Chapter 8 - Rescue

McNamara dove behind the bar as a phaser shot slammed into the bulkhead above his head.

“Well, I guess my plan wasn’t so flawless after all,” he mused to Meru.

The petite Bajoran with light brown hair smiled at him.

“Who would have thunk that seven of them would all congregate in one place?” she asked.

“I guess I should have been thinking less like a security officer and more like a scientist forced to become a security officer.”

Meru nodded as she stuck her phaser above the bar and fired.

McNamara and Meru were trapped. They had made their way down to deck six and into the lounge of the Centaur class U.S.S. Saint Paul. It happened to be right above the brig that was on deck seven. Their plan was to break into the brig from above and rescue the crew who had been arrested.

However, before they were able to do anything, six security officers, who were apparently taking an unauthorized lunch break, walked in on them. They called for help and now there were seven.

Another two officers walked in with Admiral Hanson with them.

“Phillip, give it up. If you and whoever is with you come out right now, I won’t have you both thrown out the airlock,” Hanson stated.

“Not a chance, Jack,” McNamara replied. 

The admiral scowled at McNamara being so informal with him.

“Okay, go get them.” He ordered the security officers.

“I wouldn’t do that, Jack,” McNamara laughed.

Hanson held up his hand ordering the security officers to stop their advance.

“Why not?”

“Before we came here, we made a quick stop by engineering. I’ve placed a bomb on both the matter and anti-matter pods.”

“Impossible. I have engineering sealed,” Hanson scoffed.

“You think that I spent six years on this ship without learning every single access point into every single room?” McNamara laughed. “It’s just like you, Jack, to assume that simply closing the emergency bulkhead would keep me out.”

McNamara laughed. 

“Just like this mission proved. You are so narrow-minded that you only see one way in and one way out. If your guards come near us, I will detonate the bombs.”

Hanson scoffed again. “You’d kill us all.”

“I’d rather die knowing I took you with me than allow you to get away with this despicable, criminal act. Every single member of my staff, maybe excluding the ones you brainwashed, feels the same way too.”

Meru looked to McNamara. She silently mouthed the word ‘bomb?’

McNamara winked at her.

“So, what do you want?” Hanson asked. He looked to a pair of the guards. “Go find that bomb.” He whispered.

“Give up,” McNamara asked. “If you don’t want to die return control of this ship to me.”

“That isn’t going to happen,” Hanson stated. He looked to the guards that remained. “If they come out of there, shoot them. But don’t advance on them till I order.”

The guards nodded an acknowledgment as Hanson walked out of the room with one of the guards.

McNamara heard the doors slide open and shut.

“So, he left you here with us alone, huh?” 

One of the guards was Ensign Stevens. He grinned.

“He sure did. It’s okay for you to come out now. I won’t shoot you for murdering Ensign Thompson.”

“Murdering?” McNamara growled. “That brave young man died protecting this ship and the Federation from treasonous bastards like you.”

Stevens scowled.

“Treasonous? YOU violated a direct order, Captain.”

“I did what was right,” McNamara stated. “Too bad you can’t say the same thing.”

Stevens just continued to scowl as he kept his phaser trained in the direction of McNamara.

McNamara looked in front of him. At ground level, there was a small refrigerator. He opened it and noticed several glasses of a yellow-orange liquid. He took two of them out and handed one to Meru.

She took a sip.

“Orange juice,” she whispered.

McNamara smiled and took a sip of his glass.

“This drink always reminds me of you,” he said.

Meru nodded and drank some more of hers.


“Sir, we’re receiving a distress call,” a younger McNamara stated from the tactical terminal on the bridge of the U.S.S. Horatio. 

The Ambassador Class ship was on a routine star cataloging mission when the distress call came in. McNamara, currently a lieutenant, was manning the tactical station on the graveyard shift.

The thin Lt. Commander that was in command that night walked over to the tactical station. McNamara looked to him.

“It’s a Cardassian Hideki class. She says that they are in the midst of a warp core breach.”

“Set a course!” the Lt. Commander barked to the helmsman.


After a few minutes, the Horatio dropped out of warp. The operations officer began to scream.


“Beam them all aboard,” the Lt. Commander ordered.

The operations officer complied. Within seconds the small attack ship exploded.

“Got four. Two Cardassians and two Bajorans. Beamed directly to sickbay.”

The Lt. Commander spun around to McNamara. “Get down there.”

McNamara nodded, called for a security team, and rushed to sickbay. Once he got there, he found the two Cardassians lying on biobeds. Both had serious injuries. On another biobed was an injured Bajoran woman. And a fourth held a little Bajoran girl, no more than four years old.

The security officers walked to the Cardassians to begin asking them what had happened. McNamara walked over to the Bajoran lady.

Her breathing was very shallow as she looked up at McNamara.

“Help us,” she weakly begged.

McNamara looked at the woman.

“What’s happened?”

“The Cardassians…” she gasped. “They killed my husband, were taking us to be slaves…”

McNamara looked at the little girl. She wasn’t injured but had a blank look on her face. A look that told Phillip that every bit of this little girl’s childhood; her innocence, had been taken from her.

The woman gasped. The monitor above her bed began to beep and blink wildly. The doctors rushed over and began to inject medicines into her.

“Please…” she whimpered. “Protect Meru…”

The Bajoran woman inhaled deeply once and then exhaled. The monitors above her all flatlined. The doctors looked at the monitors, looked to her, then sighed as they pulled the blanket over her head.

McNamara bowed his head in respect and walked over to little Meru.

“Hi,” he said to her. “My name is Phillip.”

Meru continued to stare blankly into space.

“Are you thirsty?” he asked her.

Meru didn’t respond.

McNamara walked to sickbay’s replicator.

“Two orange juices, 5 degrees.”

The replicator complied and made the two drinks. McNamara walked back to Meru.

“Here,” he offered the drink to the little child.

Meru, for the first time, turned to him. Her little hands clutched the glass, and she took a sip.

It wasn’t a smile, but Phillip saw just a little bit of the pain fade from Meru’s eyes. 

Meru took another sip and looked to the bed where her dead mother lay.

“Mommy is gone?”

Phillip moved his hand towards Meru. She flinched slightly, scared of him.

*What did they do to you?* Phillip thought. He moved his hand back to his side.

