AN: This is an STO/X-over story. If you figure out what is involved without someone telling you, you will possibly get warm and fuzzy feelings inside for being smart and/or well versed in things. This story is mostly inspired by time in STO with Vahn. He has as much of a free hand in this as I do in his story HaWT:SS, which is a fancy way of saying he gets half of the blame – I mean – credit as a co-author. The STO setting and NPCs drawn from it such as Admiral Quinn were developed by Cryptic Studios and published by Perfect World Entertainment. I do not own STO, Cryptic, or Perfect World. Shadowrun is an IP mess and is probably currently held by Topps and Microsoft – none of which I own. The character Thirteen of Eleven was created by me and is on my STO account along with her bridge crew and ships. The character Varian Stratus was created by Vahn and is on his STO account along with his bridge crew though his vessels' name has been changed slightly. If you actually bothered to read this all the way through, you've been told at least one of the things that is being crossed over with STO and haven't figured it out for yourself. I will not be impressed if you write a comment or message me about the identities of what works are part of this story. This list will be lengthened as new aspects of the X-over are revealed.

This work is not for profit.


Newton's Third Law: Chapter 001

Stardate – 86903.58

2409, April18th. 14:10 UTC

Sector 001 was considered a beautiful area of space even by most species' standards, and it held one of the strongest powers in the galaxy – the United Federation of Planets. The seat of their power, located in the Sol System on the Planet Earth, was where they went about ruling hundreds of member worlds and thousands of colonies and trained future generations of leaders, guardians, scientists, and inventors at the academy. However, it was high above Earth itself and in orbit that the bastion of the Federation's power was encompassed by the larges space station thus far constructed in the Alpha Quadrant. Earth Space Dock. It was also here that the seat of their exploration arm and defense were deployed under the command of one Admiral Quinn.

A short, pale woman with two-toned hair walked into Admiral Quinn's office and said, "Lieutenant Thirteen reporting for duty."

Quinn looked up from the report in his hand and said, "Good to see you lieutenant. You are to take command of the Auckland and head out after your partner shows up."

Thirteen frowned slightly and said, "Wait, my class just finished its midshipman's cruise yesterday, and it only lasted a week. Why are you giving me command of the Auckland?"

"Because we're at war, and we can't have experienced captains on expendable light cruisers," Quinn said before he turned back to his report. "We learned the hard way during the Dominion War that capable captains do not increase the survivability of Miranda class ships. So, we now give the older, smaller ships to up and coming officers to cut their teeth on."

"I'm not sure how I feel about spending years at the academy to become expendable again," the liberated Borg drone said slowly.

"Don't worry about it," Quinn said with a wave of his hand. "We keep new skippers busy with odd jobs behind the lines in the Sirius Sector. The Klingons might be bold enough to send some ships this deep into Federation territory, but they would need to be a small force to avoid detection."

"I suppose I can deal with that," Thirteen said, "But what's this about having a partner? I already have a first officer and full bridge crew."

"Your bridge crew will grow if you're promoted," Quinn said. "Your partner won't be part of your crew, though. You see, top analysts have found that multiple ships have a greater rate of surviving than single ships unless one of the ships involved is subverted by shape changing infiltrators, taken over by a rogue AI, or becomes a breeding ground for tribbles. I don't even want to think about a ship that could have all three problems."

"A ship taken over by sapient shape changing tribbles with wireless capabilities does sound farfetched," Thirteen said.

"Stranger things have happened in the past," Quinn saidknowingly. Since he was an admiral, he had access to some bizarre and classified reports. "Now then, your partner has been delayed because of enemy action that we had to gather and dispatch a fleet for while he held the line, but he should be arriving soon."

"I thought you said the Klingons wouldn't be operating in force this close to Earth," Thirteen said as she crossed her arms over her bountiful chest.

"He only had to deal with one Klingon warship," Quinn said. "While they did lose their mentor to the Klingons, it was the appearance of a Borg transwarp gate and fleet that required intervention."

"Wait," Thirteen said, "Are you telling me that I'm being paired with someone that just had a traumatic experience with the Borg?"

"I'm sure you'll be fine," Quinn said.

"There's no need to fear!" a man with ridiculous boots said as he strolled into Quinn's office. His shaved head, neatly trimmed facial hair that ran from both of his ears to his jaw and mustache were secondary features to his choice in footwear. "Varian Stratus is here!"

"I feel so confident about placing my survival in his hands," Thirteen drawled after a few seconds of silence while she took in the newcomer's feature.

