Episode 7: Restoration, Part III

Captain Archer
Jun 22 2004, 04:21 PM

Commander Jen Hurst - Deck 4, Section 21 Alpha, U.S.S. Gambit

As Commander's Hurst and Halliwell approached section 21, they could hear phaser blasts.


Hurst nodded.

"Let's take up a position over there, then we'll have them in a crossfire."

"Agreed." Hurst tapped her comm badge, "Hurst to security team, Commander Halliwell and I are taking a position behind the intruders."

  A gruff voice came back, "Acknowledged."

They slipped down the hall and stepped into an alcove containing the entrance to two Jeffries tubes and crouched down. The phaser fire continued. Hurst took aim above one of the intruders and fired a single shot. The Romulan whirled around to see the origin of the blast. When he did he slightly lowered his weapon.

Hurst took aim again and shouted out, "This is Commander Hurst, drop your weapons and step out into the corridor. You will not be harmed." In return another Romulan took a shot at her, which narrowly missed. She turned to Halliwell, "We can't say we didn't warn them. Hurst to security, take them down."

As they leaned out to take up targets Halliwell got a shot off but when it hit it's target he disappeared. "What the hell are you doing?"

Halliwell had a surprised look on her face, "The weapon was on stun, I don't know what happened." Jen stood and approached the intruder's former position, but when she arrived she discovered they were all gone. "Sam, I'm sorry. It looks like they transported out, but one of them left us a present." Jen picked a small device and handed it to Halliwell. "Care to hazard a guess?" Jen asked.

"It looks similar to the devices that the Tal'Shiar uses to gain access to computers with encryption on them."

Hurst turned the device around as she scanned it. "It doesn't contain any explosives. I'll send it to the lab and have it analyzed."

Halliwell grabbed her arm, "If I may, there's someone on board the Pollux that may be able to help with this device. I'll have Lieutenant Commander Tanik look it over and have him report his findings to you."

"Alright, but let's put our plans on hold for the time being. I need to speak to Commander Jarek."
Jun 22 2004, 11:07 PM

Lieutenant Ullii Lauren - Mobile HQ

"Wait a sec... We can't let them find the HQ."

"Don't pretend I'm on your side, James." She raised her phaser again, warning him not to detonate the HQ.

Before she could do anything about it, he gave a verbal command to the HQ Computer. "Self Destruct. Two minutes."

She stared at him angrily.

"C'mon. You're probably gonna wanna be away from this room when it goes off."

"What if it hurts somebody?! It could kill someone!!"

"Computer, initiate sub-dimensional transport! Pre-instated coordinates: Autumn-Three." The flash of white light transported them to a corridor somewhere in the Station.


"We have to get to the Shuttle bay. It's our only chance of escape. Once we're in the shuttle, I can modify some quick settings to make us untraceable."

She unwillingly followed him to the Shuttle bay, but as soon as they got near the shuttle, the lights went dim and dozens of security teams burst in, including Admiral Garrison, along with Captain Summit, Daniel Clark, and K'rak, all pointing their weapons at the two of them. At that moment, all of their weapons were transported out of their hands by the green glow of a Romulan Transporter, apart from Ullii's and James', and Xervish Lauren and Captain Soral transported into the room. K'rak reached for his sword, which he found had also been transported. James pointed his phaser at the crowd of now un-armed Station personal. Ullii followed suit.

"Stay back!"

"Good, Ullii. You've made it. I am so proud of you, my daughter! Finish it now." Xervish gestured toward Summit.

James aimed for Xervish, but Ullii shot the phaser out of James' hand. She then aimed for Xervish and Soral.

"You two! And you James; over there!" She pointed with her phaser toward the other end of the room where Garrison's party was standing. "And drop your weapons!"

Xervish nodded to Soral, and they both dropped their weapons onto the floor, and moved to the other end of the shuttle bay. James reluctantly did the same. She kept her phaser trained on all of them.

"Now! I think everyone has some explaining to do!"

At once, Xervish, Soral and James started argueing about what the truth was, and who she should kill.

"Stop!!" She waited until they both stopped talking. "Here's what I've been told. Because of Summit's trip to the future, we know... or at least think... that Garrison had doomed the Federation. Section 31, which has now split, wants me to kill Garrison, thereby saving billions of lives..."

Garrison's anger became evident at these words. She continued.

"Then I'm told that Summit's trip to the future is what caused all of these events to happen, and by killing him instead, it will correct the future of the timeline, and save billions of lives, along with Summit's."

A look of surprise came over Captain Summit's face. He had no idea anybody wanted him dead.

"And Admiral Garrison would have me believe that Summit's trip to the future is of no consequence. That we can still survive.... Who am I supposed to believe??!"

