Star Trek: A New Threat

Part One – Final Fight

 

The year is in the latter half of 2293 and James T Kirk is stood in his ceremonial Starfleet uniform looking out of one of the many observation decks located on Starbase 215. The man is in a sombre mood as he thinks back to many memories of the previous years. Outside the observation window on the far side of the giant hollowed sections of the starbase sits theEnterprise, docked in the internal shipyard all powered down. Small shuttlecrafts scuttle around her supporting the crews that are repairing any exterior damage after her engagement at Khitoma.

 

Kirk takes a final sip from his champagne glass and thinks that he could wish his son, David to be by his side. All his time in Starfleet he had never thought what it would be like to be a father but now it weighs on his mind every day ever since David was murdered. The swoosh of the automatic door opening behind him shook him back to reality.

“Any particular reason why you’re hiding in here”? Asked McCoy.

Both the Doctor and Spock walked up next to their now former captain. Jim doesn’t turn to look at them but instead keeps his sad glare on his ship. Bones gives him a warm smile as he senses his friends’ sadness.

“You know it is the captain’s job to stick around at these dull parties and bore everyone with their stories of Klingon encounters and run-ins with pretend Gods”.

Kirk turns to face his old friends.

“It’s a decommission ceremony Bones. We’re here to celebrate the decommission of a major part of my life”.

Bones takes a swig of his own champagne, thinks for a moment and then as he speaks it makes Kirk give a smile.

“God damn it Jim you can really suck the life out a party”.

Spock raises his eyebrow at the illogical thought that this mood is solely down to his captain and friend having to walk away fromEnterprisefor the last time.

“It seems illogical to weep for what is simply just a ship Captain”.

McCoy turns to him and with the scowl Spock has seen so many times over the years and says.

“Good God man. Are you completely devoid of any kind of soul you green blooded elf”?

Jim puts his empty glass onto the nearby table and turns back to the giant window.

“Seems such a waste that she is being patched up just to be retired”.

The three friends turn to leave the deck and return to the party thrown in honour of the famous flagship. As they leave Spock turns to Jim.

“You’re not the only one taking it badly captain. I hear they had to pull Scotty off the bulkhead by force”.

Kirk and Bones are laughing at Spock’s comment as they exit. As they are about to leave Kirk turns to look at the ship over his shoulder. He gives a loving smile and what was once his home for so many years.

“Gods speed old friend”.

 

… … … …

The next morning an elderly but still in shape Andorian Captain called Thelev is walking the corridors ofEnterpriseon his way to the bridge. Thelev has been given the honour of being the very last captain ofEnterprisedue to his role of being a spook. The Spooks was the nick name given to skeleton crews who moved any class of ship around the federation when a full crew couldn’t be found or just simply not needed. His current assignment was to take the ship to get it downgraded and ready for her new resting home.

 

His chief engineer runs up to join him. She is a Trill woman in her early fifties but still very attractive for her age.

“How was the party last night? Some of us were working till 0300 hours of course”

The captain looks at her, his head heavy with a hangover. It never surprises him how full of life she is even at this ungodly hour of the morning.

“It went well, but I swear Lenara it’s the last time I get talked into a drinking contest with Pavel Chekhov”.

She give him a cheeky grin as they continue towards the turbolift.

“You’re getting old Captain, you don’t have the ability of a young Andorian anymore”. The captain smiles as he pushes the button for the lift.

“Any more back chat like that and I’ll stick you in the brig”.

Lenara laughs as she watches Thelev get in the lift. She passes him her electronic clipboard that contains the final repair report on the ship.

“Oh is that so? I can’t see my husband liking that very much”.

The captain takes the clipboard and throws Lenara a wink as the doors begin the shut.

“God job I am your husband then isn’t it?”

 

 

The doors open onto the bridge and Thelev walks out. Since it is just a Skeleton crew the stations were not all manned. The crew is one he has worked with for a while and even some of them for a good few years now. A good portion are made up of cadets on their one-year fleet experience duties from the academy but most are fully qualified crew who are close to retirement. The latter is the case of Thelev, the man is only eight months from retirement and looking forward to moving back to Andoria. Lenara wasn’t overly thrilled to join him as she was never one for the cold in any of her life cycles. The captain eases himself into his seat, he had lost count of how many different captain’s he had graced over the years but none as famous as The Enterprise. He has always liked this class of ship and before today has only had the pleasure to captain a Constitution once before.

“Report Mr Ryker” He said finally.

Ryker is a human cadet only into his first three months of on the job training. A competent pilot but still a little green around the gills but Thelev trusted him all the same. Mind he is still keeping an eye on this young human as he’s never flown a Constitution class outside of a simulator.

“Repairs were all completed last night Captain. We’re ready to ship out on your order”.

The captain leans over to hit the communication button on his chair arm.

“Thank you ensign, Bridge to Engineering”.

The speaker crackles into life, and the voice of his wife and chief engineer can be heard.

“Engineering here captain”.

“Report”.

Lenara is stood inside Engineering at a communication console. The engine room is a buzz of lights and humming noises. Her team is going about their business of monitoring consoles and making final adjustments.

“All ready Captain. The last of the work crews have left so we’re ready when you are”.

Back in the bridge, Thelev gives a nod towards Ryker as he shuts off the com link.

“Helm, take us out. One quarter impulse”.

 

The docking clamps and walkways begin to retract away for the side of the ship. Her thrusters gently power up and manoeuvre theEnterpriseaway form the sidewall. Reaching maximum distance the main impulse engines hum into life and start the ship on her move out of the dock. The giant internal hull doors start their slow slide to open andEnterpriseeases through the gap. The French communication’s ensign, LaBouf, swings on his chair to face his captain. Thelev wasn’t a big fan of LaBouf, the ensign in his opinion was lazy and not what starfleet was looking for. He would make sure his end of tour report would reflect as much.

“Captain Thelev I’m receiving a communication from the dock commander. It seems that we have someone outside waiting to say goodbye. It’s USS Excelsior and we are being hailed”.

Captain Thelev orders to have it put up on screen. They are greeted by the image of a smiling Captain Hikaru Sulu.

“Captain Thelev. I couldn’t leave without seeing her in flight one last time”.

Thelev had a few dealings with Sulu in the past and when they had met in passing they have always enjoyed each others company. He had a lot of respect for Sulu what with his time with Jim Kirk but also as the man in the big seat of the Excelsior.

“Don’t worry captain I’ll make sure not to scratch her just like I didn’t scratch the Excelsior” smiles the Andorian.

“I know you will Thelev. Take care of her she’s been through a lot” he laughs

The screen cuts off and is replaced by the image of the Excelsior turning away and jumping to warp.

 

“Set course Mr. Ryker… Maximum warp”.

Yes she had been through a lot but even now he couldn’t resist putting Enterpriseinto the wind and giving her the full beans. After all this would be her final run. After leaving Mars and her warp engine internals removed she would make the final journey to earth under impulse. He was sure Lenara wouldn’t mind him pushing the engines like this. After all, it was a simple enough mission. He didn’t even get twenty minutes  into the mission before Lenara had managed to convince her husband that it would be a better idea to drop back to warp four. Disappointedly Thelev had agreed as he was hoping to make the run to the Utopian shipyards in record time. Typical women he thought.

 

… … … …

 

Sat in his ready room he is making his first log as the captain on theEnterprise.

