“What’s going on?” Captain DeSoto said as he left the ready room. The red-alert klaxons had automatically sounded to alert the crew that an enemy ship had been detected.
“Long range sensors pick up an enemy ship entering heading for — The Mutara Sector?”
There’s been no activity out there in nearly 90 years, why there, DeSoto wondered. “DeSoto to all ships — does anyone want to volunteer to tail that ship.”
“I’ll volunteer,” Jenna responded.
“It’s all yours, Ottawa, DeSoto out.”
In setting up her bridge crew, Jenna Carson had managed to select people she knew and trusted. She poached Sonya from Baldwin to be her first-shift flight controller and managed to recruit her friend Susan Cassoday as her operations officer. Both were on duty when Jenna volunteered to investigate the Jem’Hadar ship heading for the Mutara Nebula. “Sonya,” Jenna instructed, “set an intercept course and engage at maximum warp,”
“Aye, Captain,” Sonya replied.
Jenna kept an eye between her view screen and the sensors as her ship sailed through the stars. Ottawa was one of the fastest ships in the fleet, and can certainly catch up with a rouge Dominion ship; however, the question of why they are heading for an area the Federation hasn’t visited in years. “Susan, can you bring up anything on the Mutara sector?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Susan replied. Before she could say or do anything else, her panel beeped. “Captain, we’ve approached the Jem’Hadar ship, but they are emitting some sort of chronotron radiation.”
“I didn’t know they knew anything about time travel,” Jenna responded. “Temporal Investigations is going to love this. Sonya, follow them,”
“From Hell’s heart I stab at thee…” an old man said as he engaged detonation of a device that had been placed on the bridge. As soon as he engaged the device, he suddenly transported to an unfamiliar ship. “Where Am I?” he immediately blurts.
“My name is Yelgrun, I represent the Dominion. Our objective is to bring order to this quadrant. We feel you can help us with that objective; therefore, we have come back in time to retrieve you.”
“And what would I get in return,” the old man said.
“You, Mr. Khan, may have the entire Alpha Quadrant to control,”
“If you can hand me this part of the Galaxy to control, it would be an honor to find like-minded people.”
“Susan, Where — and when — are we.”
“We’re near a nebula in the Mutara sector, but I don’t have it on my star charts. According to astrometric readings, it Stardate 8141.5 .”
“Back us up, now!” Jenna exclaimed. Almost as if on cue, when the Ottawa was within a safe distance, the nebula lit up like a newborn star. “Congratulations,” she said, “you guys just witnessed the Genesis Explosion,” The bridge officers gave Jenna a puzzled look. “Am I the only one who thought the history of James Kirk’s Enterprise was an easy class? Find our time-travelers, Susan.”
“Captain, I’ve got them, and it looks like they have gotten what they came for.”
“Follow them, Sonya.”
Captain’s personal log, Stardate 51157.5: It’s been over a week since our short trip back in time, and I still can’t get over the fact that one of history’s most feared men is alive and sided with the Dominion. He may be someone that I didn’t always get along with in high school, but as I told him when I became Captain of Ottawa, Patrick Ingrum has never steered me wrong. Now that a Starfleet problem feels like my problem, he is the one that I feel most comfortable with to confide my worries.
“You’re wondering about the ramifications of the situation,” Patrick said.
“Khan and the Dominion are a lethal, possibly unstoppable, combination — if they work together. No one in Starfleet knows what Khan is capable of doing. With the knowledge the Dominion has gotten from us and the fresh legions of Jem’Hadar, I would say that he has the upper hand.”
“But what do we have that he doesn’t,”
“Simple, Jenna, friendship, and family. I know that Jaimie talks to Kelly as often as she can. I call my sister regularly and have sent her some of the music from the time capsule. Baldwin and Ottawa have not seen any fatalities — yet. I’m hoping our group, our family, will make it out of this war.”
“For some reason, Patrick, I don’t share your optimism. I know I wanted to be a Starship Captain, but being involved in a war was never what I had in mind.”
“Making it out of this war without dying isn’t optimism, it’s a goal. Right now, it’s the best goal that I can make.”