Xervish was the first to take his turn to speak. "Listen to me, daughter. Our best scientific minds have confirmed what I have told you. As a doctor, you must choose the course that will save the most lives. This surely is that course! I am your father, Ullii!" a tear went down his cheek as well, "Please believe me. Look at what Mr. Autumn has done to you. He used mind-control on you! Surely you cannot believe him."

"He's lying!" James was next to have his say. "He's a traitor! Just look at what happened on Mandonia! Millions killed! We're section 31, Ullii! We know more about this than anyone! Killing Summit won't solve anything! Garrison is a traitor to the Federation! Just like your father! Kill him now before it's too late! For the Federation, Ullii!"

"Ullii, listen to me." Garrison now spoke. "I can see you've been through a lot. I don't know anything about mind-control, or the allegiances of Tal'Shiar operatives, or what effects changing a timeline can have... but I'm willing to hear your story, Miss Laruen. I'm sure we can settle this whole thing out."

"But Summit's seen the future, Admiral! And the deaths down at Starfleet Medical!"

"I know... we've both played a dark part in this story. We must forget about all the complexities of timelines, and effects and consequences... It's too easy to get cought up in, Ullii. Believe me, I know! I need to tell you something."

She paused for a moment, almost wanting to deny him the chance to speak, afraid of another suggestion about who she should kill. She decided to let him speak. What could it hurt. "Continue."

Garrison raised his hand, beckoning for the security details to leave the room. They complied, and he continued. "A long time ago, I killed my wife, Doctor. It was necessary to save an entire planet. I pushed the button on the console, and I killed her. I wondered for a long time about how things could have been different. About what future we may have experienced... and more recently with my actions on Earth, at Starfleet Medical. I caused the deaths of those officers, yes. And I tried to reason with cause and effect. Tried to solve the mystery of what could have been... The fact is, Ullii... that we can't understand it. We never can. No matter how hard we try, we can't change the decisions we've made in the past. We have to move forward! Accept the decisions we've made, and hope for the best. It took me a long time to realize that, doctor. No matter what Summit saw, we have to continue! To fight for what we believe in! And if that future does come true, then we know we'll go out fighting!"

"I... I..." Ullii looked at all the people in the room, and then to the phaser in her hand. Is this what I've become? Is this Doctor Ullii Lauren? Do no harm. I took a vow to do no harm. Garrison's right. She dropped her phaser to the floor.

Immediately, James and Xervish both jumped for the two Romulan disrupters on the ground. James got there first, and shot Xervish in the chest, evaporating him in no time.


Clark, who had started running toward them as soon as they went for the weapons, tackled James really hard, and sent them both flying into the wall. Soral went for James' phaser, and Ullii picked up the one she had dropped, but when she looked up, Soral was already pointing at her.

"First you... and then Summit."

K'rak stepped in front of Summit and growled.

This is it. I'm dead. It's over.


There was a loud sound of a punch and Soral suddenly fell to the floor. When Ullii looked up, she saw Garrison standing where what would have been behind Soral, shaking his closed fist.

James and Clark were still fist fighting, but it was clear that Clark had the upper hand. Ullii walked up after James was almost defeaten, and stopped Clark, who was about to give him another blow to the face. Clark backed off, and K'rak patted him on the back. Ullii pointed her phaser at James.

"You're not going to kill me, are you Ullii?" He looked terrified, and his whole body was shaking.

"No, I'm not going to kill you. I am a Starfleet Doctor. I have vowed to do no harm."

He started to get up. "Oh, thank you. Thank you Ullii. I knew you wouldn't be able to..."


Ullii finished the punch that Clark was about to give him earlier, and he fell unconscious to the floor. Clark applauded, grinning from ear to ear.

Ullii stood there in front of James' unconscious body. Was it finally over? She felt such a sense of freedom from the inspiring words that Garrison had just given her. It was what made up her mind. This is the man she was loyal to. This man is a true Starfleet Officer; and the finest example of a citizen of the Federation.

He walked up to Ullii and stood beside her.

"Admiral... I owe you some explanations."
Jul 15 2004, 09:23 PM

Lieutenant Rune Sith - The Tyr

Everyone on the Away Team evacuated the Tyr's Transporter Room. Dearborn spoke to the injured Crewmember who was being carried by one of his Crewmates, "Are you alright, Gelvin?"

"He'll be fine once he gets medical attention," the Crewmate holding him said.

"Of course. Take him to Sickbay immediately," Dearborn said as they stepped out into the hallway.

Sith was right there with Dearborn in the hallway; Zeta on his shoulder. He looked completely filthy, and his uniform was burned and dirty under his torn Bajoran robe. His spikey hair was all over the place.

"You, follow those two to Sickbay," Dearborn pointed in the other direction and then turned around. The Captian tailed the rest of his men down the corridors.

Sith almost did as he was told, but instead went in the direction of the Captian.


