Check out our latest Fleet Action!

 

Echoes of the Tkon: Omega

Captain Vausees receives orders for their ship to report to an outbreak of Omega, take over from an older vessel monitoring the situation, and destroy the Omega.

Captain’s Return

Earth
Stardate: 74424.66 Time: 0400 hours

Stardate: 74424.66
Time: 0400 hours
Location: Earth

Rain poured down on a group of people that stood together in a graveyard. Everyone held black umbrellas over their heads, but one person. Vausees had her eyes closed with her head down, her face was soaked in rain and tears as she listened to the pastor’s sermon about Trance and her deeds, about her dedication to Starfleet. Her brunette hair hung twisted together as she opened her eyes and looked at the coffin with the light blue United Federation of Planets flag draped over it. 

Trever stood next to her but he didn’t know if he should try and comfort his sister’s love, his best friend. He could feel the grief flowing from her, that nearly matched his own. His twin had been taken from him and he felt responsible for not protecting her, but he also knew the risks of wearing the uniform.

As the pastor finished the sermon two Fleet Captains approached the coffin. It was then that Vausees moved forward. One of the Captain’s looked at her and her soaked form and nodded realizing what she was doing. She joined the remaining Captain and together they took the edges of the flag as the coffin was lowered into its final resting place. Together Vausees and the Fleet Captain folded the flag. When it was finished the Captain handed the flag to Vausees. She took the flag and held it to her chest as she turned to look at Trever. She smartly walked over to him.

Leaning over she whispered, “I can never tell you how proud of the both of you I am. Or how much you both mean to me,” her voice was low in tone as she tried her best to hold in the sound of her grief. She then released the flag from her chest and offered it to Trever. He looked at it, placed his hand on top of it, and looked into her light blue eyes. “Keep it,” he told her as he slowly slid his hand off the flag, “ and remember her as I always will.”

—Three months later—

Vausees sat in the living quarters on the Heracles; she could not bear to be on solid ground after the funeral. Several times, Zazzuit, Cody, and Trever tried to get her to leave the ship, but to no avail. She would constantly either ignore them or make up an excuse of some kind. Even Vax would attempt from time to time to show her how this was not good for either of them, and she would plead her case to her Symbiont stating she was not ready and that she still needed time to mourn.

A soft chime came from her closed door and Vausees looked up from her book. She sighed when it went off for a second time. After she stood up and moved over to the door she tapped the bland white button on the console next to the door, “Look I am not..” she stopped mid-sentence when the door slid open to reveal her father, Valul standing there.

“Father?” she said in a confused tone.

He looked at her and shook his head, “Is this the young woman that petitioned the Symbiont Council to grant her the right to join Starfleet?” he stated to her.

She felt the sting from his words and was about to plead her case when he cut her off once more, “I do not care about your grief,” he told her, “We all have grief in some form or fashion,” he continued, “but you daughter are a Starfleet Captain and from what I hear, one hell of a Captain at that.”

They looked at each other as they stood in her doorway, “Are you going to let me in or just have me stand here in your doorway?”

Vausees took a step back and Valul walked into her quarters, the door hissed shut behind him. He took a seat next to a table that was covered in items from PADD’s to holopad, even the flag that Trever had told her to keep was half-buried under all of it, though protected behind a shadow-box.

 

Valul looked around her quarters and then back at her. She could see the disapproval in his eyes. As he was about to speak she raised her hand to stop him.

“I do not need a lecture about how I am living,” she said to her father.

He shook his head, “ That is just it, Vausees, you are not living but rather existing,” his voice held a concerning tone to it, “when was the last time that you left this room, or for that matter, the ship?”

She shook her head this time and was about to speak when Valul raised his own hand to stop her.

“Look Vausees, I didn’t come here to fight with a grieving woman,” he stated as he looked into her light blue eyes, “I came here to let you know that the Symbiont Council is considering terminating your career in the interest of the Vax Symbiont.”

This caught Vausees off guard and she snapped her head up and looked at her father, coldness had replaced the grief that had been in her eyes.

“You mean, that they mean to kill me because I am grieving for a woman that I loved, and have in the process neglected my duties to the Symbiont Council,” she stated to her father, her tone holding a wave of anger at the idea. She then stood up as she had been sitting while her father spoke to her, “You can go back to the Symbiont Council and tell them good luck because while I have not broken any Trill or Symbiont laws, to my knowledge, I am a Starfleet Officer and as such have sworn my allegiance to the Federation,” she stated as she looked her father dead in the eyes.

Valul could see the anger mixed with surprise on his daughter’s face and in her eyes.

Vausees sighs and points to her door, “Go,” she ordered.

Valul nods his head and heads for the door. He stops when it opens and looks over his shoulder, “Get out yourself Vausees.”

UFP Freighter Torgus

Gamma Quadrant - two sectors past Hunter
74424.66

Stardate: 74424.66
Location: Gamma Quadrant – two sectors past Hunter
Time: 0400 hours
UFP Freighter Torgus

Major Fir stood on the bridge, his Commanding Officer was below in the belly of the ship, checking on the cargo that they had taken on board from an asteroid mining colony. Suddenly the ship dropped out of warp.

Fir shook his head and tapped a button on the command chair, “Bridge to Engineering, Chase, did you drop us out of warp?”

There was no response back, and all of a sudden the main viewscreen and all of the consoles around him suddenly turned black with a bright blue omega symbol appeared. Fir tapped the screen on the console next to him and when the screen did not change he stood up and walked over to the nearest one. He took a seat and input his security clearance into the holographic glowing command keyboard. As soon as he looked up after hitting the “engage” icon the screen remained the bright blue omega symbol, however, this time an additional text showed up, “Captain’s Eyes Only” in white lettering.

This alarmed Fir and he reached over and tapped the intercom button, “Captain Fergouson you might want to get to the bridge, Sir.”

A moment later the bridge doors opened and a short woman stepped onto the bridge, “Fir what in god’s name did you…” she stopped in mid-sentence when she looked up at the main view screen and seen the Omega symbol. 

“Fir, go get a coffee,” she told her second in command.

Fir looked at Fergouson, “Captain?” The look on his face was that of confusion.

“Major, go get a coffee, that’s an order!” she snapped at the man.

Fir nodded his head and departed the bridge. As soon as the doors that lead to the bridge closed Fergouson took her seat and opened the control panel on her seat.

“Computer, seal the bridge. Authorization Fergouson Omega Pi 010.”

The ship’s computer acknowledged the command with a soft beep.

“Computer, transfer this message to my ready room and then classify all the current records from the time the Omega Directive began up to now. Then place a level 10 security clearance lockout on that information,” she ordered as she stood up and moved toward the ready room.

Once Fergouson entered her ready room the light had been dimmed to near darkness. She took her seat and tapped in her Authorization Code on the command panel. As soon as her code was entered the screen in her ready room changed to show Admiral Ross’s face. He explained the situation to Fergouson on how the Omega needed to be monitored or destroyed. 

Fergouson sat back in her seat as she knew that they would not be able to destroy the anomaly. 

“Computer, send an encrypted message to Admiral Ross, via the Bajorian wormhole, relay it to Deep Space Nine,” she ordered. A moment later a soft beep was heard and she began her message to the Admiral.

Wake up Call

Alpha Quadrant - USS Heracles, Gamma Quadrant - two sectors past Hunter - UFP Freighter Torgus
Stardate: 74425 Time: 0715 hours

 

—Three hours later—

Stardate: 74425
Time: 0715 hours
Location: Alpha Quadrant – USS Heracles

A soft chime sounded in the silence of Vausees quarters. She groaned as she laid in bed trying to be alone. Her father had hit a nerve, a raw nerve, and she was still angry at the Council for the threat that they had made her father deliver. Another soft beep sounded off and destroyed the silence that she had been enjoying. 

