Star Trek Raza, episode 13 Season Finale; Trojan Horse

Star Trek Raza

Season 1 finale, Episode 13

Trojan Horse

 

Faye Monroe’s quarters 64143.33 (7:37 am)

 

As usual, Faye awakens at her normal time at seven am and multiple times hits the snooze button on her alarm. As with every morning, she is now in full blown panic mode thinking that she is going to be late for duty. It wouldn’t be the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. She doesn’t want to admit it, but it really has become part of her daily routine. The only thing that has saved her, as of late; is the fact that Commander Mitchell and Lieutenant Commander Sung-Mitchell are both frequently late for duty themselves. She ponders if they get a free pass just because they are newlyweds and if maybe she can use that same excuse some day if and when she ever gets married. Rank and marriage does have its privileges.

 

Sitting on the edge of her bed she slips on her shoes and quickly laces them up. She reaches across to her nightstand and grabs her hair brush when her comm badge chimes off.

 

“Ensign Barnes to Lieutenant Monroe.”

 

Pausing before she grabs her badge, she thinks hard if maybe she missed an early Senior Staff meeting or something of that nature. Not being able to think of anything out of the ordinary this morning she taps her comm badge.

 

“Go ahead Ensign.” she answers hoping that this is something important. Ensign Barnes as of late has been flirting with her and she knows where this is going. He’s building up the courage to ask her out on a date. He’s a nice guy she thinks. Over six feet tall, dreamy eyes and an athletic build makes him very attractive. But unfortunately, her heart is for someone else right now and that person is the former ships counselor Liira. The Orion bombshell that stole Faye’s heart from the first time she laid eyes on her.

 

“Lieutenant, I have a personal communication for you.”

 

Her heart pounds in excitement hoping, praying that it’s from Liira. “Patch it through to my quarters.” she answers as she rushes over to her personal computer.

 

“Yes sir.” answers the young Ensign as Faye sits down in-front of her desk top computer waiting for Barnes to patch it through. A few seconds later the face of Liira appears on her screen. Faye beams with a huge smile on her face as she sees her former lovers face on the screen.

 

“Faye, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother.”

 

Faye doesn’t want to think or talk about that. Since her mother has passed she’s buried those emotions deep down inside her soul and instead of dealing with those feelings she’s amerced herself in her work. As far as Liira goes, she gets right to the point at hand. “Liira, I’ve missed you so much. When are you coming home?” she asks out of excitement feeling the nervousness build-up and she can’t sit still. Her face beaming with excitement.

 

“Faye, I am home sweetie.” Liira answers with a straight face trying to get right to the point, knowing how awkward this conversation is going to be.

 

Faye smiles at Liira knowing how stupid and nervous she sounds right about now. And when Faye gets nervous she starts talking with her hands. And right about now her hands are waving in the air a mile a minute like she’s some sort of bird flapping up and down getting ready to soar away. “I’m sorry. I mean… when are you coming back to the Raza? I… we miss you so much, and so much has happened since you left.”

 

Liira’s face never changes expression. “Faye…” but Liira can’t get a word in as Faye continues to ramble on not even taking breaths between sentences.

 

“I can’t wait to tell you about what you’ve missed for the past couple of months. Commander Mitchell and A’Ryn got married! Can you believe it? It was a Klingon style wedding. I’ve never attended a Klingon wedding before. It was crazy Liira. You would have loved it. Oh, and A’Ryn looked beautiful in her gown. But before that, Commander Mitchell almost had to fight this monster of a Klingon. The guy that A’Ryn’s father promised her to. Who does that nowadays marrying off your only daughter?”

 

“Faye, please. Listen to me…” begs Liira for Faye to just stop and listen for one minute.

 

“Oh, and Nirren and Jeremy hooked up. I’ve never seen a Vulcan go through Pon Farr before, but Nirren had a bad case of it and her husband… never knew she was married; got remarried and ditched her for another woman so she needed another mate. Oh they make such a cute couple. I hope it lasts so that we can go to a wedding together.”

 

“Faye please stop…”

 

“Did I mention that Gilora wasn’t actually Gilora? She was really part of the Obsidian Order. Or… was a part of it considering that they don’t exist anymore. The Bajoran government arrested her and now she’s standing trial back on Bajor. The captain doesn’t talk about it very much. I think he’s heart broken.”

 

Liira can’t take it any longer and just lets it fly. “I’m not coming back Faye.” Faye stops dead in her tracks shutting right up like she swallowed her tongue. Faye’s once very happy face turns into a dead, stone cold stare at the screen.

 

“What?” Faye turns her head slightly squinting at the view screen, hoping that her former lover is kidding with her or that maybe she heard wrong. That Liira was maybe playing some sort of sick joke with her to get her to shut up.

 

Liira takes a deep breath before she continues. “I’m not coming back Faye. I have submitted my transfer paperwork to Starfleet.”

 

“Transfer?” and Faye leans back in her chair letting her shoulders slouch. “But… but what… what about us? I thought we…” and in the background of the screen Faye can see another woman, that Faye believes is Human; walking by dressed in just her bra and panties. Faye swallows hard, trying to hold back her vomit that’s rushing up from the pit of her stomach ready to explode out of her mouth.

 

Liira can immediately see it in Faye’s eyes that Faye saw the other woman in the background walking by. “Faye, please let me explain.”

 

Faye’s face reddens with anger as she unloads on her former lover leaning inches from the view screen. “Explain what Liira? That you were so broken up about what Cory did to you… to us… that you ran into the arms of another woman? You self-centered, egotistical bitch!”

 

“It’s not like that Faye. I was hurt. I was mentally and emotionally broken, Faye.”

 

“So, what’s it like then Liira? What’s it like to screw over the person you supposedly love?” and tears start to well in her eyes heartbroken.

 

“Faye, please. It’s not like that.” answers Liira as she tries to explain her side of the story.

 

“You’re screwing another woman! How the hell do you think I felt when you left? You left me without even talking to me! I should have known then that you didn’t give a damn about me! You never really cared about me did you?”

 

“I never intended for this to happen Faye. I was getting help when I met her. I was in a vulnerable position. She got me through a tough time.”

 

“A vulnerable position? And what position was that? On your back…or bent over?” snaps Faye.

 

“Faye, please try to understand…” pleads Liira seeing that this just went from bad to worse.

 

“Screw you bitch.” and in a fit of rage Faye slams her computer shut, picks it up and whips it across the room smashing it against the wall. From deep within the lower recesses of her gut she screams letting all her anger out. Outside her quarters, passer-byes hear her screaming and wonder just what the hell is going on inside.

 

The Captain’s Ready Room (8:05 am)

 

As per their morning ritual, Captain Decker and Commander Mitchell are due to meet in the captain’s Ready Room to discuss the day’s events. Today though, is a much different day. Today, they have to discuss the upcoming refit of the Raza, the crew’s performance appraisals and the crew’s transfer requests. All of which, in the end; will surely give both men extremely bad migraines, and a trip to the Stargazer to numb it with hideous amounts of alcohol. Commander Mitchell chimes himself in and the Captain quickly responds “Enter.” Mitchell walks into the Ready Room and sees the captain studying the data-pad that he left for him on his desk the night before.

 

“Good morning sir.” as he greets the captain with a smile on his face.

 

“Good morning Number One. I hope you slept well last night?” the captain asks never taking his eyes off the pad in his hands.

 

“I’m a newlywed sir. I’ll sleep later.” jokes Mitchell, but only gets a half-hearted smirk from his captain. Maybe that was a bad joke considering that the captain probably hasn’t had sex since Gilora was arrested by the Bajoran’s. Mitchell takes a seat across from the captain and looks down at his own data-pad. “Where shall we begin?”

 

“Let’s talk about the Raza. What is Starfleet Engineering looking to do to her while we are in drydock?”

 

Mitchell brings up the plans on his pad. “Let’s see. They are going to work on all four Primary Sensor Arrays. Also, some minor repairs to our Navigational Deflector. Our Ablative Armor still needs some work from the Claxton mission. And if time allows, they are going to work on our Quantum Slipstream Drive.”

 

The captain nods his head in approval. “What are we looking at for a timeline?”

 

“They say they will have it done in about twenty one days.”

 

Again the captain nods his approval. “That’s good, James. That gives them about a week to get the kinks out her before they hand the Raza back to us. What about shuttle craft? We lost the Odyssey months ago and Starfleet never replaced her. I am getting a bit frustrated with this waiting game.”

 

“I spoke to the commander in-charge of assigning a new shuttlecraft to us and he told me that it doesn’t look too promising. It appears that the station is low on shuttlecraft right now. Inventory is low and he’s not willing to share.”

 

Decker looks disappointed. “Number One, we will not be leaving that Starbase without a full complement of shuttlecraft. If you can’t get anywhere with him let me know and I’ll talk to his commanding officer.”

 

“I will sir.”

 

“Is there anything else regarding the Raza we need to cover?”

 

“There’s nothing major sir. We will be restocking the shelves as usual and we will be taking on the standard supplies. There’s nothing on the manifest that sticks out to me. I’ll let you know if anything else pops up.”

 

Again the captain nods his head in approval and Mitchell likes this meeting so far. Any meeting that he’s not getting drilled at is a good meeting. “Let’s move on to the crew’s appraisals then.” states the captain as he taps his pad changing screens. He slowly pans down the numerous lists of names that Mitchell requested accommodations and awards for until he gets to the promotion’s list. Noticing that the list isn’t very long, he looks up at his first officer. “There are only a few names on this list Number One. May I ask why so few people, in your mind; deserve promotions?”

 

“Sir, I take promotions very seriously. I want my crew to know that they are going to have to work hard to get ahead. The Raza isn’t going to just hand them things.”

 

“I agree with your assessment Number One. So you wish to promote Ensign Barnes to Lieutenant Junior Grade?”

 

“That’s correct sir. He’s done an excellent job manning OP’s on the third shift and he deserves to move up. I would also like to move him down to Transporter Room One as our new Transporter Chief.”

 

“And Lieutenant T’Vell?” asks the captain curiously. “He’s currently our Transporter Chief.”

 

“My plan is to move him to Comm’s and make him our new Chief of Communications.”

 

“And no further advancement in rank?”

 

“Maybe in time sir. I want to see how he handles himself first.”

 

“And what about Lieutenant Cho? How does he fit into this puzzle?”

 

“I plan on moving him in as the new Tactical and Security Officer.”

 

Decker looks at Mitchell and both men know what the other is thinking, but waits for the other to say it first. “James…”

 

Mitchell raises his hand trying to stop an argument. “Sir, if I may go first; Lieutenant Phos is an outstanding officer. But as of late she has been… well she’s been off her game. Something is seriously wrong with her and until Starfleet Engineering can take her apart and figure it out I just do not feel having her at that station is in the best interest of the Raza.”

 

Decker sits back in his chair looking at his first officer. “James, you are asking me to remove a highly decorated officer from her position. On what grounds do we have to do this? She was hurt in the line of duty. She deserves every opportunity to get well and resume her duties.”

 

“Sir, you’ve seen and heard first-hand how she’s been acting. She’s not right and until Starfleet Engineering can fix her, I for one do not want her on the bridge.”

 

“I agree that she’s not been herself but think about what if that was you in her position for a minute. What if you were severely injured and you were struggling to perform your duties. Would removing you from being my First Officer help you or impede you?”

 

“She’s an android sir.” answers Mitchell trying to stand up for his decision.

 

“She’s a Starfleet officer Number One and she shall be treated as such. We will NOT discard her just because she’s not a living, breathing person. Please make arrangements for Phos to undergo a battery of tests again while we are in for the refit. If they find enough evidence to agree with your transfer we will move on with your recommendations. If they find nothing, the Senior Staff remains status quo. If that is the case, Mister Barnes will be advanced to Lieutenant Junior Grade, but stay on third shift at Comm’s.”

 

“Agreed sir.” answers Mitchell, but disagreeing in his head. His hearts knows something bad is going to happen. He just doesn’t know when. He types away making notes on his data-pad. “Do you want to talk about transfers next, sir?”

 

“Transfers? Who in their right mind would want to leave the Raza?” jokes the captain as he can’t think of anyplace he would rather be.

 

Mitchell taps away on his pad searching for the list. “It looks like there are a few actually. Four in all to be exact, counting Daisy going to Starfleet Academy.”

 

“To be able to go back to my academy days and do it all over again.” and the captain smiles remembering the good old days. “What a dream that would be Number One.”