“Captains log. We’re two hours out of Starbase 215 and on course for Utopia Planitia shipyards on Mars. My heart is heavy for this final mission of a ship with so much history on it that…”

The rumble of his stomach stops him mid sentence. The captain shut of his recording device and decides that he should probably force a late breakfast down his throat. It may even help with the hangover his was fighting. Arriving in the canteen he first notices his wife sat having a sandwich, the second thing to hit him is the smell of food. His stomach turns at the thought of eating so he decides to only have a cup of coffee as he sits down next to Lenara. The canteen is mostly empty with a few of the lower deck crews grabbing a quick bite to eat.

“So did you get to see all of the tweaks in engineering”?

Lenara swallows her food and wipes her mouth with a napkin.

“Montgomery Scott is a genius. At least eighty percent of the modifications should be updated onto the remaining Constitution class ships if you ask me”.

Her husband takes a sip of his coffee and rests his forehead in his free hand.

“Doubtful they would ever do that. WithEnterpriseto be mothballed it leaves only three of the same class in use. The Excelsior class is the backbone of the federation now”.

Pulling a face Lenara replies to his comment.

“Yuk. Horrible bloody ship that. It always makes me think of a fat elephant when I look at one”.

Thelev chuckles as he finishes his coffee off.

“Well I wouldn’t say no if they gave me one”.

Lenara throws her napkin at him in a mock huff, it lands on his head.

“Bet you would since you know I’m not qualified to work on Excelsior Class” she scowled humorously “So if they give you one you couldn’t work with your wonderful wife anymore”.

Thelev gives out a laugh as he finally pulls the napkin off his head and swings back on his chair legs.

“Always with the silver lining” he jokes “Anyway we’re only months away from retirement Mrs Thelev and the Gods know we’ve earned it”.

His attention is quickly drawn to the speaker system as he hears Ensign LaBouf’s voice click into life and requests the captain come to the bridge as soon as possible. Thelev says his goodbye to his wife and walks out to find the nearest turbo lift.

 

As he enters the bridge he finds the Frenchman nervously waiting for him.

“Sir it’s a priority message from Starfleet. It’s addressed to all ships in the quadrant”.

Thelev has a concerned look on his face as he lowers himself into the captain’s chair. He gives the order to put it onscreen. He knows that a fleet wide message can only mean bad news.

 

… … … …

 

The Captain and his senior members of the skeleton crew are all sat in the make shift meeting room in theEnterprise’s officers dinning room. Thelev looks serous as he is standing at the head of the table and he addresses the other four officers.

“A short time ago, I received a priority transmission from Admiral Morrow at Starfleet Command. They have asked for every available ship to meet at these co-ordinates”.

The captain turns and hits a button on his remote and a video screen comes on showing a star map. Ryker sticks his hand in the air.

“Captain isn’t that the Neutral Zone along the Klingon border”?

Thelev puts the remote back on the table and takes his seat as he replies to his helmsman.

“Correct. Starfleet intelligence has informed us that of 0800 hours this morning the Klingon fleet have engaged an unknown alien ship within their own space”.

Waves of concerned looks pass the table between the department heads. Lenara speaks up first.

“What and the Klingon’s have asked for help? I’m assuming there is a twist we’re missing here Captain”.

Thelev hits the remote again and the screen kicks up a new image of the alien ship. The ship isn’t as elegant as most ships seen in the alpha quadrant but instead looks like a mass of green glowing energy conduits and tightly packed grey piping. It’s shape make it look like a rectangle with some bulkheads missing.

“No official word has come from the Klingons asking for assistance and yes there is a twist. These are long range scans of the alien ship. It’s a hell of a size and has an energy signature we’ve never seen before. The thing is at least ten times the size of theEnterprise”.

Lt Harp’ar gets out of his seat and has a closer look at the tactical data on the video screen.

“Weapons”?

Harp’ar was a Tellarite that had been with the captain for five years now after they met on a mission Thelev would love to forget, plus besides the captain the Ltd was the only member of his crew to have seen actual combat.

“The alien weapons were cutting through the Klingon shields as if they are not even there. Early estimates show that they have lost a third of their fleet in that sector”.

The captain watched the shocked reaction of the others as they look at each other. He breaks the silence within the room.

“The alien ship is on a direct course for Earth. It jumps to warp ten every forty-seven minutes then drops out after an hour. It seems the Klingons have at least damaged its warp capabilities. They predict in just under an hour the ship will drop at the co-ordinates provided. Starfleet want to deliver the killing blow and stop this ship before it does God knows what in Earth space”.

Thelev stand’s from his seat. The rest follow his lead as they see the briefing is coming to an end. The captain leans forward onto the table. He has that look in his eyes that means he means business.

“Starfleet know we’re in no condition to fight and have given us the option to sit this one out but I want us there none the less. Our task will be to provide support and be responsible for evacuating damaged ships and pass the wounded to the medical frigates that will be unable to get ‘inbetween’ the fighting”.

 

After the department heads return to their locations the ships crew who are all apprised of the situation and burst into life. Their main aim to make sure theEnterpriseis in top condition for the battle. As they near their completion of duties, the speaker system on the ship kicks into life.

“This is your captain speaking. We’re not there to stop this thing but to save lives. Yes we’re only a skeleton crew but I’ve worked with you all for so long that I know you can do this. In ten minutes we will be along side the medical frigate USS Unico. She will beam over extra medical staff and supplies”.

A short time later, the Miranda class ship USS Unico is in formation with theEnterprisewith both ships only a matter of minutes away from the co-ordinates. They have slowed to Warp five to ensure a complete safe transport of all supplies and personnel. On the bridge Thelev is updated by Ensign Johns.

“Medical supplies and staff have finished being beamed aboard captain”.

“Ryker increase our speed to warp nine”.

The internal communication light flashes on the captain’s chair. Hitting the receive button the speaker spits out the voice of the new head doctor sent from the Unico.

“Sickbay to bridge, we’re all set down here captain.”

Sickbay is alive with people running about getting everything ready. On the comms is Dr Phlox speaking to the captain. Thelev’s voice comes back to answer his new medical officer.

“Thank you Dr Phlox and welcome aboard. We’re behind schedule and the battle has already started. So we’ll be taking injured onboard straight away”.

“Understood Captain and may I say it’s pleasant to work on anEnterprisejust like my father did”.

 

Back in the bridge Ryker informs his captain that they are at the co-ordinates. Thelev orders him to drop them to impulse and put up the battle on the main view screen. They are met by a horrific view of the battle already in full swing. They can see all the other different classes of Federation ship attacking the alien ship. Ships are blown apart and debris is everywhere. Ships are firing phasers and torpedoes on the massive enemy ship. Even without his detailed scans, Thelev could tell the Federation was losing against this single enemy and losing badly at that.

TheEnterpriseskilfully manoeuvres through the debris and carnage of battle. The area is alight with weapons fire from both sides. Thelev is quickly reading the incoming tactical data with regards the enemy ship. He’s astounded to find that it is able to adapt to the frequency changes of the different federation phaser types. Sensors were also picking up that the enemy warp engines are regenerating on their own. Other tactical data being shared by the fleet indicated that if this ship jumps to warp it can be at Earth in no time. Suddenly the deck is shaking hard as a shock wave comes from an exploding saucer section from a nearby hit Excelsior class ship.

“Mr Ryker. Hard to port”!

“Aye Captain”!

