Star Trek Helix: Axis Power, Part I

STAR TREK: HELIX

Episode: “AXIS POWER part 1″ by Todd Kelley

<todd@tomato.com>

 

TEASER: THE
PATH LESS TRAVELED

 

Commodore Dimitri
Andreyevich existed the turbolift and made his
way to the Starbase’s location map. After accessing where
he needed
to go, he followed the dim yellow arrows along the corridor
walls,
which guided him to his destination.

 

It had been only
three hours since the U.S.S. Atlantis had returned from its mission,
and he was looking forward to
some time off when the call came in for him to report to
his superior.
Although his regular team wasn’t present on the current
mission,
he was instructed to assemble them for a top priority
assignment.
Lt. Shelly Casey and Lt. David Gerard, part of his senior
staff,
would be the last to arrive due to previous
assignments.

 

As he arrived at
the conference room, he reached for the hail.
Before his hand could touch the button, the door slid open.

 

“Come in
Dimitri.” A voice called from inside. As he entered,
he noticed the room was dim except for a spotlight which shown
down on a lonely chair in the middle of the room.
“Come in and
have a seat, Commodore.”

 

Dimitri sat in the
spotlighted chair and waited through ten seconds
of deafening silence. Through the darkness, he could see
the outline
of his anonymous superior, silhouetted by the large window full
of stars.

 

He decided to
start things rolling. “Iím sorry for the tardiness,
sir. The Atlantis is prepping for a refit and my
input was needed.”

 

“Understood
and noted.” The anonymous man responded. “I read your
current mission log. I understand you had a little difficulty
this time around.”

 

Dimitri smiled.
“Nothing out of the ordinary, at least for us,
sir. Letís just say that Vulcans werenít always as cool and
collected
as they are now.”

 

At that point,
Dimitri heard a slight chuckle coming from the
darkness. He knew, right away it wasnít his
superior.

 

“Whoís
there?” Dimitri called out without thinking.

 

From the darkness,
a woman bearing Admiralís pips stepped toward
him. She was an older woman with graying.

 

“Stand down,
Commodore.” She spoke walking toward him, then leaning
on the front desk. “Iím the one who brought you
hear.”

 

“Maíam?”

 

The anonymous man
interrupted. “Dimitri, this is Admiral Cynthia
Porter from Starfleet Security. We have summoned you for a
mission
which will be managed outside of the normal
procedures.”

 

“I donít
understand.” Dimitri commented.

 

Admiral Porter
reached for a message pad on the desk. “Like your
C.O. here, I am also from a high security agency which
works surreptitiously.
We tend toÖ” she paused to search for the right words,
“Öborrow
resources from each other when needed. Thatís why you are here.”
She handed him the message pad. “Commodore, what we
are about
to discuss must not leave this room. The information being
provided
to you with highly sensitive and could destroy the very
foundation
of the Federation if made public.”

 

Dimitri nodded and
started to scan over the message pad.

 

Admiral Porter
made her way to the large wall display at the front
of the room.

 

“Commodore,
what do you know about, SECTION 31?”

 

Dimitri paused for
a second. He knew he had to play this situation
very carefully. “Iíve heard rumors, maíam. Thatís
all,”

 

“Well, all
you need to know is that they handle the dirty work
when it comes to protecting the peace. Theyíre very
powerful and
very secretive. Within the SECTION, there is a branch known
only
as THE PROGRAM. It is this department which uses outside
contractors
for specific missions concerning questionable
threats.”

 

The anonymous man
continued. “Treaties with various races have
been preventing us from going after potential enemies, or
helping
ëquestionableí allies. THE PROGRAM was established to work
outside
of Starfleet to handle these situations.”

 

Admiral Porter
activated one of her personal files. The holographic
image of a small spaceship and its crew bios appeared on
screen.
She started the mission briefing. “During Wolf 359, I
was assigned
to rescue and relief efforts. During our second pass
through the
Starfleet wreckage, we came across this unidentified ship. It
had a small crew, all but three were dead, and it was apparent
they had just come out of a severe battle of some kind. We
assumed
it was just another Starfleet vessel. But we discovered it had
remnants of Borg technology interwoven in its
structure.”

 

Dimitri turned his
attention away from the message pad and listened
closely.

 

The Admiral
continued. “The three survivors, two Vulcans and a
Human, were brought aboard and treated for severe bruises and
radiation burns.”

 

The anonymous man
took over. “After an extensive investigation,
it was discovered that they were survivors from an
alternate universe.”
He watched Dimitriís eyes widen. “In their universe,
the Borg
conquered earth after Wolf 359 and went on to take over the
Alpha
Quadrant. The three survivors had just spent several of their
years fighting for humanoid freedom when a system malfunction
somehow opened a wormhole and pulled them back in time,
literally
into the battle of Wolf 359.”.

 

The Admiral
continued. “Under my supervision, The Department of
Temporal Investigations did a six month study on this
occurrence.
Their theory is that The Helix caused some type of
change in the timeline when they arrived
at Wolf 359. Some subtle deviation on their part tipped the
balance
in our favor, creating the timeline as we know
it.”

 

Dimitri smiled.
“Of course, this is all speculation?”

 

The Admiral
smiled. “Perhaps. In any case, I pulled Alex Garrett
and his team into THE PROGRAM and they became our top
operatives.”
She highlighted the crew bios. “A year ago, Alex and
his team
were part of an investigation which uncovered the
Dominionís initial
plot of invading the Alpha Quadrant. Afterwards, due to
questions
of loyalty, they decided to leave.”

 

The anonymous man interrupted.
“In a nutshell, Alex and TEAM:HELIX
have taken part in crimes against The Federation since
then. Under
THE PROGRAMSí supervision, they wouldíve been given
immunity.”

 

The Admiral
concluded. “Now, since theyíve broken ties with us,
they are accountable for those crimes. Youíre assignment is to
locate and apprehend TEAM:HELIX.”

