THE OMEGA WEAPON
(For all New Frontier fans that follow the series religiously, this short story takes place shortly after The Next Generation's Double Helix series).
Captain Mackenzie Calhoun started to pace the lengths of the bridge, much like a cage animal merely licking its paws, waiting to pounce. And Commander Elizabeth Shelby started to feel a little more uneasier with each time Calhoun passed her. The commander didn't know exactly what was going to happen when they arrived in system Mendavil, but she knew she wasn't going to like it just on the basis of her captain's rigid form, which was even more rigid that normal (and she had thought that that was impossible to accomplish, since Calhoun never let his guard down, not for a moment, and was always rigid even during the most intament of moments).
"ETA, to the Mendavil system, Mr. McHenry?" Captain Calhoun asked, scanning the tactical control board of the Brikar security chief: Zak Keborn. He looked up from the Brikar's station and casted his gaze over to the astronavigator, Mark McHenry, who appeared to be in an almost sleeping state. But the Xenexian captain knew better than to assume that Lieutenant Mark McHenry was in any type of sleeping state because the man was percfelty in-tune with the entire ship. Hell – he was so in-tune that you could reroute only a small percentage of the ship's power to another system and before the entire maneuver was complete he would have been alerted.
"Three hours twenty minutes and twenty-two seconds, Captain," he said without even turning to consult his instruments. "Only three minutes since the last time you asked, Captain," Mark McHenry said in a matter-of-fact tone. Robin Lefler, the operations officer at the conn post tried her best to surpress a faint smile, lucky for her, her back was turned to the captain, but Commander Shelby wasn't as fortunate and Calhoun noticed the wide grin that was plastered on his first officer's face. And Calhoun shot her a glance that told her to watch her place.
Calhoun took his captain's chair (and Shelby allowed a small sigh) then he said, "Carry on, Mr. McHenry."
He nodded, "Aye, aye, Captain."
"And, for future reference, Mr. McHenry, only one aye is needed," Calhoun said, clenching his fist tightly.
"What's wrong, Mac?" Shelby asked in a tone that no one could hear. "Ever since those Omega symbols appeared on just about every computer interface on the bridge you've . . . been a little . . . on the edge, lately. What's wrong? What do those symbols mean?" she asked, looking into the captain's purple Xenexian eyes.
"It is none of your concern, Eppy." He smiled wryly not bothering to turn and face her. "It's a captain thing, you understand don't you, Eppy?" he used the nickname that always drove her mad, a combination of Elizabeth and Paula, her first and middle names. Her face turning red, Commander Shelby said nothing merely sat there, wondering on what the hell was going on and why was Mackenzie Calhoun on edge. "McHenry summon me upon entering the outer most edges of the Mendavil system. Commander, I'll be in my ready room, you have the conn."
Shelby bolted out of her chair, and into a standing position. Her shoulders as square as she could get them, she said, "Permission to speak with you in private, Captain," she made a sweeping gustier to the captain's ready room, slightly.
"Permission denied, Commander," he grunted and then entered his ready room, leaving an irritated Commander Shelby on the bridge.
The Commander looked around and noticed everyone on the bridge was staring at her. Balling her hands into fist, she said, "What are we running her, a cadet ship! Back to work all of you!" When everyone's eyes were down at their respective stations across the bridge, Shelby took the captain's chair, and crossed her legs.
* * * *
When the doors to his ready room closed behind him Calhoun said, "Computer open a comm channel to Admiral Alynna Nechayev, Starfleet Command. Security clearance to only those with captain's ranking and above." He took the sit behind his desk and brought his desktop computer closer to him.
"Working," the computer said, tonelessly.
And after a moment of waiting, that seemed to last forever and the some, to Calhoun, the image of Admiral Alynna Nechayev appeared on the screen of his desktop computer. "Captain Calhoun," she pronounced as if reading the Ten Commandments down for the first time. "And what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?" she asked, taking a sip from a steaming hot cup of black coffee that she had been handed by someone off the screen's viewing range.