“Yes, I’m afraid she is.”

A tear rolled down the young child’s cheek.

“Daddy is gone too,” she stated. She took another sip of her orange juice.

“I’m all alone.”

McNamara had to do his best to keep from breaking down and crying for this little girl. He slowly held out his hand.

“No, Meru. You are not alone.”

Meru looked at him, set down her orange juice, and placed her hand in Phillip’s.


Over the years, McNamara raised Meru as his own daughter. He had never had a family. No wife, no kids of his own. While he was sad about the way he had finally gotten a daughter, he cherished every moment of it.

It took him years to try and get her to overcome the trauma of her early childhood. He really didn’t think she ever did, but she gradually seemed to deal with it better and better. By age nine she was a happy child again, playing with the other children on the different ships that McNamara served on.

Meru excelled at school. So much so that she was routinely placed in accelerated classes. At age fifteen she graduated high school and went on to Starfleet Academy.

She had said that she had wanted to be able to help people the way that her father did.

Father. That’s what she considered Phillip. Even though she knew that he was not her real father, he had treated her like she was his own flesh and blood.

She had wanted to take his surname, but he would not let her.

“You must never forget your heritage,” he had told her.

And she hadn’t. He constantly was teaching her about Bajor. Teaching her all he could find about the Prophets. About what her homeworld was like prior to the Cardassian occupation. 


And now the two of them were stuck behind a bar, sharing the same drink they had shared on a different dark day sixteen years ago.

Stardate 60705.1; 01:54

The Sisko glided out of warp at the location Ranma had specified to Ryouga. Karyn, who despite her own order to the contrary, had not gotten any sleep since the briefing a little less than 22 hours ago.

Shampoo had returned to the bridge at 00:40 and was seated in the executive officer’s seat. She was happy that Ranma was going down with the NSO teams because the lack of seats would have worked against her. She hated that expanding bench that slid out.

Larson had just arrived from visiting the NSO teams. He had taken his seat at the science station which had been converted to a tactical station. He quickly began to go over the information that was beginning to flow into the ship.

Makoto was quietly manning her post with Lt. Jansen. Makoto was dressed in the dark green camouflage color uniform that she would wear on the assault of the planet. Karyn had wanted her to stay, but Makoto managed to convince the Captain that Lt. Jansen would be able to handle the station without a problem.

Minako monitored her station. She was currently by herself since her assistant, Lt. Kaii, was down in the shuttle bay. He would be one of the officers that would fly the cloaked type 11 shuttle into the Chidori system, first to survey and then to act as a transport relay station.

Usagi was half asleep, but she was positioned at her station. She hoped that she would not have much to do. However, if the Sisko went into combat, she would have to begin sending damage control teams to fix things.

Ryouga sat at his terminal pushing buttons. He was bringing the ship to a complete stop. Once he acknowledged the display as reading ‘SPEED 0.0 KPH’ he turned to Karyn.

“We’re holding position ma’am.”

Karyn nodded.

“Red alert.”

Lt. Jansen swung around and activated red alert.

Throughout the ship, the sounds of the mighty cruiser getting ready for battle could be heard. The intercom spewed out the computer’s voice informing everyone that red alert was activated, and general quarters were sounded.

The bright white lights on the bridge were replaced by dimmer blue lights. The pulsating of the red status lights gave many things a purplish hue.

Shampoo looked to Karyn. Karyn continued to watch the clock above the main view screen.





Karyn turned to her subordinate.

“Launch the shuttle.”

Shampoo nodded and hit her communicator.

“Shampoo to Kaii. Launch.”


Down on deck twelve Kaii looked to Lt. JC Devall who would be his co-pilot on this mission.

“Ready?” He asked.

Devall shook his head.

“No, but whatever.”

Kaii grinned at his human companion and began to maneuver the craft. The large door opened and the shuttle slowly crept outwards till it was clear of the Sisko.

“Engage the cloak,” Kaii ordered.

Devall complied and engaged the illegal cloaking device installed in the shuttle. He then checked one of the screens.

“Solid as a rock,” he confirmed.

“And you’re sure this cloak will hold, yeah?” Kaii asked.

JC once again shook his head.

“No, but whatever.”

Kaii simply looked to Devall who shrugged.

“This is a prototype of a prototype. That is why it takes up half the damn ship. I have no idea if it will hold. But Admiral Larson said it will so let’s go and get this done before it changes its mind.”

Kaii nodded. “Kaii to Sisko, we’re heading to the nebula.”

“Copy,” Minako’s voice replied.

Kaii spun the ship around and they did a short-range warp to the perimeter of the nebula.

“Don’t go into the nebula,” JC stated. “Cloaked or not, we’ll cause a wake in the gasses.”

Kaii nodded and began to fly around the interceptors. He shook his head as he looked at them.

“There’s got to be a hundred of them.”

JC who had just finished his scans shook his head.


“That’s still a lot.”

JC nodded and activated the communications system.

“Nighthawk to Sisko.”

“Go ahead,” Shampoo replied.

Nighthawk, the nickname that JC had given the Sisko’s new covert toy, was based on one of the first ‘cloaked’ military ships, the FA-117. While 20th-century cloaking and stealth technology could not hold a candle to 24th-century, JC still loved reading about it.

“We have fifty-seven lightly armed interceptor class ships. They are of the fixed-wing variety. Looks like they are warp-capable. They appear to be unmanned, as I am not picking up any bio signs or integrated life support systems.”

“No window either,” Kaii added as he peers at one that was about 15 meters above them.

“Acknowledged,” Shampoo replied. “Receiving data now. Are ships transmitting?”

“Yeah. Both to the planet and to each other,” JC acknowledged. “But they don’t appear to be receiving any communication from the planet. I would guess that they were programmed to intercept the Saint Paul and only receive new orders or directives when they ask for them.”

“Can we jam them?” Karyn asked.

“Yeah, but not from here,” JC replied. He showed some information to Kaii who nodded and continued.

“We need to go near the source. This nebula is too big, and the ships are too far apart for us to be able to jam them all. And by the time the Sisko got over here and began jamming they would be able to relay the information back.” Kaii explained.

“Very well. Head over there and survey the area,” Karyn ordered.

“Aye,” Both Devall and Kaii replied before the communication terminated.

