ACT 1: GENESIS
Hollis Prime was a desolate moon trapped within the gravimetric rings of M'harian-4. A barren wasteland, its yellow-green sky littered with hundreds of asteroids; overshadowed by M'harian's massive planetary silhouette. Small patches of fog crawled over the distant mountain ranges and draped the valley below in a golden haze.
Alex Garret sat atop one of the mountain ranges and watched the activity below. Over an hour ago, the Federation Transport Craven arrived and began sending down equipment to the moon's surface. He watched intently as a host of Starfleet officers unloaded the three runabouts which had just landed minutes before.
"How are you planning to explain you're little detour here?" he asked his contact, keeping his attention on the activity below.
She walked toward him, her Starfleet badge shining the sun's hazy glare. "Lets just say being an Admiral has it's advantages." she smiled. "As far as the others know, we're delivering sensor equipment to study the next M'harian firestorm."
According to Federation records, Admiral Cynthia Porter's role in Starfleet a typical one. But to a select few who know her, she is the key navigator in the operations of the covert group known as THE PROGRAM. When the need arises, she is given clearance to enlist the help of questionable groups and individuals who could be coerced into serving Federation interests where Starfleet couldn't. This roster spans from known terrorists factions and prisoners, and even to timelost soldiers, such as Alex Garret and his Team Helix.
"I thought discretion was the key word in our relationship? I don't think three runabouts qualifies in that category." Alex turned to face Cynthia who was now fumbling with her satchel.
"It has been awhile since I tasted that classic Garret sarcasm." she grinned. "I guess I've actually missed it."
"So, now that we have the pleasantries out the way, why are we here?" Alex said as they stopped at the edge of a cliff. The Admiral reached into her satchel and pulled out a standard-issue tricorder and tossed it to him.
"A week ago, PROGRAM INTELLIGENCE received information from near the Klingon border. There seemed to be an unusual flux in the subspace band, which peaked the Klingon's attention."
Alex ran his fingers across the Tricorder. "According to this, the nebula has a high concentration of subspace interference. The disturbance could've been natural..."
Alex frowned. "Bromethium?"
"It seems someone was buying a large amount on the black-market. We suspect the Ferengi got their hands one some and decided to make a hefty profit by selling to the highest bidder."
Alex glared at his employer. "The only group in that area with enough resources to purchase Bromethium would have to be The Maquis."
"Exactly what THE PROGRAM was thinking." The Admiral turned away from him and started to gather her things.
"That doesn't make any sense. It's about as unstable than protomatter. What would they need Bromethium for?"
"That's what you're gonna find out." She handed Alex a small container. "This is all the information I could acquire on Maquis operations from Starfleet Command. I suggest you start in The Badlands and work your way from their. And Alex, I don't have to tell you this is a highly explosive matter. If by some chance someone's figured out a way to stabilize the Bromethium process..."
And as she watched her young operative making his way down the mountain, she had to prey to the powers that be. This would be the point in history that would never be recorded. It would be the 'real' point in history when the next great war began.
Suddenly, the rocks and boulders around her began to change shape . . .
A half hour passed.
Above Hollis-Prime, the Starship Craven received the last of it's runabouts which was carrying the Admiral.
The craft quickly landed at bay and it's occupants scurried out and to their posts. Porter was promptly greeted by her second in command, Lt. Cmd Katherine Brooks.
They quickly made eye contact, and the Admiral gestured Brooks to a corner of the shuttle bay for privacy.
"I assume everything went according to plan?" Katherine spoke softly.
"As well as can be expected." she replied shaking her head. "What have just done?" she said sincerely.
"What you had to, Ma'am. The only thing any of us could do with a situation like this." Brooks tried to comfort her superior. But anyone who knew Cynthia Porter knew she had a stubborn conscience. "There's too much riding on what we do from here on."
"That's why I'm gonna need you to take care of something." the Admiral said. Brooks listened intently. "When are we scheduled to rendezvous with the Crazyhorse?"
Brooks thought for a second. "Less than six hours. Why?"
