Star Trek Raza, episode 5; Inner Demons

Star Trek Raza

 

Season 1, Episode 5

Inner Demons

 

Onboard the Federation Starship Raza

 

                                    Lt. Commander Liira Personal Log Stardate 63453.25

 

     For the past few months I have been counseling Lieutenant Bates after his incident in the Stargazer Lounge. I have to be honest; Mr. Bates is anything but cooperative. He’s completely shut down since the captain demoted him. Today I am going to push him to see if he will open up.

 

Lt. Commander Liira’s Office

 

Lieutenant Commander Liira can be seen sitting in her chair, legs crossed and a data pad on her lap. She’s all dressed up for a night out with her lover Faye. Junior Lieutenant Bates is in his usual seat across from her on a smaller couch. Arms crossed and his right leg twitching either from nervousness or pent up anger at everyone that he perceives is screwing him over.

 

“Let’s begin shall we?”

 

“Your call Doc. I don’t have any place to go except back to my damn cell.”

 

“Let’s talk about your recent meeting with Captain Decker.”

 

“Fine.”

 

“How do you feel about being demoted?”

 

“How do I feel? What kind of shitty question is that? How the hell do you think I feel? I’ve busted my ass to become Lieutenant and after one small incident the Captain decides to bust my ass down? Screw him.”

 

“So you don’t think he was justified in demoting you?”

 

“I think he’s on a power trip. He could have overlooked what happened. Let me ask you something. Did anything happen to the girl that shot me?” he pauses. “Nothing that’s what. The Captain is screwing Gilora and he’s protecting the girls that work for her.”

 

“You don’t know that’s true.”

 

“The hell I don’t. You don’t see that bitch confined to quarters do you?”

 

“I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know what happened to her or if anything will happen to her. My job is to make sure that you are mentally ready to get back in the cockpit. And right now the answer is no.”

 

Cory hears a voice off to his left. “I told you this lesbian bitch was out to get you. She has no intention of releasing you back into service. I’d bet she’s screwing the Captain too.” Cory looks over and sees the ghost of Lieutenant Commander Anson Wilkes sitting on the window sill looking out into space.

 

Cory snaps at the ghost, “Shut the fuck up!”

 

Liira is taken aback by this, “Excuse me Lieutenant? What did you say?”

 

Cory looks back at Liira, “Are we done here?”

 

“No we are not.”

 

“Wait, no she can’t be screwing the Captain. She plays for the other team. What a waste of a fine piece of a…” blurts out the ghost.

 

“That’s it we’re done!” explodes Bates as he stands up and heads for the door.

 

“Where are you going?” asks Liira as she watches the door to her office slide open and a very well-armed guard blocks Bates path.

 

“I don’t want to fucking talk to you anymore. Now let me go back to my quarters.”

 

The guard won’t let Bates pass by. Liira lets out a sigh and waves to the guard. The guard steps aside and Bates walks through the door heading back to his quarters. The guard follows close by. As the two men walk the halls of the Raza, Bates can tell that they are not alone. Out of the corner of his eye he sees his old Commander in ghost form following him close by. “They will never let you pilot a ship again you know that right?”

 

“Just shut up!”

 

The guard looks at Bates, “What did you say?”

 

The ghost smiles, “You can take this guy you know you can.”

 

“Shut the fuck up!!” and Bates starts to get red in the face and balls up his fists. The guard now visibly irritated stops and grabs Bates by the arm.

 

“What is wrong with you?”

 

Bates reacts out of instinct drives his knee into the bigger man’s groin. The much larger guard doubles over in pain releasing Bates arm. Bates then takes his free arm and drives his elbow down into the neck area of the guard driving him to the floor. Bates then unleashes a barrage of kicks to the man’s head and neck area. Blood pours from the man’s eyes, ears and mouth. Bates sees nothing but red come across his eyes as animalistic rage overcomes him. The snapping of the man’s neck is never heard as the only thing Bates can hear is the ghostly laughter from his former Commander. Finally, after what seems minutes of beating the lifeless body of the security guard; Bates stops and it finally registers what he’s done. He sees all the blood on the floor and starts to panic.

 

“Good job! That piece of shit had it coming.” remarks the ghost figure as he slaps Bates across the back.