Dearborn and a few others poured in from the Lifts. The Captian took the center of the Bridge and peered at the viewscreen. "Report!"

"We're getting a hail from the Vellous. It's Aga Lattrel," Santara quickly replied just as Sith was entering the Bridge.

Dearborn glanced over at Sith, but didn't say anything. He somehow knew Sith wasn't going to interrupt or anything, and besides he had more important things on his mind. "Alright, respon---"

But then the ship shook in co-ordinance with the Station on the viewscreen in front of them, exploding.

"What the hell!? Back us off!!" Dearborn yelled.

The image on the screen continued to widen and Kintoka Outpost was blowing apart. Sith ran into the center of the Bridge and clasped the back of the Helm chair. He stared at the viewscreen in astonishment!

All his hard work was paying off, and the Outpost was destroying itself. Dearborn stood up and slightly stared at Sith in confusion.

"Captain, the cloak is destabilizing due to the explosion!" Santara was going crazy trying to fix things.

"Restabilize it," Dearborn turned around.

"I-- I have it. Everything's okay," she said realizing the systems problem. But the Tyr was still backing up as the explosion in the great distance before them was dissipating.

Sith stared through the viewscreen. He leaned down on Rayla's chair-back.
"Do you mind?" She turned around and eyed Sith.

"Sorry," Sith backed off but then continued to peer at the screen. He was now searching... looking for something in particular...

There was a pause, and then--

"He's still alive."

Sith was way too far from the debris to see, but he knew it. He was certain.

"Click!" Zeta responded.

"Alive?" Dearborn walked over.

Sith returned to his senses and found himself off-guard. He then remembered Valecron City. "Alive..." He searched for some articulation, "there are Humans on the Planet! Alive!"

Dearborn looked at him, "Humans?"

"There's a whole city of Humans! We have to save them!" Sith warned.

"Captian, I'm picking up the Transwarp Conduit," Santara topped that with her own warning.

Sith glanced over at both of them, a little slow, while still in thought, "the Zora Corridor..."

"Right, and there is a fleet of Alliance Cruisers coming through. A lot of them are Tholian."

"Oh man... it's their backup..." Sith remembered the Tholian's he had once outmaneuvered. "We're dead."

"We're cloaked," Dearborn fixed. "--Rayla, set a course back to that Transwarp Conduit."

"What about the Vellous?" She snapped.

"They'll follow us. We just have to get out of here," Dearborn explained. "Engage."

"Wait! What about the Humans??" Sith interrupted.

"We'll come back for them another time," Dearborn said. "Now get yourself to Sickbay!"

"We can't just leave them down there!" Sith continued.

"Why don't you take care of yourself first?" Dearborn turned and went over to Santara where they began speaking about technical matters.

The cloaked Tyr rotated around in space and sped for the Zora Corridors. Sith's mind was too numb from over-stimulation, he just glanced over at the viewscreen which showed nothing but moving stars. He was happy to be alive, but the pain was still too much.
Jun 23 2004, 12:51 AM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Shuttlebay 6

"Admiral... I owe you some explanations."

Tom stared at the young woman in front of him for a few seconds. All the anger he had felt towards her for trying to kill him, all of it was fading quickly. As he looked at her now, all he saw was a tired, scared, and confused young woman who had just been through hell. She was tricked by a Section 31 agent, she just watched her father die in front of her, and only seconds ago she was faced with one of the most difficult choices of her life. How can I be angry with her? he thought to himself.

"Yes, you do," he finally spoke. "But first, I want you to report to the infirmary for a full check-up. If whoever is in charge down there gives you a clean bill of health, report up to my office."

"Aye sir." She turned and slowly walked out of the cargo bay. K'Rak looked like he wanted to send security to escort her, but Tom just ignored him. He wasn't worried about Dr. Lauren anymore.

He looked at the unconscious figure of James sprawled out on the floor. Then he looked at Soral, also laying unconscious on the floor. "Get them out of here," he said to K'Rak. "Put them in the brig, and have someone from the infirmary make sure they're ok. Just leave them there until I figure out what to do with them."

K'Rak grunted in acknowledgement, then began barking orders at his men. Tom started to leave the cargobay. "Captain," he called over his shoulder to Sumit. "Walk with me."

* * * * *

Tom sat at his desk, sipping a cup of coffee. He was exhausted and should be sleeping, but there was still so much to do. Plus he still hadn't heard any word from Commander Halliwell, so he probably wouldn't fall asleep even if he tried. He looked at the mountain of paperwork on his desk, and pushed it aside. It can wait. I've put it all off this long, what's a little longer?

One thing which couldn't wait any longer was a log entry. He put down his coffee, swiveled his chair so that he was looking out the window at Earth far below him, and began speaking.

Admiral's Log.