 

A soft sigh escapes her lips as she tosses off the covers and walks over to the door. As she opens the door she starts to chastise whoever was on the other side of the door, that is until the door opens and she sees Admiral Ross. Her eyes widen as she stands there in a Fleet Academy sweater and her black underwear. 

“Admiral!”, she says in a shocked, surprised, and embarrassed voice.

She bolts for her bathroom as Ross walks in. He turns and closes her door and also locks it. Vausees returns from her bathroom in a pair of sweats. As she enters she sees Ross looking about her quarters. Luckily, the chastising she had gotten from her father had forced her to clean up her room.

She stood there as Ross nodded his head and took a seat behind her desk. He looked at her, “Let’s cut to the chase Captain,” he stated as he leaned back in her chair. Vausees took the seat across from him.

“Firstly, Captain Vax, I have heard that you have become a hermit of sorts,” his voice held a slight concern in its tone, “and secondly that is unbecoming of a Commanding Officer, and could be considered neglect of your duties to Starfleet.”

This caught Vausees off guard, ‘twice in one day.’, she thought to herself. She nodded to the Admiral as she listened to him.

“I have it in my right mind to replace you as the Commanding Officer, but seeing as the reason behind your sudden hermitness is that you had been in a traumatic situation and your grievance toward the lost of an Officer, and my understanding someone very close to you, I will give you a chance to prove to the Brass in Starfleet HQ that you are still worthy of the Heracles.” His eyes bore into hers as if searching for a lost civilization. 

Vausees nodded to Ross, “Yes, Admiral.”

Ross then turned his attention to her desk console and pulled up a file. He then entered in his authorization code and turned the monitor to her. 

“As of three hours and fifteen minutes ago, the UPF Freighter Torgus intercepted sensor scans of a sensitive nature.”

Vausees looked at the screen and the ship’s profile could be seen. And in the upper right corner, a symbol rotating. At first, she didn’t recognize it until it hit her like a ton of bricks. “Omega!”, she said out loud and looked over at Ross.

—Fifteen minutes ago—

Stardate: 74424.98
Time: 0700 hours
Location: Gamma Quadrant – two sectors past Hunter
UFP Freighter Torgus

Fergouson sat behind her desk, her mind was going a million light-years a second as she sat there. What was she going to do, she thought to herself as she read the sensor readings coming from the Omega molecules that were near her ship. She knew that she did not have the armament let alone the resources needed to create a resonance chamber to capture the molecules. The only choice left to her was to keep the freighter’s sensors locked onto the particles of Omega and transmit them back to Starfleet, encrypted of course. 

As she sat there in her Ready Room a chirp came over her intercom. Reaching over she pressed a button on her desk, “Captain Fergouson here,” she said, already knowing who was on the other side.

Fir had taken his Commanding Officers suggestion and had gone to get a coffee as ordered. When he had returned to the door that led to the bridge he found himself locked out, and his authorization code was not recognized by the computer.

“Captain, is there a reason for the deactivation of my command codes?” he asked her as he stood just outside of the bridge.

Fergouson sat there in silence for a few minutes, she debated on whether or not to release the bridge, and if she should also inform her second officer.

“Major, I have sealed the bridge for the safety of this ship and its crew,” she said as she made up her mind on keeping the knowledge about the Omega particles from her crew, “hopefully I will be able to lift the lockout soon,” she stated, “until then, Major, keep my ship and its crew busy,” she then closed the intercom and steepled her fingers as she looked at the sensor logs that the Torgus was given.

As she monitored the sensor data she also kept an eye on the quarantine barrier that she had established around this sector of space, with a warning to stay out, with a penalty of imminent death by any means. She hoped that no one, other than the ship and team that Admiral Ross had informed her was on its way, would enter into this sector. 

— Six hours later —

Vausees sat in her Ready Room, her eyes glued to her console’s monitor, that she didn’t hear the door open and close until Zazzuit cleared her throat. Vausees looked up and into the greenish-yellow eyes of her XO. 

“Captain?”

Vausees touched the corner of the screen and it darkened. She knew what her XO wanted. An explanation as to why they had, six hours ago, left Earth and were heading toward the Bajoran Wormhole and the Gamma Quadrant. She knew that she could tell her nothing about the orders that Admiral Ross had given her and that only she could give vague orders for the modification of half a dozen torpedoes.

“Zazzuit, have our guest on board assist Charles with the torpedo modifications, and once they are completed inform me at once,” she ordered.

Zazzuit nodded her head and left the Ready Room. A sigh left her lips as the doors closed behind her. She stepped toward the lift and headed for deck four. When the lift’s door opened onto the fourth deck she headed for the guest quarters, however, when she got to the quarters Zazzuit found them empty. “Computer, locate the specialist that is assigned to these quarters.”

“The specialist is located in Engineering,” the computer informed Zazzuit, “Would you like me to contact them?”

“No, I will go to their location,” she stated in a slightly irritated voice as she moved back to the lift and took it down to the Engineering deck.

When Zazzuit exited out of the lift she was met by a living form of chaos. Crewmen and Officers alike ran around the Engineering deck. Everyone held an almost exact look on each other’s face, purpose and business. Zazzuit looked around the deck from her vantage point looking for their Chief Engineer. She spotted him with another person, someone she didn’t recognize from where she was. With haste, she moved over to the two, and when she grew near them she recognized the person that was standing with their Chief Engineer.

Charles just happened to glance up for a moment when he saw his XO moving toward him. He had been in a deep conversation with their guest and upon seeing his XO raised a hand to silence the person.

“Commander?” he asked with a questioning tone to his voice

Zazzuit came to a halt beside the Chief and turned her greenish-yellow eyes on their guest. “Excuse me, but I do believe that you are supposed to notify myself or Commander Bettencourt when you are leaving your quarters,” she said in a chastising tone.

A Xindi-insectoid Starfleet officer turned their head to look at Zazzuit. Several harsh clicks were uttered from its mandible-like mouth before the universal translator could translate. Both Charles and Zazzuit looked at each other as they waited. Then what looked like a grin on the officer’s face caught Zazzuit’s attention and she shook her head as she realized what they had done.

“You know if you were a part of this crew I would bust your ass down to an…” she didn’t finish that statement as she realized that the specialist was in fact an Ensign. A sigh left her mouth and she turned to look at Charles. “What have you two done so far?” she asked him in a rather harsh tone that wasn’t entirely directed at him.

The Chief looked from Zazzuit to the specialist and then back to XO. His mind was blank toward the question that she had just asked him. It is shown on his face, which Zazzuit instantly picked up on. She turned once more toward the Xindi-insectoid and her greenish-yellow eyes narrowed, which gave them a menacing look, had anyone other than the Xindi-insectoid bothered to look in her direction. This display didn’t even cause the Xindi-insectoid to flinch in the slightest.

“If there is something that you want to say, Commander,” which was translated by the universal translator, “then, by all means, share it,” they stated, as their insect-like arms moved out towards everyone that was on the deck. 

Zazzuit recognized the gesture and slowly took a breath in. She closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head as she turned back toward Charles. “Just get started,” she stated, “If you haven’t already.” She then turned and looked at the specialist and shook her head once more.

Vausees sat in the central chair when Zazzuit returned to the bridge. She looked over at her Xo and could see a frustrated look on her friend’s face. When Zazzuit took the seat next to her she leaned over and in a low tone asked her if anything was bothering her. Zazzuit looked at her Captain with bewilderment. As that was the first time in her life that someone outside of her own species had seen her frustrated and had actually acknowledged it.

Leaning over she looked directly into the light blue eyes of her Captain, “I know something is going on, Vax,” she says in a low voice. “But what I don’t know.”

This caught Vausees off guard as Zazzuit had never once since they had served together called her by her Symbionts name. Standing up she ushered for Zazzuit to follow her into the corridor that separated the bridge from her ready room.