They exited the shuttle bay and quickly headed for the turbo lift. They both remained silent, greeting passing crew mates with smiles and nods. They entered the turbolift. "Bridge" Brooks ordered. And the small elevator quickly took off.
"Halt." the Admiral said and the turbolift quickly stopped. She turned to Kathy. "I'm going to need you to hitch a ride on the Crazyhorse. Their next destination is the science station near the Vulcan homeworld, Fultona-6. There you'll retrieve information from a Dr. Hinkle. He's been doing remote telemetry readings on the area in question, and he may be in for some unwanted company." she stated. "There is a slim chance he may be one them in disguise, so watch your back. And remember, he can't know what our true intentions are. There's too much at stake for us as well as The Federation."
In the transporter bay aboard the Helix, crewman Ian Rojeti quickly maneuvered his fingers along the transporter control. In a matter of seconds, Alex Garret emerged on the pad. He was shocked to find the youngest member of the crew operating a delicate piece of equipment. Even though Ian was the best pilot he's even seen at a young age, a transporter operator he's not.
"Ian, what the hell are you doing behind that console?" Alex asked.
The youngster had to smile. "Mia told me I was in charge for next hour or so.
"And where is she?" his voice was stern.
The boy's smile disappeared. "She and Kyle got into it again."
"Here we go again." Alex started for the exit. "Scan the surface at the previous coordinates. Their are about twenty boxes bn the surface waiting to be beamed abort. Transport them directly to the stock room and then plot us a course for The Badlands, warp 4."
'BATTLE SIMULATION IN PROGRESS: 45 MINUTES...' the computer's voice rang out.
The lights along the corridor flickered around Mia as she stalked the rear walkways. Her motion sensor had picked up movement two minutes ago. She suspected her opponent, Kyle K'nar was holding up in one of the storage bays. But she still couldn't pinpoint where his partner, Dr. Jaxa had taken herself.
She wore her hair long, which was unusual for a Vulcan (who was raised as a Romulan) with military upbringing. It's fine black strands gracefully draped over her shoulders. Her finely toned body fit tightly in the newly commissioned black and purple Starfleet uniform.
She tapped her commlink. "Tash, you there?"
"Online..." a voice of her brother replied.
"Not yet. The Doc has got a good lead on me and she's never been one to leave a trail. I'm near the bridge right now, so I'll circle around and head toward you. Maybe we can box one of them in."
"Sounds like a plan. Mia out."
Mia and Kyle's competitive friendship started soon after he joined the team four years ago. Since she was trained in the alternate reality where the Borg ruled, she considered her fighting skills to be second to none. First, being a top operative for the Tal Shiar, then joining Alex after the Borg invasion, she and her brother mastered fighting techniques from over twelve races. But as Kyle, the Trill host soon taught her, no amount of training can compensate for sheer experience.
Mia's motion sensors went crazy when she reached the entrance to Storage Bay -2. She quickly positioned herself away from the door and proceeded to activate the control panel. The door opened with a thundering slam. The darkened room was full of silhouetted containers stacked the ceiling. They formed a maze of cargo boxes which lead a series of directions. She knew Kyle could be anywhere, and could attack her at anytime.
She quickly tossed the bulky motion detector aside and preceded on instinct. Her heightened senses caught the soft echoes of footsteps, and she immediately knew that there were more than her own. But they were softer, more graceful than the husky Trill warrior.
"Come on out, Doc!" Mia said with a smile. "Come on Jann, I'll take a verbal surrender! It's the old man I want!"
Something scurried to her left. She fired a volley of disrupter fire into the darkness as a warning. The scurrying became louder. Boxes frantically fell aside. Then from her right, she caught the green sensor light of a pulse rifle.
"Damnit!" she yelled diving for cover. A shadowy figure fired a couple of shots and then ducked for cover. Mia returned fire and then rolled into the darkness. Looking back, she could hear Dr. Jann Jaxa creeping around to try and catch her from behind. "Too easy..." she whispered with a grin, and tapped her commlink.
"Tash you there?" she waited for a couple of seconds, but there was no answer. "Tash? Answer me, damnit..."
