced former True Way compatriots to join his cause.
  8. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Twelve

    Commander’s log, supplemental entry: The[/FONT][FONT=Eras Light ITC] Defiant is on course at Warp 9 back to Cardassia. The Code 7 that Captain Limis sent out means that she is being coerced into helping her captors. We may be headed into an ambush, and I have contacted the provisional government for more information.

    Garak appeared on the viewscreen of the Defiant’s bridge with Vaughn briefing him on the recent development. Vaughn had explained that Limis sent out a code that meant her captors were forcing her cooperation in a major strike they were planning. “We were hoping you or someone in the provisional government could shed some light on this,” he finished.

    “You think very highly of our factionalized government,” Garak replied. “The Intelligence Bureau operates on its own, accountable to no one. They rarely listen even to former members of the Obsidian Order.”

    Bashir stood next to the command chair to offer his persuasive skills when dealing with Garak. “Garak, any information you have could be helpful.”

    “It’s possible, my dear doctor,” Garak said with a sigh. “This is only a rumor based on information from one of our sources. He is not entirely up to speed because of his support of the Reunion Project. Because the Bureau would welcome Ghemor’s assassination, this gentleman has very little need to know.”

    "The repercussions if that ‘rumor’ is true,” Bashir offered, “would be disastrous. The Ghemor name is revered on Cardassia.”

    “You make him sound like a messiah, Doctor. He is merely the embodiment of a people disillusioned with war and aggression. The Dominion War was, as you Terrans say, the final straw. Nevertheless, we will look into this.”

    The image of Garak on the screen was replaced by the UFP seal. Bashir then looked over to Vaughn. “Sir, it’s possible the True Way is using Captain Limis in their assassination plans.”

    Vaughn raised an eyebrow.

    “Think about it,” Bashir continued, “an ex-Maquis involved in an assassination of Ghemor could turn the populace against the Federation.”

    “And if we’re being lured into an ambush,” Vaughn added, “they’d appear to be acting in self defense.” Looking over to the helm, he ordered a course change. “Helm, increase speed to Warp 9.6. I don’t care what the dangers are. Change course to the far side of Cardassia Prime’s first moon.”

    At about the same time he was in communication with the Defiant, Garak received a priority message from the shuttle carrying the Lambda Paz crew. The rumors of an assassination attempt were true. He was on his way to warn Ghemor that one of his own personal guards was going to kill him.

    Corak, the guard on his left, stopped Garak before he could walk through the door to Ghemor’s office. “You cannot go in there,” the guard stated. “He’s in a very important meeting.”

    Odd that one of the guards would deny entry to Ghemor’s chief of staff. Garak nodded at Daro on his right. “What I have to tell him is more important,” he said to the guard in front of him.

    “He really can’t be disturbed,” Corak responded. He pulled out his phaser, shot Daro, and then shot Garak. The guard then pushed a button on the wall panel to lock the door.

    The Defiant quickly dropped out of warp, as it got closer to the runaway Cardassian shuttle. Once it slowed to impulse, Vaughn signaled for Rashid to beam the Lambda Paz crewmembers aboard. Once that was done, the Defiant streaked back into warp.

    The senior staff then convened at the situation areas at the aft of the bridge. “This is the plan,” Vaughn announced. “We will enter orbit on the far side of the first moon of Cardassia Prime. Once there, we’ll launch two shuttles. I’ll lead Team 1 to the True Way encampment. Dax, you and the MACO’s will try to get Ghemor out of danger.”

    Fitzpatrick wondered what might go wrong. The True Way knew the Defiant was in orbit despite trying to keep the mission secret. They could even see through the cloak. Someone had to be tipping the enemy off. He looked at Bashir saying, “Recommend you don’t let… him have free reign of the ship.”

    Bashir let out an annoyed sigh. “We’ve been over this,” he said. “I am not Hamri al-Assad.”

    “The fact that you vehemently defend the man suggests you could be him,” Fitzpatrick stated. “You were a terrorist once. You probably sympathize with these people.”

    “Don’t make me throw my chief of security in the brig,” Vaughn warned.

    “Fine,” Fitzpatrick relented. He then gave Bashir a stern look. “But I’m not letting you out of my sight.”

    “What is this about, anyway?” Rashid whispered to Bashir. “Neeley says he has trust issues, but he doesn’t suspect me of anything.”

    “Because you don’t resemble a notorious 21st Century terrorist,” Bashir suggested, “and because you’re not genetically engineered.”

    “We’re in orbit, Commander,” Tenmei reported from the helm.

    Vaughn sauntered over to the helm for a quick heart-to-heart with his daughter. “You’re in command, Prynn,” he said. “If you don’t hear from us in twelve hours, return to DS9.”

    “You can’t be serious,” Prynn replied. “I may have given you the silent treatment since you came aboard, but I can’t ask you to do this.”

    “As a Starfleet officer, you have an obligation to carry out my orders. Hopefully that is not an order you’ll have to follow.”

    Prynn vacated her station. She took a momentary look at the command chair to take in the rare opportunity of command. She sat down and smiled, forgetting she may have seen her father for the last time.

    Corak met with a freight deliverer in the main cargo bay. Torim showed Corak a briefcase containing the weapon Revok wanted used on Ghemor. Torim placed it on a cargo container and opened it. “It’s been specially designed to avoid triggering the security alarm,” he said.

    “Good,” said Corak. He grabbed the rifle and bolted for the door.

    Garak and Daro woke up in a holding room. Garak walked towards the door and tried using his security code to unlock the door. “Of course not,” he mumbled when the door wouldn’t open. “He wouldn’t overlook something so obvious.”

    “He could have carried out the assassination,” Daro suggested.

    “No, we cannot afford to think like that,” Garak replied, trying to pry the door panel off. “I used to interrogate prisoners in a room like this. The best we can hope for is that Corak did not take that into account when locking us in here.”

    Garak was easily able to remove the panel. He moved his right hand around inside of the mechanism. The lock came unlatched when he yanked a cord. The door slid open a crack. Garak put fingers through and pushed the door open. He and Daro tried to step through the door, but a forcefield stopped them.

    “Here’s to Cardassian ingenuity,” Garak quipped.

    Ezri and her team, also consisting of Neeley and four other MACO’s, materialized in the main lobby of the government headquarter. Ezri didn’t know what made her more apprehensive, preventing an assassination or the seven foot tall Brikar on the team. She remembered-- or more accurately, Jadzia remembered-- that Worf said one of his Starfleet Academy classmates was a Brikar. Both were notoriously stubborn individuals belonging to races of formidable warriors.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    She also found Neeley just as intimidating dwarfing the petite Trill by close to a foot. The MACO leader was someone Jadzia knew very well and a complete stranger at the same time. Neely, on the other hand, wasn’t too sure about taking orders from someone who was both a child and over three centuries old.

    A short portly young man occupied the receptionist desk. After taking a sip of red-leaf tea, he nonchalantly asked, “May I help you?”

    “We need to see the Castellan right away,” Ezri stated.

    “He’s in a really important meeting,” Arnin replied. “He can’t spare any time to meet with some science fiction fan club.”

    “He may be in danger from one of his personal guards,” said Neeley.

    “How do I know one of you is not one of the assassins?” Arnin asked.

    “I was here before,” Neeley attempted. “I can vouch for these people.”

    “You two lovely ladies can check in on him,” Arnin relented. “But the other four stay, especially the Brikar.”

    Neeley looked over at the Brikar soldier. “Don’t take it personally, Mik. I once found your size intimidating.”

    “Why did I volunteer for this mission to begin with?” Mik asked with a sigh.

    “And you have to leave your weapons behind,” Arnin added.

    Confronting the assassin would be difficult without weapons, but Dax and Neeley reluctantly surrendered their hand phasers and their rifles.

    Corak returned to Ghemor’s office right in the middle of his cabinet meeting. As a personal guard, hew as one of those who could walk in without knocking. Little did Ghemor know was that this guard would lead him to his demise. “Castellan,” said Corak. “I’ve received word that there is an explosive in this room.”

    “All right, everyone out,” Ghemor commanded of the two subordinate castella.

    The two cabinet members walked through the door and headed straight down the corridor. They were too concerned with retreating to safety to notice the two Starfleet officers.

    Dax scanned with her tricorder. “I’m not detecting any explosives,” she said. “At least none that register on the tricorder.”

    Ghemor, then Corak brought up the rear. Dax and Neeley crept into an adjacent room as the two Cardassians walked by. Corak appeared to be waiting until the cabinet members turned at an adjoining corridor. Corak slowly raised his rifle.

    Ghemor suddenly sensed that Corak was no longer close behind. And where was Daro for that matter? “Something wrong?” he asked turning around.

    Neeley lunged towards Corak shoving towards the wall. Ezri, drawing on Jadzia and Curzon’s knowledge of Klingon martial arts karate chopped Corak’s right shoulder with her left hand and kicked the rifle out of his hands.

    Ezri jumped away from Corak when he began waving a knife at her. She maintained a martial arts stance, but didn’t know what to do when the huge Cardassian lunged towards her. She used her left arm to try to protect herself from the knife. Neeley grabbed Corak’s arm with both hands, pulled him away from Ezri, then delivered a right hook to his jaw.

    Corak then came at both women with the knife, but a Cardassian phaser beam vaporized him. Garak had appeared at the end of the corridor.

    Neeley and Dax let out a sigh of relief that Garak came to the rescue in time. Neeley applied a dermal regenerator to the knife wound on Ezri’s left forearm and whispered, “When you throw a left chop, you should put all your weight on the right leg.”

    “I used to be right-handed,” Dax replied. “Or rather, Jadzia was right-handed.”

    Garak, meanwhile, walked over to Ghemor. “Are you all right, Castellan?”

    “I am unharmed,” Ghemor answered. “What just happened?”

    “He would have killed you, sir.”

    “Lucky we were here,” Neeley said, looking over at Ghemor.

    “As I’ve repeatedly told Julian… ” Garak insisted.

    “Cardassians don’t believe in luck,” Ezri finished. She rolled her eyes at that notion considering she and Lisa were lucky that Garak appeared when he did.
  9. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Thirteen

    Revok watched a visual feed of Corak’s activities through a homing device from his quarters. The two Starfleet officers attacking elicited Revok to walk closer to the wall-mounted monitor. Who were they and how did they get there? Someone had to have tipped them off.

