Errand of Trust
Gorman and Lapel sat in a Federation transport shuttle on their way to Utopia Planetia.
"Will the others already be on board when we get there?" Lapel asked.
"They should be." Gorman answered. "Allenby contacted me as soon as she beamed aboard. She said there is something there you are going to enjoy."
Lapel thought to himself a moment. "Hmm, I doubt anything can make me feel better the way this war is going sir."
Gorman sighed. "I know what you mean."
They sat a moment in deep thought as the transport continued through space. After a few moments the Captains voice came on the intercom.
"Captain Gorman we'll be ready to dock in a few minutes."
"Very well." He said back. Gorman moved out of seat and looked out the window. He became speechless. "Lapel look at this."
Lapel moved over to take a glance. What he saw made him want to cry.
Over three dozen ships were in orbit of Utopia. Most of them in pieces. They watched as repair crews moved parts of ships through space. There were some ships that were still spitting out plasma. Lapel moved away from the window.
"We are going to loose this war." He said.
Gorman grinned. I think there is something else you see here Doran.
Lapel moved back to the window. He smiled.
Just in orbit of the planet there were four Prevaricate class vessels. The closet one to them was the Shadow Horseman refit and ready to go.
"People are already calling them the Four Horseman." Gorman said.
"And with good reason. These ships will bring the apocalypse to the Dominion bastards. They will pay."
The transport flew close to the ship. Gorman watched in awe. The sleek blue finish had been stripped down and was replaced with a black over coat. The registry number read NCC- 81096. Gorman couldn't help but continue to smile.
"She's as beautiful as always." Lapel said.
"Wait till you see what they've done to the inside Commander."
Lapel changed the subject.
"So where exactly are we going Captain?"
"We have to meet up with the USS Missouri first. Then I'll give you our orders commander.
They had forgotten about the destruction that orbited around them.
"Captain. They are undoubtedly awaiting our hail." Mirek said.
The Shadow Horseman warped under cloak along side the USS Missouri. Both ships had come to a stop at the desired coordinates. Why Gorman liked to make other Starfleet Captains wait even he didn't know. He just didn't care for the Starfleet type.
The bridge was still the same. The only difference would be the holographic array for communications. The holographic display in the center of the bridge had been given an upgrade as was the view screen.
"Very well. Decloak ship and hail them."
The ship decloaked revealing themselves to the Missouri.
"Sir, they have granted us permission to dock." Mirek replied.
"Not much on the pleasantries are they Captain." Lapel asked.
Gorman smiled. "Make it so Lieutenant."
The Shadow Horseman came to rest in the center of the bay. Captain Gorman was the first to step out leading the team. They were all wearing the black uniforms that identified them as Special Ops. The team walked in true military fashion and stood at salute in the shuttle bay.
Gorman approached Captain MacDermott and said, "Captain Gorman and the Shadow Horseman reporting as ordered. Permission to come aboard?"
"Permission granted and welcome to the U.S.S. Missouri, Captain.", MacDermott said. "Could I ask the reason for your delay? We have been here for over six hours."
"Captain, we have been shadowing you for over twelve hours. We have been with you for over nine sectors." Gorman said proudly. "We were merle testing our upgrades to the ship."
MacDermott let the issue drop. He knew when he was on the losing side of something. This was one of those time. "This is my first officer Thomas Kern." He pointed to a klingon. "Chief of Security T'Gerran Leonhart." He turned to a very beautiful woman. "Lieutenant Melora Ito also of security. My first officer has made arrangements for quarters for your team." MacDermott turned to Kern and said, "XO, if you would, take Captain Gorman and his team to their quarters."
"Aye, Sir.", Kern said.
Tarbis stood in the center of the Holodeck on board the USS Missouri. He was dressed in a black Romulan ceremonial robe. He walked cautiously with both his hands out in front of him. From a ledge above a large Klingon jumped down with his Bat'Leth striking down towards Tarbis' head. Tarbis moved to the side grabbing the weapon as the Klingon came down. He flipped the weapon causing the Klingon to land on his back. The Klingon yelled as the weapon penetrated his chest.