Five Months Later
Captain’s personal log, Stardate 51519.6: It has also been six months since I took command of the Baldwin. The crew has grown accustomed to me, as I have to them.
Whoever wrote the policy that the captain should remain separate from the crew should probably come aboard any ship during wartime — and then get blown out the nearest airlock. The Captain is the source of leadership for the crew, especially when the ship repeatedly runs into wartime situations. It is still a war.
Since the retaking of D. S. Nine, the founders have retreated to produce fresh legions of Jem’Hadar. The new soldiers are even tougher than ever, but my goal of making it out of this war unscathed is still attainable. We have just returned to the front lines on a 90-day rotation. During our previous trip to the front lines and so far during this crusade, there have been no deaths aboard Baldwin, although we have had some serious injuries, some of which required the injured to be put in stasis.
What is more concerning to me is, ironically enough, a 20th Century human. Jenna is still concerned about what Khan can do with the resources of the Dominion at his disposal. To be honest, I have to admit to being a little concerned myself.
Speaking of the 20th Century, during our break from the front lines I’ve found old photos of baseball and softball fields, basketball courts, and football stadiums. I have converted a lot of them into holodeck recreations. One of my particular favorite places is a small baseball/softball complex.
“How’s it going, number one,” Patrick said to his first officer.
“Just fine,” Reinette replied, “you have done a great job with this program. Every time I’ve come in here, it’s the same program, but the game is different. I do like this guy who is up.”
“The wind-up, and the pitch,” Patrick said as the pitcher made the throw. “Swing at that, he lines it to right-center field, the second baseman picks it up. Does he make it in time — yes sir.”
“What is that,” Kim said from behind him.
“I’ve been listening to too many old baseball play-by-play broadcasts,” he said, smiling.
One of these days, I’ll have to invite Captain Sisko aboard, or at least give him a copy of the program.
Reinette has been looking at the videos of dance routines from the time capsule, and she’s having her own ideas.
“Computer, open program gamma-5,” Reinette said. “What do you think of this?”
“Allen Fieldhouse, circa late 1990’s,” Patrick said. “It looks good, although if you want to see the routine, one would have to sit on one side or the other.”
“For some reason, I like this side,” Reinette said, pointing to the section labeled ’17’.
The doorbell rang in Khan’s quarters. “Enter,” Khan said.
Weyoun, the Vorta in charge of the war effort for the Dominion, entered the quarters, “Mr. Khan, I —,”
“Khan will do, Weyoun,” Khan replied.
“As you wish. The founders have a mission for you. As you currently understand, there are four founders caught on Earth when the war effort began. We would like for you to attempt to retrieve them and return them to Cardassia. We believe that the Federation may be able to identify them.”
“I understand,” Khan replied. “But how do expect me to get there.”
“We captured a federation ship before the war, and recently began training troops to operate it. Your ship is ready now,” he said as he went on to the details of the mission, and how to administer the enzyme known as Ketracel White to the Jem’Hadar in his command. “Good luck,” Weyoun said as he escorted him to a transporter station.
Khan was familiar with the design of the Tian An Men. Just before he was beamed off and sent forward in time, he had commandeered a similar ship. “Set course for Earth, maximum warp.”
“Yes, sir,” the helmsman responded as he engaged the warp engines.
“Captain, I’m detecting a federation starship on long range sensors not on that patrol,” an alarmed Jaimie said.
“The Tien An Men?”
“I understand that the the Tien An Men was lost before the war,” Kristy said, “but the Dominion isn’t known for capturing vessels. Why is this intact.”
“Roslyn’s last assignment was the Tien An Men,” Patrick answered, “Dr. Murrow insisted that she be taken alive.”
“Thus, the Dominion elected to recover the Tien An Men intact and inter her crew.”
“Kim, set course to follow them. I want to know what they’re up to,” Patrick replied as he tapped his combadge. “Ingrum to engineering, prepare to cloak.”
“Aye sir,” Karen replied over the intercom.
Roslyn exited the turbolift, “I heard that you have detected the Tien An Men.”
“News seems to travels too fast,” Patrick joked. “Engage Cloak,”
“We’re approaching the Tien An Men now, sir.”
