Katriana was awakened by the beeping of her combadge. She sat up and ran her fingers through her thick blonde hair that was cut a little past her shoulders. Reaching over to her nightstand, she tapped the comm badge to activate it.
"Captain, we have reached the debris field," Enar reported. "And captain, there's still a ship out there."
"Borg?" Katriana was now getting up and putting on her uniform.
"No, we haven't encountered this species yet," Enar said sounding almost nervous.
"Alright. I'll be there in a minute." Not bothering to do anything with her hair, she walked out of her quarters.
"Have you tried hailing them?"
"Yes, but they aren't answering." XO paused then added, "They may not be able to."
"Understood." Katriana walked into the turbolift. "Bridge." In moments the doors opened.
"The alien ship appears to be heavily damaged," Hornblower replied. "The energy signatures suggest the Borg, and there's also Borg debris."
"Looks like the Borg are bullying others too," Enar said.
"Captain, the ship is powering up some kind of weapon!" Hornblower shouted.
"Shields up! On screen!" Katriana ordered, moving to sit in her chair. On the screen giant green beams of energy literally scraped past the ships shields.
"Talk about a shot across our bow… shields down to ninety percent."
"Captain, we're getting a transmission from the ship," Sarah said calmly from Ops.
"Put it on."
"Attention human star… leave this area immediately… I may know what you are… the recovery ship most likely won't… tolerate raiders and pirates, so be warned."
"Let's take their advice and get out of here. Shakir, open a transwarp gate and get us out of here."
"Number One, you have the bridge." Katriana entered the turbolift and went back to her quarters. So far over the last forty-eight hours she had only gotten 4 hours of sleep, and right then she wasn't in too good a mood.
In her quarters she lit several meditative candles and knelt before them. Clearing her mind she recalled the dream she was having before she had been interrupted. Slowly she fell into a trance.
Lights. Red lights flashing and loud sirens blaring. People were running trying to escape what would soon be an exploding ship.
"Imma, please! I don't want to leave you!" a child cried clinging to a woman that was placing a toddler into an escape pod.
"I can't go with you, Katriana. You should know that." The woman kissed her on the forehead, pulled a locket off from around her neck and placed it in Katriana's hand. "Take this, darling."
"No Imma! Please!" Further down the corridor, phaser fire was being exchanged. The Cardassians were getting closer.
"Katriana hurry there isn't much time!" the woman was then almost carrying the thirteen year old Katriana into the escape pod.
"Imma, behind you!" Katriana shouted, but it was too late. The woman that was Marie Heller, fell to the floor dead with a phaser wound in her back. The door to the pod closed, but after Katriana saw the face of her mother's murderer. "TRAITOR!" she screamed.
Katriana came out of her trance in a cold sweat, and almost broke down into tears. She took several deep breaths and her mind and body calmed. There was more to her dream.
The pod was moving quickly and the ship came into view. The USS Atlas NCC-1872 was surrounded by several Cardassian attack cruisers. Then in a flash, the scene changed. It was no longer the Atlas, but the USS Voyager NX-74656A. A giant Borg cube and several spheres and cubes surrounded her. Voyager was badly damaged and by the looks of it she was about ready to explode.
Something changed around Katriana and she came out of her trance.
"AH! Dammit! She was supposed to have fixed this!" Damion said, appearing three feet away from her. He was tapping his personal cloaking device.
"Having troubles again, Damion?" She leaned forward to blow out the candles.
Katriana's comm badge beeped. She sighed in annoyance.
"What is that?" Damion asked.
Ignoring him Katriana tapped the comm badge. "Heller here."
"Captain, we're receiving a transmission from Starfleet," XO said over the COMM.
"Route it to my quarters, please." She moved to her console and turned it on. The UCP logo showed up on the screen.
"I guess you'll be listening in." she said turning her attention back to Damion. He was leaning against a bulkhead on the other side of the room.
"Humph." A man then appeared on the screen. His skin was tan and stood out against his jet black hair. Katriana guessed he had been out in the sun.
"Hello Captain," he said with a sly smile. "Glad you could fit me into your busy schedule."
"It was no trouble Admiral," she said with a smile of her own. "What can I do for you? After all I'm a very busy woman."
"I bet... Well Kat, I'm glad you're sitting."
"Oh no, Ben! What did you do now?"
"Actually I didn't do anything. It's what I have to tell you."
"Oh come on, it can't be that bad."
"Voyager is being called back," he winced preparing for her to start yelling. Her jaw just dropped.
"Benjamin Michael Paris, you can't be serious."
"Au contraire Katriana Jenera Heller, I am. And please don't use my middle name, it's reserved for when my parents are mad at me."
"Which is often... Ben, why are we being called back? We still have three more months out here."
"We received information that the Borg may take advantage of our weakened state to attack us. We need all the ships on our home turf just in case," he leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. "By the way I'm surprised you've been able to keep her this long."
"I don't let go easily. Ben, I need to ask a favor of you," she said changing the subject
"I need you to send a message to Aunt Corey. Tell her to relay it to the Joined Council on Betazed."
"Fine, but I thought you were going to do that before you left."
"I was, but..." she stopped.