Zazzuit stood with her Captain and expected some form of answer for what was going on.

“I wish I could tell you Zazzuit,” she said in a pained voice. “God knows I want to, but I am under orders from Brass to keep all information on what is going on under tight lips, or more so my lips.”

Zazzuit looked her Captain over and shook her head, “Not even a hint?” she asked.

Vausees shook her head no, “Believe me I wish I could because I really could use some advice from someone, anyone,” she stated

Zazzuit took the hint and nodded, suddenly realizing how high up this mission was. She still didn’t have any more information on what it was about but she knew that it had to be important if it was only for the Captain to know.

***

Charles looked at the specialist and grabbed the Xindi-insectoid by the collar of their uniform and yanked them to him. His eyes narrowed as he looked into the insect eyes of the specialist. 

“What are you doing here Specialist?” he said to them.

The Xindi-insectoid grasped Charles with their clawed fingered hands as they looked at him, “I am here, Chief,” they said to Charles, “to assist in the construction of some sort of machine and to modify a handful of your torpedoes.”

Charles let go of the specialist and sighed, “Then how about we get to it,” he said as he moved to the magazine room where the armament of the Heracles was stored.

The Xindi-insectoid followed the Chief into the room and they both began removal of a single torpedo. 

UFP Freighter Torgus – Crisis

Gamma Quadrant - two sectors past Hunter UFP Freighter Torgus
Stardate: 74427.49 Time: 0700 hours

Stardate: 74427.49
Time: 0700 hours
Location: Gamma Quadrant – two sectors past Hunter
UFP Freighter Torgus

 

It had been nearly twenty-four hours since Fergouson had last made her check of the Omega molecules that had sent her world into complete and utter chaos. She had kept her crew, for the most part, busy, and completely in the dark as to what was going on on the bridge. She could feel, however, the tension was starting to build with each passing second, each passing minute, hell even each passing hour. To her, it seemed that the ship that Admiral Ross had told her was on its way was taking their sweet ass time. She didn’t know how much more she could take at this point.

 

“Computer,” she waited for the all too familiar beep before she requested the current molecular sensor logs of the Omega particles.  

 

She had been quite lucky so far that only two additional molecules had been added to the four that she had detected from their arrival in this part of space. She still did not understand how, let alone why they had suddenly shown up like that. She had traversed this particular region of the Gamma Quadrant so many times before and had never picked up the slightest remnants of any anomalies whatsoever.

 

“Computer,” one more she waited for the acknowledgment from the computer before she continued, “give me a display of the time between Omega additions until now,” she ordered.

 

The computer took a moment and then displayed her request. 

 

She looked at the information that had been displayed on her chair’s arm console and thought, ‘every 13 hours.’

 

“Computer, display the remaining time until the next predictable addition of Omega.”

 

The console changed from her initial request to a 24-minute countdown. Seeing this worried her as this would make the total seven. She only hoped that whatever ship was on its way would be able to handle such a massive amount of potentially unstable particles.

 

As she sat there sending her recent sensor logs to the Admiral the intercom once more echoed into the eerily silent bridge.

 

“Captain, your presence is requested in the mess hall,” came the voice of Major Fir.

 

With a sigh escaping her lips she pressed the intercom button on her console, “This had better be of a life or death situation, Mr. Fir,” her voice held a tone of irritation to it.

 

“Computer, lock onto my vitals, and perform a site-to-site transport from the bridge to the mess hall,” she ordered.

 

A moment later, at the heart of the Freighter mess hall, a bright light could be seen as Fergouson materialized out of the transporter beam. She looked around at all of the confused faces before she ordered the computer to keep a lock on her. Her bright green eyes continued to look for her second in command. She didn’t see him.

 

“Computer, locate and transport Major Firgison to the mess hall.”

 

As soon as the transportation had finished Fergouson reached out and snatched her second in command by the back of his uniform and tossed him into a nearby chair, which slid across the floor and came to a stop against a table. Her temper could be seen vividly on her face. 

 

“Is there something you want to tell me?” She looked at each and every person’s face as she spoke.

 

When no one spoke up she walked over to a console and entered in her authorization code. As she hit the pulsating ‘engage’ icon on the console she turned and looked at them all. 

 

“Computer, execute Alpha protocol,” Fir’s eyes widened as he heard this coming from his Captain’s mouth.

 

“Debrah!!” He yelled at her.

 

“This is my ship and if anyone objects to my orders let alone how I run things then you can get off my ship at the next port,” she stated with complete authority. “Now I will give you one last chance, what the fuck is going on?” her voice held a tone that meant there was no uncertainty about her next move.

 

Once more Fir yelled out Fergouson’s name as he stood up, the back of his knees impacted with the chair sending it back a few inches. She looked at him, “Something you want to say?”

 

“Yes, as a matter of fact,” he said as she squared his shoulders and took a step forward, “We all want, no deserve to know what the hell is going on?”

 

Fergouson had hoped that this wouldn’t come up, but she knew that it was inevitable. She closed her eyes tightly and then opened them looking at her crew of nearly ten years. Each one of them is loyal to a fault, and each one of them has everyone’s back.

 

How could she tell them about Omega, after all the only reason that she was aware of it was because of her ties to Starfleet. Normally a civilian freighter would not have detected the Omega particles, but when she had purchased the freighter, Starfleet wanted to make sure that her ship was outfitted with the most advanced navigation and sensor array that was available to the fleet, next to their flagships. 

 

She had been one of their most seasoned veterans and they had even tried to offer her a position as Commandant at Starfleet Academy on Earth. She had declined, of course, feeling at that time that she had given the fleet enough of her time. Enough of her blood, sweat, and tears. Now here she was, at a crossroads, stuck between doing what her oath as a former Starfleet officer had sworn her to do, and her vow to her second family that she would never hold anything a secret from them.

 

She stood there in silence and prayed that she had the strength to hold true to her oath. As she looked at her crew she lied to them, “There is a spatial anomaly that has overwritten the ship’s primary code, and unfortunately has locked everyone out of the bridge.” She hoped that her lie, her act, was good enough to fool her crew, especially her second in command.

 

Fir looked at her, “Then why did you tell me earlier that you had locked me out?” He asked her.

 

She looked at the Major and lowered her eyes as she kept the act up, “I didn’t want you to know the truth of the matter at that time.,” she continued with her lie. Hoping he would accept it. She looked up into his eyes and was greeted with a look of acceptance. 

 

She turned back toward the console that she had accessed earlier, and slowly let a sigh out, as she deactivated her previous command.

 

“Computer,” she looked at her crew, “transport me back to the bridge.”

 

The mess hall lit up with the light from the transporter as the computer executed her order. As soon as she was free from the materialization of the transporter beam she once more let out a sigh, “One crisis averted,” she said to herself.

Through the Looking Glass

Alpha Quadrant - DeepSpace Nine - Bajoran Wormhole, Gamma Quadrant - USS Heracles
Stardate: 74427.49 Time: 0700 hours

Stardate: 74427.49

Time: 0700 hours

Location: Alpha Quadrant 

USS Heracles

Vausees lay in her bed looking up at the bland, spartan-style ceiling of her cabin. She blinked a few times and tried to close her eyes as she rolled onto her side, fighting with her active mind to sleep and allow her some respite from the past twenty-four hours of chaos.

With a sigh, after a few minutes, she tosses her covers off of her body. A twinge in her left side reminds her to take it slow, as the wound hadn’t fully healed from her time on Archanis V. Placing her hands on the of her bed she slowly and deliberately arches her back as she stretches out the affected area; orders from her doctor, and still newly promoted Chief Medical Officer, Commander Zazzrac.

As she held the stretch a soft chime disrupted the silence in her cabin, “Enter,” she said out loud. 