From his tactical console sat next to Ryker Harp’ar spins on his seat to address his Captain.

“Sir it’s theLexington. She’s been hit. Warp core has been breached”.

“Helm, get us in there, maximum impulse”.

TheEnterpriseswings towards the crippled Excelsior classLexington. TheLexingtonhas taken a great deal of damage and is venting plasma from its starboard warp engine. It is still firing some phasers at the enemy ship but its photon torpedoes are off-line. The captain shouts out his orders into the intercom.

“Transporter room two, begin emergency beam out of theLexington”.

Turning to Lt Harp’ar the captain gives another order as the ship shakes and electrical relays blow out behind him.

“Focus phasers on the enemy weapon banks that are targeting theLexingtonand us”.

The green energy of an alien phaser shot hits the enterprise in the engineering section. The engine room explodes and crew members are being thrown about and some to even to their deaths. As the ship buckles and a groans under the attack. A badly injured Lenara gets to a communication console.

“Medical emergency in Engineering. Medical teams please respond”.

Back on the bridge, things are not much better. Ensign Johns and Captain Thelev are in the middle of fighting an electrical fire at the science station. Harp’ar shouts out his update report.

“Transporters at eighty percent captain. We are forty seconds away from completing beam out”.

His captain returns his report with a fresh set of orders.

“Take phasers off line. Transfer power to transporters and structural integrity”.

“Captain”?

“They’re no good anyway against the alien ship anyway. Best off using the power elsewhere.

TheLexingtonstarts to yaw to face the alien ship its thrusters coming back online. An incoming transmission comes through to the captain’s chair.

“Sir this is Transporter room two. TheLexington’s bridge has put up a disruption field; I cannot beam off their captain. He’s still on the ship”.

Now facing the alien ship and missing a good portion of it’s saucer section they can see theLexingtonstart a ramming run on the alien ship.

“It’s their Captain sir… he’s taking the ship in. Warp Core about to erupt”!

Thelev leans forward, his hands gripping the side as he shouts his order knowing that if he doesn’t act fast theEnterprisecould be taking out with theLexington.

“Helm, get us out of here NOW”!

TheEnterpriseclimbs away theLexington’s warp core explodes as it hits the alien ship. TheEnterprisevibrate and buckle as the shock wave hits them. The impulse engines go off line as the ship starts a slow spin away from the enemy. The crew are thrown around like toys as power falters all around the ship. Thelev picks himself up off the floor as the emergency generators kick in.

“Report Lt Harp’ar”

“External sensors are off line. By the looks of it we have multiple hull breaches on decks A to E”.

Thelev staggers to Ensign Labouf who is slumped in his seat and bleeding from his head. The captain checks his pulse and quickly finds the young ensign is dead. He hits the communication button.

“Bridge to engineering, come in”.

“Engineer Keltow here captain, all primary and secondary systems offline, we’re crippled on backup power only”.

“I need my sensors back up Chief, I need to know what is going on out there”.

The engineer hits a number of buttons on her console and begins a hard restart of the short distance sensors. She breaths a sigh of relief when it comes online.

 

Back in the bridge, Thelev is over Ryker’s shoulder looking at the data coming in. There is no sign of the alien ship but only the semi crippled Federation fleet. The blue glow of a transporter lights up the bridge. It’s the first officer of the USS Unico and a medical team.

“Sir we’re hear to help and begin transport of your crew and patients to our ship. It’s over captain, the alien ship has gone”.

 

… … … …

 

Twenty-four hours later and Captain Thelev is sat in a huge briefing room on the station K7. The station is the closest to the battle and is surrounded by damaged ships. Thelev is there with other star ship captains and commanders waiting for the debriefing to start. He feels a hand on his shoulder from the seat behind. He turns to find a battered Captain Sulu smiling back to him.

“Thelev you shouldn’t be here. There is no reason…”.

“its okay Sulu” he interrupts “ I need to hear this”.

“I hear you saved the lives of everyone on theLexington”

“Well everyone but the Captain it would seem”.

Thelev eyes grow sad and the thought of the crew he had lost in the battle including his own wife. They had all served with amazing courage and he would see that every one of them would receive a commendation from Starfleet for there actions. The funeral for his wife was being arranged by her family as thir tradition dictated. TheEnterprisewould stay at K7 for now until repairs were complete enough for the remainder of the crew to complete their original mission. Starfleet had told Thelev that under the circumstances he could stand down but he refused. The lights dim as Admiral Morrow takes the stage. Behind him the huge screen shows a detailed tactical display of the enemy ship. Before today’s debrief Thelev had found out from the Unico’s captain that after the warp breach the alien ship had jumped away using some sort of Transwarp conduit that the fleet was unable to follow. Wherever it had come from it had returned just as quick.

 

Part 2 – The Other Side

 

Thelev looked around the admiral’s office as he waited. He shifted around uncomfortable in his seat, it may have been a cold autumn here but compared to home it was a horrible heat on Earth in comparison. He gazed around at Admiral Morrow’s many commendations on the wall and a miniature scale model of the admiral’s first commission, The USS Talon, an Apollo class ship that by the looks of the model was the refit variant. It had been four months since the battle of Sector 36764, around twelve federation ships had been lost that day with thousands dead. To date it was the greatest loss of Federation shipping in a single engagement. Thelev and his skeleton crew all had received medals of honour for their courage but the crew were disbanded. Their skills were needed on a number of different ships to help fill the gap of experienced crew lost at 36764. The noise of the large oak door to the office creaking snapped Thelev back into reality and he turns to see Admiral Morrow and another man enter the office.

“Greetings Captain”. Morrow smiles.

The admiral motions for the two men to take a seat.

“Captain Thelev this is Charles Tucker”

The admiral explains as he takes his seat.

“Charles is in charge of the Klingon Intelligence office”.

“Please to meet you Captain” Tucker says as he smiles and shakes the Andorian’s hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you. Congratulations by the way on your medal for your actions at 36764″

Morrow sizes up Thelev for a moment before giving him the reason as to why he had called him here.

“You me and Tucker here all have something in common…” began the admiral “…Section 31”

Thelev’s polite smile dropped.

“Been a while since I’ve heard that dept mentioned Admiral.

The atmosphere had taken a darker swing in the office.

“My colleagues have suggested you would be an excellent choice for a black ops mission Captain” smiled Tucker with a sly look in his eye. Thelev had been recruited by Section 31 10 years before. He did have to do anything bad, just captain a few federation cargo ships about the neutral zone dropping off cargo and personnel he didn’t need or want to know about.

“Plus you still have a keen tactical mind when it comes to a fight Captain. That much is obvious from recent events” added the Admiral. Thelev had been to the dance before and what was well aware what was coming next. First to come would be the flattery, then the reminder of his duty to the federation. He was only weeks away from retirement and frankly they have caught him at the right time. He was beginning to regret the fact he was going home. He was looking forward to it when he was going to live with his wife on his home world but in the last, few months their marriage had fell apart. Lenara had never been in battle before and after seeing the death of some of her colleagues at the battle it had drove her into a deep depression. This in turn heaped pressure on their marriage. Morrow finally began.

“You may be wondering why we called you here” asked Tucker

“It crossed my mind yes”

The admiral looks over at Charles. The covert intelligence officer stands to pass Thelev a handheld computer PDA. Flashing up on it was general information regarding the battle and scans of the alien craft.