“Thanks, number one.”
“Should we decloak,” Reinette responded.
“You’re right. Red Alert. Prepare to drop cloak on my mark.”
“500,000 kilometers,” Kristy said.
“Decloak… now! Scan Her. Identify the personnel onboard.”
“I’m Identifying life signs — twenty Jem’Hadar, one human.”
“I’ll place my bets on who that one human is. Which way are they heading, Kristy.”
“Heading 135, mark 8.”
“Straight for Earth,” Patrick commented.
“Sir, an enemy ship has intercepted us,” the Jem’Hadar First said.
“How did it elude our sensors,” Khan replied.
“They must have some sort of cloaking technology.”
“Let them come,” Khan replied, “Proceed, maximum warp.”
“They appear to be ignoring us,” Jaimie said.
“Match them and keep your eyes peeled. Reinette, Gloria, could I see you in the conference lounge.”
“All right, what’s up,” Reinette said as soon as she entered the lounge.
“Starfleet Command expected something like this,” Patrick replied, “We have been able to trap one of the founders.”
“Basically, what you are saying,” Gloria replied, “is that Khan and company are just trying to reclaim their leader.”
“Bingo,” Patrick said. “Starfleet general orders are to let them go, but keep an eye on them in our territory. Personally, I think there’s more than meets the eye here.”
“Understood, Captain,” the second officer replied as the group exited the conference lounge.
Captain’s Log, Stardate 51525.1: We have been following the Tien An Men for 46 hours now. They have predictably, transported 4 lifeforms from Earth, including the captured changeling. They have set a course for Cardassian Territory.
“Captain, the Tien An Men has just altered course.”
“Thank you, JP. What is their most likely destination.”
“It would most likely be Starbase 227, sir,” Kristy answered.
“Two-two-seven — that’s the prison where Dr. Murrow is being held. Senior staff, report to the conference lounge.”
“Here’s the latest,” Patrick said to begin the conference, “It now appears that Khan has a secondary target — the now-famous Dr. Murrow.”
“Why?” Roslyn asked, “Doesn’t the Dominion have Vorta genetic experts.”
“Experts on engineering Jem’Hadar and Vorta,” Patrick replied, “But they don’t hold a candle in expertise on human DNA to Dr. Murrow. If they intend to create human subjects, they need him.”
“I see,” Reinette replied, “but what do we do now?”
“The Jem’Hadar and the Vorta would rather commit suicide than be taken prisoner, but disabling the Tien An Men would yield us five high-level prisoners and keep the Dominion from trying anything dirty,” Jaimie answered.
“I concur,” Reinette responded.
“Any objections,” Patrick said. No one said anything. “I guess it’s settled. We’re going in. Battle stations — everyone should know the drill. Jaimie, ready the first volley of quantum torpedoes.”
“First volley set.”
“Sir, the enemy has fired on us.”
“I see that, second. I was ready for this,” Khan said as he punched buttons on his console.
“Captain,” Kim said, “the helm’s locked out.”
“So is tactical.”
“I was afraid he would try a dirty trick like this. Computer, run program 2-5-6-8-7-0, authorization Ingrum-alpha-1-alpha.”
“Computer, Lieutenant Commander Reinette Hernandez, first officer,” Reinette continued, “Confirm program, authorization Hernandez-beta-2-beta.”
“Computer, Lieutenant Gloria Dawson. Confirm program, authorization Dawson-gamma-3-gamma.”
“Sir, I’m reading a series of explosions from the enemy ship.”
“On screen,” Khan said. The viewscreen displayed a blinding light. After the light subsided, a debris field was visible.
“Well, it looks like our little friends have blown themselves up. Continue on course.”
“Captain,” Sonya said, “I’m reading a general distress signal from Baldwin.”
“Susan,” Jenna answered, “set course for the Distress buoy. Sonya, what was Baldwin‘s last assignment?”
“They were tailing Khan and the Tien An Men,” Sonya responded.
“Ouch,” Jenna replied, “Engage at warp 9.”
