Star Trek: Defiant

"The Federation Strikes Back" - Part One

Written by Daniel Clark


Six Months After the Nanite Invasion

Starfleet Admiral Jean-Luc Picard starred out at the ten thousand assembled guests. They were Starfleet officers, Bajoran militia, and now Federation citizens one and all. With the help of the Bajoran Emissary, Captain Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space Nine, Admiral Picard had been able to convince the Shakaar Government of Bajor to join the Federation. In doing so Bajor had also become the home of the Federation.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Bajorans, Starfleet Officers, and honoured guests. I am happy to welcome you here on this day of mixed emotions. For today, do we not only open a symbol of the determination of the Federation and its ideals, but we remember hundreds of Billions who are not here to celebrate it with us. The new Bajoran shipyards are indeed a symbol of not only the Federation's perseverance, but of the commitment of the Bajoran people to something great."

"This facility will always be a remembrance to the people who perished under the nanite infestation, but more importantly it will be a landmark for those who survived and for those who each day continue to fight for something greater. For the future. That is why it gives me so much pleasure to open the John Hardin, Federation Citizen, Shipyards. Commander Hardin gave his life to preserve the lives of the fifty million people still living on Earth's moon. In doing so, he gave his life to defend the future. It is not specifically his life that we remember today. But his spirit."

These last words brought a tear to many an eye in the audience. However, there were two hundred eyes which were dry. They belonged to the one hundred members of the Defiant crew who had come to the ceremony. Led by Captain Jeffrey Bridges they stood at full attention and honoured their friend with their precision and their memories. There had been many tears from this group already, and there would be many more. But not today, for today was John's day.

USS Chinook

The Maginot Line - 100 light years from Bajor

Captain Lenny Henry reclined in his Captain's chair as his ship followed an elliptical route just behind the Maginot Line; the border between free Federation space and Nanite infested space. It was with a sense of historical irony that Admiral Picard had so named it; an irony that was not lost on Henry.

The route the Chinook followed was the same route they had followed for nearly three months. The Federation was content to allow the status quo to continue as it tried to regain its strength and reestablish its power bases. Part two of the Picard plan was to conduct raids into the former Federation territory to judge the strength of the nanites, which planets they controlled, and how they were conducting themselves.

There wasn't a day that went by that Henry did not wish that he were one of the Captains charged with investigating the nanites instead of defending the border. Current intelligence information was baffling the Federation scientists and Starfleet Intelligence. As best as could be determined the nanites seemed to be content to patrol their own space, and maintain a routine similar to that established by the Federation prior to the invasion.

The expansionist spirit which had at first been a hallmark of the nanites, and had, in fact, been what made them so dangerous was gone. Henry's personal hypothesis was that the nanites had reached the end of their programming and were waiting for new instructions.

"Captain!" lurched Henry out of the daze he had been in, "There is a ship coming out of the black zone (the name for the former Federation space). It is on an intercept course with us," said the ops officer Lieutenant Commander Blackstock.

"Red alert!" replied Henry, "Shields up. Arm all phasers and photon torpedoes. Put them on screen Mr. Blackstock."

The viewscreen shimmered away from the brilliant black star-field which had dominated it just moments before. In its wake was an oddly shaped dingy brown ship. A veritable mish-mash of styles and parts. "Captain," called Blackstock, "I've identified them. Its a Pakled ship."

"The Pakleds?" asked the Captain, surprised. "Do we have any information on whether the Pakleds have been infested?"

"No, Captain. The Pakleds are so nomadic that it is impossible to generalize for the whole people. However, I have extrapolated this ship's course backwards, and it leads straight to Vulcan. And we know that Vulcan has been infested by the nanites."

Damn, thought the Captain to himself, if this ship has been to Vulcan the money is on them being infested, alright. Henry's thoughts were again interrupted, "Captain, they're hailing us."

"DAMN! Okay, have we got the oscillatic filter installed?" The filter was a device which analysed and filtered out additional components to a transmission that might have been harmful, or may have been designed to be harmful.

Chief Engineer Lucinda turned to the Captain and nodded. "Alright. On screen."

The ship disappeared, and the rounded face of a Pakled filled the screen. "Hello. We want to go faster. Can you make us fast? No one wants to help us."

Henry signalled a mute. He turned to his first officer, who said, "They're Pakled's alright. Frankly I think the nanites would be an improvement to those guys."

Henry suppressed a grin, "But they have been travelling through nanite space. What did they say, no one wants to help us? Strikes me that they have had contact with the nanites but the nanites took no interest. And I want to know why."

The first officer nodded. The Captain continued, "I would never do this during normal times, but these are far from normal times. Okay, target phasers on their engines, and any weapons they might have. Give them a .75 burst; I don't want them hurt, just a little bruised."

Two seconds later a pair of yellow-orange beams lanced out from the Chinook and linked it to the Pakled ship. Blackstock informed his Captain, "Engines are damaged and weapons sytems are offline, Captain. I read no injuries."

"Well done, Mr. Everton. Put a tractor beam on them, and set a course for Deep Space Nine. Mr. Blackstock, contact the Rutledge and the York and inform them that we have to return to starbase. Ask them to cover our part of the line until we return. After you have done that contact Starfleet Command and let them know we have found something interesting."

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