“In the months since the engagement we have collected quite a large amount of information through legitimate channels”

Charles shifts in his seat to better face the captain.

“There is a great deal we have kept out of the public domain regarding our losses and what actually happened that day”.

Both the admiral and Tucker could see from Thelev’s expression that the Captain was confused by the statement. Thelev indeed was confused. I was at the battle; I had even spoken to other captains regarding what had happened that day. What possibly could he not know? He thought to himself but knowing Section 31 a lot of things may have been suppressed. Mr Tucker continued “We have reports logged that the alien’s had transported aboard some damaged federation ships and uploaded large portions of their databases. What is more worrying is that we have over two hundred crew members missing from the official dead logs”.

“What? Are you telling me we have men and women missing in action? Why has nothing been said about this”?

Thelev was becoming quite angry at the thought that Starfleet had people missing in action and no one was told. The admiral cuts in and he leans forward on his desk.

“The facts are these Captain. Starfleet is still reeling from the political fallout over the attempted assassination of the President by our own command staff, not under S31 rule before you ask. Moral is at an all-time low and it was decided that this information, [of which we were not aware of UNTIL the clean-up began], would be kept behind closed doors until a rescue plan could be drawn up”.

Thelev leans back in his chair and takes a minute. He didn’t know what was making him feel worse, the fact that two hundred people were abducted or that Section 31 was back at his door. The intelligence officer broke the silence this time around.

“We have gathered similar information from the Klingons and it’s clear this was a scout ship testing our borders and collecting information on us”

“For an invasion?” mused Thelev.

The admiral begins to load up some additional information and schematics on his computer console.

“That’s what we think. We need to know more on this race Captain. We have a joint effort black ops mission we need you for”

“Why me”?

“The bottom line is this Captain. With our losses at 36764 we are low on experienced captains with section 31 clearance”.

The admiral spins his console screen toward Thelev. The captain can see the schematics for an Excelsior class star ship.

“This is the USS Barak, she was heavily damaged in the battle. For the last two months Section 31 has been retro fitting her as a pure warship…”

The admiral stands up, straightens his uniform and address Thelev with a distinct tone of authority.

“…Captain Thelev we are asking you to take the Barak and rescue our people”.

Thelev stands and solutes his admiral.

“Yes sir, I’ll be honoured“.

“Report to starbase K7 in two days time for your overall briefing. And remember Thelev, your still under Section31 so you know what that means if you talk out of turn to any outside Federation department” added Tucker.

Marrow shows the captain the door. After he leaves the intelligence officer and Morrow look at each other, and their faces both say the same thing. That this is a suicide mission at best.

 

… … … …

 

The Miranda class star ship clunks into place as she docked with the now upgraded K7 station. Captain Thelev disembarks the ship and is greeted by the Commander in charge of the station.

“Hello Captain I’m Commander Franklin. Welcome aboard”.

The two men shake hands andFranklinleads Thelev off towards to station’s situation room. Once there the Captain could see his crew of 200 including two units of what looked like Marines but knowing S31 they we’re all probably mercenaries. They were all already sat waiting to hear the details of the mission. Thelev is introduced to the commander in charge of the marines, a Xindi called Commander Tilko.

“Captain, I’m Tilko Tarran we’re looking forward to getting our people back from those bastards”.

“Good man” Thelev replied, “I’ll make sure you’re given your chance,”

 

Thelev sits down in the front of the speaking hall. Behind Franklin who at this point was activating a scrambler device was a giant view screen showing images to go along with the briefing. Thelev had looked over much of the data on his trip to K7. He was particularly impressed with the stats for the USS Barak. Quad forward photon torpedo tubes, duel aft tubes and multiple standard phaser banks giving a full multi angle firing solution. In addition, there were the upgraded shields, sensors and engines. However, the most impressive thing on the ship was the prototype Type X Phaser array that sat above and below the saucer section. This was incredibly powerful and able to change frequencies at will to combat a change in shield frequency of any enemy. It seems this was going to be the main weapon of choice for Starfleet’s next generation of starships to take them into the next century. Thelev looked to his left as the briefing continued. He could see the contingent of Klingons who are part of this joint operation. He wondered if they know just who was running this operation. Hell the Federation has to be in on it he thought, Section 31 couldn’t afford this on their own. The USS Barak would be joined by a K’t’inga Type Klingon ship. Since the Klingon’s had shared a lot of intelligence on their own battle with the alien ship it was decided that one of their ships would be sent as well. If anything it meant they could cover more ground. The tech-heads back on Earth had found a way of opening the transwarp conduit allow both ships to go where ever the alien’s went and bring back Info and the prisoners.

 

As the briefing finished and the crew started to head to the Barak, Thelev is stopped in his tracks by a Klingon General.

“Captain, I am T’Lang of the destroyer Q’nar” The General began” I’ll be in command on the Q’Nar and I’m looking forward to joining you on this quest”

Thelev was a little stunned by the pleasantry of the Klingon. “General, it’s a pleasure to have you by our side. Tell me do you think many Klingon’s are prisoner over there”?

“Good God no” T’Lang says as he slaps his hand down on Thelev’s shoulder and laughs. “No Klingon is allowed to let themselves become captured. It is their duty to fight to the death”

Thelev unlike most federation citizens didn’t mind the Klingon’s. He has never bought into most of the Federation propaganda about their cold war enemy. He saw them as a people just like everyone else.

 

A short time later and after being introduced to his command staff Thelev stepped onto the bridge of the Barak. His crew had all been hand picked by Section 31 Command. He wondered how many better qualified men and women had lost their lives at 36764. It was times like this he missed the skeleton crew he used to work with, even Ensign LaBouf. The bridge was alive with view screens and consoles. The captain took his seat and prepared to give his first order.

“Helm, prepare to disembark. Advise the station we’re leaving”

Tactical officer Milne looks up from his position towards the captain. “The Q’nar has jumped to warp sir”.

“Fine” he replies “Helm set course for sector 36764, maximum warp”.

The USS Barak pulls away for the docking station and rotates to face the new co-ordinates. The ship blurs for a moment and stretches forward as she jumps to warp. Within seconds, she is pulling passed warp six. Thelev hadn’t seen so much acceleration on a ship and thought to himself that it his wife would have loved seeing the new tech and system layouts even if she wasn’t a fan of the class of ship.

 

The time it would take to get to sector 36764 would be enough for Thelev to finger through the crew manifest. From what he could see with the exception of himself and two others, the ship was practically all human. Not that he had a problem with them but he always felt more at ease if there was more of a mix of aliens on board. Lt Bristow worked the helm; she informed the captain that they are at the coordinates. The order was given for the Barak to drop back to impulse.

“No sign of the Klingon’s Captain” Milne reported.

“Bring us up to the gate,” Thelev ordered.

The Gate was the name used for the giant deflector dish Starfleet had built. Its job was to direct a large amount of Quelling Radiation at the weakened subspace coordinates of the conduit and force it to reopen. A few hundred feet off the port nacelle the Q’nar decloaked. General T’Lang’s voice is heard through the speakers.

“Greetings Captain, we’re ready when you are. We will lead the way.

The speaker shut off. On the main screen, they could see the klingon’s take up position in front of the USS Barak. The deflector dish begins to power up. Two Excelsiors and the last Constitution ship begin to power their weapons and shields. The thought was that if they open the Conduit and the aliens come out then it would be best to be ready. The Klingon’s had sent three Birds of Prey and an old K Class. They had taken a huge loss when they had engaged the enemy last time that this is really all they could spear. The view screen becomes awash with light as the transwarp conduit opens.

