View Full Version : Star Trek, A New Age
July 5th, 2005, 12:36 AM
The Dawn of A New Age:
Following the destruction of the known powers of the Alpha Quadrant, chaos ensued as the Cleansing Fleet systematically targeted all core systems and known colonies. Sparing some, but annihilating most, only a handful of each race survived to live on. The Federation, Klingon Empire, Breen, Dominion Order, Cardassian’s, Ferengi, etc all survived in one form or another and now begin the daunting task of rebuilding their societies and cultures.
This same scenario played out a crossed the galaxy as the Cleansing move on, many races near utter collapse found themselves having to rebuild and re-learn many technologies that they had once taken for credit. All the while living under the fear that the Cleansing would return. Not once race was left untouched by the devastation of the Cleansing. Every planet in every system within the entire galaxy had been visited by the Cleansing. Not one world was left unsacred by this horrific war.
Many Races found themselves grouped together with people they once considered to be their mortal enemies. A strange brotherhood began to form among many as a history of hate and distrust was transformed into a future of peace and mutual protection.
For years, each race worked to build a new home, a new beginning, a New Age.
"We've made too many compromises already, too many retreats! They invade our space and we fall back -- they have annihilated entire worlds and we fall back! Not again! The line must be drawn here -- this far, no further! We shall make them pay for what they've done!" -- Admiral Jean Luc Picard
By Dawns Early Light They Came:
The Cleansing came in waves, endless in their onslaught and unrelenting in their pursuit. First the Breen home world, then Earth, Vulcan, Romulus, Remus, Q’nos, Cardassia, Ferenginar, and every inhabited planet in between. One by one the major planets of the Alpha Quadrant fell. Not even the combine fleets of the Federation, Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Cardassian Union or the Ferengi Alliance could stem the tied of these relentless invaders.
By the eve of the last battle, nearly all planets within the former empires had been either decimated or destroyed; only a few non-vital core systems remained. The battle for Khitomer was only beginning and already it had been lost.
"Attention all ships, by order of Fleet Admiral Picard, all ships are to disengage the Invaders and retreat to their Alpha sites! Repeat, all ships disengage and retreat to your Alpha site designations."
The order came blaring across the ship COM system as the deck of Captain Hiratio O'Connor's mighty star ship jolted violently. On the viewer, hundreds of ships, varying in origins, began breaking formation and warping away from Khitomer. Stunned silence had long since over taken the bridge of the Agustas as crew awaited the Captains order.
Breaking the silence with a somber tone, Captain O’Connor gave his orders.
"Helm, disengaged current target and set course for our Alpha site, maximum warp."
"Aye sir," replied the helm officer, “course laid in.”
"Sir! The Enterprise!” First Officer, Talbot Ashcroft, a man un-accustom to alarm, was now speaking with alarm very evident in his voice. “She is beginning to break up!" He slowly stood, pointing, to the view screen. "Those ships are moving in for the kill sir!"
Swinging about in his command chair, Captain O'Connor did not hesitate in his course of action.
"Helm belay my last order, and move us within transporter range of the Enterprise. Tactical, target that the large lead ships and prepare to fire everything we have. Communications hail the Enterprise, tell her we are preparing to retrieve survivors."
Knowing full well what lay to them to perform, the bridge crew of the Agustas instinctively reacted and performed their duties as ordered despite the hopelessness of the situation. The Enterprise and indeed the life of the Federation now depended upon them.
Yves Earl, the Augusta's Senior Science Officers, could hardly contain himself as he yelled from his science station: "Sir, the Seattle, and the Columbian have broken escape vectors and are moving to assist." Looking back at his console he continued speaking. "I am now detecting several other ships, Klingon, Ferengi, Romulan, and Federation also converging on the Enterprise sir."
"Thank you Mr. Yves. Tactical, would you be so kind as to FIRE on that alien hunk of junk before it destroys the Enterprise!"
"Aye Sir! Torpedoes away!"
The entire ship seemed to rock with the force that followed the launching of four cobalt blue spheres of light that shot forth from the bow of the secondary hull of the Agustas, an Excelsior Class Refit, streaked effortlessly toward their target.
The impact of the first two Trilithium Cobalt Torpedoes disabled the Invading ships shields providing the remaining two torpedoes a clear path directly to the hull of the vessel. Exploding into brilliant colors of death, the payload of these deadly warheads expertly dispatched the Invader igniting it into the trillion plus particles of superheated space dust.
"Excellent shooting Mr. Cartwright!" Cheered the Captain in an uncharacteristically loud complement for the Tactical Officer and his targeting skill. However, the cheering bridge crew quickly over shadowed his breach in protocol as he looked on at the now ever expanding cloud of dust that had once been an invading ship of unknown origin.
"Transporter Control, get as many of the Enterprises crew as we can get. Helm, stand by to get us the hell out of here." Ordered Captain O'Connor as he leaned back in his command chair and brought his hand together in a pray gesture.
"Aye aye sir!" Relied the helmsman as he began tapping the helm controls.
"We Klingon’s have no Devil." - Kang
Nothing Lasts Forever:
The klaxon of the Complex alarms were defining as people began to run past the young First Lieutenant who was yelling at people and waving them toward himself.
"Everyone into the complex, the Invaders are within striking distance." It seemed the more that the Lieutenant yelled the louder the klaxon became. Many were now running past him and through the entrance to the underground complex. However, many people simply stood around clueless as to the horror that was about to befall them. Nothing stopped those who chose to flea, hundreds upon hundreds of Klingon’s, Romulans, Andorians and even Humans and Vulcan’s began dropping personal items and running full out toward the complex and safety. They knew only moments separated them from life and death.
"Six minutes until orbital breech." Came the computerized announcement over the complex's COM system.
“Ironic in a way, how a machine announces the impending doom of this once beautiful world as casually as it would announce a new arrival at ones door.” It was an observation that T’Mal, a tall thin and obviously elder Romulan Senator, had not planned on making out loud. He glanced from the speaker on the wall to the faces of the two men who stood with him, one, A Klingon who looked as angry as he did concerned, and a black human male in a Star Fleet uniform.
The Human, Captain Sisko, a black human male with a surprisingly strong persona did not look up from the console as he replied to T’Mal statement. “If only a person had the time to contemplate adding emotion to these damned things.”
The Klingon looked at both of the men, before he spoke; “time is what it has announced we do not have.” Then he picked up a remote microphone and switched it on. "Operations this is General Worf. Seal the complex, I repeat, seal the complex."
"In this galaxy, there's a mathematical probability of three-million Earth-type planets. And in all the universe, three million million galaxies like this one. And in all of that, and perhaps more, only one of each of us." - Dr. Lenard McCoy
(2400 Years Later)
In a galaxy where anarchy is law, there is only one kind of alien you can trust. A dead one.
In this galaxy, Races hold their space with unyielding strength, but when strange new Races come knocking on their door, space becomes a little crowded.
Now, where one Race held firm, two will square off. But when they begin to understand one another, alliances are formed and treaties are signed.
This is a tale of many allies, enemies, and neutrals in a galaxy where all has been lost, and rebuilt many times, a galaxy that is now evolving into A New Age.
July 5th, 2005, 12:40 AM
When the great powers of the galaxy united in an effort to defend against the Cleansing, the mass majority decided it, after years of countless defeats and horrible losses, that to avoid utter defeat, drastic measure would be taken to insure that all who could survive would.