Kyle K'Nar stood over Tash's unconscious body. He had caught the Vulcan with a sniper's shot from across the room. He didn't want to drag out the confrontation. He wanted Mia. The witch was an expert strategist, and an excellent marksman. But compared to him, she was inexperienced. He's offered to train her, but that stubborn pride of hers always got in the way. This was just another way of showing her who was student, and who was the teacher.
Kyle has served seven lifetimes as a soldier. His last mission was on the frontlines during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor. He was a valued member of the Bajoran Militia, and settled for nothing less than victory. During an attempted to hijack a Federation transport for weapons and supplies, he was arrested and sentenced to the Jupiter Prison Mines. But instead of serving his sentence doing hard labor, the Admiral Cynthia Porter decided he'd be better served with Alex's team.
"Tash? Answer me, damnit..." he heard Mia's voice over Tash's commlink. He picked it up with a held in laugh.
"Sorry sweety, but your partners taking a nap. If you want me you'll have to come and get me."
"Don't worry, old man. I'll be there as soon as..."
Before Mia could finish her sentence, a volley of phaser fire exploded around her. She ducked for cover in frustration, but a stray bolt tagged her in the waist. The burning shock coursed through her body, and sent her helplessly falling to the floor.
"Bang, your dead!" Jann yelled as the lights came on. She tapped her commlink. "Doc to Kyle. I got her. It worked like a dream."
Mia hazily looked up at her attacker.
The Doctor grinned. "The old guy's been teaching me a thing or two about field maneuvers! Not bad, huh?"
Mia frown turned to smile. "You got lucky, woman. Next time, I'll be ready."
Doc offered her hand and Mia took it.
HELIX LOG: Captain Alex Garret recording . . .
We are in en route to The Badlands to gather information on a subspace discrepancy, which have the Klingon Empire and the Federation in an uproar. We've received information from PROGRAM INTELLIGENCE that the terrorist faction, known as the Maquis may have some connection to a destroyed Ferengi Freighter in the M'baar Nebula. We are scheduled to meet with a representative on arrival.
The Helix cruised through space at warp speed. It's cloaked hull created a ripple effect which resembled waves floating on a sea of stars. Aboard, the entire crew had gathered at their stations. Everyone ran routine system checks on their stations except Kyle and Mia who were basking in the afterglow of all-out mock warfare.
"I can't believe you sent your lackey to take me out." Mia said pouring Kyle another glass of Romulan Ale.
"I didn't do anything of the sort! As a matter of fact, I was looking forward to dealing with you myself." Kyle replied with a smile. "But, I knew my taunting you would nullify your senses. Jaxa could've road in on a shuttlecraft and hit you with a stick before you realized it. Your temper's gonna always be the deciding factor, kid." he took a sip of his drink. "You better learn how to control it."
They both glared at each other as the entrance swung open and Alex entered the bridge. "People?" he said heading for his chair. The others greeted him with a round of "Captain" and turned their chairs to face him. "O.K. Here's what we got."
He ran over the information supplied by THE PROGRAM and the others listened intently.
"We should be in contact with the Maquis anytime now. What's the ship's status?"
Mia handed him her message pad. "All systems normal. I've made some headway in deciphering the encryption codes to the hidden subsystems. When we were attacked by the Krenum three weeks ago, the power surge from their Temporal Torpedoes activated the ship's transformation. I'm thinking that we're looking at some type of temporal frequency signature instead of an access code. I'm experimenting with simulated temporal pulses to try and duplicate what happened. As for everything else, we have 92% navigational efficiency, and 87% known weapons efficiency. I'm gonna need Kathy's help when she gets back.
"According to the Admiral, she should be back in a few days. Tash?"
The Vulcan replied. "All weapons at normal. I've re-tuned the disruptors to feed off the auxiliary engines power, so we'll be have full weapon compliment simultaneously."
"Good. all right people, lets do this one by the book."
A hail sensor sounded. Ian swiveled his chair around and analyzed the signal. "Maquis ships are approaching ahead. The lead ship's waiting for response."