It's been an eventful last 24 hours. Lt. Karelia discovered a cloaked Romulan warbird hovering near the station. I decided to fire on it to disable its engines, in order to keep it nearby so that we might finally learn what is going on. It's currently sitting out in space, a few thousand kilometers away from the station, completely adrift. It still has most of its weapons capabilities, but with the Enterprise nearby I'm sure they won't dare to fire on us. Just to be safe, I've recalled a few more ships.

The Warbird hasn't responded to any of our hails. I don't want to send a boarding party, it will risk Starfleet lives, but I might have to soon. I don't have any other ideas, and we need to find out what it was doing here.

Lt. Clark managed to figure out a way to scan for the energy signatures found in his body and in the section where we knew Dr. Lauren was, and we managed to track her and an accomplice, a man named James who apparently works for Section 31, to Shuttlebay 6. As we confronted her, two Romulans suddenly beamed in at the same moment that our weapons were beamed out of our hands. Dr. Lauren managed to get everybody standing together, weaponless, then listened as first one of the Romulans, than James, and finally myself all pleaded with her.

I don't have many of the details of what they were talking about, but it appears she was caught in the middle of a Section 31 plot to assassinate me, and a Tal Shair plot to assassinate Captain Sumit. I told her about my wife, and pleaded with her to realize the same thing I've recently realized myself. We can't change past decisions, and we can't be caught up worrying about the past and the future. All we have is right now, and we have to make the most of it.

I guess what I said registered with her, because she put down her weapon. Everybody immediately made a grab for it, and in the struggle one of the Romulans - the one that spoke to her - was killed. The other Romulan and James are now in the brig.

I've sent Dr. Lauren to the infirmary for a check-up. As soon as she is released she will be reporting here, where I hope to finally have some answers.

Tom stopped speaking. He just stared at Earth, losing track of time. He was jarred back to reality by the sound of his door chime. He shook his head to clear his mind, he realized he had no idea how long he had been sitting there. He swiveled his chair back around. "Come," he said.

The door opened and Ullii nervously walked in. Tom motioned for her to sit down. As she did, he picked up his coffee and took a sip. He almost spit it back out. It was cold. He got up and walked to the replicator. "Would you like anything?" he asked.

"No thank you, sir," she replied. He ordered a hot coffee, black, and then walked back to his desk and sat down.

"The infirmary has released you?" he asked.

She nodded. "The male nurse on duty said I'm 'healthy as a horse,' whatever that means," she said.

"Good." Tom took a sip of his coffee, wincing as he almost burned his tongue. That damn replicator never gets the temperature right, he thought to himself. There was an awkward silence between them for a minute, and then suddenly Ullii began speaking.

She spoke for almost an hour, telling Tom every single thing that happened starting from the moment she first met James. He let her speak, only interrupting her a few times to ask questions when he was confused on something. When she was finally done, Tom turned in his chair and looked out the window.

After a minute or two of silence, he turned back around. "I believe you," he said at last. Ullii breathed a sigh of relief, she felt like a weight was lifted off her shoulders. And almost immediately Tom could see a change. If there was any lingering doubt, the effect those three words had on her erased them.

"Sir, I -- " she began.

"Let me finish," he said sternly, but not harshly. Ullii just nodded. "What I said to you in the shuttlebay earlier, I meant all of that. For years I was devastated by what happened with my wife. Maybe someday I'll tell you the whole story, but what's important is that I did it to protect billions of people I didn't even know. Not a day went by since it happened when I didn't regret what I had done, when I didn't wish I could go back and change things.

"Not that I would go back and not push the button that killed her. It needed to be done, and I'd do it again. I jus wanted to go back and try to somehow save her. And for years I've let that one event run my life. I've let it affect my friendships, my orders, my every decision. And then one day, an officer here on the station said something to me that made me realize I needed to move on.

"There's a present to worry about. The only thing we can have any effect on is the here and now. Living in the past was making me miserable, and I suddenly realized I had to stop doing that. So I let it go, I let her go. That doesn't mean I'll forget her, it just means that I've finally figured out how to move on.

"The same thing applies with this future that Captain Sumit has seen, and through holographic recordings, I've seen as well. We can't worry about past decisions, and we can't worry about the future. If this rebellion is doomed to failure, if we're all fated to be defeated by the Alliance, then there's not a thing you or I or anybody else can do about that except to change history. And that's one thing I'm not willing to live with.

"So, I fight. I do everything I can to affect the present, because there's nothing else I can do. I do everything I can to make sure the Alliance doesn't beat us today, or tomorrow, or the next day. And I will continue to do that until we make peace, we defeat the Alliance, or I die. That's the promise I make to myself, and to each and every Starfleet officer serving under me."

Tom paused for a long minute. Then he resumed speaking.

