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Linked Circles – The Rewrite

Chapter I

Late 2293
USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-B

"Activate main deflector!" Captain James Tiberius Kirk ordered, shouting loud enough to be heard over the sound of the ship's shuddering attempts to break free of the gravimetric distortions. Visible on the viewscreen at the fore of the bridge was the source of the distortions; an angry ribbon of energy, with crackling tendrils of energy reaching out towards them like lightning bolts.

The ship thrummed with power as a shaft of bluish energy leapt out from the deflector dish, connecting with the ribbon. Almost immediately, the ship's shuddering lessened and the Enterprisebegan to turn away from the crackling ribbon. "It's working," the retired Captain Montgomery Scott reported in his thick Scottish brogue from the operations console he'd commandeered after its original operator had been killed a few minutes earlier. "We're breaking free," he added, glancing reassuringly to the young Ensign Demora Sulu seated at the helm console just to his right.

But the ribbon wasn't finished with them yet. Turning his gaze upon the viewscreen again, he watched as an energy tendril reacted to the beam and lashed out at the ship. The viewscreen went blindingly white as the ship lurched to port sending him tumbling to the deck.

He waited a second, fully expecting the ship to be struck again. It wasn't. Pushing himself into a sitting position, he became aware that the shuddering had stopped. The only sounds being the consoles emitting their ever-present bleeps and tones.

Glancing up at the viewscreen, he saw clear space with no sign that the energy ribbon had ever been present. There wasn't even the wreckage of the Lakul or the Robert Fox. But, that wasn't surprising since the energy ribbon had most likely vaporised it.

Rising back onto his own two feet, he watched Demora scramble back into her own seat and analyse her readouts. "We're clear," she called out, the relief evident in her voice. "The ribbon is gone."

"Sir," Scott said victoriously. "You did it!"

Kirk had somehow managed to stay rooted to the command chair. He sat staring for a moment at the viewscreen before swivelling the chair towards the helm, he asked: "Damage report, Ensign."

"There's some bucking on the starboard nacelle," Demora reported. She frowned as she saw more readings appear on her console. "We've also got a hull breach in the engineering hull's port fairing. Emergency force fields are in place and holding."

"Where?" Scott asked.

She glanced at him, noticing the apprehensive look he was sharing with Kirk. Captain Harriman she suddenly realised. He hasn't reported in yet. "Sections twenty through twenty-eight on decks thirteen, fourteen… and fifteen."

Scott thumbed the nearest intercom controls. "Bridge to Captain Harriman," he stated numbly. "Captain Harriman, please respond…"

No response.

"Captain," the science officer, Lieutenant Jennifer Vasquez, turned away from her station for a moment. "I am picking up a life sign in deflector control. However it's very faint."

He looked back over at her. "Are the transporters functioning?"

She nodded.

"Then beam him directly to sickbay," Kirk ordered rising from the command chair, turning towards the port turbolift. "I'm on my way."


Unlike the main ward just outside, the critical care unit of the Enterprisewas decidedly quiet. Lying on the bed in the rooms centre was Captain John Harriman. Hovering over him, Commander Pavel Chekov was using every bit of emergency medical field training he knew to keep him alive.

Approaching the bed, Kirk glanced over at Chekov, then onto the Enterprise's captain.

Harriman's eyes opened, looking up at the two standing by the bed. "Captain," he asked weakly, his voice sounding hoarse. "Did we make it?"

Kirk nodded. "We made it."

Harriman coughed; a deep gurgling sound that emanated from his lungs. Fresh blood streaked his lips. Harriman smiled, the overhead lighting seeming to reflect in his eyes. "It was… fun." Every bit of pain and suffering seemed to leave him; his expression growing almost restful.

And then the smile vanished, an expression of pure wonder crossed his face. "Oh my," he whispered with his dying breath. Harriman had passed on.

Chekov was looking dejected. "I couldn't save him."

"It wasn't your fault," Kirk said soberly. He wanted to say more. But, he was interrupted by the sound Scott's voice requesting Kirk's attention over the intercom.

