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Star Trek/Star Wars – Galaxy at War: Part Thirty-Two The Changing Face of Evil Part III: Enter The Breen Section B – Here Comes The Pain
"The Breen Confederacy, like the Sith Imperium, was willing to do whatever was needed to achieve victory. The Breen Raid on the Sol System was followed up two standard solar days later with a devastating Alliance defeat at the Second Battle of Chin'toka. The Breen introduced a type of energy dampening weapon never before encountered by any of the Alpha or Beta Quadrant powers of the Milkyway or the Galactic Republic of our sister galaxy."
Famed Vulcan-Romulan Historian of the Alliance Military affairs Ver'Kal speaking in 2603 C.E/209 ABY (old dating systems) at the annual Alliance-New Republic Joint Cooperation Conference.
Star Trek Dimension - August 2375 C.E.
Cardassian designed Sith Imperium Space Station Sentok Nor in geosynchronous orbit around Betazed Alpha Quadrant
Infamous Cardassian Exobiologist Dr. Crell Moset sat in his office pouring over progress reports. The primary objective of his work here in the Betazed system remained maddeningly elusive. Lord Tyranus had tasked Dr. Moset with grafting Betazoid inspired psychic abilities into the Jem'Hadar genome to give Imperium soldiers an edge when dealing with hostile psychics or Force users. No small task. In the weeks since his arrival, Dr. Mosset had ruthlessly gone about his task by experimenting on every Betazoid he could get his hands on regardless of age, sex or physical or mental infirmities. In spite of his frustrating lack of progress he was confident in time he would unlock the secret of cross-species psychic talent transference, no matter how many Betazoids must die for him to do so. Every world occupied by the Imperium must contribute to the war effort until galactic pacification happened. Whether strip-mined for valuable minerals like Risa or by providing research fodder like Betazed every part in the mighty Imperium war machine needed to be a moving part.
Dr. Crell Moset just finished taking a sip from his glass of Kanar when his office door opened. "Yes," He asked the three BX Commando Droids who escorted a pair of lethargic unkempt prisoners; Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax and Major Kira Nerys. Dr. Moset glanced up from his work annoyed by the distraction.
"Prisoner transfer requires your approval sir." One of the BX Commando Droids said stepping forward a data pad in its free hand (the one not holding a blaster).
"Ah, I see you'll be leaving us soon. And just when we were becoming better acquainted. What a pity." Dr. Moset said smiling coldly at Jadzia and Kira who remained silent remembering the intrusive physical examinations they had undergone at his request. He pressed his right thumb to the data pad which beeped in confirmation. "Give my regards to my Sith masters."
Without further comment, the trio of BX Commando Droids shuffled Kira and Jadzia out of Dr. Moset's office. Dr. Moset found he must admit he enjoyed the no-nonsense manner of most Battle Droids, expect the overly chatty B1 variety. Their lack of extraneous conversation was certainly a time saver. If he had his way his entire organic security compliment would be replaced with Battle Droids, if only.
Secret Alliance Military Base in the Hurkos Debris Field
Captain Riker (newly promoted alongside his fiancee after the Hurkos Debris Field engagement), Commander Deanna Troi, and Chief Engineer Reginald Barclay debriefed the quartet of Jedi who stood before them. Jedi Masters Quinlan Vos & Aayla Secura along with their Padawans Molly O'Brien & Alexander Rozhenko stood listening patiently while Riker & co. brought them up to speed on the present dismal state of the Alliance effort to retake Betazed. Riker knew his old commander Commodore Jean-Luc Picard had pulled strings to get him four Jedi. Still, Riker would have much preferred more Alliance personnel especially a contingent or two of Clone Troopers in their stead. Alas, beggars can not be choosers as an old Earth saying went. He only hoped these Jedi would live up to their impressive reputation.
Kai Winn piously performed last rites over the body of Lapo Muzeth leader and last surviving (until recently) member of the terrorist group the New Path. Lapo's lover and partner in crime Drema Gora had already perished alongside the other members of the group following their successful attacks of two weeks before.
