Shadow beneath the Sun
After the defeat of the Iconian Empire* in 2440, the last of Iconia’s Milky Way allies followed them home to Andromeda Galaxy. There, they formed a terrorist group named Shadow beneath the Sun. Here is the story of four individuals wanting to escape their masters once and for all.
August 17, 2445, SBTS outpost Andromeda One
“You there, Gil! What are you doing?” Yelled Thot Trell. Gil Traleen shivered. She was very afraid of Thot Trell, her Breen commander. Rations were short, morale was low, and tension was high. Andromeda was a dangerous place for a group like SBTS, and Thot Trell didn’t like having to hide out on a measly little planet in a barren star system. They barely had a fleet to defend their new home, let alone accomplish their ultimate goal; to destroy the Federation. “I’m sc-scanning the system f-for u-usable resources, s-sir.” The commander growled. “We are the only remnants of our former races, which all were once great and powerful! Now, in our time of need, when I am trying to restore our former honor, you stutter? Are you afraid of what`s out there? Maybe I’ll throw you out the airlock so you can face your fears!” Traleen straightened up. “No, sir! I am afraid of nothing! We will restore our glory!” She was proud of herself when she saw her commander was pleased. “Now, that’s the spirit that will save our honor! Maybe some of your crewmates could learn a lesson from you, Traleen!” The room went silent as Thot Trell looked around the room. There were only a few thousand troops in total that survived their masters’ defeat, but Trell was not afraid to shoot down an officer if he thought them to be out of line. No one wanted the commander to pull out his disruptor. “Now then. I need volunteers for a special mission. We need a few officers to go off world to look for allies. As much as I hate to say it, we can’t achieve our goal without comrades.” The group looked at each other. Everyone knew it was insane to send anyone off world in a place like Andromeda. It was practically a death sentence. There were a thousand species of hostile aliens out there, and not the kind looking to help blow holes in things-the kind looking to blow holes in things themselves. But Traleen would’ve taken any chance she could get to get off that barren rock. Her hand shot up. “Ah! Good! We have one! We’ll need a few more!” She looked at her closest friend, Kudik‘Etak, an Alpha Jem’Hadar who was sucked into the True Way unwillingly. He had been dying to escape his captors ever since he was inducted into the True Way, which by this point was ten years ago. He was one of the few Jem’Hadar to have lived past 30. Traleen had also been unwillingly inducted into the True Way, and so they became close friends. Their plan was to escape together, and find refuge somewhere peaceful. That plan was disrupted when they were forced to retreat to Andromeda, but he knew this was maybe his chance. He put his hand up. Trell clapped. “Ha! Brave Jem’Hadar! I will make sure you have Ketracel White on board your ship. Now, how about we go for a Romulan, a Hirogen, a Breen, and call it a mission?” A Romulan woman put up her hand. She had been a combat medic in the Tal Shiar, but she had a heart full of courage. She was only in the Tal Shiar to protect her family. Nobody had heard her speak since their arrival in Andromeda. “Ah, a medic! That’ll be valuable, eh? Let’s just hope you won’t need her!” Thot Trell cackled. The next up was a Hirogen technician named Turin. He had been frustrated with the limited technology on Andromeda One, and also with the fact that he was almost solely responsible for keeping the station running. He was ready for a break. “Alright, Turin. Just remember, if you disappear, I will find you and make your life a living hell.” Remarked the commander. Turin nodded. “Alright. The final member of the team will be none other than my son, Latan.” Traleen scowled. Latan was the most arrogant man she had ever met. Just because he was the son of a Thot, he thought he was entitled to everything. Latan stood up and saluted his father. “The five of you are to leave today, in 3 hours. You will take the P.S. ** Salvation and explore the nearby systems. Be back within one week or I will come looking for you. Radio in once a day.” The mission crew said nothing, but each of them had their doubts about this plan. The P.S. Salvation was Thot Trell’s idea. He had forced Turin to try to bring together Cardassian, Breen, Hirogen, Romulan, and Jem’Hadar technology together to build one ship. Although it seemed to work wonderfully in simulations, with hardy shields, many powerful weapons, an energy dampening system, and stealth mode built in, everyone was worried it would fall apart in flight. It had never been tested.
