Disclaimer: Pointless as it is to state, we own nothing. If we did, Disney would be bending over to suffer the full might of the Death Star's main weapon going up their collective asses and JJ Abrams wouldn't've made the 09 reboot, its' sequel and the new Wars trilogy would not be coming to pass. Long live the EU, motherfuckers.
Ron the True Fan: You KNEW this was coming. The day has long since come to pass. The first, and hopefully not last, logically analyzed Star Trek/Star Wars crossover. All the information seen in this fic was almost literally dissected, meaning, bar actually crossing into both universes, this will be THE most accurate ST/SW cross ever seen.
117Jorn: We will be trying hard to avoid any biased opinions, and we are operating within the confines of the Star Wars Prequels, the Original Trilogy, and the Expanded Universe. However for Star Trek, we are reliant solely on the movies and TV show - as Gene Roddenberry has long since discredited the EU of Trek…. oh yeah, and F**k Disney.
Takeshi Yamato: We will be using some stuff from STO, however. All that said, let's get this party started! :D
Viridian III - Stardate 48650.1
James T. Kirk was dying. He knew it. He had cheated death for 78 years thanks to the Nexus, but this really wasn't a bad way to go. Saving lives. It was what he did. He made a difference. When he saw the face of his counterpart, Jean-Luc Picard, he had to ask him if they did.
"Did we do it? Did we… make a difference?"
Picard slightly nodded. "Oh, yes. We made a difference. Thank you."
"Least I could do… for the Captain of the Enterprise." That name, that title, had finally passed from one generation to the next. "It was … fun … Oh, my."
Kirk paused as his life faded away. He expected oblivion. "No, my friend, the journey has just begun."
Kirk's eyes widened as he felt himself standing on the rocks, before spinning to face the speaker, adopting a common judo stance as he did in life so many times. The person was a man wearing a simple white shirt under a brown robe and equally brown pants and boots. He removed the hood, revealing a bearded face with long brown hair. "Who are you?" he asked.
The man chuckled. "Simply a guide, James Kirk. but if you want to know my name, I am Qui-gon Jinn. In life, I was much like you: a peacekeeper, and a warrior when I needed to be."
Kirk lowered his hands, relaxing before turning his attention to Picard, who was moving debris to get at his body. For a burial, no doubt. Kirk smiled. It was a nice thought. "So, why are you here?"
"To take you on the journey. The mysteries of the universe await us all."
Kirk considered it. He was dead. He had all the time in the world and there were things no human would see for a long time awaiting. "Alright, Mr. Jinn. I'll go with you."
"You may refer to me as Qui-gon, Captain."
Before both men left for the higher plains of existence, Kirk looked at Qui-gon as Picard carried his corpse to the top of the hill, placing the metal Starfleet pin on the otherwise unmarked grave. "Oh, Qui-gon?"
"Just call me Jim."
Space - The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise as she continues her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, seeking out new life and civilizations - and to boldly go where no one has gone before.
These are the tales of how the Enterprise embarks upon what may be its most legendary - and most important journey… a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
2409 AD - USS Enterprise NCC-1701-F
Captain's Log, Stardate 86715.9: The Enterprise is in Romulan Republic space, performing a patrol of the area to help the fledgeling power maintain the peace. Ever since the battle at DS9 proved this ship's capabilities, I have been on edge: the 2800 didn't come out of that wormhole just because the Prophets wanted them to. Something is guiding the enemies of the old Federation Alliance. And I don't know what.
The 1080-meter long Odyssey-Class flagship of Starfleet flew through the former Romulan Neutral Zone, a shining beacon of the Federation's ideals. Va'kel Shon sat in the captain's chair, reading through report after report. "So, I can assume the Zone is secure?" he asked his first officer.
"Yes, Captain," replied Commander Samuel Winters. "We can set a course for New Romulus at will."
As the ship made its preparations to head to New Romulus, a much smaller ship flew alongside - a Sao Paulo-Class Tactical Escort, named the Raging Tempest. It hadn't gotten involved in the 2800 incident, but had helped deal with a Breen invasion into Deferi space.
"Captain Yamato sends his regards, sir. He's heading back to Earth."
"Send the reply-" The ship then shook and rattled. "Report!"
"We just made contact with a subspace fissure! It JUST formed on top of us!"
"Damn it, full impulse; get us away!" The Enterprise glowed white for a moment, and for a moment, Shon thought he saw some of his predecessors that had the post of Captain of the Enterprise: Jonathan Archer, Rachel Garrett, and James Tiberius Kirk. "What the-" The Enterprise-F disappeared from normal space, beginning her journey. Into a galaxy far, far away…
Ahsoka Tano was highly depressed. Even after exile from the Jedi Order, barely getting off Coruscant and getting her hands on a small ship before wandering the galaxy. She was happy that Padme was able to give her enough credits to buy a ship - a G9 Rigger Freighter, similar to the Twilight Anakin had owned for a while. Since that ship was destroyed at Mandalore, she had decided to name the ship the same.
'For the first time, I've got the whole galaxy in front of me…' Ahsoka thought to herself, 'No Jedi rules or things to slow me down… but now… I don't know where to go.' There were a few places she might be able to go - Onderon being one possibility - but she really didn't feel like being a potential burden to the people there due to her Jedi history - especially for Lux.
She also considered returning to Shili - the Togrutan homeworld. But then again, it would be very difficult for Ahsoka to re-integrate herself into Togrutan society after spending nearly her entire life in the Jedi Order.
The more she thought about the Jedi, the angrier she got. The order was her family - the younglings, Padawans, Knights, Masters, even some of the workers she looked up to. She thought they would always be there to support her, to help her… but the one time she needed them most, the one time she needed them to believe her… they turned their backs on her. Even Plo Koon - the closest person she ever had to a father figure in her youth - didn't support her. Just Anakin… and then they had the gall to try and welcome her back, as if she'd just casually forget that they tossed her to the kath hounds to save their own public image - what little of it they still had left.
She heard a short beeping noise behind her, as she smiled a bit as she saw an astromech droid move up next to her. R7-A7, or Arseven. He was her droid companion who helped her fly her Delta-7B and Eta-2, and somehow the little guy pulled an Artoo as he snuck out of the temple, and stowed away on her ship to stay by her side.
"At least I have you, Arseven…" Ahsoka said, gently patting the Astromech Droid's head, as he whistled in droid speak. "You have any ideas where to go from here?"
Destiny, however, had… other plans for Ahsoka as a CIS ship dropped out of hyperspace - a single Munificent-class Star Frigate.
"Oh, that's just great," Ahsoka muttered, as Arseven chirped out paniced. "Okay, calm down, we're not a Republic registered ship - we should be fine… hopefully…"
"Unidentified Freighter, this is the confederate warship Continuation of Commerce. Please identify yourself."
'Oh, boy.' Ahsoka thought, as she quickly thought up a cover story - if she used her real name, they'd be on her in seconds. "Uh, this is the freighter Twilight, out of… Naboo. Just on a routine flight, Continuation of Commerce: running standard medical supplies to Tatooine from Alderaan."
"Twilight, dock with our vessel and prepare to be boarded." The Captain said, "We will have to… confirm your status and your cargo to ensure you have no… smuggled Republic goods, of course." Ahsoka however could already feel through the force that that was a bad idea - she didn't have the supplies to convince them that her claim was genuine… and she didn't like the tone of voice the commander was using.
"Yeah, I'm going to have to say no." She said before she spun the ship around, gunning the engines as hard as she could to get away from the frigate.
"R7, plot a course into hyperspace!" She barked, as the astromech beeped out a query in his 'native' language. "Anywhere but here!"
The Twilight II stopped dead, however, before it could go anywhere. "Tractor beam. Ok, as much as I don't want to…" She opened a general frequency. "This is the freighter Twilight to any ship in range: I am being illegally seized by a Separatist ship! I need help!" Ahsoka suddenly felt calm. She should've been panicking like no tomorrow, but the Force was making her calm, as though there was nothing to worry about. From a certain point of view, there wasn't.
64,000 kilometers away
The Odyssey-class Starship USS Enterprise-F zapped into existence as the vessel drifted for a few seconds, before its inertial dampeners kicked in as the vessel came to a halt. Shon grunted a bit as the bridge shook. "Report!" he shouted.
"We're suffering a major computer failure: we're working off the secondary cores at the moment, Captain." Kirayoshi reported, "I'll get a crew on restoring power in a moment!"
Shon placed his face in both hands. This hadn't happened in 122 years, since Scotty screwed over the Excelsior just as it was going after the Enterprise. The incident with the nanites on the Enterprise-D in 2366 didn't count: that was Crusher's screw up.
"Captain, we have navigation online," Jirelle said. "I'll try and plot our position."
"Thank you," Shon said, before he looked at their resident science officer. "Tem, have any idea what just happened?"
The Bajoran sighed as she looked through the records. "Unfortunately, yes," she said. "It happened to Ambassador Worf when he was coming back from a bat'leth tournament. He kept jumping from universe to universe until everything got worse."
"Enterprises from multiple universes began showing up in the same sector." Tem said, "There were thousands of them."
Shon was tempted to laugh. THAT would've been a nightmare for anyone. "PLEASE tell me that's not going to happen here." He asked.
"No, sir. We'll be fine," Tem said. "The rift appears to be sealed, but we can open it using our warp drive."
Shon sighed, at least they were not caught in the same situation as Voyager where they had almost no way returning home. "Do we have our position yet?"
"Yes, sir," Jirelle said. "We're in the Beta Quadrant, Sector Z-2."
Shon winced. That was the location of Romulus and Remus back in their universe. "Well, any sign of Romulan or Reman ships?" Shon asked.
"No, sir, but-" Jirelle began, but Tem cut her off.
"Captain, we're picking up a distress call from a ship, approximately 65000 kilometers from our position," she said. "It's audio only."
"On speakers," Shon said.
"This is the freighter Twilight to any ship in range: I am being illegally seized by a Separatist ship! I need help!" came the female voice over the comm.
Shon sighed "Lay in a course." He said.
"Starfleet protocol, Commander: we rescue people in distress." Shon retorted.
"The Prime Directive, Captain." Sameul warned.
"It only applies to non-warp capable races." Shon said, "We're in deep space - I think its safe to say they have Warp. Take us in, Lieutenant."
"Aye, sir. A brief warp jump will get us there in less a second."
Ahsoka's unnatural calm was beginning to scare herself. An oxymoron, yes, but it was true. WHY was she so calm? She was in a tractor beam! Even Arseven was beginning to panic at how calm Ahsoka was being.
Of course suddenly, at that very moment a VERY big ship just appeared out of nowhere with a large saucer section, and two large engines near the back. "This is Captain Va'kel Shon, of the Federation Starship USS Enterprise." A male voice spoke over the comm. "We are responding to your distress signal - attention unidentified starship, cease your attack now or you will be fired upon."
"This is the Confederate frigate Continuation of Commerce to the… USS Enterprise. You are interfering in a legal boarding action, and you have no jurisdiction here."
"From the look of things, you're attacking an unarmed transport that wouldn't be able to smuggle in flowers!" Ahsoka took a stab to her would-be smuggler's pride, (as did many smugglers across the galaxy, including a certain Corellian) but as she wasn't planning on smuggling any time soon, she let it slide.
"It is not as though you can stop us." The separatist Captain snarked, "Your cruise liner wouldn't be able to stop a fighter, let alone us."
"…Cruise liner?" A voice on the comm said, sounding very insulted.
'Uh-oh, someone made a mistake.'
"The Enterprise is not a cruise liner." Shon growled, "Transport Twilight, prepare to land. Please shut down your engines and extend landing gear."
Ahsoka blinked, if she was going to land, why would she shut her engines off? But she felt through the force, and felt that she should do that. "Alright…" she said, as she did as instructed as he Twilight's engines shut off, before her landing gear extended.
The ship seemed to be enveloped in light, and she saw a stream of matter before she and her ship reappeared in a hangar bay, guided gently down by a tractor beam, which shut down as soon as the gear was bearing the load.
"What just happened?"
"What's our friend saying?"
"Screaming obscenities and wondering just how we did that."
Shon chuckled. "Get us out of here, maximum-" He began to say before the Enterprise shook for a second as several red bolts impacted the forward shields.
"They're firing on us!" Kyona shouted. "Shields holding at 98%!"
"Return fire, try to make them break off." Shon said.
The Enterprise fired a single Phaser at the Continuation of Commerce, as the beam impacted against the shields of the enemy vessel for a few seconds, before the shields faltered and the Phaser easily sliced through the right 'wing' of the Star Frigate.
"Enemy vessel has taken damage. No loss of life."
"There are a large number of artificial lifeforms onboard the cruiser, Captain," Kyona said, "They're returning fire."
The Enterprise rocked again as dozens of bolts made contact with the shields. "Shields at 91%." The Caitian said, "Captain, their shields are rather… strange. They seem to have two generators, one for projectiles and one for energy weapons, and not enough power to engage both."
"A low-power phaser strike will keep their energy shield up while a photon torpedo can knock out their main cannon array."
Shon nodded. "Make it so," he said. "Should keep them busy for a while."