Reaching over to the nearest intercom, he thumbed it on. "Bridge, Kirk here."

"Captain," Scott stated. "I think you better get up here. We've got a new problem."

"On my way," Kirk told him, turning back towards Chekov who had placed a sheet over Harriman's body. "Chekov," he stated. "I'll be needing you on he bridge."

"The crew," Chekov said. "Their morale will be shot to threads when find out their CO got killed on their first day."

"Was his first officer aboard?" Kirk asked.

"He wasn't due aboard until Tuesday."

"Damn bureaucrats," Kirk swore.


Emerging from the turbolift, Kirk crossed the bridge to stand just behind the vacant command chair, choosing not to take it. It would, he felt, be an insult to the late Captain Harriman. "Lieutenant Tobiaston," Kirk addressed the communications officer, remembering him as being the old beta-shift communications officer on the Enterprise-A. "Put me on speakers."

Touching a couple of controls, Tobiaston gave him a nod.

"May I have your attention please," Kirk stated formally. Instinctively, the bridge crew looked at him; the journalists, who had turned their vid-recorders off when Kirk had ordered it earlier, turned them back on. "It is my unfortunate duty to inform you that Captain John Michael Harriman has died. Let the record show that he died a hero. His actions in modifying the main deflector dish not only saved our own lives, but also the lives of forty-seven El-Aurian refugees. When we get home, I intend to recommend that he posthumously receive the Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry for his actions today." Now came the part he didn't want to do, but was required of Starfleet officers, even retired ones like himself. "With the absence of the ship's first and second officers, in accordance with Starfleet regulations, I assume command of this vessel as of sixteen fifty-seven hours." He paused. "Duty officer, please note this in the log." Glancing up at the communications station, he made a slashing gesture.

"Speakers off," Tobiaston replied.

"First things first," he stated, finally taking the seat and giving the Federation News Service journalists a meaningful glance. "Turn off those vid-recorders and I'd suggest returning to your assigned quarters or the rec-deck."

Their immediate move towards the two turbolifts surprised him. He'd been expecting them to put up an immediate objection. Journalists, Kirk knew, by their very nature wanted to be where the action was. Clearly, they'd had their fill of the action today and wanted to be out of harms way.

When the last of them had entered the turbolifts and the doors had shut, he turned to Scott at the operations console. "Report," he asked.

"Sir," Scott said. "I think Ensign Sulu should explain. She's the one who noticed it."

"Noticed what?" Kirk prompted.

"We are not where we're supposed to be," Sulu told him "Navigational subsystems are unable to lock down our coordinates. Some stars have changed position; others have completely vanished while some completely new stars have appeared. Only Sol and Epsilon Eridani are in their correct positions. I'm trying to estimate our approximate location using visual scanning procedures."

Kirk knew that would take time, but it was a tried and true method of interstellar navigation; involving the use of visual sensors to compare live visuals with visual captures stored in the main computer. The only downside was that those captures were often quite old meaning that it was never completely accurate due to stellar drift.

The sound of doors hissing open made him glance right as Chekov emerged from the starboard turbolift onto the bridge. "Man the operations console," he told him.

"Sir," Vasquez said glancing up from her station. "I should also point out that in most cases, even the stars' solar systems have changed; some stars that shouldn't have planetary bodies orbiting them have planets, while others that should have planets lack them."

"Odd," Kirk thought aloud. He was beginning to get an idea of what happened. Earlier, when they'd been attempting to beam the refugees off of the Lakul before it was destroyed, he remembered Scotty saying they were phasing in and out of the space-time continuum. "Lieutenant," he asked. "Is it a logical possibility we could have been transported into a parallel universe?"

"Theoretically," Vasquez nodded. "You yourself proved that it was possible to be transported into another universe."

"Don't remind me," Kirk muttered quietly. The Terran Empire was the last place he wanted them to be in right now. But, it was better to be safe than sorry. "Disengage IFF beacon."