Varian placed his right hand over his heart, pointed at Thirteen with his left hand, and said, "Borg!"

"Liberated Borg," Thirteen corrected automatically.

"Borg!" Varianinsisted as he still pointed at the cyberneticly enhanced woman.

"It's sort of like being a liberated woman," Thirteen saidin an attempt to clarify her situation for the less intelligent human with humor.

Admiral Quinn snorted, but Varian persisted and once more said, "Borg!"

Thirteen let out a sigh before, in a monotone, she said, "Resistance is futile."

"In bed," Varian said quickly.

Thirteen blinked for a moment before she said, "What."

"With how you're stacked, no one could resist you," Varian saidbefore he nodded sagely as though he was revealing a great secret of the universe."You're sort of short, those violet highlights in your hair are odd, and your eyes are voids into the abyss, but people will be too busy staring elsewhere to notice."

"I don't have violet highlights, I dye the ends of my hair black," Thirteen said before she turned to Admiral Quinn. "Do I really have to work with him?"

"I'm sure you'll survive," Quinn said as he pulled out a datapad and handed it to Thirteen. "The two of you are being sent out to patrol an area of space that has been fraught with piracy. Your job will be to rescue vessels under attack."

"We can do that," Varian said confidently as he read over the information.

"You better be able to," Quinn saidin a no-nonsense tone."Otherwise we've wasted four years of effort and energy on you at the academy."

"I dunno, I just spent four years to be told I was expendable again," Thirteen said with an unhappy frown.

"Wait, what?" Varian askedas he looked to his newfound partner.

"You missed it, let's get on with our assignment," Thirteen said as she began to exit Quinn's office.

"Right,there're people out there that need our help," Varian saidas his eye followed the ex-Borg while she made her exit. He made sure to eye her backside and gave it a mental rating of 'DAT ASS.'

"Okay, captain save a ho, lead on," Thirteen said.

"I resemble that remark," Varian said in mock indignation as he chased after Thirteen.

When he caught up to Thirteen, he saw his tactical officer having a conversation with someone that looked very similar to her.

"Oh god, what is this?" Thirteen whispered to Varian.

"The benefits of blending in with those around you do outweigh potential problems posed by excessive mammary glands," Elisa said to her bustier counterpart. "However, the skirt is a liability."

"While skirts are seen as demeaning towards females in parts of society, it offers a range of tactical opportunities that are not available when alternative clothing is worn," Elisa's double said.

"Explain," Elisa, the one that Varian identified as his officer, demanded.

"Due to the subservient stigma associated with skirts, opponents are more likely to underestimate the wearer; furthermore, the overly sexual nature of most humanoid species makes it so distractions are easier to perform while wearing a skirt," the stacked redhead said. "Skirts also offer a wider range of movement and mobility than other options."

"Opponents are only likely to underestimate someone once, and the improved ability to distract is an insufficient reason to wear a garment," Elisa said. "Empirical evidence is required for improved combat mobility."

The other woman's right leg shot up and struck Elisa in the jaw with a combat boot clad foot before she could react. The impact snapped Elisa's head back, but she remained standing. After a few seconds, she lowered her head so she could look at her double and said, "Acceptable."

"Elisa, what have I told you about assaulting people?" Thirteen asked.

"Don't start fights you can't finish or will get you in trouble with the brass, but more importantly, I have a perfectly good phaser with a disintegrate setting," the busty redhead said with a straight face.

"Wait, here name is Elisa too?" Varian asked. "Is her last name Flores as well?"

"What do you mean 'too'?" Thirteen said as she turned to Varian. "And it is Flores."

"Small universe," Varian said.

"Wait, you said this was your sister," Thirteen said as she rounded on the busty woman. "What is this drek?"

The two taller redheads looked at each other briefly before the bustier one with softer features that Thirteen was addressing said, "It's complicated."

"Fine, Dizzy," Thirteen said. "You still haven't told me why you assaulted your 'sister.'"

"You haven't asked," Dizzy said which caused Thirteen to glare at the taller woman until she relented. "She asked for a demonstration, so I showed her what you taught me."

"How did you do that?" Varian asked.

"Training," Thirteen said dryly before she returned to Dizzy. "You didn't do it right."

"I needed to show the full range of movement offered via a skirt," Dizzy said.

"I doubt any of our line could be taught anything by a cow like you," Elisa said to Thirteen.

