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Star Trek/Star Wars – Galaxy at War: Part Forty-Nine What You Leave Part VII
"Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts. It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black."
Paint It Black (1966) The Rolling Stones
Star Trek Dimension – October 2375 C.E.
Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco on Earth Alpha Quadrant, morning
As usual since the onset of hostilities with the then Dominion, Starfleet Headquarters was a hive of ceaseless activity. President James T. Kirk, Commander-In-Chief of Starfleet Spock and Head of Starfleet Engineering Montgomery Scott sat around a large white oblong conference table along with two dozen other important members of the Federation Parliament and senior Starfleet Officers. Via a secure subspace uplink, they along with holographic delegations from Romulus, Qo'noS and the Jedi Temple on Halka IIV were conferring with their fleets at the front near Deep Space Nine.
"Four of our six assaults groups have broken through enemies lines. The remaining two fleets encountered heavier resistance but should join the others in converging on the Cardassia System momentarily." A miniature sized flickering full-colored hologram of Admiral Ross said pointing to a 3-D map which hovered above his position on the tabletop.
"How high were casualties?" Kirk asked his heart in his mouth.
"Casualty numbers were rather high Mr. President. Roughly one-third of our ships were either disabled or destroyed." Ross said bluntly.
"I know matters of war must at present take priority, however, I would be remiss in my duty as Grandmaster of the Milkyway Jedi Order if I did not broach the subject of relief for Alliance planets recently occupied by enemy troops." A hologram of Shaak Ti said from her seat.
"We can't allocate any further resources to relief efforts until hostilities cease Alpha and Beta Quadrants wide." Said Admiral Nechayev who was seated not far from Kirk. "If you Jedi wish to concentrate on providing assistance and comfort to those worlds ravaged by the war go ahead."
"Admiral Nechayev I must object to your crassness regarding this matter. Civilians on worlds such as Risa, Cait and even here are on Earth are suffering immense hardship. We must address their needs forthwith." Bolian Min Zife said. He had recently had been appointed the head of the newly minted Federation Recovery and Reconstruction Agency.
The meeting quickly degenerated into a shouting match of competing interests until the tabletop hologram of Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker spoke up. "I hereby formally request permission to search for lost Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi and his team who may be stranded near on Cardassia Prime."
"With all due respect Master Skywalker, we have yet to confirm Master Kenobi and his group has survived in spite of Darth Traya's transmission directed at Legat Damar." The tabletop hologram of Jedi Master Mace Windu challenged. "Currently it is vital that you continue to lead Veloci Squadron into battle," Windu added a moment later his voice seemingly pained by the admission. "You are by far the best Jedi for the job."
"But M-," Anakin began only to be cut off by Shaak Ti.
"Continue leading Veloci Squadron until victory has been secured then you can search for Master Kenobi's group." The hologram of Shaak Ti said firmly.
Anakin opened his mouth to protest by thought better of it. "Fine," He said somewhat sharply.
"Unless there is anything else, this meeting is adjourned until further notice or until news of note comes from the front," Kirk said he then officially gaveled the meeting to recess.
Not long afterward Kirk, Spock, and Scotty were in the cafeteria enjoying a brief meal when an Aid approached their table. The young female Benzite indicated she had news. She waited patiently while Kirk finished a bite of his turkey club.
"Yes, what is it miss?" Kirk asked.
"Mr. President I regret to inform you that Admiral Leonard McCoy has passed away. He died this morning in his Australian winter residence of natural causes." The Aid said.
"Ah, no," Scotty said.
"We just chatted last week. He was tired after coordinating the post-Breen raid medical relief effort but he said it was nothing to worry about." Kirk said in stunned disbelief. In retrospect, Kirk would later realize he should not have been surprised unlike Scotty and himself McCoy had taken the long way around as they say. McCoy was pushing one hundred fifty years old, he could not live forever yet his loss still stung.
"I'm sorry sir. You have my condolences." The Aid said before she left.
McCoy was gone, Kirk could scarcely believe what he had heard. The universe suddenly seemed so small, so empty. He sat there in shock until Spock reminded him he there were things that needed doing. The war waited for nothing least of all grief.
Risa Beta Quadrant, dawn
Risa was unrecognizable. Once a lush tropical landscape it had been relentlessly strip-minded by the Sith Dominion into a rocky, muddy mess almost completely devoid of plant life. Upon their departure, the occupying army cannibalized much of the extensive orbital weather control infrastructure for spare parts. The weather control network had regulated Risa's often fickle monsoonal climate. Torrents of frequent rain and thick cloud cover now added to the misery of the dispossessed inhabitants.
Clad in heavy rain gear Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his latest padawan Asil trudged their way through the treacherous rock littered muck (Asil was reassigned to Fisto following the murder of her previous instructor Jedi Grandmaster Plo Koon by Darth Vader). They were flanked by a small group of Starfleet officers and a detail of Starfleet Clone Troopers all outfitted in wet weather gear. Slowly a male Mandalorian in full armor save for his helmet approached them his rifle slung over his shoulder.
"Finally decided to join our little party, eh?" The lone Mandalorian said.