Two Romulan soldiers came from either side. Tarbis dropped to one knee slicing one of the soldiers across the leg. The Romulans leg swept out from underneath him. Tarbis killed him before he hit the floor. Quickly swinging around Tarbis revealed a small blade that seem to come out of nowhere. He threw the knife striking the throat of the other Romulan. The Romulan never made a sound, he just died.
Fifteen dead aliens from all species lay dead throughout the Holodeck. All of them disappeared. "Congratulations, level twenty-seven as been completed." The computer said.
He heard the sound of a pair of hands clapping, he turned not realizing if the hands were real. Lieutenant Melora Ito was standing in the doorway of the Holodeck clapping her hands. She realized that she caught Tarbis by surprise.
"I'm sorry sir, I didn't mean to startle you." Ito said.
"Can I help you Lieutenant?" Tarbis said as he walked over and picked a towel off of the floor.
"Yes sir, I mean no sir. I just..." She paused.
"Well spit it out Lieutenant." Tarbis barked.
"I just wanted to meet you sir."
Tarbis was intrigued. "Oh." He said. "I don't understand."
"What I mean is, your martial arts expertise is somewhat famous in my field."
"And what might your field be Lieutenant?" He asked.
"Security sir. Captains personal body guard." She finally stepped all the way in allowing the doors to close. She extended her hand.
Tarbis accepted it with a grin. "I see." He said. "This is a fine ship, these Holodecks are amazing. We just recently got one ourselves but I have yet to find time to use it."
"These are the best in the fleet, well that's just my opinion of course." She replied. "I stay in here quit a bit, doing my own programs." She looked around staring at the scenery. "This is some program."
Tarbis didn't say anything, he just looked around with her.
"Would you be interested in going a few rounds with me?" She asked rather bluntly.
Tarbis arched his eyebrow in surprise. He wasn't sure what to say.
She didn't give him a chance. "Computer run Ito-Workout-Sierra-Seven without adversaries." The Holodeck changed into a beautiful jungle, steamy, alive with the scents and sounds of life.
Tarbis looked around. "Where are we Lt.?"
"Earth. The Hawaiian Islands, Home sir." She said with a hint of homesickness in her voice.
Tarbis dropped the towel and started to move. They walked around in a circle watching one another. She stepped forward throwing a punch. Tarbis grabbed her by the arm and tried to flip her over his back, but she countered by bringing her leg down under his. They both hit the floor hard backs first. Simotaniously they reached their hands back and pushed up off the ground. Their bodies flipped forward and they were suddenly back on their feet. Tarbis turned in a circle bringing his foot up to her face. She blocked it and the ducked to the ground. She swung her foot out trying to sweep him before he regained his balance, he jumped and her leg went by. He threw a punch, and she blocked it. She threw a kick but he blocked it. Back and forth they went, each of them evenly matched. Neither one of them landing a punch. Finally she made a mistake. Well not really a mistake, more like an opening that Tarbis took advantage of. He stepped in grabbing her by the arm. He pulled her forward and flipped her over his back. She hit the ground and couldn't believe she had been beaten.
She was breathing hard. "I... I can't believe I lost. I have never been beaten before."
Tarbis was trying hard not to show how out of breath he was. "You were not beaten. You just left your midsection open a little to long. It is a common mistake."
She rolled over and gave out a groan. Tarbis bent over to help her to her feet. She smiled, grabbed his hand and turned his wrist around. He did a back flip so that his wrist wouldn't break in two and he hit the ground harder than she had.
"I don't like being beaten." She exclaimed.
With that she left the Holodeck. Tarbis got up and was in some serious pain.
"Mr. Tarbis, report to the Shadow Horseman." Came the cry over his communicator.
He tapped it. "Aye sir, on my way." He limped out of the Holodeck holding his back.
Tarbis walked into the briefing room on board the Shadow Horseman. Commander Lapel was already seated. He stepped forward and took his seat and groaned slightly.
Lapel was now curious. "Let me guess, you were running your attack scenario again." He said with a smile.
Tarbis moaned again. "I don't even want to discuss it, it's a good thing I'm a Doctor." He said.
"Oh, why is that?"
"This way no one will know what happened but me." They both laughed.