"That's all I really have to say. You can either stay here on the station, trying along with the rest of us to make a difference in the fight against the Alliance, or you can go and join Starfleet Command locked up down on Earth. That sounds like an ultimatum, and that's not my intention, but those are your choices. You can take some time to decide if you wan..."

"I don't need time, sir," Ullii interrupted. "I was pretty sure my mind was made up down there in the shuttlebay, and now I am sure. I want to serve under you, Admiral. I don't know what will happen in the future, but I want to serve under you. I want to help people, to save lives, and maybe play a small part in helping protect the Federation."

A week ago, Tom probably would have been suspicious of her words and distrusted her. But not anymore. He could tell she had recently had a similar realization to the one he had come across himself not very long ago. He smiled. "I hoped that would be your decision. Effective immediately, you are no longer a suspect in the attempted murder of myself. You are hereby reinstated to Starfleet at the rank of Lieutenant, and restored to the position of Chief Medical Officer of Starbase 001."

Ullii looked like she couldn't decide if she wanted to laugh or cry. Instead, she just smiled. "Thank you, sir."

"You're welcome. Now go get some rest."

"Yes sir." She got up and left his office.

Tom sat there for a minute, and then got up and left also. He wasn't in a mood to just sit in his office by himself. He wandered towards a turbolift, hoping to find somebody in The Double~Helix. "The Deck," he called out as he entered the turbolift. It sped away towards its destination, carrying Tom with it.
Jul 16 2004, 02:49 AM

Doctor Ullii Lauren - Starbase 001

Ullii walked through the corridors or the station. Everywhere she went, she could not escape the curious glimpses from other occupants of the station. Afterall, her wanted picture had been on every display screen for the past couple of weeks. She tried to look natural, but it was hard when she could still see the suspicion in everyone's eyes. It was understandable, but unnerving none the less.

She walked through a set of sliding doors and into the main Infirmary. It was a big disappointment. She wanted her first time entering her Sickbay to be glorious and memorable. Admiral Garrison's duty roster scheduled her to begin her duties after one week, given a clean bill of health, and she was only here now to have a check-up. Sickbay was a lot brighter than the rest of the ship, with white walls, and bright blue holo-displays. The room was immense! I guess it needs to be, if it's Starfleet's flag starbase. She was soon greeted by a nurse, even younger than herself.

"Doctor Lauren?"

"I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, doctor..."

"Moore. Doctor Moore. It's an honour sir!" She seemed a little on the enthusiastic side. "I've been filling in for you while you were... well... you know."

"While I was being tumbled around in the middle of an epic plot for control of the Federation, a secret war, and the survival of the universe?"

"... Yeah, that."

She sighed as she sat down on a nearby biobed, "Well, all in a day's work for a twenty eighth century Starfleet officer."

Doctor Moore chuckled, which made Ullii smile. Her enthusiasm made her remember the days, not soo long ago, when she too was young, inexperienced, and just out of the academy. Days which now seemed very far away. It made her glad that this meant she wasn't going to be the youngest person in her Sickbay.

Moore started to scan her with her tricorder.

"So what's your first name?"

"Mine?" She looked surprised.

"Haha. Yes, yours."

She immediatly felt stupid for asked such a question, and blushed. "Candice, sir."

It was nice to talk to someone that wasn't afraid that she'd pull a phaser on them.

"Well Candice... I'm not sure who should be welcoming who... but I'm sure we'll make a great team."

A wide grin appeared on Candice's face. "Thank you, Doctor."

*beep beep* Candice looked back down to her beeping tricorder. "Uh oh!"

Oh god, what now. "What is it?"

"I, I'm reading very low levels of Adenasene Tryphosphate!"

Ullii laughed, which made Candice quite shocked.

"W-what's funny?" Oh no, I've done something wrong. What've I done wrong? I can't have done anything wrong! The tricorder...

"Don't worry about it. I just need some sleep."

"Oh!" Right! Low ATP can be explained by low amounts of sleep! Darn it, Candy! You should know this! "Right... sorry, I--"

"Heh, it's okay, don't worry about it. -- Well I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got someone I need to talk to."

"Of course doctor. Have a fun time." The wide grin reappeared. Have a fun time??? What's that supposed to mean?!??! Oh god, I'm making a fool of myself!!

Ullii smiled and left Sickbay towards the Brig. She was very nervous about seeing James again. She knew she'd be safe with him behind the new forcefield that Clark and Tanik reverse-engineered from the Mobile HQ, but it was still very unsettling.

Upon reaching the doors, she paused to regain herself, and then stepped through. She found him sitting on his bed reading a book. He didn't look up.

"You've made a big mistake you know... We could've made a difference, you and I."

"A difference that only suited your agenda, I'm afraid. -- You used me... like a puppet! You violated my mind, and for that, you deserve death!"