Following the horrific defeat the Alliance suffered at that hands of the Cleansing during the battle for Khitomer, the order was given. Unleash the unthinkable. A fleet of ships set forth throughout the galaxy and positioned themselves in strategic point that would ensure that all that could be affected would be affected. One buy one these ships, and their crews, detonated their devices. One by one they flashed into a light brighter than 100 suns, and just as quickly faded out. These explosions would be seen across the galaxies for millions of years too come, even though they only lasted but a few seconds.
Fleet Admiral Picard stood alone on the bridge of the Hood, the newest of the Sovereign class ships, its crew all but dead or dying. “What would Kirk have done?” he asked himself as he stared ideally at the view screen and destroyed hulks that it displayed. “How would Kirk have cheated this?”
“Sir?” It was Captain Data, or rather Data's brother who was found during the Romulan Incident and given the original Data's memories shortly before his death. Although Picard had known this Data for only a few years, he has known 'Data' for nearly twenty one years.
“Oh I was just asking my self a question Data.” Data’s head turned slightly to one side as he pondered Picard’s response. Picard new that this Data did not have the emotion chip that his predecessor had.
“Ah, I often ‘ask’ my self question too.” Picard gave his comrade a whimsical look before turning and taking a seat in the Captains chair.
“I did not hear you come in Mr. Data.” “That was more than likely because you were engaged in thought sir.” “Indeed I was Data. Now that I am not, what is it that I can do for you?” Asked Picard as he picked up a notepad and began reading.
“Sir,” Data took a step forward, “Admiral Janeway has sent confirmation that Operation Omega has begun.”
“I see, and you wish to know what Operation Omega is?”
“If I am to be an effective aid sir, it would be advisable for me to be fully away of all operations.”
"Yes yes Data, your are correct. You were left out of the ‘loop’ so to speak because of the operation was ruled strictly need to know. In fact, only a handful of top Alliance officers were involved in the initial phases of the operation.” Picard put the pad down, straitened his position and took a deep breath before continuing.
“Data, Operation Omega will effectively render warp travel impossible throughout the galaxy. As you and I speak, ship after ship armed with Omega warheads are being detonated in strategic locations thought this galaxy. The objective is to drive the Cleansing out of our Galaxy by making it impossible for them to travel through it.”
“These Omega devices, how long will there effects last?” Asked Data. Picard’s response was a somber one.
“It is hard to say Data, our best guess is about 2 billion years.”
“I see.” Commented Data. “Then it is highly unlikely that we will ever see Admiral Janeway or the others again?”
“I still have hope Mr. Data.” Picard stood from the Captains chair and made his way to the science station. He took a seat there as Captain Data stepped up behind him. Picard entered a few commands and then pointed to the screen.
“As you can see, the Borg ships are establishing Transwarp Conduits between each of the know surviving systems. Even though Warp travel will become impossible, impulse and eventually other modes of propulsion will allow us to move through these warp points to other systems. The problem is, we cannot use them just yet. Effectively, we must drive the Cleansing fleet from our galaxy. We must make them believe that we to can not move from system to system.” Picard looked up and back at Data and asked; “I hope you did not have any pressing engagements in another system?”
“No sir.” Replied Data.
The com chirped just then and the familiar voice of the Hoods acting Chief Engineer, Lt. Commander Jim Warner chimed in, “Sir, main propulsion has been restored, we can make a top speed of about Warp 4.” Picard smiled broadly before replying. “Good work Mr. Warner.” Picard directed his attention to Data, “Mr. Data if you would be so kind as to plot a course to the nearest Federation world, I would be most appreciative.” Data smiled, a not so human smile, but a smile non-the less.
“It would be my pleasure sir.”
As the Hood entered orbit around the Class M planet named after this system, whatever that name was eluded Picard, the ships Captain, looking beaten, haggard, and aged beyond his years, half stumbled half walked onto the bridge.
“Admiral?” He rasped. Picard stood up from the Captains chair and took the arm of his long time friend Bob Martens.
“Here Bob, take your chair.” Said Picard with a sincere concern for his friend.
“Thank you sir.” Replied Martens as he sat down with a sigh. “How is she Admiral?” Picard looked about the destroyed bridge of this once mighty star ship and smiled as he looked back down at his friend.
“A bit worse for ware I am afraid.”
“She’ll pull through just fine.” Said Captain Martens as he leaned forward and coughed uncontrollably. “She put up a grand fight and walked away from it in one peace. That’s more than I can say for the rest our task force.”
Picard looked down and sighed. Martens continued “How many made it out of their Jean Luc?”
Picard looked back up at his friend with very sad eyes and spoke in a tone Martens had never heard before, defeat.
“We lost 97 ships out of 102. The Borg Fleet took a loss of nearly 60%, and Klingon’s lost their entire fleet. The Romulan and Ferengi disengaged as ordered, and only took moderate losses. I had not thought it possible following Khitomer that we would survive another confrontation with a Cleansing fleet, but we have. But in doing so, we have paid a very heavy price.”
Martens looked at Picard for a moment before looking back at the forward view screen now filled with the blue green aura of this distant Federation world.
“So this is home now?” He asked quietly.
“The name of this world eludes my recollection at moment.” Picard said. “But it is our new home.”
“How many?” It was more of a statement than a question. “How many people survived?”
“36 Governor.” Responded Picard.
“36 people out of nearly hundred thousand? My God Admiral that is simply unfathomable.”
Governor Rhikor was a short fat man with an ever-increasing balding head. He was not a man that Picard liked, nor was he much liked by any one else from what Picard could see. In fact, this man reminded Picard of a Ferengi he had once had the displeasure of meeting. What did Loxanna call him, ah yes, a troll.
“Your entire fleet destroyed. What will happen to use now? Will those Cleansing things come here next?”
“Unlikely.” Stated Picard. “We did destroy the ship that was bound for this world, however, given the nature and the state of affairs in other parts of the galaxy, I sincerely doubt that the Cleansing will bother with returning to finish the job.”
“You sincerely doubt? Well Admiral, that is just not good enough for me!” The anger and fear, in Rhikor’s voice was evident.
“What am I going to say to the citizens of this planet? That you sincerely doubt that they will be annihilated?” He was right and Picard knew it. But what could Picard do?
Picard’s Communicator Chirped, 'ah saved by the call for duty.'
“Admiral this is Valdez. We have a priority one message for you from Alliance Sector Command.” Picard tapped the small device on his chest and said aloud.
“Understood. I will be beaming up shortly.”
“Picard” started the Governor but was cut off by Picard.
“Look Governor, I understand your fear, but believe me when I say that in a few days no one will ever bother this planet again including the Cleansing.” Picard’s voice was on the verge of breaking. It had been days since he had slept, and the loss of his entire fleet was beginning to weigh upon him in the most painful kind of way.
“Now if you will excuse me, I must return to the Hood.” With that, Picard tapped his communicator and spoke aloud “One to beam up.” As Picard dissolved into a billion particles of energy, Governor Rhikor slumped heavily down into his chair and lowered his head to his hands.
“God help us.” Was all he said, as Picard’s form finally vanished from sight.
“Jean Luc, I will get right to the point. The Cairo was destroyed on its way to deploy this sectors Omega Device. She was unable to detonate it before being destroyed. Since you are the closest ship to the target sector, the duty falls to you.” Picard pondered the comments of Fleet Admiral Hansen for the briefest of moments before offering a response.
