Episode 5: Red Sand, Dark Tide, Part II

Dec 15 2003, 11:51 PM

Lieutenant Rune Sith - USS Gambit, Bridge

Sith had customized the Tactical Console, having the holo-configurations perfect. The configuration was so far from standard Federation consoles that the Officer's under his command had to memorize them before the Gambit left the Station, in case the off-chance Sith was incapacitated from his position. One off-duty Officer was busy memorizing the control settings in a Systems Room at that very moment. But this allowed Sith's response time to be increased by 30%.

Captain Hardgrove stood at the centre of the Bridge, peering at the view-screen. His body was motionless, and his mind in deep focus. Commander Hurst sat at her Command Chair going through the arm-computer. Her focus reflected Hardgrove's, and for a second Sith felt like he belonged here. He looked down at Sensors.

The huge Fleet sped through the Federation Transwarp Conduit. Not one behind the other, but in a large formation. They were headed for Betazed, beyond Vulcan Territory.

This Transwarp Conduit was one of the biggest the Federation had created. There was so much room that ship's could maneuver around within it. It was amazing. Federation Territory was webbed with intricate Transwarp Conduits. Conduit Architecture was one field Sith had once considered taking, but due to the state of the Federation he couldn't afford not to be a fighter.

His console beeped. "Captain!" Beyond them, in the distance of the Conduit, a small object could be seen. As it came closer, it was obvious that it was a rogue vessel. It was heading for the fleet in reverse direction... "I'm reading a Cardassian Vessel. Old Galor Class, no life forms, no power except Transwarp Field Emitters."

The long Cardassian Ship spun slowly as it headed right for the Fleet.


There was zero time to react. The Cardassian Ship hit the side of the USS Lexington, shattering its shields and breaking pieces off into transwarp-space. The Lexington began to lose course, crossing over the USS Mercedes, grazing their shields. The Lexington pulled itself back into formation, and the rogue Cardassian Ship fell out the Conduit. It began to tear apart as it ran into and through the vapour-like conduit wall, phasing out into normal space.

"Dammit!!" Hardgrove cursed.

"A little birthday present from the enemy?" Hurst stated.

Hardgrove shook his head, "The Alliance know's we're coming." He turned to Sith. "Report on the Lexington!! Hail them!!"

Sith was on it before it was even ordered, gathering information on the Lexington's damages. He then hailed them where Hargrove spoke to their Captain. They suffered casualties already, but most of them were fine.
Dec 16 2003, 02:55 AM

Vulcan Medical Headquarters - Quarters

It was 0300 hours when Ullii heard the beeping of her console informing her of an incoming priority message. She quickly got out of bed and accepted the transmission. It was Admiral Garrison.

  "Good morning lieutenant. I'm sorry for disturbing you at this hour, but it couldn't be helped. There has been a slight change of plans."

"What kind of change?" She replied hoping it didn't involve her new post.

  "We have gathered intelligence on more accurate whereabouts of the Alliance fleet that is headed towards Vulcan, and we have decided to confront them near Betazed. You will need to take a shuttle to the following coordinates where the Pollux will pick you up. We would pick you up ourselves at Vulcan, but it seems that the Transwarp Conduit near there is under repair."

"Understood, sir."

  "Good. Garrison out."

The screen went black as she pondered this 'change of plans'. She would have to leave right away if she wanted to reach the Pollux before the battle started. The battle She hadn't really thought about that too much. This will be the biggest battle that the Federation has fought in, in a long time. This sudden realization of what she was headed into did not comfort her. I could get hurt! Worse yet, I could die! No! I have to stay focused! They need me!

She tried to keep her thoughts focused on the task at hand. She must depart immediately. She contacted Doctor Sevrith to inform him about the new arrangements. She then proceeded to the hanger via Sky-Tram.

Vulcan Capital - Hanger

She had been given a fast Vulcan one-person shuttle. Upon reaching her hanger, she cleared herself with the security at the door, and entered the craft.

She opened a comm channel. "Shuttle Veloth to Control, requesting permission to depart."

  She waited a few seconds until a rough voice sounded back to her over the comm system "Affirmative, Shuttle Veloth. You are cleared for departure."

She powered the craft's engines and flew the shuttle into the sky and out of the atmosphere.

  "Now exiting safety zone." Came the voice of the shuttle computer. "Authorization to enter warp, granted." With that, she set the coordinates into the console, and engaged at maximum warp.

Vulcan Shuttle Veloth - Some Hours Later

Two thirds of the way to her destination, she picked up something on her sensors. It was a small Alliance scout ship! Just as she determined what it was, the craft shook, and she came out of warp.

"Computer, evasive maneuvers!" She shouted at the computer. The shuttle then went into a large loop, as it emitted three holographic versions of itself flying in different directions around the Scout. The alliance ship fired at one of the holographic shuttles as Lauren came about behind the vessels engines and fired.

"Computer, damage report on enemy ship!"

  "Shields down to 90%, extensive damage to impulse engines. Weapons unaffected." The computer chimed back.

The Scout then fired at two more of the holographic shuttles.

"Computer, attack forma..." She was cut off by the impact of the Alliance vessel's phasers hitting her hull, causing sparks and smoke to fill the cabin. "attack formation Delta!" She finished. The shuttle and the three holographic shuttles then went into a series of spins and circles in order to confuse the Enemy's sensors about which one was the real shuttle. The shuttles then turned around and headed straight for the alliance ship.

"Computer, equip holo-shuttle one with a torpedo set to detonate on impact, and set that shuttle on a collision course with the Alliance Scout!" The computer then beeped in acknowledgement. "Then upon impact of the shuttle, disable the other holo-shuttles, and cloak the Veloth at the same time!" The computer again beeped in acknowledgement.

One of the holographic shuttles then moved ahead of the other three as all of them headed straight for the Scout. Just as the holo-shuttle impacted the Scout, it detonated, and the other two holo-shuttles and the Veloth turned out of the way just as the holo-shuttles were deactivated and the real shuttle cloaked.

"Computer, Shut down all systems after emitting a wide residue photonic dispersion field." The computer then emitted the residue, making it appear to sensors that a hologram had just been deactivated at this location. If it worked according to plan, The Scout would think that the real ship had collided with them, and that her ship was a hologram that went offline with the others. The shuttle then powered down, and Lauren looked out the window and watched.

After a few minutes, the Scout turned and went into warp in the direction of Alliance space. Probably for repairs She laughed to herself.

"Computer, power up systems and continue on previous course."

  The systems powered back up, and the computer responded: "Warp engines offline. Extensive damage. Maximum speed is impulse."

"You've gotta be kidding me!" Ullii screamed at the computer.

  "Unable to process request. Please restate." The computer replied.

"What is the ETA to the designated coordinates traveling at impulse power?"

  "Approximately Seven years, three months, and two days."

"How long will the cloak last under the power we have now?"

  "Fourteen days, seven hours."

Just what I need! She thought to herself. My first official assignment, and I'm gonna be seven years late!

"Send an encrypted distress signal, and power down all systems but life support, cloak, replicators, and the comm." She ordered to the computer, to which it responded with another beep.

I guess all I can do now is wait.
Dec 16 2003, 11:16 PM

Fleet captain Hardgrove - USS Gambit, Bridge

The Alliance was waiting. A hundred federation ships were not going to shake them if they were already hitting us on approach. Time to switch tactics. Hardgrove tapped his chair console the rose from his seat. "Mr. Sith, open a channel to the Pollux."