 

Dimitri decided to
dig a little deeper. “With all due respect,
Maíam, Iím still not getting this. The Atlantis and
my crew are mainly used for temporal maintenance and repairing
the timeline. Iím sure there are better qualified teams
for,”

 

“I wonít have
you questioning my judgement, Commodore.” The anonymous
man said sternly. “Itís my job to pick the best
officers for the
assignment, and your job to carry out those orders. Is that
understood?”

 

“Yes,
sir.” Dimitri replied with a hint of disapproval. “We should
be ready to leave dry dock in about a week.”

 

The anonymous man
swiveled his chair to face the window. “You
have six hours.”

 

“Sir! My crew
wonít be fully assembled for another twelve hours
and…”

 

“Then they
will meet you en route. That will be all, Commodore.”

 

“But
Sir…”

 

Dismissed!”

 

Dimitri stood and
quickly left the conference room, leaving Cynthia
to ponder her associateís judgement.

 

“Heís doesnít
seem to be on the same page as us, old friend.”
She said.

 

“Heís the
best I got, Cynthia. Heíll accomplish the mission. Thatís
what he does.”

 

Admiral Porter
found a seat next at the conference table.

 

He turned to her.
“Thereís nothing to worry about.”

"Thatís easy for you to
say." She said with a smile. "THE PROGRAM has run over a thousand
simulations of the coming anomaly. Our projections say thereís an 87%
chance that a major temporal catastrophe will occur and Alex will be the
focal point. If the Commodore is as good as you say, heíll be there to fix
whatever goes wrong."

 

“And what of
your other problem? How long until youíre operation
is exposed?”

 

The Admiral
sighed. “Sloan has already obtained by private logs.
I used encryption methods obtained from The Helix so
itíll be months before he gains access to them. In any event,
THE PROGRAM has less than a year before Sloan pulls the
plug.”

 

The black man
stood and adjusted his uniform. “Unfortunate. I
hope you understand that this must be our last meeting. I
cannot
risk your troubles uncovering my plans.”

 

The Admiral nodded
with a grin. “I understand. And since the Atlantis has been
assigned to bring Alex home to me, here is my part of
our deal.” She handed him a data chip. “It
contains all the data
weíve retrieved from the Helixís Borg-enhanced technology.
Thereís
enough information to push Starfleet decades ahead in the
weapons
race.”

 

The anonymous man smile.
“Well then, Starfleet and I thank you.”
He said as he tapped his comm-badge. “Oh, and Admiral?
Do me a
favor. Watch your back.” In an instant, he disappeared
as the
transporter signal washed over him, leaving Cynthia Porter to
ponder her situation.

 

“Knock on
wood.” She whispered to herself. “Letís hope this works.
With Slogan pushing his investigation of me, in less than a
year
Iíll be out of a job with a price on my head. And when that
happens,
Iíve got to have TEAM: HELIX on my side.”

 

Ý

 

Ý

 

ACT 1:
JUDGEMENT

 

In the years since
their departure from THE PROGRAM, life for
TEAM:HELIX had been difficult. They didnít realize how
accustomed
they had grown to being given weapons and supplies by Admiral
Porter. Now they simply lived from mission to mission,
acquiring
weapons and supplies from people they would normally consider
bitter enemies.

 

But this was
supposed to be the big payoff.

 

A reliable contact
of theirs heard that a piece of Borg technology
had been detected on Nuvellis. The mission would be easy: go in
and secure the artifact and then sell it to the highest bidder.
They hadnít counted on someone else getting to the artifact
sooner.
The Kadre, a race of predatory insects had already secured the
large structural artifact for their Kadrean Empire. They knew
a race as violent as The Kadre couldnít be allowed to possess
technology so advanced. It would mean intergalactic war for
certain.
So now their salvage mission had turned into a ësearch and
destroy.
Fifteen minutes ago, Alex and Kyle had transported inside the
massive structure. Mia, Tash and a team of hired Maquis
soldiers
journey in on foot to attack from the outside and secure
the parameter.
At the same time, Ian and Jann aboard the Helix were aiding a
fleet of Maquis Raiders in attacking the Kadre Destroyer in
orbit
to keep them occupied.

 

“This is
gonna be trouble.” Mia said trudging through the thick
marsh on the planet Nuvellis. With a Batleth firmly in her
grip,
Mia hacked her way to a small clearing. She reached into
her satchel
and pulled out an electronic map just as Tash and the
Maquis patrol
entered the clearing.

 

“Whatís the
word?” Tash said as he signaled for the others to
stop and take a break.

 

Mia accessed the
map. “Weíre about twenty minutes west of the
structure. Knowing Alex, he and Kyle have already started the
fireworks.” She put the map away and grabbed her
phaser. “Weíll
split into two teams so we can approach from opposite
sides. Iím
almost sure the Kadre are ready for an
assault.”

 

“Youíre
expecting heavy resistance?”

 

She smiled.
“Donít I always?”

Inside the Borg
structure, Alex scanned the area from behind a
damaged bulkhead; his phaser rifle slowly crossing the span of
the room. The air was filled the gray smoke and the smell
of charred
flesh. Kadre bodies were littered around the cargo bayís
entrance,
the only people alive were the two crewmembers of the
spacecraft
christened: Helix.

 

Kyle studied the
nearby bodies closely. “They were ripped apart.
What do you think did this?”

 

“Iíll give
you one guess. It starts with a ëBí and ends withan
ëORGí. So much for retrieving the technology. We have to blow
this thing before they can get a distress signal
out.”

 

Kyle pointed to a
particular section. “At least the Kadre arenít
all dead. According to the sensors, at least six of them should
be concentrated in the lower ends of building. I guessing itís
their science team in the control room.”

 

“How long do
you think itíll take for them to pinpoint us?” Alex
asked reconfiguring the settings on his
phaser-rifle.

