Boral stretched his back after putting the last crate down. Gavin walked around the containers looking for something like a manifest or description of what was in the containers. “All right, that should be all,” Boral said as he straightened his uniform. Gavin gave his comm badge a tap, “Gavin to the transporter room, lock onto the two containers and beam them directly to the cargo hold”. The transporter officer back on board the Reliant responds with “Aye sir”. Within moments the containers get beamed up.
“Do we know what’s in those containers anyway? Ensign Wakeman, hand me a manifest of the containers we just beamed up”. Wakeman walks up to Boral empty-handed, he’s looking a bit confused. “There is no manifest, sir”, Wakeman said. Boral and O’Heron looked at each other with confused looks. “There’s always a manifest for cargo,” Gavin said with a light Scottish accent. “With all due respect sir, weren’t you notified of Starfleet command’s orders?”. Boral looked through his PADD but couldn’t find anything about Starfleet’s order. Surely there would be more to it than two containers and no manifest to go with it.
“This cargo belongs to Starfleet? Then what’s it doing all the way out here?” Boral asked as he continued looking for anything that looked like orders. “Yes sir, Starfleet has given us specific orders to transport this cargo, and no questions are allowed to be asked.” Wakeman continued. Perhaps it had something to do with the rank of the crew, or maybe to prevent from any troubles during the transporting process. “Thank you, ensign. Carry on”.
“Everyone gather ‘round. Ready to beam up?”, Gavin taps his comm badge again to contact the Reliant. “O’Heron to transporter room, 5 to beam up. Energize”. The away team energizes and beams up to the Reliant. Once onboard the ship, O’Heron, and Boral continue their conversation about the containers. Somewhere neither of them agreed with the secrecy of the cargo. Together they walked through the corridors toward the cargo hold. “So if this cargo is so special and so valuable, we should probably place it under security level 2 surveillance”. To which Boral responds with the question, “Isn’t that a bit too high for this type of mission?”. Boral looked at O’Heron with one eyebrow raised and with a very serious look.
“For all we know it could be a rare material, or high explosive, or even hazardous”. Gavin continued to share his concerns. “I know Starfleet Command ordered us not to ask questions, but in order to determine what kind of security we need to apply, we have to know what’s inside”, Boral crossed his arms. They knew what they were about to do, it was not their standard to decline the Federation’s orders, and in this situation, they had no other choice. Anything could be in those containers.
When arriving in the cargo hold they both agree to examine the containers using more advanced equipment. O’Heron kneels down and takes out his tricorder, then he begins scanning on deeper and deeper levels. Meanwhile, Boral stands on the lookout. “Just so you know, I’m not entirely onboard with this idea… For the sake of this ship I’ll do it”. Gavin looked at his tricorder as the information started rolling in. For a moment he looked up to see Boral slightly annoyed. “Get on with it already…” Boral snarled. O’Heron looked at his tricorder and stopped. His mouth fell open in disbelief. He stood up, looked at Boral, and said, “You’re not going to believe this… We have to tell the captain”.
Over the comms you could hear Walker making an announcement, “Attention crew, we’ll be departing to another system to pick up a diplomat who’s interested in joining the Federation, so be on your best behavior. Walker out”.
On the bridge of the Reliant, we find Walker sitting in his chair. He gazes out the viewscreen deep into space. He then looks at his helm officer, ensign Cantos, and says, “Lock in coordinates, warp 8… engage”. “Aye captain” Ensign Cantos replied as she taps on her console to lock in the coordinates. She then engages warp at Walker’s command and from the viewscreen, you could see stars and space flash by so fast. It never ceases to amaze Walker how fast they’re traveling, yet it seems like an everyday cruise.
At that moment Dorav walks onto the bridge. With his hands behind his back, a serious face, and a straight posture he walks up to Walker. Walker looks at Dorav with a smile. After some of their adventures together, these two officers have grown closer to each other and become great friends. “Ah, Mr. Dorav. Glad you could join us in this great moment. Today we may have a chance to gain ourselves a new ally”. The young Vulcan looked out the viewscreen and back at Walker as he said, “I’m looking forward to it captain. What planet are they from?”. Dorav sits down in his chair right next to Walker. “According to the briefing, it’s a senator from a planet in the Phelon system. It lies just outside the Federation border”. This information raises Dorav’s eyebrow. As a Vulcan, he is well-versed in many stories from all over the galaxy. Some would argue he has his own databank implanted in his Vulcan brain.