"You may not think it's a pleasure when I inform you the reason for this transmission," he said leaning back in his chair and watching Nechayev's political smile vanish, to be replaced by a more stern expression, of an officer who had served on the field for a long time. "Over the last several months we've been hearing rumors surrounding the creation of an Omega weapon – that has the capacity to harnessing the destructive capabilities of the Omega Molecule, in a safe risk free transport module. And I've been conducting my own investigations into the possibilities of such a device, they've all turned out to be dead-ends. Then just twenty-three minutes ago the Excaliber came into sensor range of a small system, the Mendavil system, and a research lab, on the ninth world, that may be attempting to create such a device. We are currently under way to that world at warp eight."
"Does any of your crew know of the existence of the molecule or of the weapon?" the admiral asked placing down her cup of tea onto the table in which she sat behind.
"Not yet. But all the dead-ends that I've been running into, during my investigation, have something to do with the Thallonian Royal family, Admiral. I was going to bring Lord Si Cwan up to speed and then order him to investigate wither or not the Royal family was involve in some manner."
"Negative, Mac!" Nechayev said sternly, with a curt gesture of her hand dismissing the idea. Her stern face started to turn a dark shade of red around the cheekbones. "You know the regs that come into play when dealing with anything concerning the Omega Molecule!"
He nodded. "I am."
"Good," she said, not sounding the bit pleased. "Your mission is to find out whoever is responsible for this Omega Weapon and stop them, before the parties involved for this can deploy it. All other directives and missions are hereby terminated until this matter is resolved. Is that clear, Captain?" her tone displayed harshness to it, and an almost dangerous undertone. And Calhoun didn't take kindly to it, either.
"Like Tarkalian crystal, Admiral."
She nodded. "Happy hunting, Captain. Admiral Nechayev out!" Moments later her image was replaced with the embalm of the Untied Federation of Planets, before turning completely dark.
Minutes passed and Calhoun merely sat there, staring at a blank screen. The situation was grim, and that was an under statement, if one could harness Omega and use it as a weapon, life as they knew it would cease to exists, warp speed will be nothing more than a thing of the past. And destinations that would only be a matter of minutes at warp, now would become months and even years in the distance and without the ability to travel faster than light itself the Federation will crumble in and around itself. And anarchy will rein supreme.
And the U.S.S. Excaliber NCC-26517 was its only hope, once again.
And regs be damned, if they were going to stand in the way of Calhoun saving the Federation, from an unknown and unseen enemy.
Calhoun tapped his comm badge, still leaning back in his command chair. "Lord Si Cwan to my ready room!" he snapped. "I have an assignment for your special talents!"
Regulations be damned.
Ambassador Si Cwan was in the middle of a vary vigorous exercise holodeck program, when he got the summons from Captain Calhoun. He had over heard Zak Keborn mention the holodeck program to Janos, the Mugato security guard in the Team Room, it was soon after the destruction of the Thallonian homeworld, Thallon, when it was smashed to bits of drifting space debris when the Great Bird of the Galaxy awoke from the planet's core and smashing through it's surface, with a vengeance, and the program had intrigued him upon hearing it in the Team Room and he'd been meaning to extend an offer to Keborn to join him, but never got around to it.
And Cwan knew that Captain Calhoun was infuriated merely by his tone and his use of the word 'Lord' instead of ambassador or Si, like everyone else on the Excaliber did. The last one who had called him by his title of rank in the Thallonian Royal family was Captain Riker, during his short tenure as commander of this vessel and that was an honest mistake. Si Cwan leaped into the air above the head of the Kreel man with the long jagged sword and landed on his feet; behind the hideous looking creature. And before the Kreel knew what happened he found the sharp end of the jagged sword jetting out of his chest, a warm liquid started to bubble out of his mouth as he tried in a futile attempt to swing the blaster around and kill the man that had surly signed his death warrant.
And fired. The shot went wide, missing Si Cwan completely and harmlessly crashing into the lighted billboard for an exotic dancing house. Exploding in the fury that the streak of green energy unleashed, sending sparks of energy raining down upon them.