 

“Between
three and five minutes. Mia and Tash should have the
parameter neutralized by then.” Kyle adjusted the long
satchel
over his shoulder and took off for the entrance. “Come
on…”

 

They quickly made
their way through the gray haze, quickly planting
small explosive charges along the way.

In Orbit, a fleet
of ten Maquis Raiders ran organized strafing
patterns across the Kadre warship. Phaser fire sprang back and
forth like an entangled web of light rays and explosions, which
weighed heavier on the side of the Maquis. Within the fury of
this battle, the starship Helixís powerful guns
swept across the Kadreís shields, hoping to find
a weak point for the other ships to focus on.

"Tara, I got a fifty-two percent
drop in the Kadreís aft shields!" Jann Jaxa called out over the
hailing system. She had positioned herself at the Helixís tactical station
and pushed the automated weapons system to its capacity like Mia had taught
her.

 

Tara, the Maquis
Fleet Commanderís image fluttered on the main
viewer. “Acknowledged! Any word from
Alex?”

 

“Not yet.
Their E.T.A. for the objective is still four minutes
off.”

 

“I donít
think my ships will last that long! Iíve already lost
two ships with good people!”

 

Ian, who was at
the navigatorís position, grew impatient. “Then
pull your damn ships out! The Helix can handle the blunt of the
attack!”

 

Tara grew
frustrated. “No! My people have never backed down from
a fight. And besides, if The Kadre get their hands of that Borg
Technology, itís a pretty good chance weíll all be paying for
it down the road. Well keep ëem busy. Just make sure your
people
are handling their part of the deal!” the screen went
blank.

“Slow
down!” Alex called out to Kyle who was racing through the
Borg corridors like heíd lived their all his life. “I
can barely
see where Iím going with all this smoke.”

 

“Canít do it!
We got company!” Kyle replied grabbing the phaser-rifle
strapped to his shoulder.

 

Alex caught up
with him in time to see them coming in the frontal
distance. Through the steam springing from ruptured pipes all
around them, he could see figures hanging, crawling and jumping
along the apparatus attached to the walls and ceiling.
Their six
arms and four legs enabled them to move with lightning speed;
almost existing as living blurs.

 

“Headís
up!” Kyle called as he raised the rifle. Instead of a
steady stream of energy, which is the usual expenditure,
the rifle
let loose a set of automatic disrupter shots which attacked the
converging Kadre like an UZI. He used all his strength to hold
the powerful weapon steady. The barrage ripped through the
Kadre
with unbridled fury. The creatures screamed as the
disrupter fire
blew off limbs and gutted flesh and metal.

 

After the five
second assault, Kyle tossed the weapon aside and
watched it melt onto the floor plates. “They donít
make ëem like
they use to.” He said smiling at Alex and then taking
off.

 

They quickly
rounded the corner and found themselves in front
of the control room area. Alex activated the entrance panel on
the wall and the four-piece blast door slid open. As they
entered,
they expected to find resistance from more soldiers.

 

What they found
were six insect bodies on the floor; four intact,
the others ripped apart.

 

Standing
unaffected amidst the carnage, they suddenly spotted
red beams of light coming from the shadows. Alex raised his
weapon
and readied himself for the assault. Quickly, from the shadows,
a Borg drone soaked with orange Kadre blood stepped toward
them.

 

Alex fired a
series of shots, which struck the Borg head on. But
it had already adapted to the rifleís frequency and the blows
had no affect. It swung its right arm in a roundhouse
motion and
caught Kyle in the head. The large Trill was lifted off his
feet
and thrown hard into the wall.

 

The thingís other
arm swung at Alex, but the he ducked successfully
and dove for the Borgís mid-section. He speared the drone
in the
stomach and knocked it to the floor.

 

“Kyle, set
the charges!” he yelled as the drone pushed him away
and began to stand.

 

Kyle was already
at the command console and setting the charges.

 

Alex grabbed a
nearby metal pipe and went to strike the drone,
but it was a fatal mistake. As he lifted the pipe over his
head,
the creature extended is right arm and from the back of its
hand,
two long assimilating probes sprang forth. The two needle-like
tubes caught Alex firmly in the neck and released a series of
nano-probes instantly. He could feel the probe spreading from
his neck across his body like hot liquid. But unlike other
people,
the assimilation process would be incredibly swift.

 

Years before, when
Alex and the original TEAM:HELIX existed in
an alternate timeline, Alex sacrifices his self to save the
team
and was captured by the Borg. He was then assimilated into The
Collective– reborn as the demonic Anti-Borg known as AXIS. For
two months, he raged war against his former friends in The
Resistance,
claiming the lives of more than ten thousand men, women and
children.

 

Then, during the
historical battle to reclaim Vulcan, TEAM:HELIX
was able to capture Alex / AXIS and separate him from The
Collective.
For the next six months while Alex remained comatose, human
scientists
probed and experiment on him. They were able to remove
about 60%
of the implants, but the others were fused within his body.
They
had become apart of him, and from that point on, Alex had
to live
with the memory of his actions along with the extra twenty
pounds
of artificial Borg implants.

 

And now, as the
new set of nano-probes course through his body,
they quickly started to replace what had been removed those
many
years ago.

 

Kyle turned in
time to see it all happen. “Alex!!” he cried as
his friend stumbled backwards and fell to floor lifeless.

 

In an instant,
Kyle was on the Borg with a vicious intent. He
sent a hard elbow into the creatureís neck causing it to move
off balance. Then a quick leg sweep sent it to floor. Finally
grasping the metal pipe Alex had before, he planted into
the droneís
chest. The creature momentarily twitched, but eventually went
lifeless.

 

Kyle scurried over
to Alex who was already turning a dark shade
of gray. The Internal implants from his previous assimilation
sprung to life and began to burst through his skin. The
pain was
overwhelming.

 

“Kyle,”
Alex spoke in a garbled voice.

 

“Shut up and
conserve your strength.” Kyle replied. “Iím getting
you out of here.”

