Star Trek: Defiant

"The Federation Strikes Back" - Part Two

Written by Daniel Clark

USS Defiant

45 Days later

Captain's Log - Stardate 61325.4 - The Defiant is leading a scouting mission in the Gamma Quadrant. We are currently positioned ten million kilometres from the wormhole. We are acting as a tactical funnel for information being gathered by the USS Prometheus, USS Banff, USS Odysseus, and USS Erwin Rommel. Our mission is to position and lay a sensor net as an early warning to any Dominion incursion. Despite the Dominion's not able lack of interest in the nanite invasion to date; Starfleet Command isn't taking any chances. It is likely that the Dominion would like to keep a buffer between themselves and the nanites. Nonetheless, the possibility of them taking advantage of Starfleet's weakened condition has left us no choice but to prepare for the worse. On a personal note; coordinating the dispersion and checking the integrity of the new sensor net is not overly time consuming and has allowed me to catch up on some paper work.

Captain Bridges sat back in his hoverchair in his ready room, and lightly sipped at a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. His longtime friend, and intelligence chief, Lieutenant Commander Mak, sat across from him. This was the first Intelligence briefing he had been able to attend in several weeks, and the amount of information that his friend gave him reflected that fact.

" it stands now the nanites are behaving themselves. The Maginot line has not been breached by a nanite ship in nearly three months. Either they are biding their time of the nanites are working on something else. We have not been able to get any indication either way." Said Mak as he concluded his briefing.

The Commander paused for a moment. Sensing that the official part of the briefing was over, the Captain sat up, and leaned forward. This was his favourite part of the intelligence briefings: the time when Mak let him in on some of the unofficial gossip floating around the intelligence community. "I don't know if you've heard, but the USS Chinook came into DS9 three days ago, towing a Pakled ship."

"The Pakled's?" asked Bridges.

"That's right. Word is that Captain Henry had a meeting with Admiral Picard not more that half an hour after the ship docked. 15 minutes later the Chinook was heading back to the Maginot line at warp 9.8, and Captain Henry had an official reprimand on his record. I looked it up, and all it says is 'abuse of command' signed by Admiral Picard, Starfleet Command. The Chinook was still under Henry's command when he went back to the front."

Bridges leaned back. He didn't like Henry, found him to be a mediocre Captain who liked to take credit for the work of his crew. Despite that he found the entire incident described by Mak to be more than a little shocking. He said, "Wow. What the hell has Lenny Henry gotten himself into now?"

Mak smiled, "Probably tried to convince the Pakleds he could cook, and ended up giving them all food poisoning." Bridges smiled despite himself. Henry's failure as a chef before entering Starfleet was famous. Mak was about to continued when the comm system chirped.

"Bridge to Bridges."

"Go ahead Commander."

The Defiant's first officer Commander Scott Kliemann answered, "Captain, you have a priority one message coming in from Starfleet Command."

Mak stood to leave as the Captain said, "I'll take it in here."

Ten minutes later as Mak sat on the bridge waiting to conclude his meeting with the Captain; his head turned sharply. Mak strained his ears. He would have sworn that he had heard someone say, "Shit."

Before he could question Commander Kliemann, to see if his advanced android hearing had picked up the sound, Captain Bridges came storming out of his office. "Mak, I have to cancel the rest of your briefing. Scott, could you inform the senior staff that I am moving today's briefing up. It will be in half an hour."

The Captain turned to walk back into his office, when he stopped. "Oh, Commander, could you make sure that CWO Clark and Ms Kadiya are at the briefing?" Without waiting for an answer Bridges walked back into his ready room.

USS Defiant

Observation Lounge

The Observation Lounge sported a full table when Bridges glided in. The movement of the daily briefing was not particularily unusual and the officers around the table seemed not to notice or expect any abnormality. Except, of course, for Commanders Kliemann and Mak; who had seen the Captain after he had gotten the message from Starfleet Command.

Although there was no prearranged seating for these briefings there was an unspoken layout that automatically formed. At one end of the table a space was reserved for the Captain to park his hoverchair. Down the sides of the table sat the officers in descending rank. The closer an officer sat to the Captain at the briefing was an unspoken acknowledgment of their rank.

Sitting next to the Captain was Commanders Kliemann and Bedard. Also at the table were Commander Danorium, Lieutenant Commanders Matute, Mak, Mackowick, Lebin, Wolfrom and Rael, Lieutenant T'Mal, and at the end were Chief Warrant Officer Clark and Catrin Kadiya.

Captain Bridges took his place at the head of the table and began the briefing. Without acknowledging why the briefing time had changed Bridges went down the planned agenda without any interruptions. He asked for input when appropriate, and turned over the floor when required. When he finished the last item on the agenda, a briefing from Commander Bedard on recent EPS overloads, he paused.

"There are two additional matters which you should be alerted to. Lieutenant Commander Mak, Lieutenant Commander Rael and Ms Kadiya have been ordered to be transferred to Starfleet headquarters on Deep Space 9. I have not been informed as to why this order has been given, only that Admiral Picard himself has given it."

Captain Bridges face turned almost sickly for a moment. "I have been informed that you are to be underway in one hour's time. Lieutenant Marinus will pilot you through the wormhole in the Euphrates, drop you off, and return to the ship. We have been ordered to continue our mission."

When he stopped and lowered his head slightly, a gaggle of voices rose up from around the table. "For how long", "Why", "When will they be back", "What's this all about", were all spoken within the first second. The Captain's head flashed up, angry. "I have not been informed as to the particulars, however, I was informed that this transfer should be considered permanent."

"Oh, there is one more thing. Since we will be without a doctor and Middy Serrin will be taking the brunt of the duties in sickbay, we have been ordered to initiate the Emergency Medical Hologram until a new doctor can be assigned to us. We will also be without the majority of our intelligence department. Admiral Picard has approved a field promotion to Lieutenant Commander and the position of intelligence chief for CWO Clark. However, this is only until new intelligence personnel can be posted on board. Congratulations, Commander."

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