“Admiral, we have no crew, and the Hood is so heavily damaged that we would never be able to reach the deployment zone.”
“Jean Luc, you won’t have to deploy where the Cairo was intended to deploy. Our latest estimates support that an Omega detonation within the system you are now in would work just as effectively as if a device were detonate in the intended system.” Picard looked about for a moment, just to get his eyes a chance to focus on something other than the Hansen’s face.
“Very well.” Stated Picard. “Send the coordinates and plans. I’ll make every reasonable effort to see that a device is detonated. It is the least I can do for casting the final supporting vote for this operation.” Picard knew that his attempt at humor was wasted on this man.
“Very good Jean Luc.”
“It would be advisable to concentrate our repair efforts on the shields in the event that we are attacked again.” Data was in the process of talking to a technician when Picard entered Engineering.
“Mr. Data will you walk with me?” Asked Picard. Data sat the tool he was holding down and began to follow Picard as Picard left the Engineering deck and walked into one of the mail corridors that spanned the secondary hull of the ship.
“Repairs are progressing well Admiral, however.” Picard silenced him with a wave of his hand.
“Mr. Data, I have here the plans for an Omega Warhead. I need for you to construct this device with the utmost haste.” Data looked at Picard for a moment, Picard suspected he was analyzing the request to build what would become somewhat of a doomsday device.
“Understood sir.” Picard smiled and handed the data pad to Data.
“The Cairo was destroyed 12 hours ago, and the mission to detonate an Omega device has fallen to us. I intend to do so within 72 hours.”
“Sir.” Data spoke with concern. “I can perform this mission without the need or sacrifice of you or this ship. I can take a Runabout to the necessary coordinates and detonate the device from there.”
“Oh Mr. Data, I have no plans on sacrificing this ship and her crew. There is an abandoned dylithum-mining asteroid near the target area. It has an anti-matter reactor. We will deploy the Omega device their, and detonate it remotely when the time comes. I want to take out as many Cleansing vessels as we can.”
“I see sir.” Data did not fully understand the concept of what Picard was saying for the last time they encountered a single Cleansing ship; they lost 97 of the Alliances best star ships. “Sir, I do not fully understand the nature of this device. Granted sir it is a device that prevents warp bubbles from forming thus eliminating a ships ability to go to warp speed. But however, I do not fully understand how this will effect or in this case as you are describing, destroy a Cleansing vessel?”
Picard had not considered that even Data would be unable to recognize the true nature of the Cleanings only known weakness. How could he, for only a very few of the top officers of the Alliance new the actual truth about the Cleansing, their strengths, and weakness. What their purpose was, and who they really were. That information had to remain need to know, and at this point, Captain Data needed to know this. “Data, what I am about to tell you is considered Top Secret.”
“Understood sir.” Replied Data.
“The Cleansing are not beings as we know them. They are living breathing biological machines.” Data looked as astonished as an android could.
“Our scans have never been able to penetrate their ships. How do you know this?” Picard shook his head in a no manor.
“Data you don’t understand. Do you recall Tinman?” “Yes.” Responded Data.
“The Cleansing are not humanoid Data, they are like Tinman. They are living breathing machines.” Now Picard had seen it all. Data for the first time in his existence actually seemed shocked.
“Sir, if that is correct, then by detonating an omega device, we would be killing these creatures.”
“That is correct Data. The Omega device renders warp fields and all warp technology inert. That would mean when an Omega device is detonated, it would stop the heart of a Cleansing leviathan effectively killing it.”
“This is how we intend to drive them from our galaxy?” Asked Captain Martens. Neither Picard nor Data had heard him come up behind them as they talked. Picard now realized that keeping Martens in the Dark was a mistake as it had been with Data. “Jean Luc, what right do we have to obliterate the galaxies ability for warp travel?”
“Captain, the decision has been made in order for our societies to survive. The Cleansing consider all life not like them to be useless and therefore in need of extermination. This is the only way to ensure that they leave our Galaxy and never return.” Picard was dedicated to this course of action, as it was the only course of action left to them. Already trillions had died, and thousands of worlds had been destroyed in this genocide brought on by the Cleansing.
“I am sorry Admiral. I am not my self these days.” Martens was tired, as indeed they all were and somewhat drunk. “I have lost everyone I care about Admiral, and I am not being a very good Star Fleet officer by questioning the wisdom of my superiors.”
“Nonsense Bob.” Said Picard. “It is when we do not question the orders that seem not to make sense that we are not good Star Fleet officers.” Picard’s statement seemed to cheer his friend up a bit. “I and my crew await your orders sir.” With that, Bob Martens left Picard and Data and head on down the corridor. Picard and Data looked after him as he walked away. Data broke the silence first. “Sir, I am concerned the perhaps Captain Martens my not be in stable condition for this mission.” “Data, I am afraid that you are correct.” Picard knew what had to be done. He just hated having to do it.
“We shall be leaving orbit in about twenty minutes Governor. In the event that we do not return, it has been a pleasure.” The sarcasm in Picard’s voice was evident as he spoke. “Well then Admiral, best of luck to you and your crew. Rhikor out.” With that the view screen shifted from the face of the Governor of Vega Minor Prime, no wonder I couldn’t remember its name thought Picard, to that of Vega Minor Prime itself. “Helm set course for coordinates Six Five by two one six mark three.” A brief pause. “Engage.”
Picard could feel the ship move beneath his feet as his commands were carried out. “Maximum warp at your discretion Mr. Carson.” Raymond “Jack” Carson was a retired Star Fleet Engineer that just happened to be on Vega Minor V on vacation. He and many others had volunteered to join the Hood when the call went out for experienced personnel to replace those who had been killed or severely injured in the battle that has since become known as the battle of Tarsus V.
It actually was not much of a battle, but more so a one sided game of target practice. The one hundred and two ships of Task Force One of Third Fleet were no match for the Leviathan that they encountered. The Cleansing was on all scales a vessel of destruction. Within seconds of the engagement, nearly every ship of strength within the Task Force had been destroyed or severely damaged. Even the mighty Borg Vessels, those once menacing Cubes, were no match for the power that the Cleansing ship had to offer. Picard marveled at the destruction that had unfolded before his very eyes as he sat in his command chair on the bridge of the USS Ingram. His Flagship, the Ingram, was a Galaxy Class ship, much the same as the Enterprise D had been, but with much more armament and weapons. When the Cleansing turned against him, the Ingram and her crew gave them the best they had. However, with all their power and abilities, it wasn’t even enough to knock the space dust off of the cleansing’s hull. In the end, Picard and a handful of his crew were beamed aboard the Hood and shortly thereafter the Hood was struck and nearly destroyed. All but twenty-four of her crew survived including the ships first officer Captain Data.
If not for the sacrifice of the Klingon’s, all of the one hundred and two ships of Task Force One, which engaged the Cleansing, would have been lost. One by one the Klingon’s closed within meters of the Huge Leviathan and detonated their warp cores. These explosions ripped huge wholes in the side of the massive ship eventually causing enough damage that even its great mass could not withstand and exploded into a trillion and a half particles of ionized matter. Taking with it the remaining Klingon’s ships. In the interim, the Ferengi and Romulan ships were able to withdraw. The Borg also made a hasty retreat. All that remained was the Hood to witness the ever-dissipating cloud of gas that had once been a mighty Cleanings War ship. So this was the battle of Tarsus V, a grand victory for the Alliance. A ninety seven to one ratio is nothing to be brag about, however, given that moral is at an all time low, any victory is a good victory even if it costs the live of a hundred thousand people. Picard was sad, he knew that the chances of them being able to deploy the Omega Device before the Cleansing War Ship entered the system was virtually impossible, yet they had to try. If push came to shove, Picard would blow the damned thing up using the engines of the Hood to do it.