 

“No, no, no this isn’t right!” blurts out Bates in a state of panic. “I have to call a medic! I need to get help!”

 

“Look at him you idiot. He’s already dead.”

 

Bates stares down at his blood soaked hands in shock. “What have I done?”

 

“You finally grew a set of balls and did what you should have done to the fucking captain when he demoted you. Now pull your shit together. You need to get out of here.”

 

Bates looks up at the ghost, “And go where god damn-it?”

 

The ghostly figure points down the hall. “Get your ass down to the landing bay and take one of the shuttle crafts. Before they know what’s going on you’ll warp out of here a free man.” The ghost leans into Bates’s face with an evil smile. “Fuck the Federation for what they’ve done to you.”

 

“That’s crazy. I’ve just killed a man! They will never let me go. There’s nowhere I can hide! They’ll catch me and put me in jail for the rest of my life!”

 

The ghost grabs Bates by the face and Bates swears he can smell the stench of the ghost’s rotten breath. “Jail?! They will not put a piece of shit like you in jail! The best you can hope for is spending the rest of your miserable life rotting away on some asteroid penal colony busting your ass day in and day out mining for Dilithium crystals. But more than likely they are going to make an example out of you. You’ll have a huge public trial and then you’ll be executed. Shot like some damn dog. Or maybe they will space your ass. Just open some damn air-lock and let the vacuum of space suck your pathetic life away.

 

Bates rubs his head trying to get his thought process straight again. Just then, a Junior Engineer turns the corner and sees Bates standing over the bloody body of the security guard. “What’s going on?” Bates not thinking, just reacting; grabs the dead guard’s phasor and shoots the young man square in the chest vaporizing him!”

 

The ghost laughs insanely at Bates. “Now you’re fucked!”

 

Captain Decker’s Ready Room

 

The Captain is seen sitting behind his desk while Commander Mitchell is sitting in the chair in-front of the desk legs crossed listening to his captain.

 

“Number One I first want to thank you and the rest of the crew for performing above and beyond expectations during the recent war games exercises. You have really pulled this crew together the past few months.”

 

“Thank you sir.” Answers Commander Mitchell with a smile on his face. “I threatened to shave all the women’s heads and castrate all the men if they didn’t kick some ass.”

 

“And how did that go over Number One?” asks the Captain with a slight grin.

 

“They all knew I was just busting their asses. Well all except that Vulcan medic. She’s a pretty tight ass when it comes to joking around.”

 

“Ensign Nirren graduated at the top of her class. Doctor Dorn tells me that she’s going to make a fine doctor someday.”

 

“Yeah once she pulls that stick out of her tight Vulcan ass.” Replies Mitchell as he mumbles under his breath trying not to say it too loud, but just loud enough for his captain to hear. Just then they are interrupted.

 

“Lieutenant Phos to Captain Decker.”

 

The Captain taps his communications badge. “Go ahead Lieutenant.”

 

“Sir please come to the bridge.”

 

“On my way.” The captain gets up out of his chair and Mitchell follows. The door to the ready room whooshes open and the two men walk onto the bridge. The night watch has just taken over and the lights on the bridge are dimmed low. Phos can be seen sitting in the Captain’s chair and as he approaches she gets up and meets him halfway across the bridge. “What is it Lieutenant?”

 

“Sir, we have detected phaser fire on deck four.”

 

The Captain turns to Mitchell with a look of annoyance. “Number One please take a security team down there and see what the hell is going on.”

 

“Yes sir. Phos you’re with me.”

 

“And Number One, please get this under control. This will be the last time someone treats the Raza like it’s the wild west.” Orders the Captain.

 

“Yes sir.” And with a smile Mitchell and Phos exit the bridge onto the turbo lift. The Captain sits back in his bridge chair. “Computer day watch. It’s too damn dark in here.” And the bridge lights go back up. The usual crew of night watch squint as their eyes try to adjust to the brighter lights.

 

Outside Commander Liira’s Quarters

 

Faye Munroe and Liira are seen walking out of Liira’s quarters all dolled up in their evening dresses with their hair and make-up done up for a fun filled night.