3 hours later
Turin, Gil Traleen, Kudik’Etak and the Romulan medic met up in the hangar. Latan was late, so they took the opportunity to introduce themselves. They learned that the medic was named Sera and was told the Tal Shiar was a peaceful organization. They discussed their lives prior to joining SBTS, and they discussed their role in the Iconian War. They all realized that they had one thing in common: no one had come here willingly. Gil Traleen spoke up. “We’ve got rations for weeks, a Ketracel white dispenser (Ketracel White is literally the only thing a full-grown Jem’Hadar actually needs to survive), practically infinite power reserves, and an incredibly powerful ship. None of us want to be here. I say we take this chance. We escape.” “What about Latan? He’s Thot Trell’s son. There’s no way he’ll go along with this.” Remarked Sera. The room went silent, but everyone was thinking the same thing. Kudik’Etak broke the silence. “We kill him.” Sera shook her head. “I’m a medic. I took an oath to preserve life, not destroy it. I will not take part in murder.” Turin asked Kudik’Etak and Traleen to step to the side. “I can make it look like a ship malfunction. Everyone’s worried about the systems. No one will suspect anything, and Sera won’t have to take any part.” Kudik’Etak and Traleen looked at each other, and then back at Turin. “We agree.” Responded Traleen. They walked back over to Sera. “Sera, we discussed it, and we think you’re right. We won’t kill Latan. We’ll drop him off on a habitable planet with provisions and a homing beacon. Trell will rush to save his precious little boy, and we won’t have to deal with a rat on board. Nobody dies.” Sera smiled. “I can deal with that. Thank you.” Latan walked in, and they prepared to board the Salvation.
Latan had come on board and taken his post at the conn. Sera headed downstairs to her state-of-the-art Sickbay. Traleen was working at Nav. Kudik’Etak was studying their weapons systems. Turin was in engineering setting up the trap for Latan. He was going to overload the console. Sera and Latan had no idea what was coming, and Traleen and Kudik’Etak were certainly not going to let anything slip. “Conn, how goes it?” Questioned Traleen. “Nothing on short-range or long-range sensors. Wait a second….I think this console is about to overload! There’s way too much energy pumped into this thing! Latan to Engineering! Turin! Shut down my console!” Turin didn’t respond. Latan tried to jump, but his console exploded too soon. To keep up the act, Kudik’Etak called Sickbay. “Sera! Medical emergency! Bring a medical tricorder and a medkit! Site-to site-transport in 10 seconds!” Sera grabbed her things, and was beamed to the bridge. She scanned Latan immediately. “What the hell happened? He’s got third-degree burns, almost fourth!” She scanned the console. “I may not have a very good understanding of this ships’ mechanics, but this looks like…it looks like it was orchestrated.” She glared at Kudik’Etak and Traleen before tapping her combadge. “Engineering, request site-to-site transport for two-to Sickbay.” Latan and Sera disappeared into thin air.
Sera walked out of the turbolift doors and onto the bridge. She saw Turin, Kudik’Etak, and Gil Traleen gathered in a huddle, whispering. “Ahem.” They turned around and looked at her. “How’s Latan? Shouldn’t you be taking care of him?” Asked Traleen. Sera cleared her throat. “Latan is dead. He died of severe burns to his entire body. The overload was powerful enough to sizzle a Breen EV suit. That doesn’t just happen accidentally. Even a combat medic knows that.” Turin gulped. “You killed him. You lied to me. I thought we were in this together.” Tears began rolling down Sera’s cheek. “Sera, don’t blame them. This was my idea.” Turin told her. Her eyes slanted as she walked towards him. “You bastard! You PetaQ***! You are not worthy of escape! They should’ve thrown you out the airlock! They probably would’ve if you weren’t the only who could run that damned station!” Screamed Sera. Gil Traleen stepped up. “Sera, calm down. It was for everyone’s good.” “Get out of my face! You tricked me! All in this together. You’re no better than an Undine spy.” She spat in the Cardie’s face. Kudik’Etak grabbed Sera’s arm. “Don’t make me confine you to sickbay. Be reasonable. You know there’s no way we would’ve made it if Latan survived.” Sera was pouring tears now. She pulled her arm away and pulled her disruptor from her belt. She waved it back and forth at her former comrades. “Don’t make me shoot! Take me back to Andromeda One!” Kudik’Etak tackled Sera to the ground. Sera fired disruptor shots everywhere. Traleen grabbed a sedative from the medkit and injected her with it. Turin initiated a site-to-site transport and sent the unconscious medic back to Sickbay.