Winn smiled down at the dead man young with barely concealed stratification. Eliminating Lapo put her skills of manipulation to a serious test. He had been held in solitary confinement by the security service after he was captured while attempting a botched suicide. Even the Adepts of T'Pel were unable to infiltrate the prison where he was being kept. But he was not beyond her reach. As Kai and now defacto ruler of Bajor until emergency elections could be held (ha) she could pretty much go wherever and do whatever she pleased without any restrictions. In her capacity as Kai, she insisted upon seeing Lapo a day ago to give him "spiritual counseling" in truth she cast a Sith spell on him which coagulated his blood into a similar consistency to that of cement over the course of several hours. Disowned by his ashamed family responsibility for Lapo's burial fell upon the state. Winn would later order his body cremated before an autopsy could be performed over the objections of investigators who were curious how exactly he had died.
With Lapo removed Winn was one step closer to her ultimate goal of a powerful Bajor governed by her via the Dark Side of the Force and aligned with the mighty Sith Imperium. The next step would be the destruction of her most powerful of enemies the despised Prophets. With a little help from the Pah-wraiths led by the Seven deceased Sith Lords known as the Kosst Amojan, these pompous wormhole Aliens would finally be put firmly in their place.
Winn wondered how her new apprentice was doing? Winn had sent the young woman Ro Laren away on a mission to retrieve an important ancient Bajoran scroll from the Federation before she herself went off to deal with Lapo. Obtaining an unconditional pardon for Rob Laren from the Starfleet for her crime of treason proven far easier than Winn first thought it would. Because of the destruction of the Maquis at the hands of the Ex-Dominion a blind eye was turned by Starfleet officials to the alleged war crimes committed by former members. Many contended this was an oversight whatever the case the lenient policy served Winn's purpose in this instance. Ro Laren was consumed by hatred, rage and discontent all emotions a skillfully Sith Lady like Winn could use to mold an apprentice into an eventual fellow Darth, should she or he be so inclined. With the recent loss of her New Path minions, Winn or Darth Hereticious needed somebody who could do her dirty work when necessary. Turning the latent Force sensitive Ro Laren to the Dark Side had been no challenge at all. Ro Laren took to her training like a duck to water or a child who did not know any better to the tales of the Prophets. Granted, Ro Laren had little choice in the matter no one else was willing to give her another chance after her less than stellar Starfleet career. Ro Laren proved especially fierce in lightsaber combat outpacing Winn on several occasions, though Win would never tell Laren such. Ro Laren seemed to favor an intense blend of Ataru and Juyo whereas Winn's own style was all but exclusively Niman due to her frequent chaining of Force abilities into her sequences to compensate for her somewhat advanced age and lack of physical prowess.
Captain Benjamin Sisko stood on the bridge of the USS Defiant listening to pre-battle chatter. He did not have much confidence in his bridge crew which was cobbled together at short notice from fleet reserve officers. Other than Chief Engineer Miles O'Brien all of Sisko's senior officers were presently uncounted for and had been so for weeks. If not for this blasted he would have already gone searching for them. On the main view screen, a fleet marching their own hastily assembled task force in size rushed towards their position spearheaded by a group of Breen battlecruisers
"Sir they've locked weapons on us." Miles O'Brien reported from his station.
"Time to see what the Breen can do in actual combat," Sisko said, "attack formation delta. Fire quantum torpedoes at will."
On the viewscreen phasers, disruptors and torpedoes from the Alliance vessels tore into their Breen counterparts destroying several outright and crippling several more. Events seemed to be moving decisively in favor of the Alliance until something totally unexpected happened. The surviving Breen ships fired volleys of blue-white energized plasma. These dispersed upon contact with Alliance deflector shields causing waves of ionic type energy to engulf each vessel rendering Starfleet, Klingon, Romulan and Republic ships alike helpless.
"What the hells!" Miles O'Brien exclaimed in confusion as all electronics on the bridge failed as it filled with sparking arks of energy.
The panicked bridge crew soon reported all systems were offline even life support was failing. "Chief," Sisko said.
"Sorry sir," Miles O'Brien replied frantically working the controls. "I can't get anything back online. Somehow those energized plasma shots have crippled our power grid. Unlike standard ion pulses, I don't think a hard reset will do any good. We're sitting ducks."
"Abandon ship," Sisko said giving the order he never thought he would. Around them, the vessel was coming apart obviously the victim of conventional weapons bombardment after its shields and ablative armor failed due to power loss.
Central Command on Cardassia Prime, evening
"Should we order the escape pods destroyed?" Weyoun asked giddily. He was gathered with a high ranking group of Imperium officials who watched the battle unfold via a series of massive monitors which displayed reams of real-time data.
"No," Darth Tyranus said after a moment of consideration. "Their demoralized occupants will spread fear throughout the ranks of our enemies." To either side of Tyranus stood his hooded apprentice/heirs Darth Vader and Darth Imera.