After a few minutes, she opens her eyes when the door fails to open. Relaxing her body she leans forward and stands up. She grabs her robe and slips into it as she makes her way over to the cause of her disturbance. She taps the button on the console and the door hisses open to an empty corridor. She sticks her head out of her cabin and looks down the corridor and sees in fact that it is completely vacant. Shaking her head she steps back into her cabin. 

“Computer, who was last at my door?” she asks the ship’s computer.

“Captain Vausees was the last person in the vicinity of the Captain’s Cabin,” the computer announces.

This confuses Vausees as she could have sworn that she heard her door chime. “Computer, run diagnostics of my door sensors and circuitry,” she requested.

A moment later the computer beeps to inform her that the request had been completed, “All sensors and circuitry is running within normal operations.”

Vausees sighed as she slipped out of her robe and walked toward her bathroom. After a moment she stepped out wrapped in a black towel and stood in front of the mirror in her cabin. She wiped away the condensation that had formed on it and stared at her reflection. She closed her eyes as she suddenly remembered a time she had with Trance. A shiver ran down her spine as she suddenly felt or rather remembered a rather intimate time the two shared. 

With a sigh, she reached down and grasped a brush that sat on the shelf next to the mirror and began to brush out her hair. After a few minutes, she slipped into a new uniform and placed hair clips into her hair to hold it back and in place; she then headed for the Bridge. 

A few minutes later the main lift hissed as its doors slid open onto the bridge. Vausees stepped out of the lift and walked over to Zazzuit, who was in a deep conversation with their Chief Medical Officer. Zazzrac looked up at Vausees and gave her a nod, as did Zazzuit.

“Morning you two.” She said to them both.

“Morning, Captain,” they replied in unison, which caused a smile to cross Vausees and Zazzuits mouths. Zazzrac could only chuckle as he looked back at Zazzuit. 

“Well I guess I had better be off the ‘Sickbay’,” he said as he gently and deliberately caressed Zazzuit’s hand before leaving.

Vausees saw the display and waited until the main lift doors closed before she turned to look at her XO. She cocked her head to the side, “Zaz?” she said using a shortened denotation of her XO’s name, one that she had used only one other time.

Zazzuit cheeks darkened as she looked at her friend and nodded. Vausees smiled again, “I’m happy for you both, but please keep the affection to a minimum on the bridge, okay,” she said.

Zazzuit nodded as she fixed the edges of her slightly wrinkled uniform top. Vausees took the seat next to her friend and looked out into space, through the main viewscreen. 

“DeepSpace Nine is an hour out, Captain,” Trever stated as he turned to look at Zazzuit and Vausees.

Vausees could still see the slight pain in his eyes, even though it had been four months since the death of his sister. She turned and leaned over to Zazzuit after acknowledging the information, and in a low tone she spoke, “The other reason…” She was cut off as Trever turned back around and looked at her. She caught his eyes and stopped. Which confused her XO until her greenish-yellow eyes saw Trevers.

“Captain, I don’t mind the affection that others give to one another,” he said to the both of them.

“I may not be an empath like you, Trever,” she said as she stood up and moved over, and placed a hand on his shoulder. She then leaned over and in a low tone continued, “but I can still see the pain in your eyes my friend.” With that, she gave his shoulder a gentle yet firm squeeze. When she looked back into his eyes she could see that she had helped him some.

Location: DeepSpace Nine – Bajoran Wormhole

USS Heracles

Time: 0800

An hour later, Vausees had taken over command of the bridge, DeepSpace Nine loomed in the viewscreen.

“This is Captain Vax of the Federation Starship Heracles requesting access to the Bajoran Wormhole”

“This is Commander Karen Andrews, request denied, Captain,” the Commander stated, “We need you to stay put for a moment while we transmit an encoded message from Admiral Ross.”

“Understood. Have it transferred to my Ready Room,” she said as she stood up and headed to the Captain’s Ready Room.

A moment later she returned to the bridge after having read over the sensor logs that Admiral Ross had sent to DeepSpace Nine for the Heracles. 

“Lieutenant Jonton, signal Commander Andrews that the message was received and that we would like to get underway,” she ordered her Chief Operations Officer.

Jonton did as he was asked and signaled DS9. A moment later he informed Vausees that they had clearance to depart. She looked over at Trever who was already setting the Heracles toward the wormhole.

Vausees took a seat back in the Command chair as Zazzuit looked at her with that look that she had used before. Vausees shook her head and Zazzuit nodded. 

A moment later the dark inky void that was in front of the Heracles suddenly changed in a blink of an eye. What appeared to be a bright churning cloud of energy, that seemed to collapse and form around an eye at its center appeared.

“Take us in Trever,” she ordered as she sat back.

Trever did not hesitate as she issued the commands to the impulse engines and the Heracles’ nose pointed to the epicenter of the wormhole. Within seconds of the end of the nacelles clearing the horizon of the wormhole, the entire ship began to traverse the distance between the entrance and the exit of the wormhole, in an instant, the Heracles left the Alpha Quadrant and entered the Gamma Quadrant.

As the ship entered the Gamma Quadrant, Vausees, tapped a holographic icon on her armrest and the ship-wide intercom was activated.

“Ladies and Gentlemen this is the Captain, welcome to the Gamma Quadrant. I know a lot of you have had questions as to why we have been ordered here and God’s know that I want to answer those questions, but I must ask you to understand that our orders come from high up and that we would not be asked to part take on such a mission if we were not ready and if we were not the only choice in the matter,” she said as she looked about the bridge at the officers that had turned to look at her. “I must insist that you all keep up the outstanding work and duty that you all have so admirably shown, and that with God’s willing we face and conquer whatever lies before us,” she continued to state as she continued to look into the faces of her officers. “That is all for now.” With that, she pressed the button once more on her armrest and the ship-wide intercom deactivated.

“Trever set a course for the Hunter Sector,” she ordered as she leaned back into the Command chair for a moment and stared out into the vast void of space that was speckled with a magnitude of stars. 

Trever turned back to the glowing console controls and brought up the star charts. A moment later he entered in the ‘Hunter sector’ of the Gamma Quadrant, “Course plotted, Captain,” he informed Vausees.

She sat there in silence as Trever waited for the order to engage. She continued to stare out into the void as she thought of what this mission had already given them. When Trever turned his head to look at Vausees she nodded, “Warp 8, Mister Nief.”

Trever turned his attention back to the console and input the order. He looked up as the Heracles’ nose seemed to stretch out before them as the Warp Core activated the Nacelles and surrounded the ship in a bubble of matter and anti-matter. In a matter of seconds, everything seemed to return to normal as the ship entered into a distortion of time and space.

Trever then turns back to Vausees, “Next stop, provided nothing occurs, should be the Hunter Sector.”

Vausees nodded and stood up, she turned and looked at Zazzuit, “Commander you have the bridge.” She then heads for her Ready Room.

As the door hisses shut behind her she locks it and secures the room. She then takes a seat on her desk and brings up the logs from Admiral Ross. She begins to study the logs as she formulates which of the two options that she has at her disposal.

Seek and Destroy

Location: Gamma Quadrant - Hunter Sector USS Heracles
Stardate: 74428.17 Time: 1330 hours

Stardate: 74428.17

 

Time: 1330 hours

 

Location: Gamma Quadrant – Hunter Sector

 

USS Heracles

 

Trever began a countdown from ten as he hovered his fingers over the holographic console warp controls that were in front of him. As soon as his countdown hit zero he slid his fingers over the glowing icons that indicated the warp core and brought them down to the impulse portion of the Heracles’ propulsion. The Heracles dropped out of its warp bubble just inside of the Hunter Sector, as its impulse engines took over.

 

Trever turned to Vausees, “We have arrived at the location. Welcome to Hunter Sector, Captain,” he stated as he turned back to the main viewscreen.

