Horseman on the Rise
The cave underneath the surface of the Moon was dark and damp. The silence was only broken by the occasional 'dripping' sound of water hitting the floor. From the shadows a tall silhouette of a man appeared and stepped out into the center of the tunnel.
"Shawn." The man whispered. "Shawn, I'm here."
The man paused waiting for a reply. "Shawn. Captain Gorman are you here?" He continued to whisper.
The man was shocked by the sound of Shawn Gorman's voice. Which seem to come from nowhere and yet it was all around him.
"Someone tried to kill us."
The man, stuttering for a moment spoke a little louder. "Shawn is that you."
"Someone wants us dead, WHY?" Gorman shouted. His voiced echoed down the tunnel.
"I'm not sure I understand."
"Understand this." Gorman decloaked in front of Admiral Jamerson. Gorman approached the Admiral.
"We received new orders on our back to Earth. When we arrived, there was a Dominion vessel waiting for us."
"You were set up?" Jamerson asked.
Gorman was shocked by something in his voice. "Yes. I need you to find out why?"
"Me? I don't understand?"
Gorman let go of Jamerson "You're the only one I can trust Admiral. My ship and my crew are counting on you."
Jamerson started to pace. "I don't believe this is happening. Not now! We are just about to strike at the heart of the Dominion."
"We will be no good to you until you find out who set us up." Gorman paused and stepped back. "When you do, you know how to contact me." Gorman stepped back and engaged his cloak.
Admiral Jamerson, after coming to his senses, hit his combadge and has transported away. Gorman and Commander Lapel decloaked. They stared down the tunnel making sure they were alone.
"Do you think he bought it?" Lapel asked with uncertainty.
"In a way, I almost hope he didn't." Gorman said shaking his head.
"I don't trust him." Tarbis exclaimed.
The team was inside the briefing room on board the Shoadow Horseman.
"I know." Gorman said. "But I do not think we have much of a choice at the moment."
"For all we know sir, he is the one that set us up." Lapel added.
"I've known Jamerson for a long time. He would never betray me or the Federation."
"Are you so sure sir." Lapel countered. "For all we know he might be a changeling."
Gorman stood and started to pace. The rest of the team seemed uneasy. When Gorman looked worried, the team knew they had something to worry about themselves.
"Sir." Mirek intervened. "I've been going over and over this in my head."
"Go on." Gorman ordered.
Mirek thought about his choice of words before he spoke. "Who was the person that sent us our orders to go to the planet?"
Gorman came back to his chair and sat. He tightened his uniform and stared into empty space. "Admiral Jamerson." He said.
Lapel shot a glance at Gorman. "The Jamerson must have set us up."
"NO!" Gorman shouted. He banged his fist on the table. "He wouldn't have done that. He must have been given the orders by someone else."
Allenby, who had been quiet, decided to speak. "Captain, you must not let your friendship cloud your judgment."
Gorman became irritated. "Listen to me, all of you. If it wasn't for Admiral Jamerson I would not be standing here this very moment. He damn near ended his own life in an attempt to save mine. I will not ever believe that he would turn on the Federation. This meeting is over, Dismissed."
Gorman was breathing hard. The team stood and practically ran out of the room.
The Shadow Horseman was cloaked and in orbit around the Jupiter Moon Callesto. The Moon was fascinating to Captain Gorman and had always been one of his favorite spots in the Solar system. He understood that Jamerson would know that this is where Gorman would be when he had the answers he was looking for. Gorman was standing at the front of the bridge looking out the window.
"The Moon is so beautiful." He said.
"Yes it is." Allenby added as she came to stand next to him.
"It still amazes me that this Moon could have formed under such hard conditions."
"Hmm, kind of symbolic isn't it?"
Gorman said nothing. He didn't feel the need to reply.
"I guess that's why you love this Moon as much as you do." She said with a smile.
Behind the Moon was a small flash of light as Jupiter began to rise above it. Gorman was speechless by the site.
Mirek's station went to alert.
"Sir, I'm picking up a ship bearing five-one-three mark four-seven-five. It's on an direct course to Callesto."
Gorman turned to move back to his seat.
"Did they detected us?" Lapel asked.
"No sir, we are still under cloak."
Gorman took his seat. "Identify the ship."
"It's the USS Defiant sir."
"The Defiant?" Lapel said. "What the hell are they doing here?"
Allenby added, "Sir, they are hailing us."
"Lets hear it."
"To the crew of the Shadow Horseman. This is Captain Benjamin Sisko of the Defiant. I am ordering you to reveal your position and surrender your ship."
