Episode 5: Red Sand, Dark Tide, Part I

Dec 4 2003, 07:09 PM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Office

Tom sat at his desk. "Computer, begin recording."

A beep from the holoterminal in front of him let him know it had started recording.

"Admiral's Log.

"Last night I received an intelligence report from Hardgrove that the Alliance Fleet currently occupying Betazed appears to be gearing up for another offensive, this time they will probably be going after Vulcan. I've decided we can't wait any longer, it is time for the Federation to make a stand. Thus, I'm sending our entire fleet to the Betazed system, led by the Pollux and the Gambit. Captains Hardgrove and Major are reporting to my office in a half hour for a briefing.

"It's been three days since we enacted the blockade around Earth. Once the fleet learned of everything Command has been doing there was almost no resistance. A few officers here and there have made it clear they can't support this rebellion, so they are being brought to Earth where they can remain with Command and the Federation Council. They will not be allowed to leave the planet, we just cannot allow it. It would be too much of a security risk.

"As of now, I guess I am in command of all of the Federation. At least for as long as the fleet supports me, that is. I have every intention of calling for new Council elections once this mess is over, but for the time being I have declared martial law. It goes against so many things the Federation believes in, but I don't see any other way. I swear, on the lives of all the officers under me, I will relinquish power when the time comes.

"On a more personal note, I can't help but to worry about this decision to send the Fleet. After what happened down at Starfleet Medical.... So many deaths....."

Tom's voice trailed off. "Computer, end recording." He said after a minute.

He looked down at his holoterminal, looking for something to occupy his mind until the briefing with the Captains started. He started reading a report about a new Assistant Chief Engineer that had transferred from the Enterprise just before the rebellion began, an officer by the name of Clark. But he just couldn't focus on what he was reading.

"Bah." He muttered. "What the hell is wrong with me? I didn't do a damn thing wrong, I need to just forget about what happened down there!" he shouted to himself.

He got up and walked to the window, and just stood there staring at Earth.
Dec 5 2003, 12:40 AM

Lieutenant Rune Sith - The Deck

The Deck was busy even more so today. People on the Station fearing the martial law status. Sith leaned back at the far wall. His head down, seeming as though his business was minding his own.

Crowds of civilians socializing and bickering, passed right in front of him all day. Still, Sith stood there like a statue. Unmoving. Completely detatched from the world. Only this wasn't true. He was more aware of what was going on around him than anyone there.

His eyes would roll up for a hard stare out into the vast open Deck every now and again, keeping everything in check. His ears, sorting out every sound and every voice. Even the air flow and temperature played a part in understanding his surrounding spaces.

Zeta hibernated on his shoulder. They had hung around here all day. "Hey." Sith shrugged his shoulder, waking Zeta up. "It's break time. Let's get a snack."

Sith made his way to the Double~Helix and took a seat at the Bar. There, Hrag was happy to serve him. "How can I help you?"

"Have any more of those Bolian noodles?" Sith asked.

"You know, this is supposed to be a Bar." Hrag said as he was getting them ready.

"Yeah, yeah. --Hey Hrag, what ever happened to that other bartender, Ottel? I don't see him as much anymore."

Hrag almost dropped the bowl as he was asked this. He had no idea what Ottel's business was, and hoped he never did. "He's... been vacationing a lot lately."

"Heh. That guy has it so easy having no responsibilities whatsoever." Sith was handed his food and he started eating. It seemed like the Deck was getting more busier every minute.
Dec 6 2003, 06:36 PM

Lt. Cmdr. Tanik - Sickbay

Tanik rounded the corner of the alley. It was dark and dank, and it smelled of danger and fear. There wasn't much time, and he went into a full blown sprint when he heard them crying out.

He nearly ran over a soldier, who took out a weapon and fired. He missed. Tanik took cover behind a trash can, dodging the beams of deadly energy. More and more soldiers advanced on his position, and he had to take action.

He tossed a photon grenade over the can and into the large crowd of warriors. All of them were completely vaporized. Tanik went on.

He was getting closer, ever closer. He was near his objective - but the sound of two gunshots stole his victory.

Behind a corner in the alley, he found two bodies - and the perpetrator, a man in a black trench coat. But before he could reach the man, a bright light shined throughout the area, and before he knew it, all three had disappeared.

He looked up into the sky, and saw a stunning, glowing rainbow moving away. He wasn't sure what it meant, but it did not matter-

They were dead, and he had failed.

Tanik woke up in a cold sweat, and looked around the room. He was in the sickbay on 001, on a biobed. There was a women on the biobed next to him, and when he looked closer he realized that it was Sabinus. The memories of the battle at Medical started to come back to him, when the EMH came to check up on him.

She was a quite striking human female - a short, yet slender Caucasian with red hair. She didn't look much older than 25.

"Ah, I'm glad you are awake. Are you well? Do you need anything?" she asked kindly.

"No, thank you, I'm fine," he began to get up.

She noted the sweat, "Did you have a nightmare?"

He was surprised at her bedside manner. "Yes, but I'll be okay."

"Very well. I believe you should be fit for duty, and you may go back at any time you wish, Commander."

"Thank you," Tanik said, forcing a smile to his groggy face.

"You're welcome, sir." She turned to leave.

"How is my niece?" Tanik asked.

She turned back around, "I believe she will be alright - her injuries were not irreparable." She then tirned and left.

Tanik walked over to Sabinus' biobed. She was still unconscious.

He then remembered the battle again, this time in gruesome detail. I'm going to have hell to pay. This is my doing.
Dec 7 2003, 10:25 PM

Captain Maxwell Sumit - USS Enterprise

Thinking back, there wasn't much different I would have changed - but, it doesn't mean I was comfortable with it. I had plenty of regrets in my life - my failed marriage being one of them, but I suppose in the grand scheme of things, this regret was far more long term. I've never dwelled on the mistakes I've made - only accepted them and moved on. I mean, it's gotten me this far - a command of my own, a loyal crew, and the respect of many.