"Good thing that decision isn't yours to make then."

"Good thing for you."

James smirked, and looked up from his book. "I thought I could have trusted a part Romulan," Placing great emphasis of disgust on the word Romulan. "to understand the meaning of survival."

"You should have trusted a part Human to understand the meaning of Morality."

James' eyes left her's and went back to reading his book, and Ullii turned around and left. She felt a lot better now that she got that off her back. Now it was time to do something she hadn't done in a long time.

Captain Archer
Jul 16 2004, 05:04 PM

Commander Hurst - U.S.S. Gambit, Ready Room

Hurst just finished a very unpleasant conversation with the Romulan Commander. She walked out of the ready room to the Bridge, "Damage Report, all stations." She sat down in the center seat.

"Propulsion systems are momentarily down we think the ambient radiation is interfering, but they should be back up relatively soon. Our standard warp drive is out of the question until we get a replacement for the warp core. Weapons are fully functional as are shields and deflectors. Damage to Deck 4 from the fire fight is also being repaired."

Hurst nodded, "Good, I'll be in my quarters if you need me." She headed toward the turbo lift and signaled it to take her to Deck 3.

The lift shot off, as the hum of the lift surrounded her she found her thoughts drifting towards Michael. She wondered if he was okay and was quite eager to see him again.


The lift arrived at it's destination and she was snapped out of her thoughts. She walked down to her quarters and went inside. "Computer decrease lighting level." She walked over to the replicator and got a cup of tea then headed for her desk and began to analyze the initial reports of the device left behind by the Romulan boarding party. She scrolled through the padd, which ended up telling her nothing, she threw it back on the desk.
Jul 18 2004, 02:27 PM

Lieutenant Rune Sith - The Tyr, Sickbay

Sith lay on a biobed as the regeneration-devices were disengaging around him. They flew off, giving him a chance to sit up and get back to his senses.

Rubbing his head he noticed the Doctor walking around and over. "Well my scans show that your cells had elevated levels of non-linear fluctuation. It wasn't until recently that they have begun to dissipate."

"Apparently the protection that was placed on me wasn't meant to be permanent... But at least it did help me when I was most in need of it," Sith said.

"Yes. I extracted lethal traces of poly-tronic residue in your bloodstream. Then there's that crater in your chest," Doctor Storms finished. "There's a part of me that doesn't want to know what kind of weapon that was."

"Maybe it's better you didn't." Sith paused for a second... his forearms began to tremble in fear. "I wish I never met that... thing."

For a second, Doctor Storms was uncomfortable. He tried to investigate further in another direction. "My scans also showed you had an almost heightened telepathic level."

"Oh, right, the bad dreams. I also began to sense everything on the Planet, and then I thought I had sensed someone I knew... a Captain Major. But then my senses just stopped, dead. I don't know what to make of it all."

Getting nowhere with all this, he walked over to the floating bio-readings screen in deep thought. The sight of the evidence of the elevated levels made him think of Julia.

If it wasn't for you, I probably would have let myself die back there. For a second Sith thought he had started praying. He regretted having left her at the last minute. She needed his help. He should have savored the time he had with her instead of refusing to understand her. But in the end, he was grateful he met her. She opened up feelings that had been trapped within him since his Academy days.

Looking at the glow and graphic of the screen, Sith held back from further thought into this. The numbers displayed before him was enough reality to connect him to who he fell for. If only she was corporeal... But at least she was still alive.

So maybe one day he would see her again.
Jul 21 2004, 02:28 AM

Lattrel Ottel - The Tyr, Ready Room

Ottel sat in the small ready room of the Tyr, having just transported over. He remembered grabbing the first person in his sight and shouting, “Get me Dearborne!” He was waiting now, impatient. Sitting in the shadows of the poorly lit room, Ottel thought about all that had happened, not knowing how far back down the memory lane he should go. One more good man, lost, he thought about Captain Major, the kind of man we needed. The only bit of good news was that young lieutenant Sith was still alive... at least that’s what he had gathered through the chaos. He just wasn’t sure anymore. Ottel, you’re losing it, he thought to himself. And there still was so much to do. But there’s a more pressing matter at hand, a bit of a reminder, which seemed unnecessary, as the doors to the ready room opened and in walked Dearborne.

“Ottel,” he said quite casually, with just a hint of impatience in his voice, “Maral said you wanted to see me.”

Maral, so that’s who I grabbed, Ottel thought, “Come in William.” Dearborne stepped closer, unsure about Ottel’s strange tone. “What’s the status on the Alliance Cruisers?”

“Well, they didn’t follow us, so I’m assuming they didn’t detect us.”

“Good, good,” Ottel got up. He took a few steps until he was side by side with Dearborne, the two facing opposite directions. Ottel put his right hand on William’s left shoulder. “Good job with the lieutenant’s rescue.”