The doors opened again and Gorman stepped in. He approached to podium and started the meeting without pause.
"This is just a formal briefing. Tarbis you will bring the others up to date as soon as we are concluded." Gorman continued. "Over the past three months the Dominion have been secretly building a base orbiting Bajor VIII. It is not a large base but the Federation will not allow this base to be completed."
Lapel and Tarbis glanced at each other.
"We have a meeting with the senior staff of the Missouri at eighteen-hundred hours to discuss the mission specifics. Each of you have been assigned your regular duties to prepare for the briefing." He motioned to the pads that were on the table. Tarbis and Lapel each picked one up.
"Please review the mission and have a full report ready before the briefing starts. Are there any questions?"
"No Sir." They said in unison.
"Dismissed." Gorman ordered.
"Sir." Tarbis said. "May I have a minute."
"Of course, Commander. What can I do for you?"
He waited for Lapel to leave the briefing room.
"I understand that Starfleet is considering adding a sixth member to the SO Teams."
"That is correct." Gorman agreed.
"Well sir, I believe I know someone that would be great for the job."
Gorman pause a minute then said, "What happened to your wrist Commander?" Tarbis didn't realize he was rubbing his wrist. He looked up and smiled in annoyance.
Gorman sat behind his desk reading a computer pad when his door chimed.
"Come." He said.
Lt. Ito stepped in and approached his desk. She stood at attention. "You wanted to see me sir."
"Have a seat Lt." Gorman said. "I have been looking over your record."
"My...record sir." She said nervously. Gorman didn't know why.
Gorman put down the pad and faced the Lt. Tell me Lieutenant how long have you been studying martial arts?"
"All my life sir. Since before I could remember I guess."
"And Security is the field you wish to make a career in?"
"Well I'm not sure sir. I guess so. It's the only thing I'm good at."
"Have you ever considered the SO Academy?"
Ito was a little shocked. She wasn't sure exactly what to say. "Well no sir, I really haven't given it much thought."
"Hmm." Gorman said and then leaned back in his chair. "Commander Tarbis speaks very highly of you. Apparently you two just met and he was highly impress. Romulans do not impress easily."
Gorman waited for a reaction but it did not come.
"Starfleet has informed me that they may be adding a sixth member to the SO teams. If you're interested I'd like to put in a good word for you."
Surprise ran through Ito. She was happy to hear Gorman say that but then her thought wondered off. "That sounds great sir, but I just got here aboard this ship. I'm not sure if Captain MacDermott would be able to find a good replacement." She lied, trying to think up anything to persuade herself not to say YES right there on the spot.
"I'm sure Captain MacDermott will get along just fine without you." Gorman added trying to sound convincing.
"Well it is something that I will have to think about sir."
"Of course Lieutenant. I don't expect an answer right away. I do expect an answer by the time I leave this ship however. Dismissed."
With that, Ito left the Captains ready room, very unsure of her future.
All of the senior officers from the Missouri along with the SO team were seated in the briefing room. At the head of the table was Captain MacDermott and next to him was Captain Gorman. MacDermott was giving the briefing.
"Commander." He gestured to Lapel as Lapel pushed a few buttons on a console. In the center of the table a holographic view of a Solar System appeared.
"This is the Bajoran system." MacDermott said. Everyone seemed to shift in their seats uneasy. "In orbit of Bajor VIII Starfleet has detected a small but very important space station being constructed. This station will become operational within three days."
Lapel hit another button as the hologram zoomed passed all of the planets and the moons on stopped at Bajor VIII. A flashing red dot gave the coordinates of the station.
"This mission will be simple. The crew of the Shadow Horseman will infiltrate the station taking down the shields. We estimate that it will take no longer than five minutes to complete the objective. Once the shields are down, the Missouri will warp in and with our combined fire power we should be able to take out the station."
"Should we expect any resistance from the nearby ships at DS9?" Allenby asked.
Before MacDermott could answer Gorman interjected.
"You should always expect resistance."
MacDermott didn't like being interrupted. "HOWEVER, if the shields are taken out quickly enough, the armada at DS9 will not be able to respond."