I never really understood why I was chosen, but like any officer loyal to the cause, I followed the orders handed down to me by the power to be. At the time, I can't even recall if I was in favor of what they were asking me - I mean, it definitely had merit and it didn't seem to hurt anyone. Or did it? God, you just never know. Over the past few weeks, I just accepted what I did and moved on. No questions would ever be raised, no worries about any wrong doings - but, it seemed different. I seemed different.

Of course, there was the addiction. The unfortunate side affect of the jump. I can't really blame them as I'm sure they didn't foresee this happening. At times though, I find myself wondering if maybe they did and that they let me go through knowing that there wasn't going to be much done that can save me. Eventually, because of it all, I would die. It was something I would have to accept.

I'll be one more casualty of this war and only a handful of people will know what I did.
Dec 8 2003, 01:22 AM

Admiral Tom Garrison - 001 Briefing Room

Tom walked through the door and entered the room, finding Captains Hardgrove and Major already sitting at the desk.

Hardgrove took this opportunity to look Tom over, to try and gauge how well he was holding up. He had a prominent scar on his cheek, a leftover from the battle down at Medical. Other than that he just looked tired. The fire Drayson had come to expect in Tom's eyes was missing, it was as if he was simply going through the motions without the passion he usually felt towards everything he did.

I'll have to watch him, Drayson thought to himself. I hope I didn't misjudge how much he can handle.

Tom sat down at the head of the table and looked at the two Captains before him. He decided to dispense with small talk and just get right down to business.

"As the two of you know, our latest intelligence suggests the Alliance is about to strike the Vulcan homeworld," Tom began. "I've decided that we have to make a stand before this goes any farther. But just so I'm not making decisions completely by myself here, do both of you concur that it is time we take the Fleet and try to drive back the Alliance?"

"Yes, it's time," Hardgrove said without even hesitating.

Major looked back and forth at the two men for a moment, then spoke. "Yes, I also believe it is time."

"Good," Tom said. "I want you two to take the Gambit and Pollux and lead the fleet to the Betazed system. I'll have the fleet assemble here at 001 within 48 hours. We'll speak more about the specifics as the time draws near." Tom started to stand up.

"Tom, there is one thing," Drayson spoke up. He hesitated, not sure how a mention of the incident at Medical would affect Tom.

"Go ahead."

"I'll need somebody to serve as acting tactical/security officer for my ship, until I can find somebody else permanently. My guy was one of those lost ... down at Medical," he added quietly.

Tom sat back down. At the mention of another person who died under his command on that foolish mission all the emotions he'd been struggling to contain came back to the surface. For a long moment he sat at the table, saying nothing. Hardgrove and Major looked at each other.

"Tom?" Major prodded.

Tom snapped back to reality. "Yes, fine, talk to Major about it. Now if there's nothing else..." he stood up and hurried out of the room before either of them could say another word.

Out in the corridor he started to feel dizzy, and stopped and leaned against the wall. He started to feel sick, and staggered off towards his quarters.
Dec 8 2003, 02:30 AM

Lieutenant Daniel Clark - Personal Quarters

Daniel just sat there. Tapping his fingers on the table with nothing else to do but wait. He wasn't scheduled to begin his duties untill tomorrow morning, and he had already been on the station for a couple of days. He had tried keeping himself busy walking around the station and taking a look around, but the fifth time doing so had gotten somewhat monotonous.

Getting eager to do... well anything, he put down his drink and headed out the door.

"Computer, Main Engineering." Daniel called as he entered the nearest turbo lift.

Since he was to be the station's new Assistant Chief Engineer, it seemed logical to go and check out Engineering. Unfortunately the last two times he had been there the Chief Engineer was out, but boredom can be compelling.

He walked in to Main Engineering to find the usual scene. The place was full of people walking around, from consol to consol doing their jobs, quite unaware of his presence.

"Excuse me..." He said as he managed to flag down a nearby ensign, "Can you tell me where Commander Tanik is?"

"I'm sorry sir, but he's still not in yet from the Infirmary. I can get him to contact you when he returns..." She replied a little hesitantly.

"That will be quite unnecessary." Came a voice from behind the two officers.

"Commander..." Clark replied startled as he turned around the meet the Romulan.

"Lieutenant Clark I presume?" Tanik said in a rather typical 'Romulan' voice.

"That would be me sir. It's a pleasure to finally meet you..." Daniel replied as he regained himself and shook hands with the Chief Engineer. "Apparently you've been in the Infirmary for the past few days, I hope everything is alright..." He instantly regretted asking, not wanting to make his first impression too personal.

"Perfectly fine, I assure you." Came his reply as they released their hands. "My duty roster doesn't have you assigned for duty until 0600 hours tomorrow... is there a problem?"

"Not at all sir, I just wanted to get a little head start on things." Daniel said not quite sure how to reply.

"Very well," Tanik said as he looked to the ensign still absently listening to the conversation. "Ensign, will you please show the Lieutenant around Main Engineering, I have some business to attend to."

"With... all due respect commander," Clark cut in sharply trying not to sound disrespectful, "I... already know my way around sir. I've gone over the station schematics probably more then I should have."

"Very well..." Replied Tanik looking slightly impressed. (If thats possible for a Romulan Commander, thought Daniel.) " may observe and familiarize yourself with the staff and roster for the time being if you wish. Good meeting you lieutenant."

"Thank you sir, like wise." The two men parted and Daniel (having something to do) continued to loiter around Engineering, not quite sure what to make of his new commander.
Dec 10 2003, 02:13 PM

Lieutenant Rune Sith - The Deck

Sith stood outside the Security Office, looking at the much crowded Deck. Krak had noticed him through the door windows and stepped out.
"What is the problem? I thought you would be out there keeping order?" Krak asked.

Sith just continued to stare out at the people, mesmerized. "But it's completely crowded."

"It is not. That is the normal capacity the Deck is at during the week." Krak looked for himself.

"I'm telling you, the Deck is full." Sith replied, as they both stared at the people again. It was like the amount of people began to hypnotize the both of them.

Krak shook his head out of it, "That's it, I'm going back to work!" He turned and went back into the Office, leaving Sith to his entranced state.


Sith entered the Command Centre of 001. He knew the monitoring systems on the Station could report any outbreaks anyway, so he went to start some other work. Across the Command Centre he could see Captain's Major and Hardgrove were speaking. Before he knew it, Major had nodded to Hardgrove and walked away, prompting Hargrove to walk over to Sith.