The Enterprise fired again, a lower power setting beam impacting the shield before a photon torpedo launched from the starboard-side launcher, hitting the main cannon array in the forward section. The torpedo's yield was on the lower end of the scale, but the explosion was no less mighty as the force equal to the Tsar Bomba was unleashed on the hull of the frigate, destroying the weapons emplacements and causing secondary explosions. "Heavy damage to her forward hull. She's breaking off."
"Good," Shon said. "Please have our guest escorted from her ship to the bridge: I'd like to talk to her."
Meanwhile - With Ahsoka
Ahsoka and Arseven somewhat nervously followed the 'Starfleet' security officer through the interior of the ship. Needless to say, Ahsoka could already tell this ship was not from known space. The technology, the structural framing, everything just screamed 'alien' and she had yet to meet an alien race which had successfully created a form of teleporter which could teleport entire starships!
The security officer guided her into a lift, and after the doors closed, the lift began moving upwards. The being seemed to be human, although a human with purely black irises. Ahsoka KNEW she should have been annoyed, but the ship, the people… it seemed right to be here.
The doors opened, revealing the large command center. "Captain, the Continuation of Commerce is sending out a general call over subspace." One of the humanoids in the room said. "I think they're calling for assistance."
"Here's hoping they know better then to tangle with an Odyssey-Class starship." Said the man in the chair (who had blue skin and antenae on his head) turned the chair slightly, then stood up to greet her. "You must be our guest." He said, "I'm Captain Shon. Welcome to the Enterprise."
"Thank you… for your help Captain." Ahsoka said, "I'm Ahsoka Tano - " She had to bite her lip a bit to avoid saying 'from the Jedi Order'. She couldn't say that anymore.
Shon noticed the cutoff, but politely did not comment. "Starfleet regulations say we help those in need," he said. "And personally, I don't like bullies."
"Sir, subspace distortion detected," Tem said. "I'm not sure, but I think it's a form of transwarp conduit!"
"Yellow alert! Prepare for anything, people!" Ahsoka's eyes turned to the screen, and she saw the forms of another pair of Munificent-class frigates and a Providence-class destroyer drop out of hyperspace.
"This is the Confederate warship Pride of Neimoidia to the vessel identified as the USS Enterprise: you have committed an act of war against the CIS by interfering in a legal boarding and inspection, as well as firing upon the Continuation of Commerce. Heave to and prepare to be boarded."
Shon sighed. "Tactical analysis?" He asked.
"Same type of shields as the Continuation of Commerce, and the larger ship has superior firepower." Tem reported, "But the cannons are only as powerful as late 23rd century disruptors: our shields will hold for some time before they fall."
"But they have more weapons emplacements, meaning they probably match an Ambassador-Class in combat," Shon said, before glancing at Ahsoka. "Miss Tano, any recommendations on your part?"
"If you took out their engines, we could get out of here before any more CIS ships show up," Ahsoka suggested. "Or you could target their bridges near the front ot the ships - knock out their Command & Control and Navigation. It's what I've done before in the past."
Shon shook his head. "I'm not going to end lives unnecessarily," he said. "Lock phasers onto their weapons emplacements, and arm photon torpedoes: target their shield generators. If they can't protect themselves, they'll be forced to retreat."
"Weapons armed, torpedoes locked."
"Fire!" a pair of beams hit the two frigates before a red orb of light launched from the Enterprise, homing in on the shield generators. The explosion caused by the torpedo hit right above their shield generator, knocking out their protective cover. "Small craft launching from both ships. They appear to be fighters of some kind. Unmanned."
"Vulture Droids…" Ahsoka muttered. "Believe me, they can be pretty nasty… most of the CIS military is like that though - almost entirely made up of Droids."
Shon facepalmed for reasons Ahsoka did not understand. "Fire phasers." He said. "Try to disable the fighters."
"Why bother?" Ahsoka asked. "They're just droids - they aren't like Arseven."
"Life is life, organic or not," Shon said. "My orders stand." The Enterprise shuddered under the weight of fire being leveled against her from the capital ships before another torpedo impacted the second frigate, knocking it out of the fight.
"Sir, picking up more subspace distortions: more ships coming in!" Samuel reported.
"On screen!" The angle changed, and three ships dropped out of hyperspace. These were far more friendly: a single Venator-Class Star Destroyer and a pair of Acclamator-Class assault ships.
"Friends of yours?" Shon asked Ahsoka, who sighed.
"A few days ago, I'd say yes," she said. "But they won't shoot at you if that's what you're wondering. The Republic isn't interested in starting another war along with the Clone Wars."
"I can live with that."
"Attention Separatist ships: this is Admiral Tarkin of the Republic star destroyer Corusca. clear this area immediately or you will be fired on." Ahsoka scowled at hearing Tarkin's voice. The Jedi Order throwing her to the hounds? She could forgive that: they had no idea what was going on. But Tarkin? He was actively trying to get her killed. "You will pay for this, Enterprise! This, I swear!" The three ships joined the Continuation of Commerce, jumping into hyperspace to escape.
"Hail the Corusca: let's see if their in more of a talkative mood." Shon said.
"Hailing frequency open." Samuel said.
"This is Captain Shon of the USS Enterprise, from the United Federation of Planets." The Captain said, "Thank you for your assistance, Corsca."
"Enterprise, this is Admiral Tarkin." The voice of the GAR Admiral said. "You are quite welcome. I must say, I have never seen a luxury liner outfit with such defensive and offensive systems. Where are you from?"
Shon's brow twitched. "This is NOT a luxury liner, Admiral," he said. "It is an exploration starship, and one that can defend itself."
"Ah, I see," Tarkin said. "I have never heard of this… United Federation of Planets… I must make the assumption that you must be from the unknown regions?"
Shon shook his head, even though Tarkin couldn't see him. "We're not from anywhere you know of, Admiral. This might sound a little insane, but… we're from an alternate universe. And we have proof of our claims."
"Then I will have to come on board your ship to see this… evidence. I assume you have a hangar bay?"
"We'll move into position so you can land. Enterprise out."
"If your going to meet with Tarkin, don't expect me to join you," Ahsoka said, crossing her arms. "It's a mistake to even let that bastard onboard your ship."
"I don't know your history with Admiral Tarkin, but we're more than capable of making sure he doesn't do anything rash." He said, "Tem, make sure you have a clear scan of his shuttle: any explosives, heavy weapons or things like that will not get onto this ship. Beam them back to his cruiser."
"Sam, please escort our guest to deck 9 and have a room set up for her. We'll give your ship a once-over to make sure she can fly, then we'll send you on your way. Unless you have any objections-"
"No. That's fine." Ahsoka said, "You're being awfully generous, though."
"Starfleet prides itself on helping those in need whenever they can, Miss Tano."
"Thank you, Captain…" Ahsoka said nodding, as Sam walked up next to her. "May the force be with you."
Theta-Class shuttle en route to USS Enterprise
Tarkin had to admit, the Enterprise was a shapely ship. Awe-inspiring, you might say. But it was poorly designed: against the full might of an Imperator-Class star destroyer, it would crumple like paper. "Shuttle Gamma to Enterprise: request permission to land." The pilot said.
"Shuttle Gamma, this is Enterprise: clearance granted."
"We are to treat this as a first contact scenario, gentlemen." Tarkin said too the small team of Clone Guards he brought with him. None heavily armed, but armed enough for self-defense. "Do not draw your weapons unless they act first - we may have a potential ally if this all works out for us."
The wings folded up and the landing gear extended as the ship landed between a bank of smaller shuttles and an G9 Rigger freighter. "They said they weren't from around here: that ship says otherwise." One of the Clone Troopers said.
"Its entirely possible they only recently picked the freighter up before meeting us." Another Clone said.
The landing hatch opened, allowing the Admiral and his guards to leave the craft, where they met up with a pair of officers on the deck wearing similar uniforms, but they were of different species: one was felinoid, the other was seemingly human. "Admiral Tarkin, I presume?" THe Felinoid asked, "Lieutenant Kyone, Welcome on board the Enterprise."
"A pleasure," Tarkin said. "I find myself wondering… where did you-"
"Pick up the freighter?" Kyone asked, "We rescued it from one of the CIS ships when we arrived. Her captain is currently in guest quarters while Lieutenant O'brien gives the ship a check-up."
"Ah," Tarkin said nodding, solving at least one mystery. "Well, I suppose we wouldn't want to keep your Captain waiting, I presume? We shall follow your lead."
The two led the Admiral and his guards out of the shuttlebay, leading them into a lift. "Main bridge." The lift began moving upwards and to the side.
"Very impressive vessel," Tarkin observed. "It certainly is no Cruise Liner… yet it's not exactly an exploration vessel by the way you've built the interior.."
"We can grant you access to our database." Kyone said, "Limited, due to Starfleet protocol." The lift stopped, and the group stepped out. "Admiral Tarkin, Captain." A blue-skinned man with antennae stood up and approached him. "Admiral, I'm Captain Shon. Welcome to the Enterprise."
"A pleasure to meet you, Captain." Tarkin said nodding. "You have a very fine starship, Captain… and you have many species onboard that I most certainly am not familiar with… I believe its safe to say there is some… credibility to you claim now."
"We can give you limited access to our database," Shon said. "Information anyone from my side would know will be accessible. Try not to access anything beyond that."
"Because of the Prime Directive," he said. "We will not interfere in the development of any society, be it sociologically, culturally, or technologically."
Tarkin nodded at that - though he was hoping to gain some of their technology, it was understandable that a civilization with such advanced technology would go to any length to ensure it does not fall into the hands of those who may abuse it. The Republic and CIS would likely commit to similar directives if their situations were reversed. "Understandable," he said. "Though I do hope one day the Galactic Republic and your… United Federation of Planets may be more open towards technological and cultural exchanges… if what you say is true, there is much we could learn from one another."
Shon nodded. "We'll need a galactic map," he said. "I would like to speak with the heads of your government: first contact procedures-"
"I'm picking up a subspace transmission on a Starfleet frequency."
Another voice sounded over the PA. "Enterprise, this is Captain Ronald Pinkerton of the Ra-Cailum: we've reopened the rift and sent through a probe to contact you. Please respond."
"Excuse me, Admiral." Shon said as he moved too the communication station. "This is Captain Shon, USS Enterprise to Ra-Cailum: Good to hear from you, Captain Pinkerton."
"We've stabilized the rift, Captain: you're free and clear to return home."
"Negative, Ra-Cailum. We're in the middle of a first contact over here."
"Goddamn it. We've got a trio of Klingon ships inbound to our position, as well as a Romulan warbird. We can't tell if its' Republic or Tal shiar. Enterprise, we need you back here."
Shon shook his head. "Captain, inform the Klingons that if they open fire, they're risking bringing ANOTHER power into our pity little war."
"I'll inform them, but no promises. Ra-Cailum out."
On the other side
On the side of the rift the Enterprise came from, a small fleet of ships stood watch over the rift.
Among them was the same ship that had been alongside the Enterprise earlier - the USS Raging Tempest NCC-108597.
On its Bridge, Captain Takeshi Yamato sat at his normal spot - the Helm Console - looking at the viewscreen. "Kim, ETA on the incoming ships?" he asked his Sensor Operator.
"Two minutes for the Klingons, four for the Romulan warbird. The Ra-Cailum is holding position 500 kilometers from the rift." The Ra-Cailum had been sent to relieve the Enterprise of its' patrol, but now her crew would be getting involved in another pointless battle. "I have a clear ID on the Klingons: two Ning'tao-Class birds of prey and a D7X-Class battlecruiser."
Takeshi frowned. The Ning'tao was a remade variant of the old Norgh-Class of Bird of Prey - and had a vastly different design from their predecessor, though parts could be swapped between them. While the Norgh was being phased out, the Ning'tao was the KDF's current production light raiding craft.
It still wouldn't be too hard to deal with - as opposed to the D7X, the latest variant of the Klingons' famed D7 Battlecruiser - it was even newer than the D7Q Koro't'inga-Class. "Here's hoping we can avoid a fight," he remarked. "As much of an Adrenaline Junkie as I am, this might be nasty if it gets to a fight."
"We do have a slight advantage," Kim remarked. "The Ra-Cailum is a Sovereign-Class starship, and no matter how much you advance a D7, it will never be a match for a Sovereign."
The Ra-Cailum was also manned by the Enterprise's rejects: possibly the most skilled people in the fleet, but with issues that kept them from the grand NCC-1701-F posting everyone dreamed of.
"Right," Takeshi replied, before he turned to his XO - a Klingon who had left Klingon space to join the Federation, and later Starfleet. "Brok'tan, what's your opinion on the situation?"
"The Klingons are tired of this stalemate," Brok'tan replied in his typical bass rumble. "And even more of us. They want one of two things: an end to this war through the destruction of the Federation or a foe so great it would make J'mpok forget his animosity toward the Federation."
Takeshi groaned. "So we likely can't avoid a fight unless something utterly nasty rears its ugly head?" he asked.
"I pray it does not come to that," Brok'tan said.
The Klingons dropped out of warp, weapons armed and shields up. "This is the IKS Jachjeh to the Federation warship Raging Tempest: surrender, and we will grant you a swift and honorable death."
