And here we go with chapter 4.
This first season of the fanfic features the Iconians, one of the least understood species in Star Trek because they where wiped out so long ago. While there are different interpretations of who they are, I have chosen to take the best of both, including the dark evil version of them in Star Trek Online and the more beneficial version of them some people choose to use.
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek, wish I did because then we'd ACTUALLY GET A BLOODY TV SHOW! Oh, and I also don't own the character Nioi, or other elements of a complicated side-story that will start here. Or for that matter Star Trek: Odyssey, which is referenced here along with other productions by Hidden Frontier.
RUINS OF THE PAST
"As we delved deeper into the ruins of the past,
The mystery began to deepen and yet became clear."
"Helm officer's personal log, stardate 91628.47. As things have been going slowly lately, I have taken the opportunity to pay a visit to the holodeck. As not only a pilot but an Engineer, I have always found the study of the early 20th century Earth inventors fascinating. In particular, I am visiting the lab of one of the more, interesting inventors of this time period."
Elia glances around, she was dressed in an outfit appropriate for the early 20th century America, she was inside a building in New York that seemed to be showing its age. She places a hand on the wall, feeling a slight vibration and smiles, she was in the right place. She knocks on the door to one of the rooms, the vibration stops as the door is answered by a man with short black hair and a mustache.
"I do not have time for visitors right now, leave," he says in an accent that is distinctly Eastern European.
"Mr. Tesla, my name is Ellen Draila, I've been interested in your work for awhile now," Elia says, using a fake name she was using for the holonovel. The holonovel was based on Nikola Tesla's Houston street lab in New York City. "I don't want to intrude, but I'm not just here to visit."
"If you are looking for a job, I am not hiring Ms. Draila," Tesla says, and starts to back away from the door. "Try Edison, maybe he'll hire you."
"I don't want to work for Edison, Mr. Tesla I can help you," Elia says, which stops the inventor in his tracks. "You're working on a functioning oscillator, aren't you?"
"How did you know?" Tesla asks.
"Your walls are vibrating, its kind of obvious," Elia says, holding up a case that probably contains various materials. "I brought my own materials."
"All right, fine, come on in," Tesla says, ushering Elia in as she removes her coat. "So, why come to me, Ms. Draila?"
"Your work with Alternating Current among other things," Elia says. "I saw your work at the Chicago World's Fair and..."
"Bridge to Lieutenant Drash," Jaie's voice is heard.
"Computer pause program," Elia says, tapping her commbadge. "Lieutenant Drash here."
"We're coming up on a system, the Captain thought you might be interested," Jaie says.
"All right, I'm on my way," Elia says, glancing around the lab. "Computer, save and end program," she says, and the holodeck shuts off around her before she heads out.
Elia steps off of the turbolift and onto the bridge, the stand-in helm officer gets up and she takes her seat as they approach the system in question.
"What are we picking up on scanners?" Selva asks.
"Its mostly water by the looks of it, but there is a land mass along the equator," Weok reports. "I'm picking up lots of life forms, varying species, it looks almost like Risa down there."
"A pleasure planet maybe?" Selva asks.
"That would be my guess," Weok answers.
"Captain, we're being hailed by the planet," Eric says.
"Put it on screen," Selva says, and the image of a Pasori female appears on the screen. "I am Captain Selva of the Federation Starship..."
"Yes, we have heard of the Helen and its voyage home, I am Lami, the director of the resort facility on Jin'ta," Lami says. "Please, we would be honored if you and your crew where to partake in our facilities."
"Captain, after what happened on the Chimera, I'm sure the crew would appreciate some shore leave," Jaie says.
"And plus it would give Engineering time to make sure all of our systems are still working," Elia says, shrugging.
"Come on Elia, you and Anlai should get some time together," Selva says with a laugh, getting a blush out of the Bajoran. "Okay, all joking aside we'll put together a schedule for shore leave, thank you Director."
"We look forward to entertaining your crew, Captain," Lami says, cutting the communication.
"Helm officer's personal log, supplemental. More on the insistence of Captain Selva than anything else, me and Anlai are going to head down to Jin'ta to spend some time together while we still have the chance to enjoy our shore leave. The Captain says she'll be joining us later, but in the meantime we're going down with Commander Eroi."
"So Commander, where are you going first?" Elia asks as they get situated inside the cockpit of the Runabout Toba.