 

Alex grabbed his
wrist as it went for his comm badge. “MustÖsetÖcharges,”
his vocal cords began to twist and reform. “destroy
this thing,”

 

Reluctantly, Kyle
agreed and quickly ran for the command console.
He set the remaining charges around the room was the accuracy
of experience. “That ought to do it.”

 

As he went to
reach for the detonator, he suddenly felt an iron
grip fasten onto the back of his collar and violently pull him
away. He felt his feet leave the floor and his body toppled end
over end until he met the wall. As he tried to straighten
himself
up, he saw the thing, which attacked him.

 

“Alex!”
he screamed as he saw his commander standing in front
of the console.

 

“PROGRAM
INITIATED.” The Alex-Thing spoke. “DRONE DESIGNATE: AXIS
COMPATIBLE FOR PHASE 2; INITIATE”. Now the walking
corpse which
use to be Alex Garrett took what use to be his right arm
and drove
it into the command console. Instantly, the technology around
them began to flicker to life. The structureís systems, which
hadnít been active in years, were now springing to life and
Alex
instructed the giant structure on what to do.

 

Kyle tapped his
com badge. “Mia! We got trouble. Alex has been
assimilated and heís taking over the
structure!!”

 

AXIS.” he heard her reply. “Kyle, listen to
me! You have to get him aboard the Helix! We can
still reverse the process.

 

“Iím on
it!” Kyle said rising to his feet. He quickly reached
for his hand phaser and fired at AXIS. But he had somehow
already
adjusted to the weapon’s frequency and paid no attention to
Kyleís
assault. Kyle then increased the weapons setting and fired
again.
This time the energy beam bypassed AXIS and struck the
equipment
console. The display AXIS was working on erupted in a series of
explosions. The equipment around them began to lose
power.

 

This time, Kyleís
actions had gotten AXISí attention. The creature
turned and glared at Kyle.

 

“RESISTANCE
IS FUTILE!” AXIS screamed and he lunged for his former
friend. Kyle quickly jumped out of way and ran for the
other dead
drone on the floor. He quickly pulled out the pipe stuck in its
chest, and wielded it like a baseball bat.

 

Kyle raised the
pipe. “O.K. Alex, let me show you what I know
about resistance!” Just as he began to swing the pipe,
AXIS again
took his right arm and drove it into a nearby wall console. In
that instant, the entire structure started to shake violently.
In mid-swing, Kyle lost his balance and fell backwards. The
room
trembled so intensely that Kyle couldnít seem to get his senses
straight. But through all the chaos around him, he could
see AXIS
slowly walking toward him; his claw-like right arm raised and
ready to strike.

 

Kyle knew he was
in trouble. “Uh oh,”

Outside the
structure, Mia and her troops had just reached the
entrance to see the large structure slowly pulling itself out
of the ground. The ground around it, which the Kadre had
fortified
was now being liquefied by this transformation. The insect
troops
screeched and tried to themselves out of the pool of swirling
dirt and gravel, while Mia and the others looked on.

 

Tash stared at the
Borg structure, which had now started to slowly
rising from the ground. The large dome building turned out to
be a massive sphere. “Mia, we need to get these people
out of
here!”

 

Mia tapped her
comm badge. “Mia to Helix! Get us out of here;
fifteen to beam out!”

Kyle dodged the
Borgís blow and rolled out of harmís way. “Mia,
get me out of here!” he said tapping his com
badge.

 

Just as the
transporter signatures began to commence, Kyle saw
AXIS quickly tapped a few buttons on a nearby console just as
he materialized.

Kyle materialized
on the Helixís bridge by himself.

 

“Whereís
Alex?” Mia said approaching him.

 

Kyle sighed in
frustration. “He somehow blocked the signal as
I was came through. Heís still aboard the
sphere.”

 

“Damnit!”

 

Tash called out.
“Mia! The sphere!”

 

On the view
screen, they watched the large Borg ship slowly rise
out of the planetís atmosphere. As soon as it got clear,
the ship
pushed into warp; the Kadre destroyer following in close
pursuit.

 

“IanÖ”
Mia started to call out.

 

But he was already
ahead of her. “Iím on it.” He replied as the
he navigated the Helix into a tight turn and matched
the Borg shipís course. “Bad news,
we sustained damage during our scuffle with the Kadre. We can
only maintain Warp 6. At that speed, the Borg will pull out of
range in forty-two minutes.”

 

“Itíll have
to do.” Tash replied.

 

“This canít
be happening?” Mia said flopping down into the command
chair. “..not again.”

 

“Somebody
please fill me in!” Kyle yelled.

 

Mia buried her
head into her hands and sighed. Kyle had always
known Mia to be a cool headed person under pressure. Seeing her
in this condition let him know that the situation was
grave.

 

Tash walked to her
and put his hand on her shoulder.

 

He had to give
Kyle an explanation. “Well, you know that during
The Assimilation Wars in our timeline, Alex was captured and
transformed into a Borg.

 

“Right.”
Kyle replied. “But then you guys saved him.”

 

“Thereís more
to the story. You see, our mission wasnít to rescue
Alex during our retaking of Vulcan. TEAM:HELIX was suppose to
seek him out and stop the AXIS EXPERIMENT, even if it meant
killing
him. When we finally found him, we made a decision to take him
back in hopes of reversing the assimilation
process.”

 

“But we were
wrong! We should have killed him when we had the
chance!” Mia blurted out. “During that time, the
Borg realized
that there was no way they were gonna to wipe out the galaxy of
all life. There were too many races still willing to fight,
willing
to die for freedom. So they decided to go a different
route. After
decades of research and the assimilation of races advanced in
temporal mechanics, they came up with the AXIS
EXPERIMENT.

 

Tash continued.
“The experiment derived from the discovery that
ëtimeí, ëspaceí and ëthoughtí were interwoven. With the right
conditions, the three could be used to alter the perception of
existence itself.”

 

Kyle stood
shocked. “Thatís a bunch of crap.”

