Darien grumbled to himself. He had quite enough of crawling through crawlspaces for one day. He knew though that he would meet too much resistance that he would not be ready for if he transported right into engineering.
Since that wouldn’t work he figured he would transport into an area of the ship where there would be no one.
Most people on a battleship aren’t really interested in looking at plants. So he transported himself into the arboretum. Unfortunately, he transported himself right on top of a Regalian Sting Bush. Now he had sting marks all over his legs.
It’s a small price to pay though he thought. He made it to the Jeffries tube with no resistance. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even see one crew person.
He was working against time now though. They had discovered him and sounded an intruder alert. Now every single security officer on this ship had the sole purpose of stopping him. Considering this is a battleship that amounted to about 200 of the 500 plus crew.
Darien wasn’t worried though. He knew that they were expecting him to attack the bridge. That’s the control center of the ship. Darien’s plan though wasn’t to take control of this ship. His sole goal was the destruction of the Sisko. The quickest way of doing that would be via the engine room. One good high-level blast into the warp core would destroy the Sisko in about 20 seconds. Just long enough for him to transport off.
He had hoped to find Lita first. Even though it was pretty obvious that she hated him, he still cared for her. He had once pondered the idea of a romantic relationship between the two of them, but she was too loyal to Serena to allow that to happen.
It turned out for the best though. He had always had a thing for Raye. Once he realized that she had a thing for him too, well nature took its course.
He felt bad when he had to leave her. Section 31 had a deep cover assignment for him though. Even though he didn’t like it that was the life he chose.
Darien slid out of the latest tube he was in and out into a junction point. He stretched out and looked at his PADD with a map of the Sisko. Another seventy-five meters and he would be in a thruster control room. There he would disable the Sisko’s navigational thrusters, then storm engineering.
Darien crawled into the next tube and began his slithering down it. It moved at a slight downward angle, so it was a lot less work to move down than the others.
He soon reached the end. He pulled one of his phasers out and had it ready to shoot anyone he saw. He opened the hatch and slid out.
The room was empty. He peaked out of a window into main engineering. It was empty as well. He looked to the engine core.
“Shit.” He said to himself. The containment bulkhead was down. He couldn’t believe that the damage he did firing on the Sisko earlier could have been bad enough for the bulkhead to seal. He set down his hand phaser and grabbed his phaser rifle. He slinked out the door and checked all of engineering.
Darien backed over to the bulkhead controls. He checked the status screen. The atmosphere on the other side of the bulkhead was fine.
Darien punched in some buttons and raised the bulkhead. Suddenly Mousse, Shampoo, and about twenty security guards came from around the corner.
Darien quickly powered up his rifle and pointed it at the dilithium chamber.
“If you shoot me I will still be able to fire,” Darien stated.
“DROP YOUR WEAPON” Mousse ordered.
Darien smiled and started to lower his rifle. As the team moved in he shook his leg. A grenade fell out. Darien dove for cover as it beeped twice and exploded.
The blast sent people flying in every direction. Several of Mousse’s security officers are killed in the blast. Others seriously injured. Mousse managed to avoid the blast. He looks around.
“SHAMPOO?” Mousse calls out.
“MOUSSE!” Shampoo called back from the far side of engineering.
Darien had Shampoo pinned up against a wall with his rifle in one hand pointed at her and a tricorder in his other hand.
“So, whatcha going to do?” Darien gestured towards the warp core. On the dilithium chamber hatch, there was an explosive.
“You can save your girlfriend here.” Darien grinned. “Or you can save your ship.”
“SHAMPOO NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND!” Shampoo yelled, defiant to the very bitter end.
“Whatever.” Darien spat.
Mousse and a couple of the security officers that were remaining trained their weapons on Darien.
“You’re insane!” Mousse yelled.
“You’re confusing patriotism with insanity!” Darien laughed. “I SWORE to protect the Federation at all costs! Your crew has knowledge that they shouldn’t have! That makes you all a threat. You must be eliminated.”
“Darien.” Raye’s voice called.
Darien only moved his eyes so he could see Raye standing off to his right. “Hi Raye.”
“Darien. Please. Don’t.” She said, tears forming in her eyes. “We can all get out of this and maybe make things back to the way they were before.”
Darien shook his head. “No, Raye. They cannot ever go back to the way they were before. I love you, but I have a duty.”
“Duty?” Raye asked, almost mockingly. “You didn’t give a damn about duty when you ditched Serena for me.”
Darien just laughed. “That wasn’t a duty.”
“Then what was it?” Serena asked from behind Raye, her eyes narrow and full of anger, not something that was ever in Serena’s bright blue eyes.