 

“Yes sir, that would be amazing.” and Mitchell, with a cocky smile; remembers all the women he slept with over those four years. It’s a damn good thing ‘Ryn (Mitchell’s pet nickname for A’Ryn) doesn’t ask too many questions about his past lovers.

 

Decker snaps both men out of their fantasy worlds as he continues. “So, who else is looking for a transfer?”

 

“Ensign Nirren is asking for a leave of absence as so that she can return to Vulcan and have her baby.”

 

“When is she due?”

 

“Not until August sir.”

 

“I’ll approve her leave, but not until June. That will give her plenty of time to return to Vulcan and prepare for the birth.” He ponders the question, but knows he has to ask it. “Does Jeremy know yet?”

 

“The last I heard he has no idea. For some damn reason Nirren doesn’t want to tell him. I’ll never understand Vulcan logic.”

 

“At some point she will have to tell him. I have already taken her off the duty roster as Away Team Field Medic.”

 

“Yeah, not to mention she’s going to start showing pretty damn soon.”

 

“Yes, well keep me informed as to how that all pans out between the two of them. Who else is asking for transfers?”

 

“Lieutenant Ryder would like to be transferred to Gamma Fleet, now serving in the Gamma Quadrant. It appears that he’s looking for a little more action.”

 

“And how does Lieutenant Jin view this?”

 

“I spoke to her briefly and I get the feeling that she’s wanting out too, but just can’t get up the nerve to ask for the transfer.”

 

“Are you saying both my fighter pilots want off the Raza?”

 

“Sir, they are both seasoned fighter pilots. That’s all they know how to do is fly around space blasting things. Playing babysitter to a deep space explorer is not too exciting for them. They both want to get back into the action. Honestly, I can’t blame them.”

 

“I see your point James. I am going to approve the transfer for Mr. Ryder and please set up a meeting with Lieutenant Jin and myself. Before we replace both Ryder and Bates I want to make sure that we are replacing them with people in the right frame of mind knowing full well what they are getting in to.”

 

“Sir, if I may?”

 

“Go ahead James. I want to hear what you have to say.”

 

“Sir, does the Raza really need a fighter escort? We are armed to the teeth and have the best defensive armor in the fleet. We can take a punch and give one hell of a punch back. Are three fighter ships really going to make a shit bit of difference?”

 

The captain smiles at his first officer. “I really do agree with your assessment Number One. But the decision wasn’t mine. The escort was Starfleet’s call. We are seeing more and more of this since the Borg invasion a few years back. Let’s just say Starfleet believes in strength in numbers Number One.”

 

“I suppose sir.”

 

“Who’s next on the list?” Mitchell gets serious and the captain can see it. “Don’t hold back James. Just spit it out.”

 

“It is Liira sir. She’s asking to be assigned to the Federation Embassy on Orion.”

 

“Does she state a reason for this unusual request?

 

“Let me quote it for you sir.”

 

After further consideration, I do not think that living onboard a starship is for me. I believe my services would be best served at a Starbase or a Federation Embassy.

 

“It seems she would much rather have her feet on solid ground.” remarks Mitchell.

 

“It seems like the attack really left a mark on our counselor. As much as I hate to do this, I am going to agree with the transfer. Starship life isn’t for everyone Number One and I think that by denying her request would hurt her chances of getting over what happened to her. Please put a request in to Starfleet to find a suitable councilor to replace her.”

 

“Aye sir.” answers Mitchell as he takes more notes.

 

How do you think Faye is going to take it? I know the two of them had some sort of relationship.”

 

Relationship, Mitchell thinks to himself. Is that how the captain defines two grown women having sex? “She’s going to be pretty upset, but she’s a tough girl. I think she can handle it.” not wanting to say any more than that on the subject.

 

The captain places his pad on his desk and with a smile. “So let’s talk about you then shall we?”

 

“Sir?” asks Mitchell a bit confused.

 

“The wedding, Commander. The big day.”

 

Mitchell chuckles thinking something bad was going to be said. “Yes the wedding. How could I forget about that?”

 

“How are the preparations coming James?”

 

“My mother and sister back on Earth are taking care of everything. From the tux I am going to wear to the church and even the reception hall. They are doing a great job. All ‘Ryn and I have to do is just show up.”

 

“How many people are going to attend?”

 

“I think that at last count we broke two hundred.”

 

“That’s a very respectable amount.” actually stunned that the number even broke a hundred. “I’m impressed Number One. What about A’Ryn’s parents, will they be attending?”

 

“Her mother is already in route to Earth. Her father, on the other hand; won’t be able to attend due to the Klingon and Gorn skirmishes. It seems they are moving more battle stations into the area and he’s overseeing their placement.”

 

“That’s too bad. I have been keeping up to speed on the current relations of the Gorn and Klingon’s. I feel this is going to turn very ugly very soon.”

 

“So are you going to be able to make it? I know that you and Faye are due to leave Earth as soon as we dock the Raza.”

 

“I’m planning on it. Between traveling to and from Betazed and the time allotted for the services for Faye’s mother, I should be back with a few days to spare. So where are you and A’Ryn planning your honeymoon?”

 

“We picked an isolated spot on one of the small Hawaiian Islands. Six days of just me and A’Ryn running naked under the sun.” and a wide ass grin comes over Mitchells face and he twitches his eyebrows up and down at the captain.

 

“Yes, well; keep the pictures to yourself if you would please.” jokes Decker. “I do not need your self-portraits making the rounds around the Raza.”

 

Mitchell laughs and smiles back at his captain. “Aye, captain. We will keep it PG just for you.”

 

Lieutenant Karn’s Science Station on the bridge of the Raza (8:20 am)

 

Rheyna has been sitting at her station watching her best friend Faye stew in anger for the past hour or so since coming on duty. Not being able to take a minute more of it, she gets up out from behind her station and walks down the few steps leading to the Navigational station. Faye never looks up at her as Rheyna leans against the console, her back to the main view screen. Crossing her arms, she whispers to her best friend not wanting the rest of the bridge crew to listen in on their conversation. “Want to talk about it?” Faye looks up at her best friend and Rheyna can see the pain in her eyes holding back the onslaught of tears. “What’s going on sweetie? Talk to me.”

 

Faye’s shoulders droop as if something has taken all life out of her. “It’s Liira. She’s not coming back.” and the tears start to flow.

 

With a look of confusion on her face, Rheyna asks. “What do you mean she’s not coming back. She’s the ships councilor.”

 

Faye waves her hands in the air trying to explain the best she can not even trying to keep her voice down so that nobody else can hear her. “She says that she’s in love with someone else. I saw her Rhey (short for Rheyna). She was strutting around Liira’s room naked for Christ sake. I thought she loved me? I thought we had something special?” and Faye breaks down starting to cry uncontrollably. She brings up her hands to cover her face so that the rest of the bridge can not openly see her. Rheyna leans in hugging her best friend, seeing Cho watching them curiously. Rheyna shakes her head no at him pleading with him not to ask any questions.

 

“Shhh, it’s going to be ok sweetie. It’s going to be ok.” and as Rheyna consoles her friend, an alarm sounds off from Rheyna’s Science station. She cradles Faye’s face in her hands and with a smile. “We will talk later ok?” and Faye nods her head yes and wipes away the tears streaming down her face. Rheyna rushes up the stairs back to her station and sits down tapping away at her screen trying to figure out what the alarm could be. Then it hits her. “Holy crap.” she blurts out in surprise. She quickly taps her comm badge. “Lieutenant Karn to Captain Decker.”

 

The captain responds quickly. “Go ahead Lieutenant.”

 

“Sir, please come to the bridge immediately. I have located the Odyssey!” she exclaims with a bit of excitement in her voice and a broad smile coming over her face.

 

The Briefing Room onboard the Raza (9:00 am)

 

After detecting the trace warp signatures of the shuttlecraft Odyssey, the captain has given his Senior Staff about a half hour to prepare and report their findings. Captain Decker and Commander Mitchell are already seated at the table as Doctor Dorn, Rheyna Karn, A’Ryn Sung-Mitchell, Jeremy Cho, Marc Brynner, Phos and Faye Monroe enter the room and they take their seats. Faye looks across the table to the empty seat usually occupied by Liira and she nearly starts crying again. After they all get settled in, the Captain begins.

 

“Thank you all for coming. As most of you are aware, at approximately eight thirty this morning Lieutenant Karn detected the warp core signature of the Odyssey. Lieutenant?” as he hands the meeting over to his Cardassian Science Officer. Rheyna gets up out of her seat and walks over to the wall mounted monitor. She turns it on showing a small planet.

 

“As the captain has stated, this morning sensors picked up the faint warp core signature of the shuttlecraft Odyssey. After further evaluation, I have traced that energy signature to this planet, Deneva Prime; in the Kappa Fornacis System. I believe the shuttle is on that planet.” and she changes the view screen to show a small planet devoid of all life.

 

“What do we know about Deneva Prime?” asks the Captain.

 

“Deneva Prime was once a thriving member of the Federation. In 2381, the Borg decimated the planet during the war killing; everyone and turning the surface to ash.”

 

“Sounds like a good place to hide.” remarks Commander Mitchell.

 

“Have you determined where on Deneva the shuttle is located?”

 

“No sir. Long range sensors cannot penetrate the fall-out in the atmosphere. We will have to wait until we are in orbit to attempt to get a pin-point location.”

 

The captain looks at Faye, and he can still see the pain on her face. “How long until we reach Deneva?”

 

“At current speeds sir, three hours and twenty-seven minutes.”

 

“Make it so.” and the captain looks at Mitchell. “Your away team Number One?”

 

“Once Rheyna locates the exact location of the Odyssey on the planets surface, I will beam down to the planet with Major Brynner and the MACO’s.”

 

“Please use extreme caution Commander. Our former colleague Mr. Bates is a very dangerous individual. If he is on that planet, I want him brought back alive.” and he turns his attention to Brynner. “Do I make myself clear Major?”

 

“Perfectly sir.” answers Brynner with a shit eating grin on his face.

 

Cho listens very closely as he never hears Nirren’s name called out for the away mission.

 

“Faye, please make me aware when we are entering the Kappa Fornacis system.”

 

“Yes sir.” she answers.

 

“Dismissed.” orders the captain as all the senior staff members except Cho leave the Briefing Room.

 

“Sir, may I have a word?” asks Cho with a look of concern on his face.

 

“Yes, go ahead Lieutenant.”

 

“Sir, I noticed that Nirren was left off the away team. Was that in error sir?”

 

The captain pauses as he tries to formulate an answer in his head that won’t give away too much but will be just enough to get Cho to turn his attention to Nirren to ask what’s going on. “Jeremy, I trust that Commander Mitchell has put an away team together accordingly based on the mission criteria. As far as Nirren goes, I have taken her off away mission duties for the time being.”

 

Now Cho is even more confused. “Why sir? Did she do something wrong?”

 

The captain waves his hand at Cho. “No son. She didn’t do anything wrong. It’s quite the opposite actually.”

 

“Then what is it then?”

 

“I’m afraid that I cannot discuss her medical issues with you unless she gives me permission to do so.”

 

“Medical issues?” and now Jeremy is really worried.

 

The captain places a hand on Jeremy’s shoulder. “Jeremy, I would suggest you speak to her about this. You’ve got three hours until we reach Deneva. Use that time accordingly.”

 

Understanding what the captain is getting at, Cho gets up and leaves the Briefing Room heading to Sick Bay.

 

The Stargazer Lounge (9:35 am)

 

The Stargazer is a bit slow right now as work details have begun on board the Raza and most people have already eaten breakfast. Chief of the Boat LaMay is sitting at a window seat looking out over the stars as he goes over the crew rotations, equipment and supply restocking and the engineering refit team schedules. He wants to make sure that all goes smoothly for Commander Mitchell while the Raza is in dry dock for these thirty days that they are at home, but he is feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Running the Stargazer and being Chief of the Boat has stretched him very thin. The door to the lounge slides open and Sorek walks in. He stops a few feet into the lounge and looks around as if he is searching for someone. He sees LaMay at the farthest table, takes a deep breadth and approaches him stopping a few feet from the table.

 

“Good morning Chief.” he states nervously as he fidgets with his hands.

 

“Morning lad.” as he greets Sorek never looking up from his data pad. “You’re a few hour’s early for your shift, aren’t you?”

 

“Yes… yes I am.” he stutters trying to find a way to get it out. “Sir, may we talk for a moment?”

 

LaMay tosses his pad on the table and looks up at Sorek. “Make it quick lad. I’ve got to get this done for Commander Mitchell by noon today or he’s going to beat my Scottish ass.”