“According to my knowledge, the inhabitants of that planet live in solitude and hardly have any outside communication. Is Starfleet sure this is a good idea?” he says as he shares his concerns about the security of this mission. He knows of the cargo that they are carrying and in combination with transporting a diplomat, it really does not sit well with him. “The last time Starfleet encountered them was over thirty years ago, apparently a trade agreement was made between our people. perhaps they changed their way of life and have considered joining the Federation”, Walker responds. He has done his research before accepting this mission. After his discoveries, he accepted the mission to represent the Federation and forge a bond between these two worlds.
“It seems illogical to me that a species like that only required thirty years to change their way of living”, Dorav continues to argue. Then Boral and O’Heron enter the bridge in a rush to speak to Walker. O’Heron walks up front, he’s walking at a faster pace than usual. Boral follows at a somewhat slower speed. O’Heron stops in front of Walker and Dorav, his looks are very concerning. “Captain, we need to speak to you about the cargo”, Gavin starts while sounding like he had run a marathon before arriving on the bridge. “You mean the highly classified Starfleet cargo we shouldn’t be asking questions about?” Walker said sarcastically with a smug on his face. “Aye, that’s the one” Gavin responded.
“Judging by your concerned faces, you questioned it… Didn’t you?”. Walker crossed his arms, he knew Starfleet’s orders and was abit disappointed to hear that his department heads ignored these instructions and took matters into their own hands. “With all due respect sir, for the security of this ship, it is important to know what we’re actually transporting”. Boral crossed his arms as well and looked into Walker’s eyes to make clear he had good reasons to investigate. “We are under strict orders, lieutenant” Dorav adds to the conversation. “Boral does have a point… For all we know we’re carrying a highly toxic substance” Walker suggested.
“That we are, captain” O’Heron begins. “What do you mean?”. “The containers we beamed aboard have large quantities of… Trellium-D” said, Gavin. Walker’s smug swiftly disappeared from his face. His eyes had gone wide. “Trellium-D?!” Walker responds in disbelief. “According to my studies, Trellium-D is a liquid substance used to insulate rooms or constructs against spacial anomalies,” Dorav said, he always likes to share his knowledge and as a scientist, substances are one of his many specialties. “And?” Walker asked. “In a continues synthesized state, it is very dangerous” Dorav continues.
“That’s right, captain. The pressure built in those containers is very high. Its radiation levels are very high” O’Heron’s stress level increased the more he thought about it. “Great… We’re carrying a pressured bomb with a radiating substance…” Walker is both concerned and in disbelief. The last thing he was expecting today was to be carrying a dangerous substance known as Trellium. “There is another thing, captain…” Dorav gets up from his chair and straightens his uniform. “What’s that?” Walker asks. “Trellium-D is a deadly neurotoxin to Vulcans. It gradually decays our neuro-pathways. Its initial effect is removing our emotional inhibitions. However, this will always turn into a subject going insane with violent rages. If subject to Trellium for too long, the consequences will be irreversible”. History shows that these have been recorded phenomena in the distant past.
“Good to know, Mr. Dorav. You stay here on the bridge and stay away from the cargo hold at all costs” Walker shares his instructions with the crew. “Very well” Dorav responds. “Boral, Mr. O’Heron, let me see those containers”. Together with Boral and O’heron, Walker follows them to the cargo hold. Upon arrival, Walker gets handed a PADD with all the recorded data that was scanned from these containers. O’Heron kneels back down to scan the containers once more. He then shares his tricorder with Walker and shows that the data hasn’t changed at all from the previous scan. “Aye captain… the readings aren’t any different from my initial scans” Gavin confirms as he stands back up. “Deep Space 4… That’s near the Typhon expanse” Walker reads the instructions for this cargo’s destination. “But why would Starfleet give us such a dangerous mission,” Boral asks with a serious thinking face. This Andorian has faced many situations which made him skeptical about things, and very serious too. He and O’Heron have a friendly relationship with each other. They share the same kind of sarcastic humor, which is one of the reasons why they get along so well.
“Maybe because we know how to get the job done, lieutenant” Walker responds with confidence. Walker is young and impulsive. Sure he does think things through at times, but when it comes to it, his instructions are at their best when swift decisions have to be made. Naturally, it does not always work out the way he intended. One thing is for sure, with his sense of humor and caring aura he knows how to run the ship. “Sir?”. “Initialize security level 2 on the cargo hold, let no one in. I want to have security posted at the door until we finish our trip” Walker ordered.