 

“I hope the Stargazer isn’t packed tonight. I just want a nice quiet night with you.” States Liira.

 

“Tough day today?” asks Faye as she grabs Liira’s hand holding it tightly in hers. The two women look into each other’s eyes.

 

“Nothing a few drinks and a night out with you won’t cure.” And Liira leans in and passionately kisses Faye on the mouth. The taste of Liira and the smell of her perfume starts to arouse Faye beyond belief. Liira smiles as their lips part. “Come on sexy. Let’s get those drinks.” Hand in hand they make their way down the corridor toward the turbo lift. They giggle like to giddy school girls as the turbo lift door swooshes open. They step inside and just as the door is about to slide completely shut behind them a bloody hand reaches in stopping the door. Both women step back as blood drips from the fingers down to the floor. The door sensing the hand stopping it from closing slides back open and both women see the deranged and blood-soaked Cory Bates standing in the doorway armed with a phaser pistol. Both women take a step back toward the wall as he steps into the turbo lift. Faye reaches for her communicator, but Bates reacts quicker as he raises his phaser pistol at her.

 

“I wouldn’t do that!” snaps Bates. Both Faye and Liira can see the confusion and anger in his eyes. Liira steps in front of Faye with her hands up.

 

“Easy Cory. Let’s all just take it easy.”

 

“Take it easy?” mocks the ghost of Bates former Commander. “Ice these two bitches and let’s get the fuck off the ship.” Demands the ghostly figure.

 

“I can’t. I can’t do it.” Yells Bates back at the ghost. Bates takes his free hand and wipes some of the sweat from his eyes. The phaser pistols swaying back and forth from Faye to Liira.

 

“Listen Cory, you don’t need to do this. Just give me the gun and we can all just talk this out.”

 

Once again, the ghost lashes out. “Talk?! That’s all this bitch does is talk. Waste them both and that’s a damn order!!” Cory turns to his right and yells into thin air like he sees someone there.

 

“I can’t kill them! I just can’t!”

 

Taking the opening, Liira rushes Cory grabbing him by the arm with the phaser. They begin to struggle but Cory’s strength overcomes her as he tosses her into the turbo lift wall knocking the wind out of her dropping her to the floor. Faye sees this and in a fit of rage she rushes Cory. Hearing Faye’s wild scream he swings wildly driving the point of his elbow into her forehead. Before she hits the floor she is unconscious, blood pouring from her nose pooling under her head soaking her hair.

 

The ghost smiles. “That’s my boy. Now get your shit together and let’s go!” Liira opens her eyes and her vision is very blurry but she can make out her lover on the floor. She slowly reaches for her communications badge, but Bates reaches down and rips it off her dress. With his left boot he crushes it under his heel. The sound of it shattering under his foot turns Liira’s stomach knowing she just lost her only chance of calling for help. Bates reaches down and grabs Liira by the hair nearly ripping it out as he drags her limp body to her feet. She can barely stand as he braces her against the wall shoving the phaser pistol under her chin.

 

“You say one fucking word, make one wrong fucking move I’ll kill you. Then I’m gonna come back and kill her!” and he points his phaser pistol at the unconscious Faye. “Do you understand?” asks Bates. Liira doesn’t respond as she is still trying to shake the cob webs from her head. Bates jams the phaser harder and deeper under her chin. The force drives Liira up the wall and she has to balance on her tip toes. Her hands frantically reaching for the wall trying to brace herself. Her eyes start to show signs of panic knowing that this could be the end. “I said do you fucking understand what I am telling you?!”

 

“Yes! Yes I understand!” blurts out Liira. Bates slowly lets off the pressure under her chin allowing her to come back down to her feet. Her knees buckle a bit and she nearly falls down, but Bates grabs her by the arms and shoves her against the wall. The back of her head slams off the wall and it doesn’t help with the fuzziness she is experiencing.

 

“What the hell are you doing?” asks the ghost.

 

“Shut the fuck up!” screams Bates as he waves the phaser at the spot he thinks he sees his former flight leader. “I know what I’m doing! Computer shuttle bay one.”

 

The computer starts the turbo lift up and Liira can feels it start to move. She drops to the floor and starts to crawl toward Faye on her hands and knees. Bates turns toward her seeing her struggling to make it to her lover. “That bitch never listens.” Remarks the ghost in a smart-ass tone.