“Uh, thank you, sir,” Dearborne said. Ottel noticed the shift from first person to “sir.” “If you don’t mind, I’d like to get back to the bridge,” he continued. Ottel simply nodded, keeping his hand on the young captain’s shoulder. As William tried to step away, Ottel now grabbed the shoulder and started to slowly push him back until he hit the wall. With a quick action, Ottel jammed his forearm right under Dearborne’s chin, still squeezing the shoulder.

“Will, I am a pretty easygoing guy,” Ottel spoke through his teeth, all the while pushing his forearm up, “and while your initiative turned up a good result, it could’ve been much uglier, and that quite simply PISSED ME OFF.” He realized that Dearborne’s feet were now off the ground. “Next time you decide to do something heroic, think of the possible consequences.” Dearborne tried to escape the tight grip, but Ottel now used his free hand to jam William’s left arm against his own torso. “And while you’re thinking of the consequences, be kind enough to ask MY opinion, because if there is one thing that I absolutely despise, it’s BEING KEPT IN THE DARK.” He let go of Dearborne completely, who almost fell down to his knees. Barely standing up, the shocked young man tried to catch his breath.

“Now, I think you had a pressing matter on the bridge,” Ottel said, as if nothing had happened, “and please tell everyone not to bother me until we reach the station.”

As the doors slowly closed behind the confused captain, Ottel thought to himself, Maybe that was a bit too harsh.
Nightranger & RMrulz
Jul 25 2004, 12:15 AM

Captain Hardgrove, The Vellous

Hardgrove had taken the Captain’s chair as the cloaked Vellous reached the alliance blockade. Kyst sat next to him; she had offered her seat to him. The viewscreen came to life with the view of thirty or more alliance ships surrounding two federation ships. Hardgrove froze seeing both ships surrounded and outnumbered 30 to 2. Even with the power of the Vellous they were no match

He took a few seconds to consider the situation. Countless scenarios and plans raced through his trained mind as he sorted through them, disregarding some and further considering others. In about the same amount of time most men would have figured out whether to stand up or stay seated, he had reached a conclusion. No matter what they did, one ship would not make it out intact; one ship would be sacrificed for their escape. That’s when Hardgrove knew what needed to be done. He turned towards the member of the crew sitting at the comm station.

"Hail the Gambit and Pollux, tell them to be prepared to take on passengers. Tell them to be ready to enter the conduit on my mark.” He tapped a portion of his console and opened a ship wide hail. "All hands abandon ship, proceed to transporter rooms immediately."

A loud alarm began to sound throughout the ship. The Vellous sprang to life with crew and passengers running for the transporters and transporting to the other ships. Moments later Hardgrove received word that everyone was off. He took a pad from the operations officer and walked to the lift with him. He entered the turbolift and gazed out over the now empty bridge. The doors shut, and his last view of the bridge ended.

The Gambit and Pollux took on as many crew from the Vellous as they could while trying to ready for a quick escape. Readying for retreat after the last transport ended, both ships waited for Hardgrove’s signal.

Then suddenly, without any warning, there was a brilliant flash of light. The Vellous exploded, taking the alliance blockade with it.

Briefing Room

“Are we even sure David is dead?” Hardgrove asked. He and Admiral Tom Garrison were seated at the conference table in the briefing room, discussing recent events.

Tom nodded. “While you were in sickbay, still being hounded by the medical staff, an Alliance torpedo casing approached 001. Scans showed no dangerous substances, so we beamed it aboard. We found David’s body inside, along with this.” He passed a piece of paper over to Drayson.

Drayson took the piece of paper and looked at it. On it were written the words ‘He wasn’t supposed to die.’ He looked up at Tom.

“Yeah, I know, paper,” Tom said. “You don’t see that around very often anymore. That’s all there was, nothing more. Preliminary scans suggest the paper came from Cardassia, but we don’t really know.”

Drayson looked down at the paper again and frowned. He didn’t understand – who had sent David’s body, and why? Who killed in the first place? Who could acquire paper in these times, and who on Cardassia would write a one-sentence note in Federation standard? He had no answers, something he wasn’t accustomed to. It was a feeling he didn’t like. His frown deepened.

“Where is the torpedo?”

“Ensign Smith took it down to one of the labs for analysis,” Tom said.

“Ensign who?” Drayson asked. He took pride in knowing who everybody was, and was surprised to find he had no idea who this person was.

“Ensign Robert Smith,” Tom replied. “Never met him myself, he’s our newest Acting Chief Science Officer. Ensign S’Natra resigned last week for ‘personal matters.’ When things settle down, I’ll start looking for somebody to fill the position permanently. But with the war, we’re a little short on personnel right now.”