"Well, the information they sent us mentioned some ruins on the northern edge of the continent, so some of us are heading up that way," Jaie says as Elia eases the Toba out of its mooring and through the opening for the shuttle bay. "And what about you two, the beach?"
"Pretty much," Anlai says with a shrug. "Elia wants to check out the diving they have off the coast."
"You dive, Lieutenant?" Jaie asks.
"On occasion, I'm mostly interested in some shipwrecks they have in the area," Elia says. "Seems the area we're going to used to be a big trading port before it was converted to a resort, and it attracted pirates."
"So, you're diving for gold then?" Jaie asks.
"You never know," Elia says with a shrug.
"Welcome to Jin'ta, ladies," a male alien with a deep tan and spikes running along his head and back says, greeting Elia and Anlai as they arrive at the main resort area. "I am Peros, I will be your tour guide while you are here with us."
"Thank you, Peros," Elia says, blushing a little as the guide kisses her hand. "I'm Elia, and this is my fiance Anlai."
"Oh, a thousand apologies, I didn't know that you two..." Peros says.
"Its all right, don't worry about it," Elia says with a shrug, glancing down at her bag. "Uh, is there somewhere we can get changed?"
"Yeah, sure, down the beach from here," Peros says, and leads the two down the beach. "So, I'm not familiar with your species, where are you from?"
"That's, complicated, we're from a very long way away," Anlai says. "I'm a Trill and Elia here is a Bajoran, we're from another galaxy."
"Oh, all right," Peros says with a shrug as they reach a set of changing rooms and Elia and Anlai enter their separate rooms.
Inside her's, Elia is surprised to find it occupied by a strange woman with white and purple skin with a bushy tail with a white stripe along it.
"Lieutenant Drash Elia?" the strange woman says.
"Uh, yes, who are you?" Elia asks.
"My name is Nioi, I want your help with something, Elia," Nioi says.
"Okay, but what do you..." Elia starts to say, but is quickly interrupted.
"Beep!" Nioi says, poking Elia's nose before vanishing, leaving Elia looking perplexed as to what just happened.
"What am I, a beagle?" Elia wonders and shrugs, moving to get changed.
"First Officer's log, supplemental, we have arrived at our destination on Jin'ta and are beginning to investigate the ruins. Our guide tells us that not very much is actually known about them because their architecture doesn't match any other known buildings on the planet, and the fact that they are partially underwater makes completely exploring them difficult."
At the same time Elia is getting her nose beeped, on the northern side of the continent Jaie is examining a ruined structure along with Louis Rodrick, the ship's lead archeologist and linguist to try and learn more about the ruins that had been left on the planet.
"There's something familiar about this architecture, but I can't place my finger on it," Jaie says, placing a hand on the wall. "Tarao, have they ever been able to access the interior of the structure?"
"No, we think the answer might be in the inscriptions, but no one's ever been able to decipher them," Tarao, a Pasori male says. He was the leader of the team studying the ruins, and was helping Jaie and Louis study them. "We've compared it to texts on other planets, but the closest we've ever been able to find is the..."
"Account of Darshus the Wise, Commander, this language is a derivative of Iconian," Louis says. "I'm attempting to translate it, but this is like no other language I've ever seen, its possible that other survivors holed up here."
"Got it," Jaie says, tapping her commbadge. "Commander Eroi to the Captain."
"Selva here," Selva answers.
"Captain, you might want to come down here and see this, I think we found an Iconian outpost on the northern end of the continent," Jaie reports.
"Iconians again?" Selva asks. "How recent are we talking about?"
"Captain, based on the language difference, we're talking about Iconians that survived the attack by those that came following the bombardment," Louis says. "If we can get it open, we might be able to get more answers about the Iconian presence in the Triangulum Galaxy."
"All right crewman, see if you can get it open, I'm gonna head down on the next transport, I want to know if there are any developments," Selva says.
"Yes ma'am, we'll let you know," Jaie says.
"All right, lets start with these glyphs here..." Louis says, pointing to a line of glyphs as he begins to attempt to translate them.
Elia steps out of her changing room, blushing a little bit because of the gold bikini she's wearing only partially covers up her body. Anlai is already waiting for her with Peros, looking a little perplexed at Elia.
"You where in there awhile Elia, is everything okay?" Anlai asks.