 

“No. ”
Mia replied. “It was brilliance. You see, they knew they
couldnít stop all of us. So, what better way to get rid of your
enemies than by stopping their very creation. If they could
master
this AXIS EQUATION, they could travel back to the point of the
universeís creation and manipulate the course of existence. But
they were lacking on crucial element; a life form whoís
mind was
open enough to conceive such a task.”

 

“And thatís
were Alex came in, I assume.” Kyle guessed.

 

“Yeah.”
Tash continued. “They viewed Alex as the leader of the
most threatening faction of their enemies, so he was the
perfect
choice, since the human brain has the best capacity for
growth.”

 

Mia continued.
“When Alex was assimilated, he wasnít programmed
to be a drone. He was given his absolute freedom of
thought, with
a few minor touches to his memory, and made responsible for the
EXPERIMENT so his designation became AXIS. He became our
deadliest
enemy, killing thousands of innocent people with his
experiments.
And then, he figured out how to do it.” She paused to
stare at
the massive sphere on their view screen. “The
operation was divided
into three phases. PHASE ONE was to capture and transform the
vessel; namely Alex. PHASE TWO was to write the program
necessary
to create the wormhole. PHASE THREE is to create the time rift,
enter it and travel back to a moment just before creation. The
theory is that since matter was not yet created, the vessel
would
exist as pure thought; literally in ëonenessí with existence.
From that point he could shape the time stream to whatever he
wanted, namely a universe where only the Borg exist in pure
perfection.”

 

Tash took over for
a distraught Mia. “We managed to get Alex just
as he completed PHASE TWO. We destroyed his lab and everything
around it, so we assumed his AXIS program was destroyed also.
We didnít count on it still existing somewhere within him. We
werenít able to fully purge the Borg implants from him. We
mainly
paused and archived his programming given the REAL Alex a
chance
to reclaim his body,”

 

“By the
Prophets, heís gonna finish what he started!!!” Kyle finally
realized how grave the situation was.

 

“We canít
make the same mistake twice, Kyle.” Mia added, not looking
up from her slumped position. “Alex is too much of a
liability.
We have to end this right here and now.”

 

“Are you
crazy? There has to be another way. There always it We
just canít kill Alex!!!” Kyle yelled.

 

Mia looked up at
him with a crazed look on her face. Tears streamed
down her cheeks. “Iím commander of the team now! And
we have to
destroy AXIS now before he does anymore damage!!!” she
stood up
and put her hand on Kyleís shoulder. “Itís what Alex
wouldíve
wanted. But heís dead now.”

 

“Iím getting
readings from the sphere.” Ian called out. “The Kadre
destroyer has engaged the Borg.” A couple seconds
passed. “The
Kadre destroyer, has been destroyed.”

 

Mia walked to
Tash. “Put out an emergency message on all frequencies!
Notify everyone within distance the Borg have started their
invasion!
Let everyone know the sphere must be destroyed at all cost. And
when thatís done, initiate the Borg
Protocol
.”

 

Tash shook his
head. “We donít have the power to pull it off.
Even if weÖ.”

 

“Iím not
asking for excuses! MAKE IT HAPPEN!”

 

Without another
word, Tash nodded and left the bridge for engineering.

 

Mia found her way
the command chair. “This is badÖ”

“Pardon me
for saying, sir. But this isnít exactly what I call
fun.” Lt. David Gerard whispered to his commander as
he struggled
with ropes he was tied up in.

 

“For the last
time, David. Donít call me sir in here. I am Professor
Van Helsing and you are Jonathan Harker.” Commodore
Dimitri Andreyevich
whispered to his partner. “You said you wanted to know
what I
do to unwind? Well, now you know. Now play along, or Iíll kick
you out just like Casey.”

 

David smiled.
“You know that was totally uncalled for. That ëthingí
tried to bite her.”

 

Dimitri grew
frustrated. “Thatís what was suppose to happen, Damnit.
And for the record, in the story, the character of Lucy
Westenra
does not, and I quote: ëKick Devil Assí like Lt. Casey
proposes.
Now shut up and play along, or go away!”

 

“Alright,
alright.” David replied with a smile. He never figured
the Commodore for a role player. Especially when it came to
ancient
early gothic tales. But Dimitri seemed to have an unhealthy
fascination
with Bram Stokerís tale of forbidden love and passion. And
watching
Dimitri ëham it upí in full gothic dress was almost worth being
tied up and dangling upside down in the holodeck.

 

From the mist
before them, an ominous figure materialized and
glided into the light. He wore a top hat and small darkened
glasses.
His light beard was thinly stained with redness.

 

“Count
Dracula, I presume?” Dimitri hammed it up.

 

But before the
holographic monster could answer, “Casey to the
Commodore.
” An incoming message intruded.

 

Dimitri answered sternly.
“What is it now?”

 

A
priority message coming in from Captain Hennig of the U.S.S.
Maximillian. Heís requesting all ships in the area for
assistance.
Something about the Borg are attacking.”

 

“How close
are we?”

 

“Seventeen minutes at maximum warp.”

 

“You know the
drill, Lieutenant! Go to red alert and plot the
course, maximum velocity! Weíre on our way up.” He
nodded to David,
who had already started untying himself. “Computer,
end program!”
The gothic locale disappeared just as Dimitri and David exited
the room en route to the bridgeÖ

 

Ý

 

ACT 2: THE
END

 

Five
minutes ahead of the Borg sphere, a fleet of seven Starships
raced on an intercept course at maximum warp. The
U.S.S. Maximillian, a Sovereign-Class starship led the way as
the other ships followed in a ëVí formation.

 

On board, Captain
Joseph Hennig wandered from station to station
on the bridge checking with his officers on their
readiness. They
had been out of dry-dock for only two months, but his crew was
one of the best in the fleet.

