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Part of USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again Part: 2 and USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again

Unexpected Visitor

Bridge, USS Denver
April 16, 2374 10:00
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Rebecca stared at the screen trying in vain to figure out what was happening.  “I don’t have a clue,” she said, answering Riandri’s question. “Mr. Crawford, what are the sensors detecting.”

Peter had scrambled to his station and very gently dismissed the operations ensign that had been tapping furiously at the console while staring at the image that had appeared on the screen.  “I’m detecting…what can best be described as a bend in time and space – whatever is about to come through is not….”  He didn’t get to finish his sentence.

Suddenly, a ship appeared from the rift. Its shields flashed blue as red lighting rippled over them. The hull appeared to be that of a Federation ship, though it was more advanced than any that the Denver’s crew had ever seen.

The main viewscreen then shifted to show a familiar face.

“Greetings,” was the only thing said as Vausees Vax appeared on the screen. Though she was not dressed in a MACO uniform, she was dressed in all black, from her uniform top to her bloused tactical pants, which were partially covered by a pair of black boots with some sort of shin guard built into them.

She stood there with her arms crossed behind her back, staring at Rebecca and the Denver. Her physical appearance belonged to someone of immediate importance and leadership.

“I am Captain Talon of the Federation Starship Denver. To whom am I speaking?”

Crawford had many questions, but he was busy trying to find the answers to other questions and began to task the operations station with sensor readings, scans, and deeper data interpretation.  Because he was, at the moment, quite alarmed.

Rebecca moved next to Peter’s console and typed out a message to him without even looking at the display,  Alert the fleet and Earth Spacedock, and request immediate assistance.

Vausees’ face flushed as she heard from the background of her ship that they were transmitting a message to Starfleet Command.

‘Captain, that is not necessary, as I am confident that you higher-ups were made aware of my presence before I even entered the event horizon of the temporal rift,’ she said, and a chime came from the communications station as if on cue.

Crawford sighed, “We are receiving priority messages from Starfleet Command, Captain.”  He tapped the console, and he nodded to them for Captain Talon to read.

Vausees shifted her gaze to Peter. ‘Ah, so this is the ship where you got your experience, cap…’ she paused to correct herself, ‘Ensign Crawford. Allow me to explain why I’m here.’

Peter stared at her and corrected, “Lieutenant.” He wondered how many paradoxes the woman had created in doing what she had done.

She turned around to face Cody, who had stood up and moved up next to Vausees. ‘You see, captain Talon, I know your son all too well, an Ethan Talon, if I’m not mistaken,’ Vausees said matter-of-factly.

‘Now the reason that we are here is that it has come to our attention, or rather ‘our’ Starfleet Intelligence attention, that someone from our time and other times along the timeline has entered into your time,’ she said as she looked into Rebecca’s eyes. ‘God, help us all if they succeed at whatever it is that they are doing,’ she said emphatically.

It has also come to my attention that a young woman has been kidnapped by said people, and I and my first officer are here to assist you in any way necessary, for which I am authorized to skim the fat off the Prime Directive.’ Vausees said this with a slight grin on her lips as she stood there broadcasting that information as if it were common knowledge. ‘With that in mind, this mission will have to be carried out undercover for two reasons. One, we’re not supposed to be here, and two, in order for this to work, I and Commander Bettencourt will need to be on your crew but not registered in your computer logs. I hope you understand why,’ she stated.

Crawford took the unusual step of muting the channel as he turned away from the screen and stared at his CO, “Captain – as much as this breaks every rule we have…and every rule they probably have…this would explain the readings, the kidnapping.”  He glanced at the woman and then back to Talon, “I don’t know how many universes we’re going to be dealing with here, but they taught us in the academy to trust none of them as far as you can throw them in space…and well, that’s a damn near impossible task as it is.”  His finger hovered over the mute button, “It is amusing I’m at least ahead of her Crawford in promotions.”

“And who’s to say they are who they say they are. They could be Changelings, though this is so fantastical that I can’t even imagine the Dominion cooking this one up.  Still, I don’t trust her that’s for sure.  Inform Starfleet Command of our status.  I’m inclined to impound their ship and strip it apart for information.”

Crawford tapped out the message to Starfleet Command with priority. his eyebrow cocked in curiosity at his captain.  She wasn’t known for tolerating nonsense, and her patience with whoever this was running out.  He wondered where this was going to take them this time.