Gorman tried not to show his annoyance. MacDermott did not understand how to treat a SO officer and Gorman didn't like being overruled in front of one of his own.
"All of the mission specifics are in front of you. If there are no other questions, this briefing is over."
MacDermott made his way towards the door. He stopped at the door when he realized that he was alone in the room with Gorman. MacDermott reached up and tapped the pad on wall next to the door, locking it. This caught Gorman by surprise.. MacDermott turned and said. "Captain, a moment of your time?"
"What can I do for you, Captain?" Gorman replied.
MacDermott walked up to the table and leaned over so his face was only inches from Gorman. "Where the hell do you get off trying to recruit one of my officers without talking to me first?" He said quietly enough to convey the true level of his anger. Duncan MacDermott was the type of man who became quieter the angrier he was.
Gorman took a step back. "This must be about Lieutenant Ito. She's good, Captain, very good. In my opinion she's wasting her time in security."
"Nobody asked you for your assessment of my crew. I don't like people going behind my back. May I remind you that you are a guest on the Missouri?"
"Is this about me going behind your back or is it something more?" Gorman could see something in MacDermott's eyes and he was pretty sure what it was, but he wanted to hear MacDermott admit it.
"There is nothing more." MacDermott lied.
"Come now, Captain. The Lieutenant is a very attractive woman and she is your personal security guard." Gorman prodded him.
MacDermott realized what Gorman was trying to do. He decided it was best to attack from a different angle. "Captain, if you want to talk to one of my crew about a transfer or the damned weather for that matter, it had better come through me first. This is my ship. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior from anyone. Is that understood?" Duncan turned and left the room.
Captains Log: Stardate 50358.8
The Shadow Horseman has left shuttle bay two of the USS Missouri. They will hide in the Badlands until we have completed our mission. It is our hope that the bad lands will shield the ship from the Dominion considering the Missouri is not equipped with a cloaking device. Once we bring down the shields of the base we are to send a signal to the Missouri. Lets hope that Captain MacDermott is not late. I have a feeling that we may not be able to count on him.
"Report" Lapel ordered.
"We just cloaked sir." Allenby "Setting course for Bajor VIII."
"Go to warp six Lieutenant." Gorman said.
"Aye sir, warp six." She pushed a few buttons. There was a slight hum as the ship went into warp.
Captain Gorman dropped through the hologram that replaced the cut away section of the Dominion station.
He was cloaked of course. He was soon joined by the rest of his team with Allenby still onboard.
She had tapped into the Dominion computer with ease. She was definitely an expert in her field.
Gorman and Mirek moved down the corridor to the right, and Lapel and Tarbis went to the left. They had their primary and secondary targets that must be taken out in order for the shields to drop. Gorman watched as Jem'Hadar walked through the station phaser riffles in hand. Always ready for battle. He was hoping he wouldn't have to fight them today but figured it was inevitable.
"Sir." Mirek broke through the silence. "Our primary target is fifteen meters in front of us." Mirek closed the tricorder.
Gorman opened his bag handing Mirek two explosive devises. They headed towards their objective.
Lapel and Tarbis had already reached their primary target. It was a small secondary back up generator that would have kicked in once the primary system went down. Taking out this system would be an assurance that the shields would not be raised.
"Commander." Tarbis whispered. "I'm picking up at least four Jem'Hadar inside the room."
"Very well. Set weapons to kill."
Tarbis knodded and did so.
The door to the room opened up which caught them by surprise. They had not expected anyone to be coming out anytime soon. Tarbis dove to the side to prevent the Jem'HaDar from slamming into him. Lapel took a few steps back and bumped into the wall.
"Oh Shit". He thought to himself. There was no where for him to go. The Jem'HaDar turned abruptly and went down the corridor to the left. Lapel began to breathe again.
"That was close sir." Tarbis said.
"A little too close if you ask me. Come on."
Before the door could close they both entered the room.
Gorman bent over slowly. It wasn't easy for him to position himself in between the two armed guards seated at the console. He had managed to squeeze into the crack somehow without being heard. He set the explosive for signal detonation; which meant that the bomb would not go off until Gorman sent in the right transponder signal. The bomb remained cloaked.