"That may not be necessary," Tobiaston was frowning at his station. "I'm not picking up any activity on subspace. I'm not even picking up any background noise."

"Do it anyway," Kirk told him not taking any chances. "Sulu, Chekov. You narrowed down our position yet?"

"It's coming up now," Sulu stated. "A ninety percent match for Sigma Draconis, also known as the Alsafi system."

"Demora," Chekov told her, sounding suspicious. "That is too perfect a match. What's the capture date for those visuals?"

"July 25th, 2248," Sulu told him.

"Idi k chortu," Chekov swore. "Captain, we've been transported forty-five years at the most into the past."

"Sir," Vasquez looked up from her station, speaking up before Kirk could acknowledge Chekov's new information. "I'm picking up a warp signature. Bearing two-eight-five mark ten; closing at warp nine. They'll be here in less than thirty seconds."

"Yellow alert," Kirk ordered. "Energise defence fields."

"Aye sir," the dark skinned tactical officer supervising the free standing tactical console acknowledged.

The ship began to hum with power as systems that had been idle were brought online and powered up to standby status. Glancing round the bridge, Kirk was pleased to see that most of the ship's weapons and defence systems were functioning. Despite the fact they didn't have any photon torpedoes or tricobalt devices aboard, he was pleased to see that the torpedo launchers were functioning.

"Sir," Chekov reported after a beat. "All decks acknowledge yellow alert status."

"Thank you," Kirk nodded; pleased that it hadn't taken long at all. Given the ship's lack of a full crew, he was expecting it to take longer. Only about ten seconds, Kirk thought. Not bad. He turned to helm. "Estimated time to contact?"

"Twenty seconds," Sulu answered.

"Plot an evasive course," Kirk told her. "Mr. Scott," he said, glancing up at the engineering station. "Assuming we have to leave quickly, what's the maximum speed we could maintain in our present condition?"

"Warp seven," Scott answered. "Maybe warp seven-point-five."

"Course plotted," Sulu answered. "Contact with unknown in six seconds."

Those seconds passed quickly. Glancing up at the viewscreen, Kirk saw the familiar burst of light as the unknown vessel dropped out of warp. Leaning back into his chair, he rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Magnify," Kirk said. "Let's have a look."

The image changed, flickering for an instant and then the starship expanded to fill more than half the viewscreen. Its resemblance to Starfleet vessels was obvious, but it was so much sleeker than the vessels he was familiar with.

The traditional saucer that had been proved to be the most easily serviceable design since the early days of the Earth's Starfleet was still there, but unlike the saucers he was familiar with, this one was elliptical in design, its longest diameter running along the fore-and-aft line. Mounted directly to the aft underside of the saucer, was the main body of the ship with no in-between bird-like connecting dorsal. Still present were the V-shaped nacelle pylons sweeping above and aft of the main hull to the nacelles themselves; looking snake-headed and just as sleek as the rest of the ship.

Kirk casually let his gaze slip to the point on the saucer's dorsal surface where the starship's name and registry was usually imprinted. Barely visible, were the letters NCC-1701-E USS ENT— Theremaining letters curved out of sight, but he didn't need to see them to know what the ship was called.

"Sir," Tobiaston said speaking up from his communications station. "They're hailing."

"Put them on screen," Kirk said rising out of the command chair, pulling down at the sides of his uniform jacket.

The image on the viewscreen changed yet again, this time to a view of the other Enterprise's bridge. It was always quite hard to get an idea of the size of a starship bridge from an image on the viewscreen; one generally had to actually truly set foot on it, but got the impression it was quite expansive. The crew was mostly human, but he could also see what appeared to be a golden skinned being seated at either the helm or operations station and to his surprise a Klingon standing at a free standing console aft and starboard of the central command area.