"Everything's fine, I'm sorry," Elia says, rubbing her nose a little. "Peros, is there a guest at the resort named Nioi? Kinda purplish-pinkish, big tail..."
"Can't say I've seen anyone that looks like that," Peros says with a shrug. "Why do you ask?"
"No reason, come on lets hit the beach!" Elia says, grabbing Anlai's arm and the two run off laughing.
Nioi is watching the two of them run off from on top of a tower nearby, smiling a little to herself. You enjoy yourself Elia, the answers you seek will come soon enough, she thinks to herself. She glances down to her watch, which begins to beep and presses a button, bringing up a projected image of a man with long purple hair. "Lord Tedd, I was just finishing my business here."
"Return to our universe, Nioi, your outings are becoming tiresome to myself and the General," Lord Tedd says.
"I'm on my way," Nioi says, and inputs a command into the watch and vanishes again.
"Commander, I might have something," Louis says, speaking up after 20 minutes of working on the ruins. "I think that we're looking at a logic puzzle, these symbols here didn't make any sense to me until I realized..."
"That they are numbers," Jaie says with a laugh. "I'm starting to get the picture, this was put here in order to test the inhabitants of the planet. At some point when they've become advanced enough, they'd be able to access whatever lies beyond."
"But the native inhabitants of this planet were wiped out thousands of years ago," Tarao says.
"Yes, but I think we can still decipher it," Louis says, tapping data into his PADD. "I've got it, its 3.14."
"Pi?" Selva asks, having finally arrived. "Its a cryptic message that just tells us Pi?"
"Yes, but Pi is never ending, the representation of a perfect circle, infinity," Jaie says. "Mathematics used to be considered a universal language, perhaps the Iconians felt that we'd be able to figure it out more easily."
"Do you know what we have to do to get it open then?" Selva asks.
"I'm not exactly sure Louis says, placing his hands on the wall under the symbols in question. "It says something along the lines of, seek your answers below the word, and the path shall be opened."
"Maybe..." Selva says, and places a hand on the symbols representing Pi. "These symbols are loose..." she says, and pulls them off one by one. "Lieutenant Rodrick, you might want to have a look at this."
"What do you... Oh..." Louis says, looking surprised when they find more symbols beneath it. "Yes, this explains a lot... let me try this..." he says, and then says something in a language none of them understand and it isn't translated by the universal translator, then the door slides open.
"What did you..." Selva starts to say.
"I said Open, in Iconian," Louis says with a shrug. "Apparently the Iconians have a sense of humor."
"All right, lets check it out then," Selva says, and they step through the doorway into the chamber beyond.
"You're still aboard?" Waseri asks Eric as she enters Ten-Forward, the place was pretty empty without Elia running the bar and with people on the planet.
"I never was comfortable relaxing," Eric says. "I'm guessing they don't have holoemitters on Jin'ta?"
"They do actually, but my holocommunicator doesn't really work well with non-Starfleet emitters," Waseri says, taking a seat. "So, I hear the Captain has found something interesting on the planet."
"Yes, an Iconian structure on the planet," Eric says. "Its bizarre really, friendly Iconians."
"Well we can't assume based on our limited experiences with Iconians in the Milky Way that they are all evil," Waseri says. "Its actually quite refreshing, the Iconians where a virtual mystery for years, but with this, we've been learning more about them than we even thought possible."
"Yes, we shouldn't always assume things about other species," Solok says, the Romulan is wearing a much more casual outfit because she's not really in Starfleet in this time period.
"What do we even really know about the Iconians," Eric says.
"Well, we know that they where pushed out of the galaxy originally by the Grey," Waseri says, that gives the officers chills. The Grey had been silent for years, but they where still prevalent in the minds of Starfleet Officers. "From the reports the Constance brought back from their mission that restored Romulus, they also have been starting to mess with members of the Romulan Star Empire."
"And apparently they had a presence in the Triangulum Galaxy," Eric says. "I guess we don't really know all that much other than their gateway technology."
"Yeah, well they are certainly a threat," Waseri says. "You know, being out here, makes me think of the ships that have gone out like this, you know, Voyager and Odyssey."
"Ah yes, Odyssey, nearly forgot about her," Solok says. "The first ship to explore the Andromeda Galaxy."