 

Sorek takes a seat at the table across from LaMay, leaning forward and folding his hands. “Sir, I wish to apply to Starfleet Academy.”

 

LaMay smiles at the young man thinking that he’s joking. “A Romulan? In Starfleet? Bloody hell, are you’re serious boy?”

 

Not knowing what to say, he just tells the truth. “I have given my future much thought and I have decided that my best course of action is to pursue a career in Stafleet. But in order to complete my application I need an endorsement from a person such as yourself.”

 

“A person such as myself?” asks LaMay wondering what the hell that is supposed to mean.

 

“According to Academy protocol, in order to be considered; I need a recommendation from a Starfleet member with a certain amount of seniority. You sir, qualify.”

 

LaMay gives Sorek a crooked eye. “Lad, are you calling me old?”

 

Sorek stumbles for an answer. “No… no sir. I would… I would never call you old. Seasoned is the word that I would actually use.”

 

LaMay nods his head in approval. “Good lad. So, before I give you my seal of approval, tell me what field of interest you plan on studying at the Academy?”

 

“I have a great interest in Xenobiology.” answers Sorek proudly.

 

“Xeno what?” asks LaMay having no damn clue what that is.

 

“Xenobiology sir. To put it in its most basic terms, it is the study of synthesizing and manipulating biological devices and systems.” explains Sorek, but he can see that LaMay still has no clue what he’s talking about. “If you wish sir, I can explain it in further detail.”

 

LaMay waves his hand at him. “No lad, that’s fine. But don’t you think that someone like Doctor Dorn or Lieutenant Karn would be better suited to give you a recommendation? They are much closer to your field of study than I am.”

 

He pauses to think for a moment. “That is very true sir. But, upon further consideration, you are my friend and I truly regard your recommendation higher than all others.”

 

Seeing the honesty in this young man’s eyes touches the grizzled veteran. “I tell you what lad, I’ll submit the application on your behalf.”

 

Sorek smiles proudly. “Thank you very much, sir.”

 

LaMay sticks his finger in Sorek’s face. “But you better not let me down lad. You study hard and be the best damn Xeno… Xeno…”

 

“Xenobiologist, sir.” as Sorek helps LaMay out.

 

“Yeah lad, be the best at that.”

 

“I will sir. Thank you.” and Sorek gets up from the table and rushes off. LaMay yells at him.

 

“Lad, where are you going?”

 

“To find Daisy and give her the good news.” answers Sorek with a huge smile on his face.

 

LaMay goes back to work muttering under his breath. “Damn kids.”

 

Sick Bay (10:00 am)

 

Ensign Nirren has been going about her daily business with a smile on her face, very un-Vulcan like. At first, she had the idea that it was the lingering effects of the Pon Farr, but she has now concluded that it is due to the growing baby inside of her and all the emotions that are coming to the surface due to her condition. Strangely, these are emotions that she has come to like and accept as part of her life. What would her mother think of this? A Vulcan at peace with their emotions? She would probably call it blasphemy. Nirren smiles at that thought. She was never a big fan of her mother. She was much more a daddy’s girl when she was little.

 

The door to Sick Bay slides open getting Nirren’s attention. She turns to see who it is and she is very happy to see Jeremy Cho walk in. “Jeremy, it is very nice to see you.” But she can see he has a very stiff face and doesn’t look too happy as he marches right up to her.

 

“Tell me what’s going on?” he demands.

 

“I fail to understand your line of questioning.” she answers him with a quizzical look on her face.

 

Jeremy raises his voice. “Tell me why you’re off of Away Team detail Nirren?”

 

Nirren pauses. “It is personal.”

 

“Personal?” and now Cho is pissed as he raises his voice yelling at her. “God damn-it Nirren I love you and the best you can say is it’s personal?”

 

“Jeremy, I love you also; but this is very difficult to explain.”

 

“Tell me what’s going on Nirren?” demands Cho.

 

“I cannot.” she answers in defiance.

 

“Nirren, I’m serious. Tell me what medical condition you have or we are through!”

 

“You know I have a medical condition?” she asks wondering who told him.

 

“The captain told me that much. But he said if I wanted to know more I needed to ask you. Now I ask you again, what the hell is going on?”

 

“I…”

 

Seeing that she can’t tell him he turns and starts to walk out. “We’re through Nirren. Keep your damn secrets. I never signed up for this.”

 

“I’m pregnant.” she blurts out stopping Jeremy dead in his tracks. He slowly turns around facing her. “Did you sign up for that?” she asks hoping he wouldn’t answer that negatively.

 

A huge smile comes over him. “Your pregnant?” he asks in disbelief.

 

She nods her head yes not knowing if she should smile or keep a straight face.

 

“How?” he asks as he smiles proudly.

 

She looks at him curiously. “Do you wish me to describe to you in detail every sexual position along with dates and times we had sex to make this child?” she asks.

 

Jeremy laughs and then hugs her tight. “I love you so much.” he openly admits. “I’m going to be a dad. How long have you known?”

 

“It has been approximately five weeks since I felt the child’s emotions.”

 

“Five weeks? You’ve know about this for five weeks and you never told me? Why?”

 

“I have needed time to decide my correct course of action.”

 

“Course of action? What course of action?” he asks confused not understanding what she’s getting at.

 

“I wanted to decide if I should stay on the Raza and have our child, or if I wanted to return home to Vulcan to have it.”

 

“Don’t you think that that was something we should have decided together? As a couple.”

 

“I didn’t think that it would have mattered to you either way. Most Human’s…”

 

“Most Human’s what?” asks Cho getting pissed again. “You knew for five weeks that you were pregnant and you never considered telling me? And now you’re making decisions about my child… where you are going to have my child without even consulting me? Why wouldn’t I want to know? Because I’m Human?”

 

“Yes.” she states boldly. “Most Human’s only care about procreating. The family side of things is well… not so Human. Vulcan’s are much more logical when it comes to…”

 

“Oh, screw Vulcan logic Nirren.” he shouts at her and she’s taken aback by that comment. “If we are going to make this work then I want to be consulted on EVERY aspect of our child’s life.”

 

“I understand your request, but you also need to understand that you are not my husband and you also do not control ME.” as she too starts to get visibly angry in a very non-Vulcan like manner. Where are these raw emotions coming from she wonders and why can’t she keep them under control? Not wanting to escalate this argument any further Jeremy storms out leaving Nirren standing there fuming. Doctor Dorn pops his head out of his office overhearing everything.

 

“That didn’t go very well” and Nirren stares him down with an angry tight face.

 

Deneva Prime (10:45 am)

 

The crew of the Argo have been sitting, waiting on this once lavish planet; for the Ferengi to show up for hours now. Unfortunately, all that is left of Deneva Prime is bone and ash after the Borg annihilated every living thing on the planet back in 2381 leaving nothing but scorched rock. Alexa Devereau, the very attractive Human female; and captain of the Argo is pacing around outside her ship getting very impatient. She looks off into the distance and all she sees is dirt and barren wastelands. She pulls her comms unit out of her pocket. “Ragor, you see anything?” she asks her large Cardassian Security Chief.

 

“I’ve got nothing.” as Ragor responds looking through his long rang binoculars over the dead terrain from a ridge overlooking the Argo.

 

“Gem? Anything on scanners?”

 

Back inside the Argo, Gemini is stationed at the Helm trying to make heads or tails of her sensor logs. The dust cloud that currently envelopes this planet is messing things up so bad with her sensors that she can’t tell what’s real and what’s a ghost reading. “Nothing boss. I can’t make out shit in all this.”

 

Alexa stuffs the device back in her pocket and yells back to her Financial Adviser Quaren, a Ferengi in his own right who brokers all the deals; is stationed on the ramp. “Quaren, where the hell are they?”

 

Quaren paces back and forth nervously on the Argo’s ramp. “They told me that they would be here.”

 

“Well they are late. Five more minutes and I’m calling it.” barks the Captain who is beyond agitated at this point.

 

“I’ve got something on visual Captain.” yells out Ragor over the mic. “Ferengi freighter two miles out heading in our direction.”

 

Pulling her comms device back out again. “Keep weapons hot on them Ragor. They do anything stupid, shoot them.”

 

“Love to.” answers the Cardassian brute.

 

The Ferengi freighter touches down close to the Argo. A dust bowl whips around the area and Alexa and Quaren cover their faces with their arms until it dies down minutes later. The freighters cargo hold opens up, lowering the ramp to the ground. The Ferengi captain along with two other well-armed Ferengi men waddle down the ramp. They see Alexa and smile at her barring all their razor-sharp teeth.

 

“Greetings Captain Devereau.” states the Ferengi in-charge.

 

Alexa walks up to the smaller alien. “It’s about damn time you showed up. I thought you got cold feet.”

 

“Yes, well we had a slight delay. Our apologies. Shall we proceed with the transaction?”

 

Alexa looks at him wondering if he’s playing games with her. “First you show me the money.”

 

The Ferengi opens his arms out wide. “Do you not trust us… Human?” and the Ferengi stresses the word Human like it’s a foul word.

 

“Show me the money and we will show you the cargo. That’s how this is going to work. You don’t play by my rules, we don’t have a deal and you don’t get shit. Now show me the God damn money!”

 

The three Ferengi huddle around each other discussing this and after about a minute they break the huddle. “We will show you the money first, and then you will show us the cargo?”

 

“That’s right. Now you’re getting the gist of things.” The lead Ferengi nods to one of the smaller lackies and he rushes back up the ramp into the ship only to reappear a few minutes later with a case in hand. He rushes down the ramp dropping the case at the feat of Alexa. She looks at all three Ferengi. “Open it.” she orders the Ferengi. If that case is rigged to blow, she is not going to be the one dying here she thinks to herself. Again, the lead Ferengi nods to the smaller one and he approaches the case popping the lid exposing a case full of gold pressed latinum. Alexa, keeping her cool; nods to Quaren who waves the three Ferengi to follow him aboard the Argo so that he can show them what they purchased. They quickly follow him up the ramp and into the cargo hold. Alexa closes the lid to the case latching it shut. “Ragor get down here. Everything is going as planned. Time to make the swap.”

 

“Aye captain.” and Ragor slowly begins his decent off the ridge back down to the ship.

 

Minutes later, Quaren and the Ferengi captain make their way back down the ramp all smiles. “I take it you are pleased with what we offer?” asks Alexa.

 

The Ferengi smiles wide as his two lackies escort three dozen Orion slave girls down the ramp toward the Ferengi cargo ship. “We are very pleased. They will be well received back on Ferenginar.”

 

Alexa smiles, thinking to herself Fucking pigs. The very thought of handing over these women to him makes her want to throw up. But a deal is a deal. She needs the money to settle her debts with Jeb. You just don’t want to owe the Orion Syndicate anything because they will come collecting at some point. “Very good. Let’s make this quick so we can get the hell off this fucking rock.” and the Ferengi continue to herd the slave girls from one ship to the other.

 

Holosuite 4 (11:30 am)

 

Sergeant Young tries to control his breathing as the air around him rushes by. He hates Orbital Skydiving, but he knows he has to pass this course if he is ever going to make it to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Normally, Scott wouldn’t worry about things like this; but Major Brynner has been a complete dick to him riding him like a cheap suit since he has arrived on the Raza. Every bone in his body aches from the last two landings he didn’t stick. The name of the game is to skydive from orbit at a rate of over one hundred miles an hour and stick a landing on a ship that you can’t even see until you are less than two hundred yards from the damn thing. The first attempt found Young bouncing off tail of the ship sending him spiraling down to the planet. Failed attempt number one. The second attempt found Scott splattering on the ships front view window like some damn bug. This was mostly because he didn’t deploy his chute in time. He had all intention to, but he was too damn busy arguing with Brynner on comms that he missed his mark. As he soars down through the atmosphere, he can’t see anything on visual as the cloud cover masks everything. “Make it good kid.” states the voice of Major Brynner in his earpiece. Fuck the guy is a pain in his ass thinks Young. Stick the landing and I pass this damn course. Of course, if he could have stuck the landing the last two times he tried this he wouldn’t be in the situation he’s in now. This guy gets off on harassing him.

 

“Ten seconds to deployment.” counts down Brynner.

 

“Great. No pressure.” remarks Young right back at him.