“Aye, captain!” Boral stood straight like a soldier, then walks out of the cargo hold to assemble his security team to get Walker’s plans in motion. “Mr. O’Heron, can you build a monitor to keep an eye on the Trellium. Scan for any anomalies and fluctuations” Walker bends over to look at the containers one more time. As a graduate of the academy as an engineer, he knows from experience that engineers are capable of doing the most miraculous things. Having confidence in Gavin, he knows he can get the job done. That’s one of the reasons why Walker appointed him as chief engineer. “Leave it to me, captain”. Walker gets up and leaves the cargo hold. O’Heron immediately gets to work on the monitor. That way they can keep a closer look at the Trellium. If anything goes wrong, it could be fatal.
Meanwhile, on the bridge, Dorav was doing some of his own research on the senator of Phelan. It’s a species not aligned with the Federation. They do not appear to be hostile, yet not much is known about them. Dorav proceeds to search for any mention of Phelan. There is one mention of a trade agreement made with the Federation in 2368, about 33 years ago. Then the captain enters the bridge. Dorav stands up from behind a console and walks up to Walker.
“Captain, I’ve searched the databanks for any mention of the Phelon system and of its species. However, there is no mention of them in any record” Dorav continues to share his concern. “The little we know about them, the more interesting it becomes to learn about them as they learn about us” Walker tries to reassure Dorav that very little could go wrong on this mission. “I disagree. The fact that there is no indication of how this species behaves could be a threat to our ship, and as a second officer, it is my duty to ensure the safety of our crew.
“Be open-minded, Dorav. There is nothing to worry about. It’s one senator against a ship of security and combat-trained Starfleet officers”. Walker is convinced that being open-minded about this diplomatic mission is the best way to go about it. Even if Dorav disagrees, he still believes that he can learn from this new experience. Dorav then proceeds to warn the captain about this unpredictable situation anyway.
“Captain, incoming hail,” Cerr says, who’s currently stationed at operations on the bridge. “Put it through” Walker responds. “It’s from Starfleet, sir”. “Then I’ll take it in my ready room”, Walker gets up out of his chair and walks into his ready room. He sits down behind his desk with a small model of the Reliant standing on it. A small monitor also rests on his desk. Upon pressing a button on this monitor, a commander-ranked officer appears on-screen. Standing beside him is a lieutenant science officer who appears a bit nervous.
“This is commander Rackham of the science department on Deep Space 4”. “Yes, commander. What can I do for you?”, Walker has not seen this man before. The fact things are being kept classified for someone in Walker’s position is a bit concerning. “I was curious to see how our… special shipment is doing”, Rackham does not care to go in-depth about the situation. “There is no need to worry, commander. The containers you requested are safely stored in our cargo hold under level 2 security”.
“Good… Good…” Rackham is sitting on his chair bend over his desk with his hands put together. Then the science lieutenant takes the screen to himself and behind to ramble about the cargo in a very nervous tone. “Eh… uhmmm… Be sure to keep the containers stable. Oh and whatever you do, don’t open them! A-and don’t put any pressure on them!”. Lieutenant Rosek is a science officer station on Deep Space 4. He appears really nervous, but this man is very smart. He just has trouble socializing. He is always dedicated to his work, and that’s why he cares so much for this delivery to go right. Without it, his project would collapse.
“Thank you, lieutenant Rosek. So commander, what exactly is inside these containers?” Walker pretends not to know what’s inside these containers. Knowing this is supposed to be a classified mission to him, he shoots his shot anyway to see if he can get some information from a higher-up. However, the response from Rackham cancels out that thought. “I’m sorry, commander. I’m afraid you do not have the clearance to know”. Walker won’t take no for an answer and says, “Surely you must understand that we need to know what we’re shipping. It’s for the safety of our crew”.
Even if a direct question does not work, perhaps one of Walker’s other methods might persuade the commander to give him some information. Though not polite and a bit arrogant on Walker’s end, it is still a question that needs to be asked and a situation that needs to be considered. “You don’t have the clearance to know. And if you think you’re not capable of handling this cargo, we’ll find someone else who is. We’ll also make note of it at Starfleet command, to ensure you won’t receive similar missions in the future…”.
Ultimately this idea backfires, as Rackham suggests that the crew of the Reliant might not be so capable after all. This is insulting to Walker, however as Starfleet officer, he has to respect his higher-ups. And even if he disagrees with the commander, he smiles and agrees to the commander’s terms.