“Captain to all crew” Thelev griped the arms of his chair “we’re going in”

He looks over to Bristow and gives her the nod. The USS Barak and the Q’Nar move into the Conduit’s event horizon.

The USS Barak is battered by the gravitation force of the transwarp conduit. Down below Engineering are trying their best to combat the forces.

“Engineering, report” Thelev yelled down the two-way system. The nose of the buffering masking much of what he could hear.

“Captain we’ve reset the emitters we should be levelling out …”

But before the sentence was even finished the ride became infinitely more smooth.

“Thank god for that” Thelev mumbled to himself.

 

 … … … …

 

They had been in the conduit for a good twenty minutes and still no one had an idea of where it was taking them. The signal from the Gate was still strong so at least they knew they could communicate with the ships at the mouth of the conduit. Then without warning, the two ships re-entered normal space and came to a stop. Around them, they could see what remained of a massive battle. Some of the Ships which had the same scan signature of the alien craft they encountered all those months ago now floated dead in space. The only thing left untouched was the giant alien version of Starfleet’s gate that they past through. It seemed to be a giant ring fifty times the size of the USS Barack.

“Well the good news is that at least it seems they can be killed” Thelev thought aloud as he walked over to his tactical officer. “Mr Milne report please”.

A few button pushes on his console brings up a full tactical report for Lt Milne.

“Captain, some of these ships match what we are looking for. The rest are of unknown structure and by the looks of it responsible for the destruction of…”

Milne trailed off. His expression let the captain know that something serious had come up on his screen.

“What is it”?

“I think I’ve found the actual ship that was in our sector sir. It’s heavily damaged on the far side of the battlefield. Scans indicate no power but I’m picking up what I think is life signs” Milne paused for a moment “sir I think it could be a few of our people”

Thelev give the order for Bristow to take the ship closer in. his second order was to get the Q’Nar up on hale.

“Yes Captain” came the response from General T’Lang “What is it”?

“General we have found the ship that attacked us. We’re going in”.

“Agreed Captain, we too have picked it up” The General continued. “If you find any Klingon survivors please leave them as you find them. They should have all died in glorious battle”

The communication went dead. The bridge crew all looked at each other as if they really should have known better than to see compassion from a Klingon.

 

The USS Barack moved in closer to the damaged enemy ship. She was missing a huge chunk of her hull and scans indicated some sort of nuclear explosion. Most probably from one of the other specie’s ships that were spread out destroyed across the battlefield.

“The ship is dead sir but I’m picking up small pockets of energy in a few sections. One of these is where I’m picking up humanoid scans,” Milne reported

“Bridge to Transporter room”

“Yes Captain” came back the response.

“Can you lock onto the life signs and beam them aboard”?

“Yes sir”

A call for a medical team to go to Transporter Room 2 went out over the loud haler as Thelev made his way down there himself. Within minutes, he is standing watching an ensign get a lock on and energise the transport. The medical team stood waiting as they all watched the orange glow of the transports kick in. Almost immediately, Thelev could see that there was a problem.

“Sir I can’t get a complete transport, it’s some sort of damping signal,” The ensign said.

Thelev could hear in the ensign’s voice that he was trying to sound calm but was panicking.

“It’s okay Ensign, you can do this” The captain replied.

However, this was not to be the case. Only one of the four initial transports was successful in a full transport. Lying on the pad in front of them was what looked to once be a human. But now it looked as if some one had grafted on a robotic arm and replaced one eye with some sort of electronic scanner. Underneath the armour and wires, they could still make out the torn parts of a Starfleet uniform.

“What the hell”? One of the medical team members said as he cautiously approached the body.

Thelev got that feeling in his gut that he hated. The feeling that everything was about to go to hell. Hitting the communication pad, he orders a security team to the transporter room. Just as he did, he turned in time to see one of the doctors being thrown across the room. This ‘thing’ was now stood upright. It’s one mechanical arm wrapped around the neck of the other doctor.

Thelev watched as this survivor tries to talk. “We… I… We are… Bor…”

It struck him that even though this thing was doing what it was, it seemed the human inside of it was being forced to do it by the will of something else. Before he had, a chance to take it all in he is shaken out of it by the phaser fire hitting the strange visitor square in the head killing him instantly. Thelev turns to see the transporter ensign lower his weapon.

“I’m… I’m sorry Captain… he…” the ensign stuttered.

The Captain reassured him. “Don’t worry about it son, you did the right thing”.

They all moved over to the corpse. Luckily the two medical staff didn’t suffer life threaten injuries. When security arrived, they moved the body to sickbay for examination. Thelev returned to the bridge to contact the Q’Nar to inform them of what happened.

 

‘Hale the Klingon Ship” the captain ordered as he sat in his chair.

“I’m afraid there is no reply” Milne responded. “The last report from them was that they were investigating another section of the area to transport materials aboard to take back”.

“Are we reading any more life forms”?

“No captain”

“Ms Bristow, set course for the Q’Nar’s last position”. Thelev ordered to his helmswoman.

The USS Barack made its way under impulse to the last co-ordinates of the Klingon ship. Again hales were not being responded to and Thelev was beginning to get that feeling in his gut again.

 

They finally found the Q’Nar listing in space.

“Report” The captain ordered to his tactical officer.

“Her engines are offline, and I’m seeing disruptor energy readings from all of her decks”

“Who the hell are they fighting”?

Bristow yells out “Sir she’s back online, she’s turning to face us”

“Captain the Q’Nar is haling us. Sound only”. The communications officer says.

Sat forward in his seat Thelev replies “About time. Put it up”.

“Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours.”

“Emergency manoeuvre, Alpha-6″

The Barak drops down the Z-Axis as the Q’Nar sails over the top. The federation ship continues to let out a spray of red phasers as the two ships pass each other exchanging fire.

“Shields at eighty percent and holding” Lt Milne shouts over the sound of the rumbling bulkhead as another Klingon torpedo is absorbed by the shields.

 

The two ships had been locked in a firefight for a good ten minutes at this point. Sensors had picked up that a battle was still raging in the Q’Nar. Bristow had suggested maybe a mutiny onboard the Klingon ship which to be honest was making a meal out of the fight, clearly whoever had taken over wasn’t flying her with 100% concentration. Thelev had a different theory and had already worked out a plan he had passed to Tarran. This in part is why he has only ordered concentrated phaser fire on the shield emitters and weapon systems on the Klingon craft only.

“Thelev to Commander Tarran. Are you ready”?

Commander Tarran and four other marines were stood fully armed and equipped on the pads in transporter room one.

“Ready when you are Captain”.

Back on the bridge, Thelev has ordered Bristow to get behind the Klingon cruiser. Lt Milne had locked a single torpedo to bring down their shields fully.

“Their Shields at ten percent. Torpedo locked and ready”. Lt Milne advised.

“Let it loose Lt” Thelev ordered.

The orange glow of the photon torpedo shoots from the upper port tube. Gliding left and right as the internal guidance unit guides the torpedo to its target. Five seconds after leaving the tube, it stuck its destination with a brilliant explosion and the green glow of the Klingon shields drops away.

Thelev slams his thumb into his comm. “Shields are down, Transporter room energise. Good hunting Tilko”.