Sera woke up on a bed in her Sickbay. She shook off the sedative and stretched. Then she began to remember what had happened. Sera turned on the computer at her desk and hailed the bridge. “Hello, Sera. I hope you’re feeling better. I do apologize for what happened to you, but you gave us no choice.” Said Kudik’Etak. “I….understand. I still wish we could’ve found a way to do this without killing Latan….but I know now that couldn’t happen.” Traleen and Turin, who were sitting by Kudik’Etak, smiled. “We’re glad to hear that, friend.” “Now then. What’s our next move?” Asked Sera. “We’re not quite sure-”Turin tapped Traleen on the shoulder. “What’s that? Oh, Sera, we’re going to have to call you back. There’s something on the sensors.”
Back on the bridge, Turin had been observing the sensors. He had routed engineering through to the conn console so that he could keep an eye on things. He was the official ship’s Chief Engineer, Navigator, Conn Officer, and Sensors Officer. Traleen was the acting Captain. Kudik’Etak was the Weapons Officer and Tactical Officer. Sera was still the Chief Medical Officer. While Turin was observing the sensors, he noticed some large energy signatures coming from a planet. He tapped his Captain on the shoulder. “Captain, I’m getting some strange readings from that planet, there.” Turin pointed to the screen. “All stop.” Ordered Captain Traleen. Turin stopped the ship. “We’re receiving a hail. Should I answer it?” “Yes. Put it on screen.” A large, tentacled creature appeared on the screen. “Greetings, humanoids. We are the last of the great people once called Kelvans. We welcome you to our home.” Turin turned to Gil Traleen. “Captain, a man named James T. Kirk encountered this race hundreds of years ago, in 2268. They are a highly advanced race. If anyone in Andromeda could give us hope of refuge, it would be them.” Traleen nodded and turned back to the screen. “Thank you for your warm welcome. We are refugees running from a terrorist group that calls themselves Shadow beneath the Sun. We formally request asylum.” The tentacled creature paused, and tilted its head. “We accept your request. I will send coordinates for you to land your ship.” Traleen beamed. “Thank you very much.”
Turin landed the P.S. Salvation at the Kelvans’ coordinates. The planets’ people invited the four crew into their home for a great feast. After supper, they began to discuss the refugees’ situation. “None of us chose to be dragged into this war, and none of us chose to be taken to Andromeda. All we want is a safe haven where we can live out our lives peacefully. We’ve all seen so much death. Enough for 5 lifetimes.” Sera told the Kelvans. One of the hosts wiped tears from her eyes with a tentacle. “Poor child. Where did you say you were from? The Milky Way Galaxy?” Kudik’Etak looked up. “Yes. We were taken here when the Iconians retreated.” He told them. “Iconians! We have one of their strange machines here. This planet used to be a remote Iconian outpost. They left years ago, so we came to research their technology. As the last of our race, we need as much knowledge as we can get.” It said. Turin gasped. “One of their machines! A gateway?” (An Iconian Gateway is a device of immense power. It can immediately transfer objects from one place to another, somewhat like transporter beams, except much farther range; practically endless, as long as there’s a parallel gateway on the other side.) “Yes. Would you like to see it?” The four crew looked at each other. “Yes, we would love that!”
The Kelvans led Turin, Kudik’Etak, Gil Traleen and Sera downstairs to their Gateway. “This is it. We haven’t turned it on yet, for we have no reason to travel away from here. For here, on this place, we make our final stand as a race. But you….you have family and friends back in the Milky Way. You have reason to go home. When you make your decision, let us know.” The four crew nodded, and stepped aside to speak about their decision. It only took them one minute to decide. “We’re going home. And we’re taking our ship with us.” The Kelvans nodded. “If you must take your ship, we will have to shoot the Gateway into orbit. Give us time to prepare. You will leave tomorrow morning. For tonight, you may sleep here.” Told a Kelvan. “Thank you so much. We very much appreciate this.” Spoke Sera, smiling.