Captain’s Log, Supplemental: We have arrived at the last known coordinates of the Baldwin. At first glance, Baldwin was lost with all hands, but, for some reason, I think there’s something up my comrade’s sleeve.
“The debris field contains the right metals for a federation starship, and as much mass as the Baldwin,” Bernie commented.
“Capitan,” Sonya said, “I have found a message buoy.”
“Retrieve its contents,” Jenna responded.
“Sir, the contents of the buoy are interfacing with the computer,” Sonya replied, then paused until the computer beeped, “It’s a Code 47 message.”
“My eyes only,” Jenna replied, “In my ready room.”
“Computer,” the young captain said as she entered her ready room, “Activate message. Authorization Carson-lambda-2.”
“Voice identity confirmed,” the computer replied, “This message is not to be discussed with fellow officers unless deemed essential. There will be no computer record of this message,”
“Jenna,” Patrick started his message. “I expected you to be the first one here. I pre-recorded this with an encryption key that only you and I have. If you are seeing this message, it means that I have activated the destruct decoy contingency program,. We are currently cloaked and are continuing our mission; however, in order to accomplish it, we have to maintain strict radio silence and make it appear that Baldwin has been lost once again. I want you to keep this a secret. Do not tell anyone about the contingency program or the fact that it is being utilized. I cannot risk letting the word get spread to the Dominion. I’ll see you around the galaxy.“
“Bridge to the captain,” Bernie said over the intercom.
“Go ahead, Bernie.”
“We’re receiving a priority one distress call from Starbase 227. The Tien An Men has been spotted and is on an attack course.“
“Set course for Starbase 227, Maximum Warp.”
Captain’s personal log, Stardate 51525.3, this message recorded under encryption code Omega-1: We are approaching Starbase 227. I know, and the only one that is supposed to know, that Baldwin is out there, trying to figure out what the Dominion is doing.
“This much is certain,” Bernie said, “The changeling infiltrators have left Earth for their home territory and that Dr. Murrow has been made a prisoner at Starbase 227. My suspicion is that the Dominion is planning on using their expertise in genetic engineering and Dr. Murrow’s success with humans to create a new batch of spies.”
“Unfortunately, I feel that you are right, Bernie.”
“Captain,” Sonya said over the intercom, “we’re approaching Starbase 227.“
“Would Tien An Men have our prefix codes on file?”
“I doubt they would be able to access that information,” Bernie replied.
“Red Alert. All hands to battle stations. Have the multi-vector assault mode on standby.”
“Multi-vector attack mode standing by,” Sonya replied, “just in case.”
“Good,” Jenna said, “Engage Tien An Men.”
“I see the little girl wants to play,” Khan commented as the ship rocked, “Return fire.”
“Ah, so that’s how you’re going to play. Evasive pattern gamma-two.”
“Gamma-two confirmed,” Sonya replied.
“Before Ottawa could intercede, Tien An Men transported one person.”
“Thanks, Kim,” Patrick replied.
“That would mean, Reinette commented, “that Khan has what he came for.”
“But that means,” Gloria broke in, “that our objectives have changed. Now, we must stop Dr. Murrow from creating a new army.”
“I agree,” Roslyn replied.
“I don’t think there are any objections. Computer, end program. Authorization Ingrum-echo-1-1-7.”
“Sir, another ship is decloaking behind us.”
“Identify,” Khan said.
“It’s the ship we saw destroy herself earlier.”
“No matter how they did it,” Khan replied, “they have faked their own death. We will make them wish they hadn’t.”
“Khan,” Dr. Murrow said as he entered the bridge, “I have an idea.”
“Captain,” Sonya said, “They’re making a run for Baldwin.”
“I see that. Remind Khan we’re still in the game,” Jenna replied.
“We’re ready,” Dr. Murrow said.
“Shields are down,” Jaimie said, “We’re losing power.”
“Weapons are off line.”
“Then let’s get out of the way. Signal Ottawa we’re —”
A bright white light shone through the Baldwin‘s viewscreen, overpowered Patrick’s senses and knocking the entire crew out.
“What’s going on.”
“It looks like they have disabled Baldwin. This is strange,”
“They’ve powered down weapons.”