 

Vausees had returned to the bridge over an hour ago and had sat patiently as the Heracles flowed through space in its warp cocoon. She smiled as the ship had appeared in the sector that she had ordered. She looked at Trever, “All stop and hold here,” she ordered as she stood up and turned to look at Jonton for a moment. Her eyes then ventured to Zazzuit and she nodded as she turned to look back at the main screen.

 

“Jonton, scan the area for Federation ships,” she ordered her Chief Operations Officer.

 

“Aye, Captain,” he responded to Vausees, as his fingers flew over the console before him as he issued commands into the sensor array. Immediately he got a return. He looked up at his Captain. “One ship just on the edge of our sensor’s range, Captain,” he stated as his eyes also took in a second ping. “There is something else out there as well,” he informed her as he looked up at Vausees from his post behind her seat.

 

“Define something, Lieutenant?” she asked, her eyes still on the man.

 

Jonton shook his head, “Sorry, Captain,” he said as he looked up, “I am unable to, as we are too far away.”

 

“Are we close enough to hail that ship?” she asked Jonton.

 

He looked again at his console, “No, Captain,” he stated. “We are just outside of our hailing range.”

 

Vausees took her seat as she thought about what she could do at this point.

 

“Zazzuit the bridge is yours,” she stated as she stood up and moved toward the main lift.

 

Zazzuit looked at Vausees as she moved toward the lift, “Captain?”

 

“Zazzuit, you are starting to annoy me with your constant questioning my movements.” Vausees stated as she looked back at her friend. 

 

Zazzuit bit her lip and nodded, “Aye, Captain,” she acknowledged toward the shift of command to her. 

 

***

Location: Gamma Quadrant – two sectors past Hunter

UFP Freighter Torgus

Fergouson had her eyes glued to the pulsating Federation symbol on the Navigation console that she found herself at. 

 

“What are you waiting for?” she said to herself as she looked at the distance between both ships. “So close yet just out of range of hailing,” she stated with a sigh. 

 

***

 

Location: Gamma Quadrant – Hunter Sector

 

USS Heracles

 

Vausees sighed as she walked out of the lift, having come from the Engineering Deck. She was slightly disappointed with the progress that Charles and the Specialist had made in the twenty- four plus hours that it had taken them to get to where they were. Charles had told her that they both would need another three hours before all of the torpedoes and the resonating chamber would be ready. 

 

Now here she was in the main hangar. She was heading for one of the shuttles that was on board. As she neared the shuttle her eyes settled on the four remaining valkyries that she had requested to remain on board, and a pair of legs that were sticking out of the bottom of one of them. 

 

Vausees paused for a moment, “Computer, what time is it?”

 

“1340 hours,” the computer replied.

 

This confused Vausees as no one was supposed to be in the main hangar at this time. Taking a step toward the legs she stopped just short of them and cleared her voice. 

 

“I know it’s you Captain Vax,” came a soft voice from under the valkyrie as the legs started to move toward Vausees, showing more of the person underneath.

 

Suddenly four pips could be seen and Vausees immediately knew who had been under the ship before her face could be seen.

 

“Captain Roberts.” Vausees acknowledged as she held out a hand for the woman. “It is a pleasure to finally meet you,” she said as Kelsie took her hand and with Vausees help pulled herself onto her feet.

 

Kelsie looked at Vausees, for a moment and nodded her head. 

 

“I can see that you are busy, Captain,” she stated as she turned her back toward Vausees.

 

Normally this would have infuriated Vausees at the sign of disrespect that this woman had just shown her. However, right now she needs to contend with a matter of utmost priority.

 

As she turned and walked toward the shuttle she stopped and with her back to Kelsie she spoke, “Captain, stop what you’re doing and join me,” she ordered.

 

Kelsie placed her hands on the edge of the open cockpit and squeezed as she slowly let out her breath. She turned and picked up a rag and wiped off her hands, and joined Vausees on the shuttle.

 

Once the shuttle left the Heracles, Vausees contacted the bridge, “Zazzuit, don’t blow my ship up please,” she said jokingly.

 

Zazzuit lowered her shoulders as she realized who was on the shuttle. “Captain, next time can you please let me know what you are up to,” she said with a slight annoyance to her voice.

 

“Sorry Zaz, Captain’s prerogative,” she stated as she closed the communications and looked at Kelsie. Who was in deep concentration. 

 

“First time?” she asked her copilot.

 

Kelsie smirked as she adjusted their heading. “Not at all Ma’am,” she stated, “Just been a while.”

 

“Computer, autopilot.” Vausees ordered as she turned to look at Kelsie. She looked hard into the eyes of this woman, trying to judge her. 

 

“Is there something I can help you with?” Kelsie asked as she looked back into the light blue eyes of her Commanding Officer.

 

“Computer, Authorization Pi Omega 0001,” Vausees suddenly said. 

 

The console in front of Kelsie suddenly changed to the rotating Omega symbol. Kelsies eyes widened a lot as she turned her eyes to look at Vausees, who was nodding.

 

“Are you telling me Captain, that we are one a priority one Omega Directive mission,” she said in a questioning manner.

 

“That we are Captain.”

 

Kelsie looked out into the void of space as she suddenly realized the severity of their mission.

 

“Captain,” she says as she continues to look into the void, not wanting her emotions to cloud her thoughts, “Are you suggesting that the federation ship that we are heading toward is monitoring an Omega situation?” she asks

 

‘She quick,’ Vausees thought to herself. “You’re correct in that assumption, Captain,” she stated to Kelsie. “However, we are not going to that ship, directly,” she stated, “I am going to get us closer to that ship and contact it’s Captain and establish a dialog to figure out just how bad this Omega situation is,” she continued to look at the the CAG Captain as she spoke.

 

***

 

Fergouson sighed as she looked away from the navigational console. A soft chime from that console brought her attention back to it. A smaller federation icon left the larger one. She tapped the icon and after a couple of adjustments she realized the smaller icon was a shuttle and was on an intercept course to her ship. ‘What are you up to,’ she thought to herself. 

 

As she watched the shuttle she realized that it was starting to slow its speed as it neared the edge of the sector that it was currently in. Suddenly there was a beep coming from the console and she realized that the shuttle was hailing her. ‘This is Captain Vausees of the Federation Starship USS Heracles hailing the federation ship near our vicinity.’

 

Fergouson sat there for a moment as she was surprised by the voice on the other end of the hail. She had heard of this Captain, during the conflict in the Archanis Sector. With a tap on the glowing holographic hailing icon she responded. “Captain Vausees this is the Captain of the United Federation of Planets Freighter Torgus. I hear you loud and clear.”

 

“Well that was easy,” thought Vausees as she looked over at Kelsie, who was studying the mission profile on the Torgus. She turned her attention back to the Torgus’ Captain. “Captain, what’s your current status?” she asked the person on the other side of the hail.

 

Fergouson thought about the question for a moment, and thought it best to inform her of what she had done since receiving the Omega lockout. “So as you can see Captain, we have been sitting here waiting for the team that Admiral Ross sent to relieve us of this situation,” she stated as she leaned back in her chair. She hoped that she would be able to leave this forsaken part of space soon.

 

Vausees was about to respond when Kelsie tapped the mute on the hail. She turned to look at the Captain with an irritated look until she saw that Kelsie had the Torgus’ Captains file open. 

 

“Captain, it appears that our Freighter Captain is a Former Captain herself,” Kelsie stated, “Which would half explain why she…” She paused when she saw the specs on the Torgus itself. She whistles out loud. “That Freighter is about as sophisticated as some of our ships.”

 

Vausees turned the console further toward herself as she looked over the Torgus and its crew. Most of them had combat skill sets or command level experience. She had to admit that the Torgus itself was a well put together ship, and that most of its navigation, communication, and sensors were from Federation components. She shook her head as she turned the console back toward Kelsie.