Rebecca turned and slid into her seat, “Resume audio, Mr. Crawford.” Turning her attention back to Vax, “Captain, I suggest you return from whence you came.  I don’t trust you in the slightest.”

Riandri stood by the door to the ready-room and watched the exchange. She was fascinated by the possibilities that were presenting themselves but the risks and threats that were entwined with them gave her pause. She was about to go and speak to the Captain while the audio was muted but as she took a step forward her balance wavered and nausea grew. She staggered slightly, hoping to god no one noticed, especially the captain of the other ship. Before she could regain her balance fully a hand gripped her arm and she looked over to see Master Chief Jeters. 

“Best watch yourself, Lieutenant,” he said quietly and nodded to an empty station beside her, “Does Star Fleet Intelligence have much on this? Seems like she knows Crawford, damn odd.”

“Wasn’t my area but I know of some events, I can check for more,” Riandri said as she slide into the seat, the spinning of her head slowing. Riandri connected to the station and typed out a message to Crawford’s station. We need the information they have. Even if they go back any incursions must be stopped before it disrupts our timeline.

ISS Vindicator…

Órlaith stood next to her brother Ian at the tactical station aboard their cloaked ship.  Jeter was in command.  An alarm blared disrupting the quiet hum of the ship’s command center. “A quantum rift is appearing two-hundred kilometers off our port bow!” Órlaith announced. 

Jeter’s stood up from the command chair and took a step towards the large view screen, “Show me!” Before him the view screen switched from a view of Earth to the expanding quantum rift. As he watched he could see the ship slip forth from the event horizon of the rift. “Damn it. They followed us somehow.” His mind ran through several options, he could make a jump and leave those bastards on the planet to have whatever horrible fate they deserved befall them but he wasn’t sure if he would survive it. The crew showed little sense and most on the bridge were loyal to Dominus and Bellitor currently. He turned to Órlaith, “Double check that our cloak is working at peak efficiency and get me Dominus.”

“Cloak is fully operational,” Ian replied.  He had that odd smirk of excitement he always had on him when someone was about to die. 

The viewscreen switched and Dominus appeared shirtless and disheveled.  “What?”

Jeter’s looked at Dominus and could barely contain his dislike for the man. “A quantum rift has appeared and a warship has transited through.” He looked at the readings on the side of the view screen confirming his suspicions. “We were followed, the escape you planned didn’t work.”

Bellitor sat up in bed next to Dominus heedless of any modestly, “Who is it?  I seriously doubt it was the Alliance.  We covered our tracks from that reality.” The most recent reality they tried to conquer had blown up in their faces, but they had left a string of bodies in their wake including the clones of themselves which should have satisfied the Alliance that they were dead.

Jeter’s hid his annoyance, “I am not sure WHO it is yet. But the ship is decades more advanced than the ones in this universe, the only safe assumption is they are here for the Vindicator and us.” He let out a short breath, “If we are discovered we will be no match for them and the combined firepower of the Federation ships and defence installations in orbit. We should consider alternatives.”

“Do as you see fit,” Dominus replied. 

“Jeter, I have been doing some research.   Take the Vindicator to the Frakus System.   There’s a known smuggler’s base on the third moon of Frakus Prime.  Speak with a Ferengi name Galin and negotiate a prices for a fleet of ships.  Pay a premium for Romulan and Klingon. Demand a discount for Federation,  Ferengi and Cardassian.”

Jeter’s cocked an eyebrow at that. “That won’t be cheap but I will get as many as possible,” he said without emotion. ‘I do not think this will go as well as she is thinking.

“With ten-million bars of plundered latinum, we have a surplus in finances… it’s power we’re short on, and a fleet of ships will give us a head start until we can build our own.” Bellitor explained.

Several ideas rant through his head at that but simply nodded and said, “Too true.”

“And of us mother?” Órlaith said stepping next to Jeter.

“Hello sweetheart,” Bellitor smiled warmly.  “You and your brother may look like an adult,  but your age acceleration hasn’t given you sufficient experience. Listen to Jeter. Help him the best you can and learn from him.”

“Yes mother,” Órlaith replied.

“Take care of my children Jeter,” Bellitor said.

Jeter’s looked at Bellitor and nodded. “I will get this fleet and be in touch when it is assembled.”

“Oh, and Jeter Kill Galin at the conclusion of your dealings.  Dead men tell no tales.”

His lips curled up into a wicked grim, “That goes without saying.”