 

“Captain?” the helmsman called out. “The Borg ship has
changed
its course and now heading directly for
us.”
Ý
“Go
to red alert.” Joseph ordered. “Notify the rest of the fleet
to take their positions.”
Ý
On the
view screen, the giant sphere appeared and the bridge crew
held their breath.”
Ý
“Donít give in to fear.” Joseph reassured his crew.
“Weíve beaten
them back twice before. This is no different. All
we have to do
is keep them occupied until the cavalry
arrives.”
Ý
Captain
Hennig then saw the two dozen shimmering, projectiles
which sprang from the sphere. “Incoming fire,
evasive maneuvers!”

 

Hennig held his
breathÖ

“Mia?”
Tash called out aboard the Helix. “Iím getting readings.
Starfleet has just engaged the sphere.”

 

“Time to
intercept?” she asked him.

 

“Theyíve
slowed to impulse, so we should arrive in roughly six
minutes.”

 

Mia turned to her
navigator. “Ian, I want you to have the Shield
Pulsar active when we get in range of the sphere. Then transfer
the Borgís shield harmonics to one of the quantum
torpedoes. Weíre
gonna have to give Starfleet a little help.”

The U.S.S.
Maximillian
veered hard to the right as the Borg torpedoes raced at the
fleet.
Two of the other ships werenít so lucky. The shimmering
projectiles
passed through their shields and struck head on into their
saucer
sections. The Crazyhorse sustained major damage and
toppled out of control away from the
battle. As the impact sent a blast through the
Pittsburgh, shock waves tore the ship apart.

 

“Two ships were hit!”
the tactical officer of the Maximillian reported to her captain.
“One destroyed, the other badly damaged!”

 

Captain Hennig
held on to his chair and his ship tilted steeply.
“Tell the fleet to spread out. Donít give them easy
targets! Attack
pattern Sierra! Remember, we just need to keep them
occupied!”

 

While the other
ships pushed outward drawing the sphereís fire,
the Maximillian raced head on, unleashing a series
of phaser shots. But the Borg
sphere was unaffected and replied with its own burst of phaser
fire. Even with full shields, the Maximillianís
shields buckled under the blast.

 

The engineering
station exploded, sending an officerís lifeless
body to the floor. The tactical officer quickly took his
place.

 

Suddenly the
operations console went crazy. “Captain, incoming
quantum torpedoÖfrom behind us!!!”

 

Hennig knew there
was no time for countermeasures. “Brace for
impact!!” he yelled and the crew complied. But from
the view screen,
the bridge crew watched the quantum torpedo pass closely over
them and streak directly for the sphere.

 

The impact seemed
to engulf the entire sphere, but it primarily
sent a shock wave across its shields.

 

“Sir!”
the helmsman rejoiced. “That blast took the Borgís shields
offline! Their defenseless!”

 

Hennig suddenly
saw a small unidentified ship streak past them
take on the sphere. He had never seen such a small ship with so
much firepower. The sphere immediately pulled its guns off of
the starships and focused on the Helix.

 

“Incoming
message for the unidentified ship, sir.” The communications
officer said.

 

“Put it
through.” Hennig replied. Instantly, the image of a Vulcan
female appeared onscreen. “Who are you?” he
commanded.

 

“No time for
introductions, Captain. All you need to know is if
we donít stop the Borg here and now, everything as we know it
ends! I suggest you take advantage of this opportunity and give
me and my crew a hand in blowing this thing to scrap
metal!”

 

“Understood!” he said as the image disappeared. He turned
to the
commas officer. “Radio the fleet. We canít wait for
the cavalry.
All ships attack in full force. We stop them now or we die
trying!”

 

The Starship fleet
quickly responded and sent a melee of firepower
at the sphere. And this time, their efforts were paying
off. The
Federation battleships crawled over the Borg craft like
masquitos,
their hit and run tactics keeping the sphere of balance.

Mia took her place
at tactical and tried to find a weapon in the
Helixís arsenal to disable the Borg sphere. “Tash, can
we get
the Meta-Shields online? Last time we use them, the
feedback from
the power overload took our everything within ten thousand
kilometers.”

 

Tash access the
computerís directories. “Since the Borg Protocols are online,
we can make it happen, but itíll blow every power
source we got aboard. We better make it count.”

 

Just as Mia began
to access the weaponís program, the view screen
image went fuzzy.

 

“Incoming
message.” Tash said.

 

They expected the
grand unveiling of the new AXIS onscreen. But
the message was ‘audio only’. “DRONE DESIGNATE:
AXIS COMPATIBLE FOR PHASE 3; INITIATEÖ YOUÖ
AREÖ TOOÖ LATEÖ

 

All power on the
bridge suddenly went dead.

 

“Tash?”
Mia called out.

 

“Itís some
type of chonoton pulse. The protocols are offline!
Alex knew we would use the contingency.”

 

At first, Kyle
felt a faint tingling in his stomach. It felt as
if something was growing. But the unusual feeling suddenly
turned
into a wrenching of his internal organs. He grabbed his chest
and slumped against a nearby console. “Whatís
happening to me?”
he whispered.

 

Mia turned around
in time to see him drop to his knees and scream
in agony. It was hard to tell, but in the dim light, it looked
as if Kyle was becoming translucent. The edges around his body
were blurry, as if he were in perpetual motion.

 

“BY THE
PROPHETS, MAKE IT STOP!!” he screamed falling over on
his side and rolling around in pain.

 

“Kyle!!”
Mia cried and went to grab him, but Tash pulled her away.
“Whatís happening to him!?” she tore herself away
from her brother
and screamed at the view screen. “What the hell are
you doing
to him?!”

 

And for her last
few seconds of existence, she understood.

 

YOUÖ AREÖ
TOOÖ LATEÖ”

The Borg sphere
collapsed in on itself creating an effect similar
to a supernova implosion. From its center, a series of
translucent,
green shock waves pushed outward, engulfing everything in its
path. The Helix was the first to be hit. And when
the anomaly washed over the
it, the ship disappeared with a whimper.