Having to relieve his long time friend from active duty was one of the hardest personal decisions Picard has ever had the displeasure of making. It was clear that Bob was intoxicated when he confronted Picard and Data in the corridor out side of engineering the other day, and Picard knew that since they had arrived at Vega Minor Prime, Bob hadn’t been sober. It was true that Bob had lost everyone and everything that he held dear. His Wife, Son’s and daughters had all been killed by the Cleansing. It was more than any one man should ever have to bear. And it was more than he could. After being relieved of duty following an “incident” in the weapons locker, Bob Martin secluded himself in his quarters. When Picard went to check upon his friend he had to use his command authorization to gain access to his friends quarters. What he found there will forever haunt him. Bob Martin had ended his own life. Picard sat in that room with his dead friend for nearly a half-hour pondering those that he had lost over the years. About never having children, or paths not taken because of protocol. “Oh Beverly.” Picard said to himself as he sat in the dark holding his friend.
That was two days ago and since that time Picard has immersed himself in his duties. It was imperative that an Omega device be detonated in this sector before the end of the week. This would effectively cut off the Beta Quadrant to the Cleansing, and drive them back even further in the direction from where they came. It took the lives of many Batezoids to discover what the Cleansing was. Ship after ship full of Betazoids were lost in vain efforts to get close enough to read the thoughts of the crews that manned those ships. Imagine the surprise the first Betazoids faced when they realized that it was not thousands of minds but only one. One per ship. Picard still remembers the day they found the near dead Leviathan and attempted to board it. The scream Deanna let out when the Phaser torch touched the hull of the vessel. That was nearly two and a half years ago when he still commanded the Enterprise E. God she was a magnificent ship. The loss of her at Khitomer had weighed heavy on him ever since. He lost a lot of friends that day. Worf, Sisko, Riker, and Deanna. Gone and dead for all he knew. Once the Cleansing had attacked an area, no alliance ship ever returned for to do was suicide.
When Janeway suggested operation Omega, it was flatly rejected by the Alliance. “We can win this war without the loss of warp drive.” A blind statement made by some long since dead Fleet Admiral. It was Picard’s decision to go ahead with the plan to end warp travel forever in the galaxy. It was his ‘yes’ vote that sealed the fate of the galaxy. And now, he was on that very mission. “What would Kirk have done?” mused Picard to himself. He had only met the Legendary Captain Kirk for the briefest of moments and in that time he for the first time in his life understood the meaning of command. The hard decisions were his to make and it really was the only way to stop the Cleansing. Without the ability to form an active Warp Field, a Cleansing Leviathan would die.
Even though they knew next to nothing about the physiology of a Leviathan they knew that they were somehow depended upon Warp fields for survival. It wasn’t until that fateful day the Enterprise E captured the wounded one; they knew that it was Warp Travel that had somehow attracted them to this Galaxy. Our very own mode of transportation is what drew then here and now I am on a mission to end that mode of transportation forever. It seemed kind of ironic to Picard that in order to save the body, they had too cut off the feet and legs. To go back to the stone ages, pre-warp technology and the chaos that would surely come.
Picard never really understood what had driven Deanna mad, was it the mind of the Leviathan, or her own fear at what she saw in that mind. She was an empath by nature, but on that day, her telepathic abilities worked. Probably for the first time in her life she was able to read the minds of others. Who knows, perhaps it was that sudden rush of a thousand minds that drove her over the edge. Picard really did not know, but he knew that since that day, she had never been the same. Some minds should never be read. The fate that befell Deanna weighed heavily on William Riker. “Will what has become of you?” Picard still remembers his last words to his one time First Officer and long time friend. “Today Will, today we fight for our very survival. You may engage the Cleansing fleet.” Captain William T Riker was in command of the Sovereign, and was one of the first ships to be destroyed. Deanna was with him on board; they had been married shortly after the Mission to Ba’Ku. Oh to be on that gem of a world right now, thought Picard, to leave all these worldly problems behind, to be with her....
“Sir!” Data’s voice snapped Picard back to reality, and the horror that it represented. “A Cleansing Vessel has entered the system and is on a direct intercept with us.” “Weapons Status Mr. Data?” Picard asked. Data looked at his consul a moment then responded. “Our Phasers are at minimal power, and we have no torpedoes.” Data looked up at Picard. “In other words Admiral, we are a sitting duck.” “I’ll be the judge of that Mr. Data.” Picard statement seemed to him to be a bit harsher than he had intended, but never the less, he was not about to just lay down and die. “Mr. Data, arm the Omega Device and order the ship abandoned.” Data looked at Picard for a good moment before turning back to his console and performing his duties as ordered. “This is the First Officers, all hands abandon ship, I repeat, all hands abandon ship.” Data looked back toward Picard and said. “Sir the device is armed, and awaiting detonation.” “Very well Mr. Data, you may leave.” Picard’s ton was one that Data recognized. It left now room for discussion. Data stood and stepped past Picard before stopping and turning back toward him. Data put his hand on Picard’s shoulder and said as softly as he could. “It has been an honor knowing you sir.” Picard looked up at Data in bewilderment. “Oh I am not staying here Mr. Data, I have but one last duty to perform before I too make haste to an evacuation pod. Rest assured my friend, if it is at all possible I will see you again on Vega Minor V.” Data gave Picard his most human smile yet, and silently left the bridge.
The Cleansing does not send or receive hails. They simply move in and attack. Picard knew the tactic well and this Leviathan was no exception. It was closing the distance at an incredible rate. Picard knew that if it was not destroyed or rendered inoperable that it would eventually seek out and destroy all the life pods and escape pods from the Hood before reducing Vega Minor V to an asteroid field. No, this monster had to be stopped here and now. The line had to be drawn. This point, no further. Picard knew these words well, and he knew that he was going to succeed. Of course upon doing so he would be out of the fight permanently. For no ship would be able to traverse the distance between Vega Minor and the next closest star system for over a 100 years. That is the amount of time it will take the newly formed Transwarp Conduits to become stable. Odd, even the Borg are afraid of extinction. And what of the Q? Where have they been in all of this? Well those were questions that would have to wait for the here and now was about to get a bit hectic. “Computer enceinte auto destruction authorization Picard Jean Luc, Pie-Alpha-Zero-One-Zero enable.”
The computerized voice of the ship sounded its acknowledgment and asked for a count down duration. “20 Minutes.” With that Picard stood and exited the bridge of this Sovereign class Ship. Never to walk upon the decks of another for the entirety of his life. This was indeed a very sad day. Picard made it to the Captains Yacht and successfully left the Hood behind. He knew that once the ship’s engines blew, the Omega device would detonate and all warp travel within this system would end forever. He and his crew had to make it to a safe distance in order to escape the blast.