“Understood commander, I think my crew is beyond capable of handling this mission,” Walker says as he leans back in his chair. “Good… Rackham out”. Rackham ends the transmission. With a sigh of slight annoyance, Walker turns his chair. He knows that his knowledge of the Trellium could potentially jeopardize his career in Starfleet for disobedience of a higher-up.
Walker walks out of his ready room and looks at Dorav and the rest of his crew. He straightens his uniform and says, “Let’s just pretend we don’t know what’s in those containers for the rest of the trip…”. “Captain? We can’t lie about our knowledge of the cargo,” Dorav says with a serious tone in his voice. “What cargo?” Walker immediately pretends to know nothing about the Trellium. The last thing he wants is for his career in Starfleet to be over. So he subtly smiles at Dorav with his eyebrows raised. “The Trellium cargo”. “I don’t seem to know anything about Trellium being aboard our ship. Do you know anything about this Cerr?” Walker says while looking in Cerr’s direction. He gives a subtle wink to hint at the games he’s playing. And so Cerr replies with, “No captain, I don’t seem to remember anything about any cargo” as she smiles back.
The Reliant exits warp at the rendezvous point where they’re going to pick up the senator. They receive a hail from the planet’s surface. “Incoming hail, it’s the senator”. On the viewscreen, a Phelon male appears. In his background, you can see a dangerous-looking street with barrels on fire to keep people warm. It’s dark and sketchy looking. “Greetings captain, my name is senator Bersh of the Phelon system. I’ve been awaiting your arrival”.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, senator. Are you ready to beam to our ship?” Walker asks. “The pleasure is all mine captain. There is however one thing I wish to ask”. “And what might that be?”. “I wish to bring an accompanist aboard as well. He has shown me his planet and now I plan on showing him my planet as a token of gratitude”. “We weren’t expecting extra passengers, senator. Surel-” Walker gets cut off and the senator continues, “Surely this shouldn’t be too much of a problem to Starfleet. Who, as I recall, is open to hospitality for species of all sorts. I don’t see how this should be an issue”.
Bringing an unknown accompanist could jeopardize the security of the mission even more. Yet Walker does not want to make it seem like they’re inhospitable to guests of all kinds and to properly represent the Federation, Walker decided to agree with senator Bersh. “Of course not, senator. We’ll make extra arrangements for you and your accompanist”. “Splendid! Bersh out”, senator Bersh ends the transmission abruptly. Walker taps his comm badge, “Walker to transporter room… lock onto the life sign that’s with the senator…”. “Aye captain” the transporter officer replies. “Walker to Boral, increase security around vital parts of the ship. We’ll be having an extra visitor”, “Yes captain”, “Walker out”.
Walker and Dorav enter the turbo lift, Walker presses a button on the console. The turbo lift starts moving. An awkward silence occurs between the two officers as they both stare forward. Not a word is spoken until Dorav looks at Walker and says, “This is a terrible idea”. “So do I. We have little choice but to go through with it and see what happens”. “Are you aware that you are risking the safety of the crew?”, it’s unusual for a Vulcan to be so concerned about a situation. “Last time I checked we were Starfleet officers on a ship built primarily for combat” Walker snarled, the concern Dorav was slowly getting on his nerves the more he brought it up. “Your sarcasm does not amuse me… Though you are correct”. “I’m sorry… As officers we have a duty. Whatever happens, we’ll deal with it as Starfleet officers”, Walker apologizes. A silence occurs once more. You can see Dorav thinking about what Walker said. “I agree with this logical conclusion”.
Walker taps his comm badge and requests four security officers to the transporter room, “Can I get four security officers to escort our guests to their quarters to the transporter room”. Dorav swiftly jumps in and taps his comm badge and says, “Belay that order…”. Walker looks up at Dorav confused, Dorav remains standing with a straight face and a subtle smile. “What was that for?” Walker asks in an irritated manner. “As you said, we are to deal with the situation as Starfleet officers. That also means that we are to make our guests feel welcome and comfortable”. “Yeah, so?” Walker responds. The turbo lift stops and the two men step out to continue their conversation while walking toward the transporter room.