    Vaughn’s team materialized in an underground tunnel below the True Way compound. Accompanying the commander were Bashir, Rashid, and three security officers including Fitzpatrick. All were armed with phaser rifles and their left arms were fitted with emergency transporter armbands to alert the shuttle’s transporter more quickly.

    Bashir and Rashid opened their tricorders to look at the compound’s schematics. “I’m reading one Bajoran and one human on the fifth level,” Bashir reported.

    All six team members threw themselves against the wall when two phasers were fired in their direction. Two Cardassian civilians were firing. Vaughn and Fitzpatrick fired back, stunning both.

    Hadar visited Limis in his cell. The gul was accompanied by two guards. “Put your hands in front of you,” he instructed. “We’re moving you for further questioning.”

    Limis did as she was told. Before Hadar could put a set of restraints on her wrists, Revok stormed into the cell, grabbed Limis by the throat, and shoved her against the back wall. “You let someone know about the assassination, didn’t you?”

    “I’ve been in here the whole time,” Limis insisted.

    “I freed the hostages,” Hadar said. “They sent out an alert of the assassination attempt.”

    “You?” Revok growled. He let go of Limis to face Hadar. “I should have known you would try a stunt like this.”

    “I support the Directorate, but I could not allow this assassination to happen,” Hadar explained.

    Without a word, Revok pulled out his phaser and fired, vaporizing Hadar. He then turned around to point his phaser at Limis. “You will die here as well,” he said.

    The two guards were incapacitated by phaser fire. Morrison came into the cell pointing a Cardassian phaser at Revok. “Drop it,” he said.

    Revok dropped the phaser. “Now,” said Morrison,” put your hands on your head and interlace your fingers.”

    Revok did as instructed. “Try and escape if you wish,” he said. “You won’t get out of this building alive.”

    “I thought Hadar freed all the hostages,” Limis said, picking up Revok’s phaser before they left the cell.

    “I stayed behind to break you out,” Morrison explained. He pushed three buttons on the door panel to close and lock the cell door.

    Two more guards started shooting at them. Limis and Morrison fired to phasers at the guards knocking them out.

    A security alarm sounded getting everyone’s attention. The two escaped captives raced down the corridor to evade the soldiers.

    Vaughn’s team made its way into the compound when hearing the alarm. “I’ve lost the sensor lock,” Rashid reported. “Probably some jamming device.”

    “Pan out,” Vaughn commanded. “We have a better chance of finding them if we split up.”

    Bashir began to pair with Rashid, but Fitzpatrick stepped between them. “He’s with me,” he told Rashid. “I want to make sure he doesn’t try anything.”

    “If you say so,” Vaughn sighed. “Rashid, you’re with me.”

    For a man of over a hundred, Vaughn still could run fast. He quickly jumped out of the way of phaser fire. Three Cardassians were shooting at him. Two shots from his rifle failed to incapacitate anyone.

    Rashid fired his hand phaser stunning two of them. Vaughn fired at the one still left standing.

    Limis and Morrison, meanwhile, were pinned down by phaser fire from two sides. They tried to no avail firing back. The situation was hopeless. Sooner or later, someone would be hit. Being outnumbered, the odds were not in their favor. “In case we don’t get out of this, Morrison,” Limis declared. “I want you to know… “

    Suddenly, the guards Limis was shooting at were no longer firing. Vaughn and Rashid took them out. That distracted the guards Morrison was shooting at long enough for him and Limis to stun all three.

    Vaughn walked towards the escapees while Rashid raced off in the opposite direction. “We need to get out of here quickly,” Vaughn said, removing an extra combadge from the inside of his uniform sleeve. He turned to see Rashid gone. “Vaughn to Rashid,” he said tapping his own combadge. No answer.

    “I think I saw him take off the way you came,” said Limis.

    “We have a shuttle in orbit,” Vaughn said, handing Limis his spare combadge. “I want the two of you beam aboard it.” He placed his combadge back on his uniform and tapped it. “Vaughn to all team members. Rashid has gone missing."

    Limis tapped the combadge signaling the shuttle transporter to beam her and Limis aboard.

    Rashid did not slow down as he threw his combadge off. He arrived at the entrance to a heavily guarded room. He fired his phaser at the guards while running back and forth across the corridor.

    He stunned five in all. Rashid kneeled down next to one of the unconscious guards, and then pushed a button on the guard’s wrist communicator to open the door to the reactor room.

    Down the hallway, Bashir and Fitzpatrick were out looking for Rashid. “So far, so good,” Bashir sarcastically remarked. “Nothing has gone horribly wrong.”

    “Yet,” Fitzpatrick corrected.

    They passed the reactor room, and Bashir saw Rashid placing an explosive on the reactor. “Aiman, what the hell are you doing?” Julian asked.

    He turned around pointing his phaser at both his colleagues. “You’re trying to blow up the reactor,” Fitzpatrick observed. “Why?”

    “The reason is obvious,” Rashid answered. He sounded different. He was now speaking with a Middle East accent. “I intend to knock out the power in this building.”

    “You work for one of the rival factions,” Bashir guessed.

    “Actually, a secret branch of Starfleet you are familiar with, Julian,” Rashid corrected.

    “Section 31. You’re here to make sure the True Way doesn’t win out.”

    “We need a Cardassian government that is non-hostile.”

    “Surely you’re aware of the consequences of the Federation provoking a civil war.”

    “They’ll never know we were involved.” Rashid chained himself to the explosive. Bashir grabbed Fitzpatrick and they got out just seconds before the explosion.
  10. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Fourteen

    “Julian, can you hear me?”

    Bashir awoke to see Ezri kneeling over him and shining a flashlight in his face after applying a hypospray. Vaughn was also standing over him.

    Neeley was also present, applying a hypospray to Fitzpatrick’s neck. He woke up, looked at Neeley, and then looked at Bashir. “You saved my life, Julian,” he said.

    “I suppose I did,” Julian replied.

    “It was still stupid.”

    “The genetic enhancements to my reflexes got us out of there alive.”

    How was that for irony? Bashir’s genetic status aroused Fitzpatrick’s suspicions, but it saved his life as well.

    “We stopped the assassination,” Ezri told them. “Starfleet security will be part of Ghemor’s guard for awhile.”

    “Including Mik Tarnin,” Neeley added. “The receptionist will just have to get used to that.”

    “The question is whether the Cardassian people will welcome alien peacekeepers,” said Vaughn, “The Federation Council hoped to avoid sending Starfleet troops as a peacekeeping force. That would encourage terrorist propaganda, but the Council may reconsider their decision.”

    Security officers standing watch outside Cargo Bay 14 got an all-clear signal from Ops. They forced open the double doors calling the attention of Kira and her captors. Tahna grabbed Kira by one arm and held a phaser to her head. “Back off, or she dies,” he demanded.

    Kira elbowed Tahna in the stomach with her free arm. He lost his grip, and Kira then slugged him in the face. Tahna lunged towards the transporter controls. The external door opened sucking air out into space. Kira and the security guards held their breaths and grabbed something secure. Tahna and his compatriot let themselves get blown out into space. Kira was then able to gather her bearings and shut the door.

    Ambassador Pirak sorted through communiqués from his government when the assassin disguised as Mirt entered. He was not expecting a visit from the Breen. “This is unexpected,” he said. “What can I do for you?”

    The assassin slowly raised his phaser. Pirak noticed and began to contemplate his immediate fate. Ro then stormed into the room, grabbed the assassin from behind, and shoved him to the floor.

    Ro removed the helmet to reveal a Bajoran, not a Breen, inside. Two Bajoran deputies entered and lifted up the would-be assassin to haul him off to security.

    Kira then walked into the room to see Pirak wanting answers. “What just happened?” he demanded.

    “He is a member of the Kohn-Ma, a xenophobic Bajoran splinter group,” Kira explained. “They’ve become skeptical of the Federation presence in recent years, especially with critical negotiations with the Breen.”

    “They were hoping to create a situation that would convince the Federation to take pre-emptive action against the Breen,” Ro added.

    “And the Kohn-Ma would kill me to achieve their goals?” Pirak asked. “What was Turrell’s role?”

    “He led a team to seize the station,” Ro replied. “He used this situation as an attempt to place it back under Cardassian control.”

    “Hardly seems logical,” said Pirak. “War has cost my people too much. And a large majority of Bajor’s populace welcomes eventual Federation membership.”

    “Extremists rarely act rationally,” Kira said before looking down at Tahna’s earring in her right hand. She hated what Tahna had become since the end of the Occupation. She still grieved for him, as they had been through plenty together as friends rather than as enemies.
  11. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Fifteen

    The Defiant’s return trip to Deep Space 9 was uneventful. Fitzpatrick made an effort to try and reconcile with Bashir, but he couldn’t get over thinking how he put an irreversible strain on their friendship. His reconciliation with Neeley had better results. He even contemplated a transfer to Neeley’s next assignment, wherever that would be. Normally, Raul, or any other officer, would not base his transfer requests on personal reasons. But he couldn’t imagine looking at Julian the same way knowing how quick to judge he had been. And after seeing what had taken place on Cardassia, he had hoped for an opportunity to join Starfleet’s peacekeeping mission.

    Vaughn contacted Starfleet Command about Rashid. Because Section 31 was involved, the information he received was very limited. What little information he received, he presented at a debriefing in the station’s wardroom.

    “The real Aiman al-Rashid was serving aboard the Indefatigable when it was destroyed,” Vaughn told the Defiant’s senior staff, along with Kira and Ro. “He was not found among the survivors, so he had been declared missing and presumed dead. Even old friends at Intelligence were very tight lipped."

    “It’s possible Section 31 falsified the records to show Rashid had eventually been rescued,” Fitzpatrick added.

    “So who was on the station the last six months?” Kira asked.

    “I did a DNA analysis of the remains,” Bashir answered. “He was actually over 350 years old. He was one of many Middle East terrorists placed in suspended animation early in the 21st Century.”

    “Wouldn’t being in stasis have slowed his aging process?” Ezri asked.

    “Only by slowing metabolism and vital functions,” Bashir explained. “The accumulation of telemeters allows us to determine chronological age even if the subject was in suspended animation for centuries.”

    “One thing I don’t understand,” Ro said, “he rigged the transporter to send Captain Limis to a True Way compound. And he directly supervised the modification to the faulty EPS lines.”

    “Part of his mission may have involved posing as a True Way mole,” Fitzpatrick offered. “The transport log showed he simultaneously beamed a homing device into the compound.”