"Needless to say, I wouldn't mind that slipstream drive right about now," Waseri says. "You'd think that a ship built to go to other Galaxies would have one."
"Yes, well its mostly reserved for ships going to Andromeda to continue relations with the Archeins and the Kelvans," Eric says. "Last I heard the Kelvans have regained their government, at least things are improving over there."
"Yeah, well maybe one of these days Starfleet probably should establish a permanent base there," Waseri says, getting a light chuckle from Solok. "What's so funny?"
"Can't tell you," Solok says. "You know, Temporal Prime Directive."
"Oh come on, you can tell me, I won't tell anyone," Waseri says, and Solok shakes her head.
"Nope, can't tell you," she says.
"Darn it!" Waseri says with a groan.
Back on the beach, Elia is trying to coax T'lul out of the changing rooms.
"Come on T'lul, you lost the bet fair and square," Elia says, tapping her feet. "You agreed you'd visit the beach in a bikini if I could beat you at Poker. Don't tell me that the unemotional Vulcan is embarassed to be seen in a bikini."
"I'm not embarassed, I just don't see the logic in wearing something that, barely covers my body," T'lul says.
"Because it makes you look good, come on out," Elia says as Anlai comes up beside her. "She's definitely embarassed."
"Vulcans," Anlai says rolling her eyes.
"All right, I am coming out," T'lul says, exiting the changing area, wearing a green bikini. "Are you happy, Lieutenant?"
"Very, come on lets hit the beach," Elia says, laughing. The three women are getting stares from the males on the beach and even some of the females. "Look at it this way, you're a xenobiologist right?"
"Correct," T'lul says.
"Well then think of this as an opportunity to observe other species," Elia says.
"I suppose so," T'lul says, and wanders down the beach.
"That woman has no idea how to relax," Anlai says. "How'd you beat her at poker anyway?"
"Poker face was good, but she just doesn't know how to bluff," Elia says with a laugh, rubbing some sunblock on Anlai's back. "Folded on the bad hands, put in too much chips on the good hands, Vulcans are too logical to play poker if you ask me."
"Mmm, ain't that the truth," Anlai says.
"Captain's log supplemental, we have reached the inner chamber of the Iconian structure, I can't help but be reminded of the stories from Earth of the pyramids and the tombs that they contained. I wonder what the Iconians have hidden away here, and what is protecting their secrets from those that wish to steal them..."
"Captain, any idea what we're looking at here?" Louis asks, looking at the Iconian script that is on the walls of the inner chamber. "This not only is in Iconian, its in other written languages native to this area of the Triangulum galaxy, its basically a Triangulum version of the Rosetta Stone."
"But why is it here, and what purpose does it serve," Jaie says, examining the language. "And here's something else, its repetitive, the same lines of text over and over again."
"Ensign, do you have anything?" Selva asks.
"Astrometrics is going to want to see this, I think this is coordinates," Louis says, continuing to scan the walls. "Or at least part of some coordinates."
"I'll have them sent up to the Helen right away," Selva says, glancing around the chamber. "This seems too easy, much too simple for an Iconian structure. I wonder what is going on here, why is it this simple..."
"Ensign Jovan to Captain Selva," the voice of the science officer up in astrometrics sounds over Selva's commbadge.
"Selva here, go ahead Ensign," Selva says, tapping her commbadge.
"Well I've run the coordinates, they're incomplete, but I've managed to figure out so far that they're somewhere in the Vasteck Expanse," Jovan reports.
"I see, thank you Ensign," Selva says, and cuts the communication. "So then, this place must be part of a clue towards the first part of the path to Tomek Dai."
"So then, we're on the right track," Jaie says. "But he said that this was only part of the coordinates, where could the other part be?"
"These symbol indicates that there is another chamber," Louis points out. "Only thing is that its closer to the coast, and it seems to be underwater."
"Underwater, huh?" Selva says, and taps her commbadge. "Captain Selva to Lieutenant Drash, I have a mission for you."
"I'm listening Captain," Elia answers.
"Helm officer's personal log, following the request from Captain Selva I have gone to the diving facility on Jin'ta in order to get ready. But at the same time, Anlai has requested to come along with me."
"Anlai, are you sure? I mean I've been diving for years, and I've never worked with equipment like this," Elia says, examining the equipment that they where being suited up in. The equipment resembled more of a bubble that would fit around the user's head, along with a device that extracted oxygen from the water.