"Kyle, you and the Doc get to the transporter bay and stand by to receive our guest..." As the two got up and left for the turbo lift, Alex walked to Ian. "Send a coded message to The Craven. Tell the Admiral we're on schedule and to expect my first report in twelve hours."
The kid nodded and began to mess with the controls again...
Fifteen minutes later, Alex sat at his desk in the ready-room. With no warning, the door slid open and his guest entered unaccompanied.
"Justin..." Alex said with a smile. "It's been a long time."
"That it has, Kid." The aged man answered with a hearty handshake and then a brisk hug. They both sat. Justin Hatcher was the crew's contact with the Maquis. Alex worked with him doing transport work for escaped Bajoran prisoners during the Cardassian Occupation. "I heard about your little escapade with that those Romulans creatures. Good work."
"Not nice enough. We only got seventy five prisoners out of two hundred. We weren't good enough."
"Ask the seventy-five rescued. I'm sure they'd have another outlook on the whole thing."
Alex smiled. "Point taken. Now. . ." He swung his viewscreen around so Justin could get a look at the information. "We're trying to find out who would have enough resources to purchase large sums of Bromethium from the Ferengi."
"Have you asked the Ferengi?" Justin said using the kiosk keys to scroll through the information.
"Yeah. They just gave me the run-around."
"Typical." Justin occasionally glance up at Alex. "There's one thing I do know. They didn't advertise."
"Because there's at least five sources i could name ready to pay big for a Bromethium supply. If there were any on the black-market, someone would back leaked it to the right sources." he frowned. "This is strange."
Alex came around the table to Justin's side. The older man pointed to a complicated schematic of the wreckage. "According to your records, the Ferengi trader was attacked by a Romulan Warbird, and two Cardassian warships."
Alex saw the puzzled look on his friends face. He knew that Justin was an experience engineer and a master at astro-pharensics. "Cardassians and Romulans in Klingon space? That doesn't make any sense. Are you sure?"
The Maquis general pointed to the screen. "The data you have here confirms this... on the surface."
"At a glance, the data of the wreckage seems correct. But, on a molecular level, the readings are all wrong. Here, you have confirmed wreckage of a Ferengi-style craft. According to the readings, The Ferengi craft took shots at the other ships. The wreckage shows pieces which match Romulan and Cardassian configurations, but the structural integrity of the metals are all wrong. They couldn't have been constructed in their typical fashions. Once more, the chemical structure of the Romulan and Cardassian ships should be different. But their a match!"
"...meaning it looks like duck, and it quacks like a duck, but it ain't no duck. At least, not one that we've ever seen."
Alex stood up and walk to the window. "Are you certain?"
"This is just a surface evaluation. To get a more detailed explanation, I'll need to confer with some friends of mine."
"Do what you have to..."
Justin smiled. "Of course, I can't go to them empty handed." he leaned back in his chair. "This is a pretty big favor you're asking me. My colleagues are going to need some... incentive."
Before Justin could finish his sentence, Alex had placed a small data-chip on the desk in front of Justin. "I understand the Maquis has been trying to find the Cardassian supply stations in close proximity to your two major bases. This chip has the twenty three flight paths with the Cardassians use for troop and equipment transport. I'm sure your colleagues will find this more than enough incentive..."
Justin slowly grabbed the chip and nodded to Alex. "I'll be in contact. Expect some results in the next few days..."
ACT 2: IF I SHOULD DIE
Overshadowing the billions of stars which shine brightly in their part of the galaxy, three predators slowly cruise a remote area of Klingon space. Three Bird of Preys led by the Chi-Mal slowly made their routine patrol for the empire.
Commander Konag sat in his command chair, going over the gunner's latest report on the weapon's systems.
He was not impressed.
"These readings are pathetic!" Konag screamed in Rage. Before the underling could react, The Commander backhanded him, sending him over the nearby railing post. The other bridge officers laughed. The gunner pulled himself to his feet, as Konag approached him. "Get it right, boy, or next time, I'll...."
Before he could answer, the communication's officer called Konag to his station. They listened to a faint coded signal which seemed to be automated and coming from the nearby source.
"Explain!" Konag said.