"Is that a request for a demonstration?" Thirteen asked in a stage whisper as she leaned closer to Dizzy.

"Yes," Dizzy said.

"Okay then," Thirteen said before her combat boot slammed into Elisa's crotch. The taller woman doubled over and collapsed on the deck.

"I think I'm going to stand over here away from you," Varian said as he stepped two leg lengths away from Thirteen.

"That is a poor decision," Dizzy said, "If she is unable to reach you with her fists, she will shoot you."

"I'm not that bad," Thirteen said with a scowl.

"This is true," Dizzy said. "You are worse."

Elisa groaned from where she was on the deck before she began to uncurl herself and stand up. She gave a level look to Thirteen and said, "I was incorrect."

"Dizzy's an interesting nickname, how'd you get that?" Varian asked in an attempt to change the topic from how to deliver kicks.

"It is a reference to a character from Starship Troopers," Dizzy said.

"Flores, right," Varian said. "Why didn't I think of that?"

"Because you were born four hundred some years after Heinlein published it?" Thirteen asked.

"No, I was born twenty some years after he wrote it, and they just released a movie based on it," Varian said with a shake of his head. "How have you even heard of it?"

"I was only born a century after it was written," Thirteen said, "And it's timeless. Why do we fight? That's something that applies to every age, and it reminds us that violence does solve problems, but it should only be used in the correct circumstances as a deliberate and decisive act."

"I preferred the movie," Varian said as he scratched his chin.

"Heretic!" Thirteen cried. "That movie was horrible!"

"No it wasn't," Varian said, "What do you have against the movie?"

"It didn't have power armor," Thirteen said, "And it got rid of everything intellectual to make room for fighting and gore."

"You nicknamed Flores Dizzy, you can't have hated it too much," Varian said as he held up his hands to fend of the tiny terror.

"There was a Dizzy Flores in the book that Rico had to bail out," Thirteen said while she tried to invade Varian's personal space. Dizzy's firm grip on the shorter woman's shoulder kept her from climbing Varian to get closer to his face. "The movie cut important parts out for a co-ed shower scene!"

"The shower scene wasn't that long," Varian said as he stepped back. "Besides, they had some really amazing ones like when they deployed en mass from the ships."

"They made the navy out to be incompetent," Thirteen shot back."They would have to have been seriously whacked to crash into each other or even fly in a formation where that was possible."

Dizzy looked at Elisa, and they both tapped their combadges and said, "Flores to transporter room one, two to beam up."

The transporters activated before Varian could come up with a response or Thirteen could claw his eyes out.

Stardate – 86926.02

2409, April 26. 18:57 UTC

"I can't stand that man; he has no taste," Thirteen complained to her chief science officer.

"I find it infuriating that you're more focused on your differences than what you have in common," a shorthaired female Andorian in a science uniform said beside Thirteen in the officer's lounge aboard the Auckland.

"What similarities are there, Tolal? He's tall, I'm not, I have hair, he doesn't, he's a complete and utter rakkie, I'm decent," Thirteen rattled off efficiently.

"You both seem to be from the past," Tolalpointed out.

"No, I'm from a planet in the Delta Quadrant that developed parallel to the one that became central to the Federation in the Alpha Quadrant," Thirteen said with a wave of her hand. "Besides, there was a fair deal of divergence between where I came from and here in certain ways."

"You've mentioned that a couple times," Tolal said with a nod before offered a different suggestion. "Still, it might be something to talk to him about."

"Fine, I'll ask him if he's ever heard of the Renraku Arcology in Seattle next time I see him," Thirteen said.

Thirteen's combadge chirped and interrupted Tolal as she tried to point out that the Renraku Arcology would have been built a few decades after Varian's time and seemed to be unique to Thirteen's version of Earth.

"This is Thirteen," the ex-Borg said after she tapped the communication device.

"Lieutenant, we are receiving a distress call from the freighter S.S. Emerald Sky," Dizzy said over the combadge. "Nausicaan pirates are in pursuit."

"It's time to earn our keep," Thirteen said to Tolal before she began to walk towards the lounge's exit. She tapped her combadge again and said, "I'm on my way to the bridge. Inform captain save a ho we have work to do."

"Acknowledged, transmitting your message to the Melina Eventide," Dizzy said.

"Wait, are you using those exact words?" Thirteen asked as she stepped into the turbolift.

"Yes," Dizzy said.

Tolal snuck in before the doors slid closed and began to laugh.

"Bridge," Thirteen said to the control system, and the turbolift began to move.

