Disclaimer:Some violence and moderate language in later chapters.
This story is part of Impact 25 which is an ongoing live action Fan Series and all the characters listed are owned by the persons listed below and the use of any or all of these characters is prohibited without prior written consent.
Characters: 'Tom Hooper, Del Arco, Jonah Haymar, Bastian Haymar, Rixx Dunham, Kellis Manner'
Owners: Impact 25 belongs to – Shaun E. Baxter, David R. Howell, Paula. Blackburn & Jonathan J. Strange.
Chapter 1: Unexpected Turn.
"Captain, we're approaching the coordinates."
"Right everyone, lets make this quick and easy." Tom stepped up beside Del at the central controls. Glancing at Del, Tom noticed, the disheveled green tunic and scraggy brown trousers did nothing to dissuade the image of a battle worn man, but like everyone in the resistance, they all looked careworn and dirty. Tom tapped the screen icon to raise the shields. The panel flickered and then went black, his haunted reflection glared back at him till the panel bleeped back into life.
"Coming out of warp." Del glanced back at Kellis. His bright blue eyes flashing in the bridge lights.
Kellis caught the glance, he knew instinctively what Del wanted. He had been aboard the Drácon for two years now, being posted with Del and Rixx when Tom had taken command. Kellis looked down at his panel and then up to the front of the bridge.
"Shields up, weapons coming on-line." His rough voice just heard above the ominous warning sound piping out around the ship. Kellis drew breath and caught a frightening glimpse of himself in the red light on the panel. "Bringing screen on."
At the front of the bridge the large blank screen flicked into life. The surround now perfectly matched to the walls, you could be forgiven for thinking the screen was original to the ship. It had, in fact, been put in by Jonah, the ships resident engineer, and Del over the first few weeks on board. It was a little reminder of what they could have been and what, in some far off universe, were. As standard the Cardassians did not fit large view screens to their ships, recently they had changed that and most of the new ships rolling off the Alliance ship yards were fitted with screens.
Kellis glanced at the ship display. Everything was fine. A low bleep made him aware of another ship in the sector. Tapping a few icons brought up a small display of the ship on his screen. A shape that was as common place in this quadrant as stars were in space. Automatically the computer scanned the ship's registry code and displayed relevant data on the tactical screen.
"Alliance bird of pray dead ahead." Kellis turned his light brown eyes on the screen and the picture of the dot in the deepness of space became a bird of prey.
"What the hell's it doing here?" Del watched as the bird of prey altered course and came straight for them. "Do you think he's going to give us trouble?"
Tom moved round to the tactical panel and studied the display of the bird of prey. Kellis raise an eye dark brown eye brow and tilted his head toward Tom as he studied the display.
"We should be ok but comm only." Tom was still intent on the display as he spoke to Del. "Do your stuff and we should get out of this with out a fight."
Tom led Kellis and Rixx, who until now had been stood silent at the weapons station, off the bridge and into the turbo lift. "Deck two, brig." The hiss of the closing doors echoed round the bridge.
Del was alone, the flashing lights and minor beeps from the panels only intensified the feeling of hopelessness. The bird of prey was within comm range and had begun scanning. Del looked down to watch the little red markers blip along a corridor and into the brig area. Well rehearsed and executed as always, Tom knew how to handle the alliance.
The comm channel activated and Del switched to main viewer. The Klingon captain who was looking back at him, did not seem amused at the sight of a Terran on the bridge of a Cardassian alliance ship. The dark interior of the bird of prey looked menacing and even a little harsh but it was a Klingon ship after all, they weren't know of be very big on aesthetics.
"Gull Dukat Gishma rehk Chentara." Del tensed, could this Klingon understand Cardassian?
"jIyajbe' t'hIngan Ho' Dajat'h'e'!" The Captain did not look amused at all, it was working.