"But? Don't tell me you forgot!"
"No, I didn't forget. I was going to wait till I got back, but since it's going to be sooner than I planned I'd rather tell them the proposal from a distance. Besides, David Shorne is still on the council and most of the council is on his side." She began preparing the proposal to send.
"Wouldn't he be more on your side since he is, after all, betrothed to Sarah?"
"Unfortunately, no. David is a very angry, young man. Especially when it has to do with me. He'll do anything possible to make my life miserable." She looked at one of the many pictures on her desk. This was the last picture Devin Shorne had been in, a picture from her ninth birthday. "I'm sending it now," she moved her fingers over the console.
"Got it," he frowned. "But I can't read it."
"I know you can't. It's in Betalic. You're not supposed to,"
"I'm hurt," his face expressed mocked hurt. "After all the years we've known each other you still don't trust me."
"Oh come of it! There's no need for you to read it. You already know what it's about."
She threw her hands up in exasperation, "Yes you do! It's about your proposal!"
"Touchy, touchy! I was just joking! You need to lighten up! What did you do- pull an all nighter?"
"Ben, you're incorrigible," she stated in monotone.
"I know. Anyways back to why I called." He cleared his throat and looked at a PADD.
"You're to report to me on... DS9 ASAP."
"As soon as planned?" she asked.
"No. Now look who's being incorrigible. Here I am trying to be serious and you're cracking jokes!"
"Ben Paris trying to be serious! The same Ben Paris that made Ammonium Iodide and practically blew up the lab at the Academy. The same Ben Paris that put underwear up a flag pole. Oh my gods I think the universe is coming to an end!" she said trying to hold back her laughter.
"Ha ha, very funny. And I as recall you were my lab partner and you were oh so kind to tell me how to make it."
"I didn't think you would be stupid enough to actually make it."
"You got to admit the look on the professor's face was humorous."
"True." She set her hands on the desk in front of her. "I'll tell Enar to set a course. We'll be there as soon as can."
"Alright," he leaned forward and looked at Katriana for a moment. "Kat, is there something you want to tell me?"
Katriana was suddenly all too aware of Damion leaning against the bulkhead. She rubbed her temples, "Yes, but it can wait till I see you... in person."
"Umm... ok. See you then, Kat. Take care of yourself. Paris out." The screen clicked off to show the UCP logo. Looking up she saw Damion staring at her.
"Humph.' Katriana tapped her comm badge. "Heller to bridge."
"Set a course to the wormhole, Number One. We have orders to come home."
Katriana fell back in her chair.
"You're not happy about going back, I take it."
"Not really, there are people and duties back home I'd rather not deal with right now."
"Hmm, there are always things you don't want to deal with, but have to."
"True, but I was hoping to have a solution for them before then."
"If there's one thing Lisa has taught me, it's that you never have a solution when you need it."
Damion glanced at the cloaking device. "At least this one didn't blow up."
"Really… if her things have been known to explode why do you use them?"
"Lisa is the most intelligent Mobean alive. She just tends to be absent minded... and overly affectionate." Damion whispered the last part, but Katriana heard it non the less.
"Overly affectionate? Sounds like you got a female admirer, Damion."
The chime to the door rang. Katriana looked at where Damion was to suggest he cloak again, but he was gone. "Yes?"
"Hey, Kat. You busy?" Sarah said, walking fully into Katriana's quarters.
"Not right now. Why?" Katriana turned off the console.
"I wanted to show you something. Oh, don't look at me like that. I think you'll like it."
"Fine, lead the way." Katriana stood up and followed Sarah into the corridor, and then into the turbolift. "Where are we going anyways?" she asked after Sarah had manually entered their destination.
"It's a surprise." Sarah rocked back on her heels excitedly. "I thought I told you not to look at my like that!"
"And what looks is that?" Katriana asked, continuing her glare at her mischievous little sister.
"That 'Oh-gods-what-are-you-planning' look. It's nothing bad. I swear!" The turbolift doors opened. Katriana then knew that Sarah was taking her to the holodeck.
activate holoprogram Sarah12." The doors opened to show the
beautiful lake that Katriana had spent most of her teen years by. The
lake was by their Aunt Corenthia's vineyard on Earth.
"Hope you remember your way around the tunnels." Sarah was walking over to the shack stationed near the lake's edge.
"I do... Did you do all this from memory?"
"That and the pictures you drew," she looked up, holding equipment.
"You did some good programming." A smile split Sarah's face while she handed Katriana a diving suit. "But I haven't seen the tunnels yet."
They were both in their diving suites in no time and were checking over their gills. Their feet were dangling over the edge of the pier.
something wrong, Kat? If you're not careful that frown will make you
"You know that I got a transmission from Ben." Sarah nodded. "Well we've been called back to DS9."
"What! So soon!"
"They have reason to believe that the Borg are planning to attack the earth."
"Really? You don't think that the information was provided by Gamma do you?"
"Maybe... who knows. I doubt they would give up their advantage."
"True." Sarah held up the gill to get a closer look at it. "I'm ready to go. How about you?"
"Ready. Let's go." Together they jumped into the blue-green water and disappeared into the depths.