    “And perhaps Section 31 had an interest in the conference here on the station,” Kira added. “They could have been just as in the dark about what Turrell was planning.”

    “The Breen ambassador?” Bashir asked.

    “Dead,” Kira answered with a deadpan expression, “probably to create the appearance of a murder-suicide.”

    “This would have been an opportunity to see what the Breen look like under those refrigeration suits,” Bashir mused. “That’s if the ambassador’s chief of staff had not vaporized the body.”

    “Then one of the Cardassians is also in league with Section 31,” said Ro, “if who we thought was Rashid was getting periodic instructions.”

    Everyone looked at one another while contemplating possible suspects. But who? Bashir then blurted, “Garak?” Suspected of being a spy for his people while residing on the station, an affiliation with Section 31 was a strong possibility.

    Revok confronted an unseen colleague in an underground cave. He was again forced into hiding when troops loyal to Ghemor stormed the compound. Not only had his plan failed, but also the government had the means to take down the entire terrorist network. “Everything has failed,” Revok railed, “thanks to that Starfleet double agent. All of us are vulnerable now.”

    “The whole operation was poorly managed from the start,” the colleague replied.

    “You didn’t think so when we took the hostages,” Revok insisted.

    “If you had taken the captain when you destroyed the Lambda Paz, then the Starfleet operative would have been in no position to carry out his mission.”

    Revok did not care for his demeaning tone. Even in the darkness, the other man’s face was too pale to be that of a Cardassian. His race was notorious for bullying Cardassians during their military alliance.

    “Nevertheless,” the Vorta continued, emerging into the light, “our long-term plans for the Alpha Quadrant have not been completely derailed.”

  12. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Coming this summer: the sequel to Star Trek: War Aftermath Episode 1, The True Way, Episode 2, Omega.

    A century before the Dominion War, the Ku'Vok-leth (The Honor Brigade) was a prominent military faction within the Klingon Empire. When the Empire and the Federation made peace, the Ku'Vok-leth became far less influential. Following the Dominion War, the Klingon High Council began turning a blind eye to the actions of the Ku'Vok-leth. Now, this anti-Federation group plans on using one of the biggest scientific discoveries, a single particle capable of destroying subspace, as a weapon. Retired Starfleet captain Benjamin Sisko must reunite with his former colleagues to stop these Klingon radicals before they can cut off a strategically important star system from the Federation forever. But this conspiracy turns out to be more than just a simple act of terrorism, as Section 31, the Romulan Star Empire, and the Dominion have a vested interest in the events of the next few days.

    Changes since the last story:
    * With Bajor now part of the Federation, the Bajoran Militia was absored into Starfleet. Kira and Ro are now Starfleet officers.
    * Benjamin Sisko has returned from the Prophets' timeless realm and is now on indefinite leave from Starfleet, living on Bajor with Kasidy, Jake, and two-year old daughter Rebecca.
    * Elias Vaughn, now sharing the duties of Defiant CO with Kira, finds the more mundane duties as first officer of a space station harder to ignore and has put in for a berth on one of the Luna-class ships bound for the Beta and Gamma Quadrants.
    * Nog is the station's chief of operations.
    * Recent intelligence reveals that the Romulans may be providing support to the True Way on Cardassia, now led by a government-in-exile.
    * The events leading to the death of Senator Vreenak are a source of great debate in the Romulan Star Empire, which has led to renewed hostilities between the Federation and the Romulans.
  13. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Just checked this out.

    Liked all the references to 24. Julian Bashir's a fan of Jack Bauer! your fanfic universe, it's part of the actual timeline, then? :)
  14. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Star Trek: War Aftermath
    Episode 2: Omega

    Summary: A century before the Dominion War, the Ku'Vok-leth (The Honor Brigade) was a prominent military faction within the Klingon Empire. When the Empire and the Federation made peace, the Ku'Vok-leth became far less influential.

    Following the Dominion War, the Klingon High Council began turning a blind eye to the actions of the Ku'Vok-leth. Now, this anti-Federation group plans on using one of the biggest scientific discoveries, a single particle capable of destroying subspace, as a weapon.

    Retired Starfleet captain Benjamin Sisko must reunite with his former colleagues to stop these Klingon radicals before they can cut off a strategically important star system from the Federation forever. But this conspiracy turns out to be more than just a simple act of terrorism, as Section 31, the Romulan Star Empire, and the Dominion have a vested interest in the events of the next few days.


    The Narendra System: Near the Klingon-Romulan border

    An explosion sent blinding shockwaves through space. It had the appearance of a celestial body ripping apart as when Praxis was destroyed as a result of over-mining. The ripple effect caught the attention of a passing vessel.

    Leskit, the grizzly gray-haired helmsman of the IKS Gorkon, was at his station on the bridge when an alarm sounded on the navigation monitor. “Commander,” he called to the young first officer Toq. “I’m picking up subspace shockwaves from the Narendra system.”

    Toq, who was rather short by Klingon standards, marched to the station on the starboard side of the bridge. He knew what those readings meant from his Defense Force training. The destruction of Praxis nearly a century ago sent shockwaves all the way to Federation border. “Subspace shockwaves,” he observed aloud.

    “Yes, sir,” Leskit replied. “I’m attempting to localize the source on long range sensors.”

    “Set a course once you get a fix,” Toq commanded. “Captain Klag to the bridge.”

    The captain of the Gorkon stepped onto the bridge from the large double door aft within a minute of the summons. He joined Toq and Leskit at the helm. “Report,” Klag called out in his gruff voice.

    “Unusual subspace shockwaves have been detected somewhere in the Narendra system,” Toq replied.

    “We’re on course now,” Leskit added. “Estimated arrival time, fifteen minutes.”

    “That heading takes us dangerously close to the Romulan border,” Klag thought aloud. “Weapons officer, ready all tactical systems.”

    “Yes, sir,” weapons officer Rodek answered. His raspy voice sounded eerily familiar to Klag. Perhaps Rodek was a member of the House of Martok. Klag just wasn’t entirely sure.

    The Gorkon streaked through space at high warp towards the Narendra system. Almost without warning, the large attack cruiser fell out of warp. The bridge rocked violently as the transition from warp to impulse was almost instantaneous. All the officers and crew fell out of their seats and were thrown across the bridge. Klag gathered himself and walked back to his chair once the shaking stopped. What in the name of Grethor just happened?” he demanded.

    Leskit paced quickly back to his station. “We have dropped out of warp, sir,” he replied.

    “Bridge to engineering,” Klag shouted over the comm. “Why have we fallen out of warp?”

    “Something just collapsed the warp field,” Kurak, a middle-aged female chief engineer replied. “I can’t explain it.”

    Klag had an idea why his ships suddenly fell out of warp. That reason he could not reveal to his crew, however. “Leskit,” he said. “Open a secure channel to Chancellor Martok. In my private chambers.”

    USS Excalibur, Sector 221-G: Near the Romulan Neutral Zone

    For nearly five years, the Galaxy-class USS Excalibur and her Ambassador-class predecessor had been assigned to the former location of the reclusive Thallonian Empire. Ever since that empire fell, the entire sector had been in disarray.

    The Excalibur had just been outfitted with new astrometric sensor technology that the USS Voyager brought home after that ship’s seven-year exile in the Delta Quadrant. The Voyager, itself, had been stripped of all alien technology it had acquired. The Excalibur was the beneficiary of that technology, on the other hand, while exploring a relatively unexplored area of space. Lieutenants Robin Lefler and Soleta were assigned to test the new sensor technology in the stellar cartography lab. The two officers were perched atop the end of a balcony overlooking a holographic star field that filled two decks.

    “Conventional long-range sensors don’t give us this much detail,” Lefler observed of the various astronomical phenomena taking place in adjacent sectors. “We can even sneak a peek at the Neutral Zone.”

    “This is a test run, Lieutenant,” Soleta replied with her Vulcan stoicism. “We are not supposed to be spying on the Romulans.”

    Robin grinned, while also rolling her eyes. “If the Romulans aren’t scheming against us, they have nothing to worry about,” she quipped.

    The star map display suddenly went blank. Lefler attempted to restore the image. All that appeared on her console’s readout was the Greek letter omega. “Strange,” she said. “This is all that’s coming up.”

    “Which one of your ‘laws’ can solve this conundrum?” Soleta asked, in reference to the famous Lefler’s Laws that Robin’s crewmates on both Excaliburs and the Enterprise-D became familiar with.

    “I’ve got nothing,” Lefler retorted. She then tapped her combadge to hail the bridge. “Lefler to bridge, we’re having a problem in stellar cartography.”

    “We’re also locked out of all systems up here,” replied first officer Burgoyne 172, a member of the hermaphroditic Hermat species. S/he was looking over readouts of the tactical station manned by the Brikar Zak Kebron. “Bridge to Captain Calhoun.”

    “I’m way ahead of you, Commander,” Mackenzie Calhoun, the Xenexian Starfleet captain replied, stepping off the aft port turbolift. He entered a few commands into the Mission Ops station, restoring all bridge functions. “Transfer all sensor data for the last ten minutes to the ready room,” he continued. “Helm, and take us to a full stop and disengage engines. You are not to discuss with the rest of the crew.”

    The officer at conn carried out the captain’s order. The rest of the bridge crew looked up from their stations shooting befuddled stares at one another. “You heard him,” Burgoyne announced to all of them. “We keep whatever this is about quiet.”

    Calhoun entered the ready room and ordered the doors sealed. “No entry without my authorization,” he added. Sitting behind the desk, he then told the computer,, “Access secure data file Omega-one.”

    “Voice print confirmed,” the computer replied. “State clearance code.”

    His purple eyes, a distinguishing feature of Xenexians, gleaned at the monitor. “Calhoun alpha six seven, Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. Clearance-level ten.”

    Sensors have detected the Omega phenomenon five light years from this vessel,” the computer reported. “Please implement the Omega Directive. All other priorities are rescinded.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  15. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter One

    Federation Starbase Deep Space Nine, Bajoran Sector

    Commander Elias Vaughn stood at the main console of the operations center overseeing routine daily activities. All day long, he had been getting updates from all departments on the security arrangements in preparation for the arrivals of Chancellor Martok and Ambassador Worf. Visiting heads of state and major diplomats usually required special arrangements. Vaughn knew that from his more than eighty years in Starfleet. But now he was actually missing something as mundane as departing freighters’ cargo manifests.