“Careful,” JC said as Kaii began to move the shuttle in between two of the interceptors.

Kaii nodded as his fingers slid easily over the controls, firing the thrusters lightly to adjust the pitch and yaw of the shuttle.

Once they were away from the interceptors, Kaii engaged the warp engines, and the shuttle rocketed a half light-year to the planet Chidori III.

JC looked out the window at the blue, brown, and white Earth-like planet.

“Pretty,” JC commented.

“Interesting,” He stated.

“What’s that?” Kaii asked.

“No interceptors in orbit. You’d think they’d have to be expecting us.”

Kaii flew the shuttle near one of the orbital defense platforms.

“Maybe they thought that these would do the job.”

JC shrugged.

“Only two disruptors,” He scratched his head. “They have a sensor net, but no tachyon field.”

“You sound disappointed,” Kaii mused.

“Well, the admiral said that this cloak manages to trick sensors into not seeing it with a tachyon pulse by sending out false positives and other senseless sensor fluctuations. I kind of wanted to see if it actually worked.”

Kaii moved the ship into a geosynchronous orbit over the facility.

“They won’t detect that they are being scanned?”

JC shook his head. “They shouldn’t if this junk works the way it’s supposed to.”

“You have a lot of faith in things working the way they are supposed to,” Kaii stated.

“I have to. Otherwise, I’d never be able to transport anywhere. And do you know what would happen if we were to drop out of warp without inertial dampeners?”

Kaii nodded.


“No shit ‘splat’,” JC replied.

Kaii laughed as JC finished his scans. Once he was done, he opened a channel back to the Sisko.

“Nighthawk to Sisko.”

“Go,” Shampoo replied.

JC checked his screen and confirmed that the communication was being successfully masked and secured.

“Comm check showing secure.”

“Confirmed,” Minako’s voice replied.

“I’ve got a detailed scan of the facility heading your way,” JC stated as he began to input information into the computer. “Four ODP, with two disrupter cannons each. Minimal shielding. Counting one hundred eighteen bio signs on the ground, all human.

“There appears to be an underground bunker where most of the bio signs are. There is also an underground hanger with seventy more interceptor class ships in it.”

Kaii checked the display and began to speak.

“They appear to have a radio antenna on the ground where the communications from the ODP and ships are going to. We can jam it and probably make it appear as if it’s being caused by solar flares. However, once the planet rotates away from the sun, they will catch on.”

JC spoke up. “Plus, we have to assume that they, like any communications, would need line of sight, so there are probably other antennas on the plant.”

“How long do you think we can jam them and keep them in the dark?” Karyn asked.

Kaii did some quick calculations.

“Forty-five minutes.”


On the bridge of the Sisko, Karyn stood.

“Let us know when you are ready to jam. Sisko out,” Karyn turned to Minako. “Send the data to the NSO teams.” Minako nodded as Karyn turned to Makoto. “Get your guys on the pads.”

Makoto nodded and began to relay orders to the transporter rooms.

“What plan?” Shampoo asked Karyn.

“We’re going to be a snowplow,” she stated.

Shampoo raised an eyebrow.

Karyn noticed the confusion on Shampoo’s face and elaborated.

“We’re going to ram our way through, drop off the marines, and ram our way back out. They are not going to follow us in; otherwise, they would have gone in after the Saint Paul. So, we don’t need to destroy all of them now.”

Karyn sat back down in her seat, as did Shampoo.

“Once the marines take control of the ship, they can hang out and wait for us to get back.”

Shampoo nodded. Her first day back on the job and she was going to ‘snowplow’ her way through an armada of fighters.

She loved this job.

“I recommend that we don’t use any torpedoes,” Makoto suggested. “If one were to miss and detonate inside the nebula, the Saint Paul would be destroyed.”

Karyn nodded. “Try to limit weapons to the phase cannons.”

Makoto nodded. “Aye.”

“Nighthawk to Sisko. Jamming is ready,” Kaii’s voice stated over the intercom.

Karyn looked to Ryouga.

“Begin jamming. Let’s roll.”

Ryouga set the coordinates into the computer and hit engage. The Sisko warped the relatively short distance to the nebula. Within seconds the Sisko slammed out of warp.

The interceptors detected the Federation ship and turned towards it. 

“Full impulse into the nebula,” Karyn ordered.

Ryouga engaged the engines, and the ship began to barrel towards the nebula, the interceptors flying towards the Sisko.

“In range!” Makoto stated.

“Fire,” Shampoo ordered.

Above and below the Sisko the short-range phase cannons lifted out of their hiding places inside of the hull and took aim at their targets. 

The interceptors began to break formation and swarm the larger ship. The phase cannons swiveled and pivoted, firing orange blasts at the interceptors. One or two hits were all it took for the small fighters to be turned into space debris.

The fighters fired on the Sisko, but their cannons and missiles were no match for the ship's shielding. The interceptors that managed to slip beneath the shields were quickly dispatched by the phase cannons.

Most of the ships managed to evade being hit by the phase cannons, but even so, their attacks did little if any damage to the warship’s extensive shielding.

Once the Sisko began to penetrate the outer perimeter of the nebula the fighters halted their assault. The forty ships remaining resumed their holding pattern and fruitlessly attempted to call for more help.

“How long has it been?” Meru asked McNamara.

The bearded man shrugged. “I left my watch in the brig.”

Meru smiled. One of the amazing things about this man that she called father was that no matter what the circumstance, no matter how close he was to death, he maintained his sense of humor. It was that sense of humor that kept her from going insane during those first four years she spent with him.

And it really was the only thing that was currently keeping her from giving up hope.

“Hanson to Stevens,” they heard one of the guard’s communicator chirp.

“Go ahead.”

“There’s no bomb. Kill them.”

“Yes sir,” he replied.

McNamara looked to Meru.

“You ready?”

Meru nodded. The pair grabbed their phasers and got ready to try and fight their way out of this.

“HOLY CRAP!” one of the guards yelled.

McNamara and Meru slowly stood just enough to peek their heads over the bar. They found all the guards looking out the large observation windows.

They both looked up and saw the U.S.S. Sisko bearing down on them.

“Get down,” McNamara whispered to Meru.

She complied and both ducked to the floor.

Within seconds a familiar sound is heard, followed by screaming.