“Hey, meatball head.” Darien grinned. “Why would it be a duty? A person and their decisions make destiny. Would you have rather I stuck with you and then the both of us could enjoy a happy loveless life together?”
The anger in Serena’s eyes faded and was replaced by something she had become used to having in her eyes - pain. She began to cry. “But I loved you!”
“That’s my point! I didn’t love you. Not for my lack of trying mind you. I put up with all of your nonsense. Dealt with all of the lousy grades, the whining, the jealousy, the saving your ass all the time. Why did it have to be about you all the time? Why couldn’t I have what I want?”
Mousse decided to use the girls’ distraction to slink over to the bomb planted on the warp core. Darien saw this out of the corner of his eye, however.
“Move one step closer and I waste the chick.” He ordered.
“MOUSSE STOP BOMB!” Shampoo yelled.
Mousse was torn between the duty he had to protect the ship and his love for Shampoo. The love got the better of him and he stepped away from the bomb.
Darien grabbed Shampoo by the collar and threw her over to where Mousse was standing. He then hit one button on his tricorder and the bomb began to beep. A display showed they had twenty seconds.
“I’m sorry Raye,” Darien said.
Those words nailed Raye right through her heart. She could only drop to her knees and cry.
Serena remained standing though. She drew her phaser and with her eyes now empty, shot Darien.
Darien grimaced in pain as the blast went through his entire body. He dropped the tricorder but held onto the phaser rifle. He fired it at Shampoo.
Mousse moved like lightning and knocked Shampoo to the ground. The blast went past them and hit the bomb. It sparked and blew up, knocking the remaining security officers out.
The explosives in the bomb did not blow, however. They remained affixed to the warp core. The detonator, however, was destroyed.
Mousse knew what would happen next. A phaser shot to the raw explosives would end this. It would blow the warp core and the entire ship. Mousse began to run to Darien.
Darien turned to Serena and fired a shot. This at the same time as Serena fired a second shot. Darien’s shot hit Serena in her side. She fell to the ground unconscious.
Serena’s shot hit Darien in his left arm - the arm that he had been holding the phaser rifle in. Darien dropped the rifle. He then turned and saw Mousse charging at him.
Darien reached inside of his jacket and pulled out one of his roses. He backhanded it at Mousse.
Mousse came to a stumble-stop as the rose penetrated his neck. He opened his mouth to cough. When he did, he coughed up blood.
Mousse dropped to his knees. He was trying to speak but he couldn’t. Every attempt only managed to spit up more blood. The rose pierced his larynx.
Shampoo screamed. She scrambled over to Mousse and pulled the rose out of his neck. She noticed that Darien was moving to pick up his rifle again. He was going to fire on the warp core.
Shampoo decided that was not going to be an option. She took the rose and with all her power threw it at Darien.
Darien screamed as the rose went deep into his chest. His eyes were wide open as he looked at Shampoo who was glowing red with fury. She slowly walked towards him.
Darien tried his best to hold onto the rifle. He pointed it at Shampoo and fired.
The shot hit Shampoo dead center. Darien turned white when Shampoo did not fall, as she should have. His phaser was set on kill. She continued to walk towards Darien. Her fists clenched.
Darien fired again. Again the shot hit Shampoo dead center and she did not fall. Darien was starting to blackout. The rose had torn a hole in his lung. He could hardly breathe.
Darien looked up and could see Shampoo still marching towards him. Shampoo was beginning to stagger, though. Darien felt that he had enough for two more shots. One-shot to kill the purple-haired Amazon and another to destroy the Sisko.
Darien brought his rifle to bear again. He began to move his thumb to the trigger when he was tackled from his right side.
Raye knocked Darien to the ground. She began to try and pry the rifle from his arms. She was having trouble though. She was weak from the heartbreak before.
“Raye-“ Darien grunted.
Raye ignored him. Unable to get the rifle from him she did the only thing left she could do.
Raye began to twist his arms and finally got it so the rifle was pointed right at Darien.
Darien looked into Raye’s eyes. “I do still love you.”
A tear fell from Raye’s eyes and landed on Darien’s face. She then closed her eyes and pushed the trigger.
Darien let out a light scream as the blast hit him.
Raye felt Darien’s muscles relax and his grip let go of the rifle. She flung the rifle across the room. Never opening her eyes she leaned back and sat next to her former lover.
Raye finally opened her eyes and looked at Darien. His eyes were still open, void of all life. Raye looked right into his eyes and began to cry again.
“I-“ She stammered. “I’m sorry.”
She put her head down on his chest and cried.
Shampoo had fallen to her knees. She managed to crawl herself over to Mousse’s limp, bloody body. She hit her communicator.