“So… Requesting for four security officers is illogical. This might make them feel like prisoners or unwanted guests”, Dorav says. “Since when did you become an expert in human feelings?” Walker says jokingly as they enter the transporter room. “What are you doing?” Dorav asks. Dorav is standing straight with his hands behind his back, his face is looking serious. He then looks beside him to see Walker imitating him. “Just trying to give the right impression”, Walker continues to imitate Dorav by mimicking his posture and stance. “By being childish by imitating me?” Dorav asks. “It was meant to be a compliment…” Walker suggests. “Sometimes I fail to see the meaning of certain human expressions,” Dorav says as he looks forward with his eyebrows raised. He’s trying to understand Walker’s logic. Somewhere it’s humorous to him, though he doesn’t know how to express it. He is a typical Vulcan after all.
The transporter officer taps his console. A transporter beam appears on the transporter pad. Both senator Bersh and his companion beam aboard the ship. Senator Bersh steps off the pad first and looks at Walker with a smile. Walker proceeds to start his formal speech as he welcomes the gentlemen aboard his ship.
“Welcome aboard the USS Reliant, senator. I’m lieutenant commander Walker and this is my first officer, lieutenant commander Dorav”. Walker reaches out his hand to shake senator Bersh’s hand. Senator Bersh completely ignores Walker’s handshake and continues to look around. The companion of the senator stepped off the transporter pad as well, he seemed more interested in the two Starfleet officers.
“Yes yes, very interesting. What a fascinating ship you have here” senator Bersh says while looking around, feeling the walls and looking at the consoles. “I’m DVar. Thank you for letting me join the senator on his trip”. “Pleasure to meet you DVar, shall we show you and the senator to your quarters?”, Walker asks while smiling to give the right impression. “Yes, a splendid idea” the senator replies. On their own, senator Bersh and DVar walked out of the transporter room. Looking around, fascinated about the ship they walked through the corridors on their own. It was almost as if they did not need any guidance.
“I must say, I have never been aboard a Starfleet vessel before. It is quite fascinating” Dorav raised his eyebrow and look at senator Bersh. Before anyone knew it he talked about the ship’s specifications, thinking that the senator would be interested. “The Reliant class ship has 11 decks, is 280 meters in length, and 180 meters in width. It is capable of warp 8 to warp 9.5 in case of emergencies. And also-” Dorav gets interrupted by the senator as he asks, “How much is this ship?”. “I beg your pardon?” Walker asks while taking position up front to guide everyone in the right direction.
“This ship, how much is it worth?”, currencies weren’t particularly a thing they would deal with. “Uhm, this ship has seen many worlds and is a pivotal ship in the fleet. It holds a long legacy of precedes-”, Walker gets interrupted by the senator’s next question. “How big is your cargo hold? Perhaps this ship and its crew can serve as a supply ship for my world”. “With all due respect, this ship is capable of much more than cargo runs”, Walker looks around, looking for an answer that would be satisfactory. “I need to know the exact capacity of your cargo hold. It is valuable information to me. It might save my homeworld if we can come to an agreement in which the Federation can provide us with certain goods”.
“What kind of supplies do you require, senator?” Dorav asks bluntly. “Oh, you know… The usual… Food and drinks…” The senator is very vague in his description. “We haven’t exactly shipped cargo before. You see, this ship has only recently come under my command”, Walker states. DVar joins the conversation, “Yeah yeah… Stop yappin’ about the past. Where I’m from we don’t answer questions with questions. We get straight to it and get it done whatever the cost. Perhaps the Federation is more talk than actually doing what they say they do”. DVar pulls a smug face to tease the two Starfleet officers. The two companies reach their quarters. They enter the room and look at each other. “These will be your quarters,” Walker says as he reached out his arms to let the two gentlemen inside. “This is the replicator, it is capable of providing you with supplements to suit your needs”. Dorav demonstrates the replicator by pressing a button, “Water, room temperature”. A glass of water forms itself, Dorav picks it up and takes a sip.
“Can it produce weapons?” DVar asks. “It… is not built for making… weapons” Walker stutters. “That will be all, you may leave now. We must prepare for our dinner”. The senator indicates that he wishes Walker and Dorav to leave the room. “If you need anything, you can contact us using this communication panel”. Walker and Dorav walk out of the room. “That was an interesting conversation,” Walker says to Dorav. “Interesting is correct indeed”.
Back in the cargo hold, O’Heron is still working on a monitor while Boral is busy securing the area. “Man… This is crazy…” O’heron says. “What is?” Boral replies while walking around scanning the area. “There are two containers of materials that are not only rare but also incredibly dangerous”. “That’s your definition of ‘crazy’?” Boral snarls. “How else would you describe it?”. “Concerning might be a better choice of words”.
