Chapter 1: The Warrior's Path
"This is Captain David Field of the starship Entranced," the captain, back straight with a riding crop in his hand said, his thick British accent making him sound more like a gentleman Captain of Earth's Imperialistic Age then a captain of a futuristic society, "Calling Deep Space Seven."
There was no reply. Not anything. There was no static, not even slight pops from the communications often associated with the stationary signals of deep space stations.
Field wiggled his ears, a sign of visible irritation. "Deep Space Seven. This is David Field of the Entranced. Respond please."
"Are you sure there is life on board that station commander?" he asked, turning towards the Security Officer.
"All the systems are still running," the minuet man said so small he was having to stand on a box, "They would have shut off if there had been no movement."
He turned back and looked out at the station on the view screen. There were no ships docked at the moment, but, that didn't necessarily mean anything. But, he had to make sure. His family was known for military competence, his father's having served in the British Army since the Hundred Years War on Earth. And he was not about to let down the family honor.
They had been given orders to come here six days ago, due to an unusual silence from the base for a month. They had not sent out any reports, but, there had been no distress signals or anything either to signal trouble. They simply just stopped transmitting. And that was enough for anyone to become nervous. The Invincible would have been dispatched, but, they were currently at Qo'noS. And Titan was heading to Cardassia Prime, bringing back Riker who had all charges of murder dropped and Legate Temar, who was heading to Earth to resume diplomatic discussions of Cardassia joining the Federation. So, the Nebula-Class Entranced had been sent from the fleet massing near Vulcan.
"Can we transport a landing team into the station?" he asked.
"Shields are down," the security officer reported.
Field pointed to the Vulcan science officer. "Servak, you are go with Ensigns Davis and Jellio and go find out what is going on over there."
"Right away, Captain," he said, swerving in his chair and standing up, left the bridge.
"Gentlemen," Servak said as the two ensigns got onto the transporter pad, "We are going to set our phasers on stun. It is logical to assume something has gone wrong over there. But what it is we cannot surmise."
"Yes sir," the others acknowledged, taking out their phasers and touching the dials on them to put them on stun.
They materialized in the promenade and were greeted by total silence. The humans looked uneasily around, holding out their phasers incase. Servak held up his fingers and clenched them in a fist and at once they fanned out. They began searching the different shops and passageways.
"Landing party to Captain Field," Servak said, touching his comm.
"Reading you Servak," Field replied, "What's the situation over there?"
"Our tricorders are picking up no life forms on this station," he informed him, looking at his blank scanner, "But, we are still going to continue the search."
"Very well," Field acknowledged, "Check the escape pods and try to see to the Commander's personal logs. See if any light can be shone upon the situation."
"Very well sir," Servak nodded, "Landing team out."
"Commander Servak," Davis called out from one of the restaurants.
He jogged up to him and the man pointed. There was plates of food on the tables. But, there were many more on the floors, and two of the tables had been pushed onto their sides.
"It looks like they were either in a hurry to leave," Davis surmised, "or there was a fight here."
"The latter is more logically acceptable," Servak agreed, "But, if there was a fight here, it would seem there was only hand to hand involved."
Davis took his tricorder and ran it over the tables and floor. As he moved, his forehead furrowed further in further.
"Odd," he muttered.
"Please elaborate," Servak ordered, moving up to his side.
"There is no cellular residue on the floor or tables," he said, kneeling by an overturned chair, "There's absolutely nothing."
"Every life-form," Servak shook his head, "No matter how big or small it is, leaves cellular traces of itself."
"I know it's illogical," he conceded, "But, there is nothing here."
A quick glance with his own scanner affirmed the Ensigns' accretion. There was nothing here. It was like they had never existed.
His comm beeped and he tapped it. "Servak."
"Commander," Ensign Jellio said, "I'm at the escape pods. None were launched."
"How about the transporter pads?" Servak asked, giving a glance at Davis.
"They're fully functional, but weren't used since the day before Starfleet lost contact with the base."
"Alright," Servak nodded, "We're going to go to the command center. Rendezvous with us there."
The Operation Center of the station was just like the rest of the station. Not even a molecular sign of the crew's existence. Everything was in working order though; so they were easily able to get into the Commanders logs.
Commanders Log: Stardate 63470.44; First Officer Job McCain recording.
A party of Romulans has shown up at the station. They have requested permission to stay for a week, and it's been given. Beyond that, nothing much more to report, beyond Lt. Gregory Marxxes has had his third litter of pups in the last three months. It is my personal opinion that he should lay off the females of this crew, or else he'll be pregnant all the time and unable to perform his duties.
"Commanders Log: Stardate 63472.01; First Officer Job McCain recording.
The party of Romulans has risen to 205. I can't help but notice it's the exact number that a Scimitar-Class ship would need. But, there is no danger. They've been good.
Starfleet has assured me that I don't need to worry about Commander La Forge's absence, but, I would be glad to know where he went.
Commanders Log: Stardate 63473.12; First Officer Job McCain recording.
Transporters have failed all over the ship, and so have the shuttles. Chief Bennion says there is nothing to worry about.
Commanders log supplement:
The Romulans have turned on us! Most of the crew is dead, and most of the civilians. They attacked during the lunch shift, and they have some special weapons that as soon as they hit, they erase the traces of the person. As if they had never been born.
I can't signal Starfleet. Communications are down, and our auto distress signals have been turned off, so we can't even signal for help. Only six of the thirty left have phasers; we didn't have enough time to get to the weapons lockers before they were captured.
If you make it and are listening to this, warn the Federation. The Romulans have broken the Treaty. They are…no, wait….stop them!…Give me the phaser…..Stop it you butchers!….AAARRRGHHHH!"
Jellio hung his head. "Did you know him?" asked Servak, looking at him..
Jellio nodded his head, "He was my father-in-law. How am I going to tell Betsy this?"
"I am sorry for your loss," Servak put a hand on his shoulder, "But, we must alert the Federation or his death was in vain. Commander Servak to Entranced."
There was no reply. Not even static. "Servak to Entranced," he tried again, "Come in please."
Jellio and Davis looked up at his, their faces showing anxiety. He turned and pushed a button and the view screen turned on. The Entranced was still out there. Or, at least the ruined hull of the Entranced, slowly spiraling in the vacuum of space, small chunks of metal and bodies surrounding it. Davis gasped and Jellio had to clutch the desk to keep from collapsing.
"How could this have happened?" Davis groaned.
"It would appear as if the Romulans never left this region of space," Servak replied.
And almost as if to agree with him, three Romulans suddenly materialized in Ops as they were transported aboard.
"Set phasers to kill," Servak ordered and quickly followed his own order.
The Romulans had barely finished materializing before they were hit by phaser fire. They all fell over simultaneously, and Servak turned to Davis, "You have served aboard this station before, am I correct?"
"Seven years ago," Davis nodded, "I left before McCain arrived."
"Is there a place we might be able to avoid the Romulans?" he asked, "Until we can get out of here and send a message to the Federation?"
"Engineering," Davis lit up, "Follow me."
With that, they ran to the Jeffery tubes, opened up the access panels, and entered. They barely closed it before a second detachment arrived. They were trapped on a Federation space station, surrounded by the enemy.