Gorman glanced over to make sure Mirek wasn't in any trouble.
He had already placed two explosives and was positioning the third. Gorman was glad to see how far Mirek had grown in the past few months.
Mirek knodded to Gorman when the explosive was ready. Gorman moved to the next console which happened to be empty. He leaned under the console and set the explosive.
Gorman and Mirek moved back out the door.
Tarbis was having some trouble getting his explosive into position. There were several Jem'HaDar exactly where he needed to be. Lapel had just finished with all three of his explosive. He wanted to laugh when he saw Tarbis dodging around the Jem'HaDar. Tarbis looked over to Lapel and shrugged. He had to get that explosive directly onto that console.
Lapel smiled. He walked over to an empty desk and leaned up against it. He pushed a small bottle over. It made a soft clang and rolled down the desk.
One of the Jem'HaDar heard the bottle fall and left his position to check it out. Tarbis looked at Lapel as if to say, "What the hell are you doing." Lapel smiled.
Tarbis looked back and realized that the console was finally open. Lapel had created the diversion he had needed. Tarbis laughed to himself and placed his explosive under the console.
He met up with Lapel at the door. "Just like clock work." He whispered.
They waited a second for the door to open. Luckily it didn't take long. The door opened up but no one came in. Lapel and Tarbis looked at each other in confusion. Lapel shrugged. Tarbis went ahead and stepped out anyway. He soon figured out why the door had opened.
He felt as if he slammed into a brick wall. He hit the ground hard as did the cloaked Jem'HaDar soldier that he had run into. It was the same Jem'HaDar that had almost detected Lapel. "He must have felt my presence." He thought.
Tarbis jumped to his feet. The soldier had decloaked himself. The others in the room were alerted to their presence.
Lapel and Tarbis fired their rifles vaporizing all the Jem'HaDar before they could fight back.
Gorman and Mirek were heading back to the ship when the cry over his communicator came back.
"Lapel to Gorman."
Gorman hit his com badge. "Gorman here."
"Sir, we have a problem." Before Lapel could elaborate the station went to red alert.
"I see that." Gorman said. "Can you get back to the ship?"
"Yes sir, but we may have to fight our way their."
"Just get close enough to transport. If they know we're here then it won't really matter if they detect our transporter beams." Gorman had to stop talking as two soldiers can hauling ass around the corner. Mirek fired two shots vaporizing both the soldiers. "They're on to us too Commander. Get back to the ship pronto."
The team materialized on the bridge of the 'Horseman.' Gorman moved to take his chair.
"Good work Allenby. Get us out of here."
"Aye sir." Her hands flew across her console with ease.
"Mr. Mirek, send a signal to the Missouri, let them know that the mission is completed. Tell them.." He paused because he realized he needed the help of Captain MacDermott, and he didn't like it. "Tell them we are in need of assistance."
Mirek didn't pause. "Aye sir, sending a coded message on a broad band width."
"Mr. Lapel, take out that damn station."
"Aye sir." Lapel pushed a few buttons. After a second or two the sound of several explosions could be heard.
"Sir, we are out of range of the stations sensors, they shouldn't be able to detect us." Allenby said.
Gorman breathed a sigh of relief.
"Did the shields drop?"
Mirek answered. "Yes sir the shields came down almost right away."
"Did they get off a signal?"
"Sir LOOK!" Allenby shouted.
Gorman glanced at the view screen that was now morphing into view. The screen showed six Jem'HaDar vessels and two Galor class ships closing in on their position.
"I guess that answers my question."
"Have they detected us?" Gorman asked.
"Not sure sir." Lapel answered. "They don't seem to be on an intercept course. It looks as if they are going to head towards the station."
"Lets hope so." Tarbis added.
"CAPTAIN!" Allenby shouted. "There's a torpedo coming in!"
Gorman clinched in his seat. "Drop cloak raise shields!" He shouted.
The torpedo found it's target. The ship shuttered and fell to the side as the torpedo impacted into the aft section. The lights flickered and several ODN conduits exploded.