“Shampoo to sickbay. Multiple medical emergency in engineering.”
Akane’s voice acknowledged the call and informed her that she was on her way.
Shampoo looked at Mousse. He was still breathing, though it was very faint. She took his hand. He looked up at her.
“Mousse.” Shampoo said. Mousse smiled and tried to speak, but the damage to his voice box kept that from happening. Every breath brought up more blood.
Mousse used every ounce of strength he had and leaned towards Shampoo slightly, placing his hand on his heart. He then slowly moved his hand and touched Shampoo’s chest.
Mousse then spit out his last blood-filled breath and went totally limp.
Shampoo began to cry. “I love you too, Mousse.” She cried and put her head on his chest and Akane and her medical crew began to fill the room.
Captain’s log – Stardate 60109.5. Upon the return of Darien Shield’s body to Section 31, and their evacuation of the Minneapolis, the Roseville destroyed her. They then cloaked and presumably left the system.
Onboard the Sisko, there is no normal for things to return to. Our Chief Engineer is in sickbay recovering from massive internal injuries sustained in the engineering altercation. Commander Tendo tells me that she is lucky the shot didn’t hit her dead center.
Shampoo has been released from sickbay. Commander Tendo says it’s amazing that she isn’t dead as well. She took two direct shots from a phaser at full power.
Commander Hino is spending some time by herself. She has requested two weeks of shore leave that she has available. She opted to take them and just stay in her quarters.
Sixteen security officers were killed in the altercation, and another seven are in sickbay with major injuries.
Ranma paused. He did not care for having to note deaths. Especially the deaths of people that he felt close to.
Lieutenant Mousse was also killed in action. May the record show that he fought bravely and died defending this ship and her crew.
Ranma paused again. There would be no record. He knew that in accords with his agreement of Section 31 that no one must know of what happened. He figured that for the record he would make up some cock and bull story about a group of exiled Romulans that decided to try and take over the ship.
He would not let Mousse’s death be in vain.
Memorial services will be held today at 21:00 hours.
In regards to Lita Kino, I have not yet informed her about Section 31’s decision. Reviewing her record I think she will make an excellent new Chief of Security.
Ranma felt that he was almost betraying Mousse’s memory by replacing him so quickly. Ranma had decided that he would wait till after the next mission to inform Lita and the rest of the crew. Their next assignment was so damned routine it almost hurt, so he wasn’t worried about needing a Chief of Security.
We are currently en route to the Brooklyn system to assist Starfleet Medical in transporting supplies from one planet to another. Their ships are too small to get it done in a decent amount of time. With us, they can turn 16 two-day trips into 2 five hour trips. We should be arriving in a little over a day.
Ranma ended his recording and sighed. It was getting very close to 21:00 hours. Ranma disliked the fact that this was the second memorial service he has had to attend in the last two months.
<Nifty Star Trek doorbell sound here>
“Come in.” Ranma sighed.
The doors opened and Akane stepped in. She was in her full dress uniform. The uniform fit her very well. Ranma could not help but notice this.
“Wow,” Ranma stated.
Akane blushed and giggled. “You think it looks okay? This is the first time that I’ve worn it.”
Ranma nodded feverishly. “You look – well, certainly not un-cute.”
Akane shot Ranma a look that he gladly accepted.
“Seriously, Akane –“ Ranma continued. “You look very good in that uniform.”
“Thanks.” Akane smiled. “You’re quite the stud in your dress whites as well.”
Ranma grinned. “Ready to go?”
Akane lost her grin and shook her head. “I’m never READY to go to these memorial services.”
Ranma also lost his grin. “Please tell me everyone else is going to survive and that we won’t have any more of these.”
Akane sighed. “Everyone except Ensign Stratton is stable. He’s touch-and-go. The medical ships that we are rendezvousing with will have better equipment on board. If he makes it till then I am sure he will be fine.”
Ranma nodded. He made it a point to memorize the service records of every officer that was involved in the altercation. Stratton had been an enlisted crewman for six years when he decided to join the academy and become an officer. He fought in the Dominion War on the front lines. He had more medals for honor and courage than Ranma could even count.
“He will survive,” Ranma said as he escorted Akane out of his ready room.
On the bridge, all of the third shift officers were on duty an hour early. Ranma decided to have a word with them before he left.
“Everyone.” Ranma cleared his throat.
The entire bridge crew turned to him.
“I am sorry that you won’t be able to attend the memorial. Let me just make sure that your comrades know how much you appreciate their sacrifice. They all died bravely defending this ship. Never forget that.”
A few murmurs are heard and everyone nods their agreement to Ranma. He then turns back to Akane.
Akane nods and the pair walk into the turbolift.
