I've been writing this story for some time now, and I hope everyone enjoys it- and reviews.
For those of you who don't have accounts, you can still review (although you should consider getting an account. It's free- [although I won't say foolproof], and it doesn't spam your inbox like I thought it might.)
This is my first serious piece of Trek fiction that is actually my own. I have spent a long time on it, so it should show through.
Disclaimer: Star Trek is property of Paramount Pictures. If it were mine, the new movie would have been canceled the instant it began, and the producer would have been invited to take a one-way trip to an uninhabited island in the south pacific.
The USS Apollo was one of the oldest ships in fleet, an Oberth-class science ship. It had been patrolling the federation border since it was built almost a hundred years ago. Despite regular upgrades, it was definitely beginning to show its age.
On its bridge, Captain W'arp was quite busy trying to get back long-range communications. They had cut out almost a day before, and, so far, attempts to restore them had failed.
"Looks like the power supply on deck twelve cut out again." The chief engineer stated. She was an attractive human female by the name of Megan.
"Try routing power through the secondary supply." W'arp said.
"I'll try." Megan stated "But half of these systems are ready to give up already, without the extra strain."
"I already know that. Kill power to the lighting on deck seven then try it again."
"I'm already on it." Megan said, moving to one of the backup consoles. They had long ago learned that the lighting on deck seven had been the source of all sorts of bugs on the aging ship, so shutting them off caused many problems to clear up on their own. As she stepped back from the console, she managed to stand right on the unfortunate captain's tail.
"Yeouch!" he yelled, jumping into the air. The rest of the bridge crew, used to such interruptions, just grimaced. It was an almost every day happening on the ship, and the crew was used to their captain suddenly yelling and jumping in the air.
"You achieved a noise level of eighty decibels. I should advise you that continued exposure to noise at that level will cause damage to your hearing." The Vulcan communications officer stated.
"Just shut up and try the radio again." W'arp growled dangerously, coiling his injured appendage safely around himself.
The bridge speakers crackled for a second, then fell silent again. But not before W'arp's sensitive ears heard something in the static-something that definitely wasn't static.
"That sounded like someone trying to hail us." He announced. "Try to filter it out."
"The repair attempts have knocked the antenna out of sync. The entire set needs re-calibrated, Captain. That will take two point eight hours." The communications officer reported.
"Someone was trying to hail us now! Get the computers on filtering it out." W'arp demanded, snatching up the spare earpiece.
For a second, there was nothing legible, then the message became clearer.
"Apollo, this Starfleet… we have detected a… vessel closing on your… extremely dangerous, do not engage, repeat, do not… fleet in Typhoon, try… Apollo, do you copy? We have a …."
"Can you improve this any?" W'arp asked.
"That is the best this computer is capable of doing." The communications officer responded.
"Well, get to work on re-calibrating this thing. If it's that important, they'll hail us again."
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the operations officer, a young trill.
"Captan! An unknown object just entered sensor range- it's moving at Warp 9.95, apparent mass… Captain; you won't believe this- apparent mass two hundred thousand tons."
"We've seen stranger things out here. Bring us around to intercept course: 306 mark 24, and raise the shields."
"No need to, captain. It's changing course to intercept us." The ensign reported.
"Arm phasers and photon torpedoes." He hit the shipwide intercom button on the arm of his command chair. The lights darkened as the red alert klaxon sounded.
"All hands, this is the captain. This is not a drill. All hands go to battle stations. Repeat, all hands go to battle stations."
"Captain, the object is entering visual range."
The screen wavered, and then changed. A huge vessel filled the screen, thousands of times the size of the Apollo. Its dark hull was almost invisible against the stars, but here and there, a pale green light illuminated the hull a sickly color. It was a Borg cubeship.
"Helm, get us out of here, Maximum warp. Fire photon torpedoes." W'arp stated, keeping his eyes on the ship and pulling his tail out of danger.
Three streaks of orange light lashed out from the Apollo's secondary hull. These torpedoes carried Type-6 antimatter warheads, weapons that could vaporize half a planet. But they were futile. Seconds away from impact, they struck the shields of the Borg vessel, detonating harmlessly.
At the same time, space seemed to stretch around the Apollo as the great stardrive at its heart activated. Then it was gone in a flash of light, speeding through space at almost sixty times the speed of light.
But only for a second. Then the Borg vessel lashed out with a single beam of energy. The Apollo came out of warp, listing and bleeding superheated plasma from a severed pylon.
"We've lost the starboard nacelle pylon, captain! We're venting plasma!" someone reported.
"We've lost the warp drive!" Megan shouted.