 

“Keep the smart-ass comments to yourself Sergeant and stick the fucking landing. Five seconds to deployment!” Young counts down in his head the last five seconds and finally the airship comes into view. Stick the landing is all he can think about. The airship with the hostages, or simulated hostages races up toward him. His HOOD (Heads Up Display) flashes the command to deploy the chute. His reaction time is perfect as his chute deploys jerking him back slowing his decent. He touches down on the airship, but his right knee buckles on impact twisting it in a weird fashion wrenching the ligaments. Scott screams out in pain as he forgets to retract the chute. The wind gusts by as it catches the chute dragging Young across the airship and off the backside. Young begins to freefall until he hears the command. “Computer, end simulation.” barks out Major Brynner. The Holosuite shuts down and Young falls an additional five feet to the floor right on his back. Young groans in pain, not sure what the hell hurts more. His back, his knee or his fucking pride. Brynner walks into the room and up to Young who has yet to get to his feet. “You’re a piece of fucking work Young.”

 

Scott rips his helmet off and tosses it across the Holosuite in disgust. “Yeah, thanks for the vote of confidence.”

 

“Get up off your ass and do it again.” orders Brynner.

 

Young struggles to get to his feet, ignoring the pain in his lower back but he cannot ignore the pain in his knee as it hits him like a sharp knife anytime he tries to put weight on it. Young reaches for the wall trying to support himself.

 

Brynner sees him struggling with the leg. “Are you going to be ok cupcake?” he asks making fun of him.

 

Again, Young tries to put weight on it, but the pain is too intense and he balances on his good leg. “No, I messed it up pretty good.” and he grimaces in pain.

 

“For Christ sakes get your candy ass down to Sick Bay and get the worm (the very unflattering nickname Brynner has been calling Doctor Dorn behind his back since he came on board) to take a look at you.”

 

What an asshole thinks Young as he hobbles out of the Holosuite heading for Sick Bay.

 

The Stargazer Lounge (12:15 pm)

 

Business has really picked up at the Stargazer during the lunch hour. A good amount of Starfleet personnel has taken time away from their duties for lunch and have congregated in the lounge. Like every other day, Daisy has broken away to spend her lunch break with her boyfriend Sorek. She walks into the lounge and scans the room looking for him. Just about every table is taken and there isn’t a seat left at the bar either. She worms her way through the crowd until she notices him sitting along at the far end of the room. She walks up to him and greets him with a kiss on the side of the head.

 

“Hey. How’s your day?” she asks as she sits down across from him with a smile. Very excited to see her he perks up with a smile.

 

“Very well thank you. I have some very good news that I think you will be most pleased with.” he exclaims, can’t waiting to tell her all about it.

 

She leans forward on the table and listens closely asking. “What is it? Don’t keep me waiting.”

 

He leans across the table holding her hands. “I have asked Chief LaMay to recommend me to Starfleet Academy. If all goes well, I will start next year.”

 

Daisy can’t believe it and she gets up coming around the table hugging Sorek. “That’s great news! If you pass the exam and get in next year we will be at the Academy together!” she kisses him hard on the mouth. “I’m so proud of you. What field of study have you chosen?” as she slides her chair closer to him.

 

“I have decided to study Xenobiology.” and he wonders if she knows what that is. LaMay acted like he did, but something told Sorek that the Chief had no clue what it was. He was just playing like he did to avoid the embarrassment of saying he had no idea. “You do know what that is? Xenobiology?” he asks trying not to make her feel stupid, but also ready to explain it in detail.

 

“Of course, I do.” she giggles aloud. “I’m so proud of you. We are going to have the best time at the Academy together, you just wait and see.” In mid-celebration, they can feel the Raza come out of warp and off in the distance of space they can see a planet approaching.

 

“We just came out of warp.” states Daisy wondering what’s going on.

 

“I am sure it is just a minor detour. We were not supposed to arrive on Earth for a few more days anyway.”

 

She smiles at him trying to get the curiosity out of her head. The Human Daboo girl Nia walks up to them with data pad in hand ready to take their order. “What can I get the two of you today?” she asks with a wonderful smile.

 

The bridge of the Raza (12:20 pm)

 

Lieutenant Monroe drops the Raza out of warp and off in the distance on the main view screen the planet Deneva Prime can be seen. “Sir we have entered the Kappa Fornacis system.” announces the Betazoid pilot.

 

“Very good. Time to Deneva Prime?” asks the captain as he anxiously leans forward in his command chair.

 

“Two minutes sir.” answers Faye.

 

“Take us in slow Miss Monroe.” As he looks over to his Operations Chief. “Are we picking up any chatter on comms Lieutenant?”

 

Jeremy looks down at his console, and then back at the captain. “Nothing sir.”

 

Decker leans over to Mitchell. “Get your team ready Number One. As soon as Rheyna can dial in the exact location of the Odyssey I want you on the ground. I want a clean extraction. Get in and get out.”

 

“Understood sir.” and Mitchell gets up out of his chair and makes his way to the turbo-lift. He taps his comm badge. “Mitchell to Brynner.”

 

“Brynner here sir.”

 

“Assemble the away team in Transporter Room One in five minutes.”

 

“Yes sir.”

 

The door slides shut whisking Mitchell away. The captain turns to Rheyna. “Anything yet?” he asks.

 

“I am picking up multiple warp signatures moving in and out of the system, sir. The Odyssey is one of them and it does lead down to the planets surface.” Rheyna answers beaming with confidence.

 

“Entering orbit around Deneva Prime sir.” announces Faye as she takes the Raza into a standard orbital position.

 

“Scanning the planet now sir.” and Rheyna taps away at her station trying to dial in the exact location of their missing shuttle craft. “There is too much distortion in the upper atmosphere and I can’t get a solid lock.”

 

The Captain taps his comm badge. “Decker to Sung.”

 

“Go ahead sir.” answers the Chief Engineer.

 

“A’Ryn, we need more power to the main sensor array. Lieutenant Karm is having a difficult time breaking through the debris particles in the upper atmosphere. See what you can do for her.

 

“Yes sir. The Borg did a hell of a job on that planet. I’ll see what I can do sir. I may have to shut down a number of secondary systems to give her the power that she needs.”

 

“Do you what you need to do A’Ryn. We may not get another shot like this again.”

 

“Understood sir.”

 

Deneva Prime (12:30 pm)

 

The crew of the Argo have been sitting back counting their coin and celebrating their big financial windfall after selling off over thirty Orion slave girls to the Ferengi. Alexa is reclined in the Helmsman’s chair with her feet up on the forward console drinking a partial bottle of Romulan Ale. The other part, already consumed about an hour ago. As she takes another swig, a proximity alarm goes off to her right. Putting her feet to the floor, she leans across to get a good look at what it might be, but her eyes are blurry from all the booze. “Gemini!” she yells to her Helmsman trying to focus.

 

The half-human and half-Vulcan red head makes her way to the bridge. Her glassy eyes state the obvious fact that she too has consumed way too much liquor. “What’s the matter?” she asks as she holds onto the headrest of the seat in-front of her to control her balance.

 

Alexa points at the red flashing alarm. “That!”

 

Gemini leans across, trying to focus on what she is reading without throwing up. Then it hits her like a ton of bricks, sobering her up in seconds. “Holy shit!” she exclaims in a fit of panic. “It’s the Raza! She just came out of warp and are in orbit! What do you want to do?”

 

Alexa tries to think, but the Romulan Ale is very much clouding her judgement. She puts her fingers on her temples rubbing, thinking hard as to the best course of action. “Are they scanning for us?” she asks.

 

“It’s hard to tell. With all this damn debris in the atmosphere I could barely pick them up myself. I had to shut down a number of back-up systems to boost our own sensor array just to get a reading. What are your orders sir?” Gemini waits for Alexa to say something… anything. “Sir?” she asks again, and this pisses Alexa off.

 

“We sit tight.” snaps the Argo’s captain.

 

“Sit tight?” responds the Argo’s pilot. “Why aren’t we getting the hell out of here while we can?”

 

“Listen, we’re going to sit and wait. If we are having issues with the upper atmosphere, then so aren’t they. Do you have an issue with that?”

 

Gemini wants to argue the point but decides not to. This isn’t the right time to challenge Alexa’s authority. “Do you want me to fire up the engines incase we need to get the hell out of here in a hurry?”

 

“No. If we fire up the engines it will be like sending up a flare. They will surely see us then. Worst case, we will have to cold start her.”

 

“Cold start!” argues Gemini. “Don’t you remember the last time we had to cold start her when we double crossed the Breen? I am still getting the crap stains out of my flight suit for Christ sake.”

 

“Then let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that again.” and Alexa starts to walk away heading back to the crew’s quarters. “I’m going to go lay down for a while. Keep me posted if the Raza gets any closer.”

 

After Alexa gets out of ear shot, Gemini mumbles to herself. “God damn Federation.”

 

The bridge of the Raza (12:40 pm)

 

Tense moments tick away on the bridge of the Raza, but the crew is very focused on the task at hand. Jeremy Cho, dialed in keeping an eye out for any odd sensor readings coming in or out of the system. Faye, keeping the ship in an orbital pattern around the planet; but ready to get the Raza the hell out of there if an emergency arises. And Rheyna, monitoring the planet’s surface and the system they are in for any strange anomalies. The captain is sitting back in his chair, waiting patiently for someone to report in that they have learned something about the Odyssey. Rheyna is the first to speak up. “Captain, I’ve got something.” she proclaims so that the entire bridge can hear her. The captain snaps up out of his chair and makes his way to her station. Leaning over her shoulder he too looks down at her console.

 

“What do you have Lieutenant?” he asks hoping it’s good news.

 

Rheyna points to her screen zooming in on the north west portion of the planet. “With the assistance of Commander Sung-Mitchell, I have narrowed our search down to this island. Prior to the Borg invasion, this island was called Northstar Island in the Aurelius Ocean. I am almost certain that the Odyssey touched down there.”

 

The captain straightens up pressing out his jacket. “Very good Lieutenant. What do we know about that island?”

 

“Prior to the Borg invasion, it was a huge tourist attraction. Now, just like the rest of the planet; it is just a barren hunk of rock.”

 

“Life sign readings?” he asks.

 

“I can’t detect any life signs sir. But then again, there’s so much crap floating around out there we are still having a hard time punching through.”

 

The captain debates if he wants to take the risk of sending the away team down to the surface or not. He decides that this may be their one and only shot at getting Bates back so he makes the call. “Lieutenant, please send the coordinates down to Transporter Room One.” and the captain taps his comm badge. “Decker to Commander Mitchell.”

 

“Go ahead sir.”

 

“James, we have sent the coordinates down to the Transporter Chief. It’s not the precise location Number One, but it will get you in the ball park.”

 

“Understood. I’ll let you know as soon as we find something.”

 

Transporter Room One (12:45 pm)

 

Commander Mitchell turns to look at the three MACO’s who are led by Major Brynner. “It’s time to go, bet let me reiterate our orders. We are to beam down to the planet’s surface and locate the Odyssey. Once there, we are to find and extract Cory Bates. The captain wants him alive, so put all your weapons on stun.” Mitchell watches as the well-armed MACO’s don’t make a move to switch over their setting on their weapons. Mitchell can feel his blood start to boil and he turns to Brynner.

 

Brynner looks back at Mitchell and with a shit eating grin on his face. “These are my boys Commander. They follow my orders.”

 

Mitchell doesn’t back down. He’s the XO of the Raza and he’s not going to take any more of Brynner’s shit. “Then I suggest you tell them to switch their weapons to stun… Major.” stressing the word Major showing that Mitchell outranks him.

 

Brynner bites his bottom lip as he nods to his men, who then in turn switch their weapons over to stun like Mitchell ordered. “All set… boss.” he states in a sarcastic voice aimed at Commander Mitchell in return for Mitchell’s jab. Mitchell knows at some point in the not too distant future these two men will come to blows. Just a few feet away; the Andorian Transporter Chief, Lieutenant T’Vell; watches from the side wondering if there is going to be a fight. Mitchell, Brynner and the three MACO’s finally end their stand-off and walk up onto the transporter pads getting into position. Commander Mitchell turns to the Transporter Chief. “Keep a lock on us at all times Lieutenant. If shit goes sideways… get us the hell out of there.”

 

“Aye sir.” answers the straight faced Andorian, ever the professional.

 

“Engage.” orders Mitchell as their energy patterns disperse and they are whisked away to the planet’s surface.

 

Sick Bay (12:50 pm)

 

Sergeant Young staggers into Sick Bay bracing himself against any wall, chair or any other random piece of equipment he can hold on to, to keep himself up from falling over. Nirren sees him stumble in and rushes over to him letting him swing an arm over her shoulder for support. She immediate notices the young man’s leg is twisted in an odd fashion. “Thanks.” As he groans in pain trying to keep as much weight off the injured leg as humanly possible. “I didn’t think I was going to make it here.” Nirren walks him over to the examination table and helps him sit down. He slides to the back of the table allowing his leg to lay flat on the tables surface. He groans in pain as she tries to straighten the leg out.