    Vaughn was hoping Lieutenant Ro Laren was stepping off the portside turbolift to tell him that Quark was attempting to smuggle in contraband. “Commander,” the Bajoran chief of security called, “we’re still having some trouble with the surveillance monitors in level four, section seven of the habitat ring.”

    “I’ll get someone on it, Lieutenant,” Nog offered from the primary engineering station.

    “I thought we had new motion sensors put in last month,” said Ezri Dax, who was at a side panel of the main console.

    “We did place an order last month,” Prynn Tenmei explained, who was manning the science station. It was an odd sight to everyone in Ops since her specialties were engineering and ship piloting. Of course, no permanent replacement for Thirishar ch’Tane had been found after he went on indefinite leave of absence because of familial commitments.

    “But the sector quartermaster decided that the Free Haven colony was a higher priority,” Ro finished.

    “Lieutenants Ro and Nog,” Vaughn replied, “do what you can.”

    Ro headed back to the turbolift. Vaughn sighed and rolled his eyes. He looked to his daughter Prynn muttering, “If I’m still doing this a year from now, shoot me.”

    Tenmei briefly entertained that thought. Their relationship had been less than cordial in the last decade after a series of events that culminated in the death of Prynn’s mother.
    Vaughn, on the other hand, had become increasingly bored with the more menial duties of a first officer. On the cusp of retiring two years earlier, Vaughn felt reborn after an Orb experience. His assignment to Deep Space 9 at that time included commanding the Defiant on a long exploratory mission to the Gamma Quadrant. That post-captaincy was short-lived when Bajor was admitted into Federation, giving Kira Nerys a permanent Starfleet commission. Those missions were now divided between Vaughn and the newly minted Captain Kira. His requests for a transfer to one of the new explorer ships had not yet come through. For now, all he could do was muddle through the boredom.


    One thing Benjamin Sisko did not miss about Jake’s early childhood was having to chase him down to make sure he did not wander somewhere dangerous. He was now twenty years older and having to keep his two-year old daughter Rebecca out of harm’s way.

    Little Rebecca ran towards the stove where two pots filled with boiling liquid were perched. She was reaching towards the edge of the stove with her little hands when Ben whisked her off the floor.

    “No, no, no,” Ben murmured gently. “What have I told you about staying out of the kitchen when Daddy’s cooking?”

    The elder Sisko carried his daughter into the living room. “Jake,” he called to his son in the study. “If you’re still having writer’s block, you mind keeping an eye on your sister?”

    Jake threw the padd he was staring at blankly onto the desk and walked over to his father. Benjamin handed Rebecca off to Jake. “I hope I’m not getting too old for this,” he mused.

    “You still have a few good years left,” Jake retorted.

    That his firstborn was now an adult certainly reminded Benjamin of how old he was getting. Looking at Jake was like looking at a younger mirror image of himself, now that his son also had a shaved head and a goatee.

    The chirp of the desk monitor caught Benjamin’s attention. He walked into the study to see “Message for Benjamin Sisko from Deep Space Nine” blinking in read letters on the screen. For nearly tow years, he had been on an indefinite leave of absence to devote time to his new family. Now his former colleagues were summoning him back, and he was not sure how to react.

    Sisko then pushed a button deleting the incoming message. “Who was that, Dad?” Jake asked from the living room.

    “No one important,” Benjamin lied.

    Nimbus III: The Tri-Border Region

    Once designated the Planet of Galactic Peace, Nimbus Three quickly descended into anarchy. The basic premise behind the colony was sound when it was founded over a century ago, but humans, Klingons, and Romulans residing on the same planet proved to be a disaster waiting to happen. And even after the colony was disbanded, the planet still remained a center for various interstellar smuggling operations.

    One such smuggling operation was about to take place at a loading dock where a freight shuttle was landing. Kur’Tok, a Klingon civilian engineer, stormed towards the shuttle’s side entrance where a Romulan soldier stepped off. “What took you so long?” the hulking Klingon demanded.

    “You’d best watch your tone, Klingon,” replied Lurnak, who was a full head shorter than Kur’Tok. “I couldn’t just hand the cargo off to anyone. And my superiors are starting to become suspicious.”

    “That does not concern me, peta’Q,” Kur’Tok hissed with a murderous rage in his eyes.

    “It should. My delays are your delays. Nevertheless, I have the boronite in the cargo hold.”

    “If you are lying…”

    “I know better than to cross a veruul such as you. You’d do both of us a favor by learning patience, especially when dealing with the Omega molecule. Just one unstable Omega molecule can destroy subspace across an entire solar system.”

    Kur’Tok growled, looking the Romulan in both eyes before storming into the shuttle.

    Inside the shuttle’s cockpit, Lurnak’s co-pilot Murot was anxiously awaiting a response to a hailing message he sent. He was constantly looking over his shoulder to make sure Lurnak did not walk in during his communiqué.

    Murot became startled when Commander Donatra appeared. “Yes, Murot?” she asked with her charming smile.

    “The cargo is being off-loaded as we speak, Commander,” Murot whispered.

    “Excellent,” the youthful Donatra responded. “I have another assignment for you.”

    Murot looked over his shoulder again to see that no one was watching. “I’m listening,” he said.

    “I need you to continue keeping a close eye on Commander Suran,” Donatra instructed, referring to her one time mentor. Since the end of the Dominion War, Donatra began to see Suran as an overly ambitious soldier whose aspirations could have destructive ramifications across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.
  16. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Two

    Captain Kira Nerys sat behind the desk sipping a raktajino. She could not get used to the absence of the baseball. For seven years, Sisko had a baseball perched on the desk during his tenure as Deep Space Nine’s commanding officer. Whenever he was off the station for extended periods, the baseball indicated that he would return eventually return. While Kira had come to fully embrace her role as CO in the last two years, not seeing the baseball on the desk made her wonder if Sisko would ever return to Starfleet.

    Kira turned her attention back to reports of her senior officers on the desk monitor when the comm chimed. “Ops to Captain Kira,” Dax called. “Incoming message from Starfleet Command on a Code 47 frequency.”

    “I’ll take it in here,” Kira replied.

    The United Federation of Planets logo appeared on the monitor screen. “This is a Code 47 transmission,” the computer stated. “It is not to be discussed with fellow officers unless deemed absolutely necessary. There will be no record of said transmission.”

    “Understood. On the monitor.”

    Vice-Admiral William Ross appeared on the screen with his usual calm, but stern demeanor. “Captain, how long before Chancellor Martok and Ambassador Worf arrive?”

    “Twelve hours, sir,” Kira replied.

    “What about Captain Sisko?”

    “No word from him. You mind my asking why he’s being called back into service after two years?”

    “The chancellor and the ambassador specifically requested to meet with him regarding a very sensitive issue that’s on a need-to-know basis with your senior staff. As far as they’re concerned, those two are at the station to exchange diplomats with Bajor.”

    Kira took another sip of coffee before setting the mug far aside. “I’m listening,” she said to Ross.

    “Three weeks ago,” Ross replied, “the IKS Gorkon and the USS Excalibur encountered destabilizations of the Omega molecule in two different regions near the Romulan border. Warp travel is now impossible in those star systems. Both our intelligence agencies believe these instances are a harbinger to a greater Omega detonation.”

    “But if the Romulans are hoping to wage war using Omega, wouldn’t that hurt them as much as it would hurt us.”

    “That’s why Martok believes some rogue organization is largely involved. He has a lead, which he believes Sisko is the best candidate to follow up on.”

    “Then I’ll try again to get in touch with the captain.”

    “Good luck with that. Starfleet out.”

    Once Ross’s face was replaced by the UFP seal, Kira then prepared another transmission. “Computer, open a priority one communiqué to Benjamin Sisko on Bajor.”

    Kasidy Yates Sisko arrived at her family’s residence after a week of running freight throughout the sector. She got that urge to lie down on the sofa and go to sleep for several hours. Her maternal instincts kicked when she heard little footsteps stomping on the floor.

    “Ma-ma!!!” Rebecca called out, running towards the door.

    Kasidy whisked her daughter off the floor. “Hi, sweetie,” she replied. “Mommy’s home.”

    Benjamin and Jake were close behind the excited little girl. Benjamin offered to take his wife’s duffel bag off her left shoulder. “Don’t worry about getting this child off me,” Kasidy quipped. To Rebecca, she said, “You’re sure getting heavy.”

    “I’ve got a surprise for dinner,” Ben told her after they shared a kiss.

    “That can wait,” Kasidy shot back, handing off their daughter. “I can’t think about food right now.”

    Kasidy trudged into the study, as she was too tired to walk all the way up the stairs. She sat down on the sofa when she quickly saw the desk monitor blinking. In big red letters, the words, “Incoming message from Deep Space 9 for Benjamin Sisko “ flashed on the screen.

    “Ben, have you seen this message yet?” she asked.

    Benjamin walked into the study to see the same thing his wife saw. “Can’t blame Kira for her persistence,” he mused “But I should let her know I’m finished with Starfleet.”

    Those words caught Jake by surprise, so he joined the rest of the family in the study. “Dad, you’re on extended leave of absence,” he said. “You didn’t resign.”

    Benjamin sighed. He sat down next to Kasidy with Rebecca in tow. “I knew this day would come eventually,” he said. “I never realized that part of my life was behind me until they were summoning me back.”

    “But why, Ben?” Kasidy demanded. “Whenever you left on a mission, I would worry that I was seeing you alive for the last time. But that was your career and your life. What’s happened in the last two years?”

    “The Dominion War happened,” Benjamin replied. “And I constantly had to choose between my role as a Starfleet officer and that of the Emissary.

    “When I was with the Prophets, I saw how much of a role I had to play in Bajor’s destiny. And maybe Admiral Ross was right that I couldn’t be both. Jadzia died because I ignored the Prophets’ warning not to walk a different path.”

    “That’s not fair Dad,” Jake interjected. “You could’ve been on the station and it still would have happened.”

    Like everyone serving in Starfleet at the time of the war lost many friends. Jadzia’s death still haunted Benjamin. He had returned the Prophets to Bajor, and the Dax symbiont lived on in Ezri, yet he still felt that one death could have been averted.

    He welcomed Ezri’s presence, as he did Jadzia’s, as they were reincarnations of his friend and mentor Curzon. He had even gotten used to his old mentor being a young woman rather than an old man when the symbiont went from Curzon to Jadzia. Even so, he found he had trouble taking advice from someone who was relatively child-like. While Jake had just made a cogent argument, Benjamin knew not to take the Prophets’ warnings lightly. He ignored their warning not to accompany the mission to invade Chin’toka, and Jadzia’s death may have been a tragic consequence.