"Its fine Elia, they said its just like normal swimming, besides if I need anything you'll be there with me," Anlai says with a laugh. They where on a boat heading to the area that Selva had directed them towards where the second chamber was that housed the ancient Iconian texts that may have the second half of the coordinates.
"Go figure, we come here to relax and we get sent on a mission," Elia says shaking her head. "Well, at least the water is supposed to be nice."
"What do you think we should expect down there?" Anlai asks.
"If its anything like the other planets I've dived on, we'll be looking at what's in essence a cave dive once we reach the structure," Elia says. "Basically we're gonna have to look out for anything that might obstruct our trip such as rockfalls, not to mention anything actually living in there."
"And the structure itself?" Anlai asks.
"Well, it'll probably be submerged, which is why we have these lights," Elia says, raising a light source that was strapped to her wrist. "Okay, if you see anything just let me know, especially if its a very large shark."
"Oh, we don't have those over here, the Squid scared them away," the dive master says with a chuckle, getting a weird look from both women. "Don't people in your galaxy have a sense of humor?"
"Uh yeah," Anlai says.
"Anyway, you're right above where you need to dive, but I've been diving here for years, never found anything like you described," the dive master says. "All right ladies, you know the drill, I'll be with you the whole time, just breathe normally like you where on dry land."
"Okay, got it," Elia says and Anlai nods as they get up on the side of the boat followed by the dive master, and fall backwards into the water.
As the three dive deeper, they quickly come across a large seamount covered in coral, heading towards the summit of it Elia examines it for any sign of a structure.
"Well this is the spot," she says. "But where's the structure, just a moment..." Elia says, and reaches into her suit and removes a commbadge and presses it, setting it in a special slot in her apparatus. "Captain, this is Lieutenant Drash, do you read me?"
"I read you Lieutenant, what's the situation?" Selva asks.
"Well, we've reached the location that you sent us to, but there's no structure here," Elia reports, then takes a closer look at the coral. "Excuse me Captain, I need to ask about something.
"Uh, all right lieutenant, report in when you have something," Selva says.
Elia swims down to the dive master which was investigating the lower part of the seamount with Anlai.
"Excuse me, about how much does the coral here grow in a year?" Elia asks.
"Uh, I don't know, 3 or 4 inches I think," he answers.
"This coral is too short then," Elia says. "This mount's much older, why would there only be a few years of coral on it?"
"Ecological disaster?" Anlai suggests.
"Maybe, or maybe..." Elia says, and reaches forward into the coral, and her hand goes right through it, then part of it shuts off revealing an opening. "Its a hologram!"
"I think we found your structure," the Dive master says.
"Drash to Captain Selva," Elia says, tapping the commbadge again. "We have found the structure, going to investigate."
"They found it?" Jaie asks, looking at Selva. The two of them where relaxing on the beach, waiting for an answer from Elia and Anlai.
"Yeah, hidden as a seamount buried in coral off the coast," Selva says with a light chuckle. "Those Iconians, they're a smart bunch."
"Yeah, they are," Jaie says, looking out at the water, brushing her blonde hair back a little. "Captain, I'm a little curious, I don't know much about your species, what can you tell me?"
"Well, I can give you the short version," Selva says, laying her book down, she smiles as she watches Kaiya play in the water. "We used to be among those that Marched Under Raptor's Wings, then at some point during the exodus from Vulcan, my ancestors broke off from the others and settled on what is now our homeworld of Athena."
"So, then how did you become, you know, all female?" Jaie asks.
"The Athenan Plague," Selva says shaking her head. "It wiped out all of our males and made us incapable of having male children, until we made contact with the Federation, we had to resort to kidnapping or seducing males of other species. We aren't exactly proud of what we had to do, but we had to survive."
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know," Jaie says.
"Its not that we hide our past, we teach our daughters everything, and we keep nothing hidden from the Federation," Selva says. "If we don't learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it."
"Beautiful and a philosopher," Jaie says with a chuckle, getting a blush out of Selva. "Sorry Captain, that was Venir surfacing briefly there, fancied himself a bit of a ladies man."
"Venir? That was what, your first host?" Selva asks, and Jaie nods, Selva chuckles a little. "200 years ago I'm guessing, an ancestor of mine found herself on a station, came across a Trill, and, well..."