Lapel stood in disbelief. "What the hell is he talking about?"
"Treason is a not something the Federation takes to kindly on Captain Gorman. I suggest you surrender your ship now and spare the lives of your crew."
"What do we do Captain?" Mirek asked.
"I don't' believe it." Gorman said. "Allenby, open a channel, audio only."
"Captain Sisko, I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean. Perhaps if we could meet and discuss the situation..." Gorman never got to finish his sentence.
"I have orders to destroy your ship on site Captain. I hope it will not come to that. Reveal your position immediately."
"Captain, you and I both know you're not going to fire on another federation vessel."
"Are you willing to take that chance?" Sisko countered.
The Defiant swung over the top of the Moon and fired something into space.
Gorman motioned across his throat to cut the audio transmission
"What are they doing?" Gorman asked.
"They are filling this area of space with a poleron particles." Mirek said.
Lapel stood. "They're trying to deactivate our cloaking device.
"Captain Gorman, one way or another we will find you."
"This is getting us nowhere. Mirek, bring us in behind the gas and sit us down on the top of the Defiant."
Gorman motioned to reopen the channel.
"Captain, I think we should meet to discuss this. I assure you that what ever you have been told has been falsified."
Mirek turned to Gorman to let him know that they were attached to the Defiants hull.
"Captain Gorman, I am not concerned with your explanation. I..."
"Allenby, lock onto his signal and beam him aboard."
A few moments later Captain Sisko appeared on the bridge of the Shadow Horseman. Sisko looked around not realizing where he was. Then approached Gorman.
"Adding kidnapping to the list of charges against you Captain?"
"Assuming for the moment that I believe you Captain, what do you want me to do about it?" Sisko asked.
After realizing that a fight with Gorman was useless, Sisko agreed to hear him out. They were all seated around the table in the briefing room leaving the computer to monitor the systems. The Horseman had detached from the Defiant directly after the transport of Sisko to the bridge.
"We need another ship with a cloaking device, and since the Defiant is the only other ship in Starfleet with one, we need your help." Gorman replied.
"I must tell you Captain, I am having a little trouble believing your story. Starfleet doesn't go around setting up it's own officers."
"Who said anything about Starfleet?" Lapel added, getting the attention of Sisko.
"What do you mean?"
Gorman started to pace. He hated saying what he was fixing to say.
"We don't believe that the orders came from Starfleet itself, but from an individual."
"So then this is some kind of personal vendetta." Sisko said sarcastically. "May I remind you that Starfleet.."
"I don't need to be preached to about the workings of Starfleet Captain!" Gorman said as he slammed his fist on the table. "And you're not exactly one to talk when it comes to personal vendettas."
The computer interrupted the two before they could continue.
"The USS Defiant is approachingthe cooridinated of this vessel."
Gorman sat for a few seconds staring into Siskos eyes. He knew that he had made Sisko angry, but he also knew that Sisko would see it his way.
"Computer. Disengage cloak." He looked back at Sisko. "You either help us, or you don't."
The Defiant was at red alert. Worf was seated in the Captains chair.
"Arm all weapons, ready torpedoes." He shouted.
"Weapons ready." Came the voice of Dax.
Worf was more than ready to blow the 'Horseman' out of the stars, but came to his sensors.
"Sir, they are hailing us."
The screen changed to reveal Captain Sisko standing next to Captain Gorman.
"Mr. Worf." He paused. "Stand down from red alert."
"Ok lets test the equipment." Mirek said.
Mirek and Lapel had transferred to the Defiant. Mr. Worf and Sisko stood there in the traditional black SO uniform with combat vest. On the left forearm they wore the LCARS pad. Worf reached down and hit a few buttons then disappeared. Dax stood from her console.
"Amazing." She said.
She jumped forward and yelled in surprise. She then started to rub her butt.
"Not funny Worf!" She yelled.
"I could get used to this." Worfs voice came back.
"How are we supposed to see each other while under cloak?" Sisko asked.
"Oh sorry." Mirek stated. "You need to turn the device around your eye ten degrees to the right to activate it."
Worf and Sisko did so.
"Ah much better."
"One more thing. No one can use this equipment but you. It is coded with your genetic makeup."
"What about the riffle.?" Work asked.
"While under cloak, you are the only one that can fire your phaser; however, if for some reason the riffle decloaks, it can be just as deadly for anyone using it."
"I understand." Worf said with a warriors growl.
Mirek paused to make sure there were no more questions. "If that is all, signal the 'Horseman' we are departing."