Takeshi groaned. "Of course, they're no longer even pretending to take prisoners," he muttered. "IKS Jachjeh, I'm afraid surrender isn't really an option for us."
The Ning'taos began opening fire, targeting the Raging Tempest before the D7 moved in, firing at the Sao Paulo.
Takeshi ducked and weaved his ship through the fire, lining up on one of the Ning'taos, before opening up with his Pulse Cannons, blowing the Bird of Prey up with a few precision blasts before flying through the resultant explosion, then beginning to line up on the second Ning'tao.
The D7 opened fire on the Raging Tempest, several disruptor bolts impacting the shields before they received help in the form of four photon torpedoes slamming into the D7. "Ra-Cailum to Tempest: we'll keep the D7 off your ass."
"Thanks for the help, Ra-Cailum," Takeshi replied. "We'll finish off this last Ning'tao, then help you finish that D7."
The BoP began to break apart under pulse cannon fire, before the D7 focused on the Ra-Cailum, but a photon torpedo managed to hit the warp nacelle, and the ship began to drift. Toward the rift.
"Oh great," Takeshi groaned, as he finished off the BoP. "We need to take that thing out, before-"
The ship entered the rift just as a photon torpedo from the Ra-Cailum detonated inside the rift. The energy it generated did two things. One, it damaged the D7. Two, it made the rift impossible to close by normal means.
Takeshi winced. "That's not good," he said. "Analysis, Kim?"
"It's on the other side. And the Romulan ship is here: it's the R.R.W. Lliset. And I'm picking up a new contact: Klingon Vor'cha-class. They're hailing."
"Well, let's see what happens now," Takeshi said. "Onscreen."
The image of a klingon man and a romulan woman appeared on the screen. The Romulan was easy to ID: Commander Jarok. The Klingon, not so much. "Captain, I am H'jach of the IKS Spearpoint. My apologies for this unwarranted assault on your ship: we have far too many glory seekers in the KDF nowadays."
Takeshi blinked. This was new. "Umm… apology accepted…" he said, an easily identifiable note of confusion in his voice.
"Don't be confused, Captain: most of this ridiculous war was caused by glory-seeking fools. They have forgotten the other two parts of the Klingon way: duty and honor. There is no honor in forgetting your duty, and when your duty is to defend the Empire, not make things worse, you dishonor yourself and the Klingon people. Now, I must ask… what happened here?"
Takeshi then proceeded to explain the situation as best as he knew it.
"So the Enterprise is on the other side. Captain, you have just given us the best excuse to end this pointless conflict once and for all."
Even Jarok was confused. "Captain?"
"There is no reason to fight the Federation when there is a greater glory on the other side. Captain, I request to join you in going through the rift."
"The Ra-Cailum's going through," Ron informed, entering the conversation. "The Raging Tempest is staying."
Takeshi nodded. "Captain Pinkerton's correct," he said. "Until we can get some sort of permanent installation here, we need someone to guard the rift from Tal Shiar, True Way, Borg, Undine, or anyone else who might try using it for their own ends."
Another beep was heard. "Another ship is decloaking," Kim informed. "D'Deridex-Class, Block 2 Romulan Republic, IDed as RRW Khepesh."
"The Khepesh will stay here. The Lliset will follow the Ra-Cailum through with the Spearpoint."
Takeshi nodded. "Good to hear, Khepesh," he said. "The more firepower we have protecting the rift, the better."
"Then we must prevent that fool from making a mistake! Q'apla!" The channel closed before the improptu fleet entered formation, heading for the rift.
On the other side…
Elsewhere in the galaxy, a single yet highly modified Dreadnought-class Heavy Cruiser prowled through the darkness of space, moving away from the planet Onderon, and its moon Duxn. On the bridge of the Dreadnought, men and women were wearing numerous variants of Mandalorian armor, from Neo-Crusader armor to Shock Trooper armor and anything inbetween, manning their stations and controlling the ship.
Sitting in the command chair of the vessel, a man who looked to be in his forties or fifties sat, as he looked at the mask currently held in his hand. The man had short black hair, and bright red eyes, wearing black and grey Shock Trooper armor. His eyes were fixed on the mask he possessed - which looked rather old, but mandalorian markings were engraved all over it.
"I still can't believe we found it…" A voice to his side said, as the man glanced to the side where a young man walked up to him. It was easy to tell they were related, both having the almost exact same hair and eye color. "It was right under their noses all along…"
"Yes…" the man said, looking at the mask once more. "Mandalore's Mask… it hasn't been worn since the time of Mandalore the Preserver…"
"If Cassus Fett didn't come crawling out of the woodwork, maybe Canderous wouldn't have had to hide it…" The younger man growled out, before he smiled a bit. "But… its not every day you can say your father is Mandalore."
Aren Takeo chuckled, as he put the mask on his face, attaching it to his now modified Mandalorian Shock-Trooper armor designed to accommodate for the mask now. "Indeed… with this, we can oust Maul and Almec from power… no Mandalorian would turn away when the Mask has been found, and when Mandalore calls… once we prove its genuine, the Mandalorian People can be united once more at long last."
"It's been a long time coming, dad," Jaden said. "Or should that be 'Mandalore the Redeemer' now?"
"Mandalore, I think you should take a look at this." One of the sensor operators said.
Aren stood up from his seat. "What is it?" he asked, as the sensors officer pointed at something on the screen. It was smaller than they were, shaped almost like a bird, but with a long neck and a bulbous 'head' and two obvious cannons on the wingtips.
"It's a ship of some kind." The Officer said, "I'm seeing meteor impact marks, but… no damage besides a hull breach on the neck section, and they could have only been caused by weapons fire."
Aren's eyes narrowed behind his mask. It almost looked like one of the infamous Hapan Nova-class Battle Cruisers, sharing a very similar design. However Aren had seen a Nova in action before, this was not the same ship. The wings and bridge area was different, plus it lacked hangar bays for their Miy'til Starfighters, and was only 1/4th the size - being 109 meters from beak to tail, while a Nova was about 400 meters.
"Prepare a boarding party," Aren ordered. "The vessel is derelict… but keep weapons online and shields up - this could very easily be a trap… Force knows there are plenty of pirates in this area of space."
"I'll lead a party over there," Jaden said, nodding. "It almost looks Hapan… but I don't think it is."
"My thoughts exactly," Aren said, nodding. "Tread carefully, ad'ika."
"Don't I always, buir?" Jaden said with a smirk before he left the bridge, leaving a chuckling Aren as he sat back down.
Boarding the ship was simple. There was a hole in the side, after all.
"No atmosphere. Not even ray shields to keep the air in." One of the fellow boarding party members said as their Kom'rk-class Fighter/Transport possitioned itself next to the hull breach. "How did they fly through space, clearly fighting, if they didn't have basic safety features?"
Jaden stepped into the wreck, finding himself face to face with a dead body. It was near-human, if not for the ridges on his forehead and the body armor. "What the hell is this thing?" Jaden muttered, as he inspected the corpse.
"It's not a species from the Republic, I know that much," one of the other Mandalorians said. "Never seen that type of armor, either… "
Jaden saw what looked like a weapon strapped to the corpse's side - a pistol-like weapon, and a knife as well. He picked up the knife, inspecting it. It appeared to have a long single blade, joined by two additional blades on either side in a V format. "Nasty-looking knife though…" He muttered as he returned the weapon to its holster, which he proceeded to strap onto his own belt. "Come on, we need to get deeper into this ship - bridge must be up to the front. Beviin - you take Ka'ra and Runi to the rear, their engineering should be that way. See if you can find out how this things engines work, maybe get it to working order."
"Elek Alore," Beviin said nodding, as he and two other Mandalorians went down one passage, while Jaden lead the other two down the second passage.
They made their way to the 'head' section, finding the crew dead at their posts, with only one console still active. Jaden pressed a few keys, then was surprised to hear a buzz from the aft hatch. "The hell was that?" One of the Mandalorians shoted.
"Ray shield, maybe?" Jaden suggested, before they began hearing words over their radios. The language was guttural, but after a minute, shifted into Basic. "-power failed two days ago, but we have activated the emergency cell to keep the forcefield active." A male voice said, "I have elected to deactivate the force field, to spare us from dishonorably starving to death. These are the final worlds of To'var, son of Ga'lag, commander of the Imperial Klingon vessel B'mak." The sound of air rushing out was heard, then… silence.
"They killed themselves… they must've been a long way from home," Jaden said, looking at the dead corpse of the Captain. Judging from what they have thus far observed, it seemed whoever these aliens, these… Klingons, they were a warrior people… maybe not too different from Mandalorians. And each and every one of them died at their posts, something Jaden - and his Father - could respect.
"Rest easy, To'var, son of Ga'lag," Jaden said to the corpse. "Your story won't be forgotten…" he turned to one of the Mandalorians. "Try to start translating the language here, its' obvious they have a translator device, we may be able to use the translator on the Prudii Tracyn to figure out what half of these symbols mean, and maybe get this ship working. And see if you can get a galaxy map from the ship's memory - find out where these guys were from. At the very least, we should give the bodies of the crew back to their people for proper burial."
"I'll try to get that powercell working on the computer," the engineer of the team said. "If this thing has a working universal translator, all we have to do is tell it our language and it'll do the work for us. We might be able to repair this thing and get it to fly."
"Do it," Jaden said nodding, as he pressed his helmet's comm. "Jaden to Prudii Tracyn, we've found the bridge. We may be able to get this ship back in working order. Crew is long dead though."
"Understood," Aren said. "Any hints to their origins?"
"Whoever these guys are, they aren't from the known galaxy," Jaden said. "We managed to access a piece of the logs, the vessel is called the B'mak, from the Klingon Empire."
"Never heard of 'em," Aren said. "But I'm sending over more engineers to help you get her space worthy again… we could always use a new ship, and who knows what kind of technology could be under the hood of that thing."
"My thoughts exactly," Jaden said, nodding. "We're working on getting our translator software to work with the ships. If it has a universal translator we should be able to actually read some of these consoles here."
"Well, we should be worried about managing to fly that little bat-falcon," Aren said. "find out everything you can."
The radio crackled for a second. "Sir, we've got limited main power restored," Beviin said. "And there's something called a 'transporter' if the translator's working properly."
Jaden rose an eyebrow before he shrugged. "See what it does." He said.
"Got it. Hang on." Jaden assumed this transporter was a cargo loader and that someone was being an idiot. The second he was enveloped in red light and deposited back on the Prudii Traycyn's bridge, that thought vanished.
Jaden blinked, as he looked around, "WHAT THE FUCK?!" He shouted, surprising everyone on the bridge both by his shout and his sudden appearance.
"Sir? What happened?" Beviin asked. "Are you alright?"
"I'M ON THE TRAYCYN'S BRIDGE!" Jaden shouted, "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?!"
"…By the mask of Mandalore." Beviin muttered, "It's a teleporter system! Now I know why it's called a transporter. Sir, I think I'm locked onto you. I'm activating it again."
"Don't you dare-" Jaden began to growl before Red light surrounded him again, and he reappeared on board the B'mak, this time on some sort of pad in front of the jackass who… beamed him from one ship to the other and back again.
"-do that again!" Jaden finished before he blinked. "GODDAMNIT BEVIIN!" He shouted.
"Sorry sir," Beviin muttered. "But… geez, teleporting technology? Who knows what else these guys could have! We may have just stumbled across a technological treasure trove!"
Jaden sighed. "Just make sure what the stuff is before you go pressing buttons," he said. "Force knows I don't want to get teleported inside out."
Beviin nodded. "I'll read through the manual once it's translated," He said. "What else does this ship have hidden inside her?"
The lights then turned on, and hissing was heard. "Looks like we've got life support back online." Jaden muttered.
"Traycyn to boarding team: the B'mak just vanished! Do you read us?!" Aren shouted on the comm, before both Mandalorians looked at one another.
"A cloaking device that doesn't jam our communications," Jaden muttered. "Holy-fucking-shit…" he slowly began to grin behind his mask. "I'm beginning to love this ship. B'mak to Traycyn - we're alright… this ship's got a stealth system it seems…all I have to say… is that MandalMotors and MandalHypernautics is going to go apeshit over this thing."
Aren let out a sigh over the comms. "Alright… once you figure out how to use its Hyperdrive or whatever it uses for FTL, we'll have the Traycyn and B'mak head to Manda'yaim together, but I want your ship to trail back a bit - we still don't know the limits of that technology, I won't risk it in a scenario where it's very possible we'll be going into combat."
"Understood, Mandalore." Jaden said, "Jaden out." With that Jaden turned off the comm. "Beviin, work with the engineering teams to get this ship working ASAP, I want you to know how this ship works from the cloaking and transporter to the damn refreshers. I want to know its strengths and its limits."
"I can tell you one limit," Beviin said. "It doesn't have a hyperdrive."
"What?" Jaden asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It uses something called a warp drive," Beviin said. "It's slower, but more flexible, tactically. We can use it in battle to escape, even with a grav well generator. And if the translation from this 'English' is close to our language as it seems to be, we can make a hyperdrive in less than ten seconds."
"What?" Jaden asked, "How? It takes days to make a hyperdrive from scratch!"