Ensign Wakeman walks into the room, he approaches O’Heron. “Sir apologies to interrupt. Cerr is looking for you”. “Can it wait?” O’Heron asks. “It’s urgent, sir” Wakeman nervously replies. “All right. Keep an eye on these containers, will you?”. “Aye, sir”. Gavin gets up and walks out of the room, headed for the bridge.
On the bridge we find Cerr standing behind the ops console. Gavin walks out of the turbo lift towards Cerr. “All right Cerr, what do ya have for me?”. “I have picked up chatter located in our current trajectory. However, I can’t make any sense of it”. “Let’s hear it,” O’Heron says. Cerr taps on her console and through the speakers, you can hear incomprehensible chatter. “I see what you mean… Computer, run an audio scan, scan for comprehensible languages”. Moments later the computer replies with “Recognized languages, zero. Unable to detect languages”.
Meanwhile, Walker enters the bridge as well. “Captain, could you come here for a second? Have a listen to this” O’Heron asks. A loop of incomprehensible static gibberish continues to fill the bridge’s speakers. “That doesn’t sound like any language I know”, Walker says as he carefully tries to decipher and recognize any words. “I wonder what it could be,” Cerr says as she concentrates. “What if it is some sort of coded language? Something only these people would be able to understand,” Walker suggests while looking at the others who are deeply thinking about the possibilities.
“Computer, filter out common sounds or pronunciations”. The computer replies with, “5 words filtered”. “Go ahead” Walker requests the computer to name the words recognized. “ ‘elhhao’, ‘tionp’, ‘ta’, ‘choH’, ‘khi’ “. Dorav enters the bridge as well and hears the 5 selected words. He stops and looks up and says, “I recognize one of those words. It sounds like Romulan”. “Computer, identify languages”, Cerr requests. The computer replies with “Two languages identified. Klingon and Romulan”. “What would the Klingons and Romulans be doing all the way out here?” O’Heron asks.
In the quarters of the Senator and DVar we find them sitting around the table filled with all sorts of delicacies and drinks. “-And then I told him, you can’t bribe a telepath, the telepath is bribing you”, the senator is telling stories of his encounters with other species and they laugh as they enjoy their meal. “So what do you think of the Federation so far,” DVar asks as he puts down his fork and knife. “Look around you, they have got the technology, they have got the firepower, they have everything my world desperately needs”.
“It’s all just big talk. That’s why they are so arrogant. Once they supported my planet, or so they said… For months, we didn’t have any food or water. And the Federation was nowhere to be seen”, DVar says while exaggerating what truly happened. “Times have changed, DVar. It is not the same Federation anymore as before”, the senator tries to convince DVar that it’s not all as bad as he thinks.
“You haven’t seen the galaxy as I have seen it. Join me, and I will show you the reality of this time” DVar stands up and reaches out his hand. “I would like to see what the Federation is truly capable of,” the senator says while wiping his face with a tissue. DVar grabs a brown dusty bag from his pocket and puts it on the table. “I have here… 12 bars of gold pressed latinum… This can be yours if you give up pursuing an alliance with Starfleet”.
“I will not be bribed by a believer like you”, the senator states. DVar sits down and for a moment they continue to enjoy their meal. Then DVar stands up and says “As if you are any different”, “Now if you will excuse me, I must rest now. Thank you for this delightful meal, senator. Good night… And rest well”. He then proceeds to walk out of the room to his own quarters next door. He grabs a communicator from his bag and contacts his contact. On the other side you could hear a deep, rough voice, “What is it?”. “The senator isn’t convinced in joining us”, DVar says quietly as he looks around nervously. “Did you present the latinum?”. “Yes I have. He didn’t take it. He wants to see what Starfleet is capable of” DVar continues to talk quietly, hoping no one would notice him.
The mysterious deep voice then says, “Then switch to more convincing methods… I want him alive, I want the Trellium you found and I want the ship you’re on destroyed… No more failures”. “Yes… supreme leader…”, the communications cut and it grows silent in the room.
Later that night when everything is dark. A door opens and a shadowy figure steps through. The door closes. It’s the senator’s room, he’s sound asleep. The shadowy figure sneaks through the room. The senator hears footsteps and wakes up, “Who’s there?”. He gets up out of his bed and carefully walks through the room. “Computer, lights on” but the lights didn’t turn on. It appears the room was sabotaged. Then all of a sudden the senator gets jumped from behind and strangled until he’s knocked unconscious. He then proceeds to access the computer and then erases the senator from the ship’s logs. The shadowy figure leaves the room.