 

Bates snaps screaming at her. “You never listen!” and he takes one step toward her punting her in the head. She starts to see stars and she becomes overwhelmed by the darkness…and she fades out letting it overcome her.

 

 

Deck Four

 

Lieutenant Phos and Commander Mitchell finally reach deck four both armed with Phaser pistols of their own. They walk up to Lieutenant Commander Liira’s office stopping by the door. Mitchell touches the control pad chiming in. Nobody answers his request to enter. He tries again but to no avail nobody answers. “Computer override access Mitchell One Alpha Six Three Eight.”

 

“Access granted.” Responds the computer and the Councilors office door slides open. Phos raises her phaser pistol and enters the room first followed by her Commander.

 

“Lights.” States Mitchell as the office lights come up allowing him to see better. “Phos, check the back room.” And Phos does as commanded. Mitchell walks around the room heading to Liira’s desk turning on her data pad. He takes note that her last log of the day was an appointment she had with that crazy son of a bitch Bates.

 

Phos re-enters the room. “Sir, the room is empty.”

 

“Computer, where is Lieutenant Commander Liira?” asks Commander Mitchell.

 

“Lieutenant Commander Liira is in turbo lift three with Lieutenant Monroe.” Answers the ships computer.

 

Commander Mitchell taps his communications badge. “Mitchell to Liira.” But no answer comes back. “Commander Mitchell to Lieutenant Liira?!” barks Commander Mitchell. Just then a woman’s scream can be heard down the hall. Phos takes the lead as she races out the door quickly being followed by Mitchell. They race about twenty yards down the hallway taking a few twists and turns along the way and finally come up the source of the scream. They see the bloody body of a security guard laying on the floor with a young female ensign standing nearby with her hand over her mouth. Phos kneels down beside the body taking out her tricorder scanning the body. Mitchell walks over to the ensign seeing to her trying to calm her down. Phos looks back up at the Commander. “I am sorry sir, but he is dead.”

 

Mitchell taps his communications badge. “Medical emergency deck four.” Mitchell then see Phos pointing down the hallway to the burn spot on the floor about ten yards away. “What the hell is that?” Phos gets up and walks over to the charred carpet. Using her tricorder, she scans the spot. After a second, she looks back at him.

 

“Sir, this is what remains of Junior Lieutenant Mark Silver. We have found the source of the phaser fire sir.”

 

“Phos, I have two dead bodies here and I need to know why. Find out why both of these men were on this deck. We need to figure this out quick. We’ve got a killer out there.”

 

“Yes sir.” answers Phos.

 

The medical team arrives on sight lead by Doctor Dorn. The usual stern-faced Doctor barks orders out to his medical staff with half of them examining the dead body on the floor with the other half examining the burnt remains of what was Mark Silver. Mitchell shoots at look at the doctor. “Let me know as soon as you have anything Doc.”

 

“I will be sure to do that Commander. And it’s Doctor. Or Doctor Dorn. Or even Lieutenant Commander Dorn. But please do not use the word Doc ever again. I find that highly offensive.”

 

Mitchell never answers the man just stares him down. “Phos let’s go.”

 

The two walk away from the crime scene when Phos asks. “Why did the doctor take offense to you using the word Doc?”

 

“Must be that ten-million-year-old bug in his gut that’s getting him all worked up.”

 

“Sir, in Trill history there is no records of any Trill symbiote living for ten million years. The longest living symbiote on record is…”

 

“Phos shut the hell up.” Snaps Mitchell.

 

“Yes sir. But I was just correcting your statement that Trill symbiotes can live for millions of years. That sir is just not true.”

 

Mitchell stops and sticks his finger in her face. “Phos so help me God if you don’t shut the fuck up…”

 

Phos looks down at Mitchells finger. “I am sensing you are getting angry at me sir. I will shut up now.”

 

Shuttle bay One

 

The door to Shuttle Bay One slides open and Bates stumbles in dragging the limp body of Liira in tow. He lets her drop to the floor as he yells for help. “Help please! Someone help me!”