The Communications Officer quickly formulated a reply. After all, he didn't want to end up like the weapons officer. "It's an automatic distress call coming from about 3 lightyears away sir. I'm not sure, it looks like an old Cardassian military transmission."
"Cardassian!?!" the Commander smiled. At last, he was going to get a chance to shoot somebody. "Helmsman, plot a course for the signal. This can be nothing else but a sign of aggression from the Cardassian Order!" He laughed and then flopped back into his commander chair. "We will show them how we treat unwanted guest in Klingon space!"
With a whisper, three ships cloaked and pushed into warp...
Alex Garret walked the corridors of his ship. His thoughts slowly ran over all the data on the incident that they had retrieved thus far. Nothing made sense, at least on the surface. But he knew all it would take is on simple link to put everything together. And he wanted to find that link before anyone else got hurt.
He entered the rear most storage bay, where he found Ian cataloging the most recent cargo supplied from Admiral Porter.
"Hey Alex." Ian said, not even raising his head up from his tricorder. The youngster had been given a lot more responsibility as of late. He was determine not to let Alex down.
"What do we have?" Alex asked. Ian handed him the tricorder.
"Well, so far it's been the usual. There's dilithium composites for the warp core, medical supplies for the Doc, repaired modules for the replicators, etc.. etc.. I just put in the order for more torpedoes. We should have them by next week."
Alex smiled. "You think you can handle loading everything all by your lonesome?"
Ian's eyes lit up. "REALLY? I mean... of course, sir. I've passed all the requirements for operating the loader."
"Fine" Alex started to walk away and tossed the message pad over his shoulder. "Get to it then."
Ian caught it and quickly scurried to the loading controls.
On his way out, Alex was met by Mia, who had been observing the two of them. Alex loved they way she wore her hair now. Over the years, he had grown extremely fond of the Vulcan warrior. He just wished the feeling was mutual.
She spoke worriedly. "You know he's gonna blow us all up if he doesn't adjust the artificial containment vessels with the proper..."
"Mia...." Alex stopped her. "The kid's been watching you do that ever since he joined the team. I'm pretty sure he can handle himself." Alex stopped in front of her. "Have you been in touch with The Craven?"
"Yeah. The Admiral says Kathy will have the Bromethium specimens to study with her when we rendezvous. Apparently PROGRAM INTELLIGENCE diverted her for special mission."
"Good. Now, I want you to get Tash and meet in my room within the hour. I need a counsel to discuss our current situation."
"Counsel?" she replied with a smile.
Alex nodded. "Yeah. That's Starfleet talk, you know..."
"Commander, the Cardassian warship is in visual range." the Klingon helmsman reported to Konag, who was busy still intimidating his weapons officer. "They appear to be damaged."
"Put it on screen!" Konag ordered as he rushed to his command chair. The Kelvin-Class Warship sat in the blanket of space alone; no signs of energy expenditure.
It was dead.
"There appear to be markings, which suggest they were under attack. But..."
"But what!?" Konag grew impatient.
The helmsman restudied his data. "There isn't any sign that their was life aboard. All the escape pods are intact..... but no life."
"No life, huh?" For an instant, Konag was puzzled, but then he leaned forward and smiled. He knew the Cardassians could be extremely crafty when necessary. "It is some kind of trick. Arm phaser banks!"
Just as the nervous weapons officer complied, the helmsman's console went crazy. "Commander!" he swiveled around. "I have multiple ships decloaking!"
Suddenly a Bradbury-Class Federation Starship appeared directly between them and the Cardassian warship. The Starfleet heavy cruiser turned toward Konag's craft in defiance. "A Federation craft with a cloak..."
From behind, two Romulan Warbirds materialized and opened fire. Two of the Klingon ships were caught off guard. The Romulan disruptors ripped through their hulls and tore them completely apart in a blazed of fiery hell.
"Attack position!" Konag ordered.
The Remaining Bird of Prey veered hard to the left, avoiding the Warbirds' attack patterns. The Starfleet vessel countered with a barrage of photon torpedoes which managed to easily cut through the Klingons shields. The ship buckled and began to slowly turn end over end.
