Author's notes: This was written as part of the STO forums role play thread Earth Spacedock in June 2016. Earth Spacedock, Pages 22-23 Civilian Transport Elysium Lydia made the decision to remain at the rear of the transport, away from Elihu, who was at the front with the brass. On all of the monitors on the transport, a Federation reporter's face appeared and spoke: “According to Starfleet Intelligence, despite the apparent death of The Infamous, the Bajorans have elected Colonel Ro Laren as their leader, and Bajor has been accepted into The Infamous' Empire, with intentions to subjugate the Cardassians.” Various Klingon, Orion, and Gorn vessels suddenly decloaked around the Elysium and opened fire, but their shots connected with the shielded, cloaked hulls of a dozen ships, of various species' designs belonging to The Infamous and his loyalists. The Infamous fleet decloaked as their ablative armor grew around them. Above the attacking ships decloaked the Rahab. A single black torpedo was launched from the massive dreadnought then split into sixteen slightly smaller torpedoes, and found their targets. The Klingon/Orion/Gorn task force was sucked into a bunch of mini-black holes, which were left in their wake as they continued unabated at warp toward the Caldos colony. As far as the sensors were concerned, something appeared and then disappeared a second later, but they could not detect what it was exactly. The Rahab and the fleet of protecting vessels cloaked again, and nobody on the Elysium ever found out what had happened...except for Elihu, who could sense something, but was not sure what. Little did they know, more Klingons, Gorn, and Orion would be waiting for them at Caldos III. Krystal moved up to check on Elihu. "I have made peace with Admiral Nat, and all of his people," Elihu said. "At least... I have forgiven them in my mind, as well as my heart." "Eli... need to talk. It's about him... and an offer he made. He asked me to be his successor," she whispered. "And after hearing some of the news... I think I might have to take it just to keep things from falling apart." Elsewhere on the transport, Seifer sat back in his seat as he studied the PADD before him. Sitting with the group, he could sense a hint of uneasiness in the air, but wasn't sure if that was just his imagination. With much of Elihu's people around, he could question them about the murder, even though they had previously witnessed D'Ren attack several Starfleet officers, escape prison, and Steve Jedden attacking and being possessed, the murder was still of the highest priority. "You think you're going to figure it out?" asked a security officer who was sitting next to him. Seifer jumped in his seat in shock. "Whoa! Where did you come from?" "I was here the whole time. Lieutenant Aramaki. I was the guy who Aeris told to go for a jog around ESD a bunch of times." The Captain shook his head. "I don't recall. Anyway, it's my duty to pursue this, because who wants to deal with a diminishing Earth Spacedock situation and a dangerous Captain Terry? Seems irrelevant, now that I'm several lightyears away, if you ask me." "You were right to forget about those things. But, isn't questioning Elihu's people, one by one, going to make a long trip even longer? Your active time is so infrequent, not to mention we're just going to a funeral. We have to get there at some point?" Seifer waved him off. "What? There's no time for logistics, man! A person's life is on the line here, whom quite possibly cares whether I succeed or not. Maybe. I'm sure my efforts are totally worth it." He collected himself and then approached Lydia. "Hi. Captain Seifer from Spacedock. I'm looking into the murder of Alyce Rose Kassidy, a Federation citizen, who was also an Infamous slave. My questions are, where were you during the murder, and can any of Elihu's past crew mind meld?" --- Captain Menchez - I.K.S. B'Cnah, Bridge The Vorcha-class vessel sped through space at warp, cloaked and unnoticed. Captain Menchez had been sitting at his chair for far too long and was growing wearisome of their pursuit. "Status of the distortion?" he asked his crew. Kvok replied, "We can still see it. But it appears we've entered Federation space!" "Ugh. I swore I'd never go back here. Did you know Starfleet officers sleep on cushioned beds? I mean, what is up with that? Am I right?" Kvok nodded. "And they're always trying to 'help others'. What does that even mean? Like, make sense or something for once." "Exactly! Well, anyway. It is our duty to put a stop to whatever this thing is. Heghto, how are the calculations coming along?" The Klingon science officer perked from his console. "I believe a modulated, low-bandwidth tachyon emission may eradicate what we've been able to learn of that distortion." "Captain!" Kvok interrupted. "It's disappeared from sensors!" Menchez sat up. "Take us back to the point we lost it. Drop warp in that area." After some work, the B'Cnah dropped warp at Earth Spacedock. Scanning the base, the crew found that there were