With lightning speed, Si Cwan grappled onto the Kreel's head with his massive hands, and with on swift and clean motion he snapped his neck. His attacker's eyes rolled up into the back of the head. But this poor unfortunate bastard was not the last of them who wanted to die; Si Cwan could hear footfalls coming in fast from behind. He estimated two more were coming, weapons a bare. He was able to make out one of the creatures physical appearance even as he melted into the shadows from an over-head bridge that had collapsed when the Kreel warships attacked the city from orbit. The Kreel had spindly legs, which held up an almost triangular mid-section. They posed off long arms, whose finger tips dangled well past their knees, they're skin tone was red and was plagued with wrinkles and spots of matted hair shooting out of their bodies and the skin looked as dry as the desert in which laid on the out skirts of the city in which the holo-simulation took place. Their appearance utterly disgust Si Cwan and he didn't hesitate to react upon their presence.
But had he noticed the two Kreel that were taken aim at him from on top of the battered, war torn roofs he might have acted differently. He used the body of the Kreel that he had just killed as a shield while the other two from under the now wreckage of the bridge moved in and fired.
Against the onslaught of weapons fire, the damn corpse, that was the only thing stopping him from being nothing more than free floating atoms in the wind, was still bleeding all over the place, on top of all the blood that it had already lost from snapping its neck. Which begged the question: How much blood does these Kreel have in them? But he couldn't afford to ponder that at the moment.
When his shield was of no use to him (because most of it was lying on the dust covered ground in pieces) Si Cwan tossed it aside, as if it wasn't even there, and ran over to the now disembody Kreel's fallen weapon. He didn't even see the crimson red bolt that lanced from the over-head building in front of him. It struck him in the shoulder causing him to fly backward and crash through the windows of a near by shop. With a grunt of pain, he arose to his full towering length he noticed what had happened to the owners; Two Klingon males laid dead on the ground, one had more than half his face blown off from a phaser at extremely close range and the other had plasma burns covering the vast majority of his body. On the floor nearest to him a Klingon female laid stretched out before him. The female was fully naked with and was in the middle of a pool of both Kreel and Klingon blood and had the fear of God on her face, as if some unspeakable evil had descended upon her final moments. Obviously she had been the victim of an unforgivable rap, and that the two men were running to her aid. And sure enough on the door was a Kreel male, his mouth wide open and the hilt of a vary nasty Klingon style sword protruded from his chest. Blood was everywhere. And on the table standing almost like a trophy was the head of another Kreel, his headless body was lying at the foot of the table's wooden legs.
Cwan was looking in utter disgust at the horrifying sight that was set out before him, then he started to hear voices outside. And he could tell right away that they were the harsh, cruel voices of the Kreel, moving in for the kill, from the sounds of it. With only a moment's thought he bolted toward the Kreel that was attached to the door by the jagged sword that served as the instrument of his death, it was still sticking out of his triangular chest blood covered the better part of the hilt, and with a quick burst of brutal strength, Si Cwan pulled the blood dripping sword out him, the Kreel sank to the ground, leaving behind a trail of blood across the wooden door that served as the main entrance. He ran back to the metal counter near the back and along the way picked up the severed head that was sitting on the table, blood oozing from his mouth. And using his powerful legs leaped clear over the metal counter, and crashed against the beer covered ground with a grunt, as pain shot all across his arm from the phaser hit that he had taken earlier.
The door swung open and four Kreel officers poured in like locus, weapons drawn and ready. From behind the counter Si Cwan launched the head for the lead Kreel. The head soar across the room and the Kreel, unthinking caught it . . . and screamed in terror. Taken the diversion, Cwan stood up and launched the sword, with all the strength that he could muster. And it hit, as planned. The jagged blood covered sword pierced through the Kreel's skull, tearing through bone and tissue until it stopped upon the hilt, the hilt colliding with the forehead. The Kreel, with a massive piece of metal protruding from his fore-head and coming out of the back of the head, let out a mere grunt then toppled over into a massive heap of bone and muscle, head still in hand.
