Star Trek: Defiant

"Queued" - Part One

Written by Laine Rael


The surface of the OutRider shone as Lieutenant Commander Laine Rael looked upon the images fed to her workstation, which had been collected in the Defiantís first encounter with the nanite-infested vessel. On high magnification, the hull of the ship swam before her. Dreamily, patterns teemed and swirled, pulsating and shimmering.

So many, she thought, caught up in the rhythm.

Her observations were interrupted by Captain Jeffrey Bridges entering her office. The black chair hovered a few inches above the ground, a blue glow emanating from its bottom. She smiled at him brightly, hiding the sadness in her heart as she remembered when she had had to look far up to meet the eyes of her love.

"What are you doing?" he inquired, moving the chair to her side. She showed him the computer screen, and Bridges let out a low whistle.

"Amazing, isn't it?" Laine said. "I was doing some more work on the data I've collected from you, and I thought I'd take a little break."

"Doesn't look like anything that should cheer you up," Bridges said, a hint of concern in his voice. He locked eyes with her, and their blue depths probed deep into her. She couldnít have hid her feelings if she tried. Seeing her worry, the lines around Bridges' mouth deepened. He took Rael's hand. "It's going to be okay, hon," he said, pressing her hand to his lips.

Tears stood in Rael's eyes, and she blinked them away, smiling. "Of course it is," she said, and embraced him.

* * *

In an area of space far outside what the Federation considered the Delta Quadrant, a being assumed human form, and appeared on the plane of existence common to mankind. After a moment of thought, the being donned a Starfleet Captain's uniform, laughed into the vacuum of space, and vanished in a flash of light.


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