 

The remaining
Federation fleet had just enough time to try and
escape at maximum warp. But before they could generate a stable
warp field, the green anomaly crashed into them like a
sunomi.

 

The ships seemed
to be literally washed clean from existence.

Commodore
Andreyevich had just entered the bridge of the Atlantis when his
shipís systems started to malfunction. The lighting and
consoles around him were going haywire and his crew was
scattering
to remedy to problem.

 

“Casey, what
the hellís going on?” he asked taking his chair.
He could tell by his Lieutenantís expression that she was
clueless.

 

“We were
getting a battle analysis from the Maximillian when everything
wentÖ” Lt. Shelly Casey

 

“Good
God!!!” Lt. David Gerard yelled from the science station.
“Thereís some type of shock wave heading directly for
us!!!!”

 

“Onscreen and
magnify.” Dimitri ordered.

 

In pure horror,
the bridge crew watched as the anomaly raced toward
them, engulfing a nearby planet with twelve moons in a fraction
of a second.

 

“Helm!”
Dimitri yelled, gripping his chair tightly. “Get us out
of here!!!”

 

“Too late!
Impact in three seconds!!!”

 

Dimtri dove from
his chair and ran for David at the tactical station.
“RAISE THE SHIELDS!!! RAISE THE SHÖ.”

 

Just as Lt. David
Gerardís finger brushed the ëshields enableí
controls, the temporal anomaly washed over the U.S.S.
Atlantis.
The crew braced for the impact, but at the instant of
collision,
there was none.

 

Because, at that
moment there never was a U.S.S. Atlantis

 

Öbecause there never
was a Starfleet to commission itóor a race
called humans to help conceive it.

 

There never was a
United Federation of Planets, or any other Empire,
or AllianceÖ

 

History and the
future was dead.

 

People and
families and countless races looked up at the stars
and watched the heavens they studied, worshipped and
admired being
swallowed by the empty sea of nothingness.

 

There could be no
tomorrow. For a fraction of a nano-section everything
that had come to pass, or that would be destined to occur was
erased.

 

The Universe
diedónot with a bang, or a whimper, but with a single
thought for perfection. And when there was nothing left but the
dark, emptiness of pure consciousness, a fallen ëheroí willed
the heavens and the planets to be recreated in his imageÖ

 

Ý

 

ACT 3: LET
THERE BE LIGHTÖ

 

The bridge of the
warship Helix was covered knee-high in a mesh of wires, circuitry,
and large,
metal fragments. The system stations displays flickered
violently
as they tried to draw power from the badly damaged power core.
The view screen hummed with static, and bodies were
intermingled
within the floor’s debris.

 

Captain Mia Gan
An’War was the first to pull herself out of scrap
piles. As she brushed wires and fragments out of her way, she
felt a sharp pain in her right arm. She almost screamed but
realized
she didn’t have the energy to do so. Mia glanced at her arm and
saw a large jagged metal fragment lodged in her upper
arm.

 

“Captain” she heard someone call from behind her.

 

Dr. Holluke, the
shipís physician, came to her and scanned the
damaged arm with his medical tricorder. “You didn’t
puncture any
vital organs, but I’m gonna have to get a med-kit to extract it
without doing more damage.

 

“Not
necessary.” Mia replied as she grabbed the metal piece and
violently yanked it out her upper arm. A surge of Vulcan blood
started to pour.

 

“By the
Prophets!” Holluke yelled as he ripped a piece of his
uniform and dressed her wound. “That’s how you lost
the left arm,
Damnit!” he tightened the dressing with a knot and Mia
flinched.
“One of these days, you’re gonna learn to listen to me
for a change!”

 

“I’m sure I
will, Doc. What about the others?”

 

Holluke scanned
the rest of the thoroughly devastated bridge.
“I don’t know. You’re the first.”

 

“Then let’s
get to it. The last probe reported more Borg patrols
at our last position and we don’t know how far away we got. We
have to find a way to limp back to HQ.”

 

Mia did her best
to reroute as much power as she could to the
primary systems. She absorbed the bad news. “I’m
reading massive
hull breaches ship-wide. Life support has failed on decks 1, 2
and 4. Life signs are scarce but contained. I’m gonna reroute
engineering and medical systems to the bridge. We’re gonna have
to find a way for you to get to the wounded.” After a
few seconds,
the emergency lighting system sprang to life and Mia got a good
look at the damage.

 

In the four years
she had been Commanding the Helix into battle
against the Borg, this was probably the worst beating they had
personally taken. RESISTENCE COMMAND had scheduled the
Helix to be decommissioned and scrapped a year ago, but she fought
to keep it in the fleet.

It was all she had left to remember
Alex by. She promised him that if anything happened, she would keep their
ëscrap heapí space-worthy long enough to see the Borg
destroyed.

 

“Wishful
thinking.” She whispered to herself, almost laughing.
She knew the Helix had outlived its usefulness.
After all, no other ship in the
fleet was responsible for so my victories. ëThe Battle
at Tarok Norí
, ëThe Victory at Cardassia Primeí and ëThe
Assassination of Locutus
í were among the greatest.

 

But the most
recent battle gave her a slap of reality. Only two
hours ago, she was ordered to lead a small fleet to destroy the
Borg’s largest sensor array in the Alpha Quadrant. But the
intelligence
report was flawed. The defenses were too heavy and the
fleet had
to retreat.

 

To save the rest
of the ships, Mia kept the Helix behind to provide
cover fire while the others. The ploy worked to the best of her
knowledge. After taking an incredible pounding, they used the
unstable “fold” system to transport the ship out
of harms way.
And that’s the last thing she can remember. Lord knows
where they
are now, and how long it’ll take to get back home.

 

Mia heard the low
groan coming from a pile of mesh to her left.
A large, hulking figure stood up.

 

“Well, that
was fun.” He said with a slight slur.

 

“You O.K.,
Cy?” Mia said as she pulled the giant, First Officer
out of the pile.

