Chronister walked onto the bridge of the Minneapolis. The bridge was about the same layout as a defiant class bridge. There were a couple of stations that were refitted for the Minneapolis' assignment, but it was more or less the same.
The Minneapolis was a defiant class ship. S-I had it retrofitted to serve their purposes. Whatever that may be. Then they assigned it to a new class. Just for the record. Even though the record was classified.
On the bridge, there were only seven people. Five of them were wearing the standard Starfleet uniforms. The other two were decked out in civilian clothes.
They were operatives. With the kind of work that they were involved with S-I made sure that they were not linked to Starfleet or even the Federation. They only wore their communicators while they were onboard Starfleet vessels.
While off the ship each operative has a communication device implanted into the underside of his or her wrists. The devices are very hard to detect because they are made from Borg biomaterial and simply show up as muscle on bio-scans.
Chronister looked around. In the captain's chair was the ship's captain, Captain Steve Giles. Giles was a Brit and he loved saying British things like 'bloody hell' and such.
The other four uniformed people were the helmsman, the ops officer, the weapons officer, and a security officer guarding the turbolift.
The other plain-clothed man was sitting at a computer terminal.
He was playing solitaire.
"CB?" Chronister said.
The man spun around. It was Darien. Serena's old fiancée. The man she was destined to be with.
"What?" Darien grumbled.
"L & A want to talk to you. They're on subspace."
"Shit," Darien replied. "They're going to want to know what's going on with Lita."
Chronister leaned on a console near Darien.
"What are you going to tell them?"
Darien shook his head. "I don't know. I do know that we SHOULD NOT have allowed the Sisko crew on board."
Darien meant for his remark to be heard by the ship's captain.
"Bloody hell! You can float around empty space all you like. I'd prefer to be able to move. No harm no foul." The captain replied, not turning.
"You forget your place, Captain." Darien sneered.
"No, I think you forget YOUR place," Giles said, still focused on the front of the bridge. "Just because you are the boss's bitch boy doesn't mean you're in charge. So sod off wanker."
Darien begins to stand but Chronister stops him. "Don't forget who every armed officer on this ship is loyal to." Chronister reminds him.
Darien stands and pushes Chronister to the side. He starts to walk off the bridge to a room in the back of the bridge on the port side.
"I don't even understand why we have to deal with these Starfleet pricks," Darien grumbles as he walks off.
The captain turns and calls after him. "You're going to tell them that you were recognized, right?"
"Screw you, WANKER!" Darien yells back.
Giles can only laugh.
Chronister walks down the bridge and sits next to Giles. "Do I need to remind you that we are on the same side here?"
Giles chucks his thumb in Darien's direction. "I know whose side I'm on. Maybe you should have this chin-wag with him."
Chronister sighs and turns toward the viewer.
"She went berserk," Darien tells the male on the other end.
"Berserk is NOT an explanation." He growled back.
Darien bowed his head to collect his thoughts. He didn't care for being in trouble. He was always Section 31's best operative. Lately, though nothing seemed to be going right.
"I was allowing her to become reacquainted with some of the bridge systems. She was looking at the long-range scans and noticed the Sisko. That's when she flipped out.
"She tackled a security guard and took his rifle. She shot me and the other bridge officers took off to engineering, got into the cloak control room, and shot the generator.
"The spike of neurons caused the explosion in the dilithium chamber knocking out the cloak and throwing us out of warp."
Darien sighed. "A security team finally managed to stun her but not till after she set off the distress call."
"Why was the Sisko crew allowed to board?" The male asked.
Darien shook his head. "The CAPTAIN thought it would be a good idea to allow them to fix the chamber. Both of our engineers were killed in the explosion."
"Were we compromised?" He asked.
Darien shifted in his seat. "I don't think so. But-"
"BUT?" The male was now obviously agitated.
"Raye saw me."
"How?" A female finally asked.
"I may have accidentally walked onto the bridge while Giles was talking with Saotome." Darien meekly replied.
There was some more silence while the two on the other end of the conversation talked amongst themselves.
Finally, the male was the first to speak to Darien.
"We're coming out there."
Darien sat straight up. "Art- Uh, A-Are you sure that's wise?"