"Sir, they've found a way to penetrate our shields! We're defenseless!!!"
"Return fire!" the Commander ordered. A wide spread of torpedoes and two phaser shots crossed the Warbirds' paths. The ships were struck head on. They answered with another barrage of torpedoes.
Konag's chair uprooted and tossed him aside. He howled in rage as he saw the Romulans and Federation banned together against him. "Federation dogs! I knew they could not be trusted!" he staggered over the weapons station. His former weapons officer layed slumped over the his console. Konag pulled him back and found the large piece of shrapnel which had all but severed the young boy's torso. He pushed the lifeless body aside and began to run his fingers over the console. "Status report!"
The helmsman steadied himself. "The warp engines are off-line. Aft-torpedo and Aft-disruptor bays are destroyed. The engine core is still intact, but we're losing power fast. I believe I can get us up to impulse..."
"No!" Konag replied as the weapons console sprang to life. "We will die today... with honor!! Defending the Empire!"
The Romulan crafts formed an attack formation and started to close in for the kill.
The helmsman scanned their enemy. "Commander. The left ship has vastly weaken shield integrity in its forward deflectors!"
Konag's fingers ran feverishly over the weapons console. "Then that is where we will strike! I need all the power you can give me to the disruptors!"
The Bird of Prey pulled itself directly in front of it's attackers.
"Ten seconds until optimal firing range!" the helmsman yelled.
Konag smiled with anticipation as he listened to the countdown; his bloody finger gently touching the fire button. "FOR THE EMPIRE!!!" he cried as his fingers slammed onto the console.
In a blaze of glory, a barrage of phaser blasts struck the left ship head on. It's shields quickly buckled and the warbird started to veer off.
"Ahh, no coward! There is no escape for you!" Konag said as he watched his remaining torpedoes shower across the ship. A series of small impacts led to a massive explosion which ripped the Warbird to pieces. It's right wing pushed off from the blast and toppled directly into the Federation ship's path. It tried to brake apart the obstacle with a series of phaser shots, but it was too late. The wing buckled the shields and collided directly with the Federation Heavy cruiser's saucer section, totally destroying the ship on impact.
Konag and his remaining crew roared in victorious pleasure. It seemed almost too easy. But he didn't matter. He was about to die, but with great honor for halting a joint Federation/Romulan invasion single-handedly. Unfortunately, his joyous celebration was met with the remaining Warbird's attack. Two more torpedoes struck Konag's craft blowing half of the rear section apart. Consoles around the bridge erupted; the roof opened and gave way to tons of equipment which rained on the bridge crew.
A few moments later, all was silent.
Konag pulled himself from under the wreckage. He quickly realized everyone else was dead. He wasn't too far off himself. His right leg was completely torn to shreds, and his stomach was pierced by a piece of broken guardrail. Even though he knew it was the end., he smiled with utter happiness.
"Ha! It was a good battle. Glorious!!!" he laughed as he saw the last Warbird idly waiting on his faltering viewscreen. "What are you waiting for! I destroyed your conrads! Now you destroy me, Romulan dog!!" But his plea was only met by two more spacecrafts which decloaked directly alongside the Warbird. At first he squinted at the sight of his viewscreen, but slowly his eyes grew wide in betrayal. "What sort of madness is this!?!" he whispered in astonishment. And as the two new crafts unleashed a swarm of torpedoes at his dying ship, Konag could do nothing but remain speechless in awe. Because though his viewscreen's image was severely covered with static, his faltering eyes recognized what the angels of death truly were.
HELIX LOG: Captain Alex Garret recording . . .
We are en route to rendezvous with Kathy and regroup our investigation. Phantom starships... phantom terrorists, and an assignment which is quickly turning sour. We're gonna need some answers quick, 'cause there's a good chance whoever's behind this will be coming after us pretty soon. END TRANSMISSION.
Tash said tossing a tricorder onto Alex's desk. "You trust information coming from a known terrorist?"
"He's a reliable source, Lieutenant!" Mia snapped back at him. "He's come through for us on a number of occasions."