The clanking of four phaser rifles hitting the deck was quickly followed by the sounds of four people being thrown to the ground.

Two marines slinked around and drew their weapons on McNamara and Meru.


Both McNamara and Meru complied.

“I’m Captain Phillip McNamara, the legitimate captain of the vessel,” McNamara stated.

The marine nodded. “Keep your hands up, sir. Step out this way.”

Phillip nodded to Meru and the pair did as they were instructed. They looked to see sixteen marines in total. Fourteen of them were standing guard. Phillip looked to the ground to see the four guards on the floor, face down with their hands restrained behind their backs.

Phillip then looked to the window and saw the Sisko turning around.

“They’re not leaving us, are they?”

The marine shook his head as he ran a scan of McNamara.

“They’ll be back.”

The marine finished his scan. “Thank you, sir. You can put your hands down now.”

Phillip nodded and motioned towards Meru.

“She’s with me.”

The marine nodded and silently ordered the other marine to lower his weapon which was pointed at Meru.

“Do you know how many people Admiral Hanson has working for him, sir?” The marine asked.

“No, um…” Phillip trailed off.

“Sorry, sir.  Lt. Roger Jefferson, Starfleet Marine Corps. Assigned to the U.S.S. Benjamin Sisko.”

“Lt. Jefferson. Thank you. My ship's complement is one hundred twenty-two. There were over sixty of us in the brig and twenty on the planet. I don’t know how many others he has killed though.”

“So, we’re looking at around forty,” Jefferson noted.

The Sisko disappeared as Jefferson’s communicator chirped.

“Lieutenant, we’ve secured engineering and taken three into custody. We engaged in a firefight and have one fatality. They have informed the bridge of our presence.”

Jefferson grumbled at the news of one of his men being killed. “Are we able to take control from there?”

“No sir. They’ve destroyed the computers down here.”

“Understood,” Jefferson stated. “Leave six people with the prisoners and begin clearing the ship deck by deck. We’ll meet at the brig.”

“Yes sir,” the voice replied.

“I’m going with you,” McNamara stated.

“With all due respect sir, you should remain here,” Jefferson replied.

“It wasn’t a request, Lieutenant. I have friends who need my help.”

Jefferson sighed. He handed McNamara a concussion rifle he had attached to his back.

“You six, secure the room,” Jefferson instructed a group of marines. “The rest of you, let’s move.”

McNamara turned to Meru.

“I’ll be right back.”

“Don’t you dare leave me,” she demanded.

McNamara leaned forward and kissed Meru on the forehead.

“I promise I will never leave you.”

The marines began to move out with McNamara right behind them.


“And there is no way you can generate a warp field while we are in the nebula?” Hanson growled.

Ops shook his head.

“No, and even if I could it will take well over twelve hours for the warp engines to restart.”

Hanson cursed himself. He had shut down the warp drive to avoid both detection and accidental destruction, but he had forgotten how long it takes the engines to start up cold.

“Admiral,” Alverez stated from tactical. “I’m getting reports of guards engaging in firefights with heavily armed soldiers all over the ship.”

Hanson turned to the young tactical officer.

“Where the hell did they come from?” Hanson asked.

“I don’t know. Nothing has come up on sensors.”

“That’s because you guys turned them off,” Ops complained. “There could be a dozen ships around us, and we wouldn’t know because of this dumbass scheme of yours.”

Ops looked directly at the Admiral.

“Mind your words, Lieutenant,” Hanson growled.

“With all due respect sir, I will not. You’ve kept us holed up in this damn nebula for almost two weeks. I’ve finally realized that you have no plan to get us out of here.”

“Escort the lieutenant to the brig,” Hanson ordered.

Alverez nodded to a couple of his lackeys standing guard. They began to move in on Ops. Ops pulled out a phaser from under his panel and pointed it at them.

“No, I don’t think so,” Ops stated.

He hit a button on his panel.

“I’ve disabled the life support to the bridge. If you want me to fix it, you’ll back off.”

Hanson growled at Ops.

Alverez also growled, drew his phaser, and fired, striking Ops and killing him.

“We need to get everyone up here to defend the bridge.” He suggested.

“What about life support?” Hanson asked.

“He’s an idiot. It won’t take me but a few minutes to override what he did,” Alverez stated as he began to go to work on his console.

“You heard him,” Hanson stated to the guards. Call everyone up here.”


The marines slowly marched down the darkened corridor of the Saint Paul, stopping at every set of doors, opening them, and clearing them of any people. 

They had so far come across only two security officers. They quickly surrendered.

They had, much to McNamara’s displeasure, found one deceased crew member. He has a large phaser burn to the back of his head. Not even the battle-hardened marines could understand it.

He’d been executed. Not by the enemy but by other Starfleet officers.

The two lead marines stopped suddenly. One put his hand up ordering the others to stop as well. They all crouched down and waited.

In the distance, they could hear footsteps rapidly approaching their location.

“What the hell do you think is going on?” One asked.

“I don’t know but we better get up there now.” The other replied.

The two came around the corner and found them looking at several dark figures with phaser rifles pointed at them.

Their instincts kicked in and they drew their weapons.

The forward two marines fired, knocking both officers backward and to the deck. The marines moved forward and check their vital signs.

“Stunned.” One of the marines acknowledged. The unconscious crewmen were quickly restrained and drug into the crew quarters they had just secured. 

The marines stepped back outside and sealed the door.

“Seven dash One Zero Niner,” one said.

Another made a note of the location and the marines continued down the corridor.

The marines were approaching the brig. They looked down the corridor and saw another group of men in the shadows.

“Clear on that side?” Jefferson whispered into his communicator.

“Aye,” a voice replied from the other.

The lead marine nodded to his partner next to him and the pair slowly slinked to the door that led into the brig. The rest of the marines came close as well but stayed behind the other two.

“After the flash, go in and stun everyone,” Jefferson whispered.

The lead marine nodded and looked to his partner. That marine pulled out a flash grenade and activated the timer.

It began to beep.

“10 seconds,” he whispered.

The marine waited till it beeped five times. He then dove in front of the door, activating the sensor which opened it. The door slid open, and the marine tossed the grenade in and then rolled away from the door.

The grenade beeped five more times and then exploded in a brilliant flash of light.