The male was very angry. "I don't see we have much of a choice. This mission has been one bungle after another. All we asked you to do was to try and help Lita get over her experience." The male sighed and relaxed his tone. "Then you go and get recognized by Raye. You KNOW she won't let this go."
Darien shook his head. "Saotome won't pursue this."
"You think?" A replied. "Do you think all of the engineers are as inept as Serena? Do you think none of them noticed the neurons in the chamber?"
"No." Darien sighed. He knew that A was right. This whole incident had generated questions. Even though Saotome was a very by the book captain, answering questions was in the book.
Nothing good could come from this.
"L and I will be boarding the Roseville within the hour. I want you to go back to the Sisko and monitor her status," A ordered. "Try not to crash into them. Assuming you can do something right for 22 hours."
The connection closed.
Darien stood up and kicked the chair.
Darien proceeded onto the bridge. Giles stood up and turned to him.
"You look like you have orders."
"Your grasp of the obvious is amazing," Darien replied. "Intercept the Sisko. We're to monitor their status till A and L arrive aboard the Roseville."
Giles turned to his helmsman. "You heard the dobber."
The helmsman nodded and the Minneapolis changed course and headed back to the Sisko.
Giles turned back to Darien when he noticed that he was leaving the bridge.
"Where are you going?" He asked.
Darien turned to Giles. "If it was any of your business I'd tell you."
The lift doors shut.
Giles just turned to Chronister who shook his head.
Giles sat back in his chair. "Flid."
Lita's door chime went off. She didn't feel like answering.
Lita had spent the last six weeks recovering.
A couple of those weeks were from her death. Luckily Section 31's medical staff was extremely good. She was also lucky that she was blown out of the pirate ship out of direct sunlight, where the temperature was a frosty 800 below zero. The cold flash froze her body, her blood, the air in her lungs. It basically put her in suspended animation.
The Sisko had transported her directly into stasis, which preserved her frozen state until she could be revived.
Once the physical recovery was over she still had to deal with the mental recovery.
The implant Section 31 had put in her brain to improve her memory had faulted. And faulted badly it did.
It burned out the neuro-pathways that lead to the part of her brain that controls anger and deals with ethics and her conscience. Without those parts of her brain to control her behavior she became violent and, for lack of a better term, evil.
The implant served its purpose though. She remembered everything.
Now that those pathways were restored her ethics kicked in and processed all that she had done over the last two years.
And it hurt.
She remembers shooting, stabbing, and killing people. She remembers torturing people till she got the information she needed. She remembered stealing and looting. She remembers pointless sex with pointless people.
What hurt her most is that she remembered trying to get information out of her best friend. The person who was nice to her when no one else with. The person who she fought side by side with for good. She remembers almost letting Brian kill her. She remembers what she almost did to Serena.
She also remembers what she did to Raye. She remembers standing there in the doorway to the cell and pulling the trigger.
She remembered Raye's body being slammed into the back of the cell by the blast.
She remembered Raye sliding to the floor in a heap.
She remembered making a joke about it.
She remembered not caring if Raye died.
She remembered it all.
Lita began to cry again. She has been crying a lot in the past six weeks. She cried for the people she hurt. She cried for the people she killed. She cried for her friends who thought she was some evil monster.
The more she cried the more she wished it would end. She cried because she wished the Sisko had never recovered her. She knew that if she was just floating out in space – a dead lifeless body – she wouldn't have to remember.
Over the past three weeks, Section 31 had tried to get her back to work. She didn't want to. She just wanted to be left alone. If she was alone she could finish it. She wanted a phaser. Or a knife. Or anything sharp enough to cut through her wrists.
She'd tried it several times since she was put on board the Minneapolis. Every attempt failed. They put wristbands on her to keep her from slitting her wrists. They kept phasers away from her. She couldn't replicate aspirin or sleeping pills. She had no access to sickbay without an escort. She wasn't allowed within 10 meters of an airlock. She kept trying though - anything to end the pain. Anything that would end the memories that haunted her while she was awake, and the dreams that tormented her while she slept.
Originally, she thought that being with Darien would bring back good memories. It didn't.
Darien had changed.
She wondered if the same thing that affected her was affecting Darien.
Luna had convinced her otherwise. Luna acknowledged that the implant was an experiment and that only she was implanted.
She noticed how different Darien acted around others than he did around her. Darien seemed to care about her even after what she did to him. To him and Raye.