Hardgrove waited for the screen to display Captain Major's face. Within a wink of an eye, Major appeared in front of him. "David, we're walking in to a trap. If they're hitting us at Transwarp, then they know we're on our way. I've got a plan, take command of the fleet. I've got to take care of something. Hardgrove out."

Turning to Commander Hurst, he said, "Commander you have the Bridge," then, "Mr. Sith, you're with me. We have an unscheduled meeting to attend."
Dec 18 2003, 01:21 AM

Admiral Tom Garrison – Office

Tom stood behind his desk, regarding the man that sat in a chair on the other side. Neither had spoken a word since entering his office, they were both sizing up the other. Finally, Garrison spoke.

“I’m standing here trying to figure out just how much I know about you,” he said. “And you’re probably sitting here trying to figure out just how much I know about you,” he added while sitting down at his desk. “So let’s skip the games and get down to business.”

Ottel was a bit surprised at his bluntness, but didn’t let it show. He let Tom continue.

“I know you’re an associate of Hardgrove’s. I know you’re somehow involved with the Smuggler’s Coalition that we’ve allied ourselves with, and I suspect you have something to do with the Smuggler’s ships that are currently enacting our blockade out there,” he said while gesturing towards the window.

Ottel thought for a moment, then spoke. He didn’t really want to reveal anything more than he had to, but the time had come. “You are correct. I am part of the Coalition. I don’t think the specifics of my involvement with them are really necessary, it would suffice to say that I’m an important member, but not the most important.”

Tom nodded, that was an acceptable answer to him. “So, the question becomes why you want to tell me this. You must want something.”

He’s not kidding, Ottel thought to himself. He really does want to get right to business. “One of those ships out there,” he said while now gesturing towards the window, “is my own ship. There are far more ships out there than we need to keep up this blockade, especially since the chance of anybody running it is just so small. There aren’t enough people that still support Starfleet Command.”

“So let me guess,” Tom interrupted. “You want to take your ship, and maybe some of the others as well, and go home. You decided this wasn’t a fight you didn’t want to be a part of,” he said in an accusatory tone.

Ottel looked at Tom for a long minute, trying to get a good judge of his character. He had heard from Hardgrove that he could be trusted, but Ottel didn’t like his tone here. He stared into Tom’s eyes for a long minute. There was a sadness in them, but also a deep anger, both of which seemed to be masking the true Thomas Garrison. At long last, he spoke.

“Quite the contrary, Admiral,” he said while placing emphasis on Tom’s title. “I want to take my ship, and as many others as want to go with me, and join the fleet in battle. They’ll need all the help they can get.”

Tom was taken aback, he was not expecting this answer. Suddenly he realized how much of a jerk he had just been. “Mr. Lattrel, I’m sorry for what I just said. Please accept my apology, it appears I misjudged you.”

Ottel nodded, “I accept your apology.” And I hope Hardgrove, and thus myself, haven’t misjudged you, he added silently.

“As long as you leave enough ships to keep up the blockade, I have no problem with it. The fleet would certainly welcome all the help they can get. Now,” he continued, “there is another matter.”

Ottel looked at him questionably. “What’s that?”

“Gao.” Tom spoke the name with bitterness, he had no sympathy in his heart for traitors. “I want to know what your relationship with him is.”

At the mention of Gao, Ottel’s face clouded over into a mask of unreadable emotions. There was a bit of anger in his eyes, however, as he spoke. “I would prefer not to discuss that with you.”

Tom was going to protest, but changed his mind. There were more important matters to deal with, one traitor that continued to evade them was low on the list of priorities. “Very well, I will respect that. For now. Although I don’t consider this matter closed.”

That was good enough for Ottel for now. He stood up. “Then I’ll be on my way, all the ships that wish to leave will be departing within the hour.”

Tom stuck out his hand. “Good luck, Mr. Lattrel.”

Ottel shook it. “Thank you.” Then he turned and left the office, leaving Tom alone to his thoughts.
Dec 18 2003, 12:17 AM

Captain David Major - USS Pollux

  "...a plan, take command of the fleet. I've got to take care of something. Hardgrove out." The screen flashed to black, and was then replaced by the pulsing blue hue of the conduit. Glancing at Sam, he turned in his seat.

"Open a channel to all ships. Notify them of the change of plans - the Pollux will be leading the attack. Also, let them know that we're expected. Conn: ETA." The ensign quickly checked his controls, and turned around to reply.

"We will be exiting the conduit at coordinates 5442-mark-3 in 4 minutes, 5 seconds." David nodded his head. He hated doing this, taking innocent lives into combat, in fact he had only done it once before. But if anything, at least it was for a cause that his crew believed in - the survival of the Federation. Tapping his commbage, he quickly formed in his mind what he was going to say.

"Captain Major to all hands. In just under five minutes, we will be entering full fledged battle with the Alliance at Betazed. I know most of you are scared and worried, and frankly, so am I. However, let it console you that what we are about to do is not just for us ourselves, not for the person standing next to you, or even the people back home. This is for the future of the Federation, we are the last thing between it and total annihilation of everything we believe in. We will have losses, but you're the best crew in the entire fleet, and I would trust any and every one of you with my life. And if fate brings it to that, I know that every one of us would be entirely willing. So without any more talk," he paused. "Let's get ready to kick some ALLIANCE ASS!!"

The bridge crew looked around at each other, surprised at the Captain's remark, and then one by one began to clap until entire bridge was alive with noises of triumphant yells, applause, and words of support. Suddenly the racket was sliced by a silent beeping from the helm. The ship began to veer to the right, and with a slight rumbling, exited the bluish tinge of the corridor. Laying before them, were thousands of Alliance ships.

David gritted his teeth. "Let's do this."
Dec 17 2003, 06:33 PM

Counselor Othoniel Rasin - Corridor Outside of Admiral Garrison's Office

Feeling slightly anxious talking to Admiral Garrison about any potential problems, he pushed the button outside of the doors' to his office. Hoping that the Admiral might open up to him about the events that occurred. Seeing the doors slide open, temporarily being stored in the ceiling he assumed that he was given permission to enter. Just as he was about to speak he realized he didn't see the Admiral. He waited until he turned the corner to see the Admiral walking in circles, thinking out loud.

Othoniel took a seat in a nearby chair so as to not interrupt his superior. After waiting about 5 minutes he felt that he should let him know that he was sitting there, watching him.


"Oh, hello," taking a moment to think of Othoniel's name, he continued, "what can I do... for you?"

"Well, sir, I was hoping I could do something for you. You haven't been acting like you usually are, and I was wondering if you wanted to talk about anything," Othoniel said, half as a request, half as a demand.

"No, nothing is wrong with me, of course not. No. I am doing fine."

"Sir, you do know that denial is one of the first signs of progression..." Othoniel paused for a second, as the Admiral rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. "Sir, I heard about what happened on Earth. I imagine you are feeling a sense of loss, a sense of recklessness?"

"You didn't see all the blood!! You didn't see all the bodies!! It was reckless, I killed them!" the Admiral yelled, "and I don't want to talk to you, or anyone else about what I saw. Why won't you let me move on?!"

"Sir, you won't let yourself move on."

"Get out!" he said hoarsely and unlike himself.
Dec 18 2003, 01:41 AM

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Vulcan Shuttle 'Veloth' - between Vulcan and Betazed

It had been two hours since her battle with the Alliance Scout Ship. Ullii kept the sensors online in case any ships were to happen by... What to do... She thought to herself, bored out of her mind...

"Computer... lets play a game."