"Lieutenant. May I speak to you for a moment?" Hardgrove asked.

Sith stopped tapping at controls, "Of course, Captain."

They went through the Executive Office's Corridor and entered one of the glass doors.

Fleet Captain Hardgrove's Office

The Captain went behind his rarely used Desk. "Lieutenant Sith, I have found that the Alliance is gearing up another offensive against the Federation, and this time... it's Vulcan." Hardgrove started.


"Admiral Garrison, Captain Major and I believe it is time to take a stand."

Sith tried to read the Captain's unreadable face.

"We are launching a defensive at Vulcan in 14 Hours." Hardgrove stated.
This sounded like sweet candy to Sith. "Captain... If I may speak freely?"
Hargrove looked at him.

"It's about damn time." Sith remarked.

"I've reviewed your record and Captain Major and I believe that you are the best candidate for Tactical on the Gambit."

Sith sat up even more surprised, "Captain... If I may speak freely... --Huh??"

Hardgrove shook his head. "I lost my Tactical Officer... he was good man. But he died for a greater cause."

"I assume we're taking the Gambit to Betazed?"

Hardgrove nodded, "Familiarize yourself with the ship, and more importantly its Weapons and Defense Systems."

"Aye sir."

He then paused for a moment, ready to address another issue... "One more thing. Your record is stained with the blood of the Alliance."

Sith looked at him more seriously this time, "I swear to you Captain, my judgment will not be clouded."

Hardgrove smiled uncharacteristically for a moment, "It's not you that I'm worried about..."
Dec 10 2003, 07:45 PM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Office

Tom sat behind his desk, reading status reports on the Fleet. He had sent out a general order a few hours ago for the fleet to group together in the Terran system, and was checking on the locations of the ships. All was going to plan, he saw that the fleet would be assembled by 0800 hours tomorrow morning.

He checked the time. That's 14 hours from now. The briefing between him, Hardgrove, and Major was scheduled for 0600 tomorrow. In the meantime, he had nothing to do. He sat at his desk for a few minutes, but in the silence of the room all he could hear were the screams of people and the sounds of phaser fire. He started to sweat as they grew louder in his mind, and suddenly he stood up and walked out of the room at a brisk pace.


He found himself wandering the corridors, not sure where he was going. After several minutes he realized he was standing outside his quarters. He was about to step inside and try to get some sleep but thought better of it. He hadn't slept much at all these past few days, his mind wouldn't let him. Tonight would be no different.

So instead he kept walking, wondering what to do. That was when an idea hit him. It's been several days now, maybe he would be willing to talk. He entered a nearby turbolift. "Brig," he called out.


A few minutes later he was standing outside one of the cells, looking at the man on the other side of the forcefield. The man just stared back at him. Tom turned to the guard sitting at the control desk.

"Has he said anything?"

"No sir, not a single word since he was put in here."

"Drop the forcefield, but raise it as soon as I'm back inside." The security officer looked like he wanted to argue, but the expression on Tom's face convinced him not to. He lowered the forcefield, and Tom stepped inside. He heard the crackle of the forcefield coming back to life behind him.

"So," Tom said as he walked over to the bunk and sat down next to the man. "I've been told the guards are keeping you informed of what has been happening lately, so you know about the revolt. You know whatever you were up to won't succeed anymore. Feel like talking?"

Lt. Commander Oswald just looked back at Tom, unblinking, without saying anything.

"Why the hell are you making this so much harder on yourself? Who are you trying to protect? Starfleet Command? The Federation Council? They turned their backs on everything the Federation stands for, and not one of them has even asked about you since everything happened! They couldn't care less about you. Talk to me!"

Oswald looked at Tom, his eyes suggested he was struggling with whether or not to say something. Finally, he spoke. "You won't like what I have to say, so I won't say it."

"Won't like it? I've already found out about the real reason for the time travel. I was manipulated by Jenco to send an illegal message to the Alliance in order to save Utopia Planitia. I..." he stammered. "I... I killed a few dozen people down on Earth! I doubt you could shock me."

Oswald looked away. "I'm sorry..." he whispered. "These answers you'll have to find elsewhere."

Tom felt his anger rising, he didn't want to play these guessing games anymore. He grabbed Oswald by the collar and pulled him up, so their faces were inches apart. "ENOUGH!" he roared. "You will tell me what the hell you were doing, or I will personally make sure the rest of your life is spent in agonizing pain."

"Go to hell," Oswald shot back.

Tom threw him into the far wall. He took a few steps forward with his fists raised, but stopped when he saw blood streaming down from a cut on Oswald's forehead. Suddenly his mind flashed back to the last time he saw blood, and he stood there, transfixed. Oswald took the opportunity to get up and charge Tom, knocking him over. He raised his fist to strike Tom, but the security guard had been watching the whole thing and rushed in to break up the fight.

He pulled Oswald off Tom and restrained him. "Sir, are you all right?" he asked Tom.

Tom just lay there for a minute, then stood up and walked out of the brig.
Dec 10 2003, 11:03 PM

Counsellor Rasin - Othoniel's Quarters

As Othoniel stood in the shower, allowing the hot water beat on his back, he thought about the night before and wondered whether if his night with Eric was one of the best nights, or even moments he had ever experienced. The glass on the shower was frosted, and steam bellowed out of the bathroom doors like smoke away from a fire. Eric walked into the bathroom, greeting Othoniel, and simultaneously splashing his face with water at the sink.

With a towel now around Othoniel's waist he walked towards his bed and started to dress. He was alerted of a new message just as he finished buttoning his pants. He asked the computer to route it to the large screen on the nearest wall. It was Captain Major.

  "Hi, ugh, did I catch you at a bad time?" Major started, pausing for a moment to leave time for Othoniel to respond.

"No, I was just finishing getting dressed, sir," Othoniel said, now just putting his shirt on.

  "Well, when you finish if you could come down to my office, quickly.... I have an away mission for you."