 

Vausees tapped the mute button, deactivating it, “Captain Debrah Fergouson,” she had used the Captain’s full name, which she was sure would surprise her. “I need you to hold tight where you are for the time being,” she stated as she started to punch up the necessary authorizations for a connection between the shuttle and the main computer on the Heracles. “I also need you to transmit your current sensor logs to the Heracles via this shuttle,” she ordered. 

 

Fergouson was indeed shocked at the use of her name by someone other than her first officer, “Under whose authority,” she asked as she sat back further into her chair. Her tone held irritation at being kept from her duties and being ordered around like a first year cadet.

 

Vausees was shocked at this reply, but shrugged it off. “Well that would be Admiral Ross as well as my top brass from the Fourth Fleet,” she stated.

 

Once more Fergouson was stunned. “Did you say the Fourth Fleet,” she questioned.

 

Vausees confirmed what she had questioned with an affirmative. She sat there confused by the sudden tests that this Captain was giving to her.

 

“Aye, Captain,” Fergouson said to Vausees as her hands flew over the holographic console in front of her as she began to transmit the sensor logs to the shuttle.

 

Vausees looked over at Kelsie who gave her a nod without some much as a sideways glance. Her focus was on ensuring that the data being transmitted was being rerouted to the computer aboard the Heracles.

 

“Captain Fergouson thank you for keeping up the monitoring of this Omega Particle,” she said in a tone that spoke tremendously about Fergouson’s skills as a Captain.

***

 

Charles wiped his forehead with a dirty rag as he leaned against a now empty rack that had once held 12 torpedoes. He looked over at the Xindi-insectoid, as they were sitting beside him. Obvious exhaustion could be seen on the exoskeleton, as it vibrated every so often. 

 

“Are you hungry, Specialist?” He asked as he became concerned for them. 

 

The Xindi-insectoid looked up at Charles with their complex eyes and nodded, “I could use a moment to rest and feed,” they stated to Charles as another wave of vibrations flowed over their body. 

 

Charles nodded as he offered a now slightly clean hand down to the Xindi-insectoid, “So could I,” he stated.

 

They both exited out of the forward magazine and headed for a lift that would take them to the deck and ultimately the main mess hall. When the Specialist took a seat in a corner that was mostly darkened Charles stood up from the table that he was sitting at and moved over next to the Xindi-insectoid.

 

“May I join you?”

 

The Specialist looked up from their food and nodded, “Please do.”

 

Charles took the seat across from the Specialist, “Do you prefer the dark?” he asked the Specialist.

 

The Xindi-insectoid set the fork that they had had in their hand, next to the plate on the tray, and looked at Charles. “It does help me with my eyes,” they stated as they folded their clawed hands.

 

Charles nodded to their response before he stated that the lights in engineering could be lowered if it would help. The Xindi-insectoid nodded and thanked Charles for offering. Not much in chatter was said after that point as both of them needed to relax and refuel. Just before the two stood up the Specialist placed a clawed hand on the Chief’s.

 

“Master Chief Charles. If I had offended you before, it was not my intention,” they started as they looked at the Chief, “I like your Captain, are restricted from giving out the information of the mission that this ship and its crew are involved in,” they stated as they continued to look at the Chief, “I just wanted you to know that before we continue with the instructions that your Executive Officer gave us.”

 

Charles listened to what the Xindi-insectoid had said and nodded, “One thing to know about me, and I am certain I can vouch for the entire crew on this point, is that we do not harbor grudges or hard feelings for those around us,” he stated as he looked into the dark inkwell hue of the complex eyes of the Specialist.

 

This made the Specialist feel a ton better at knowing that even though they had been ordered by Starfleet’s top brass to not divulge any information about the mission that the man that they were working with would not hold them in any kind of ill manner. They then stood up and joined the Chief as the two left the mess hall and headed for the lift and back down to the Engineering Deck.

 

***

 

Vausees tapped the button on the console in front of her and hailed the Heracles. Zazzuit nodded to Jonton who opened the communication with their Captain. The image of Kelsie took the main viewscreen for a moment before it was turned to face Vausees.

 

“What can I do for you Captain?” Zazzuit asked as she sat in the central chair. 

 

Vausees smiled for a moment, “That looks good on you Commander,” she stated and then got to business, “Can you tell me how far along Charles and our guest is?” She asked as she looked at her XO in her greenish-yellow eyes.

 

Zazzuit sat for a moment as she looked at the console on the armrest, “As for as the Chief’s report states they have finished with the modifications to the dozen torpedoes and have about ten minutes left on the resonant chamber,” she stated as she looked up at the viewscreen, and her Captain.

 

Vausees nodded and then turned her attention to Trever. “Mister Nief set a course to me,” she ordered

 

Trever nodded to her as he locked onto the Shuttles beacon and plotted a course to it. “Course laid in Captain,” he stated.

 

Vausees looked at Zazzuit, “Make it so Commander,” she stated before closing the communication with the Heracles and opened it up with the Torgus, this time with its viewscreen.

 

“Captain Fergouson, my ship is on her way, and should be here in about five minutes,” she stated. 

 

Fergouson visibly relaxed at this news as she looked at the Navigation console and confirmed that the Federation icon that represented the Heracles was indeed moving. She looked up at Vausees and smiled, “Thank you, Captain,” she stated in an overly joyous voice. “When this crisis is finished I would like to invite you and your Bridge crew to join me about the Torgus to celebrate,” she requested as she looked into the light blue eyes of Vausees.

Vausees looked over at Kelsie for a moment and then back at Fergouson. Kelsie shrugged as she saw her Captain’s eyes.

 

“I accept Captain, but let’s deal with this crisis first before we celebrate.”

 

Fergouson nodded her head as she sat there on that silent bridge. She could not wait to be rid of this situation but she also felt as if something else kept her there, or rather someone else. She looked once more at Vausees.

 

“If you will excuse me Captain, there is something I need to take care of before your ship arrives,” she stated as she stood up.

 

The view on Vausees side changed as Fergouson stood up and showed her entire feminine frame. Vausees swallowed hard as her eyes took in this Captain. Lucky for her that she was able to hide it and make it seem like nothing had happened. She nodded to Fergouson as the comms were closed.

 

Fergouson walked over to the door of the bridge and tapped her authorization code in. A moment later the door hissed open and she stepped through to see her second in command sitting close by. She looked down at the man for a moment as she thought about what she was about to do. The door hissed shut behind her, “Computer, seal the bridge,” she ordered. A soft beep confirmed the order as she took a step toward him.

 

“Walk with me, Major,” she ordered

 

Fir nodded to Fergouson as he stood up and matched her stride step for step. He could see that something was on her mind as he followed her, and he had a good idea what it was, but needed her to confirm his suspicions. 

 

“Something on your mind, Debbie?” He asked as she hadn’t said anything and they had already done three laps around the cargo hold.

 

Fergouson stopped in her tracks and placed her hands on the railing that was on the second deck of the hold. She closed her eyes as she felt Fir lean against the railing. With a slow exhale she turned her head and opened her eyes as she looked at the man.

 

“This is my final run, Captain,” she said as she stood up and looked into Fir’s eyes. 

 

Fir looked at her with confusion as this was not what he had thought she was thinking, when she had exited out of the bridge. Fergouson saw the confusion and placed a hand on his broad shoulders.

 

“When we make it back to DeepSpace Nine I am placing you in Command of the Torgus,” she stated. She could see Fir was about to object when she continued, “I can’t do that right now. I have a message that needs to be placed and a Second Officer to promote to Second in Command.”

 

“But Captain, the Torgus is your ship,” Fir stated as he stood there in complete shock.

 

Fergouson smiled as she lowered her hand from his shoulder, “That she is, but I know that you will take care of her for me. Of that I have no doubt. So that when I return I know that she will be there,” she stated as she turned once more to the ship’s hold. “There will be a couple of things that I will need to do before I hand over command but you needn’t worry about what they are.”