"Why not? If we leave these warriors alive they'll surely seek revenge." General Grievous protested. He quickly added. "With all due respect Lord Tyranus."
"Don't lecture me on military tactics, General," Tyranus reprimanded sharply. "Your recent capture was a disgrace. I wasted valuable resources retrieving you from the enemy. Don't make me regret my choice."
Vader and Imera snickered while Grievous grumbled something nasty under his breath but said nothing more. Vader's and Imera's mocking infuriated Grievous but he dared not act upon his feeling. While he might be able to best one of the Sith on his own he harbored no illusions he could take both at once.
Like Grievous Legate Damar had seen his stock take a tumble. Ever since his electrocution by Tyranus' Force Lightning months ago Damar noticed the Vorta, Geonossians, Neimoidians, and especially Jem'Hadar openly disrespected him whenever possible. He was the butt of many a joke on their part. The Jem'Hadar First of Firsts Iyadag'Klet took special joy in tormenting Damar. Iyadag'Klet had threatened Damar with serious bodily harm or even possible death on once than one occasion. A fact he detested yet he could do little about. Damar knew his limits and such a seasoned Jem'Hadar as Iyadag'Klet were beyond them. Damar did his best to avoid Iyadag'Klet with limited success. Oh, how Damar hated Iyadag'Klet. If he could he would gladly make Iyadag'Klet vanish.
"Thot Gor my congratulations your weapon has exceeded our expectations, as did your attack upon Earth. On behalf of the Sith Order, I welcome you into the Imperium with honored member status." Lord Tyranus said with a slight bow of his head, mimicked by Imera and Vader, to the central figure of a group of three Breen.
The Breen in question Thot Gor voiced his happiness in the strange language of the Breen which resembled scrambled electronic audio signals. Other than telepathically gifted beings, such as the Sith and Jedi via the Force, and those with a natural talent for deciphering complex linguistics, such as the Vorta, Breen speech patterns were utterly incomprehensible. Advanced vocabulators (such as those used by certain Geonosians like Tunzas Eorlax) seemed of no help either. If these "words" were naturally produced by the Breen or generated by their exosuits was unknown. Truly, Breen verbal communication was a profound mystery to outsiders.
"We also thank you for ferrying our two prisoners here from Betazed. It was most thoughtful of you." Tyranus said. Thot Gor replied in his garbled fashion. After Tyranus and Thot Gor finished their lengthy conversation Tyranus turned to address Weyoun and Damar. "Take the prisoners to Commander Worf's cell. Perhaps their presence will finally motivate him to loosen his tongue."
"And if not?" Damar asked.
"Execute them at dawn," Tyranus said. "Our investigators have already determined Major Kira and Lieutenant Commander Dax know nothing of value."
"Of course my lord," Weyoun said in his typical slavish fashion.
"See to it," Tyranus said dismissing them.
Cell Block, no long afterward
Jadzia and Kira were tossed roughly into the cell housing Worf by two armed Cardassian guards who accompanied Weyoun and the dour Damar. Worf rushed to his wife's side. "I've been looking over your three interrogation reports and the results are a bit confusing. As mental probes so often are." Weyoun said jovially a data pad in his hands. "I'm hoping you wouldn't mind sifting through the data to verify certain issues for us."
Worf, Jadzia, and Kira exchanged glances. "Are you joking?" Jadzia said incredulously.
"I assure you I never joke," Weyoun said. His disarming smile never left his face. "You see unless you three do as I ask I'm obligated under Imperium law to hand you over to Legate Damar. And we all know how ruthless Cardassian justice can be."
Damar holding a data pad of his own stepped forward and spoke reading from the pad. "It is my duty to inform you that you've been convicted by a Cardassian tribunal of being war criminals."
"War criminals," Kira laughed. "You're the ones who have tortured us."
"What are the exact charges against us?" Jadzia demanded to know.
"That is not necessary for you to know," Damar said. "All you need to know is you will be executed at 06:00 hours tomorrow."
"However," Weyoun said. "If you should decide to join us in our search for a quick end to this dreadful war; your sentences shall be reduced to life imprisonment."
"If you want to end this war so badly convince the Sith Order to unconditionally surrender." Kira challenged.
"Ah ha ha," Weyoun chuckled. He leisurely strolled toward the trio. "It would be such a shame if these Cardassian had their way with you before tomorrow. Or maybe the Breen might enjoy some cross-species sexual activity. What do you think Worf? Would your wife and her friend enjoy that, how about yourself?"