"Gull Dukat rehk Chentara!" Del was scared, his harsh Cardassian voice felt alien, it was as if someone else was speaking through his mouth. The icy look that passed between them seemed to last for an eternity. The view screen went black, for a few seconds Del expected to hear the lock-on alarm. The bird of pray was moving off, backing off to a safe distance no doubt. Del moved to raise shields, he had to wait till the last minuet, watching the bird of prey move off made him shake. His finger trembled above the panel, one tap and the shields would come on-line and he'd be safe, but if the bird of prey was not going to fire they would wonder why he'd raised his shields, automatically expect him to be readying for an attack and open fire.
The bird of prey moved off and after a few moments altered course and went to warp. Opening the internal communications channel Del shook, it never got any easier. "All clear, you can return to the bridge." This time they had been lucky, the thick Klingon couldn't understand Cardassian and so had left him alone. The last time the captain had understood Cardassian and Del did not enjoy having to explain how he, a Terran, had command of a Cardassian star ship. With sweat pouring down the back of his neck Del listened as the turbo lift doors opened and Tom, Rixx and Kellis walked onto the bridge.
"We'd better get back on course." Tom was reviewing the logs, his hair hanging lose and one end of the rope still tied round his wrists. "Take us to warp Del, we need to get to that outpost."
"Going to warp three." Del glanced over to Rixx, stood once again at the weapons station. He was a young man, only twenty, his bright eyes had not yet started to fade but he had been very quite since Sestis 4. "Who we picking up?"
"How do you know we're picking someone up?" Tom looked at directly at Del, knowing as he did, the answer was simple and no part of it was going to be jaded but the years living as a resistance fighter and taught him to always be on guard. "Smiley only told me when we set out."
Del didn't even look up from the helm. "We have no cargo on board and we have no passengers, it's rather obvious we're picking someone up. Who is it?"
Tom had to think, the reasoning was sound. This was the first time they had embarked with neither cargo or passengers. Smiley had not told him his destination was either secret nor that the identity of their passenger was to be withheld, he knew that if he wanted their trust he would need to trust them. "It's a professor, specialist in some thing or other. Smiley promised him he'd be picked up." Tom didn't really want to go any further, too much information could be bad thing, he hoped they wouldn't press the issue. Some hope.
"What's he called?" Kellis was stood looking over the tactical displays, his hands still shaking from the encounter with the Klingon bird of pray.
Tom looked round, only Rixx was looking at him. Was there some way he could get out this situation, some way he could find so he would not have to tell them the name. Del turned round, it was too late, he had to tell them. "Vek La'crim."
"The Cardassian astrophysicist?" Del was noticeably shocked. He knew this Cardassian, he knew him very well. "You can't be serious?"
Tom still wanted to get out of there, now all three were looking at him, amazed, terrified and even, if only fleeting, anger, enough anger to tear Tom apart. They all hated Cardassians so their reaction was not surprising. Tom was sure that he would be lynched at any moment.
Del had turned away from Tom, he was looking out through the bulkhead and into space, his mind raced with this news, Vek La'crim coming aboard. Why, after all this time, why? Memories of happier times drifted into his mind, times when fighting and playing dead were just for fun. He couldn't understand why Smiley had said nothing to him but at least he understood why Smiley had sent the Drácon. So many things had happened since those days, he was a different person now, how would he ever be able to look him in the eyes. Around him the bridge was almost silent, Rixx and Kellis were shaken. Del wasn't surprised, it wasn't everyday you got told that you would be escorting a Cardassian to the home of the rebellion.
"Del," Tom was glad to have something other than himself to focus everyone's attention on and the spaced out look on Dels face was the perfect focus for everyone. "What is it? Do you know Vek La'crim?" He had never seen Del like this before, such a blank expression and vacant eyes.
Del turned round, his face white as the stars. "He's my father."
Impact 25 was created by myself and the other persons named above. The basic story is that a group of Terran rebels from the StarTrek Mirror Universe find they are in position of a ship that can cross the barrier between Universe's at will. However – this story takes place some time before they acquire that ship so please don't expect the federation to show up anytime soon.
Hope you enjoyed, please R&R.
Many thanks must go out to the wonderful OrbThesela for being my Beta and having the strength of a saint to put up with my grammatical errors. I owe you something big and shiny.