"She's right." Alex replied. "Justin is a trusted friend. And besides, with the information I'm supplying him, he has no reason to double cross us."
Tash leaned back in his chair. "You're right." he said. "I apologize for my outburst. I just don't like undertaking missions with fragmented information."
"The feeling's mutual. And don't apologized for anything. I need my people unafraid the voice their opinions."
Mia stood up and walked to the large wall viewscreen which display the data supplied by Starfleet Intelligence. "Frankly, I don't understand how THE PROGRAM can have this much information, and not have formulated some type of hypothesis by now. Alex, we're gonna need more to go on than this. 'Cause we could be way out of our league on this one."
"I agree." Alex patched a call through on a secured line. In seconds, Admiral Porter answered the hail.
"Alex. I assume you have information for me?" she said, her transmission was rough, but understandable.
"We don't have too much. What we did find out from some outside sources is that the remains of the Romulan and Cardassian ships weren't accurate. Somebody's going through a lot to make it look like a beginning of intergalactic war."
She paused. "Are you saying that it wasn't the Romulans and Cardassians who attacked that freighter?"
"Again, we can't say..." Mia replied for Alex. "But it looks like somebody wanted us to think it was. It could be anyone; even ...some new superpower. We don't have any leads, yet."
"Admiral..." Alex stood up and walked to the viewscreen. "Are you sure there isn't any other information that you can give us. This is turning out to be a hell of a lot more than just black-market smuggling."
"THE PROGRAM is just as lost as you, Captain. But if I hear anything else, i'll contact you. Porter out."
With that, the viewscreen went black, and the Helix senior staff looked at each other.
"Did you see it, too?" Mia asked. Alex smiled and looked over to Tash
"There were shadows behind her. There was obviously someone in the room with her." Tash replied with a nod.
"I guess our little discussions aren't as private as we thought. This is more than a reckon mission, and they knew it all along. As of now, we assume all sides are compromised."
"My sentiments exactly." Tash grabbed the tricorder. "I'll check with some of my connections and see if anyone else has anything to offer." With that he left the room.
Mia smiled at Alex, who was shaking his head.
"I think he's warming up to you." she said.
"Whatever you say. Get through to Kathy and confirm out rendezvous ETA"
Before he could finish, the door swung open and Ian quickly entered.
"Alex, I just picked up a some strange readings about six hours behind us. There's residual traces of weapons fire. And also faint traces of radiation which could've been triggered by a Bromethium burn." he said.
"Turn us around. Get us there, maximum warp. I want everyone at their stations and ready for the worst."
As the senior officers exited the room, Kyle entered for his daily discussion with Alex. He was large man. His six and a half foot frame was finely condition by a lifetime of warfare. He had taken Alex under his wing as soon as the youngster welcomed in into the fold, and began ot teach him the fine ways of combat and strategy. Alex began to see him as the resident father figure of this rag tag bunch. Because even though Alex brought them all together, and it was Kyle who reaffirmed him with the role of leadership.
Kyle sat and studied his pupil. "By the looks of the others, it seems we're about to get some action." he said.
"It seems that way." Alex replied looking at the information Ian just recovered.
"Good. All of these boring transport missions are making us rusty."
Within the calm blanket of Federation space, the enormous science station known as Fultona-6 sat anchored to a large fragment of a long destroyed planet. Within the large specimen, it is believe to hold the last remnants to a lost civilization. By closely exploring the moon-size fragment, it is the hope of archeologists to find caves and crevices which house valuable artifacts from that civilization.
The Federation Runabout Rushmore docked at Airlock-17, and shut down for refueling. Lieutenant Commander Katherine Brooks disembarked in civilian attire, in hopes not to draw any attention. Although it was considered a Federation-operated facility, there were certain people who shouldn't even know she had arrived.... for their own protection.
She quickly accessed the computer terminal and found the route to Dr. Hinkle's laboratory. After a quick turbolift ride and a quarter of a mile of walking, she rounded a corner and found Hinkle's lab at the end of the hall. That's when she heard the shouting , and then the weapon fire.