  The computer chimed and chirped for a few seconds while it processed her request. "Request 'Play a game' not found in social database. Please restate." The unemotional male Vulcan computer voice replied.

"I should have known. Computer, state the definition of a game."

  "Game... The prey of a hunter... A competition in which the participants compete in a series of events in order to determine which participant is superior at the given event."

"In that case, I wish to compete against you in a game"

  The computer again took several seconds before replying "Illogical request. Event specified serves no relevant purpose."

Man, even their computers are party poopers Lauren thought to herself. "Computer Ask me a random medical based question, and if I get it right, record one correct answer; And if I get it wrong, record one incorrect answer. Let's just say it's for... medical knowledge practice.... for myself."

  The computer chimed in acknowledgement. "What is the cell organell called that transports chemicals through out the cell?" The computer responded, sounding strangely annoyed.

"Oh that's an easy one! It's th..."

She was cut off just as her console started to beep. She rushed to check what it was. As she scanned her console, she looked at the sensors. One green dot indicating a Vulcan Ship appeared on the screen... Then two more... then four more... soon there were about 50 ships surrounding her shuttle.

  "Dreadnaught Iethan to Shuttle Veloth" Came a Vulcan Captain's voice over the comm system. "Disable your cloak and prepare to transport."

She was amazed! Fifty ships consisted of almost the entire Vulcan fleet. And with the Alliance so close to their space, they'd be leaving Vulcan helpless against an assault! "Captain," she replied, "Isn't it an illogical strategy to bring your entire fleet to the aid of Starfleet? I thought all of your ships were supposed to be protecting Vulcan."

  "In such times, Lieutenant, we must sometimes choose the... illogical course of action, in order to survive. And... since the transwarp conduit near Vulcan is damaged and under repair, we were forced to proceed to Betazed using more... conventional means...... Shall you be deactivating your cloak, or shall I be forced to fire upon your vessel?" He said, feeling quite uncomfortable.

Ullii just smiled. "Lowering cloak. Ready for transport."

She beamed on board, and the shuttle was beamed to the shuttle bay, as the ships went back into warp toward Betazed.

Well, we'll be late She thought, But better late than never

Dreadnaught Iethan

"Captain, have you contacted the fleet informing them of your aid?" She asked the captain on the bridge of the Dreadnaught.

"All of our hails have gone unanswered." he replied. "We assume that the Alliance has installed some sort of communications blocking technology around Betazed."

"How long until we reach the battle?"

"Approximately two hours. I suggest you get some rest before the event."

"Agreed. See you in two hours" She walked off the bridge and into the turbolift, on her way to her temporary quarters.

Two hours... Will we be too late?
Dec 19 2003, 02:19 AM

Lattrel Ottel - Personal Quarters

Ottel sat in complete darkness, contemplating about his conversation with Fleet Admiral Garrison. For some reason, he felt very relaxed, as if a heavy stone was lifted from his heart. Perhaps it was the fact that one more person aboard the station knew about his true identity, although that kind of things never bothered him: his whole life he had to keep the fact of him being a smuggler secret. He turned around and looked at Earth; through the thick glass of the window, he could see the Smuggler ships aiding in the blockade.

Ottel turned back. He picked one of the PADDs, that were scattered on the table in front of him. This is breaking tradition, he thought. The PADDs contained information and orders concerning all of the Smuggler ships near Earth, and Ottel was the one who controlled their movements. Because of Hardgrove’s personal request, there was to be no direct communication between the Smugglers and Starfleet ships. Their every movement depended on orders coming directly from Ottel.

“This is boring,” he spoke to himself. “I should find someone better suited for this task.” He dropped down the PADD on the table and turned on his computer. A holographic display appeared in front of him, emitted from the computer. With a click of a finger, he opened a file. It contained a letter he had been trying to write for a week and was almost finished.

“Computer, begin recording!” he spoke out and waited for a chirp. “... Before I sent this letter, I thought you should know something else. I’ve decided to take some of our ships and aid the Federation fleet. They are heading for the Alliance forces to try and stop their advance on Vulcan. I know this is not the right way to finish a love letter, but, then again, I was never much of a romantic...” he hesitated, and then went on, “I love you and hope to see you soon. End recording.” Ottel loaded the letter on a disk and took it out. He approached the station panel and fed the disk.

"Computer, send this letter," Ottel said. Once again, he turned and faced Earth. It’s time, he decided. The display was still on, and he went back to it.

“Open communications! To all Smuggler ships out there, this is Lattrel Ottel. As most of you already know, a Federation fleet is heading to Betazed, to meet the Alliance forces. We have agreed to help the Federation in this hour of need, and most of our brothers will be assisting the fleet during the battle. After having a conversation with Fleet Admiral Garrison, I have decided that there is no need for every one of our ships to be out here. I will not order anyone to follow me, but you should know, that I’ll be taking the Tilibos and heading for Betazed myself. Those of you, who choose to come with me, are welcomed to do so. I know most of you think that this is not our fight, that we should just let the Federation take care of this problem themselves, but you should also have realized by now, that this fight concerns us just as much. With the Federation gone, there will be no stopping the Alliance. The Smugglers Coalition was formed to bring together bands of small, unorganized and scattered outcasts. We were simple smugglers, with no goal or future, looking only for whatever little profit we could muster. Our Coalition brought order and control, united us under a clear goal, but these days are in the past. We have, once more, become petty thieves. Our ranks are thinning, as we speak. Our bases are emptying, our ships are being destroyed, and all of us have lost a loved one to the Alliance. I call upon you to join me, help me restore the name of the Coalition. We must prove to everyone, that the Smugglers are just as good with fighting, as they are with business.”

Ottel closed the comm line and took a long breath. Once again, after a few clicks, he opened another comm line.

“Mkrdij, I assume you heard that little speech,” he said with a smirk.

  “I did,” Mkrdij answered, “Quite good, aga Lattrel.”

“Yeah,” Ottel scoffed, “beam me over to the Tilibos.”

Garrison's Office

Having yelled at Councilor Rasin, Admiral Garrison took a look out. A small ship veered off and headed away from Earth. One by one, the Smuggler ships left the blockade and went after it. The small ship opened the Federation Transwarp Conduit and entered it, followed by the rest.

What the... How did he open a Fed Conduit? Garrison wondered. Hardgrove’s doing, most likely. He took a look back at Earth: there were perhaps one or two Smuggler ships left in the blockade. Turning to the conduit he said, “Good luck!”
Dec 19 2003, 10:48 AM

Fleet Captian Hardgrove - Shuttle craft Xavior

Within the hour and a half from the departure of the Gambit, the Xavior and it's two manned crew had crossed over to the Denveran sector.

Hargrove tapped the pilots console and halted the shuttle. Tapping the compannel he sent out a signal code.

The Darkside of the Sun - Bridge

The silence of the bridge was broken with the beeping of the shield emitters being activated. Kyst BlackSun jumped from her command chair and barked, "Who activated the shields?"

A young Bajoran answered the question, "The codes were transmitted from a Federation shuttle off the port bow."

"What?? On screen!" she shouted.

Shuttle craft Xavior

The shuttle's view-screen showed the image of a D'deridex class Romulan Bird of prey de-cloaking.

The immense sight was interrupted by the beeping of the companel being hailed. Hardgrove activated it and the image was replaced with the image of Kyst Blacksun.

  "Who the hell do you think you are?"

"Hello dear sister, permission to dock requested."
Dec 19 2003, 11:55 PM

Lieutenant Rune Sith - The Darkside of the Sun, Shuttle Hangar

Hardgrove and Sith stepped out the Xavior into the very large Shuttle Hangar. There, they were met by three armed guards, a Nausicaan, a Klingon, and a Romulan.