 

The night watch shuttle bay commander races over from his station seeing the bloody Cory Bates and then peers down to see the unconscious Liira on the floor. “OH my God what happened to her?” asks the startled crewman as he kneels down next to Liira. The crewman grabs her by the head seeing that she’s still alive looks back at Bates. “She’s still alive. We need to get her help.” And just as he finishes his statement Bates drives his boot into the young man’s gut doubling him over. The crewman gasps for air as he holds onto his gut doubled over in pain in the fetal position.

 

Bates stands over the young man as he repeatedly stomps down on the young crewman’s head he continues yelling. “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” Blood sprays everywhere as the crewman’s head is caved in by the continuous blows from Bates boots. Bates finally comes to a stop after over a dozen bashes from his boot heel. Out of breadth and covered in fresh dripping blood he looks over at Liira who begins to sob with tears running down her cheeks. He again grabs her by the hair and drags her over to an access panel on the wall. She tries to fight back but he’s too strong for her. She tries to claw his face, but he fights her off and eventually slams her head against the wall knocking her out again. She drops to the floor with a fresh gash on the side of her head letting new blood flow. He quickly gains access to the Raza’s controls and begins to type away on the keypad.

 

The bridge of the Raza

 

Captain Decker has been sitting in his command chair patiently waiting for Commander Mitchell to get back to him as to who and why a phaser pistol was fired on his ship. The silence is broken as the night shift security officer barks out. “Captain someone is trying to override the controls to shuttle bay one.”

 

“Reroute all controls to bridge control only Ensign.”

 

“Trying sir, but he’s a few steps ahead of me. We are locked out sir. He’s got full control of the shuttle bay.”

 

The captain taps his communications badge. “Decker to Mitchell.”

 

“Go ahead sir.”

 

“Number One it seems our friend is in shuttle bay one. He has total access to that shuttle bay. I need you to get down there right away and secure that area. I am sending the MACO’s for support.

 

“Aye sir. On our way.” Answers Mitchell.

 

“Decker to Sergeant Young.”

 

“Go ahead sir. Young here.”

 

“Sergeant I need your expertise in shuttle bay one. And bring a number of your friends. The man you are dealing with is armed and he is to be considered very dangerous. Use any force that is necessary to deal with this individual.

 

“Understood sir. Young out.”

 

The captain turns back to the night shift security chief. “Sound general quarters. I don’t want anyone else to fall victim to this man.

 

“Aye captain.” Answers the young man.

 

“Commander Mitchell to Captain Decker.”

 

Decker taps his communications badge on his chest. “Go ahead Number One.”

 

“Sir it’s Faye. She’s been injured.”

 

A look of horror comes across the captain’s face. “I’ll meet you in sick bay number one.”

 

The scene pans to the turbo lift as Commander Mitchell cradles the body of Faye Monroe in his arms. He looks at Phos who never changes her expression. “Phos, find this son of a bitch and take his ass down.”

 

“Yes Commander.”

 

“Computer medical emergency. Two to beam directly to sick bay.” And in an instant both Mitchell and Faye beam away.

 

Phos cocks her head. “Computer Shuttle Bay One.” And she can feel the turbo lift speed toward her destination.

 

Shuttle Bay One

 

Bates starts to panic as he knows time is running out. It won’t be long before security rushes the shuttle bay and they overtake him.

 

“Calm down and think Cory. Use that damn brain of yours and think.” Demands the ghost of his past.  And Cory does just that. He sees both shuttlecraft sitting there calling out to him. He rushes over to the shuttlecraft Iliad and darts into the cockpit. He rips one of the side panels off and starts to realign computer chip after computer chip. It’s a mad race against time. Minutes later he rushes over to the Odyssey and does the same to that shuttlecraft.

 

To what seems like seconds in his mind were actually minutes when he hears a pounding at the door.

 

“Here they come.” Laughs the ghost.

 

Outside the Shuttle Bay

 

Phos walks up to the shuttle bay door where he finds six well-armed MACO’s led by Sergeant Young. “Report please.” Asks Phos as she turns to Young.

 

“He’s got the damn thing sealed tight. I would like permission sir to blow the door open.”

