Star Trek: Omega Force Gaiden (Side Story) #1:

"Self-Examination"

by William "Blissey" Raymer

Based on Star Trek Created by Gene Roddenberry

This story takes place in the three-month span between the events of 1984's Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and 1986's Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. It also mentions events that have taken place in the Black Wall Productions audio drama Star Trek: Grissom, which (as a matter of full disclosure) I am a cast member of.

It will also set up a storyline that will be examined further in "Magical Showtime, Parts I and II," the "season finale" of the main Omega Force series.

Prologue

Personal Log, Captain William C. Raymer, Head of Tactical OPS, Copernicus Fleet Yards, Stardate 8320.7.

We were informed by Admiral Thompson that the U.S.S. Grissom NCC-638, one of the most distinguished vessels we have ever built here at the Copernicus Yards, has been destroyed with all hands lost.

While the details of the mission Grissom was on at the time of her destruction are being kept close to the vest by the Admiralty and the Federation Council, I have learned through confidential sources I have at the President's Office in Paris that the Grissom was destroyed in an attack by Klingon forces.

And further news I have just received from my sources have indicated that the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701, which had been stolen from Spacedock One by rogue Admiral James T. Kirk, has also been destroyed.

Having been a cadet aboard the Enterprise near the end of her legendary first five-year mission under then-Captain Kirk and also having had a part in the construction of the Grissom has brought me immense feelings of sadness at the end of two great starships.

I have been invited to speak at the memorial service for the Grissom's crew as the last member of its original construction team still serving here at Copernicus. With most of the old team—notably Admirals Robert Caves and Seán Paul Teeling—having either been transferred to other fleet assignments, retired or passed away, I feel it is my right, privilege and responsibility to be there at the very end of Grissom's legacy.

In the last few days, I have become close friends over subspace with many members of the families affected by the tragic loss of the Grissom, and look forward to meeting them in person at the memorial service in a few days.

I only wish that it could have been under other, lighter, circumstances…

Finishing the log entry he was recording, Captain William Raymer stood from his desk and made his way to the window overlooking Lake Armstrong, near where the ground-based portions of the Copernicus Fleet Yards were located.

Taking a deep breath and a sigh, William then turned and looked at his trophy case. Inside were small models of the ships he had participated in the construction of during his 15 years of service at Copernicus.

As he opened the case, one particular model—of an Oberth-class ship—caught William's eye. Emblazoned on the saucer section of the ship's hull was the legend "U.S.S. Grissom NCC-638." William felt a tear slip down his cheek as he thought of the crew of Grissom and the families they left behind.

A beeping from his desk brought William out of his reverie. He reached over and tapped a control. "Raymer here. Go ahead."

"Captain Raymer, this is Shuttlecraft Landing Control," the voice on the other side of the channel said. "Your transport to Earth for the Grissom memorial service has just landed."

"I'll be along presently. Just give me about half an hour to get my gear together. Raymer, out," he said before closing the channel.

As William exited his office and made his way to the residential area, he continued to ponder about the Grissom's fate. And then, it clicked. "Genesis," he thought.

His sources had told him that the Grissom had been assigned to a mission to investigate the aftermath of Khan Noonien Singh's detonation of the Genesis Device prototype within the Mutara Nebula.

William still could not venture a guess as to why the Klingons destroyed the Grissom (and possibly the Enterprise), but he did know one thing: he needed to get away from Copernicus.

Upon his arrival on Earth, William asked to meet Admiral Harry Morrow, the commander of Starfleet. However, he was notified that following the twin debacles of the Grissom's destruction and the theft/destruction of the Enterprise, as well as the mounting tensions with the Klingon and Romulan Empires over Genesis, Admiral Morrow had resigned from Starfleet.

His replacement would be Admiral Lance Cartwright. He did not know much about Cartwright's career beyond the fact that as a Captain, he had commanded the Miranda-class starship Rowling for five years in the early 2270s.

In his office, Cartwright was placing his personal effects on the walls and shelves when his desk-mounted communications unit rang. "Yes?" he said.

"Sir, Captain Raymer of the Copernicus Yards is here to see you," the voice of his receptionist said. "Send him in," Cartwright said. "Aye, sir," the receptionist said.

The doors into Cartwright's office slid open, allowing William to walk in. "Ah, Captain Raymer, please have a seat. I'll be right with you," Cartwright said.

"Thank you, sir," William said. As William sat down, Cartwright placed a model of the Rowling on his shelf. When that was done, he sat back down behind his desk.

"I understand you will be speaking at the Grissom memorial service on Thursday," Cartwright said. "That's right, sir," William said. "That is part of the reason why I asked to see you."

"I have been serving at the Copernicus Yards ever since I got out of the Academy—in fact, the only star-hours I have ever logged were when I was a cadet aboard the Enterprise," he continued. "I feel it is time that I get back out there and do even more good than I can do stuck behind a desk."

"Which is why I am formally requesting a transfer to the command of an active starship," William finished.

"I see," Cartwright said. "And you are sure this request is not just because the Grissom was destroyed?"

"Far from it, Admiral," William said. "While all of us at Copernicus are mourning the loss of the Grissom and her crew, we also realize that we must get on with our lives and careers. The best thing we can do to honor the deeds of the Grissom and her crew is to continue to serve Starfleet and the Federation the best way we can."

"I see where you are coming from, Bill," Cartwright said. "Let me think about it for a couple of days while we bid farewell to the Grissom and while I get used to being at the helm of the entire fleet."

"That is all I can ask, Admiral," William said. "You have the comm code of my room at the visitor's hovel near the old Transamerica Building if you need to get in touch with me before the service."

"I'll keep that in mind," Cartwright said. "Dismissed." William nodded at his new boss then stood and left his office.

::TBC::