"You will come with us," the Nausicaan spoke.

The Captain and the Lieutenant were led to through the ship on their way to the Bridge.

"With all due respect Captain... the Orion Syndicate??" Sith started. He felt as if he should be ordering them to surrender their ships or something.

"They're our only hope." Hardgrove replied.


They entered the Bridge where they were met by Kyst Blacksun. Everyone had their eyes on the two.

"So... you've returned?" Kyst spoke to Hardgrove coldly. There was obvious hate in her eyes and whatever feelings she had for ship visitors, the crew had.

"I need your help now more than ever." Hardgrove said.

Another Syndicate Ship neared The Darkside and beamed someone straight to the Bridge upon his request. Sith turned and suddenly recognized him. "What the hell?" He left Hardgrove and Kyst who kept talking to each other, and made his way across the Bridge passing the cold stare of every Syndicate Officer after the other. He stopped before Neilson. "What are you doing here??"

"Sith! I knew I picked up your lifesign. Long time no see buddy!" He slapped him in the shoulder.

Sith laughed sarcastically, "Haha! Yeah... So how're things? Join any freakin Pirates lately?!?!"

Neilson put up his hands in defense. He had served with Sith on the USS Vitality before it was decommissioned three months ago. "Okay okay! Look I know this looks bad. I know what you're going to say... What I did was wrong. I had an oath to Starfleet."

"Had an oath? The last I saw you, you were avoiding your duties at Earth Core!" Sith replied angrily. He didn't care for the part of the Bridge Crew who were watching and gauging his worth. All he cared about was how a Starfleet Officer gave up his commission.

"Exactly! ...Almost six weeks ago I was on 001 pondering my life. Then I met this girl... Oh she was amazing, Sith. She told me all about the Orion Syndicate; their adventures, their exploration of space..." Neilson was really serious about this.

"...Their fellonies..." Sith added sarcastically. "Oh did she forget to mention that one?"

Neilson noticed the Nausciaan was staring so he pulled Sith to another part of the Bridge. "Listen to me. I'm a better person now. I have a life I care about... a job I enjoy. I feel like I belong here!"

"I'm sorry Neilson. I should've been more supportive of you. I know! Let's go rob Bolian Credit Banks!" Sith said sarcastically.

Neilson rolled his eyes, getting on his own nerves.

"Hey! We did that last week!" The Nausicaan broke in angrily.

Sith spoke back to him, "Oh shut up!"

The Nausicaan pushed Sith in the chest, "We are more than Pirates. We have helped Worlds recover from poverty. We have saved lives!"

"I seem to remember a certain Sheliak Raid last year? Certain metamorphic cloaks that were stolen...?"

"You stupid Human!!" The Nausicaan grabbed Sith's shirt and pulled him in for a punch. Sith blocked it with his forearms and shoved the Nausicaan away from him. The other's were cheering on for a fight.

"Be quiet over there!!" Kyst yelled angrily from the upper part of the Bridge. She then continued talking to Hardgrove. The Nausicaan lost interest and walked away. Sith made his way up to the upper part of the Bridge where Hardgrove was. "I will not help you!" Kyst finished her conversation and walked out a door to her Ready Room.
Hardgrove shook his head in disappointment. She was obviously going to need some convincing.
Dec 20 2003, 03:35 PM

Counsellor Rasin - Rasin's Office

"So, Ambassador Larkin, how are you?" said the concerned Counsellor.

"I'm doing ok," said Michael quickly.

"Are you still having the nightmares?"

"No... well, occasionally."

"What are you going to do about them?" said Othoniel, slowly and in a low voice.

"I suspect I can always talk to you about them if they become too disturbing."

"Yes, certainly, you could, but what about seeing me before they become too disturbing. How about we nip this in the butt before it becomes a serious problem?"

"I don't know, Othoniel, I am pretty busy," mentioned Larkin, trying to come up with a legitimate excuse.

"Yes, I am sure you are... tell me do you love someone? I'm not talking about sex or if you have a girlfriend or if you have any relatives alive, but do you genuinely love someone? Is there someone that you would do anything for, out of love, that you could talk to about... anything?"

Ambassador Larkin was about to answer, but then fell silent as he listened to rest of what Othoniel had to say. He didn't know how to respond.
Dec 20 2003, 03:41 PM

Lt. Cmdr. Tanik - USS Pollux, Main Engineering

"Get that relay up and running!" Tanik yelled over the rocking of the ship and the
explosions throughout the room.

Lt. Clark was covered in sweat and grime, and he worked feverishly yet quietly on
the field inducers.

"WHO'S GONNA FIX THAT DAMN RELAY?!!" Tanik yelled at the top of his lungs.

Several crewmen ran over to the relay section and scurried about.

Tanik surveyed the room quickly. It was near total anarchy. If one more thing
went wrong....

The ship lurched more violently than ever before. Secondary explosions sounded
throughout the room. Then, the explosions began happening in an alarming
sequence - they kept getting consistently closer to the Warp core very rapidly.

Clark, on his back under the starboard field inducer, looked over. "Is it supposed
to be doing that?!" he half yelled.

Tanik looked sharply over to him, "What the hell do YOU think?!"
Tanik then ran over to the main console and began punching holo-buttons as fast
as he could. The holo-buttons and displays flickered with every lurch and explosion.

Tanik gave a high pitched whistle. Everyone looked up at him. "Everyone near a
console, I need you to shut off all power to everything hooked up to the reactor!"

The engineering crew rapidly obeyed their orders, but one set of explosions kept
making it's way to the core. Tanik looked around the room quickly.

"Clark! Disconnect that field inducer! NOW!"

Clark looked over to Tanik, "But I just got finished reconnecting it!"

"I don't care! Just do it now!" Tanik yelled.

The explosions suddenly stopped, and the lights went out in engineering.

Tanik whistled again, "Okay, people! We are on emergency power right now. I
want you all to start heading off to the auxiliary engineering room where we can
run the impulse fusion reactors - this thing isn't going to be up any time soon.
Let's go!"

The crew began scurrying off. Tanik sighed heavily to himself. It'll be a miracle
if we get through this...
Captain Archer
Dec 20 2003, 06:14 PM

Ambassador Michael Larkin - Rasin's Office

A thousand things went through Michael's mind after Rasin asked him that question. He sat there thinking... and then it hit him, he was deeply in love with someone, someone that he would do anything for - and with that realization Michael answered, "Yes, but I never really thought of it like that before. I was so caught up in the fact that I was alone, and then suddenly she was dropped back into my life, and it seemed that nothing could go wrong." Michael tensed up a bit, "And then I went on that mission. I was so arrogant to think that I could personally save the Federation, and what did it get me? Imprisoned and tortured. Not to mention that every time I close my eyes I hear Telle's voice."

Othoniel stared at Michael for a moment. "Out of those hardships you accomplished a great thing. You managed to bring the Bajorans into the Federation. That's no small task especially considering that the last time Bajor expressed any interest in joining was in the late 24th Century. If you ask me, that's quite a feather in your cap."

Michael was expressionless as he heard these words. "I really should be going." Michael finally said.

"Very well, these sessions are voluntary. Don't hesitate to call me if you need anything. Day or night." Michael got up and shook the Counselor's hand, "I will." Michael walked out into the busy corridor, and off to his office.
Dec 22 2003, 12:39 AM

Captain David Major - Bridge

The bridge shook even more violently this time, and somewhere in the back a console exploded. "Report!" David cried.