 

This statement caused Fir to cock his head to the side, but he knew that this ship wasn’t any normal Freighter, and that it in fact housed a lot of the Federations Fleet equipment on board. What he didn’t know and realize was that all of the equipment was registered to Fergouson’s former Starfleet register, and would need to be locked out so that if something like this should happen again that he would not be accused of stealing Starfleet equipment.

 

Fergouson turned and looked at Fir, “Do me a favor and inform the crew of this news once we arrive at DS9, would you?” she asked him as she stood there.

 

Fir could not object as he stood there looking into the bright green eyes of his friend and soon to be former Captain; so all he could do was nod and accept the last order of his Commanding Officer and his first command as the Torgus’ new Captain, when they reached Deep Space Nine.

 

Fergouson had returned to the bridge after finishing with her second in command. She knew that her next step was to play a card that she had kept and see if the Heracles had an opening for a person like her. As she connected with the relay on DS9 she swallowed hard as the image of Admiral Ross came into view.

 

***

 

Vausees and Kelsie sat in silence as they waited for either the Heracles or Fergouson to appear before them. They didn’t however figure that Admiral Ross would appear on the viewscreen that faced Kelsie.

 

“Captain Roberts?” His voice could be heard full of surprise and confusion as he looked at her. 

 

Kelsie looked up at the sound of someone calling out to her and when she saw the Admiral her eyes widened, “Admiral!” She said in equally surprise and confusion.

 

“Where is Captain Vax?” He asked her, “And why are you on that shuttle and not on board the Heracles?” he questioned.

 

Kelsie swallowed hard as Vausees reached over and turned the viewscreen to face her. As she looked at Admiral Ross she could see anger in his eyes, but she smiled as she looked back. “Admiral, what a shock to see you calling. I honestly…”, but she was cut off as she was about to continue speaking by a rather angry tone. 

 

“Captain, have you gone mad?” He asked her as his eyes bore into hers.

 

His gaze and tone confused Vausees for a moment as he looked over at Kelsie and then back at the Admiral, “Sir I am not sure where this tone let alone this anger is coming from,” she stated as she looked into his eyes.

 

“How stupid are you, Captain?” he once more questioned her. “You have a member of your crew in your shuttle during a crisis di…” he was cut off this time by Kelsie, as she turned the viewscreen away from Vausees to her.

 

“Admiral, with all due respect, I am a Captain, yes granted to a Combat Air Group that is apart of the USS Heracles,” she stated, and could see that the Admiral was about to object to what she had said and continued on with her own objection to his statement about her being just apart of the Heracles’ crew and not letting him speak, “however, Sir, and again with all due respect, I was briefed on the Federations policies and directives when I became a Captain of my own ship, and then of my CAG, when I was deemed unfit to Command a starship, however it states that Omega Directives are to be viewed by starship captains, flag officers, and specialists, and the last I checked a Valkyrie, Sir, is a Starship,” she stated, “Plus if that is not enough, Admiral, I am still classified, per my clearances, to Command a Starship should anything happen to the entire Bridge Command as my Rank alone would place me in command per the command regulations and policies that the ships main computer is programmed to follow.”

 

This caught Ross off guard as he looked at the console before him to confirm her statement. She was, after all, correct. He looked up to the viewscreen that was in his office and his eyes narrowed. “Captain Roberts, I will accept your statement this time, however, do not ever cut me off again,” he stated in a tone that meant she had been close to insubordination. 

 

Kelsie nodded as she recognized the tone in his voice and returned the viewscreen back to Vausees, who had a look of surprise on her own face. Vausees apologized for her fellow officer’s objection, but was told to not worry about it this time as there was something else that needed to be discussed at this time.

 

After Admiral Ross informed her that Zazzuit was going to be given her own ship and that a former Captain, who was returning to the fleet under the rank of Commander would be joining the Heracles’ crew. She was also ordered to find a replacement for Zazzuit before returning to the Gamma Quadrant. When she inquired as to who this new addition to her crew was she was informed that that information would be passed on when she returned to Deep Space Nine with the Freighter Torgus.

 

“Admiral, am I to escort the Torgus to Deep Space Nine?” She asked as she looked into his eyes.

 

“If you need it to be an order, Captain Vax, then consider it an order.” He stated as he sat back in his chair.

 

“Order received loud and clear, Admiral.”

 

“Good, now finish this mission.”

 

With that the viewscreen slipped back to the screen that had inhabited it prior to the call. Vausees looked at Kelsie for a moment, who was looking back at her. Just then the viewscreen once more activated, this time the image was of Fergouson.

 

“Captain…” Vausees was cut off by a hand that was raised by Fergouson.

 

“I know, I was briefed by Admiral Ross,” she stated, “You have orders to escort me back to DS9.”

 

This time Vausees and Kelsie were caught off guard as they were not aware that Admiral Ross had contacted Fergouson.

 

“This is unusual for a civilian to be contacted by a member of Starfleet’s brass,” Vausees stated to Fergouson.

 

Fergouson could not help but grin as she looked at Vausees, “My dear Captain, I have not always been a Freighter Captain, let along a civilian, as you put it,” she stated as she looked into Vausees eyes, “I was once where you are sitting Vausees, a Captain of a Federation Starship.”

 

Vausees became flushed when Fergouson mentioned her name and then shocked when she informed her that she used to be part of the fleet. 

 

“What happened Captain?” She asked Fergouson.

 

“That is for another time, Vausees,” she said as she looked down at her navigation console, “By the way Captain your ship is about to drop out of warp,” she stated as she looked up from the console.

 

A bright flash appeared as a ship exited out of warp right behind the shuttle. A second screen appeared on the viewscreen, splitting the screen in two, and Zazzuit appeared.

 

“Captain, we have arrived.” Is all that she said.

 

“Thank you Commander.” Vausees responded and the viewscreen returned to normal.

 

“Captain Fergouson, my ship will be at your location in three minutes. I hope that nothing has changed before then.”

 

“See you then Vausses.” Fergouson then tapped the glowing communication icon on her console and the screen returned to the darkness of space.

 

***

 

Charles growled and flung the spanner across the engineering deck. It impacted into the bulkhead of an empty part of the deck and bounced back and onto the floor where it slid to a stop a few feet from him. A cheeky grin crossed his face as he looked over at the Xindi-insectoid. His voice held humor to it as he spoke.

 

“I almost smacked myself with that tool,” he said as he bent down and picked it up.

 

For the past five minutes both he and the Xindi-insectoid had been waist deep inside of a resonant chamber’s guts trying to get the last piece of the puzzle placed in. Every time it seemed to fall into place it would dislodge itself from where it had been placed, as if it had a mind of its own.

 

The Xindi-insectoid raised its clawed hand, “Take it easy Chief,” they said before ducking back into the chamber. “Hyper-span.” They said with a clawed hand sticking out behind them.

 

Charles sighed and placed the spanner into their hand. As it disappeared the Xindi-insectoid started to inform the Chief as to why he was frustrated. As soon as they finished they slipped out of the chamber and pointed.

 

“There you go, Chief.”

 

Charles bent over and inspected the work and smiled as he looked back at the Specialist, “You trying for my job Ensign?” He said in a joking manner.

 

“If you do not want it, then sure.” The Xindi-insectoid jokes back.

 

Charles shook his head and reached up to tap his ComBadge, “Engineering to the Bridge.”

 

Vausees had returned to the bridge a moment before the intercom had chirped in and Charles’ voice had come over it.

 

“What you got for me, Chief?” She asked

 

“Twelve modified torpedoes, and a resonant chamber, fully assembled and powered up,” he stated as he tapped a button on the console.

“Good work Chief,” she replied as she looked over at Jonton.

