With power restored enough to do a little research, Murdock went into the captain's ready room. The first thing that he noticed was that it was virtually barren of personal effects. Captains usually have something in their office to make it more comfortable, even Vulcans had their family crest or IDIC symbol.
He sat behind the desk. There was no computer terminal display, just a small section of the desk dedicated to touch-screen controls. He tapped one and the window to the side of his desk went from black to clear. He could see the terrain outside of the ship and the yellow sunshine gave a warmth to the room that the white and blue lights made seem sterile.
Murdock tapped another control and a holographic display appeared on the left side of the desk.
"Computer terminal activation authorization required."
"Hmm." He didn't even know the captain's name, much less his clearance and authorization codes.
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained." He said, then simply gave the computer his own name and authorization.
"Murdock, John. Admiral, CNC Starfleet Command. Deceased."
"Deceased? I don't think so." He said with a chuckle.
"Database confirms status."
"Voiceprint authenticiation." Murdock said, and repeated his codes.
"Murdock, John. Admiral, CNC Starfleet Command. Voiceprint authentication confirmed. Non-sequitur."
"Disregard paradox. Display ship's logs."
The last entry confirmed what Williams had discovered on the bridge. The final entries were dated 200 years in the future.
"Computer, play last log entry."
A middle aged man appeared on the display. He had dark hair with just a touch of silver on the sides, piercing blue eyes, and a strong, square jaw. His red uniform was unlike anything Murdock had ever seen, but the gold Starfleet chevron was visible on his left collar lying sideways and pointing towards the front. It had four platinum dots running along the upper inside edge.
"Ship's log, Captain Warren Hilliard recording. We managed to escape the time war, things were going very poorly. We were out-numbered and out-gunned. The Federation was on the very brink of collapse. We came to this time and grounded on Murano II to effect repairs, which took several weeks. We returned, but a few hours before the battle to try to prevent the destruction of the starbase. Although we were able to make better preparations, reinforcements were still light hours away by the time the battle had begun. We inflicted heavier casualties but were not able to save the starbase. Our regenerative shields, incredible maneuverability, and heavy weapons were all that kept us from being destroyed. The rest of the armada did not fare well and reports from all over the quadrant revealed that the Federation had fallen and Humanity was on the verge of extinction. When the battle cruisers turned their full attention towards us I ordered the Retribution to be cloaked and returned to this time and place.
In spite of the temptation to go directly to Earth with our advanced technology and provide Starfleet with the ability to make generation leaps in weapons, sensors, shields, science, and medicine, the Temporal Prime Directive prevents us from revealing ourselves to the Federation of this era. I encountered resistance from some of the crew, but military discipline remained in place and my orders will be followed.
I am ordering a complete shutdown of all systems so that no EM transmissions of any kind can be detected across the entire space-time continuum. I am reluctant to order the destruction of the Retribution; she could still come in handy one day. I'm confident that the indigenous people of this planet won't come across it, even accidently. Should we never return to it, the vegetation should overgrow and sufficiently cover it. There is a group of aboriginal humanoids many kilometers from here. We'll take what we can and assimilate ourselves into their culture. I'm sure we can explain our differences by telling them we journeyed from a far-away land, which isn't too far from the truth.
This is my final log. Captain Warren Hilliard."
Murdock sat back heavily in the chair and sighed deeply as he tried to wrap his brain around the implications of what he had discovered.
"Captain Murdock to all department heads. Please report to the bridge."