"Shields at 63%. Port phaser bank three is offline, and we have breaches on decks 3, 4, and 5. Emergency force fields are in place and holding."

"What about the fleet?"

"The Kieron and Symphonic are badly damaged, but still in one piece. They've retreated to the back lines for emergency repairs. All other ships are currently engaging enemy ships, wait......" The tone drained out of K'Rak's voice. "Sir, we've lost the USS Blairmore." David nodded, trying to keep his emotion inside. Captain Cohen was a good friend of his, not that long ago they had......No. He forced the feelings beneath his resolve; there would be plenty of time to grieve later.

"Major to Engineering. Status."

  Amidst muffled explosions and raised voices coming over the comm system, a cold Romulan voice rose up. "We're not doing good sir. Just a few minutes ago we nearly lost antimatter containment, and the EPS conduits throughout the ship are taking a beating. I have teams working on the major problems, but we're still spread pretty thin."

"Very well. Just keep makin......." He stopped. Voices. Suddenly the room was filled with voices. Hundreds, no, Thousands. Growing louder. Cries for help, laughter, screams, muffled conversations, and it was getting closer. Reaching forward into the mist of sound, David slowly began to see a light, and before he could stop himself, his body floated into the rift.

"Captain Major? Captain!" Sam shook him violently. Slumped over in his seat, David slowly began to lean forward, until he fell, head first, onto the bridge floor. "Halliwell to Sickbay, Emergency Transport - it's the Captain."
Dec 22 2003, 01:17 AM

Lieutenant Daniel Clark - Pollux Auxiliary Engineering Room

"Get those reactors fired up, NOW!" Tanik commanded as the engineering staff ran in to the room. The lights randomly flickered on and off as Clark scrambled in the half dark to bring the impulse reactors online. "Whats the hold up Clark?!" Tanik yelled from across the noisy room, "We need power N--" he was cut out by a large explosion that seemed to shake the whole ship.

Daniel was thrown back against the wall behind him, but regained himself. "The system's damaged! Give me two minutes!" Clark yelled back as he dove back into the open conduit working as fast as he could to get power restored.

"We don't have two minutes lieutena-" The romulan was cut off again this time by the comm.

  "Halliwell to Tanik!!"

"Commander?" Tanik replied a little surprised at who was calling, but held his concentration.

  "No time Tanik, where the hell is my power? We're sitting ducks up here!!" Halliwell's voice shook as another hit grazed the hull.

"It's coming Commander- CLARK!" Tanik yelled to both Sam and Daniel, "POWER. NOW!"

No sooner had he finished yelling, a blue glow formed in the darkened engine room and the ship began to move.

"Yes!" Clark shouted as the lights flickered back on in the room.

"You can celebrate later, get working on the shields!" Tanik yelled back from under a console. "We got power back, now we need full power!"

Clark laughed as he ran across the room to another console. Surprisingly, the fact that they were engaged in the largest battle the federation had seen for a long time didn't seem to bother him... for the moment at least. He could tell that Tanik was going to push him hard at his new post, but liked the work. It kept his mind off of everything else; the battle, the death and destruction. A medical officer has to see the casualties of war, a counselor has to deal with the effects, but an engineer has
his ship. And in a situation like this, he was glad to be where he was.

Another explosion shook Daniel out of thought, and he continued to work.
Dec 22 2003, 06:00 AM

Commander Samantha Halliwell ~ Bridge

Halliwell got up from her console and ran over to Major. She dropped down to her knees. "Captain..." she said loudly kneeling over him, it was a sight she was slowly getting used to. Having superior officers pass out or getting injured in front of her. Luckily, she was a medical doctor so that brought her some comfort when events like this happened.

"Halliwell to Sickbay...didn't I make myself clear enough." She shouted into the comm badge as she attempted to put Major in the recovery position, she waited a few moments.

"Shields down to 60%," a voice cried out from behind her. The ship shook again, it felt as if it were going to fall apart, no, the Pollux was a tough little ship, she'd hold. She focused back on her commanding officer, "Captain," she said again and opened one of his eyes, no response.

She was really starting to get frustrated now, she tapped her comm badge, "SICKBAY...What's going on down there?!"

She waited for a response when the ship slowed and the lights flickered off. "Report..."

"Main power is down," a voice replied, who it belonged to, she couldn't pinpoint it though.

"That's obvious," she shouted harshly and tapped her comm badge, "Halliwell to Tanik!!"

  "Commander?" Tanik replied, he sounded a little surprised.

"No time Tanik, where the hell is my power? We're sitting ducks up here!!" Halliwell's voice shook as the ship shook violently, she gritted her teeth and fell forward, she stopped herself from falling on top of Major.

  "It's coming Commander- CLARK!" Tanik yelled, "POWER. NOW!"

She looked round and steadied her breathing, as the familiar glow, the lights flickered and came back on, she looked over to the helm, "Evasive maneuvers!" she shouted. Halliwell looked back down to Major, "Sickbay..." she said.

"Activating emergency transport now," she shuffled back and watched as Major disappeared, she closed her eyes for a moment and said a silent prayer that he would be alright. She stood up and made her way back to the command chair. She sat down.

Halliwell glanced round to everyone, with the captain in sickbay, it left her in charge of the Pollux. She listened as everyone shouted things to her and from what she was hearing it wasn't very good... not good at all. The shields were still going down: now at 30%. She had no idea how long they could hold and they were running on emergency power. Now another phaser bank had been knocked out. There was only one option left open to her, "Fall back," she ordered. "We retreat to the back lines," she said to the helm, they looked a little confused, "That's an order."

"Aye ma'am."

Halliwell opened a channel, "All hands this is Commander Halliwell," she said clearly and as calmly as she mustered. "You're all doing a fantastic job, a 120%. You may have noticed our course change, we are retreating to the back lines," she looked down to the floor, "Be prepared to make any repairs needed...we're not giving up!" She closed the channel and there was a few sighs of relief on the bridge.

Halliwell sat up straight in the chair, she tapped her comm badge, "Halliwell to sickbay," she said, "How's Captain Major?"
Dec 22 2003, 08:41 AM

Lieutenant Commander K'Rak - USS Pollux, Bridge

"Commander," said K'Rak, "May I speak to you privately for a moment?"

"Yes," Halliwell said, impatiently, "but make it quick. We've got a battle going on here, in case you hadn't noticed."

Ready Room

In the Captain's ready room, K'Rak spoke freely. "Sir, I have been observing the overall patterns of this battle, and it is my opinion that the Federation cannot hope to win this if we continue to sit on our heels and allow the enemy to come to us. We MUST launch an offensive, immediately."

"And what exactly do you propose, Commander? As you can see, the Pollux is in no shape for battle."

"Yes, Sir, but what I am suggesting would hardly require the whole ship. Scans of one of the lead Alliance ships were taken for a moment when her shields were down. These scans reveal an empty cargo bay immediately above the bridge of the ship. I believe that a properly equipped boarding party could transport into that cargo bay, if her shields were to go down again, and board the bridge, taking command of the ship. This done, the party could set off the self destruct sequence before aiming the ship at the bulk of the Alliance forces, then beam back to safety. If successful, this could turn the tide of the battle."

"K'Rak, are you insane?" yelled Halliwell. "What you are suggesting is suicide! You would almost certainly be killed!"

"Indeed; but it would be a glorious way to die. If we stay where we are, we are most certainly going to die anyways. Only through aggressive action will we win this."