"I'll be right there sir," just as he was about to walk out the door he remembered Eric, "oh, Eric I have to go report to the Fleet Captain, I'll be back in a little bit. Be Good... until I get back." Othoniel looked at Eric in the eye just for a second before walking out, and smiled at his little joke, and was feeling even more up beat then usual.
Dec 11 2003, 05:48 PM

Lattrel Ottel - Double~Helix

“How’s my trusted manager doing?” Ottel asked, walking into the bar. He shot a look around, trying to see if he recognized anyone. Among all the regulars, there were maybe one or two new faces scattered around.

“I could use a little help,” Hrag responded smiling and went back to what he was doing. Ottel raised the small wooden stopper and stepped behind the bar. It had been a while since he worked a full day in the Double~Helix, and he intended to do so today. He took out an apron from one of the drawers and put it on.

“Let’s see,” Ottel said. He looked around disoriented, as if it was the first time he was doing this. “Okay,” he addressed the gentleman, who had approached the bar, “Anything you want?”

“Well,” the customer replied, “I’ve been wanting to try that Romulan Pale everyone’s talking about, but apparently it has become a rarity. No matter what, I just cannot catch the person who makes it.”

“Consider this your lucky day, pal,” Ottel said with sneaky smile. He reached under the bar, once again, and a short while later pulled out the misty blue drink. “Here you go.”

“All right! The guys are not going to believe this.”

Huh, Ottel thought, I almost forgot what it felt like. There is an enjoyable feeling in doing this job. Perhaps that’s why I chose it in the first place. He remembered having his first conversation with Hardgrove. The fleet captain asked him about a desired arrangement aboard 001, and after long deliberation, he finally decided to go with a bar.

“Can you believe this?” a conversation caught Ottel’s ear, “I haven’t been able to contact my family on Earth for a week.”

“Why?” another participant asked. “I know there’s a blockade, but personal communications are not restricted.”

“They’re not,” explained the first one, “but they are strictly monitored, which means you are only allowed to contact Earth through designated stations, so that everything can be tracked easier. And have you seen the lines for these stations. I am not waiting that long.”

Will you relax?” a Starfleet officer slammed his drink on the table. “For once in a long time good things are happening to the Federation, at least it looks that way, and all you can think about is talking to your family.”

“Civilians,” muttered another officer. The two friends did not take this response lightly. They both got up and walked towards the officers with threatening faces. Ottel looked at Hrag, who seemed afraid that a fight might break out, but didn’t know what to do.

“Gentlemen,” Ottel threw himself in the middle, “let’s keep it civil, huh?” He tried to be as mellow as possible, while at the same time making the four troublemakers understand that he wasn’t going to let them trash his bar. “How about a free drink? On the house.”

The two officers made a gesture at Ottel, showing compliance, and sat down, while the two civilians looked around angrily and walked out of the bar.

“Civilians,” Ottel whispered under his breath and almost laughed. It seems like we will be having quite a day.
Dec 13 2003, 08:38 AM

Captain Maxwell Sumit - Starfleet Command

"He's poking his nose in places that he shouldn't," announced Admiral Telqvist.

Sumit remained silent, still attempting to understand the reasoning behind bringing his ship to Earth. Before him were several admirals - all of whom were talking amongst themselves as they addressed him.

Telqvist glared at Sumit, "Do you remember anything else that may be of importance?"

"No. I've told you everything you know," he replied.

Standing up, Telqvist moved around the desk and towards Sumit, "There is a procedure that dives deep into the mind and pulls out memories that a person may have forgotten. Maxwell, after your experiences, you may have subconsciously pushed those memories into hiding."

Sumit stepped forward - now right in Telqvist's face, "You already know everything I know."

Turning, Sumit left the room and began moving down the hallway - his plan now; to find Admiral Garrison.
Dec 13 2003, 04:58 PM

Counselor Rasin - Captain's Office

With a slight spring in his step he glided over to the Captain's office, pausing only in front of the turbolift door until it opened. The doors slid open, revealing Garrison with a slight twitch in his neck.

"Sir, morning," said Othoniel in a mix between respect and perkiness.

Garrison, seeming as though he never heard Othoniel stuck his head out of the lift and looked to the left... then the right, still twitching.

"Mo- g-Good Morning.. ugh.." Garrison said, not sure what to say next.

"Counselor?" responded Othoniel, inquisitively.

"Yes, yes, yes," he started, trailing off, "that's it."

Tom looked at Othoniel in the eye for a moment, and then continued down the hall.

"Good day..." he finally said as he continued to walk away from Othoniel, running his hands through his disheveled hair.

Othoniel, confused, entered the turbo lift, and once off re-entered a similar looking hallway. Two people were already walking slowly in the corridor, stopping Othoniel to be able to walk past them.

"Ya, they say there was a huge fight down in Starfleet, Garrison got his jaw knocked off!!" they whispered to each other and then turned right, unaware of the Counselor's presence behind them.

Othoniel Rasin - Captain's Office

"Othoniel, I want you to go with the Pollux to Vulcan. We will protect it, the Alliance will not take it," said Major, forcefully.

"Sir, while I will do what you order, I have serious concerns about Fleet Admiral Garrison. I believe I should stay around him, just in case something were to happen. He is acting very odd, and since I am a Counselor it would be more appropriate to my skills. I heard about what happened at Starfleet with Garrison, I am worried about him. He needs my help. I am confident that my other patients can take some time out of our regular sessions..."

Unsure of whether he made his case enough to warrant him staying, he knew that he needed to stay.

"I trust your judgment, Counselor, your first priority is to ensure the well being of Fleet Captain Garrison. I cannot, however, order you to do this, it will have to be on your own."

Nodding at Major, Othoniel took his leave.
Dec 14 2003, 02:05 AM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Briefing Room

Tom looked at the faces of Captains Major and Hardgrove. The three of them had again assembled in the 001 briefing room, located down the hall from the Operations Command Center, and next door to Tom's office.

"Gentlemen, as you can see by looking out the window, most of the fleet has arrived," Tom said while gesturing towards the large windows. Outside, countless starships were seen in orbit of Earth. "I've reviewed the tactical plans the two of you have submitted, and I approve. Is there anything we need to discuss before you depart?"