Over strenuous objections from peace-loving Duchess Satine about half of her followers upon hearing of the plight of Risa launched a guerrilla-style insurgency against Sith forces station there. During their months-long campaign, they had inflicted surprisingly heavy losses upon their foes for such a relatively small group. They had also recruited many formerly peaceful Risans into their ranks.
"We got hung up the other side of Beetlejuice," Fisto joked ignoring the obvious provocation. The Mandalorian remained stoned face neither laughing nor smiling at Fisto's comment. "We have a supply ship in orbit do you have coordinates where it can set down. This weather is interfering with the transporters."
"Set down anywhere you want. The frakin' Sith soldiers didn't leave many structures standing touchdown pads included I'm afraid, damn Droids and bootskins." The Mandalorian snorted.
"Excuse me, what are 'bootskins'?" Asil asked.
"That's what we call them Jem'Hadar 'round here." The Mandalorian cursed. "They're tough buggers. May Sith Hell take 'em all." He gestured for the group to follow him which they did deeper into the mire Risa had become.
The Sacred or Great Marketplace of Ferenginar Alpha Quadrant, afternoon
"We want opportunity! Death to the Sith! Brunt is not our Nagus!" Chanted the enormous crowd. Similar protests were taking place planet-wide and had been for over a week.
Trouble started when once disgraced DaiMon Tog head of Planetary Security under Brunt ordered a battalion of Battle Droids to open fire on a small group of beggars who could not afford their begging licenses, and who refused to vacate a street corner in the capital. The cost of begging licenses had increased a staggering four thousand percent since Brunt took office. Rousted to action spontaneous protests broke out across the planet nearly immediately. Rather than commit further valuable troops to secure Ferenginar Darth Traya ordered a full withdrawal of forces. Brunt and his cronies were on their own. Brunt began offering minor concession all of which were just as swiftly rejected by the enraged people who wanted nothing short of his head on a pike.
Alliance Intelligence arranged for leaders of the MFEF (Movement for the Emancipation of Ferenginar), including Quark and Pel, to be smuggled back onto the planet. Assisted by Ralph Offenhouse and his lover Gahnava they began attacking government installations. The liberation of Ferenginar would end a few days later when Brunt and his inner circle fled into exile, however, years of struggle would be necessary before the planet and its people recovered in any meaningful way.
Central Command on Cardassia Prime, night
"Is everything prepared?" Darth Traya asked the image of a silver-haired middle-aged male Vulcan who wore a black hooded robe identical to her own. The communication chamber rocked incessantly as intense Alliance aerial bombardment showered the complex.
"The Gama Quadrant insurgency is already well in hand. I shouldn't boast but I strongly suspect it shall soon be crushed. We are ready to receive you, Lady Trya." The Vulcan said.
"Accomplishing so much in such a short period of time is indeed something to be proud of. You've been there what, a standard week." Trya said with a cruel smile. "Tell my Lord Vitiate how do you find your vessel? Does it meet your needs?"
"It is adequate." Darth Vitiate once Emperor of the Ancient Sith Empire stated dryly.
"It does suit you," Traya said.
"When can we expect your departure?" Vitiate asked uninterested in Traya's compliment whatever its purpose.
"Momentarily," Traya said. "I'm simply waiting for my guests to arrive so I can tie up a few loose ends." At that moment a chime chirped. "Ah, that should be them now."
Makeshift Arena, which once belonged to Dooku, a few minutes later
"Where are they?" Obi-wan said drawing forth and igniting his blue-bladed lightsaber.
"On your toes people. Getting in here was far too easy." Commander Kira Nerys her phaser drawn and ready for action.
"Perhaps all the troops have been sent to protect installations in orbit?" Elim Garak offered his Cardassian pistol likewise at the ready.
"Where is my son!? Come out and face me, witch!" Legat Damar bellowed.
"Greetings," Traya said stepping out of one of the many open doorways Sakal clutched to her torso. "I've lost interest in the boy and this world. You can have both." She Force pushed Sakal into Damar's waiting arms.
From behind Traya emerged Darth Hereticious, Ro Laren, Jen'Dhasi, Gul Dukat and Luminara Unduli. The four women had their lightsabers drawn three red blades and one blue one. They circled around Kira and her group. However, before the former Kai Winn could move too far away Traya ignited and plunged her crimson blade through Hereticious' back and out her chest. Traya withdrew her blade and decapitated Jen'Dhasi using a spinning motion. Dukat screamed enrage only to be electrocuted to death by Traya's lightning which literally vaporized him. Everyone present shielded their eyes from the intense flare of light which accompanied Dukat's demise. In all less about ten seconds had elapsed.
"Why?" Winn moaned as she fell over and died.
"Because you served your purpose and are no longer of any use," Traya said. Ro made a move toward Traya. Ro's eyes were filled with anger at the betrayal. She wanted nothing more at that moment than to avenge her fallen master. "Take another step and I'll use the Force to shatter every bone in your body, girl," Traya warned. Ro stopped dead in her tracks. "Consider yourself lucky you're a nonthreat thus you get to live."