The cargo bay was filled to capacity with Sisko crew. They all stood in several lines, all wearing dress uniforms. In front of them, towards the back of the cargo bay were seventeen caskets. Each casket was draped with the United Federation of Planets flag. Standing in front of the caskets, facing the crew was the senior staff of the Sisko. Mina, Shampoo, and Raye.
In the crowd were Gosnell and Lita. Gosnell was in his usual pipless Starfleet digs. Since he wasn’t really part of Starfleet, he had no dress uniform. Lita was wearing a very nice outfit she had made.
Lita was very close to Gosnell and the pair were holding hands.
Raye turned to Mina. “Where’s Serena?”
“They wouldn’t let her out of sickbay yet,” Mina replied.
Raye sighed. “I hope she’ll be okay.”
Mina nodded and tightened her stance when she saw Ranma enter the room.
“CAPTAIN ON DECK!” She yelled.
The entire room stood at somewhat relaxed attention. Ranma walked up to the front and to a podium. Akane took her place as the new fifth in command between Mina and Raye, Serena being fourth in command, but absent, and Raye being sixth.
“Good evening,” Ranma said.
“We are here tonight to honor the memory of our fallen shipmates - Our crewmates, our friends who died defending this ship, and in turn, defending the Federation.
“We all take an oath to protect the Federation even at the cost of our lives. For some of us, there is no greater way to go than to die fulfilling that oath.
“We must never forget these seventeen brave men and women. To help with that, by authorization of the Federation Council, I hereby give each of these officers the Federation’s highest honor, the Blue Star of Valor.
“Only forty-three others have received this award in the Federation’s three hundred year history. Now we add these seventeen, to be remembered by us and by generations to come.”
A crewman hands Ranma a box with seventeen medals in it. Ranma places each one on each of the caskets except for Mousses. He walks over to Shampoo, whose eyes are filled with tears.
“Shampoo,” Ranma said, very quietly. “You knew him longer than I did. Would you like to do the honor?”
Shampoo looked to Ranma and silently nodded.
She took the award from Ranma and walked over to Mousse’s casket. She placed it atop the casket and then dropped to her knees.
“Stupid Mousse.” She cried. “Shampoo always loved you.”
She remained like that for a moment, then stood and walked back to her position. Ranma walked to her and put a hand on her shoulder. He then walked back to his podium.
“ALL HANDS, ATTENTION!” He yelled.
Every person in the room simultaneously stood at full attention.
The room then began to empty out. Soon the only ones left in the room were Ranma, Akane, and Shampoo. Shampoo simply stood and looked at Mousse’s coffin.
Ranma walked over to Akane.
“Did you know-“ Akane stated. “That prior to the fight I spent about thirty hours trying to figure out a way to relieve her from duty?”
“What?” Ranma asked. “Why?”
Akane blushed and turned away. “She’s too clingy on you. It can’t be healthy.”
Ranma shrugged. “So what. You have nothing to worry about.”
Akane turned back to Ranma. “What do you mean?”
Ranma smiled at Akane and took her hand. “Because I love you.”
Akane could only stare wild-eyed as Ranma leaned in and kissed her quite passionately.
Once Ranma completed his kiss he tugged on Akane’s arm. “Come on.”
Akane was still pretty much speechless. “Where-“
“Out here. It’s sad in here. I want to be someplace happier.”
Akane allowed Ranma to pull her out into the hallway.
Shampoo sighed as the pair left the room. She had seen the kiss.
“I need to know,” Ranma said after the door to the cargo bay closed. “Do you love me too?”
Akane said nothing. She looked at her feet for a minute.
Ranma frowned. Could it be she felt nothing for him?
Ranma started to loosen his grip on Akane’s hand. She in return tightened her grip on his hand.
“Yes,” Akane said as she pulled Ranma’s face to hers and kissed him.
Down the hall, Gosnell was standing with Lita. They were watching the two. Gosnell grinned from ear to ear.
“Atta boy.” He chuckled.
“Are you going to ask him?” Lita asked.
“NOW?” Gosnell exclaimed. “I’m not breaking that up. No sir. That kiss, right there, is years in the making! Why I might as well go back in time and bitch slap DaVinci! It’d have the same effect!” Lita can only give the barkeeper a strange look that appeared to be confusion.
“No worries babe. He’ll do it. I am sure. Besides if he won’t we can always just live in sin.” Gosnell chuckled, but the look from Lita, one that was obviously not confusion, silenced him.
“Uh - We can ask in the morning. I promise.”
Lita grinned at her love.
As the pair started to walk off Gosnell took one last look. Ranma and Akane were still kissing. Gosnell laughed to himself as he walked off.