It was obvious though that Darien was one of them. He was one of the ones who will preach 'at all costs' to the bitter death. He ate, drank, breathed, and slept Section 31.
Lita wasn't. She never was. She was in it because at first, it was something she was good at. She'd infiltrate a group whose only purpose was the destruction of the Federation. With her help Section 31 would eliminate them so quietly that no one ever knew they existed.
Things were changing though. The Dominion war and the crew of Deep Space Nine brought Section 31 to the light. Those who move in shadows don't like light, so they were forced to change their tactics. Align themselves with groups who weren't the best role models for the model citizens the Federation was supposed to be.
After they implanted her she managed to complete a couple of missions. She started to grow tired of the routine though. Infiltrate. Uncover. Kill. Over and over and over – same shit, different day. Finally, she said the hell with it. After being picked up by a transport hired by Section 31 to bring her back to Earth she killed the captain and his crew. She took the transport and began to do things for herself. Eventually, she ran into the pirate captain. He made her a job offer and she accepted. They did something different every day. It was fun - fun until that fateful day six and a half weeks ago - the day she was killed.
After the implant was removed Lita realized that these people must be made to pay. For the assignations and the murders. For the governments that they overthrew. For the 'accidents' they arranged.
Lita wasn't the one to do it though. She hurt too much. She could barely finish a meal before she'd remember something she did to someone while they were eating. She'd start shaking and break down in tears.
No, she wasn't the one.
The key would be to get off the ship and tell someone.
But not just anyone.
Realistically everyone knew of Section 31. Their creation is listed in the most available document in the Federation. But no one would go up against them. They knew what would happen. They would be considered a threat to the Federation. Section 31 would then eliminate them in the name of 'protecting the Federation at all costs'.
No. Not just anyone.
Between her crying and her suicide attempts, she came up with a plan.
She had to contact Serena.
Serena would believe her that it wasn't really her doing what she did.
She also thought that if needed she could contact Mina. She hadn't done anything to Mina. The group never really kept in contact once they split up. Mina wouldn't know what was going on.
She began to cry again when she found out that Mina served on the same ship with Serena and Raye. She knew then that her plan wouldn't work. Surely Raye and Serena had passed on what she did and Mina would hate her now too.
Amy. What about Amy?
In her research, she found out that Amy was in Starfleet as well. When she found out where she was she cried.
Amy had been posted to a ship on a deep space exploration mission. Mission duration: 20 years. 20 years in the wrong direction.
Lita couldn't wait 20 years. Every day Section 31 operated the way they did they went deeper and deeper underground. The deeper underground they got the more malevolent their tactics became.
No. 20 years was unacceptable.
When Darien took her to the bridge she played along. She'd be a good girl. She had to. She didn't have a plan. No matter what the guards were under orders to only stun her. No, she couldn't get them to kill her.
She got to take a look at some of the consoles. The computers were new but the Federation interfaces were the same as they had been before. She could easily pull up the long-range sensor array.
Nothing suspicious. Just looking around. Seeing what's out there.
Just looking. No big deal.
Till she found something.
Not just any ship.
She had to get them over here. She couldn't hail them. They couldn't see her either. The Minneapolis was cloaked.
They had to uncloak.
She couldn't do it the easy way though. She didn't have the access codes.
She could move freely throughout most of the ship though. Including engineering.
If she could get to engineering she could take out the cloak.
Too much security though. It won't be easy.
The guard on the bridge. He seems like he's half asleep. He'd be easy to take out.
It's decided then.
She knew this would be a win-win situation. If she disabled the cloak then the Sisko would come to investigate and the Minneapolis would be found out.
She also knew that if she overloaded the core and caused a breach the ship would explode. Killing everyone. Including her. No more remembering. She'd be out one way or another.
She nodded to herself. She had to act fast before the Minneapolis got too far away.
She slinked close to the guard and smiled at him. The guard who wasn't used to a pretty woman smiling at him, smiled back one of those goofy high school grins until he was clocked upside his head. He hit the ground.
She grabbed his phaser. She shot everyone. She left the bridge and took the turbolift to engineering. Once there she shot everyone. She had to. The security alert had been sounded. Every security officer on the ship now had the sole purpose of stopping her.
Not killing her though.
She could complete her mission. She must complete her mission.