Looking at the uniforms, he saw that they were two-piece garments. Mostly black, but prominently displaying the wearers' branch of service through the use of colour coding their on their chests, back and sleeves in wine-red, a mustard-gold or teal-blue. The shoulders he saw were black with a V-yoke and featured a somewhat formal seeming collar. In all, it was very reminiscent of the uniform he wore three decades earlier. On the uniforms left breast, he could see the familiar Starfleet insignia badge; in this case a silver arrowhead insignia over a stylised gold trapezoid. Only the Klingon's uniform was different in that he wore a baldric, signifying the house to which he belonged, over his standard uniform.

Kirk let his attention be drawn to the balding male standing just before that other ship's command chair. The uniform's branch colour was wine-red. Interesting, he thought. They've switched the colours of two branches. Given that this was obviously his opposite number, he assumed that wine-red must have meant command.

"I'm Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise," Kirk stated right off of the bat. "But, I'm guessing you already knew that."

The balding man nodded, the expression on his face seemed to almost be one of complete awe. "Captain Jean-Luc Picard," he stated after carefully schooling his features into a neutral expression. "I'm guessing you know what ship this."

Kirk nodded. "I saw the name and registry."

"Captain," Picard said. "Do you have any idea of what has happened?"

"Not really," Kirk answered. "But our best guesses based upon the lack of subspace activity – not including ourselves – and the positions of certain stars suggest that we have been shifted both in time and space to a parallel universe. Unfortunately, there is no way to prove the latter."

"Captain," Picard said. "I think you should come over. We have a lot to discuss."

He waited a few seconds before answering. "I'll beam over shortly."

"We'll be waiting," Picard said just before the channel was closed.

"Ensign Sulu," Kirk said, glancing at the helm as he headed for the starboard turbolift. "You're with me. Mr. Chekov… the ship is yours."

"Aye sir," Chekov and Sulu said in unison; Sulu joining the captain as Chekov moved over to the command chair.

Ten minutes later…
USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-E

Stepping onto the bridge from the turbolift, both Kirk and Sulu paused for a moment taking in the full bridge. It was a sweepingly beautiful; more intimate bridge than the one on the Enterprise-B. Each brace, chair and pillar seemingly designed to mimic the sleekness of the ship's hull. He recognised the lines; the deck head was lower than on his own Enterprise, emphasising the intimacy.

The colours were a rather sombre dark russet, giving this bridge a less antiseptic feel. Like on his own bridge, military grey structural members supported hundreds of diagnostic readouts and sensor displays. Six arched support pillars were arranged in a semicircle, each with their own light panel on the inboard side. At deck level, Kirk was surprised to see the floor lights illuminating a deep astral blue carpet, but then he supposed it shouldn't have surprised him. While being escorted here by Picard's first officer, Commander William Riker, he'd seen children running and playing in some of the passageways; when Ensign Sulu had asked about their presence, Riker had told them that they were the children of some of the officers and crew. Carpet, he knew would probably make the ship a safer and friendlier environment.

No station was more than a few steps from each other, so it was impossible for anyone to feel completely alone on this bridge and could see each others panels with a simple glance.

Other than that, everything was pretty much of the typical Starfleet design. Captain's chair in the centre, helm and operations consoles before that. In its usual position at the front of the bridge, was the viewscreen.

"Captain," Riker said, pointing out a doorway on the forward starboard side of the bridge. "If you'll come this way."

"Just a moment, Commander," Kirk said letting his eyes linger on the viewscreen, taking in the sight of his own vessel and the damage on the port side of the engineering hull. Looking at the damage, he guessed he should have been thankful for the incomplete crew. If it had been complete, they might have lost more than just the captain.

And then the moment was over. Following Riker across the bridge, he allowed himself to be led into the captain's ready room.

The ready room was decidedly cooler than the rest of the bridge. Riker knew that was the way Picard liked it, since it helped him to relax and think. Right now though, Picard looked anything but relaxed as he paced before the desk, and now came forward to greet Kirk. "Allow me to present Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise-E," Riker said by way of introduction.

"Welcome aboard," Picard said amicably. "Captain James Kirk, I presume?"

Kirk nodded, and then indicated the young female Asian. "May I present Ensign Demora Sulu, the Enterprise-B's helmsman."

