Within his huge fortress planet, the Imperial Master watched as events seem to thwart his best Commander's efforts at every turn. Her lastest report had been typical, it was almost as though proceedings were following a pre-ordained path. He tried to snap his thoughts away from such nonsense, but he too remembered the details of the prophesies he had so recklessly plundered. He decided his own insurance policy was needed. He feared the power of the F-01, and knew it must be captured and crushed before it had gained in strength to try to over throw him. He needed a vessel in which to contain it's great powers, and to which he could add his own to create the ultimate force for evil and oppression and cement his rule over the entire galaxy. He needed the essence of the Ancient Thalians to once again rise up and provide him with an heir. However, such an act should not impinge on his own powers of rule, therefore such a being should remain inert until the time came for him to unite the very elemental powers and ascend to unimpeachable heights. With the power of the F-01, and his own energies contained within a new body, there would be no stopping the total domination of the Imperial Alliance.
Shutting off his many links to his minions, he dived within his own psyche, and re-connected with his ancient home planet. The Thalian elemental rock from whence he had first emerged. He was soon walking on it's charged surface, the scars of the many battles he had fought with the elders still evident in places. He picked up a charred piece of meteorite, and a piece of the unique Thalian planet's own indigenous alluvium, and using his own divine strength, he compressed and imbued the fragments together, breaking off a single piece of his own metal torso, beams came forth from his eyes as he stood on the remains of the altar that had seen his birth, drawing forth energy from deep within the planet's core. He felt a stirring inside the mass he held between his hands. Then, it was done, now the forces of time needed to play their part, and he threw the congealed mass of fledgling evil up, up away from the surface of the Thalian's globe, to orbit the planet, and slowly grow in power and life-force as he himself had done. The shard of his own anatomy would one day be the communicator that would awaken the slumbering beast.
On Mars, Professor Hagen was about to make an amazing discovery. The scout vehicle had reached the site of the impact with the planet's surface. Strangely Hagen could see very little damage, no real crater, no scoring, not even much dust. His visual display showed something much more incredible up ahead. Half-buried in the Martian surface, was a white craft. It was small, but certainly alien as Hagen knew of no such craft on any Star Fleet mission. Attayama urged caution, but Subaro felt no fear.
"It is OK, I just know it" He told the confused science officer. Before Attayama could stop him, Subaro was outside the relative safety of the vehicle, and was inspecting the crashed vessel.
He could not believe his eyes, inside was a baby, a beautiful baby! As he approached the pod, the outer canopy opened and revealed a small inner transparent enclosed bed. The tiny infant looked out at Subaro through shiny, warm and loving eyes. Subaro made to pick up the cot and suddenly the Kirree awakened and lurched up at Subaro. But before he could move, the beast had collapsed, exhausted due to it's long journey. Subaro had made an incredible discovery indeed. He somehow knew the child was special, humanoid yet alien as well, with an incredible aura of peace around it. He had to tell General Kyle about this, he would know what to do.
Later back at the Mars Institute, Professor Hagen was filling in General Kyle personally via a scrambled vid-link.
"...So General, as well as the alien baby girl with her special pendant, and the yeti-like creature that may be her guardian, there was also an alien data chip of some sort. I am attempting to dissimilate it's contents".
"Good work Hagen, this entire episode must be kept under wraps until you are able to discover more about these strange finds".
"Yes General, you can count on me sir!"
"Oh, Hagen, I heard about your split between Annalee and that you no longer see your son, as they are back on earth".
"Yes General, it was regrettable, I was immature..."
"I am sorry Hagen, but it seems that fate has given you another child to care for. I trust you will be a better guardian to this girl?"
"Of course General, I have already named her Lamia".
"Lamia? Excellent, please keep me informed of all developments."
And so Professor Hagen became a parent for the second time, only this time in secret. The creature he also rescued showed much aptitude in caring for the child, who grew in beauty of both body and mind. He spent as much time as he could with Lamia, but the contents of the data disc gradually began to take over his life. Contained within them were many amazing plans, schematics and theories, and Hagen's brilliant mind leapt upon them with vigour. It was almost as though they had been written for him. As time passed he began to formulate a super-weapon, which he designated "Project X". The ever loving Lamia was never wanting, only loving him, but he knew he could not devote the time to her he needed. There was another thought in his mind, and when Subaro became engrossed in something, he could not let it go until he had followed it through. He had become obsessed with the origins of this beautiful child that had come into his life. He had to know more. Contained within the many plans, was a brief outline of a sleek and fast-looking space ship. Hagen pondered as to it's inclusion on the disc. The design embodied some form of transponder or signal, that the ship would send out as it navigated the stars. Hagen felt sure it was some clue as to Lamia's identity.
On a routine report to General Kyle, Subaro mentioned that Project X was now nearing the time when it needed extra resources and personnel in order to take the project to the next stage, Prototype!
"Hagen, I have just the man, you will like him, his name is Dr. Benn Robinson".
Subaro had heard of the esteemed Dr. Benn, an eccentric pipe-smoking character, who possessed one of the finest research minds in Star Fleet. "He would be ideal to join the X-project sir", stated Subaro.
"Excellent, I'll contact him and set up a meeting".
Subaro knew that it was now or never for him to make his bid to find the origin of Lamia. He knew that Dr. Benn would be the right person to take the X-project forward, and he hoped that he would also be able to give Lamia the time and tuition she deserved.