Fast as lightning Worf reached out and snapped Weyoun's neck killing him instantly. Weyoun's body tumbled to the floor. The Cardassian Guards made ready to fire, however, Damar intervened.
"Wait," Damar shouted. He stepped over to where Weyoun lay lifeless and nudged the body with his foot. He then laughed. His reaction perplexed Kira, Jadzia & Worf. "Overconfidence the hallmark of the Weyouns. Maybe Tyranus should have the trait eliminated from your genetic recipe next time." He said looking down. His eyes shot up and locked with those of the prisoners. "They'll just make another copy of him you know. You should have killed me instead. There is only one Damar."
"I will keep that mind if there is another opportunity," Worf growled.
"I'm sure you will," Damar said his voice once again all business. "Consider his offer Klingon, otherwise you and your comrades die at dawn." He glanced down at Weyoun's form. "Dispose of that trash." He ordered the guards, "let's go." The three departed. One of the guards dragged Weyoun behind him.
Damar's Quarters, later that night
Damar sat in his rooms drinking as was his custom. Better self-imposed isolation than risking a confrontation in the hallways with one of his many enemies. How Damar longed for his glory days of old when it was just him, Dukat and a ragtag band of misfits. One ship, one crew against the galaxy. But those days were gone forever. The past was dead only the future offered new life, new hope.
Damar's closest confidant Gul Rusot entered his quarters with a data pad interrupting his thoughts. "The information you requested." He said waving the pad around for emphasis.
"Excellent," Damar said. "Please sit down my friend."
Rusot took a seat by Damar's bedside where Damar sat. "I'm not sure it's wise for me to stay much longer. What if one of our not friends decides to drop by unannounced?"
"What if they do?" Damar said looking up from the pad. "They'll simply see me conferring with one of my most trusted officers. There is nothing suspicious about us talking."
"It doesn't seem proper. All this plotting and scheming in the dark what are we Romulans?" Rusot snorted.
"No, we are Cardassians. But at present Cardassia is an occupied world." Damar replied. "To defeat an occupying army requires careful planning and secrecy."
"Can we truly hope to defeat the Sith Imperium?" Rusot said. "With the Breen now on their side they are stronger than ever before."
Damar stood up from his bed laying the pad aside. "We will be fighting for our homeland and our freedom which will make us even stronger than them."
"I hope you're right," Rusot said. "We are taking a huge risk by launching a rebellion."
Damar gripped Rusot's shoulders tightly. "I am right. We can and will win because we have to." He paused briefly as he removed his hands from the shoulders of his friend. "These loyal troops and officers you've listed may seem few in number by their ranks, our ranks will swell once we've scored some victories. In time all of Cardassia will rise up to join us. We simply must have faith, my friend."
Cell Black Hallway the next day, 05:50
Four B1 Battle Droids were escorting Worf, Jadzia, and Kira to their fate when yellow disruptor fire tore them apart from behind. To the shock of the trio, Damar stood there with a rifle. He picked up three of the droid blasters and handed them to the trio which they had no choice but to accept.
"There is a Cardassian patrol ship waiting for you in cargo bay 2-A. It is located two levels above us. The computers have all the information you'll need to bypass our security measures." Damar said.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't shoot you right now?" Kira said taking aim at Damar.
"Because I have a message for the Alliance," Damar said calmly. "Tell your peoples they have an ally on Cardassia." He turned and walked away in silence.
"We better leave," Jadzia said. Kira nodded thoroughly perplexed by Damar's unforeseen actions.
Deep Space Nine later that day, afternoon
"He let you go?" Sisko said skeptically.
In Sisko's ready room were crowded Worf, Kira, Jadzia, Kirk, Nog, Spock, and Scotty along with General Martock and Admiral Ross. Kirk was fidgeting with his new command bars having been re-promoted to Admiral as recognition of his latest multiple displays of valor. A rank he had lost after the Genesis Planet Incident.
"He did," Jadzia confirmed. She glanced at Kirk, Spock, and Scotty. "We ran into these guys on our way out of Cardassian Space. Turns out they were headed there to save us."
"Aye we were lass," Scotty said. "Ye saved us the trouble."
"I hate to dampen the celebratory mood." Admiral Ross said glumly. "I just wish I knew how were are going to neutralize the Breen energy dampeners."
"We need to buy some time," Sisko said softly.