The Cleansing ship moved in, it sensed something odd about this insect that it was about to destroy, it did not have the sense that it was inhabited. Odd it thought, there is energy coming from the bug yet no life. Perhaps the parasites that inhabit it have all died. Too bad, for it had looked forward to hearing their thoughts as they died. What is this? The power source is increasing...... MUST LEAV--------
The Cleansing Leviathan never finished its thought. The Warp core on the Hood breached at precisely twenty minutes thus detonating the Omega Device. At that instant, the Omega Particles penetrated the hull of the Leviathan at speeds that cannot be calculated. The Leviathan’s heart, its Warp core, breached and exploded. The Cleansing vessel went up with such brilliance that for the briefest time the primitive people inhabiting a planet in a near by solar system thought they had seen the birth of a new star.
It took Picard nearly three and a half weeks to return to Vega Minor V. Upon the way he recovered as many of his people as he could from the cramped escape pods including Mr. Data. “The Governor has reported that may of the Anti-Matter power facilities have stopped functioning and he demands to know what you are going to do about it Sir.” “Tell the Governor that we have just limped back her on impulse power and Star Fleet Rations and I am in no mood to discuss with him affairs of the state.” Picard enjoyed that. He and his crew had just saved this planet from destruction, and this fat little man is worried about his replicator power. No, more than likely his holosuite power. Picard sincerely doubted that the Governor of Vega Minor V has any luck with the ladies.
“Now if you please Mr. Data, would you kindly set us down someplace quite.” With that Picard smiled to himself and closed his eyes. It was finally the time to get some much-needed sleep.
July 5th, 2005, 12:40 AM
Those We Leave Behind
Deep Space Nine was at one time nothing more than an orbital mining facility. A home to the Bajorian slaves and their masters the Cardassian’s. Now, it represented the very essence of what it was to be a Bajorian. DS9 sat in the night sky above Bajor, near the Home of the Prophets, like some gigantic crown jewel of the Bajorian people. The station had been moved out of its orbit from around Bajor to its current location some sixteen years before during the Cardassian withdraw from Bajor. It had been moved in order to protect what Star Fleet called the wormhole, but what the Bajorians knew as the home of the Prophets. And indeed it was home to something. Beings that had no sense of what it was to live in a corporal existence, as they themselves were not limited by our concept of time and space.
When the Emissary came, it was not the begging, the end, or anything; it was simply the fulfillment of the prophecies. Benjamin Sisko had recently suffered the shattering lose of his wife to the Borg at Wolf 359, and had just completed his tour of duty at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards on Mars, when the Bajorian assignment was offered to him. A chance to get away was exactly what Sisko, then a Commander in Star Fleet, needed and most seriously wanted. A chance to focus on something new, something different, anything that would help him to forget what he had lost.
Sisko was a no bull kind of a guy with the attitude that spoke “I am in command.” He had considered the posting to this remote part of the quadrant a blessing in many ways. He wanted to get away from the main stream of Star Fleet Command and this assignment was his ticket. At the time he accepted the posting to Deep Space Nine, it had only been Deep Space Nine for about a week. The sudden withdraw of the Cardassian’s marked the end of an era of occupation for the Bajorian people, and they sincerely wanted to keep it that way. Sisko had understood that the assignment was not without its risks, but safe enough, in theory that he could bring his 14-year-old son Jake with him. Yet another reason to take this assignment Sisko had thought in those early days of his posting. However Star Fleets theory had proved to be most in accurate, for within days of his posting to DS9 a wormhole was discovered and all hell broke loose.
He and his Science Officer, a Trill and long time friend, Jadzia Dax entered this wormhole and marked the dawning of a new era for Bajor and for the Alpha Quadrant.
By being the first to enter the home of the Prophets, Sisko had earned the distinguished honor of becoming the Bajorian Emissary. The ancient prophecies had been fulfilled. And indeed they had been. For it was the Prophets themselves who engineered Sisko’s very life, a life that would ultimately bring about his death, and transport him beyond time and space to the realm of the Prophets and back to the land of the living.
The wormhole opened up the Gamma Quadrant for exploration and exploitation and in those early days no one had a clue that soon all would be in terrible jeopardy. Within 3 years it had been discovered that an empire, that pre-dated the oldest in Alpha Quadrant, was alive and well in the Gamma Quadrant. The Dominion was a ruthless empire lead by a civilization of beings known as the Founders. These beings were considered Gods to the rest of the Dominion. These Founders, fearful of being ousted by the races that were flooding through the wormhole from the Alpha Quadrant, had decided that war was the only option.
The Dominion war brought with it two years of death and destruction that ultimately changed the very fabric of the Alpha Quadrant forever. The Cardassian’s were a broken and destitute people, The Breen sanctioned with many of their leaders imprisoned, and the Dominion’s Alpha Quadrant Fleet, with nearly a million and a half Jem’Hadar, stranded in the Alpha Quadrant with no where to go and no place to call home.
The Federation and its allies ultimately defeated the Dominion and ushered in a new era of peace and prosperity the likes of which the Quadrant had not seen before.
Sisko’s fait, however, was not to be that of a normal Star Fleet officer but that of a savior of an entire world. Sisko was created to fight the evil that threatened Bajor, and he did. He saved Bajor from a fait worse than death on the very eve of victory over the Dominion. For that his life was sacrificed and he was called home to heavens above Bajor. The Official account of Captain Benjamin Sisko’s disappearance was listed as Missing in Action. But when he returned, his official records were amended to say Away on Active Assignment as an Ambassador of the Federation.
The day Captain, “Emissary” Benjamin Sisko returned to Bajor was a day, and ultimately a month, of celebrations throughout Bajor. When asked what he had been doing, Sisko could only say that he could not remember. One thing is for certain, upon his return, Star Fleet affirmed his permanent assignment to Bajor and offered him the rank of Admiral. Sisko declined the promotion for reasons unknown, but was happy to be assigned to Bajor for the remainder of his Star Fleet Career.
It had become very evident that the timing of Sisko’s return and the on set of the Cleansing war were not a coincidence. If not for Sisko’s efforts, Bajor would not have been accepted into the Federation as quickly as it had been, and would not have had time to build the Bajorian Fleet. A fleet that Sisko lead to Khitomer to fight against the Cleansing.
Sisko was asked by then Fleet Admiral Picard, to take command of the Federation Ground operations and assist his long time comrade Ambassador Worf, Klingon Rank General, with the evacuation of Khitomer. Neither he nor Picard could have foreseen the speed at which the events that would lead up to Sisko’s being stranded on Khitomer would unfold. The Cleansing appeared virtually on top of the Federation Fleet. They had no warning and within seconds several ships of the line were laid waste. The Khitomer massacre, as it has now become known, saw the wholesale slaughter of two thousand nine hundred and three star ships from virtually every space faring racing in the Galaxy. Khitomer was to be the Galactic Alliances line against the darkness. The Battle that would turn the tide of the war as it had indeed done, but not in the Alliances, but for the Cleansing. The loss of life among those who served on star ships that fateful day, was the worse loss of life in the history of known space flight. The fleet had no option but to break and run. Only a hand full of ships escaped that day, a mere fraction of what had been.
The Cleansing was left to obliterate Khitomer without challenge and they did. They pounded the planet from orbit until nothing remained except a barren wasteland. In most cases the planet would have been pulverized into nothingness, an asteroid field or smaller, but Khitomer’s fate was something else. Without reason the Cleansing fleet simply halted its bombardment and left. Those who had sought shelter in the bunkers had survived. Although no one in Star Fleet or the Alliance would ever had known that for returning to Khitomer would have been futile. It was assumed that Khitomer had been obliterated as all the other colonizes had been. No scout or recovery vessel was ever sent back to Khitomer until now.