"It looks like you'll have to teach Flores a lesson on what is and isn't acceptable for official communications," Tolal said as she wiped a tear from her eye.

"No, I'll have to give her a lesson about stealing my thunder and nicknames," Thirteen said as the turbolift slowed to a halt.

"Of course you will," Tolal grumbled when the doors to the bridge slid open.

"Captain on the deck," Dizzy said from her spot at the tactical console as Thirteen stepped onto the bridge.

"How long until we hit the A.O.?" Thirteen asked as she made her way to her seat.

"Two minutes twelve seconds," Dizzy said while she began to charge the Auckland's weapons.

"Tolal, send a message to the Emerald Sky that we'll be there soon," Thirteen said. "Dizzy, sound general quarters and take us to red alert."

"Acknowledged," Dizzy said before she tapped a few buttons on her console which bathed the room with a red glow.

"Signal from the Eventide, skipper," Tolal said from the combined science/communications station. "Lieutenant Stratus suggests we use formation delta to take out Tango One and Echo on Tango Two."

"Alright, we can do it that way," Thirteen said before she leaned back in the command chair.

A minute and a half later, the U.S.S. Auckland and Melina Eventide dropped out of warp within a few kilometers of a Nausicaan frigate. The pirate vessel was sluggish to react as the Auckland turned to present its starboard side and fire phasers. The enemy frigate shuddered under the onslaught before it raked the Auckland's shield with its own disrupter fire while the Eventide peppered the pirate with its forward phaser. When the pirate's shield collapsed, the Eventide launched a barrage of photon torpedoes at the enemy. The pirates' ship was engulfed in an explosion as multiple anti-matter weapons detonated against its hull before its warp core lost containment and was consumed by a reaction caused by its own volatile anti-matter.

The two Federation ships sped towards where the S.S. Emerald Sky was attempting to escape from the second pirate ship. The pair of Miranda vessels traded roles, and the Eventide began to tear the enemy's shield apart while the Auckland needled it opportunistically as she waited for the right time to jam its own torpedoes down her foe's throat. The Nausicaan frigate's shield fell soon enough, and it met a fiery demise reminiscent of its partner's.

Upon the bridge of the Auckland, Tolal said, "Skipper, we have a distress signal from the Emerald Sky. They are repelling boarders."

"Can we beam the pirates into space?" Thirteen asked before she ignored Tolal's, and most of the bridge crew's, look of shock and mild horror. The only ones unaffected by Thirteen's request were Dizzy and a tan enlisted Vulcan at the operations console.

"No," Dizzy said to the relief of most of the bridge crew. "The aggressors have set up a device to inhibit transport outside of the Emerald Sky's own transporter room."

Thirteen noted the Vulcan's brief disappointment and decided to watch the other woman for promotional consideration before she said, "I guess we'll have to do this the old fashioned way and clear them out room by room."

"Skipper, I just got word from the Eventide that Lieutenant Stratus and his science officer Ensign T'Pain have transported over to the Sky," Tolal said as she looked up from her console.

"Insufferable man," Thirteen grumbled. "Now we have to bail his ass out as well. Dizzy, assemble a team of the most capable individuals for the task of extracting captain save a ho and geeking the pirates."

"Laysza, meet me in transporter room one to clear boarders from the civilian freighter," Dizzy said after she tapped her combadge.

"Sounds good, who should I bring from my department?" the Betazoid head of security asked.

"No one, I have it covered," Dizzy said as she walked across the bridge to where Thirteen sat in her chair.

"Can I help you with something, Dizzy?" Thirteen asked the taller woman.

"Yes, you can help 'geek' pirates," Dizzy said.

"Yeah, no. That's why I told you to deal with it," Thirteen said with a dismissing wave of her hand.

"You told me to acquire the most suited crewmen for this mission," Dizzy said as she picked up the struggling former Borg and placed the smaller woman in a fireman's carry over her shoulder. "You are one of the most qualified individuals on this ship to engage in ground combat, and a large away team would simply get in each other's way."

"Yeah? Well who's going to be in charge of the ship with both of us gone?" Thirteen said as she tried to escape Dizzy's grasp.

"Shez'vaally is too occupied by the warp core, so process of elimination suggests that Tolal will be in command during our absence," Dizzy said as she stepped into the turbolift.