Later we see the same shadowy figure walk through the corridors toward the cargo hold. He sees the security team that’s guarding the door. He then moves to one of the panels on the wall. He activates a voice modulator to simulate the voice of Walker. He then uses the comm system to contact the security team standing at the door. “Walker to security. The senator has been spotted in the shuttle bay, he’s attempting to escape the ship. Requesting all security personnel to the shuttle bay”. The security team believes this deception and leaves the scene, headed for the shuttle bay. Once the coast is clear, the shadowy figure enters the cargo hold.
He locks himself inside and walks up to the containers, he sees O’Heron’s tricorder. He then takes off his mask and DVar’s face reveals itself. He tries to forcefully open the containers but fails to do so. Boral happens to be in the area and sees there’s no security team posted at the cargo hold. He tries to open the door but fails, “Open cargo hold, override code Boral-Echo-4449204”. The doors open and Boral steps inside. He sees DVar and says, “What are you doing here? You’re not authorized in here”.
“I-It’s the senator. He’s insane! He lured me in here and locked me inside with this incredibly dangerous substance!”.
“How do you know about our cargo…?” Boral says while slowly but confidently approaching DVar. The look on Boral’s face is so serious, it’s almost frightening. He looks DVar straight in the eyes. DVar stutters to come up with an answer. “The… The senator d-did this… He’s headed for the shuttle bay”.
“Computer, locate Senator Bersh”. The computer responds, “Senator Bersh is not aboard the Reliant”.
“Boral to security, requesting personnel to the shuttle bay”. A security officer responds to Boral’s request, “We’re already here, sir”. “What are you doing in the shuttle bay?” Boral asks slightly annoyed. “The captain ordered us here, sir?”. “Are any of the shuttles missing?” Boral feels like something’s not right here. He’s getting suspicious. “Negative, sir. All shuttles are accounted for”. “Boral out…”.
Boral walks back to DVar and gets really close. He lowers his voice to be more intimidating. “Where… is… the senator…?”.
On the bridge, we find Walker sitting in his chair. Cerr and O’Heron are still trying to figure out what the message they intercepted means. “Boral to Walker”, through the comms you can hear Boral contacting Walker. “Go ahead”. “We have a situation here. The senator is missing and I found DVar in the ca-”, the message gets cut off and static occurs.
DVar jumps Boral from behind and a fistfight breaks out between the two. They hit each other hard. Boral grabs for his phaser but DVar knocks it out of his hand, then headbutts Boral. Boral falls onto the floor and struggles to get up. Not a word was spoken.
The officer currently stationed at tactical, ensign Holtz, turns to Walker and shouts, “Sir! Two large ships closing in on our position. They have their weapons charged and shields up.”
“They’re going to engage us in combat…” Walker realizes that behind his back things have been planned out, an attack from the Klingons on maybe Romulans, could the senator be behind all this? “I got it!” Cerr shouts. “The message, it means ‘Rob point at sector four, this is their code for us, we’re sector four”. “Well done Cerr!”, Walker smiles at Cerr and gives her a nod of approval. “I don’t see a reason for the Klingons or Romulans to attack us” Dorav says as he sits down and thinks about a logical conclusion.
“Well, we’re about to find out. Shields up, weapons hot. Cerr, open an open channel”. Walker orders as he stands up from his chair. “Channel open sir”.
“This is lieutenant commander Walker of the Federation starship Reliant. State your reasoning behind this interception”. Two large ships built out of scraps and bits and pieces exit warp. It looks like these ships can barely hold it together. They don’t look Romulan, nor Klingon. An Elasi captain appears on the viewscreen. He’s angry and determined. The Elasi are known as pirates. Long have they been thought of as disbanded. “Commander… You have something that I want…”, the Elasi captain says in a deep and confident manner.
“I don’t seem to remember your name, captain… What was it again?” Walker responds. “Enough of this insolence. Your arrogance will be your doom, Starfleet”. The Elasi captain is losing his patience. “We’re just passing through here, if you could let us pass there will be no need for any further hostilities”, Walker isn’t much of a smooth talker, he’s rough around the edges, he tries and he means well, it’s not always as effective as he hopes.