The glow of the transporter dissipates and Tilko and the marines are standing in a circle facing out and weapons ready. The floor beneath them shakes as another phaser hit from the Barak strikes the ship. It was agreed that while the marines were on board they would continue to fire on the Q’Nar’s weapons to disable her. The small squad moves out and heads to the main engineering section.

“Tilko to the Barak. We are heading to waypoint Beta now. Captain there are Klingon bodies everywhere…”

His report is cut short by a shot of green Klingon disruptor fire hitting one of the Marines. Taking cover Tilko spots the shooter. It is a Klingon but his skin is a light grey. His expression is blank as he walks unsteadily towards the marines. One of the privates takes his shot and downs the Klingon in a blast of white sparks. As the Klingon drops, they see approaching from behind him what they can tell straight away is one of the enemy aliens. It was an unknown species to them, almost dog like in its stature and also seemed to be melded with mechanical parts. Its right eye is glowing red it quickly scans the Marines.

“What the hell is that thing”? Tilko whispers to himself as the alien slowly marches towards them.

“Open Fire!” he finally orders and the Marines kill it.

“Sir, the tri-corder is picking up more of the same moving towards us”. Tilko’s sergeant warns him.

From around the corner one more of the strange bio-mechanical aliens march. Tilko orders his men to open fire but the alien’s personal shield stops their phaser fire.

“Keep firing,” he orders as the alien keeps moving towards them.

“Sir we’ve four more almost on us”

Out of nowhere a Klingon bladed weapons flies past them and hits the alien in the forehead killing it instantly. Tilko turns to see an injured General T’Lang limping up towards them.

“The ship is lost, get out of here,” The General orders “I’ll take care of the rest”

T’Lang opens his hand to show he’s holding a detonator. “It’s attached to the warp core”

“Tilko to USS Barak, Emergency beam out! Captain back away from the Q’Nar she’s about to explode”.

T’Lang watches as the Marines beam away, he turns to face the four aliens that have appeared. They have been joined by a number of infected Klingon crewman as well.

“It’s a good day to die, yes?” the General smirks as he hits the detonator.

 

Back on the Barak Thelev is standing over helmswomen Bristow. They were in full reverse as the Q’Nar’s warpcore explodes and the ship shakes in the warp breach shockwave.

“Sickbay to the Bridge, Captain I have something you need to see”

“On way” The Captain responded. “Tactical, report to the… actually where the hell are we”?

“Using star reference I think we’re in the Delta quadrant sir” Milne responded.

“Fine, report our position and situation to Starfleet using a subspace signal through the open conduit”. The Captain said as he steps off the bridge and onto the turbolift.

 

Thelev hadn’t even stepped back out of the lift next to sick bay when Milne hailed him.

“Captain to the bridge, we have an emergency.”

Thelev rolled his eyes and stepped back onto the turbolift.

“Bridge”!

As soon as the doors opened he could see his bridge crew all looking at him with worry in their eyes.

“What is it”?

“Sir… it’s the Gate… it’s closed”. Milne answered with a quiver in his voice. “The conduit started to collapse when I sent the signal through. We’re trapped captain.”

“How the hell would a subspace signal shut it down”? The captain asks back on the bridge.

The communications ensign swings on her seat to face the deck.

“Captain I think I know what happened, The Gate at this side received a signal from an unknown source and…”

“Captain!” Milne yells out. “I’m reading massive power surges in the Gate at this side. Sir I think she’s about to blow”!

The tactical officer’s display was showing a definite overload in the sixteen generators that are located around the perimeter of the gate.

“The power sources on the gate are reaching critical levels sir”

Thelev is standing over him watching the data come in. “Get us out of here Helm, Warp three”.

The USS Barack jumps to warp just in time as the gate goes up in a blinding white light that engulfs the debris field that surrounded it including the ship that had attacked the Alpha quadrant.

 

“Bring us to an all stop Lt Bristow” The captain orders as he slumps into his chair.

The man looks exhausted and sick to his back teeth. They had been in the Delta quadrant no more than an hour and they had already lost their Klingon support but more importantly the only means of getting home. Thelev eventually stands and looks as if he had his second wind.

“Right, I want a department head meeting in the ready room in twenty minutes. I want a full medical report on what happened to that crewmember we brought onboard and I want to know where that damn signal came from”

Thelev leaves the bridge and heads towards his ready room.

 

 … … … …

 

Sat behind his desk he was trying to take in the tactical data the Barak had collected. He was trying to find a way home but nothing was jumping out at him. He leaned back in his seat with his head in his hand. He couldn’t help but think Starfleet had made a massive mistake putting him in charge of this whole thing. But now wasn’t the time to start feeling sorry for himself he figured. Plenty time to do that when he was dead. He had a whole ship full of people to look after and to make sure he gets them home. It was almost time for the meeting and he still didn’t know what to do or say.

“I should have just gone to Andoria when I had the chance,” he mumbled to himself.

The chime on the door goes.

“Enter”

Lt Milne, Lt Bristow, and Commander Tilko enter the room all carrying padds. Shortly after Dr Collins and Chief Engineer Smith join them for the meeting. Thelev takes the head of the table hoping that his own fears do not show through to the rest of the group.

“Okay what have we got”? He begins

The first to speak up is Dr Helen Collins. She is the youngest of the group but an incredibly talented doctor and surgeon.

“I’ve ran every scan on the young ensign we beamed aboard we can and to be honest the results are a little horrific. His body was infected with nano-machines. Very sophisticated by the looks of them. They attack the DNA of the host and re-write the basic codes, for what end I don’t know I’m afraid”

The chief offers his opinions on the matter. “From what I can see the nano-machines are at least a hundred years ahead of anything Starfleet has on the drawing boards. The technology is amazing”.

Chief Smith or Smithy as most called him was an old war horse of a guy. He was in a constant state of covered in grime and muck. Thelev had never seen a Chief be so hands on with a ship’s engineering duties than he was.

“Okay” Thelev turns to his bridge crew, “What about the signal and do we have any leads on that”?

Milne was first to speak “Yes Communications was able to track it to a planet not far away”.

“It’s about an hour at warp eight, Captain. I can get us underway straight away if you wish”? Bristow asked.

“Yes go ahead but make it warp 9” The captain replies “Commander Tilko have you anything to add”?

Tilko stands and heads over to the large screen and hits a button. The image of the alien comes on screen and data from the tri-corder scrolls beside it.

“The enemy seems to have some sort of personal shielding that is impervious to our assault rifles. This is only active in the alien’s themselves, any infected are easily taken down” Tilko takes his seat again, “between what we saw in the alpha quadrant and here I’d say that our current weapons and tactics are inefficient at best”.

Thelev rubs the bridge of his noise as he thinks for a moment as to his next step. The rest of them patiently wait to see what their orders will be.

“Okay set course for the planet. We don’t know what well find there but they may hold the only chance for our return to the Alpha Quadrant” Thelev stands and straightens his uniform, “Doctor you and the chief continue your tests on the nano-machines. Maybe you can find something we can use. Dismissed”

The group brake and head back to their stations. Thelev decides to stay and wait a moment. In his head, he tried to work out how long it would take to get back home under normal warp drive. At maximum warp, he figured it would take the crew over a hundred years. He thought that perhaps whoever built the transwarp Gate may have built more. If they could find one then they could use it. The trick of course was not to be detected and killed before then. It was becoming clear that Starfleet was in over their heads and they need to be warned.