Neither Captain said anything. Both were too busy scrutinizing Garrison. Hardgrove had several intelligence reports about Garrison's odd behavior lately that concerned him, and Major had received reports from his officers about the Admiral's behavior. Both were wondering just how well he was holding up, but neither wanted to bring up the subject.

"I'll take that as a no. Godspeed to both of you. I wish I was going with you..." he added.

"No you don't, sir." Major said. "This battle is going to be hell. I think we all know that not all of us are coming home."

"And? You think I'm afraid of battle? Afraid to die?" Garrison snapped, anger flashing in his eyes.

"No.. no, sir." Major stammered, surprised at the outburst. "I just meant... no matter what happens in this battle, the Federation needs you. We can't lose you in the first battle of this War, if we did we wouldn't have a chance."

Tom bowed his head for a moment, collecting himself. He looked back up at David. "I'm sorry, David." he said quietly.

Major just nodded. The two men looked each other in the eye for a moment, then Tom looked away.

"I guess that's about it. I'll save you the pep talks, neither of you need me to tell you how important this battle is. We have to show the Alliance we mean business, if we lose this battle it will be all over before it even begins." He stood up, and both Captains stood up as well.

"The fleet departs in two hours. I wish you both the best." Then he walked out of the room.

Hardgrove and Major looked at each other, then filed out of the room.
Dec 14 2003, 09:05 AM

Commander Samantha Halliwell ~ USS Pollux

Samantha Halliwell had decided to leave the station a little early and get herself settled on the Pollux.

And this time it will be in working order, she thought as she walked through the corridors. She glanced down to her PADD to see where repairs were been carried out and if they had been carried out this time. She let out a small sigh, she was nervous about the upcoming events, she really was.

She looked at a monitor, she guessed that Major and Hardgrove were still talking to Garrison about final preparations. She walked over to a window, at all the ships. Halliwell had to take a moment to look from one side to the other, she'd seen a lot in her time but this, this was overwhelming.

"Commander," a voice said behind her. Halliwell turned round and found a crewman looking at her. She glanced down to his hands as he handed her a PADD.

She looked at it for a few moments and nodded silently, "Looking good," she whispered then looked back out to the ships.

  "Major to Halliwell."

Halliwell tapped her comm badge, "Halliwell here. Go ahead, Captain."

  "How's everything over there?"

"It's good sir," she replied, not taking her gaze off the ship's. "All of the Pollux's systems are up and running now...all we have left is to get the medical supplies onboard."

  "How long?"

"Not long, I detailed Ensign Edwards to do it, she's quite capable sir. I'm making my way back over..." Halliwell said grimly, "There's something I have to do."

Starbase 001

Back on Starbase 001, Halliwell sat in front of the monitor speaking to her father, "I'm not been pessimistic dad," she said arguing with him, "It's just in case the worse happens."

  Phillip Halliwell was a good man, always had been. "I know it is Sammy, but I don't think this..." he held up a small disk in his left hand, "Is really nessacery."

"It is," she whispered to him, "He's far too young to understand right now and if, the worse should happen...he needs to know what his mother was like and how much she loved him," she saw the look on his face, "I know you don't like this arrangement but he's my son and these are my wishes."

  "Okay Sam, I know what you're like once you've made your mind up."

"Thanks dad, see ya soon." She cut the communication and looked back out of the window.
Dec 14 2003, 09:52 PM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Office

Tom stood at the window in his office, looking out at all the ships gathered together. He couldn't remember the last time he had seen so many ships in one place. It was an impressive sight. He was disturbed by the door chime. Although he didn't really feel like dealing with anybody, he called out "Enter."

The door slid open, revealing Captain Hardgrove standing in the doorway. He stepped into the room and let the door shut behind him. He walked over to Tom and joined him at the window, staring out at the fleet. After a minute, he spoke.

"It's a lot of ships, isn't it?"

Tom just nodded.

"Think of how many officers serve on each ship, and how small a percentage of the population of the Federation they actually represent. That's a lot of people," Hardgrove continued, softly yet firmly.

Tom again nodded, again saying nothing.

"Tom, everything you've done has been to protect those people. Everything. You have no reason to feel guilty about anything, you have no reason..."

"You weren't there," Tom suddenly cried out as he turned to Hardgrove. "You didn't see what I saw! You didn't kill the people I killed..." he let his voice trail off to a whisper. "You didn't hear the screams I heard. You didn't see the blood I saw. And you didn't realize it was all for nothing like I did."

"Tom, it wasn't for nothing! You did what you thought was right, you did what was right. Whether or not Rasin was there means nothing! You did nothing wrong."

Tom turned back to the window and said nothing.

"Remember that, Tom. Remember that everything you've done has been to protect countless lives, everything you're doing now is to protect countless lives. You have to remember that."

Tom's only answer was silence.

"Tom?" Hardgrove prodded.

Still, only silence. After a moment Hardgrove turned and left the office, heading for the Gambit. It was time for the fleet to leave. As he walked down the corridor, he muttered "good thing that man didn't try to become an intelligence officer" to himself.

Back in Garrison's office Tom continued to stare out the window. "You weren't there," he whispered.
Dec 14 2003, 10:57 PM

Counselor Rasin - Quarters

As Othoniel walked into his quarters, he was surprised to find that Eric was not there. He didn't worry, though..

I have been away for an hour, he probably just went to get something to eat... if he even eats at all

He came to his desk and found a PADD on his desk, he pressed a button and a video of Eric appeared on his desk near the PADD.

hm, that's weird

He crouched lower to become eye to eye with the projection of Eric. He was talking, but Othoniel couldn't hear anything.

"Computer increase volume!," Othoniel said urgently.

The voice of Eric slowly increased until he could hear him completely.

"...I don't know if I will ever return, but you know I care for you. Don't forget me."

Othoniel closed his eyes and let his body rest on his knees. Unable to express how lonely and incomplete he felt he allowed himself to cry for a moment before going to the bathroom to rinse his face.
Dec 14 2003, 11:06 PM

Captain David Major - Pollux Ready Room

David massaged his temples. For two hours straight he had been contacting the captains and commanders of every single ship in the fleet Garrison had assembled. There were various reasons, to finalize battle plans, organize supply distribution, but most of all, he wanted to know whose backs he had to watch, and who would be watching his.