“I want DVar, the senator, and your shipment of Trellium… Hand it to me now, or die”. Walker sits in his chair again. “I’m afraid we can’t do that… We’ve got a job to do, so move aside”. The comm channel closes. Ensign Holtz calls, “They’re locking weapons onto us, captain”. “Let’s show them what we’re made of. Helm, engage attack pattern Walker-B-Theta. Tactical, lock onto our targets and fire a beam at 40% velocity on my mark”. Walker seems to have a plan. “According to my calculations that won’t do any damage to them”, Dorav says as he fails to see Walker’s plan. “We’re only trying to shake them up a little”. “Ready…? Fire!”. The Reliant closes in on the two ships, when in close range the Reliant turns vertically and flies between the two Elasi ships. The Elasi dare not to fire when they’re too close, they would end up hitting each other. “Their shields are down to 15 percent, captain”.
“It seems their ships are put together from old parts. Highly unstable. Choose your next move carefully captain. Destroying their ship and crew would mean an act of war”, Dorav says as the Reliant is turning around for another run. “Incoming fire!” Cerr shouts. “Brace for impact”. The Reliant shakes a little, but no critical damage is done. “Our shields are holding. Sir, no damage was done”, Cerr says as she observes the console in front of her. “As expected. Good work”.
The impact could be felt in the cargo hold. DVar and Boral get slung across the cargo hold, both falling onto the floor. Boral sees his phaser and crawls towards it, only for DVar to kick it away. The two wrestle and duke it out on the floor.
On the bridge, the fight still rages on. The senator stumbles onto the bridge. He holds himself up against the railing. “Senator? What are you doing here?”, Walker asks. “Is this… DVar’s doing?”, he asks as he gazes out the viewscreen to see the raging fight that’s going on. Walker doesn’t say anything, he only nods. Walker turns back his chair and continues focusing on the battle. “Again, fire!”. A burst of phaser fire emits from the phaser banks and hits the two ships that are left in a crippled state.
“Walker to Boral, come in”, no response. “Walker to security, report to Boral’s last known location”.
“They’re launching torpedoes full spread”, Cerr calls as on the viewscreen you could see a volley of torpedoes heading for the Reliant. “Evasive pattern delta”, Walker calls. “Our shields are down to 89 percent”.
Ensign Holtz looks at her console, then turns towards the captain and calls, “Sir! Third incoming ship. It’s their flagship”.
A bigger ship exits warp and hails the Reliant. The Elasi chief fills the viewscreen. “Captain, you’ve proven yourself today… We admit defeat, for now. Let us transport the survivors to our ship and we’ll leave the sector”, with a grouchy face the Elasi chief proposes his offer.
“Agreed. What about DVar?” Walker asks as he leans back into his chair. He puts his hands together and awaits a response from the Elasi. “He failed his purpose… He’s no longer of any value to us. Do with him as you wish, Starfleet…”. The communications end and the Elasi flagship begins transporting survivors from the wreckages. Walker gets up and looks at the senator. The senator looks devastated, he’s been deceived… betrayed…
The door of the cargo hold opens up and the security team enters. They see DVar standing there, exhausted. He picks up Boral’s phaser and gets ready to fire. He stumbles across the room. “What are you waiting for? Stun him!” Boral shouts. One of the security officers raises their phaser and stuns DVar, who then drops to the floor. Boral and the crew gather around DVar’s body.
Hours later the Reliant has finally docked at Deep Space 4, where they’re unloading the containers and the senator. “Senator, it has been an unfortunate journey. On behalf of the Federation and our crew, I would like to apologize. I wish things would’ve been different, perhaps we would’ve set a better example of ourselves”, Walker sincerely apologizes, he truly feels bad.
“Fret no, commander. This wasn’t your fault. I’ve learned a valuable lesson on this journey. Not everyone should be trusted. Though perhaps there might be a future between our two people. Perhaps in the future, we should just try again. I will discuss my discoveries with my people. We’ll meet again, commander”, thus the senator.
“Best of luck”, Walker says while reaching out his hand to finally shake the senator’s hand. At last, the senator accepts Walker’s handshake. Dorav joins in and says, “Live long and prosper, senator”.
And as such everyone parts ways. Walker and Dorav walk back aboard the Reliant. Together they enter the bridge and undock themselves from Deep Space 4. “Captain, we have an incoming emergency call from another Starfleet vessel in the area”. Cerr taps her console and puts it on screen.
“This is Captain Taes of the USS Sarek requesting immediate assistance in the Corycus System of the Typhon Expanse. We have engaged the Pakleds.”
“You heard the captain, track the origin of that message and lock on to those coordinates, warp 8”, Walker orders. “Coordinates locked”, says the helm officer.