Thirteen spat and cursed the whole way to transporter room one where they met Laysza Azplaz, the tall, busty, Betaziod that was in charge of Security, and the transporter chief. Laysza smirked and tossed Dizzy a fully automatic compression phaser rifle. Dizzy easily caught the weapon with her left hand before she deposited Thirteen on the transporter pad. Laysza looked over a compression pistol and made sure the safety was on before she tossed it to Thirteen who was in the process of standing up. Thirteen's eyes widened as she haphazardly caught the energy weapon in a process that made her fall flat on her ass while she juggled the pistol before she finally got a firm hold on it. Dizzy and Laysza took advantage of Thirteen's problems and casually stepped onto the transporter pad.

When Thirteen had finally stood up, Dizzy said, "Energize."

The trio materialized within one of the Emerald Sky's transporter rooms and made their way to the room's exit. The sound of weapon fire drew them down the corridor where they heard a heated debate as well as a fight.

"Captains are clearly prohibited from going on away missions without a full security team to keep them safe," an unknown woman said.

"Yeah, well, Captains are clearly prohibited from banging their officers, but you don't see that stopping us now does it?" Varian said easily.

There was a moment of silence that followed the eyesore shoe wearing Lieutenant's comment.

"Oh, just gonna ignore me like that?" Varian said with mock hurt in his voice.

Apparently the unknown woman continued on as if she never heard the comment. "It is stated as such in General Order-"

"The General Orders also say that I'm supposed to protect the lives of Federation citizens and keep my crew from harm," Varian said to the woman. "Since I have the most experience with this sort of thing, I'm here – HOO-RAH!"

"We have a perfectly fine head of security who has been training for four years for this situation," the woman said in a calm manner.

"And I have real experience," Varian countered just as calm. "You don't hear about brave men and their simulators, do you?"

"None of them will get any experience if you keep stepping in," the woman pointed out insistently.

"You came along, didn't you?" Varian said in a pleased tone.

"I happened to be standing on the transporter pad attempting to dissuade you from coming aboard when you gave the order to energize the platform," the woman said in her usual calm manner, yet there was a hint of something more behind her words.

"You were dragging me off the platform!" Varian protested childishly. "I had to do something!"

"Two friendlies around the corner by the crates closer to us and four hostiles past the crates further down the hallway," Thirteen quietly said to the two tactically minded officers with her.

Dizzy nodded as she pulled out a photon grenade and primed the weapon.

Varian sighed as he leaned against the crate that was providing him with cover against the Nausicaans before he said, "You could have transported back after we got here, T'Pain."

Varian noted that his Vulcan companion's eyes narrowed slightly before she pulled her long, black hair behind her head and out of her face and said, "I would be derelict in my duty as your first officer if I let you get yourself killed."

"Aw, I knew you loved me deep down," Varian said as he pressed both of his hands to the center of his chest, tilted his head slightly, and tried to act as love struck as possible. He received a flat stare for his efforts.

Before T'Pain could harp on the fact that life and death situations were not the appropriate place for his humor, she heard the sound of a thrown projectile displacing air and looked up to see a photon grenade ricochet off the bulkhead above them with the distinctive ping of a metal on metal collision. She wasted no time and tackled Varian to the ground.

Varian's cry of 'oh baby,you know I love it rough!'was drowned by the grenade's explosion to everyone save T'Pain. Varian couldn't see the resulting firefight, but the rapid discharge of phaser fire and no retort from the Nausicaan's disrupters made it sound remarkably one sided. Since whoever had bailed them out of a sticky situation seemed to have things well in hand, Varian decided to try to create a different sticky situation as he enjoyed the feeling of the fair skinned Vulcan on top of him.

The dark mass of T'Pain's hair cleared Varian's vision as he saw a well-endowed Betazoid in a security uniform with dark hair pulled back into a bun lift T'Pain off of him. Apparently, the security officer also caught that T'Pain's cheeks had a faint green flush to them and said, "I guess you don't exert yourself too physically in the science department, do you?"

"Actually, I believe she wishes to co-" Dizzy began before she was interrupted when Thirteen stomped on Dizzy's toes with the heel of her combat boot.

"Varian, I'd like you to meet my head of Security, Ensign Laysza Azplaz," Thirteen said as she gestured to the taller brunette that was helping T'Pain stand.

"I'm surrounded by flight attendants," Varian said as he took in the sight of the three women in skirts before him. "HOT Flight Attendants."

"I can see why you aren't fond of him, skipper," Laysza said dryly as she eyed the prone man.