Halliwell stared at the raging battle for a moment, then turned with a sigh to K'Rak. "Very well. Gather your boarding party, and wait in the transporter room until we can successfully lower their shields again."

"Consider it done, Sir."
Dec 22 2003, 11:15 AM

Lieutenant Rune Sith - The Darkside of the Sun, Astrometrics

Sith was alone in the room, watching intently at the holo-diagrams. Federation Logo's and Alliance Logo's were battling at Betazed, and there were a lot of them swarming around. The Federation Logo's began to fall back.

"Argh!!" Sith slammed his fist into a nearby console just as Neilson and two Corvallens were entering the room. "Look at that!" Sith pointed to the Holo-Grid. "I should be out there!! But instead I'm here in the Denveran Sector trying to get criminals to help us."

"We've spoken to half the Ship's in the Syndicate Fleet. They may be interested in fighting," Neilson said.

Sith paced the room, "Criminals... Why would you people help us? The Syndicate doesn't have any honour!"

One of the Corvallen's grabbed Sith in anger and slammed him against the wall. "Watch your mouth Human!!"

Sith knocked the Corvallen's arms away, "Okay okay! I'm sorry. I just have so much anger for the Alliance... I tend to say things sometimes."

The Corvallen glanced at his friend and nodded to Sith, "We've lost much of our race to the Alliance over the last Century."

"Thanks to Neilson, we are convinced that the time to act is now." The other Corvallen spoke up.

"Really?" Sith was shocked.

The Corvallen nodded. "All we need now is to convince Kyst Blacksun. The whole Syndicate will follow her..."

Sith walked over to Neilson, "You did it. You actually got half the Syndicate to go into battle with us."

"Soon to be more than half," Neilson added. "I didn't do it for you. I did it for Captain Malone..." He went over to the Holo-Grid deep in his own thoughts.

Sith went over and placed a hand on his shoulder, "I know."

They stood there for a moment watching the Logo's on the Holo-Grid. Two Federation Logo's suddenly disappeared. Sith's and Neilson's stomachs cringed. Even Neilson had anger for once. It seemed the focus he had when he was Helmsen on the Vitality was back. Just as strong as it used to be. Serving on that ship were the backbones of his life. He found his strength there, but was also screwed up there. His mind came to a complete mess when he finally was posted at Earth Core. "Sith!" He finally said. "Is the Vitality out there?"

Sith glanced over. He couldn't believe Neilson didn't know. "The Vitality was destroyed."

"What!?" His eyes went all over the place, "They died in battle..." He calmed, "It was in honour..."

Sith turned, on the contrary, "The ship was destroyed at Utopia Planita."

Neilson just looked at him.

"Someone set a bomb to the Shipyards. Almost a hundred Ships were lost."

Neilson turned past the Corvallens and took a moment for himself by another console. Where was the nervous man Sith once saw at 001? Where was the life he saw just a couple hours ago? In one sweep it was all taken away. Life didn't only mean the functions of an organic being; it went deeper than that, a lot deeper. Sith was looking at himself at that moment.

It was time for a change... His anger for destroying the Alliance was already destroying him. Change, he thought. But not now. Not until the Alliance was annihilated. If only he wasn't stuck here. If only out there, fighting, as his blood craved. He wanted to destroy the Alliance. That came above anything else. Revenge always came before anything else.
Dec 22 2003, 08:38 PM

Fleet Captian Drayson Hardgrove - Darkside of the Sun, Captain's quarters

For the past hour, Hardgrove had been trying to convince Kyst Blacksun of the pros of joining in the battle against the Alliance. After many angles and a few golden-tongued words, it seemed he had convinced her. He had promised such things as a full pardon, as well as a say in the new Federation Council - and numerous other such buy offs without her even seeming interested. It wasn't until he threatened mutiny that she gave in.

"Kystianna, the crew may be loyal to you, but the syndicate will follow me if I pull rank. You may be their Captain, but I am their leader by succession."

"I hate it when you call me that. Ok Drayson, I deter my command of the fleet to you. But you better know what your doing, big brother," Kyst responded. "So what do you need of me? I suppose you'll want the Darkside as your flagship?"

"Funny you should bring that up. I actually had hoped to command the Vellous."

Kyst's scowl turned into a slight grin. "Fathers ship. She is still with us and still stronger than ever - and ready for your return Captain Blacksun."

"Hardgrove," he corrected her. "Have her prepped and well crewed - and have the fleet ready to move out within the hour."

"Aye, Captain" She said with a sideways smirk.

The Vellous

It didn't take long for Hardgrove to reacquaint himself with the Reman Schimitar class vessel, he had grown up on. He recalled the stories his father told him of how he and grandfather had stolen plans from an abandoned base in what was now Alliance territory. He remembered the first day he had set foot on the ship that had taken years to complete due it its immense cost. Now he knew that his family's legacy would be carried on with him, as its Captain, as it would help save the Federation.

It had taken Drayson less time to convince Lieutenant Sith of their new Alliance, and his tie within it, than it had with Kys. After assembling a crew and appointing Stith as his XO, the fleet was ready to move out. 10 klingon Vor'cha class ships, 20 K'vort class 39 Romulan ships, and the Vellous: A total of 70 ships in all. They all slowly entered the nearest transwarp conduit and headed to Beatzed to sway the hand of victory.
Dec 22 2003, 09:02 PM

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Vulcan Dreadnaught Iethan - approaching Betazed

"Sir, we are approaching the coordinates of the battle" A Vulcan ensign at the helm said.

Ullii stared down at the battle. The dark grey Federation ships and red Alliance ships was like a dark tide beating against the red sand. A powerful force, but doing little damage.

"Sensors are now indicating a shield surrounding the entire battle... as well as the planet!" The ensign said.

"The entire planet?!" Ullii was shocked "That's impossible!"

"Improbable perhaps," replied the Captain, "But it exists, and is therefore possible. Ensign, scan the area for anything that could be generating the shield."

The ensign spent a few seconds navigating his controls... "There's no sign of any ship or piece of equipment outside of the shield sir. It must be inside."

"Scan the shield again. Can you find a way inside?" The captain remained amazingly calm despite their current situation. If they couldn't find a way inside, they would be forced to sit and watch as the entire Federation was crumbled.

The ensign again navigated through his controls, this time for quite a while "There is a .02 phase variance in the shield harmonics."

"A phase variance?! Such instabilities in shield technology have long since been rectified."

"It could be due to the size of the shield sir. It's large diameter is probably making it unstable. Sir, I believe I could modify the shields of a small craft so that they could pass through the shield. It wouldn't work with a starship, sir, but a small one-man fighter would be able to get through."

"See it done, ensign."

"Captain" Ullii finally spoke up "I would like to pilot one of the fighters. They are sustaining heavy casualties down there, and they need my help."

"Very well. The fighters will be deployed in fifteen minutes."

"Thank you sir!" Ullii rushed into the turbolift, went to her quarters to gather her things, and went to the shuttle-bay.

Meanwhile on bridge of the the USS Avatar

A young ensign was at the helm, as he looked despairingly out of a side window. He was shocked at what he saw! Dozens of Vulcan Warships were sitting in a group overlooking the battle!

"Sir!" he cried to his captain "Vulcan ships sir! But they're not moving!"

"What?! Why not?! Scan for anything that may be blocking their passage!"

"Nothing sir. No turrets, no shields... nothing."

"What could they be doing?"

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Vulcan Fighter

"Fighter squadron Alpha, this is your squadron leader, Alpha-1. Report in"

"Alpha 2, standing by"

"Alpha 3, standing by"

"Alpha 4, standing by"...

