Star Trek: Defiant

"Rebirth" - Part Four

Written by Brian Bedard

The sight atop the mountain on ShadowWorld was breathtaking. Colors washed over the previously gray horizon. The Awakening had arrived. The leader of this world looked on, tears in his eyes. This was his first sunrise.

The Romulan infiltration team, harrowingly missed death by a bravura performance by Barak. He convinced a roving guard that they were an elite guard sent to make sure the ship was safe for the Praetor to arrive. They continued on towards the bridge.

"EVASIVE MANEUVERS!" Hardin yelled. Defiant's cloak had failed and he found himself in the midst of a major battle. Small vessels were swarming around Defiant spraying phaser fire. The Federation ship's shields were on the verge of breaking. Under Mackowick's guidance, Defiant swung around and dodged several photon torpedoes.

"Shields' gone." K'larn reported.

"Conn, keep our dorsal side to the battle, the armor's thicker." Hardin said. Mackowick kept the ship moving and avoiding most of the heavy fire. However, two torpedoes rammed the ventral side, sending a jolt through the bridge.

"Phaser's off-line, torpedoes off-line." K'larn reported, "All we've got is impulse."

"God, I hope they've got enough time." Hardin said. An idea came to him. "Mack, bring us closer to the big ships, make it harder for them to hit us with out risking hitting their own."

"That would mean taking sides. We don't want to do that." Mackowick responded.

Hardin sunk in his seat. "I think we're dead."

* * *

"Captain, Defiant is crippled. Should we help." Commander Edward Marinara said. Fleet Captain Batanides had been fuming when Defiant broke orders.

"Negative, we can't involve the Federation." Batanides said. Marinara nodded. He watched the distant battle on the view screen. He noted a message was coming over the comm board. His eyes went wide as he read it.

"Captain. We have just received a message from Defiant detailing their intentions. Sir, they are trying to stop a genocide."

"Genocide! Of who?" Batanides said. The stakes had just risen astronomically. If there was one thing the Federation couldn't stand was genocide.

"A race living on a planet in the warzone." Marinara said.

"I don't see any planets." Batanides said. It drew quiet on the bridge of the Lakota. Batanides' Conn officer Cadax, pointed towards the view screen.

"Captain, look" Batanides gaped as a planet appeared out of nowhere smack dab in the middle of the battle.

"My god." Batanides said, "We're going in. Marinara order the fleet to stay put. Conn intercept course for Defiant please."

* * *

Hardin was lost in awe as the planet he came to know as ShadowWorld appeared. His memory had returned. "Status."

"Bridge, this is engineering, we lost containment of the anti- matter." one of Bedard's officers said, "Sir, we've got six minutes till self- destruct."

The Romulan team crouched outside the bridge, waiting for the Cardassian team to get into position. A chirp signaled on Bridge's comm badge. They were in position. Phasers ready, the two teams simultaneously stormed the bridges of the flagships. Bridges' phaser leveled inches away from the Romulan Commander's face.

"Don't as much as twitch your eye," Bridges' shouted, "Jen, what ever you do. Do it now."

Matute stepped forward with a strange device. "We have reason to believe one of you is a changeling. This scanner will tell me which one it is." In reality the device was plasma indicator from Dukat's ship. She held a poker face, seconds ticked on into minutes. Odo's voice crackled over Bridges' comm badge.

"Captain, He's not here, he must be there." At that, one of the Commander's aides drew a disruptor and charged Bridges. Matute flowed into a raging grizzly bear and as she contacted the other changeling, they mingled into one fluid. Minutes later, the fluid separated and Matute reformed. One of the Romulans drew a disruptor and vaporized the remaining fluid.

Barak and Lebin jumped in front of Matute as Maerett wrestled the distruptor out of the Romulan's hand. The battle raging outside the ship disappeared from the Romulan viewscreen as the face of Gul Dukat appeared.

"Commanders of both sides. You have been duped by the Dominion. Call off this useless squabble before more lives are lost."

The Romulan commander looked at Bridges. "I am sorry. We will withdraw."

Bridges' badge crackled again. This time Hardin was on the other end.

"Captain, we've got five minutes until core breach, are you alright over there."

"Yes, Commander, just get off the ship."

"CAPTAIN!" Lebin shouted, "the Cavalry" Bridges saw in the distance, the Lakota drop out of warp.

"Captain Bridges, Fleet Captain Batanides here. Prepare to beam aboard."

As the transporter effect grabbed Bridges. He watched as his first real command went up in a blaze of glory.

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