"I am told he 'grows on you' like a fungal infection," T'Pain said as she eyed her commanding officers and the newcomers. They were no doubt from the Auckland.

"If he is similar to a fungus, why is one of our operational objectives to retrieve him?" Dizzy askedseriously and caused Thirteen to slap her palm to her forehead. "Surely he would have left spores on the Eventide and a replica will grow there soon enough to replace him."

"Aw, I didn't know you cared," Varian said with a grin that was unaffected by the disparaging remarks focus on him. After all, insurgents had called him worse back on his home world. He stood easilyand brushed himself off.

"It would look bad on my report if we lost an officer to a bunch of no-name pirates after four years of academy training," Thirteen said as she jabbed a thumb at T'Pain. "It also would probably be frowned upon if I let some idiot go charging off to his death."

"Fine, be like that," Varian said petulantly before he became somber. "We still have to reclaim main engineering from the pirates, stop their assault on the bridge, and ferret out the pockets of resistance onboard. However, heh, we know their resistance is futile. Am I right?"

The ladies gave Varian a flat look and were unamused by his attempted at humor before they continued on as though he wasn't there.

"It would be more expedient to disable the transport inhibitor and beam them into-" "The brig," Dizzy said before Laysza cut her off. The two women exchanged a brief look, and Laysza inclined her head slightly towards T'Pain. Dizzy gave a brief nod and said, "Indeed."

"If I'm reading this right," Thirteen said as she looked at her tricorder, "Then they've set up the inhibitor in cargo bay five."

"That's just down the hallway," Varian said before he sprinted down the corridor and stopped in front of a sealed compartment. He then pushed a few buttons on his tricorder and a set of mines transported onto the floor in front of the hatch.

"I thought you said the inhibitor prevented transport to locations that weren't the Sky's pads," Thirteen hissed quietly to Dizzy.

"The inhibitors prevented me from getting the necessary lock needed to safely transport living beings," Dizzy said.

"And what would have happened if you had transported them?" Thirteen said quietly after she looked over her shoulder to make sure T'Pain was distracted.

"There seems to be a lack of bodies in this corridor," T'Pain said to Laysza as she walked towards where Varian was deploying mines.

"I am pleased to report that the disintegrate function on our phasers do, in fact, work," Laysza said with a smirk as she shouldered her rifle.

"Using the disintegrate function is highly irregular," T'Pain noted.

"The skipper decided it was necessary for the expedient rescue of multiple Federation and civilian personnel," Laysza said.

"The results upon rematerialization would have undoubtedly been fatal," Dizzy said to Thirteen.

"And being transported into hard vacuum wouldn't have been?" Thirteen asked.

Dizzy blinked before she tilted her head up slightly and her eyes became unfocused. After a brief moment, she returned her attention to Thirteen and said, "Oh."

"Oh, she says," Thirteen said before she stalked off to where the rest of the Federation officers were. "I don't think they're going to come rushing out and into your trap when we open that."

"It's more to blow the hatch than for them to run across," Varian said as he attached a few more mines to the sealed hatch.

"We probably should be behind cover when they detonate," Thirteen said as she crouched and set up a light phaser turret that she beamed into the corridor.

"Hey, why do you get the turret?" Varian asked with a motion to the turret by jutting his jaw towards it.

"Because it's what they had available," Thirteen explained. "Why do you have the unlimited access to military grade explosives?"

"Laysza and I have access to military grade explosives," Dizzy pointed out to her C.O.

"Do you have enough to breach that?" Thirteen asked as she gestured to the hatch.

"No," Lasyza said before Dizzy could begin an attempt to breach the hatch with the grenades they had.

"We're set," Varian said as he hustled behind cover. The four women soon followed him, and Thirteen used the turret to manually detonate the mines. The explosive force from the mines blew the hatch inward and bent the two pieces of metal that comprised it in a way that would prevent it from closing in the future. The Nausicaans inside stood rooted to the deck where they were while Laysza, Dizzy, Thirteen, and Varian disintegrated their fellow pirates with phasers. T'Pain, meanwhile, was covering her ears.

After a few heartbeats, Laysza consulted her tricorder and said, "Clear. No lifesigns in the compartment."

"Was that necessary?" T'Pain asked as she uncovered her ears.

"We need to secure the vessel as soon as possible to prevent additional civilian casualties," Dizzy said as she hopped over the impromptu barricade.

"Wouldn't it have been faster to simply unlock the hatch?" T'Pain said with a slight frown.