 

 … … … …

 

An hour later and the USS Barak are in orbit around the planet.

“The surface is dead sir. I’m reading a massive radiation signature meaning the most probably coarse was nuclear war”. Milne continued, “Whoever lived here is long dead Captain”.

“Begin scanning the surface again for any signs of that signal. Someone had to have sent it”.

An alarm stared to chime on Lt Milne’s console, “Sir, we’re being scanned, we have incoming ships. Six of them”

“Raise Shields, Red Alert”!

“I’ve got them on long range sensors”

“On screen”

The main viewscreen flashes on an image of six alien ships closing in on them. The head up display shows that each ship is the size of the Barack. The design was the same as many of the damaged ships that lay destroyed alongside the enemy alien ships. Thelev hoped that they were fighting each other and not allies destroyed side by side. The enemy was bad enough to fight without taking on equally strong allies.

“Try and raise them, all frequencies,” Thelev orders to his communication’s officer.

The view screen changes as the hail is accepted and they are met with the beautiful face of an alien female.

“I am Kellzy, Sector leader of theAlliance, state you purpose in this region”. Her voice was firm but soft at the same time.

“I’m Captain Thelev of the USS Barak. We’re part of the United Federation of Planets. We…”

Before he could finish, the transmission is cut silent, the image remained and it looked as if Kellzy was receiving an update from one of her bridge officers.

“Lt Milne, how long till weapons range”? Thelev asks his tactical officer as he turns his back to the screen.

“They have dropped out of warp and are in our range now Captain, I’m not reading any targeting sensors from their ships. But they are scanning us.” The Lt says and he rechecks his console.

The speakers kick back in and the bridge is once again filled with Kellzy’s voice. “Captain our scan shows you have Borg technology onboard your vessel”.

“Borg? No we have no…” he pauses for a moment as it dawns on him. “You mean the crewman we have in our morgue”? He’s dead but not before he was infected by some nano-machines”.

By this point, the six ships have come to an all stop in a perimeter around the USS Barack. Kellzy’s body language is showing a more relaxed nature towards Thelev. For the first time he could see what he took as exhaustion in the alien’s eyes.

“These Borg”, Thelev continues, “they invaded our space and killed many of our kind and kidnapped over two hundred. We need all the information you have. Please help us.”

“You came through the Sulgat didn’t you”? She asks.

“Sulgat? You mean the Transwarp Conduit? Yes, yes we did” Thelev’s replies.

“Captain Thelev, we will transport you to our ship. We have much to discuss”. Kellzy says with a slight smile.

 

 … … … …

 

Less than ten minutes later Thelev is aboard the lead alien vessel. He had been greeted well and not treated like an enemy prisoner. He could sense that these people meant him no harm but looked at him with suspicion. He put it down to the fact that they had never seen an Andorian before; after all he was looking at them as hard as they were at him. The Captain is shown to what he took as a war room. It is flanked with large view screens showing tactical data of The Borg and their ships. Sat around a table are the captains and their second in commands from each of the other six ships.

“Please” greeted Kellzy’s with her hand indicating a spare seat, “Sit here Captain”.

Thelev takes his seat. He was starting to feel a little less intimidated; He had left Milne in charge of the Barack and hoped to the gods that if this all went south then they would be able to get him off and away without any casualties.

“What you are looking at around this table Thelev is the last of my species”. Kellzy began. “The enemy call us Species 215 but we are the Talus-Qual. We have been hunted to near extinction by cybernetic organisms known simply as, The Borg”.

“Were they the ones who built the… what did you call it? The Sulgat?” Thelev asks.

“No that was built by us. It was meant to be our last escape from this sector of space,” says one of the other Captains.

Kellzy takes her seat next to Thelev. “We are only around eleven thousand strong now; the rest of our species has been killed or assimilated”.

“Assimilated”?

“It’s how The Borg invades”. Chirps in one of the other Captains. “They take over a vessel or colony and meld the life forms and technology to their own”.

“That wasn’t always how it was with them”.

Kellzy stands and uses a remote to switch one of the giant screens to show a Borg robot.

“They originated outside of our known space, originally a fully robotic four legged entity then went from world to world eradicating every life form it came in contact with and stole any advanced technology.

The Borg robot wasn’t humanoid looking. It seemed to resemble more like a four-legged animal with two arms sprouting from its back and two more from its side. Thelev thought it looked weird and wondered what the kidnapped Starfleet crew had thought when they first encountered them during the abduction. There was no real description from both Klingon or Federation crews as simply none had survived the encounter. Keelzy continued her briefing,

“As the Borg became a bigger and bigger threat, ourselves and two other races joined forces and created theAlliance. Our main agenda was the defeat of the Borg threat. For a long time we pushed the Borg back until they changed their tactics on us”

“How do you mean changed tactics”?

Another click of the remote and the screen changed again. This time it showed an image of a Talus-Qual but infected and fused with Borg looking technology.

“They started using biological and electronic hybrid technologies. Turn around for their troops was speeded up by ninety percent. They were no longer dependable on raw materials to make more Borg”.

Kellzy and the others all looked incredibly sad now. Thelev could tell that this must have been the turning point of the war and losses were probably atrocious.

“They quite literally used our own people against us”. They spread quicker than before and overwhelmed theAlliance. Our last hope was the Sulgat. It was to be our escape from the Borg”.

“So what happened”? Thelev asked.

 

 … … … …

 

Back in his Ready Room Thelev is sat with his department heads. He has just finishing up his debrief of what he learnt over on the Talus-Qual ship.

“The planet we are in orbit around was the staging ground for the refugee armada. After abandoning it, they nuked it from space to eradicate any evidence of what they had planed so the Borg couldn’t track them as they go through the gate”.

Thelev switches the view monitor to show a blue print of a reinforced bunker that is still be on the planet’s surface.

“This would contain a subspace relay that would transmit a self-destruct signal to the Gate after they passed through it. However, because of a malfunction, the signal was sent only after the Barack and Q’Nar came through. They don’t know why it had such a large delay”.

Commander Tilko raises his hand to ask a question. Thelev gives him the nod of approval.

“So what happened, how come they didn’t go through”?

“Basically the Borg caught wind of it and sent four ships to intercept”. The Captain replied “In the battle they destroyed all but six of the Talus-Qual ships and in turn lost three of their own. The fourth went through the gate and ended up in the Alpha Quadrant”.

Lt Milne raises his hand this time. “I suppose the Borg were interested to see where the conduit would lead”.

“After they tested the Alpha Quadrant they simply returned to report. A side effect of the gate is that if you keep a sub space signal open it keeps you on a rope to your old quadrant. The Borg knew this from some assimilated Talus. Once it had what it wanted from our side it just simply jumped back”. Thelev continues, “but Kellzy’s ships were waiting and destroyed it as it came through the gate.

Smithy had this entire time been stood taking a closer look at the view screen,

“It says here that the Borg can adapt their shielding to any frequency of energy weapons. So how did the Talus-Qual take out so many ships”?

The captain switches the screen to show a detailed cross section of Talus-Qual torpedo. Smithy could see that it was a basic hardened carbon fibre shell packed with near nuclear explosives and a timer. The idea was so simple it was genius, because the Borg’s shields are designed to scan and repel any ‘energy’ signature they were useless against what can only be described as cannon shells. Looking at the stats closer the chief could see they are launched via a rail gun system and would dig the shells into the armour of the enemy’s hull then explode.