 

“Thirty seconds until we drop out of warp.” Jonton stated as he looked down at his console

 

Trevors hands were hovering over the controls as he watched the timer on the navigation portion of his console. He then started to count down as the time neared zero. When it hit zero his fingers slid over the controls and the viewscreen was suddenly filled with a ship.

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the UFP Torgus.” Vausees stated as she stood up. “Jonton, if you would please contact, Captain Fergouson for me,” she ordered

 

Jonton tapped a glowing holographic communications icon and the main viewscreen changed from the Torgus to Fergouson.

 

“Good to see you, Captain Vausees.” Fergouson said as she lifted a mug to her lips and took a drink.

 

“Likewise Captain Fergouson.” Vausees replied as she turned to Cody. “Commander would you please scan the location around 246 mark 045,” she ordered as she turned back to Fergouson, “Captain please start heading to the Wormhole if you would.”

 

Fergouson nodded to Vausees as she engaged her impulse drive, “Captain, be safe and see you in hopefully a few minutes.”

 

Vausees nodded, “Let us hope that things do not go sideways, Captain.”

 

Fergouson nodded again and tapped the communications icon on the console as she pulled away from the Heracles. As soon as she had cleared far enough away she engaged her warp engines and disappeared into a flash of light a moment later as she entered into warp.

 

Vausees watched as the Torgus slipped into warp before she turned to Cody.

 

“What do you have for me Commander?” She asked.

 

Cody shook his head and blinked a couple of times. He knew exactly what he was looking, and was sure that Vausees knew that, but he played it off, “Not sure Captain, but my sensors are picking up some sort of fluctuation in space.”

 

Vausees smiled at how well he had just lied to the crew. She took her seat and turned the console on the armrest and loaded up the sensor logs. “Okay,” she thought to herself as she saw that the molecules were just inside the range for use of the modified torpedoes. Tapping on the console she brought up the weapons console. “Commander Bettencourt, I will take it from here.” She selected two of the modified torpedoes and locked onto the Omega molecules. “Fire.” she said to herself as she tapped the launch holographic icon.

 

Two torpedoes left out of the front of the Heracles and soared away into the darkness of space. As they flew toward their destination, Vausees looked at Trever, “Mister Nief, if you please get us the hell out of here, warp 9,” she ordered.

 

Trever didn’t question the order as his hands had a mind of their own. He heard the tone that Vausees had given him and punched the Heracles into Warp 9, from a dead stop. As soon as the Heracles flashed into a bright warp bubble the torpedoes impacted on the Omega molecules, and the eighty isoton warheads destroyed the particles of Omega.

 

Fergouson had dropped out of warp just outside of where the wormhole was, the nose of the Torgus was pointed to where she hoped to see a flash of light. She bit the bottom of her lower lip as she waited. While she waited she dropped the lockout for the bridge but did not inform her crew just yet.

 

Just as she was starting to get worried that something had happened a bright flash appeared a ways away and she looked at the navigation console. A nice big Federation icon showed on the monitor. She tapped it to confirm if it was the Heracles but was greeted on her view screen by the image of Vausees.

 

After a brief congratulations, Fergouson closed the comms and fell in formation with the Heracles beside them. The Heracles entered and exited the wormhole first followed by the Torgus a second later. Fergouson aligned the Torgus beside the Heracles as she followed Vausees to Deep Space Nine.

 

 

Promotions, Celebration, and Relationships

Location: Alpha Quadrant - Deep Space Nine USS Heracles
Stardate: 74428.94 Time: 2050 hours

Stardate: 74428.94

 

Time: 2050 hours

 

Location: Alpha Quadrant – Deep Space Nine

 

USS Heracles

 

Vausees looked up from the now closed monitor to a woman dressed in a yellow tunic. She turned to her replicator and punched in her Command code. A trio of solid gold colored pips appeared out of a material stream. She reached in and picked them up, she then turned and looked at the woman.

 

“Commander Fergouson,” she said to the woman that was now standing at attention in front of her. Vausees looked into the bright green eyes of her new Chief Security and Tactical Officer. On the outside Vausees was calm cool and in control but on the inside she was a mess as this woman was making her inside feel like jello as she stood there in a perfectly pressed uniform, no doubt done by the replicator on the Commander’s request. “I am authorized by Admiral Ross, of Starfleet Command,” she stated as her hand started to betray her and shake.

 

Debrah saw the shake for a split second and placed her own shaking hands on Vausees. She leaned in and whispered, “I know what you are feeling, Vausees,” she said using Vausees name instead of Captain. She was lucky that the two had been alone as this meeting was only designated for them. 

 

Vausees pulled back slightly so that she could look into Debrahs eyes. The usual bright green that she has seen on the viewscreen was lighter than usual. She made a mental note of that as she gently slipped her hands out of Debrah’s. Taking a deep breath she slowly let it out as she placed the pips onto Debrah’s chest. “Welcome aboard, Commander Fergouson,” her voice hitched slightly as she spoke, which caused her cheeks to flush slightly. 

 

“Thank you, Captain.” Fergouson replied as she stood there.

 

“Report to the Officers Lounge for further events, Commander.” Vausees ordered as she took her seat.

 

“Aye, Captain.” Fergouson replied as she faced and headed for the door. “See you there?” She asked Vausees as the door hissed open onto the bridge.

 

Vausees looked up from the log that she had to finish and smiled before she nodded.

 

***

 

Vausees smiled at Zazzuit as she announced that she had been given her own command per the request of Admiral Ross. This caused Zazzuit to relax as she now realized why Cody was now the Executive Officer aboard the Heracles and not her. 

 

“I will do my best Captain.” Zazzuit said as she stood there with four gold pips on her chest. 

 

“I know you will my old friend,” she said as she shook her hand, “Don’t be afraid to call me if you need advice, not that you do,” she stated as she let go of Zazzuit’s hand.

 

Vausees then turned to the Specialist. “Ensign Skirak, will you please step forward. Master Chief Charles will you also please step forward,” she ordered to both of them.

 

This caught both of them off guard as they had both had their faces buried in plates of food. Charles looked at Skirak, having learned from his new Xindi counterpart that he had spoken to Admiral Ross and requested to stay aboard the Heracles, and their name. Skirak had also chosen to self-identify as a male even though his species did not self-identify.

After they both wiped off their hands they stood up and walked over to Vausees. Vausees looked at Charles and indicated that he needed to stand next to her, he did as requested. Vausees then turned and faced the group in the lounge.

 

“As you all know, other than Commander Fergouson, our newest addition to our family is one that had been on loan, so to speak, to us from Starfleet command,” she stated as she looked around the room coming to a rest on Skirak, “I have come to learn that he has requested to stay aboard the Heracles and had joined Chief Charles in Engineering,” she smiled at Skirak as she turned to face him. “I have been authorized by Admiral Ross to add a pip to your chest, Sir,” ste announced to Skirak, “However, I believe it would be most honorable if Master Chief Charles Tanner would do the honors.” Vausees stated as she turned to Charles and held out a single solid black pip.

 

Charles looked at Vausees for a moment in bewilderment and then smiled as he reached into her hand and removed the pip from her palm. He then took a step forward and then turned to Skirak. “Ensign Skirak, it’s my pleasure and honor to present this black pip to you,” he stated as he attached the pip to Skirak’s chest, and next to the single gold pip. “Welcome aboard Lieutenant J G Skirak to the USS Heracles.”

 

Everyone in the lounge then began to clap as Charles placed a hand on the Lieutenants shoulder as he should his hand. Vausees then took a step away from the two and turned in a slow tight circle as she looked at everyone.

 

“Now let us celebrate with all of those here and those that are about to leave us,” she said, “that’s an order.” She grinned as she stepped away and toward a table that was covered in a white tablecloth and adorned with a variety of foods.