 

“Phos cocks her head in thought. “I’m afraid Sergeant that using explosives would cause the Raza more harm than good. I will attempt to override the circuits to gain access.”

 

“Phos goes directly to the control panel and takes the cover off. She views the wiring and circuitry for a moment and begins to reroute power. Suddenly the MACO’s watch as blue lightning erupts from the control panel lighting Phos up like a Christmas tree. As the energy dissipates Phos falls back to the floor stiff as a board. Young rushes over kneeling down next to her.

 

“Is it…she alive?” asks one of the junior MACO’s.

 

“I have no idea.”  He taps his communicator. “Young to Lieutenant Sung.”

 

“Go ahead Sergeant.” Answers the Chief Engineer.

 

“Sir we need your help outside Shuttle Bay One. Lieutenant Phos is down and out. She needs a reboot asap.”

 

“On my way.”

 

Med Bay

 

Captain Decker walks into the room and sees Commander Mitchell standing a few feet away from Ensign Nirren as she tends to a pretty beat up Faye Monroe. He walks right over to them. “How is she?” he asks as he tries to not show too much concern. It’s very hard for him since he has such a close personal relationship with Faye’s mother.

 

“She will heal Captain. She has sustained a broken nose and a minor concussion but that is all. She will be able to resume her duties in twenty-four hours.

 

He places a hand on her shoulder and she smiles at him through the pain. He then turns to his first in command. “Number One we need to get this situation under control.”  Faye tugs on the Captains arm. She tries to talk but the words can be barely heard. He leans down closer to listen to what she is trying to say.

 

“Liira.”

 

The Captain’s eyes explode open as he realizes that this crazed individual has a hostage.

 

“Sir?” asks Mitchell.

 

“This man has Liira. We are in the midst of a hostage situation Number One. He cannot be allowed to get off the Raza.”

 

“I think I know who’s behind this Captain. I think it’s Bates sir.”

 

“Bates? Computer, where on-board the ship can I find Cory Bates?”

 

“Cory Bates is no longer aboard the Raza.” Answers the computer.

 

“Bridge to Captain Decker.”

 

“What the hell now?” The Captain taps his communications badge. “Go ahead bridge.”

 

“Sir we have detected two unauthorized ships departing from Shuttle Bay One.”

 

Decker looks at Mitchell. “It seems Bates is playing his hand Number One. Bridge, lock on to the closest ship and bring her back.”

 

“Yes sir.”

 

“All senior personnel report to my ready room in five minutes. Number One you’re with me.”

 

“Yes sir.”

 

“Bridge to Captain Decker.”

 

The Captain is getting irritated. “Go ahead.”

 

“Sir we attempted to lock on to the closest shuttlecraft but it seems we have a systems failure on the tractor beam. Both shuttlecraft have warped away sir.”

 

“This damn guy is as slippery as a snake.” Remarks Mitchell.

 

“Yes, he is Number One. Yes, he is. Scramble Alpha Flight. Tell Lieutenant Jin to bring me back one of those shuttles. We will go after the other one.”

 

Mitchell taps his communications badge. “Mitchell to Lieutenant Jin.”

 

“Go ahead sir.”

 

“Jin, scramble Alpha Flight. Bring me back one of those ships.”

 

“Aye Captain. We’ll be airborne in ten. Jin out.”

 

The Captain starts heading toward the Med Bays door. It slides open allowing him to exit. “Number One with me.” Mitchell quickly follows behind.

 

The Captain’s Ready Room

 

The Captain can be seen sitting at the head of the table. His Senior Staff not at full strength. Lieutenant Jin and her wingman Lieutenant Ryder and currently in pursuit of one of the runaway shuttlecraft. Lieutenant Phos is down in Engineering with a team of engineers trying to reboot her systems after the booby trap Bates set for her fried her systems. The Captain begins.

 

“Thank you all for meeting on such short notice. As you all know time is crucial at this point. Getting Liira back is our number one priority. Doctor Dorn, if you could give us a medical report on what you found?”

