Part of USS Mackenzie: Mission 3 – Island of the Damned (IOTD)

IOTD 030 – The Darkness Before the Dawn

Cardassian Ship / USS Mackenzie
12.28.2400 @ 2100
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“Once they release me, I will kill you.”

Gul Hasara glanced up from his reading device, “I wouldn’t recommend that course of action.  The Cardassian government, as much as they don’t have a clue, do not likely take that kind of thing.”  He returned to his book, “Besides, you can’t take control of us.  A war with the Cardassians would be ill-advised.”

“We don’t need control of you.  Even now, one of ours walks among the Starfleets.  She will have taken control of them all.”

Hasara glanced up, “Was that because you couldn’t get into my head, so you had to go inside the next best…or worst thing?”  He gave her a thoughtful shake of his head, “You may think you know everything, but humans notice changes in their people.”

“We are very good at staying hidden.”

The Gul guffawed and put his hands up as if to have her stop making him laugh, “You have been out of this game for too long.  My goodness, you think you have power that you don’t have.  I read about your people and their powers.  What happened to you?  Everything I studied suggested you could tear someone apart if you so desired.”

The Vulcan’s occupant was silent for a long time, and Hasara shrugged while returning to his book.  The Arretan spoke quietly, “We…made an error.  The Jade Dilithium boosted our abilities in great measure.  We leaned heavily into it.”

He stared at her as he worked it out in his head, “You used it so much you became reliant on it…as if it was a drug you couldn’t live without.”

A somber look crossed the face of T’Saath as her Arretan sighed, “It is the one regret I have.  I should have stopped us…but it was so easy.  So simple. So…powerful.  Now we cannot do much without it.”  She grumbled, “We will still destroy you – we have plenty.”

Hasara put his book down, “Do you?  You risked coming out here to pick up your abandoned fields.”

There was almost a pout on the face of T’saath’s face, but it vanished as quickly as it appeared, “We simply wanted to collect what was ours to ensure our stores were full.”  She rolled over on the floor, facing away from the Cardassian.  Hasara clicked his tongue and returned to his thrilling book.



“Your first officer is under our control, and she has no doubt killed the Cardassian interloper.”

Harris stood in the brig with Kondo on one side and Wyatt on the other.  Mardo’s occupant had been ranting for the last ten minutes to the point she’d started spitting against the force field in her rage.  Wyatt shook his head, “They always were a vain species.”  Ambrose gave him a look, and the El-Aurian smiled wanly, “We knew of them.  They’re as close to a Q being as you’ll come.  More menacing than amusing…then again, I’ve known a downright awful Q or two.”

Ambrose gestured at the ranting and raving Mardo, “You ever have to go up against them?”

Wyatt chuckled, “They didn’t like us, and we didn’t like them – we gave each other a wide berth over the years.  First time I’ve stood across from one who wasn’t being chased out of our part of space or running away from us.”  He shrugged, “We tended not to give them the chance.”

The CO mused, “I would have liked to have seen that.”

Henry shook his head, serious in his warning, “No, captain, you would not.”  He turned his attention to Mardo, “What will you do with her?”

Harris wasn’t sure, “We’ll have to figure out how to get the Arretan out of her first.  I may get Reid to sedate her – she seems bound and determined to hurt her vessel.”



Fowler hunched over her console.  They needed a way to adapt what they had discovered about the Cardassian weapons so they could use it, in turn, on a larger scale. The science team had been running up against the simple fact that the Excelsior II class ship was not a nimble dancer on the stage – her grace was in her weapons, and her bulk she could throw around.  She sat back in her chair and ran through the options of shuttles, stopping when she realized they had a New Atlantic runabout available.

Captain Harris stepped onto the bridge and sat down next to her, “Fowler – what do you have?”  She went through the idea she had suddenly discovered, “The New Atlantic runabout is faster and smaller – she could weave through any attack they throw at us…plus we can use Hasara’s field and frequency invention to isolate the shuttle as she moves – while we put Chief Katsumi’s suits on them as an extra layer of protection…and then we figure out how to get the torpedoes to launch from the runabout….we knock out their systems including the Jade Dilithium – we can bring in the Mackenzie…and we’ve won the day without too much bloodshed.”

Ambrose tracked the entire way through her rushed and excited explanation, “Okada and Greer are busy trying to get us back to full warp power.  I’m going to assign you and Prentice to get the runabout ready – the shuttle crew will be able to pitch in as you go.”  Her wide-eyed look gave him pause, “Is that going to be ok, Lieutenant?”

She gave a quick nod, “Yes, sir, it’ll be good.”