She grabbed her phaser, tapped her comm-badge and made a dash for the lab. "This is Lieutenant Commander Katherine Brooks! Security alert in sector 7D! Phaser fire in Dr. Hinkle's lab..."
'WARNING-- SHIELDS ARE OFF-LINE. HULL INTEGRITY AT 42%' the small fighter's computer told Justin Hatcher as he tried to maintain control escape from the onslaught of three alien crafts. He had just left the rendezvous with his contacts and was ready to deliver Alex's information when three ships decloaked and began to fire on him.
"Computer!" Justin shouted. "Send out a distress call to the Helix, all frequencies!"
'COULD NOT COMPLETE REQUEST--' the computer replied. 'COMMUNICATIONS HAVE BEEN DISABLED BY UNKNOWN SOURCE!'
The ship was hit again and Justin heard the engines go off-line. And as he tried to reestablish power, he didn't see the two humanoid figures armed with large blades materialize in the rear section of the ship. . .
Kathy reached Dr. Hinkle's office in record time. At the door, she quickly positioned herself out of possible firing range and then opened it. The lab entrance open to a darkened room which smelled like charred metal.
Phaser in hand, Kathy crouched and maneuvered herself through the room. "Doctor! My name is Lieutenant Commander Brooks, I'm hear to help you!"
"Run child!" a voice cried out. "It's a trap! They're here to get you!!!"
Kathy stood up and scanned the area. She caught rapid movement to her left and quickly dove for cover. There was a small explosion which was followed by three phaser shots which streaked passed her and destroyed some nearby equipment. That's when she saw the doctor stand up and run for the door.
"Doctor! No!" she cried.
Suddenly an orange beam sprang from the shadows and struck the doctor in the back. He immediately stopped in his tracks and cried out a screeched of intense pain. Kathy's eyes widened as she saw the doctor's body begin to melt like hot ice cream. His legs gave away and he fell into the wall. His body shattered for the force of the collision, and Kathy watched as his wet remains dripped from the walls to form a pool on the floor.
"Damnit!" Kathy said as she stood up and started to fire sparatic shots into the dark. But after a minute or so, their was no response.
The lights quickly came on as a security patrol of five entered the room. Kathy came from her hiding place and identified herself as a Starfleet officer.
"We had no information of anyone from Starfleet..." the security leader said.
"It was something that needed to be kept quiet. Obviously it wasn't quiet enough."
"We detected an unauthorized transport of three individuals from here to a cloaked ship just inside our shield parameter. It was Romulan."
She stared down at the Doctor's remains which had now turned to a fine powder. "No. It wasn't Romulan. Something much, much worse. Where's the commlink?" A security officer pointed to the other side of the room where Kathy put a call out to the Admiral. In about a minute, her face came on view.
"Commander?" Admiral Porter inquired.
"We're too late, sir. They got to Hinkle before I could. He's dead. I haven't checked yet but I'm pretty sure they wiped the computers clean already" Kathy said wiping the sweat from her face.
"Damnit! Did you get a look at them?"
"Yes ma'am. They were definitely Jem'Hadar."
"Dear God..." the Admiral whispered.
"They were here to get me." she blurted out, trying to contain her fear. They both stared at each other for a few seconds. "I'm the next target, ma'am."
"Not if I can help it! We'll find another way to get Alex the Bromethium."
"I can't do that, Cynthia." the young woman said in defiance. "The truth is their gonna get me no matter what I do. Our... my only hope is to figure out where the Dominion is massing their forces. If any of us is gonna survive this, we have to stop it before it starts."
"Very well. We'll rendezvous at the designated point after you're drop point on Obinous." she sighed. "I guess there's no way around it. Operation Defiance begins now. . . ."
TO BE CONTINUED
The threat is revealed, as Team Helix tries to stop
what may be a full-scale invasion. Unfortunately, someone
won't survive the coming battle, in:
Phantoms, part 2
|(EPISODE 4) A new Superpower has been discovered, and their trying to plunge the Alpha Quadrant into an intergalactic war. Now with countless lives on the line, Team Helix and a renegade Klingon out for revenge, have to find away to stop the massacre before it starts.|
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