"Sir, the Defiant is leaving the system." Allenby said.
"Very well." Tarbis answered. "Set a course for the Utopia Planetia Fleet Yards."
"Sir, we are entering orbit above the Utopia Plantia Fleet yards." Allenby said.
Tarbis answered, "Very well, go to impulse power, standard orbit."
"Captain to the bridge." Tarbis ordered.
A few seconds later the Captain Gorman stepped out of his ready room and onto the bridge.
"Report!" He commanded.
Tarbis stood and moved off to the Command chair against the wall. "We have entered orbit about the Fleet Yards."
"Understood." Gorman walked over and took his seat he turned to looked out the window. "Allenby, lets pick a fight." He said.
Allenby's console went to alert. "Wait sir, I'm detecting a ship at high warp heading towards the planet."
"It's still too far away sir, but it has entered visual range."
"On screen." The window disappeared as the holographic viewer showed the front of a white dot heading towards them.
"Magnify" The screen changed to show a ship of new design.
Tarbis stood. "That's the Enterprise."
Gorman started shaking his head. "First the Defiant and now the Enterprise. Let me guess, is James T. Kirk waiting or us down on the planet." Gorman said sarcastically.
"Sir they are in sensor range. They have opened a general hail." Allenby intervened.
The sound of the hailing frequencies was heard. "This is Admiral Jamerson, you will surrender your ship and turn your selves over to the Enterprise."
Gorman sat silently. He wasn't sure what to say.
"Captain." A familiar voice was heard. "Captain they know."
Tarbis leaned over, "That sounds like Lapel." He said.
"What the hell!" Gorman shouted as he stood. "Allenby decloak the ship and put the admiral on screen."
The ship decloaked and then the screen changed. Lapels' face appeared on the view screen. In the back of the screen Admiral Jamerson sat in the Captains chair. Jean Luc-Picard was standing next to him. Gormanwas speechless.
"Good to see you came to your senses." Jamerson said.
Gorman approached the screen slowly.
"Captain Picard I assure you what ever you have been.."
"Your lies won't work here Captain." Jamerson interrupted.
Picard glanced at Jemerson not completely understanding what was going on.
"Admiral I'm not sure what the hell you are trying to do, I thought you and I were friends."
Jamerson seem to have fire in his eyes. "FRIENDS! Friends, you don't know the meaning of the word Captain. Now lower your shields and prepare to transport over!"
Even though Picard didn't know what the Admiral meant he spoke up In defense of Gorman. "I believe that Captain Gorman has earned the right to speak in his defense Admiral." Picard said.
Gorman didn't argue. He let out the breath he had been holding. "Thank you Captain."
Jamerson looked at Picard like a mad man.
Jamerson walked around the conference table on board the Enterprise refusing to take his eyes off Gorman. Picard was seated at the head of the table. In front of two security guards Gorman sat at the far end of the room. Lapel sat next to him.
"Yes yes." Picard started. "I have already heard this story from Commander Lapel, but I'm sorry Captain you have no evidence to back up your accusations."
"I am aware of that Captain." Gorman said. "That was the very nature of Lapel returning to Earth. The evidence we needed is there."
Jamerson jumped in the conversation. "And just what evidence might that be Captain." He said very sarcastically.
Gorman laughed to himself. "Well by now Admiral I'm sure you've had the evidense erased."
Jamerson laughed outloud. "So now I am the traitor Captain. You really have allot of nerve."
Gorman stood. He wanted to grab Jamersons throat. "I have allot of nerve!" The security guards stepped forward. Lapel leaned back. "Where the hell do you get off sending the Defiant to destroy us. Where do you get off sending us into the hands of the Dominion where my ship would have been taken back to Cardassia and dismantled." Gorman eyes were red with hatred.
"I did nothing of the sort!" Jamerson yelled.
Picard watched the scene unfold.
Jamerson continued to yell. "It was you. It was your fault." Jamerson stuck his finger in Gormans face. "If you had done your job Alicia would still be here with me."
Picard looked at Jamerson. Gorman wasn't sure what was going on anymore.
"What are you talking about?" Gorman asked.
Picard had waved the security guards away from Gorman and aloud the scene to continue.
Jamerson stumbled as his thoughts came flooding back to him. "It was your fault." He said slowly.
"What are you saying." Picard questioned.
"If you and your team and destroyed the Borg ship when you were ordered to my wife would not have been assimilated."
"What is this about Admiral." There was no official report of Gormans team being in the latest Borg attack."
Gorman smiled. "There never is Captain."