    “You’ve made a difference to Bajor in both roles, Ben,” Kasidy contended. “If you hadn’t convinced the Prophets to stop the Dominion reinforcements, things would be a lot different.”

    “And didn’t Gul Dukat say the Pah-Wraiths would overrun the whole Alpha Quadrant?” Jake added. “Not just Bajor.”

    “Whatever is being asked of you,” said Kasidy, “You can make difference again.”

    “All right,” Benjamin relented. “You’ve given me a lot to think about.”

    This was not the first time Benjamin Sisko was at this kind of crossroads in his life. He had considered resigning after his first wife, Jake’s mother, lost her life in the destructive Battle of Wolf 359 against the Borg. The being inside the Bajoran wormhole gave him a new sense of purpose. Perhaps they had done so again since his last visit to their realm.

    Some hours after Quark’s had closed, the proprietor had a special guest in the establishment to conduct a black market transaction. A Yridian trader provided Quark with a case full of Angosian liquid crystals. The crystals were suspended in rectangular glass containers, which the Ferengi barkeep had applied a hand scanner to.

    “Looks like the merchandise is completely authentic,” Quark declared.

    “Glad you approve,” his Yridian business partner replied. “And in exchange for your services, four hundred bars of gold-pressed latinum have been forwarded to your account.”

    “Better put it on my account in the Bank of Bolius. You promised me a cut of the merchandise, but I still have to ask. Why did you need me to help you circumvent station security?”

    “These crystals are illegal in the Federation. Smuggling has become increasingly difficult now that Bajor is a Federation member.”

    “Of course. You came to the right place. This establishment is now sovereign Ferengi territory. But Angosian liquid crystals aren’t as lucrative as they used to be.”

    “We have a deal, Quark. We would exchange our services few questions.”

    “Right you are.”

    The Yridian nodded gracefully and quietly left the establishment. Outside, on the Promenade, a male Trill crewperson was staring at the Yridian form the second level as if he was waiting for him.

    Somewhere in the central core, the Trill man stepped into a dark storage bay. He slowly increased the light level, so not to alarm the room’s other occupant, Quark’s Yridian business partner.

    “Are the explosives on board?” the Trill asked.

    “Yes,” the Yridian answered. “The Ferengi was able to help get them in without raising any alarms. You’ll find them in Cargo Bay Twelve.”

    “They’d better do the job, or my employer will see that you have an unfortunate accident.”

    “You will not be disappointed.”
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
  17. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Three

    The new Klingon flagship, the IKS Sword of Kahless approached Deep Space Nine. Because this class of ship was too large to dock at the station, a shuttle ferried the chancellor and the ambassador to one of the ports along the docking ring.

    Aboard the station, several senior officers were waiting at the airlock. Doctor Julian Bashir fidgeted with the collar of his dress uniform. Ezri offered to help adjust the collar having noticed his constant tugging while walking to the airlock.

    “You either need a new uniform or a new neck,” Dax remarked.

    “My neck is the same as it was when I was in med school,” Bashir replied.

    “Any word from Captain Sisko yet?” Kira asked Vaughn.

    “He hasn’t contacted the station,” Vaughn replied.

    The inner airlock hatch rolled open. Two Klingon guards stepped through the entryway. Kira gave an approving nod. Chancellor Martok then stepped through the egress, with Ambassador Worf close behind.

    Kira nodded to both VIP guests feeling that her welcome would be awkward since both Martok and Worf had regularly been aboard the station through the end of the Dominion War. “Chancellor, Ambassador,” she stated plainly. “Welcome to Deep Space Nine.”

    “We are honored to be here, Captain,” the one-eyed Klingon chancellor replied.

    “The two of you know Lieutenant Dax and Doctor Bashir,” Kira continued. “And this Commander Elias Vaughn, first officer.”

    “An honor to meet you, Commander,” Worf said to Vaughn. “I have heard a lot about your major accomplishments.”

    “I am honored to meet you as well, Ambassador,” Vaughn replied. “I knew your paternal grandfather.”

    “While Klingons are not known for their intellectual prowess,” Worf stated. “Colonel Worf was one of our best legal minds.” In fact, the older Worf was the defense for James Kirk and Leonard McCoy when they were on trial for the assassination of Chancellor Gorkon during the first efforts towards peace between the Federation and the Empire.

    Martok looked around to see that Sisko was not part of the welcoming committee. “Is Captain Sisko aboard your station?” he then asked Kira.

    “We’ve tried to contact him with now success,” Kira replied.

    “He’s been inactive for almost two years,” Dax added. “I guess coaxing him back wouldn’t be easy.”

    “Well, that is a problem,” said the chancellor.

    “Hopefully, I’m not too late to solve it.”

    Everyone heard a familiar voice down the corridor. Kira, Dax, and Bashir smiled at the sight of their former CO, Benjamin Sisko back in uniform. After his confrontation with Dukat in the Bajoran Fire Caves, Sisko was pulled into the timeless realm of the Prophets. He returned the day Bajor was admitted into the Federation. Kira offered to relinquish command back to Sisko, but he declined.

    The welcoming committee and the two guests sauntered down the corridor. Bashir shot Sisko as grin and raised his eyebrows. Julian was now remembering when Sisko dressed him down for not wearing the proper uniform as part of a welcoming committee for an alien delegation.

    The group that welcomed Martok and Worf aboard the station later convened with the two Klingons in the station’s wardroom. Their visit was mainly for routine diplomatic reasons. However, Vaughn could immediately deduce that they had other reasons having specifically requested to meet with Sisko.

    Martok began the briefing with what the Gorkon encountered in the Narendra system. Only he claimed the Gorkon encountered the detonation of subspace weapons banned by the Khitomer Accords. “Intelligence reports indicated the Ku-Vok-leth are involved,” Martok added. “A century ago, they were considered the elites of the warrior class. They have a much more literal interpretation of the teachings of Kahless.”

    “Like religious fundamentalists on Earth three-hundred years ago,” Sisko offered.

    Worf nodded. “They are opposed to the alliance between the Federation and the Empire,” he added. “Ever since the first Khitomer Accord was signed, they have attempted to destabilize the Empire. And the Romulans could attempt to manipulate the circumstances in their favor.”

    “And now with these subspace weapons,” Kira replied, “they could conceivably shift the balance of power.”

    Vaughn’s eyebrow twitched when he heard a slight hesitation in Kira’s voice when using the words subspace weapons. As a long-time intelligence agent, he had other means of obtaining classified information. Clearly, the damage to subspace in those two star systems was the result of the Omega molecule. Of course, Kira had to keep her crew in the dark as long as possible.

    “And if we attempt to stop these rogue Klingons,” Vaughn stated, to show that he was still focused on the discussion, “that could give the Romulans an excuse to strike.”

    “Are the Romulans in any shape to wage war?” Dax curiously asked.

    “The Romulans entered the Dominion War much later,” Sisko explained. “Plus the use of Reman soldiers as cannon fodder minimized their own casualties.”

    “Even then,” Worf grumbled, “they lacked the courage to face their enemies on the battlefield.”

    “Sloan told me that the Federation and the Romulans would be the major competitors after the war,” Bashir recalled of the Section 31 agent who tried to recruit three years earlier. “We’re not conceding that war is inevitable, are we?”

    “As Kahless once said,” Martok replied, “’Ending a battle to save an empire is no defeat.’ We have a lead that may allow us to find out where the Ku-Vok-leth plans to strike next.”

    “That is where you come in, Captain,” Worf said to Sisko.
    Sisko squinted his eyes curiously. Finally, he thought, he would learn why Martok and Worf requested his presence.
    “A month ago, an intelligence agent tracked one of the terrorists to Torvin Five,” Martok began. He attached a data chip to the side of the wall monitor behind his end of the meeting table. A black and white photograph of a crowed tavern appeared on the screen.

    “This suspected Ku-Vok-leth operative designated a person of interest,” Martok continued, “met with someone with whom most of you are familiar. Computer, magnify grid one-six gamma and enhance.”

    The image magnified to show a Klingon and a Trill male. The brown haired, pale-skinned Trill caught the attention of Sisko, Dax, Kira, and Bashir.

    “Verad Kalon,” Sisko confirmed aloud.

    “But Verad’s dead,” Ezri insisted. “Julian and I saw him take his own life to avoid capture.”

    “We theorize that he faked his death to keep the authorities off his trail,” Worf replied. “I was able to cross reference this image with Starfleet and Klingon databases. This man is, without question, Verad Kalon.”

    The name certainly brought back unpleasant memories. Eight years earlier, while a skeleton crew was running the station during a dangerous plasma storm, Verad and two Klingon mercenaries seized DS9. Verad then demanded the Dax symbiont. He then became a temporary host, almost at the expense of Jadzia’s life.

    Verad resurfaced six years later when he unleashed a virus in the hope of eradicating the Trill symbionts. Bashir and Ezri Dax foiled his plan with the help of Worf’s former crewmates on the Enterprise-E. Verad then martyred himself. Now, this photograph showed that Verad was very much alive.”
    “Your job, Captain,” Worf declared, “will be to infiltrate the neo-Purists, learn their connections to the Ku-Vok-leth, and, if possible, find out the Ku-Vok-leth’s next target.”

    “That’s a bit of a long shot, Ambassador,” protested Sisko. “We can’t be certain that these two organizations have very strong ties to begin with. And wouldn’t Ezri be a better choice for this job?”

    “I represent what they hate,” Ezri replied. “I’d be shot on sight.”

    “Besides, you’ve out of Starfleet two years,” Kira added. “That would make a desire to join a terrorist organization more plausible.”

    “I suppose,” Sisko sighed. “If this is the best course of action…"

    “We would not make this request if we had a better plan,” Martok assured.

    “When do I leave?” Sisko inquired, showing no hint of enthusiasm.

    During the briefing, Nog was in charge of Ops. He remained at his station, however, to oversee the day’s routine system diagnostics. Most of the diagnostics revealed no problems. He was slowly nodding off when a flashing readout caught his eye.

    “That can’t be right,” the petite Ferengi mumbled. That flashing words indicated a problem with one of the circuits in the reactor core’s plasma coolant system. He remembered that Crewman Doran had repaired that circuitry the day before.

    “Doran,” he called to the Trill engineer at one of the aft auxiliary stations. “You repaired the plasma coolant system?”