Auguste 24th, 2445, SBTS Outpost Andromeda One
Thot Trell approached his second-in-command, Gul Aklet. He had been the ruthless leader of the True Way in the Alpha Quadrant, and had killed hundreds with merely his bare hands. He was the only man the cruel Thot Trell trusted. “Aklet! They have been gone for a week, with no communications! I always suspected those four were unloyal! And now they’ve stolen our most advanced ship!” “Your son is likely dead, your best ship stolen, and your honour bleeding like a wounded targ! We must rush into battle and take back what is ours! Gather your troops, and I will meet you in the Underground Hangar. There lies our last hope.” Aklet told Trell.
“This is where we part ways, humanoids. We wish you the best of luck in your further lives. Now, if you would, please transport us back to our home.” “Goodbye, Kelvans. Thank you for everything.” Turin tapped a console and the Kelvans disappeared in a beam of light. Turin set course for the Gateway. As they went through it, there was a burst of blinding light. It disappeared as soon as it had appeared, and the P.S. Salvation was once again in Alpha Quadrant space. As they looked at the viewscreen, they saw a dead world-Iconia II. “Je me souviens.”**** The crew whispered in chorus. They remembered all the blood shed five years before. It was five years ago, but to them, it felt like yesterday. All their comrades, gone. The entire Hirogen race, dead. Sera got up from her chair and returned to Sickbay. “Turin, plot a course for ESD*****.” Ordered Captain Traleen. As Turin was tapping his console, the ship shook. “What the hell was that, Kudik’Etak? I thought we were safe!” Exclaimed Gil Traleen. “It’s….an Iconian warship! Thot Trell!” Turin spoke. “Captain, we’re being hailed! Routing it through!” An image of Gul Aklet and Thot Trell appeared. “You killed my son. You took my ship. You broke my trust. You do not deserve to live another day. Goodbye, PetaQs.” The P.S. Salvation came under continuous fire. “Sending out distress call. I’ll see if I can get transwarp up and get to ESD.” The U.S.S. Counterpoint, under command of Captain Omat’Etan showed up. “We’re being hailed, sir. By the Counterpoint. Routing it through.” Remarked Turin. “Who are you? You’ve got the attention of an Iconian warship. After their defeat here 5 years back, it would take a lot to get them to show their faces in Milky Way again.” Remarked Captain Omat’Etan, the Jem’Hadar captain of the U.S.S. Counterpoint. “We are refugees of the terrorist group Shadow beneath the Sun. When the Iconians left Milky Way, they took all their allies with them. The people on that ship are the leaders of that group. We stole this ship and killed our commander’s ship. We formally request Federation asylum.” Told Captain Traleen. “Well, that’s quite the story you’ve got there, Captain. We’re going to open a transwarp conduit to ESD. Follow us, and we can grant you asylum there.” The Salvation’s crew nodded and the Counterpoint opened the conduit.
“ESD control, permission to dock both ships present and acquire immediate audience with Admiral Quinn.” Omat’Etan had Commander Nerys on screen. She had been a Bajoran ensign at ESD during the Iconian War, and afterwards was promoted to Ops Command. “Permission granted, Captain. Initiate docking process.” As the two ships started docking, the Salvation crew stared at Earth, the heart of the Federation. Kudik’Etak shook thoughts from his head. He thought of how much Thot Trell would like to destroy Earth. After five years of service under his command, he almost launched torpedoes at the planet. It took all his restraint not to tap the button. “Kudik’Etak, we’ve been friends for ten years. Whatever’s on your mind, you can tell me.” He looked away. “Old friend, there are things that I may not share with even you.” Traleen nodded, and they were inside ESD.
