Star Trek: Defiant

"Rebirth" - Part Two

Written by Brian Bedard

Her name was untranslatable. Her duty was not. She felt the awakening coming. She moved about the grand nursery preparing each egg for the day when the next generation can be born. When light returned to ShadowWorld.

Captain Bridges' mind was busy as he walked to Transporter Room 3. His Chief Engineer and Operations Officer had fallen ill nearly ten hours ago. Doctor Laine still was unable to explain the illness. But right now Defiant had rendezvoused with Fleet Captain Marta Batanides' fleet. The door to Transporter Room 3 opened, the captain strode in and stepped on to the pad. He nodded to Emeras, who whisked him away to the Lakota. He'd never been aboard an Excelsior-Variant before. Lakota was only the third vessel like this to be constructed. He wandered the corridors for a few minutes before he located a turbolift. He ordered it to take him to the observation lounge. Minutes later, he stepped out into the lounge. Already assembled were the captains of the other fleet ships. He took the only chair left.

"Nice of you to make it, Jeffrey." Marta Batanides said. She was an old friend of his mentor Jean-Luc Picard and he hadn't seen her in years. Her skin was still pale and her hair still black.

"Long time, no see, Marta, " Bridges said.

"Now on with the briefing," Batanides began, "I assume you all received the message from Admiral Necheyev. What I want to do is set up a tachyon net similar to the one Captain Picard used during the Klingon civil war. Now, where is the best place to set it up?" Batanides asked.

"I think, twelve clicks outside of the Cardassian / Bajoran border," Captain John Bateman of USS Bozeman said, "I believe that we should look too aggressive, keeping a safe distance should project that we don't want to get involved."

"I agree with Captain Bateman, " Captain William Joel of USS Extreme said.

"I concur," Batanides said at last, "You will receive placement orders within the hour. Dismissed."

Doctor Laine paced Sickbay, she had three patients currently, two of which she couldn't make head nor tales of. The patient whose condition she did understand, Matthew Marinus, was suffering a neural collapse that was common to Betazoids when their telepathic abilities bloom late. He'd be alright in a few days. It was Bedard and Lebin that worried her. They were unconscious, but she couldn't determine what caused then to collapse. One was a Trill, the other, Bolian. She couldn't find one thing that would affect both officers simultaneously. She was distracted by the captain's voice over the intercomm.

"Senior officers report to the observation lounge. Engineering, I don't know who Bedard has as his second, but I'd like Barak to come up. Sickbay, Doctor Laine if you want to stay with your patients, you can send Doctor Miller. Bridges out."

Bridges awaited his officers. They slowly filed in. The Romulan engineer arrived last as he had the farthest to come. Lieutenant Emeras took the place of Lieutenant Lebin.

"If you haven't heard, Cardassia has declared war on Romulus." Bridges started. Barak lowered his head.

"Has the war started?" Barak asked.

"Yes, a major skirmish is being fought only several light years away. We have been ordered to take part in a peacekeeping fleet. We are to prevent the factions from bringing the battle into Federation space. There's one more thing, Starfleet Intelligence thinks that this war is being orchestrated by the--"

"Dominion." Jen Matute finished the captains sentence.

"Yes. Jen, I'd like you to take a runabout and go to DS9, talk with Constable Odo. See what he thinks. I already have permission from Fleet Captain Batanides." Bridges said.

The changeling security officer stood up, "Captain, I'd like to go now."

"Go ahead." Bridges said.

Lieutenant Jen Matute, former member of a race known only as the Founders, exited the lounge. Minutes later, she was aboard USS Rebellion and on her way to DS9.

"Barak, I'd like you to file a report to the Lakota, on Romulan battle strategies." Bridges said.

"I'm sorry captain, I haven't much combat experience on Romulan vessels. I'm afraid, I don't know much more than the Federation already knows." Barak said.

"Still, you know more than anybody, what Romulans are really like. File something along those lines." Bridges said.

"Yes, Captain."

The intercomm signalled, "Sickbay to Captain Bridges" the voice of Laine Rael said.

"Yes, Rael." Bridges said,

"Captain, Bedard and Lebin are gone. I was reading up on Trill Physiology, I left my office to check on them, and they weren't there."

"Bridges to Bedard." Nothing.

"Bridges to Lebin." Nothing.

"Damn. Attention: Security, locate Chief Bedard and Lieutenant Lebin and escort them back to Sickbay."

"Aye, aye sir, " Lieutenant Rachel Urbon said via the intercomm.

"Captain, we're moving away from the fleet." K'larn reported from the bridge.

"What!" Bridges said. He and the remaining bridge officers scrambled back to the bridge. Lt. Ry Emeras slipped into Ops.

"Captain. We are now on a heading towards the battlezone." Ry Emeras said, "All control functions are locked out."

The intercomm squawked, "Captain, Urbon here, We've located our missing Bolian and Trill. They've locked themselves in Auxiliary Control.."

"Damn! We're heading straight for a warzone and there's nothing we can do about it."

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