 

“Yes sir. There has been a total of three deaths linked to this event. The first body was found with multiple wounds. Mostly blunt trauma that induced his death. What remains of the second victim was nothing more than ash. After an extensive scan we have determined that he was killed by phaser fire. That phaser belonged to the first victim. It is under my assumption that Mr. Bates turned the first victim’s phaser on the second victim. Unfortunately, Mr. Bates turned the phaser on the highest setting and the victim was incinerated on the spot. The third casualty was found inside Shuttle Bay One. Also, a victim of blunt force trauma.”

 

“What about Faye?” asks Commander Mitchell.

 

“She will be fine. A few bumps and bruises. But she will recover nicely in a few days and will be as good as new.”

 

The Captain turns to Chief Engineer Sung. “Tell me how he got passed our defenses.”

 

“Sir, he overrode the door and booby trapped the system to create a feedback loop to whomever tried to bypass it. It was a good thing it was Phos. Any normal human being would be in the morgue right now.”

 

“And my shuttlecraft?”

 

“He somehow programmed the computer to launch one of them on autopilot with a pre-determined course. I’m sure he’s piloting the other one.”

 

The Captain turns to Lieutenant Cho. “Is there any way to determine which shuttlecraft they are in?”

 

“No sir. They are too far out of range.”

 

“Lieutenant Karn what can you tell me about the direction each shuttlecraft is heading in?”

 

“The Iliad is heading for the Romulan Neutral Zone. The Odyssey is on a direct route for the Paulson Nebula.”

 

“Completely opposite directions.”

 

“Where’s Alpha Flight?” asks the Captain.

 

“They are closing in on the Iliad sir.” Answers Karn. “ETA twenty-three minutes.”

 

“Number One set course for the Odyssey warp Nine. We need to catch them before that ship enters into the nebula.”

 

“Aye sir.” Answers Commander Mitchell.

 

The Bridge of the Raza, twenty minutes later…

 

The bridge is dead silent as they zero in on the runaway shuttlecraft Odyssey.

 

“The Paulson Nebula coming into view sir.”

 

“On screen Lieutenant.”

 

“Yes sir.” And the view screen comes to life showing the swirling colors and debris field knows as the Paulson Nebula.

 

“Mr. Cho sensor readings.” Asks the Captain.

 

“The Odyssey is entering the Paulson Nebula.”

 

“Can we get a tractor beam lock on her?” asks Commander Mitchell.

 

“The Nebula is disrupting our systems sir. There’s no way we can get a solid lock on her at this time.” Answers Karn.

 

“What about beaming whomever is aboard that ship back to us?”

 

“No sir. Even being this close to the Nebula…” and Karn is cut off.

 

“I know. Disrupting our systems. Talk about getting it up the shit pipe.” Jokes Commander Mitchell in a sarcastic tone.

 

“Lieutenant Karn, based on the Odyssey’s projected path, how long before she exits the opposite side of the Nebula?”

 

Karn taps away on her control station and replies. “The Odyssey is not on a direct path through the Nebula. At her current speed and trajectory, I calculate that she will escape the nebula on the northern most tier in approximately two hours and eighteen minutes sir.”

 

“Lieutenant Cho set a course for that position. Commander Mitchell take the helm.”

 

“Yes sir.” And the Ensign currently in the Helms seat gives it up to the Commander. Mitchell smiles as he taps away on the screen.

 

“Warp six. Engage.” Orders Captain Decker.

 

A shit eating grin comes across Mitchells face. “All this power is starting to turn me on.”

 

At the Engineering Station Lieutenant Sung rolls her eyes.

 

“Boys will be boys A’Ryn.” Remarks the Captain.

 

The north side of the Paulson Nebula

 

“Everyone stay sharp. Eyes and ears open.” Commands Decker.

 

Cho notices one his lights come up on his control station. “Captain I am getting a call from Lieutenant Jin. Audio only.”

 

“Let’s hear it Mr. Cho.”

 

“Captain, we have intercepted the Iliad and recovered Lieutenant Commander Liira.”

 

“How is she Lieutenant?” Asks the Captain as he slides forward in the Captain’s chair.

 

“Sir, she’s in rough shape. I’m no doctor, but she’s pretty messed up. She needs Doctor Dorn and she needs her stat.”

 

Captain Decker can hear the urgency in his Ace’s voice and it’s something he doesn’t take lightly. He turns to Cho.

 

“Mr. Cho, set course for Alpha Flights position. Warp nine point nine.