Drayson nodded. He stared at the paper for a few more minutes, than set it down. The two men sat in silence with their own thoughts before Tom broke the silence.

“You never finished telling me what happened.”

Drayson nodded and took a breath before telling the rest of the story. “I stayed on the Vellous until the last possible second, making sure nothing went wrong and everyone was off. Just as it was about to self-destruct I transported to the Gambit. Both ships were damaged in the explosion, but I knew they were far enough away where they would survive. About half of the Alliance fleet was destroyed, the other half damaged bad enough so that all they could manage was to limp home. And that’s it, after that we contacted you to let you know we had been rescued, and then we came back here.”

Tom listened to what Drayson had to say, and then asked the question that had been on his mind ever since Hardgrove and the others had returned. “How were we all fooled like this?” He asked, partly to himself. Drayson didn’t answer. Tom got up and walked over to the window and stared down at Earth, far below him.

“How did we let them get away with this?” Tom asked again while staring out the window.

“We weren’t supposed to beat them at Betazed,” Drayson said quietly, almost muttering it to himself. “That was supposed to be the Alliance’s moment of shining glory. It was supposed to be the victory that crushed us once and for all. And then suddenly the Coalition, the Syndicate, and the Bajorans joined us. This has caught them completely off guard, and for the first time in millennia, they don’t know what to do.” He paused, and then looked Tom in the eye. “And because of that, they’re more dangerous now than ever before.”

Abruptly Drayson stood. “Excuse me, but I have business to attend to.” He walked out the doors and Tom was alone with his thoughts.

Admiral Tom Garrison, Office

Tom sat in his office, staring blankly at his terminal. He was reading over the transfer order that would send Commander K’Rak to the Enterprise as its new first officer, but his heart just wasn’t in it. No matter how he tried to distract himself his thoughts kept coming back to Captain David Major. He thought about the first time they met, all those years ago. He thought about David’s excitement at coming here. He thought about the time, not too long ago, he took over command from David because he didn’t trust him. And he thought about countless other things, all relating to David.

He checked the time. It was 2115 hours. There was a gathering in the Double~Helix at 2100 hours, for everybody to just gather and deal with the loss. He wasn’t planning on going, but suddenly a thought popped into his mind.

I’ve never gotten to know this crew on a personal level. Even David, who I’ve known for a long time, even he and I never had time to be friends since he came here. I have to stop distancing myself from everyone so much, what kind of way is that live life? His mind made up, he got up and walked towards the doors.

The Double~Helix

Tom walked through the doors and found that the place was packed. He hesitated, unsure of what to do, when he saw most of the senior officers sitting at a table in the corner. He walked over to them.

“Mind if I join you?” He asked.

They all looked up, surprised to see him there. “Admiral!” Commander Halliwell called out in surprise. “Of course, sir, please, have a seat.”

Tom smiled. “Thanks.” He sat down. “And please, we’re off duty, no ‘sir.’”

There was a moment of awkward silence, finally broken by Lieutenant Sith. “Sir, is it true Commander K’Rak is leaving?”

Tom chuckled. He was amazed at how fast word got around. He nodded. “Yes, it is. He’s packing right now, as a matter of fact, because the Enterprise will be here for a very quick layover in just a few hours. I’m sure he’ll stop by later to say good-bye. But I guess this means we’ll need a new Security Chief…” he said this last bit while looking directly at Sith, who just smiled uncomfortably.

“And I suppose you’ve all heard that Ensign S’Natra has left us as well. With Captain Major…” Tom’s voice trailed off for a moment as he gathered himself, then he continued. “With Captain Major’s loss as well, that means there are going to be some changes around here. But let’s not dwell on that for now, tonight is about remembering old friends.”

“To old friends,” Lieutenant Clark suddenly called out as he raised his glass. Everyone raised their glass, along with Tom, who discovered a waiter had brought him one as well. “To old friends,” they all replied as they clinked their glasses together.

Tom raised his glass to take a drink, but stopped short. He looked around at all the smiling faces. They were sad smiles, but they were still smiles. He suddenly realized how stupid he had been, trying to keep so much distance between himself and everybody else. “I should have tried harder to get to know all of you,” he said suddenly. They all looked at him. “And I should have tried harder to keep my friendship going with David. It might be too late for that, and too late for me to get to know people like K’Rak and S’Natra and T’Kila, but there are still a lot of you here that I don’t know very well.”

“Friendships are important,” he continued. “And that’s something many of us forget in times like these. But that’s something I’m going to try to fix.” He raised his glass. “To new friends,” he called out.

Everyone else mulled over his words for a few seconds, than with an enthusiasm that startled Tom, they all raised their glasses as well. “To new friends,” they echoed. Tom then took a drink, with a sad smile on his face. These may be uncertain times, he mused, but suddenly things don’t seem quite as bad.