Star Trek: Defiant

Pilot Episode 6B

Written by Takila "Mak" Shuriik

Mak stopped and looked around, his balance and confidence in the solidity of the plane slowly increasing as he performed some rudimentary breathing techniques.

"What? Who's there? What are you talking about?" he asked aloud.

"Oh, how the mighty have fallen." A deep, sepulchral laughter erupted, echoing evilly from all directions.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Mak asked challengingly.

"It is the end. You are all that remains of a once arrogant universe. The Immortal Sentinel has survived it all. You should be proud!" More sinister chuckles.

"Huh? I'm the last person in the universe?" Mak asked, puzzled. "Are you saying everybody's dead--that I'm the last being alive? How?"

"The wars, greed, jealousy, inconsideration, hatred, pride. All the lesser races killed each other off. What was left was assimilated by the Borg. Somehow, your uncanny talent for survival kept you alive and you found the one fatal flaw in the Borg's collective armor and exploited it. Now only you remain: master of a dead universe, the peak of an extinct food chain, the last, the eternal---The Omega!"

"But I don't remember."

"Of course not, you are standing in what is yet to come. You have been plucked from your own time that you might see your destiny." Mak shuddered at the possibility, however outrageous, that the being spoke truly. He began running as fast as he could, but the terrain never changed. The clear plane remained smooth and limitless. Finally, he stopped, fear and anger rising in his throat. He had no idea how long he'd been running--time no longer mattered. All was silent.

"I AM NOT ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Ensign Mak shouted. Then the realization dawned on him. The voice was not coming from all around him: it was coming from inside his own head. In his madness, Takila Mak screamed.

* * *

The holodeck doors whooshed open and Midshipman Mathew Marinus scrambled in. He touched a cool, wet washcloth to his friend's feverish face, a look of concern in his eyes. Mak seemed unconscious. He tried tapping the Ensign gently on the side of his face to awaken him.

"Mak, Mak, c'mon man, snap out of it! Get that ol' Novachron healing factor flowing!" His request was granted with a groan from the ageless ensign. "Attaboy, Mak, you did it! You lured that sucker in just like you planned!"

"The horror . . ." Mak's cracked voice managed. Marinus reached over to the thermos he'd brought with him for just such an event and poured Mak a cup of iced water. Mak looked as if his facial hues were returning to normal. "Ok, Mathew, do it." Mak ordered. The Midshipman nodded.

"Transporter room, site-to site, two to beam to the Captain's ready room!" The sparkling, bluish beam engulfed their bodies and moments later the holodeck was empty.

* * *

When the beam reappeared, Mak found himself in a stark white room. Mathew was nowhere to be seen. This was certainly not the Captain's ready room. Mak slowly sat up on the hard white table trying to focus his mind, trying to sense the familiar vibrations that would tell him if he was indeed still aboard the Defiant--nothing. Again, he was alone. He stood up and began feeling along the seamless room until something made him stop. He stepped back and a portion of the wall rose to reveal another room filled with over two dozen seats atop some of which sat Captain Bridges, Cdr. Hardin, Lts. T'Mal and Ry and Dr. Laine. Seeing his Intelligence Officer's exhausted, puzzled form, the Captain rose and quickly made his way towards the Novachron, brows knit with concern.

"Are you all right, Mr. Mak?" he asked. Mak studied the the Captain's face as if trying to decipher whether it was real or imagined, then pulled his weary body into a nearby chair. He looked suspiciously at the others.

"T'Mal, what did I say I put into the punch at the Senior Cadets Ball just before we graduated the Academy?" he asked. T'Mal's eyebrows arched in thought, trying to recall. Mak didn't blink. Finally she answered.

"Nothing. It was Cadet O'Toole who performed the deed. The liquor was Aldeberan whisky."

Mak grinned. " 'Atta, girl, T'Mal." Then he turned to the Captain, secretively opening his tightly closed fist to reveal Marinus' small detection/surveillance mechanoid. Mak put a finger to his lips to silence any possible outcries. He pointed around the room as if to suggest it might be under surveillance.

"It worked, Sir. They took the mental 'bait' during my meditation, just as I figured," Mak finally answered, his breathing now normal. "I don't know if the M.O.U.S.E. got anything, but we should be able to retrieve whatever data its sensors picked up. Maybe we can finally learn something about this thing."

"But how did you know there even was a 'thing' as you put it?" Mak simply looked into the Captain's eyes, letting his haunting, ancient gaze fill the Captain with a calming faith in the crewman's mysterious abilities.

"Counteractive chi." The Captain's face fell in confusion. Mak tried to put it in simpler terms. "It's what Cdr. Hardin would call 'a disturbance in The Force,' Sir. An unusual bio-energy signature that is contrary to the regular pattern cluster generated by the crew of the Defiant."

"I see. Good work, Mr. Mak!" Bridges beamed in an excited whisper. "Is there a chance the ship's sensors might have also picked it up?"

"Probably not, Sir. Most equipment is not standardized to detect that kind of metaphysical energy. Myron here's kinda special, though. One thing's for sure, whatever this thing is: it's old even by Novachron standards."

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