"Wait, you mean Erila?" Jaie asks, and laughs. "Yeah, I remember her, Venir thought she was a Vulcan on her Pon Farr or something, never would have guessed."
"Small universe I guess," Selva says.
Back in the structure, Elia see's a pillar of light and swims towards it, so far they hadn't seen anything yet, but this was their first sign of anything. She enters it and surfaces in a large round chamber, she ducks her head back underwater to call to Anlai and the Dive Master. "Hey, we've got dry ground up here," she says, and climbs out of the water, removing her globe as the other two follow her.
"How is this possible?" Anlai asks as they look up at the dome above them, despite the hologram outside, they can see clearly out into the water as fish dart across the dome. "The Iconians must have used some sort of power source that lasts a long time, I'm guessing geothermal."
"Look at this writing..." Elia says, moving up close to the wall, she blinks as the lettering seems to change from Iconian to something else, something familiar to her. "That's strange."
"What is?" Anlai asks, walking up closer to Elia.
"This text here, its in Bajoran," Elia says, running her hands along the text.
"That can't be right, I'm seeing it as Trill," Anlai says, and the two women exchange glances. "Wait a minute, I think I've heard of this before."
"What do you mean?" Elia asks.
"Well two years ago the USS Apache came across an Iconian settlement along the Romulan Neutral Zone," Anlai says. "There was references in it to something they called Mind Language, literally a language that can read as the language of whoever is reading it."
"Okay, so lets see here then," Elia says, and begins reading it aloud. "Beyond the barrier lies the gate to the secrets of Zeros. If you seek the path, you must face that which you most fear, and bring forth the crystal of enlightenment," she reads, and then goes over the rest. "All right, we've got the coordinates we needed, lets get this back to the ship."
"Okay, got it," Anlai says, and they nod to the Dive Master, and after taking the readings they need, re-enter the water.
"All right, we've managed to figure out exactly where the coordinates lead to," Weok says, and a map of space is brought up on the screen, they where in the conference lounge at the time. "Its close to the center of the Vasteck Expanse, but our sensors aren't able to pick up anything beyond the thermobaric layer."
"Zeros," Elia says, leaning forward. "Whatever it is, its got to be the key to the next clue."
"Might be a planet, or a space station," Selva says, moving up and looking closer at the map. "So then I guess there's no avoiding it, we're going into the Vasteck Expanse."
"I've talked with people in the Pasori government, the Expanse is difficult to transverse under normal circumstances," Waseri says shaking her head. "Seems that every 2000 years, the Expanse goes through a period of increased activity, they're not really sure why."
"And let me guess, we're coming up on the 2000 year mark," Selva says, and Waseri nods her head. "Great, just what we needed, another problem to confound our travels, how long would it take to go around the Expanse?"
"It would add months, maybe even years to our trip," Elia says. "Not to mention the fact that we'd be passing through Nadorian territory."
"As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not sure if we could survive all the encounters we'd have with the Nadorians," Eric says. "We only have a finite amount of power and torpedoes, we might have to take the risk and travel through the Expanse."
"All right, then its settled, Lieutenant Drash work with astrometrics to plot the safest route through the Expanse," Selva says. "I want to avoid any problems we might have, but we also should investigate these coordinates, see if they might provide answers."
"Yes ma'am," Elia says.
"All right everyone, we have a lot of work ahead of us, you're dismissed," Selva says, and the senior staff make their way out of the conference lounge.
Selva looks out at the stars flying by the ship, sighing a little to herself. We've almost left Pasori space, and beyond that is the great unknown of the Triangulum Galaxy, she thinks to herself. Am I putting too much on the crew by expecting them to go through all of this? I guess since we're Starfleet, we'll make it through somehow, but at what cost?
She sighs and leaves the conference lounge.
Just across the Pasori border, lying in wait in a Nebula is the Nadorian vessel Libron, a vessel of Mazeck Ta Bor, the Nadorian Intelligence Agency. The Libron was smaller than the Nadorian warships, constructed for surveillance instead of war, and was ordered to trail the Helen by the Commander of Mazeck Ta Bor.
"Sartek Vermnin, I'm picking up a ship approaching the Pasori border," the ship's sensor operator reports, turning to look at a Nadorian woman wearing the black uniform of a Sartek who is leaning against her armrest.
