Star Trek: Defiant

"Power Play" - Part Four

Written by Valas Maerret

Admiral Schell stood gazing at the viewscreen in front of him. His look was one of pride, and perhaps a little intimidation.

Who would not be intimidated by them, he asked himself with a chuckle. As a whole, the nanites were the perfect unit. A completely organized and unified force. And completely under his control. At least, almost completely. One of the deals with the Romulans when creating the nanites was to give Schell at least partial control of them when they began to evolve into a conscious form. He couldn't believe the Romulans went along with it. Too bad for them, he thought with a chuckle.

The nanites were, however, becoming more intelligent every day, and it was inevitable that one day they would cease following Schell's orders. For the time being, though, they considered him god.

He decided to use up perhaps one of his final favors. That was unfortunate, but it appeared that his Defiant operative was considering persuing his own interests, rather than Schell's. It would indeed be unfortunate if Vex decided not to cooperate. Unfortunate for all parties.

"We await your reply, One," the voice said over the screen. If it could be called a voice. It was more a miriad of shimmering sound, wicked and unnerving, like a thousand whispers in a crowded room. It had an unending piercing quality that could eventually drive one mad.

Schell would never get used to it. He replied simply "I require your assistance again."

"Assistance has been given. We did not expect that One would need it again."

"Unexpected circumstances have arisen."

"Unexpected, yes. The mortals are recovering. They are developing effective weapons against us."

"That's not what I meant. One of my plans has been jeopordized. I need you to ammend the situation."

"Clarify, One."

"I need you to pursue and keep tabs on a starship. And be prepared to destroy it if need be."

"A waste of resources to find and eliminate a single vessel. Better to maintain current organization."

"Better for you, perhaps. Not for me."

"We understand, One. What is the target vessel?"

"The U.S.S. Defiant, located in sector 219."

"And under what conditions should we engage?"

"Only if Vex decides he's not going to play along," the Admiral said to himself.

"Conditions not understood. Please restate, One."

"Just follow the Defiant discretely for the time being. Contact me when you have news on her activities. I'll give you the Defiant's sensor command codes so you can access the internal sensors. You'll receive more instructions when I see how everything is proceeding on the inside."

"We understand. We have dispatched the appropriate countermeasure."

"A single ship?"

"More cannot be spared. Is more than adequate."

Schell sensed his control over them slipping. He knew this would probably be the last request he could make of his nanite allies. It would be all he needed. "This mission must not fail," he replied simply.

"We understand, One. Will not fail."

* * *

Lebin strolled on to the bridge for his shift. He glanced toward K'larn as the Klingon rose from his seat. "How long have they been in there?"

"Nearly three hours," the Klingon replied, looking at the ready room door.

"Is there something going on that I should know about?" the Trill asked half-jokingly.

"I am sure I have no idea," K'larn replied, equally puzzled. It was common knowledge that the captain liked to keep all his briefings, as the word implied, brief. It seemed that was not the case today, however.

K'larn gave Lebin the formal ship's status and wished him a good night before walking off for the turbolift. An hour later, the ready room door opened.

"Good morning, sir," Lebin stated merrily, rising from his chair. "You two are working awefully late, aren't you?"

Bridges didn't even look at his first officer. He moved on to the bridge and stared out the viewscreen. Shuriik followed behind.

"Everything ok, sir?" Lebin asked.

"Commander, set course to 141 mark 355," the captain stated nonchalantly, still gazing at the viewscreen.

The helm officer gave a brief quizzical look, but responded promptly.

Lebin approached the captain. "What about our orders to..."

"We have received new orders, Adam."

A pause. "Very well, sir," the Trill stated. He glanced at Shuriik, and seeing that there was no forthcoming information from him either, he asked "What might these new orders be?"

"You will find out in due time," Bridges replied casually. "All in due time."

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