What am I doing here?! Ullii thought to herself. I'm a doctor, not a pilot! Regret started to set in about piloting the fighter into the battle. No, I have to go! They need me down there! Stay focused! There's no turning back now...

"Alpha 15. Report in Alpha 15."

She had lost track of the count "Alpha 15, standing by"

"Prepare for departure"

With that, the four squadrons of 15 fighters each made their way up to, and through the shield. They immediately went into a cube-like formation and started systematically attacking Alliance ships in a very... logical pattern, while at the same time, scanning for the shield generator.

They were being hailed by the Pollux.

"This is Lieutenant Ullii Lauren, reporting for duty sir!"

  "Lauren!" Halliwell exclaimed, "The new CMO! How did you...?"

"There's no time to explain. The Alliance has installed some kind of gigantic shield that's surrounding the entire battle as well as Betazed! We need to find it and destroy it before the Vulcan Fleet can move in! It seems to be cloaked!"

  "Very well Lieutenant, I will inform the fleet to keep their eyes open. In the mean time, we have lost the CMO onboard the Pollux..."

"Say no more, Commander. I'm on my way."

  "Lieutenant..." Commander Holliwell looked at Ullii sternly.

Ullii hadn't realized that she had interrupted the Commander. Twice, even. "Sorry, sir."

  "We are transmitting landing codes. See you soon Lieutenant."

"Aye sir; Lauren out."

This is it. This is what I've spent all these years training for. Now's my chance to prove myself! I'll show you, mother! I'll show you that I can be something! If it's the last thing I do, I'll prove you wrong!
Dec 22 2003, 11:28 PM

Lattrel Ottel - the Tilibos

“We’re almost there,” Mkrdij said excitedly.

“Open a channel,” Ottel ordered. “My brothers, I want to make one thing clear. We don’t want to enter this battle with a big bang and burn out immediately. You all know, that our ships are no match against those of the Alliance, so listen to me and listen carefully. We will do what smaller ships do: we will run around, hide, draw fire, and, if necessary, penetrate shields and board vessels. We’ll meet on the other side.”

The Tilibos came out of the rift. Ottel was mesmerized by the scene that opened up right in front of him: hundred of ships, engulfed in fire and flame, striking each other, maneuvering, flying straight into enemy formations or retreating into the back lines. Some of the Smuggler ships were stopped in their tracks, bumped back by an unseen force.

"What was that?" Ottel viewed the scans. "A shield bubble?"

"How did we get through it then?" Mkrdij asked. "There are more of our ships inside too."

"The conduit formed right on the edge of the bubble. That's how some of us got through," Ottel explained. "It is not important now: we should do what we can inside."

Mkrdij looked at Ottel, as if asking permission to fly in. “Not this time, my friend,” Ottel smiled and took up the controls, “this time I will be the one to fly. You send a “friend or foe” recognition message to the Federation fleet.” The Tilibos flew straight into the thick of the battle, taking with it the rest of the Smuggler ships. This sudden appearance surprised the Alliance fleet, and for a brief moment the Federation had a time to breathe.

The Tilibos shook as it took its first hit. “Activate the magnetic field generator!” Ottel barked, “And prepare that pulse phaser cannon those Starfleet engineers mounted on my ship. Let’s see what it can do.” That’s the first thing that’ll come off my ship, once this war is over, he thought angrily. Phaser fire kept pouring all around the Tilibos but failed to hit the target. Ottel kept flying the ship around, dodging debris and laying down phaser fire.

“What have we here?” Ottel muttered excitedly, “a Romulan Bird of Prey with damaged propulsion. Mkrdij, we have a sitting duck!”

“Age Lattrel?” Mkrdij asked fearfully, “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” Ignoring the Nausican’s advice, Ottel headed straight for the ship.

Aga LATTREL!” Mkrdij was yelling now, “it’s right in the middle of the Alliance left flank.” His cries were unheard, as Ottel was completely taken by anger. In his mind there was only one goal, one target: to damage the Alliance any way he could, and he thought he knew how. Everything around him was happening in slow motion. He could see Mkrdij frantically working the controls in hopes of aiding him and making sure the magnetic field stayed functional under the barrage of fire the Tilibos was taking from Alliance fighters. As the ship approached the Devoras class, a stream of green light shot from the magnetic field generator. A hole appeared in the Bird of Prey’s shield bubble, and the Tilibos went in.

“Now, Mkrdij, target their warp core with the cannon,” Ottel shouted and started punching the console in front of him.

“But the shot won’t do enough damage, aga Lattrel,” Mkrdij answered hopelessly. “Surely you have something else planned.” There was a menacing look in Ottel’s eyes, but he didn’t say anything and simply pointed Mkrdij to the targeting control.

“What?” Mkrdij noticed the modifications Ottel had made. “This could create a black hole. Are you out of your mind?”

“No it won’t,” Ottel stated calmly. If it does, all the better, he thought. “Fire!” With hesitation, Mkrdij finally pushed the button.

The pulse phaser cannon shot through the Romulan ship’s hull, followed by a shot of elemental stream combined with Delta particles. Ottel jumped back into the pilot’s seat and flew the Tilibos away. There was an eerie silence for a second, as if all sound was sucked into a vacuum. The material contained in Tilibos’ shot mixed with the quantum particles leaking from the Romulan warp core...

Mkrdij took a look back through the window and saw the unthinkable. An implosion devoured the Bird of Prey and the round swirl of a future black hole began to appear. However, as if in an opposite motion, the hole shot out an explosion that took out with it around 30 Alliance ships and damaged another 50. The Tilibos itself barely outran the enormous shockwave, with sparks flying out of the panels and consoles all throughout the ship. Ottel brought his vessel into the thick of the Federation fleet and made a 180 degree turn. Through the window he saw the carnage and destruction his little stunt had caused. The Alliance fleet had lost its entire left flank. Most of the ships were destroyed, others were simply floating in space.

A group of ships took off from the Alliance reserve and moved to fill their empty flank. Ottel sighed angrily and shook his head. He remembered one of his grandfather’s sayings, “they’re more than dogs and less than wolves.”

“Mkrdij,” Ottel called on his friend. The Nausican was still in shock, but Ottel’s voice knocked him out of it. “Mkrdij, assess the damage to the Alliance fleet and our ship.”

I hope this gives us a fighting chance, Ottel wished.
Dec 22 2003, 11:48 PM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Office

Tom sat in a darkened room, the only light coming from the large holoTerminal on his wall. He was watching a display of the battle. He also had the computer tuned in to the Federation communication frequency. The volume was turned down low, but the sounds of screams, explosions, and shouted orders still filled the room.

All those people are out there dying, and I'm sitting here at my desk doing nothing. I'm thousands of lightyears away from it all. That just doesn't seem fair. I should be out there fighting, dying, alongside of those that serve under me. Alongside my friends.

As he watched yet another ship blink out of existence, Tom couldn't help feeling guilty. A part of him felt as though he was responsible for the whole thing, since he had led the revolt. He had to remind himself that the officers out there fighting did so willingly. But still, it didn't help him feel useless, sitting in his office so far away from it all.

A beeping sound jarred him back to reality. He realized it was an incoming communication, and he saw it was from Bajor. He muted the audio playback but left the tactical display up. He hit a button, and the face of a Bajoran appeared on the screen.

"Minister Hallan," Tom said. "I assume you received the request we sent?" He had been expecting this call.