On cue the remaining thirty marines stormed in, finding only five guards in the brig. The guards attempted to draw their weapons but could not see. The flash grenade has caused their irises to constrict. The marines had no problem quickly shooting and stunned all five of them.

“CLEAR!” One yelled after the stunned guards had been restrained.

Phillip walked in and moved to the cell that held his executive officer. He disengaged the force field and Sarah ran out and embraced him.

“I thought they killed you,” she said.

McNamara smiled.

“I’m just like Hideki. I’m invincible.”

Sarah laughed as the marines lowered the force fields on the other cells. The Saint Paul’s crew quickly moved out of the cells, enjoying the room they now had to move their arms and legs.

“Let’s get these people to the lounge,” Jefferson ordered.

“You heard him, people,” McNamara ordered. “Let’s keep it orderly and quiet.”

The now free prisoners did as their captain ordered and quietly followed the marines back towards the Jefferies tube that the marines had secured.

McNamara, Sarah, Jefferson, and a couple of marines stayed behind. The spare marines began to drag the unconscious security officers one of the filthy brig cells.

“We’ll finish clearing the next six decks and then prepare to assault the bridge,” Jefferson stated.

“That won’t be necessary,” McNamara replied. “Those two in the corridor said, ‘up there.’ That with the lack of resistance that we have faced tells me that everyone has been pulled to deck one to secure the bridge.”

“That makes sense,” Jefferson agreed. “Our best bet would probably be to come up the turboshafts-“

McNamara shook his head. “I know a better way.”

Jefferson nodded and the group went back in the direction of the ship's lounge to devise their plan.

A blue glow began to appear in between several large bushes about a half kilometer from the chemical weapons facility. The glow lasted for a couple of seconds and was then replaced by Ranma, Rei, Shelton, Parker, and Ensign Masters, the team’s medic. 

They all ducked down and took a defensive stance. When they were sure that they had not been detected, Rei started to run some scans with her tricorder.

“I am only seeing two,” she whispered to the group. “They are outside of the facility about a half a click north of here.”

Ranma nodded. “I’ll take point.” 

“We should stay here until a bit closer to go time,” Shelton suggested.

Rei looked at her watch and nodded.

“Yeah. Maybe about three minutes.”

Ranma sighed. He really wanted to get in there and get out.


Kio nearly screamed when she looked to the ground after materializing. A big, black snake slithered past her.

Anthony, one who was no fan of snakes either, also almost screamed. However, both managed to hold it in. It was a good thing that they did since a quick tricorder check showed two guards closing in on their position.

Kio quickly moved her team into some higher brush. The two guards stopped and looked around, thinking that they heard the group.

“Did you hear something?” one guard asked the next.

The second guard nodded and screamed. He opened fire.

“FUCKING SNAKE!” He screamed as he put about sixteen rounds into the snake.”

Three other guards came running over towards the sound of gunfire.

“What’s going on?” One yelled.

Kio peered through the bushes at the five guards standing less than five meters from them.

“Snake,” the trigger-happy guard replied.

The other three guards laughed. “Come on. It’s getting dark out here.”

The two original guards nodded and followed the other three towards the east end of the facility.

“Do you think that they don’t have roving patrols after dark?” Mike asked.

Kio shrugged. “All I know is that now there is going to be five of them blocking our entrance.”

Anthony looked to his watch.

“Two minutes.”

Kio nodded and looked to the rest of her group. It was her, Anthony, and Mike, the usual compliment. Also in her group was Corporal Xiang, their explosives expert, and Ensign Yayo, the Andorian combat medic.

The group stayed in their crouched positions, waiting for the lights to go out, signaling the beginning of their assault.


Corporal Vincent Saint Croix, the team leader of Charlie team looked around the area where his group materialized. He then checked his tricorder.

“No one.”

A sergeant slinked up behind him.

“Yeah, but we are right in the view of that sniper tower.”

Saint Croix nodded. “We need to keep low. In the grass.”

The sergeant nodded and the five members of the team got down onto their bellies and began to slither through the tall, damp grass towards the west end of the facility.

Included in this group was Saint Croix, Sergeant Lu Musasabi, Sergeant Matt Woodall, Ensign Victor Adams, the explosives expert, and Ensign Tuvalk, the Vulcan medic.

The five kept moving until they came to a spot about fifty meters from the entrance they were going to bust through.

Saint Croix looked to his watch.

“One minute.”


Delta team materialized behind a tree about 500 meters from the power generation plant. They quickly checked around and found two guards standing between them and their target.

The four members of the team, Lt. George Carson, Lt. Troy Beckham, Ensign Aileen Nelson, and Private Jessica Shelby slightly split up and took positions around the plant. 

Nelson looked through her scope on her silenced sniper rifle she carried. She could see the two guards standing around, their weapons to their sides.

One of the guards was smoking a cigarette. The other was looking around through some binoculars.

“Target one has binos, not sure if they are infrared,” she whispered. “Target two is distracted.”

Nelson looked around as the team leader, Lt. Carson acknowledged her. 

After seeing no other people, Nelson watched her targets for a moment. The guard with the binoculars looked right in her direction twice and did nothing.

Nelson smiled. The guard’s inaction told her that either he did not see her, or his infrared was too weak to pick up her body heat. Either way, she was invisible to him.

“Permission to take out roadblocks?” she whispered.

“Granted,” Carson replied.

Nelson looked through her scope and got target one lined up in the crosshairs. She knew that she would have mere seconds from the time she fired on him to switch targets and take out the second guard.

She had practiced for an hour in the NSO range and had only failed once, out of thirty attempts. A rather good record that had her very confident.

Nelson inhaled and then slowly let the breath out as she pulled back on the trigger.

The 2.4mm round was hurled out of the gun at over 400 meters per second. The internal silencers of the rifle countered the sonic boom from the projectile breaking the sound barrier prior to it leaving the end of the barrel. 

More internal components of the rifle counteracted the recoil force, keeping the massive jolt that Nelson could have gotten down to a small and manageable jerk.

Time slowed down for the professional marksman as she watched the end of the second target’s cigarette get cut off, quickly followed by the first target falling backward and hitting the ground.

The cigarette man turned to his buddy as he fell. Nelson placed his head in her crosshairs and pulled the trigger again.