“Damn it’s getting late.” Offered Master Chief Miles O’Brien as he checked the chronometer at his workstation.
“What was that Master Chief?” Asked Lieutenant Colonel Kira Nerys as she looked up from her pad in O’Brien’s direction.
“Oh nothing Colonel. I was just saying that it is getting late.” Responded O’Brien.
“Well Miles that’s what you get for offering to help me.” Kira’s voice was one of playful mocking. “Besides, it’s for a good cause.”
“Do you think its possible that they survived? The Captain and Worf?” Asked Miles as he entered in several commands on his console.
“We’ll know soon enough. Once we reach Khitomer we’ll know.” The playfulness in Kira’s voice had gone. “That is if we makes it to Khitomer, if Khitomer is still there.” See looked up again at O’Brien and O’Brien could see the same concerning in her eyes as she saw in his. “I know Chief, I’m worried too.”
The Defiant B was actually the third Defiant class ship to bare the name Defiant. The first Defiant was destroyed in the battle of Chin'toka during the Dominion War. The second Defiant, not given the designation II, was lost while on mission. The exact events of which are still highly classified and virtually unknown. This new Defiant, now eight years old, had been refitted twice with the latest technologies that Star Fleet could offer. Now it was considered an obsolete design and was slated for mothballing just prior to the on set of the Cleansing War. A true blessing for those who now crew the Defiant, as it was one of the most cherished ships in the Bajorian Fleet. Granted Star Fleet had given the Bajorian nearly every obsolete design they had once Bajor requested admission into the Federation, and the Bajorians had made the best use of what they had been given. The Bajorians were not about to depend upon Star Fleet for protection and wanted to build their own ships for their own fleet. A provision that was accepted by the Federation and included in the Declaration of Admission. The Bajorians would retain the sovereignty of their space, but would be considered a full member of the Federation with all the rights and privileges that membership provides. This would allow the Bajorians to build their own fleet, and represent Star Fleet and the United Federation of Planets in that sector of space.
The Defiant swept through space with the ease of a great bird of pray upon the wind. She was a sleek vessel, a powerful little ship with a proven record. She had seen her battles and met them with pride. Now she was the Flagship of the remnants of the Bajorian Fleet. Nearly every ship Bajor had was lost at the Battle of Khitomer, a battle that had decided the fait of the galaxy. The Defiant, like her predecessors, was equipped with a cloaking device, a device that was outlawed in the Federation but overlooked for this class of ship. As the Defiant approached the Khitomer system, she cloaked.
“Cloak enabled Ma’am.” Said the Bajorian Helmsmen, Lt. Halla. “We are in approach vector to the Khitomer system.”
“Thank you Lieutenant. Hold this course.” Kira was sitting in the Command chair looking out the forward viewer at the emptiness of space pondering the wisdom of this mission. She had had a good feeling about the mission, she knew, however she did not know how, but she knew Sisko was alive. If by the grace of the Prophets Sisko had survived and was still alive, it was her duty, no her obligation to rescue him. She turned slightly to her left to face the science station and spoke with an even tone. “Chief, anything on the scans?”
Miles O’Brien had returned to DS9 after he and his wife of nearly 17 years divorced while he was an instructor on Earth. She had met someone who was more “compatible” with her than he had become, and she needed her freedom to explore her own path. Miles knew that life as the wife of a career Star Fleet officer had been a hard one on Keiko and it came as no surprise that she would want a divorce upon returning to Earth. O’Brien had known Keiko’s new husband for many years and liked the man. He knew that when he chose to return to DS9 that his son and daughter would be well taken care of. It was an ironic twist of fait that he now found himself staring at a science console, relatively safe, while the whereabouts of his two children were unknown. If not for his divorce he would have been teaching engineering at Star Fleet Academy and would been with them when Earth fell. He could have brought them to Bajor, but at the time they would not have come. By the time the Cleansing war had started, it was too late to bring them. Earth was being evacuated in anticipation of attack and reaching Keiko by subspace was impossible. O’Brien could only hope that they had all escaped before Earth was destroyed. That was the past now, and this is the now. He had a job to do, and he would do it. “All scans are negative.” He said aloud as he turned to look at Kira. “The same as in every system they attack. No readings what so ever.” He finished.
Kira and O’Brien had once been bitter rivals, but had grown into good friends. Kira had actually carried and delivered O’Briens second child, Kirayoshi, a boy, following an accident that nearly killed O’Brien’s wife Keiko. By placing the developing fetus of Kirayoshi into Kira’s womb Dr. Julian Bashir had saved the lives of both Keiko and Kirayoshi. A strange fait that brought both Kira and O’Brien closer. Now O’Brien and Kira were more than good friends, they were much more. An odd thing that neither he nor Kira had planned upon, but not an unwelcome one.
“Is there any way to tell if Khitomer is there?” Asked Kira.
“Hell I’d be happy if I could confirm that we are here.” Responded O’Brien.
“Chief! That’s not what I need right now.” Scolded Kira.
“Sorry Colonel.” Replied O’Brien in a mock apology as he turned back to his station. “I’ll try and boost the ambiance filter of the deflector. That should clear up enough of this back ground noise to give us a clear short range scan.”
“I’ll take whatever you can give me Chief.” Kira said as she stood up and stepped up behind O’Brien as he made the adjustments.
“That should do it. Running a scan now.” O’Brien looked from screen to screen visually scanning the displays for any useful information.
“What’s that?” Asked Kira as she pointed to a distorted blip on the starboard short-range scanner display.
“I don’t know.” Responded O’Brien.
“Well we’re going to find out.” Stated Kira as she straightened up and looked toward the helm. “Helm lay in a course to two three mark eight. Weapons stand by, yellow alert.” Kira returned to the command Chair as a flurry of activity began to orchestrate around her. The klaxon had begun to sound yellow alert and the non-essential bridge personnel began to clear the bridge. She could see the shifting of the stars in the forward viewer as the Defiant II made its course correction.
“Barring two three, mark eight laid in.” Stated the helmsmen.
O’Brien was not accustom to being shocked by such things, as he had indeed throughout his career seen it all. But this, this was something he had never seen before. A makeshift space vessel that bore the designs and parts of nearly six different races. O’Brien could clearly see parts of a Federation short-range shuttle, the thruster assembly of a Klingon repair bot, and the warp nacelles, non-functioning, of a Romulan scout vessel. Lord knows what else he saw, but it had a little bit of everything.
“Colonel! It’s a ship of some ki-.” Was all he could say before the red alert klaxon sounded.
“SHIP BARRING two three mark six!” Yelled Ro’Vain, the Bajorian tactical officer. “They have armed weapons.” A short pause. “I think?”
“Those are not weapons.” Stated O’Brien, “They are sensors of some kind. They are scanning us.”
“Hail them.” Ordered Kira.
“Hailing frequencies opened.” Replied Ro’Vain from his station.
“I am Colonel Kira of the Bajorian Defense Force. We mean you no harm.” Kira looked onward in anticipation of a response. She was not disappointed for a face that of a Romulan, flashed onto the viewer.
“My god! Is it true? Are you actually here? Come come everyone look! We have been saved!” The Romulan made ‘over here’ motions to people out side of the viewers field of view. “Come see, we have been rescued.”
Kira looked at O’Brien who simply looked to stunned to offer an opinion, and then returned her gaze to the viewer. “Excuse me, how many are there on board your ship?” The Romulan in the screen looked at her for a second then back off to his left then back.