“Fascinating” he finally said, “I can retro fit the current stock of Photon torpedoes to do something similar. I can negatively magnetise the launches to spit out the Torpedoes then the sensors can activate them as they pass the Borg shield. Not perfect but may do the job”?

“Good stuff chief. Get your men starting on it now,” Thelev answers.

“So do you think the Borg will spread to the Alpha Quadrant? Do we even have a plan Captain”? Lt Bristow asks.

The captain smiles as he looks at his Helmsman, “They know there is a wealth of life there so yes they’ll make the trip. And as for a plan” he smiles “Don’t we always”?

 … … … …

 

Within no time, the crew of the Barak were running from department to department readying the ship for their upcoming mission. Kellzy had come aboard with around sixty Talus-Qual children that had been rescued from the armada before it was destroyed. Kellzy had made Thelev aware that a second gate was hidden in a nebular not far from here. This was the prototype gate but was only able to transport one ship before burning out. The captain had agreed to take the children so that their race could continue in the Alpha quadrant. Because of this, the Barak would be the one allowed to return and the remaining Talus-Qual ships would hold off the Borg while they escaped. Kellzy had uploaded all the security and activation codes for the Gate. The nebular lay across from a Borg sentry base on a nearby Moon. Together both she and Thelev tried to work out a plan to sneak across without the Borg detecting them.

 

 … … … …

 

They were now located in the Astro-Metric lab aboard Kellzy’s ship. The electronic map stretched out across the surface of the table.

“I just don’t see how we can get to the Nebular without the Borg picking us up” Thelev mumbled to himself.

“The best course of action is that you simply make a run for it at maximum warp” Kellzy muses, “When you get close enough activate the Gate and go straight through. We will hold off the one Borg ship that is in that sector”.

“But once the Borg know the prototype Gates location what’s stopping them from just back engineering the technology”?

“Quite simply Captain there will be no Sulgate to study. A conduit can be opened in the nebula but once it closes it creates a negative pressure so strong the Sulgat will be crushed to the size of this table” she replied.

Thelev turns to look at her. In the short time they had spent together, he had grown to have much affection for her bravery. “And what about you”? he asks.

“It’s a standard Borg destroyer in that sector; between the six of us we should be able to kill it. Once we know you’re through the gate we’ll go to high warp and try to hide as long as we can”.

Her head drops and she tries to remain calm and not give away her true feelings of fear.

“As long as the children go with you then our race will continue. Our sacrifice will not be for nothing”.

“Leader Kellzy” the intercom interrupted the silence, “long range scanners have picked up a new ship by the Moon on our flight path”

“Patch the data to Astro-Metrics” she orders.

On the screen in front of them is a blow up of the moon and a Borg station in orbit. Attached to the station is an unknown class of Borg ship.

“I’ll reroute some more power to the scanners to get a better look” Kellzy says as she types in some commands

The image becomes clearer and they finally see it for what it is. In front of them is a ship never before recorded by the Talus-Qual. The ship was again huge compared to the USS Barak and its shape is a perfect cube.

 … … … …

 

The Barak and the Talus fleet hid close to a giant asteroid near to their staging post. Kellzy had informed them that the minerals in the rock would help shield them from long range Borg scans.

“Final survivors have been beamed aboard captain,” Milne confirmed, “Shall I inform the fleet we’re ready to ship out”?

“Yes” Thelev replies as he turns to his Helmswoman, “Bristow prepare to disengage and take us to maximum warp”

“Kellzy is hailing us sir; she is requesting a private channel”

“That’s fine, just play it here” Thelev responds and Kellzy’s face appears.

“Captain I just wanted to say good luck and that we’ll be right on your tail” She smiles at him as she continues. “Also thank you for taking the children, it means everything to us that our race continues”.

“Hey as far as I’m concerned as soon as we’re in the Alpha Quadrant I’ll make sure a fleet is sent back to rescue the rest of you somehow”. Thelev leans forward to the screen, “Just make sure you stay hidden okay”?

“Captain if this Borg Cube is as formable as our scans are picking up I’d image our small fleet won’t exist for long. Just make sure you get through the Sulgat”. Kellzy allows herself one last smile as she signs off.

The captain leans back in his seat, so much was riding on this flimsy plan. He couldn’t help but be worried. All the lives rested in his leadership. Not just the crew but also the forty children he had taking on which represented the last of a whole race. He closes his eyes for a moment to control his breathing. He issued the order to disembark. The Barak and Talus fleet were now in high warp heading towards the nebular. Milne had been ordered to give a tactical update every thirty seconds.

“Captain, the Borg Cube has spotted us. She has gone to warp. ATA is 160 seconds”.

“Helm what is the time to the Gate”?

“Dropping from warp now captain, we’re a two minutes from the Gate. We’re at maximum impulse”. Came Lt Bristow’s reply.

The signal had already been sent to the Sulgat to power up. The time between the Barak arriving and the gate at full power with minimal. One other problem was that the prototype Sulgat was not much bigger that the Barak herself. Bristow would have to thread the eye of the needle at a dangerous speed.

“Captain the Talus fleet has engaged the Cube”

Within a couple of seconds of making Thelev aware of this Lt Milne had already put it up on screen. They could see the enormous Cube taking up most of the screen. It was dotted with explosions of from the Talus torpedoes. It did not look like they were slowing it down any as after every explosion the ship seemed to heal itself.

“What the hell is that thing”? Thelev says to himself.

The cube continued on its intercept of the Barak and allowed the other alien fleet to take their best shot.

“15 seconds to the Gate Captain” Bristow informed.

It looked like they would make it. The Gates was quickly approaching and Bristow had lined the ship up nicely.

“Sir they are…”

Milne tried to finish his sentence but it was too late. The Borg cube had fired eight photon torpedoes at the Barack. The speed and the precise manner of the shots stunned them. Within a few seconds, the ship was rocked with explosions. The first three torpedoes had downed the shields. Another four had hit the rear sections of the ship. Down below crew members and the children are sucked out of the breaches into the cold of space through the gaping holes left by the destruction of the bulkheads. The final and eighth torpedo hit the port nacelle. It exploded with a violate show of energy and light. It was enough to spin the Barack off its course. Back on the bridge Thelev and his men could do nothing to control the ship. On the main screen, Thelev watched as he realised that the ship would hit the outer ring of the gate. His life didn’t flash before him, he wasn’t scared. In the seconds that past, it felt like a lifetime. All he could think about was the children he still thought were onboard and his late wife. What was left of the USS Barack slammed into the outer ring of the Sulgat. The resulting explosion was enough to take out a chunk of the Borg cube and destroy five of the Talus-Qual ships. Kellzy’s own ship had been on the far side of the Cube, which had shielded them. Stunned she watches on the view screen in her heavily damaged bridge, her whole bridge crew looked just as shocked. The only thing that brought them back to reality was the green glow and heavy thud of the Borg tractor beam. Within seconds, three Borg humanoids had beamed onto her bridge. The lead Borg grabs the female captain by the head and plunged his cold sharp mental tubes into her neck. All she can feel is something being pumped into her bloodstream before passing out. The last thing she hears is the voice of the Borg holding her.

“Royal protocol activated, resistance is futile”

 

THE END

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