 

“So
far.” Cy replied, his one, big red eye rapidly blinking to
get focused. “What have you done to my ship,
now?”

 

Mia was beginning
to smile just as Dr. Holluke made his way over
to her. “What’s the diagnosis?” she asked.

 

“Ian and
Graab are unconscious, but alright.” He replied. “The
rest are dead. From the major damaged we sustained across the
board, Iím guessing that the rest of the ship is just as dead.
And thereís also something you should see.”

 

He quickly led Mia
and Cy through the mesh of debris into the
far corner of the ship. Holluke continued. “When I
accounted for
all of us on the bridge at the time of the attack, I
him.” He
pointed to a man laying face up on a mound of
rubble.

 

“Who the hell
is that?” Mia asked. “I know everyone aboard this
ship personally and I’ve never seen him before in my
life.”

 

Cy pulled his
phaser. “Maybe heís a shape shifter. Can you scan
him?”

"No" the Dr. replied.
"My tricorder's shot and we have no upper-level sensor systems
working."

 

“Wake him
with a hypo-spray.” Mia said and Holluke did just that.

 

The older man
stirred. After a minute of squirming, he slowly
opened his eyes and stared upward at what use to be the bridge
ceiling.

 

“Are you
alright?” Mia called out to him

 

The stranger
turned on his stomach and began to rise to his. “I’ve
been worse.” Even though his back was to Mia, he knew
who she
was. “But then again, you know that.” He braced
himself on a nearby
wall. “Did we get him?”

 

“What?”
Mia asked. “Get who?”

 

“The damn
sphere.” He said as he began to turn around and face
her. “Did we stop the sphere from creating the. .
.” At that moment,
Kyle realized that something was not right. He found himself in
the company of Mia and two total strangers. “Övortex.
Mia, are
you alright?” he stepped toward her with a look of
concern.

 

With incredible
quickness, Cy stepped in his path and stopped
him with a hard shove. Kyle fell backwards into the wall
and slid
into a sitting position.

 

Mia knelt down to
the man. For a brief instant, she couldíve sworn
he looked familiar. Maybe it was the dim light, which shadowed
most of his features. Thereís was definitely ësomethingí about
him that was familiar.

 

“I think you
have me at a disadvantage, old man. You seem to know
me, but I donít know you.”

 

Kyle stared the
strange group of people standing in front of him
and his heart skipped a beat. He was sitting on the bridge of
the Helix, yet it wasnít the Helix. And his
best friend was standing in front of him., yet she was
a total stranger. And then with a shock, he remembered.
“PHASE
THREE.”

 

“What is he
talking about?” Cy said turning to Mia.

 

“I donít have
a clue. But Iím pretty sure he doesnít belong here.”

"Your right, Sweetie." Kyle
said pulling himself to his feet. "None of us belong here. This is all
wrong. And we need to talk about making it right again."

“Ouch!!!” Lt. David Gerard exclaimed.

 

“Serves you
right.” Dr. Zhivago replied with a slight smile. “If
you were sitting in your seat like you were suppose to, and not
leaning on the guard rail, youíd still have two good legs. Now,
Hold still.”

 

David watched the
doctor reset his broken right leg. “Ouch!!!”
He glared at the doctor. “You did that on
purpose!!!”

 

The doctor
grinned.

 

Commodore
Andreyevich tried his best to reroute power to the science
station to no avail. It had been almost fifteen minutes since
the Atlantis was struck by the large shock wave and the
ship was still dead in
space. If they had left dry dock at full strength, they could
have rode the wave comfortably. But at 52% efficiency, they
were
no match.

 

He tapped his comm
badge. “Andreyevich to Engineering?”

 

“Poldegin
here.”
Zam, his Chief
Engineer responded.

 

“Any luck
restoring power?”

 

“Just the
essentials. Everything is still offline. Iím trying
to reinitialize the matter / anti-matter systems, but itís
gonna
be tricky.”

 

Dimitri became
frustrated. “Zam, we need anything you can give
us up here.”

 

“Hold
on,”
after a couple
of seconds, the lights on the bridge flickered
to life. “Howís that?”

 

“Itíll do,
for now. Warp power and the cloak are your top priorities.”

 

“Understood. Poldegin out.”

 

Dimtri turned to
the helmsman. “Antonia, how are the sensors?”

 

She ran a quick
diagnostic. “Partially online. I think I can work
around the problems.”

 

“Good. Put
out a distress call to Starfleet.” He told her and
she obeyed.

 

Lt. Shelly Casey
entered the bridge was conviction. Dimitri quickly
pulled her to the side.

 

“Whatís the
damage?” he whispered.

 

She wasnít
bringing good news. “Five dead, fourteen injured. The
internal systems have been fried. Fortunately for us, we
had most
of the system data backed up for the refit. Zam says weíll be
inside of twenty-six hours.”

 

“Sir?”
Ensign Antonia called to Dimitri. “I scanned for the nearest
communications buoy,” she paused. “There are
none.”

 

Dimitri made his
way to her with Lt. Casey behind him. “Scan for
any type of activity.”

 

“I did sir. I
scanned for Federation ships and stations, nearby
settlements, even Romulan and Klingon transmissions.
Theyíre allÖ
just gone.”

 

Casey grew
agitated. “Thatís not possible. Whatís goiní on, sir?”

 

Dimitri found his
way to the command chair. Now he realized what
Admiral Cynthia Porter was talking about. She knew that
this temporal
anomaly had the potential to occur. And she also knew that the
Atlantis had the potential to withstand the
occurrence.

 

“Sir please.
Whatís goiní on?” Casey looked into his eyes and
saw that he was clueless. This was definitely not suppose
to happen.

 

“We were
suppose to prevent this. Iím not certain, but somehow,
the timeline has been unwoven. Thereís nothing else out
here but
us.” His eyes met Casey. “Weíre all thatís left
of our timeline,
and there may be on way to get backÖ”

TO BE
CONTINUED

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.