"Captain." Mirek said as he stumbled to get back in his chair. "I couldn't get the shields up in time." He ran his fingers over his controls. "Attitude control has been lost. Shields are down to thirty-seven percent. Phaser banks are destroyed."
Gorman stood. "Mr. Lapel return fire. Evasive pattern Gorman omega red."
The Shadow Horseman flipped over on its back and skipped across a Galor class vessel. The maneuver allowed it to avoid several other shots coming it. The 'Horseman' unloaded several rounds on torpedoes into the Cardassian vessel.
"Sir engines are failing on the Cardassian vessel."
"Keep firing on who ever you can find Mr. Lapel!"
Another explosion ripped through the ship.
A Jem'HaDar vessel disappeared as the torpedoes found their target. It never knew what hit them.
"Damage report!" Gorman ordered.
"We've taken several more hits. Shields are down to fifteen percent. We're loosing power in the left warp nacelle."
"Brace for impact!" Allenby shouted.
Two torpedoes struck the top portion of the 'Horseman'. On the bridge sparks shot everywhere. The ODN conduit above Tarbis' station exploded, Tarbis wasn't prepared for it. He went air borne almost immediately. He crashed down head first on the Captains chair, he did not get up.
"Computer, activate emergency EMH." Gorman ordered.
A small bald man appeared on the bridge.
"Please state the nature of the medical emergency."
Gorman pointed to Tarbis. "That man is injured, see what you can do for him."
The Doctor moved off. The ship started to shake as if ready to fall apart.
"Sir, another Jem'HaDar vessel destroyed." Mirek shouted.
Lapel heard the warning signals on his station just in time. He jumped to the side as his console erupted disintegrating before him.
"Where the hell is the Missouri!" Gorman said over the computers warning signals. "I knew I couldn't count on that bastard."
Lapel looked at Gorman still stunned from his console exploding. . "Probably afraid he'll scratch his ship." He said.
"Sensors are down sir, I can't get a fix on their position. If the Dominion knew we were here they may have jammed our signal."
Allenbies console exploded as another torpedo found it's mark. She flew backwards over her chair and hit the ground hard. The EMH moved to help her.
"Just got that Cardassian bastard sir!" Mirek shouted proudly. "There are still two Jem'HaDar ships one Galor class vessel remaining." Mirek shouted. "They've got us surrounded, they're closing in on our position."
The ship shuttered again as phaser fire took out the shields. Shrapnel flew across the bridge and nicked the side of Gormans face. The cut was depp but he never flinched. He stared at the screen with intensity. Lapel was hit at the same time, he stummbled back a little but managed to stay on his feet.
"Sir I found the Missouri!" Mirek shouted.
"OPEN A CHANNEL!"
"Channel open sir."
"Damnit MacDarmeoot, where there hell are you, you coward."
MacDermott came back on audio only.
"Gorman, we are one minute out. Hold on."
"That's easy for you to say. Those Cardassian bastards are going to finish us off point blank." Gorman was abviously not himself. "They probably want to hear us scream. See you in hell MacDermott, as the Klingons say 'Today is a good day to die.'"
The hail cut off.
"Captain, shields are gone. We've lost warp power. Life support failing."
Lapel moved over to Gorman and spoke softly. "Sir, we're dead in the water."
The 'Horseman' was like a lifeless log floating in water. She drifted a little as a Jem'HaDar ship came about. There was nothing the 'Horseman' could do about it. The Jam'HaDar fired.
Gorman watched the view screen as the torpedo came directly towards them. It seem to be moving in slow motion yet it was growing brighter and brighter.
Gorman started to pray. "Our Father who art in heaven hallow be they nam.."
"SIR LOOK!" Mirek shouted.
The Jem'HaDar ship before them was incinerated by a volley of torpedoes which Gorman figured came from heaven.
Like a guardian angel the USS Missouri came warping in. She stopped less than twenty kilometers from the 'Horseman' taking the full blunt of the torpedo. A piece of the Missouris' hull flew by the screen.
"Sir, they are hailing us." Lapel said.
"Put them through."
The hologram behind the captains chair appeared and Captain MacDermott was on the bridge in a ripped uniform and covered in blood.
"Sorry we're late Captain, I'm afraid we had a little trouble ourselves." MacDermott disappeared.