Traya turned her attention to the two Jedi and the Starfleet officer. "Congratulations, you've won. Tell your friends I've ordered my troops to withdraw from all Alpha Quadrant territory effective immediately save for that of the Breen Confederacy and an adjacent world colonized by the Geonosians. That general area, near the junction of the Gamma and Alpha Quadrants, shall form the border between your Alliance and our Dominion, I strongly advise you do not cross it. We Sith Lords of the Kosst Amojan have a ready-made empire which already controls roughly a fourth of this vast galaxy, I ask why should we waste time grappling with you to win another?" Traya vanished in a wash of purple light whisked away by a transporter beam a split second before either Unduli or Obi-wan could strike or Kira should fire her phaser, the beam of which passed harmlessly through thin air.
"Wonderful, they have Droidekas and Shock Troopers." Quinlan Vos grumbled as he engaged both on the steps of the Betazoid house of State.
Around Vos stood his fellow Jedi Master Aayla Secura, their padawans Molly O'Brien & Alexander Rozhenko their lightsabers deflecting blaster bolt after blaster bolt. The four Jedi were part of a much larger group of Betazoid freedom partisans and a large contingent of insurgents from neighboring Xindii who had answered the call after the Sith Dominion retreated from their own system. Also present was Captain Riker, his fiancee Commander Deanna Troi, and a very reluctant Lieutenant Reginald Barclay.
Sith Acolyte Lon Suder appeared at the top of the steps. He gave a signal and the Sith soldiers stopped fighting. Vos glared up at Suder who merely said.
"Perhaps some other time, Jedi."
Vos and his fellow Jedi alongside some of the other combatants sprinted up the steps. Before they could reach Suder he dissolved into purple light likewise did the Sith troops. Everything fell eerily quiet. No one was sure exactly how to proceed. Had they won or was this an enemy trick of some sort?
Deanna felt something was wrong in the pit of her stomach. She raced up the steps Riker not far behind. Inside the great hall, she found her mother laying on the floor her robes torn and filthy. Her body badly bruised from head to toe. Around the elder Troi were strewn dozens of similarly brutalized individuals most of whom were already deceased.
"Mother," Deanna shrieked. She ran over to where Lwaxana Troi lay dying.
"My dear Deanna. I knew you would come. They said that Starfleet and Federation had abandoned us but I knew they were lying." Lwaxana said weakly she stroked her daughter's cheek lovingly. "Take care of your brother." Lwaxana's eyes turned glassy and her hand fell away from Deanna's cheek as her spirit left this world behind.
Deanna cradled the lifeless form of her mother. Tears streamed down her face as she cried as she had never cried before. Riker gently put his hand on her right shoulder there was nothing he could say, there was nothing anyone could say. The large group of fighters arrived and looked on in sadness. Victory had come but the cost was far too high.
Cardassia Prime, wee hours
"This is a moment worth savoring." Chancellor Martok declared. He spread his arms wide a goblet full of the finest vintage of blood wine in one hand the bottle from which it came in the other. At his feet were mangled bodies of countless Cardassians along with piles of burning twisted rubble. In their final act of spite, the withdrawing Sith Military had razed the planet causing untold devastation because they blamed the Cardassians for their failure. "To victory hard fought and well earned."
Martok downed his goblet of blood wine then offered some blood wine to the others present each of who held a goblet ready to be filled these were Commodore Jean-Luc Picard, Captain Benjamin Sisko. Admiral Ross, Jedi Master Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano and Jedi Master Mace Windu, everyone one of which save Windu refused the invitation. "What's wrong?" He asked.
"Suddenly I'm not thirsty," Sisko said.
"Nor am I," Picard said.
"Me either," Anakin added. Ross and Ahsoka said nothing but the expression on their faces were ones of sadness mixed with disgust.
"Before we waste too many tears remember these are Cardassians who lay dead at your feet. I think Bajorans would call this poetic justice." Matok growled.
"Be that as it may I don't want to drink a toast over their bodies," Sisko said.
Sisko and the others, once more save Windu, poured out their drinks on the ground and walked away Sisko, Anakin and Ashoka were off to find Kira and Obi-wan. They wanted no part of such a grizzly celebration. Martok swore in Klingon at his departing allies then offered Windu a second drink which the Jedi Master gladly took.
"Nice wine, I like this stuff. It has a certain kick to it." Windu said.
Thus years of an unprecedented conflict in both scope and destructiveness was over. Now came the hard part, reconstruction of a devastated and disunited galaxy beginning with the half under the jurisdiction of the Alliance. If a better tomorrow awaited much effort would be needed from all to secure it only that much was certain.
To Be Continued
In memory of Peter Mayhew the best Wookie of them all. Rest in peace Chewie.
Author's Note -
Yay, Phase One of this story is, at long last, complete. I hope you all have enjoyed the Sith-Alliance War Arc. Next up an epilogue (including Troi's and Riker's wedding) followed by an interlude of several chapters then a time skip will occur, as I set the stage for my alternate version of "Rebels/Rogue One" (including material from the first "Force Unleashed" video game and some cherry-picked aspects of "Solo") quickly followed by modified events of the original Star Wars Trilogy starting with "A New Hope".