 

“May I ask how you did this Sergeant?” and she grabs her medical tricorder and waves it over his leg a number of times, starting from his hip and making her way down to his foot.

 

“Would you believe I fell out of bed?” he tries to joke with her, but she doesn’t find it very funny. She raises an eyebrow at him knowing that the man is lying. “Yeah I didn’t think so. I am trying to pass my Orbital Skydiving Class. I need to pass that to make my next rank.” He shrugs his shoulders. “I guess I need a little more practice.”

 

She puts the tricorder down on the table. “I would highly suggest that you do not try Orbital Skydiving again until your leg is fully healed.”

 

“Yeah, I agree with that. So how bad is it Doc?”

 

“You have torn your Anterior Cruciate Ligament and your Medial Collateral Ligament.”

 

“Is that bad?” he asks her having no clue how serious those injuries are.

 

Both ligaments will need to be replaced if you ever wish to walk again.” Nirren grabs her Cellular Regenerator off her desk and proceeds to heal the torn ligaments. “With current medical treatments as such as they are, your injuries are no more than a minor set-back to your daily routine. I am afraid though, that I will have to put you on “light duty” for the next few days. No away missions and no (stressing the word no) Orbital Skydiving. Do I may myself clear Sergeant?”

 

Young smiles at her and Nirren, in a non-Vulcan like manner; smiles back at him.

 

The surface of Deneva Prime (13:00 pm)

 

The away team, led by Commander Mitchell; materializes on the surface of Deneva Prime on what was once Northstar Island. Mitchell sees nothing but blackened rock for miles around him. Not a single trace of life, from plant to animal life can be seen. This planet has been decimated by the Borg and all life annihilated. Immediately, the three MACO’s bring their phaser rifles to bear and Major Brynner spreads them out in a standard search pattern. Commander Mitchell pulls out his tricorder hoping to get some sort of reading on this barren rock. Mitchell waves the tricorder in the air. “Getting anything?” asks an impatient Brynner.

 

“I’m picking up the Odyssey over there, around that ridge.” and points in the general direction of a small beach cove about a hundred yards away. Brynner whistles to his men and then motions in the air with his hand using some sort of hand signals communicating with his team. The three men fan out leading their way to the cove as Brynner and Mitchell follow them a few yards behind. The group makes their way around a blackened rocky outcropping with the muddy waves of what was once the ocean pounding to their right. As the move around the bend in the rocky mound, they set eyes on her. The wreckage of the Odyssey. Upon first glance, it appears that the Odyssey attempted a water landing, but failed. Mitchell’s best guess is that the Odyssey skipped off the surface of the ocean like a rock skipping across water, hit the beach at somewhat of a reduced speed digging its nacelles into the sand; and then smashed the nose of the shuttlecraft into the rock outcropping crushing the nose cone. Brynner motions through a number of hand flashes for his men to halt. They do as commanded dropping to their knees training their weapons on the Odyssey.

 

“She’s a fucking mess.” blurts out Brynner as he stares at the wreckage through his binoculars.

 

Mitchell rolls his eyes. “Is that your professional opinion Sherlock?” and again pulls out his tricorder waving it toward the shuttlecraft.

 

“Sherlock?” Brynner asks confused as to what the hell Mitchell is referring to. How he wants to punch Mitchell right in the face he thinks to himself.

 

“Yeah, never mind. It will take too long to explain.” and he shuts the tricorder down. “I’m not getting any life sign readings.”

 

“So, you’re saying he’s dead?” asks Brynner almost sounding disappointed.

 

“No, I’m saying I’m not picking up any life sign readings. He could be dead or alive. There’s just too much interference and I’m not getting a good enough reading.”

 

“So, what now boss man?” asks Brynner ever taunting the senior officer.

 

“Let’s take a closer look. If he’s dead I want to be sure.” states Mitchell as he moves in toward the shuttlecraft. Brynner hand motions to the three MACO’s and they follow suit circling in from all directions boxing in the shuttle. Upon closer inspection, the right nacelle is sheered right off. Its current location is anyone’s guess, b it’s most likely at the bottom of the ocean. Ripped off when the shuttle skipped off the water upon impact. The three MACO’s point their phaser rifles at the shuttle door as Mitchell activates the controls opening it from the outside. The pressure seals release and the door begins to slide open, jerking a few times before coming open all the way. Mitchell makes a move to go in first, but Brynner grabs him by the arm stopping him. Brynner again motions to his three men with elaborate hand gestures and Mitchell watches as the three MACO’s rush the shuttle and make their way onboard, rifles at the ready. After a few tense moments, a single MACO makes his way back out and walks up to Brynner.

 

“All secure sir.” he states as the other two MACO’s walk out of the shuttle taking up defense positions around the shuttle, guarding their rear.

 

“Shall we?” asks Brynner with a shit eating grin on his face motioning for Mitchell to board the shuttle first.” Mitchell tries to ignore him and enters the Odyssey. Inside he can see that fire damage has destroyed most of the navigational and communication consoles. Debris and pieces of sharp metal lay littered everywhere within the shuttle with wires hanging down like spider webs. Mitchell tries to gain access to the ships on-board computer, but that too is fried.

 

“No sign of our boy. Either he wasn’t on this ship when it crashed, or he made it out alive and he’s out there trying to find food and water.” states Mitchell thinking that that would be the first thing he would do if he crashed landed on this barren hunk of rock. Just then, as if on cue; a male voice rings out from outside the shuttlecraft. “Howdy neighbors!” Instantly, Mitchell and Brynner can hear the MACO’s start screaming at the lone man.

 

“Get on the ground! Get your fucking ass on the ground!” as they bear down on him with their phaser rifles. “Put your weapon on the ground!” and the three MACO’s encircle him.

 

Mitchell and Brynner rush out of the shuttle and see a man dressed in what used to be a Starfleet uniform, now nothing more than tattered rags. His hair is unkept and long and he has a scraggy bear much resembling a caveman entrapped by the three highly trained soldiers. The man seems to be holding what seems to be a four to five-foot-long pole with wire and a hook dangling from it.

 

“Weapon? What this?” and he waves his makeshift fishing rod in the air at the MACO’s with a stupid grin on his face.

 

“I said, put your fucking weapon down!” screams the lead MACO again, not afraid to stun this man into submission if he is forced to.

 

“Cory?” asks Commander Mitchell as he walks closer to the former Starfleet officer trying to get a better look at this man through the long beard and tattered hair. “Cory Bates?” The man lets out a belly laugh showing a mouth full of missing teeth thanks to his Romulan captors.

 

“In the flesh Commander. In the fucking flesh.” and his laugh turns into the evilest laugh Mitchell has ever heard in his life. From behind, the MACO to the rear sneaks up behind Bates and drives the but of his phaser rifle into the back of his head and the last thing Bates sees is darkness before he face plants into the sand.

 

The bridge of the Raza (13:30 pm)

 

The bridge crew aboard the Raza has been doing their due diligence to stay calm while waiting for word to come back from Commander Mitchell and his away team. The captain, ever the professional; sits in his chair hoping for good news. Across the bridge at the Science station, Lieutenant Karn keeps an ever watchful eye on the planet below for any strange anomalies. After a half hour of reading nothing from the planet’s surface, the ships sensor sweep picks up a strange reading; but not from the planet but from directly in-front of them. Karn ponders where she recalls seeing this type of reading before. Was it back at Deep Space 9 while she was studying the Wormhole near Bajor? No, that’s not it. Then it hits her like a ton of bricks. Her mind flashes back to the exact point and time she first encountered readings like that and in a state of shock she snaps to her feet pointing at the main viewer and yells out so that the entire bridge can hear her. “They’re back!”

 

The captain swings his head back toward Rheyna, but before he can question her on whom “they” are. “Sir, the Romulan Warbird Osiris is de-cloaking right in-front of us!” yells out Lieutenant Cho. As if the captain’s head was on a swivel he snaps his head back toward the main viewer and immediately starts barking orders.

 

“Faye, evasive maneuvers now! Back us off! Give us some damn room.”

 

“Aye sir.” responds Faye, as she hits her control screen trying to bank the Raza to the right to turn her away from the Warbird.

 

“Phos, shields up!”

 

“Aye sir.” but unknown to the rest of the crew, instead of initiating the Raza’s shields she actually gains access to the ships transporters.

 

“Transporter Room One, I want you to beam the away team back immediately; is that understood.” Barks out the captain not waiting to have the away team stranded on the planet while they face off against the Romulan Warbird.

 

“Yes sir, I’m on it.” answers Transporter Chief T’Vell.

 

The captain never takes his eyes off the main viewer and asks. “Have they hailed us yet?” as he directs his question to his Operation’s Officer Jeremy Cho.

 

“No sir. Not a word out of them yet. They’re just sitting there eyeing us up.”

 

Then word comes back from Transporter Room One. “Sir, something is wrong with the transporters. I’ve lost all power down here. I cannot bring the away team back at this time.” and Phos continues to pound away on her control screen over-riding dozens of systems faster than any crew member can acknowledge.

 

Lieutenant Sung-Mitchell, I need those transporters back!” yells out the captain to his Chief Engineer.

 

A’Ryn responds from Main Engineering and you can hear a bit of panic in her voice. “Understood sir, but I’m red lining all over the ship. We are getting massive power failures all over the place. I’ve got dozens of systems down.”

 

“Sir, the main dish just went off line. We have lost both the main sensor array and the back-ups.” yells Karn as panic starts to take over the bridge.

 

“Red alert!” yells the captain and the bridge turns dark and the red warning lights start to flash across the Raza. He sits back down in his chair knowing he’s about to make the toughest decision in his career. “Faye, warp nine NOW! Get us the hell out of here!”

 

Without thinking twice or questioning the captain’s decision; Faye tries to engage the warp drives… but nothing happens. A frantic call comes back to the bridge from Chief Engineer Sung-Mitchell. “Sir, we’ve lost the warp core (thanks to Phos)! I’m going to attempt to start it back up, but it’s going to take me some time!”

 

“A’Ryn, time is something we don’t have much of right now. I need my warp drives now!” yells the captain as the crew can hear a level of concern in his voice.

 

“Sir, on screen!” yells out Cho as he points to the main viewer drawing the bridge crew’s attention. They all are in awe as the face of High Commander Sharn fills up the screen with a shit eating grin on his face.

 

“Sharn!” exclaims the captain as he snaps out of his chair to his feet.

 

Back aboard the Argo (13:40 pm)

 

For about an hour, Gemini has been sitting back watching a blank screen waiting for the Raza to leave orbit. She nearly passes out from all the alcohol she’s consumed over the past few hours when another proximity alarm startles her back into consciousness. She snaps to attention and reaches over silencing the alarm. She grabs her head rubbing her temples due to the headache she has from the copious amounts of Romulan Ale she drank. Gemini tries to focus and it doesn’t take her long to figure out what the hell is going on. She hits the ships communicator in a fit of panic. “Gemini to Alexa.”

 

“Go ahead Gem.” answers the ship’s captain in a half asleep sounding voice.

 

“I need you on the bridge like right now!”

 

You can hear the irritation in Alexa’s voice. “God damn-it Gem, I told you I didn’t want to be bothered until the Raza left orbit.”

 

Now it’s Gemini’s turn to raise her voice. “Do you really think I wanted to wake you up just to listen to you bitch? Just get your ass up here right away. We have a bigger problem than the Raza.” Minutes pass by as Gemini continues to monitor what she sees on her instruments. Alexa stumbles onto the bridge, her hair still a mess and her clothes wrinkled from lying down in them in bed.

 

“This better be good or I’m docking you ten percent out of your cut.”

 

Wanting to just punch her captain in the face right about now, she chooses to just state the facts. “See for yourself.” answers Geminin as she points to the ships long range scanners. Alexa’s eyes nearly pop out of her head as she glares down at what she interprets to be a Romulan Warbird.

 

“Is that…that’s a…” but Alexa can’t seem to spit it out.

 

“It’s a fucking warbird ‘Lexa! They are nose to nose with the Raza! We have got to get out of here while we still can!” yells Gemini at her captain as she gets ready to power up their engines.

 

Alexa grabs Gemini’s hands stopping her from starting up the Argo. “For starters, get ahold of yourself! Secondly, we’re not going anywhere!”