Later in the lab, as the last few of the research institute staff left for rest, Subaro bided his time and snuck into his private development workshops. General Kyle had given him a blank cheque and carte blanche to do as he wished with impunity, and Subaro had been busy. He had built that prototype craft and gathered his supplies together. He knew that Dr. Benn would be arriving on Mars in a day or so. Perfect.
He climbed aboard and powered up the small crafts' impulse engines. Opening the main partition between his lab and the outer launch bay through his craft's controls, he energised the vertical lift boosters. The sleek craft rose up off the ground, and nosed out into the main launch bay. Activating the main engines, Subaro guided the craft out into the Martian sky, and then engaging impulse drive, he left Mars far behind.
In the Mars institute control centre, the craft's launch did not go unnoticed, but before any pursuit ship could be readied, Hagen's ship had attained hyperspeed and had vanished from the radar screens.
In a far distant part of space, the Imperial battle cruiser began it's long search for the feint trail of Lamia's escape capsule. Makara was on the warpath, shouting commands at her unfortunate Captain.
"Orion, can we not make any faster speed?"
"N-no Commander, the engines are at maximum output".
"Well perhaps you should direct your attentions to raising the output? Are you not aware of what will happen to you if we fail this mission?"
B-by your divine guidance" came his wilting reply.
In her prison of blackness, Mary drifted helplessly. Unable to attain any control over her own environment, yet her mind was also enjoying being free of the terrible dark forces which had plagued her for so long. Thoughts span round in her disembodied mind, was she now lost forever, banished from contact with another soul?
She had no sense of time any longer, so when she heard a voice, she could not decide if minutes or decades had passed.
"Mary...Mary" it said.
Cautious at first, she concentrated her mind on the voice and it grew stronger.
"Mary, I have come back for you".
It was with much relief that she realised the voice was not Makara's. But it was familiar...
"Mary, it is me, The Captain".
"Captain, you have returned!", She exclaimed joyfully.
"I have missed you my love".
"So have I", said Mary. "But I have failed you, the darkness has won, I have lost".
"No Mary, you have not lost. It was I who had lost my way, but I am here again. And now you must come with me".
"B-but, what if she returns..."
"Do not fret, if your nemesis appears, you must show only one emotion, Love!"
"Show her love?, But how?"
"Follow my lead, it is the only way you will be free".
Mary was gradually aware of a change in the blackness, a tiny pinprick began to get lighter. She knew this was her chance to escape. She concentrated on the glow, red at first, then orange, yellow and finally a bright white light appeared. She was suddenly conscious of another being materialising, it was the dashing Captain, her Captain. He was standing by the portal of light, smiling. Then suddenly, a familiar voice made itself heard:
"So Corliss, you have returned! Well it is too late! You shouldn't have run away before and deserted your friend. Now she is mine!"
"I was weak, I acknowledge that, but I am now stronger than you could possibly imagine Makara" Corliss calmly spoke.
With that, the defiant image of Makara appeared, sword raised. She smiled an evil grin and positioned herself between Mary and the Captain. Mary was suddenly aware of her own body again, this time with no cyborg implants anywhere. She strode up to Makara.
"I am no longer afraid, you cannot kill me".
"I already have my dear, where do you think you are now?" Makara retorted.
Mary concentrated on the Captains' words of love and walked ever closer to her red-haired demon.
Makara raised her sword: "I warn you, stay back!" she spat at Mary.
Mary suddenly understood what she had been missing all along. A great weight lifted from within her and she smiled at Makara: "I pity you, but... I love you" she said. "Maybe one day you will be able to love me too".
Makara's red eye winced at the words, and she bought her sword down on Mary, but it just passed right through her.
"NO!" she screamed, "You are mine!"
Realising her strength, Mary passed straight through her nemesis, and turned to look back. Makara stood there, aghast, confused, unable to move. Mary turned and took the hand of the Captain. They seemed to fly, and entwine together and were at one with the greater force of good that the Alliance so feared.
"I don't need you anyway, I have won!" Screamed Makara after them.
Then she was back on the bridge of her battle cruiser. Her symbiont returned control to her and she gazed out at the minions under her control. "They can't stop me now" she sneered to herself.
"Orion, status report!" She snapped, as a single tiny tear ran down from her brooding red eye.
And the huge Kathaar class cruiser continued it's search for the F-01.
A young girl runs over to her mentor and protector. She looks up at him with glowing bright blue eyes and hugs him round his legs. He puts his pipe to one side and picks her up.
"Lets have a story Lamia" the smiling bearded man says, before sitting them both down on a soft armchair.
"Once, in a land far from here..."
A group of young cadets excitedly await the start of their most eagerly anticipated lesson. Advanced combat techniques. Their chatter soon hushed as their new instructor appeared in front of his class. An adventurous, stylish character, his EDF cap perched jauntily on top of thick flowing locks of blonde hair. His eyes hidden behind dark shades, he is a character that immediately put awe into the assembled cadets.
As he begins to speak, a young cadet in particular is transfixed by this charismatic teacher.
Captain Carter's first question comes early on in the lecture, and he picks out a promising looking young lad to answer:
"You there, what's your name son!"
"Cadet Hagen Sir!"