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Part of USS Pioneer (Archive): Mission 1 – Operation: Shadow Strike and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

O:SS – Chapter 5

U.S.S. Pioneer
March 2401
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Naran yawned as he entered sickbay this morning, saying hello to his duty nurse on the way in. He wasn't ready for another full day of waiting before arriving at the nebula, but he supposed it was better to have all this time to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Looking around sickbay, he noticed he didn't see Cassian anywhere. He walked out of his office and said to the nurse, “Have you seen Counselor Edren? He was supposed to meet here this morning so we can continue the preparations.”

The nurse shook her head, “No doctor, I haven't seen him since he left yesterday.”

“Hmm, that's odd. He was supposed to be here before me this morning." He tapped his comm badge and continued, “Broll to Edren.” A few second went by with no response, so Naran again tapped his comm badge and repeated himself, also with no answer. “Computer, locate Counselor Edren.”

=^=Counselor Edren is in his quarters.=^=

Naran nodded to his nurse, “It may be nothing, but this isn't like him. I'm going to head over there.” The nurse acknowledged him as he left sickbay and headed for Cassian's quarters. 

The turbolift doors opened and Naran made his way down the corridor to Cassian's door, pressing the chime on the wall. He waited a few seconds and then pressed it a second time, again with no answer. “Computer, confirm location of Counselor Edren.”

=^=Counselor Edren is in his quarters.=^=

“Override door lock, Authorization Broll six two beta charlie.” He waited as the computer acknowledged his orders and authorized his request, opening the doors to the quarters. Naran entered, and found Cassian on the floor, unconscious. He rushed over to him and knelt down, shaking Cassian and attempting to wake him, “Cassian? Are you alright? Cassian?” With no response, he yelled to the computer, “Broll to sickbay, medical emergency in Counselor Edren's quarters!”

“Captain on the bridge.” Kyth said aloud when he noticed Kosev walking off the turbolift. Kosev smiled and put up his hands, “At ease, but thank you.” He made his way over to his chair, standing in front of it and then said, “Report Ensign."

“We have officially crossed into Dominion occupied space, Captain. We are just passing Sevury now, still en route to Saxue at maximum warp.” The eager young Orion said, struggling to not stand at attention. 

Kosev smiled, then took a seat, “Very good, Ensign, carry on.” He turned his attention to his science officer next, “Lieutenant?” 

“No contacts on long range sensors, sir. So far so good.” Alia reported, tapping a few more controls on her console. 

“And how is our new shield modifications hold up?” He asked, now turning his attention to Savar. 

“Refractive shields are online and fully operational.” Savar reported dryly, returning his attention to his console. 

“Very good. Let's hope it works, otherwise this may be the shortest mission we've ever gone on together.”

Alia and Kyth both laughed a bit at the captain's remarks, going back to work at their stations. Savar simply didn't react, or even acknowledge Kosev's banter, which then made Kosev laugh quietly to himself. 

=^=Broll to Thiren, report to sickbay immediately.=^=

Kosev's smile slowly started to fade, and he looked over his shoulder to Savar, who was also raising an eyebrow at the request from the doctor. He stood up from his seat and replied, “I'm on my way.” He looked at Alia and said, “You have the bridge." Kosev made his way to the turbolift, motioning for Savar to follow him.

Kosev entered sickbay, and immediately noticed Cassian on the bio bed with Broll and his duty nurse hovering over him performing scans. “Report.”

Broll turned his attention to the captain, slowly closing his tricorder, “Cassian was supposed to meet me here this morning to continue preparations for the mission. When he didn't show up, I went to his quarters and found him on the ground unconscious.”

“Do you know the cause?” Kosev asked, walking closer to the bio bed and looking at Cassian. 

“We've identified some kind of sedative in his system,” They walked over to the console in front of the primary bio bed and Naran pressed a few commands to pull up the diagram of the chemical, “my guess is it's a distant cousin to Dylamadon.”

“Can you wake him?” Kosev asked, looking up from the console.

“I've tried all the conventional means, but so far nothing has been responsive to this compound. But we did find something else.” Naran walked them both over to the bio bed once more, then pulled the sheet down a bit, revealing Cassian's torso. “Look at these bruises on his neck.”

Kosev gave a shocked look to Savar, then refocused back on the counselor. Savar moved his attention to the doctor and said, “Judging from these marks, you are hypothesizing that the counselor was attacked in his quarters.”

“Unfortunately, it's more than a hypothesis at this point. We also found this.” Naran paused as he pointed to the small wound on Cassian's neck, “Whatever this compound is that he was injected with, it was delivered here.”

“But why the counselor, what is the motive for this attack? He just reported aboard at Farpoint Station.” Kosev asked out loud, to no one in particular. 

Savar raised his eyebrow, then refocused his attention on Kosev, “Captain, I recommend we go to full security alert. We should begin our investigation into this incident at once.”

“Agreed. Take all necessary precautions and begin your investigation immediately, this is the last thing we need right now. I also want you to also contact Farpoint Station, it might be prudent to determine if he had acquired any enemies there before coming aboard.”

Naran spoke up to his Vulcan colleague, “Commander, I believe I might've been the last person to see Cassian before he entered his quarters, we were sharing some drinks after our shifts in the mess hall last night before he turned in. I'll prepare my statement for your review.”

“Very good doctor, I will follow up with you shortly.” Savar said, turning to leave with Kosev. As they both approached the turbolift, Kosev starting to think out loud, “I'm struggling to understand a motive to attacking a counselor of all people before a mission like this. Let's assume for the moment that this attack is related to our mission on Saxue, what possible reason would there be to attack a counselor? You would think that they would go after someone on the command staff, or maybe someone in engineering if they wanted to sabotage this ship.”

“Unless the attacker is attempting to hide without being caught. Edren is the only Betazoid onboard and full telepath, and there are no species on board that are resistant to telepathic abilities. If they were attempting to hide, he would be the logical first choice target.”

Kosev stood there in the lift thinking for a moment about what Savar said about ‘resistant to telepathic abilities’, then his eyes widened to double their size as he started to realize what was happening. “Savar, please tell me you're not thinking what I'm thinking."

Savar put his hands behind his back and returned his attention to the door, “Given our mission and who our enemy is, it would be logical to assume we have a changeling on board.” 


  • Dun dun dunnn! I love how this story builds slowly but surely with intensity and worry for our crew as a discovery is made, and eventually through the process of elimination the two of them come to the scariest conclusion - a changeling! I'd be curious to see how they figure out who is who and what is what as this story continues!

    May 20, 2023
  • This was a wonderfully classic Trek episode early scene - the revelation of the mystery to the crew that the viewers have already seen right after the opening credits. Brilliantly timed and written honestly. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for Cassian and his getting revenge on his attacker. But now paranoia can start to run rampant and that'll be interesting to see mixed in with the story at large. Oh those will be neat scenes and looking forward to them!

    June 3, 2023