"Sir, the technology of this thing is amazing," Beviin said, "It has something called Replicators… it can just spawn out and recycle food and parts so long as we specify what it is we need, all we need to do is program it with the specs of one of our Hyperdrives, and it can make one. All we would have to do is install it - which is childs play for any engineer. Granted it seems materials spawned is slightly inferior to the real deal, but it will get us where we need to go, and keep us supplied well into the future."
Jaden's eyes were wide, before he slowly began to smirk behind the helmet once more. This was the technology that the Mandalorian people needed to regain the strength they needed to stand on their own two feet once more, without needing help from the Republic of CIS. To ensure they can defend themselves, and avoid another event like the Mandalorian Excision hundreds of years ago.
"Today… is a good day to be a Mandalorian." Jaden said with a chuckle. "Whoever these Klingons are… if we ever meet them, we need to thank them for this invaluable gift. From what I've heard and seen so far… there may be much we have in common."
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-F
"Sir, contact on sensors!" Tem shouted. "Klingon battlecruiser, D7X-Class!"
Shon shook his head. A D7 was no match for the Enterprise. "Lock phasers, try to make them break off and stand down." He said.
"Sir, they're targeting one of the Republic frigates." Tem said, "And if the scans are correct, they don't stand a chance."
"What?!" Tarkin shouted, "That ship is tiny compared to one of our Acclamators! We'll snap it in half-"
"If you can hit it." Shon said. "Your ships lack maneuverability, which that D7 has in spades."
"They don't need to be maneuverable to hit a target." Tarkin said, as he turned to one of the troopers. "Send a message to the fleet - lock Turbolasers and Ion Cannons and blast that starship into galactic dust!"
The Clone nodded, using his helmet's comm to inform the Corusca to engage. The Venator and its Acclamator escorts quickly responded as their Turbolasers and Ion Cannons activated, and opened fire on the D7X, leading their shots ahead of the Klingon vessel in order to hit it in large salvo's of weapons fire.
The D7X was surprisingly maneuverable though, as it did its best to weave through a majority of the shots. But multiple shots did impact against its shields, draining them more and more after each successful shot.
"Klingon vessel's shields are at 87%." Kyona reported, "But they're getting into the frigate's rear arc, and they don't have any weapons in that area." That would be the ship's doom. The Klingon fired a full volley of photon torpedoes and disruptor cannon bolts, the former of which impacted the bridge and engines. The torpedoes did not destroy the ship, but they would be its' death knell.
"The reactor is beginning to go critical," Tem said.
"Beam whoever we can off that ship!" Shon shouted.
"It's too late, sir," The Acclamator exploded, and the D7 turned its' attention on the second frigate.
"Captain, destroy that ship!" Tarkin shouted.
"What are your ships made of, Admiral?!" Shon snapped back. "Can they withstand teratons of explosive force?"
"If I destroy that ship, the warp core will cause an explosion that can destroy a large moon! Your ships won't survive!"
Tarkin growled a bit "Order the Corusca and the remaining escort to fall back," he told the clone, "If what the Captain says is true, it must be done if we're going to defeat that thing!"
"Sir, another contact on sensors: Sovereign-Class!" Kyona reported, "It's the Ra-Cailum!" Two phaser beams impacted the D7, forcing the ship to back off. "Ra-Cailum to Enterprise: we'll take care of your Klingon." The D7 turned to face the Ra-Cailum, but a full volley of quantum torpedoes struck the bridge and engineering sections, and the ship exploded 300,000 kilometers from both Republic ships, before the warp core of the vessel detonated as well, causing a secondary - and even more massive explosion.
Tarkin was actually at a loss for words - what in the hell were they using to power their starships if their power sources could cause such massive explosions?
"We're being hailed by another Klingon ship: Vor'cha-Class."
"What? Put them through."
A Klingon appeared on screen. "Captain Shon, it is an honor." The Klingon said. "I apologize for the actions of that fool. This war is producing more glory-seeking fools then we can handle."
"We understand, Captain." Shon said with a sigh. "Though that fool certainly made a mess over here."
"I have a debt to repay to you, then, Captain." H'jach said. "I assume that you will be speaking with the heads of the people whose ship was destroyed."
"We were planning on it from the beginning."
"Then I will join you on that journey," The Klingon said. "Perhaps this will bring an end to this ridiculous war."
"Let us hope so." Shon said with a sigh, "We will send you the star charts we've gotten from the Republic, we will be heading towards their capital soon."
"Sir, their capital is over 70000 lightyears away. It will take us decades to get there."
Shon chuckled. "Admiral, I hope you don't mind that I… acquire a few things from your ship?"
"Scans of whatever FTL drive you use."
Ahsoka laid in her quarters, waiting for Tarkin to get the hell off the ship. The enterprise was a ship literally not of this universe, but it felt like home.
"It was your destiny to be here, young one." A voice said, causing Ahsoka to jump in surprise, as she saw who looked to be a ghostly figure standing before her.
"Wait…" Ahsoka muttered, as she recognized the figure from the Jedi Temple's records. "You're… Qui-gon Jinn, Obi-wan's master?"
"Yes, young Ahsoka." Qui-gon said nodding, "Your destiny was to be taken from the Jedi by actions out of your control. your place is here. And I have someone who can help you understand."
Another spirit appeared, wearing a red uniform… with the delta arrow emblem on a golden badge. "That would be me." The man said, "My name's James Kirk. I was a Starfleet officer in life. In fact, I once commanded the Enterprise. You can call me Jim."
Ahsoka blinked. "Okay… Jim," she said. "So… you can explain to me what is going on here?"
"Well, I'm no expert on the Force, but I know it's been trying to get you here for a LONG time," Jim said. "The Enterprise is more than a ship: it has a soul. Every Enterprise is a legend in its' own way, and this one is no exception. And your destiny lays on this ship. And in Starfleet."
"My destiny is… here?" Ahsoka asked with a raised eyebrow. "Jim, I barely know who these people are, heck I barely know who you are!"
"Yet you feel like you were meant to be here all your life." Jim said. "You feel more at home here then at the Jedi Temple, don't you?"
Ahsoka was silent for a few moments… now that she thought about it, she did feel a bit more welcomed here, onboard the Enterprise than she ever did at the Jedi temple. The people here didn't need to hide their emotions, not bound by a code over thousands of years old, just a set of simple, easy to follow rules - while sometimes strict - were reasonable.
"Maybe…" Ahsoka muttered, "But… would they accept me?"
"Ahsoka, they don't care if you're not human." Jim said with a reassuring smile. "There are hundreds of races in the Federation: no one cares if they're different if their souls are the same. There was a man from a world called Vulcan. His name was Spock. He was my friend, and dare I say the other half of my soul. And the only thing we shared was being citizens of the Federation. We're all equals."
"I know, but…" she said, "They barely know anything about me, let alone this galaxy…" she then sighed "As far as I know, Tarkin could be telling them right now that I'm nothing but trouble…"
Jim shook his incorporeal head. "Starfleet officers have a duty to the truth. Besides, I think that Tarkin will be incapable of doing anything to harm you."
"Who did you pick up from the transport?" Tarkin asked, as curiosity finally got the better of him.
"A young woman named Ahsoka Tano. Why?"
Tarkin's eyes narrowed slightly at the mention of the former Jedi. "Ah… it may be best, Captain, that you send… Miss Tano away as soon as possible."
Shon rose an eyebrow. "And why would I do that?" He asked.
"Ahsoka was only just recently tried for treason and murder in the Republic," Tarkin said. "While she was found not guilty, she resisted arrest, and escaped republic imprisonment. She was also exiled from the Jedi Order - believe me Captain, she is more trouble than she's worth."
Shon did not look amused. "If she was innocent, there is no problem," he said. "Besides, Admiral, I will need to talk to her personally. If she has perfectly good reasons and is telling the truth, I see no problem for her continued presence on the Enterprise."
"I am merely warning you Captain." Tarkin said, "That girl is nothing but trouble to those around her."
"Then I will tell you something." Shon said, "For Starfleet, risk is our business."
The door to the bridge opened, and in came a man wearing another Starfleet uniform with the same amount of rank pins as Shon, only he was human. "Captain Shon."
"Ah, Captain Pinkerton," Shon said nodding. "Welcome on board the Enterprise."
Tarkin blinked. "Was there a shuttle from the other starship that docked when I wasn't looking?" He asked.
"I beamed over," Ron said, glancing at the Andorian Captain. "Did you not tell them, Va'kel? I'm shocked."
"I didn't exactly have the time, and they don't seem to have transporters," Shon retorted.
"Excuse me, but I'm feeling rather confused," Tarkin said. "What are-"
Pinkerton paused for a second before reciting something. "Transporters are matter-to-energy transmitters that send an object or person from one place to another," he said.
Tarkin had an incredious look on his face after he said that "You mean to tell me your people have developed teleportation technology?" he asked. "Impossible!"
He tapped his commbadge. "Riz?"
"Can you please beam over to the Enterprise bridge?"
"On my way." Seconds later, a column of light signaled the arrival of a woman wearing the same uniform as Ron, with blonde hair tied behind her head. "Admiral, my sister, Lieutenant Commander Riza Pinkerton. Riz, Admiral 'impossible' Tarkin."
Tarkin's eyes were wide looking at Riza - as she had successfully teleported from one ship to another, a technology many believed to be utterly impossible. "What… the… fuck… " the Admiral muttered under his breath.
"We've had this for over 250 years," Ron said shrugging. "It's a fact of life, just like enhanced matter/antimatter reactors, replicators and such."
'Just who ARE these people?!' Tarkin thought, as he began thinking he was going to lose it.
And to make matters worse, the turbolift doors opened, and out stepped Ahsoka Tano herself. "Captain Shon?" she asked, before her eyes fell on Tarkin, as they quickly narrowed. "Tarkin."
"Miss Tano…" Tarkin growled out.
"Wow, you two REALLY hate one another." Ron said, glancing inbetween them. "Maybe I can set up an Ushaan for you: let you duke it out?"
"Don't know what that is, but no thanks," Ahsoka said, still glaring at Tarkin "And I'm not here for you Tarkin." She finally broke the staring match she was having with him before turning to Captain Shon. "Captain Shon… I would like to ask you for a favor."
"What is it, Miss Tano?" Shon asked.
Ahsoka let out a short sigh before she spoke. "I… I know this is hard for you to understand, but the will of the Force led me to this place," she said. "I feel as though my destiny lays here, on the Enterprise. I'd like permission to stay on board."
Tarkin would have had steam coming out of his ears had it been possible. "Captain, I must protest-" he began to say, before Ron cut him off.
"Starfleet ship, Admiral," he said. "It's not up to you if she stays." Ron turned to Shon. "Well, Va'kel? What's your thought on it?"
The Andorian shook his head. "If she wants to stay, she'll need to know how things work on a Federation starship," he said. "If you're willing, you're welcome to stay on the Enterprise."
Ahsoka smiled, nodding. "Thank you, Captain," she said. "You have no idea how much this means to me, you won't regret this. "
"Captain, she will bring nothing but ruin to you and your ship!"
"You don't like her, Tarky boy, that's fine," Ron said. "You're an officer of your military, not a political official: you don't have the clout to demand her arrest. If your nation wants to protest, they can send a government official to do it."
Tarkin growled before resigning himself to it. "She's your problem now," he conceded. "I assume that your engineers can build the hyperdrives using our blueprints?"
"We can one-up that and make them in seconds."
Yoda, grand master of the Jedi Order, opened his eyes. The Force was telling him that a friend would be coming to Coruscant. "Master Yoda?" He glanced at Obi-wan Kenobi, who, for once, was not on the front lines of this war. "Coming, something is. Will change our destinies, it will."
"I fail to understand how, Master."
"See in time, you will."
The Victory I-Class star destroyer Renown was one of the few ships guarding Coruscant, seeing as the war was light years away. They did not expect the arrival of a fleet of ships escorted by the Corusca and the Hoth.
Before however the Captain could begin scrambling out orders, a voice spoke on the open comm. "This is Admiral Tarkin, onboard the Republic Starship Corusca to the Core defense fleet." Tarkin said, "There is no need to panic - my… guests are not hostile. Inform the chancellor that we are in the middle of a first contact scenario."
"Renown confirms, Admiral. We'll… inform the Chancellor."
As soon as the word was sent, Chancellor Palpatine sent Obi-wan and Anakin Skywalker, as well as a squad of clones and Senator Padme Amidala to meet with these… Federation personnel. "What do we know about these ships, General?" Captain Rex asked.
"Only that they're highly advanced and not to be trifled with," Obi-wan said. "We're going to be landing on the largest ship, the Enterprise."
"That one that looks like a massive bird seems to be bigger," Commander Cody mused.
"That one's the RRW Lleiset, not the Enterprise," Obi-wan said. The short range shuttle headed directly for the elegant looking Enterprise, flanked by a smaller ship of similar design.
"They look almost Nubian in design," Padme muttered.
"From Tarkin's report, they have more than enough firepower to sink an Acclamator, or CIS Dreadnoughts," Anakin said, nodding. "We really could use their help against the Seps."
"This is the Enterprise to Republic shuttle. You are cleared to land in the main shuttlebay."
"This is Anakin Skywalker to the Enterprise: confirmed." Anakin said. "We are on approach."