Surprisingly, the jitters and butterflies that always seemed to be present before going into battle were gone. Calm and relaxed, he looked over reports, approved plans, all with one goal in mind. Also gone, seemed to be the dreams. For 3 days, ever since he had learned of the plan to defend Vulcan, there were no voices, no recollections of lives that weren't his, nothing. It was invigorating to once again have his mind free of the terror and anguish that seemed to seep into his sleeping mind.

His commbadge beeped, and he lifted his head to respond.

  "Halliwell to Captain Major."

"Major here"

  "We're ready sir."


Taking one last glance at the station, David walked into the bridge. "Status."

"All supplies have been stowed, all systems ready, and we have received permission from 001 to launch."

Getting a slight nod from Samantha, David echoed the words once spoken by a Starfleet Captain long ago....

"Make it so."
Dec 15 2003, 01:00 AM

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Vulcan Medical Headquarters

Ullii had just finished her final shift. Her last day at this assignment. It has already been a year since she graduated from the academy, and was transferred to Vulcan to work a temporary assignment as an assistant doctor. She requested the transfer to Vulcan because it would give her some much needed experience before being assigned to a starship. It would be a demanding job; especially with the condition the federation was in right now. She had read a vague report about some kind of rebellion back at Earth, but there wasn't a lot of information. She decided to return to her quarters and try to contact Starfleet.

She walked down the wide majestic corridors of the Vulcan Medical Headquarters. She greatly admired Vulcan architecture for it's graceful yet commanding quality. Much more artistic than Starfleet, she thought to herself. Living on Vulcan was no trouble at all for her. She was half human - half Romulan, and she had the pointed ears of a Romulan, but not their distinctive cranial ridges. Thus, she looked very much like a Vulcan, and is most often mistaken for one. She despised the Romulan blood in her veins, so she liked the idea of looking as a Vulcan. Her Romulan father died when she was five years old, living in London, England. He was a defector working on a deep-space assignment when they got a message that his own kind had destroyed his vessel. She never really knew her father, but knew he must have been a wise man for choosing to defect. She hates the fact that she is half Romulan, but has never told anyone. She has never received any torment about it from anyone else, as far as she can remember, and she doesn't want to make a big deal out of it. Even though to her, inside, it is.

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Quarters

"Finally!" She said upon reaching her quarters a couple kilometers from her workplace. She quickly showered and got into more comfortable clothes before going to her console to try and contact Starfleet. I wonder what's going on...

She sent a message on an encrypted general Starfleet channel requesting a transfer. Hopefully this will bring some answers.

She told the computer to turn off the lights, and went to sleep.
Dec 15 2003, 01:35 AM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Office

Tom sat at his desk working at his terminal. With all the events over the past several days, the paperwork that always went along with the job of Fleet Admiral had piled up. And on top of that, matters usually handled by Command were going through him as well. Whether or not he felt up to it, he had to start trying to catch up.

As he was sorting through the endless reports he came across a listing of transfer requests. Most were things that could be dealt with later, or by the Captains of the ships in the Fleet, but one caught his eye.

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren
Current Assignment: Assistant Doctor, Vulcan Medical Headquarters
Requesting transfer to a Starfleet posting
There was also a note attached to the request, apparently she had been out of touch with Starfleet for awhile. She stated that she had heard rumors of a rebellion, and wanted Command to send her details on what was going on.

Well, Command won't be sending you anything any time soon... Garrison thought to himself. He pulled up her service record, briefly appraising the young officer. She looked promising for the open job of Starbase 001 CMO, a job he had been meaning to fill ever since Gao betrayed them.

He then composed a brief message to her, informing her that he was transferring her to the role of CMO on Starbase 001 and also on the Pollux. He attached the unclassified version of the recent events as well as her immediate orders, which were to rendezvous with the Fleet as it passed by Vulcan on the way to the Betazed system. He signed off on the official transfer order and sent the message, sending a copy to Captain Major as well.

With that order of business completed, he started to get back to the other ten thousand tasks piled up on his holoTerminal. After a few minutes he realized he wasn't getting anything else done, his mind kept wandering back to thoughts he didn't really want to think about. He got up and left the office, on his way to the Deck for a drink.
Dec 15 2003, 02:11 AM

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Quarters

(The next morning)

*beep... beep... beep*

Ullii's console started beeping as she received an incoming message. It was from Fleet Admiral Garrison.

"That was quick" She said aloud to herself as she began to read the message. The first part of the message was a description of the recent events concerning StarFleet and the rebellion. She couldn't believe her eyes when she read about it. She wasn't sure what to make of it. She held Federation values very high, and agreed with the reasons for the rebellion, but... soo many deaths... was it really necessary?! She then continued to read about her transfer. Chief Medical Officer?! She thought to herself, of Starbase 001?! I wasn't expecting this! She thought she might be assigned a CMO position due to her short but impressive record, but she never though she would be CMO of Starbase 001!

She exited the message and contacted her Vulcan superior to inform him about the transfer, and arrange transport to the Pollux as soon as it arrives. She waited a moment for his face to appear on the screen.

"Doctor Sevrith" She said with a smile, "I have some good news."

  "Ullii, it is good to see you again. I trust you've found a respectable assignment?" He had always set high standards for her, which made her uncomfortable at first, but she learned to live with it.

"Actually, I've been posted as Chief Medical Officer on board Starbase 001"

  "Really now?! Now that is impressive! I told you your hard work would pay off. Now do you regret the hardships I put you through?" He replied with a hint of subdued Vulcan humour.

Ullii laughed. "No master. Oh, and I'm not sure if you've heard, but Starfleet is sending the entire fleet to come to the aid of Vulcan! It looks as though this rebellion is turning out for the best."

  "My dear Ullii, once again you forget that I am the Chief Doctor here at Medical Headquarters. I know everything." He said, again with his Vulcan humour in his voice.

"Haha. That's right. I should have known. Oh, and one more thing. When the USS Pollux arrives, I will be transporting aboard. Can you arrange the necessary authorization?"

  "Of course. Congratulations Ullii, and good luck..... to us all."

"Thank you, doctor."

