Star Trek: Defiant

"Rebirth" - Part Three

Written by Brian Bedard

He was the leader of ShadowWorld. He stood atop the tallest mountain, waiting. The light would return here first. He was worried. He hadn't informed all his people about the dangerous region they would find themselves in. He hoped they would survive a war they had nothing to do with.

Bridges couldn't keep still. He paced back and forth around the bridge, helpless while two of his trusted officers took his ship into a warzone. He stopped next to Ry Emeras, still filling in for Lebin.

"Tell me, we're cloaked." Bridges said.

"Yes sir, cloak is up." Ry said.

"Thank God for small miracles." Bridges said. The liftdoors behind him opened. He whirled around when he heard Adam Lebin's voice. Lebin and Bedard were standing just outside the lift.

"Captain, we've come to explain ourselves." The Ops officer said. Bridges was tempted to call security but he held back.

"Go ahead, Lieutenant." Bridges said.

"Not long ago we were taken by an alien race. We were subjected to our greatest fear. We were tested to determine whether we could do what needed to be done." Lebin said.

"We, they took both of you." Bridges said.

"No sir, all of us, yourself included." Bedard said.

"So that's what happened," Bridges said, "But why did you two retain your memory?"

"We didn't, It came back to us when we collapsed." Lebin said.

"And what is it that needs doing?" Bridges asked.

"Stop the war." Lebin said.

"Stop the war!, we have no right to be here." Bridges said, "how exactly do you plan to accomplish this task?"

"With a little help." Lebin said.

Ry Emeras's board lit up. "Captain, subspace is acting weird. I'm picking up a massive rupture in subspace in the vicinity of the battle."

"The Awakening." Lebin said in awe. Ry Emeras said, "Captain, incoming message from... Gul Dukat!" Bridges scrambled back to his seat, "On screen." The starscape was replaced by the image of the former commandant of Terok Nor, standing next to him were Lieutenant Jen Matute and Constable Odo.

"Captain, it seems you are in need of some assistance." Dukat said,"Your Chief of security has convinced me that the Dominion is in fact behind this little skirmish. She and Odo have come up with a plan. I must say, it's quite ambitious."

"One moment Gul Dukat," Bridges turned to Lebin, "Why are we doing this?" Bridges asked.

"A planet is passing over into our universe. It occurs every five hundred years." Lebin said, "When ShadowWorld returns to the light, the eggs can be hatched. The war is in their back yard. The planet would be devastated."

"Damn. We don't have orders to do this, but I can't stand back and watch genocide happen." Bridges addressed his security officer aboard Dukat's cloaked Bird of Prey, "Jen, what's your plan."

"Simple," The changeling said, "One of the leaders on the Cardassian front or on the Romulan front is a changeling. Expose him or her, and Dukat thinks he can persuade the Cardassians from continuing."

The corridors of the two ships were not too dissimilar, however the Cardassian leadship was far more dirty that it's Romulan counterpart. As if timed, to teams beamed into both ships. The commando teams had only 24 hours before ShadowWorld returned the universe of light. Aboard the Cardassian ship, Odo, Rachel Urbon, Bedard and four of Dukat's loyal crew headed for the bridge. The Romulan team had it a little more difficult. Bridges, Lebin, made to look Romulan were joined by Jen Matute, trying her best to be a Romulan. The last two places were taken by Defiant's resident Romulans Barak and Maerett.

Bridges tapped on Matute's shoulder, "How are we going to expose someone as a changeling?"

"I don't know," Jen said. "I'll think of something."

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