"You killed her!" Jamerson began to shout. "You are a traitor. You betrayed me and you betrayed my wife."
"I lost men on that mission as well Admiral."
"Then you admit to not doing your duty. You admit to being a murderer."
Picard stood. "I am beginning to see a very different side to this story Admiral."
Picard was interrupted by the sound of Riker over the comm system.
"Captain, we are detecting a build up of Verteron particles inside the briefing room."
"Elaborate" Picard said to the air.
Before Rikers voice could come back the answer to his question was revealed.
Captain Sisko and Commander Worf decloaked on either side of the room revealing themselves to the occupants.
Security ran towards them both but Picard held up his hand.
"What is the meaning of this?"
Worf was the first to speak. "Captain, sorry to barge in on you like this."
Sisko continued. "Mr. Lapel here was a decoy Captain Picard." Sisko walked to the table with a pad in his hand.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
Jamerson stood motionless.
"Commander Lapel aloud himself to be captured by you and your crew in an attempt to buy use a little more time." Sisko continued. "Mr. Worf and I penetrated Admiral Jamerson's office and got the evidence we were looking for." He sat the pad down on the desk.
"What is on it?" Picard asked.
Gorman spoke. "Proof that Admiral Jamerson sent us the comm signal that ordered us to change our course. "
Admiral walked to the table and leaned on it.
Picard pushed a few buttons on the pad and then began to read.
Jamerson started to shout again. "That's irrelevant Captain. Gorman and his team are traitors to the Federation.Arrest them now!"
Picard sat the pad back down. "No Admiral." Picard stood. "You put the lives of five men and woman at risk by sending them into the hands of the Dominion, and for what. To avenge the death of your wife."
Sisko looked at Jamerson and thought of Jennifer. "Everyone has lost someone to the Borg Admiral, that doesn't give you the right to do what you did."
"Security, take Admiral Jamerson to the brig." Picard ordered.
As the security officer drug the Admiral out of the room Jamerson started to shout. "This isn't over yet Gorman, This isn't over..." The doors closed.
Captain Gorman was seated inside his ready room on board the Shadow Horseman. Captain Sisko was seated across his desk. Captain Picard had just asked for permission to come aboard only a few minutes ago. The doors to the ready room opened as Picard stepped in.
"Come in Captain, have a seat." Gorman said.
Picard took his seat. "I must say Captain this is some ship. This is the first time I have ever gotten a close up look at a Prevaricate class vessel."
"She's wonderful for her size. I wouldn't have it any other way."
Picard glanced at what appeared to be a marble statue sitting on the desk. "Isn't that an American Bald Eagle?" He asked. "What is the pitch fork for?"
"It is a long story. You might say that Special Ops runs in my family."
Picard dispensed with the pleasantries and got down to business. "I have read your formal report to Starfleet, both Captain Sisko and I have signed it and added our own reports." Picard waited for a reply. It did not come. "I assure Captain, in no way will Starfleet hold you or any of your team responsible for anything Admiral Jamerson says you are."
"I assumed as much, but I am starting wonder if being in Starfleet is worth it anymore."
"I have also read the report of what you and your crew did on that Borg ship. I must say Captain it appears that Earth is in your dept."
"No more than it is in your Captain."
Sisko decided to speak. "We all go through some hard times Captain, but I assure you, you will get through them."
Gorman leaned back in his chair as Picard placed a pad on his desk.
"I do however have some good news for you and your team."
"Oh, what might that be Captain?" Gorman asked with interest.
"Starfleet has decided to continue the Prevaricate class project." Picard smiled. "You and your ship are to report back to space dock to have a complete overhaul."
"Like what for instance?" Gorman should have been happy but he was not.
"Well for starters you'll have to receive an NCC prefix. You'll be given room for a Holodeck along with a holo matrix for an EMH an the communications array. Also the holographic display viewer and screen will be given an update, and there is one more thing Captain."
"Starfleet has allowed you the honor of choosing the inscription on your designation plaque."
"Really." Gorman said. "Hm, that is quit an honor."
Picard stood. "Well I just thought you'd like to know. I will be in this sector for a few more days. If there is anything I can do for you just let me know."
"Thank you Captain." Gorman said as Picard turned and left his office.
After a few moments of silence Sisko stood to leave. "Well Captain, do you have any idea what you want on your plaque?"
Gorman thought to himself for a moment. He glanced down at the statue sitting on his desk and picked it up.
There are always two sides to every story - this is what happens when both sides are brought together from opposite sides of the most devastating battle in Federation history.
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