The element of surprise no longer his, the other three Kreel bounced on Si Cwan with remarkable speed and strength that none would suspect they had from merely looking at them. They bared down upon the banished Thallonian prince, lashing out in every direction. They fought like animals! Savage wolves that smelt blood in the wind. And Si Cwan tried to mount an offensive against them, any type of offensive, since defense was out of the question with all three off their tall, muscular bodies already on him. His eyes grimaced as he felt his back being to break as the Kreel slammed his upper half against the edge of the metal counter. He reached out for the Kreel in front of him that was pushing his body against the counter's edge that much forward. The plan was to grab his little disgusting head then span it with a quick and swift jerk of his hand. That was the plan anyway, the results were much more different. He reached out with his red skinned massive hands, only to have them pinned down by the other two on either side of him.
Cwan feeling that there was no way that he could fight the three of them of, in the position that he was being held called out, "Computer! End . . ." and that was as far as he got. He watched in horror as the Kreel's hand darted for his chest, clearly intended to rib out Cwan's heart from his rib cage – and from the size of the claws on the tip of the Kreel's fingers Si Cwan wouldn't doubt that he could do anything less. And Cwan couldn't do anything about it but merely watch and die.
That's when, for some unknown reason to him, the Kreel in front of him, with his hand merely inches from his chest, leaped into the air. And was torn in half, in mid-air. Si Cwan's vision started to blur on him and he could faintly make out the other Kreel breaking off from holding him in place and reacting to the latest crisis. The two leaped into the air and was cut down as a massive white furred arm came swing down upon them as they made their descent upon the massive fur hulk before him. They were sent flying back and crashed through the brick wall at the far end of the store. Cwan looked over to see chunks of rock falling down upon the two now dead Kreel. The one that was on top of the other one had his chest caved in, a result from the fur arm slamming into his chest at full force, and the one on the ground had his back shatter a result to crash through a brick wall at such speeds, that nearly defied belief.
He felt the white furred claw paws upon him, picking him off the ground and dusting his shoulder off slightly. Cwan smiled up at the massive Mugato, who placed him sitting onto of the counter. "What kept you, Janos?" he asked, his vision returning to normal and Janos face coming into crystal celerity. "You know something?" he grunted, squaring his shoulders back and leaning off the counter to stand to his full looming height. "I never thought that I'd be more pleased to see you ugly mug, Janos."
The full naked white furred Mugato grunted in morbid humor, "The feeling's mutual, Ambassador."
"Oh, really," Cwan said, as he made his way from the blood and death covered store to the open street, Janos fell into step behind him. Cwan dusted off his tunic and realized from the phaser scarring and the dirt, not to mention blood, that he was going to need and new tunic before seeing the captain. "Interesting program you got here, Mr. Janos," he commented, walking out of the city and into the desert.
"I like to think so, but it is really Zak Keborn's program, I'm just borrowing it for the time being," Janos said from behind the Thallonian. "Same time next week, Si Cwan?" he asked, trying to get all the blood off his fur covered paws.
The Thallonian shook his head from side to side. "After this first experience, Janos, I really doubt I'll be stepping foot in this program again. But if you like I have my own programs, equally as intense. I'm sure I can allow to view them and select your favorites, minus the Kreel, of course
He Mugato nodded. "Of course."
"I have to get to the bridge," he said walking out. "Computer arch!" Si Cwan ordered, and there before him emerged the holodeck's arch materializing from the wastelands of the New Bo'KY desert. The doors shifted apart with their familiar hiss of air and Si Cwan walked out heading for the nearest turbo-lift.
"Where the hell have you been?!" Calhoun demanded, leaning against his desk, as Si Cwan stormed in. Then he gave the Thallonian a once over and saw the blood, the rips on his tunic and the utter disorder that he was in at the moment, a massive contrast to the well groomed noble prince of the now fallen Thallonian Royal family that he was seen as. "Better question: What the hell have you been doing!" Calhoun demanded making his way to the chair behind his desk, he sat down and awaited the answer, fingers stippling across the glass surface of his desk. "You look like you've just finished having sex with three Orion animal women."
"I apolizge for my appearnce, Captain," Cwan said, with a slight bow. I was on the holodeck in one of Mr. Keborn's . . . exercise . . . programs." He opened his mouth to continue but was suddenly and abruptly cut off by Calhoun.