  "I did. And I have also spoken at length with Ambassador Larkin. In fact, he addressed the Council of Ministers earlier today." Tom nodded in acknowledgment, he had actually helped Larkin prep for that address.

  "After the Ambassador finished, the ministers spent several hours debating. The pledge of support we made to the Federation several weeks ago was thrown into confusion with the events that recently happened, with the change of power. And while we must stress that we do not like so much power being in the hands of one man, that would be yours, of course..." he trailed off, giving Garrison an opportunity to say what Hallan hoped he would. Garrison took the opportunity.

"I assure you this is only temporary, and will be changing soon. Following the battle currently taking place, I hope to set up a council of war with at least one representative from all the different forces fighting with the Federation."

  "Good, I was hoping you would say something like that. Since you have..." he paused and hit a button on his own terminal. "I have just transmitted the order to the Bajoran fleet. Two thirds of our fleet are on our way to Betazed, the other third is remaining behind to defend our territory. Our fleet should reach the battle in a few hours."

Garrison breathed a sigh of relief. They needed the Bajorans on their side. "Minister Hallan, a great alliance has been formalized here today. I do not know if it will be enough to stop the Alliance, but the joining of our forces will certainly give us at least a fighting chance."

  Hallan nodded. "Indeed it will, I just hope it is enough. Now if you will excuse me, I have other matters to attend to."

Garrison nodded. "Certainly, Minister. Good day to you."

  "And to you." The screen went dark, replaced by the UFP logo. Not 5 seconds later, he was informed of another incoming transmission. This time it was simply a text message. He accessed it and read it. It was from Hardgrove, telling him that the Orion Syndicate was now in the fight as well.

Orion Syndicate? So that's what he meant when he told me he had more friends he was hoping to get on our side. First the Smuggler's Coalition, now the Orion Syndicate? Are we really that desperate?

He glanced up at the board, and just as he did another UFP logo blinked out of existence.

Yes, we are.

This good news lifted Tom's spirits somewhat, and he glanced back up at the display on the wall. "Hang in there," he whispered to the UFP logos representing the Federation ships. "Help will be there soon."
Jan 5 2004, 01:02 PM

Commander Rune Sith - The Vellous, Bridge

Sith stood with Captain Hardgrove at the centre of the Bridge. On screen was the view of the Transwarp Conduit breaking apart until showing a view of normal space. In the distance was Betazed, its moons, and the largest swarm of starship's ever seen.

"Set course and Engage," Hardgrove told Sith.

"Mr. Jargen," Sith spoke out, "set course for Betazed... Ms. FayeAcca, Engage."
The calm-green-skinned Orion girl at the helm tapped at the holo-panels. With the Vellous moving forward, the entire Syndicate fleet followed.

FayeAcca was one of the most attractive young women on the ship. Even one of the most attractive Sith had ever seen. But the look in her eyes was something to be feared. She seemed to love battle and action. Long ago, she decided that her arranged marriage with a snobby Orion man who dealt in Orion politics was the worst fate anyone could suffer, so she escaped and joined the Syndicate. A smile couldn't help but inch its way into the side of her lips as she pushed the Vellous forward.

The Nausicaan that Sith had come close to fighting earlier was at tactical; his name was Krone. His knowledge of what this Schimitar class vessel could do was unsurpassable. He decided to join the Syndicate along with a large group of Nausicaan fighters from the homeworld. They didn't like the way their people placed a few of the surrounding worlds into slavery for Nausicaan production. "Captian. I'm reading Vulcan and Smuggler vessels..."

Hardgrove stepped back and looked at him. Sith paced the Bridge... Soon they were going to enter the battle. Tactics flew through his head. There were so many things he had in mind, that also depended on the strength and position of the other ships. It was finally time, and he was going to fight the Alliance again. Or, that's what he thought until Krone's report.

"It looks like some kind of shield grid. It prevents us from getting through." The Nausicaan checked his scans.

Sith's hopes were nearly dashed. With a quick glance to Zeta, who was on his shoulder, he decided to push things faster. "Is there any way through it?"

"No. But it is Alliance Technology..."

"Be more specific," Sith couldn't believe this was happening.

"Tholian," Krone read. "Puh! Of course. Who else are experts in shielding?"

Before them, the Vulcan's and the left over Smuggler Ship's had been firing torpedoes at the shields in attempts to weakening it, or at least trying to open a hole.

Hardgrove walked over, "Join them. We have to get through this damn thing too!"

Sith was more anxious than ever, Is it just me, or does something always block my chances at fighting the Alliance?

At this rate they were going to run out of torpedoes. "This is just great!" Sith clenched the back of FayeAcca's chair.

"We were so close," she said.
Jan 5 2004, 07:14 PM

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Vulcan Fighter

As Ullii was making her way toward the USS Pollux, when she noticed an armada of Ships of every sort comming out of warp behind the shield.

Who could THAT be? Well all the more reason to get that shield down. She thought to herself.

She approached the Pollux and landed smoothly in the hangar.

USS Pollux

She was greeted by a young ensign in the hanger who led her to the Sick Bay of the Pollux. The corridors were bland. It has been quite a while since she last saw the grey shades of Federation architecture. So mundane... so practical. No-one appreciates art any more. A quiet disappointment resounded in her mind, Too much war... She entered the Sickbay which was in a state of chaos. Hyposprays and operating equipment was everywhere. Nurses scrambling to aid the patients that seemed to be overcrowding the sickbay. She could see the horror in their eyes of loosing their Chief Medical Officer. Replacing him would not be easy. She would have to take charge. Fast.

"ATTENTION!" She yelled at the top of her lungs over the noise of the chaos that was Sickbay. Everyone stopped what they were doing and stood to look at Ullii. She pointed to one of the nurses. "You." The nurse looked petrified. "You will prepare hyposprays of Morphine and Tetraside and have them ready for use whenever we need them."

"Aye sir." She hurried to do as she was told.

"And you." She pointed to another nurse. They were already starting to like their new temporary CMO. "You will determine the severity of each case, and report to myself and the head nurse... Who is the head nurse?"

A middle aged man raised his hand as he was operating on a patient. "Ok... The rest of you divide into two teams. Alpha team, and Beta team. I will lead alpha team, and Mr..."

"Janks," replied the head nurse.

"Mr. Janks will lead beta team. You know your jobs. Lets get to it."

Immediately the nurses quickly divided into two teams, and got to work. It didn't take long for the chaos that was once before her to turn into an efficient Sickbay. She had the Vulcans to thank for that skill.

  "Bridge to Sickbay." It was Halliwell.

"Sickbay here. What can I do for you Captain?"

  "I thought you'd like to know that a fleet of Orion Syndicate ships has arrived outside of the shield."

Orion Syndicate! That's who those ships were! This is truly a miracle! Or at least... it will be if we get that shield down. "Thank you sir. Have any Orion Fighters come through the shield?"

  "Not yet. It's safe to assume though that the Vulcan fleet will inform them soon."

"Acknowledged. Lauren out." Ullii looked over to her head nurse, Mr. Janks. He looked back at her and smiled in approval. Well it looks like I was needed after all. She smiled to herself as she walked over to her next patient...

Captain Sojor - Bridge, Vulcan Dreadnaught Iethan

"Captian," the helmsman said rather urgently, "Another fleet has just dropped out of warp... I'm reading Alliance ship signatures, but they only account for a few of the ships!"

"Raise shields, prepare for tactical..."

"Wait sir... they're hailing us... it's the Orion Syndicate!"

"The Orion Syndicate! Put them through!"