And with that she ended the transmission. I'd better get packing my things
Dec 15 2003, 04:48 AM

Lattrel Ottel - Double~Helix

Well, there they go, Ottel thought, watching the ships leave the station. He knew where they were heading, and he knew why. Hardgrove had not been very tight-lipped when it came to telling him what was going on. A Federation fleet was moving towards Vulcan, and Hardgrove needed the help of the Smugglers.

“You know what this means, don’t you?” Hardgrove asked. Ottel simply nodded: of course, he knew. It meant war, a war with the Alliance. Ottel wasn’t still sure that everyone in the Smugglers’ Coalition would eagerly enter the war, but he knew that enough people hated the Alliance, so they would not pass up a chance to fight against them. He wasn’t the only one who had lost people he held dear to his heart because of the Alliance.

“Thank you,” said an old lieutenant. He had been sitting at the bar for half an hour and ordering shots of whiskey. Ottel tried to open up a conversation with him, but the old man was hesitant to reply. Someone else would think that the man was being rude, but Ottel knew well enough what was happening. He was heading off to war and this was quite possibly the last time he was getting a drink. The man got up and straightened his jacket. “Thanks a lot,” he said once again, making a gesture at Ottel.

“No problem,” Ottel answered out-loud and though, Give those bastards hell. Things had changed for him. A month ago he felt neutral against the Alliance. He was a businessman, looking for profit, and at the time, helping the Federation was the profitable thing to do, but it was different now. The death of his uncle by the hands of the Alliance had made it personal. His newfound love for his parents had made things worse, since he knew that the Alliance was responsible for their deaths too. Good luck, Ottel wished in his mind, watching the lieutenant leave the bar. His attention immediately shifted from that to the conversation that Hrag was having with one of the waiters.

“That’s him,” the waiter said, trying to act as regular as possible, while at the same time pointing out a man sitting near one of the exits of the bar. The man clearly saw the gesture made by the waiter but acted as if nothing had happened.

“Are you sure?” Hrag asked and got a positive head nod from the waiter.

“What?” Ottel joined the conversation, “Who is that?”

“In the last week he has come in for four times and left without paying the tab,” Hrag answered, “He has been smart about it too; coming in during different shifts, so that no one recognizes him. I’ll call security.”

“Wait,” Ottel stopped Hrag, who was going for the panel on the wall, behind the bar. “I’ll go talk to him and straighten things out. We don’t want to drive away customers by looking too serious about something like this.” Ottel turned to walk to the stingy customer, but couldn’t find him in the bar. As he approached his table, he saw the man walking away, not too far from the Double~Helix. He took off his apron, threw it on the table and went after him.

Sir! Excuse me, sir!” Ottel nearly yelled. The man turned and saw Ottel, but pretended not to hear him. Instead he fastened his walk. This prompted Ottel to match his speed and go after him.

“Sir! I just want to talk,” Ottel said once more, but the man wouldn’t stop. Instead he began walking faster and faster, and eventually started to run. That’s really strange, Ottel thought. For a moment he ran after the man, but then decided to stop; it simply wasn’t worth it. As he was slowing down, something happened that made him change his mind. In rush, the man ran into an oncoming person. Ottel saw a small device fall out of the man’s hand, it looked like some sort of a wristband, a holographic image inducer, Ottel deducted, but that wasn’t the interesting part. In front of a surprised and bewildered crowd stood a confused Ferengi man.

Gao!” Ottel yelled out at the top of his lungs. “You conniving, cheating, sneaky bastard!!” Without wasting a second, the Ferengi started to run like there was no tomorrow, with Ottel right behind him. Gao took him through the stores and shops around the deck, dodging walls, stands and people. It seemed as though he knew the best ways to get away and not run into the station security.

Gao Gent-al, when I get my hands on you, you are going to be sorry for ever crossing Lattrel Ottel.

This is not the best time, Ottel,” screamed the fleeing Ferengi, “this is DEFINITELY not the best time.”

The two men ran through a clothing store. Gao pulled down one of the stands behind him, to slow down Ottel, who jumped over the stand and nearly lost his footing, but the chase continued.

Security! Security!” shouted the clothing store manager, “Stop those two. Security!

Sprinting out of the store, Gao slammed into an oncoming officer, who flew across the floor. Gao himself spun wildly and fell on the ground. A group of station personnel gathered around the two, helping the fallen officer. Ottel barely stopped himself near the store exit and took a look at the scene. A circle of security officers surrounded Gao, among them the man he ran into, who looked extremely furious, his lips half open, his teeth crunched together. Ottel recognized Admiral Garrison.

Gao looked around hopelessly. He was completely surrounded, with nowhere to go. The security officers stood around him, waiting for an order from the Admiral. Gao started to shake, his hands hopelessly moving forward, as if he was trying to stop his would-be captors. Before Garrison could give an order, a light flashed right where Gao stood, Ottel could best describe it as an opening in space. It grew wider and longer, and in an instant it disappeared, taking Gao with it.

Everyone stared at the empty space where Gao used to stand. One of the officers approached the spot and went down on one knee. He took out a tricorder and started scanning the area. In the midst of all the confusion, Garrison looked over to Ottel, who stood there, looking surprised just like everyone else.

Hey! You there!” he called Ottel, “Did you know this man?” The other officers walked up to him too. “Why where you after him?”

“He was an old acquaintance,” Ottel answered, trying to make the best out of the situation. He knew he had to be very careful.

“You don’t run after old acquaintances like that,” Garrison continued. “There was obviously more than that. Security, apprehend this man,” and he pointed at Ottel. Crap, Ottel scoffed, this is not good.

“Admiral,” Ottel nearly pushed away one of the officers, “we should talk. There is no need for rush decisions.”

“Excuse me for not giving a damn, sir,” Garrison said in an annoyed voice, “besides, who the hell do you think you are?”

“I’m Lattrel Ottel, Admiral Garrison, owner of the Double~Helix,” Ottel didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t give away his true identity, at least not in front of all these people. The name seemed to have an effect though. As the security officers were pulling Ottel’s hands behind his back, Garrison shouted,

“Wait!” The name sounded really familiar. He tried to remember where he had heard it. Of course, he recalled, in Hardgrove’s office. The man who contacted Hardgrove called himself Lattrel Ottel. “Is there anything we could discuss in private, Mr. Ottel?” he asked.