 

Gemini is stunned that Alexa refuses to leave this God forsaken barren rock. “What do you mean we’re not leaving? Are you trying to get us killed?” and she points back at the viewer. “It’s a God damn warbird! As if the Raza wasn’t bad enough!”

 

“Calm down and listen to me. They are not here for us. If they wanted us, they would have already been down here.” and she stops, pausing to think as to what this could all be about. “No.” and she snaps her fingers and a smile comes across her face. “They want the Raza. They are hunting the Federation.”

 

“Hunting a Federation starship?” and Gemini laughs to herself. “That’s the craziest thing I have ever heard!”

 

Alexa stares down her helmsman. “We wait this out. Do I make myself clear, Gem?”

 

Gemini would love to challenge Alexa’s authority at this point but decides that today is not the day. She slumps back in her chair. “Yes sir.”

 

The surface of Deneva Prime (13:45 pm)

 

Back on the planets surface, two of the MACXO’s drag Mitchell to his feet and sit him down on a rock a few feet away from the wreckage of the Odyssey. Stunned from the blow to the back of his head, he tries to rubs the spot where he got hit trying to sooth the pain. “That wasn’t necessary!” as Mitchell gets right in Brynner’s face.

 

Brynner doesn’t back down. “My men were taking no chances with the prisoner. They took what they believed was an armed assailant down before the situation could escalate.”

 

“Armed?! He was carrying a God damn fishing pole you idiot!”

 

Brynner points at Bates. “That man killed three Starfleet Officers and escaped from the Raza all by himself. He’s dangerous as fuck Commander and if you have issues with the way my men and I perform our duties now or going forward, I suggest you take it up with the captain!”

 

“I will.” and Mitchell takes a step away from Brynner tapping his comm badge. “Mitchell to Decker.” but nothing comes back but dead air. “Mitchell to the Raza.” but again, nothing but dead air. Mitchell looks at Brynner. “It must be the debris field jamming our signal. We’ll need to get to higher ground if we’re going to get a signal out.” and before they can do or say anything else they hear Bates laughing from off to the side.

 

“What the hell’s so funny?” asks Brynner as he approaches the man ready to beat the hell out of him.

 

Bates stops laughing and just stares at the two men smiling. “You really think that the atmosphere is jamming your signal? Fucking amateurs! Are you two really that stupid?”

 

“What are you talking about?” asks Mitchell as he walks up to him.

 

“It’s just bullshit from a crazy man Mitchell. Let’s just collect our shit and get to higher ground. I want to get off this rock.” demands Brynner as he grabs his pack and rifle.

 

“They’ve planned this moment for months. Watching you. Plotting your every move. They’ve played you Commander, right from the start. They infiltrated your very ship and you’ve had no idea.”

 

Then the light bulb goes off in Mitchell’s head, Phos. They, whoever they are; have used Phos as their Trojan Horse. Mitchell needs to know more. “Who are they?” as he grabs Bates by what’s left of his Starfleet uniform and drags him to his feet slamming him against the shuttlecraft. “Who are they?” and Brynner watches Mitchell snap getting some sick pleasure of out this.

 

“You’re all dead and you don’t even know it!” and Bates continues to laugh.

 

“Who are they?” and Mitchell punches Bates across the face. A fresh cut across the man’s lip trickles blood. “Who are they?”

 

Bates laughs louder as the blood trickles down his chin, falling into the sand. “The Romulan’s!!!”

 

Mitchell knows exactly who Bates is talking about. Sharn! He turns, never looking at Brynner and the MACO’s; and rushes across the landscape heading for higher ground.

 

The bridge of the Raza (13:50 pm)

 

Sharn smiles back at Captain Decker across the main view screen from his ship, the Osiris. “Captain Decker. It’s so good to see you again. I hope all is well?”

 

Decker isn’t sure how to answer that question, so he attempts to play along with Sharn’s game. “We are doing fine Commander. What brings you this far from Romulan space?”

 

“Captain, please don’t play games with me. We both know why I am here. As before, I wish to collect my son.”

 

“And as I told you before Commander, he is under the protection of the Federation.” answers Decker defiantly.

 

“Is he now Captain?” Sharn pauses for a moment. “Captain, you are in no position to challenge me. I will ask you one last time to give me back my son!” and Decker can see Sharn’s face go from upbeat and smiling to deathly serious.

 

“I do not believe your son wants to go with you.”

 

“Sir, we’ve got partial sensors back on-line. The Romulan Warbird is powering up her disrupters.” yells out Cho from the Ops station.

 

“Shield’s. Arm forward phasers.” orders the captain and from behind him Phos continues to hit various touch pads on her screen, but never arming phasers are bringing up the ships shields.

 

Sharn laughs as he hears the orders being given. “You are a fool Captain.” and Sharn nods to someone on his bridge off to the left.

 

“Sir, I am detecting numerous energy signatures on decks three and four! We are being boarded sir!” exclaims Cho. The captain wonders how the hell this can be. How did they get through their shields’? Then it hits him…

 

“Phos!” and he whips his body around to face his Chief of Security.

 

Main Engineering, deck four (13:55 pm)

 

Lieutenant A’Ryn Sung-Mitchell and her engineering team have been frantically hard working trying to figure out why they are experiencing so many system crashes all at once. From the transporters, to the sensors and the warp core; she has no clue why the Raza is experiencing so many catastrophic system failures. She bounces from station to station trying to bring the warp core back on-line, but everything she tries doesn’t seem to work. From her right, she hears a scream and the eruption of phaser fire. She reaches into a storage compartment and pulls out a phaser pistol of her own. Darting from corner to corner she gets closer to the eruption of battle only to see eight well-armed Romulan’s in Engineering. Her engineering team puts up a brave fight, but they are no match to the militaristic Romulan’s as they pick off each man and woman one at a time without mercy killing them all with their disrupter pistols.

 

A’Ryn manages to get a few shots off, killing two soldiers before being driven back toward the warp core room. Having only two options left, fight and die being the first; she goes with option number two. She rips open an access port on the side wall and begins to climb in. Just as she closes the hatch behind her, the Romulan’s storm the room looking for her; but find nothing.

 

She watches calmly and quietly from inside the small crawl space as the Romulan’s begin the overload sequence for the Raza’s Warp Core Reactor. They are going to overload the reactor! They are going to blow the ship up! She thinks to herself.

 

Crew Quarters, deck three (14:00 pm)

 

The general alarm can be heard blaring across each deck of the Raza. Security officers are seen scrambling from their posts trying to get down to main engineering, but the turbo-lifts are not operational and most have attempted to make the climb down the Jefferies Tubes. Sorek, wondering how Daisy is doing and where she is at this point; tries to stay calm in his quarters. Panic overtakes him as he hears phaser fire right down the hall from his room. He positions himself behind the door to his quarters and commands. “Computer, lights off.” and the room goes as dark as space.

 

The firefight in the hallway outside his quarters stops and he hears heavy footfalls race by his room. The door to his quarters whoosh open and the entry to the room is lit by the light from the hall. He can see the red alert light flashing every few seconds off his walls. The shadow of a lone figure is cast across his floor from the doorway. His heart races. The figure steps into the room and he reacts not trying to defend himself, but out of desperation to save his life. He grabs the person by the head and places that person in a choke hold. The person gasps for air and starts to claw away at Sorek’s arms and hands. Not having a very good hold on the person, Sorek’s hand is bitten and he’s forced to let go from the agonizing pain. His assailant grabs Sorek by the arm and flips him over through the air off his feet sending him crashing to the floor driving the air out of his lungs. From the floor, Sorek looks up and sees Daisy peering down at him holding her throat. “What the hell!” she snaps at him.

 

Sorek staggers back to his feet and pleads with her. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! I had no idea that it was you.” and he grabs her hugging her tight. She pushes him off her, not because she doesn’t appreciate the hug, but she knows that they need to get to a more secure location.

 

“Listen, we’re not safe here. We’ve got to get to someplace safe.”

 

“If we get to the turbo-lift we can get to the bridge.” answers Sorek trying to come up with something sound and logical.

 

“That would be great if the turbo-lifts worked. Whoever did this shut down a ton of primary and back-up systems. We’re going to have to use the Jefferies Tubes.”

 

“But the bridge is two levels up.”

 

“What about the Stargazer? Chief LaMay should be there. He’ll know what to do and that’s only on the next level. It’s not that far to climb.”

 

Sorek smiles. “Agreed.”

 

“Ok, stay behind me.” and she pulls out a phaser pistol and waits for the door slide open leading out to the hallway. She peeks around the corner making sure nobody is coming and hand in hand they make their way to the closest Jefferies Tube.

 

The surface of Deneva Prime (14:05 pm)

 

Brynner watches as Mitchell begins his long climb up the closest ridge. He can hear Bates laughing uncontrollably just a few feet away. He marches right up to him and slams him into the Odyssey. “You’re going to tell me everything, do you understand me?! Everything!”

 

Bates shakes his head no and laughs. “It doesn’t matter! Don’t you see? None of this fucking matters anymore. You’ve been dead for months now. You’ve just had to let it play out. We are all dead.”

 

“What are you talking about?” as Brynner slams Bates into the Odyssey again banging his head against the wreckage. Bates gets serious as he recounts his tale.

 

“I… I left the Raza trying to escape. I found the Paulson Nebula and made my way in. I knew that Decker would try and cut me off, so I double backed and tried to make my way out the south western edge of the Nebula. But I wasn’t alone. The Osiris was also in there. Hiding like some snake waiting to snap out at their pray.”

 

Brynner lets go of Bates uniform and allows him to lean against the wreckage.

 

“They captured me. Tortured me. Made me do things, say things I never thought possible. At the end of the day they used me to lure you here. They knew that Decker wouldn’t let this opportunity go. To avenge the deaths of those men that I killed on his watch.” Bates begins to laugh again. “And here you are. Playing your parts like good little solders.”

 

“Our parts?” Brynner asks. “What are you talking about, you sick fuck?”

 

“The Romulan’s knew you would come here. They were watching your every move. They switched Phos out with… well their own version of Phos. It was the perfect bait and switch. And you were too damn stupid to think that could ever happen. Now we are all going to die from your captain’s misdeeds. All we had to do was hand over that fucking kid and this would never have happened.”

 

“The boy?” asks Brynner wondering what boy he’s talking about.

 

“Sharn’s son. He wants his son back and he’s willing to kill all of us to get what he…” but before Bates can finish his statement, a disrupter blast hits him in the chest sending him crashing back against the Odyssey. The lifeless body slumps down into the sand leaving a blood stain smeared against the white paint of the shuttlecraft.  Brynner reacts out of instinct as he screams. “Get back! Get back to the shuttle!” as more disrupter blasts rain down on their location.

 

The three MACO’s cover Brynner’s retreat as he rushes into the shuttle first. The rear MACO takes a hit to the leg and collapses to the sand. Fresh blood pours from the open burn hole in his left leg. Another MACO runs back out and drags his buddy back into the shuttle. “How many are out there?” yells Brynner as the MACO drops the wounded solder to the floor while the other MACO takes up a defensive stance in the doorway firing back.

 

“Quick count, it looks like at least a dozen Romulan’s. They have us surrounded sir.” and the MACO pulls out a hypo-spray from his vest pocket and injects his friends leg numbing the wound.

 

Brynner’s face turns hard as steel knowing that this could be his last stand. If there’s one place he doesn’t want to die… it’s on this shit hole of a planet he thinks to himself. He dumps the contents of his pack on the floor and barks to his men. “Ok, let’s get an ammo count. If we’re going down, we’re not going down without a fucking fight!”

 

The bridge of the Raza (14:10 pm)

 

The captain stares down Phos, or what he has thought has been Phos; with a look of shock. For how many months he thinks to himself. How many months has this fake been within or midst? He looks back at Sharn. “We will not surrender! We will fight back to the last man! Your son is under the protection of the Federation. What you are doing Sharn is an act of war!”

 

“Really Decker. You stand there and preach to me, but for the past twenty-five years you didn’t have the guts to tell that Betazoid girl (and he points at Faye) that you were her father?” Faye’s jaw drops hearing this shocking news. She turns to look at Decker, who never denies it. Seeing the pain in her eyes, he looks back at Sharn. “You’ve lied to her for years and you stand there taking the morale high ground?! I’m trying to save an Empire!” he screams at Decker. He turns looking at someone across his bridge. “Lock torpedo’s and fire at will.”

 

Decker reaches out with a hand pleading with Sharn. “Sharn… no!”

 

Sharn boasts, waving a balled fist in the air. “Deos fortioribus adesse.” (translated from Roman literature to mean, the gods are on the side of the stronger) as two torpedoes are launched from the Warbird and race at the Raza!