“Forty two of us are here. That is to say forty two of us have survived to this day.” He looked down with what to Kira seemed to be the look of utter despair upon his face.
“There were One hundred and six of us in the beginning. Now there are only forty two.”
It took Kira a second to or two before she could safely speak louder than a whisper.
“Stand by for beam out.” It was all she could say. She could understand his despair, the utter feeling of hopelessness at knowing how many had died. It was a feeling that she has had to endure all of her life. It was a painful feeling that never left. She tapped a COM button on her chair and spoke aloud. “Sick bay prepare to receive wounded.”
Julian had had to remain behind on Bajor. The wounded were coming in from all over the sector and his skills as a doctor were required on Bajor more than they would have been needed on the Defiant. Kira had not expected to find battle survivors, and could only imagine the horror at which they had witnessed and survived. “Helm lay in a course back to Khitomer.” Kira stood and started for the door. “Chief you have the con, I’ll be in sick bay.” With that she existed the bridge. O’Brien just looked around the bridge at the faces of the people who manned the bridge stations. He knew what they were all thinking. “What lay head?”
Kira entered sick bay, more like a closet than an actual ship sick by, at about the same time as the Romulan from the view screen and two humans were brought in. The humans were warring tattered Star Fleet uniforms and looked as if they had had nothing to eat in weeks. “I am Colonel Kira.” She announced to the two Star Fleet officers. The taller of the two, a Lt. Commander, straightened up as much as he could while supporting the other officer whom just looked on with an empty stare.
“I am Lt. Albert Moore.” He said in a soft weakened voice. “This is Ensign Rick Long. We’re all that survived the Lexington Colonel.” Kira looked at the man for a moment, giving him a caring concerned smile. “Your safe now Lieutenant.” She finally said. “Can you tell me what happened? How you ended up on that ship?” She asked.
“Those things just appeared out of no where and cut us up like we were made of paper. The order to abandon ship came only seconds before the warp core breached. I don’t know how many made it off the ship, but I know that we nearly didn’t make it.” He sat his friend down with the help of a one of the Defiant’s crew. “We watched as those things destroyed one ship after another. The sky was filled with debris and bodies, and all kinds of explosions. It wasn’t until those things moved away from Khitomer that we attempted to make a run for it.” Kira perked up.
“Khitomer?” She asked hastily. “Is Khitomer still there?”
He looked around the room for a second before responding. “Colonel, it’s there alright, but there ain’t nothing left alive on it.” Kira could feel the hope rushing through her body. If these poor bastards had survived then the prophets could only know who else could have. She tapped her breast communicator and spoke aloud. “Bridge, increase speed to maximum.” O’Brien’s voice came back almost immediately. “Colonel that will make the cloak detectable, and without long range sensors, we could run right into a Cleansing ship before we knew we had.”
“Miles, that’s a risk we are going to have to take. Kira out.” She tapped her communicator once again looked back at the Star Fleet officer. “Please continue.”
The officer looked puzzled for a moment before recalling where he’d left off in his recounting of the events. “There were other ships, many other ships, escape pods, shuttles, one captains yacht, and even a small Romulan scout vessel had survived. Our only hope was to combine our resources, and scavenge any parts we could to survive. Khitomer had been utterly obliterated. Planet fall would have been suicide. The amount of dust and debris in the atmosphere would have destroyed our ships on entry. Even if some of us could have survived planet fall, we would have died within minutes. The dust would have choked us to death.” Some one coughed out load and uncontrollably off to one side. Kira needed to get back to the bridge, to be there when they entered orbit.
“I know that this is hard, but I need to know if any one on the planet made it off alive?” She was holding both of his arms with her hands now. She needed to know if Sisko had made it off the planet. When Picard sent word to DS9 of the fate of the Bajorian fleet, he had stated that Sisko was on the Planet when the Fleet was attacked and that his survival was not likely.
“Please continue.” She said as softly as she could. He looked at her for a moment before continuing his story.
“We built that ship out there from as many parts and ships as we could find. It took us 2 weeks to find enough material and equipment in the debris to do it, but we did it. In all that time I never heard or seen a ship leave that planet.” Once he’d finished speaking, he continued to stare at Kira for a moment. Searching her face for any sign of relief, any sign of forgiveness. Kira released her grip and let her hands fall to her sides. She straitened up and smiled at the officer.
“Thank you. The Doctor will tend to your needs.” With that she turned and exited the bridge. With any luck they should be approaching Khitomer.
As Kira entered the Bridge, O’Brien exited the Command chair and gestured toward the main viewer and said. “Khitomer.”
Kira’s heart sank. The devastation that was before her was unlike any she had seen before. The sky was littered with a mass of twisted metal fragments, and broken ship hulls. In the distance she could see the remains of the primary hull of a Galaxy class star ship just hanging in space lifelessly. There were so many broken ships and peace’s of broken ships that Kira became nauseous just trying to comprehend the destruction that lay before her. It was unquestionably the most horrific scene she has ever had the misfortune to see. And now that she had, she wished she could burn the image from her mind never to look back upon it again.
“Helm.” She swallowed hard. “What’s our status?”
“The helmsmen didn’t look away from the viewer for several seconds before eventually looking down at her console and reporting.
“I am reading over, by the prophets, over two thousand, correction, nearly three thousand possible ships, or what’s left of them.” The helmsmen’s voice was near breaking. She could barley hold back the tears that were swelling in her eyes.
Kira two was fighting the urge to cry, but she had to be strong now. She had to be for herself, for her crew, but mostly for the mission.
“I know it’s incredible, but we have come here to do a job. A job that the Alliance didn’t have the courage to do. And for that we have already saved the lives of forty-two people abandoned here to die. So let’s not loose it here people.” Kira looked about the bridge at each and every ones face before continuing. “Helm standard orbit if you please.” Kira took her seat in the Command Chair as the Defiant slowly began to weave its way through the debris field toward Khitomer. Miles O’Brien had moved up next to her and leaned in so only she could her.
“The Enterprise is out there somewhere.” He then straitened up and returned to his station. Kira could only look after him as he walked away. She had never seen the Enterprise E; it had never been to Bajor.
Kira understood clearly that Miles knew a great many people on board the Enterprise who had all died when that great ship was lost here. It was amazing that so many had survived this holocaust to fight on. Admiral Picard and most of his senior staff had all survived, and so had thousands of others. The lucky ones who were beamed to the safety of fleeing ships. Those poor people who were left behind. “Damn it!” Kira thought to herself. ‘The Alliance should have come back to find them.’ To leave people to die alone in space with the fleeting hope that they would be rescued was an unforgivable thing. It deeply angered and saddened Kira to know that this was a necessity learned the hard way.
She knew what had happened to all of the previous attempts to return to a battle zone, none of the ship sent in ever returned. ‘Wait a minute?’ A thought had just occurred to Kira. ‘They’ve made it this far; perhaps they will make it all the way. They had too. There was no other option.’ Kira knew that if the Defiant could make it out of this battle zone with survivors and in one peace, that that could very well change the Alliance’s position on not returning to battle zones. If one ship can make it in, and out, then why not more? What had those other ships done to get them selves destroyed? Kira’s had the answer to her private question within moments. O’Brien had found something on short-range sensors.
“It’s a monitoring platform.” He pointed to the sensor screen, and Kira had to move to the Science station to see it. “It’s organic based, and actively pinging.” Offered O’Brien.