The cigarette man looked at the hole in the forehead of his partner and began to reach for his radio with one hand, while he raised his gun with the other. Before he could do either, he was sent flying; dying before his body hit the ground.

Nelson watched as two black-clad individuals ran to the fallen guards, grabbed them, and drug them back into the bushes.

“Good job, A,” Carson stated.

Nelson grinned and began to watch for any other guards.


Carson, Beckham, and Shelby carefully hid the bodies of the guards and moved towards the fence that surrounded the power generators. 

Shelby ran a quick scan. 

“The fence is untainted.” She whispered, telling the others that there were no sensors on the fence that would alert security if it were cut.

“Good,” Carson stated. He looked to Beckham. “Snip it.”

Beckham nodded and quickly pulled out some small bolt cutters and cut a hole in the bottom of the fence, big enough for them to crawl through. 

The three crawled under and located the master control panel for the generator. Beckham began to rig it with explosives while Shelby located the main transmission line and began to rig it.

“Thirty seconds.” Nelson’s voice informed the three.

Shelby nodded, completed her work, and scurried back under the fence. Beckham quickly followed suit. Carson double-checked everything and followed Beckham under the fence.

“Fifteen seconds,”

The three quickly and as quietly as possible ran through the bushes.

Two guards walked out to where the deceased guards should have been standing.

“Where’s Nixon and Ford?” One asked the other.

“Time,” Nelson stated.

“I don’t know,” the other stated, as he began to go for his radio.

Carson, Beckham, and Shelby dove to the ground where they were. Nelson pulled out her tricorder and hit a button.

The explosion could have probably been seen from the Sisko as the explosives went off, igniting the hydrogen fuel used to power the generator. The two guards are incinerated as the fireball extends upwards and outwards.

After the initial shockwave of heat and air pressure passed over them, the four members of Delta team looked up. 

There were no lights except that coming from the burning grass.

Part of the facility had been breached. Guards were running out to the generator, acting as firefighters, attempting to put out the fire.

Carson looked to Beckham and Shelby.

“I didn’t know it ran on hydrogen,” Shelby shrugged.

Beckham also shrugged as Carson radioed the Sisko.

“Delta to Sisko. Lights out.”


Karyn stood.

“Sisko to all teams. Lights out.”

Shampoo turned to Jansen at the tactical station.

“Marine teams, go,” She stated.

Jansen nodded and relayed the order to Makoto in the transporter room. 

“Nighthawk to Sisko,” Kaii’s voice came over the communication system.

“Go,” Minako replied.

“We’re losing jamming. They’re starting to receive signals from the interceptors.”

Karyn turned around to Ops.

“Watch for more interceptors being launched.”

Minako nodded.

“They may not be able to,” Kaii replied.

“Explain,” Shampoo demanded.

“The only power signatures we are reading from the planet are the receiving antennas. If they are receiving information, I don’t think the facility is getting it.”

“Understood,” Karyn replied. She looked to Shampoo. “You’d think they’d have a backup generator.”

Shampoo nodded and shrugged.

Hideki was jarred awake by the massive explosion outside. He looked around and could not see anything.

“Lights!” an exasperated guard screamed.

“Dude, it’s useless. The power is out,” another stated.

There were the sounds of some struggling, then two people falling to the ground.

“Can’t get the god-damned door open either,” the first guard stated.

“What happened?” Hideki asked.

“There was an explosion and now we have no power,” he replied.

“Are we under attack?” Hideki inquired.

“Seems that way.”

“Echo sixteen and seventeen from control. Are the prisoners still secure?”

The first guard activated his radio.

“Yeah. We’re all trapped in here.”

“Copy. Echo one is on his way to take them to a secure location.”


“Good to see that the Federation isn’t going to stand by and let us be murdered by these terrorists,” Brett stated from wherever he was in the room.

“If I could find you, I’d kick the ever-loving shit out of you,” Hideki growled.

“GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR!” a voice yelled from the other side.

The guards, still not able to see anything, moved as far as they could and ducked.

Within a couple of seconds, the door blows off its supports.  Four guards rush in with rifles and lights attached to the tops of them. Behind them, also with flashlights were Hassan and Johansson. 

“Commander, it appears that you were wrong,” Hassan stated. 

Hideki shook his head. “I really didn’t think they would.”

Two guards moved and grabbed Hideki.

“Please cooperate with the guards, Commander,” Hassan stated. “It’s for your own safety.”

Hideki nodded. The guards took his arms behind his back and applied handcuffs. 

It had been days since he was last handcuffed. The apparent Federation assault removing all trust between him and his captors.

Brett was quickly manhandled and restrained. The pair was then both pushed out into the hallway.

“Where are we going?” Hideki asked.

“We’re going to the barracks to wait out the assault. Once we get power restored, we’ll call for help and get you and your men out of here.”

Johansson cleared his throat.

“I’d prefer there were no more talking for this evening.”

“Yes sir,” Hassan stated as they, six CSS guards, and the two prisoners quickly moved down the darkened hallways.

Ranma peered through her night-vision goggles at the two dark figures, looking around, swinging their guns in every direction blindly.

The cloudy skies impeded what light that would be generated by the two moons that orbited Chidori III. It also caused it to rain, which began to mask the footsteps of Rei’s team as they moved towards the entrance.

“There are several people inside,” Shelton whispered, looking at his tricorder. “But they seem to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off.”

Parker, who was still intrigued at Ranma’s sudden transformation when it began raining, looked at the map of the facility.

“Their infirmary is just inside this entrance. If the intelligence is right, we should find a couple of officers in there.”

Rei nodded. “Let’s move.”

The five slowly sloshed their way through the tall grasses which were quickly becoming wetlands. One of them stepped on a stick, causing it to snap. The two guards turned in that direction and began to fire blindly.

All five members dropped to the ground. Ranma and Shelton returned fire, taking the two guards out.

Three more guards ran out, screaming, and were quickly dropped by Rei and Parker.

“Go!” Rei called out.

The five people quickly ran to the wall. Ranma looked inside and did not see anyone. Her night vision goggles were beginning to lose effectiveness since there was NO light inside the building.

She quickly switched over to infrared and looked around again.

“No heat sources in the hallway,” she whispered.