 

Deck five, Sick Bay (14:12 pm)

 

For the past hour and a half, Nirren has been hard at work repairing the two torn ligaments in Sergeant Young’s knee. Doctor Dorn, the Trill Chief Medical Officer has been overseeing the surgery and so far, it’s been going well. The intruder alarm has been going off for quite some time now and the sheer noise of the alarm has been irritating the usual calm Vulcan Nirren. Then again, for the past five month’s Nirren’s emotions have been all over the board, so this isn’t really out of the norm for her right now. Dorn sees her getting irritated by the noise. “Ignore it Ensign. You are doing fine. A few more minutes and our patient will be as good as new.”

 

Nirren looks at the Chief Medical Officer. “It is not the noise that I am concerned about Doctor. It is the fact that there are potentially Romulan’s on the loose aboard our ship.” she states with a look of concern.

 

Dorn chuckles at her trying to calm her nerves. “Ensign, the door is magnetically sealed. Nobody is getting in here unless I want them too.” and he stresses the word “I” to try and ease her thoughts. “You see, the door is also controlled by my voice command. Only two people have access to the door commands. The captain and myself. Short of blowing it open, we are perfectly fine in here.”

 

Out of nowhere, a Plasma torpedo launched form the Romulan Warbird Osiris rips into the Raza. The lights all across deck five flicker on and off repeatedly as debris starts to fall from the ceiling. Nirren can here the bulkhead buckle outside of sick bay and all she can think is that she will never see her baby’s face. A secondary shockwave erupts and a number of computer monitors and conductors explode across the room. Small fires spring up, and for some reason the emergency fire suppression system does not kick in. Dorn braces Nirren from falling over, when a horrific sound of metal twisting and snapping can be heard. Dorn sees the roof start to cave in around them and he tosses Nirren aside taking the full brunt of the weight of the ceiling beam down on top of him. The impact of the beam tips the table in which Sergeant Young was laying causing it to be toppled over. Young, who was still sedated; crashes to the floor in a heap never realizing what just happened.

 

The lights go dark in Sick Bay and the only thing that can be seen is the fires that are starting to erupt around the injured.

 

Deck four, main shuttle bay (14:15 pm)

 

Lieutenant Jin screams back at her wingman Lieutenant Ryder as he struggles to get on his flight suit. “Let’s go! We should have been in the air ten minutes ago!” and she races out into the shuttle bay and climbs the ladder to her fighter. With the cockpit door already open, she drops down into the pilot’s seat and starts her pre-flight inspection.

 

“Damn-it!” snaps Ryder as he rips through his locker looking for his lucky rabbit’s foot. Finally finding it, he grabs his helmet and races out onto the flight deck. The Raza is rocked by the impact of the first Plasma Torpedo and it causes Ryder to stumble around barley managing to stay on his feet.

 

Jin stands up in the cockpit yelling down to him. “What the hell took so long?”

 

Ryder smiles and waves the lucky rabbits foot in the air at her. “I don’t fly without this. This has brought me luck for the past…” and before he can finish, a second Plasma Torpedo launched by the Warbird slams into the shuttle bay. A monstrous hole into space is ripped into the Raza right where the shuttle bay used to be. Upon impact, Lieutenant Ryder along with his fighter and the shuttlecraft Iliad are sucked out into space. Ryder, killed approximately fifteen seconds later by the lack of oxygen in space. His frozen body stuck in orbit around the planet. The abrupt explosion and decompression of the torpedoes impact slams the cockpit door down onto Lieutenant Jin’s head knocking her out cold. She slumps down in the seat and her fighter also is ripped out into space tumbling amongst the debris that was the Raza. The last thing she remembers seeing is the smile on Ryder’s face… and that damn rabbits foot.

 

The bridge of the Raza (14:17 pm)

 

The Raza is rocked by the impact of two Plasma Torpedo’s. “We’ve been hit!” screams out Cho as a number of conduits explode across the bridge and small fires burn out of control. “We have casualties coming in from decks four and…” and he pauses thinking about Nirren. “…five, sir.”

 

“Status report Lieutenant!” screams the captain as the Raza lurches to the right. Faye struggles to align the ship, keeping her under control as best she can.

 

“The main shuttle bay has been destroyed. Reports indicate that we have lost all shuttlecraft and fighters. Sick Bay also reports to have been destroyed. Reports indicate…” and he swallows hard. “…reports indicate… no survivors.” and the words make him want to vomit.

 

The voice of Sharn can be heard again amongst the chaos of the bridge, but it’s not coming from the main view screen; it’s coming out of the mouth of the Phos duplicate stationed at Tactical. “Captain Decker, please do not make me take further action against you. All I ask is that you release my son to me and I will be on my way. No more damage to your ship. No more loss of life for your crew.”

 

Defiantly. “You will get nothing from me you son of a bitch!” screams Captain Decker as he stresses the word nothing.

 

The Phos duplicate smiles back at Decker. “Oh, I will Captain. I most certainly will!” and quicker than anyone on the bridge can react the Phos duplicate pulls out a phaser and blasts Decker point blank in the chest. Decker flies through the air across the bridge and crashes to the floor with a burn hole in his chest. Faye, darts from her Helmsman’s seat and rushes over to her captain quickly checking on him. In a panic she yells back to Rheyna, “I can’t feel a pulse!”

 

The Stargazer Lounge (14:20 pm)

 

Sorek and Daisy made the relatively short climb through the Jefferies Tube up one deck. It was during this climb that Sorek came to realize just how out of shape he is, breathing so heavy that he can be heard a mile away. He will need to address that if he is to make it through Starfleet Academy. They exited the Jefferies Tube and Daisy takes point with her phaser making their way down the halls of deck two on their way to the Stargazer. The stop twice to brace themselves against the walls due to the impact of the two torpedoes striking the ship. The lights in the hallway go out just as they reach the Stargazers door. The door does not open automatically for them, but with their combined strength they manage to force the door open by hand just enough to squeeze their bodies through. The lighting inside the Stargazer is very dim, but just enough for Daisy and Sorek to make out numerous dead bodies on the floor. Starfleet officers that were stuck here during the initial Romulan incursion and sacrificed their lives to defend the ship. Keeping her phaser out in front of her she whispers to Sorek. “Watch your step.” and he swallows hard looking down at the bodies littering the floor. Seeing the horrific look on their faces at the time of death. He holds back the bile forming in his throat, not wanting to throw up in front of her. She hears a noise up on the observation deck but the darkness will not allow her to make out who it is. “Chief?” she asks hoping it’s Chief of the Boat LaMay. She knows he will have all the answers. A forty-year veteran of Starfleet. There isn’t much he doesn’t know.

 

“I’m afraid my dear that Chief LaMay will not be joining us.” and to her horror a Romulan walks out from the darkness and into what little light there is.

 

“Ra’Nar!” exclaims Sorek shocked to see him here on the Raza.

 

“Sub Commander Ra’Nar.” as he corrects the boy.

 

Daisy points the phaser at Ra’Nar, her hands trembling; not giving her very good aim. “Where’s… where’s the Chief?”

 

Ra’Nar smiles at her. “Do you really wish to see him child? I think not. Let it go and let me take the boy back to our ship. Let this end without any more bloodshed.”

 

“Where is he?” she asks trembling as tears start rolling down her face. She knows that LaMay is dead, but she needs to see it for himself.

 

“Have it your way girl.” and Ra’Nar motions to two other Romulan’s standing off to the side. They reach down and drag a body into the light dropping it at Daisy’s feet. The lifeless corpse rolls on to its side, just enough for Daisy to see the face. She looks down in horror as LaMay’s face has been half blown off by a disruptor blast. Daisy snaps, drawing the weapon on Ra’Nar she points the weapon at him in her trembling hand and let’s off a random shot. The shot clips Ra’Nar in the face burning his left eye. His hand shoots to his face covering the wound as his two guards each shoot at Daisy and each hitting her with their disruptor pistols. The impact of both blasts sends Daisy through the air. She parts tables and chairs like a cannon shot sending them scattering to the floor. She finally comes to a rest in a bloody heap next to the bar. Sorek is dumbfounded at the turn of events. He rushes over to Daisy in tears as he cradles her lifeless body in her arms.

 

“What did you do?!” he screams at Ra’Nar. “What did you do?!”

 

The Romulan Sub Commander stands upright exposing his empty burnt out eye socket. “That was most… unfortunate.” and he nods to his two guards. “Take him.” and they walk over to Sorek peeling the dead body of Daisy out of his hands dragging him back over to Ra’Nar. Ra’Nar taps his communications device. “We have the package. Four to beam back.” and in a swirl of energy their molecules disperse and are transported back to the Osiris.

 

The bridge of the Raza (14:22 pm)

 

Back on the bridge, Cho watched from his station as his captain got shot square in the chest. His mind races thinking that he’s just lost Nirren (the love his life), his unborn child and his captain in one day. Shit can’t get much worse than that can it? Instinctively, he reaches for his phaser tucked away under his Comm station. Phos sees this and let’s out a phaser blast at him. Cho ducks down under his station and the shot goes wide burning a hole in the wall. From behind, Rheyna pulls out her own phaser and shoots the Phos duplicate in the back of the head. Sparks fly from the gaping wound in Phos, but the traitorous android doesn’t go down.

 

“How very unfortunate.” exclaims Sharn from back on the view screen watching everything on the Raza go down. “I gave your captain every opportunity to walk away from this. His ego has got the best of him. Now you and your father can join your mother in hell, child!” as he stares at Faye who’s cradling her fathers head in her lap. “Finish this!” he orders the Phos clone. Upon command, the Phos replica hits the control stations pad one last time. Rheyna cannot react quick enough to stop her. A split second later, all the torpedoes in the forward torpedo bay explode! The ship rocks off its center, lurching upward. The spine of the ship is cracked in half and the Raza starts to bend in half mid beam. She’ll never know the pleasure of warping again. What’s left of the bridge crew are tossed about and sent falling to the floor. After regaining his senses, Cho stagers back to his station and tries to make heads or tails of all the data that is streaming in from all decks. Rheyna, knowing that she is the highest remaining officer on the bridge; makes her way to the command chair. She swallows hard… and then takes command of the Raza.

 

“Lieutenant Cho, where do we stand?” she asks above the noise of the Raza falling apart.

 

Cho has no idea where to begin. “Sir, we’ve lost decks seven, eight and nine. Dozens of casualties are being reported.”

 

Rheyna looks oddly at him. “Jeremy, what do you mean we lost decks seven, eight and nine?” not understanding what the hell he’s talking about.

 

He looks back at her not really understanding the readings himself. “We have lost them all sir. What ever they did, it blew a huge hole in the belly of the ship. All emergency power is gone. All those decks… all those people… are gone sir!”

 

Rheyna looks down at Faye who’s sobbing holding the captain. “Faye!” but she doesn’t respond. “Faye!” she screams at her helmsman. And this time Faye snaps out of it looking back at Rheyna over her shoulder. “You have got to get us out of here!” Faye, acknowledging what she has to do; places the captain’s head on the floor and makes her way back to her chair. She hits the control screen with precision. Doing her best, she attempts to turn the Raza around and break orbit. The gravitational pull rips chunks of the Raza from her gapping wounds.

 

Back aboard the Osiris, Sharn smiles and watches as the Raza attempts to flee. “Run child. Run if you can.” and he laughs at their ill-fated attempt.

 

“I need more power!” yells Faye back to Rheyna. “The planets gravity well is pulling us down!”

 

Rheyna taps her comm badge. “Rheyna to A’Ryn.” But there is no response, so she repeats herself again this time nearly screaming. “Rheyna to A’Ryn!” and you can hear the panic in her voice.

 

Main Engineering, deck four (14:25 pm)

 

A’Ryn stayed hidden in the crawl space until the Romulan’s finished their work on the warp core and beamed away. How she wanted so badly to explode from her concealment and unleash a barrage of phaser fire upon these Romulan bastards. Unfortunately, she knows deep down that she may kill a few of them, but in the end, she will be unmercifully killed. Who the hell does she think she is… Kahless? She feels so week, staying an extra few minutes hidden in that crawl space; trying to play it safe until she was sure that they wouldn’t return. She finally crawls out from the tight space, standing upright shedding her fleet jacket exposing her undershirt and bra soaked with sweat. She wipes her cranial ridges and begins to diagnose her warp drive, but it doesn’t look good. The Romulan’s have initiated a warp core breach, and she has no clue how much time they have left before it goes critical or how to shut it down. She hears her comm badge go off on her fleet jacket she discarded on the floor. “Rheyna to A’Ryn!” but she chooses to ignore it trying to focus at the task at hand, stopping the core from blowing up.