"What is the ship, officer?" Vermnin asks, looking hard at the sensor operator.
"I'm reading it as our quarry, its the Helen milady," the operator says, he was nervous, Vermnin had a reputation among Mazeck Ta Bor as being one of the most brutal of their Sarteks. Rumor was that she had only been made Sartek after assassinating her predecessor, and had the ear of the commander of the intelligence agency.
"Excellent, put it on screen," Vermnin says, and the image of the Helen appears on the bridge's viewscreen. "So this is the ship that Hardock wants so badly, it doesn't look like much."
"What are our orders, milady? Should we send word to Admiral Hardock that we've found the Helen?" The communications officer asks.
"Negative, this is a Mazeck Ta Bor operation, once the ship is close enough, engage the cloak and follow them," Vermnin says. "If they can find Tomek Dai like Hardock claims, then it will be us, not those incompetent fools in the Alliance Fleet that finds it. Long live the Nadorian Alliance!"
"Long live the Nadorian Alliance!" The rest of the crew repeats.
Back on the Helen, the crew has settled down for the evening, Elia yawns a little as she steps out of her bathroom wearing her nightgown. She yawns and lays down, wrapping her arms around Anlai and plants a light kiss on her fiance's cheek.
"Finally decided to come to bed, huh?" Anlai asks with a giggle.
"Sorry, you know how the Captain is, she wants us to get through that Expanse without blowing up," Elia says. "You know, I really think we should take Selva up on her offer to marry us."
"I thought you wanted to wait and have Captain Seto do it," Anlai says, referring to their old CO on the USS Challenger, Erika Seto.
"I know, but, we don't know if we're ever going to make it home again, I just don't think we should wait much longer," Elia says.
"All right, we can talk to the Captain about this tomorrow, you need to get some sleep," Anlai says with a slight giggle and gives Elia a kiss. "Sleep well, Elia."
Elia smiles and starts to fall asleep.
"Elia, come on, you'll be late for school!" A familiar voice rings in Elia's ears as she jumps out of bed, she's 5 years old again, and looks around at unfamiliar surroundings. She's in a home, looking out the window she can see a town beyond it.
I'm on Earth, but how... she thinks to herself, and slowly comes to the realization that she's dreaming.
"Elia, come on!" The voice says, again, and Elia finally looks to see a Bajoran woman with long red hair looking at her. "You don't want to be late for your first day do you?"
"Coming mommy!" Elia says, she wasn't really in control, she was more watching the events play out as she jumps out of bed and gets ready before heading out to take the transporter to school.
Elia looks around at the other kids, school didn't start until 0800, which wasn't for another 15 minutes so a lot of them where just hanging out. Elia looks nervously around, she hadn't ever been to a normal elementary school before, she had received all her education from her mother while they where on the run from the Cardassians. She tries to take a seat away from the others, but her arm is grabbed, and she turns to see a girl her age with brown hair tied into pigtails.
"Hey, why don't you come sit with us?" She asks, giving Elia a smile and motioning over towards another girl that reminded her a little of Nioi, only more pink. "Come on, there's no point in you sitting all by yourself."
"Uh, okay," Elia says, and is pulled over to the other girl, she starts to build her confidence more. "Hi, I'm Drash Elia."
"Kaoli, nice to meet you!" Kaoli says, shaking Elia's hand with a smile.
"And I'm Ellen Dunkel!" Ellen says, with a smile. "I think we're going to be good friends, Elia."
Elia blinks a little, and then smiles back.
The rest of the dream is pretty ordinary, Elia meets her teacher Mrs. Luna, a kind Betazoid woman, and found out that the town was named Moperville. The day is pretty uneventful up until recess when Ellen finds a boy named Tedd and gets him to help them play kickball.
Elia blinks as she wakes up the next morning, the dream had felt so real, and she still remembered it. It was more like a, well a memory than a dream itself, and she wondered what it all meant.
And that's Chapter 4 of Star Trek: Helen, the mysteries have deepened as they start to uncover more of the path to Tomek Dai. And at the same time, Elia begins to have strange dreams, but what do they mean?
Next Chapter, the USS Helen visits an area of space previously visited by a Starfleet vessel, and is faced with a choice that they must make. What is that choice? What will they do? And who else will appear? Find out in Chapter 5, "Quandary."