Parker and Shelton slipped inside and backed up against the walls. They slid along the wall and found a door that had been forced open. The pair swiftly got inside and checked around.

“Empty,” Parker said.

Rei sighed.

“They must be moving them,” she stated. “Let’s keep moving deeper.”

Everyone nodded and slowly continued down the hallway.


Kio sighed. The explosion had caused the guards that were blocking their entrance to run over to where the explosion came from.

Granted it would now be easier for them to get inside, but she was really looking forward to shooting someone.

The group got inside and switched over to infrared mode. This made it a lot harder for them to identify friends from foes, so they would have to rely on less than lethal methods of taking out their enemy.

Four red and orange blobs halted the team’s advance. The blobs were slowly walking down the hallway. Two of them had flashlights attached to the front of their guns. 

They were sweeping the halls with the lights as they moved down them.

Kio and Anthony moved up and laid flat on the ground as the blobs moved forward. 

The pair in the front was obviously security, as they had weapons. But they did not know about the pair in the back.

“Two forward, hostile. Two rear unknown,” Kio whispered.

A pair of muffled shots came from behind Kio and Anthony once the four were almost on top of them. The two forward guards flew backward and hit the ground. Kio and Anthony quickly jumped up and grabbed the two in the rear. They both held a knife to the unknown blob’s necks.

“Identify yourselves.” Anthony quietly ordered.

“Lt.-Lt. Sol Binker…” one of the men stammered. “U.S.S. Saint Paul.”

“Ensign Michael Erickson,” the other quietly replied.

“You’re safe now,” Kio stated as she and Anthony put their knives away. “We’re with Starfleet. Please remain quiet and come with us.”

The men complied as Kio and Anthony escorted them back outside the facility. 

“Sit down please,” Kio ordered. “Do you know where they were taking you?”

“To the barracks,” Sol replied.

“Bravo to Alpha. We have two. They could be herding them down to the barracks,” Kio said over her communicator.

“Copy,” Rei replied. “Take them to Delta team.”

“Aye,” Kio replied. She turned to the blob she assumed was Anthony.

“Bravo to Delta. We’re coming with two from grid four.”

“Roger,” Delta replied.

“Stay here. See if any more come down that hallway,” Kio ordered Anthony.

“Gotcha,” He replied as Kio took the two men and the rest of Bravo team to meet up with Delta team.


Saint Croix looked up as the rain began to come down even harder. He could see two people now in the sniper tower. They looked around through their night vision scopes for the people who caused the power failure.

The water on the ground began to become standing water. The team was not going to be able to continue crawling on their stomachs for much longer. They were going to have to take out the pair in the tower. Unfortunately, none of them had sniper rifles, so taking them out from the ground would be inaccurate. 

Not to mention that the pair would probably see the muzzle flashes of the LA-15s.

The veteran corporal had a plan though. He had Adams attach some plastic explosives to one of their grenades. Hopefully, if he were able to aim it right, the grenade would explode and take out one of the support structures of the post.

It would not be stealthy, but hopefully, with the confusion that had already been caused by the power outage, no one would really notice.

“Ready?” Saint Croix asked Adams.


Adams waited till both the guards were turned away. He then stood and threw the grenade.

A shot rang out and Adams was thrown back several meters, the back of his head exploding.

“Shit!” Saint Croix exclaimed.

A third sniper, who was on the roof of the facility, began to radio the two in the tower. They turned in the direction of Charlie team and opened fire.

Saint Croix and the three remaining team members began to roll out of the way. The bullets from the tower splashed into the water that was pooling on the ground. The snipers could not see what they were shooting at, which could almost be more dangerous than if they could.

An explosion occurred, which according to plan, took out one of the support struts of the tower.

The tower began to bend in the direction of the lost strut, but then stopped. The shift was violent enough to send one of the snipers out of the tower and down about 30 meters to his death.

The other sniper managed to hang on and not fall out. Saint Croix popped up and began to fire at him while Musasabi fired in the direction of the second man on the roof of the facility.

The other two team members stood and sprinted towards the entrance to the facility. Saint Croix hit the sniper, sending him backward. He then grabbed Musasabi and they both sprinted towards the entrance.

The sniper on the roof, who had ducked to avoid the cover fire, popped back up, took aim, and fired.

Musasabi barely got a scream out before he hit the ground, dead.

“Damn it,” Saint Croix growled. The trio slipped inside.

“WEST END! WEST END! THREE!” The man on the roof screamed into his radio.

“We’ve got a problem,” Minako stated.

Both Karyn and Shampoo stood and looked to Minako’s station.

“What?” they both asked.

“I have two Klingon Birds-of-Prey and a Klingon Battle Cruiser decloaking at the perimeter of the system.”

“WHAT?” Both women asked.

“They’re early,” Jansen stated.

“Hail them,” Karyn ordered.

Minako nodded and the Klingon commander of the task force appeared on the screen.

“nuqneH!” The Klingon growled.

Karyn eyed him for a moment. “I am Captain Karyn Walker of the Federation starship U.S.S. Benjamin Sisko-“

“Ah!” the Klingon grinned. “The ship named for the greatest warrior of the usually weak Federation. Why are you here?”

“Several of our people are being held prisoner on the planet. We are in the middle of a rescue operation. We want you to hold off your attack until we are finished.”

The Klingon captain laughed. “You have had two weeks to rescue your people. Today the facility will be destroyed, and the enemies of the empire will die.”

“You can destroy the facility. Just give us an hour,” Karyn asked.

“We will not wait,” he replied.

“Then we will stop you,” Karyn glared.

If there was a Klingon version of ROFL, this Klingon would be doing that right now.

“You? Your ship may be named for a great warrior, but it is only one ship. You will be destroyed if you attempt to intervene in the internal affairs of the Klingon Empire.”

The Klingon goes to hit the button to end the conversation but stops when Shampoo speaks up.

“What you expect from Klingon who have no honor.”

Karyn turned to Shampoo, her eyes wide and her mouth hanging wide open. Larson, who had been more interested in watching the telemetry from the planet then what was happening on the bridge, also turned, his mouth similarly hanging open.

“What’s that, little girl?” the Klingon captain asked.

“You have no honor. You no understand Shampoo?” Shampoo grinned.

“How dare you insult my honor!” the Klingon roared.