"Ensign," Picard acknowledged. Going round to his side of the desk he sat down. "Would you sit down?" Picard asked indicating the two seats opposite his desk.

Taking their seats, Kirk thought it was time to get down to business. "Captain," he stated. "Do you have any idea where we are?"

"That is very hard to say," Picard answered. "But suffice to say that quantum resonance scans of local space show that we are both foreign to this universe and that we ourselves both come from different quantum realities."

"If I may ask," Kirk stated. "What made you check the Enterprise-B?"

"Sir," Riker said from where he himself had seated himself. "History records that you were killed in 2293 aboard the Enterprise-Bwhile attempting to free the ship from the gravimetric forces of an energy ribbon. Our history also records that the ship never disappeared or reappeared and that Captain John Harriman remained in command until 2311 when Ensign Sulu here assumed its captaincy."

As Riker was speaking, Picard was watching the two twenty-third century officers. Kirk didn't even react, but he was known for his poker face; being able to give the impression that something had not affected him when in fact it had. It was also what had allowed him such victories against the likes of General Kor, the Romulan incursion of 2266 and the USS Reliantwhen it had been hijacked by the Augment, Khan Noonien Singh.

Sulu on the other hand was having a hard time taking in what could have been, or in Picard's case had been. In fact, she looked a little startled at the fact that she'd eventually rise to command; something she probably hoped for, but never expected to actually happen.

"You don't seem surprised," Picard said after a moment.

"I'm not," Kirk agreed. "I like to think there are always possibilities."

"Yes," Picard stated. "Infinite possibilities, in infinite combinations. My chief operations officer said something similar after our transference to this universe. I don't know how you were brought here to this place and point in time, but I think it is related to what happened to us."

"If you don't mind my asking," Riker said. "Just how did you get here?"

Kirk told him.

"That is too much of a coincidence," Picard said. "While in close proximity to the same energy ribbon you were trying to escape from, we were engaged with a renegade Klingon bird-of-prey holding our chief engineer hostage. We got him back, but in the process a stray antimatter discharge from a photon torpedo the bird-of-prey fired impacted the ribbon. It collapsed into a quantum fissure that enveloped not only the bird-of-prey, but the Enterpriseas well."

Kirk frowned. "This bird-of-prey, do you know if it survived the transference?"

Picard shook his head. "Unfortunately I and my crew blacked out during the transference. When we came round there was no sign of it. Nor have we detected any debris. In fact, it was only through our search for it that we picked up you."

The intercom sounded. "Bridge to Captain Picard," Kirk heard a deep rumbling male voice state. There was, he realised something vaguely familiar about the voice.

"Excuse me," Picard stated, tapping the insignia on his left breast. "Go ahead, Mr. Worf."

Kirk nodded, realising that the insignia badge Picard wore wasn't simply for decoration; it was a functional device serving the same role as the communicator on his belt. He also realised why the voice had seemed familiar. Worf had been the name of his defence attorney during his show trial several months earlier. That meant the voice belonged to the Klingon he'd seen earlier, and that this Worf was most likely a descendent of the Klingon he himself knew.

"Captain," Worf stated. "We are detecting unusual readings thirty-thousand kilometres off the port bow."

"I'll be out shortly," Picard responded.

Kirk was already reaching for his communicator when it started chirping. Flipping it open he gave his perfunctory response. "Kirk here."

"Captain," Chekov said. "Our sensors are picking up some very unusual readings..."

"Yes I know," Kirk said speaking over Chekov. "Ensign Sulu and I are returning to the ship." Rising from his seat, he closed his communicator. "Commander, if you'd show us back to the transporter room?"

"Not necessary," Riker stated, tapping his own badge. "Riker to transporter room one. Lock onto Captain Kirk's and Ensign Sulu's communicators; beam them directly to the Enterprise-Bbridge."

"Yes sir," the transporter operator acknowledged, and a moment later both Kirk and Sulu disappeared in the sparkle of the transporter beam.