"It would have, but we wouldn't have achieved the level of surprise by just unlocking the hatch," Thirteen said as she got up to follow Dizzy and Laysza. "That would have protracted the firefight beyond a few shots on our part."

"It also would have been less fun," Varian said as he waggled his eyebrows at his exec before he hopped up from the cover after the other three women.

T'Pain's frown deepened a bit before she followed the four walking disasters into the cargo compartment where they clustered around a device the size of a torpedo. Her cheek developed a tic when she heard Varian say, "It's the red one. Cut the red wire."

"All of the wires are red," Dizzy said in ignorance of T'Pain's developing conniption fit.

"Why haven't you shut this down yet?" Laysza asked Thirteen.

"It's rigged to a spatial charge, and I don't have the codes to deactivate it," Thirteen said. "This is a delicate operation."

"It's taking too long," Varian said in a serious tone. "Can we transport it out of the ship?"

"No," Dizzy said. "It is emitting enough distortion that the transporters are blind to everything within a meter of it."

"I guess we'll need to rig it to explode and vent the compartment if we want to do this in a timely manner," Varian suggested as he cupped his chin.

"You destroyed the pressure hatch with a copious amount of explosives," T'Pain pointed out after she though the scenario through in her head. "Venting the compartment would be unadvisable."

"The bulkhead is still intact," Thirteen said as she began walking out of the compartment. "I'll work on accessing the emergency force field while you figure out how to access the cargo bay doors."

After a few minutes of work, the five Starfleet were gathered safely in the corridor behind an emergency force field that separated them from the cargo compartment. Varian raised his right hand in the air with his index finger fully extended before he dramatically pressed a button on his tricorder. Red warning lights lit within the cargo bay and began to spin as a siren started to wail slightly louder than the rush of atmosphere out of the opening cargo doors. The transporter inhibitor, which was the only thing not secured to the deck, was lifted from the deck and flung into deep space.

"See, that was so much more awesome since I disabled the compartment's gravity," Varian said.

Thirteen snorted before she tapped her combadge and said, "Thirteen to Auckland."

"Auckland here," came Tolal's voice from Thirteen's combadge.

"The inhibitor has been dealt with; prepare to transport the Nausicaans to the brig," Thirteen said as she made her way back to the barricade in the corridor.

"Preparing for transport," Tolal replied.

"Energize when ready," Thirteen said as she sat on the makeshift structure.

A few seconds passed before Tolal's voice said, "We have them, skipper."

"Wonderful, three to beam up," Thirteen said before she muttered, "I need a shower."

"You know, I think I'm going to pay my respects to the captain before I depart," Varian said to his pretty Vulcan science officer.

"Of course, captain. I will await your return upon the Eventide," T'Pain said before she signaled for transport.

T'Pain acknowledged the transporter chief with a slight inclination of her head before she left for her quarters. Once she entered her quarters, T'Pain waited for the sliding door to hiss shut before she kicked off her boots and made her way to her replicator. She punched in an order for two large mugs of hot chocolate that she grabbed as soon as they materialized. T'Pain walked over to her computer terminal and set the mugs on the adjoining table before she collapsed into the chair next to the terminal. She lifted one of the mugs from the desk, and between sips, she said, "First Officers Supplemental Log: confound that man, he drives me to drink."

She deleted the supplemental log after she finished her first mug of hot chocolate and began to record the actual events of the encounter with the Nausicaan pirates.

Stardate – 86948.54

2409, May 5th. 00:32 UTC

Club 47 was a hotspot for young officers on Earth Space Dock, but Niwan, the Caitian bartender, managed to keep up with all of his thirsty customers while D.J. Zuza kept the music blasting on the dance floor. The five members of the Auckland's bridge crew were enjoying themselves at a table above the dance floor. Thirteen and Shez'vaally were engaged in a drinking contest while they heckled dancers, Laysza laughed at Tolal's attempts to play matchmaker between other people in the club by ordering drinks for one group and telling the wait staff to inform the recipients that it was from a different group, and Dizzy was their designated sober member so they could collectively remember where they parked their Miranda and to prevent the rest of them from doing something they'd regret. It was a rotating position, and only Tolal was disqualified from acting as such because of an incident during their academy days.

Varian and two other officers walked into the club, and while the other two made their way to the bar, Varian lingered on the dance floor where he mixed it up a little. From above, he heard a voice cry, "Take it off!"

"Yeah, captain save a ho!" a second voice shouted, "Take it all off!"