“You mean,” Jenna said, “They’re not ready to ponce on Baldwin.”
“Nope,” Sonya said. “However, it appears that they have boarded her.”
An ominous gray hand grabbed Patrick and probed his right shoulder. “Doctor,” said the beast, “We have what we came for,”
“Good,” Dr. Murrow replied, “now, get back over here, second. We have achieved a great victory.”
“Captain, they’ve neither captured nor killed anyone. It looks like they’ve left Baldwin adrift and are making a run for it.”
“Prepare the Multi-Vector Assault mode,” Jenna replied.
“Aye, Captain,” Bernie replied.
“Engage multi-vector assault mode… now.”
“Sir, the other ship has separated into three sections and is on an attack course.”
“Signal the reinforcements. We don’t need this ship. We have —”
Khan’s thought was interrupted by a phaser blast from Ottawa‘s saucer section.
“Their shields have collapsed,” the tactical officer said.
“Good,” Jenna replied. “Computer, Assault pattern delta-1. Target the Tien An Men‘s engines only.”
“Sir, they have disabled us.”
“But they won’t kill us yet,” Khan replied, “We have the founder, and our ships are on the way.”
“He’s right.” The Jem’Hadar guards stood at attention as a founder shape-shifted into the first officer’s seat. “Are there any signs of one of our ships.”
“No time has been wasted. We have a ship coming for us as we speak.”
“Captain,” Susan said, “an armada of enemy ships are approaching,”
“Susan, as soon as we’re back together, move us in to guard Baldwin.”
“I’m reading at least 70 Jem’Hadar warships approaching,”
“I see them, Sonya.”
“They are approaching the Tien An Men,” Sonya stated.
“I believe our trip home has arrived,” Khan replied. “Let these humans have their ships. We have something of theirs; we will be seeing them again.”
“I don’t get it. First, they leave Baldwin adrift, now they are abandoning Tien An Men,” Susan said. Jenna sat watching the enemy ships converge on their target.
“You’re right, that’s not the Dominion’s MO. Let’s find out what’s happening on Baldwin. Bernie, you have the bridge, Sonya, you’re with me.”
As the shimmering blue light faded, Jenna and Sonya quivered at the sight of the abandoned-looking bridge.
“Sonya, check the environmental controls. It’s a little colder that I remember.”
“Looks like life support is running on half power,” Sonya said.
“Carson to Ottawa. Assemble a repair crew as soon as possible,” Jenna said to her crew as she shook the unconscious Patrick.
Patrick’s eyes opened quickly, “So, you’ve come to make sure I was still alive.”
“Sort of,” Jenna Replied, “The Jem’Hadar boarded, but then suddenly left. It doesn’t appear that they have ransacked the place.”
“That’s good. Isn’t it a little cold in here.”
“It may be awhile before we have the heat back on,” Sonya replied.
Patrick turned toward his ready room, “I’ll be right back.” After a couple of minutes, he returned in a dark blue jacket with a lined hood, “It’s not exactly Starfleet-Issue, but it does its job.”
“I see,” Jenna replied.
“Now,” Patrick said,” can we get to engineering from here.”
“If you feel like crawling through 20 flights of Jeffries Tubes.”
“Fortunately, It’s all downhill,” Patrick replied, “Allons-y.” After a few stories down the Jeffries tube, Patrick tried to make a little conversation, “So, what the hell happened.”
“Tien An Men fired some sort of pulse, they boarded, then abandoned, Baldwin,” Jenna replied. “We were able to disable the Tien An Men, but reinforcements came.”
“That’s unusual. I have to assume they have some reason.”
“I can’t fathom it right now,” Sonya replied.
“Anyway,” Patrick said as they reached engineering, “I have to assume they plan on coming back.”
“Or, perhaps,” Sonya said, “They’re wanting you to come to them,”
“Trap me — or us? That certainly is possible. Right now, I could use a ship with fully operational environmental controls,” Patrick said as he opened a control panel and began replacing isolinear chips that had been burnt out. The warmth spread slowly over the decks of the ship as a small squad of engineers beamed right next to the warp core.
“We got the heat back, but it’s still a little cold,” Jenna said.