Emerging onto the bridge, Captain Picard glanced up at the viewscreen as a swirling blue vortex formed before them. Deep within the vortexes inner reaches, a flash of light was followed very quickly by the emergence of a large spacecraft. It was dagger-shaped and covered in aggressive-looking red and black markings; the vortex collapsing as it moved onward towards them.

"Report," Picard said as he took his command chair.

"Sir," the newly promoted Lieutenant Commander Worf announced from his tactical and security station just behind to the right of Riker's seat. "The alien vessel is on a direct intercept course. They will pass between us and the Enterprise-Bin—" He broke off as an alarm sounded from across the bridge.

"Sir," the golden-skinned android, Lieutenant Commander Data stated with a slight edge of excitement in his voice. "Sensors indicate both ourselves and the Enterprise-Bare being bombarded with tachyons. They appear to be modulated…" His voice trailed off in puzzlement. "Sir," he resumed. "I believe they are using tachyons as a means of communication. I am creating a communications subroutine to receive and transmit in tachyon frequencies."

"The vessel continues to approach," Worf stated. "I recommend we raise shields."

"Not yet, Mr. Worf," Picard admonished. "Other than continuing towards us, they haven't done anything to suggest they're a danger."

"Subroutine created," Data reported. "I'm putting it on audio."

The speakers hidden in the deck head came alive with a heralding bleep. "This is Warleader N'Kal of the Narn Cruiser G'Tok. We are being pursued by Centauri battle cruisers and have sustained heavy damage. We need assistance."

"This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard—"

"Sir," Data announced. "Two vortexes are forming astern of the G'Tok."

Glancing up at the viewscreen, Picard once again watched as the blue vortexes formed, expelling a pair of warships reminiscent of the Klingon's new Negh'Var in shape, but over twice the size. Just like the earlier vortex had collapsed behind the G'Tok, these vortexes collapsed behind the newest arrivals.

"Tactical analysis," Picard ordered.

Sensors indicate," Worf stated. "Eight ion cannons, four particle beam lasers, four pulse cannons of unknown type and two missile launchers. They appear to be equipped with gravimetric shielding and powered by a primitive matter/antimatter reactor."

"Not much of a threat," Riker commented.

"Not against us," Picard agreed. "But the Enterprise-B or the G'Tokon the other hand."

"Captain," Lieutenant Samantha Jae reported from the helm. "Centauri battle cruisers changing position. Sir, they're moving to intercept."

"Captain," Worf said urgently. "Their weapons systems are armed."

"Red alert," Riker ordered from his on Picard's right. Around the bridge, the light panels automatically dimmed as the crimson alert lighting blinked in time to the grating noise of the general alarm.

"Data," Picard said. "Try and raise the G'Tok."

Data worked his console. "I've got them; on screen."

The image of the G'Tok and the two Centauri warships winked out; being replaced by a fierce looking bald humanoid alien with spotted yellowish skin, red eyes and dressed in a studded leather-like military outfit. "We need assistance," the Narn began without preamble. "Our energy reserves are extremely low. What power we have is being used to treat our sick and wounded. We need time to get our jump engines back online."

"Sir," Worf spoke up. "Sensors indicate the Centauri warships are targeting the G'Tok, the Enterprise-Band… us."

"Shields up," Picard ordered, glancing back at Worf. "Warn them off."

USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-B

"Centauri vessels locking on!" Chekov warned, glancing up at the viewscreen. "The Enterprise-Ejust raised their shields and is powering weapons."

"Raise ours," Kirk ordered from the command chair. "Lieutenant Bennett," Kirk glanced back at the tactical station. "Bring the phasers online and lock on the starboard Centauri battle cruiser; target their weapon ports only."

"Shields up," Bennett confirmed. "Phasers online; targets locked."

On the viewscreen, the starboard Centauri battle cruiser could be seen turning towards them.

