Star Trek: Defiant

"Imperial Entanglements" - Part Five

Written by Kamiana Tyrrel


On board the USS Defiant, on the Bridge...

Captain Bridges stared at his counterpart on the screen. "Guests?" He replied angrily. "I take that to mean you're responsible for hijacking my ship, kidnapping my crew?"

"Oh, come, come, Captain," the other Bridges replied. "There is no need for such, unpleasantness. We require certain information, that is all. If you cooperate, no harm will come to any of you. The Empire does have its ways of rewarding cooperation."

Bridges nodded silently at Matute, who turned off the audio pickup so that the other Defiant couldn't hear them.

"Cooperation my eye." Bridges snapped. "If these are anything like the Imperials I remember reading about, they'd as soon stick us in torture booths as look at us. What's the reading on those other ships you picked up? Can we fight our way out of this?"

Matute checked her console. "I'm reading the escort ships as being dreadnoughts, Sir. All of them armed to the teeth and all phaser banks fully active. We could try but it would be extremely risky."

"Can we simply turn around and go back through the portal?" Bridges asked, turning to Lebin.

Lebin checked his console. "The program that dragged us here seems to have deactivated now that we are here, Sir. I should be able to..."

At that moment, Mackowick called out. "Sir!"

Bridges was to him in an instant. "What is it Chad?"

"Things are shutting down and I can't stop it. Navigation, helm..." Mackowick jabbed desperately at control after control as one light after another went out. "Something is simply turning every system off."

Even as he spoke, the lights dimmed to emergency levels.

Matute looked up from her own board. "The last thing I got before my board shut down was power outages all over the ship, everything except life support is out, Sir. We don't even have internal communications."

The main screen came back to life right then, with the other Captain Bridges looking even more smug than before. "I trust you have now discovered our little insurance policy?" He chuckled. "We couldn't have you running out on us now could we?"

"We are not going to surrender." Bridges snapped back at his double.

The other Bridges nodded. "I did not expect you to. I certainly would not, in your place. You and I are the same, in that sense, I think. But it will be to no avail. We hold all the cards here. And," his cold smile widened slightly, sending more chills through them all, "Just so you know, we did have some invaluable assistance from one of your own crew. Contemplate that, my dear Captain." And with that the other Bridges signed off.

Bridges turned to his senior staff, eyes narrowed. It was hard to believe that they might have a traitor on board. Ordinarily he wouldn't take this sort of statement from an enemy at face value, but the fact remained that someone, someone who knew a damned awful lot about computers, had managed to pull this off well enough to get them here and cover his or her tracks.

"Myah, Jen, did you get that list?"

Both officers nodded, but it was Jen Matute who spoke first. "Everyone on it seems to be accounted for for last night, Captain. The key word is 'seems', though."

Bridges nodded. "Well, we need options and that yesterday, people." He noticed Kamiana out of the corner of his eye, briefly wondered again why she was on the Bridge, then dismissed it. He had bigger problems right now.

"I'd order them all placed under security watch, but what if the person he mentioned is in security?"

Kamiana bit her lip as she listened to this conversation. She wasn't supposed to break cover, she wasn't supposed to. But from what they were saying it was only a matter of time until they found her out.

She looked at Mak, then to the Captain. Determined to put the best face on this she could, she forced herself to say calmly, "Request permission to return to my station, Sir."

Mak looked at her. There was something wrong. Every instinct he had screamed it silently to him, but what was it? Something that made him know not to let her out of his sight. Somehow he felt there was more to this than simply a personal problem.

The thing would be to prove that though, could she be the traitor the alternate Captain Bridges had spoken of?

He didn't want to believe that, not as close as he and Kami had been up until last night. But something in her had changed. That much was obvious.

Captain Bridges barely glanced at her. "Permission granted, Ensign." then he walked into the briefing room, the other senior officers following...

...Except for Takila Mak, who stood for a moment torn between what his instincts were telling him and his duty as an Starfleet Officer.

He watched as Kamiana left the bridge, then after a moment followed her.

In the corridor, Kamiana made her way quickly to Sciences, knowing she needed to play her role out for a little while longer.

She didn't see or even sense the silent figure creeping along behind her, staying just out of sight, shielding himself from her mind carefully oh so carefully.

* * *

In the Briefing Room, on the USS Defiant

As the senior staff took their seats, Bridges wasted no time. "All right. They've shut us down, but they haven't won yet."

"As far as I can tell there's been no real damage to any of the systems, Captain." Myah stated quickly. "It's more as if they simply, turned them off."

"Then we can turn them back on?"

Myah shook her head. "We'd have to change all the security protocols to keep them from shutting us down again. The question would be if we could keep our systems online long enough to make those changes."

Bridges nodded. "The sooner we get working on it the better." He looked around at the circle of faces. "Which brings me to the question of how they managed this in the first place."

He took a deep breath. "You all heard what my, the alternate me said. Was he telling the truth? Do we have a saboteur on board?"

The others exchanged uncomfortable looks. The idea of one of them having betrayed them was not a pleasant thought. They were more than a crew, they were a family, and the idea that any one of their number would do something like this was almost inconceivable.

* * *

In the USS Defiant's Science Lab, Ensign Kamiana Tyrrel smiled. Things were going quite well, really, despite that pesky Novachron's unwitting attempt at interference. He had, could have, no clue about what she was really up to, that she had anything to do with the current situation.