“Has it scanned us?” Asked Kira.
“I don’t think it has.” Responded O’Brien. “We know that the Cleansing has had difficulty detecting cloaked ships, but eventually even the most advanced cloaking devices are penetrated and the ships detected by the Cleansing.” Continued O’Brien.
“Then why hasn’t it seen us?” Asked Kira more to her self than to O’Brien.
“Perhaps it’s because of all the debris. Chances are it hasn’t detected us because we appear to be back ground clutter.” Stated O’Brien.
“That has to be it.” Kira stood and looked toward the tactical station.
“Tactical, arm Torpedoes and target that thing.” Kira had returned to her Command Chair by the time the tactical officer had reported the Torpedoes armed and ready. “Fire.” She ordered.
The Defiant declocked long enough to fire 4 volleys of Quantum Torpedoes. Each of these Volleys streaked across space and impacted upon the Cleansing’s monitoring platform with incredible violence. The power of the Torpedoes exploded in series first breaching the devices shields then the devices hull and ultimately its power source. The platform exploded into nothingness a mere three and half seconds after the Defiant had fired its torpedoes.
“Not very well protected is it?” Asked the Helmsmen.
“It doesn’t have to be.” Responded O’Brien. “Normally nothing would have gotten this close to it.”
“Chief how long until we can expect company?” Asked Kira.
“I’d say 2 maybe 3 hours tops.” Answered O’Brien.
“Helm move us in and establish Orbit at best speed.” <Said Kira. “We haven’t come this far to run away now.”
The Defiant entered a standard orbit, or as standard as one can get given there circumstances, around Khitomer.
“Hailing Frequencies.” Ordered Kira.
“Frequencies open.” Reported the Tactical Officer.
“Khitomer this is the Bajorian Defense Force ship Defiant B, do you read?” Nothing happened for several seconds. Kira looked toward the tactical officer before repeating the hail. Still the channel only returned emptiness.
“Chief anything on the sensors?” Asked Kira.
“I am getting a faint reading. Could be a power source, but it would have to be at least 100 miles beneath the surface of the planet.” O’Brien seemed puzzled by this and Kira took that as a good sign.
“Can you get a fix on it Chief?” She asked.
“I think so. There appears to be a large underground installation at that location. Hard to say with all the atmospheric interference I am getting. But I’d wager there is something there.” O’Brien was sure of what he was reporting and that greatly improved Kira’s mood.
“Can we beam in there?” It was a simple question and one Kira needed an answer to. O’Brien took an above average amount of time before responding.
“I think we can.”
“Chief I need more than that.” Replied Kira.
O’Brien looked away from his station and directly at Kira before speaking. “I’d risk it.”
When Kira and O’Brien materialized they could see nothing as they were surrounded by complete darkness. The air was thick and full of ash and dust. Both Kira and O’Brien had to labor in order to breathe. The place smelled like death and Kira knew that this room had become a tomb. O’Brien was the first to switch on his beacon, and Kira wished that he had not for it reviled a horrific scene. This complex had not withstood the orbital bombardment. Before Kira and well illuminated by O’Brien’s beacon, were nearly three hundred plus dead bodies. All in an advanced stage of decomposition. Kira’s heart sank. No one could have survived this. No one.
“I am picking up faint life signs about five hundred meters in that direction.” Said O’Brien as he pointed behind them.
“How many?” Asked Kira before switching on her own beacon and turning with O’Brien to face the direction of the life signs.
“I’d say about 20 to 30 maybe more.” Replied O’Brien.
“Well just don’t stand there, lets get moving.” Stated Kira as she started walking.
It only took a few moments to reach the end of the chamber. The door to the next chamber was closed, and appeared to be welded shut from the inside. O’Brien removed his hand Phaser and adjusted the setting to a level that would allow him to “burn” through the wall. From the time O’Brien started his cut to the time he completed it only about fifteen seconds had passed. O’Brien stepped back and with a heavy kick, he stomped the peace through and onto the ground of the next chamber. He and Kira then entered the room. At first nothing seemed to be different. The same smell of death, the same silence, and the same choking ash and dust in the air. But then, from the darkness came a voice.
“Get that damned light out of my eyes.”
It was a voice Kira had not heard in nearly 8 weeks. A voice that brought tears to her eyes and caused her heart to beat nearly out of her chest. It was the voice of the Emissary, Benjamin Sisko.
Sisko stepped forward into the light holding his right hand at about eye level to shield his eyes from the sudden illumination.
“Sir your alive!” Exclaimed O’Brien in a very pleased voice.
“Chief? Is that you?” Asked Sisko.
“Yes Captain, its us.” Responded Kira. Sisko stepped up to them and smiled nearly from ear to ear.
“It’s good to see you!” He said.
It took nearly 2 hours to beam everyone up to the Defiant that had survived the tomb that had become their own personal room in hell. Among the Survivors were a Romulan Senator named T’Mal and a Klingon General named Worf. Worf had been serious injured and was in comma. Sisko had explained that even with the complex’s shields the bombardment was too great. The shields had failed within seconds and the complex began to suffer shock wave after shock wave. Eventually many of the chambers failed. Only those in the command bunker had survived. It was the most shielded and reinforced chamber of the structure. A single portable replicator was all that forty-seven people had to live and survive upon.
The Defiant was able to leave the Khitomer system without incident. The return trip to DS9 was made in record time. The Alliance classified the rescue at Khitomer as Top Secret. If word were to get out that survivors had been found at Khitomer both in orbit and on the planet, eight weeks after the battle, moral would be shattered. The knowledge that the Alliance had left people to die without even considering a rescue mission would have broken what little support for the war that was left. No, word of this rescue had to be kept silent. In response, Bajor broke off relations with the Alliance, and destroyed their sub space transponder. If the Cleansing destroyed the rest of the Galaxy, then so be it. Bajor would stand-alone as indeed she always had.
An odd thing happened a year later. A lone Borg cube appeared and created what appeared to be Transwarp conduit. It was not a stable warp point, and the Bajorian scientist speculation that it would not become stable for nearly a hundred years. The reason why the Borg did this had eluded the Bajorians for many months, then without warning warp travel became impossible. It only took the Bajorian scientists about an hour discover why. A massive influx of warp prohibiting Omega Particles has swept through the system. Evidently a large explosion had occurred in a neighboring sector, a huge explosion of some kind of Omega Particle bomb had charged the entire sector and perhaps many more with Omega particles that rendered warp travel throughout the system impossible.
The Bajorians responded to this new change in circumstances by returning to there simply ways. It would be a great many years before they could travel out side of their own system so now was a time for simple things and a return to a simpler way of life. This suited Sisko just fine.
Worf had never recovered from his injuries, and was in stasis. Perhaps in the future a method or treatment can be discovered that will revive him. Whatever happened, Sisko knew that he would not be alive to see his friend recover. T’Mal had moved on to a Romulan colony that had escaped the Cleansing and Sisko had never heard from or seen him again. T’Mal was a good Romulan, and Sisko like the man. He wished him the best and hoped that he would survive the war to live a long and prosperous life.
O’Brien and Kira were married and have had five children. O’Brien never saw his son or daughter by his first marriage ever again. For remainder of his life he had wished that he taken them with him when he had returned to DS9. But deep down in his heart, he knew that they were safe, that they had left Earth long before it was destroyed.
“As time passes, all things will come full circle.” – Unknown
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