barely anyone aboard it. "What is going on?" Menchez questioned. "Is there no one in command over there?" Kvok checked his console. "No replies to hails, Captain." "Heghto, join me and several warriors in Transporter Room 2, where we will beam aboard the Earth mushroom. If that distortion is there, we can attempt the tachyon emission." He looked to the other officer who nodded in compliance. In seconds, they left the Bridge to continue their hunt. --- Civilian Transport Elysium Lydia M'Konel, who was sitting at the back of the transport, glared angrily at Seifer. "I was being held prisoner on The Infamous Dreadnought Zipporah.... Sir! The only Phili crew member who can do a Vulcan mind meld is Lareth. If you think he murdered the woman to protect Elihu, you're incredibly dim. He was on my side during the... 'mutiny' on the Phili, and let Eli go rather than attempt to detain him and cause an even bigger uproar. And for the record..." Lydia leaned forward, curling her twitching lip. "Eli cannot do a Vulcan mind-meld. So we know it was not him anyway." Seifer took down the information Lydia was offering, neglecting her seething, negative emotionalism and unstable lip-tick for alternative matters. He glanced at a nearby flight-status screen and saw that the transport was nearing Caldos III. "Thank you, Lydia. I don't suspect Elihu, but I think the higher-ups in Starfleet have it out for him. The odds of me actually catching who did it are slim, but I believe the information I collect here, for my report, will, in fact, help him when he goes to court with his lawyer." He was about to move on to Krystal Jade, but found her and Elihu speaking until they passed out. Since time was becoming short, another question came to his mind. "We found a microscopic, partially organic nanite in Alyce's blood stream. Is there anyone, or group, you know who would have access to, or developed, that kind of technology?" "Yes, of course," Lydia answered Seifer, as she indicated her forehead. If scanned, Lydia would appear to have the same nanite in her. "The Infamous runs things behind the scenes. He was the man in the cell who escaped earlier. He tags whomever he wants, and there's nothing anyone can do about it." --- Captain Menchez - Earth Spacedock, Main Concourse The Klingon commanding officer, and his away team of several warriors, walked through the main area that was mostly empty, except for a few busy Starfleet engineers. He found that the lighting was in a state of fast flickering. It soon went off, and he heard a nearby man curse in the distance. "This is impossible!" Batou said to his own men. "If only Suvel and Seifer had gotten to those generators in time, they wouldn't be in temporary state of repair. The prolonged dampening fields have ruined the mag coils and now resonance-EM mode won't stick. Uggh." As the Starfleet officers trotted off in the dark, Menchez received a communication from the B'Cnah. "Captain," came KVok's voice. "We finally got a hail, but it's from the U.S.S. Al-Batani." "Replay and connect me," Menchez tapped the controls on his forearm bangle. A voice came through. "This is Commander Collins of the Al-Batani. Before she left, Admiral Chekov gave orders to not allow any ships near here. I believe a Klingon war cruiser counts as a 'ship', even by your own standards. Please identify, and yes, we can see you." "You can detect Klingon cloaks now? It amazes me how over-powered you people are on a consistent basis. Your transparent attempts to antagonize me aside, I am not here as a threat. We're tracking an unusual energy distortion that was responsible for the destruction of I.K.S. Meghta, in the Qo'noS Sector. I am already aboard your abandoned Earth base-monstrosity of soft cushions, tracking it. I will have the B'Cnah forward you our data, but it is my duty to stop whatever this thing is." Collins sighed over the air. "Very well. Feel free to use any of our security personnel." He cut off the transmission at the sound of distorted space, near them. His men pulled up their disruptors and Heghto prepared his tachyon emitter. Ukoth, the first in command, altered his disruptor settings as soon as the distortion became visible. "We found it!" Menchez said in both shock and amazement. "Heghto, prepare the device and nullify that thing." Instead, Ukoth aimed his rifle and fired into the distortion. The distortion began to grow into a portal. "Sorry, Menchez, but the people I work for would rather see Earth crumble." "Traitor!? You used the B'Cnah to get to Earth! And after we shared that giant bowl of gagh together??" He pulled up his rifle at Ukoth, but Iconian Herald Constructs and Thralls began stepping out and opening fire at the Klingons. Menchez and his team turned their attention to the Heralds and began exchanging fire. Ukoth smirked, amused, and he and two more Klingon officers broke off from the group and into the darkness. The two dozen or so Starfleet security officers who remained on ESD attempted to assist the Klingons in their defense against the