She entered the cloak control room.
She took aim.
The charge went through the cloak generator causing no damage.
Or so she thought.
She heard an explosion. She ran out into main engineering and looked into the warp core room. She saw the warp core offline and three bodies. The emergency bulkheads slammed into place. Red alert was sounded. She could feel the ship drop out of warp. She could hear the ship cloaking. She grinned.
However, she knew there was one other thing she had to do for her plan to
be a complete success.
She got to a communications panel.
"Initiate distress call." She ordered the computer.
It asked for a retina scan. She knew she didn't have access.
That guy did. The one she shot. He was second in charge of security. She drags him over to the computer and puts his head on the retina scanner. She held his eye open.
"Distress call initiated." The computer informed her.
She smiled. Not a grin, but a real smile, for the first time in a long time. She succeeded.
It was then that she felt the familiar burning sensation. She was shot. She screamed. She fell to the ground. Several security officers put hand restraints on her and drug her back to her quarters.
She didn't care.
Things would be better shortly.
She even held onto her smile throughout the stunning. Throughout the officers piling on top of her. Throughout the dragging through the Minneapolis' corridors. Throughout being thrown into her quarters.
She still smiled.
She spent the ten hours after the Sisko's arrival staring at the ship through her window. It was the most beautiful ship she'd ever seen.
She made a little sign and put it in her other window.
It read 'help me'.
She began to cry again when the Minneapolis turned away and warped off.
She cried harder when she realized the ship had cloaked.
The door chimed again. She continued to ignore it but was forced to turn around when she heard the doors open.
"Didn't you hear me chiming?" Darien asked.
Lita just turned back to the window.
"L and A are on their way here," Darien informed her.
"LUNA!" Lita screamed. "ARTEMIS!"
"You know we aren't –" She wouldn't let him finish.
"I'm not one of you anymore. FUCK your rules."
Darien sighed and sat at the foot of her bed. Lita scooted as far away
from him as she could while still staying in the window.
"Don't you mean LK?" She smugly replied.
"I want to help you." Darien said forcing what he thought would be a comforting smile.
Lita didn't even notice. She continued to stare out the window.
"Why did we change course?"
Darien cleared his throat. "I told you. We have to meet up with L and A."
"LUNA AND ARTEMIS! SAY IT GODDAMN IT!" Lita turned and screamed at him, tears rolling down her eyes.
Darien shook his head and closed his eyes. "They care about you. They want to make sure that you are alright."
Lita turned back to the window. "Is that why they made me into a monster? Do you know what I almost did to your 'fiancée?'" Lita scoffs. "And what I DID do to your lover?"
Darien turned away from her.
"We weren't just lovers."
Lita gently began to rock in her window. "Yeah if you say so. Maybe if you'd been more interested in Serena than in Raye, like you were supposed to be, things would be different right now."
Darien sighed. "I wouldn't have worked."
Lita turned back to him. "IT'S FUCKING DESTINY! IT HAD ALREADY HAPPENED!" She put her anger back in check and turned back to the window.
"You're such an idiot, Darien."
Darien just stood and walked across the room. He sees the homemade distress sign in the window.
"What's this?" He asked her.
Lita shifted a little to make sure Darien only saw her back. "Just the result of boredom."
Darien removed the note from the window. Lita had changed it. It read 'HELP ME – AIM HERE'.
"It's not funny. We – I don't want you to die." Darien noted as he crumpled up the paper and threw it into a trash disposal.
"She was over here, wasn't she?" Lita said, changing the subject.
"Did you watch her? Did you remember the good times?"
Darien moved over to Lita's desk and looked some of her things over.
"No. I was busy."
Lita whimpered out a laugh. "Sounds about right."
Darien turned to her. "I wasn't cheating on her."
"I suppose you just tripped and fell into Raye."
Darien picked up a PADD that was on the desk and hurled it at Lita, missing her by only inches. The pad nails the window and shatters into a dozen pieces. Lita doesn't even move.
"You don't understand anything, do you, Lita?"
Lita continued her rocking. "No. I suppose I don't."
"I love Raye, not Serena. I married Raye, not Serena."
Lita just smiled to herself. "And you ditched them both."
Darien, in obvious frustration, storms out of Lita's quarters.
Lita just continued to rock while watching the stars whisk by.