"Just don't crash this time." Padme commented, causing Anakin to roll his eyes.
The shuttle flew toward the bay doors, which were open. Anakin blinked at seeing another Rigger freighter in the shuttlebay, then glared at Obi-Wan.
"You brought the Twilight to Mandalore, and Maul got it destroyed." He said, "I'm still not too happy about that."
"Oh, and what was I supposed to do? Let myself get captured?!" Obi-wan retorted. "Blame Maul for shooting it down, not me!"
"I know that. Still not happy," Anakin shot back.
"Master Jedi, should we focus on meeting with our new friends?" Padme asked.
Obi-wan was grateful for that, at least. "Thank you, Senator." He said, "You're quite right. Let's go meet the captain."
Shon wore his dress uniform, and was standing beside Ahsoka, who wore a cleaned copy of her usual attire. "Nervous?" he asked.
"The last time I was on Coruscant, Captain, everyone and thing was trying to kill me," Ahsoka said.
Shon chuckled. "That's a story you're going to need to tell me."
The doors to the hangar opened, revealing her old master, his master, and Padme Amidala, drawing very surprised looks from both Ahsoka, and the three aforementioned people.
"S-Snips?" Anakin asked in surprise.
"Mas-" Ahsoka began to say, but bit her tongue, since she couldn't call Anakin her master anymore. "Anakin… "
Shon blinked, glancing between the two. "I assume you know one another?" he asked.
"Ahsoka… was once my apprentice," Anakin said with a sigh. "But a lot of stupid things forced her from the Jedi Order…"
The Captain sighed before he decided to change the subject. "Captain Va'kel Shon. you are?"
"Anakin Skywalker," he said. "This is Obi-wan Kenobi and Senator Padme Amidala. Welcome to Coruscant."
"Glad to be here, Mr. Skywalker," Shon said. "Welcome onboard the Enterprise, please follow me - I would rather not want to keep the Klingon representatives waiting."
Shon led them through the halls of the Odyssey-Class ship, taking them towards the conference room. "The Enterprise is the seventh ship to bear the name in Starfleet's history," Shon said, giving them a bit of history. "Ninth, if you count the Terran space shuttle, and the NX-01, but both of those were pre-Federation, so we generally don't."
"That's a lot of ships to bear the name." Obi-wan said.
"To quote Admiral Nakamura, every Enterprise has been a legend," Shon said. "The first Federation starship was the NCC-1701, back in 2245. She didn't become a legend until James Kirk's five-year mission. After her destruction, they even renamed one of her sisters Enterprise, with the same registry: NCC-1701-A. Every Enterprise has borne that registry, from A to E. And this is the most recent: NCC-1701-F."
"It certainly looks that you've come a long way, and in such short time as well," Padme said, having already read up a bit on the Federation's history during their flight. "You've only been a space faring species for a few centuries, yet you've accomplished so much in that time."
"Actually, that only applies to humanity," Shon said. "Andorians, Vulcans and a number of races have been spacefaring for thousands of years. But they were responsible for the formation of the Federation. In fact, factions from multiple timelines in the future tried to stop the formation of the Federation a number of times."
"Wait, you're saying you have time travel, too?" Anakin asked,"That's impossible."
"Nah, just really tricky," said a passing crewman. "True, we don't have the technology to do it on command, yet, but if you know all the proper variables, slingshotting around a star will do the trick just fine. Hell, Kirk used it to bring back a pair of sperm whales - which were extinct by our time."
"Saved Earth in the process," Shon picked up where the crewman left off. "Time travel's basically a fact of life that we try to avoid. It doesn't always work." They arrived in the conference room, and they were surprised to see Ron and several members of his senior staff, as well as the Klingons and Romulans, in the room.
"Captain," Ron said, nodding at Shon. Anakin and Obi-wan focused on the man, but… they got very little. "Gentlemen. Stay out of my head."
"You could sense us?" Obi-wan asked in surprise, he didn't feel or seem like a force sensitive.
"Most of my crew are telepathic, and I've learned how to feel when someone's in my head," Ron said. "Half my brain is also a positronic computer, thanks to a certain bunch of assholes."
"I believe that is a story for another time, Mr…" Padme said.
"Ronald Pinkerton, captain of the USS Ra-Cailum," Ron said, nodding as he gestured to the other two representatives in the room. "Commander Tiaru Jarok, commander of the Romulan Republic Warbird Lleiset, and senior officers, as well as Captain H'jach of the Imperial Klingon Starship Spearpoint." Both commanders nodded to identify themselves. "We should be thankful for this, Senator, because this might be the end of a pointless little conflict in our universe."
"We are glad to help," Padme said, nodding. "I can only hope that perhaps this will end our own conflict as well - the Clone Wars have been going on long enough as is."
A map appeared on one of the monitors. "The Federation and the Klingon Empire have been in a state of war for almost five years now," Shon said. "The Romulan Republic, which was formed no less than five months ago, has been doing its' damnedest to end the war as quickly as it can by allying with both sides. That, combined with this, may force Chancellor J'mpok of the Klingon High council to the negotiating table."
"The rift is located inside Republic borders, but it is close enough to Federation and Klingon space to permit its' use by all sides," Tiaru said. "With the possibility of exploring a whole new universe, we hope this will be trump card we all need to end this war before it gets out of hand."
"Hopefully, the same will be for our side," Padme said. "The Clone Wars have been going on for nearly four years now, but it doesn't look like it will be ending anytime soon… every attempt at peace with the Separatists we've attempted has ended with failure time and time again."
"Maybe the fact that we crippled three of their ships and took no damage will make them talk." Shon said.
"Doubtful, Captain. but we'll bring the Federation Diplomatic Corps in and try to deal with them. There is no one better to resolving disputes. So, should we contact whoever is in charge of the Confederacy?"
"That would be Count Dooku, and the Separatist Council," Padme said. "Though getting them to cooperate will be very… difficult. The CIS council is mostly ruled by the Trade Federation, Techno Union, Banking Clan, and other corporate entities who make fortunes building and selling their droid armies and fleets to the CIS cause. "
THAT made them all sickened. "Corporates," Ron muttered. "May all that is holy bless the Federation that we have a moneyless economy. No way for greedy fucks to take control of anything."
"You're going to have to tell us how that works later." Padme said. The comm beeped. "Captain, message from the Raging Tempest relayed via the local communications network." Tem said. "Chancellor J'mpok wants to talk about ending the war."
"It looks like our gamble is about to pay off," Shon said. "Let the Tempest know we've received their message, and we'll be over there once we are done here. "
Padme smiled. "At least one thing is going right." She said. "Perhaps I can introduce you to Chancellor Palpatine?"
"Of course." Shon said, "Captain Pinkerton, could you head back to the rift?"
"Where IS the rift, I might ask?" Obi-wan asked.
Ron pressed a button, displaying the location. "That's less than a parsec from Naboo!" Padme shouted in shock, a bit worried about her homeworld now.
"I don't care where it is, so long as the rift is stable," Ron said. "I'll head back to my ship, and we'll bring back Chancellor War is Life." He stood up, followed by members of his senior staff. "We'll be back in less than a day."
"How?" Anakin asked. "Class-1 hyperdrives aren't THAT fast."
"Class-1?" Ron asked with a shrug. "Meh. Sonja's got that thing up or down a few points."
USS Raging Tempest
Takeshi looked out the viewscreen, seeing the rift before him, along with the various ships that had formed up around it.
In addition to his ship and the Khepesh, several other ships had joined them around the rift - an Oracle-Class Deep Space Science Vessel was currently conducting scans of the rift itself, and would eventually head over to the other side to begin surveying the galaxy, several Cruisers and Escorts were in formation, as well, along with Romulan Warbirds of various classes, and even some Klingon Koro't'ingas, Vor'chas, and Negh'Vars.
But the ship that had just arrived, carrying Chancellor J'mpok himself, dwarfed just about every other ship there - the Klingons' Flagship, their equivalent to the Enterprise, the IKS Bortasqu'.
"I was expecting Captain Shon to be here, Yamato."
"Captain Pinkerton will be here in a few hours, and he'll gladly give you the blueprints to a device that will allow you to travel in the other universe without any problems," Takeshi informed.
J'mpok closed in on the screen. "If you are lying, I will destroy that PATHETIC ship of yours. Bortasqu' out." The screen returned the sight of what was outside the ship/.
Takeshi sighed. "Rina, latest update from Ron?" he asked.
"ETA 2 hours and five minutes," Rina replied. "Sir, I doubt J'mpok will stay complacent for more than a few minutes. We know he killed Martok in a private duel under questionable circumstances."
"Sir, activity from the rift. New contact: it's the Ra-Cailum," Kim reported.
"They're early," replied a red-headed, blue-eyed woman standing next to Takeshi's console.
"True, but I consider that a good thing, Linda," Takeshi said to her. "Especially considering J'mpok's presence and reputation."
"Ra-Cailum to Bortasqu'." A number of Klingon words flew out from the mouth of the Ra-Cailum's CO, and Brok'tan winced at all of them. "He is… insulting J'mpok," he said.
"That's bad," Rina said, before a hearty laugh was heard on the other end. "I doubted Starfleet had anyone with a spine of tritanium! Yours is neutronium for saying that to the leader of the Empire!"
"Shut up, J'mpok. We have a war to end."
Takeshi turned to Brok'tan. "I know I probably shouldn't ask this, but I'm morbidly curious - what exactly did he say?"
"He called J'mpok the lord of Gre'thor and the bitch of Fek'lhr, as well as several curses that are not to be repeated in good company."
Takeshi winced. "That sounds… particularly nasty," he remarked.
"Captain, I assume you have the blueprints for some device of some kind?"
"It's called a hyperdrive. We've modified the specs to increase its' speed. Think of it like a quantum slipstream drive on steroids that can work with a QSD to increase its' speed."
"Something we barely survived, thank you very much!"
"There's a few problems we have to work on, but we can do them together, or you can continue to be a prideful fool and cut yourself out of this."
Takeshi blinked. That Hyperdrive sounded rather useful.
"Interesting. I will see you soon above one of the worlds of this new universe."
The reply to J'mpok was in Klingon, and once more, it was not translated.
"What'd he say?"
"'Prove to those that are Klingon by blood that you are klingon in heart', as well as a large number of insults to J'mpok's family name."
"Captain Pinkerton has told J'mpok that the Chancellor is not Klingon."
Takeshi winced. "The Chancellor said Ron had a spine of neutronium," he remarked. "I think he's got balls of neutronium, too, for insulting like that."
On the other side
"Over 160 member worlds, dozens of races from outside the Federation serving in Starfleet, and your only goal is knowledge of the universe?" Padme asked, sounding both surprised and impressed by the basic summary of the Federation's mission.
"Yes," Shon said, nodding. "In fact, the Enterprise's continuing mission is to explore strange new life forms and civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before. While we do have MACO, Starfleet is officially for exploration, research and diplomacy."
"Your ships are also spacefaring death, Captain," Obi-wan said. "Four CIS frigates crippled from warning shots."
"Master Kenobi, our policy is not to make the first move," Shon said. "We gave them ample opportunity to stand down and walk away. They refused."
Obi-wan and Anakin shared a look before the latter spoke up. "Sounds like a very… Jedi way of operating," Anakin said, shrugging.
"I keep hearing that term - exactly what is a Jedi?" the Romulan representative asked.
"A Jedi is a user of the Force, a follower of the way of the light side of the Force," Obi-wan elaborated. "For over a thousand generations, the Jedi have defended the Republic from countless threats. We are scholars, healers, and diplomats, and warriors when the need arises."
"Interesting…" The Romulan said. "Though what sets you apart from anyone else in the galaxy? And what is this 'Force'?"
"The Force is an energy field which combines the universe - surrounds us, penetrates us," Obi-wan said. "Jedi such as myself and Anakin are sensitive to the Force - allowing us to perform many abilities including telekinesis, psychic abilities, and healing otherwise fatal wounds."
"Sounds interesting," Shon said. "Perhaps-"
"Bridge to Captain."
"Sir, message from the Ra-Cailum: Chancellor J'mpok is on his way on board the Bortasqu'."
"Oh, that's great."
"I assume we will soon be meeting the leader of your galaxy's equivalent to Mandalorians?" Obi-wan asked, getting a slightly interested look from H'jach.
"Mandalorians?" he asked, sounding Intrigued.
"Yes. They were, and sort of are, warriors from the Mandalore system," Obi-wan said. "Thousands of years ago, they nearly conquered known space. When the Republic decided to make the Mandalorians stop being a threat, they bombed Mandalore into submission. They… did not try again after that. Some are trying to revive the old ways, but they're glory-seeking idiots who cause nothing but destruction and death."
"Much as our warriors have become," H'jach said. "They have forgotten the ways of duty, loyalty and true honor."
"I just hope the new Mandalorians don't fall back too those ways…" Obi-wan said with a sigh "They made so much progress renouncing war, exiling the warrior clans, and becoming pacifist… But with Satine dead, and with Maul and his brother in control with Almec... I don't know what to expect from them next."
"Why did he have to take the Bortasqu'? A Negh'var would have done fine!"
"What's so important about the Bortasqu'?"