    “Yes,” Doran curiously replied. He maintained his calm, hoping his cover had not yet been blown.

    “Did you notice this misalignment?”

    “No, sir.”

    “Then it may be a new problem. You have Ops, Tenmei.”
    Nog grabbed his engineering toolkit and headed for the port turbolift. Doran surreptitiously picked up a plasma torch, lit it to see that it worked, and tucked it underneath his uniform tunic.

    The two engineers crawled through one of the access tunnels on a lower level to get a closer look. Nog opened the hatch to the malfunctioning circuit and flipped open a tricorder. Doran anxiously looked back and forth down the crawl space to make sure no one else was working n this section. He then became jumpy when his CO closed his tricorder.

    “This looks like our malfunctioning circuit,” Nog confirmed aloud. “Hand me a coil spanner.”

    Instead of obliging, Doran reached around Nog’s head, covering the Ferengi’s mouth with a cloth from his gold under-tunic. Nog quickly lapsed into unconsciousness. Doran then threw aside his own combadge and Nog’s before hastily crawling off.

    Ki Baratan, Capital City of Romulus

    Suran stood in a dark alley. He could hear the quiet rumbling of thunder in the distance, and he tightened his hood. This was the part of being an agent of the Tal Shiar that he hated. He looked at the timepiece on a ring on his left middle finger wondering how much longer he would have to wait for the agent he arranged to meet.

    The Romulan commander stood still when he heard footsteps walking towards him. Suran shined his wrist beacon on the humanoid figure approaching. “It’s all right, Commander,” he said.

    He was an elderly human male whose hair had gone completely gray. He removed his hood to show that he was the person Suran was waiting for. “The operation is underway,” he declared.

    “Then Kur’Tok received the boronite?” Suran inquired.
    “Yes. Enough to form a single Omega molecule.”
    The human agent then removed an isolinear data chip from his left front pocket. “This contains all the relevant data,” he continued, “as well as specifications for the harmonic resonance chamber.”

    “You should deliver that technology yourself,” Suran insisted.
    “We wish to minimize activities that could be traced back to us.”

    “Of course. The morally superior Federation does not engage in these kinds of underground operations. What is to guarantee I won’t forward this information to the Klingon High Council as well? Not even Martok would be happy to learn Starfleet agents are consorting with the Tal Shiar or sources of dissent within their Empire.”

    “I’ve programmed the chip’s data to self-destruct if you forward it to anyone other than your clients on Nimbus Three.”

    “Well, this agency of yours hasn’t survived this long by being sloppy. I will pass this along.

    The human agent nodded, then placed his hood back on his head. Both the human and the Romulan walked away slowly in opposite directions.

    Suran stopped, once he turned a corner. He had a sense he had met this man before though he was not certain. Suran began to think back to a strange associate of the late Senator Vreenak. But that person was a Romulan. Then again, anything was possible with Section 31.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  18. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Interlude: Flashback One

    Stardate 49039 (Earth year 2372): Two weeks after the First Battle of Deep Space 9

    Six years earlier, Suran was the military liaison to the Senate. Shortly after the Klingon invasion of the Cardassian Union, Vreenak hired a new chief of staff, of which Suran was suspicious. Tirak had been suggesting using the renewed hostilities between the Federation and the Klingon Empire as an opportunity to annex territory along the border between the Klingon and Romulan Empires. Suran and his Tal Shiar cohorts, on the other hand, believed that the time was not right after the failed Romulan-Cardassian attack on the Founders’ home planet.

    As chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee, Vreenak was a staunch supporter of Tal Shiar policy. However, the Tal Shiar had very limited information on Tirak. He had apparently just appeared on Romulus one day as an advisor to one of the most influential voices in the Senate.

    The senator took a sip of his beverage when his comm-link chimed. “What is it, now?” he irately asked his receptionist.
    “Senator, Tirak and Suran are waiting to see you,” a young woman replied.

    “Send them in.”

    Tirak and Suran tried to enter at the same time. Both of them bumped into the sides of the door. Tirak then slipped by. Suran rolled his eyes at the idea of having to work alongside this man. Suran had served Vreenak and other Senate veterans for nearly two decades. Tirak seemingly came from nowhere, although he was of advanced middle age like Suran.

    “What do you have gentlemen?” the Senator asked.

    Tirak placed a small briefcase on the desk and removed a padd. He used it to activate a holographic star map. It showed fleet deployments of both Romulan and Klingon forces symbolized by multiple logos of the two empires. Tirak pointed to a smaller Klingon Empire symbol at a sector on the border.

    “The Tranome Sar sector remains highly vulnerable,” Tirak explained. “For years, the Klingons have kept it heavily fortified since our last engagement with them. Now it’s reduced to a few small squadrons with a large force now in Cardassian territory.”

    “As I have reminded the Senate,” Suran countered, “any effort to annex even the outer star systems would still take a rather large fleet. Our supply lines would be spread rather thinly in the core systems.”

    “I understand your skepticism, Commander,” Vreenak replied. “I agree that now is not the time for a major strike. I would suggest a few offensives: hit-and-run strikes to rattle the Klingons.”

    The two officers exchanged silent gazes at one another. Tirak and Suran then looked to Vreenak nodding in agreement. Suran did not expect Tirak to relent so quickly after Tirak’s suggestion of being overly aggressive.”

    “I’ve had a long day,” said the senator begrudgingly. “If you don’t mind, I’ll take my leave of you now.”

    “Of course, Senator,” Tirak replied.

    Tirak quickly stepped out. Suran took small steps out of the office until Tirak was out of sight. “Senator, one other thing,” he then requested of Vreenak.

    “What is it?” Vreenak impatiently demanded.

    “With all due respect, sir, the Tal Shiar has little on this new chief-of-staff of yours. As you are on the Intelligence Committee, your detractors may see hiring this man to be… should I say, questionable judgment on your part.”

    “I’m keeping a close eye on him.”

    “That may not be enough. According to recent bulletins, the Federation starship equipped with one of our cloaking devices was seen uncloaking deep in Tzenkethi space before returning to its own territory.”

    “What relevance does this incident have?”

    “Our operatives in Tzenkethi space believe a Dominion spy was on that ship.”

    Vreenak’s eyebrows twitched upward. The presence of Changeling infiltrators in the Romulan Star Empire was a definite possibility. After all, a Changeling derailed the attack on their homeworld by combined Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order fleet.

    “Watch his every move then,” Vreenak commanded. “Any hint of treachery on his part, eliminate him.”

    “Yes, sir,” Suran eagerly replied.

    Chancellor Gowron lay back in a chair in his private chamber, passed out from all the blood-wine he drank earlier that night. Despite having halted the invasion of the Cardassian Union, the Klingon Empire had achieved a major victory. Upon his return to Qo’Nos, Gowron had declared victory to protect his precarious position.

    His snoring drowned out the sound of the doorbell. After the third ring, the chancellor blinked his eyes open. “Enter,” he called out sitting up straight.

    Martok entered the chamber, once the large metallic doors parted. Unknown at the time, Gowron’s top military advisor had been replaced by a Changeling. The general’s doppelganger had pushed for an invasion of Cardassia based on false intelligence that the Dominion had clandestinely seized power there. The real Martok had not yet lost his right eye, so his replacement had accurately simulated both eyes.

    “I hope I’m not disturbing you, Chancellor,” the general apologetically stated.

    “Of course not,” Gowron replied, straightening his ceremonial robe. “Come in.”

    "Our reconnaissance probes picked up growing Romulan activity along the border,” Martok reported, setting a padd down on the desk. “Tranome Sar is the most vulnerable.”

    Gowron took a quick glance at the padd and scoffed. “They wish us to think they will attack Tranome Sar,” he mused. “Let the Romulans do what they wish for the time being.”

    “Is that wise?” Martok inquired, gritting his teeth as best he could in order to emulate a Klingon.

    “We expended a great deal of our forces to our last major victory. We cannot be too hasty with rumors of a Romulan threat.”

    “Chancellor, with due deference, we cannot show our enemies weakness, especially the Romulans. Your declaration of victory against the Cardassians was political maneuvering, meaning you are still vulnerable. Your allies and enemies are waiting to see if you can handle the Federation and the Romulans.”

    Gowron gave a wry grin. “How very true,” he replied. “Dispatch a squadron to launch a pre-emptive strike on their side of the border. Let the Romulans know we can threaten them like they can threaten us.”

    Both men laughed. Of course, the Martok Changeling had achieved a completely separate objective. In retaliation for the aborted attack on his homeworld, he had hoped for the slaughter of as many Romulans as possible.”

    A Romulan trading post was nearly devoid of activity. A few freighters entered the station’s outer docking ports. The station and the ships were civilian owned, so their passengers and crews were not expecting any military activity. With no warning, two Klingon Birds-of-Prey decloaked. The two ships began firing disruptors at the station. The trading post had minimal defenses, so the Birds-of-Prey made quick work of it. The station quickly erupted in a large fireball.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  19. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Four

    Nog woke up in the main exam room of the Infirmary. Doctor Bashir held the hand sensor of a medical tricorder to Nog’s head to check for possible brain damage. Ro stood in the entryway waiting on the doctor to report and get a statement from the Ferengi.

    “Looks like you’ll live,” Bashir jovially stated. “No sign of any damage resulting from oxygen deprivation.”

    “Looking to Ro, Nog asked, “Any luck finding Doran?”

    “None,” Ro answered, “We’ve delayed the departure of all outgoing vessels, but he knows the internal sensors well.”

    “So he’ll be tougher to track,” Nog retorted, ascending from the reclining exam chair. “I can imagine.”

    “How are you coming with the surveillance system?”

    “We have it running okay for now in the VIP section. We’ve had to draw power from other areas of the habitat ring.”
    “Then he’s most likely in one of those sections,” said Ro with a half grin.

    The runabout Delphi streaked through space at high war towards the Torvin star system. The Delphi belonged to a new class of short-range transport vessels. Unlike the Danube-class predecessors, the Indiana Jones-class ships had better atmospheric maneuvering capabilities.

    Inside the cockpit, which was a modification of the Danube-class cockpit, Sisko and Dax barely spoke to each other for almost twelve hours. Ezri had attempted to make small talk asking about both his children and living on Bajor. He would just give quick answers to avoid any conversation.

    “We’ll reach Torvin Five in two hours,” Ezri stated in another attempt to make conversation.