“It true. Only dishonorable man kill while hiding in orbit.”

The Klingon raised an eyebrow.

“Men fighting on the ground for their comrades fight with honor.”

“And they will die with honor,” The Klingon replied. “A noble death that any Klingon would want.”

“But killing men fighting with honor on a mission of rescue not honorable, yes?” Shampoo grinned and asked.

The Klingon commander snorted, eyed Shampoo for a moment, and continued.

“You have twenty minutes. Qapla!”

The communication terminated and the three ships recloaked.

Karyn looked to her XO.

“Well, that was nice of him.”

“Nice nothing,” Shampoo stated. “If we don’t get them out in twenty-minute, he will be even more determined to blow them up.”

Karyn nodded and turned to Minako. “Let them know. They have twenty minutes, and not a minute more.”

Minako nodded and began to relay the information. Larson grinned as Karyn turned in his direction.

Told you. He mouthed.

“I NEED HELP!” Saint Croix’s voice screamed over the communications system.

Kio squeaked at the loud yelling in her ear. She turned to the four blobs standing with her.

“Let’s go.”

The blobs, even though they were under orders to continue into the facility, all nodded and followed Kio back outside.

“Bravo to Charlie, where are you?”

Gunfire rang out over the comm. Kio could hear it both that way and through the air, but it was echoing so much she couldn’t get a fix on it.

“WEST SIDE!” Saint Croix screamed.

Kio and the others began to run through the rain and the now ankle-deep standing water outside the facility. They rounded the south end of the building to see Saint Croix come flying out of the doorway, blood spraying from both his chest and his back.

The round had sliced clean through his alleged bullet-resistant vest and out the back.

Woodall, the only remaining member of Charlie team bolted out the door and dove into the swampy grass as tracer fire shot over his head. Bravo team crouched down as several CSS officers came outside, looking for Woodall.

“GO!” Kio stated.

Anthony, Michael, Kio, and Xiang all popped up and opened fire on the guards. The team mowed the security officers down with extreme accuracy, the silencers on their guns keeping them from even seeing who was killing them.

Within ten seconds, the seven officers who had come out to try and capture the escaping member of Charlie team were lying in a mixture of rainwater, grass, blood, and brain matter.

Kio and Anthony went up and secured the doorway. They then motioned for the rest of Bravo team to come forward. Ensign Yayo moved over to check on Woodall.

“Jesus,” she stammered. “His left femur is shattered, and his brachial artery has been pierced. He’s going to bleed to death.”

“Get him out of there,” Kio stated.

Yayo nodded. “Yayo to Sisko, two emergency medical transports requested.”

“Copy. Activate transponder,” Minako’s voice replied.

Yayo took out a small electronic device from her pocket and stuck it onto Woodall and the body of Saint Croix.

“Nighthawk has a lock,” Kaii’s voice stated.

“Energizing,” Minako replied.

Within a second, Woodall was gone.

“Bravo to Alpha. Charlie is down,” Kio whispered.

There was a pause.

“Roger,” Rei replied.

Kio looked to the rest of her group. “Let’s go.”

The rest of the group nodded and began to work their way inside.


Ranma peaked around the corner at the L-shaped intersection that Alpha team had come across. She noticed a small, warm blob on the ground about fifteen meters from where she crouched.

“I have something,” she whispered. “But it’s too small to be a person.”

Rei scratched her head. “A cat maybe?”

Ranma shivered. “Hang on.”

Ranma dug into her pocket and pulled out a small tricorder enhancer. She set it on the ground and slid it over to the heat source. The enhancer slid right up to the source and bumped it slightly. The source didn’t move.

Ranma began to read the scans. She gasped.


Ranma dove to the ground as the heat source exploded, sending a wave of heat and air pressure down the hallway, and around the corner.

After it has passed over them, the group slowly moved back to their knees.

“Land mine,” Ranma stated.

Rei groaned.

“Well, at least we know that we’re on the right track,” Parker mused.

Shelton gave Parker a look, but it was pointless as it was still very dark inside the facility. There was some light coming from burning pieces of the floor and wall that were destroyed by the explosion.

Unfortunately, those fires just made the infrared the team was wearing useless.

“Ten minutes,” Minako’s voice stated over the comm.

“Dammit,” Rei cursed. “We need to keep moving.”

Ranma nodded and took off her infrared goggles. She looked down the hallway, her irises opening wide to allow as much light in as possible. 

She scanned with her tricorder and noticed another explosive about 30 meters down.

“Everyone down,” she stated.

The rest of the team complied. Ranma slinked forward until she could see the shimmer of the explosive device. She lined it up in the sights on her weapon and fired once.

The round hit the explosive, causing it to explode. A wave of fire and compressed air shot down the corridor, knocking Ranma over backward. It soon dissipated and she stood up.

“Shit,” She groaned, checking her hair and finding some of it burnt.

Rei slowly walked up behind her, followed by the rest of the team.

“How much farther?” Rei asked.

Shelton checked his map. “It appears that the barracks is down this corridor a few hundred meters.”

Rei nodded. “Alpha to Bravo. Meet us at grid 15 Echo.”

“Roger,” Kio’s voice replied.

“And hurry,” Rei added.

A large thunk echoed through the hallways.

“What was that?” Parker pondered.

Before anyone could phantom a guess, the hallway lit up as the lights came back on.

“Ah fuck,” Rei bluntly stated.


Inside the CSS control room, the two guards on duty there smiled as their computers began to boot back up. 

Once they did, the guards lost their smiles.

“SIR!” One yelled into another room.

A CSS Lieutenant walked into the room and looked at the display.

“Forget about them.” He stated. “Call the interceptors back. Have them find the ship that must be up there,” he ordered as he pointed to the air.

“What about the reserve fighters?” The second CSS guard asked.

“Launch them. Make sure those sons-of-bitches have no place to go home to.”

The two guards grin and begin to issue orders into their computers.

Outside of the nebula, the interceptors waiting for the Saint Paul to come out powered up their engines and shot off towards the planet.

On the planet, the ground began to open and soon several dozen interceptors were lifting off into the sky and heading towards the Sisko.


Kaii looked to JC.

“Uh oh,” Kaii stated.

JC nodded. “Nighthawk to Sisko, you’re about to have some company.”