Star Trek: Defiant

"The Federation Strikes Back" - Part Five

Written by Daniel Clark

USS Defiant

45 days later

Commander Scott Kliemann sat quietly in his chair on the bridge, and admired the order of Starfleet training. At each station was a Starfleet officer who had lost most of their friends and family less than a year before, and each carried out their job with an efficiency and control that was impressive. Everywhere he looked Kliemann was pressed to find fault. If he wanted to he could critique Ensign Laurier's typing speed, or Commander Lebin's posture, but the first officer knew that each of these was purely incidental.

It was his nonchalant observation of the bridge which allowed him to observe an unusual reading at the ops station. His eyes instantly zoomed in to 25X magnification and read just one of the dozens of status lines that crossed the ops status board each second. Kliemann knew that Lebin was conducting a level four diagnostic of the command console and probably didn't see what had grabbed the Commander's attention.

Kliemann stood and indicated that Lebin should take the bridge. The android walked over to the captain's ready room and signaled his presence. When permission was given he entered the room, and informed the Captain of what he had seen. He even replayed the status readouts for the Captain.

Within five minutes Lieutenant Commander Clark was at the door of the ready room signaling that he had arrived after being summoned. The doors parted before him and revealed the Captain sitting behind his desk and the first officer sitting comfortably on the couch away from the desk. Captain Bridges indicated that Clark should sit down in the chair facing him.

The Captain offered him a drink, but Clark declined. The Captain then asked how he was enjoying the new post, and if he were having any difficulties. Clark indicated that he found his new job challenging, and that there was nothing he couldn't handle. Bridges smiled and then paused before saying, "Oh, there was one more thing, Mr. Clark, exactly why are you receiving covert personal transmissions from the Dominion?"

Clark looked surprised. "Captain, I don't know what you mean."

"Well, maybe I can clear things up. Commander Kliemann, while on the bridge, noticed that the Defiant received a communication that wasn't automatically routed through the bridge. The only communications that aren't routed through the bridge are those on the internal communication net frequency and are directed at a specific individual on the ship." Informed the Captain.

"With all due diligence Commander Kliemann did a communications trace and found that your terminal received an undocumented communication at the exact same time as this discovery was made. He then traced the signal itself and found that it not only came from the heart of Dominion space, but was transmitted on a Dominion carrier wave. So Mr. Clark, I ask you again, why are you receiving covert communications from the Dominion." The last words were barked at the intelligence officer.

Clark did not respond for several seconds. He weighed his words carefully before saying, "Captain, I was not going to inform you until I had spoken with Starfleet Intelligence, but you have as much right to know as anyone," he paused, "I have reactivated the Trojan Horse."

Bridges was completely taken aback. The Trojan Horse was something of a legend in the Intelligence Community and with those with high enough clearance to read the files. To anyone else he was a legend. Recruited by a resourceful Intelligence officer nearly twelve years earlier, code named the Trojan Horse, he was a Vorta strategic analyst who had fed Starfleet top secret Dominion documents which centered on strategic planning.

He had been recruited in a manner that had been perfected by Earth's KGB during the mid-twentieth century. His recruiting officer had spoken to him four times during a conference on Deep Space 9 just after first contact between the Dominion and Starfleet. The Intelligence officer managed to convince Trojan Horse that the Dominion's manifest destiny at any cost was wrong and that peace was possible. After supplying him with communication protocols the Trojan Horse had been left alone to return to the Dominion.

Rarely is intelligence information of the quality and the accuracy of that provided by Trojan Horse. It was Trojan Horse who informed Starfleet that after two more convoys the Dominion would attack Starfleet. After Starfleet closed off and mined the wormhole, and when the Dominion/Cardassian alliance was finally defeated and the Dominion were force back into the Gamma Quadrant, Trojan Horse was forgotten about.

The Captain could only stutter, "How?"

"Captain, I could tell you, if you really want to know, but what I think is more important is what Trojan Horse told me. The Dominion are still interested in the Federation, but due to their lack of knowledge about the nanites they have decided to wait and see how our war ends. It seems that the founders aren't sure of whether or not a nanite could affect a Changeling and any risk to the Founders is too much of a risk. Captain, I think its safe to say that we can go back to our side of the Wormhole."

Bridges sat speechless for nearly a minute. He allowed every possible thought to echo through his mind unabated. In that time he realized just how terrified he had been that the Dominion would take advantage of Starfleet's weakened condition, and that there would be no stopping them. When his mind finally came to a rest he spoke.

"Well then, I guess it's time we reached out and touched somebody."

Daybok 5

Conference Room

Doctor Julian Bashir looked out at the people who he had come to know better than he known his own parents. For two months they had laboured and stretched their minds beyond what seemed possible. The people in front of him were no longer just colleagues; people he respected. They were his friends, but more importantly they were now a part of his family - his Starfleet family. The select group of Starfleet officers whom he knew he could trust with his life, and his soul. Jadzia Dax, Miles O'Brien, Elim Garak, Beverley Crusher, Laine Rael, Catrin Kadiya, and Takila Mak.

"So we're agreed?" he asked. He was answered by a chorus of nods. He tapped a few keys and opened a communication link to Starfleet Command on Deep Space Nine. "Lieutenant Commander Bashir to Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, code level one. Authorization Bashir-2590135-Beta. Admiral, we're ready.."

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