He turned to Prentice at the front of the bridge, “Prentice – you and Fowler need to get the New Atlantic Runabout ready for launch – she’ll have the details.”



“I love flying this thing.” Prentice stood beside Fowler in the shuttle bay as the launch crews quickly pulled the sleek runabout from its moorings down to the deck.  They’d already pulled the various modules that would need to be refitted onto the interchangeable connectors.

Fowler stood nervously as the New Atlantic runabout slowly touched down with a *thump*.  She wasn’t sure if her captain knew about the relationship the two of them had started in November.  It had been haphazard, and they’d had plenty of stops, starts, and restarts.  The door to the runabout opened, and the lights inside began to flicker on.  

Fowler glanced at her PADD, “I can start with programming in the frequency and field generator changes – you can work on getting the modules installed.”  She ignored his confused look and marched her way onboard runabout New York.

Prentice wasn’t sure what to make of Sadie at the moment.  They’d found their way back together last week, and she’d been conversational at lunch two days ago.  He tapped at his PADD and walked up to the stack of modules as two of the shuttle bay crew joined him, “Well, let’s get started.”

They worked, and thirty minutes later, as they switched on the EPS connectors, the lights on the modules glowed green as they connected to both power and computer.  Will high-fived the crew, and they went to work on attaching the bottom transport and weapons module.  They had to check to ensure the torpedos had been loaded correctly and that the additional phaser couplings were working with the secondary power supply. Thirty minutes later, they slid the module into place as it clicked into place.  The dock crew went to work to put the final locks in place.

Prentice bounded up to the cockpit deck and sat down roughly next to a nearly finished Fowler.  She was scowling from her PADD to the console and back again.  Finally, she sighed in relief, “Got it.”  She turned to face her boyfriend, “You want to know why this made me nervous?”

Will gave a quiet nod, “I noticed it when the captain asked you…and you didn’t stay to talk when we got here.  What’s going on, Sayd?”

She gripped her PADD tightly as she thought about how to say what was on her heart.  She sighed and leaned back in the pilot chair, “I…I’ve never really had…someone close to me like you’ve been.  Growing up, I never really got out of the Sister’s house – was always too busy learning and working…and whatever else.”  She stared out the front window, “I didn’t date at the Academy…I just..worked and studied and worked…never saw a reason to look at a guy like that when I wanted to be the best at what I did.”  Fowler turned to face him, “I don’t know how to do this, Will.  I like you…a lot.  I like spending time with you…and all the things we do together.”  They both shared a quiet smile as she continued, “But I’m…this isn’t something I’m used to – having the attention of a guy beyond just a study partner.  You can be really intense.”

Prentice listened.  He’d wondered what had been pushing them around in the winds of their relationship, and now there were some answers.  He took a deep breath and shifted in his seat to face her, “I can be intense.  I’ll accept that.  I can work on pulling that back.  I’m on the other side of this – I’ve dated and related tons.  But…and this is gonna weird you out..and it weirds me out saying this…but I don’t know what to do with you either, Sayd.  You’re not like anything I’ve had before.  I…I want to come back to you after we argue.  I…can’t explain it, but….there’s something there that I want to make right with myself.”

She played with her fingers as he spoke.  She remained silent and glanced up at him, “I feel the same.  I don’t want to give up on this thing we’ve got, Will.  It’s something I want to work at, you know?”

He chuckled, “I don’t want to give up on us either.”  They stared at each other and then leaned across the chairs and kissed, holding it long enough to force themselves apart, nervous at what they might have done in the cockpit.  He spoke first, “I’ll…uh…do a walk around of the runabout to give it a last check.”  He stood quickly and gave her one last look, and dashed out.

Fowler felt her face redden and muttered, “I’ll just…check the computer a few more times.  Yea…that’s it.”  She returned to the console, tapping away until her badge beeped.

=^=Harris to Fowler, how’s our shuttle look?=^=

“Final check is nearly done, sir.  She’s ready for launch.”

=^=Good to hear.  I’m sending Chief Kondo down to take the second seat.  Report back to the bridge as soon as possible…engineering just got us to warp 7.=^=

“Understood.”  She stood and walked down and out of runabout New York, catching Prentice on his PADD.  “Kondo’s on his way – I think you’re going to launch pretty soon.”  She looked at him with new eyes as she spoke, “Good luck, Will.”  

He reached out and gave her a brief hug.  “You too, Sayd.”  She pulled away and walked her way to the exit, glancing back at her boyfriend one last time as he smiled and waved to her. She returned the wave and left.