Shon looked Anakin in the eye. "The Bortasqu is the counterpart to the Enterprise, both in flagship status and firepower. And they don't have our restrictions. Anyone offends them in any way, J'mpok will destroy them."
"Then let's hope no one offends J'mpok," Padme said. "Last thing we need is a shoot out now of all times."
BGM: Star Trek: Klingon Academy title
The Bortasqu' dropped out of hyperspace, shooting towards Coruscant at flank speed. The bulky superdreadnought was followed by five more ships, and shot past any Republic patrol craft as if they were an insult.
"Klingon vessel Bortasqu', this is the Republic defense fleet: you have clearance to dock at naval yard 4." The RDF operator said, "Setting NAV data now."
"This is Captain Koren of the IKS Bortasqu': we are entering parking orbit. Keep your ships at at least 12000 kellicams away, or we will take their proximity as hostile actions."
There was a short pause before a reply came. "Roger that Bortasqu', we'll keep them away," the operator said. "Welcome to Coruscant."
A mutter of 'what's a kilicam' was heard before the channel closed. Standing behind Koren was J'mpok. The leader of the Klingon people had many things on his mind. Pinkerton's insults were not the words of a Starfleet officer. They were of a warrior criticizing another for dishonorable actions. In the time he spent on the way to Coruscant, J'mpok was forced to look at his actions. Pinkerton was right. The three tenants of the Klingon way were duty, loyalty and honor. In acting before talking to the Federation Council, he had betrayed the Federation, proving he was not loyal to his allies. That same point also proved his failing in duty: he failed to say anything to the Federation Council, instead acting by invading the Gorn Hegemony. And everything after that showed his final failing: he had acted without honor.
'Now we find ourselves in a new universe… ' J'mpok thought to himself as he turned left the bridge of the Bortasqu, heading for his quarters. 'I've made too many mistakes already… I shall not make those same mistakes here as well.'
The moment he entered, he sealed the door. He had to contemplate his failings. If he had failed to the nth degree, he would undergo the hegh'bat to attempt to redeem himself.
"Suicide, even assisted, will not redeem you, J'mpok."
J'mpok spun around, drawing his knife. "Who's there?!" he shouted in Klingon. "Show yourself!"
A blue glow from behind him attracted his attention, but he froze when he saw the face of the intruder. "You have strayed far, but you DO seek redemption, do you not?"
"Kahless..." J'mpok muttered before his eyes narrowed. "Is this another trick? We were once fooled by a clone of Kahless before, it shall not happen again!"
"I am not a clone." Kahless said, "I am not even among the living. I left Sto'vo'kor to wander the plains of existence, and have seen many things in my time. And I have seen your actions. While I am ashamed to see that you have betrayed the Klingon way, you realize that and wish to correct that."
J'mpok was still not entirely convinced the figure before him was Kahless, it was still entirely possible he was a hologram of some sort. "And how do you, Kahless the Unforgettable, suggest I do that?" he asked. "After all of the people - both fellow Klingons, our member races, Gorn, and people of the Federation - have died because of my orders?"
"You cannot change the past, but you can bring the future." Kahless said, "Remember the teachings I left behind. Duty to your fellow warriors, respect for your enemies, loyalty to your allies and honor to guide you."
J'mpok dropped the knife to the deck. "We have strayed far from the path of honor." He muttered. "The way of the warrior was lost to us."
"Not entirely," Kahless said, smiling slightly. "Listen to the news of this galaxy, J'mpok… pay close attention to the people who call themselves Mandalorians. They, too, were great warriors here, but many had lost their path to honor… but that will be subjected to change, and very soon."
Coruscant - Chancellor's office
Sheev Palpatine, Chancellor of the Republic, awaited the arrival of the Starfleet and Klingon representatives, and tried to figure them into his plan to destroy the Jedi. "Chancellor, Captain Shon and Chancellor J'mpok are here, as well as several others." His secretary said.
"Send them in," Palpatine said, nodding, standing up from his chair as the doors to his office opened, as the Klingon Leader and the Federation Captain. "Ah, at last we meet in person," he said. "I have been hearing many stories these last few weeks about your arrival. I am Chancellor Palpatine, head of the Galactic Republic, it is a true honor to meet you."
Shon bowed slightly. "Va'kel Shon of the Federation starship Enterprise," he said. "A pleasure, Chancellor."
"I am J'mpok, son of G'tawn, leader of the Klingon Empire." Both men looked at Palpatine and discovered one thing. The bastard creeped the hell out of them.
"I look forward to great things between both of our great peoples," Palpatine said, smiling. "Perhaps with your help, we can bring some sense to the Separatists, and end this war before it goes on any further."
"The Federation Diplomatic Corps is VERY good at their job." J'mpok said, "Dare I say, they are the greatest diplomats in two universes."
Shon looked at J'mpok in surprise. "Chancellor, that was-"
"Captain, recent events have forced me to look into my soul." J'mpok said, "I realize that we were wrong to not share our information with you regarding the Gorn, but what is done is done."
"Might I ask where Master Kenobi and young Skywalker are, gentlemen?" Palpatine asked. Shon gave him a datapad that was far more compact than any of theirs. "On board the Ra-Cailum, to meet with the Federation Council."He said.
"Ah," Palpatine said, nodding. "I am curious though, what shall be your plan for the Separatists though? All of our attempts to negotiate so much as a cease-fire have ended in failure."
Shon was about to reply, however the comm system next to Palpatine beeped on. "Oh, my apologies - excuse me for a moment." Palpatine said, as he activated the holo-projector. "What is it?"
"Excuse me for interrupting chancellor, but we are picking up a transmission from Mandalore." The Rodian on the holo projector said, as J'mpok rose an eyebrow in interest. "It's being broadcasted across Republic space."
"Put it through."
"People of Mandalore!" Prime Minister Almec said, below him the masses of the people awaited yet another one of his speeches. "As many of you have seen, there was a streak of violence these past few weeks, as those still loyal to the traitor Satine murdered Pre Vizsla, and bought chaos to our capital!"
"I appear for you now, as I broadcast this report across the galaxy!" Almec shouted, "The Traitor Satine is now dead! Killed as she attempted to take over Mandalore, and force us back to our way which nearly had us enslaved by the shadow collective! But we will no longer serve those like Satine, who would see us to ruin! We will not follow or cooperate with those who murdered our Mandalore Vizsla!"
"He's full of himself," Ron muttered, as he and the representatives watched the galactic message from Mandalore. "And you said these guys were once Warriors?"
"The Mandalorians nearly conquered the Republic 4,000 years ago," Obi-wan said. "Their Warriors were, and still are very dangerous."
"Remind me to rip this asshole a new hole if the Republic asks us to do anything," Ron said with a groan. "Oh, there are days I LOATHE the Prime Directive. Can't help those that truly need it unless they ask!"
"We shall defend ourselves from those who still support Satine!" Almec shouted. "We will-" however he was cut off as suddenly three small pillars of red light appeared a short distance behind him, and appearing from those pillars were two men and one woman in Mandalorian Shock-Trooper armor - much to the surprise of those watching.
"What the fuck?!" Was the combined reply from those watching, as before Almec could realize what happened, the tallest man spun him around, and delivered a knock-out punch right into the man's jaw.
"What was that?" Obi-wan shouted.
"THAT, Master Kenobi, was a Klingon transporter," Ron said. "The Empire hasn't sent any more ships into this universe: we have a tachyon detection grid set up to make sure of that."
"A what?" Anakin asked.
"Long story," Ron said. "Basically, it detects cloaked ships, and none have crossed over. So how the fuck did they get their hands on a Klingon warship?"
"Sorry for the interruption, but I honestly couldn't listen to that Chakaar anymore." The man who knocked Almec out said. "I can't stand listening to this man lie to you anymore." He then turned to face the people. "People of Mandalore! My name is Aren Takeo of clan Takeo! Everything Almec has told you is a lie! Satine Kryze did not kill Pre Vizsla! She was still imprisoned during the time of his assassination! The true assassin was the leader of the Shadow Collective himself! The Sith Lord Darth Maul!"
Behind Aren, the image projector behind them switch to that of the Sundarii royal palace, as it clearly showed Maul appearing, challenging Pre to a one-on-one duel, as they all saw the duel take place, and Maul killing Pre with his own Darksaber, causing many gasps of surprise. "Almec is working with Maul! All along! And would have us wage war with the Republic and CIS in a war we are not ready for! While we are still divided and spread across the galaxy!" Aren shouted, before he rose up what looked like an ancient mask. "I come to you today, telling you that it is time for all Mandalorians to be united - for I have found the true Mask of Mandalore! Worn by Mandalore the first, and last worn by Mandalore the Preserver, their blood upon this mask as proof!"
Ron tapped his commbadge. "Pinkerton to bridge," He said.
"Set a course to Mandalore, maximum speed," he said. "Kick in the quantum slipstream and the hyperdrive at the same time."
"Whoa, sir, we barely survived the FIRST time we used it!"
"Just do it, Commander!" Ron shouted.
"Mandalore belongs to the Mandalorians! Never again shall we fall to the same fires that scattered us through the excision!" Aren continued to say. "While Satine was correct, that we should not be raging raiders like in our past, we cannot become the victims like we were when the Collective first attacked us! We shall abide by the Mandalorian Supercommando Codex written by Jaster Mereel! We will no longer be conquerors, we shall be liberators and protectors! And no one shall ever threaten mandalore ever again! I call out to all of the children of Mandalore across the galaxy - anyone who calls themselves a true Mandalorian - it it finally time to come home!"
"Sonja, get us to Mandalore NOW!"
"Sir, we have managed to capture Maul," a Mandalorian said, as Aren sat in the throne room of Sundarii, looking over the tactical readouts of reports of Mandalorian clans one after another complying with his order for their return. "It seemed he was already badly wounded in a past battle however, lightning marks suggest with another Sith. We cannot find the second Sith however. It may be possible the second one attempted to kill him."
"Make sure Maul is locked up - tightly," Aren said. "I want to make sure he'll be as harmless as a Gizka. I want him locked up behind a force cage, containment fields, I want to make sure he can't so much as twitch to use the Force. We're gonna be asking him a lot of questions in the near future." He then glanced at his son. "Did you take care of the schematics?"
"Yes Mandalore, Mandal Hypernautics, MandalMotors, and MandalTech have been given the specs on the B'mak and the weapons we scavenged from the bodies," he said. "They'll begin testing on them soon, and use the tech to improve our own blasters. We're also going through its records, we'll find out all we can from it and wherever it's from."
"Make sure you do," Aren said, nodding. "If these Klingons are still around, the least we can do is return their dead back home." He then stood up. "We will be relocating the capital back to Keldabe in a few days. Maul's supporters are now dead, and Almec is back in prison where he belongs… we must now begin rebuilding all that was lost to us. We need to be ready - the CIS or Republic may try to make a move, and I refuse to watch Mandalore burn again."
"Mandalore, the B'mak is reporting that a ship is entering the system," another Mandalorian said. "It's not Republic or CIS."
"Tell them to stay under cloak and try to ID them."
The B'mak remained under cloak as a young woman sat in the command chair of the vessel. "It's not in any Republic or CIS files…" she mused. "Try to compare it to ships the B'mak had in its records - just in case."
"Ma'am, it seems the vessel is a 'Federation' vessel," one of the operators said. "Data suggests it is a Sovereign-class Starship - she's big and she's mean."
"Define 'mean'," she asked.
"That ship outguns us fifty to one, plus-"
"Klingon vessel, this is the Federation Starship Ra-Cailum. I know you're there, so you have two choices: decloak and we talk about this peacefully, or I MAKE you decloak and transport the lot of you to my brig and call in the Klingons to take their ship back. your choice."
"-And his sensors can see us." The operator said.
The woman sighed, "Mand'alor, the ship is a Federation starship from the records - it seems their sensors can spot us, and they are asking for us to decloak. Orders?"
"Decloak and hail them," Aren said on the comm. "No need to fight a battle we can't win when we could end this peacefully. Don't do anything rash up there, Amy."
Amy nodded as she hit the hailing frequency, "This is the Mandalorian Bird of Prey B'mak, we read you Ra-Cailum." She said as their vessel decloaked. "We're not looking for a fight here - welcome too Mandalore."
"B'mak, this is Captain Pinkerton of the Ra-Cailum. I'm going to have to request that you transport back to the surface before the Klingons show up and demand their ship back. By force. BIG mistake doing that in front of a live camera, dumbass."
"So, these Klingons are still alive today?" Aren said, as his voice was patched through. "This is Mand'alor the Redeemer, if the Klingons wish to have their ship back, they are more than welcome to take it - along with the bodies of its former crew we found onboard."
A sigh was heard. "Mandalore, I'd like to speak with you in person. Give me your coordinates, and I'll transport you on board the Ra-Cailum. No harm will come to you, at least as long as you don't try anything… rash. We've heard of what you do when you think you're being insulted."
"I am not interested in going to war with your Federation, Captain," Aren said. "I shall send you mine and my son's coordinate, he goes where I go."
"Understood, Mandalore. We await your arrival."
"Mandalore, this has to be a trap."