“Absolutely, Admiral,” Ottel said, as he let out a sigh of relief, “Oh, and it’s Mr. Lattrel, sir.”
Dec 15 2003, 09:06 PM

Lt. Cmdr. Tanik - Main Engineering

Tanik took one last look around the cavernous engineering room before departing.
He was quite connected to it. He knew the room's workings inside and out, like the back of his hand. He could tell you anything you would ever want to know about it, and everything you'd rather not.

Tanik was startled out of his reverie by Lieutenant Clark, his new second. "Commander, I thought you should see this." He handed Tanik a PADD.

Tanik looked at it absently. Then, suddenly, his eyes lit up. "You. Are. A. Genius. Lieutenant.... How in the name of all things sacred did you figure this out?"

"Oh, well, I know they don't teach us that at the academy, but..." Clark was

"I old you to get the reactor from running at 99% efficiency, and you give me an
arithmetic equation to get it to 115%? In less than a half an hour? Listen, young
man.... you seem to be quick on your toes, and able to deliver. So, I'd like to take
you along on the Pollux to Vulcan. We'll be in combat, but I think you will thrive in
that kind of climate. What do you say, boy?"

Clark was stunned, "I'd be honored, sir..."

"That's the spirit!" Tanik gave him a huge pat on the back, and knocked the wind
out of Clark. Tanik didn't notice. "Pack your things, quickly - we leave soon."

"Yes, sir!" Clark said, a great deal of puzzlement in the young man's voice.

"Chop to it, then."

Clark went off to his quarters. Tanik looked behind him, a crooked smile on his
face. I hope I didn't just sign that fine young boy's death warrent... Tanik
shook his head and looked down. He noticed the PADD again and looked it over
once more. He smiled to himself again, took one last look at Engineering, and
strolled out.
Captain Archer
Dec 15 2003, 09:30 PM

Ambassador Michael Larkin - Office

"I want you to promise me that you'll watch yourself out there," Michael was looking straight into Jen's eyes.

She took his hand in hers. "I promise, and when I get back, I hope you'll have dinner with me." She smiled as she squeezed his hand.

"I'll even cook, just hurry up and come home," Michael told her, just then her communicator beeped.

"Hurst here." He recognized Hardgrove's voice over the comm link.

  "We're getting ready to depart. Report to the bridge as soon as possible."

"Understood sir, on my way." With that she stood to go. Michael grabbed her shoulder and pulled her into him, and kissed her. "I'll see you soon," she promised as they parted.

He watched her go until the door shut, cutting off his view. He stood there a moment, then turned back to his desk. He felt quite useless at a time like this, he knew there wasn't much he could do to help, it was time's like these that he wished he had joined Starfleet so he could be out their fighting along side his colleagues. Michael didn't enjoy fighting, but he hated being not in the thick of things, no matter what they were.

He continued to scroll through the communications that had piled up over the last several days. Nothing caught his attention so he shut off the terminal. Michael stood and walked across the room and looked out his window to see the Federation Task Force. "Good luck," he whispered.
Dec 15 2003, 10:36 PM

Lieutenant Daniel Clark - The Deck

Daniel stumbled as he hurried out of Main Engineering and onto the Deck. Combat already? I've been here less then a week and I get shipped out with the fleet to fight a war. He thought as he made his way through the busy corridor. It wasn't that he hadn't seen combat before; infact serving for two years aboard the Enterprise, he'd seen his fair share of war and combat, even for such a short period of being in service. Still, either from fear of death or excitement of war, he was nervous.

Daniel was adjusting very well to the starbase. Not only was he getting along very well with his Chief Engineer Tanik, who as far as Clark could tell was rather impressed by his ability to adapt to Engineering conditions on the station. Starbase 001, although still Federation, was quite different from the Enterprise. The systems were totaly different from each other, with 001 being surprisingly more advanced. It was actually a good change for Daniel: meet new people, adapt to a new system of Engineering, and the promotion was definitely a bonus.

However Daniel still felt a little distant from the rest of the crew, not usually being one to introduce himself or strike up conversation outside of work hours. The people seemed friendly enough. Maybe it's just his slight discomfort with socializing or his time and effort devoted to his work, but the transfer was definitely good for him. Kind of a chance at starting new after his experiences aboard the Enterprise.

"Well, well. If it isn't young Ensign Clark..." Daniel was pulled out of thought by someone grabbing his shoulder and hauling him to the side.

Daniel swung back, very much unprepared for a sudden change in movement... or maybe the mention of his name. "Who...?"

"It's been a while since I last had this pleasure." Said a young woman with a distinctly sarcastic voice.

"Rebecca?!" Clark yelled as he turned to meet her. Rebecca had been a friend of Daniel's since the academy... well, more of a rivalry actually. They had always competed for marks and status during their years at the academy and she just loved to rub in the fact that she had been promoted sooner then he had. "That would be Sir to you, Lieutenant Junior Grade." Daniel said with as much satisfaction in his voice as he could muster.

She looked stunned. And quite put out of the mood to gloat. "It's been longer then I thought." She replied with a frown.

"That or you've been slow climbing the ranks." Daniel said with a smirk. "Don't worry," He said quickly seeing the anger rising in his friend, "I just got promoted." He said as he laughed. "...And transferred from the Enterprise." He added, clearing up her evident confusion."

"Well then..." She answered, "I kinda... have to get... going..." Rebecca had always hated it when Clark had gotten ahead of her, in anything. "...sir." She whispered reluctantly as she turned and headed off down the hallway.

Daniel laughed to himself, and continued the walk to his quarters to pack his things. It wouldn't take long for him to back, considering he might never be coming back, it wouldn't make much sense to take much.

One Hour Later - USS Pollux

Daniel swung his bag off of his shoulder as he stepped onto the Pollux. Commander Tanik could have asked me to come a little sooner. Daniel thought as the compression chamber behind him hissed and the ship began to depart.

He walked as fast as he could to drop off his bag in his temporary quarters, and headed over to Main Engineering to meet up with his Chief Engineer.