"Captain," Vasquez said tersely. "We're picking up an energy spike…"

"Defensive manoeuvres!" Kirk snapped. Visible on the viewscreen, he could see both of the battle cruisers unleashing their arsenal in bright red pulses of energy. The port battle cruiser directing its entire barrage at the Enterprise-E while the starboard split its fire between his ship and the G'Tok. "Put us between the G'Tokand the Centauri battle cruiser."

Kirk was impressed as the ship began moving even before he finished giving the order. The deck shuddered as the shields sparkled absorbing the battle cruiser's weapons fire. "Return fire!"

Primus-class Battle Cruiser Hessius

Lord Carn Jado wasn't happy, not one bit. Both his ship and the Turhan had been on what should have been the routine seizure or destruction of a Narn heavy cruiser. It was quickly turning into a debacle with the intervention of what he presumed, given the Earther script on the hulls, of two Earth Alliance vessels. Something that shouldn't have happened, given the treaty that was being negotiated between the Centauri Republic and the Earth Alliance. He'd received the warning from the ship called Enterpriseand as per his standing orders, he'd ignored it.

Clearly visible through the bridge viewports, he saw the smaller ship do the impossible. It accelerated rapidly, becoming a blur of motion, crossing the distance between them in less than a second; placing itself so that it would take the shots intended for the Narn cruiser. He'd smirked, anticipating that the shots would destroy it and that his next barrage would get through unimpeded. He was wrong; the shots, instead of impacting directly against the hull were stopped dead by some kind sparkling blue energy field.

The other slightly larger ship hadn't even bothered moving as the Turhanopened fire. It simply sat there, letting a similar energy field absorb the shots.

And then the smaller ship returned fire; a pulsating twin beam of orange-red energy that leapt from one of what they'd tentatively identified as possibly being twin-gun ports; the beams connecting briefly with the battle cruiser. The deck shuddered as the sound of a roaring explosion echoed its way through the ship.

"All weapons," Jado cried. "Target that vessel. Fire at will!"

USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-B

"Direct hit," Bennett crowed as an explosion bloomed up on the hull.

On the viewscreen, Kirk watched as the battle cruiser began to roll slightly to its port side. And then it was firing again. No longer splitting its fire between two targets, but focussing it all on the Enterprise-B. A continuous barrage of weapons rained down on them; everything from the ion bolts they'd already been firing to plasma pulses and particle beams.

The deck shuddered. "She's taking quite a wallop," Scott's voice moaned over the intercom. "Shields weakening…"

At the same moment, the Enterprise-Eswooped into the picture, coming from an oblique angle towards the underside of the battle cruiser letting its more powerful shields intercept the Centauri weapons. Phasers lashed out angrily; slashing deep gashes in the hull as they did so. Picard, Kirk realised, wasn't holding back.

As it passed over the battle cruiser, it fired off a torpedo from a launcher at the base of the ship's fantail; scoring a hit on the large spine like protrusion at the stern of the battle cruiser, snapping it off as the hull erupted from an explosion deep with in the hull.

"My God," Chekov said horrified, watching as the debris slowly spread apart. "What did they hit?"

"According to sensors," Vasquez put in. "Their main matter/antimatter reactor was at the spines base. When the torpedo snapped it off, they lost containment…" She let her voice trail off.

USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-E

"Sir," Data said, the urgently. "I'm reading a power build-up in the remaining Centauri battle cruiser."

"On screen, Data," Picard said rising from his chair and taking some steps towards the viewscreen.

The image changed. The debris of the just now destroyed Centauri battle cruiser disappearing and being replaced by the image of the intact one. It was turning away, presenting its stern to the Sovereign-class starship. "Picking up another spatial disturbance…" Data supplied. "A vortex is forming directly ahead of the Centauri battle cruiser." As he spoke, a yellow-orange looking vortex tore into existence and the battle cruiser flew in, with it collapsing behind it.

"Captain," Riker said, checking his console. "The G'Tokis hailing…"

"Stand down red alert," Picard ordered. "Mr. Data, put the G'Tok on screen. And relay to the Enterprise-B."