"Transfer torpedo control to…"
The ship rocked as the Borg fired again. The port pylon vanished in a flash of fire. The secondary hull, no longer attached, floated away from the ship before it, too, was engulfed in fire.
"We lost the secondary hull and warp core. The shields are compromised." The operations officer reported.
"They're hailing us!" someone yelled.
"Onscreen!" W'arp yelled.
The screen wavered to show the looming Borg cube. The speakers seemed to echo as if a thousand voices repeated in perfect synch "We are the Borg. Lower your shield and surrender your ship. Resistance is futile."
"Now see here, whoever you are. We are the federation, and we do not surrender to Anything. Got that?"
W'arp looked around, surprised at his engineer showing such determination.
"We are the Borg. Lower your shield and surrender your ship. Resistance is…" The subspace radio, already badly damaged, finally died. The Borg were cut off in mid-sentence.
"We're not going down without a fight. Fire phasers." W'arp stated, sliding into the now-vacant helm console.
The Apollo's phasers lashed out feebly, barely even reaching the almost impenetratable Borg shields. The Borg ship struck again, and all that remained of the tiny ship dissolved in a flash of light. W'arp's last thought, even as his soul fled the circles of the mortal world, was that they hadn't even managed to warn Starfleet.
Utopia Planetara- The great shipyards of the federation.
This was the place where the great starships were born, and the place where they came to die. It stretched for thousands of miles, filling the orbit of the small world below. Thousands of separate docking pylons held hundreds of different starships. Freshly-gleaming tritanium beams marked the freshly-laid keels of the next generation of federation starships. In other places, gouts of flame from cutting phasers and flying shards of ancient metal marked where aged ships had been towed to their last berth and were now being broken up.
Above one of those berths, a shuttle hovered. The occupants looked sadly down upon the remains of a Miranda-class light cruiser, now cut down to little more than a few tritanium bones.
"It was a good ship, Captan. I was glad to have had the chance to serve on it for a time." Uzil stated. He was an Edosian- an odd-looking creature, and, like all members of his race, he had three arms and three legs.
"I had hoped that I would command it one day." Captain Jill Woodward replied. She was a tall, attractive woman of about twenty-five, and noted as one of Starfleet's more inventive captains. Although those who said that of her generally meant that she had a penchant for doing things the unusual, and usually harder, way.
"Well, considering the condition that your father left it in, it's no surprise they decided to scrap it." Uzil replied. "He had the subspace emitters about falling out of the nacelles."
"And the English replicators." Jill said, smiling. The replicators had gained that nickname after they began producing a cup of tea whenever anyone ordered coffee or hot chocolate. The fact that ordering tea produced a cheese sandwich had irritated the crew to no end.
"Well, you've got a brand-new ship to command now." Uzil noted.
"Which reminds me- I'm supposed to be going to it." Jill said. "We can't hang around here all day."
"Aye, captain." Uzil stated. The shuttle gained speed, dodging between larger ships.
As the shuttle cleared the shipping lane, they got their first good look at the new ship. It was the USS Declaration, a Saber-class frigate, one of the federation's newest ships. Only six decks high, the little ship was built for maneuverability and speed. The sleek lines marked a ship intended to be a
"Shuttle to Declaration. Requesting permission to bring the captain aboard." Uzil stated into the communications panel.
"Declaration to shuttle. We are opening the shuttle bay doors, you may come aboard at your leisure." the panel responded.
The shuttle slid gracefully over the primary hull, passing over the main phaser array, before dropping between the warp nacelle and secondary hull. Suddenly, the shuttle skewed violently sideways. Jill was nearly thrown against the wall. Uzil, slightly better prepared, clung to his chair, hanging on with two arms as he calmly steered the ship with the third. The artificial gravity quickly compensated as the shuttle ceased its sideways travel. Jill climbed back in her seat, muttering something under her breath that sounded like "Showoff!"
The shuttle slid smoothly backwards through the open shuttle bay doors- an incredibly hard maneuver. However, Uzil was a skilled pilot, and within seconds, the shuttle came to rest with a thud as the shuttle bay door closed and the bay began to pressurize.
Almost a minute later, the computer beeped the signal that the bay was pressurized. Jill slid the door open and stepped out into the tiny shuttle bay. The interior door opened, and two figures in Starfleet uniforms strode in.
"Captain Jill Woodward, I presume?" The taller one, a human, inquired. "I'm Commander Daniel Kendrick." He stated, stepping forward to shake hands. He was tall, even for a human, and Jill couldn't help but notice that he was extremely handsome.
"So you're my first officer?" Jill asked, shaking hands.