Well, if she remained here, apparently on duty, there would be no reason for anyone to suspect. After all, the entire computer section staff was now engaged in getting their systems back online, so her own efforts would appear to be an integral part of that, just as they would've been for her counterpart--she allowed herself another smile as she thought of what that Kamiana was likely going through now, assuming she was still alive.

Of course, she hadn't expected this computer shutdown her Defiant had triggered in this one to last, it had only been intended to show that they would do it, as an object lesson, nothing more.

The trick now would be to be certain that their search for the traitor led elsewhere--and last night had provided her with the perfect scapegoat.

She licked her lips in anticipation as she worked, wishing she could see a certain officer's face when the evidence of his treachery was discovered.

* * *

On board the ISS Defiant, Captain Jeffrey Bridges sat back in his command chair, letting Rael rub his shoulders in that special way she had.

"Their systems are coming back online, Captain." Lebin reported. "I'll send the deactivation codes again..."

"Unnecessary. That was only a demonstration, we need only keep their weapons systems shut down. Keep the tractor beam on though, do not let them escape."

"We won't, Sir." Lebin replied, a touch of fear in his voice.

Bridges smiled. His crew knew the penalty for failure, the Empire demanded a high price for that. And if they did fail, before the Empire killed him for it he would see to it that the responsible crew member suffered first.

Beside Rael stood the new counselor, Paulos Danorium. He'd have to think of a really suitable reward for him, only a few hours on this ship and he had already performed well beyond the call of duty. Their success with the Federation's Defiant was proof of that.

Though he rather suspected the Federation's Kamiana Tyrrel was somewhat the worse for wear, that couldn't be helped. She had had information they needed, that was justification enough.

* * *

In the ISS Defiant's brig, a naked female figure lay curled in a fetal position, whimpering and moaning to itself. This only provoked more laughter from the watching security guards.

"I guess you lose this bet." Ensign Alexa Ray Joel chuckled, slapping her partner on his back. "She hasn't passed out yet."

"Damn." Ensign Daniel Clark replied. "I just wish they'd let me in there with her, I'd do a little persuasion of my own. After all the times she's turned up her snooty little Betazoid nose at me."

Alexa looked at him, a calculating smile on her features. "I wouldn't let the senior officers hear you talk like that if I were you, after all orders from the top is no one goes near her, not the likes of us anyway."

Alexa walked her fingers along his arm. "Maybe if you do me a little favor I'll forget this slip?"

Clark sighed. "All right, Alexa. What do you want?"

She leaned close and kissed him, then stepped back, and shook her head. "I'll think about it," she said slowly, stretching out her words. "But whatever I decide, you'd better make it worth my while, or Matute will be getting a report from me."

Clark sighed again. "Whatever you say." He wondered what he'd gotten himself into now.

* * *

On the USS Defiant...

At the Security Station, Lt. Cmdr. Jen Matute and Lt. Cmdr. Miriah Wolfrom looked at each other over the screen on which the results of their search for the alleged traitor/saboteur had appeared.

They'd had to dig, it hadn't been at all obvious on their earlier searches...but now, there it was.

"There, and there," Myah said tonelessly. "I see the tampering, but how could they, how could any of us?"

"I don't know." Matute replied. "And I'm the one who's going to have to arrest them." she sighed. "I don't want to believe it either but as you say, there it is."

Myah sighed. "Well, we can't just stand here staring at this. We'll have to, to tell the Captain."

"I know. Let's get this over with."

The two women headed for the door of the Ready Room.

* * *

Inside, Captain Bridges sat at his desk, going once again over his crew's reports on the situation so far, still no closer, though, to a solution, than they had been earlier.

The other Defiant had not made any further moves, other than to keep his ship's weapons and shields from coming back online, so far, all attempts to reroute or reencode the security protocols for those particular systems had failed. Which made it clear whoever the traitor was it had to be someone who knew the computers inside and out.

Just then the chime beeped. "Come in," he called.

Myah and Matute entered a moment later, the looks on both their faces were even graver than he'd expected them to be given the situation. "Report." was all he said aloud.

The two women looked at each other, then Matute placed a PADD on his desk. "We've found the saboteur, Sir. At least it looks that way, but, well, before I arrest them you'd better see this."

He downloaded the PADD's information into his desk terminal, then read it over for a moment or two, after which he looked up at them. "This isn't possible" he said slowly, the color draining from his face.

Matute shook her head. "I don't want to believe it either. But the evidence is right there. I just wanted you to know before I brought him in."

Bridges nodded. "I know." He sighed. "At least, let me do this."

He tapped his commbadge and called for the person indicated to report to the ready room.

A moment later the individual entered.

"Captain?" he began, then broke off as Bridges stood up, Matute moving to flank him as he did so, and drawing her phaser. Myah on his other side did the same.

"Sir?!?"

"Lt. Cmdr. Adam Lebin." Bridges' voice was strained, maintaining calm only through deliberate effort. "You are under arrest. The charges are treason, willful consorting with an enemy, conspiracy, and sabotage of this ship."

He paused, forcing himself to look Lebin in the eyes. "I'm sorry, Adam, but regulations are very specific and the evidence is clear, please accompany Lt. Cmdr. Matute to the brig."


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