Author: Jeff Baker (aka, Jeff-B, JA Baker, Sinister Dexter)
Pairing: None (It's not that sort of story)
Rating: PG
Archive: Just ask me first.
Feedback: Would be grateful.
E-mail: jap_baker@hotmail.com
Disclaimers: It's not mine its Roddenberry's and Tribunes.
Summary: Dylan is forced to trust one of his most dangerous enemies.

Note: Ok, set just after series three, so spoilers for 'Shadow cast by last salute'

PS: Congratulations to Michael and Lexa on tying the knot.

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A Second Chance?

"Are you sure this is a good idea Dylan?" Harper asked, following the taller man down the corridors, "I mean, he's not what you'd call stable. Trust me: I was their on the Retribution!" Dylan stopped and looked down at his engineer, "Harper, I understand why you feel like you do about this, but after Enga's Redoubt the High Guard needs every available asset if it's going to hold the Commonwealth together." He shrugged, "And, as much as I hate to say this, a violent psychopath with no problem with destroying anything that stands in the way of his mission may be the best, possibly only, chance we have."

Harper's eyes went wide, "But we are talking about the Unbalanced of Judgment here! He's already tried to kill us twice, let along all those ship's he destroyed when he was with the Restorian's." Dylan nodded, "I know: again, thanks to Tyr, we are forced to choose between the less of two evils, but Rommie says he's better, not so unstable. If there was another way, if the Nietzscheans didn't control Sinti, we'd use another AI, but as it is the Balance of Judgment is the only High Guard AI we have, and we need every ship we can get."

The door before them opened, reviling a panoramic view of a Glorious Heritage class Heavy Cruiser floating in a space dock, the planet Mobius hung in the background. Rommie stood at a second hatchway, steel box in her hands. Harper looked at the heavy container, "So that's where you've been keeping him." The Avatar looked at her engineer, "Harper, had I told you where I had kept the Balance of Judgment's core AI, you would have tried to erase him." Harper raised an eyebrow, "No: I would have booted him out of an airlock and let him drift in space until the power cell ran down."

Dylan led the way through the hatch and along a long tunnel leading to the newly completed ship. Harper looked over at Rommie, "So what was this ship going to be called anyway?" Rommie looked out of the view ports as they walked, "It was to be The Victory over Adversity, the 14th Glorious Heritage class cruiser to be commissioned. Victor, the AI assigned to it, was waiting on Sinti for the finishing touches to be made. As it is, we are being forced to launch with only the bare essential system on-line: weapons, preposition, life support, and the AI matrix."

Harper had one last card to play, "But will he even be able to handle the ship? I mean, he was a Siege Perilous class Destroyer, and now he's going to be a Glorious Heritage class Heavy Cruiser: that's got to be a big transformation." Rommie looked at him, "Harper, I know you don't like the Balance of Judgment, and I can understand why, I don't like him that much my self, but he is a High Guard officer, a fully trained and programmed AI capable of handling any High Guard starship ever built. We have no choice but to trust him when he says he's changed." Harper looked at her, rejected, "And if he hasn't?" Dylan shrugged, "The way things are right now, what do we have to lose?"

The final hatchway opened, and the three of them stepped onto the deck of the near-complete warship. Rommie led the way as they made their way along the twisting corridors to the AI control room. She opened the heavy metal box, and carefully attached the cables it contained to the mainframe. Dylan nodded, "Proceed." Rommie entered a code into the control panel, and a computerised voice emanated from the speaker in front of them, "Beginning AI download."

After a few minuets, there was a loud beep, "AI successfully downloaded. Initiating AI start-up sequence." The Balance of Judgment's face appeared on the main screen. Harper was shocked to see how different he looked, less full of himself. Dylan looked at the screen, "Balance of Judgment, you understand why you have been reactivated, and why we have been forced to integrate you with this ship?"

The AI nodded, "I understand captain: I wish only to serve the Commonwealth." Dylan nodded, "Very well: Balance of Judgment, consider yourself commissioned." Harper shook his head, "God help us."

The End

Sorry folks, but that's it: you'll have to decide what happens next yourselves.