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Part of USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again Part: 3 and USS Denver: Mission 4: Can’t Come Home Again

An Invasion in the Works

Sarpedion V
July 15, 2374
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The 12th Order Headquarters sat on a hill that overlooked a vast jungle and commanded the surrounding area and settlement. Located on Sarpedion V  the fortress compound could survive attacks from orbit and the ground.

A lone shuttle broke through the dark grey clouds and into a heavy downpour. The shuttle flew low over the city shaking windows and dislodging birds from their protective roosts. 

At the compound, the bay doors parted and receded into the roof to reveal the shuttle bay within.  The shuttle slowed and hovered over the opening for a few seconds sending standing water upwards into a misty cloud.  With a whine of engines, the shuttle descended into the void and once it cleared the roof the doors slid shut.

Once the shuttle had come to a rest the locks to the exterior egress clunked open and the door slid outward, parted, and to either side of the entrance.  A pair of Jem’Hadar with their weapons at the ready stepped out followed by the Vorta known as Maveren. 

“Third, you and Sixth are dismissed,” Maveren said.

The two Jem’Hadar didn’t say a word and simply acknowledged the Vorta’s command with a shallow nod. Maveren turned and exited the shuttle bay into a corridor typical of Cardassian design.   Round, grey, and annoying little things you had to step over at every section.  The Cardassians were members of the Dominion,  but she had, to be honest, she really disliked most of them.

Making her way to the administrative section of the compound she ignored the Cardassian officers working at various terminals and pushed her way into Gul Gozec’s office.   With a fake smile, she clapped her hands, “I hope you didn’t miss me too much while I was on Cardassia.”

When Gozec looked up and saw Maveren enter his office, his eyes widened. Confusion was written all over his face as he reached for a PADD and rifled through the memos and combat reports. He came to a halt near the last encounter with the Denver and swiped through it. Maveren’s name appeared in the report as Killed in Action. He lowered his gaze after tossing the device at the Vorta and slipped a hand onto a disruptor he had hidden out of sight.

“Would you mind explaining?” he said, his tone chilling even the most seasoned Jem’Hadar warriors; had there been one in the room with them.

“Explain what? Oh… the fact that I died.  Yes, I suppose that would be confusing. You knew Maveren 4.  I am Maveren 5. A new clone was activated to replace the last one. Rest assured I have all her old memories… well, most of them anyway.”

Gozec body appeared to relax as he appeared to lean back in the chair; while at the same time moving it closer to the desk so that he could keep his hand safely on the disruptor. 

“You damn Vorta and your cloning,” Gozec said as he shook his head trying to throw attention to his dislike of the idea of coming back from a glorious battle in which he had died.

She shrugged,  “It is the order of things.  We all serve the Founders including you my friend.  And if the Founders should decide that I am to replace my progenitor… well, who am I to question a God?”

“Puppets on a leash”, Gozec thought to himself as he continued to sit there.

“Now, shall we get to work?  I have order’s from Weyoun and Gul Dukat.”

Releasing the disruptor he placed both hands on top of the table.

“What do our illustrious leaders have for us?”

“Invasion of the Federation,” she replied.  She crossed over to the wall monitor entered commands into it and brought up.  “We are going to lead the 12th Order and elements of the 9th and 14th Orders and take Betazed.”

‘Betazed,’ Gozec thought to himself. “Are you certain about this?”

Maveren eyed Gozec with suspicion,  “Why wouldn’t I? It’s only defended by the 10th Fleet and its defenses are inadequate.”

“I’m not concerned about the 10th Fleet,” Gozec said as he stood up and moved over to a table that held the quadrant’s detailed information as it stood at the time. “I’m more concerned about the proximity to Deep Space Nine, as well as a distress call being made to Starbase 11, which could summon the 4th Fleet from Sol,” he told the Vorta as he widened the area. “Unless you mean to call in the 4th Fleet, which would mean…,” he paused for a moment, “you mean to call out the Denver.”

Maveren gave Gozec a suspicious expression,  before returning to her briefing ignoring his outburst. “Betazed’s defense systems are obsolete and undermanned.  Betazed is strategically important,  and puts us in a position to conquer Vulcan, Andor, Teller, and Alpha Centauri which will go a long way in allowing us to destroy Earth and all resistance ending this terrible conflict.”

She turned to the galaxy map Gozec had brought up staring at it. “Starbase 75 will be our biggest obstacle other than the 10th Fleet.  We must watch them and plan accordingly.”

Gozec knew that she was right but he also knew that something wasn’t completely sound about her plan. What it was he couldn’t put his finger on, but he knew when to trust the tingle in his ridges and this was one of those times. However, he didn’t open his mouth to speak this to the Vorta. Instead.

“As you wish Maveren.”

He looked at the map once more studying it. Trying to figure out what it was that had his instincts flaring up like they were.

She handed the complete intelligence and objectives outlined by Dukat to Gozec on a Cardassian PADD. “I trust you are more equipped to plan this invasion strategically?”

Gozec took the PADD and looked up at her. In his mind, he was using every foul word and phrase that he could come up with on how much he despised her, and at the same time, he nodded to her.

“Of course, you know that this will take some time to incorporate into the fleet and for me to come up with the plan,” he stated in a tone that portrayed a subject of the Dominion.

She walked to the sideboard lifted a bottle of Kanar, poured a single glass, and returned with it setting it on the desk in front of the Gul. “Smile Gozec.  This is a victory of sorts.  You have gained the favor of your people and the Dominion.  You have proven yourself a valuable member of the Dominion and soon your enemies will know to fear you.”

Gul Gozec looked at the glass for a moment and then back to the Vorta. He was glad for the training that he had undertaken and was sure that poison wouldn’t work on him. Taking the glass he lifted it up and saluted her with it.

“For the Dominion,” he stated in an even tone and took a healthy draw from the glass.

“For the Dominion,” Maveren repeated.  She turned and headed for the door, pausing she glanced over her shoulder, “I look forward to seeing your plan.”