"The Night of the Kreel?" he asked. Si Cwan nodded. "Been there," he said uninterested. "Now," he made a sweeping gesture to the chair across from him, "we have business. Or rather I have a assignment that only you can handle." Intrigued Si Cwan took the seat, graciously. "Have you ever heard of," and his voice dropped to a conspiratorially tone, "the Omega Molecule?"
Si Cwan nodded. "Of course. The Imperial Family once supported a project dedicated to the stability of such a molecule. But when my father learned that they were trying to use it for a . . . weapon . . . a weapon of mass destruction he banded all Omega research and had all the researchers executed, to prevent the technology and the science from falling into the hands of a rival faction or an outer enemy, that might use it against my father and our empire. There were rumors that some survived and went into hiding or even the Orion under-grounds for save protection. But those were only rumors." Then it dawned on him. "Has the Omega Molecule been detected in Thallonian space?" he asked dreading the answer.
Calhoun nodded. "And I believe that its worst than a few rough molecules. I think that not all of the scientist were executed and that they had succeed in stabilizing the molecule, in such a way that it can be used as a weapon."
"Then we must stop them!" Without thinking his powerful hand slammed on the captain's desk. "By any and all means to our disposal!"
"That's the orders that I were assigned to by Admiral Nechayev. We detected the molecule in the Mendavil system and our know under maximum warp-" the deck under them shook and pulled away violently, sending Calhoun and Si Cwan colliding with the deck. The red alert klonaxs sounded and the ready room was bathed in a crimson red. Mackenzie Calhoun walked over to nearest observation viewing port and saw . . . that the stars were no longer. They had become motionless and Calhoun feared the worst. He stormed out of the ready room, Si Cwan in tow behind him, and marched onto the bridge, where the same motionless sight greeted them on the main viewer. "Commander!" Calhoun walked over to the command arena in front of the commanding chairs and behind the ops/conn post. "Report. What the hell's happening?"
"We've just been forced to drop out of warp, Captain," Shelby reported not bothering to look at her commanding officer and her ex-fiancé. Si Cwan stood his distance from the drama that was unfolding, but due to his keen since of hearing picked up on every word was being said. "It may have something to do with this region of space. But cannot be certain."
"Damn!" Si Cwan slammed his fist into an open palm. "Its starting."
Commander Shelby was confused and she said so, "Starting? What's starting?" she asked looking from Si Cwan to Calhoun and back again. "I don't understand."
Si Cwan looked to Calhoun, who without looking at him nodded his approval, grimly. And he leaped into the explanation without hesitation. "Before the fall of the Empire, several ambitious scientist wanted to stabilize a small molecule, en titled the Omega Molecule. The Omega Molecule is so devastating that when it is destabilized in any area of space, warp drive cannot be accomplished, ever again."
"What?" Soleta, the Vulcan science officer asked, walking from the back control terminals to stand behind the massive landmass known as Zak Keborn, she rested her slender hand upon the out edge of the tactical station, much in the same manner that Keborn was in. "But that's –"
"Impossible," Si Cwan jumped in. "No, its not, Lieutenant. It is vary much a possibility. When the molecule destabilizes it prevents any warp field to be creating in the area of space in which it was destabilized. It destabilizes the warp field, making warp drive in that region impossible. And if it is turned into-"
"A weapon," Zak Keborn rumbled, his free hand running across the touch sensitive tactical control screen before him. "At the exact moment the Excaliber dropped out of warp space, there was a massive explosion near Mendavil IX."
"Why were we not able to detect this sooner, Mr. Keborn?" Calhoun asked, as all eyes turned to the Brikar.
"We were out of sensor range at the time, Captain. And once we dropped out of warp space, I noticed that the origin was from somewhere around Mendavil IX. So I took the liberty to reroute the sensor grid from its normal grid and routed through the main deflector dish, in order to boost the gain feed by four hundred and eight percent," Zak Keborn rumbled.
"Any thing else, Mr. Keborn?" Commander Shelby asked, making her way up to the upper level of the bridge.
"Yes," he said. "Mendavil IX is dead."
"What?" Mark McHenry asked, as if he couldn't believe his ears.