 

Her comm badge goes off again and she can hear the urgency in Rheyna’s voice especially due to the Cardassian Science officer is now just about yelling into her comm badge at her. “Rheyna to A’Ryn!” and now A’Ryn gets pissed as she storms over to her jacket and nearly rips the badge off. Why is this woman bothering me! She thinks as she stares at the warp core yelling into the device. “What Rheyna?! I’m a little busy at the moment!” she yells back at her.

 

“A’Ryn, thank God your alive. Listen, I need more power to the maneuvering thrusters!”

 

“More power?” and she looks confused as she questions back. “Rheyna, where’s the captain?”

 

Back on the bridge, Rheyna looks down at the body of Captain Decker wondering if he’s dead or alive. “It’s a long story and I don’t have time to explain. I have taken command of the bridge right now and Faye needs more power. What can you do to help?”

 

A’Ryn can only wonder how serious things have gotten for Rheyna to have taken command of the Raza. Decker and Cho are most likely she thinks as she makes her way over to terminal. “Hold on a second.” as A’Ryn brings up the current diagnostics of the Raza, and they are not pretty. Her eyes bulge out of her head as she sees that decks four and five have gaping holes in them from torpedo explosions. Decks seven, eight and nine are… gone. Incinerated from the inside out. She has no idea how the Raza is still space worthy. She knows there’s nothing she can do for Faye, but what she can do is find a way to eject the warp core.

 

“Rhey, there’s nothing I can do to help you. The warp core is going overload any minute now and I need to find a way to eject it or it’s going to blow us all to hell and back. I’m sorry but, Faye’s on her own.”

 

“No A’Ryn, no. We need you!”

 

“Rhey, you got this. I’m going to save… what’s left of the ship!”

 

Aboard the Osiris (14:27 pm)

 

Sharn is sitting back in his command chair watching the slow death of the Raza in-front of him with a smile on his face. He has played his hand and it couldn’t have gone any better.

 

“Sir, your son is back aboard the ship.” announces Ra’Nar from behind him. Sharn spins his chair about to face him, and to his surprise Ra’Nar has a bandage over his left eye. What the hell could have happened he thinks.

 

“What happened to you?” Sharn asks shocked to see his first officers face wounded.

 

“The Human girl, Daisy I believe her name was; did this to me.” and he lowers his head in shame.

 

Sharn laughs at his first in command embarrassing him in-front of the rest of the bridge crew. “We will get that attended to once we get back into Romulan space.” and Ra’Nar continues to stare down at the floor. “Raise your head proudly Sub Commander! Wear your wound proudly as a badge of honor! We have done all of this for the future of the Romulan Empire!”

 

Ra’Nar lifts his head and sees the Raza trying to get away. “And what about them?” he asks as he points at the view screen. “Do we let them limp away and live?” asks Ra’Nar as he watches the Raza drift away on less than a quarter impulse power. Sharn reacts out of pure hate and spite for what Decker has forced him to do this day. It could have been so much easier eleven months ago if Decker would have just given his son back to him. Now, in the dead of space; Decker and the entire crew of the Raza will pay for what they did to him.

 

Sorek yells over at his tactical officer. “Clip her wings!” and upon command two more Plasma Torpedoes rip away from the Osiris and slams into the right nacelle of the Raza. The duel explosion completely destroys the nacelle sending the Raza spiraling down toward the planet!

 

The bridge of the Raza (14:30 pm)

 

“We have sustained a direct hit to our right warp nacelle!” screams Cho as he tries to make heads or tails from his limited sensor readings. “It’s gone Rheyna! They took the nacelle right off!”

 

“God damn-it! Faye, status!” screams Rheyna.

 

“I’ve lost impulse drives ‘Rhey! We’re dead in the water! We’re going down!!” screams Faye as her hands sweep across her control panel trying desperately trying to keep the ship from going into a death roll as she enters the planets orbit.

 

“Can you land us?” Rheyna asks out of pure desperation.

 

“I’m doing the best I can, but there’s not much left of the ship as it is! All I have left is the maneuvering thrusters and they are barely keeping us level! I’m going to give it a shot, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”

 

Rheyna looks over at Jeremy and she sees him holding on for dear life. Cho’s fingers dig into his Ops station. Then, his world goes dark as his station explodes in a massive arc flash that sends him crashing back into the wall. He can feel his face burning and he thinks his eyes are open; but he sees nothing. Rheyna looks over and sees that the blast of intense heat has burnt his face and burnt his eyes. There’s nothing she can do to help him, and within a minute he passes out from the excruciating pain.

 

Main Engineering, deck four (14:35 pm)

 

The last torpedo blast that sheared off the right nacelle sent A’Ryn through the air and crashing into the far wall. She took a nasty bump to her head and she is bleeding terribly from her cranial ridges and most likely has a concussion. She staggers to her feet holding her head. She doesn’t know how serious it is until she looks at her hand and sees the insane amount of blood that is there. Leaving no time to treat her wound, she lets the blood trickle down her face and onto her shirt. Making her way back to the warp core she sees that things just got worse. That last explosion cracked the warp core casing and radiation is pouring from the core into the isolation chamber. On top of that, the computers that control the automatic warp core ejection system were destroyed by that last blast. She comes to the quick realization that in order to eject the warp core, she is going to need to do that manually. Sadly, that means she is going to have to go inside the radiation filled isolation chamber to do it. Radiation that most likely kill her.

 

How can this be happening she wonders? She just got married. Her life with James didn’t even really start yet. They didn’t even have a chance to talk about having kids. A single tear runs down her face as she bits her bottom lip thinking about all the “what if’s and what could have beens”. She’s a Starfleet officer, and her duty to Starfleet comes first. It always comes back to that doesn’t it? She sighs deeply knowing what she has to do. The only thing to do. She taps her comm badge.

 

“A’Ryn to Rheyna.” She states in a calm and controlled voice.

 

“Go ahead ‘Ryn!” Rheyna yells back to her over the noise of the ship breaking apart as it speeds toward the planets surface. “Tell me you’ve got something!”

 

Very calmly. “I need you to do something for me. I need you to tell James… tell him…” and she can’t hold back the tears. “I need you to tell him that I love him and that I …” and she’s cut off by a blue hand that reaches out touching her on the shoulder.

 

“A’Ryn?!” yells Rheyna. “A’Ryn are you there?” she yells again, but there is no response but just more dead air. Is her friend dead she wonders? Are they all going to die this day?

 

“Rhey, I we’re not going to be able to land this thing! We’re coming in too hot (pilot jargon for too fast)! We’re going to crash Rhey! Brace for impact!” screams Faye.

 

Rheyna swallows hard and makes what she thinks is the last command decision of her life. She taps the control pad on her chair.

 

“All hands… abandon ship! All hands… abandon ship!”

 

Aboard the Osiris (14:37 pm)

 

High Commander Sharn watches through his view screen as the Raza bursts into a ball of flames and begins its rapid decent down toward the planets surface. Slowly, a number of escape pods eject from the Raza; their smaller engines allowing a controlled landing on the planet. But not nearly enough pods to save everyone.

 

“High Commander, we have lost contact with the away team. Shall I set course for the Romulan Empire?” asks Sub Commander Ra’Nar from his post across the bridge to the High Commanders right. He waits, watching the High Commander just stare at the view screen as the Raza disappears into the planets atmosphere. “High Commander, we are running out of time. I am sure the Federation has detected us in this sector.” Ra’Nar asks for a second time hoping that this time the High Commander would give him an order.

 

Sharn doesn’t move but asks. “How is my son?” showing a glimmer of concern.

 

Ra’Nar straightens up accepting responsibility for what Sharn’s son is going through. “He is not well sir. The unfortunate death of the Human girl has… tragically hurt him.” Ra’Nar tries to describe Sorek’s feelings the best he can, but it’s actually an understatement. Sorek would rather have died with Daisy than be here on the Osiris with his father.

 

“He is Romulan. He will recover in time.” Sharn states as cold as ice and Ra’Nar can’t believe he could speak so coldly about his son.

 

Again, Ra’Nar waits for an order to come from his captain and minutes go by without one. Finally, Sharn snaps out of it. “Ra’Nar, engage cloaking device and set course for the Romulan Empire warp seven.”

 

“And the away team sir?” asks Ra’Nar.

 

“Acceptable losses. Now do as I have ordered.”

 

“Yes sir, engaging cloak now.” and the Osiris fades away, invisible to the naked eye. “Course set, engaging warp engines.” and the Osiris speeds away toward the former Romulan Empire.

 

Back aboard the Argo (14:40 pm)

 

Alexa walks back onto the bridge of the Argo and sees Gemini sitting there monitoring the sensor screens. “What do you have Gem?” she asks as she takes a seat in her captain’s chair crossing her legs relaxing.

 

“The Romulan Warbird is finally warping out of the system.” answers Gemini bored out of her mind waiting to get the hell off this planet.

 

“And…” Alexa asks trying to pull more information out of Gemini.

 

“And what?” she asks.

 

Alexa rolls her eyes at her. “The Raza. Where’s the Raza?”

 

Gemini waves her hands in their air. “Who cares Lex?!” she yells back at her captain.

 

Alexa leans forward in her chair starting to get pissed. “I asked you a question! Where’s the Raza?!”

 

Gemini turns away. “Last time I saw her she was crashing on the far side of the planet. Good riddance if you ask me.”

 

“Crashing? Why didn’t you tell me?” as Alexa’s mind flashes back to that short amount of time she spent with Jeremy Cho nearly eleven months ago.

 

“Tell you? Why do you care so much? It’s the God damn Federation! They have done nothing but harassed us for months!” As she jumps to her feet screaming at her captain. Alexa isn’t taking any of Gemini’s shit any longer as she too storms to her feet and the two women go nose to nose.

 

“I’m the captain of this ship and if you don’t start towing the line you can find your own way off of this damn rock!”

 

“Really, well if you were a decent captain we wouldn’t be on this damn rock! It’s because of you we lost our contract with Jeb! Now look at us! Eating scraps left behind by fucking Ferengi! It’s because of you and your shitty decisions that created this mess.”

 

Like two gunfighters squaring off on an old western street Alexa and Gemini draw weapons on each other right in the middle of the bridge. “You don’t want to do this Gem!” Alexa states trying to talk her pilot down from doing something stupid.

 

Gemini laughs at her. “Oh, I’ve been waiting to do this for a long damn time!” and just as she’s about to pull the trigger… she feels something shaking her shoulder.

 

“Damn-it Gem, wake the hell up!” and Gemini opens her eyes coming to the realization that the face-off she just had with Alexa was nothing more than a dream. How she really wishes her dream was real. Brushing her red hair from her face.  “What? What do you want?” she asks.

 

“What I want is for my pilot to pay closer attention to what the hell is going on out there. Now what are you picking up?” Alexa asks as she takes a seat in the captain’s chair.

 

Gemini taps her control station dialing in her sensors that are having a very difficult time breaking through the debris in the upper atmosphere. “This is odd. I am picking up the Romulan Warbird leaving orbit.”

 

“And the Raza?” Alexa asks.

 

Gemini pauses as she, at first; can’t locate the Raza but eventually finds her. She spins around in her chair to face her captain. “They’re going down sir. It appears that there was a confrontation between the two and the Raza got the short end of the stick.” Alexa tries not to show any signs of concern on her face. She knows that Gemini would do anything to drive a wedge between her and the rest of the crew members. If Gemini is able to do that, then Alexa is looking at a full-blown mutiny on her hands. “What are your orders?”

 

The surface of Deneva Prime (14:45 pm)

 

Commander Mitchell has made the long taxing climb to the top of the ridge, all the while hearing the sounds of phaser fire below him. Not caring at all to what is going on behind him, he focused only on getting to the peak of the ridge. Never looking back down, he stands upright and taps his comm badge.

 

“Mitchell to the Raza.” but no answer comes back to him. “Mitchell to Decker. Captain come in.” he states louder thinking that the louder he projects his voice the more whoever is on the other end might hear him. But again, nothing comes back to him but dead silence. A serious look of concern comes across his face because now he’s sure something serious has happened to the ship in his absence. “Mitchell to…” and just then he looks to the sky and sees a fireball falling down through the atmosphere toward the planet and a lump forms in his throat. “…A’Ryn!” and the fireball in the sky gets larger as it uncontrollably speeds through the sky.

 

To be continued…

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