"Time might be the one thing we don't have." Admiral Ross said shaking his head sadly.
"Sirs we've picked up a transmission from Cardassian Space. I think you'll find it rather interesting." The voice of the female human communications officer cut in over the comm.
Everyone piled into Ops. On the main viewscreen ran a prerecorded message from Legate Damar. The message easily held the attention of its audience until finished.
"And so two years ago our government signed a treaty with the then Dominion, the ancestor state of the Sith Imperium. We were promised Cardassian influence would be spread throughout the galaxy. In exchange, we pledged to join the war against the Federation and her allies. Cardassians have never been afraid of war. A fact we've proven time and again throughout our history. Over twenty million of our brave soldiers have given their lives to fulfill our part of the agreement and what has the Imperium done in return, nothing. We've gained no new territory of our own. In fact, our influence throughout the Alpha Quadrant has diminished. To make matters worse we are no longer masters in our own home. Travel anywhere in the Cardassian Union and what do you find; Jem'Hadar, Vorta, Battle Droids, Geonosians, Neimoidian, Sith, Tholians and now Breen. instead of the invaders, we have become the invaded. Our allies have conquered us without firing a shot. Well, no longer this afternoon detachments of the Cardassian Ninth Order attacked Imperium outposts on Rondac III. This assault marks the first step in the liberation of our homeland for its true oppressors of this galaxy. I call upon Cardassians everywhere to resist. Resist today, resist tomorrow, resist until the last Sith and their sycophants are driven from our soil."
"Can the alleged attack on Rondac be confirmed?" Spock asked.
"Yes, sir," The tactical officer a male Tellarite reported checking his station readouts. "Reports from our listening posts confirm Sith facilities on Rondac III have indeed been attacked. However, we are unable to determine if they were destroyed."
"Looks like Damar has bought us some valuable time," Kirk said. "He could prove a useful distraction until we find a countermeasure for the Breen weapon."
"Aye, if the Imperium doesn't take him down first that is." Scotty cautiously agreed.
"We need to find a way to aid him," Sisko said. "Legate Damar's Resistance Movement could hold the key to saving the galaxy."
Central Command on Cardassia Prime
"It's confirmed our cloning facility on Rondac has been destroyed. I could be the last Weyoun. That's why he picked that target." The freshly minted Weyoun Eight said checking the readouts on a monitor an expression of mounting horror on his face.
"I want Damar & his fellow traitors found and eliminated." Tyranus fumed turning to Vader and Imera. "This is your top priority until further notice."
"Consider them as good as dead, my master," Imera said.
"I'll take great pleasure inflicting suffering upon them, my master," Vader said. "I guarantee they'll regret their actions before their end comes."
"Make sure they do, both of you," Tyranus said.
"What of Shinzon?" Imera said briefly hesitating. "He and the Remans are ready to move against the Romulan Senate. Should I tell him he must delay any action?"
"On the contrary, Lady Imera. Have him implement operation Crimson Dawn at once." Tyranus said. "In spite of Damar's treachery victory remains within our grasp. We need only pluck its sweet fruit from the tree of domination. Having Shinzon execute his mission can only aid us at this point." With a flourish of his cape, Tyranus whirled around and left the room with his six Shock Trooper bodyguards in tow.
Royal Quarters of Lord Tyranus, a few minutes later
"You have a priority one holographic transmission waiting for you master." A grey protocol with purple neon eyes droid said greeting Tyranus when he entered his luxurious abode.
"Hmmm, odd, I wonder who it could be? I am not expecting any messages of this sort. Patch the transmission through." Tyranus said stepping in front of his holo emitter. When the green waiting light stopped blinking and a life-sized flickering blue hologram with an unusual amount of static appeared Tyranus gasped. His blood rand cold. "M-M-Master S-S-Sidious," Tyranus stammered his throat suddenly very dry.
"Lord Tyranus, I've finally found you. How good it is to see you again." The hooded phantasm said his icy voice conveyed the hollowness of his pleasantries. Although separated by hundreds of thousands of light years Tyranus thought he could almost feel fingers encircling his neck. Tyranus knew from the mere sound of his master's voice he was in deep trouble. "We have much to discuss my wayward apprentice." The more powerful Sith snarled. Tyranus could have sworn the eyes of Sidious flashed an acid yellow within the shadowy confines of his hood this in spite of the mono-color of the transmission medium.
To Be Continued
Next up Nemesis then Revenge of the Sith.