“Life support is on emergency power,” Patrick added, “try to get main power back online, and while you’re at it, try to get my crew up. Sonya, you’re with me. Jenna, care to join along?”
“I guess. Where are we going.”
“Good. Next stop — sickbay.”
“Wake up, Doctor,” Patrick said as he tried to wake up his CMO.
“In a minute, mother,” Kay mumbled.
“I’m certainly not your mom,” Jenna replied.
The doctor woke up sharply. “Where am I?” she asked.
“Last time I checked, this is sickbay,” Patrick replied.
“Apparently, a Jem’Hadar strike strategized by Khan,” Jenna replied. “But I don’t have a clue on why he left you alive.”
“Sonya, hand me a medical tricorder.”
“Here you go,” Sonya replied.
“It appears,” Kay said as she ran the tricorder around Patrick, “that the Jem’Hadar extracted a tissue sample.”
“Tissue sample?” Patrick said, “Why would they want only a tissue sample?”
“Considering recent events, I would say they specifically wanted a DNA sample.”
“Hold on a second,” Jenna responded, “You mean to tell me that the Jem’Hadar attacked a Federation ship and left it and another one like it open to claim just to get a bunce of DNA samples?”
“Unfortunately,” Patrick said, “it sounds like that’s exactly what they did.”
“First,” Sonya said, “Khan heads for Earth. Second, he attacks a starbase and frees a genetic expert. Third —”
“He takes the genetic samples of everyone aboard Baldwin. He used Tien An Men to enter Federation territory and recover a geneticist. I think that Khan has given us part of his plan out in the open,”
“Translation please, Patrick,” Jenna replied.
“I mean,” Patrick continued, “Khan and company have taken genetic samples from this crew to create new subjects. Kay, revive the rest of the crew, then assemble the senior staff in the conference lounge.”
“What the heck is going on?” Reinette asked as she entered. She was one of the last to recover and the last to enter the conference lounge.
“Since you’re all here now,” Patrick began, “I’ll put it mildly. It appears that the Dominion has stolen our DNA — literally.”
“What does that mean?” Jaimie asked.
“It means,” Patrick said, “they can genetically engineer and clone us,”
“Clone,” the entire senior staff replied.
“Unfortunately,” Patrick replied.
“I, for one,” Reinette stated, “would not like the idea of knowing that I was cloned. There’s only one of me.”
Patrick checked the reaction. “I seriously doubt there would much disagreement here. The next question: How do we get our DNA out of the hands of the Dominion.”
“Unfortunately,” Gloria replied, “I think the only way would be to venture into enemy territory.”
“And right into a trap,” Patrick replied.
“Would we have better odds of getting back if we had backup?”
“You’re right Jaimie. I’ll have to talk to Admiral Ross for that, though. I’ll be in my ready room. Dismissed.”
Patrick looped around the bridge from the observation lounge to the ready room. “Computer, priority one to Admiral Ross.”
“Is there something wrong, Captain.”
“As a matter of fact, there is. The Dominion is in possession of the DNA of the entire Baldwin roster, and I’m sure they are not going to respect our privacy.”
“I understand. Starfleet Command does not wish to take an offensive stance at this time, but I agree that it’s unacceptable for the enemy to have your DNA records. As of now, you are assigned to head a recon mission. Officially, you are to try to get a clue on what they are doing, get home, and send a report.”
“Paperwork sounds like fun.”
“Because of the restrictions I just mentioned,” Admiral Ross Continued, “I cannot send you any assistance. You have the Ottawa nearby, and I’m sure her captain may be willing to help you,”
“Other than that, you’re on you own. Good Luck, captain. Ross out.”
“JP, patch me through to Ottawa,” Patrick signaled to the bridge.
Jenna had returned to her ship and was awaiting Patrick’s call for a status update. “What’s the latest,”
“Anyone interested in a recon behind enemy territory?” Patrick inquired
“Is that an invitation?”
“I’m game. The question is, do you have a plan?”
“Working on it.”