"As I said, the planet no longer has an exo-system that is capable of supporting humanoid life or any other life for that matter. There are mass amounts of Vertron radiation in the atmosphere. And all major constructions have been destroyed, from orbit it would appear."
"Before or after the explosion that result in us dropping out of warp?" Robin Lefler asked turning her command chair to face the conversation that was taken place with all the senior officers.
"Before," said as if he was talking about the pre-programmed weather on Earth and not a direr situation that could have mass reproductions throughout the galaxy.
The exclaim came from Mark McHenry at the conn post, Calhoun turned to see the man's hands race against his board at speeds that not even Calhoun's eyes could comprehend. "There is a starship near Mendavil IX she's going into warp! Warp nine-point-nine-nine, Sir!" he reported.
"What?" Si Cwan made his way to the command arena; as to get a better vantage point of the man's control board. "But no one can stabilize a warp field in a hot-zone area. Not even the Federation has been able to accomplish such a task and you're at the forefront of warp drive technology and theory. It's impossible! You're sensor readings must be wrong, Lieutenant!"
"Confirmed!" Zak Keborn and Soleta said as one, Keborn at his tactical controls and Soleta behind him at science station I. And Keborn got morbid amusement at Si Cwan's not understanding expression, which danced across his red bald face.
"Their heading, Mr. McHenry?" Shelby asked.
"Zero-zero-zero-point-one, Commander. They're heading right for us!" he shouted without turning from the star field ahead of them to consult his control boards, a moment after McHenry made his alarming report, the collision alarms blared over the red alert sirens. Then it happened, from out of warp space came a massive ship that could only be called . . .
"The Borg . . ." Shelby hushed, in barely controlled horror.
"WE ARE THE BORG. LOWER YOUR SHIELDS AND SURRENDER YOUR SHIPS. WE WILL ADD YOUR BIOLOGICAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVENESS TO OUR OWN. YOUR CULTURE WILL ADAPT TO SERVICE US. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. WE ARE THE BORG."
The words echoed throughout their minds. It echoed and left an imprint that last forever on all those who heard the words and survived to tell the tale. But these words unscathed Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, who sat in his command chair, who had seen so much death in his life and was unscathed by mere threats from a band of cybernetic organisms bent on galactic assimilation. "Ships?" he asked, turning to Shelby who was sitting beside him, an eye-brow cocked, reminding Shelby of a certain Vulcan who she had only seen on historical tapes and holographic simulations when she was a little girl.
"What was that?" she asked, a confused look danced across her face.
"Ships," he repeated staring at the main view screen and at the massive cubed vessel that was merely sitting there waiting for the next move. "They said ships, not ship. And the Excaliber is the only ship in the region," he said, through unfocused eyes. "Could it be that the Omega explosion – or at least what we believe as the Omega explosion – has confused their sensor net work so bad that they now perceive us as multiple targets rather than one?" he asked, turning to Shelby for answers, since she was the resident Borg expert. "It could be quite the diversion, Commander."
She shook her head from side to side, and started to say, "It's possible. But with the little data that we have on both the Omega Molecule and on how the majority of the Borg's systems actual function, we cannot be a hundred percent sure. But it is possible. Yet on the same token why aren't we seeing multiple Borg cubes?" she asked, folding her arms around her chest. "Or it could be a simple error in speech," her eye brows jetted upward touch her hair line.
He nodded. "I don't think so." Calhoun walked over to the command arena and making a stance that clearly told anyone who saw it that he was ready for a fight to the death. "Ship-to-ship," he ordered, staring at the dark cube that loomed in the distance.
"Channel open, Captain," Zak Keborn rumbled.
"Do you know who I am! I am M'k'n'zy of Calhoun, now prepare to get your asses kicked!"
Prepare to eat phasers, you bastards, grinned Zak Keborn as he targeted the cube's life support systems.
Then the Borg fired a single, thin gray beam from one of the corners of the cube and it lanced against the hull of the saucer section of the Ambassador-class Starship, and Captain Mackenzie Calhoun felt the world around him blow apart. "Grozit!" he cursed as his turned crimson red with blood. His blood.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .
Next month the continuation . . .