    “That’s nice,” Benjamin deadpanned.

    “Morn would be a less boring traveling companion right now,” Dax remarked with a frustrated sigh.

    “Morn?” Sisko asked, needing a second to remember the name of Quark’s most frequent customer.

    “Quark will tell you he’s quite the chatterbox, but I don’t recall when he said very much.”

    “Don’t take it personally, old man. I never expected to be summoned back as an undercover operative.”

    “I was just as surprised to hear that Verad is still alive. We should probably use this time to go over your cover story. Why did you leave the station when you went to confront Dukat in the Fire Caves?”

    Sisko sensed some uneasiness in Dax’s voice at the mention of Skrain Dukat, who killed Jadzia almost four years earlier. “I decided I had enough of Starfleet.”

    “Good,” Ezri replied with a nod. “And what made you want to join the Neo-Purists?”

    “I have information that could be of use to them.”

    “But what’s your vested interest in their cause?”

    “The oppression of the citizens on a member world the Federation is turning a blind eye to. And the promise I made to a friend on her deathbed.”

    That last statement again evoked unpleasant memories for both of them. Of course, the promise Sisko made upon Jadzia’s death was to undo the damage Dukat had caused when he placed a malevolent Pah-Wraiths in the Bajoran Wormhole. Sisko had fulfilled that promise. Yet, in order to win over Verad, he would have to rewrite his own personal history. He would have to convince Verad that the promise to Jadzia was to help right the perceived wrongs of Trill society.

    Sisko and Dax entered a nightclub that was a major hub of black market activity on Torvin Five. Bright lights flashed and pulsating music played throughout the establishment. Patrons of various alien races were either drinking or admiring the two Orion women dancing on the stage.

    Ezri wore a jacket over her uniform that had a hood over her head. She walked directly behind Benjamin in case they would immediately enter Verad’s field of vision upon entry into the building. That was not the case fortunately. The two of them slowly walked over to a corner table. Dax set a computer module that was hanging from her right shoulder on the table.

    “You know what to do,” Sisko whispered.

    Dax answered with a slow nod.

    Sisko then sauntered over to the bar, where a Bolian was scrubbing empty glasses. “I’m looking for Verad Kalon, a Trill male,” he said. “Is he here?”

    The bartender pointed to his right. Sisko looked in that general direction and immediately recognized Verad, sharing a laugh with portly Ferengi.

    “I know what you mean, Pelk,” Verad was saying as Sisko walked towards them. “You don’t have to make bad business decisions. The FCA can choke you with new taxes.”

    “I know a Ferengi who has mastered a few tricks,” Sisko retorted.

    Verad immediately recognized the deep voice behind him, especially since he carried the Dax symbiont, albeit very briefly. He was half expecting Sisko to place him under arrest. Bust his old nemesis was dressed in civilian clothing and had a more jovial tone.

    From afar, Dax could see Verad, as she prepared her equipment to listen in on Sisko. She had to look away to shake an uncomfortable sensation. The sensation was not quite an out-of-body experience. It was more like seeing a part of her own psyche in another person. After all, she had all of Verad’s memories up to the point where the symbiont was removed and put back into Jadzia.

    “Dax to Defiant,” she whispered, tapping an earplug in her left ear, “are you hearing me?”

    The USS Defiant took a position on the far side of a gas giant in the system. That ship’s job was to stand ready in case Sisko was in any danger during the operation. The engineering crews there were conducting modifications to the communications arrays. On the bridge, Lieutenant Sam Bowers monitored pirate ship activity at the starboard tactical station. On his right, Lieutenant, junior grade, Jonas Escobar monitored communications traffic. One of the displayed graphics spiked when Ezri hailed.

    “You’re coming in loud and clear, Lieutenant,” Escobar replied.

    “What about Sisko?”

    Static quickly filled the speakers again. After it slowly waned, it was replaced by Verad’s voice in mid-sentence. “… that you’ve completely given up Starfleet this time, Benjamin,” he was saying.

    “If you’ve seen my service record,” Sisko replied, “you’d know I haven’t been in Starfleet for nearly three years.”

    “He’s coming in clearly, too,” said Bowers.

    “Now that that’s done,” Ezri retorted, “the sooner I leave here, the better.”

    “The Chaffee will be on its way shortly,” Bowers answered.

    “You may as well have been out of Starfleet after Wolf 359,” Verad said of Sisko’s claim. “I wouldn’t want to be toiling away in some shipyard on Mars for three years.”

    “Of course, the Dominion War inflicted far more loss of life than a single Borg cube.”

    “That’s a good reason to quit the service entirely. But why would you wish to betray Starfleet?”

    “I wouldn’t call it betraying Starfleet. Sometimes, extreme measures need to be taken to get the big guys to listen. I am hoping to take up a worthy cause. I can make it worth your while.”

    Verad squinted. He wasn’t sure what kind of an offer Benjamin was making. And while he was not entirely convinced that the former Starfleet captain’s intentions were genuine, as a fugitive, he was willing to accept help from anyone. “What did you have in mind?” he skeptically asked.

    “I know where you can find Tander Narik,” Sisko answered. “I understand he’s agreed to testify against you in the abductions of the Vos and Roa symbionts.”

    “Still can’t prove that I murdered their previous hosts, eh?” Verad retorted. “Or am I being charged with murder two for their deaths.?”

    “Do we have a deal or not?”

    Verad again stared at the padd Sisko handed him. “I’ll give you a one-hundred thousand credit stipend,” the Trill offered, “after my informants in the security ministry verify this and once they have the witness protection program pass codes.”

    “No, you get that after I’ve been paid in full.”

    “To assure I don’t report you to Starfleet Security. I’d do the same in your shoes, Ben.”

    “Do we have a deal then?”

    Verad replied with a scheming grin.

    Sisko would later accompany Verad to his makeshift residence. The titanium walls were the remains of a downed freighter. The enclosure was the size of a runabout cockpit. It was only one room with a few small alcoves with a bed and a shower. It wasn’t much, but Verad felt that , even if he traveled under and alias, he would still attract attention living in one of the housing units.

    While they traveled to Verad’s residence, Sisko further explained the events that led to his present situation, according to his cover story. He reiterated the effect the Dominion War had on his psyche. He then went into specifics about the promise he made to Jadzia when she was on her deathbed, which was to address grave injustices in Trill society.

    “So you feel that your duty now is to address wrongs within the Federation,” Verad commented as they entered the housing area.

    “Especially wrongs the Federation and member governments have ignored,” Sisko added. “Not just the crimes of the Symbiosis Commission, but the abandonment of our colonies in the former Demilitarized Zone.”

    Verad scoffed as he threw down a green duffel bag. “You were famous for condemning the Maquis,” he countered, “especially when Cal Hudson and Michael Eddington left Starfleet.”

    “They betrayed Starfleet,” Sisko explained. “Yet they believed strongly in the Maquis and their goals. They could be admired for the same reason as the Bajorans while their planet was under Cardassian rule.”

    Verad smiled and nodded, having been reminded of the person he once knew, or rather Curzon and Jadzia Dax once knew. “I always thought you Starfleet types were a bunch of Herberts.”


    “A Tiburon slang term for someone who is rigid and inflexible.”

    Sisko remembered that a Tiburon officer was part of the mission to salvage a crashed Jem’Hadar fighter on Torga Four. Ensign T’Lor was one of five crewpersons killed during that operation. And they were only a very small fraction of those who died during the war.

    “Sorry to disappoint,” Sisko sarcastically remarked.

    Someone began banging on the door. Verad moved towards the door to open it. “Hey, Verad,” a male voice called out. “You in there?”

    The door opened and a short, but portly, Trill man quickly entered. He pulled the door shut as soon as he was inside. He frantically ran towards the replicator without even noticing Sisko. His hurriedness indicated he was running from something.

    “What’s wrong, Runold?” Verad asked.

    Runold’s accent sounded like an Earth Brooklyn accent. That should not have been possible for a non-Terran, though Sisko had heard of one particular municipality on Trill where a similar accent was prevalent. “I heard the authorities are gonna be swarming this area,” Runold said, taking a gulp of cold water he replicated. “They got some tip about a bogus address.”

    “We’d better pack it up, just to be safe,” Verad stated calmly. “Make sure we get the explosives out.”

    “Mind if I help Sisko inquired, wondering if the two Trill forgot he was there.

    Runold saw Sisko and winced. “Who’s this guy, Verad?” he demanded, while trying to remember this human’s face.

    “This is Benjamin Russell, “Verad answered nervously. “He has information on a key witness.”

    Benjamin Russell. That name was not at all familiar, but Runold still thought he had seen Sisko’s face. He just wasn’t sure where, though Sisko came up with the false surname from his 20th century alternate persona during a Prophet-induced vision.

    “Have we met before” Runold asked Sisko with still a hint of suspicion.

    “Can’t say that we have,” Sisko candidly replied.

    “Why don’t the two of you get acquainted,” Verad chimed in. He slowly walked out to the back of the house hoping he wouldn’t be caught in a lie.

    “You know what,” said Runold after Verad was gone, “why don’t I just find out if any security bulletins are out on you.”
    Sisko stared to speak, but was at a loss for words. He began to wonder if anyone got around to changing his biography. He just came up with his alias on the fly. Hopefully, the Defiant was still listening in.

    Sam Bowers sat in the command chair on the Defiant’s bridge. He looked up from the chair’s right side control panel when hearing Runold’s plan to look up a profile on a possibly non-existent Benjamin Russell.

    “How are you coming with Sisko’s false profile, Escobar?” he asked the smooth-headed man at communications.

    “I’m having a little trouble with the SI feed,” Escobar replied.
    “See if you can speed it up if possible.”

    A photograph of Sisko appeared on the padd Runold was operating. Instead of a Starfleet uniform, the former officer now wore a dark leather jacket over a thin gray shirt in the picture. The name on the top of the padd’s screen read Benjamin Russell. Underneath was a list of his “crimes”: smuggling, burglary, illegal weapons sales, breaking into classified files and possession of controlled medicinal substances.

    “It checks out,” the stocky Trill proclaimed.

    Sisko mentally let out a sight of relief. He was careful not to show any hint of nervousness or fear of being exposed. He just stood quietly hoping for the best. “Satisfied?” he asked.