Heralds. A few more security guards beamed onto ESD from the Al-Batani and other nearby starships. --- Civilian Transport Elysium Elihu, who was adept at keeping an emotional connection while also being awake, looked around and glared at Seifer as he questioned Lydia. --- Captain Menchez - Earth Spacedock, Main Concourse Menchez was hit in the shoulder by a Thrall anti proton beam. He was sent to the ground, but used his lowered angle to blast the unsuspecting creature in the head with a disrupter pulse. The remaining Heralds were taken down by the combination Starfleet officer and Klingon group. When the portal was destroyed, Menchez was helped to his feet. "You looked like you could use some assistance," remarked Commander Barnes, a Benzite officer from the shipyard. The Klingon nodded and tapped his wrist communicator. "Menchez to Al-Batani. It would appear we have boarded your base against your regulations. For that, and for what we have brought, I apologize. Now, Ukoth and two of his men have betrayed my crew and escaped onto Spacedock for reasons we do not know. Allow my away team and I to reclaim our honor and track him down. We will make him pay for what he has done." --- Captain Aeris - Unknown Undine biobase Aeris and Winry slid down a slimy path to the floor of the enormous chamber. They walked passed the giant energy-fused organic, alien structures to the cell wall which separated them from the large crowd of Starfleet officers by a powerful, horrifying scented transparent membrane. "Captain??" came the voice of Reeve. He walked over to where Aeris approached. "How'd you get here?" The woman replied, "Brought here by Kohogeth, like the rest of you." "He's been taking men, one by one, and injecting them with different kinds of serum. He appears to be of the mad scientist-type." Aeris shook her head and approached an organic device, sticking out of the cell membrane. "No kidding. He never had this kind of power before; the power to pull people from our dimension. And this base was certainly not this big." "No, but I was able to tap into your precious anti-Undine devices," came the ominous voice of the mutant psi-master Undine himself. Kohogeth had re-entered the massive lab without any of them noticing. "When I thought I had lost your signal, people from all over your home base began transporting over. I then decided to use them for my experiments as a consolation prize." Captain Aeris found her wrist was suddenly strapped into the very same console she was trying to hack, by strange Undine vines. "You bastard! I thought you were done with all this? And you modified your physiology so you could speak?" "After you escaped, I pledged to do everything in my power to find you again. I resumed my work in genetic creation, here, on Vokughvegh Base, and grew several devices to access and modify cross-dimensional wavelengths." She gritted her teeth. "Kohogeth, you were a monster. You stole the Zephyra and the Kitana from our space for your own devices. After I got away from you, I was hunted down by the Tal Shiar." "Ah, the Kitana," the Undine recalled. "Terry was the only experiment I was really successful at. But I am so close to replicating it now, and now that we are together again, I am certain we will succeed!" The sound of a bio-molecular phaser rifle loading up, caught Kohogeth and Aeris' attention off guard. "How about you get together with this?" Winry aimed her weapon at close-range to the enemy, but was suddenly attacked by a slimy, energy-laced, slithering tentacle worm-creature. Two more slithering worm-creatures joined and took her down. "Do you like them? They're called the Sleri. I've had them from the very beginning and now there are thousands of them." Aeris pleaded with the misshapen Undine. "Kohogeth, stop this. You know I'll never willingly join you, but... But if you return everyone back to Spacedock, I'll stay." "Captain, no!" Reeve called out. "He's a monstrosity! Not the join-type! Plus, he thinks algae is good human food??" Kohogeth breathed through his makeshift mouth, ignoring the ungrateful prisoner. A green steam permeated from his unnatural orifice and it creaked to the side in a sort of smirk. After some thought, he answered Aeris, "Very well." --- Captain Oroku Seifer - Civilian Transport Elysium As Seifer walked down the aisle of seats, he could have sworn Elihu was glaring at him in an odd way. He wondered if it was something the hybrid ate during the trip. Despite the food, Seifer had enough information to pass on that it would help Elihu in court. Entering the Bridge, Seifer met up with the three operators of the vessel. The Elysium dropped warp at Caldos III. "How's it looking, team?" Seifer asked. But the visual on the view screen displayed the exact answer to that question. Lieutenant Edward at helm swallowed her saliva nervously. "Uh, not good, Captain." Several unmarked, unaffiliated alien starships comprised of two Klingon battle cruisers, a Gorn Tuatara, and an Orion Brigand approached the Elysium and locked tractor beams.