Gorman looked around his ship. It was in shambles. If something wasn't on fire it was already destroyed.
"The Missouri is engaging the Cardassian vessel." Mirek said in relief.
"Do we still have weapons Mr. Mirek?"
Mirek knodded, he was too hurt to speak.
"Then by all means give her a hand."
The 'Horseman' couldn't move from her position but it didn't stop her from fire quantum torpedoes at the Cardassian ship.
The Missouri was taking a beating but was more than a match for one Cardassian vessel. Within seconds the ship was destroyed. Gorman slumped down into what was left of his chair. He looked at the EMH still attending to Allenby. Tarbis had been revived and was trying to get back in his chair. Gorman started to pray.
Most of the fires on the bridge had been put out by Lapel and Mirek. Tarbis was doing better but Allenby still lay unconscious.
"Sir the Missouri is coming back to our position. They are hailing us." Mirek said.
"Put them on screen."
MacDermott once again appeared on the screen.
"Captain. The station has been destroyed, good work by your team. We're prepared to beam your wounded aboard and tractor your ship into the main shuttle bay."
"Just tractor us into the bay shuttlebay, Captain." Gorman replied.
"Very well." MacDermott answered.
The medical team entered the shuttlebay as the Shadow Horseman was setting down. The corpsmen moved into the ship to perform triage duties. Two of the corpsmen bent down to put Allenby on a stretcher. Mirek and Tarbis grabbed them by the collars and pulled them back. "We'll take care of her," was all that was said. One of the men started to protest but realized, it was said in a tone that he could tell that if he touched her again it would be the last time he touched anything. The corpsmen just stood there astonished as the two men carried her off. Doctor Meyer looked at one of the many cuts on Captain Gorman. Gorman didn't protest. Being a CMO, Gorman knew she could relieve him of duty. Gorman smiled a small smile, being relieved of duty was the only thing he was really afraid of.
MacDermott and Ito entered the shuttlebay as Tarbis and Mirek carried Allenby out the door toward sickbay. MacDermott asked. "How is she?"
Mirek and Tarbis did not reply as they walked past. Gorman walked out of the Shadow Horseman. He circled the ship slowly running his hands along the phaser burns and marks from the photon torpedoes. He walked toward MacDermott. MacDermott didn't know what to do or say. Should he be on guard, was Gorman going to hit him, shoot him. He didn't have to do anything. Gorman simply walked out of the shuttlebay.
"I doubt he'll ever understand the way we are." Gorman thought to himself.
Later in sickbay, it was dark when MacDermott walked in. The only light was coming from the biobed where Tess Allenby was laying, she was awake but resting. MacDermott said. "The Doctor told me you're going to be allright. I'm glad to hear that."
"Sir, May I speak freely?
"Of course, Lieutenant." MacDermott said.
"I just wanted to say thank you."
"I'm sorry, I don't understand. Thank you for what?"
"I heard what you did. I was unconscious at the time, but one of the patients who was in here earlier, told me that you took that shot point blank for us. I also heard you were at the helm. I've been on starships. I was on the Enterprise, I've seen how starship Captains are connected to their ships. It took a lot of courage to put your ship, your crew in harm's way like that for the five of us."
"Sometimes the needs of the few, really do outweigh the needs of the many. I'm not sure your teammates share your sentiments. Lieutenant." MacDermott said.
"They just don't know how things are on a starship." she said. "Thanks again, Sir."
"You're welcome, Lieutenant, and thank you for speaking freely. Now get some rest, Captain's orders." MacDermott said with a smile as he dimmed the lights and left sickbay.
Gorman looked around his quarters on the Missouri. This was the last place he wanted to be. He turned to leave. As the doors open he saw Lt. Ito standing in front of him. She was obviously standing out there for some time.
"Lieutenant Ito? You wanted to speak to me?"
"Yes Sir." She said snapping to attention.
Gorman backed into his room, "At ease, Lieutenant. Come in." Ito relaxed and followed him into the room as he sat down at the desk.
"I don't want to interrupt you, Sir, if you had somewhere to be. Sir."