A few hours later, Patrick had finished his plan and called the senior staff back to the Conference Room. “Here’s the situation,” Patrick began. “Ottawa‘s sensors reported that the Dominion battle fleet made their way back to sector 563. There are three systems in that sector, all of them containing Class-M planets. Reinette, you will take Tien An Men with a skeleton crew for this mission since we will need a third ship to complement Baldwin and Ottawa.”
“Cloaking devices are now ready aboard all three ships. Hopefully, that will keep them from making mincemeat out of us,” Karen rang in. “Also, I’ve changed the prefix codes and will send them to Starfleet Command at the end of our Mission. That should retard Khan’s ability to hack into our ships.”
“All right, let’s get to work. Before I dismiss everyone, Gloria, could you please come forward?”
“Gloria, you have been doing a fine job, and I had recommended you for a promotion. It took a while to get everything in order, but your promotion has been approved. It is my honor to promote you to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Congratulations,” Patrick said as he placed a black rank pip on Gloria’s collar.
“Thank you, sir.”
“I want you to go to the Tien An Men as Reinette’s XO.”
“Karen, since I’m sending Reinette and Gloria over to Tien An Men, I’m making you Baldwin‘s acting XO. Bridget can handle Engineering, I need you on the bridge for the duration of this mission.”
Captain’s Log, Stardate 51525.2 We are a few minutes away from the first planet in the system. Our objective: Find Khan and destroy all presence of Baldwin‘s crew’s DNA.
“We’re approaching the first Class-M planet.”
“Kim, take us out of Warp and initiate standard orbit. Kristy, scan the surface.”
“I’m ahead of you,” Kristy replied. “I’m reading a small base in the western hemisphere. 25 Jem’Hadar, two Humans.”
“Jaimie, you’re with me. Roslyn, report to weapons locker five. Karen, you have the bridge.”
Upon reaching the locker, Patrick opened a control panel. “Type-three phaser compression rifles, capable of firing a continuous beam or a compressed bolt of energy. Either way, they are capable of knocking down or vaporizing their target. Set these to the maximum setting, and make every shot count. Follow me.” Patrick led the small team across the hallway to one of the two shuttle bays. “Khan will know that we’re coming if we decloak while in orbit and beam down, so we’ll have to be more subtle.” Patrick stood in from of one of Baldwin’s two runabouts. Bridget has tweaked Neosho‘s engines so that we can go warp 9.3 without major problems. Let’s load up.”
“Won’t Khan detect the runabout,” Jaimie asked.
“Not if we can fly in the the right way,” Roslyn responded.
“Merrill to Neosho, we’re at the coordinates,”
“Understood. Drop the cloak on my mark,” Patrick waited a few seconds, “Now.” On cue, Baldwin promptly decloaked. “Engage.”
“Here’s a map of the terrain as the Baldwin‘s sensor’s picked up. It’s in a small mountain range, but not too difficult.”
“I see an opening right there,” Jaimie said, pointing to the map.
“I agree. It’s about 1200 meters from the fortress and in a small indentation. We should be able to land there with no problems,” Roslyn rang in.
“I have to approve. Roz, bring us around and take us in. JP, see what you can do to fool their sensors.”
“I’m on it,”
The small runabout swung around the small planet, twisting inward in a swirl towards the planet, approaching a small valley within a small mountain range. “All right, let’s do it,” Patrick said as they got out of the runabout. “Computer, initiate lock down, authorization Ingrum-5-6-delta-bravo,” Patrick grabbed a small bag. “These are 20th Century military outfits. Put these on, I won’t look.”
After they put on their camouflage fatigues, the trio climbed around the mountains. At one point, Patrick grabbed something out of his bag. “Stay down. I see three Jem’Hadar ahead.”
“I don’t see anything,” Jaimie said, peeking up.
“The Jem’Hadar are shrouded. They are invisible and undetectable by our scanners, but it’s not like a cloaking device. They still emit heat. These night-vision goggles are probably the best way to find them.” Patrick promptly grabbed a phaser and fired upon the otherwise invisible solders. “Let’s go, quickly.”
Patrick, Roslyn, and Jaimie quickly descended the mountainside. “Roslyn, bandit bearing 2-8-2.” Roslyn promptly aimed her phaser in the appropriate direction and immediately fired. “Nice work, Lieutenant.”