 

Commander Mitchell spins around in the Helmsman chair to face his captain. “But sir, what about the Odyssey? Bates is on that ship.”

 

Captain Decker gets tight lipped as he knows this is a tough decision. “May God have mercy on his soul Number One. You have my orders Commander. Engage.”

 

“Aye sir.” And Mitchell spins back in his chair hoping that someday that piece of shit gets his. The Raza speeds away from the Paulson Nebula on a direct intercept course with the Romulan Neutral Zone.

 

Captain Decker’s Office, three days later…

 

Captain Decker can be seen sitting behind his desk going through the never-ending pile of data pads on his desk.

 

Commander Mitchell to Captain Decker.” Chimes in Mitchell. Captain Decker taps his badge and answers.

 

“Go ahead Commander.”

 

“Admiral Braun on sub-space.”

 

“Send it to my ready room.” Decker tightens his uniform and straightens up as his viewer comes to life. Decker tries to smile as his old friend comes onto the screen. “Admiral it’s always a pleasure.”

 

“David. Good to see you old friend. What brings you calling?”

 

The Admiral never changes his serious look, not even for an old friend. “Morgan, I reviewed your report and I have to say this Bates character made you look foolish.”

 

“Sir, if I may; he was a very experienced Starfleet officer. He was decorated many times over and has plenty of experience in war time situations. This isn’t a first-year cadet we are talking about here.”

 

“Morgan, back on day one I questioned your crew and their ability to get the job done. Now here I find myself asking those same questions. Morgan, three men lost their lives and you nearly lost Liira and Phos.”

 

“I know what happened Admiral. I was there. You need not remind me of our failures sir.”

 

“I think I do Captain. Why didn’t you lock that psycho up months ago? He nearly started a war with the Romulan’s on your first few days out of dry dock for God’s sake.”

 

“Admiral I…”

 

“And let’s talk about that clown of a First Officer you have. He disobeyed a direct order from a Starfleet Admiral. ME Morgan!! MY orders!! He’s pissing me off Morgan and you better get him in line before I bust him down!!”

 

Decker has nothing to say.

 

“Morgan, I don’t mean to bust your balls; but the Raza has all eyes on her. You need to run a tighter ship. Don’t make me question putting you in that Captain’s chair. Braun out.”

 

The scene closes as Decker swings his chair staring off at the northside of the Paulson Nebula.

 

 

The Romulan Warbird Osiris

 

The Osiris has been running dark for months staying in and out of the usual travel lanes avoiding the Federation at all cost. High Commander Sharn enters a turbo lift and the door closes behind him. “Sub level eight.” And the lift speeds down into the bowels of the Warbird. After less than a minute it comes to a stop. He steps out and the air stinks of heat and burnt rubber. Smoke hangs in the air and the sound of metal cutting rings in his ears. He walks down a long hallway, taking a left at the end that leads him into a wider room. As it opens up he sees the captured shuttlecraft known as the Odyssey. Sharn walks up to his Chief Engineer.

 

“Tell me what you have for me this morning?”

 

“I have extracted a wealth of information from the computer core. I cannot wait to merge this shuttle’s system into our own.”

 

“Keep up the good work Chief.” And Sharn walks away. He slides a large steel door open and heads into another room. Red lights flood the room and the air is stale. Steam pipes can be seen blowing off jacking up the temperature by at least twenty degrees. Sharn walks deeper into the room and he sees an old Romulan with an eye patch standing over a vat of hot liquid. He stirs the liquid with a hot poker with a sadistic smile on his face.

 

“How are we doing today Kelvar?”

 

The old Romulan smiles back at his Commander as he raises the hot poker out of the liquid vat. The end of the poker glowing red hot. “He hasn’t cracked yet, but I think today is the day.”

 

Sharn turns toward his prisoner strapped to a chair in the center of the room. A pool of blood can be seen under the chair from the various degrees of torture Kelvar has attempted on him. “Let me know when he decides to talk.”

 

As High Commander Sharn leaves the room the camera pans back to the naked prisoner and it’s Cory Bates!!!

 

Bates screams bloody murder as Kelvar begins his new round of torture. The scene fades to black.

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