"It's all right, I was just going down to the lounge to get a drink." He said. "This is about the offer I made at the start of this mission isn't it?
"Yes, Sir. I know that it is a marvelous opportunity. I know, it would be exciting, but after today, I don't think I could handle that kind of excitement on a regular basis." She said nervously.
"I understand, Lieutenant. Thank you for your honesty. To be honest with you. It only gets exciting like this when things go wrong. I've heard through the grapevine that you were at tactical for most of the action today. I also heard you handled yourself very well. You're to be commended." Gorman stood up, and extended his hand. Ito took it and shook it.
"Thank you, Sir."
"One more thing, Lieutenant. If you ever get tired of starship duty and want something a little more exciting, look me up. I'll still put in that good word for you." Gorman said smiling as he took his hand back. "You're dismissed, Lieutenant."
"Aye, Aye, Sir. Thank you, Sir." Melora said as she smartly turned and left the room the back of her head hiding the grin running from ear-to-ear.
Gorman was inside the Starlight lounge which was the basically the bar on the ship. He stared out at the stars passing by when he heard MacDermotts voice. He turned to see MacDermott talking to a Klingon. and decided to interrupt.
"I'll drink to that." MacDermott and T'Gerran both turned to see Shawn Gorman walk up with a tall glass of synthahale.
"Captain Gorman." T'Gerran nodded.
"Mr. Leonhart, right? Glad to hear you're going to be allright."
T'Gerran could tell that this was no place for a Lieutenant Commander. "Thank you, Sir. If you Sirs will excuse me, I need to get my rest. Good night, Sirs."
MacDermott nodded. "Good night, T'Gerran."
"Good night, Commander." Gorman said.
T'Gerran walked away. Gorman turned and said. "Captain."
MacDermott said. "Captain."
Silence hung in the air like a fog. "This is awkward, isn't it?" MacDermott said.
"Captain, I think, maybe I owe you an apology. I don't have much use for regular starfleet. If Special Ops can't do it. It shouldn't be done. I'm sorry, but that is the way I feel and I'm not going to change." Gorman said.
MacDermott was a little shocked. He really expected Gorman to tear into him. "Captain, I saw something when your men were taking Lieutenant Allenby off the Shadow Horseman. That something was a commraderie, a sense of family, that doesn't exist is regular starfleet. To tell you the truth, I didn't understand the need for Special Ops. However I do now. Your teams do the dirty work that regular starfleet forgets needs to be done. I don't agree with your methods on some things, but I respect you."
Gorman nodded. "My feelings toward certain regular starfleet officers have changed. What I said about you, your crew, and your ship, I mean it with all my heart. It took real guts to get your ship tore up like this."
MacDermott thought for a moment before he said. "Let's get something stronger. I don't know about you but I could use a real drink."
"Captain MacDermott, you have read my mind." Gorman said.
"I've got a bottle of Scotch in my ready room. Just for special occasions."
MacDermott and Gorman left the Starlight.
They exited the turbolift on the bridge. MacDermott looked at Kern who was still on duty and said. "Tom, how long have you been on duty?"
"Seventeen hours. Sir." Kern said.
"Are there any ships within five lightyears of our location?"
"No Sir." The ensign manning the tactical station replied.
"Thank you ensign. XO, you're relieved. I don't want to see you on the bridge for the next thirty six hours. Understood?"
"Perfectly, Sir." Kern said getting up and moving toward the turbolift.
MacDermott and Gorman looked around the bridge. "Solak, You have the con. I am not to be disturbed."
"Aye, Aye Sir." Solak said.
Gorman and MacDermott entered his ready room. Gorman walked over and ran his fingers along the blade of the broadsword hanging with the Katana on the wall. "Family heirlooms."
"No, just replicas. The originals were lost during the Third World War." MacDermott said pouring two big glasses of scotch. He walked over and handed one to Gorman.
MacDermott nodded. He sat down and put his feet up on the desk. Gorman looked at him, pulled up another chair and put his feet up also. "So tell me about what happened in the badlands?" Gorman asked as the scotch burned its way into his stomach.
Special Thanks to Dave Stidham -
The author of the USS MISSOURI - for makeing this episode possible.
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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