Star Trek: Defiant
"Power Play" - Part One
Written by Valas Maerret
"This root beer is flavorless," Lebin spat. He had been arguing with the replicators all morning, and now was having no luck in Eight-Forward. He was getting ready to sit back in his stool and try to enjoy the less than tasty beverage when in strolled a familiar face.
"Mak!" Lebin shouted merrily, jumping from his seat. "We didn't expect to see you for another week."
Marinus and Shuriik entered eight-forward and approached the first officer. Mak had been recalled two weeks earlier for special assignment. Everyone was curious to find out exactly what the Novachron had been up to. Catrin and Clark were seated at a table in the far corner. Seeing their boss, they began walking over to greet him.
"Nice to see you again, Commander," Shuriik stated, looking the Trill over as if they hadn't seen each other for years.
"'Commander?'" Lebin asked. "Since when has formality been your forte?"
Marinus smirked. "Since he stepped off the shuttle. I think he is determined to keep his little adventure to himself."
Lebin frowned. "Come on. What happened?"
"The assignment was pretty boring, actually."
Marinus shook his head. "And he can't even come up with a decent cover story." He turned to Shuriik. "Noone's gonna fall for that; everything following in your wake is at least as interesting as a Betazoid wedding."
Mak simply smiled. He glanced around the room, gazing at all the familiar faces. Then his eyes landed on Catrin. He studied her intently, with a look that seemed to give away that she was not what he expected. That expression was then replaced by one of complete satisfaction, as if a life long search had finally come to an end.
How well the good Admiral seems to know me, he thought to himself. He continued his gaze for a moment before stating "So -this- is my added bonus. Indeed it is worth it. Ms. Kadyia."
She raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure you're feeling alright?"
Dan jumped in, "Hey, buddy, how bout a drink for...."
"Mr. Clark," Mak interrupted, "go fill out a report on the Z'tarnis cluster." He never took his eyes off Catrin.
"...Ah... Aye, sir," Dan replied, somewhat stunned. He stumbled out of the room, still unsure as to what just happened.
"Now Ms. Kadyia," Mak said smoothly, with his vintage smile, "let us sit down and bring ourselves up to speed on the goings on around the ship. We'll need some drinks," he added, waving to a server. Catrin wasn't exactly sure what had gotten in to Mak, but she decided she would play along, if only to find out what he was so engrossed with. He lead her a table in the far corner.
Marinus looked to Lebin, who had been left standing beside him. "And for a moment I thought there was something wrong with the boy."
Lebin shook his head, smiling. "Nope. Same old Mak." Marinus chuckled.
"Come on, help me finish off this root beer."
* * *
"The meeting was scheduled for 1900. You are an hour late."
"I was preoccupied."
A moment of silence.
"I am used to having my orders followed to the letter. If you don't think you can handle this assignment, then perhaps we should call it off."
"Lets make one thing perfectly clear. I don't follow orders. I do what I want, when I want to do it. Also, you need me much more than I need you, so I suggest you start kissing some serious ass. You can begin by apologizing."
Hesitantly, "I am sorry."
"No. 'I am sorry, -sir Vex-'."
A long pause before the reply, accompanied by increasing tension.
"You came under high recommendation by the Romulans. Perhaps they were mistaken to mark you with such high standards."
"No, they simply have no problem kissing ass."
"Maybe you are not aware; they do it with extreme pretense."
"It matters not to me. You could learn a thing or two from them."
Ignoring the remark, "I hear you were once joined with a Romulan. You are quite the non-conformist."
"The last couple hundred years have been boring. I wanted a little change."
"And what of this... thing? You almost look like a borg."
"Yes, the host was not too happy with the alterations."
"The host - you give him no control," as much a question as a statement.
"None. It is customary to keep an active relationship with the host body, and to share, not dominate, the consciousness. But I, how did you say, am quite the non-conformist."
"And if the host resists?"
"Let him. It makes no difference to me."
Another long silence while the two stare at each other.
"Alright. I understand that you are unhappy with the frail nature of the host bodies that you are restricted to inhabit. And technology does have its limitations."
"How well you seem to know me. What else have the Romulans mentioned?"
"Not much. Only your mastery in their memory erasure techniques. And they did mention some of your utmost desires."
"And would it happen do be that you have the cure for my desires?"
"Perhaps. If you are willing to do something for me."
"There is a Federation ship, the Defiant, on which there is an officer named Takila Mak..."
"Mak. That name I know well. I should have killed the bastard years ago."
"Well, the symbiont, Mak, is already dead."
Confused, "So what does this have to do with me?"
"The host, Takila Shuriik, remains alive."
Loosing interest, "Takila is not a Trill name."
"Yes, well, Takila is not a Trill. He's a Novachron."
"Hah! Stuff of fairytales, there."
"I would not waste your time with fairytales, Vex. There are indeed two Novachrons aboard the Defiant. One of them is a senior intelligence operative with top security clearance. It is my desire to have you join with him to infiltrate the ship. I would provide you with means to do so."
Regaining interest, "And how certain are you that these Novachrons are compatible with a Trill Symbiont."
"As I said, he was once joined."
"And what would stop me from joining the Novachron and leaving with your 'infiltration' uncompleted."
"So why do you expect me to uphold my end of the bargain?"
"There is an... added bonus, when you complete the assignment."
"I don't like cryptic answers."
"And imagine, you hanging around all those Romulans for so long."
"Consider it a chance to add a little adventure to that, how did you say, boring last couple hundred years."
A moment of silence. "Very well."
"Good. Then lets get down to details, shall we?"
Continue with Episode Eighteen
Return to the Final Part of Episode Seventeen
Return to the Defiant Stories Page
Return to the Defiant Home Page