“We are 500 meters from the compound,” Jaimie rang in. “I’m reading several lifesigns. Human, Vulcan, Bolian, Andorian.”
“That sounds like the Tien An Men‘s crew complement,” Roslyn commented.
“That would be my guess as well,” Patrick said as he fired a phaser shot to their rear.
The away team approached a small group of buildings. “Well, well well, what have we here.”
“Ah, the great Khan Noonian Singh, I finally have the opportunity to meet you. Have the Founders offered you the Alpha Quadrant for your loyalty,” Patrick said as Khan directed him into an office.
“It’s irrelevant if they have offered me the entire universe. The founders share my view of bringing order to the imperfect society you call humanity. I would be more than happy to assist them in whatever way I can. As for you, as I knew you would come, I’ve prepared a special place. First, would you please remove their equipment?”
“Yes, sir,” the Jem’Hadar first replied.
“So tell me, where is your ship,”
“She’s probably in orbit, but I’m not sure.”
“Tell me how to scan for her,”
“Set your tachyon scanners to a phasing of .56 microseconds.”
“Commander, two Jem’Hadar ships approaching”
“I see them, Kim.”
The ships fired onto a spot, briefly bring a piece of the Baldwin ‘out of phase.’ “Kristy, report.”
“Their weapons are precisely timed to our phasing unit,”
“Alter the cloaking device to compensate,” Karen replied.
“Aye, Commander.” Kristy replied.
“Sir,” the voice of the Jem’Hadar first boomed over the communications speakers, “The enemy ship has disappeared from our sensors.”
“They must have retuned the phasing,” Patrick replied, “They could have either changed it manually, or the computer could have picked for them. Either way, there’s no systematic way to tell you what to do.”
“Captain,” Jaimie whispered, “why are you telling him everything?”
“Am I?” Patrick replied.
Ship’s log, USS Tien An Men, Lieutenant Commander Reinette C. Hernandez, Supplemental: We briefly detected the Baldwin under fire by two enemy fighters. We are on a course to intercept.
“How long before we intercept those fighters?”
“Forty seconds,” answered the acting operations officer.
“Go to Red Alert. Prepare to raise shields as soon as we decloak.”
“Reinette,” Gloria rang in, “The phasers are charged and photon torpedoes are loaded, but I want to make sure you’re aware, we are not equipped with quantum torpedoes.”
“Duly noted, Commander. Prepare to decloak.”
“Decloak and target phasers and photon torpedoes.”
“We have a lock.”
Upon seeing the Tien An Men decloak, Karen added in, “Tactical, decloak and load forward Quantum Torpedoes.” Unlike her sister ship, Baldwin was equipped with the newer, more powerful weapon.
“Quantum Torpedoes ready.”
“By All means, decloak and fire,”
“Sir,” a Jem’Hadar soldier said as he approached Khan, “our ships have been destroyed.”
“Call for reinforcements immediately. We can not allow the enemy —”
“Sir, a third enemy ship has decloaked,”
“Right above us.”
It was now Ottawa‘s turn to enter the fray. “All right,” Jenna stated, “we’ve let them know we’re here. Prepare for landing.”
“You didn’t come alone.”
“Of course not. I may be relatively new at command, but I did have something that resembles a game plan.”
“Eliminate them,” Khan ordered.
Before the Jem’Hadar guard could move, Roslyn reached around and grabbed his head, sharply breaking his neck. “Nice job,” Patrick said as he picked up the dead Jem’Hadar’s weapon and pointed it at Khan.
“It looks like it’s time for me to make a strategic retreat,” Khan said as he pressed a button on his wrist and beamed out.
“Is everyone all right,” Jenna inquired as she entered the room.
“Yeah, we’re fine,” Patrick replied. “Khan decided to bail.”
“We’ve destroyed the DNA samples, we’ve got the crew of Tien An Men ready to return to their ship, and Neosho is in our shuttle bay. Looks like Khan is not my problem after all.”
“Yeah. I guess if he has any quests for vengeance in the near future, he’ll be after me. I just hope I’m ready.”