"I doubt it," Aren said as he and Jaden awaited to be transported. "From what the files on the B'mak said, the Federation tries its best to promote peace, and avoid war through negotiations and diplomacy. They won't strike so long as we do not provoke them. The last thing we need now is a war with a faction like Starfleet."
"I know…" Jaden said with a sigh. "I'd rather like to keep the B'mak if possible… I was really starting to like her."
"We have all of its data, as well as data from its memory banks on other starships and technology," Aren said. "Not to mention the individual weapons we found onboard as well - losing the B'mak would not be that bad now."
"Ra-Cailum to Mandalore: we're locked onto you. Energizing." Blue-white columns of light surrounded Aren and Jaden, and they reappeared in a cleaner, more streamlined transporter room in front of a pretty-looking blonde woman in a black, gray and red uniform with two rank pins and a delta-arrow badge.
"Welcome on board the Ra-Cailum. I'm Lieutenant Riza Pinkerton. For your own protection, as well as ours, we disabled your weapons mid-transport. Don't want to cause any fire-fights."
Jaden rolled his eyes. "Still think this isn't a trap?" he asked.
"We don't need weapons to fight - hopefully we won't be IN a fight," Aren said.
"Only if you start one." Riza said. "Follow me: I'll take you to the bridge. My brother will want to speak with you in person."
"Lead the way, miss Pinkerton." Aren said nodding, as Riza lead them out of the transporter room as they headed towards the bridge.
"So how DID the Federation get here?" Jaden asked, "From the star charts and records on the BoP, we assumed you were from a different galaxy."
"Actually, we're from a different universe." Riza said. "The more technical term is alternate quantum reality, but potato po-tah-to, really."
"Interesting..." Aren said, "I am assuming the Klingons are here as well?"
"Chancellor J'mpok is at Coruscant on a ship that is about five times meaner then the Ra-Cailum." Riza said. "And his disposition is NASTY."
"I assumed that Chancellor Gowron was still in charge," Aren said. "Did something happen?"
"Gowron's dead, and so's his replacement, Martok." Riza said, as they entered the turbolift. "My brother can explain more. Bridge."
The lift took them upwards to the top of the ship, then opened, revealing the bridge. "Message from the Enterprise, Captain: the Bortasqu' is en route. J'mpok is still on the planet, but Captain Koren will take care of securing the B'mak."
"Thank you, Corpie."
"Don't call me that."
Aren looked at Ron, and nodded slightly. He knew a strong warrior when he saw one, and Ron looked to be a very strong warrior. "Captain Pinkerton, I presume?" He asked.
"And you must be Mandalore." Ron said, turning to face him. "Welcome on board the Ra-Cailum. I assume my sister - who didn't get her job through nepotism before you ask - gave you some of the intel you need?"
"She has told me the basics - your from a different galaxy, and Chancellor Gowron has been replaced by a Klingon named J'mpok."
"Different universe, actually," Ron said. "Your ship's database and most of its' technology, including that nifty cloaking device, are four decades out of date. The Klingons and the Federation are currently in a state of war, but thanks to your universe, we're getting closer to ending this ridiculous conflict."
"Very good," Aren said, nodding. "I hope to speak with this new chancellor soon, I believe there is much we can discuss together. Though I must ask why you saw it necessary to come here to Mandalore so... Abruptly. We have no intentions of going to war against either you or the Republc."
"Starfleet General Order One: non-warp capitable societies are not to obtain technology they are not ready for," Ron said. "And judging from your use of the Klingon BoP's transporters and your… reconquest of your planet, the Prime directive applies. Plus, the B'mak belongs to the Klingons, and open salvage does NOT apply to them."
"We used the B'mak's transporter to apprehend a man who was responsible for the murder of children through illegal smuggling operations." Aren said, "He and Maul were fully planning to use Mandalore as a base to conquer other non-republic or CIS worlds. I reclaimed Mandalore from them to avoid us getting into a pointless war we could not win. I have no intentions of going to war with anyone - my only concern is reviving Mandalore's industry, economy, and military which have been long neglected in favor for Satine's overly-pacifist ways that had us nearly conquered by crime lords and slavers."
"I'm glad to hear that." Ron said. "Still, I want to AVOID getting your world involved in a war before it begins. The Klingons will kick your asses if you offend them by not returning their ship to them. Of course, if they say you can have it, I have no issues. but if they say hand it over, I would recommend doing… exactly that."
"I understand that," Aren said nodding. "If they want the B'mak back, they can have it and the bodies of the crew. We have them in stasis to avoid them from further decay, so they could be returned home for the proper Klingon burials they deserve."
"Yeah, Klingon death rituals are more different then you know," Ron said. "Corpie-"
"DON'T call me that."
"It's a pet name, Corpsa. Signal the Bortasqu' that we've made contact and that they are willing to talk for the B'mak. In the meantime, I'm willing to take you both on a tour, as well as our Jedi guests."
"Of course," Aren said, nodding. "I'm curious to see how different this ship is from ours."
"Then follow me."
"Captain, we are dropping out of FTL speed. Mandalore is directly ahead."
"Take us to battle stations!" Koren shouted. "I trust the word of that Federation qoh as far as I could throw him!" The dreadnought dropped out of hyperspace, 5000 kilometers (or 2500 kilicams) from the two ships. "This is Captain Koren of the Imperial Klingon Warship Bortasqu'! surrender the B'mak and the bodies of the crew to us immediately!"
"This is Mand'alor, it is already done," a reply came. "The B'mak is yours, as is its former crew."
"This is Captain Pinkerton of the Ra-Cailum. We're picking up a target approaching via hyperspace. I recommend you stand to yellow alert."
"I will not do as a Federation p'tak asks!"
"Your funeral, Captain."
The science post beeped out a warning. "Captain, Pinkerton is correct! Something approaches!"
"How the hell can you detect something in hyperspace?" Jaden asked.
"VERY easily." Ron said. "Send out a tachyon pulse. I think our friend is cloaked."
Sonja looked at her CO. "How the hell did a cloaked ship get past the net?"
"There are many ways to get past a tachyon detection grid, Soni, but they are VERY hard to pull off."
"I'll send a message for our ships to be prepared for anything." Aren said, "But do we have any idea who is approaching?"
"Pulse has been fired." Ron said, "And… nothing. Oh, shit."
"Only one type of cloaking device isn't affected by a tachyon particle burst. And the last time a Sovereign-class ship ran into one, it got ass-raped." Ron said. "Stand to battle stations: there's a Scimitar out there!"
"What's a Scimitar?" Jaden asked.
"It's a Romulan warbird, only type that can both remain cloaked, shielded, and capable of firing weapons," Sonja answered. "Last ship to ever face one was the USS Enterprise-E, and that was thanks to a mixture of luck and the Big E taking a hell of a lot of damage herself."
"Does it have any recorded weaknesses?" Aren asked, knowing that if they were weary of this monster if its out there, so should they.
"Only one that we know of: shooting the thalaron core will destroy the ship." Sonja said. "Problem is, it's internalized."
The Ra-Cailum shuddered from several disruptor impacts. "Corpie, fire phasers, zero-elevation, stand by photon and quantum torpedoes." Ron ordered.
Aren and his son looked at Ron. "QUANTUM torpedoes?"
"The one edge we have," Ron said. "FIRE!"
The Ra-Cailum fires a full spread of Phasers and Torpedoes, firing where the shots just came from and everything around the area. They managed to score a few hits as they could see its shields flare, but it was only temporary before the Scimitar vanished again.
Aren glanced at his Son, who nodded. "Captain, if you would allow it, may my Son use your weapons station?" he asked. "He might be able to score a few more hits."
"I don't see how, but give it a try." Ron said. "Corp, coordinate with the Bortasqu' and B'mak tactical officers in the meantime."
Jaden moved to the weapons station, thankfully they weren't too different from the ones on the B'mak. He removed his helmet, before he closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath. 'Come on, where are you…' he thought to himself.
"How do you expect to hit a thing if your eyes are-" Corpsa began to say, before Jaden's hands flew across the controls as he fired a series of phasers and photon torpedoes in a single direction… and each and every shot hit their mark as they impacted against the Scimitar's shields. As soon as they were in the forward launcher's firing arc, Ron signalled Corpsa to fire quantum torpedoes, knocking out its cloak.
"Bortasqu'. begin your assault!" Ron commanded, "B'mak, pull back and provide support!"
"Not happening, Starfleet! Let's show you what a Klingon can do!"
The B'rel-Class raider closed in on the Scimitar, and Ron face-palmed. "Idiot." The Scimitar began firing at the B'mak, and while the agile bird of prey avoided some of the fire, several disruptor cannon bolts impacted the shields, then impacted the hull, disabling the Klingon-built ship. "Told you to pull back, and what do you do?"
"Captain Pinkerton… if you can take her shields down, we might be able to board her," Aren suggested. "With the B'mak disabled, the Romulans may leave it alone. We beam a team over there, the Scimitar gets close, we beam a team of our best over. Mine, yours and the Klingons."
"And that would include me," Ron said. "Sonja, reconfigure the deflector dish to send out a high-energy resonance pulse."
"What's that going to accomplish, Captain?" Jaden asked, "What the hell does that even mean?"
"Watch and learn." The Ra-cailum's deflector fired out a beam, impacting the shields and destabilizing them. "Bortasqu', focus all fire on her aft shield quadrant!"
The Bortasqu' did as instructed, as it fired all of its weapons at the Romulan warbird, impacting against its shields, further draining them. As this happened, Aren activated his suit comm. "Amy, get Araniik Team ready for deployment," he said. "Tell the Klingons we're going to be boarding the Scimitar, and they're more than free to join us."
"Sonja, you're in command until I get back." Ron said.
"And where do you think you're going?"
"With you, Mand'alore. I know that ship better than anyone, and I can probably take full control of it should the assholes on board decide to do anything that screws your attack teams over."
Aren nodded, agreeing with the sound assessment. "Alright, let's go." He said, grinning a bit. "I'd hate to keep the Romulans waiting."
"Might not be Romulans." Ron said, "There are Remans who use those things, too: they originally designed that thing. I'll go get you something more… shall we say better then the shit you're using."
"You obviously have never seen Mandalorian Shock-Trooper armor in action." Aren said, "We ran tests, Beskar may not be perfect, but it holds out well enough against disruptors. Add that to the new personal energy shields we added… don't judge a book by its cover."
"Wasn't talking about the armor: don't give a fuck about that." Ron said. "I was talking about your weapons. I know you've got Klingon disruptor rifles, but I have better weapons in my armory. Follow me."
Jaden glanced at his father, who shrugged as the two left the bridge and followed Ron towards the armory. "A Gun's a gun, either way," Jaden said. "Though I've been interested to see what a Federation Phaser is like, we've only seen the Klingon reports on the B'mak so far."
They entered the Deck 3 armory, and Ron picked out two rifles that were clearly Federation-designed: one that looked like a conventional rifle, the other having prongs. "Standard type-3 phaser rifle and a type-3B compression rifle. The second one's more for CQC while the other's more adaptable: shotgun, sniper, full-auto assault, etc. Phasers are more of an everyman-weapon while disruptors are designed to brute force their way through their targets."
"Interesting…" Aren said, picking up the phaser rifle. "Similar to a DC-17m, only it doesn't need interchangeable parts."
"I'll take one, but I'll keep my own weapons with me," Jaden said, picking up a Phaser Rifle.
"There's a few disruptors in there if you want to get your hands on them. As soon as you're done, we'll head to transporter room 4." Ron picked up a belt before fastening it to his waist and pressing a button to activate it. "Here's hoping I don't need to resort to my… other devices."
"So do we," Aren said, as he and Jaden finished suiting up. "Alright, let's go."
The crew were, predictably, Romulans, and while the Klingons were better warriors, the Romulan bastards had the advantage of knowing the ship better than the Klingons. Even the more seasoned Mandalorians were having trouble with the pointy-eared bastards.
"Eat it Chakaar!" A Mandalorian shouted, firing away with a Z-6 Rotary cannon, providing fire support as his fellow Mandalorians advanced forward with the Klingons. "Yeah! Suck it ya bastards!"
"Your friend is rather trigger-happy…" one of the Klingons muttered to a Mandalorian as they took cover behind a bulkhead.
"He's just letting out some steam," The Mandalorian said, "He hasn't been able to actually get a challenge in a while, fighting Droids of the CIS is way too easy - they're machines, no imagination, no creativity. We've been looking for a good battle, and now we've got one!"
A disruptor beam hit the Z-6 cannon, causing a bit of an explosion. "Idiot warriors," a Romulan snarked, "How you left your homeworlds if beyond us when you are too stupid to use your heads!" BOTH warrior cultures took offence to that, as the Mandalorian and the Klingon looked at one another.
"He did not just say that," the Mandalorian Growled.
"He Did," the Klingon growled. "You will burn in the fires of Gre'thor, p'tahk!"
"You're fucking lunch meat, Mir'osik!" THe Mandalorian shouted, before the Mandalorians and Klingons rose out from their cover, as they both proceeded to unleash fifty kinds of hell on the Romulans. While they were making progress, it was rather slow going.
"Mand'alore, the Romulan bastards are using underhanded shit to keep us from advancing!" Amy reported, as she fired her WESTAR-35 Blaster Pistol at the Romulans, while speaking to her wrist-mounted comm. "They're tricky little Chakaar, I'll give 'em that!"