Varian did a double take as he looked up to who was accosting him and saw Thirteen and a richly tanned Bajoran woman with deep brown, short hair swept back in an engineering uniform.

"Boo! Get back to dancing or get off the floor," Thirteenjeered.

"Bah, his dancing was medium anyway," the Bajoran observed brutally.

"Medium?" Thirteen parroted.

"Well, it wasn't rare, and it certainly wasn't well done," the Bajoran said back to Thirteen.

Varian shook his head with a smile and hustled up the stairs while the two women laughed. When he got to the upper level, he waved over his crewmembers and walked over to the table of women.

Thirteen waved to the approaching trio and said, "Hoi, chummer. Join us. Resistance is futile."

"Yeah, we got two kinds of drinks," Laysza said to Varian, a probable Klingon, and someone who's defining trait would still be blue skin even if Laysza was sober enough to actually look at the person as she indicated a set of bottles. "One puts hair on your chest, and the other burns it off."

"I'm a fan of putting more hair on my chest," Varian said as he pulled up a chair and, to the curiosity of those present, reversed it before he sat down and leaned into the back support."The ladies like a manly man."

The Captain of the Eventide then bravely poured the ominous looking liquid into a cup and drank it fearlessly.

"Of course they do, captain save a ho," Thirteen said when she managed to stop laughing at the face he made when he took his first shot.

"Christ, what is this," Varian managed to say between coughing fits. "It feels like I just drank reactor fluiduh – not that I would know firsthand what that's like or anything."

"It's an acquired taste, which is why I stick with fruitier drinks," Tolal saidas she gave the close shaved man a speculating look. There was something about his last comment that caught her antenna."You must be the intrepid Lieutenant Stratus; I believe the only people who haven't met you in person are myself and Shez'vaally. I'm Tolal."

"Charmed," Varian said as he took Tolal's hand and gave it a chaste kiss. "My companions are Kovor and Bioliona."

"Hello," Bioliona said while Kovor just grunted in acknowledgement.

"Thirteen, I'm sure you'll be glad to know I am one step closer to actually being 'Captain Save a Ho,'" Varian said as he turned to the ex-Borg. "I've been thanked by someone I saved, but I still have a ways to go before I earn my captain bars."

"What? You get thanked by the first ho you saved while I haven't gotten any?" Thirteen said. "I want details, chummer."

"Oh man, the captain of the Emerald Sky was a grade A MILF. She had full, perky tits, wide childbearing hips, an ass you could bounce a quarter off ofoh, crap, you guys don't use coins. Well, bounce something small, round, and metal off of anyways, and she had top notch sultry lips that you'd want to do very, very, naughty things with," Varian said while he leaned back in his chair as his hands traced the woman's figure in the air.

Thirteen and the others at the table, save Dizzy, were drawn in by his description and leaned in slightly as Thirteen asked, "So what happened? Did you get the slitch alone and slot her good?"

Varian smiled and sprung his trap when he said, "Why, I walked up and introduced myself to her on the bridge, and she shook my hand and said 'thank you for all you and Starfleet have done' before I returned to the Eventide."

Most of the people at the table slumped into their chairs and groaned in disappointment. Bioliona, however, blinked before she slowly said, "Wait a minute, my mom owns and operates the Emerald Sky."

"Really? What a small universe," Varian said as he sipped his drink.

"What did you refer to my mother as? A ditch?" Bioliona asked curiously. Save a hole? Why would anyone save a hole?

"A slitch," Thirteen said with a wave of her hand. "It's slang where I'm from for a female."

Suddenly Varian laughed since he understood where Bioliona was coming from. "No, no, it's not H-o-l-e, Hole, it's H-O, it old Earth slang that means whore," he explained patiently. Then realize a moment later that maybe he shouldn't have explained that since his chief engineer was starting to get more blue.

"You were calling my mom a ho," Bioliona growled out as she stood up from her chair.

"Technically, Thirteen was insinuating she was a ho. I had nothing to do with that nickname," Varian said in his defense as he leaned away from his irate head of engineering and raised his hands in an attempt to placate her.

It didn't work since she leapt upon Varian with outstretched hands that went to his throat as their combined momentum slammed into the table and tipped it so the bottles went catapulting across the room. Thirteen's cry of 'mah booze!' was drowned out by Bioliona's inarticulate scream of rage as Dizzy and Kovor pulled her off Varian. Security personnel eventually arrived on site and would later reported that they went to a bar fight and a hockey game broke out.

End Chapter 001