    “For now,” Runold replied softly. He shot a quick glance at Sisko. He still had that gut feeling As of now, though, he didn’t believe this human was a spy.
  20. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Chapter Five

    Miette Donatra gently caressed the arms of her chair on the bridge of the IRW Valdore. She never understood why her ship was called that. Two centuries ago, Admiral Valdore had conceived of a remote controlled starship that could disguise itself as any other ship for the purpose of inciting conflict among the eventual founding members of the Federation. In fact, the entire Earth-Romulan War was fought with remote controlled ships. Truly courageous warriors faced their enemies on the battlefield, Donatra believed. For now, she would serve the Star Empire she loved in her own way.

    A youthful male centurion walked away from a starboard auxiliary station and strode over to the center seat. “Commander,” he said sharply, “the Tiralihaan has left orbit of ch’Rihan.”

    “Thank you, Centurion,” Donatra replied while lost in a thought. “Pilot, lay in a parallel pursuit course. Keep us on the edge of their sensor range and engage the cloak.”

    The lights dimmed as the cloaking device hummed to life. Donatra arched her head to her right to see the centurion still standing next to her. “Something else, Regol?” she snapped suspiciously.

    “May I ask why we are shadowing your former mentor?”

    Donatra sensed more than just curiosity in Regol’s voice. Just five years ago, Regol was a lowly uhlaan in the Romulan Guard. She could never corroborate his claim that he earned a battlefield commission during the Dominion War. He could have easily assassinated his way up the ranks, yet no one could definitively prove it. Donatra appointed Regol as her centurion in accordance with the Terran expression, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

    “You only need to know that I am acting on direct orders from the khre’Riov himself,” Donatra lied. She could say no more, even to her executive officer. If he was working for Suran, or worse, Senator Tal’Aura, Donatra was as good as dead.

    Regol half-nodded in acknowledgement. The commander’s statement was a way to evade the question. Pushing his inquiries any further, he knew, would only arouse her suspicion. He took slow steps back to his station, waiting for the commander’s expression to alter, but it never did.

    Prynn Tenmei stepped out onto the Promenade from the main entrance to Quark’s. She saw Doctor Bashir saunter towards the bar from the opposite direction, and she slowly turned the other way. From the tuxedo he was wearing, Prynn deduced that he had a holosuite reservation. She had hoped to avoid being asked to accompany him, but he had already spotted her.

    “Prynn,” Julian called. “Fancy seeing you here.”
    She grinned to act as though she was not trying to avoid him. “Which program is this?” she asked, feigning interest. “Julian Bashir, secret agent or Jack Bauer, sociopath?”

    “The former. Care to join me? Nog cancelled at the last minute.”

    “In what role? Someone with a degrading name like Mona Luvsit? I’ll pass.”

    Bashir chuckled. He had the program for six years, yet no one mentioned that aspect of it. While they continued exchanging laughs regarding the absurdities of the program, Worf descended down a nearby spiral staircase.

    That woman is clearly not Ezri Dax, the ambassador though. Yet, Julian was very friendly towards Prynn. He and Ezri became romantically involved shortly before Worf left DS9 to become Federation ambassador to Qo’Nos. Both Julian and Ezri put off pursuing such a relationship for a month before then. Worf even encouraged Ezri even though she carried the memories of his deceased wife Jadzia. Worf became sort of a protective older brother to Ezri.

    Worf was not sure whether to be annoyed or elated at what he was witnessing. He was not one to listen in on the latest gossip, so he had not learned Julian and Ezri had dissolved their relationship after Ezri’s switch from counseling to the command track caused various problems. He was envisioning saying, “I told you so.” The way Julian was now dressed once again confirmed to Worf that Bashir was an overgrown child.

    The Klingon sighed, and then continued on his way. He nodded as he passed Tenmei with a look saying I am afraid for you. She nodded back, and then gave perturbed wince wondering why he gave that look after he had passed.

    Nog and a Bajoran male security officer walked stealthily through a corridor in the habitat. For some reason, Nog felt like he had to re-learn the names of the deputies who had served under former station security chief Odo for seven years. He could really understand why since they were the same individuals wearing Starfleet uniforms rather than Bajoran militia uniforms. The uniform fit snugly on Yndar Pol, a middle aged Bajoran man with graying dark hair, who had been one of Odo’s, as well as Ro’s, most trusted officers during his nine year tenure.

    Nog took small steps to a door to empty crew quarters, scanning with a tricorder. When the readout indicated no life-signs inside the cabin, he nodded to Yndar. The Bajoran petty officer placed himself at the left of the door, phaser rifle at the ready. Nog removed the panel on the door’s right to access the manual release. The lock became unlatched and Yndar slid the door open the rest of the way.

    Nog and Yndar entered the vacant room, ready to fire their rifles. As the tricorder indicated, no one was inside. Nog stood watch in the living area while Yndar made a quick survey of the bedroom and the head. After a few minutes, Yndar returned saying, “This cabin’s secure. Let’s move onto the next one.”

    The two-person team followed the same routine in the vacant quarters across the corridor. Again, no one was hiding there.

    Ro and an Andorian male officer made another searching a section of the habitat ring. Ensign th’Helek’s quadroscopic vision was certainly an asset for this operation in case tried to sneak into vacant quarters after the cabin had been declared secure. They followed the same routine as Nog and Yndar. After seeing no one in the living area, th’Helek would stand watch while Ro would scout the bedroom and the head. While waiting on Ro, th’Helek’s antennae stiffened. Someone was sneaking towards him.

    Th’Helek quickly turned around to see a Nausicaan lunging towards him with a knife. The Andorian was able to deflect the swing of the Nausicaan’s right arm, but in process, his attacker was able to clip off a piece of his left antenna. Th’Helek fell backwards as the Nausicaan was lunging towards him. Th’Helek slugged the Nausicaan with the back of his fist twice to no avail. When he was on his back, the Nausicaan then threw him to the deck. The Nausicaan stood up and swung his knife towards th’Helek. Then in a split second, he fell to the deck after a blast from Ro’s phaser rifle.

    “Ro to all security teams,” she said, tapping her combadge. “We’ve apprehended a ‘person of interest.’ Keep looking for Mister Doran while we try to get something out of our Nausicaan friend.”

    Verad and Runold began filling up brown travel bags with essential items. Sisko lent a hand gathering up field rations, while keeping a close watch on the two Trills hoping they would reveal critical information. Runold glanced at Sisko from the corner of one eye to see the newcomer gazing intently. When Runold headed for the sleeping area, he shot Sisko a suspicious glare. When he returned a few seconds later, Runold bumped his shoulder against Sisko’s to nudge him aside.

    “I almost forgot about those,” Verad said of the three cylindrical rods Runold was carrying. “We should definitely take those with us.”

    “You packed those charges too tightly,” Sisko remarked.
    Runold stuffed the explosive devices into the travel bag and then wagged his finger at Sisko. “Look, pal, I know what I’m doing,” he sneered.

    “Does he?” Sisko asked Verad. “Whatever it is you’re planning, I’m not sure you can rely on him.”

    “I’ve working with explosives probably a lot longer than you have, pal,” Runold shot back.

    “Gentleman,” Verad interjected. “This is not the time or the place.”

    Runold scoffed trying to calm a strong urge to deck Sisko. This Russell guy had a lot of nerve telling him how to pack explosive charges. Russell’s file did say he had conducted illegal weapons sales. That was hardly evidence that this newcomer was an expert the kind of crude explosives terrorists used. Runold took a deep breath and turned to Verad. “He may be a notorious criminal, Verad,” he said, “but my gut says not to trust him. I don’t see how you can.”

    “He’s offering to help us out of a jam,” Verad plainly replied. “That’s reason enough for me.”

    “Whatever,” Runold muttered, zipping his travel bag and hanging it off his right shoulder.

    Verad put a much larger travel bag on his back and gestured towards the back entrance by the replicator. “Let’s roll,” he proclaimed.

    The three of them headed for the back entrance at the same time someone was banging on the front door. “Police, open up!” a loud masculine voice boomed through the metal wall. The three occupants of the makeshift house quickly filed out of the back entrance without stopping. Almost as soon as they were gone, two officers in blue jumpsuits pried open the front door. They would no one inside. The police officer on the left was the first to see the back door open. He motioned his partner to follow him through the other entrance.

    Sisko, Verad, and Runold made their way to an alleyway. Verad brought up the rear to make sure other police officers were not following them. Sisko shined a flashlight to allow the group to see in front of them. Sisko would also occasionally glance up at both rooftops to check for police snipers. The police probably wouldn’t know to look for them specifically, but he could not be too careful. Though he was almost clipped by phaser from right behind him.

    Sisko threw himself against a brick wall while upholstering a phaser. He began firing back. The two helmeted officers dove for cover as Verad and Runold also began firing their phasers at the pursuers. They continued moving while continuing to lay down cover fire. Runold unknowingly kicked down a cargo container with the word flammable written on it. As the pursuing officers continued giving chase, not noticing the wayward container, Runold fired his phaser at the container.

    A fireball erupted. The police officers were close enough that the fireball completely charred their bodies. Sisko’s eyes widened in horror seeing them meet a gruesome. “Was that really necessary?!” he bellowed at Runold.

    Runold was just as befuddled. “We’ll just add cop killer to the list of charges,” he quipped.

    “This guy’s a joke, Verad,” Sisko hissed. “He’s too reckless. He’ll botch up your whole operation.”

    “That’s it,” Runold shot back taking a swing at Sisko, punching him in the left jaw. When he moved to take another swing, Sisko grabbed Runold’s arm with both hands and pulled.

    Runold screamed out in pain. “He dislocated my shoulder!” he cried. “What the hell’s wrong with you?”

    “We have to get you to a doctor,” said Verad, feeling around the other Trill’s injured shoulder.

    “Ditch this psycho first,” Runold spat still wincing in pain. “Leave me. That freighter’s leaving any time now.

    “I’ll be down a man,” Verad replied. “You up for coming instead, Benjamin?”

    “Sure,” Sisko replied.

    “Just be careful not to piss him off,” Runold retorted.

    Sisko and Verad continued running down the alley, leaving Runold behind. They slowed down once they turned a corner. For now, they were satisfied that no one else was following them. “So where is this freighter of ours headed?” Sisko asked.

    “Let’s just say it involves that space station you once commanded,” Verad answered.

    Sisko’s eyebrows twitched, but not so much so that Verad would sense worry. Of course, if Verad had any doubts about Sisko’s desire to help, he would not have let him in on the plan to attack Deep Space Nine. Sisko could only hope that Ezri and the Defiant’s crew were still listening in.