Admiral Quinn smiled when he saw the four refugees walk into his office. “Please, please, sit down! I’m so happy to see you four! I’ve heard you’ve had a very long journey. I imagine you’re tired.” Turin, Sera, and Gil Traleen bowed and sat down. “Kudik’Etak, why don’t you sit down, too? You’re being impolite.” Said Traleen. Kudik’Etak was trembling. “You were the one responsible for killing the only people I had ever known. My Vorta leader, my First, my entire unit. I may not have agreed with their views, but other than Gil Traleen here, they were the only people I ever cared about. I didn’t give a damn about the Founders, or the True Way, or the Iconian War. All I cared about was them. You killed them in a raid. I used to be an Alpha Jem’Hadar. My unit and I lived peacefully on a planet far from Federation space. We had never attacked anyone. But you sent a secret special ops team to kill us anyways. A ‘pre-emptive strike’, I heard you call it. I was the only survivor. I was forced to get help from the True Way. You destroyed everything I loved, and now it’s time I destroy you.” Kudik’Etak pulled out his disruptor pistol and pointed it at the Admiral. Traleen stood up and pulled hers out. “Old friend, stop. If you shoot him, I’ll have to shoot you. Stand down.” Kudik’Etak pulled the trigger. “I guess this is goodbye then, Traleen. I only wish it were as easy to stop hating as it is to start.” Two disruptor shots rang out, and Quinn and Kudik’Etak lay limp on the floor. Sera walked over and scanned them with her tricorder. “They’re dead, Captain.” Traleen bent down and put her hand on her deceased friend’s chest. “You did what you had to. If only it didn’t mean your death.” Commander Nerys walked in and screamed. “Security to the Admiral’s office!” A security team rushed in and apprehended Turin, Sera, and Traleen.
Commander Nerys approached the Salvation crew’s cell. “Hello. How are you three doing today?” She asked pleasantly. “We’re doing fine, thank you. What do you need to tell us?” Replied Turin. “Three things. First, I am taking command of ESD. This is my station now. Second, the Federation Council had approved you request for asylum, despite Quinn’s death. Third, I have a personal request for you-I want you three to enlist in Starfleet.” The three of them stood up in shock. “We…we were terrorists. We helped to kill hundreds. Our comrade killed one of Starfleet’s most decorated officers. And now you want us to enlist?” Said Sera. Nerys folded her arms. “Did you ask to be a part of all that horror? You’re a medic. Turin’s a technician. Traleen is a navigator. Doesn’t sound like a trio that would cause a lot of pain purposely.” Turin looked at the new leader of ESD. “Nobody’s ever given us a second chance. Or a choice in anything. You treat us like people. I, for one, am in.” Nerys looked at Sera and Traleen expectantly. “If I can help to save lives with my skills, I’ll do it. I’m in, too.” Nerys finally looked at Traleen. The Gil sighed. “My closest friend died under my command. But because I took a risk and became a captain, I’ve made three new ones. If I can have a crack at commanding my own ship, then I might as well jump in, too.” Nerys smiled. Your first mission will be in one month. You will be taking the newly christened U.S.S. Salvation, with Traleen in command, Turin as First Officer, and Sera as the Chief Medical Officer. The rest of the crew will be filled in by other Starfleet members.” The three nodded. “Good luck. Live long and prosper.” Nerys made the ancient symbol with her hands, and so did the other three. And so begins the story of another crew.
*The Iconian Empire was a group of highly advanced aliens who ruled the Milky Way Galaxy 2,000 years before even the Dominion had begun. They were killed in a massive orbital bombardment of their home planet, Iconia, and most thought they were completely extinct. In 2409, they began to re-appear. Eventually, in 2349, they invaded the Milky Way once more, killing nearly everyone in the Delta Quadrant and enslaving the large majority of the Alpha, Beta, and Gamma quadrants. They gained the True Way, Tal Shiar, Breen, and Hirogen as allies. A small group of survivors, led by Captain Cyrus Lyctan, and made up of 147 ships, eventually destroyed the Iconian outpost on their new home planet, Iconia II, forcing them out of the Milky Way for (hopefully) the last time. The few of their allies left over created a terrorist group called Shadow beneath the Sun. For the whole story, see https://trekfanfiction.net/miscellaneous/joltikintokyo/back-with-a-vengeance/
**P.S. means Prototype Starship
***A Klingon swear meaning “honourless scum”
****“Je me souviens.” French for “I remember.”