"They're Romulans: deceit and guile are their calling cards." A voice that was not Aren said. "'To be unknown is to be unconquerable' is their maxim, and to be honest, if I can take out an army without ever meeting them, I couldn't care less."
"Who the hell are you?!" Amy asked.
"Ronald Pinkerton of the Ra-cailum."
Amy recalled Ronald Pinkerton being the captain she spoke with briefly while she was onboard the B'mak. "Alright, where the hell are you, and where is Mand'alor?" she asked.
"He's with me. They're just covering me while I take control of the gravity plating in that section of the ship."
"Relax. Anyone ready for green salsa?"
"What the hell is salsa?!"
"Give me a second and you'll find out. Increasing gravity to 20 times normal."
"Everyone brace!" Amy shouted, as at that moment right before their eyes several Romulans suddenly slammed to the deck hard, gravity increasing so much that their bodies seemed to… implode in a green mess.
"Oh… that's what he meant," Amy mused.
"Reducing gravity to standard Earth norms. I can clear out the rest of the ship that way, if you'd like - oh hell. give me a minute: asshole alert."
"We'll keep advancing, let us know when you're ready to do that again." Amy said before turning to her fellow Mandalorians and Klingons. "The hell are you standing around for? We ain't getting paid by the hour here! Move up!"
"Fucking Tal Shiar just don't know when to leave things alone!" Ron shouted as he popped his head out of cover before shooting two operatives in the head with his compression rifle.
"At least we're earning this ship!"
"No, you're not! The Federation and the Klingons signed an agreement with the Romulan republic stating, and I quote 'any renegade Romulan vessels are to be turned over to their custody'. There are only two ways you're getting this ship: not and happening!"
"Yeah well, the Mandalorians never signed that agreement," Aren said, as one Romulan tried to get close, only for him to draw out a knuckle Viro-blade and stab him in the forehead. "And after reading up on these Romulans and all that Xenophobic attitude they have, do you want them to have more of these things?"
"Not the Star Empire, you idiot: the Republic was formed five months ago!" Ron retorted. "They rejected the stupidity! And as for you, the ratio of boarders on this lovely shitbox are 30% Mandalorian, 25% Starfleet and 45% Klingon! And if you want to get technical, I'M the one in control of this fucking ship now!" A disruptor beam impacted Ron's personal shield, followed by three more. "Magic number."
"That's unless the Romulans and Klingons have anything to say about that," Aren said, as he raised his hand and activated his flamethrower which proceeded to torch another Romulan, burning him into a crisp while firing his own blaster pistol down the hallway as more began to show up. "You can have the ship, but we'll be taking its technical data. We'll need to find more weaknesses in these things if these Tal Shiar fucks try this shit again."
A beam hit Ron again, but instead of the flare up they expected, a field surrounded his turso on impact. The surviving Tal shiar looked at one another before the Mandalorians shot them.
"What the hell was that?" Aren asked. "That wasn't any personal shield I've ever seen."
"It was Borg," Ron said. "I'm an ex-drone. And considering the Klingons only put in bare-bones intel on those bastards, you probably have no clue what I'm talking about."
"Hybrid organic/machine race bent on universal assimilation into their collective?" Aren asked. "They had a bit of intel on them, but not much. "
"I was assimilated 6 years ago," he said. "Liberated on Stardate 86015.7." At the confused look, he translated that into normal timekeeping. "Six months ago. I was given command of the Ra-Cailum two weeks later. I've been working hard at making sure these ridiculous conflicts come to a swift and relatively bloodless end ever since."
"I can understand that," Aren said nodding. "Klingon reports don't consider the Borg that massive of a threat… but the way you talk about them, they sound like a much bigger threat than the Klingons give them credit for. "
"The Klingons never suffered an attack on their capital world by the Borg twice in a row," Ron said. "We did. And we barely stopped them both times. They even used time travel to try and undo the Federation before it was born."
"Wait, TIME TRAVEL?" Aren asked. "You have time travel, too?"
"It was 36 years ago. I'll explain later," Ron said. "I'll pull up the specs for the thalaron weapon and download them into a datapad. You can develop a countermeasure from those."
"I asked for the ship's specifications."
"Too bad. It's either the weapon or nothing. I've taken a brief look at your history, and while you state your intention not to get involved in galactic affairs, I have to worry about the security of the Federation, the Romulan Republic, even the Klingons."
"Yet you're giving me a weapon that could destroy planets," Aren asked skeptically.
"A weapon we have a countermeasure for."
"And it's a useless weapon once Planetary shields are involved, I assume," Aren said. "We don't have any interest in using Planet-killers to begin with - we're not Sith."
"I'm a student of history, and history's stated that your people don't care how you win so long as you do, but putting that aside, we do have work to do. I'll take you to the bridge. since I'm the only one who knows how, I'll need you to cover me while I disable the thalaron generator."
A shudder was felt throughout the ship. "Because they've armed the cascading biogenic pulse weapon. We can't fire, or else it'll set off prematurely. And thalaron radiation… is not kind to organic material."
"Alright," Aren said, "I'll keep your ass covered, just don't get us killed." As he followed Ron though, he saw a small text appear over his hud, a text message from his son which read 'Got it'. Causing Aren to smirk slightly.
'How much did you get?' Aren sent back.
'Wasn't able to get the Scimitar's own specs, but we've copied the standard specs for Romulan weapon, shields and cloak.' Jaden replied. 'Not as good, but more than enough.'
'Perfect, keep it nice and secured for MandalTech, Motors and Hypernautics.' Aren sent back. 'If we want to be prepared if these bastards show up again, we need to know how their tech works.'
"The bridge is three levels up, and we've only got seven minutes until it fires."
"Plenty of time!" Aren said, before Disruptor bolts shot past them as a Tal shiar officer entered their view holding a disruptor minigun. "Well, that's just fucking great! You were saying something about plenty of time?!"
"Yup." Aren retorted, as he reached out his hand, and suddenly the Romulan had its Minigun yanked from his hands by some invisible force, which then flew into Aren's hands. He then opened fire with it, as he easily cut the Romulan down into burnt up pieces. "Bridge clear."
"Interesting. Same psionic abilities as the Jedi I've met." Ron mused as he walked toward a console and began typing commands into it. "Damn it, it's locked. And data mining it will take too long."
"Then what are-" Ron extended his fist toward the console, and two tubules emerged from his knuckles, connecting and punching through the control panel. "I'm establishing a connection with the ship's computer. Huh. Sneaky like bastard, aren't we, Mr. Takeo?"
"At least I didn't try having him get the Scimitars specs." Aren said, knowing what Ron was probably already talking about. "Just standard modern equipment so if these chakaar come back again, we'll stand a better chance without being dependent on you to save our asses."
"This won't be happening again." Ron said, before he focused on the task at hand. "Shutting down the thalaron generators. Rewriting command codes to Romulan Republic standards. Also, found out how they got past the net. They pulled a Pegasus out of their asses."
"And the Pegasus is…?" Aren asked, wanting a more detailed explanation.
"I'll explain on the Ra-cailum." Ron said. "The Lleiset will be here in less then an hour. Once they arrive, I'll transfer command to them. I'll see you on my ship." Ron left the bridge, leaving the two Mandalorians to their own devices. "Oh, and you won't be able to access anything without my knowing: I've got a subspace link to the ship's computer thanks to the transceiver in my spine. Since you've proven you can't be trusted with the big boy's toys..."
"We've got what we needed anyways," Aren said. "My first and foremost goal is the protection and reconstruction of Mandalorian society, I have what I need to do that now. As I've said before, I am not looking for a war with the Federation or anyone from your universe or ours."
"Try it, and you'll have three powers banging on your door," Ron said. "I'd prefer it if next time that you ASKED for something instead of just taking it." He had a point there: they DID kinda betray his trust.
USS Ra-Cailum - conference room - 90 minutes later
"In 2351, the USS Pegasus, in violation of the now-defunct Treaty of Algeron, tested an experimental cloaking device that shifted the ship out of space time, making it immune to detection or attack." Ron said. "Of course, the cloak failed after the crew decided enough was enough and mutinied in order to stop the experiments. The ship drifted into an asteroid and decloaked. The ship rematerialized inside solid rock."
"Remind us to never try that..." Jaden muttered. "Your universe has some crazy-ass technology..."
"You haven't seen anything yet. to prevent unauthorized ships from making their way through, we set up a tachyon detection grid. Anything crossing the beams larger the two meters would set off an alarm, and about fifty different kinds of hell would've been unleashed on the dumb bastard." His chief engineer took over for him. "Problem is, that only works against standard cloaking devices. While we've tested it on the Scimitar-Class cloak and proven it works, we haven't tested it against phase-shifted cloaking devices."
"Who would be stupid enough to try? The three times it was developed, it all ended badly and the technology was abandoned."
"Obviously, your Tal Shiar buddies decided it was worth the risk," Aren said. "From what the B'mak's files said 'bout 'em, it's more than likely. But how do we make sure they don't try this again?"
"We know how the cloak works, so we've sent the information back to our side, and the SCE modified the grid's scanners to detect the energy signature they put off," Sonja said.
"The question isn't how, people: it's why. Attacking this side with one ship is pointless and would draw the wrath of the Alpha Quadrant's three major powers down on the Tal Shiar."
Koren scowled as she glanced at the Chancellor. "The Demons," she growled out.
"The… Demons?" Aren asked for clarification. "Who are they?"
"Captain Koren refers to a race known as the Iconians." Ron said. "Their more… well-known title is 'The Demons of Air and Darkness', for their ability to walk from one room into another. And by that, I mean one room to another on another fucking planet without the use of a starship."
"Sounds like something the Celestials could do..." Jaden muttered.
"Now we ask, who are they?" Sonja asked.
"An ancient alien race for tens of thousands of years ago," Aren elaborated. "Not much is known about them, but what we do know is they are responsible for the construction of Centerpoint Station, and other similar constructs across the galaxy."
"Well, the Iconians got their asses handed to them in the most spectacular way." Ron said.
"Lots of races banded together and bombed their planet into the stone age?" Aren asked.
"You're VERY good at that. The Iconians survived, and they've been working on rebuilding their little empire for the past hundred thousand years. We've confirmed the Tal Shiar were working for the Iconians, as well as a race called the Elachi. You don't want to know about those assholes."
"If they become a threat to my people, I'll have to." Aren said.
"They kidnap your people, experiment on them and eventually turn you into one of them." The Mandalorians said nothing. There was nothing TO say. "Moving on. The Iconians probably wanted to test our response to an intrusion, hence the Scimitar. And speaking of the Scimitar..."
"The Lleiset is towing it back to the rift so they can get it back to New Romulus." Ron said. "Chancellor J'mpok, do you have anything to add?"
"Yes," the Chancellor said, as he looked at Aren. "I have read the reports from the boarding actions on the Scimitar… Koren's warriors reported the Mandalorians fought quite bravely and tenaciously… fighting like Klingons."
"I got similar reports from my men as well," Aren said, nodding. "Your people fight like true warriors, Chancellor… like true Mandalorians. That's something I can highly respect."
"And you returned the B'mak, and her former crew…" J'mpok said. "And for that, you have my thanks…" He then smirked slightly. "I believe this may be he beginning to a very… productive friendship, Mand'alor."
Aren smirked a bit as well as he nodded. "As do I, Chancellor," he said.
"Speaking of friendships, Chancellor-" Ron began to say, before J'mpok rose his hand.
"Yes, I know, Captain," he said. "The Klingon Empire made a grave mistake almost fifteen years ago. We failed to inform you of the Undine's infiltration of the Gorn Hegemony until the conquest was complete. We betrayed you by breaking the Khitomer Accords. And in that… we proved we had lost our understanding of the three blades of virtue. Duty, Loyalty and Honor. We cannot undo the conquest of the Gorn. But I can correct one dishonor."
Ron rose an eyebrow at that. "You wish to reactivate the Khitomer accords?" he asked, and the Chancellor nodded. "Well, I'll have to speak with the Federation Council. And there would probably be a simple condition: territories you conquered that were ceded to the Federation by treaty and systems you took over during the war."
Koren rose in anger. "How dare you!" She shouted. "You insult the warriors who fell-"
"Koren. Sit." J'mpok said. Koren looked like she was about to protest again, but a quick glare from J'mpok forced her to take her seat again. "We understand, and we are willing to cooperate with the Federation."
"About fuckin' time!" Ron said. "I was wondering when this ridiculous conflict would come to an end!"
Koren shook her head in anger and left the conference room, followed by her XO. "Koren feels insulted by your seeming slight."
"It is without honor to fall in a war that never should have happened," Ron said. "We were twisted and manipulated by the Undine. Now that ends. I'll head back to the rift in a few days: Captain Shon wants me to put his new guest through the Academy courses. And because I was an instructor for a couple of years, I'm the best man for the job."
Ron the True Fan: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the voyages of the Starship Enterprise continue. Let's make shit happen!
Takeshi Yamato: Definitely an interesting start - looking forward to seeing what follows.
117Jorn: Now, let's see what happens when two Sci-Fi Titans clash… Until next time everyone…