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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

In the Lair of Evil

Under Ground Lair, Montanna
July 22, 2374 21:15
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The massive underground complex was a maze of corridors as the small Starfleet team moved through the nearly empty corridors.  Occasionally one of the clone officers in an Imperial Starfleet uniform would appear and the team led by Commander Cheon Kyo would stun them and bind their wrists and legs.  Twice they encountered clone soldiers,  their faces hidden behind their helmets.  Those too were quickly eliminated. 

Collins and the Recon teams brought up the rear. Team 1 watched their backs, while team 2 concentrated on the sides.

Cheon held up a hand, signaling the team to halt their advance.

“Something is off,” Cheon whispered, dropping to a knee. He knew Seong was floating between the teams that were assaulting the complex. Closing his eyes he wished that she was with them at this time.

Two large groups of clones approached flanking the Starfleet parry, their disruptors raised.  A single clone, she wasn’t wearing any armor,  but a blacked-out version of a Starfleet uniform.  Instead of a delta for the combadge, there: was the Earth bisected by a sword.  She had a familiar look.  The whole crew recognized that face.  They had spent an entire summer searching for her. But this wasn’t the 16-year-old Angel Ryder.  She was a woman, and by appearances, she would be in her mid-twenties.

The Recon teams had taken a position in front of the away team, with phaser rifles raised.

“Lord Dominus wishes to speak with you.”

Cheon looked at this facsimile of Angel and then at the teams. “Lower your weapons,” he ordered, and then in a lowered voice, “They take this round.”

Seong knew that had been directed at her as she stood in the shadows near the group’s rear. However, she didn’t step out of the shadows but moved within them as Cheon stepped away from the group.

As Cheon passed Collins he placed a hand on the young lieutenant’s shoulder. “Hold fast and wait.”

Collins watched as Cheon left with the clone. Having been ordered to ‘hold fast and wait’, he would do that. He had his units lower their weapons, but keep them ready.

Command Center…

Dominus sat in the center of the command center like a king on his throne.  Bellitor moved to his side when Cheon and Seong entered.   The man stared at the pair and smirked, “I didn’t expect you to come so… willingly.”

Bellitor walked to Seong, pinched her chin with thumb and forefinger,  “I know you.. or rather I am pretty sure I knew your mother.”

Pure horror and shock flooded over Seongs face at the touch from Bellitor. ‘How did she…but there is no way.’ she thought to herself as she stepped out of the shadow, that Cheon was casting behind him.

Cheon had watched as Bellitor appeared to move her hand at nothing and then suddenly his eyes widened when Seong stepped out of his shadow, only a foot away.

Bellitor smirked at the reaction,  “One of my ancestors was Betazoid. Scandalous I know, but you won’t be telling my subjects. When I was deaged I had them enhance certain abilities including turning on my empathic abilities.  I could sense you, my dear Seong. How do you think I have survived all those assassination attempts?”

Seong snapped her head away from Bellitor, “You won’t get to escape this time, murderer,” she snapped back. “I will personally see to it.”

“Murderer?” Bellitor asked amused.  “Your hands are just as bloody as mine, and I have never killed anyone who didn’t need it. But, I have never sugar-coated my misdeeds.   I am one. Many times over, but make no mistake so are you.”

“I have only killed to survive,” Seong stated, “You on the other hand have killed to take a throne that was never yours, to begin with.”

“Yes, it seems that way doesn’t it?” Bellitor replied, “But, I have an army, and you have what? A weaker version of your late husband?  This Cheon looks even more useless than the last one.  I assume you found him here?  How did you convince him to be your…” Bellitor smirked, giving Cheon a contemptuous glance, “Well that doesn’t need to me say out loud does it, my dear?”

Cheon stood there in silence as he knew exactly what Bellitor was trying to do. He looked at her and smirked and nothing more.

“My husband never existed because you had a hand in that as well didn’t you?” Seong’s voice was laced with venom as her eyes shifted from their dark chocolate hues to the inky darkness of the void of space itself as she stared at the woman in her eyes. “As for what you have, it would take more than that to stop me. More than you could ever find to stop me from driving my fist into your throat and removing your neck from your shoulders,” Her voice held a tone that meant she held more confidence in the statement she had just made.

“Oh?  Was he one of those I erased?  Well, I’m sure there was a good reason, but collateral damage does happen. You can’t bake a cake without breaking a few eggs.  I had an Empire to build.”

“Seems like your Empire is falling apart and as I said you will not escape this time,” Seong said before her hand slipped into a hidden sheath.

Corridor…

The clones and the Starfleet Recon Team led by Lt. Collins stared at each other.  Tensions were high.  Both had their orders, but neither side trusted the other.

Suddenly the stomping of boots echoed through the corridor and a group of ten Starfleet security officers, who had been, dispatched by Admiral Dailey to help with the “clone problem” rounded the corner and ran headlong into a stand-off. Both sides raised their weapons with Starfleet outnumbering the clones two to one now.