"I presume so. I helped build the ship, so I guess Starfleet figured I should get a chance at commanding it… Oh, I almost forgot- this is our ship's councilor, R'eth." He stated, turning to the other officer. She was short- at least a head shorter than Jill. Her distinctive, cat-like features and short body fur marked her as a Caitian, a minor race of the federation.
Unlike some inconsiderate people, Jill understood that Caitians were an intelligent, thinking race- unrelated to the Earth cats they all-too-much resembled. They were also a dangerous race- their claws, natural agility, and faster reaction times made them more than a match for many humans.
"Hello." R'eth said, extending her hand cautiously.
"Hi!" Jill stated, shaking hands. "Isn't councilor an odd position for a Caitian? Most of your people seem to be in communications and engineering."
"I'm a telepath, and, besides, I really enjoy helping people." R'eth said.
The conversation was suddenly interrupted when the lights turned a brilliant purple. The alert klaxon sounded.
"That's the main dock alert! Something's big time wrong!" Dan almost-yelled. "The last time they sounded the main alert was five years ago, before the battle of Wolf 395."
That, Jill knew, had been the worst defeat the federation ever suffered. A single gigantic ship, controlled by a cybernetic race known as the Borg, had defeated an entire fleet of the Federation's most advanced battleships. Even Earth's own, built-in defenses had failed to damage the ship. The planet had only been saved by the brave actions of an android Starfleet officer, who had risked his life to connect his mind with that of a captured Borg drone, allowing him to put the entire ship to sleep. Defeated, the Borg ship had self-destructed.
"We should get to the bridge." Jill stated. "Uzil?"
"Yes?" the Edosian replied, leaning out the door of the shuttle, which he had been shutting down.
"Do you want to pilot the ship or not?"
"Yes, Sir!" he stated, jumping gracefully down to the deck and closing the shuttle's door. Jill was once again shocked that anything with three legs and three arms could be so incredibly graceful.
The four officers ran for the door, which opened automatically. The hallway beyond was crowded with crewmen rushing in a dozen different directions. They somehow made it to the turbolift, but only after getting their toes tramped on at least twice, and the shy R'eth sad something rather unrepeatable at a crewman who mistook her tail for a deckplate. At last, they managed to duck into a turbolift.
"Bridge!" Dan ordered.
"Does this ship always get this confused when we go to alert?" Uzil asked.
"Not usually. We've a lot of engineering teams aboard, putting on the finishing touches, and they have to return to the dock when we go to alert." Dan responded
"…and that means they're using the cargo transporter in the cargo bay." Jill noted. "So they're crowding into the engineering hull."
"Any idea what's going on?" Dan inquired of R'eth.
"No more than you do." R'eth responded.
"You're a telepath. Can't you just read someone's mind and find out?" Dan asked.
"I can try, but I'm not that good." R'eth responded, closing her eyes and concentrating. The expression on her face went from calm, to confused, then to terrified. She snapped back to the waking world with a screech of terror.
"I…I" she began, stopping to calm herself before trying again. "I tried to sense the admiral, but all I could sense was panic- and fear. Tremendous fear. Whatever it is, Admiral Haynes is terrified of it."
"I know the Admiral personally. It would have to be something really bad for him to be scared." Jill said.
The conversation was interrupted when the turbolift doors opened with a whoosh, to reveal the Declaration's command bridge. The Declaration, like all Saber-class ships, had a small, efficient bridge. The outer wall was ringed with consoles, leaving barely enough space between them for the doors to the ready room and turbolift. In the center a circular depression housed the command chairs, helm console, and starship operations. Behind the captain's chair, the tactical console served double duty as both a console and the headrest of the captain's chair.
"Captain on the bridge!" The young man at the Tactical console announced.
"At ease!" Jill responded, striding to the captain's chair. R'eth took one of the multipurpose chairs to the captain's right, and Dan took the first officer's chair to her left.
"The admiral is hailing us on emergency channel, sir." The Operations officer reported. He was an older human, probably on his last tour of duty before retiring.
"Wane Oakley, sir" he stated
"Onscreen, Mr. Oakley." Jill finished.
The screen wavered, and changed to show the admiral's office. Admiral Hayes sat behind his desk, typing frantically at a console. The screen beeped and he looked up.
"Captain Woodward?" he stated "We have some trouble here. Two days ago, we detected an enemy ship on the long-range sensors. It's on course for earth."
"Why put the docks on alert for just one ship?"
The admiral looked up from his console grimly, and spoke three words. The last three words any Starfleet captain ever wanted to hear.
"It's the Borg." He stated.
Well, how did I do? Please review and let me know!