Inexplicably at the height of the tension, a single energy beam crossed the distance. Was it an accident?  Was it malicious? Who pulled the trigger? There was no time to consider that as the stand-off erupted into chaos.

“Cease fire! Recon teams 1 and 2, cease fire!” Collins shouted at the clones. “Before this gets bloody, I suggest you cease fire!”

A disruptor bolt flew past Collins just missing him. A clone took a phaser blast to the chest, and he crumpled to the floor.  Two of the newly arrived Starfleet security personnel took disruptor blasts to the chest.  The clones were mindless, near automatons bred in the same way as the Jem’Hadar.   Victory was life, and once the battle started there was no stopping them until they were all dead or Starfleet had been pushed from the field.

Collins saw that there was no other way to deal with this….so he ordered the teams to regroup and return fire. No other choice…it was them or us. He watched the clones fall one by one…two of his teams fell….and what seemed like forever, lasted only a few minutes…..9 of the 10 ‘reinforcements’ were either dead or wounded, and his teams…he lost half his people. The clones? They all lay dead, their blank eyes looking at nothing.

What a waste.

“Sir,” his senior NCO announced as he approached his CO.  “Everyone who can still walk is assembled and ready to go get the XO.”

Collins looked at the dead and wounded. “Let’s go! Weapons hot! Shoot to kill.” He replaced the power pack in his rifle and started toward the room the captain entered.

The comm crackled to life, “Lieutenant Nalam to all Starfleet forces, their transport inhibitors are down. I suspect the targets have beamed away but be on guard.”

Command Center…

The Recon team under Lieutenant Collins’ command burst into the command center their phasers raised. Dominus didn’t hesitate and fired his disruptor at the intruders and they ducked into cover. Growling in frustration he turned his rage on Bellitor,  “You have failed me again! All this time hiding and plotting for this?  I am through with you.”  Without any sign of remorse, he shot Bellitor in the chest.  Her eyes were wide in shock, but by the time she fell to the floor, her life was gone. 

Dominus rushed to a nearby console firing shots at Seong, Cheon, and the Recon team trying to keep them at bay.  “I’ll see you around!” He shouted triumphantly as he pressed a button.

The computer responded with a prerecorded message in Bellitor’s voice, “Sorry Dominus no beaming away this time.  I am one step ahead of you… I have always been one step ahead of you.  Goodbye, my love.”

In frustration, Dominus smashed his fist into the console shattering it and sending shards of glass everywhere.  Raising his disruptor fired and struck one of the Recon Team members sending him falling backward. Clone soldiers moved to their commander’s side.  Here they would make their last stand.

Seong took the shot to the chest but she followed Dominus. Leaping into the air, she screamed out with rage at the denial of taking Bellitors life. Her fist wraps around a hidden dagger as she is in mid-air. 

Cheon followed after her and leaped after Seong. He caught her in the air and took her to the ground. Not caring that the dagger that she had, had buried itself into his shoulder. Pain flooded his mind but he knew that Dominus need to get captured.

“Lieutenant Collin’s take aim and stun that son of a bitch!” Cheon yell as he held down Seong, who had pure rage and hatred in her eyes.

Collins activated his sniper scope, took aim, and fired.

Seeing all was lost Dominus took one last shot. This time aimed at Collins.  It was a glancing blow and didn’t kill him, but it was enough to throw Collins’s shot off and the phaser beam shot wide.  Growling in anger and frustration Dominus thrusted his disruptor to the point where neck and chin join and fired.

Collins wasn’t hurt too badly when Dominus fired at him, but that caused his shot to go wide. Then he saw him commit suicide.

Apart from the moaning of the injured,  silence fell upon the command center. An officer kneeled next to Dominus and checked for a pulse.  Shaking her head the remaining clones tossed down their weapons seeing their leadership dead. It was finally over.

Seong went limp the moment the disruptor bolt entered Dominus’ body. Cheon looked down at her. “Medic.”

One of the Medics from the Recon Team ran forward and started scanning Seong, looking for injuries.

“I know she took a disruptor bolt to the chest, but I have seen this woman take far more than that and keep on going,” Cheon stated as he placed his fingers on her neck. “I can feel a pulse but she’s non-responsive.”

Collins spoke to the medic. “Can you do anything for her here, or is she going to die?”

The medic looked at her commanding officer and team leader. “She needs immediate surgery, which I can’t do.”

“Do what you can.” Collins started looking at the wounded and the dead, and the clone prisoners that were being guarded by a couple of his people. He walked over and pulled one of his team aside. “If they try to escape, you have clearance to drop them.” The man nodded. “Aye sir.”

Cheon reached up and pulled out the dagger that Seong had buried into his shoulder. A soft clatter was heard when the dagger hit the floor. He knew that was a bad idea and should have left it in until he was back on the Denver, and in sickbay. Blood began to flow from the gaping wound. Reaching into the medic’s bag he grabbed a hypospray and a gauze package and did a quick field dressing.  He looked down at her for a moment. “Don’t you dare die on us, that’s an order,” he whispered as he stood up and began to look for the rest of the away team.